-- OriginalOwner_ writes:
Embracing a harm reduction and public health perspective, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals has released a signed editorial calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of currently illegal drugs.In an editorial [May 10] entitled Drugs Should Be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed, Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, notes that under drug prohibition, the global trade "fuels organized crime and human misery", and asks, "Why should it not instead fund public services?"Citing an opinion piece in the same issue of the BMJ from British members of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Jason Reed and Paul Whitehouse, Godlee notes that in the United Kingdom (as in the United States) "vast sums are spent prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities" while that money would be much better "spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection". Under legalization, "revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers", she writes.Godlee notes that the global drug prohibition consensus is fraying around the edges, and points to the example of Portugal, which decriminalized the possession of all drugs in 2001. There, drug use remains in line with levels in other European countries, but the harms associated with drug use under prohibition have decreased dramatically, particularly in terms of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of injection drug-related infectious disease.
Embracing a harm reduction and public health perspective, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals has released a signed editorial calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of currently illegal drugs.
In an editorial [May 10] entitled Drugs Should Be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed, Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, notes that under drug prohibition, the global trade "fuels organized crime and human misery", and asks, "Why should it not instead fund public services?"
Citing an opinion piece in the same issue of the BMJ from British members of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Jason Reed and Paul Whitehouse, Godlee notes that in the United Kingdom (as in the United States) "vast sums are spent prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities" while that money would be much better "spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection". Under legalization, "revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers", she writes.
Godlee notes that the global drug prohibition consensus is fraying around the edges, and points to the example of Portugal, which decriminalized the possession of all drugs in 2001. There, drug use remains in line with levels in other European countries, but the harms associated with drug use under prohibition have decreased dramatically, particularly in terms of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of injection drug-related infectious disease.
 Bad link in TFA; corrected in TFS.
Previous: Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization
I'll just be sitting here quietly while the Democratic party figures out they want to run with this as their new mid-term election platform item in three. . . two. . .
You think the DNC supports something like this?
The Democrats famously poo-pooed the idea of marijuana legalization when Obama was elected.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (former DNC head) is known to be in the pocket of the private prison industry.
Honestly, at this point I think the Republicans are more likely to be drug-friendly: John Boehner has switched sides and wants to legalize MJ. Just wait until someone figures out how to convince Trump that championing that cause will make him more popular, then it'll be done quickly.
"Hey, Donald, did you know that this NY builder you don't like because his pretty wife said you're a moron, just got a giant contract building and maintaining private prisons? He said he would use the massive profits to build a taller tower just to cast shade on the Trump one. There's good money in that market because Sessions restarted the war on drugs, and he just bet his all company on that."
Hamilson. That was the name of the obese man who always seemed to be sitting on the park bench in a certain neighborhood. Although people in the neighborhood regarded this man as a bit of an eccentric, he was nonetheless very respected and well-liked. As Hamilson was relaxing on the bench, he spotted something that he could not ignore; he got up and walked towards it absentmindedly, and then took it with him into some bushes so that he could begin.
Wailing. As Hamilson slammed his penis deep into the little girl's vagina, she wailed and pleaded for him to stop. "If anyone here is to blame, it's you for being so cute!" the man said cheerfully. This always happened: Whenever Hamilson spotted a cute child, he always took them into the bushes so that he could play with them.
She wailed, she screamed, and she cried, but all of which only served to make Hamilson more excited. And the more excited and playful the man became, the more his fists rained down upon the child. Then, silence.
"Oops!" the man exclaimed. Once again, he had gotten too excited and rough, and so it broke. Hamilson, disappointed with what transpired, peeked out of the bushes and soon saw something that he could not possibly ignore.
Soon after, an obese man was seen walking absentmindedly towards a living, breathing toy...
Honestly, at this point I think the Republicans are more likely to be drug-friendly
That's incorrect. The Democratic Party platform now includes removing cannabis from Schedule 1, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is working on a bill [soylentnews.org] to do so. There has been no similar activity on the Republican side, so they aren't going to do anything like that for years.
On the Republican side, President Trump's DEA man is ignoring studies [thehill.com] linking cannabis legalization to decreased opioid use. Trump's advisers have claimed that cannabis legalization is making the opioid crisis worse [soylentnews.org]. Republican Senator Cory Gardner had to play hardball [soylentnews.org] just to get Trump to respect states' rights and keep his campaign promises. Trump's Mean Keebler Elf remains bitterly opposed:
http://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/385132-an-easy-policy-fix-finally-jeff-sessions-should-reschedule-cannabis [thehill.com]https://chicago.suntimes.com/cannabis/sanjay-gupta-jeff-sessions-medical-marijuana-cannabis-pot/ [suntimes.com]
At best, Sessions has been a good thing for legalization supporters by pissing everybody off and injecting uncertainty into the industry:
Boehner's position is less relevant since he has retired and he has a business interest. He doesn't need to court voters.
Republicans remain in denial over the issue, and the people close to Trump are whispering the wrong things in his ear. When people whisper the wrong things into Trump's ear, you get the wrong things coming out of Trump's mouth. Republicans are not close to championing this cause. Check back in 2 years.
you get the wrong things coming out of Trump's mouth.
Right or wrong, for better or worse, Trump more often than not acts regardless of advice.
Multiple factions surround President Trump and give him some competing viewpoints in many cases. He's also influenced by some people he talks to over the phone, or by news reports.
What's the difference between Trump and a sponge? (I'll let someone else come up with the punchline.)
Learned and wise as our cynicism may be, confusing lobbying and advising can only get you so far in a position of power. If a business man can't tell between a representation of a 3rd party interest or an honestly impartial advice, all they need to do is read through the reports and make their own decisions. However, a president doesn't have that privilege. In an age House and Congress representatives can't even read through the bills they're voting on, a president can't even find the time to read through the summaries and reports they're given and are forced to trust staffers to digest it all for them. So, when they end up favoring some lobbyist's phone call over the input of those they've hired over trust issues, that's what I call acting regardless of advice.
The men squeezing the sponge can.
Trump more often than not acts regardless of advice.
Trump doesn't even listen to:1. The best legal advice money can buy2. The advice of his own lawyers
(those are non-intersecting sets)
He's clearly done plenty of sketchy and likely plenty of illegal things and faced effectively no consequences, so I wouldn't be too quick to badmouth his legal strategy, as unreasonable as it seems.
What is true, which GP correctly pointed out, is that national-level Democrats are much more in favor of marijuana legalization at the federal when they don't have the power to actually make it happen. It's one of many issues wheres the majority would be on their side if they did X, and whenever they don't have the power to make it happen they grandstand about doing X if elected, and once they do have the power to make it happen they ignore X entirely.
But yeah, the Republicans are quite consistently against pot legalization, because conservative != libertarian when it comes to personal freedoms.
The Schumer announcement is the most credible yet from the Democratic Party (from a Senate Minority Leader), although he has yet to publish the proposed bill. Schumer is also cosponsoring [merryjane.com] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hemp legalization bill, even though McConnell won't reciprocate on hemp's "illicit cousin".
It's the most credible yet, but that's not saying much. The Dems still don't have that much power in Congress, and Trump is the President and can easily veto anything they pass that doesn't have a sizeable amount of Republican support (which is unlikely, given the Republicans' history of obstructionism). So it still looks just a populist move to show "look! we tried!" when it inevitably fails.
Just like the 85 (?) votes by the Republic Party to repeal the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") when Obama could veto them all. It's easy to posture when you have no power.
Granted it's better than nothing, and posturing isn't worthless. It's far from being conclusive evidence of a change of policy, though. Talk to me again when they actually could pass such a thing and still want to push it forward.
No activity on the republican side. Huh? Rand Paul (R) has been pushing for Cannabis legalization for years, and submitted legislation for it as recently this year.
Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE! [twitter.com]
While Rand looks supportive of cannabis, I don't see where he has supported or co-sponsored a bill as far-reaching as Schumer's, including descheduling at the federal level.
http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Rand_Paul_Drugs.htm [ontheissues.org]https://www.marijuanamoment.net/rand-paul-pushes-marijuana-amendments-funding-bill/ [marijuanamoment.net]https://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/13/marijuana-legalization-2020-elections-241576 [politico.com]
I do see him in general saying that he supports ending the prohibition and letting states decide [newsweek.com]. But where's his legislation to that end?
This appears to be the current Dem thinking on drugs: https://www.democrats.org/party-platform [democrats.org]
Reforming our Criminal Justice SystemEnabling Cutting-Edge Medical ResearchCombating Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Medical research is relevant because that's another reason to deschedule/downschedule drugs. But they only go this far in the platform, under Reforming our Criminal Justice System:
Because of conflicting federal and state laws concerning marijuana, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of “Schedule 1” federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization. We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize it or provide access to medical marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact in terms of arrest rates for African Americans that far outstrip arrest rates for whites, despite similar usage rates.
It's reasonable, and should happen, but that's as far as the party is going to go for a long, long time. Cannabis legalization is popular, even among Republicans. It's a safe issue.
4/20: The Mary Jane Majority [soylentnews.org]
Senator Chuck Schumer has promised to pursue about the most serious/mainstream attempt in the party to legalize cannabis at the federal level (contrast with Cory Booker's bill [soylentnews.org]). But the Dems remain the minority party, and even if they do extremely well in the midterms, more Democratic-controlled seats are up for grabs than Republican in the Senate.
All 33 seats in Senate Class I will be up for election. 23 of the seats to be contested are presently held by Democrats, and eight by Republicans (three of which are retiring), with two being independents.
Ideally, both Democrats and Republicans [soylentnews.org] could come together [soylentnews.org] on the issue, but that seems unlikely.
The DEA is still being ridiculous as usual: On marijuana and opioids — the DEA has no clue what it’s talking about [thehill.com]
Other drugs have some limited support for descheduling/decriminalization, but it's still a long road ahead: First, Marijuana. Are Magic Mushrooms Next? [khn.org]
> On marijuana and opioids — the DEA has no clue what it’s talking about
On SLS, NASA has no clue what it's talking about.When you're taking direct orders from entities with obsessive and bipolar disorders, telling them that they're amazingly wrong is not the best way to keep feeding your kids.
The DEA is worse. They have a rotten culture within that agency, and they have obvious perverse incentives to keep the broken status quo going. If we get across-the-board legalization in this country, many DEA jobs will be lost. A few will probably remain, but the majority of them will become unnecessary. And then we have some DEA agents on the ground who are engaging in criminal activity. Cancelling SLS on the other hand could create jobs within NASA, since more money could be spent on a diverse portfolio of actual scientific pursuits rather than the delayed pork rocket.
it's an agency that shouldn't even exist, along with countless others. they should all be fired, at the very least. what kind of mindless slaves pay pigs to tell them what medicines they can take? it's disgustingly pitiful.
Look, some shit just shouldn't be legal. Maybe decriminalized, but not legalized outright like marijuana. There is never going to be any good excuse for recreational fentanyl use, for example, and ditto meth. Weed, definitely, that stuff is more medicine than drug if you prepare it right, but not the harder ones.
You are asking the wrong question.
Yes, there are drugs that are harmful. The question should be: "is the harm that is created because some drugs are illegal greater than the direct harm caused by the drugs?"
Portugal's experience suggests that legalization reduces the overall harm to society from drugs.
I'm guessing you have heard about supervised injection sites as a method of reducing the harm of heroin. Since heroin overdoses are typically easy to treat if a first responder is nearby.
Meth is probably worse than heroin in some ways. But if you want to reduce harm, you have to take bold steps. People are probably not going to bother cooking meth in their house if they can get pharmaceutical grade stuff from the government.
Legalizing across the board would put many alternatives to $BAD_DRUG on the market. Selling the worst of the worst, drugs like meth and heroin, becomes a revenue generator rather than a revenue drain that doesn't do much to stop the activity. You bring up fentanyl. Most heroin customers want to avoid fentanyl. They can't because heroin is often cut with more dangerous substances. It would be simple enough to legalize/decriminalize everything, but not provide easy access to the drugs that could be considered straight up chemical weapons.
Drugs like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and others are relatively safe and have legitimate medical uses. Yet they are all lumped into Schedule I. It's time to reevaluate everything, every unscientific assumption. Study Portugal's model, and you might find that it is a good thing, even if it means some people or kids have easier ways to get their hands on scary meth and other "hard drugs".
The definition of insanity blah blah blah blah blah.
You're mostly right, and there's a reason I said decriminalize for the harder ones rather than "keep exactly as illegal as they are now." What we really need to do is fix the underlying societal problems that cause people to turn to these substances, but Satan's gonna get his tongue stuck to a pole in the Malebolge before our government does that.
Most heroin customers want to avoid fentanyl
Wrong. Totally wrong! Junkies actually *want* fentanyl. They ask for it. They want the extra kick fentanyl gives. Maybe weekend warriors and occasional users want "pure" drugs but junkies know what gets them higher. Just ask any dealer.
Look, some shit just shouldn't be legal. Maybe decriminalized, but not legalized outright like marijuana
Not to derail you or anything, but "decriminalize" is a word meaning "make legal."
Dictionary.com literally uses marijuana legalization [dictionary.com] as their example sentence for "decriminalize."
decriminalize [dee-krim-uh-nl-ahyz]. verb (used with object), decriminalized, decriminalizing.To eliminate criminal penalties for or remove legal restrictions against:to decriminalize marijuana.
There is never going to be any good excuse for recreational fentanyl use, for example, and ditto meth.
There is never going to be any good excuse for recreational fentanyl use, for example, and ditto meth.
Fentanyl, in appropriate doses, is a safe, effective painkiller and cough medicine. The main problem with it now is that it's so tightly controlled that most of its users get it illicitly from sources that have no interest nor skill in quality control nor lab standards; not the fentanyl itself. Safe, effective forms of fentanyl would provide safe, effective fentanyl for those people who would choose to use fentanyl recreationally (a strange choice, in my opinion, but different strokes for different folks).
Dextromethamphetamines--the safe, quality controlled, pharmaceutical kind sold as "Adderall" and other brand names--is pretty popularly recreational as well. Having it safe and legal, with good safety information available (not just "Just say no") would go a long way towards eliminating the "meth problem". One factor to consider: Longtime Adderall users don't have bad teeth as a result, despite Adderall being simply a mixture of four different meth salts.
In short, what are you talking about??
In the context of this issue, "decriminalize" means to legalize possession and use of the drug, and maybe production at home. So the guy being stopped on the street doesn't get charged for carrying an ounce or two. The "weed smell" stops being probable cause under decriminalization. "Legalization" means that businesses can sell the drug, with regulation and taxation by the government.
That's not what the words involved mean, but if it's drug-legal jargon, then okay.
And no one should be in a jail cell nor prison anywhere for "simple possession" of anything that they were planning to ingest via any means. Even if you're an anti-drugger, that's bad utilization of resources.
From a humanitarian health and safety standpoint, however, I don't see benefit in "decriminalizing" the production of, for example, meth*, at home, while simultaneously "criminalizing" safe, standardized manufacture.
--------------------* Insert the name of any drug here. Safe and standardized > Bob said he totally knows how to do this
And no one should be in a jail cell nor prison anywhere for "simple possession" of anything that they were planning to ingest via any means. Even if you're an anti-drugger, that's bad utilization of resources.
Here's where we're at (cannabis only):
Actually, sorry, but this is precisely what the words mean. You're operating under the assumption that "decriminalize" means "make legal," which is a false assumption. "Decriminalize" is a technical term that generally means to "remove (or at least lessen) criminal penalties," which is different from "making legal."
As Merriam-Webster defines "decriminalize":
to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of; especially : to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation
"Criminal" implies a crime is committed, typically a felony or misdemeanor, and usually crimes are at least theoretically punishable by jail-time. There are plenty of things that can be "illegal" but not necessarily "criminal." Speeding and minor traffic infractions are a standard example. While some jurisdictions treat them as "crimes," in other jurisdictions they fall under a legal category of "infractions" and sometimes aren't even typically handled in criminal proceedings if they go to court.
For example, last year there was a proposal in California to decriminalize speeding (see here [mercurynews.com]). That would NOT make speeding LEGAL -- it would merely lessen potential penalties and transfer jurisdiction to civil courts in most circumstances.
Basically anything that falls under civil torts is arguably in this category too: "decriminalized" but not necessarily "legal." For example, you may not go to prison for breaking a minor business agreement, but you can be successfully sued in court and a judgment obtained forcing you to pay. Your actions were not criminal, but they weren't legal either. Another classic example is libel, which used to be a criminal offense under some circumstances in many jurisdictions -- you could actually go to prison for knowingly printing false information with malice (particularly against government figures, etc.). Libel has now basically been decriminalized in most jurisdictions (either through repeal of criminal libel statutes or through the fact that they haven't been enforced in many decades), but it is still not legal and exists as a civil tort.
Those who argue for decriminalization of drugs are requesting reduced penalties or no penalties for minor offenses (possession, use, etc.), not necessarily complete legalization.
Legalization has two standard connotations: (1) to remove all penalties (criminal, fines, civil, etc.) from an action, and/or (2) to regulate more explicitly under the law (i.e., apply legal elements to). One can easily advocate for decriminalization of some drugs without necessarily legalizing them in all (or most) circumstances.
aderral is a mix of plain old amphetamines salt and isomers... you meant Desoxyn
Hmm, good catch.
Looking, instead of trusting my memory (which does not get better with time), tells me that Adderall is a mix of dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate and amphetamine sulfate, while Desoxyn is methamphetamine hydrochloride; both are prescribed for attention deficit disorder. Neither is reported to cause bad teeth.
Superficially, what you say makes some sort of sense. Yet, ultimately I feel you're still falling into the same sort of trap that we're currently stuck in. You want to keep some substances "illegal" despite the fact that those substances are already highly illegal and yet this does absolutely nothing to keep people from illegally distributing it to the people who desire to use it.
I think we can all agree that it should always be a crime to provide dangerous and/or addictive substances to minors, but beyond that, the act of making substances illegal for adults to choose to use on themselves has been backfiring for as long as it has been in practice. It simply doesn't work. Actually, it's worse than that. There is in fact substantial historical evidence to suggest that attempting to legally control these substances triggered epidemics of addiction by making drugs more interesting and "fun". Where the bulk of society didn't much care about using those substances and looked down upon those who abused them just as they looked down on obvious alcoholics, suddenly after they were declared highly dangerous and illegal they became much more titillating and attractive to several segments of society, from the destitute to the wealthy and powerful. It is a self-defeating process, and produces a powerful criminal underclass that gets its power and influence from the ability to provide what people want despite the illegality. The exact same thing happened during Prohibition. Crime families gained a ridiculous amount of power over American society from our failed attempt to stop Americans from drinking alcohol.
In the end, attempting to keep any substance "illegal" will always have the opposite effect to what you want it to have. Mass incarceration of people who are only harming themselves is destroying our society, and the money and criminal violence sweeping through South and Central America that triggers most of the undocumented immigrants to risk the journey to come here is directly caused by the fact that middle-class and wealthy Americans keep buying their illegal drugs. If we legalize, we pull the rug out from under all of that, including all of the drug-related gangs here in the US. If the drug dealers become "legal", licensed and regulated businessmen, the violence related to the drug trade will drop like a stone. A completely legal business owner has far less interest in losing everything by committing crimes when it isn't necessary. Instead of wasting billions of dollars accomplishing nothing with militarized police raids that only find a small fraction of the drugs in circulation we can instead tax the drug sellers and put that income toward helping people who find themselves addicted, just as we have done with alcohol, tobacco, and now marijuana.
I know it's hard, but it's time to let go completely of the idea that drugs can be controlled by making them illegal. They very obviously can't, and the related consequences of harsh drug policies are far more harmful and expensive than what will happen if we legalize everything. (For adults.)
The same argument can and should be made for legalizing and regulating prostitution and gambling, and anything else that right now provides power and income to organized crime instead of providing public tax revenue to help support a stable society.
Heh, how quickly we march back on to the slippery slope! Gotta watch where you step with the good intentions ;)
NewNic, requerdanos, and RedBear were more eloquent than I could be or need to be. But I would add that legalizing all current controlled substances doesn't just solve more problems than it creates in the US. It's probably the single most powerful move we can make to reduce organized crime in Mexico and large portions of Central and South America.
On the other hand, I've read a little that the US tobacco industry responded to the current restrictions on tobacco sales and advertising in the US by promoting the living hell out of their cancer sticks worldwide. I don't want a world where heroin is legal, monitored, and not used any more than it is today in the US but five percent of the population in every age group in India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa are hooked.
I don't want a world where heroin is legal, monitored, and not used any more than it is today in the US but five percent of the population in every age group in India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa are hooked.
It's up to those countries to deal with it in their own way. The U.S. and U.S.-led institutions have interfered plenty.
Sorry for the late response. Agreed - given the choice between the current state of events versus having US (or US owned puppet) companies sell drugs elsewhere, I choose the latter.
Is heroin that bad? Assuming you have a cheap clean source of it.Here in BC they've been experimenting with giving heroin to junkies and the results have been pretty good. Instead of fixating on where their next hit is coming from, some at least have got jobs and become productive members of society, just have to go to the clinic twice a day for their fix.Heroin is actually pretty harmless when used in moderation and even heavy use just causes constipation and lethargy, its just societies hatred of (some) addictions that make people look down on users.
Interesting. I've had three cousins die due to heroin, I thought the inevitable life path for most junkies was larger and larger hits until they died. It's "sustainable"?
I guess alcoholism could be a good comparison. I know too many people that drank themselves to death, but I knew others that drank 6-12 beers per day, every day, for decades until dying in their 60s.
Thanks for the insight.
Yes, the comparison to alcoholism is probably as good as any. Some people are in so much pain that they end up killing themselves trying to get away from it and lots are sustainable, as you say, drinking enough to get drunk every day for decades.Throw in the illegality, the expense and how addicting heroin is and that by itself can create a lot more stress and a horrible feedback cycle. Then there are the problems with purity, seems that most people who die due to heroin misjudge their dosage and die. Used to be a regular thing around here where a batch would hit the streets that was too pure and junkies would be dropping dead from taking what they thought was their usual dose and ODing. Now they're dying like flies from the heroin being cut with extra strength stuff.Really the problem is mental health, even experiments with rats show that happy rats don't become addicted though they will party now and again while overcrowded stressed out rats become addicts. Most of the alcoholics that I've known who drank themselves to death seemed to be veterans who couldn't handle the PTSD.
I think you're underselling the risks of addiction some. I used to work with software for addiction management, and the psychologists and psychiatrists working in the field said that the majority of addictions were from injury or self-medicating a mental illness. That fits your assertion. But the same researcher said a substantial minority of addictions were just plain user errors. Jane was emotionally and mentally fine, developed a partying habit simply because partying was fun, and became an alcoholic or junkie all on her own.
And of course, your risk of anxiety and depression and the associated risk of substance abuse goes up if you're facing stress. More than half of all Americans live with a frightening level of stress over finance on a day to day basis. I'm sure that doesn't help.
Fentanyl is very much a medicine. It is used routinely in a hospital setting.
It is frequently abused as well, of course.
Many things can be and are abused. People sniff glue, they take meth, and occasionally you see some idiot using a lawnmower to trim hedges. That doesn't mean that they should be illegal. Most really bad ideas are not illegal.
As a side note, it turns out that LSD and 'shrooms are two of the few things that are effective against migraine and cluster headaches and they have fewer nasty side effects than the legal and much less effective drugs.
If you have a nasty food poisoning, paregoric (a mixture of kaolin and opium) will fix you up fast. That used to be available over the counter, and then with a signature (still no prescription needed).
Then there's crazy knock-on effects of some drugs being illegal. It's getting so hard to buy a decent decongestant in some places that there are tongue-in-cheek articles on how to convert street meth back to decongestant in your kitchen.
fentanyl is not illegal. Legalizing === decriminalizing, not selling them recreationally.
The nasty part of the drug war is imprisoning people over these drugs being used recreationally. Sure you might keep a few users out of jail but the main problem would still be there. Stop with the morality war already and focus on helping the addicts.
There is never going to be any good excuse for recreational fentanyl use, for example, and ditto meth
So you're going to completely ignore the entire conversation about legalisation, and go with they're bad so keep them illegal?
No, for something like that I support *decriminalization* at least for possession, followed by shutting down production where possible.
Then where do you disagree with the BMJ?
It seems not to say anything much about cutting off the international flow of narcotics. China, in what I am almost sure is ironic and poetic revenge for the Anglosphere poisoning them with opium for centuries, seems to be the main source of these potent fentanyls and family in the US isn't it?
If I were running the BMJ, I'm not sure I'd want to weigh-in on international politics. Medical doctors, in their professional capacities as such, do well to remain above the political fray.
The particular question of drug criminalisation is an exception. The question there is whether society is best served by treating drug abuse as criminal problem, or as a medical problem.
Oh, medical, for sure. Reason being, most of these drugs rewire the brain and nervous system. If that's not a clear case of "this is a medical problem" I don't know what is.
Seems to me the more compelling argument is that the war on drugs just isn't working.
Slight aside: I'm currently reading Peter Hitchens' book, A Brief of History of Crime [wikipedia.org], a.k.a. The Abolition of Liberty. He makes a pretty typical hard-conservative case in favour of drug criminalisation. I don't find him at all convincing.
Let's just say that between the two brothers Hitchens, Peter, er, didn't get the lion's share of the brains. Or human decency.
free people don't need to make excuses for their personal decisions. it's none of your business what they do with their lives unless you birthed them. fucking authoritarian.
Let's see you say that after you've been violently robbed :)
That's caused by the war on drugs jacking up the price. Clinical heroin is very cheap and some of the other opiates are even cheaper. The big thing is that it all needs to be regulated so the junkies know what they're buying and what they're buying is pure.
It takes quite a bit of time for ideas to work their way through the general population, and it is a critical mass sort of thing that spreads exponentially. I think the current support for the war on drugs is more about ignorance, it isn't that most voters care. Most voters want drugs illegal because they simply do not have all the facts yet and are victims of so much brainwashing propaganda. That mindset is shifting, we shall see how long it takes.
A good point about special interests, but without democracy ALL you get are special interests. Democracy at least provides some feedback from the populace.
it's mainly because the old people won't die and they vote more than the young people.
I support decriminalisation of drugs, so I'm not picking holes for the sake of it.
Some drugs are (a) pretty nasty if taken by someone unprepared and unused to their effects (b) easy to administer without the victim's consent. Lacing thrown-away food with LSD for dumpster-divers to eat would be regarded as funny by some people, as would sprinkling fentanyl powder on someone (it is absorbed through the skin in clinically significant amounts [umd.edu]), so making them easily available would carry some risks. Restricting their distribution, like other fast-acting poisons, would probably be a good idea. This means that there would still be a market for those seeking a different high.
You would probably need some form of licensing regime, much like driving licences, and licences to sell alcoholic liquor, so that supply could be regulated and taxed, and users could show certification that they were allowed to buy particular types of drug. There would still be a black market, but it should in theory, be much smaller. The black market would always be capable of growing to meet demand, where people regarded the taxation as onerous, or if somebody tries to implement prohibition.
Alcohol shows a possible model. Many jurisdictions allow people to brew their own beer and wine. A small number allow home distillation - most don't. I'm not aware of any jurisdictions where you can home brew or home distill and sell your product commercially - you normally need to follow a lot of regulations and be taxed to be able to operate commercially. Alongside such legal structures, you always find a black market.
So people need to understand that decriminalisation and legalization do not magically make black markets and abuse vanish - they simply have the possibility of reducing the harm from the current levels. I think that [harm reduction] is a sensible approach, but many disagree, believing that a sufficiently strong anti-drugs regime will entirely prevent a black market, and we simply have not been harsh enough yet. To me, that seems like flying in the face of reality, but I am aware that opinions differ, and some people hold their beliefs very strongly, even if irrational to do so. Such is being human.
There's one drug that probably wouldn't need a black market if it was available for sale:
An active dose of LSD is very minute, allowing a large number of doses to be synthesized from a comparatively small amount of raw material. Twenty five kilograms of precursor ergotamine tartrate can produce 5–6 kg of pure crystalline LSD; this corresponds to 100 million doses. Because the masses involved are so small, concealing and transporting illicit LSD is much easier than smuggling cocaine, cannabis, or other illegal drugs.Manufacturing LSD requires laboratory equipment and experience in the field of organic chemistry. It takes two to three days to produce 30 to 100 grams of pure compound. It is believed that LSD is not usually produced in large quantities, but rather in a series of small batches. This technique minimizes the loss of precursor chemicals in case a step does not work as expected.
An active dose of LSD is very minute, allowing a large number of doses to be synthesized from a comparatively small amount of raw material. Twenty five kilograms of precursor ergotamine tartrate can produce 5–6 kg of pure crystalline LSD; this corresponds to 100 million doses. Because the masses involved are so small, concealing and transporting illicit LSD is much easier than smuggling cocaine, cannabis, or other illegal drugs.
Manufacturing LSD requires laboratory equipment and experience in the field of organic chemistry. It takes two to three days to produce 30 to 100 grams of pure compound. It is believed that LSD is not usually produced in large quantities, but rather in a series of small batches. This technique minimizes the loss of precursor chemicals in case a step does not work as expected.
Theoretically, at those rates, a lone chemist could create a billion doses in 3 years. They would just find it hard to distribute under the current regime. A company could make a truly stupendous amount of LSD with some fancier and automated equipment. Other than initial equipment costs, production costs would be relatively low and storage of unused megadoses of LSD could be done in a compact amount of space (perhaps you could fit 10 billion doses in a single walk-in fridge).
This type of initiative will never be allowed on a global scale, because very lucrative business which by nature has to be secret and illicit is necessary for easy and fast funding of operations needing to be untraceable and deniable. Organized crime is more organized than most people can imagine. It has crucial role in politics and national security of nation states, and therefore it is here to stay indefinitely, unless there can be some sort of disarmament global agreement ... about something none even would (or had to) admit exists. So, drugs will stay illegal, because governments need big criminals - crime is de facto another executive branch of government, unbound one.
yes, this is how black ops are funded. just ask noriega...oh yeah, nevermind.