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Drug Prohibition

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Posts

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Lots and lots of very fun things can be dangerous if used inappropriately.

    Cars. Let's do a hypothetical about cars. Google cars even. They are now allowed to drive themselves in florida , California, and some other place. In a decade you will have no need to own a car you can drive. Let's pretend Google cars are perfect in operation and can full fill all of your driving needs. Now, you owning a car you can drive is a needless danger to yourself and everyone around you and causes more damage to the environment because you can't drive as efficiently. Should you be allowed to drive?

    This machine kills threads.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    redx wrote: »
    Lots and lots of very fun things can be dangerous if used inappropriately.

    Cars. Let's do a hypothetical about cars. Google cars even. They are now allowed to drive themselves in florida , California, and some other place. In a decade you will have no need to own a car you can drive. Let's pretend Google cars are perfect in operation and can full fill all of your driving needs. Now, you owning a car you can drive is a needless danger to yourself and everyone around you and causes more damage to the environment because you can't drive as efficiently. Should you be allowed to drive?

    Easy. The enjoyment of driving can't win out over the huge number of traffic fatalities, IMO.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Lots and lots of very fun things can be dangerous if used inappropriately.

    Cars. Let's do a hypothetical about cars. Google cars even. They are now allowed to drive themselves in florida , California, and some other place. In a decade you will have no need to own a car you can drive. Let's pretend Google cars are perfect in operation and can full fill all of your driving needs. Now, you owning a car you can drive is a needless danger to yourself and everyone around you and causes more damage to the environment because you can't drive as efficiently. Should you be allowed to drive?

    If automated cars are proven, and safer by a significant margin, there is no rwason for human driving on public roads. Obviously there is some grandfather period for driven cars and special historical context, but no...driving by humans in that hypothetical should be off road or closed / private course only.

    And I love to drive.

    spacekungfumanQuidAioua
  • LemarcLemarc Pretty Terrible Registered User regular
    I fear you may have missed my point. I am not advocating that people make laws with no regard for ethics. I am just trying to pull this discussion away from a debate over whether prohibition is right or wrong along a single moral axis, and move to a more realistic recognition that this, like most topics, is complex and there are many competing and valid concerns. Even if we were to look at the aggregate harms and benefits of prohibition as a utilitarian would and conclude that more utils are created in a world without prohibition, that need not be dispositive in our determination of what the law ought to be.

    Making laws involves making choices, often among competing interests. In this particular case, I would argue that it is reasonable to assign the value of the happiness created by drugs less weight than the harms they cause, such as the harm of driving under the influence. I think there are a number of reasons to take this position, chief of which is that things like cars provide both happiness and tremendous value to our society (by enabling the rapid transport of people and goods) while drugs only provide happiness, and so, given the choice of restricting cars or drugs as a means to prevent driving related deaths, I would always say that the productive choice should win out over the choice that provides bare pleasure. I also believe that, at base, people ought to be free from interference from other people, so that, for example, a persons right to sit in peace in their home should trump their neighbors right to listen to loud music. Similarly, I believe that a person going about their day in the ordinary way ought not to have to confront people who are artificially loud, obnoxious or otherwise rude because they have altered their state to be so (think drunks on the train at night who disrupt the entire train car).
    I don't think it's productive to try and use a forum thread to address every aspect of the drug problem at once. There are simply too many countervailing points and not enough hard information. I'm aware that there are pragmatic reasons why a law that taken on its own is "unethical" might actually be for the best of society.

    I'm more interested in examining limited aspects of the problem at a time, to help better understand the whole. For example, the point I've been trying to establish for the last couple pages is that, if you want to pass a law with a given justification, like "We should prohibit drugs because that will reduce harm", you must meet a minimum burden of proof that your justification is true. The other side has already met their minimum burden of proof by the fact that the law that is to be passed will restrict their rights, so if you fail to meet yours then the argument should default to them and the law should not exist. This may be outweighed by pragmatic considerations in passing the law, or by external ethical obligations, but those should be considered in turn.

    I agree with your second paragraph in every particular. The reason I'm against drug prohibition isn't because I think people's right to drugs trumps other people's rights to the various benefits attributed to a drug-free society, but because I don't think it has been demonstrated that the prohibition of drugs will actually lead to those benefits. If someone is able to demonstrate the benefits of prohibition, it then becomes a question of whether those benefits outweigh the harms that prohibition causes, at which point I would need to back up my position by demonstrating those harms, and we could argue about it on more equal terms.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Lemarc wrote: »
    I fear you may have missed my point. I am not advocating that people make laws with no regard for ethics. I am just trying to pull this discussion away from a debate over whether prohibition is right or wrong along a single moral axis, and move to a more realistic recognition that this, like most topics, is complex and there are many competing and valid concerns. Even if we were to look at the aggregate harms and benefits of prohibition as a utilitarian would and conclude that more utils are created in a world without prohibition, that need not be dispositive in our determination of what the law ought to be.

    Making laws involves making choices, often among competing interests. In this particular case, I would argue that it is reasonable to assign the value of the happiness created by drugs less weight than the harms they cause, such as the harm of driving under the influence. I think there are a number of reasons to take this position, chief of which is that things like cars provide both happiness and tremendous value to our society (by enabling the rapid transport of people and goods) while drugs only provide happiness, and so, given the choice of restricting cars or drugs as a means to prevent driving related deaths, I would always say that the productive choice should win out over the choice that provides bare pleasure. I also believe that, at base, people ought to be free from interference from other people, so that, for example, a persons right to sit in peace in their home should trump their neighbors right to listen to loud music. Similarly, I believe that a person going about their day in the ordinary way ought not to have to confront people who are artificially loud, obnoxious or otherwise rude because they have altered their state to be so (think drunks on the train at night who disrupt the entire train car).
    I don't think it's productive to try and use a forum thread to address every aspect of the drug problem at once. There are simply too many countervailing points and not enough hard information. I'm aware that there are pragmatic reasons why a law that taken on its own is "unethical" might actually be for the best of society.

    I'm more interested in examining limited aspects of the problem at a time, to help better understand the whole. For example, the point I've been trying to establish for the last couple pages is that, if you want to pass a law with a given justification, like "We should prohibit drugs because that will reduce harm", you must meet a minimum burden of proof that your justification is true. The other side has already met their minimum burden of proof by the fact that the law that is to be passed will restrict their rights, so if you fail to meet yours then the argument should default to them and the law should not exist. This may be outweighed by pragmatic considerations in passing the law, or by external ethical obligations, but those should be considered in turn.

    I agree with your second paragraph in every particular. The reason I'm against drug prohibition isn't because I think people's right to drugs trumps other people's rights to the various benefits attributed to a drug-free society, but because I don't think it has been demonstrated that the prohibition of drugs will actually lead to those benefits. If someone is able to demonstrate the benefits of prohibition, it then becomes a question of whether those benefits outweigh the harms that prohibition causes, at which point I would need to back up my position by demonstrating those harms, and we could argue about it on more equal terms.

    Noone is going to defend US drug policy because the warning drugs has been an expensive failure. If you are just waiting for someone to defend current policy, I fear you will wait a long time.

    I am very surprised to hear that you agree with prohibition in the abstract though, and ultimately only take issue with our current failed policies. Given that this is your position but you are not interested in discussing theoretical prohibition, I'm not sure that there is anything left to say in this topic. The interesting debate is whether the freedom to use drugs ought to overcome the right of non users to be free of the ill effects of their neighbor's drug use, but you have already said that you don't want to have this discussion. . .

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • LemarcLemarc Pretty Terrible Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Noone is going to defend US drug policy because the warning drugs has been an expensive failure. If you are just waiting for someone to defend current policy, I fear you will wait a long time.
    Not current policy, maybe, but I was hoping someone would argue in favour of prohibition in a general sense, perhaps a less restrictive version of the current laws, since that's where my own views really need to be tested. Since my own position is essentially the negative one, it's difficult for me to test and find flaws in my own argument without someone making a positive argument in favour of prohibition for me to oppose, or else taking issue with specific positive statements I've made. I suppose I should have picked a more conservative board.
    I am very surprised to hear that you agree with prohibition in the abstract though, and ultimately only take issue with our current failed policies. Given that this is your position but you are not interested in discussing theoretical prohibition, I'm not sure that there is anything left to say in this topic. The interesting debate is whether the freedom to use drugs ought to overcome the right of non users to be free of the ill effects of their neighbor's drug use, but you have already said that you don't want to have this discussion. . .
    It's misleading to say that I agree with prohibition in the abstract, because I don't think any level of drug prohibition (as opposed to regulation) is appropriate. As I described it to Feral earlier, I don't think there should be any criminal penalties for possession of drugs, I think licensed and regulated production and distribution should be legal, and I think it's important that drug users have legitimate access to their drug of choice. The problem with making the discussion about whether freedom to use drugs prevails over freedom from the consequences of drug use is that it only matters if it can be established that the measures we put into place actually prevent the latter. It might still be a potentially interesting discussion, but unfortunately we're probably largely agreed on it already (pot good, meth bad, etc).

    Lemarc on
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    How do you require licensed and regulated production and distribution without having some penalties for violating those licensing requirements and regulations? Regulations are pointless if they aren't enforced.

    There are few (if any) drugs which are completely unavailable, in some form of regated fashion - heroin and cocaine have medical uses, even LSD and PCP have regulated testing or scientific uses

    Most of the harsh penalties are for having quantities of drugs that are compatible with transport, production, or distribution...a successful argument that possession is for personal use only tends to get far lighter punishments.

    At this point we are just arguing over price...

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    zagdrob wrote: »
    How do you require licensed and regulated production and distribution without having some penalties for violating those licensing requirements and regulations? Regulations are pointless if they aren't enforced.

    The non-existance of criminal penalties possession and distribution is not incompatible with the existence of civil and/or criminal penalties for failure to meet licensing requirement or negligence for creating an dangerously impure product.

    Basically, the example for the laws I would like for drugs are those already in place for alcohol and tobacco. Moonshining, selling or distributing to kids, operating a vehicle under the influence, public drunkenness, whatever... fine. but we don't have millions of recreational drinkers in jail or a large amount of violent criminality associated with black market tobacco.

    I want the government to regulate drugs. I want, for instance, to be able to take ecstasy without the possibility of my body overheating and cooking my brain, because someone in a lab was too stupid or cheap to actually produce MDMA. I'd like to know the weed I smoke has doesn't have harmful unadvertised additives, which means I actually want it regulated more strictly than tobacco. I want my 7% solution to actually be 7% +- .05%.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
    fugacity
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    How do you require licensed and regulated production and distribution without having some penalties for violating those licensing requirements and regulations? Regulations are pointless if they aren't enforced.

    There are few (if any) drugs which are completely unavailable, in some form of regated fashion - heroin and cocaine have medical uses, even LSD and PCP have regulated testing or scientific uses

    Most of the harsh penalties are for having quantities of drugs that are compatible with transport, production, or distribution...a successful argument that possession is for personal use only tends to get far lighter punishments.

    At this point we are just arguing over price...

    I agree with this. Even as someone who would prefer total prohibition of all currently illegal drugs because I think they're "icky" and "low class", I don't think there is a principled argument for doing more than trying to regulate to the extent needed to avoid harms to nonusers, and so it really just comes down to which restrictions we think those are.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2013
    Lemarc wrote: »
    For example, the point I've been trying to establish for the last couple pages is that, if you want to pass a law with a given justification, like "We should prohibit drugs because that will reduce harm", you must meet a minimum burden of proof that your justification is true. The other side has already met their minimum burden of proof by the fact that the law that is to be passed will restrict their rights, so if you fail to meet yours then the argument should default to them and the law should not exist.

    You don't seem able or willing to reply to my posts about your primary assumptions and faulty argument, so let's try this: What would you consider to be "proof" for the claims that are not your own?

    Presumably, there exist persons who would use drugs if they were legal, but do not use drugs since they are currently illegal. Were those persons to use drugs, they would be harmed by their drug use.

    Does that count as "proof"?

    The problem with proving a reduction in harm is that reduction is an absense. The only way to kinda do it would be to find a time when drugs were legal, quantify the harm that happened, and then compare that to the harm that occurs when the prohibition is put in place. Given that drugs have been illegal for quite some time, it seems difficult to amass the data required to prove that our restrictions on heroin have decreased overall harm and suffering. The other problem is that those sorts of comparisons aren't really "proof" or "evidence", in the strictest sense. There are many hypotheticals and counter-factuals at work in the inference.

    So, yes, your position of:

    1) I should be able to do anything I want because <argument missing>
    2) Drug laws prevent me from doing anything I want.
    3) Therefore, drug laws are bad, m'kay.

    Has a kind of proof in that line 2.

    But I'm wondering what you would consider to be proof of the claim "drug prohibition reduces harm" or "drug prohibition prevents the harms that would occur were drugs legal".

    _J_ on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Lemarc wrote: »
    Since my own position is essentially the negative one, it's difficult for me to test and find flaws in my own argument without someone making a positive argument in favour of prohibition for me to oppose, or else taking issue with specific positive statements I've made.

    You seem to have missed my first post to you and my second post to you.

  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    Here is a quick argument in favor of drug prohibition, I'll flesh it out when I have time later.
    Drug addiction does significant harm to some people, including people who are not addicted to drugs directly, even in the absence of prohibition laws.

    Prohibition encourages drug addicts to seek treatment, reducing harm.

    The happiness a portion of the population gets from drugs should not be more important then preventing harm to drug addicts and those effected by their actions.

    Drugs should be prohibited to prevent harm to innocent bystanders from drug abuse.

    Arguing over legality is going around the issue, the issue is drug abuse and addiction NOT casual non-addict use.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Arguing over legality is going around the issue, the issue is drug abuse and addiction NOT casual non-addict use.

    Disagree.

    1) Since the conversation is about prohibition, and prohibition is a legal act, it seems that we're engaged in an argument involving legality.

    2) The "not casual non-addict use" qualifier is problematic. A first time user does not necessarily know if it will be addicted to the substance. Allowing persons to get themselves into positions of addiction seems problematic. Also, the qualifier seems to suggest that casual non-addict use is not harmful or problematic...but it is. The money still goes to fund problematic enterprises. It's still biologically harmful to the user. And non-addict casual users can engage in actions that harm others.

    spacekungfumanzagdrob
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Here is a quick argument in favor of drug prohibition, I'll flesh it out when I have time later.
    Drug addiction does significant harm to some people, including people who are not addicted to drugs directly, even in the absence of prohibition laws.

    Prohibition encourages drug addicts to seek treatment, reducing harm.

    The happiness a portion of the population gets from drugs should not be more important then preventing harm to drug addicts and those effected by their actions.

    Drugs should be prohibited to prevent harm to innocent bystanders from drug abuse.

    Arguing over legality is going around the issue, the issue is drug abuse and addiction NOT casual non-addict use.

    Under this concept of prohibition, drugs with neglible risk of personal or social harm from addiction should be legal.

    For example: LSD.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Here is a quick argument in favor of drug prohibition, I'll flesh it out when I have time later.
    Drug addiction does significant harm to some people, including people who are not addicted to drugs directly, even in the absence of prohibition laws.

    Prohibition encourages drug addicts to seek treatment, reducing harm.

    The happiness a portion of the population gets from drugs should not be more important then preventing harm to drug addicts and those effected by their actions.

    Drugs should be prohibited to prevent harm to innocent bystanders from drug abuse.

    Arguing over legality is going around the issue, the issue is drug abuse and addiction NOT casual non-addict use.
    Except that under the current prohibition regime, drug addicts aren't encouraged to sick treatment; they're encouraged to hide their addiction from their friends, family, and medical professionals in order to keep from going to prison.

    Incenjucarfugacity
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Except that under the current prohibition regime, drug addicts aren't encouraged to sick treatment; they're encouraged to hide their addiction from their friends, family, and medical professionals in order to keep from going to prison.

    Then that is a problem with the current regime not with the concept of prohibition in general.
    Feral wrote: »
    Under this concept of prohibition, drugs with neglible risk of personal or social harm from addiction should be legal.

    For example: LSD.

    Sure, and that should be researched or whatever.
    _J_ wrote: »
    Arguing over legality is going around the issue, the issue is drug abuse and addiction NOT casual non-addict use.

    Disagree.

    1) Since the conversation is about prohibition, and prohibition is a legal act, it seems that we're engaged in an argument involving legality.

    2) The "not casual non-addict use" qualifier is problematic. A first time user does not necessarily know if it will be addicted to the substance. Allowing persons to get themselves into positions of addiction seems problematic. Also, the qualifier seems to suggest that casual non-addict use is not harmful or problematic...but it is. The money still goes to fund problematic enterprises. It's still biologically harmful to the user. And non-addict casual users can engage in actions that harm others.

    1)Sorry, I meant that arguing with the current legality as a starting point can go around the issue in some circumstances. Looking at the various ramifications of prohibition is a good idea. You do not need to point out that it is currently illegal to make an effective argument that it should be illegal.

    For example the bold only applies to a situation where problematic enterprises are funded by drug sales, which tends to happen more often when there is prohibition. If users could get their LSD and cocaine from legitimate businesses then there would be no problem.

    To point 2, I was trying to exclude all the "innocent" people who derive pleasure from drugs. Their pleasure is meaningless in the face of the consequences of the harm caused by addiction. I would rather not discuss the negative consequences of casual non-addict use because it is not necessary to my point.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Except that under the current prohibition regime, drug addicts aren't encouraged to sick treatment; they're encouraged to hide their addiction from their friends, family, and medical professionals in order to keep from going to prison.

    Then that is a problem with the current regime not with the concept of prohibition in general.

    I have to agree that the problems that Thanatos mentioned are addressable issues within prohibition.

    I also want to point out that 'fear of going to prison' is not the reason that people hide their addiction from friends, family, and medical professionals. Shame is a much larger factor, and that's not going to change just because prohibition is legalized - just look at the patterns of abuse and hiding that often come with alcohol or abuse of (legal) prescriptions.

    Additionally, few users face prison for simple use / addiction itself. There are generally three categories of drug related crimes that get people sent to prison.
    1. People that have quantities of drugs that indicate trafficking, intent to distribute, or manufacture of illegal drugs.
    2. Criminals whose drug use is a violation of the terms of their probation / parole.
    3. People who are sent to prison because of their actions while they were under the influence of drugs.

    I would argue that those three categories are not inherently tied to prohibition or even illegal drugs. Moonshining will get a person in category 1, and alcohol use / abuse can easy get a person in categories 2 or 3.

    Feral wrote: »
    Under this concept of prohibition, drugs with neglible risk of personal or social harm from addiction should be legal.

    For example: LSD.

    Sure, and that should be researched or whatever.

    Yeah, I don't think it's unreasonable to legalize drugs that have a negligible risk of personal or social harm AND risk of addiction.

    I think it's questionable if LSD has a negligible risk of personal or social harm though. I know it doesn't cause people to cook their babies or anything, but use of LSD does / can result in a person being incapacitated / incompetent / incapable of making sound decisions or being sufficiently aware of the world around them.

    But yeah, that's haggling about price and definitely something open to discussion.

    _J_ wrote: »
    Arguing over legality is going around the issue, the issue is drug abuse and addiction NOT casual non-addict use.

    Disagree.

    1) Since the conversation is about prohibition, and prohibition is a legal act, it seems that we're engaged in an argument involving legality.

    2) The "not casual non-addict use" qualifier is problematic. A first time user does not necessarily know if it will be addicted to the substance. Allowing persons to get themselves into positions of addiction seems problematic. Also, the qualifier seems to suggest that casual non-addict use is not harmful or problematic...but it is. The money still goes to fund problematic enterprises. It's still biologically harmful to the user. And non-addict casual users can engage in actions that harm others.

    1)Sorry, I meant that arguing with the current legality as a starting point can go around the issue in some circumstances. Looking at the various ramifications of prohibition is a good idea. You do not need to point out that it is currently illegal to make an effective argument that it should be illegal.

    For example the bold only applies to a situation where problematic enterprises are funded by drug sales, which tends to happen more often when there is prohibition. If users could get their LSD and cocaine from legitimate businesses then there would be no problem.

    To point 2, I was trying to exclude all the "innocent" people who derive pleasure from drugs. Their pleasure is meaningless in the face of the consequences of the harm caused by addiction. I would rather not discuss the negative consequences of casual non-addict use because it is not necessary to my point.[/quote]

    I'm mostly in agreement.

    I do want to point out that - for some drugs - there is not really such a thing as a 'casual non-addict'. Some drugs are (for all practical purposes) inevitably addicting and destructive. Heroin, meth, and crack come immediately to mind. Normal cocaine is, from what I've seen (and may be just my experiences), not always as bad, but can easily get that way.

    Addiction is the most important part of discussion with some of these drugs, because the nature of addiction is that - by definition - it overpowers the free will of an individual. Once a person is addicted, they can't be considered to be 'an adult making a choice'. A person has no way of knowing ahead of time if they will become addicted or not, so there is simply no way those drugs can be used responsibly outside of a clinical setting.

    On the other hand, is how the drugs are used. Alcohol isn't intended to be drank to the point of being a sloppy drunk who has no control over themselves. That's why public intoxication is illegal, why bars can be held liable for serving people who are too drunk, and why being blacked out / too drunk isn't an excuse for impaired driving. That's why there is so much education on binge drinking.

    For many drugs, like LSD, MDMA, and PCP, I would argue there isn't really any 'casual use' - there is only significant impairment and 'heavy use'. I suppose some people may use a low dose that allows them to remain functional...and there are some people who can remain functional with a high dose...but that doesn't change the fact that 'proper' or 'typical' use of those drugs results in significant impairment, on a par with severe drunkenness.

    With that in mind, I would argue that for many or even most illegal drugs, the 'casual non-addict' is a meaningless distinction anyway, and doesn't need to be addressed.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    1)Sorry, I meant that arguing with the current legality as a starting point can go around the issue in some circumstances. Looking at the various ramifications of prohibition is a good idea. You do not need to point out that it is currently illegal to make an effective argument that it should be illegal.

    For example the bold only applies to a situation where problematic enterprises are funded by drug sales, which tends to happen more often when there is prohibition. If users could get their LSD and cocaine from legitimate businesses then there would be no problem.

    Agree that if 100% of profits from LSD went to orphanages we could avoid the problem of drug money funding non-humanitarian enterprises. And I guess I can imagine a world in which Midwestern farmers replace their crops with...let's go with meth farms...and so purchasing meth at the local farmers market helps mom and pop meth startups. However, it seems that meth consumption involves far more deleterious consequences than apple consumption, as we'll get to in your next point.
    To point 2, I was trying to exclude all the "innocent" people who derive pleasure from drugs. Their pleasure is meaningless in the face of the consequences of the harm caused by addiction. I would rather not discuss the negative consequences of casual non-addict use because it is not necessary to my point.

    I'm not on board with the notion of "innocent" drug use. I'm fine with pharmaceutical drugs, situations in which chemical-X kills Bacteria-Y and so cures a disease. Other "drugs" seem far less harmless and free, insofar as they cause biological harm to the body of the person who uses them, and alter the mindsets of users in problematic ways. They can also cause harm to those around the user. Secondhand smoke is a problematic consequence of smoking. Emotional outbursts and drunk driving accidents are problematic consequences of alcohol consumption.

    And just to throw it out there: I'm fine arguing for the consistent position. So, if we're going to prohibit heroin and pot, it seems sensible to also prohibit alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine...except in cases where there are medical benefits other than "It makes me feel good, man".

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    On the other hand, is how the drugs are used. Alcohol isn't intended to be drank to the point of being a sloppy drunk who has no control over themselves. That's why public intoxication is illegal, why bars can be held liable for serving people who are too drunk, and why being blacked out / too drunk isn't an excuse for impaired driving. That's why there is so much education on binge drinking.

    "Intent" is a problematic notion. Gun manufacturers don't "intend" for people to use their products to shoot children, but it happens anyway. Alcohol commercials tell us to "drink responsibly", but not everyone does.

    Rather than quibble about the intent posited onto the product by the manufacturer, it seems more sensible to talk about how a thing can be used, and the statistics of how things are actually used by the consumers.

    Alfred Nobel did not "intend" for people to throw dynamite at each other, but people threw it at each other. So, when I'm assessing dynamite, I pay more attention to how people actually use it, rather than how the inventor imagined it being used.

    Feral
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    zagdrob wrote: »
    On the other hand, is how the drugs are used. Alcohol isn't intended to be drank to the point of being a sloppy drunk who has no control over themselves. That's why public intoxication is illegal, why bars can be held liable for serving people who are too drunk, and why being blacked out / too drunk isn't an excuse for impaired driving. That's why there is so much education on binge drinking.

    For many drugs, like LSD, MDMA, and PCP, I would argue there isn't really any 'casual use' - there is only significant impairment and 'heavy use'. I suppose some people may use a low dose that allows them to remain functional...and there are some people who can remain functional with a high dose...but that doesn't change the fact that 'proper' or 'typical' use of those drugs results in significant impairment, on a par with severe drunkenness.

    the degree of impairment isn't really of central importance. It is secondary to frequency of use and the types of behaviors the drug can induce. Ambien renders me completely impaired (because I'm asleep) but it would be silly to call me a "heavy Ambien user" because I use it once a month to help me sleep.

    I do not think that LSD or MDMA induce criminal, dangerous, or addictive behavior with any regularity, consequently from a policy standpoint the "impairment" isn't comparable with a drug that does promote hostility (PCP, meth) or addiction (meth, heroin). If somebody candyflips and spends the next four hours in a cuddlepile on a blanket, I don't think that's the government's business.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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