supernerd222

Which drugs should be legal?

27 posts in this topic

Let us make one thing perfectly clear; the reason drugs are illegal to both distribute and consume is because they are fundamentally dangerous. Agreed?

Now if the state removes all legislation regarding the use of drugs, does that not fundamentally go against the state's duty of care to its citizens? And if so, does that mean we should forego all aspects of the state's duty of care to us as citizens. For example, if you were stabbed in the street, should the state not care? Should law enforcement do nothing? Should the health service do nothing to treat you in your greatest time of need?

You cannot pick and choose. If you forego the states duty of care then you should forego it in all aspects of your life, to me that is a simple fact and to believe otherwise is hypocrisy.

Now lets move on to the other argument; the crime argument. I will state right away that i do not believe those convicted of possession should be incarcerated, instead i believe they should be forced into rehab, though it should be viewed on a case by case basis. Those convicted of distribution however, should be incarcerated as they are clearly a threat to society. In my view prisons should be used in two ways; for rehabilitation and for keeping the truly dangerous of the streets. Some criminals are not recidivists and can be helped with the correct treatment, rehabilitation and post release opportunities. In my mind those convicted of possession of illegal drugs do not fall under either of those categories. Instead they should be forced into medical rehab, to beat their addiction and rejoin society. 

I also believe it is misguided to assume that decriminalising will improve the safety of using highly addictive and highly dangerous substances. Agreed, if drugs such as cocaine, heroin and crack were created by pharmaceutical companies then yes, the core drug itself would be safer compared to the alternatives on the black market, but by legalising such dangerous substances it would make a bad drug problem worse -  by increasing addiction, normalising use among kids, and relegating its sale to profit-hungry corporations or governments with every incentive to increase addiction to advance their bottom line. Legalisation is a very sloppy way to address the unintended consequences of current policy.

First, we know that legalisation would significantly cheapen the price of cocaine, cannabis, and heroin, making them more accessible and therefore increasing addiction. Additionally, allowing drugs to be sold on the open market implies we would allow the sale of highly dangerous drugs such as crack and methamphetamine by multinational conglomerates.

Finally, it is unclear that a major attraction of legalisation - the supposed reduction of the violent, underground market - would materialise. As governments put restrictions like age limits on legal drugs, the illicit economy will be happy to step in to fill the gap. We know now that at least 22% of the UK domestic tobacco market consists of black market illegal cigarettes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak for all illegal drugs everywhere, but the original reasons the US outlawed cannabis had nothing to do with its use as a recreational drug. In addition to medicinal strains commonly known as marijuana, cannabis also has industrial strains commonly known as hemp. Hemp fibers are incredibly strong and can be used to produce fabric finer than silk, and paper far more durable than wood paper and at a fraction of the economical and ecological cost of pulping trees. In ther 1930s, there was a breakthrough in the processing of hemp into usable fiber that spooked producers of synthetic fibers(Du Pont being the biggest), and the lumber industry(for whom paper making was an important business), and these industries lobbied congress to outlaw cannabis before hemp could regain dominance. A smear campaign that exaggerated the risks of smoking marijuana and demonized those who smoked it was how congress sold the ban to the masses. The tobacco companies got in on the cannabis ban lobbying, but again, it was the fear of competition, not the dangers of the drug, that was the driving motivation, and if danger had been the motivation, tobacco would have been banned as well as or instead of cannabis.

 

In general, I suspect most bans on specific goods and services are either likewise motivated by a more established industry fearing competition from the banned good or service, or due to holier than thou moralists getting their way, and seldom based on the good or service causing demonstrable harm. Furthermore, when the harm argument is used to defend a ban, the risks of the good or service are often exaggerated or fabricated entirely. Not to mention that there are plenty of goods and services that are low risk but are still illegal as well as plenty of goods and services that are high risk, but still legal. Regardless of where one wants to draw the line, establishing laws that are consistent in their handling of dangerous goods and services, you either have to ban many things that are currently legal, or unban many things that are currently illegal.

 

Personally, I favor unbanning the less dangerous of illegal goods and services for a few reasons: 1. I believe that, on average, bans don't work, 2. I recognize a person's right to self-harm, 3. I believe a regulated white market can, on average, better address the downsides of a good or service compared to an unregulated black market, and 4. banning everything more dangerous than the least dangerous illegal good or service is a good way to incite riots and open rebellion and would require violating many rights beyond the right to self-harm.

 

Would a world without cocaine or opioids be an improvement? Perhaps, but I see little short of the extinction of the coca plant or the opium poppy bringing about such without mind control technology capable of stripping people of any semblance of free will. Would a world without alcohol be better? Perhaps, but you'd have to strike all knowledge of how to produce alcohol from human memory and then hope no one gets curious enough to rediscover it in fermented produce since little short of Biosphere Eradication would eliminate all natural sources of alcohol.

 

I'll admit much of the domino effect that widespread legalization might have on organized crime in general is highly speculative, but things like poisoning due to comtamination, overdose due to inconsistant potency/purity, and users who want rehab being too afraid to seek it follow directly from the nature of black markets and would be reduced, if not eliminated by the very nature of a regulated legal market.

 

That said, I agree that prisons should serve as centers of reformation and quarantine for those too dangerous to exist in mainstream society rather than as centers of punishment that house even those who pose minimal risk to others, and I think decriminalizing possession is a good first step. Can't say I agree with sending users who can function in society to rehab whether they want it or not, again because of personal freedom, but also because I suspect rehab centers will be busy enough with those who have actual problems.

 

Also, in case it wasn't obvious, I'm not suggesting we legalize everything all at once and call it a day. To be quite honest, such strikes me as idiocy. I'm thinking more in terms of a goal to a 20, 30, or even 50-year plan. Legalization leading to a world where most drug users are responsible in their usage and the irresponsible ones get the help they need while organized crime has largely dried up because black market drug dealers can't compete with legal recreational pharmacies and no one views it as worthwhile to funnel money from legal drugs to fund illegal activity strikes me as more likely than legalization leading to the entire country being reduced to a crack ghetto, but there's much speculation in both of those outcomes, and it's usually a good idea to proceed with caution just in case the bad speculations end up becoming reality.

 

Step one might look something like, legalize marijuana to the point you could have marijuana cigarettes behind the counter at your local grocer or convenience store, decriminalize possession and grant pardons for anyone serving time for possession with no other charges, make needle syringes over the counter to cut down on the spread of blood borne diseases among users of injectibles, and offer public funding to rehab centers and incentives to media companies that sell ad space to rehab centers at a reduced price. Perhaps even put forth some Public Service announcements advertising rehab centers or a toll-free number and .gov website for finding a rehab center near you.

 

Step 2 might look something like observe how the above affects various aspects of society, and if all is well, legalize other drugs whose risks are on par with marijuana(or maybe even go straight for those with risks on par with tobacco).

 

Legalizing things like heroin would probably be like step 5 or 10, and we'd only get that far if nothing went horribly wrong with earlier steps giving each step in the plan a few years to let the markets try to reach a new equilibrium.s like legalizing

 

Legalizing something like heroine

 

 

 

 

and even in a world where all recreational drugs are legal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

Personally,

 

Personally, I favor unbanning things

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.