Drugs - legalise?

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Drugs - legalise?

Post by thekungfury @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:14 am

The other thread has gone Monty Python but I think TT raised a good discussion topic.

Turntable wrote:Sorry to take this a little serious but I think all drugs should be legalised and regulated.
I think it would have a transformationally positive effect on our country.

Well?

All drugs? I'm not so sure.

There is a huge % of crime linked to hard drugs. Junkies try to steal Lidl steaks to pay for heroin etc. How would legalising heroin help? Legalised and regulated will add hugely to the cost and nobody on hard drugs will be able to afford the increase. If they do they'll just rob more or they'll just continue to buy it on the black market for a fraction of the price.

Recreational/party drugs I see as different. Hash, ecstasy etc. It would be safer for people to buy drugs that aren't full of washing powder which would stop some deaths/injuries. Personally if I could easily get a few joints I would do so occasionally. I don't today but not because it's illegal but because it involves effort and living in the 'burbs for a couple of decades has ruined my network of contacts.

So I don't know where you draw the line wrt Class A/B/C etc. Plus I don't think it would have a transformationally positive effect on the country.

I would personally support decriminalisation to a certain level and regulation to another as yet undecided level.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Strawman @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:20 am

thekungfury wrote: Legalised and regulated will add hugely to the cost and nobody on hard drugs will be able to afford the increase.


Not sure if that is true, the vast costs involved in smuggling adds more than any regulation would, I'm not an expert but when you look at all the efforts put into smuggling it has to be the case.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by spast1kunt @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:31 am

I support legalisation, or decriminalisation at the least.

It's the illegality of drugs which creates most of the social problems associated with drug use. As well as the crime committed to pay for drugs, which contrary to what tkf says could actually be a lot cheaper under a regulated system, you have the fact that users of hard drugs have no idea of the purity of the drugs they're using which leads to overdoses.

I don't believe that legalisation or decriminalisation would lead to a huge increase in drug usage. It's not the illegality or unavailability of drugs which stops most people from becoming smack and crack addicts, it's the fact that they don't want or need to use drugs and want to get on with their lives instead. On the other hand there will always be a small minority in every society who can't cope with life and resort to using some drug or other to blot out the world. Better that we try to reduce the harm to them and the disruption they cause to the rest of society if we can.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by GingerNinja @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:39 am

I think the heavily addictive hard drugs (heroin etc) should be regulated and maybe even become prescription for those suffering from addiction already. That'd be down to a cost benefit though, as you'd factor in their burden to society based on criminality and ill-health and hopefully it works out better for us all if the addicts have access to clean drugs without having to revert to crime.

As for recreational drugs, definitely think marijuana should be legalised. The extra tax revenues would be most welcome I'm sure, and balance out the losses through reduction in smoking. In Colorado they've made so much tax from weed that they're giving some back to the populous. Also, it's all very slick now - I was visiting a friend in LA in June (where it's medical only) - she has a card due to her anxiety and also because she uses it instead of drinking. Here's what she had:

Image

Along with her selection of actual buds, there's vape liquid, pre-rolled joints, chew suits (including weed gummi worms that aren't in that pic), honey, and expresso chocolate beans. All with added weed, and all available to order from a website and have delivered to your house (as long as you have the medical card).

I think it'll happen eventually - our uptight politicians just have to get used to the Americans doing it and take note of all the extra money they could get hold of through taxes, and also save via policing costs.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by GingerNinja @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:40 am

Double post deleted.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:41 am

spast1kunt wrote:It's the illegality of drugs which creates most of the social problems associated with drug use.


You whole post hinges on this and it's totally incorrect. The illegality of drugs causes unclean drugs and wealthy cartels but the real crimes committed (when thinking of Class As like Heroin, Crack etc) are in gaining money to buy the drug in the first place, or violence from one addict on another or other antisocial behaviour. The fact the drug is illegal is irrelevant to the social problems, just look at alcohol.

Alcohol is a legalised drug that has huge problems from a societal and criminal POV. It's availability is the biggest reason for this - a highly addictive drug that's available almost 24/7 with the only real restriction on it being age and not to sell it to someone who's completely fcuked. It's mass market means it's cheap as chips too.

If anything, a civilised society should be thinking of banning alcohol rather then considering decriminalising other addictive drugs.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:42 am

GingerNinja wrote:As for recreational drugs, definitely think marijuana should be legalised.

Agreed.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Strawman @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:45 am

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:If anything, a civilised society should be thinking of banning alcohol


The only example of a country with a drinking culture that banned alcohol I can think of is the USA, and that was a disaster.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Turntable @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:50 am

We've disagreed on this before but I maintain that if Heroin was legal, it would be a fraction of the cost which itself would solve a lot of the 'gaining money' aspect of the crime.

If figures show that legalising hard drugs (with controls and education) would make far more addicts than exist already, then I would definitely be against it.

But certainly the in-between drugs like coke, and all the other party drugs which I don't know, seem to be so readily available that they may as well be legal. Huge amounts of resources are currently used in completely failing to stem the flow of these so it feels pointless them being illegal.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:03 pm

Turntable wrote:We've disagreed on this before but I maintain that if Heroin was legal, it would be a fraction of the cost which itself would solve a lot of the 'gaining money' aspect of the crime.

Like cigarettes with their 75% tax? A massively harmful (and pure) drug, that's properly licenced and sold by approved retailers would never be allowed to be cheaper than the illegal equivalent surely?
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:05 pm

Turntable wrote:If figures show that legalising hard drugs (with controls and education) would make far more addicts than exist already, then I would definitely be against it.

I can't envisage any other outcome, especially if it's also cheaper.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Disastrous @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:21 pm

Civilized society or not, I think the problem is that it is in human nature to just enjoy getting fcuked up. Pretty much since the dawn of time, man has taken drugs. That's not going to go away so trying to engineer prohibition is doomed to failure IMO. It never ever works. Even Arabic 'dry' countries aren't really, and the wealthy piss it up in grand style.

I think pragmatism is the answer. Legalize 'party drugs' and decriminalize/help the danger drugs...
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by CJ+ @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:22 pm

Stepping away from the criminality/cost aspect, what do we think of the "well, why the giddy fcuk can't I put whatever chemicals I like into my own bloodstream?" question?

If the government should be able to mandate what people can and cannot do to themselves, where/how do we draw the line.

Imagine this scenario:

Heroin is legal, taxed and regulated, and is available in shops under much the same circumstances as alcohol is now. All the laws that apply to alcohol (driving, operating machinery, age, etc.) apply to heroin too.

So Wayne McChav goes down the offy and spends his dole on (a) White Lightning or (b) Sunny H.

Assuming for a moment that he doesn't go criming or be in charge of children or whatever when he's pissed or high, so what?

So he's addicted. Again, so what? His body, his problem.

Genuinely interested to hear your thoughts about this - on each side of the debate.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Turntable @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:22 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
Turntable wrote:If figures show that legalising hard drugs (with controls and education) would make far more addicts than exist already, then I would definitely be against it.

I can't envisage any other outcome, especially if it's also cheaper.


I think that's probably true.
But is it realistically the case that people don't take heroin because it is dangerous rather than illegal? Millions(?) of people take coke regularly despite its status but those people don't also do heroin.
I have no idea and my gut feeling is addiction probably would increase but a bit of me hopes otherwise.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by stuart @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:22 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
Turntable wrote:If figures show that legalising hard drugs (with controls and education) would make far more addicts than exist already, then I would definitely be against it.

I can't envisage any other outcome, especially if it's also cheaper.


Other countries have already tried this and I believe the outcomes were pretty much all positive.

In Portugal, I think it's saw:

Small increase in users initially but then a decrease in drug use.
Decrease in deaths related to drugs.
Decrease in HIV among drug users.
Decrease in crime and imprisonment related to drug use.

I think for drugs like heroin / cocaine, for people who want to use them, I can't imagine legality being a huge barrier to entry.

I also thought this TED talk on addiction is interesting

Original video page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY9DcIMGxMs
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Turntable @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:26 pm

CJ+ wrote:Stepping away from the criminality/cost aspect, what do we think of the "well, why the giddy fcuk can't I put whatever chemicals I like into my own bloodstream?" question?

If the government should be able to mandate what people can and cannot do to themselves, where/how do we draw the line.

Imagine this scenario:

Heroin is legal, taxed and regulated, and is available in shops under much the same circumstances as alcohol is now. All the laws that apply to alcohol (driving, operating machinery, age, etc.) apply to heroin too.

So Wayne McChav goes down the offy and spends his dole on (a) White Lightning or (b) Sunny H.

Assuming for a moment that he doesn't go criming or be in charge of children or whatever when he's pissed or high, so what?

So he's addicted. Again, so what? His body, his problem.

Genuinely interested to hear your thoughts about this - on each side of the debate.


This is sort of the case anyway. An addict will not get done for mere consumption.
My view is that where something is so likely to have a negative impact on many others then it is fine to prevent people doing it and the fact that such a high proportion of crime is people getting money to get the drugs outweighs an individuals right to do what he wants. Similar to gun laws for me and that the repercussions to society as a whole outweigh the rights of the individual
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by CJ+ @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:27 pm

Yeah, there are some pretty counter-intuitive outcomes when you legalise hard drugs.

It does of course mean that the local drug lords will have to find some other means of making a living. Just legalise, tax and regulate everything they do!

Once you've taken off the table:

Drugs
Prostitution
Loan-sharking

All you're left with is things like protection rackets and good old-fashioned thieving, which are hard work because they don't have a market as such - to make proper criminal money, you need something (drugs/sex/temporary money) that people want badly enough to get from non-legal channels.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:33 pm

stuart wrote:
Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
Turntable wrote:If figures show that legalising hard drugs (with controls and education) would make far more addicts than exist already, then I would definitely be against it.

I can't envisage any other outcome, especially if it's also cheaper.


Other countries have already tried this and I believe the outcomes were pretty much all positive.

In Portugal, I think it's saw:

Small increase in users initially but then a decrease in drug use.
Decrease in deaths related to drugs.
Decrease in HIV among drug users.
Decrease in crime and imprisonment related to drug use.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12 ... 70789.html
“Full Fact found many of the problems stemmed not necessarily from a disagreement over the facts but a disagreement over which facts matter when it comes to interpreting the effects of decriminalisation,” they said.

For Dr Pinto Coelho, it shows that decriminalisation had not worked. “Kofi Annan said a very interesting thing - the eradication of drugs in our planet is a difficult task but we can go forward, we can go through it. Since decriminalisation in Portugal there was an increase in every single drug. In cannabis and cocaine and ecstasy and in HIV aids,” he said.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by ttwiggy @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:45 pm

Does Kofi have a list of 'good' and 'bad' drugs then?
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by CJ+ @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:46 pm

The thing is, TS, we've had what - 50 years? - of seriously trying to eradicate hard and recreational drug use. How well has it worked? Well, we're having this conversation for a start :D

Dis is right: people like to get fcuked up, always have, always will. So we decide to fight this fundamental aspect of human nature, yeah? Here's another problem: the drug dealers and cartels have more money, more people, and more sheer will than police forces and governments, when it comes to the supply of hard drugs. Trying to stop them servicing their market simply and demonstrably does not work. The only real approach that's got a cat in hell's chance of working is to take their market away.

(Kofi Annan is chatting shit* when he says "we can eradicate drugs". Utter fantastical bollocks.)

* This is the sort of thing you'll hear on the mean streets, Tokes. It means "talking rubbish". You're welcome.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:50 pm

CJ+ wrote:Assuming for a moment that he doesn't go criming or be in charge of children or whatever when he's pissed or high, so what?

So he's addicted. Again, so what? His body, his problem.

Genuinely interested to hear your thoughts about this - on each side of the debate.


I think the state has a duty to provide some level of care for vulnerable, poor, fcuking thick people and this duty is really what most regulation is based upon.

Yes it's his body but why should the state facilitate him fcuking himself even more? Surely, this is exactly the sort of person they should be looking at and thinking 'How do we deal with a problem like Wayne? Should we try and stop this sort of rot happening to him or at least to any offspring he might/definitely will produce or shall we allow him a bigger range of addictive and harmful substances to play with?'.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:51 pm

CJ+ wrote:The thing is, TS, we've had what - 50 years? - of seriously trying to eradicate hard and recreational drug use. How well has it worked? Well, we're having this conversation for a start :D

I know but we've also had several thousand years of trying to stop crime by every method you can possibly imagine - it hasn't worked so does that mean we should stop and save some money on police and courts?
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by ttwiggy @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:55 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
CJ+ wrote:The thing is, TS, we've had what - 50 years? - of seriously trying to eradicate hard and recreational drug use. How well has it worked? Well, we're having this conversation for a start :D

I know but we've also had several thousand years of trying to stop crime by every method you can possibly imagine - it hasn't worked so does that mean we should stop and save some money on police and courts?


But the reason we continue to 'fight crime' is for the protection/rights of the victims. The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects while rewarding the actual criminals.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:56 pm

ttwiggy wrote:The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects

I think that's the jist of this thread isn't it?
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by ttwiggy @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:59 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
ttwiggy wrote:The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects

I think that's the jist of this thread isn't it?


I'm not sure I follow you. I do know that if you want a case study on the effects of prohibition then America in the 1920s provides a perfect example.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:03 pm

ttwiggy wrote:
Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
ttwiggy wrote:The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects

I think that's the jist of this thread isn't it?


I'm not sure I follow you. I do know that if you want a case study on the effects of prohibition then America in the 1920s provides a perfect example.

I'm saying that your statement of 'The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects' is the basis of what we're discussing on this thread, so just saying it like that doesn't really mean anything - it's no different to saying 'People would be better off if drugs were legalised.'.

CJ's point, I think, was that we've been unsuccessfully fighting the war on drugs for 50 years so maybe we should stop and I was pointing out that we've been fighting other things for longer and something are going to be a continuous and ongoing fight but one that's worth having.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:05 pm

ttwiggy wrote:I do know that if you want a case study on the effects of prohibition then America in the 1920s provides a perfect example.

Well it worked from a health perspective, but it also facilitated an increase in organised crime. Is that your point?
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Darthdeathdealer @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:56 pm

Legalise them all. Control supply through controllable, taxable outlets.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:03 pm

Darthdeathdealer wrote:Legalise them all. Control supply through controllable, taxable outlets.

Very PH: several short sentences that are the definitive answer.
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Re: Drugs - legalise?

Post by ttwiggy @ Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:26 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
ttwiggy wrote:
Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
ttwiggy wrote:The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects

I think that's the jist of this thread isn't it?


I'm not sure I follow you. I do know that if you want a case study on the effects of prohibition then America in the 1920s provides a perfect example.

I'm saying that your statement of 'The illegality of drugs creates more victims than it protects' is the basis of what we're discussing on this thread, so just saying it like that doesn't really mean anything - it's no different to saying 'People would be better off if drugs were legalised.'.

CJ's point, I think, was that we've been unsuccessfully fighting the war on drugs for 50 years so maybe we should stop and I was pointing out that we've been fighting other things for longer and something are going to be a continuous and ongoing fight but one that's worth having.


You snipped a section of what I actually said out of the quote (very PH ;)). You were posing the question as to why we continue to fight crime when it's an unwinable war. My point was that when we fight crime we do so to protect the victim and punish the criminal. We don't win every time, but we do at least address some of the balance. I terms of the war on drugs, we create more victims (by either criminalising the user or raising the chances of overdose etc) while simultaneously 'rewarding' the criminals by facilitating a supply chain.
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