Author Topic: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT  (Read 87071 times)

Cain

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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #375 on: November 19, 2009, 05:54:38 pm »
Thought this might open up the discussion a little

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/12/war-drugs

Quote
The war on drugs has failed, but what should replace it? A powerful argument for defenders of the status quo has been that there is no viable alternative – that any softening-up on drugs would surely lead to anarchy, death, mass madness or worse.

But there are viable alternatives and today they are spelled out thoroughly and carefully in After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation. Written by Steve Rolles and fellow campaigners from Transform: Drug Policy Foundation, the book is launched today in the House of Commons. Blueprint shows that it is possible to have a grown-up drugs policy – one that lets people enjoy the drugs they like, in the ways they choose, within the context of a regulated market, with policies that reduce harm to users and protect society as a whole. Anarchy is not the inevitable outcome of ending prohibition.

We have five major options and it's up to us to choose.

These five, according to Blueprint, are:

1. Prescription – a medical model with strict control by professionals.

2. Pharmacy sales – with trained pharmacists who could offer advice and over-the-counter sales.

3. Licensed sales – something like we have now for tobacco and alcohol, with age and other limits.

4. Licensed premises – something like the Amsterdam coffee shops

5. Unlicensed sales with a more or less free market.

The last option does not seem very appealing, and Blueprint describes it as handing control of drug markets to exploitative profiteers just as surely as prohibition. So we probably have to find a solution with one of the other options. But the real point of this book is to show that change is possible. We can – and must – envisage "a world in which non-medical drug supply and use is addressed through the right blend of compassion, pragmatism, and evidence-based interventions focused on improving public health".

I was especially interested to learn what Blueprint says about specific drugs and how they might be handled. LSD, for example comes into the section on psychedelics, which points out that, though non-addictive, almost never fatal, and with no withdrawal effects, these drugs can precipitate psychotic episodes or lead to traumatic experiences and bad trips. They are also used widely for religious and sacred rituals and in some countries there are functioning legal frameworks for allowing such use. When drugs are used in this way they are usually taken only rarely, with many safeguards and in a social situation that provides a lot of support for people who may get into trouble using them. How nice it is to have this kind of responsible drug-taking discussed seriously.

Blueprint comes up with a discussion model for psychedelics based on membership of psychedelic groups or clubs, and licensed vendors with specific responsibilities as well as licensed users. Does this make sense? Would it work? I don't know. But then no one knows.

I can only say that I would welcome such a step. If LSD were legally available I personally would like to take it quite rarely – perhaps once a year or so – for the extraordinary insights it can give and the lessons it teaches. I am not alone: an online survey by Erowid of thousands of experienced LSD users showed that most would want to take it about once a year if it were legal.

I am much encouraged by Blueprint. I'm sure it doesn't have all the answers, but what it does offer is this: when the election comes, and if drugs become an issue, no one can say there is no alternative to prohibition. They can hold up Blueprint and say: "Here are the alternatives". Any of them must be better than the terrible harms that are currently being done to individuals and the whole of our society "clearly fuelled by the prohibitionist drug policies our governments pursue".

I haven't read the exact meat of the proposals, but there are links for those who want to have a look.

AFK

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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #376 on: November 19, 2009, 05:56:42 pm »
fair enough. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on whether or not that would be worth the increased personal liberty for adults.

not being snarky either, if you're going to take the position that anything is worth decreasing the personal liberty of adults, protection of children is about the only reason I can think of that has any merit whatsoever.

You posited it before as a choice between liberty and security.

Another way to think about it is a choice between sacrificing the futures of a portion of our youth for the pleasure of a portion of our adults. 


its not just about pleasure though is it? i know i wont benefit i don't smoke pot, i am probability not the only one arguing the pro legalization/decriminalization who is a non smoker..

and how do I sacrifice anything? i am not suggesting the kids be abandoned or that they are not as important as you believe they are, i am in agreement with you there. i have said that with any change of the law, improving funding for programs and education are necessary

But that won't happen.  And even if it did, I again say it's like drilling a hole in my boat and handing me a bigger oar.  I'd rather not have the hole in my boat.  

Quote
the question is do the harms you see "sacrificing youth" (even worst case scenario funding and education remaining the same) outweigh the loss of liberty (something i hold very very dear) plus all the other costs of prohibition that we have been listing? i suspect they don't, prohibition and the violence and corruption the black market creates, the cost to the tax payer arresting and prosecution and prisons cost just to name a few, are a high cost to pay, especially if the sacrifice you talk about can be headed off by the funding and education we both would suggest (not saying it would be easy to get or that it wouldn't require a fight but i believe it could be done)

But what you all seem to keep ignoring is what I keep bringing up.  The ills you listed can be addressed in policy reforms without legalizing the substance.  




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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #377 on: November 19, 2009, 05:58:23 pm »
RHWN, you never answered my question.   :sad:
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #378 on: November 19, 2009, 06:04:41 pm »

But what you all seem to keep ignoring is what I keep bringing up.  The ills you listed can be addressed in policy reforms without legalizing the substance.  


But I think you're missing what many of us are saying which is, we think it could be legalized WITHOUT destroying the lives of children.

You seem to want to treat it as a "Don't go to jail, but you need to seek counseling" kind of issue... many comments here take issue with that presumption.

I don't see how leaving pot in the black or gray market will help kids. It may help this tiny minority that don't try drugs because they are illegal, but what about the greater body of children and adults who do smoke pot? Wouldn't it be better to have that in a controlled system, rather than a black market where an opportunist can manipulate kids into life changing decisions well beyond smoking a joint?

I once went to a dealers house, I didn't know the guy very well and had only bought from him once before. When I got there, I noticed a young girl crashed out on the couch. He mentions that she's the new "housegirl"... and says something like "She's Legal too *wink*".

I never went back to that dealer.

As far as I know, State Liquor Stores don't have Housegirls.
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #379 on: November 19, 2009, 06:06:29 pm »
fair enough. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on whether or not that would be worth the increased personal liberty for adults.

not being snarky either, if you're going to take the position that anything is worth decreasing the personal liberty of adults, protection of children is about the only reason I can think of that has any merit whatsoever.

You posited it before as a choice between liberty and security.

Another way to think about it is a choice between sacrificing the futures of a portion of our youth for the pleasure of a portion of our adults.  


its not just about pleasure though is it? i know i wont benefit i don't smoke pot, i am probability not the only one arguing the pro legalization/decriminalization who is a non smoker..

and how do I sacrifice anything? i am not suggesting the kids be abandoned or that they are not as important as you believe they are, i am in agreement with you there. i have said that with any change of the law, improving funding for programs and education are necessary

But that won't happen.  And even if it did, I again say it's like drilling a hole in my boat and handing me a bigger oar.  I'd rather not have the hole in my boat.  
But it's not all about you or your boat, is it? It's about the possibility that we're stuck in a pretty shitty local maxima, and every time anyone tries to point to something which might be land, you keep yelling at them to put their arm down and to stop rocking your boat.

I dunno, I guess I'm more interested in discussing what an enlightened set of drug policies would ideally look like, and then working out if there are indeed any potential steps from here to there.

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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #380 on: November 19, 2009, 06:07:30 pm »
you seem to be equating any recreational use of drugs with "having a drug problem".

I don't recall making that specific statement.

hence my use of the word "seem".

while I certainly agree with you that assessment, counseling, and treatment are better options than fines, jail, and seizure of property, I vehemently disagree that being caught with a "personal use" amount of marijuana should be any reason for the government to involve themselves in an adult's life in any way.

It's just not a plausible scenario.  But what is plausible is to make that involvement fit the "crime".  An adult pulled over with a joint should not be spending any time in jail.  If they are driving under the influence it might be a slightly different matter in that behavior is jeapoardizing the safety of others on the road.  But it wouldn't make any sense to waste the time and resources to throw the book at an adult who has a minor amount of marijuana.  But it just isn't plausible for their to be no involvement whatsoever.  

at the risk of being overly-simplistic, why not?

I, too, am curious about this.  I see no reason why an adult should not be able to use weed under the same conditions that they are allowed to use alcohol.

Sorry I missed this...

Let me just flat out say that it is essentially an arbitrary distinction.  Alcohol is legal for adults and I doubt that would ever change.  Currently marijuana is not.  In a perfect world, if it could be legalized and have 0 impact on youth, I would be in favor of legalization.

The thing is we live in a society.  If you could take two identical societies and put them side by side, then poison say a quarter of the youth in that society.  It isn't a lethal poison, just one that impedes development, stunts personal growth, and generally leaves them directionless and unproductive, which society is going to function better, all other things being equal?  That is essentially my argument for not legalizing marijuana.  Yes, it already is poisoning a portion of our youth.  But I really believe based upon my research and experience that it would be that much worse and I just don't believe that is something our societies needs.  
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #381 on: November 19, 2009, 06:10:51 pm »
you seem to be equating any recreational use of drugs with "having a drug problem".

I don't recall making that specific statement.

hence my use of the word "seem".

while I certainly agree with you that assessment, counseling, and treatment are better options than fines, jail, and seizure of property, I vehemently disagree that being caught with a "personal use" amount of marijuana should be any reason for the government to involve themselves in an adult's life in any way.

It's just not a plausible scenario.  But what is plausible is to make that involvement fit the "crime".  An adult pulled over with a joint should not be spending any time in jail.  If they are driving under the influence it might be a slightly different matter in that behavior is jeapoardizing the safety of others on the road.  But it wouldn't make any sense to waste the time and resources to throw the book at an adult who has a minor amount of marijuana.  But it just isn't plausible for their to be no involvement whatsoever.  

at the risk of being overly-simplistic, why not?

I, too, am curious about this.  I see no reason why an adult should not be able to use weed under the same conditions that they are allowed to use alcohol.

Sorry I missed this...

Let me just flat out say that it is essentially an arbitrary distinction.  Alcohol is legal for adults and I doubt that would ever change.  Currently marijuana is not.  In a perfect world, if it could be legalized and have 0 impact on youth, I would be in favor of legalization.

The thing is we live in a society.  If you could take two identical societies and put them side by side, then poison say a quarter of the youth in that society.  It isn't a lethal poison, just one that impedes development, stunts personal growth, and generally leaves them directionless and unproductive, which society is going to function better, all other things being equal?  That is essentially my argument for not legalizing marijuana.  Yes, it already is poisoning a portion of our youth.  But I really believe based upon my research and experience that it would be that much worse and I just don't believe that is something our societies needs.  

Kids who smoke weed now are breaking the law already.  Changing the law to allow adults to smoke weed will somehow increase the number of kids willing to break the law?
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #382 on: November 19, 2009, 06:13:12 pm »
But that won't happen.  And even if it did, I again say it's like drilling a hole in my boat and handing me a bigger oar.  I'd rather not have the hole in my boat.  
But it's not all about you or your boat, is it? It's about the possibility that we're stuck in a pretty shitty local maxima, and every time anyone tries to point to something which might be land, you keep yelling at them to put their arm down and to stop rocking your boat.

Or maybe you aren't understanding the points.  When I say "my" boat, I don't literally mean me and only me.  I'm talking about everyone who is working to prevent substance abuse AND people who live in communities impacted by adolescent substance abuse.  

Quote
I dunno, I guess I'm more interested in discussing what an enlightened set of drug policies would ideally look like, and then working out if there are indeed any potential steps from here to there.

Well I've already mentioned some of them.  Expand drug courts, reform law enforcement and sentencing policies.  Basically nudge the policies so that people being caught with tiny amounts of marijuana are not ending up in jail.  
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #383 on: November 19, 2009, 06:15:45 pm »
Kids who smoke weed now are breaking the law already.  Changing the law to allow adults to smoke weed will somehow increase the number of kids willing to break the law?

Essentially yes.  Because since it is no longer illegal for adults to possess marijuana, more of them will possess it.  This means more homes with marijuana in them.  This means more homes with children with marijuana in them.  The temptation per household, if you will, will increase. 
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #384 on: November 19, 2009, 06:15:59 pm »


But that won't happen.  And even if it did, I again say it's like drilling a hole in my boat and handing me a bigger oar.  I'd rather not have the hole in my boat.  


But what you all seem to keep ignoring is what I keep bringing up.  The ills you listed can be addressed in policy reforms without legalizing the substance.  




no its not its a overly dramatic and poor analogy,  holes sink boats and paddling doesn't stop them from sinking no mater how big the oar is, kids already get drugs, the hole is there and always will be regardless of the law,  changing the law may increase the holes size by a small fraction, funding an education are the bailing bucket and and a bigger bailing bucket would allow you to get more water out or bail that small increase at the same rate of success...

as for "it wont happen!!!" and "it will happen with policy reform !!!"  WHY  both are going to be done by the same incompetent government at the direction of the same apathetic citizens why does "one works" and the other "wont happen"???

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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #385 on: November 19, 2009, 06:17:47 pm »
Kids who smoke weed now are breaking the law already.  Changing the law to allow adults to smoke weed will somehow increase the number of kids willing to break the law?

Essentially yes.  Because since it is no longer illegal for adults to possess marijuana, more of them will possess it.  This means more homes with marijuana in them.  This means more homes with children with marijuana in them.  The temptation per household, if you will, will increase. 

So you believe it is beneficial to legislate rights away based on temptation?

I can think up a few other examples.
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- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #386 on: November 19, 2009, 06:23:11 pm »

But what you all seem to keep ignoring is what I keep bringing up.  The ills you listed can be addressed in policy reforms without legalizing the substance.  


But I think you're missing what many of us are saying which is, we think it could be legalized WITHOUT destroying the lives of children.

You seem to want to treat it as a "Don't go to jail, but you need to seek counseling" kind of issue... many comments here take issue with that presumption.

Well, to be more precise I've talked about assessments which may or may not lead to counseling depending on the outcome of the assessment.  And the offense matters too.  While there needs to be leniency for an adult caught with a personal amount, I do support strict penalties for those who have amounts meant for trafficking and sales.  Because that shit is going to kids and adults.  

Quote
I don't see how leaving pot in the black or gray market will help kids. It may help this tiny minority that don't try drugs because they are illegal, but what about the greater body of children and adults who do smoke pot? Wouldn't it be better to have that in a controlled system, rather than a black market where an opportunist can manipulate kids into life changing decisions well beyond smoking a joint?

No.  Because the "controlled" system would allow for more pot to be in more homes.  And most kids these days buy their pot from someone they know, a kid in school, a family member, some kind of social connection, not some stranger in an alley.  

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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #387 on: November 19, 2009, 06:26:47 pm »
Kids who smoke weed now are breaking the law already.  Changing the law to allow adults to smoke weed will somehow increase the number of kids willing to break the law?

Essentially yes.  Because since it is no longer illegal for adults to possess marijuana, more of them will possess it.  This means more homes with marijuana in them.  This means more homes with children with marijuana in them.  The temptation per household, if you will, will increase. 

So you believe it is beneficial to legislate rights away based on temptation?

I can think up a few other examples.

As I mentioned, it is arbitrary.  In the case of marijuana, yes, I believe it is beneficial to children and society to choose the welfare of the child over the pleasure of an adult.  It's marijuana.  It isn't healthcare.  It isn't the right to work.  It isn't the right to vote.  It isn't the right to bear arms.  It's marijuana. 

Sorry folks, I got errands to run.  I'll pick this up another time....
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #388 on: November 19, 2009, 06:31:59 pm »
Kids who smoke weed now are breaking the law already.  Changing the law to allow adults to smoke weed will somehow increase the number of kids willing to break the law?

Essentially yes.  Because since it is no longer illegal for adults to possess marijuana, more of them will possess it.  This means more homes with marijuana in them.  This means more homes with children with marijuana in them.  The temptation per household, if you will, will increase. 

So you believe it is beneficial to legislate rights away based on temptation?

I can think up a few other examples.

As I mentioned, it is arbitrary.  In the case of marijuana, yes, I believe it is beneficial to children and society to choose the welfare of the child over the pleasure of an adult.  It's marijuana.  It isn't healthcare.  It isn't the right to work.  It isn't the right to vote.  It isn't the right to bear arms.  It's marijuana. 

Sorry folks, I got errands to run.  I'll pick this up another time....

1.  It's amendment IX.

2.  "Arbitrary" makes shitty law, as we've seen.  The drug laws have always been arbitrary, and they became draconian later.

3.  Society has no rights.  Only individuals do.  I am not willing to concede my rights because someone else cannot control their children.
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Re: So, the economist and time agree: It's about fucking time to LEGALISE IT
« Reply #389 on: November 19, 2009, 06:33:44 pm »
I don't smoke to do magic to my brain. I smoke because:

A) I like it.

You could have stopped right there.

I listed it first, last and in the middle because... MOST of the time, when I smoke it is entirely for relaxation and enjoyment.

However, I to have two chronic conditions which I find pot seems to work really well with. Sjaanzte has a heart condition which pot also seems to affect in a positive way. MOST of our pot smoking is for enjoyment when its a proper time for enjoyment, though.


Quote
Well I've already mentioned some of them.  Expand drug courts, reform law enforcement and sentencing policies.  Basically nudge the policies so that people being caught with tiny amounts of marijuana are not ending up in jail.


And that will make the black market less dangerous for kids how?

I mean seriously, I find this argument seems to be very myopic.

I agree 100% that kids should not smoke pot. It appears to very negatively impact their rate of maturation, their cognitive skills and their social skills. But it seems to me that a majority of kids appear likely to either say NO because they choose not to (that was me in school) or say YES (that was my best friend)... and a minority of kids that say "Well, I'm scared of it because its illegal".

So, in our current system we have kids that either smoke no pot, or kids that are somehow involved in the black market.

If it were legal, we have kids that either smoke no pot, or kids that are somehow getting pot from their parents, friends, aunt, granny, cousin... talked someone into buying it, got a fake ID... or got it from some much smaller black market (since black market pot at that point would be akin to black market alcohol and tobacco... it exists but iits not common).

So in the current system we have a large number of kids being exposed to the damage and danger of pot smoke AND the damage and danger of the black market. In a system where pot was legal and regulated, we have a (possibly) larger number of kids being exposed to the damage and danger of pot smoke, but few, if any, exposed to the damage and danger of the black market.

In my limited experience, pot seems to do bad things to a kids brain, the black market seems to do really bad things to kids.

I once knew a kid that had a lot of promise, he was an awesome SCA cook, at the age of 14 he ran a period feast for 100 people at a big event.... then his family started having issues, he started fighting with his step father all the time, he got more and more angry and then her started smoking pot "to deal with his dad" or so he claimed.

Eventually he disappeared for over a year. He had such a rough time with his home life that whoever his dealer was saw an opportunity. They 'rescued' him from his bad home life, took him out of state and set him up running his own little dealership.

He had a horrible time and eventually a year later called me out of the blue asking for help.

The pot was not good for his head but the black market seems to have been much worse for his life.

Maybe in Maine kids get it from their friends, here they mostly hit the OSU campus for the all you can smoke buffets. (And college dealers don't seem to check ID's...)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 06:36:59 pm by Doctor Rat Bastard »
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