OpinionAll drugs should be legalised. Discuss!
      – Thelevellers, 2009-01-06 at 19:15:26   (30 comments)

On 2009-01-06 at 19:16:40, Thelevellers wrote...
I'm not convinced ALL drugs should be fully legalised, and it's obviously not as simple, but I wanted to get the discussion rolling...
On 2009-01-06 at 19:17:39, Thelevellers wrote...
Sparked off by stumbling on this http://www.theseminal.com/2009/01/05/legalize-marijuana-legalize-coke-heroin-and-the-rest-too/. Though I seem to remember this topic, or at least this subject arising on SB at some point...
On 2009-01-06 at 22:23:55, BorgClown wrote...
Tired in the mornings? Use the brand-new Colombian cocaine patches, guaranteed to perk you up! <tt>disclaimer: cocaine may cause heart attacks
On 2009-01-07 at 02:32:59, Baslisks wrote...
meh, a well informed adult should be able to make most of his/her own decisions. but that never works.
On 2009-01-07 at 06:13:28, George wrote...
I can see some value in the argument that if all drugs were legalised, their supply could be regulated and the result might be that users would get a safer 'product' at the end of the day, but I don't think that's a good enough reason to legalise them. I used to think that pot should be fully legalised, but I changed my mind a few years ago. I even think that marijuana's reclassification to a lower status in the UK a few years ago was a mistake... apart from the fact that smoking pot is now recognised as a much greater health risk than smoking tobacco because of the concentrations of toxins, many studies have found a strong link between its use and the development of mental illnesses. People today seem to think that marijuana is pretty much a harmless bit of fun, but more and more it looks like that's not true. And is using it really all that great anyway?
On 2009-01-07 at 11:49:29, Thelevellers wrote...
The problem I have with that view point George, is that alcohol and Tobacco ARE legal, and are pretty harmful... I think that the problems with pot causing mental illness is down to new super strong strains, isn't it? Or it was last I heard... Oh, and over use too. Which suggests that legalisation, and so control of the product, would conceivably help that problem. Also, you can't ignore the huge money earning potential from the (I expect huge) taxes. Cone on, a $64 billion a year market in the US? I think the problem with ALL drugs, including legal ones, is that people don't pay attention to the dangers. They assume 'It's legal, it's safe!', or 'everyone else does it, can't be that bad!'. So the solution there has to be some form of education of the masses. The binge drinking problems here in the UK are a fine example of that problem with legal drugs. And we all know a few big stoners... At least if there were revenue from the drug sales that could be plowed into conciousness raising on the issue.
On 2009-01-07 at 11:50:37, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Whilst marijuana is often seen as less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, that's hardly a good reason for legalising it - although as New Scientist recently pointed out, the damage done by punishing users has far-reaching consequences worse than taking the drug alone. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126885.100-radical-alternatives-proposed-for-cannabis-controls.html The most damaging of the possible ill effects of cannabis use is psychosis - "you're 40 per cent more likely to get psychotic disturbances if you're a user from early life." All illegal drugs have health consequences which society as a whole shouldn't have to clean up. Personally, I think that it'd be better to have something come out of research than try to supplement alcohol and tobacco with other drugs that are known to almost as bad, e.g. something like Kava could be promising. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19125601.200-all-the-pleasure-of-drinking-without-the-pain.html
On 2009-01-07 at 17:34:12, BorgClown wrote...
@Thelevellers: Are you proposing an industry who will profit only to counter-advertise itself? Only the government could support such business. OTOH, tobacco industries are doing fine despite the cancer warnings.
On 2009-01-07 at 19:09:51, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: The fact about illegal drugs causing health problems is the same as legal drugs causing health problems too. Alcohol and tobacco do a whole lot of harm too but we don't mess with that. We have been messing with the whole gangster thing for awhile. Think of what happened with alcohol when America banned it? Crime thrived and grew. I go down to a shitty neighborhood and what is thriving there? Crime through the selling of illegal drugs. If we could do the same thing for alcohol why not try it for illegal drugs?
On 2009-01-07 at 19:18:55, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I already said that we need something better than alcohol and tobacco, and that just because other drugs have health problems that's no excuse for taking others - if anything, the opposite is true. Prohibition is a difficult thing to reverse once it's in place, especially since it's primary purpose is to protect. The answer is simply to look at trials, e.g. in other countries, to see what the outcome is. But it has to be coupled with education that makes it clear what the issues are. Whilst it may well be the case that legalisation does less overall harm, at an individual level the sort of people that will suffer from drug abuse are the weakest members of society.
On 2009-01-08 at 05:17:37, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: I know plenty "cream of the crops" that are in love with drugs. I've met CEO's who are addicted to alcohol and nicotine. I know professors who are known for synthesizing some of their own brew in the labs at night. Brilliant and amazing people.
On 2009-01-08 at 07:17:01, George wrote...
@Baslisks: I agree... I'm not convinced at all that the weakest members of society are the sorts of people who have problems with addiction. Many people who have massively influenced our culture in a positive way have or had serious dependencies on drink and/or narcotics. And certainly a great number of them were smokers. I think loads of 'upstanding members of society' are casual drug users, and are able to use drugs without that seriously affecting what they do on a day to day basis. For them, moves to legalise drugs, with appropriate warnings about the risks and dangers, might not be a bad thing. But for everyone else, who might not be able to use drugs in a responsible and measured way, there could be major problems, like those that have been so clearly demonstrated by the availability of alcohol, gambling, etc etc.
On 2009-01-08 at 10:07:58, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I said that the weakest would suffer the most, not that others wouldn't take drugs. And I didn't say that the 'weakest' meant the poor, for example - it's anyone that cannot resist either taking the drugs themselves nor resist having them forced upon them. I'd say the situation was different with early prohibition, as it happened at a time when people were desperately short of both work and entertainment - so alcohol fulfilled a need to essentially sedate the population. It seems that some individuals have a need for some sort of drug today, for whatever reason, and it would be better to find a safe drug that works for them all rather than just lumping all drugs together as if they're the same.
On 2009-01-08 at 13:14:38, Thelevellers wrote...
@BorgClown: I was kind of assuming it would (at least at the start) be government controlled... Maybe I'm a little naive in that respect, or maybe it's living in the UK with the lovely NHS around. Certain things are just meant to be government controlled in my mind... :S AS for the rest of the debate, it seems to me it cones down to education, which as I mentioned earlier, could be funded by the legalisation... Also, a lot of the weaker/unfortunate members of society seem to end up on illegal drugs anyway, so them being illegal isn't really helping, methinks?
On 2009-01-08 at 14:50:26, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's certainly true that putting drugs under government control makes sense, but at the same time if the government doesn't let anyone take them then you've got the same situation you started with. It would help if at least doctors were allowed to prescribe more of these drugs, with the aim of helping people to get off them. But we don't want to return to the time when everyone was hooked on opium and unfortunates were forced to take it. When is it acceptable for someone to take heroin or cocaine, even if it were legal for them to do so? It's hardly in their best interests to do so, even if they say they want to. And it certainly doesn't help anyone else around them to have an addict.
On 2009-01-08 at 15:53:26, Thelevellers wrote...
That's why I hesitated slightly to say ALL drugs should be legal. But realistically your point about doctors answers that... If you're addicted, prescriptions of it could help the issue, though obviously there'd have to be some form of rehab to go with... Discussions like this make me glad I'm not a politician! Lol...
On 2009-01-08 at 17:45:43, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Playing Nation States online makes me glad I'm not a politician...
On 2009-01-08 at 18:37:26, BorgClown wrote...
Well, I would support the all-drug legalization anyway. You won't be prosecuted for stapling wood planks on your feet, for example, so no one should be punished just for taking harmful substances.
On 2009-01-08 at 19:14:46, Baslisks wrote...
"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday night. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?"
On 2009-01-09 at 03:50:51, Thelevellers wrote...
@Baslisks: Legend... :) Nation States, eh? Might have a ganders and enjoy hating it a little ;)
On 2009-01-11 at 10:09:56, BorgClown wrote...
I think the Nationstates2 game is open for everyone now. It added trade and there will be wars in the near future.
On 2009-01-23 at 15:15:19, Baslisks wrote...
bhutan has just completely banned smoking. An entire nation.
On 2009-08-29 at 21:10:06, Lee J Haywood wrote...
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14309861
On 2009-08-29 at 22:27:00, Thelevellers wrote...
Heh, nice link, thanks Lee... Makes me happy :) As Serj Tankian of System of a Down sang: 'All succesful research and drug policy shows that treatment should be increased, law enforcement decreased, while abolishing mandatory minimum sentances' P.S. A quick re-read of this topic showed up an 'n' 'm' typo I was doing without realising! Doh!
On 2009-08-30 at 15:11:07, DigitalBoss wrote...
I should be able to use any drug in my own home legally. As long as I do not infringe on any other person's rights through force or through fraud, I should be able to do as I please. I agree, law enforcement, penalties, and jail time should be decreased until eventually eliminated, and treatment options increased. The "war on drugs" is just an excuse to increase the power of the police state.
On 2009-08-30 at 15:40:55, Thelevellers wrote...
Wow, I think this topic is the closest to consensus we've had on here, and yet it is probaably the one thing that a politician would never touch with a barge pole even as a discussion point...
On 2009-08-30 at 16:46:10, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's important to note that decriminalisation isn't the same as legalisation (which this topic says). I disagree that people should be allowed to take any drug they want, as they are (a) not themselves once addicted and (b) a danger to themselves and others when they seek money to feed their addiction. I would agree, however, that ruining someone's life by labelling them a criminal - on top of the damage incurred through drug use - is a bad thing and should be replaced with state-sponsored rehabilitation programmes.
On 2009-08-30 at 20:16:26, Thelevellers wrote...
Good point Lee - *wants an edit opinion button* :P
On 2009-08-30 at 20:54:45, DigitalBoss wrote...
Like I said before on other topics, politicians are all about power, and the war on drugs gives them power. They will NEVER give it up.
On 2009-08-30 at 21:01:11, DigitalBoss wrote...
That is EXACTLY why I don't want to give them power over my health care. They will never give it up, they will just screw it up.