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Rants / Debates (Serious) > Should We Decriminalise Drugs (NOT talking about legalising, people)>Water addicts

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message 1: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hyatt-James (sandyhyatt-james) The war on drugs both sides of the Atlantic has failed. It's universally acknowledged that drugs, apart from ruining the lives of the users, causes crime and prostitution levels to soar. These cause misery and danger for the hapless public, while at the same time, facilitating fat wallets for the dealers and pimps. Does this make sense?
Isn't it about time both governments put their hands up, admit defeat and set about decriminalising hard drugs. In my opinion it's the only way to go now.


message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments Sure, I could go for that.


message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments So, let me make sure...are we talking about ALL substances? Will any be illegal? Can you get as much as you want at any time? What are the limits?


message 4: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 22, 2010 11:56AM) (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments They've tried this on a limited basis in the Netherlands, where the personal use of small quantities of pot and other things derived from pot is possible under most circumstances.

The results are mixed. They still have some problems with organized crime infiltrating and controlling certain distribution networks and also with street crime caused by people looking for money to buy drugs. So the law-enforcement costs don't totally disappear with legalization. But the world doesn't seem to come crashing down either. Don't know how well it would work here. Also, harder drugs raise a lot of other issues.


message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) Great idea, because drugs like meth, heroin and cocaine aren't addictive at all.


message 6: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments If it's legal, could it be purchased with food stamps or WIC?


message 7: by Barb (new)

Barb I'm all for the legalization of pot since it's relatively harmless (less so than alcohol IMO), but I don't feel the same about hard drugs like herion & cocaine.
I'm also all for the legalization of prostitution, but that's a whole other debate.


message 8: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Ooooohhh, :(


message 9: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24076 comments Mod
No, I don't think we should decriminalize hard drugs. I'm fine with medical marijuana and I certainly don't support prison sentences for small amounts of non-medical pot. Or maybe even medium sized amounts...

I think it's time to ban tobacco, myself.


message 10: by Cambridge (new)

Cambridge (hsquare) | 509 comments I agree the hard stuff = illegal, but go Lobstergirl with the prison sentences and I'll take it a step further . . . legalize marijauna completely it really isn't worse for you than alcohol and plenty of people abuse their bodies with that and use their food stamps etc. to purchase it. But it could be government controlled and and great tax income.


message 11: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24076 comments Mod
I think Schwarzenegger wants it legalized for the revenue because California is in such bad financial shape. Maybe they should - let CA be a test case and the rest of us will observe.


message 12: by Cambridge (new)

Cambridge (hsquare) | 509 comments Good Idea :)


message 13: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hyatt-James (sandyhyatt-james) Have to disagree with most of you. The way I see it, certain people are going to experiment with hard drugs whether they get them from the local shop or from the shady guy on the corner. Now we've established this, why are we worrying about that which we can't stop.
What we can do, however, is put an end to those on the periphery of the addicts, who are making a living out of keeping them hooked and living in misery?
If we decriminalise drugs, such people would be out of work virtually overnight. There would be less gang crime, fewer young women on the streets, demeaning themselves to get a fix and, importantly, less men running them and taking their cuts.
I can see the concern: that making heroin easier to get might cause an uptake of its use, however, I believe that this concern would easily be offset by a reduction in crime. And as I've said, certain people will experiment with hard drugs one way or another anyway.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I am for the legalization of prostitution also Barb, some people are born to pass a football, some are born to sing, some are born to fuck people's brains out, why can't they get paid and pay taxes for what they do best also.

Legalize marijuana - yes, heroine, cocaine, meth - NO.


message 15: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments some are born to fuck people's brains out, why can't they get paid and pay taxes for what they do best also.

Heh...I want to see those types of questions on the interest surveys the guidance counselors pass out...


message 16: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I can't agree with this on anything but the marijuana. Drug users, as a demographic (and I can say this because I've worked directly with them for the past 7 years), do not consider the consequences of their drug use. They typically do not consider the consequence of anything past NOW.

They do not consider themselves accountable to anyone. They do not consider themselves responsible for anyone or anything. They do not act dependably. The addictive behaviors are as bad as the addictions themselves - lying, manipulating, gaming, splitting, etc. The list is lengthy... and none of it is nice.

Out of the hundreds of people I've worked directly with, only a handful have sobered up. THAT is disheartening. Only a handful overcame their addictions. It's the ones who overcome their addictions and pull their lives together who make my work worthwhile - it's glorious and fulfilling to be a witness to their recovery. You know what, though? The addiction's not the only obstacle they have to overcome. They have to kick the addictive behaviors as well or else the cycle WILL continue.

I'm all for laissez faire government policies for the most part, but I give this a strong and considerable exception. And ultimately, let's admit it, they do not respect authority. But it doesn't change the fact that they need to be accountable for their behavior to someone. I think government intervention on the hard drugs is absolutely necessary.


message 17: by Barb (last edited Aug 23, 2010 08:56AM) (new)

Barb Heidi wrote: "I think government intervention on the hard drugs is absolutely necessary."

I agree 100%.
Pot is not a hard drug though, and is less harmless (IMHO) than tobacco or liquor - so why is it deamed illegal when the more dangerous and addictive poisons are not.

Jim "In dreams we enter a world entirely our own" wrote: "... some people are born to pass a football, some are born to sing, some are born to fuck people's brains out, why can't they get paid and pay taxes..."

Without going into the issues that these people are earning income which is not being taxed & tax dollars being spent on punishing those involved; legalization of something that IS NOT GOING TO STOP could help to create a safe industry for all involved by the elimination of pimps and the screening of the sex-trade workers for diseases.
Sure, there would always be holes in the system, but it sure as hell beats no system at all.
There that's my opinion. :)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Barb wrote: "Heidi wrote: "I think government intervention on the hard drugs is absolutely necessary."

I agree 100%.
Pot is not a hard drug though, and is less harmless (IMHO) than tobacco or liquor - so ..."


As long as the disease issue is addressed, I agree completely. It could easily be a revenue stream for the government as opposed to a revenue drain. It also could help clean up some of the kidnapping trade and possibly some of the drug trade.


message 19: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Actually, marijuana has been proven through research to be a physically dependent sort of drug. It also impairs a person's judgment and sense of responsibility, as does alcohol. While I consider the opiate, cocaine, amphetamine use to be a black/white area, I also consider alcohol/marijuana use to be a gray area... it's entirely too subjective. Frankly, I would like more government regulation than is already in place for alcohol consumption and selling. I'm not saying it should be made illegal necessarily.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

How is marijuana comparable to alcohol Heidi? Serious question because I do not know, but alcohol can be a physically dependent drug.


message 21: by Barb (new)

Barb BunWat wrote: "Personally I am in favor of decriminalisation because I think drug use is a medical problem and it needs to be treated as a medical problem..."

Good point.

Another example of something that is legal (and encouraged in many cases), but which is proven to be addictive and harmful: gambling.


message 22: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hyatt-James (sandyhyatt-james) Good point, Barb. But if gambling were to be illegal, it would just go underground and unscrupulous people would still make a mint out of it.
The fact is, some people are always ready to exploit others' weaknesses, whether it be drugs, alcohol or gambling. At least if it's out in the open, it can be policed and taxes can be made from it.


message 23: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Jim "In dreams we enter a world entirely our own" wrote: "How is marijuana comparable to alcohol Heidi? Serious question because I do not know, but alcohol can be a physically dependent drug."

Marijuana can also be physically addictive. The public perception is that is not addictive. That is NOT true.


message 24: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Cocaine at Piggly Wiggly. I love it.


message 25: by Barb (new)

Barb Sandy wrote: "Good point, Barb. But if gambling were to be illegal, it would just go underground and unscrupulous people would still make a mint out of it.
The fact is, some people are always ready to exploit o..."


I know ... now reverse that comment and it becomes my arguement to legalize pot and prostitutes! We're on the same page you and me. :)


message 26: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Aug 24, 2010 10:47PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I would be okay with the legalization of Marijuana if it was taxed out the wazoo. Let's get some cash flow for the country going.

I do think the crime rate would go down if weed was legal. If people could get their supply from a store instead of a dealer, most of them wouldn't risk getting in trouble by going to dealers, even if it meant paying more for the drug. Less exposure to dealers = less people exposed to harder drugs = less crime. Less dealers dealing = less drug traffic.

Instead of making it illegal to use, make the laws tougher on those who use and drive. Although, people drive far worse drunk than stoned. Drunk people swerve and speed and do stupid things, whereas stoned people drive 20 miles an hour and constantly look around for cops (NOT saying that anyone should drive while stoned). I actually saw a statistic stating that a stoned person's impairment while driving is around 30%, whereas someone who is texting while driving is impaired up to 85%.

Moral of the story : Texting while driving is the worst kind of impairment?


message 27: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Letting CA be the guinea pig state for legalizing MJ is perfect, but I think Oregon & Washington could use a slice of that pie as well, since we're already headed in the same direction.

"I think it's time to ban tobacco, myself."
Abso-friggin-lutely! The majority of the reasons MJ is illegal are political, as are the reasons tobacco is legal. I just quit smoking (for good) about a month ago and it was the hardest thing I've ever done, including my ultra-scary emergency C-section. Anything can be addictive to the right person, but the addictive properties of MJ are far, far less than tobacco or even alcohol. Why not make a cash crop out of it, help out those who truly need its medicinal properties, and wipe out large segments of crime at the same time? I'm all for it.

As far as the harder stuff goes, I lean toward decriminalization as long as the dealers, the upper eschelon criminals are the ones who pay with extreme jail terms. Don't punish the ones who are caught in the horrible addictive cycle. The War on Drugs has been a joke from the start... maybe we need to start reframing our whole perspective of it.


message 28: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Hyatt-James (sandyhyatt-james) That just about sums up the argument. I also gave up smoking, by the way, so I know just how difficult that was.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know. My neighbour’s son has schizophrenia which has been attributed to his use of marijuana. It has ruined his life and his parent’s life. Before I knew them I would have said yes there are very good reasons for legalizing drugs. Now I can't say it with quite as much conviction. There are always going to be good cases for and against.

Having never smoked (tobacco) I can't understand why people start in the first place. It's just gross.


message 30: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Tobacco is interesting (and scary) stuff. For the majority of people it is a strong toxin and their bodies reject it almost immediately, coughing, nausea, etc, so they actually have to get over that to keep smoking (mostly due to peer pressure or socially related situations). I actually enjoyed smoking from the get-go, the taste & feel of the smoke. The people who don't have such a strong repulsion to it are thought to have a system that may not be as initially threatened by the poison in the first place, which makes them more likely to become addicted, and then this happens very quickly as it is one of the most highly addictive substances we know of.

There is some research out there that suggest MJ seems to be a relatively dangerous substance for people who may already have chemical imbalances in their brains, from some of what I've read, and can cause contra-indicative reactions in those people. (i.e. anxiety instead of calmness) It makes me wonder if your neighbour's son may have had schizophrenic tendencies that were brought out & heightened with the MJ, or if the MJ affected his 'normal' brain to bring on schizophrenia. These are the kinds of studies that really need to be done.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I just read other posts about legalising drugs and didn't read the thread title. Guilty.:)


message 32: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "I just read other posts about legalising drugs and didn't read the thread title. Guilty.:)"

Clearly I did this, too.


message 33: by Misha (new)

Misha (ninthwanderer) Phil wrote: "If it's legal, could it be purchased with food stamps or WIC?"

Only in brownie form.


message 34: by Misha (last edited Aug 25, 2010 05:56AM) (new)

Misha (ninthwanderer) Gail, it seems far more likely to me that your friends' kid's schizophrenia caused the marijuana use, and not the other way around. There's a lot of overlap between mental illness and chemical dependency because people with mental illnesses who aren't getting proper treatment for whatever reason tend to self medicate any way they can. A lot of times that means street drugs or alcohol. I wish I had the statistic that my local Human Services director gave me once, but the overlap was staggering. We could make a nice dent in the war on drugs in the United States if we made some good progress on our mental health system and ensuring people get treatment instead of treated as criminals.

Found some stats from 2006 (government stats lag so far behind):

From http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k6NS...

Serious Psychological Distress and Substance Use and Dependence or Abuse

* Past year illicit drug use was higher among adults aged 18 or older with SPD (27.2 percent) than among adults without SPD (12.3 percent). Similarly, the rate of past month cigarette use was higher among adults with SPD (44.2 percent) than among adults without SPD (24.5 percent).

* Among adults aged 18 or older with SPD, the rate of binge alcohol use (drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) was 28.8 percent, higher than the 23.9 percent among adults who did not meet the criteria for SPD. Similarly, the rate of heavy alcohol use (drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion [i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other:] on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days) among adults with SPD in the past year was higher (9.4 percent) than the rate reported among adults without SPD in the past year (7.2 percent).

* SPD in the past year was associated with past year substance dependence or abuse in 2006. Among adults aged 18 or older with SPD, 22.3 percent were dependent on or abused illicit drugs or alcohol. The rate among adults without SPD was 7.7 percent.

...

(text description of a pie chart)

Of the 5.6 million adults with both SPD and a substance use disorder, 39.6 percent received treatment in the past year for mental health problems only, 2.8 percent received treatment for substance use problems only, 8.4 percent received treatment for both mental health and substance use problems, and 49.2 percent received no treatment in the past year. (emphasis mine)


message 35: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 250 comments I know personally of a case where a young man got--and served the full term--a sentence of five years for growing pot. That same day, in the same Federal courtroom, a man got FOUR years for sexually abusing a eight year old child.

What's wrong with this picture?

I think medical marijuana should be fully legal. Think--your doctor can write you a precription for morphine--but not for pot? What sensedoes that make. Even if the effect of medical marijuana is placebo effect--people expect to feel better so they do--why not? I've never used pot, put if I were taking chemotherapy and felt it might help, I'd like to have it as a medical option.

Like Bunwat, I see pot addiction as a medical problem. Tossing people in jail is not the way to solve it. We have tried it for years and it has NOT solved it.


message 36: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments BunWat wrote: "If it was completely safe, if it didn't do anything to alter your body chemistry, then it wouldn't be a drug - it would be a glass of water."

Mmmm, water. I remember this one time in college, when my friend offered me a glass. I hadn't tried it before, but I'd seen others suffering the effects. I thought, "hey, it won't hurt to try it just this once."

I haven't been able to get off the stuff since.


message 37: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I tried water -- but I didn't swallow it.


message 38: by Barb (new)

Barb LOL @ Phil / Larry.


message 39: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Water makes me immensely happy. I drink a cup when I wake to get my metabolism going... and keep the water bottle with me all day long. I might drink some tea while I'm drinking the water, but there's always water handy.

I'll never understand people who hate water.


message 40: by Barb (new)

Barb There's water in coffee right? I drink lots of that ...


message 41: by Heidi (last edited Aug 25, 2010 01:57PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments BunWat wrote: "Also, yay to whoever is changing the thread titles again, I love it when the mods do that. "

:) I might've done did that.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I had a really long post thrown up and then read the title.

Never mind. :p


message 43: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24076 comments Mod
I'll confess - when the titles get past 6 words I stop reading. But my post above did recognize the "decriminalize/se" in the header.

On the water, I drink water. Water is the liquid I drink most of, followed by coffee. Especially in hot weather I drink lots of water. But I don't need so much water that I carry a bottle around with me.

I drink 16 oz. of coffee/day. The amount of water I drink is probably in the range of 2-3 times that.

The Brooke Shields thing - "you should drink 8 glasses of water a day" - forgets that we get water from lots of sources, including fruits and vegetables. Most people won't get dehydrated if they fail to drink 8 glasses of water/day.


message 44: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Now you tell me.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) Yes, the food that you eat can greatly contribute to your water source, especially if you don't eat a lot of salt.

If I actually "drank" 8 full glasses of water a day (even 8 oz ones which is about 2/3 of a regular size glass) I'd be peeing all day long.


message 46: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I average about 6 eight oz glasses of water a day. :)


message 47: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Agua.


message 48: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I was once on a press trip where some salesman from a Dutch brewery was giving us his pitch and going on about the history of brewing in the Netherlands.

He said, rightly I think, that because reliable sources of potable water were traditionally quite scarce in Dutch cities, beer was consumed in great quantities during, say, the 17th century. But then he asserted that the average Dutchman in those days drank 21 liters of beer per day.

I have no idea what he actually meant--maybe 2.1 liters per day?--but anyway, for the rest of that trip we were all quite concerned about making our daily quota...


message 49: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments But 21 liters? I don't think I could drink that much water in a day.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Jonathan wrote: "But 21 liters? I don't think I could drink that much water in a day."

Can we have litres spelled this way pretty please.


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