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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Legalize Drugs?
Thread: Legalize Drugs? This thread is 8 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 · NEXT»
TitaniumAlloy
TitaniumAlloy


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posted February 21, 2008 10:49 AM
Edited by TitaniumAlloy at 07:45, 22 Feb 2008.

Legalize Drugs?

Spurred by this topic: Mvass plan
Which, while a good thread, has far too much going on to have an ordered discussion. So I decided to move one that isn't specific to America here.

Mvass:
Quote:
Drugs: Keep marijuana illegal.


Binabik:
Quote:
agree


TitaniumAlloy:
Quote:


However on the flip side I think drugs should be legalized. Not all obviously and they can be strictly regulated. Perhaps heroin etc can remain illegal but the less life threatening/addictive drugs such as ecstacy and marijuana can be legalized.
They would be produced by legitimate companies and as such quality would be assured. By this I mean in buying an ecstacy tablet the buyer would know what was in it instead of knowing it could be anything from under his kitchen sink... Thus making it more safe.
Because let's face it: If people want drugs, they can get it. Easily. The only difference is where the money goes. Instead of going to some Columbian drug ring it goes to the government and remains in the country. This money can be used to improve medical services etc. Tax it. Of course atm drug dealers make thousands of percent profit already so the price won't be a problem.
Provide safe injection houses for heroin as part of a medical plan etc.
Remember these things are no less dangerous or addicting than smoking its the high prices, the impurities and the spreading of diseases due to re-using syringes.

It could work.


Moonlith:
Quote:
I find the whole illegal soft-drugs issue to be hypocritical. Alcohol is in the EXACT same catagory as other soft drugs - the only difference is that Alcohol is culturally accepted, and thus allowed. Doesn't make it any less hypocritical.

TA has the only good stance on this issue. Where I live (Netherlands) soft-drugs are semi-legal, and it's the one issue I'm actually proud of about my country. I've done weed, grew bored with it after a while. None of us really got addicted.

Quite frank the only accidents that happen with soft drugs here are with foreigners who visit for the soft drugs...  Go figure.

I hope the stances on drugs will grow more liberal here, if only to have better overview on it.



Baklava:
Quote:

@TitaniumAlloy
Imagine your kid turning a TV on and seeing drug commercials...
"Sponsored by McRasta - higher than high!"
"Exy - ecstasy with style!"
"You don't rust with Angel Dust!"

I mean, for chrissakes man.
Going by that logic, we can legalize theft, too. There will always be a lot of it - so why not tax it? That way money doesn't go to criminal rings, but to the government.
And murder, while we're at it. You could have hitmen in the yellow pages... "George Peterson, professional hired killer. 20% discount for every third victim!"
Oh, or child prostitution? "Good-quality children for every self-respecting pedophile!" You could have ads with Michael Jackson and stuff...


TitaniumAlloy:
Quote:

@Baklava:
This is your automatic reaction, the same as most people. But if you actually think it through you can't compare taking drugs to stealing.
Apart from the fact that taking drugs generally doesn't harm anyone but yourself, "soft-drugs" as Moonlith called them are in the same category as Alcohol and Tobacco, and tobacco is ALOT more addictive btw. Also could argue fast food chocolate etc.
Besides it would be for over-18 only, the exact same as cigarettes and alcohol. In Australia cigarette ads are illegal and all product packaging comes with a strict warning.

It's not even in the same league as those things.
If a person wants to harm their own body there is no stopping them. Might as well make it safer and have the money go to a better cause, such as back into the community to help these people. And yes, they needed help already.


Angelito:
Quote:
   
@Baklava:
Legalizing doesn't automatically mean commercials. In germany, smoking is legal, but u r not allowed to make commercials on tv about any brands.
Commercials are allowed in cinemas and on wallpapers / newspapers, magazines.

So I would say, legalize drugs, but put horrendous taxes on them (like we have on smokes and on alcohol).



Baklava:
Quote:

My point still stands. Is it alright to legalize crimes and simply put high taxes on them?


TitaniumAlloy:
Quote:
@Baklava:
Come now Baklava, it's only a crime if the government says it is
I think a better question would be whether it is morally wrong or right. I believe murder, child prostitution and theft to be morally wrong, but if someone wants to smoke a joint I don't find that morally wrong.

And extreme cases? They happen anyway for a start, just like alcoholics and people dying of lung cancer as well. They need to be prevented but a blanket ban isn't the answer.


Moonlith:
Quote:
@Baklava:
Your point doesn't stand at all because you define "soft drugs" as a crime, while it is only a CURRENT law that defines soft drugs as illegal. That doesn't mean the act itself is bad. (mind you I'm not saying soft drugs are "good", but if they are to be labelled a crime, then so should alcohol be). I've had experience with mirhiuana, and it makes one less dangerous than one who's drunk.


Angelito:
Quote:
@Baklava:
Why is Marihujana more of a crime than high percentaged alcohol is?


Baklava:
Quote:
@Angelito:
Well as far as I know, drinks with extremely high percentages of alcohol (like Absinthe) are illegal in most countries. The thing is, you can drink a glass of whiskey without getting dead drunk (for the taste of it), but you can't blow a joint without getting high.
But I wasn't talking marijuana here, I don't have too much of a problem with it (it doesn't make people dangerous, isn't SO MUCH destructive for the brain and can even be used to ease the pain, in medical purposes, though rarely). But it's chemicals - like ecstasy, speed, LSD - and of course stronger drugs, like crack, cocaine etc that I object to.



I may have missed some points but that is the main argument so far.
What do you think?

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JoonasTo
JoonasTo


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What if Elvin was female?
posted February 21, 2008 10:55 AM

I say illegalize tobacco.
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baklava
baklava


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Mostly harmless
posted February 21, 2008 10:58 AM

Quote:
taking drugs generally doesn't harm anyone but yourself

Directly, yes. But indirectly, quite the contrary. Drugs are spread around, like a virus. Look at what happened to American ghettos. One day the drugs arrived... And look at the situation now.

Quote:
@Baklava:
Your point doesn't stand at all because you define "soft drugs" as a crime, while it is only a CURRENT law that defines soft drugs as illegal. That doesn't mean the act itself is bad. (mind you I'm not saying soft drugs are "good", but if they are to be labelled a crime, then so should alcohol be). I've had experience with mirhiuana, and it makes one less dangerous than one who's drunk.

Hey, if downloading mp3s off the internet is a crime, I don't see why selling drugs wouldn't be.
Alcohol is quite different, I stated that already. It doesn't cause addiction unless taken in large amounts, and often. It doesn't destroy so many brain cells as drugs. The USA tried to ban alcohol, and look what happened.
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TitaniumAlloy
TitaniumAlloy


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posted February 21, 2008 11:01 AM
Edited by TitaniumAlloy at 11:03, 21 Feb 2008.

They spread when it is illegal anyway... besides, the main problem comes from the lack of hygiene... legalizing it will help this cause.

And USA (and others) tried to ban drugs: look what happened



Remember getting drugs isn't an issue. If someone wants drugs they can get them. Easily.
So that can't really be an argument against..




@Joonas
Quote:
I say illegalize tobacco.

That's another idea. Because ATM it is purely hypocritical.
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Minion
Minion


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posted February 21, 2008 11:02 AM

Quote:
I say illegalize tobacco.


Why not alcohol as well then? You don't happen to have an axe to grind there, now do you

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Lord_Woock
Lord_Woock


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posted February 21, 2008 01:26 PM

Between tobacco and alcohol, I'd rather delegalise the former, because use of alcohol is not a direct threat to the health of surrounding people.

I wouldn't complain about banning alcohol either, as I've had unpleasant experiences involving drunk people, ranging from verbal abuse to destroyed property.
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william
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LummoxLewis
posted February 21, 2008 01:30 PM

Here is a thread for it Legalize It
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mvassilev
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posted February 21, 2008 01:52 PM

Maybe in some countries marijuana legalization works. It wouldn't work in the United States. It's not civilized enough. It would abuse the legalization.

As for tobacco, I think we should keep raising taxes on it slowly until everyone who is a tobacco addict today dies. Then we should ban it.

As for alcohol, I say we should keep it legal. We tried to criminalize it with prohibition, and it didn't work.
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Moonlith
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posted February 21, 2008 02:07 PM
Edited by Moonlith at 14:09, 21 Feb 2008.

Quote:

Hey, if downloading mp3s off the internet is a crime, I don't see why selling drugs wouldn't be.

How do these two compare? Apples and Pears...

Quote:
Alcohol is quite different, I stated that already. It doesn't cause addiction unless taken in large amounts, and often.

Same applies to Mirhiuana... Or were you under the impression that Mirhiuana is as instantly addictive as heroine?

And if you intend to ban anything that is addictive, we can start with videogames.

Quote:
It doesn't destroy so many brain cells as drugs. The USA tried to ban alcohol, and look what happened.

Alcohol destroys maybe less braincells, but it does destroy the liver. Heck, any kind of drug is lethal. Heck, ANY kind of substance is lethal when taken in in huge amounts. It's not an argument. And even IF Alcohol was less damaging, a lesser evil doesn't make a good.

Furthermore you don't respond to TA's main point: People can get drugs wether it is illegal or not. Only when it is legal you can make it more safe, cheaper even. Plus, you remove the whole thrill of doing it because it's "not allowed".
eas
And personally I would think it would even reduce crime - drug crime for one, but also addicts wouldn't need to rob as much if drugs were cheaper.

Quote:
Between tobacco and alcohol, I'd rather delegalise the former, because use of alcohol is not a direct threat to the health of surrounding people.


..... Are you for real? Tobacco calms people down, Alcohol gives adrenaline rushes and makes people think they are superman. People do CRAZY things when they get drunk. Some people get AGRESSIVE when they are drunk.

Ever heard of "drunk driving"? What do you, not a direct threat to the health of surrounding people?

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Corribus
Corribus

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The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted February 21, 2008 06:59 PM
Edited by Corribus at 19:18, 21 Feb 2008.

Quote:
..... Are you for real? Tobacco calms people down, Alcohol gives adrenaline rushes and makes people think they are superman. People do CRAZY things when they get drunk. Some people get AGRESSIVE when they are drunk.

I think he's referring to second hand smoke.

And alcohol is a CNS depressant.  It doesn't give people adrenaline rushes.  It just so happens that drunk people lose their inhibitions and are much more likely to act like snows (ok, is jerks more acceptible, you overzealous filters? ).  

Interesting topic BTW.  I could argue the issue from either side, I think.  My gut reaction is to cringe from the idea of legalizing "drugs".  However, I can see the logic in it, particularly for more benign examples like marijuana.  So, let me throw out some arguments in support of both sides.

Cons of Legalizing Drugs:
(1) Some illegal drugs are truly dangerous and highly addictive.  People under the influence of some drugs (such as PCP) can become unpredictable and a menace to people and property around them.  My general political philosophy is that the government has no business passing legislation that essentially protects people from themselves.  If people want to do things that are unhealthy and ultimately may lead to their own shortened lifespans, then so be it.  The gov't shouldn't try to pass laws that regulate how many grams of fat a person consumes in a day, or whether or not motorcyclists wear helmets.  People have the right to be idiots.  However, when it comes to actions that affect the health and wellbeing of OTHER people or OTHER PEOPLE'S property, that's where legal barriers should be erected.  For that reason, I'm all for banning public cigarette smoking, because when you light up a cigarette on an airplane or in a public restaurant, you are violating my right to clean air.  I have no problem with you smoking in the privacy of your own home.  For the same reason, people under the influence of PCP or LSD can be destructive to public property and can harm other people - even though it's usually unintentionally.  So for these types of drugs, there are many good reasons to keep them illegal.

(2) The legalization of drugs will make them more accessible to the general public.  You may say, "Well if I want drugs, I can get them whether they are legal or not."  True, to some extent.  However, while now I *could* technically get any drug I want if I wanted it bad enough, the "illegal factor" still imposes an energetic barrier to procuring them.  It's not unreasonable to conclude that if, for example, heroin was legalized and available at your local CVS, more people would probably be heroin users.  I am not a drug user and most likely never will be, mostly because I am aware of the health risks.  But I'm also very unlikely to ever even try them "just to see", because I'm not interested enough in trying such a substance to subject myself to the risks (legal or otherwise) that are necessarily involved in procuring them.  However, if I could go to CVS and buy a little heroin (exaggerating, I know), I would be much more likely to pick up a little while I'm shopping for shampoo and soap.  Since such drugs ARE addictive, more casual "trial" use will lead to more addicts, which I think anyone - for or against drug legalization - would agree is a bad thing.  In essence, by making drugs more accessible, you increase the likelihood that the average person will become exposed to them.  And this doesn't just mean people going to the store to buy them - I'm also referring to the fact that they are more likely to show up at, for example, high school football games and other social gatherings where young adults, already susceptible to peer pressure, would be much more likely to be talked into trying them.  So there's something to be said about using legislation to limit the circulation of such substances.  However, while this argument DOES make sense, a more philosophical question is whether the government should get in the way of a person's right to make their own decisions concerning what they do to their own bodies.  Of course, these things are never in black and white - even "benign" drugs have indirect effects on the health of a society beyond acute vanalism and violent crime, so it's not so easy to draw the line between PCP and, say heroin.  While heroin is not likely to make a person go nutso and murder his next door neighbor, a population doped up on heroin is not likely to be good for the economic health of society as a whole.  There's also the general public health cost (dollar-wise), and so for these reasons, drug use, even drugs that are "benign", by person A MAY adversely affect person B, which would, according to my political philosophy, necessitate legislation.  It's a very complicated issue.  

Pros of Legalizing drugs:
(1) Less violent crime.  If drugs are more accessible, and more available, you will have less drug lords, less shootings, less stealing, and less risk involved with procuring them.  You may also destroy some of the connections between drugs and theft, drugs and prostitution, drugs and gambling, and etc.  Insofar as drug-related crime is a major reason for the continued depression of poverty-stricken areas, legalization of drugs may actually help to bring the ghettos out of the gutter, so to speak.

(2) Legalization of drugs will free up a lot of government tax dollars that go towards the (inefficient) enforcement of drug laws.  Such money could go instead into programs geared towards education about drugs, and treatment programs.

(3) Increase of tax revenues.  While no longer illegal, drugs could be subjected to heavy taxes (like alcohol or tobacco now), a good source of revenue for the government, and perhaps (though most likely not) a more effective deterrant for potential drug users than the "illegal factor" discussed above.  How much cheaper legalized drugs would be than they are currently as illegal substances is unclear, but at least those dollars would be going to the government rather than to criminal organizations.

(4) It's arguable that once legalized, some of the allure of using drugs may disappear.  I'm not sure how salient this argument is, but I know for myself, drinking alcohol was much less thrilling (in a "defying the authorities" sort of way) once I hit the legal drinking age.

(5) Aside from the expected drop in violent crime associated with drug use, legalized drugs would be safer from a chemical perspective.  Because they are uncontrolled at present, drug manufacturers are obviously not subjected to any sort of quality control.  Manufacturers, often criminal operating in dirty chemical laboratories in their own basements, can cut their drugs with anything they want in order to "dilute" the product.  For those who synthesize their own designer drugs, they may use starting materials of questionable purity that contain many latent toxins (heavy metals, etc.) that have long-term health consequences that are far worse than those associated with the drugs themselves.  This is because currently, not only are the drugs themselves illegal, but the most common synthetic precursors are also flagged by the FBI and the DEA, which means if I purchase such chemicals from a chemical company, I am very likely to be investigated.  So, at present I have to get those precursers also from disreputable sources, or try to make them myself under uncontrolled conditions using inexperienced chemists.  If drugs were legalized, they would then be subjected to regulations dealing the means of production, and clean starting materials produced in controlled environments could be used.  Thus, if I were to buy a legalized drug,  I could do so from a reputable source that I would know was producing a product that was produced in a controlled facility and of standardized purity.

Anyway, those are just a few examples of arguments I would use if I was to defend one side or the other.  As I stated up front, my knee jerk reaction would be to give a thumbs down to the legalization of drugs.  This is for somewhat selfish reasons, I admit.  I live now in local environment where I don't have to deal with the drug problem on a day to day basis, and I recognize that the legalization of drugs could potentially make drugs more generally accessible and thus more likely to appear on my local horizen, so to speak.  For my child's sake, I would prefer that drugs stay where they are now (i.e., away from me).  So, on a personal level, I hope drugs are never legalized.  But... if I dissociate myself from my own selfish needs and desires, on a more global levels, I can see the sense of it, to some extent.  
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DarkShadow
DarkShadow


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posted February 21, 2008 07:34 PM

Agree,lot's and lot's of goverment fund's could go to greater use.

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TitaniumAlloy
TitaniumAlloy


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posted February 21, 2008 11:18 PM
Edited by TitaniumAlloy at 23:20, 21 Feb 2008.

Do you know how much money gets poured into drug rings etc that would be diverted to government funds?

It would easily balance out.


@Corribus:
Quote:
For the same reason, people under the influence of PCP or LSD can be destructive to public property and can harm other people - even though it's usually unintentionally.  So for these types of drugs, there are many good reasons to keep them illegal.

Then the people who destroy property should be punished just as anyone who destroys property would.

Besides, I don't know enough about these individual drugs to draw the line between 'readily available' and 'not'.

And besides people can get LSD anyway. I know a guy who took LSD when he was in elementary school (6th grade)



@Mvass:
Quote:
Maybe in some countries marijuana legalization works. It wouldn't work in the United States. It's not civilized enough. It would abuse the legalization.

How would they abuse it? While not a stoner myself Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and no where near as self-destructive as tobacco. Marijuana was made illegal because the cotton companies thought that hemp would be a competitor
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Corribus
Corribus

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The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted February 21, 2008 11:26 PM

Quote:
Then the people who destroy property should be punished just as anyone who destroys property would.

Using that logic, we could just as well make nuclear weapons readily available.. because we could just punish people who ultimately use them to destroy cities.  The point being - why give people the means to commit crimes, harm people and destroy property, and rely on punishment after the fact as a way of maintaining order?  Sometimes, preventative legislation against specifically acutely dangerous behaviors or contraband is a better way of policing society, no?
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TitaniumAlloy
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posted February 21, 2008 11:57 PM

Quote:
Using that logic, we could just as well make nuclear weapons readily available.. because we could just punish people who ultimately use them to destroy cities.  The point being - why give people the means to commit crimes, harm people and destroy property, and rely on punishment after the fact as a way of maintaining order?  Sometimes, preventative legislation against specifically acutely dangerous behaviors or contraband is a better way of policing society, no?

Well obviously the logic can't always be scaled up to such a gross exaggeration Nuclear weapons are built with the sole intention of death and destruction of others. Marijuana, for example, is not...
But the main point is that it would be better if there were no drugs at all. This, however, isn't the case at all. They are already extremely prevalent, the only difference would be where the money goes, and that addicts are alot less likely to seek help.
My opinion is that drugs mainly harm the individual and very rarely harm others. Someone taking LSD and then going and destroying some property seems like a rare scenario to me, and as such I meant that it could be dealt with appropriately if it does occur.

If necessary, ban LSD etc. Maybe some will still get it but with other drugs available over the counter the industry would not thrive.

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mvassilev
mvassilev


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posted February 22, 2008 03:13 AM

America is used to legalized alcohol. Legalizing marijuana would increase use.
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Binabik
Binabik


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posted February 22, 2008 03:24 AM

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For the same reason, people under the influence of PCP or LSD can be destructive to public property and can harm other people - even though it's usually unintentionally.  So for these types of drugs, there are many good reasons to keep them illegal.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Then the people who destroy property should be punished just as anyone who destroys property would.


In the US there's a legal term "reckless endangerment". Other countries use different words, but virtually every country in the world has similar laws. Reckless endangerment means that through your actions, you have created a potentially dangerous condition or situation. That in itself can be a crime, although not likely to be prosecuted. But if your action leads to a crime, accident, death or otherwise harmful incident, then you can be held liable for the ultimate results of your actions. "Reckless" meaning actions beyond what any responsible person would consider prudent.

If you are driving at a high rate of speed through a school parking lot full of children, that is far beyond what most people would consider prudent. If you give a bottle of whiskey and the keys to your car to a 15 year old and he gets drunk and races through the same parking lot, it is almost the same as if you drove the car yourself. If that 15 year old kills someone, you can be charged with homicide.

As I said, virtually every country in the world has such laws.

If the government legalizes PCP and someone freaks out and kills people as a result, who is ultimately responsible? Yes, the PCP user probably had the choice to take or not take the drug (although they may have no idea what they are getting into). And yes, they might have been able to get the drug anyway. But would it be prudent and responsible for a government to legalize such a powerful and unpredictable drug?

PCP is *NOT* some innocent recreational drug. With the possible exception of LSD, it's probably the most devastating drug there is (but for an entirely different reason than LSD).

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Mytical
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posted February 22, 2008 03:35 AM

Need to change your Masterpost.  I think Marijuana whould be legalized.  Not all drugs however.  Just wanted to clear that up.
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Binabik
Binabik


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posted February 22, 2008 03:41 AM

What's easier to get very drunk on, beer or whiskey? You can take a bottle of whiskey and chug down 500 ml all at once. Can you get the same amount of alcohol that way drinking beer?

Which is easier to get extemely ****ed up on, a bottle of whiskey or some little pills? How difficult is it to swallow a handfull of 20-30 qualudes? Can you get the same effect with whiskey?

Some things are just more dangerous simply because it's so easy to be harmed by them.

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TitaniumAlloy
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posted February 22, 2008 06:27 AM

Not all drugs need to be banned or legalized. PCP etc can remain illegal. I am not being dogmatic about this.
Mvass, the use of marijuana would increase, yes, (not by much IMO) but it's really not as bad as it's made out to be. And no, I don't take it myself so I'm not advocating this just to score some free pot (trust me, if I wanted it I would have it)


And Binabik, if someone wants to take 10 e's in one night then that is their own, conscious, stupidity (from what I've seen drug education in america is pretty good) and making ecstacy illegal isn't going to stop them.
They are unlikely to do anyone else any harm.
As for marijuana this doesn't harm nearly as much as cigarettes.


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Binabik
Binabik


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posted February 22, 2008 07:34 AM
Edited by Binabik at 07:47, 22 Feb 2008.

<<<As for marijuana this doesn't harm nearly as much as cigarettes.>>>

I'd say just the opposite. Pot is FAR more harmful than cigs. But it's kinda hard to compare. With cigs, they are always harmful. With pot, it's also always harmful. But the real danger is an odds game. In a significant percentage of people it can have very servere affects. And in worst cases, it can act as a trigger for latent mental illnesses. So people smoking it are rolling the dice and taking a very big gamble. The dice might have a lot of sides, but if it lands on the wrong one, they can completely ruin their life.

I grew up in an era when just about everyone smoked pot. Millions and millions of pot smokers. Almost all of them quit. It kinda makes you wonder why. Even the lucky ones have a lot of negative affects. And the high just wasn't worth the price.

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