Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
04-12-2009 11:21 AM
And your insight has added so much as well!
04-14-2009 09:54 AM
Hemp Produces the Most Biomass of Any Plant on Earth.
Originally Posted by EasyEJL
Hemp is at least four times richer in biomass/cellulose potential than its nearest *****s: cornstalks, sugarcane, kenaf, trees, etc.
Hemp produces the most biomass of any crop, which is why it is the natural choice for an energy crop. Hemp converts the sun's energy into cellulose faster than any other plant, through photosynthesis. Hemp can produce 10 tons of biomass per acre every four months. Enough energy could be produced on 6% of the land in the U.S. to provide enough energy for our entire country (cars, heat homes, electricity, industry) -- and we use 25% of the world's energy.
04-17-2009 07:56 PM
I think you are 100% correct. This country was founded on freedom which we all deserve but we have given too much freedom to citizens of this country. our judicial system at least in harris county (houston) texas is joke and we all have allowed our country to become what it is
Originally Posted by Zero V
04-18-2009 05:51 AM
If hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine were legalized would you be likely to use them?
99% SAY "NO" http://www.csdp.org/publicservice/zogby2007.htm
The Drug War Odyssey
Damage Done introduces a group of maverick cops - and former cops - who have put in decades fighting the war on drugs. They may be libertarians, Republicans, socialists or evangelical Christians, but they all believe strongly that drug prohibition is a terrible mistake and that all illicit drugs should be controlled by government, not in the hands of criminals.
YouTube - DAMAGE DONE : The Drug War Odyssey
05-06-2009 06:11 AM
05-06-2009 12:31 PM
You are being way too simplistic here, Jay. You hang the profit potential of dealing contraband products in front of people with few legitimate options and opportunities for advancing, they're going to go for it in higher numbers than they otherwise would have if the substances had been legal and there were no more profit in selling them than there was in cigarettes. The latter is certainly still a very profitable business in what amounts to legal drug dealing, but the manufacturers and dealers aren't shooting each other over territories and customers and in the process turning neighborhoods and entire countries into war zones, and kids who do see the potential and get into the business don't tend to end up in morgues riddled with bullets.
Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
The prohibiton of drugs has consequences as a policy decision, it is not merely a matter of obedience. Among those consequences are increases and tendencies toward higher potencies in the substances themselves, increased profits for every successful supply restriction by law enforcement, and that plus decreased legal oversight drawing in ever more violent and unscrupulous people into the trade. The inequalities inherent in any justice system mean the poor will bear the brunt of the enforcement end of the prohibition just as they are more likely to see entrance into the black market as a viable, and perhaps the only way out of a desperate situation.
Yes, people are responsible for their own actions in the end. Just as you as a supporter of prohibition are thus responsible in part for hanging the enticement of black market profits in front of a bunch of uneducated urban blacks and white trailer park rednecks with few if any other options to better their financial situations available. What do you think is going to happen when you do that, a rash of ethical and moral purity sweeps the urban ghettos and trailer park meth lab havens of the country as people convert en masse to Puritanism? Or do people behave like they always do and presented with an incentive, respond to it each according to their own personal levels of risk acceptance/aversion?
Yes, his cousin is responsible for his own actions and thus how his life ended. You are at least in part responsible for setting up the system such that the option was even available for him to consider and follow through on. Just as with our current financial woes, while individual lenders may have acted unscrupulously that doesn't take the onus off the people who set the rules such that the lenders could engage in and even be encouraged to engage in such reckless lending practices. They are just responding to incentives, however unadvisably. It is still the policy that sets those incentives in place.
06-21-2009 02:00 PM
Hey all. I realize this discussion as come to a bit of a standstill. I came across this article not too long ago and found it intriguing. Maybe some of you all will feel the same way. I hope the article stimulates more progressive, positive discussion. Enjoy.
Legalization and Motives Regarding Substance Use
Posted by William Berry
There is a lot of discussion these days about the legalization of substances, especially marijuana. These discussions and articles focus on how it might improve the economy, to decriminalization resulting in fewer deaths and a drop in the growth of HIV cases, to medical benefits of marijuana. You might expect someone who witnesses the difficulties and occasional devastation that substances cause to be firmly against legalization. This is not necessarily the case. After all, consider alcohol and tobacco are legal, and yet they are listed as the most destructive substances to individuals and society currently. Then again, this might be a reason not to legalize other substances. In this article the focus is not to focus exclusively on legalization, but on the motive for substance use, and how that is more important than its legal status.
In a class I teach at FIU on the Psychology of Drugs and Drug Abuse I am often asked if I think marijuana should be legalized. I usually try not to express my opinion directly, but instead present and entertain discussion on the topic. But recently I was pushed for an answer, and I replied: “I once read an outstanding book called ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Television.’ What I remember most from that book is how often we base our decisions on too little information (in the case of the book’s perspective, based on television images. Take elections for example). So my best answer is I probably do not have enough information to make an educated decision.” However, based on Amsterdam and Portugal’s experience of fewer problems as a result of decriminalization, it seems like it is at least a viable option. Of course, if the U.S took that approach, there is first no guarantee it would go the same way, and secondly I would anticipate an explosive increase in substance use initially. The difficulty is: are the rewards worth it?
One thing that concerns me about the American people’s substance use is the motivation. According to VH1’s documentary on “The Drug Years” the initial increase in marijuana and hallucinogen use in the sixties was a result of attempting to achieve enlightenment and a sense of oneness and communion. This is evident in the images we have of that time: sit-ins, free drugs being provided at musical events, and wanting others to “turn-on” and experience the sense of love and oneness that others were achieving and that a psychology lecturer at Harvard named Timothy Leary was advocating.
Initially, that seems to have been the purpose. But times have changed since the sixties, and let’s face it; even then the movement was not completely successful. We American’s are an individualistic culture. On the continuum between individualism and collectivism Americans definitely fall on the side of individualism, which is defined as everyone looking out for themselves or their family first. This is opposed to collectivism, where the group is cohesive, and where the group protects one another and the individual looks out for the group above their personal needs. Using these definitions, it is quite easy to state Americans are on the individualism side of the spectrum. The movement in the sixties (which in some regards continues, witness “one human race” and “coexist” stickers) to make the human race more united, and now more in tune with the earth and its needs, is not grand enough to alter the individualistic nature of this culture yet. And it is the opinion of this writer that the individualistic attitude of this culture has even altered the motivation of drugs initially used to enhance a sense of oneness and enlightenment.
My more recent experience with clients is that these substances, especially marijuana, are used as an escape from reality. Many people find their existence boring, or worse, painful. A student (who I promised I would give credit for the quote) named Christine Vera said “In a world that feels nothing, we all want to feel something,” when asked why she believes people use drugs. This statement seems related to the boredom with life discussed above. Many have become desensitized to life, and want more excitement. Without excitement, life is boring, and when life is boring, for many escape through substances becomes a viable option.
Although escape seems a motive much of the time (as reported by substance abusers entering treatment, by those who know addicts, or by those who also formulate personal theories to explain others’ substance use) it is not always from boredom. Sometimes the individual perceives life as too painful to cope with without the use of substances for relief. Substances, at least initially, provide a sense of euphoria. This is true of nearly all substances, although some seem more effective to different individuals. (For example, some enjoy marijuana but not other substances, others cocaine, others alcohol, and so forth). Some of those attempting to escape pain have endured horrible life circumstances or, some horrible internal states (self-loathing, depression, or overwhelming anxiety, to name a few). Others began substance use innocently enough, but progressed into relying on it slowly, and now, as a result of the substance use, are caught in an endless cycle of substance use, further problems, further need to escape, continued substance use.
Besides the escape motive there is the desire to experience something new and different. This is often true of hallucinogen use. It is rare that someone would use hallucinogens to escape reality on a regular basis. Hallucinogens generally render a person unable to function in a normal manner for a period of time. When someone takes mushrooms, LSD, or other hallucinogens, they aren’t generally trying to work, drive, or otherwise do much other than experience the “trip.” In other cultures hallucinogens are used to facilitate enlightenment.
As mentioned earlier, hallucinogens have been used by other cultures as a pathway to enlightenment. In many of these cultures, those familiar with the uses of hallucinogens were shamans, medicine men, or the spiritual leader. This movement was also true in the sixties, where a certain sect of the population attempted to again connect with God or the spiritual, often using hallucinogens.
This is not generally true of hallucinogen use today. Today many young people are looking for a new experience. The abuse of cold medications (some of which in large doses create hallucinogen effects) is evidence of this. This is also true of the drug Salvia, only recently (July 2008) made illegal in this state (Florida). In other cultures, it is called “Diviner’s Sage.” But rather than using it to connect with a spiritual sense, it is simply used for the experience.
Many substances initially create a sense of connectedness between individuals. Alcohol has been known as a social lubricant, making talking and interacting with others easier. And marijuana is usually initiated with others in the beginning. But many resort to isolated use later. And even if this is not true, many simply get “high” with others playing video games or watching movies. The point is, it is generally not taken for spiritual reasons anymore, but instead to make perceived tedious tasks more bearable or to heighten the enjoyment of relatively passive tasks (listening to music, video games, movies).
In some states marijuana is used for medicinal purposes, and I believe the facts in this area speak for themselves. Marijuana helps those wasting from AIDS, those with cancer, and many other ailments that traditional treatment falls short in. This includes pain relief for some. In fact, prescription pain analgesics (opioid based pain killers) are quickly becoming more damaging to their users (which in many cases are abusers) than all illegal substances combined. There were more deaths in Florida in recent years from overdose on prescription medications than all illegal drugs combined. And there has yet to be a reported case of marijuana overdose.
There is a drawback to these prescription uses however. Many of my students who know people in California (where there seems to be the most “medicinal” use of marijuana) state that many of their peers have prescriptions. One student reported that 8 out of 10 of their friends in California have a prescription. Headaches and anxiety as well as insomnia are reported to be reasons to get a prescription.
In summary, there are many reasons to decriminalize some, if not all, drug use. The benefits seem important in this day and age. But at the same time we are culture where people are often out for themselves. And we have become a country and culture of shortcuts and reliance on pills to make our lives tolerable, rather than the more natural and healthy (but requiring more time and energy) solutions. Feel depressed, get a prescription. Want to loose weight, get a prescription or order diet pills from the internet. Additionally, some of the communal and enlightenment reasons seem outdated and unlikely at this time. Then there is the likelihood there will be a strong surge in substance use if decriminalized. There is probably a great deal more information out there that both supports and denounces legalization or decriminalization.
In an ideal society, we would work toward self actualization while assisting our peers to do the same. There would be a sense of communion with all other humans, and with all living creatures. My question is which helps us get there, continued criminalization of substances, or the legalization of them.
About William Berry:
06-21-2009 03:18 PM
It'd be a lot cooler if they'd legalized it!
06-22-2009 12:31 PM
Decent enough read, if only to expose some of the fallacies that persist even on the legalization side. Overall the article is nothing more than ex hippy navel gazing at the past even though it tries to qualify this aspect. The bottom line is the author favors legalization, but OoooOOooOOOoooO, people's motives for doing teh drugz have changed. Bad sociological sample! Bad! His statement about what an ideal society is and would accomplish is pretty much evidence of where he's coming from. A member of the , "Whoa man, hang on, 'cause I know we did all the right drugs for all the right reasons and our kids are screwed up, but they don't belong in jail..." school of thought.
The fact is no matter the supposed motives for drug use, and more specifically the supposedly more enlightened motives vs selfish ones, drug use levels remain fairly consistent and do not change with costs. Demand is largely inelastic, meaing whatever the reason people give for their use, generally speaking it's not in response to nor will it significantly change with changes in cost.
That said, the motives are irrelevant in the broader view. What matters is that the policy itself is fundamentally flawed in so many ways as to make it unworkable.
Originally Posted by purebred
I) The act of drug use itself is per se harmful to no one. The whole we don't live in a vacuum argument is BS and irrelevant. It can be used to justify any and every government action. Technically nothing is done in a vacuum, that doesn't mean everything is an appropriate area for government regulation.
II) There is a distinct difference between users and abusers, or more specifically between those who handle themselves peacefully and those with psychological and/or other problems who end up materially affecting the lives of others in a negative way. This applies to users and sellers. Prohibition doesn't distinguish between such users and guarantees the sellers to be of the problem oriented group. As such it wastes reources by default:
III) By not focussing on problem users it violates the inherent rights of peaceful users to do what they want sans harm to others. It wastes time, money, capital, and labor on their trial, incarceration, forded treatment and monitoring. In so doing it:
IV) Ensures that the pool of resources to be focussed on actual problem users will always be smaller than it needs to be. The lack of focus in policy leads to a situation where people who should not be the focus of the system get its fullest attention and people who should be the focus of the system get less time and money devoted to dealing with their issues vis a vi the rest of peaceful society.
V) Regarding sales, the illegalization of drugs gurantees the continued escalation in violence and lack of ethics and morals of sellers. All legal recourse for defective product is blocked, therefore the cost of such is placed solely on the user who doesn't even get protection or recourse to deal with outright fraud.
VI) Economically trying to restrict supply in light of basically unchanging and inelastic demand is moronic. Every momentary supply restriction by the police does nothing but create a greater profit incentive for remaining suppliers to get more supply out and engage in more violence to secure trade areas. As such prohibition sews its own seeds of self destruction since it is economically impossible to succeed. The population's motives stay relatively unchanged and intact. The government can not exert any significant effect on demand. Any momentary control over supply gets translated into greater rewards for the most innovative and violent suppliers.
To sum up, Prohibition is indefensible both morally, ethically, and practically. Telling people what they can or can not do regarding an action that is not per se harmful to others is shaky at best on moral and ethical grounds. Lumping all users together as one when many clearly do not warrant legal action/punishment is also at best shaky. This hold even if the majority of users are abusers/problem users. There is no reason in heaven or on Earth why the law must be so broad and target all users and as such without cause target and punish people who have done no harm to others. As a practical matter prohibition is a defective policy. It causes its own backlash and blowback. It causes its own failure. The focus on the supply of substances does nothing to reduce demand and does everything to increase incentives to meet demand and puts that role in the hands of the unscrupulous and unethical. The manufacturers and sellers of alcohol are not killing each other in the streets. They would be, and in fact were during the original prohibition, if we were to make alcohol illegal again. The contraband pricing along with the inelasticity of demand means users will revert to more and more desperate means of obtaining funds to get their fix, when in reality the drugs are so cheap that the real market price would just dictate a minimum wage job as being necessary to pay for their habit, little more. The crime associated with drugs both on the part of users and sales/manufacturers is almost entirely due to the policy regulating the substances, not the substances themselves.
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