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Hard drugs and legality.

nostalgia2302

5 months ago

Now that I think of it, why is the possession of hard drugs both punished and illegal?

If a drug addict uses for himself, then he's the one responsible for damaging his/her body. Are you telling me it's logical to get fined or go to prison on the basis that someone chose to do that to his/her own body?

Portugal decriminalized all drugs and the rates of overdose, usage, HIV have been lowering each year. I don't know. Once something is legalized, the thrill of using or being caught is lost and the drug loses its appeal.

More countries should copy Portugal's example.

Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 7 points

Legalize it all and let natural selection take its course.

  • 5 months ago
  • 6 points

Once something is legalized, the thrill of using or being caught is lost and the drug loses its appeal.

Tell this to anyone who uses opiates. LOL

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

Yeah it may possibly work with something like weed but opiates are entirely different game. Once you use something like heroin you are hooked. Its a slippery slope.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I actually remember this AMA when I was in college (made the front page with everyone calling BS). Glad to see he made it.

But yeah, Heroine is a one and done (or one and dead) drug. No one does it because "its cool to do illegal stuff"

  • 5 months ago
  • 6 points

If a drug addict uses for himself, then he's the one responsible for damaging his/her body. Are you telling me it's logical to get fined or go to prison on the basis that someone chose to do that to his/her own body?

Because they don't just hurt themselves work, family, friends, anyone and everyone around them becomes a means to the next high.

Once something is legalized, the thrill of using or being caught is lost and the drug loses its appeal.

More like putting a hard drug user in everyone's family will have that effect, then they just have to sit back and watch the using population die off.

Looking at the statistics may make it look like a good thing, but remember those are lives and the lives of everyone around them at risk.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

To be fair, we already have the laws in place to hold them accountable for certain actions like theft, assault, and murder. There isn't a need to add a tertiary charge because if they can't be charged with a crime save for the drug crime, they shouldn't be charged with a crime at all as they likely haven't harmed anyone.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

There is no fair with hard drugs they either are addicted, or they haven't used them.

Even after a successful rehab they are still addicted and fight that every day.

Recreational drugs can be debatable just as alcohol and nicotine are, but hard drugs there is no middle ground.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

There is no fair with hard drugs they either are addicted, or they haven't used them.

That's not entirely true, although I think I know what you're getting at.

Even after a successful rehab they are still addicted and fight that every day.

That can be argued. Some believe addiction is for life, some not. I think it depends, personally. I've seen it go either way. I know alcoholics that haven't drank in 20 years, and people who occasionally enjoy coke with very long gaps in between. It's a very subjective area and very dependent on personal psychology.

Recreational drugs can be debatable just as alcohol and nicotine are, but hard drugs there is no middle ground.

I disagree. Middle ground is where we figure things out. It shouldn't just be taken off the table because of preconceptions and anecdotal observation, yours, mine, or anyone's. This involves a social experience, as GeorgeReorgeRartinMartin alluded to. We can figure out the best course, but can't look at it as some definitive outcome.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Some believe addiction is for life, some not. I think it depends, personally. I've seen it go either way. I know alcoholics that haven't drank in 20 years

Alcohol isn't a hard drug. And isn't what the poster is referring to.

Heroin users don't have a choice after use they are addicts. And are till death.

Your looking at recreational and soft drugs in the same category as something a world apart.

I disagree. Middle ground is where we figure things out.

If there is a middle ground such as with recreational drugs then there can be a debate.

If there is no middle ground and anyone who uses is an addict then there should be no debate because there is no middle ground for argument they are addicts or they haven't used.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Your looking at recreational and soft drugs in the same category as something a world apart.

Dude, I live in the meth capital of the world. I'm not only referring to light things. I was speaking generally towards addiction. I worked in a prison for long enough to see plenty of addicts of all stripes come in. The addiction that would follow you for life is the mental addiction, rather than the physical addiction. Mental addiction, while possibly related to the drug, I would think is also related to the individual. You shouldn't make a sweeping determination by only taking into account half of it.

If there is no middle ground and anyone who uses is an addict then there should be no debate because there is no middle ground for argument they are addicts or they haven't used.

That feels close to a circular reasoning fallacy.

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

Important to distinguish between legalized and decriminalized which you used kind of interchangeably. Portugal has not legalized drugs; they are still illegal to grow, sell, etc. However they've decriminalized possession/usage. This means that you can't be charged with a crime anymore for having it, but you CAN be charged if you are growing/manufacturing/selling.

Not only did Portugal decriminalize it but they simultaneously began treating it as an illness instead of a crime/shameful act, as well as implementing a needle exchange program. This shift brought more people into medical centers, which helped reduce deaths from overdoses, and the needle exchange is a big help in reducing the spread of HIV.

Personally I agree that every country should follow Portugals lead here. And I'd add, we should completely legalize marijuana while we're at it. However, as we've seen with the very legal opioids that are currently killing Americans, legalized drugs is not a magic answer to drug problems. It WILL help lock up less people and probably help less people die, but if we don't fix the underlying problems that cause people to turn to these drugs, they're going to keep dying.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I'd add, we should completely legalize marijuana while we're at it.

I'd like to see it treated in a similar manner as tobacco.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything else. Using taxpayer money to lock up an ill person only to not address any actual problems, leading to repeat 'offenses' and more wasted time and money just doesn't make sense ethically or financially.

very legal opioids that are currently killing Americans

This could be its own thread. The current trend of trying not to prescribe or have insurance pay for opiates is obviously not helping either, and is putting additional burden on people who genuinely need these drugs.

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

I was at the grocery store that other day. There was a guy at the service counter acting unusual - it made the check-out clerk a bit nervous, it made me nervous as he was near the spot where my wife was bagging. To describe his actions would be basically saying he's on some drugs. If someone looked at him funny would he react? How would he react? Would he suddenly become violent? If we follow the logic that it is ok because he's damaging his body - we miss the part that he can be a problem to others. That is the reason. Sure, you can take the drugs in your own house - but sometimes people leave their house while on the drug and that can be a problem for others.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

If someone looked at him funny would he react? How would he react? Would he suddenly become violent? If we follow the logic that it is ok because he's damaging his body - we miss the part that he can be a problem to others. That is the reason.

Did he react? If not, that's not a very good reason. Your reason, was what you assumed him to possibly do.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I honestly think drugs should be legalized. Not that I have the desire to do any. But why should somebody be restricted from doing something that in most cases only affects them. And with drugs being legal it would decrease drug related violence. Not much reason for two drug cartels to go to war in the streets, if everybody can get some cocaine or meth at Walgreens. It would make smuggling drugs practically useless.

Once prohibition ended almost all gang related violence related to alcohol stopped very quickly. And I think a similar situation would happen if drugs were legalized.

In my opinion if somebody wants to do something that can destroy their body or even kill them, they have the right to do that.

Now do I think doing drugs is smart. In most cases no. If you do it for anything other then medical reasons then I think it's somewhat stupid. But I also think you have the right to do it. NNNot saying if you do drugs for fun/recreation you are stupid. Just that in my own opinion it is a not very smart thing to do. But I also don't think you should be stopped if that's what you want to do. It's similar to alcohol in my opinion. If you go to the bar and get plastered on a regular basis and destroy your liver in the process, in my opinion it's not a smart thing to do. But at the same time small amounts of alcohol can help in small ways with minor medical problems. For example my grandfather was recommended by his doctor to drink a small amount of wine a few times a week to calm his nerves and help with a condition he had(I think it was Parkinson's but I am not certain. Basically some times his hand would start shaking and the wine was supposed to calm the nerves and reduce the affects of the condition).

TL;DR: I don't think they should be illegal. I think everyone has a right to do as they want with their own body as long as it does not directly harm others. IMO it's similar to alcohol. But I also don't think it's smart to do it for non medical reasons.

EDIT: As I stated several times this is my opinion. And I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But at the moment I am not looking to get into a long discussion so if you disagree with me I am just going to say right now. Let's agree to disagree. Have a great day.

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

You forgot to mention that the War on drugs is pretty expensive and it's not a problem that can actually be erradicated. Those funds could probably be used for more useful things, like rehabilitating addicts.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

If a drug addict uses for himself, then he's the one responsible for damaging his/her body. Are you telling me it's logical to get fined or go to prison on the basis that someone chose to do that to his/her own body?

But they don't just hurt themselves. It hurts everyone around them too. People have done some really stupid things while high or drunk, there are people who steal by either robberies, pick pocketing, break ins, scams, etc in order to fund their drug habit. You can't say that those things don't hurt their friends/family/even strangers and that it only hurts themselves.

Once something is legalized, the thrill of using or being caught is lost and the drug loses its appeal.

I don't think you understand addiction. The brain becomes dependant on it and makes them crave it. That chemical dependency in the brain will not disappear because something becomes legal.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

People have done some really stupid things while high or drunk, there are people who steal by either robberies, pick pocketing, break ins, scams, etc in order to fund their drug habit.

There are already crimes for those actions. There is no need for a drug crime in addition to those. If you use drugs and never hurt anyone else, you'd be good. If you never use drugs and hurt someone else, you wouldn't. And, if you did drugs and hurt someone else, again, you wouldn't be good. No need for the drug law, in the sense of holding people accountable, at least.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't deny that. But if you look across countries and places that have legalized things like cannabis, you'll realize that usage did't really go that much further than it already was, aside from those already using.

People START USING drugs because they are mysterious, interesting, thrilling substances. Because some people offer a hit at a clandestine nightclub or similar.

Part of the reason that people that aren't using start doing so is because it's thrilling to do something illegal...and they get off of it. And that's when you get addicted. If you saw a lot of people doing crack legally, on the street, and saw the effects, you probably would't feel the need to try it yourself.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

But if you look across countries and places that have legalized things like cannabis, you'll realize that usage did't really go that much further than it already was,

I was under the impression this was for the hard drugs, cannabis isn't a hard drug and I am in Canada where it is now legal. Making crack, meth, cocaine, etc legal will not reduce usage rates.

Hard drugs and legality.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

and you will become like Scrooge

“they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides—excuse me—I don’t know that.”

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Once something is legalized, the thrill of using or being caught is lost and the drug loses its appeal.

Completely incorrect. Never one have I thought: "I'm going to smoke this joint because it's legal status thrills me." I would imagine, generally, dopamine responses are independent of legal status.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think it matters if it's legal or not, as far as usage goes. Imo, the government shouldn't have a say in people's lives, especially when it doesn't affect anyone else. This is a prime example of that. If my neighbor wants to do drugs, I don't think anyone should be able to stop him, and I don't see it as a problem unless he begins harming others or damaging things around him that don't belong to him.

Unfortunately for the govt. they can't make money off of that though, so it doesn't surprise me that it's not legal at a federal level. "But they could make money via taxes...". No. 1.) Taxation is theft and 2.) taxes would be high on this and that simply wouldn't work because there's already such a large and profound black market for the stuff that would be cheaper and arguably higher quality than what legal avenues provide. Why pay more for an inferior product?

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  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't think it's valid to base legality of things off of hypotheticals. Sure, those things can and do happen, but it it becomes an issue of where to stop it, like you said. It's not always the job of government to step in and pass laws to try and prevent every possible thing out there, because that will just result in abuse of those laws and overreaching possibilities that they bring.

I also don't necessarily think that profiting via taxes would be as effective with drugs like marijuana because it's super easy to grow yourself. Yeah you can get alcohol and tobacco without leaving your home, but most people are accustomed to buying it in a store these days. I think if it were legalized, it would take a considerable amount of time for that switch to happen. I could be wrong, but iirc, some states that have legalized it aren't seeing the projected income numbers from taxes simply because most people still aren't buying it from the now legal brick and mortar stores because it costs more.

Your sentiments at the end regarding treating vs. punishing hit it on the head I feel like. And for what it's worth, I work and volunteer in multiple recovery groups every week, so I see the horrible effects drugs and addiction can have on individuals and families. From my years of doing it, more government intervention and legal/illegal conversations aren't going to change it, like you said. The way I see it, the only effects that come out of drugs being illegal seems to be more money needed to continue funding prisons and the road to recovery for these addicts to be more difficult, which just seems like a lose-lose for everyone.

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I think what I was trying to say is that it will just take time. I'm in Texas, so there's no real legal avenues for the average person, so most people who are going to partake already have alternate ways to do so, and have for quite some time. If it became legal tomorrow, it would more than likely be more expensive than what they pay now, so why switch? I guess that's the point I was trying to make.

Overall my thoughts are that it should be completely legal and decriminalized, so that people aren't fined for growing it as well, if they so desire. Also that using other/all drugs that are illegal now should be allowed as well, but that's a conversation for another day Lol

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

If it became legal tomorrow, it would more than likely be more expensive than what they pay now, so why switch?

Not really true. Dealers already tax every step along the way. Compared to an institutionalized tax, dealers tax far more. 1 gram is usually anywhere between 15-20 dollars from a dealer. Bought at a shop, it's usually more like 8-13 dollars taxes included. The costs dropped across the bored in every shop I've been to compared to dealers prices.

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

While i believe they should be legalized, the "make it legal to reduce crime" argument is not a good one. Making murder legal would reduce crime. It just would't better the situation.

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

“But we have ample examples of how prohibition doesn't work.”

This really is the bottom line isn’t it? I’ve thought about it for a long time, but I can’t come up with any idea for a solution. As you pointed out, legalization isn’t really a great idea. Nor is amping up the punishments. I’m also not sold on the idea that continually fixing up the border will stop all of it either.

This whole problem is such a mess. I have to wonder: is there any solution?

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, that’s depressing, but I think you’re probably right.

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I wish more people were as transparent and realistic like you lol

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