General Question

Pk_JoA's avatar

Should all drugs be legal?

Asked by Pk_JoA (253 points ) February 28th, 2011

I’m surprised that no one made this question before. The question is quite simple, though it generates an interesting debate.

I think that all drugs (and I mean, ALL of them) should be completely legal for adults to buy and consume, as I think no one is in the position of telling an adult what he should do with his own life.

Though, this means, of course, that he would have to take all the responsibilities involved in case of a crime (drugs would be no excuse for killing, speeding, hit and run, etc, etc).

A lot of people consume a lot of different drugs in a mature way, such as alcohol. We wouldn’t ban alcohol because of the thousands of deaths it causes, because we think that the problem is not the alcohol per se, but the person who abuses it. Hence my viewpoint to other, now illegal, drugs.

What do you think?

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87 Answers

Hobbes's avatar

I think you start getting into difficulties with drugs that are both addictive and harmful, like heroin, methamphetamine, and cigarettes. I don’t think making them illegal is an effective way of addressing the problem, however. Education and rehabilitation are far more helpful in this regard. Plus, if heroin were made legal tomorrow, I don’t think usage would increase, since there’s still a huge social stigma.

I do think harmless and nonaddictive drugs (cannabis, for example) should be legal, as should psychedelics, though there should be some kind of regulation which ensures that those taking them are mentally stable.

Summum's avatar

I agree that our society and law should not have the right to stop one from doing any drug. However if you use then you are responsible for any action while under the influence. Just think of the huge savings as a nation there would be and the drug cartels would lose tons of money and addicts. Drug use would rise some when legalized but would soon stabalize and those that want them would not go to jail. All the drugs out there are used but are illigal so you can’t stop any of the drugs spoken of with law/

iamthemob's avatar

Yes. 100%.

Now, to what level they should be regulated should be based on the inherently harmful nature of the drug (e.g., cost, where it can be made available, etc.).

gailcalled's avatar

This question has been asked:

Here

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Here (76 answers)

coffeenut's avatar

How many people would loose their jobs if all drugs were legal?
DEA, Drug runners, dealers, Cops would need to cut back, ect….

How will these people feed their kids without drugs being illegal? lol

WasCy's avatar

I agree completely. I would even extend that to “prescription” drugs that should be freely available over the counter.

Hobbes's avatar

@coffeenut

It’s sad, but it’s a small price to pay for not spending absurd amounts of money on the drug war, not finding violent criminal organizations, not filling our prisons with non-violent offenders, etc.

tigerlilly2's avatar

Since we live in a democratic state, we are granted civil rights and civil liberties. It is a violation to a person’s civil rights to be told they cannot use drugs. But if they were granted this right it would be a violation to the public’s civil liberties because the drugs could cause harm to not only the people using drugs, but many other people and their children as well. It’s kind of like a double edged sword.

marinelife's avatar

I disagree with your premise about alcohol and why it is not banned. It is not banned because its legal lobby is very powerful, and it has a lot of supporters despite its dangers.

I think that there are drugs whose side effects are such that they are dangerous.

I think more drugs should be illegal.

Bluefreedom's avatar

No. I have been in a law enforcement career for 23 years now and that’s experience enough to be absolutely, positively sure that all drugs should not be legal.

THiC's avatar

Imagine heroine being legal…
Sure all adults SHOULD be mature enough to decide what to do but everyone makes stupid mistakes from time to time. And with drugs, especially heroine, one mistake is enough to ruin your whole life and that of others.

Hobbes's avatar

@THiC

Do you honestly think there would be a big rush of people wanting to try Heroin if it were made legal? Plus, if trying Heroin is a “stupid mistake”, why should people be imprisoned for it?

@Bluefreedom

Could you expand on that?

iamthemob's avatar

@THiC – Heroin is legal in limited circumstances in many countries. The problem with the fact that it is illegal is that the criminalization effort hasn’t resulted in decreased use – but as it has been criminalized, ironically, it has become cheaper and more pure.

There are parallel benefits of legalization that mostly have to do with removing the fear and shame associated with its use and therefore increasing knowledge about it. We can treat addicts – but addicts now have to be willing to admit use, which is criminal (from the possession and distribution standpoint). Making it legal may make it potentially more likely that people will not resort to “dirty needles”. There is also the elimination of the revenue stream for use in other criminal activity (notably terrorist funding).

@Bluefreedom – I see where you’re coming from, but many in law enforcement have come to the opposite conclusion (consider LEAP).

The problem with relying on experience in this situation is that we don’t have any experience in the modern sense in dealing with a system of legalized use. Therefore, many of the problems associated with use currently are attributable to the criminal system as much as use in a vacuum.

Prosb's avatar

To say yes to this sort of question brings up many more.
What would be the age at which you’d be considered an “adult”, and able to procure your own substances?
Would there be a limited amount that you could purchase at a time?
Do the benefits of the drug REALLY outweigh the risks?

Also keep in mind that many illegal and prescription drugs are more addictive than any over the counter substance. The fact that you wouldn’t need nearly as much of most illegal or prescription drugs to accidentally OD, when compared with anything else you can currently just walk in and buy from any pharmacy/liquor store.

I don’t see a point in most drugs because they don’t have a good reason for being around. They basically kill time with a high. They make things that you do normally better. They can give you a window away from your current world.

Overall, I’d say no, but then again, I’m not a fan of drinks and smokes, so I’d be just fine without those being around either. =D

Hobbes's avatar

“it has become cheaper and more pure”

Seriously? Doesn’t criminalization have a tendency to cause the exact opposite effect? If a drug is illegal, the costs of avoiding law enforcement should make it more expensive, right? And if there’s no oversight, what’s the incentive to make it more pure?

“I don’t see a point in most drugs because they don’t have a good reason for being around.”

You know, Ecstacy is called that for a reason.

bolwerk's avatar

The state should be made illegal. Any time mobsters band together to try to form a government and pass laws to oppress people, they should be immediately placed in prison.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@Hobbes. I’ve seen 2 of my own family members spiral out of control due to drug use. I’ve arrested people under the influence of controlled substances and seen how their health and behaviors are significantly and detrimentally affected. I’ve worked in the Maricopa County Jail system as a detention officer and have witnessed the shocking results of how controlled substance use by a variety of different inmates can destroy a person and families. I receive classes annually by law enforcement professionals regarding statistics and information on the out of control drug epidemic in the United States and throughout the world.

flutherother's avatar

Dangerous things like guns and heroin should not be easily available. Things such as cannabis that are not dangerous should be allowed.

JmacOroni's avatar

I think they should absolutely be legal, regulated and taxed. All of them.

iamthemob's avatar

@Hobbes – That’s the theory, of course. And it seems like a common sense one. But the market competes as a market will regardless of the legal nature of the product. The numbers don’t lie.

@Bluefreedom – I still see where you’re coming from, again. However, recognizing that drugs are harmful, cause people to at times react irrationally, and are addictive, are part of the reason why we need to take a different approach, in my mind, in response to the fact that the “War on Drugs” has failed and continues to do so.

Prosb's avatar

If you achieve “ecstasy” with the use of a drug, then it’s just another high. What good is ecstasy that you had no part in making yourself? Even if it feels like the best fucking thing ever in the existence of man, it’s just a fairy tale you have a limited time in. It doesn’t mean nearly as much when after you’re done, you’ve nothing to show for it, and you’re addicted to this high. All of life would be a chasm, until you get to those sudden wonderful peaks, then drop down to where everything pales in comparison.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@iamthemob. While I readily agree that the War On Drugs has been a terrible failure in many respects and the LEAP organization certainly has merit, there are just so many unknowns in legalizing one or even many controlled substances. Being an eyewitness to the hazards of drugs themselves probably makes me quite biased against any legality for them whatsoever but there just isn’t any safe or foolproof way of selling the idea that legalizing drugs would be of serious benefit to the general public, in my humble opinion.

Summum's avatar

The point is the drugs are now illegal. Does that mean we can’t get them? Does that mean they are not here and all the results that @Bluefreedom has experienced are going to stop? We keep spening billions on trying to fight the drugs and yet there are here as much as ever. We are putting lots of our young people in jail and prison due the drugs because they are illegal. What about thier lifes being destroyed because they were in possession?

WasCy's avatar

To the point about the “dangerousness” of illegal drugs: I’m in far more danger from drugs because they are illegal than I am from the drugs themselves. I live close to Hartford, Connecticut, which is a major transmission point for illegal drugs. Not that my specific locations matters so much, because the entire Eastern seaboard is a major throughway for drug trafficking, including lots of small towns in Connecticut and elsewhere.

I’m in more danger from “drug lords” protecting their turf, from police raids gone horribly wrong, from traffickers attempting to flee from law enforcement, and all of the other collateral damage that comes from enforcement activity.

Even if all drugs were legal, I doubt if my employer would sanction their use, and I’d probably face termination or loss of future employment prospects if a drug screen came up positive. I’m not likely to be a user in any case; I like my sobriety maybe a toke or two for old times’ sake. The dangers of prohibition are far more real and more far-reaching than the incidental and anecdotal losses that would be sure to come with legality.

So what? Freedom and responsibility are dangerous. People should know that. I still prefer them to the alternatives.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I think all drugs should be legalized and regulated, but regulated only for dosage and purity. If all rights come from our creator and so do plants like cannabis, opium, coca or fungi like psilocybin, dont we have a right to use them as long as we do so responsibly?

Hobbes's avatar

@Prosb

Any feeling of happiness or ecstasy is produced by chemicals in your brain. Whether the release of those chemicals is caused by environmental stimuli or by another chemical doesn’t seem to matter much to me. Life is “just a fairy tale you have a limited time in”. Our perceptions are not reality, they are models created by our brains, and perceptions which are altered through the use of chemicals are just as “real” as those caused by our everyday brain chemistry. Though it is not physically addictive, people can use Ecstasy habitually because the high is so pleasurable, but I don’t think that means the experience is false or wrong.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I think we should look at Portugal as a prime example of how to handle drugs. It funny, most are legal over there yet abuse rates are lower than in the states. How do you explain that?

I think the illegality of DMT is by far the most atrocious of them all. For fucks sake the god damn chemical is present in every single one of our brains yet its a schedule 1 drug.

iamthemob's avatar

@uberbatman – A very good point. I don’t think that many people realize the expansive decriminalization efforts that have taken place in Portugal.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Not all of them. Marijuana is the only one I think should be legalized. I have seen what hard drugs can do to people. They cause great harm to the user and their loved ones.

Spidermanrulezzz's avatar

No. Definitely not.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

@uberbatman, Portugal has all kinds of problems in dealing with drug legalization. Most so-called “experts” seem to agree that the “experiment” has not been going on long enough for anybody to come to any significant conclusions.

Either way, Portugal is a completely different situation than the U.S.

And I say yes, absolutely, all drugs should be legalized. But heavily, heavily regulated. And trafficking drugs without the consent or support of the government should carry even heavier penalties than it does today (provided it is legalized).

WasCy's avatar

I have a question for everyone who opposes various forms of legalization. It’s a simple question, but no one ever provides an adequate answer to it:

How does making drugs illegal resolve our ‘drug problem’? Those who are opposed have good grounds to not want to see drugs used, and I don’t want that, either. I don’t see how we get from “drugs should be illegal!” to “drugs are gone!” Do you?

Saying that “we can’t condone drug use by making it legal!” is not a valid response, so don’t start there. And saying “we just haven’t tried hard enough” is even worse.

woodcutter's avatar

I have had to work along side crack heads, meth heads, and any other head you can imagine. I didn’t like it, at all. These people truly suck and to have more of them out there in the way is going to be bad….bad, bad, bad. So many people have abstained from this trap citing that it’s illegal not wanting to go to prison( not to mention the whole downward spiral of the life thing). With the legal scare gone it’s easy to assume there will be a big uptick in first time users. Great.

Pot is OK ,only thing it does is make you dumb as a post and sleep. Those others make people down right scary.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

the question, of course, @woodcutter, is whether legalizing drugs would actually entail having “more of them out there.” It’s by no means an easy question to answer.

Hobbes's avatar

@quarkquarkquark

It’s pretty easy, actually. Criminalization of drugs has not decreased use in any significant way. Period.

woodcutter's avatar

I think that to make them all legal there needs to be some give and take. Go ahead and legalize them all but as long as people, after they turn their lives into a shambles and destroy their health to boot, they don’t go crying to the taxpayer ( the productive sort), for free medical and welfare. Let’s make this interesting.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

@Hobbes, as similar as it seems, that’s actually the answer to a different question—and besides, it’s not fact (although I believe it). The question is whether decriminalization will increase use.

Hobbes's avatar

@quarkquarkquark

If it’s not fact, it’s damn close. All the evidence I’ve ever seen points to the truth of that statement. It seems to me that if criminalization hasn’t decreased use, decriminalization won’t increase it, at least not substantially. I think it’s also important to distinguish drugs. Cannabis use might increase if it were legalized, because many people know it’s harmless and without the fear of punishment more might be inclined to try it. Heroin, on the other hand, is well known as a dangerous and addictive substance, and I can’t see why removing penalties for its use would create any significant upswing in the number of addicts.

iamthemob's avatar

@woodcutter

Go ahead and legalize them all but as long as people, after they turn their lives into a shambles and destroy their health to boot, they don’t go crying to the taxpayer ( the productive sort), for free medical and welfare.

The thing is…drug users AND sellers kind of do this already – prisoners are the only people in the U.S. guaranteed health care, and they get three hots and a cot for, in essence, free. The taxpayer pays billions of dollars for that.

woodcutter's avatar

@iamthemob Right. So really if a weak mind learns that if they pack it in, and drop out of productive society by getting involved in the drug scene, (legal now)...and after a while the state will house them and pick up the tab for their lives, then there won’t be much of an incentive for some to stay straight. It will be easier to be a legitimate loser without the shame. With the state covering everything, how far removed is it just keeping dope illegal and keeping them in prison? One plus I suppose, is all the benefits without the rape, (or not) :/

ETpro's avatar

I’m solidly libertarian on this question. So I think first I should say hello to a fellow libertarian, @Pk_JoA. Welcome to Fluther.

I agree with you. Legalize them all. In early grades, teach children the dangers that addictive and potentially debilitating drugs pose. Those which have manageable addictive potential should be manufactured by drug companies and sold with stiff excise taxes similar to what we levy on alcohol. Hooch is, by the way, a potentially addictive, debilitating drug which has a history of inspiring violent antisocial behavior.

I’d free the prisons of their vast population of people whose crime was victimless. Save the prison costs, put people to work makeing and selling the junk they are getting from the drug cartels anywya, kill the drug cartels by old fashioned competition, provide a massive new revenue source in excise and sales taxes.

Use the annual trillion dollar savings to deal with any problems such as intoxicated driving or people who get so addicted they become public nuisances, or if they keep getting addicted again after recovery programs (3 strikes you’re out). Incarcerate for bad behavior which demonstrably hurts or could hurt others, not just for having a good time.

Hobbes's avatar

@woodcutter

You assume that everyone who takes drugs is a loser who will drop out of productive society. Of course, the idea of “productive society” is an assumption in itself, but that’s a topic for another day. You also assume that social stigma comes from criminalization. I think that the stigma against drugs like Heroin is related to their harmful properties more than their legal status. Finally, you assume that the state will be “covering everything”. Given that the US is pretty terrible at providing social safety nets for those in legitimate need, I’m not sure where you’re getting this.

Also, what @ETpro said.

woodcutter's avatar

@Hobbes No I didn’t say everyone will flock to the dopeshow. The one’s who allow themselves to just say fuck it when they fall in over their heads knowing from the get-go they will have public extorted money of sorts. The serious drug users like heroin, coke, and others that hook people early on. Sure, there just may be some functioning heroin addicts but I believe they are far and few in between and even then they are just one f-up from from being swallowed. I don’t assume a social stigma based on legality, don’t know how that got read, my bad. A hopeless doper is looking for anything that might validate what they are into, even though they know full well it’s the substance (themselves)messing them up but knowing it’s perfectly legal will mask some of the guilt for their disaster.
The state will try to help out these lost souls as best they can. What I failed at,(again my bad) was to imply that scarce resources will no doubt be diverted to them and away from your grandma, and mine to cover these self inflicted tragedies. Everyone will get less including the illegals. Even dopers will get advocates pulling for them in that arena. They will no doubt be from the left and far left. I just think it will be just as big a problem legalizing the hard drugs. If you took the time to read all my postings here you will have found I don’t include pot in the hard drug genre. The other stuff will lead to nothing good. Perhaps decriminalizing pot and making the punishment crazy severe for the rest will make pot very attractive.

Hobbes's avatar

“A hopeless doper is looking for anything that might validate what they are into”

A “hopeless doper” is just looking for more dope. It’s not about feeling validated. People addicted to Heroin are not in control of their actions, and it is not their fault that they’re addicts. They need care, and that plus education is all that will actually reduce the numbers of people suffering from addiction.

“scarce resources will no doubt be diverted to them and away from your grandma”

Well, as others have already pointed out, legalizing drugs would free up an enormous amount of resources currently devoted to the enforcing of drug laws and create taxable revenue on top of that.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Artificial opiates like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone are pretty addictive as well. They are all available by perscription and they do get abused. El Rushbo got himself hooked, as anti-druggie as his rhetoric is. But most people don’t abuse them. I’‘ve had them prescribed for year now due to severe back spasms from osteoarthritis. Once upon a time I stopped for a red light on Wilshire Blvd. The City bus behind me didn’t stop. So I know the siren call of these things. There is a euphoria they give even when you aren’t in pain. When you are in serious, debilitating pain and that suddenly goes away to be replaced by euphoria, that’s really neat. But thank goodness one does does it for me. It breaks the muscle spasm set off by a nerve getting pinched where the cartilige disks in my neck were damaged by the whiplash. And after one treatment, I am good till the next time I turn my head the wrong way or set it off in my sleep.

The point of all this is whatever happened to the Conservative value of individual responsibility. Punish those who act irresponsibly, just as we do now with alcohol. We got a total mess when we outlawed alcohol and locked up users or makers of it. So naturally, learning nothing, we let the alcohol, corn and sugar lobbies (lots of sugar used in making alcohol) con us into repeating the same stupid mistake of prohibition with all other intoxicants.

woodcutter's avatar

@Hobbes said ;are not in control of their actions, and it is not their fault that they’re addicts. Really? It’s just my opinion you let these losers off the hook way too easy. It’s NOT their fault? C’mon Of course it’s their fault! It sure as hell not my fault. Lookit, my experiences with these people are bad…. bad, bad, bad. They made my life a living hell to the point I had to quit an occupation because of these weak people and as you can tell I don’t have any sympathy for them. I can only feel sorry for them just so much till they become something I have to tolerate. Nobody forced them into starting up that junk and it was nobody’s fault but theirs when they stole from others, even hurt others for their selfish needs. Very few of these people can ever be rehabilitated to the point of taking care of their families, much less themselves. Maybe you know some of these folks personally so as to make you care but I only know the mess they make, that eventually will have to be cleaned up by others. Yeah let’s legalize it all and let the chips fall where they may. Even if the war on drugs is abandoned (which it won’t be) and there are scads of money freed -up to do things with, I can assure you there won’t be many people with the chutzpah to even suggest spending it there.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Are you trying to argue with what @Hobbes said through me? You’ll need to debate @Hobbes’ ideas of accountability with @Hobbes I said I would hold drug users accountable for harm they do to others, or for becoming a public nuisance or so dependent they must be cared for by the state. I just don’t follow the logic of imprisonment for a totally victimless crime. If I want to take the risk of addiction, and mainline heroin once in my life, as long as I stay to myself while doing it and hurt nobody else, then it shouldn’t be a police affair.

Hobbes's avatar

@woodcutter

It’s not your fault either. It’s not even the dealer’s fault. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just a fact: some drugs are addictive. You’ve had bad experiences with people addicted to these drugs, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad people. They are people driven to extremes of desperation and degradation, because when you’re addicted to a drug you will do desperate and degrading things to get more of it. It is possible for some people to free themselves from addiction through sheer force of will and the support of a community, but those who can’t do this aren’t lesser human beings.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro Well if you can hit it and quit it once then more power to ya. but the sad truth is most cannot or don’t want to because at first it’s fun all the while thinking they will stop next time. Users don’t usually get into trouble when they are new at it. They still might have a rockin job, cars ,home, etc. They get in over their heads and in trouble with their jobs and become homeless and alone. Then the criminal activity (over and above the smack) gets them noticed by the law. So even if the smack itself is legal the illegal activity usually involved with it cannot be overlooked. The idea that if we just try to educate and treat these people they will get better. I think the horse (no pun intended) is long gone out of the barn on getting money appropriated for wide scale drug rehab that would almost certainly go hand in hand with legalizing all drugs. We have bridges falling into rivers, our schools suck, somebody fill in the others here please and we also want to be sure not to forget about the dopers’ needs?

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter The same goes for alcohol and a whole host of prescription drugs with addictin potential. I would hope that if we educated everyone from the 1st grade up about the addiction potentiality and harm, most would be responsible. Punish those who either can’t or won’t do so, not all who want to get high.

woodcutter's avatar

@Hobbes I know i know, but from the outside looking or trying to look in to these people, all that is secondary to most of us when they are trying to boost my tools out of my rig or busting a window in my house to get whatever they can ARE bad people at that time.Those on smack my be too pathetic to want to get personal with those they take from but for sure the meth and crack users won’t have any qualms about beating the crap out of someone. Then again all people like that can be so unpredictable that it adds to the scary.

woodcutter's avatar

I don’t think there is a “safe” way to do some of these drugs. They have such an early destructive effect on all who do them I don’t think there is any coming back from them. From the start of this thread I have purposely left out pot because I don’t really consider it a drug much less dangerous. So to clarify I’m against the bad one’s being in circulation. Can’t everyone just be satisfied with MJ?
To say “it’s my body and if I want to do bad things to it it’s my business” is one thing, if the bad things you do to it remains nobody’s concern and you are in control. It’s quite another when it puts a drain on society when it has to do something about it and they have to take control.

Hobbes's avatar

@woodcutter

“Well if you can hit it and quit it once then more power to ya. but the sad truth is most cannot or don’t want to because at first it’s fun all the while thinking they will stop next time. Users don’t usually get into trouble when they are new at it. They still might have a rockin job, cars ,home, etc. They get in over their heads and in trouble with their jobs and become homeless and alone.”

This is actually an illustration of my point. These stories happen all the time, and I think it’s clear that the people they happen to are not weak or bad, they’re addicted.

“for sure the meth and crack users won’t have any qualms about beating the crap out of someone.”

They probably would, but the need for the drug usually eclipses it. They should still be held accountable for any harm they cause (though I disagree with imprisonment as a punitive measure) but they’re not intrinsically bad people.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter The only one I know that is one-try deadly is crystal meth. It is so incredibly addictive that virtually every first time user ends up hooked. Knowing that, I wouldn’t try it for a billion dollars. It hooks you, and then it kills you.

kitkat25's avatar

I think that only prescription drugs should be legal and then only for the person they are prescribed for.

WasCy's avatar

@woodcutter

As others have already pointed out, the problems you posit for drugs are all shared by alcohol. And alcohol is probably more potentially addictive than most of the drugs you’ve mentioned. If you understood the history of methamphetamines, too, then you’d know that the drug was manufactured because it could be as a substitute for other drugs, such as heroin, that were outlawed. Who would opt to make meth when he could buy heroin legally at a drugstore? Do you know a lot of people who bootleg whiskey or make gin in their basements these days? Not many will do that when they can buy whatever spirits they want, of known quality, at a package store?

If you take away the market for meth by making everything legal, who would be using that stuff, anyway? Furthermore, making the drugs legal doesn’t mean that everything is wide open. Employers could and still should screen for drug use and bar certain occupations (maybe even ‘most’ occupations) to drug users. Meth labs would still be illegal – and a lot less difficult to bust if the county sheriff only had to deal with one or two rather than a thousand.

Finally, all of the problems that you’ve had and documented here – and I don’t discount them, I really don’t – occurred while the War on Some Drugs was being prosecuted in dead earnest. Hasn’t helped much, has it? But it has made a lot of drug manufacturers rich, killed a lot of innocent people – and cops – and the money has corrupted a lot of people, including much of our justice system. When we have cops taking cash from people “just because it could be used for drug buys” and making them sue to recover it, and when we have phony snitches acting as fake “confidential informants” to secure search warrants, cops planting drugs on otherwise innocent traffic violators, police departments half-funded from “forfeiture” cash and hardware, and worst of all, the tragic no-knock searches of the wrong house that result in the murder of innocents, then we start to suffer more from enforcement than the drug itself. It’s definitely time to change course on this failed policy.

Summum's avatar

@woodcutter

So what you are saying is keep it illegal and keep spending billions of dollars with the drugs still here and no way of stopping them. Put our young people in jail for having MJ or anything else that is illegal. Give the drug cartels the money that the states could be making. Keep the crime high in the streets and just ignore the fact that if you want the drugs they are here to get illegal or not. All the issues you claim are here now are not going to go away and frankly I think with greater regulation it can decrease considerably with making the drugs legal.

woodcutter's avatar

Hi all, Looks looks I have a lot of things to read. @Summun: Even after my last post I knew there would be someone goofin on me about pot- again ^x6: From the start of this thread I have purposely left out pot because I don’t really consider it a drug much less dangerous. So to clarify I’m against the bad one’s being in circulation. Can’t everyone just be satisfied with MJ? ^ There, just had to do that, sometimes its a bitch to scroll up 6 entries to keep up?
Not trying to get a pissing contest going guys. I learned not to do that a long time ago when arguing with pro users IRL, no way to win anyway. But anywho, I guess there is no real great answer to this problem because most drugs are bad whether they are legal or not and the same ills to society are going to always be there, waiting for the ignorant and the weak to fall in ass over teakettle and so the cycle begins anew- There’s one more kid that will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool…......................

and I’m back. You think people do dope for the thrill of finally getting to be an outlaw? That’s like saying people choose not to quit smoking cigs because they think they make them look cool, or they really like it. C’mon, it’s ole’ woodcutter you’re with ;)

Hey guys…Ok it’s looking like by all the GA’s given to the pro dope replies that the majority of readers probably want the dope legal. Thats ok. honestly it really isn’t bad either way but I am curios about those GA’s. Just for my benefit, were they clicked based on literary composition or viewpoint alone? You guys hooking each other up? Because I think a GA can be given for thought going into the reply too. C’mon you guys hook up the woodcutter on those efforts, let’s spread this around some huh?

ETpro's avatar

Hehe! GA, @woodcutter. I think you are spot on. There is no good answer except slowly building a society that believes in the GOlden Rule and personal responsibility, and has adequate knowledge to exercise that responsibility wisely. I handed out the GAs because I agreed with the writer’s point, not necessarily for stylistic flair. But I will give Lurve for style too. Our dear @Jeruba can get that from me even when using TXTSPK due to her broken right arm.

gailcalled's avatar

New study indicates more psychosis in pot smokers who started as teenagers.

Here

iamthemob's avatar

@gailcalled:

”‘This cements much more firmly the reality that marijuana use in adolescence is a risk factor, along with the other genetic, environmental and socioeconomic risk factors, for developing psychosis,’ said Dr. Kathryn Kotrla.”

That’s a lot of complementary factors.

In fact – that says that “Drug use combined with every single other factor that could affect someone’s personality affect whether someone might develop psychosis.”

WasCy's avatar

@gailcalled

I question the validity of a lot of such studies. For example, I once read about a study that showed that people who floss their teeth have better health in unrelated aspects of their lives and tend to live longer. I never saw the obvious sociological connection being made: People who floss their teeth tend to take better care of themselves, period. They’d be more apt to wear seat belts while driving, drive sensibly, eat healthy foods in moderation, exercise, see a doctor and dentist regularly, etc. It’s not that “flossing” makes them so much healthier, it’s the fact that “they are the kind of people who floss and do other such things.” Flossing is an indicator, not a cause of their good health.

By the same token I think the study you linked to needs to show, if it can, that there’s a causal link between pot-smoking and psychosis. I wonder if this is just another indicator: teens who smoke pot are already obviously open to the possibility of and maybe actively seeking alteration of thoughts that they have on their own. Maybe they’re already experiencing some kind of pre-psychotic episodes or thought patters, and seeking to escape that.

gailcalled's avatar

I am simply reporting the reports. There are lots of conditional words…strong link, perhaps, might, indicates.

And it’s true. I floss, go to the dentist twice a year, use seat belts, read a lot, eat way down on the food chain, exercise regularly, laugh often, tickle my cat and my grand-nephews, and smoked some dried green stuff once that gave me a bad sore throat.

iamthemob's avatar

@gailcalled – I can respect that. ;-)

Hobbes's avatar

“smoked some dried green stuff once that gave me a bad sore throat.”

Vaporize!

gailcalled's avatar

Meaning?^^

El_Cadejo's avatar

Meaning no actual burnt plant matter, no carcinogens, and most of all incredibly smooth like breathing air. No sore throat or lung problems :)

gailcalled's avatar

@uberbatman: Have you ever breathed the air in LA or Denver during an inversion? Smoking catnip can’t be worse, can it?

Hobbes's avatar

Smoking pot really isn’t that bad for you. Inhaling burnt plant matter isn’t great, but pot smokers do it far less frequently than cigarette smokers and with way fewer harmful chemicals involved. But vaporizing does save your throat. I’m actually vaping a bowl right now in my hand-held vaporizer – the “Magic Flight Launch Box”.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled I would have to say LA or Denver or even Philly is far worse :P

quarkquarkquark's avatar

@gailcalled:

correlation does not imply causation

gailcalled's avatar

@quarkquarkquark: That ^^ has a nice ring; what does it mean?

And are you saying that a vaporizer is a gadget that allows smoke to be filtered through water?

@uberbatman; I breathed the Philadelphia air for 14 years.—Wish I’d known to hold my breath.

Hobbes's avatar

@gailcalled

No, it’s a gadget which heats the herb enough to release the THC, but without it combusting.

Hobbes's avatar

Well, there are lots of different varieties. Here is the one I own. It’s a hand-held one, powered by a rechargeable battery.

Prosb's avatar

That “Magic Flight Launch Box” looks very interesting. Did you craft it yourself?

Hobbes's avatar

Oh no. It’s possible to make one yourself, but unless you’re really good at crafting/electronics it won’t work as well as the ones from Magic Flight.

buster's avatar

Sure they should be legal. Im sick and tired of getting hassled by cops, getting citations for two pot seeds in the floor of my car, going to jail for 30 days because I had some pot in my shoe. If my doctor prescribes me some adderall I can legally get as jacked up as I want too. If I do a rail of meth because Im dragging at work Im a criminal. If I get caught with .5 grams of meth in Tennessee I will be convicted as a felon, serve at least 6 months and get 2–3 years of probation. Im not saying drugs are healthy but being illegal makes the skyrocket in price which fuels crime. Alcohol probation started the whole gangster drug dealing lifestyle. Users are going to use no matter what. Lets tax and regulate them just like alcohol the most evil drug and tobacco. Ive been in jail for drugs. Most people there are in for possession or stealing to buy overpriced blackmarket drugs. Illegality is a joke anyway. You can drop me in any major US city and I can find coke or weed in 15 minutes. If I get caught I make bond and pay fines and court cost. I consider that a tax to my government since I already got away with it hundreds of times. Also it is so easy for me you or kids to buy scheduled pharmaceutical pills and new research chemicals that are similar to drugs that are already illegal but their chemical makeup is a molecule or two off. Anyone any age with a credit card paypal or prepaid debit can order these drugs and have them mailed to your mailbox in the United States. Psychedelic mushrooms grow wild on cowshit all over southern Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle as well as pine forest in northern Oregon and Washington. Stop cows from shitting D.E.A.

All cars shpuld be outlawed because they hurt and kill a lot of people. And peanuts too. All them poor people allergic to peanuts ain’t got the sense not to eat them because the Peanut Police didnt outlaw them even though thry Peanut Police knew they might swell some folks throats up and they might choke to death.

quarkquarkquark's avatar

@gailcalled,

“Correlation is not causation” is a commonplace aphoristic compression of an important principle of statistics. Frequently people cite “studies” which seem, in their presentation, to indicate a causal relationship between two factors. However, in order to assert a causal relationship one needs to make a good case for it and to account for lurking variables. For example, being a young black male is highly correlated with being a criminal. This does not mean that people become criminals because they are young black males—i.e. that being a young black male is sufficient to make you a criminal. It simply means that the two factors are correlated. It could just as easily be—and in fact is far more likely the case—that both criminality and “young-black-maleness” are interrelated through a third factor, for example, poverty.

In the case of the “weed and psychosis” connection, there’s literally no evidence for a causal relationship. All the evidence shows is that pot smoking is a “risk factor” for psychosis. What I think is far more likely than a causal relationship—given the lack of actual chemical evidence for THC being psychosis-inducing—is that the same factors that make you prone to psychosis might also make you prone to enjoy marijuana.

I want to add the the article you posted presents the facts in a biased way—pot use does not truly “up” psychotic symptoms. It is simply that they are strongly positively correlated.

gailcalled's avatar

@quarkquarkquark: Nicely put. I do like not only the substance of your answer but also the pithy “commonplace aphoristic compression.”

WasCy's avatar

@gailcalled

Hah! You didn’t like that I mentioned flossing in the same context?

gailcalled's avatar

@WasCy:—I did, but indirectly.

Somewhere up there ^^ I said, “And it’s true. I floss, go to the dentist twice a year, use seat belts, read a lot, eat way down on the food chain, exercise regularly, laugh often, tickle my cat and my grand-nephews…”

Hobbes's avatar

@gailcalled

That sounds like a life well lived.

bolwerk's avatar

@buster has a point. If any drug did a fraction of the harm cars do to society, politicians would be howling for death sentences for so much as stepping nearby.

mattbrowne's avatar

All drugs should be legal, but many of them should be prescription only. A heroin addict should see a doctor who decides what to prescribe. Getting the stuff in a pharmacy or clinic should be vastly cheaper than on the black market. This would greatly reduce drug-related crimes.

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