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legalize it! ALL OF IT, apparently.

Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/24/miron.legalization.drugs/index.html
The right policy, therefore, is to legalize drugs while using regulation and taxation to dampen irresponsible behavior related to drug use, such as driving under the influence. This makes more sense than prohibition because it avoids creation of a black market. This approach also allows those who believe they benefit from drug use to do so, as long as they do not harm others.

Legalization is desirable for all drugs, not just marijuana. The health risks of marijuana are lower than those of many other drugs, but that is not the crucial issue. Much of the traffic from Mexico or Colombia is for cocaine, heroin and other drugs, while marijuana production is increasingly domestic. Legalizing only marijuana would therefore fail to achieve many benefits of broader legalization.

so, i like drugs. not all of them, though. in fact, a lot of them are really really bad. but this dude from harvard says we should make them 'all' legal (well, coke and heroin with weed).
so, uh, WHAT? i just don't follow. his words sound smart, but COKE and HEROIN are BAD.
thoughts?

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Posts

  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    this is either an example of "give everyone guns to stop gun violence" or a sarcastic article.

    i think its very well proven that people don't always take the most rational action in any given circumstance.

    Here's the economist article:
    http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13237193

    They argue that in countries with very similar cultures(Norway and Sweden) and very different laws related to drugs, show the same addiction rates.

    rodq.jpg
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I think the "legalize heroin?!?!" response is natural, but I also think legalizing heroin is not nearly so silly an idea as it sounds.

    Please trust I'll get more into this later, but the short, short version is that I don't think it would increase usage, and it being legal would result in far better conditions for those who do use it. As well as for our prison, the severely reduced crime in trafficking the drugs, and the safety of everyone involved period.

    I can see how it would reduce crime, but you can't honestly believe that legalizing anything wont result in increased usage. I mean, it's not really too hard to get drugs if you're in the right place, but if it was legal then it will just become more available. With more availability comes more usage. The only way to counteract that might be to make it so prohibitally expensive as to make many unable to purchase it, but then we're back where we started and a black market pops up able to meet demand without the price.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Neitzsche
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I think the "legalize heroin?!?!" response is natural, but I also think legalizing heroin is not nearly so silly an idea as it sounds.

    Please trust I'll get more into this later, but the short, short version is that I don't think it would increase usage, and it being legal would result in far better conditions for those who do use it. As well as for our prison, the severely reduced crime in trafficking the drugs, and the safety of everyone involved period.

    I can see how it would reduce crime, but you can't honestly believe that legalizing anything wont result in increased usage. I mean, it's not really too hard to get drugs if you're in the right place, but if it was legal then it will just become more available. With more availability comes more usage. The only way to counteract that might be to make it so prohibitally expensive as to make many unable to purchase it, but then we're back where we started and a black market pops up able to meet demand without the price.

    Well, evidence shows that it doesn't increase usage significantly. So your ability to believe or not believe it is irrelevant.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The argument goes that the increased harm from increased consumption is trivial compared to the reduction in harm from eliminating the black market. A cursory glance at the expenses (both $$$ and human lives) of the War on Drugs makes this argument likely to be true.

    And yes, heroin consumption will increase, if we were to legalize it. Law of Demand.

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    I think the "legalize heroin?!?!" response is natural, but I also think legalizing heroin is not nearly so silly an idea as it sounds.

    Please trust I'll get more into this later, but the short, short version is that I don't think it would increase usage, and it being legal would result in far better conditions for those who do use it. As well as for our prison, the severely reduced crime in trafficking the drugs, and the safety of everyone involved period.

    I can see how it would reduce crime, but you can't honestly believe that legalizing anything wont result in increased usage. I mean, it's not really too hard to get drugs if you're in the right place, but if it was legal then it will just become more available. With more availability comes more usage. The only way to counteract that might be to make it so prohibitally expensive as to make many unable to purchase it, but then we're back where we started and a black market pops up able to meet demand without the price.

    Well, evidence shows that it doesn't increase usage significantly. So your ability to believe or not believe it is irrelevant.

    That's in the Netherlands right?

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    so.. how would heroin be sold? At a liquor store? Show ID that you're over 21 and you get some?

    Prescription based? No doctor would prescribe heroin...

    The idea that I'd see heroin on a shelf, easy to buy, bothers me. I do however, not care at all if anyone goes to jail for using or making or selling it. Legalize, and keep it somewhere I never have to see it, and I guess I don't care...

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    NotYou wrote: »
    so.. how would heroin be sold? At a liquor store? Show ID that you're over 21 and you get some?

    Prescription based? No doctor would prescribe heroin...

    The idea that I'd see heroin on a shelf, easy to buy, bothers me. I do however, not care at all if anyone goes to jail for using or making or selling it. Legalize, and keep it somewhere I never have to see it, and I guess I don't care...

    I would guess specialty stores, like liqour stores but for drugs.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    As much as I hate to link a book that you can't read without purchasing...

    Read it. Don't be afraid just because he quotes the loony Ann Coulter in there.

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I think, at least in the Netherlands, it's handed out at dispensaries that also provide treatment for addiction and such.

    The reasoning being, better to get it from them than someone who wants to keep you hooked.

    Or something.

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Also, read Drugs: America's Holy War. I'm only on part three, but I'm completely blown away with how much sense everything makes.

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  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I wish it could work but I don't think it would.

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  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Variable wrote: »
    I wish it could work but I don't think it would.

    Why not? A lot of problems would be solved very quickly. Overdose and bad reactions due to drug contaminates would drop drastically. Violence due to drug use would drop because this would become a legal situation with regulations instead of stabbings. Drug use would probably not increase much, if drug laws from other countries tell us anything. Lots of money gets saved for the state and lots of new jobs would open up.

    Oh, and all of the children die*.





    *all of the children would not actually die.

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    NotYou wrote: »
    so.. how would heroin be sold? At a liquor store? Show ID that you're over 21 and you get some?

    Prescription based? No doctor would prescribe heroin...

    You realise that there are programs for exactly that, right? Also for Methadone, which is allegedly even more ferociously addictive than heroin.

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    this is either an example of "give everyone guns to stop gun violence" or a sarcastic article.

    i think its very well proven that people don't always take the most rational action in any given circumstance.
    A high society is a polite society

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    Exactly. You'd almost certainly see an increase in use if heroin was illegal...but it still wouldn't exactly be an epidemic. Cigarette companies spend bazillions of dollars trying to get people to smoke...just make advertising for heroin illegal, and watch the problems associated with use go up negligibly while the problems associated with prohibition all but disappear.

    If you offered me some legal heroin, I'd tell you to go fuck yourself. Same reason I don't smoke. Or even drink all that much.

  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    Exactly. You'd almost certainly see an increase in use if heroin was illegal...but it still wouldn't exactly be an epidemic. Cigarette companies spend bazillions of dollars trying to get people to smoke...just make advertising for heroin illegal, and watch the problems associated with use go up negligibly while the problems associated with prohibition all but disappear.

    If you offered me some legal heroin, I'd tell you to go fuck yourself. Same reason I don't smoke. Or even drink all that much.

    Yes, and why do we care about casual use anyhow? We certainly shouldn't. We should care about abuse. I don't care what someone does as long as it doesn't impinge on me overly. And has been pointed out, it isn't even clear that usage rates would vary substantially.

    And the money raised from taxation of illicit substances could far more effectively treat the negative externalities of drug abuse than the status quo. First of all, medical treatment is far more effective than interdiction in the US and especially in foreign countries. Second, it is a lot easier to raise taxes via a sin tax to fund medical treatment than it is trying to hoover it up via income taxes. People (wrongly IMO) get uppity when you suggest using their hard earned income to pay for treatment. They are far less uppity when those dirty drug users pay for their own treatment (even if most of those users are just bored suburbanites who don't actually generate any harm).

    Plus, as has been mentioned a lot of crime is generated via this prohibition. Legalization would effectively halt this. The Hells Angels have nothing on Archer Daniels Midland when it comes to the ability to project economic power. What are the drug cartels going to do exactly? They cannot compete on price. Their illicit nature would give them a distinct cost disadvantage, not to mention the fact that most people are willing to pay a fairly steep price premium to retain legality.

    Not that I think full out legalization is likely though. There is still a lot of social stigma associated with it, and a lot of people will simply refuse to believe any economic arguments.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    I think the "legalize heroin?!?!" response is natural, but I also think legalizing heroin is not nearly so silly an idea as it sounds.

    Please trust I'll get more into this later, but the short, short version is that I don't think it would increase usage, and it being legal would result in far better conditions for those who do use it. As well as for our prison, the severely reduced crime in trafficking the drugs, and the safety of everyone involved period.

    I can see how it would reduce crime, but you can't honestly believe that legalizing anything wont result in increased usage. I mean, it's not really too hard to get drugs if you're in the right place, but if it was legal then it will just become more available. With more availability comes more usage. The only way to counteract that might be to make it so prohibitally expensive as to make many unable to purchase it, but then we're back where we started and a black market pops up able to meet demand without the price.

    Well, evidence shows that it doesn't increase usage significantly. So your ability to believe or not believe it is irrelevant.

    How much is not significantly? Because the report that was quoted earlier just said that it's not different, and regardless of my mental faculties, that's just hard to believe. There are some people who would do drugs if given the opportunity, but don't because it's either too much of a pain in the ass to get ahold of or don't want to deal with holding illegal substances. For example, I am one of those people. There's some stuff that I'd probably try, but I don't want to deal with the negative shit attached to it. Nevermind not knowing how much to take, etc. My drug usage would go up if drugs were legal. Would I be doing drugs all day everyday? No. Would I be doing them regularly? No. If they were more available you would see an increased usage. That doesn't mean that the addiction rates would go up, but I'm betting that I'm not the only person out there that doesn't do drugs because I don't associate with the people that do them and I don't want to deal with the law if it comes down on me.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Neitzsche
  • LindenLinden Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    japan wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    so.. how would heroin be sold? At a liquor store? Show ID that you're over 21 and you get some?

    Prescription based? No doctor would prescribe heroin...

    You realise that there are programs for exactly that, right? Also for Methadone, which is allegedly even more ferociously addictive than heroin.

    This. There's a justification for giving these drugs to patients, namely that the patient is better off - safe synthesis is a bitch, and the production isn't exactly subject to quality control. With pharmaceutical involvement, purity isn't the issue it is elsewhere.

    What if this weren't a rhetorical question?
  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

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  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

    his point was everyone won't start doing these things just because they are illegal.

    but since you brought it up, every problem you listed either also applies to alcohol or wouldn't be a worry if the drugs were legal.

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  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

    So since cigarettes are a lot less bad for you than heroin, obviously more people would use heroin if it was legal than smoke cigarettes. I see.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

    So since cigarettes are a lot less bad for you than heroin, obviously more people would use heroin if it was legal than smoke cigarettes. I see.

    I'm don't think that's what he was saying

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    This thread needs more scientific graphics. From the Lancet:

    Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_%28mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence%29.svg

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

    So since cigarettes are a lot less bad for you than heroin, obviously more people would use heroin if it was legal than smoke cigarettes. I see.

    I'm don't think that's what he was saying

    I assumed he was in some way responding to my argument. He kind of skipped answering the question, so I wasn't sure. I guess I was wrong, sorry.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If heroin was legal, "less than 20%" wouldn't be an acceptable amount of people using it. While it's true that legalizing a substance takes away a lot of the danger associated with it, things like heroin and especially cocaine are inherently dangerous or harmful.

    The question of whether usage rates would dramatically increase is the important one. Are there any developed nations which have legal cocaine or heroin, for comparison's sake? My first guess is no, but I'd be happy to be incorrect here.

    I personally won't do heroin because I don't want to associate with heroin dealers and because I don't trust bags of substances which are difficult to identify with certainty. But if it was legal I'd at least try the stuff.

  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

    So since cigarettes are a lot less bad for you than heroin, obviously more people would use heroin if it was legal than smoke cigarettes. I see.

    No, that's not what I was talking about at all, and I think you know that. There are good reasons for these drugs to be illegal, and good reasons for them to stay illegal. Whether or not all people would engage in their use is irrelevant. The laws are in place to protect those who don't use these drugs.

    Though I will admit that I'm curious how alcohol (as hard a drug as it is) came to be legally and socially acceptable when these other drugs are not. I mean, Prohibition didn't work in the 20s because there was a time before that when alcohol was legal. Presumably, drugs like heroin (which have been around in some form or other forever) were not always illegal. So who pushed that through, and how were they able to marginalize the drug and its users from the rest of society? I don't know the answers, but it's interesting to think about.

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  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Kaputa wrote: »
    If heroin was legal, "less than 20%" wouldn't be an acceptable amount of people using it. While it's true that legalizing a substance takes away a lot of the danger associated with it, things like heroin and especially cocaine are inherently dangerous or harmful.

    Answer the question and substantiate your claims.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Though I will admit that I'm curious how alcohol (as hard a drug as it is) came be acceptable when these other drugs are not. I mean, Prohibition didn't work in the 20s because there was a time before that when alcohol was legal. Presumably, drugs like heroin (which have been around in some form or other forever) were not always illegal. So who pushed that through, and how were they able to marginalize the drug and its users from the rest of society? I don't know the answers, but it's interesting to think about.
    Because alcohol has been in wide use for like thousands of years. Heroin wasn't invented until the early 1900s, and cocaine around the same time or slightly earlier. Granted, the plants they're made from had been being used in one way or another for a long time, but still.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Kaputa wrote: »
    If heroin was legal, "less than 20%" wouldn't be an acceptable amount of people using it. While it's true that legalizing a substance takes away a lot of the danger associated with it, things like heroin and especially cocaine are inherently dangerous or harmful.

    Your claims about cocaine don't really square with my own observations of people who use it regularly. Heroin I'm not as familiar with. What are you basing this on?

  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Kaputa wrote: »
    If heroin was legal, "less than 20%" wouldn't be an acceptable amount of people using it. While it's true that legalizing a substance takes away a lot of the danger associated with it, things like heroin and especially cocaine are inherently dangerous or harmful.

    The difference between heroin and cigarettes is that less than 20% of people can use nicotine in a non-habitual manner, while a much greater % of heroin users are casual with it. There is a reason that a lot of people consider it harder to quit smoking than quitting heroin usage. AFAIK, the real danger from heroin usage comes from ODing, further complicated by impurities, rather than the substance itself which doesn't cause permanent damage in small quantities.

    The question of whether usage rates would dramatically increase is the important one. Are there any developed nations which have legal cocaine or heroin, for comparison's sake? My first guess is no, but I'd be happy to be incorrect here.
    I personally won't do heroin because I don't want to associate with heroin dealers and because I don't trust bags of substances which are difficult to identify with certainty. But if it was legal I'd at least try the stuff.

    If it were legal, it wouldn't be full of uncertain stuff, as it would probably be distributed by someone who wasn't working out of a dirty basement. I wouldn't ever use the stuff, even if it was from a legal distributor, though that's pretty much my stance on most drugs.

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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Kaputa wrote: »
    If heroin was legal, "less than 20%" wouldn't be an acceptable amount of people using it. While it's true that legalizing a substance takes away a lot of the danger associated with it, things like heroin and especially cocaine are inherently dangerous or harmful.

    Answer the question and substantiate your claims.
    Okay. The reason >80% of the population chooses not to smoke cigarettes is that, for some reason or another, they don't desire to. Health reasons are probably the biggest reason by far. Reasons like simply disliking the feeling of inhaling smoke or the smell/taste of it or what have you also factor into it.

    Health reasons apply to heroin and cocaine as well, of course. So you're right in implying that, even if I could walk into a liquor store and buy some heroin, the vast majority of the population would choose not to. But right now, there are another couple of reasons preventing people from doing heroin and coke. Fear of prosecution, aversion to associating with heroin dealers and their crowd, and the fear that you don't know what your drugs were cut with all prevent people from doing hard drugs (that last reason is why I don't). If you legalize these drugs, you take away all but the health reasons, so usage would almost certainly increase.

    So, again, the important question is "How much would legalization increase usage?" If it's not a significant amount, then legalization might be worth it to get rid of the problems caused by prohibition. If it is a significant amount, the choice is a bit harder.

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    things shouldn't be illegal because you can hurt yourself doing them, even assuming what you're saying is right.

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  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal for anyone over 18 years of age, yet less than 20% of people do it. Why?

    I'm not sure that comparing cigarettes to some of the harder drugs is really fair. Not singling you out, others have made this comparison before, yours was just the first I saw in this thread.

    Cigarettes don't impede or affect judgment in any discernable way. They don't increase violent tendencies. There isn't a risk of suffering an immediate and fatal heart attack from smoking a cigarette. They aren't so rampantly addictive that one might throw away all rational thought or worse die, in the pursuit of getting a fix. One does not have violent withdrawal when they kick smoking. Hell, one cigarette a day might be healthier than one beer a day.

    I just don't think cigarettes and drugs like cocaine or heroin are even remotely comparable. It's like comparing aspirin to IV antibiotics; they're just not even close.

    Not even...

    No. Just no. You're mismatching expected doses, ignoring actual use patterns... just no.

    Cigarettes are worse for the average cigarette smoker in pretty much every single way than any other drug is for the average user of that drug except level of inebriation and decision making. Pretty much every medical source not paid for by the tobacco companies or the government will list nicotine as the most addicting drug on the planet.

    Interestingly, alcohol is the only drug which create withdrawal effects that can actually kill the user.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2009
    Variable wrote: »
    things shouldn't be illegal because you can hurt yourself doing them, even assuming what you're saying is right.

    First, I would tend to disagree, in principle if not in practice. If something is exceedingly dangerous and making it illegal would curb the instances of it happening, then making it illegal could be justified.

    And second, even if I were to agree in principle, that ignores things like social costs, externalities, and the like. In which case you wouldn't be so much banning it because you can hurt yourself, but more because it fucks over everyone else.

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  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Variable wrote: »
    things shouldn't be illegal because you can hurt yourself doing them, even assuming what you're saying is right.

    First, I would tend to disagree, in principle if not in practice. If something is exceedingly dangerous and making it illegal would curb the instances of it happening, then making it illegal could be justified.

    And second, even if I were to agree in principle, that ignores things like social costs, externalities, and the like. In which case you wouldn't be so much banning it because you can hurt yourself, but more because it fucks over everyone else.

    I didn't mean nothing dangerous for a person could ever be fairly made illegal, I just think that something shouldn't be made illegal for the sole reason that a person could hurt themselves doing it. so I don't disagree with your second point at all and didn't mean to frame it that way.

    as for the first point... I would need an example of what you mean. I can't think of anything dangerous enough to an individual that it's fair to not let that person do it. I'm not saying it's not out there, perhaps I'm not thinking hard enough.

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  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    MrMonroe wrote: »

    Interestingly, alcohol is the only drug which create withdrawal effects that can actually kill the user.


    This.

    Alcohol is at least as dangerous in terms of physiological effects as heroin. How often do you see another 21-shot fatality in the papers?

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I've always firmly held the stance that punishing drug use, of any drug, is absolutely indefensibly retarded. If someone is a junkie we should treat them as being sick, since putting them in prison isn't going to end their addiction or make their lives better.

    Unless someone harms someone else while under the influence, how does punishing them help anything? We should be helping them, because they are sick.


    It's alright like this in many places right? You can't get thrown in prison just for using?

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The people who want to do heroin are pretty much already doing it.

    I will also say I've known far more functioning heroin addicts in my life, than I have functioning alcoholics.

    Edit: Before you say "thats totally different" go watch someone detox from booze, Delirium Tremens are fucking horrific.

  • ResRes __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    I don't have any problem with moving weed, cocaine, and heroin to the same category as alcohol and tobacco. In all likelihod it wouldn't increase usage, and it would stop, or nearly stop, a lot of the baggage that's associated with drugs, mainly the people being murdered and thrown in prison.

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