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Posted: 6/11/2007 7:54:06 AM EDT
wise_jake,

Ok, to start again,

I find your conversation intellectually stimulating, however, I find your logic flawed.  To say that if you take away the lure of getting what you can't have will in essence eliminate the need to abuse is just not accurate.

Yes, alcohol is a problem.  It has the potential to be abused, but there is a strong difference between the hardcore mainline drug and alcohol.  I'll use crack cocaine since that is what I deal with most.

Crack is simply powder coke mixed with baking soda and cooked to a hard paste.  It is dried and cracked (thus the name.)  You smoke it and receive the desired (or wanted) effect.

Now, cocaine is a stimulant that over stimulates the brain to release an explosion of dopamine and serotonin... the feel good hormones.  However, after these have been metabolized, and at such a high rate of consumption, there is a crash.  It is an intense high the first time it is taken and thus creates the instant addiction.  The problem with this over-stimulation is that tests shows that over stimulation of that part of the brain brings about a tolerance effect by the body, you know, too much of a good thing... to the point of nearly being toxic.  The number of receptors to chemicals are reduced, thus creating a need to do more of it so you end up "chasing" the first high.

That is a stark difference to runner's high in which the chemicals are released naturally in times of intense physical stress.  In this case, the body it helping to ease a pain that if felt in overexertion.  So you can say that the hormones are meant as a pain reliever.

Well, in the case of sex, you have the same release.  A pleasurable release.  This is not a pain killer, but a sense of pleasure.  These chemicals, along with others, can spurn the sex drive in order to bring people to abuse this as well.  The difference here also is that the chemicals are released naturally, not through the introduction of a foreign substance.

The fact that a foreign substance, so matter how it is produced, can create such an unnatural condition in the body, is unhealthy.  God did a great job when he created us.  It is when we are unsatisfied with that creation and look for "short-cuts" to pleasure is when we get into trouble and thus create abusive situations.

In the case of alcohol.  Yes, abuse happens.  But how often do you hear that when alcohol is tried there is an actual instant physical addition, as opposed to a gradual casual.....social......potential.......habitual.......abbusive......(showing progression here) drinker.  How often do you hear that as soon as the drink touches the lips of someone, there is an immediate physical and psychological change that can bring about physical destruction and loss of self control.  That type of alocohol abuse often occurs with the introduction of peer pressure and the sight of your elders abusing the drink and thus you copy.  Tastes terrible at first.  You probably don't get wasted the first time, but you see all your friends doing it over and over and here you go.

Dope.... different.  Instant, insane, rocking high that takes you to the moon.  VERY low doses are used as topical anesthetics.  If such a low dose can cause skin to go numb (as often happens to my own fingertips when I make a big pinch), then imagine what a concentrated dose on the central nervous system can do.

Now, lets be honest.  There is always something else out there that can take one on a better more intense high.  Even if you were to legalize that shit, there would be something else out there that people would chase, because the effects would wear off.  The would want something else, something more lethal.  Heroin laced with Fentanyl comes to mind.

It's this experimental phase of new drug chemistry that scares the shit out of me, even as a responding officer.  If a concentrated dose of fentanyl were to touch your skin, by-by officer.  Hope there is a shot of adrenaline near by to help.  I have seen two cases first hand in which the victim was dead before the needle was even empty.

Now, I welcome further discussion wise_jake.  Bear in mind, I am working this week, so my responses will be more scattered as I was off the last couple of days.
Link Posted: 6/11/2007 9:23:38 AM EDT
[#1]
I was going to reply in the other thread, thankfully I read the whole thing before hitting reply.

My big issue with some of what you've said is that marijuana should be illegal, and then use the negative effects of crack, meth, etc. to justify.

That is simply intellectually dishonest.
I don't think anyone will argue that meth, crack, PCP, etc. aren't bad for you. Marijuana, on the other hand, can be argued that it is less harmful than other, legal drugs.

I've seen the argument on this site from LEOs more than once about they're first-hand observations of what MJ does to people, and base their argument off of that.

The fact is, you guys don't run into the average pot smoker, by a long shot. You run into the ones that would be doing something criminal anyways, and would be the dregs of society, with or without pot. I'd be willing to wager that they're also using more than just pot (even if it is just alcohol).

I live in a city that probably has one of the highest per capita users of marijuana in the nation, and I see the other side of the coin, daily, in co workers, friends, and general people on the street. This myth that pot smokers are a bunch of lazy, worthless leaches is simply that - a myth.

When my company started an employee of the quarter award, the first person to win it smoked a few bowls pretty much every night. She also works 50-60 hour weeks, always does more than her job requires, or is even reasonably expected to do. Does that really sound like a lazy POS?

Out of the thirty or so employees at my company, I know, for a fact, that at least 5 of them smoke on a regular basis. None of those 5 have any complaints about their job performance. Not one.

I've also met and talked at length with an ADA from a neighboring county, who has pretty much given up on the idea that pot should be illegal. He's never smoked it, never will, and doesn't understand it, but he sees the facts for what they are. He's never had a DV case involving pot - he has them damn near daily involving alcohol. The number of accidents with deaths and/or serious injuries involving alcohol surpasses those involving pot at a staggering rate (disclaimer - I do NOT support, approve of, or tolerate driving stoned, but a fact is a fact).

If you really look at it objectively, there are very few crimes with actual victims stemming from the use of pot, and the vast majority of them are due to it being dealt on the black market, which prohibition has proven to increase the amount of violent crime.

If you want to argue that as a society, we must not tolerate meth, crack, etc., but be honest about it. Pot is not anywhere close to the same as the rest of them.

(oh yeah, before I get labeled as a druggie, I don't smoke pot. I have in the past, but I'd much prefer beer, and pot + beer do NOT mix well for me.)
Link Posted: 6/11/2007 11:06:07 AM EDT
[#2]
I figured this might add something to the discussion. I'm not saying go ahead and do numbers 15-20, but it shows just how dangerous tobacco and booze really are. If we added High Fructrose Corn Syrup and the other crap they put in our food, then they would be number 1.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17760130/

Link Posted: 6/11/2007 12:50:15 PM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
I figured this might add something to the discussion. I'm not saying go ahead and do numbers 15-20, but it shows just how dangerous tobacco and booze really are. If we added High Fructrose Corn Syrup and the other crap they put in our food, then they would be number 1.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17760130/



I'll quote the last paragraph of the article for those here....

Nutt called for more education so that people were aware of the risks of various drugs. "All drugs are dangerous," he said. "Even the ones people know and love and use every day."

Link Posted: 6/11/2007 12:51:06 PM EDT
[#4]

Quoted:
I figured this might add something to the discussion. I'm not saying go ahead and do numbers 15-20, but it shows just how dangerous tobacco and booze really are. If we added High Fructrose Corn Syrup and the other crap they put in our food, then they would be number 1.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17760130/



I'll quote the last paragraph of the article for those here....

Nutt called for more education so that people were aware of the risks of various drugs. "All drugs are dangerous," he said. "Even the ones people know and love and use every day."

Link Posted: 6/11/2007 8:17:20 PM EDT
[#5]
Here's a bump so you don't miss it, wise_jake.
Link Posted: 6/12/2007 3:02:20 AM EDT
[#6]
1.  the same arguments we use for owning guns can be applied to possessing and using drugs.
2.  if legalized, drugs would provide a good source of revenue through taxation just like alcohol and tobacco.
3.  if legalized, drugs could be regulated, making them safer (not cut, no taking the wrong drugs, no toxins from poor production facilities).
4.  the drug trade is the number one reason for prison overcrowding.  most of these folks are in in for victimless crimes.
5.  the drug trade is largest power base of organized crime in America.  you legalize it, you cut the legs from under many criminals.
6.  if a human wants to destroy himself through drug use, i have no right to say that he cannot.  only when his actions interfere with my rights or life do i have the right to protest his actions (i.e. DUI, which laws are already in place for).
7.  police would face fewer violent criminals day to day.
8.  our government would be forced to shrink, potentially lowering tax rates.
9.  current and past efforts in the war on drugs have completely failed.  anyone that wants to buy any drug today can and does do so within a relatively short period of time.
10.  drugs would become cheaper due to lack of black market overhead.  this would lead to more overdose in drug users that completely lack self discipline...this is a good thing.  it would also decrease burglary crimes that addicts commit to pay for the high priced black market drugs.
11.  drugs were legal until relatively recent times.  only after they were made illegal did the tertiary effects of prohibition create the problems we have today.
12.  some of the enormous energy/resources spent on fighting this war on drugs could be used on education and rehabilitation.

that's some reasons i came up with off the top of my head.  i'm sure there are more/better out there, but that's at least some to get us started.

btw, i'm sure after legalization that problems with drug use would actually get worse instead of better.  however, i believe natural selection would set in, and an equilibrium would be reached at a lower rate than the prohibition era.
Link Posted: 6/12/2007 6:56:16 AM EDT
[#7]
Here now.  I'll eventually pull some of my other replies/arguments from the other thread, so as not to recreate the wheel.

Until then, I'll start small/simple.

Even though I don't think it's logical (Footnote1), I would have little/no problem with controlled substances (e.g. marijuana) being prohibited by law....... at the state level.  I wouldn't think it the smartest thing to do, but until I'm dictator, I don't get to decide for the entire state based upon what I think is the smartest thing to do.

I understand there are differences, both chemically and [therefore in how they affect the human body] physiologically, between [for example] marijuana and crack.  I'm not saying that legalizing so-called "hard drugs" like [again, for example] crack would be the best/smartest thing to do.  I'm also not [even] saying that legalizing what I refer to as [in contrast] "soft drugs" (e.g. marijuana, mescaline, peyote) would be the smartest thing to do.

I just "have a problem" with the complete federal prohibition of these drugs.

I firmly believe that Gonzales v. Raich was wrongly-decided.  What is your opinion on this case?

Let's just say that I am [to put it very nicely] not the biggest fan of Sandra Day O'Connor.  So, for me to agree with her dissent in G v R should really tell people something.  Namely that, despite my [again, to put it nicely] intense dislike of [former] Justice O'Connor, I agree completely with her logic in the case (predicated largely upon Justice Brandeis' dissent in New State Ice Co.).

To wit:

Federalism promotes innovation by allowing for the possibility that “a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.

Concluding with:

Relying on Congress’ abstract assertions, the Court has endorsed making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one’s own home for one’s own medicinal use. This overreaching stifles an express choice by some States, concerned for the lives and liberties of their people, to regulate medical marijuana differently. If I were a California citizen, I would not have voted for the medical marijuana ballot initiative; if I were a California legislator I would not have supported the Compassionate Use Act. But whatever the wisdom of California’s experiment with medical marijuana, the federalism principles that have driven our Commerce Clause cases require that room for experiment be protected in this case.

^
(emphasis not in original)

Speaking to the refutation of the "victimless crimes" moniker by many here in the BOTS forum, I offer this: There are sufficient remedies at law.

The actual act of "sparking up" some weed (for example) is victimless in the logical sense of the word, not to mention in the legal sense (definitely from a criminal perspective; if you'd like, we can argue the civil perspective separately).

However, if smoking a rock "causes" someone to plow [or, has the end result of someone plowing] through a crowded market/parade/gathering, there exist sufficient remedies at law for that, too, as there are a whole slew of criminal charges that could be filed, if applicable, and depending on the laws of the state:
vehicular homicide, vehicular murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, driving under the influence, failure to control speed, failure to stop and render aid, etc, etc, etc.

Have you ever seen anyone prosecuted for deaths/injuries pursuant to a drunk driving incident?  Those same (or similar) charges should get us started on the list of these "sufficient remedies at law".

And if a state isn't willing to live with the cost, the so-called collateral damage of its experiment with previously-controlled substances........ the state in question can outlaw/regulate them, to the extent that state deems prudent.

The long and short of it is: the present state of affairs with regard to our controlled substances paradigm is indefensible.


1. for example, to regulate marijuana more strictly than alcohol, tobacco, or some OTC drugs
Link Posted: 6/12/2007 7:09:34 AM EDT
[#8]
It has always been my position that drug use = drug abuse, and that the need/desire to "get high" is generally indicative of a lack of character.  Decent people don't do drugs.  The less judgement imparing substances in use in society the better.   People in general show a remarkable lack of judgement when sober.  Talking on Cell phones when driving, screaming at their children in public, for nothing.  Do we really want these people to legally be getting high too?  I don't think so.
Link Posted: 6/12/2007 7:35:03 AM EDT
[#9]

Quoted:

Quoted:
I figured this might add something to the discussion. I'm not saying go ahead and do numbers 15-20, but it shows just how dangerous tobacco and booze really are. If we added High Fructrose Corn Syrup and the other crap they put in our food, then they would be number 1.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17760130/

I'll quote the last paragraph of the article for those here....

Nutt called for more education so that people were aware of the risks of various drugs. "All drugs are dangerous," he said. "Even the ones people know and love and use every day."

IMHO, you're missing the operative part of what he's saying:

Nutt called for more education so that people were aware of the risks of various drugs. "All drugs are dangerous," he said. "Even the ones people know and love and use every day."

I agree with his "All drugs are dangerous" assertion.  I think it would have been more responsible for him to word it "All drugs are potentially dangerous" though.

Aspirin, when taken "correctly," is not "dangerous" in the common sense of the word.  Neither is ibuprofin.  But they are both potentially dangerous.  I can't tell you the last time I had one of either.

Whenever I get a headache (which is rare), my wife offers to get me an aspirin, but she also knows me pretty well, so her "offer" ends up sounding like this:

Originally posted by The Love of My Life, Missus_wise_jake:
Would you like me to get you an aspirin; no, of course you don't because you don't take aspirin; go ahead and suffer, but don't expect any sympathy from me because you're too damned stubborn to take a fucking aspirin.

Sometimes it's a sinus headache.  In which case, I either suffer through it, take a nap and see if it goes away, or [if it's unbearable and/or all else has failed] take some kind of cold/sinus medication.

If it's not a sinus headache, then it's brought on by some kind of imbalance: either I need to eat, or need to drink [e.g. water], or both.

But it occasionally burns her ass that I treat the underlying issue, not the symptom(s).

She actually *has* to take medication for some things, so she thinks (aka "creates in her mind") that I (as a general non-medication taker) judge her for having to take medication.  I don't, but while we're on the subject, I'd much rather her be prescribed some MJ than what the doctors completely legally give her instead.

For disclosure's sake, the above is not what drives my opinion(s) on drugs/marijuana/legalization, this is merely an affirmation of those beliefs/opinions.

When I was an honor student in high school, even though the only illegal drugs I'd ever tried were alcohol and tobacco, I advocated on behalf of a childhood friend I'd drifted away from when he tried to establish a school club/chapter of NORML and was rebuffed by the administration.
Link Posted: 6/12/2007 7:42:17 AM EDT
[#10]

Quoted:
It has always been my position that drug use = drug abuse

So what is your opinion on alcohol use?  Is it drug abuse?

and that the need/desire to "get high" is generally indicative of a lack of character.

What about the desire to get drunk or even a slight buzz (e.g. from 1-2 beers)?

Decent people don't do drugs.

Generally, no.  But I do know and have known "decent people" who did do drugs.

The less judgement imparing substances in use in society the better.

So what is your rationale for allowing some judgement-impairing substances and disallowing others?

People in general show a remarkable lack of judgement when sober.

Agreed.

Talking on Cell phones when driving,

Do you agree with attempts to make laws to curb this behavior?  It was attempted two legislative sessions ago in Texas, but failed.

screaming at their children in public, for nothing.

How do you propose we combat this scourge?

Do we really want these people to legally be getting high too?

No, but does that necessarily give me (let alone the federal gov't) the power to regulate this?  Please answer both conditions separately.

I don't think so.

You're certainly welcome to your opinion, and I wouldn't mind facing off against those Texas residents of a similar mind as yourself via our proxies in the state legislature.  Nor would I mind allowing you to face off against VA residents of opinions more similar to mine via your proxies in the [VA] state lege.
Link Posted: 6/13/2007 9:06:58 PM EDT
[#11]
Sometimes, when people get into discussions of this sort, there tends to be a swing toward one extreme over another.  So I ask you this.  Why should we regulate anything at all?  If we are truely a free country, why do we have laws?  Why does anyone have any control over what I do?  Why can't we as a society simply live in a spirit of absolute self governing and simply take care of ourselves?

What I think is good for me.... fine.  What business is it of anyone else?  Could people really stay to themselves enough for that kind of thing to happen?

I have a response in mind, but I'll leave it to you to hear your side.
Link Posted: 6/13/2007 9:56:32 PM EDT
[#12]
bottom line is that prohibition does not work, and actually has negative side effects.  this isn't theory, we've already proven it to ourselves, twice now.

as for "why do we have laws"...i'd have to say to protect each other's rights and lives in society from those who don't care if they infringe on or destroy another citizen's rights or life.

your question should be, "why do we have laws to attempt to protect people from themselves?"
Link Posted: 6/15/2007 11:52:11 AM EDT
[#13]

Quoted:
Sometimes, when people get into discussions of this sort, there tends to be a swing toward one extreme over another.  So I ask you this.  Why should we regulate anything at all?

Unless it's intended purely as an intellectual exercise, I'd say this is an uneccessary question..... as I'm certainly not advocating that we shouldn't regulate anything at all, and I'm fairly certain that's not what you're advocating, either.

If we are truely a free country, why do we have laws?

Well, we have different *kinds* of laws for different reasons.  We have some laws to *keep* us free.

Why does anyone have any control over what I do?

Because your right to extend your fist ends where my nose begins.

Why can't we as a society simply live in a spirit of absolute self governing and simply take care of ourselves?

Isn't that what we generally do, on the representative democracy side of things?  Of course, not all things are possible [via our system of representative democracy], as some things are invariably trumped by the primacy of our Constitutional Republic.

What I think is good for me.... fine.  What business is it of anyone else?

What you think is no one else's business, unless you choose to make it so (i.e. by announcing it).  It's when you act on it that your actions *could* be subject to regulation (again, go back to the check/balance between rep dem and Const Rep).

Could people really stay to themselves enough for that kind of thing to happen?

It's not an issue of the people "stay[ing] to themselves enough"......  It's that the other people can't mind their own business enough for that kind of thing to happen.  Think about half of our firearms laws.

Who is Billy Joe Bob *really* hurting with his non-registered (converted?) MG out in the middle of nowhere on his 200-250 acres?  But some nosy SOB city-slicker-moved-to-the-country neighbor hears the sweet melody of unregulated gunfire and has to have a shit-fit.

I have a response in mind, but I'll leave it to you to hear your side.

That's pretty much my side.
Link Posted: 6/15/2007 11:58:21 AM EDT
[#14]
Shit, look at some of the responses in this thread.
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