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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:08   #21 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by DirtyProp View Post
Several years ago I witnessed a good friend of mine progressing from "occasional joint smoker" to "everyday user" to "many joints a day user" to "cocaine user and dealer".
Enough evidence for me to never, ever use that shiite and never condone it.
But was that progression driven by the ready availability of cocaine from the same supplier as he was getting marijuana from?

My experience (admittedly from many years ago) was that illegal drug dealers were ALWAYS trying to get users to try new drugs, or something different. It's why they acquired the name "pusher", because they literally pushed new drugs out to their customers, often giving free samples initially to get them hooked.

We don't see tobacco smokers graduating to marijuana, then cocaine or whatever, neither do we see drinkers following such a path, yet we know, beyond any doubt at all, that both tobacco and alcohol are highly addictive.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:21   #22 (permalink)
 
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The illegality of drugs such as marijuana, opiates and cocaine has more to do with one Harry Anslinger and the government of the day attempt to control immigration from Mexico and China.

He falsified research into the effect of drugs (it was he that created that infamous movie clip that ostensibly showed the effect of marijuana was to release all inhibitions). He got the US government to put pressure on other countries to outlaw drugs; he threatened doctors in certain states within the US where narcotics were prescribed with being deregistered unless they stopped.

The amazing truth about most illicit drugs is that for most people they are not physically addictive. Psychologically addictive, yes and that is the reason people become addicts. The main reason why addicted people take drugs, and you can include alcoholic in this, is to escape their day to day reality. These people hate their existence and drugs take them out of it, briefly.

If opiates were addictive then every person who has a major operation would come out of hospital as an addict as the pain medication is basically a form of heroin. There are some who do become addicts but that is for the reason I stated above but that is a very small number of the total who receive pain medication.

Now another amazing truth about illicit drugs. There are more people in the community taking drugs than you can possible realise. They are not addicts, they can stop taking them at will. At best estimate the people who are addicts are about 10% of users.

Our image of a drug user is the diseased looking, dirty, street living derelict begging, stealing for their next hit. We think that the drugs have done that to them and in one sense it has but it is not the direct effect of the drugs. It is because the person is spending all their energy and what money they have on drugs that food and personal cleanliness take a distant second place and eventually their health breaks down.

Finally, the drug laws have made very rich people out of criminals. So wealthy that when Nevada was holding out against making drugs illegal, the biggest lobbyists for prohibition were the local criminal gangs. It was a no-brainer for them as they had seen what happened in other states.

The "war on drugs" (one of the most incredibly stupid phrases ever devised by a government) is lost and cannot be won. In those countries where drug taking has been decriminalised and the resources put into helping those addicted rather than penalising them there has been a major decrease in drug taking. The results have been quite amazing. Initially drug use go up marginally but when the rehabilitation takes effect use goes down, way down.

Yes, I believe there are some very dangerous drugs out there that should be banned, meth-amphetamines for example; some of the designer drugs being concocted for those who think altering their reality is going to be fun. Alcohol has probably done more damage than all other drugs put together and nicotine which is truely physically addictive are not and most likely never will be banned.

However, if we are not going to outlaw alcohol or nicotine then it is being hypocritical to continue to outlaw marijuana, heroin or cocaine. In any event, the extent of damage being done to countries by the continuing criminal activity to supply them should lead people to demand a change. For completeness, I enjoy a glass or two of wine and the occasional beer. I don't smoke nicotine and once tried marijuana in a country far from here. It did nothing for me and I have never wanted to try it again.

Last edited by PLovett; 27th Oct 2016 at 11:34.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:26   #23 (permalink)

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I don't think I know anyone who hasn't smoked a bit of weed at some point in their lives,
Some of us have never smoked anything at any point in their lives.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:48   #24 (permalink)
 
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et we know, beyond any doubt at all, that both tobacco and alcohol are highly addictive.
Alcohol highly addictive? I drank most nights in college, followed by drinking plenty in the air force. I was not addicted then, and I'm not now. I don't think I know anyone who is!
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 12:10   #25 (permalink)
 
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Alcohol highly addictive? I drank most nights in college, followed by drinking plenty in the air force. I was not addicted then, and I'm not now. I don't think I know anyone who is!
Alcoholics Anonymous would say that alcohol can be very addictive for some people, and my view is that it is probably only some people who have a propensity to addiction anyway.

I worked with a bloke years ago who was, without a doubt, dependent on alcohol to function. He had stashes of booze all over the place, hidden in innocuous looking containers, to make sure he could stay "topped up" all day at work. I've no doubt in my mind that he was an alcohol addict. Whether it was a "psychological addiction" or a "physical addiction" is a moot point, as the outcome was the same.

I suspect that I could become alcohol dependent, and have suspected it for years. At one time I found it very hard to go for a day without a drink, yet never really drank to excess. Even now I have to consciously keep track of my drinking, making sure I have alcohol-free days and never consume more than a glass of wine or a pint or two of beer. Any more and I'd be back to wanting to drink more, and probably every day.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 12:31   #26 (permalink)
 
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But was that progression driven by the ready availability of cocaine from the same supplier as he was getting marijuana from? My experience (admittedly from many years ago) was that illegal drug dealers were ALWAYS trying to get users to try new drugs, or something different. It's why they acquired the name "pusher", because they literally pushed new drugs out to their customers, often giving free samples initially to get them hooked.
I honestly have no idea.
I never questioned him about that, I just saw the effects and that was enough for me.

Quote:
We don't see tobacco smokers graduating to marijuana, then cocaine or whatever, neither do we see drinkers following such a path, yet we know, beyond any doubt at all, that both tobacco and alcohol are highly addictive.
As far as I know there are no different types of nicotine, just one.
Basically there are no choices, besides the different tobaccos, flavors, etc.
Same goes for alcohol.
The alcohol you find in a great Chianti is the same you get in a nice whisky (I think), except for more quantity.
There is no step-up, so to speak.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 13:54   #27 (permalink)
 
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The reality is that whatever we are doing it isn't working. Would we be any worse off trying other things, that just might work?

That is, if we can ever define our objective.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 14:50   #28 (permalink)
 
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The reality is that whatever we are doing it isn't working. Would we be any worse off trying other things, that just might work?

That is, if we can ever define our objective.
That's my view, and has been for decades. The evidence shows that allowing controlled availability of marijuana hasn't led to increased harder drug abuse; it seems that the "stepping stone to harder drugs" argument isn't justified by the substances themselves. I'm firmly of the view that when "soft" drugs like marijuana have to be purchased illegally, then the purchasers are exposing themselves to sellers who want to sell them harder drugs. Take away that link and many marijuana users will, like smokers and drinkers, just stick to what's legally available.

There will always be a small number of people who abuse drugs, just as there are a small number who abuse alcohol. My own view is that some of this is caused by the nature of our society - for example, Ireland has a significantly greater drug abuse problem than we do.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 15:32   #29 (permalink)
 
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And, unlike nicotine or alcohol, marijuana has numerous medical benefits. My sister, who has fibromyalgia, would like to access a source of MJ without the active ingredient (THC) of a certain quality and dosage. She can get the 'prescription' but not the product.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 16:22   #30 (permalink)
 
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Some of us have never smoked anything at any point in their lives.
Boring git....................... oh wait that applies to me too

Seen more than my fair share of school acquaintances easily seduced into dope and then other stuff, few dead from going on further, few alive but really f*****D in the head.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 17:26   #31 (permalink)
 
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And, unlike nicotine or alcohol, marijuana has numerous medical benefits. My sister, who has fibromyalgia, would like to access a source of MJ without the active ingredient (THC) of a certain quality and dosage. She can get the 'prescription' but not the product.
It does indeed. Earlier I mentioned a friend who buys it for his wife, who has MS.

Imagine, if you will, a bloke nearing 70, former fairly senior officer, who has to resort to buying deals in the back streets of our local city from dodgy dealers, just to alleviate some of the worst symptoms of his wife's illness. It seriously scares him every time he has to do it, but he feels he has no choice.

He bakes cakes for her with it in, and it has a dramatic effect on reducing her leg tremors and allowing her a decent nights sleep, something that none of the prescription medications seem to have been able to do.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 18:13   #32 (permalink)
 
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The reality is that whatever we are doing it isn't working. Would we be any worse off trying other things, that just might work?

That is, if we can ever define our objective.
The US-led "war on drugs" has been an utter failure. We've managed to enrich cartels and enable both gangs and users with the 'incarcerate rather than rehabilitate' policy that is wisely not pursued by our British and European friends.

The upshot is, the drug war been really good for our private prison sector and as a bonus, helps keep the population of minorities under the broad thumb of prehendit in iustitia, not to mention, sticking it to those pesky Latin American nations south of our lily white border.

Last edited by vapilot2004; 27th Oct 2016 at 18:57.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 05:20   #33 (permalink)
 
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"Marijuana is not a problem".


So, to summarize so far: "Marijuana is a benefit for some, and not a problem for some, (at least not perceived to be); for some it's not a problem until it does become a problem, and for others it is a problem."
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 05:36   #34 (permalink)
 
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Just like alcohol.
Does anyone expect the (insert country) prohibition?
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 07:00   #35 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, no problem. Let's make all drugs legal. Be good to put the drug cartels and importers out of business. Only one condition however, YOU are personally responsible, both for the cost and the consequences of whatever actions you carry out while in your drug F2cked stupor. No discounts at court, no discounts from the costs of the damage that you do, and no public health money for you.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 09:15   #36 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, no problem. Let's make all drugs legal. Be good to put the drug cartels and importers out of business. Only one condition however, YOU are personally responsible, both for the cost and the consequences of whatever actions you carry out while in your drug F2cked stupor. No discounts at court, no discounts from the costs of the damage that you do, and no public health money for you.
Like we pretty much do at the moment for alcohol-induced crime, you mean?

The exception here is that the NHS still gives treatment for alcohol-induced illnesses, but there has been a fair bit of debate recently as to whether, for example, an ongoing alcoholic should be a priority over a non-alcoholic when it comes to things like a liver transplant.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 09:57   #37 (permalink)
 
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I'm certainly not advocating unrestricted access to 'drugs'. However I do advocate that in treating drug addiction, as circumstances warrant, addicts be given access to the drugs they are addicted to. The drug pushers would hate this, but who cares?

Some drugs, such as marijuana, should be no more (nor no less) restricted than alcohol or nicotine.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 10:17   #38 (permalink)
 
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We will always have people that are victims of their vices be it marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, hard-drugs, speeding, sex, religion, money, etc, etc.

I reckon the depth of the problem is directly related to how selfish the individual with the problem is - it's a facet of the modern world.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 10:48   #39 (permalink)
 
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We will always have people that are victims of their vices be it marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, hard-drugs, speeding, sex, religion, money, etc, etc.

I reckon the depth of the problem is directly related to how selfish the individual with the problem is - it's a facet of the modern world.
I'm in 100% agreement with this.

My primary concern is that by making substances illegal we create a criminal opportunity to supply them, and that in turn leads to more criminal activity related to people trying to acquire the means to buy the substances illegally.

Supplying relatively harmless substances, like marijuana, legally, rather like the way that we control some over-the-counter drug sales, would almost certainly bring the street price down, and that in turn would reduce the revenue stream for illegal suppliers.

As ExXB mentioned, allowing addicts to be given legal access to the drugs they are addicted to (and only addicts, in my view) would also reduce the income stream for the criminals who supply them.

I don't believe that any amount of policing is going to make one jot of difference to the availability of illegal substances. I pretty much proved this by being able to find a supply of a now-banned herb within an hour of doing some internet searches. In the process I found suppliers willing to sell any sort of drug, guns, even commit assassinations for you, all anonymously, arranged over the web and paid with a near-anonymous currency (bitcoin). As previously mentioned, I was pretty shocked by what I found. I'm pretty disciplined, so would only use such a service to get the herb that helps my IBS, but I can easily see that someone younger and more adventurous might be tempted to buy some of the pretty cheap illegal drugs that were freely on offer, or might even be tempted to buy a gun this way (there were lots for sale, none too expensive, either).

Clearly I'm not going to say here exactly how I found these suppliers, but can say that I was helped by a newspaper article from a few months ago that described the process. I can also say that possession of the herb I use for treating IBS is not an offence under the new Psychoactive Substances Act, so I feel relatively safe just having some around. My GP also knows about this treatment, and has done for a couple of years, which may help if they ever change the law to make possession illegal. The law is only broken when buying the stuff, but even then my understanding is that it is the supplier who is committing the offence, rather than the buyer (I may be wrong, but, TBH, it's such a secure process I feel pretty safe about it).
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 11:22   #40 (permalink)
 
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Unscientific personal observation is that some people can handle it and some can't. I judge myself to be one that can't so I stay the hell away from it. I have noticed some distortion of the sense of time among some users (Very early braking for red lights etc.) I wonder if there is any way to tell how much a driver or machinery operator is affected. I'd like to see an 8 hour toke to drive rule but how might it be enforced? On the subject of stronger drugs: I believe that a study done in New York in the 30s showed that morphine/heroin addicts who could afford the drugs without turning to crime were mostly normally functioning human beings and tended to withdraw voluntarily and without symptoms after 10 to 20 years on the drug.

After an excellent landing etc...
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