Thoughts on drug prohibition?

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SocialistIC
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#1
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I just thought this could be an interesting debate. Since I was about 14 I've had my doubts about drug prohibition and this has solidified in the last few years upon learning about the class and race disparities in conviction, the fact there has been a significant decrease in social harms caused by drugs in Portugal since they've relaxed the drug laws, the fact that taking a drug, or even selling a drug to a consenting adult, is basically a victimless crime and other bits of evidence that suggest (to me anyway) that the so-called "war on drugs" is ineffective and might even be making things worse.

Out of interest, what do other people think? Should they be completely legalised, legalised but regulated in another way, kept illegal but with some tweaks to the law, kept exactly as they are etc? Decided not to add a poll because they tend to be a bit limiting.
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bertstare
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The only real benefit to this would be that drugs would no longer be ****ty quality and cut with god knows what, which is where some of the health problems come from. I'm pretty sure a lot more people would be using though, if you could pick up a bag of cocaine at the corner shop
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zippity.doodah
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I think people should be at liberty to decide what they put in their mouths just like they have the liberty to put what they want out of their mouths (relatively speaking, of course, e.g. if they own what they're consuming)
I really couldn't disagree more with the people who want drugs banned as if they're playing some kind of "wise man" or "guardian" in society who can control people's lives because they're more intelligent than they are or something - I can't stand that mentality. but I also can't stand the people who think cannabis should be legalised but nothing else - they completely miss the point - the war on drugs doesn't work, and simply flirting with this fact is useless - it's like if we had alcohol prohibition and they were saying "beer and cider should become illegal, but not spirits" - it's all the same thing and the same idea at the end of the day - to take bodily risks with the hope of having positive and preferable outcomes.
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drewBusby
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Reduction in crime/ Economic growth/ Reduction in hard addicts
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SocialistIC
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(Original post by zippity.doodah)
I think people should be at liberty to decide what they put in their mouths just like they have the liberty to put what they want out of their mouths (relatively speaking, of course, e.g. if they own what they're consuming)
I really couldn't agree more with the people who want drugs banned as if they're playing some kind of "wise man" or "guardian" in society who can control people's lives because they're more intelligent than they are or something - I can't stand that mentality. but I also can't stand the people who think cannabis should be legalised but nothing else - they completely miss the point - the war on drugs doesn't work, and simply flirting with this fact is useless - it's like if we had alcohol prohibition and they were saying "beer and cider should become illegal, but not spirits" - it's all the same thing and the same idea at the end of the day - to take bodily risks with the hope of having positive and preferable outcomes.
Yeah, I agree, the whole thing isn't working. I suppose I disagree with the war on drugs from less of a libertarian perspective (although it does come in to it) and more from just wanting to reduce the harms. I still think there should regulations like only certain licensed shops being able to sell them and I'd consider having legal limits to how much people can buy and possibly minimum pricing. Driving under influence of any drug and selling drugs to children should also definitely be illegal but the idea of locking someone up for what they take in to their own body is ridiculous. I think it's summed up quite well (even though it works better as an argument in America) by Terence McKenna who said “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
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SocialistIC
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(Original post by bertstare)
The only real benefit to this would be that drugs would no longer be ****ty quality and cut with god knows what, which is where some of the health problems come from. I'm pretty sure a lot more people would be using though, if you could pick up a bag of cocaine at the corner shop
I personally think increasing the number of users is worth lowering the harms. For example, with alcohol, it's better to have millions of people just having the odd pint than thousands who drink recklessly. That's one of my main problems with the "war on drugs", it only factors in number of users and tries to lower it but it ignores every other way of reducing harm.
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vengeance111
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Drug prohibition has NEVER worked.
The prime minister has smoked weed, borris johnson has snorted cocaine, obama has done both.
Clearly the laws did nothing to stop them from having access to these substances, and nothing to dissuade them from doing them.
Quick story, 'my friend ' went to buy some LSD, he bought it and took it, bearing in mind LSD lasts for 8-12 hours before you are normal again. Well it reached 8 hours in and he wasnt even slightly coming down, this lead to a huge amounts of problems as he was no stranded in the middle of nowhere high as ****.
12 hours no sign of coming down, so he had to drive high as they couldnt stay there all night.
24 hours on the trip is slightly wearing off..
the substance was sent to a anylasis lab and was found to be DOB, a psychedelic amphetamine, often sold my dealers as LSD because it is alot cheaper so more profits.

Cocaine is heavily cut with a substance called levimosle, a de worming drug, that when used regualry causes a chemical version of AIDS where your body loses all immunity to pathogens.

MDMA, a drug with a huge saftey record (after much research I can safaley say that less then 1 in 100,000 people will die from using it once in suitable amounts) is often cut with a drug called PMA, this drug takes about 3 times longer to hit so people take more because they think it is 'weak' then it all hits them and they die from overdose.
Did you know that infant circumsision causes more deaths per year then MDMA use in America ?

Legal highs that emulate cannabis are just inactive herbs sprayed with synthetic cannabanoids. These drugs are chemically similar to THC and cause similar effects, however they are often a huge amount more potent and have no long term safety records. Yet they are legal and available on every high street. Criminalizing one drug just means the chemists just add another chemical group to make it legal again and possibly even worse for your body.

Psychedelics have no direct link to increased risk of mental illness, some studies show they reduce the risk.



So please goverment stop putting peoples lives in danger and provide clean substances at known dosages
And stop putting 13-25 year olds in prison and giving them criminal records that ruin there life, just because they want to try something a little different then getting wasted on legal booze !

EDIT
Also please dont delete this mods, dont be slaves to the goverment regime
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bertstare
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(Original post by SocialistIC)
I personally think increasing the number of users is worth lowering the harms. For example, with alcohol, it's better to have millions of people just having the odd pint than thousands who drink recklessly. That's one of my main problems with the "war on drugs", it only factors in number of users and tries to lower it but it ignores every other way of reducing harm.
Can this logic really be applied to addictive hard drugs? Something like alcohol or weed fine, they don't have a particularly high addiction risk and having a few beers or a joint on their own isn't going to leave you hooked for life. But with physically addictive drugs isn't prevention of use in the first place the most important method of reducing harms? People can sometimes still acquire them now, but I can honestly say I wouldn't have a clue where to get heroin if I wanted to shoot up tomorrow. If it was available at the local store the picture is totally different
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SocialistIC
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(Original post by bertstare)
Can this logic really be applied to addictive hard drugs? Something like alcohol or weed fine, they don't have a particularly high addiction risk and having a few beers or a joint on their own isn't going to leave you hooked for life. But with physically addictive drugs isn't prevention of use in the first place the most important method of reducing harms? People can sometimes still acquire them now, but I can honestly say I wouldn't have a clue where to get heroin if I wanted to shoot up tomorrow. If it was available at the local store the picture is totally different
I was only using amount used as an example, really, but there are many other ways of reducing harm. Route of use, for example. I read somewhere that there would be a lot fewer deaths from heroin if people smoked instead of injected because, as well as preventing spread of disease, people would be able to judge dose better and it would be much less likely for them to overdose. If heroin was available in certain licensed shops, then people would know it hadn't been cut with anything damaging, there could be a percentage strength like you get on drinks and there could be instructions to suggest how much is safe to take. I think this would significantly lower risk.

I suppose it's also worth pointing out that when heroin was first criminalised, there were only around 50 addicts in the whole country and now there are thousands so it hasn't been effective in preventing people taking it in the first place.
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SocialistIC
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#10
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(Original post by vengeance111)
Drug prohibition has NEVER worked.
The prime minister has smoked weed, borris johnson has snorted cocaine, obama has done both.
Clearly the laws did nothing to stop them from having access to these substances, and nothing to dissuade them from doing them.
Quick story, 'my friend ' went to buy some LSD, he bought it and took it, bearing in mind LSD lasts for 8-12 hours before you are normal again. Well it reached 8 hours in and he wasnt even slightly coming down, this lead to a huge amounts of problems as he was no stranded in the middle of nowhere high as ****.
12 hours no sign of coming down, so he had to drive high as they couldnt stay there all night.
24 hours on the trip is slightly wearing off..
the substance was sent to a anylasis lab and was found to be DOB, a psychedelic amphetamine, often sold my dealers as LSD because it is alot cheaper so more profits.

Cocaine is heavily cut with a substance called levimosle, a de worming drug, that when used regualry causes a chemical version of AIDS where your body loses all immunity to pathogens.

MDMA, a drug with a huge saftey record (after much research I can safaley say that less then 1 in 100,000 people will die from using it once in suitable amounts) is often cut with a drug called PMA, this drug takes about 3 times longer to hit so people take more because they think it is 'weak' then it all hits them and they die from overdose.
Did you know that infant circumsision causes more deaths per year then MDMA use in America ?

Legal highs that emulate cannabis are just inactive herbs sprayed with synthetic cannabanoids. These drugs are chemically similar to THC and cause similar effects, however they are often a huge amount more potent and have no long term safety records. Yet they are legal and available on every high street. Criminalizing one drug just means the chemists just add another chemical group to make it legal again and possibly even worse for your body.

Psychedelics have no direct link to increased risk of mental illness, some studies show they reduce the risk.



So please goverment stop putting peoples lives in danger and provide clean substances at known dosages
And stop putting 13-25 year olds in prison and giving them criminal records that ruin there life, just because they want to try something a little different then getting wasted on legal booze !

EDIT
Also please dont delete this mods, dont be slaves to the goverment regime
Sometimes I watch him and wonder whether Boris Johnson STILL snorts Cocaine :P. But yeah, prohibition has failed in every single way. It's a shame governments don't have the guts to actually admit it was wrong and try a more rational method.
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bertstare
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(Original post by SocialistIC)
I was only using amount used as an example, really, but there are many other ways of reducing harm. Route of use, for example. I read somewhere that there would be a lot fewer deaths from heroin if people smoked instead of injected because, as well as preventing spread of disease, people would be able to judge dose better and it would be much less likely for them to overdose. If heroin was available in certain licensed shops, then people would know it hadn't been cut with anything damaging, there could be a percentage strength like you get on drinks and there could be instructions to suggest how much is safe to take. I think this would significantly lower risk.

I suppose it's also worth pointing out that when heroin was first criminalised, there were only around 50 addicts in the whole country and now there are thousands so it hasn't been effective in preventing people taking it in the first place.
Like I said in the first post it would have to be looked at in terms of overall benefit, because yes legalising drugs is likely to increase quality of substance provided there is good regulation. But I literally can't see how if drugs were legalised tomorrow, less people would be using. All the existing addicts would continue using, and plenty of people who perhaps wanted to but couldn't find a source illegally, or people who are just curious and want to try it because it's now legal and won't get them in trouble, will also start using
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SocialistIC
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(Original post by bertstare)
Like I said in the first post it would have to be looked at in terms of overall benefit, because yes legalising drugs is likely to increase quality of substance provided there is good regulation. But I literally can't see how if drugs were legalised tomorrow, less people would be using. All the existing addicts would continue using, and plenty of people who perhaps wanted to but couldn't find a source illegally, or people who are just curious and want to try it because it's now legal and won't get them in trouble, will also start using
I suppose illegality encourages people to sell the drugs because they can charge really high prices so relaxing the laws could result in selling drugs being a much less romantic idea so supply would decrease. It's difficult to say what would happen but it's not as simple as I think you're looking at it. In Portugal, while self-reports show that drug use has increased (although this might be because of a reduced stigma around drugs meaning people are telling the truth) but problematic and adolescent use has decreased and there's much fewer drug-related injuries and deaths.
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PicardianSocialist
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When you look at the effects that drug cartels are having in Latin America, the effects that gang crime has on working class neighbourhoods, the number of ethnic minorities in prison on drug related offences, the number of people who die each year taking drugs cut with god-knows-what, and the obscene amounts of money that governments around the world spend on drug prohibition, it's kind of hard to say that the war on drugs in worth the cost.
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bertstare
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(Original post by SocialistIC)
I suppose illegality encourages people to sell the drugs because they can charge really high prices so relaxing the laws could result in selling drugs being a much less romantic idea so supply would decrease. It's difficult to say what would happen but it's not as simple as I think you're looking at it. In Portugal, while self-reports show that drug use has increased (although this might be because of a reduced stigma around drugs meaning people are telling the truth) but problematic and adolescent use has decreased and there's much fewer drug-related injuries and deaths.
I wouldn't doubt that more people are using overall in Portugal , and the increased quality of the drugs undoubtedly will reduce the number of short term deaths from overdoses or infection. However, if more people are using a substance regularly, the whole problem of long term health comes into play which is a totally different issue than short term deaths from poor quality product. Again, this is primarily where potentially addictive and dangerous drugs are concerned. I think it's way too early to label Portugal's new laws a success, but it is interesting for sure
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SocialistIC
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(Original post by PicardianSocialist)
When you look at the effects that drug cartels are having in Latin America, the effects that gang crime has on working class neighbourhoods, the number of ethnic minorities in prison on drug related offences, the number of people who die each year taking drugs cut with god-knows-what, and the obscene amounts of money that governments around the world spend on drug prohibition, it's kind of hard to say that the war on drugs in worth the cost.
I suppose the fact it's lasted this long just shows how little governments throughout the world give a toss about the working-class. The ethnic disparities are quite shocking as well http://www.release.org.uk/publicatio...-drug-offences The war on drugs truly is an abysmal failure.
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TroyAndAbed
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(Original post by Algorithm69)
I'm a right-libertarian. So you can probably figure out where I stand on the subject.
No because I do not understand all the political categorisation words.
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SocialistIC
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(Original post by TroyAndAbed)
No because I do not understand all the political categorisation words.
Libertarians value the freedom of the individual above the state so he would be against current drug laws like me.
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TroyAndAbed
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(Original post by SocialistIC)
Libertarians value the freedom of the individual above the state so he would be against current drug laws like me.
Ah thank you, I agree as well.
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SocialistIC
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Is there anyone out there who actually agrees with the drug laws? I want to be debated with as well as agreed with.
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PicardianSocialist
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(Original post by SocialistIC)
I suppose the fact it's lasted this long just shows how little governments throughout the world give a toss about the working-class. The ethnic disparities are quite shocking as well http://www.release.org.uk/publicatio...-drug-offences The war on drugs truly is an abysmal failure.
The problem, of course, is that there is very little incentive for ending drug prohibition. Not only does prohibition give politicians a great stump speech about saving society from moral degradation and protecting 'the children' but it also fattens the budgets of law enforcement agencies and the profit margins of prison contractors.

The racial disparities really are shocking, and are particularly bad in the U.S.




I think it's important to recognise this is a global issue, and the real cost falls not on Europe and North America (sans Mexico) but the poorest and most vulnerable areas of the world.
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