The White House announced a new Heroin Response Strategy on Monday to combat a "heroin/opioid epidemic" across 15 states in the northeast:
The Office of National Drug Control Policy said it would spend $2.5 million to hire public safety and public health coordinators in five areas in an attempt to focus on the treatment, rather than the punishment, of addicts. The funding — a sliver of the $25.1 billion that the government spends every year to combat drug use — will help create a new "heroin response strategy" aimed at confronting the increase in use of the drug. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that heroin-related deaths had nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.[...] Once thought of as a drug used only by hard-core addicts, heroin has infiltrated many communities, largely because of its easy availability and its low price, officials said. The problem has become especially severe in New England, where officials have called for a renewed effort to confront it. Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont devoted his entire State of the State Message in January to what he called "a full-blown heroin crisis" in his state. Like the new White House effort, the governor called for a new, treatment-based approach to the drug.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy said it would spend $2.5 million to hire public safety and public health coordinators in five areas in an attempt to focus on the treatment, rather than the punishment, of addicts. The funding — a sliver of the $25.1 billion that the government spends every year to combat drug use — will help create a new "heroin response strategy" aimed at confronting the increase in use of the drug. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that heroin-related deaths had nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.
[...] Once thought of as a drug used only by hard-core addicts, heroin has infiltrated many communities, largely because of its easy availability and its low price, officials said. The problem has become especially severe in New England, where officials have called for a renewed effort to confront it. Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont devoted his entire State of the State Message in January to what he called "a full-blown heroin crisis" in his state. Like the new White House effort, the governor called for a new, treatment-based approach to the drug.
[More after the break...]
Thomas McLellan, President Obama's chief scientist for drug control policy from 2009 to 2012, said $2.5 million "is not close to the financial commitment that is needed" and that use of the opiate-blocker naloxone is a squandered second chance without proper follow-up care. Executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Ethan Nadelmann, was also dismissive of the announcement:
Nadelmann sees drug policy as existing along a continuum, from "lock'em up, hang'em, pull out their fingernails, Singapore, Saudi Arabia" all the way down to "essentially no controls whatsoever, maybe a little for kids." Unfortunately, he says, American drug policy under Obama is way too close to the hang'em end of the spectrum—and this new heroin program won't change the administration's position much in his eyes. That's because it's a bait-and-switch. It's promoted as a treatment-first program, but the details lean heavily toward enforcement and incarceration. It calls for 15 drug intelligence officers and 15 health policy analysts to collect data on overdoses and trends in heroin trafficking. Everyone will feed the data back to a joint health-law enforcement coordination center, which will distribute the data across state lines. That's great for cops. They need fresher leads on where heroin is coming from, who is moving it, and where it's being purchased. But public health officials don't need to know the intricacies of trafficking in order to respond to an ongoing epidemic.
According to a July 7th report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 2002 to 2013, with 8,200 deaths in the year 2013. During that period, heroin use increased the most among females (100%), the 18-25 age group (109%), and non-Hispanic whites (114%). Heroin use among households with less than $20,000 of annual income increased 62%, compared to 77% for households with $20,000-$49,999, and 60% for households with $50,000 or more. Tom Frieden, head of the CDC, said that the "epidemic" is growing out of prescription opioid painkiller abuse. He estimates that heroin is available at one-fifth the cost of prescription painkillers.
Don't criticize it.
Yup, encourage high-grade stuff and watch natural selection happen.Since it's growing among non-hispanic whites, getting all the orphans adopted won't be too difficult.
Yup, encourage high-grade stuff and watch natural selection happen.
one of the largest causes of overdose is the unknown and varying quality. if you're used to shooting a pack because its usually weak stuff and suddenly your guy gets a supply of stuff thats 4x stronger, or you get from somebody else that has 4x stronger stuff and you do your normal dose, you're probably going to die, because you have no idea exactly how much you're doing. if it was always high quality and regulated there would be significantly less deaths because people would know exactly how much they're getting, how potent it is, and whats all in it (no harmful cuts if its regulated).
It's about the fundamental right to control your own body. It's amazing that people in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave' can support things like the drug war which violate our most basic rights and yet still claim that freedom is desirable to them.
It's about the fundamental right to control your own body.
It's not that simple.
Its Hard to exercise your 'fundamental rights' when your brain chemistry is fucked up by the drugs, and you want another hit so badly you'd sell your own child into slavery for a hit.
That's the issue with addictive drugs, once your on them, you've subverted your own ability to decide whether to take them. There is a valid argument for the state (ie the rest of society) to intervene on your behalf to dry you out so that you are able regain control over yourself, and make your own decisions again, instead of just running on perpetual chemical overload until you burn out permanently.
Your point, of course, is valid too. Hence there is legitimate controversy.
Selling your child into slavery is a crime regardless of the legal status of heroin. Here are some of the benefits of legalizing a dangerous category of drugs (opiates):
I'm not sure if we're on the same side of this debate.
I do agree that criminalization and a 'war on drugs' is not a solution.
I don't agree you should have the absolute right to just stick crap in your body without government intervention... whether you're eating rat poison or sticking street heroine in your veins or trying to open your skull with a powerdrill then society has a moral duty to intervene, in my opinion.
Is it currently a crime to ingest rat poison or arsenic?
If not, why should it be a crime to ingest heroin or cocaine, which can be orders of magnitude safer?
Society can intervene. You catch a gibbering drug user on the street, you throw them in treatment rather than a cell. If you exercise discretion, you don't even have to cite them for causing a disturbance. Even a forced psych evaluation or 24-72 hour detention would be preferable.
Its "attempted suicide" if you do it on purpose; and accidental poisoning if you don't. In general health services are empowered to intervene in either case. If it was intentional you can be put under suicide watch, and be referred for a mental evaluation that can lead to you being institutionalized.
Even a forced psych evaluation or 24-72 hour detention would be preferable.
Seems that we are on the same page more or less. I'm not pushing hard for it to be "criminal". I'm arguing more about it "being a fundamental right". And if we've arrived at a point where someone doing heroine can be picked up and detained and evaluated or thrown in treatment then "legal or not" were still "infringing" on his right to screw himself up with drugs.
Taken further if a drug is particularly harmful, and leads to more problems than not, then why should society have to perpetually foot the bill for treating idiots who insist on taking it because: rights. That doesn't necessarily mean we criminalize it and launch an ineffective war on it, but maybe we bill him for the emergency services.
Or maybe its a privilege rather than a fundamental right... and anyone can get a license but if you subsequently prove you can't be responsible you lose it, and it becomes illegal for you be on heroine...I'm just spit balling...
I get why libertarians use phrases like "fundamental right to put substances into my body" when debating the drug war. In actuality the most likely path to getting something like that in a semi-legal form would be to codify as an extension to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Not likely yet.
Its "attempted suicide" if you do it on purpose; and accidental poisoning if you don't.
And your point is? We have names for all kinds of things.
Really, what I don't get here is why you care. Just because there might be a right to pump whatever I want into my body doesn't give me a right to drive right afterwards. We already have laws against reckless behavior and endangering other peoples' lives. If the matter is one of testing, then we probably could spend a few tens of millions and get a viable, quick field-based testing system (well, a better system that current ones out there) for these drugs like we do for alcohol.
Really, what I don't get here is why you care.
Because I think society should help a person who is sick.
Just because there might be a right to pump whatever I want into my body doesn't give me a right to drive right afterwards.
This is about potential for addiction to prevent you from being able to make the decision to stop pumping shit into your body once you start. This is about addiction leading you to make decisions that harm your family and loved ones (selling all their shit for more H included.) decisions one would not make if one had not literally altered ones own brain to be able to make decisions about the drugs properly.
If you think a person should be free to pump shit into his veins fine, I just happen to think he should be free to stop too. And since the shit he's pumped into his veins, may override his ability to stop on his own, I think its fair that society step in and dry him out.
And what happens when he reverses that process again? I think a far better position here is to simply let people make their own decisions, good and bad rather than create yet another flimsy pretext for other people to meddle in your life.
This is about addiction leading you to make decisions that harm your family and loved ones (selling all their shit for more H included.) decisions one would not make if one had not literally altered ones own brain to be able to make decisions about the drugs properly.
No one does that to obtain alcohol and tobacco now. One of the consequences of drug legalization is that no one has to commit a lot of crimes in order to support a habit made costly by the illegality of the drug.
I think a far better position here is to simply let people make their own decisions, good and bad rather than create yet another flimsy pretext for other people to meddle in your life.
You call it a "decision". But it has an awful lot in common with a disease or medical condition.
One of the consequences of drug legalization is that no one has to commit a lot of crimes in order to support a habit made costly by the illegality of the drug.
The average street cost of a dose of heroine, if that's to be believed (afraid I have no personal frame of reference to even do a sanity check on the number), is around $25. That's really not that bad. If I were inclined to try heroine... that's not a deterrent in the least. A couple drinks in a bar costs me the same. Even if they legalized it, I doubt it would be that much cheaper.
I think you also neglect to appreciate the severity of the addiction; and the degree to which it destroys your ability to be productive. A smoker doing 2 cartons of smokes a day can still hold down a job. So he can afford 2 cartons a day. A hardcore heroine addict ... even if he earned enough to pay for his habit wouldn't be able to continue working.
And what does that have to do with making the drug illegal? And where doess this end? Are we going to grab all the people with abnormal brain chemistry and force them to be normal?
Well, that would totally decimate support for both the Dem's and the Rep's.
Yes, it is.
Uh, no. You can still exercise your fundamental rights even when you're on drugs. Even if you couldn't, you chose that path yourself.
If you sell someone into slavery, you have committed an actual crime and can be arrested.
you've subverted your own ability to decide whether to take them.
No, you haven't; that makes no fucking sense. It doesn't matter if you decide you want them because you're addicted and can't think straight. The reason you want them is irrelevant. You are still exercising your fundamental rights.
I'll tell you how not to secure people's fundamental liberties: Have the government infringe upon their fundamental liberties. That's just a huge contradiction. Protect the fundamental right to control your own body by taking it away.
Hence there is legitimate controversy.
There is only controversy because so many people in society pretend to want freedom and then support policies that are inherently authoritarian.
Uh, no. You can still exercise your fundamental rights even when you're on drugs.
No, you can't. You become 'incompetent' to exercise your rights. You still have them, but you are no longer in control. I'm suggesting the state has the right and even duty to help you restore proper control.
Even if you couldn't, you chose that path yourself.
What kind of nonsense is that. Yuo think a lot of people set out to become a street junkie? They make a few bad decisions, and trap themselves, and we should let them rot because, hey, they chose that path?
There is only controversy because so many people in society pretend to want freedom and then support policies that are inherently authoritarian.
It's inherently authoritarian policy that we rescue someone lying face down in a ditch strung out on H... because hey they put themselves there and it would be a violation of their fundamental rights if we so much as lift a finger to help them back up. I guess I need to buy some jackboots now, because I'm a fascist right?
No, you can't.
Yes, you can. It depends on actions, not mindset. I can exercise my free speech rights while being totally ignorant that I even have them.
I'm suggesting the state has the right and even duty to help you restore proper control.
That doesn't appear in the constitution anywhere.
Furthermore, that is an inherently authoritarian idea. You don't get to define what is and isn't "proper control".
You become 'incompetent' to exercise your rights.
Ignorance or incompetence has nothing to do with whether you're exercising your rights.
What kind of nonsense is that. Yuo think a lot of people set out to become a street junkie?
With that specific goal in mind? No. But they still chose to take actions that lead up to that.
It's inherently authoritarian policy that we rescue someone lying face down in a ditch strung out on H... because hey they put themselves there and it would be a violation of their fundamental rights if we so much as lift a finger to help them back up.
It's inherently authoritarian because you're suggesting we violate their fundamental right to control their own bodies by banning drugs entirely. I did not suggest that you could not help them at all, but it needs to be voluntary.
And then you pretend you're actually protecting their fundamental rights. You remind me of that treacherous fool Chris Christie saying something to the effect of 'What good are your rights if you end up in a body bag?' to justify the NSA's mass surveillance.
I guess I need to buy some jackboots now, because I'm a fascist right?
You don't get to define what is and isn't "proper control".
Sure we do. We declare people incompetent and remand them and their affairs to the custody of others in lots of situations. Drug addicition isn't general incompetence, but their ability to make a rational decision on whether to take more drugs is being overridden by the addiction to the drugs. On that one question they are no longer really in control of the decision.
I did not suggest that you could not help them at all, but it needs to be voluntary.
And that's where we diverge. A junkie who wants his next fix isn't acting in his own best interests. They need treatment whether they "want" it or not. And the fact that they don't want help is the addiction talking. Or are you are arguing that he'd really like to be a street junkie, and we should all respect that this represents his pursuit of liberty and the American dream?
You are making a legal argument, which is fine. I am not. I am not appealing to the constitution for authority. And ultimately the constitution should reflect the society we collectively want, not the other way around. We shouldn't be stuck with a society we don't want because the constitution says so. That's idiotic.
It's inherently authoritarian because you're suggesting we violate their fundamental right to control their own bodies by banning drugs entirely.
I didn't say they needed to be banned entirely.
You remind me of that treacherous fool Chris Christie saying something to the effect of 'What good are your rights if you end up in a body bag?' to justify the NSA's mass surveillance.
Chris Christie is wrong to use that argument to justify the NSA's ongoing mass surveillance. However its essentially the same argument as the mandate to wear a seatbelt; or the mandate against selling leaded gasoline.
It's invalid when Christie used it largely because its a serious breach of rights with no measurable benefit.Its justified when used to mandate seatbelts or ban leaded gasoline because its a miniscule infringement on your freedom with a very tangible benefit.But its the same argument.
Or are seatbelts and a ban on lead just more fascism? I might need more than one pair of jackboots.
Sure we do. We declare people incompetent and remand them and their affairs to the custody of others in lots of situations.
You don't understand what you're talking about. Whether you're ignorant, drugged, or what, through your own actions, you exercise your liberties. It doesn't matter how or why you do. You can't protect fundamental liberties by taking them away. If you criticize the government, you are *logically* exercising your right to free speech no matter what your state of mind is or how ignorant you are. Your logic that because someone is drugged they can't exercise their rights is pure and utter nonsense.
And that's where we diverge. A junkie who wants his next fix isn't acting in his own best interests.
What is and is not in their best interests is subjective. And even if that is true, that is their decision. That's part of the fundamental right to control your own body.
I am not appealing to the constitution for authority.
I am merely saying it is not currently constitutional.
And ultimately the constitution should reflect the society we collectively want, not the other way around.
Sounds like a good way for the minority to be stripped of their rights by the tyrannical majority. Popularity should have nothing to do with it. Popularity rears its ugly head even in representative republics, but that shouldn't be the main consideration.
Oh, no. They just need to be forced into rehab when you don't like their decisions. That's totally different from being banned.
The constitution doesn't grant the federal government the authority to mandate either one. Short of a constitutional amendment, they're currently violating the constitution.
Seatbelts should not be required, but not wearing a seatbelt is still not on the same level as the fundamental right to control your own body. For leaded gasoline, you are merely exercising your privacy property rights, and doing so in a way that isn't really that important to protect (and something most people can't do anyway); I would support such a constitutional amendment here. But neither are as important as the drug issue.
It's invalid when Christie used it largely because its a serious breach of rights with no measurable benefit.
Well, you're certainly a piece of garbage. If it did lead to measurable benefits, it sounds like you would support it. For that, you are not a true ally in the fight against mass surveillance, because all they need to do is make their surveillance more effective. One day you're an 'ally', and the next you are a mere traitor to human rights. That is what makes you 'safety' nuts so dangerous. You really aren't much different from Chris Christie and his fellow scumbags. You are in good company.
I do not think that you should live in countries that supposedly strive to be free. Somewhere like North Korea might be a better country for you.
And even if that is true, that is their decision.
That is the entire argument. Once your drugged up, your decision making is suspect. Are you even doing what you really want to do anymore? Sure you made the initial decision to take the drugs, but does that mean you should now be trapped by that decision?
You can't protect fundamental liberties by taking them away.
If a man takes pills and lands himself in a coma, can I revive him? He's lost control of himself, and can not "decide" to wake up. But he did decide to take those pills.Same for addiction, once he's taken the drugs and gotten himself addicted, he's trapped... I'm not saying he can't take drugs, but I'm saying once he's messed up by them he's not "making decisions" anymore. His brain is under the influence of the drugs.
Well, you're certainly a piece of garbage. If it did lead to measurable benefits, it sounds like you would support it.
It's still an egregious violation and the benefits would need to be equally immense. I don't expect this to be the case; and certainly not a threshold reached even if they caught a few thousand actual terrorists by doing it. I think your painting a picture of me that is a gross mis-characterization.
But lets say the threat is big... not "oh noes terrists gonna blow up mah minimall" but "an extinction level event is happening" as in a virus that is wiping us out (not merely decimating us, but getting nearly all of us ... 6'9s fatality rate; airborne, lives months without a host, no vaccine\cure... but we can stop it with some serious curtails of our liberty until we find a cure. travel restrictions, mandatory blood screening to catch early infection, quarantine, ... )
Do we do it? Its an infringement on your constitution rights after all.
I am not a safety nut. I don't think mass surveillance is justified for terrorism. I think its a huge invasion of privacy, and it would take a LOT more than terrorism... a phenomena that ranks down with "accidental bathtub related fatalities" before I'd ever consider it justified. But yeah, I can think of threats so large that they represent an existential threat to the country itself, or humanity itself that large infringements on our freedoms could be necessary... and being prepared to consider that we might curtail our freedom to survive as a species hardly makes me chummy with North Korean dictators.
That is the entire argument. Once your drugged up, your decision making is suspect.
Suspect to you, maybe. But you only care about this because you want government thugs to stop people from exercising their fundamental right to control their own bodies. There's nothing you could say that could convince me that you're anything but a hardcore authoritarian.
If a man takes pills and lands himself in a coma, can I revive him?
There's a big difference between being in a coma and on drugs. Even on drugs people have some ability to make decisions. You might as well be comparing a drug addict to a corpse; it's nonsensical.
It's still an egregious violation and the benefits would need to be equally immense.
As I thought.
The government has no legitimate authority to violate the constitution. Give me liberty or give me death.
I am not a safety nut.
Your stance on drugs proves otherwise. If someone has a brain state you deem abnormal or undesirable, you're perfectly happy to use government thugs to make them 'normal' again.
You didn't really answer the question. Let's try again:
The travel restrictions that were in place to fight ebola? Were they an intolerable infringement on your rights?
"New guidelines will force travellers from affected countries to fly via US airports with screening procedures in place"http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/21/us-limited-ebola-travel-restrictions-west-africa [theguardian.com]
If someone has a brain state you deem abnormal or undesirable,
I prefer to leave medical diagnosis in the hands of professional medical associations. I'm not suggesting I personally have any say over it.
you're perfectly happy to use government thugs to make them 'normal' again.
If, by that, you mean "let doctors treat the mentally ill", yes.
You didn't really answer the question.
What part of "The government has no legitimate authority to violate the constitution. Give me liberty or give me death." did you not understand? I find you cowardly for suggesting that it's alright to violate the constitution.
Ah, right, because what qualifies as a mental illness is so objective. It's so objective, in fact, that homosexuality and many other things were once treated as mental illnesses. But because someone likes doing something you don't like, and they have a state of mind that you don't like, you'd better let loose the government thugs to force them to behave.
This isn't a matter of just letting doctors treat people, and you know it. You want to use government force to ensure the doctors will treat them. There is nothing voluntary about this exchange. By definition, you want a nanny-state that policies people (and as usual with authoritarians, you think you are helping them even if they don't want your 'help', just as advocates of mass surveillance think they are helping everyone) if they have a brain state that you don't like. The middle man you use to force your opinions on others is the government.
Yep. I'm not an authoritarian scumbag who is willing to allow the government to violate the highest law of the land for safety. The only powers the government legitimately has are those mentioned in the constitution, and if it attempts to overthrow our constitutional form of government by violating it, that is deeply unethical and The People have a duty to stop it.
Yep. I'm not an authoritarian scumbag who is willing to allow the government to violate the highest law of the land for safety.
You're an entirely different kind of nutbag.
A patriot/someone who values freedom highly, if you consider that a nutbag.
A rational person balances all sorts of competing moral and practical imperatives. You only consider "freedom" to the exclusion of all else. You are an extremist.
You called the minimal travel restrictions and medical screening on passengers arriving from west africa an intolerable infringment of freedom. Presumably it wouldn't matter how serious the threat was.. ebola... bubonic plague... whatever rolled humanity over in The Stand. I can only presume you side with the anti-vaxxers too.
Yeah, that sailed right through "patriot" and deep into "nutbag" territory.
A rational person
A rational person also can take their own values into account, which I am doing. The fact that I value freedom more than hardcore authoritarians such as yourself doesn't mean I'm not being rational. You don't get to decide that rational means having a certain set of values.
You are an extremist.
I see you as an extremist. What qualifies as "extreme" is subjective.
You called the minimal travel restrictions and medical screening on passengers arriving from west africa an intolerable infringment of freedom.
The federal government has no constitutional authority to do such a thing, and I value a government that respects the constitution more than I value physical safety.
I can only presume you side with the anti-vaxxers too.
Incorrect. Getting vaccinations is a good thing. I just wouldn't force it on others.
Defending the constitution and the principles to which this country is supposed to aspire is patriotic, no matter how "extreme" you think I am.
Yes. You've stated that you'd rather let a plague kill us all rather than see any sort of medical screening or travel restriction imposed on you. I got it.
Not forcing it on others AND allowing them to live among us IS the problem.
So you say. But that's still not being anti-vaccination, because such people tend to say that getting vaccinations provides no substantial benefits, does substantial harm (causes autism, etc.), and/or doesn't benefit others. I don't say any of that.
>> >>Its Hard to exercise your 'fundamental rights' when your brain chemistry is fucked up by the drugs, and you want another hit so badly you'd sell your >> >>own child into slavery for a hit.
>>Uh, no. You can still exercise your fundamental rights even when you're on drugs. Even if you couldn't, you chose that path yourself.>>If you sell someone into slavery, you have committed an actual crime and can be arrested.
True but arresting the parent who does this doesn't fix the problem for the child does it. Did they even find and rescue the child? How fucked up is the child's mind now? Did the child even survive?
I don't know how many adicts go as far as selling their children into slavery but my understanding is that hurting their families in various ways in order to get more heroine is a common outcome of adiction. I happen to know a family where the father became adicted to the stuff. He drove them into debt to where the mother could not get food or clothing for the children. After she kicked him out he snuck back in, removed appliances and sold them. Finally he came and got her car. She almost was fired from her job due to that and right when she needed it most! On top of this, seeing her dad turn this way has really messed up the daughter's mind. She is prone to all sorts of outbursts now.
One might argue that his wife made a poor choice in chosing him. His children certainly didn't make any choice. I would say that their fundamental rights have been taken away by him chosing to consume heroine. I also don't like the idea of people's rights to control their own body being taken away but how many other people's lives should one person be allowed to ruin in excercising those rights?
Even if you say.. well.. when they do that.. THEN they are criminals. It's too late, the damage is done. If you see that people excercising their own 'fundamental rights' frequently cause this kind of damage to others then how long should society sit by before deciding that the 'right' is just too expensive in terms of damage it does to other people's lives, violating their own rights because they are not the ones who made the choice.
True but arresting the parent who does this doesn't fix the problem for the child does it.
No, it doesn't. But bad things sometimes happen, even in free societies. Deal with it.
If you see that people excercising their own 'fundamental rights' frequently cause this kind of damage to others then how long should society sit by before deciding that the 'right' is just too expensive in terms of damage it does to other people's lives, violating their own rights because they are not the ones who made the choice.
Society should not infringe upon our fundamental right to control our own bodies simply because indirect damage could occur. Again, you, like so many other people, speak of safety. I want to live in a free country, even if that means potentially less safety (not that I believe the drug war increases safety). It's as if some people cannot imagine how safety could be less important than principles, the constitution, and freedom; they cannot imagine how banning something to prevent possible indirect 'damage' is inherently authoritarian because it forbids everyone from having it whether or not they would have abused it, and restricts people before they actually commit crimes.
Authoritarianism isn't appealing to anyone but cowards.
"Again, you, like so many other people, speak of safety. I want to live in a free country,..." blah blah blah
Actually.. I consider myself to be very much against the surveilance state, and for the right to bear arms. I'm all for legalizing less harmful drugs. I would admit pot and probably LSD into that category. I would not place Crack or Heroine in that category. I don't have any problem with admitting that I don't know enough about other drugs to say what side of the line I would put them on.
Further.. those drugs that I wouldn't say deserve to be legalized due to being low-harm... That doesn't mean I support keeping them criminialized. The 'war on drugs' is unwinable. The colateral damage is immense, both due to loss of freedom and empowering the criminals that make and distribute the drugs and yes.. also offenses by over-zealous police.
I don't know what would happen if those drugs were legalized. Maybe they would be more popular leading to the destruction of more lives? Maybe adicts would have better prognosis with a doctor's help and controled doses. Maybe we would all be better off with drug corporations making the drugs rather than drug cartels.
I'm only trying to point out that here in the real world these things are complicated with shades of grey, not black and white drugs are evil, ban them vs get out from between me and my crack pipe so that I can be free.
To be fair, we need to compare against our current approach of arresting mom and dumping the kids into the foster system where (statistically) they will be abused, bounced around completely out of their control and grow up to become criminals (at a rate higher than kids that don't go into the system).
At one time, before he spent them into debt, she could have turned to the clergy for help. That would go better if it could include enrolling him in a free rehab provided as part of healthcare, but we don't have that. With church membership on the decline, perhaps a social worker?
But certainly by the time he stole the appliances he should have been given a choice between rehab in jail or rehab as a condition of probation. That too should have been free rehab provided as part of healthcare (and it would be cheaper than keeping him in jail anyway). At that point it could be justified since the addiction was clearly a contributor to his criminal behavior. But again, our society is more interested in meting out punishment than in actually solving the problem. The appliances should have been retrieved and returned (once again, no interest in solving the problem).
That is a very extreme state. Most 'addicts' are functional addicts. History is full of opiate addicts that remained useful members of society. It probably would have been better for them personally not to be functional addicts, but they weren't raving sell-their-kids for a hit addicts either.
Furthermore, your post is a clear echo of those studies about rats choosing to kill themselves with heroin or cocaine rather than drink plain water that were burned into our collective subconscious by public (dis)service commercials [youtube.com] during the 80s. Except those studies turned out to be immensely flawed. Rats will kill themselves with drugs under those conditions, but those conditions are the equivalent of putting a human in solitary confinement with no other forms of mental stimulation. Drive people, or rats, insane and they will frequently kill themselves with or without drugs.
But put them in an environment with normal levels of stimulation and they don't OD. [bbc.com] In fact, if you force addiction on them, by feeding them drug-laced food every day for weeks and then put them in a normal environment, practically all of them will spontaneously remit.
Physical and psychological addiction are legit phenomena, but they are far more complicated states than pop-culture depictions make them out to be.
It's not that simple IMO. Who pays for the health care of someone who does severe drug abuse? No matter whether health insurance is privatized or state-funded, the costs of the damage that you willfully do to your own body will likely be coughed up by the rest of society.
Not that I think the US approach of criminalizing drug use is the right solution, because (a) it punishes limited recreational use without costs to society and (b) it's probably more expensive to keep someone in prison for several years than to deal with it as a medical issue.
It's not that simple IMO. Who pays for the health care of someone who does severe drug abuse?
I would much rather pay more taxes and pay more money for insurance than live as under an authoritarian government. Maybe freedom is worthless to you, but it isn't to me. So even if I assume that it would be a net loss to legalize drugs, I would accept that as the cost for freedom. This is much like I would oppose the NSA's unconstitutional mass surveillance which violates our fundamental human rights even if it did keep us safe.
I would much rather pay more taxes and pay more money for insurance than live as under an authoritarian government. Maybe freedom is worthless to you, but it isn't to me.
I can only read this as a false dichotomy or strawman argument. But if you want to push the discussion in this direction, then my answer is: "your freedom ends where my nose begins."
I can only read this as a false dichotomy or strawman argument.
That was exactly the point: It was to let people know where I stand, were I to have to choose between those things. I value freedom far, far more than I value safety and money.
My true feelings are that it would probably improve the situation to legalize drugs. We spend so much money on trying to stop people from using drugs, and it's completely futile. Use that for something worthless.
But if you want to push the discussion in this direction, then my answer is: "your freedom ends where my nose begins."
As opposed to getting government thugs to ban things merely because they might end up affecting you indirectly? And I assure you that someone else taking a drug isn't going to affect you directly; its effect is indirect, at best. Your quote implies direct effects (getting punched in the nose, for instance), but that is nonexistent here, so it's irrelevant.
No matter who pays, it's still cheaper than prison. Funny how we don't seem to question the costs of prison or who's going to pay for it before we sentence someone.
There are many chemicals out there, which are genuinely bad for society. Like cocaine, heroin, krokodil, meth. What if a father gets hooked on a drug, and gets large medical bills, or dies. Who will pay for his kids?
Many people have tried illegal drugs, and many are dead for them. Just like many pioneers die of dysentary, or get killed by Native Americans.
Just because marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD are in the ballpark of safety, as tobacco, and can be tolerated, doesn't mean that all drugs should be legal.
Cocaine, heroin and meth are all relatively harmless in recreational doses. For example, Charles Dickens and Ben Franklin were both regular opium users, which is essentially just heroin by another name. Freud and Edison enjoyed cocaine -- hell Coca-Cola contained cocaine for years.
Krokodil only exists because alternatives like the other three are illegal and thus prices are high, so addicts trade health for afford-ability. Same thing other stupid drugs like huffing paint - nobody would huff or sniff glue if they could afford pot.
> Legalize It> Don't criticize it.
And I will advertise it!
Man, the cultural literacy here is weak.
Ask that question of somebody "close to the hang 'em end of the spectrum" and the answers will come in the form of availability and price and that sort of thing.
But from a less insane perspective, it seems pretty obvious that people aren't going to want to commit slow suicide through self-medication unless their lives are pretty shitty to begin with.
And the thing is...people who want to escape their lives through drugs pretty obviously don't have anything else left to lose or to live for or to care about. And when you've got an epidemic of that sort of depression on your hands, the last thing you should be worried about is the preferred means of escape used by the depressed.
Then again, the "hang 'em" crowd has their own problems they're dealing with...by making everybody else suffer and share the pain of their own insecurities. Gee, I wonder if there might be any correlation....
...unless their lives are pretty shitty to begin with.
...unless their lives are pretty shitty to begin with.
Only in comparison to the high the drugs give. My day to day life will never compare to a chemical high so it seems something to get depressed over when framed from the view of being high. (The only winning move is to not play.) When wanting to be somewhere else "better" than their normal life it is escapism, even if their normal life is coveted by others.
That's pretty sad really. A chemical high may be more visceral but if it is actually better to the point you would prefer it at all times, something is very wrong.
A lot of people enjoy a mild buzz from alcohol (for example) but few want that all the time.
Legal and over-prescribed opioid painkillers are being identified as a "gateway" to the cheaper and easy-to-get heroin.
The people saying that have obviously never suffered real pain of any significant duration. Thus, they will happily tolerate the suffering of other people as long as it helps their agenda.
And the thing is...people who want to escape their lives through drugs pretty obviously don't have anything else left to lose or to live for or to care about.
Spoken like somebody who has no idea what they're talking about.
Since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, its heroin exports have vastly expanded, enabling fresh new revenue streams to fund the CIA's special projects.
Yep, keeping Fresh troops for Iraq required letting the warlords do whatever would bring the most apparent peace.
I guess some foreign-controlled extremist terrorists are just better at eliminating drugs than others.
There's a great CIA-authored term for the unforeseen consequences of international intervention, or war, which is blowback.
The US Civil War removed the right of states to peacefully withdraw from the Union, leading to the inability of states to limit the overstepping of the Federal Government. It would otherwise be a useful pressure-release valve for certain states and issues, moderating the Federal Government by holding independence plebiscites in aggravated states.The Spanish-American War led to the strongmen of Marcos in the Philippines, and Batista in Cuba, and the bizarre status of Puerto Rico as a US territory with little representation in Washington.The First World War went from being a stalemate with a balance of power on the continent, until the American intervention which led to the French-led gleeful punishment of Germany. The war itself was a factor in the coming Great Depression, but there's no doubt the rise the Nazis in Germany could not have happened without the territorial losses and massive reparation demands. Remember that no enemy soldier set foot in Germany.In the Second World War, the Allies' foolish strategy of arming the anti-democratic Soviets directly led to the Cold War. Like with ISIS today, American-made weapons were aimed back at us after the immediate threat from Germany was ended. Had Germany, with her adjacent German population under one government been allowed to keep the lands that were German only 21 years before, millions could have been saved, and the Soviets contained. Britain lost her Empire and still failed in her stated objective, that being the independence of Poland.The Korean War was a direct result of the US policy to completely remove the Japanese from mainland Asia, rather than co-opting them to maintain the unity of Korea until American occupation.In the 1950s, UK and US intelligence led to the removal of the populist-nationalist Iranian Prime Minister, and the installation of the authoritarian Shah. Had we left them alone, the revolution in 1979 may not have happened.Vietnam was the result of the US trying to fight the boogeyman Communism, and doing so half-assed, exposing our weakness and emboldening our enemies.Saddam's war with Iran was helped by our weapons, but when he went broke, and gave an ambiguous signal that invading Kuwait, we again found our knowledge and some equipment we paid for turned against us.Afghanistan's heroin problem is in part due to our removal of the awful Taliban, but they were never a threat to the homeland beyond Bin Laden's antics.The Islamist Winter in Libya, Egypt (and military takeover), and of course ISIS can all be traced back to poor US policy.
Swatting a fly doesn't end the problem, it just gives more space for the others.
Thanks, that list was interesting to read.
One small request as an American: please don't use the word "homeland" to describe America. The term is execrable.
You're welcome. :D
Would "Continental United States" be a better term than "homeland"? Or maybe "the territorial integrity of the nation"? There's no pithy term that fits quite as well.
Why not use the term we used for a couple hundred years before: "the country?" We also used to talk about "national security," not "homeland security." We were a "nation," not a "homeland."
"Homeland" is a proto-totalitarian, Orwellian term Dick Cheney and his minions brought to us. It smacks entirely too much of "Fatherland" (Vaterland) or "Motherland" (Rodina). To me, if we continue to use that cheneyist term then we have irrevocably joined that dubious club comprising Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.
Oh good one!!
my serious take on this: The PTB will spin it like "Despite the success of the last 30 years in eradicating drugs in the USA recent actions by terrorist groups to harm this nation have caused an influx of drugs into the USA. The DEA,along with the DHS and affiliated departments, need more money and expanded legal powers to combat this new threat in the War on Terror [TM].
- Are we going to solve the problem? No.
- Are we going to prevent all cases of addiction? No.
That doesn't get us off the hook. We need more money for treatment programs, more interdiction and less lock 'em up enforcement for non-dealing junkies.
Can't do that, sorry: All the money is used to successfully prevent terrorists from bringing in people and materials which could be used to harm Americans.
The good news is that there seems to be bipartisan support for dealing with the heroin problem in a mature way, increasing the use of naloxone [npr.org] by first [npr.org] responders [npr.org], as well as pushing forward with the political hot potato of needle exchanges [npr.org].
The bad news is that the drug war is still very much in effect, these steps to combat heroin the right way are being taken gingerly, and there are drugs on Schedule 1 and 2 that aren't dangerous at all.
Not merely less "lock 'em up enforcement"; we need to stop infringing upon people's fundamental right to control their own bodies by legalizing all drugs outright. Anyone who speaks of safety as a reason to keep these drugs illegal is a coward and doesn't truly value our most basic liberties, and might as well support horrendous things like the TSA, mass surveillance, and other violations of our rights.
This isn't a fundamental right. Show me where it is stated in the constitution that you have the right to use drugs and I'll reconsider my point of view. People regularly die as a result of ODing on heroine. I think pot and LSD are the only ones I can think of that are illegal, but don't routinely kill people.
As far as cowards go, the right to ingest questionable substances to screw with our brains is definitely something that should be criminal. There's plenty of mood altering substances that are still perfectly legal. And plenty of mood altering activities as well. For the most part, the ones that are illegal are the ones that cause more problems with less benefit. There's no good reason why anybody should be shooting up with heroine or smoking crack.
If ALL the impact fell on the user, I'd be with the Pumpernickel.
Somehow our inability to let someone die by their own hand keeps bringing other people and other costs into debate.
There may be no good reasons, but there clearly are plenty of reasons why anybody should be shooting up with heroine or smoking crack.
I don't know what you mean. Are you talking about the indirect effects that it may have on others when you do drugs? Because I say that freedom is more than worth it. If you go ice skating or mountain climbing, you could get hurt, and maybe taxpayers would sometimes have to foot the bill. Should we ban everything in existence that has some indirect effect on others and isn't necessary to do? I'm a freedom-minded person, so I do not think so. But apparently others are not and it leads me to question why they are living in countries that supposedly strive to be free.
Are you seriously equating pumping your body full of things that are known to be toxic, addictive and otherwise harmful with ice skating and mountain climbing? Those activities are risky, but when done with proper education and preparation are relatively safe. Some people will be injured or killed, but it's a small fraction of the total. With drugs, everybody gets hurt to some extent. You might get lucky the first few times and not notice the damage, but the only way to avoid it in the long term is to avoid doing drugs.
Also, what you're talking about is anarchy and it never works out well. Think Lord of the Flies. Part of living in society is realizing that there need to be limits to what freedoms we can have.
Are you seriously equating pumping your body full of things that are known to be toxic, addictive and otherwise harmful with ice skating and mountain climbing?
I'm applying the logic that things should be banned because they can indirectly affect others to other scenarios.
Also, what you're talking about is anarchy
If you're going to argue with an imaginary anarchist opponent, you may as well not bother replying to me at all.
Are you seriously equating pumping your body full of things that are known to be toxic, addictive and otherwise harmful with ice skating and mountain climbing? Those activities are risky, but when done with proper education and preparation are relatively safe.
And the same with "pumping your body full of things". Proper education and preparation (along with standardized doses) does make heroin use relatively safe. Hence, why he's comparing them.
Also, what you're talking about is anarchy and it never works out well. Think Lord of the Flies. Part of living in society is realizing that there need to be limits to what freedoms we can have.
So what's the magic criteria that one can't use heroin, but one can mountain climb and binge drink at the same time. I have to agree with the previous poster. You sound more interested in preventing anarchy, whatever that is supposed to mean, than having a free society. One consequence of a free society is that people will (not may) act in ways that you don't like.
I think alcohol use indicates that one can have widespread drug use without anarchy in the streets.
Obviously heroin, crack, meth, etc. are not "good" drugs. But would decriminalization of those drugs raise their rates of use? Not necessarily. They are already very marginal compared to cannabis. Cannabis use is at around 7.5%, cocaine is around 1%, and other illicit drugs come in under 1%.
The worst drugs are used despite the risk of prison or harm to others. Decriminalizing them would make it easier for addicts to get treatment and decrease much of the harm that the Drug War causes. By the time the U.S. switches to a sensible drug policy, we'll have driverless cars zipping around, reducing more potential drug harm...
Man Dies in Police Raid on Wrong House [go.com]
But would decriminalization of those drugs raise their rates of use? Not necessarily.
I think its still an open question. It may not have increased use rates in the few other countries that have decriminalized, or it might have, but it goes unreported.
I wonder who among US citizens fears those drugs for the effect on the user, vs who fears them for the law enforcement attention they bring.I rather suspect arrest and imprisonment still carry a large fear factor.
Did decriminalization reduce alcohol use rates?Alcohol use rates were sky high in the US prior to outlawing alcohol sales. After prohibition ended, US alcohol use took a long time returned to those levels, and in some areas it never did return [osu.edu].
If you don't have complete rights to your own person and body, what rights do you have?
And what about the countless sufferers of our most exalted drug - alcohol? If we outlawed drugs based on the harm users do, alcohol would not stand a chance.
I take it you're in favor of disbanding the FDA and Public Health because we should have the right to ingest known toxic substances if we feel like it?
The only reason why alcohol is legal is because people refused to obey the law, including too many law enforcement officers. It's not legal because it's good for you or safe, it's legal because there's no way to enforce the law. Alcohol and tobacco ought to be outlawed, but there's enough people that would use anyways that it's not possible at the present time.
I'm not even American and I understand your constitution better than you. It is a list of what the government is allowed to do.If it is not on the the list they can't do it. The only control they have over citizens is that explicitly given.Now show me where in the US constitution it says "the government may control the substances you ingest / inject"(Hence why, back when it was more than "just a goddam piece of paper", it required the eighteenth amendment to ban alcohol.)
This isn't a fundamental right.
Incorrect. Without the right to control your own body, you barely have rights at all.
Show me where it is stated in the constitution that you have the right to use drugs and I'll reconsider my point of view.
Yet another person who is utterly ignorant of how the constitution works. Unless the constitution grants the government a certain power, it simply does not have that power. The constitution does not grant rights like you believe. The federal prohibition is utterly unconstitutional.
And even if the constitution *did* work that way, that would just mean it would need to change. I don't need a document to tell me what freedoms I should have because I am not a mindless drone. If your society infringes upon rights you believe you should have, the solution is not to mindlessly obey; it is to change society. It seems you would prefer to appeal to the status quo, but nothing ever changes that way.
People regularly die as a result of ODing on heroine.
Once you start speaking of safety as being more important than fundamental freedoms, you have already failed. In 'the land of the free and the home of the brave', safety is not more important than freedom. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees. But it seems cowardice is common. What a shame.
There's no good reason why anybody should be shooting up with heroine or smoking crack.
You don't need a good reason to be allowed to do something. You don't get to decide that for others.
Wrong question. Show us in the Constitution where it says we don't have the right to consume what we wish.
You should know that the Constitution is NOT a comprehensive list of our rights. It is meant to be a comprehensive list of what the government may do with a series of amendments outlining specific things it most certainly may not do.
So the correct question is show me where in the Constitution the government is permitted to control drug use.
The constitution is where they specify what the government is allowed to do and what it's not allowed to do. I do not see anywhere in the constitution a right to use drugs. And the 10th amendment specifies that any rights not otherwise mentioned go to the states.
So at best you can claim that the federal government doesn't have the right to make these decisions, it's the states that have the right to do it. But, you can't credibly claim that it's a right that's being infringed upon any more than any number of other "rights" that are crimes.
But, you can't credibly claim that it's a right that's being infringed upon any more than any number of other "rights" that are crimes.
Incorrect. I seriously doubt you would argue that people who live under more oppressive governments aren't having their rights infringed upon simply because their laws don't recognize their rights. Laws are not immune to criticism. You can believe you should have certain rights even if society currently doesn't recognize those rights.
Your bodily rights are being infringed upon by drug laws whether governments admit it or not.
And the 10th amendment specifies that any rights not otherwise mentioned go to the states.
And to the people. You forgot a crucial part.
Not everyone likes weed, and there are very many responsible users of "hard" drugs. The problem is that teenagers and young adults are getting hooked on drugs and they don't have the experience to control themselves and their impulses. Legalization of all drugs and a rational distribution system with better treatment for addiction would eliminate many of the problems associated with drugs.
It is a fact that most ODs are caused by a user getting heroin that is of a higher purity than they are used to.
If it is legalized the purity can be regulated, just like it is with alcohol and tobacco, and the number of people ODing will plummet and put all the money saved by not putting users in jail into social programs to help addicts get clean.
A "heroin response strategy". We need to go around telling people that doing heroin is bad for you? If they have not or can't figure that out for themselves I seriously doubt they are going to listen to "the man" coming to take their smack away.
where Peter Shumlin was governor you'd understand why so many have turned to heroin.
The only opiate I've ever had is in the form of codeine I've gotten in cough syrup. I must say the effect is lovely. The first day. After that it gives me ferocious headaches. Does that happen with opium and heroin as well? Do you lose the euphoric effect that quickly?
If so, it seems hard to imagine people can hit it that hard for long periods of time.
Some people have various different allergic responses to opiates, but nah, I've never gotten a headache from them...
The euphoric effects do tend to slowly go downhill as your body becomes tolerant of that kind of stuff, which either warrants taking a larger dosage or just taking a break to lower tolerance again. It's the same as alcohol etc.
Geez, I can't believe after this long people are still printing out more poison because of pointless taboos against any kind of psychoactive used recreationally. Like pot. I can't believe that our government and people in it like the two tools quoted in the summary are still so narrow minded that their first thought isn't something awesome and potentially fruitful like psilocibin (something already thought to erase an insane number of alcohol addictions in the first session - something like 60%) research. No. Instead they just want to hand out more synthesized bowel-blocking bullshit. This is why I no longer believe that true help for addicts can be provided without completely legalizing every other drug if for no other reason to get rid of social issues that at best stem from weakly religiously-backed morality.
Said social issues I think are the main thing that this problem stems from. Nevermind potential issues like proper drug education but just the fact that people are gigantic cunts almost all the time. I was addicted to the painkillers for about 7 years. Pain management doctors are even bigger cunts than street dealers. People in general are also bigger cunts towards addicts than other addicts. So stop being like that first of all, second of all stop trying to dump more poison into already poisoned bodies and just give them some fucking weed. It saved my life in a multitude of ways, including post-withdrawal relief, appetite increase (I lost 25 pounds during the withdrawal), pain relief, anxiety relief. You'll notice that these are also common opiate withdrawal symptoms. Oh oh and we could also stop lumping every single drug under the general category of "drugs" while lumping the biggest collection of toxic on the planet (pharmaceuticals) under the category of "good drugs" and acting like they're any better in terms of addiction and side effects. Additionally it'd probably help quite a bit to again just give them weed.
As someone that's experienced it I can easily see the most common scenario being people getting off of it thinking that life won't be as good and there's nothing else that can make them feel nice like the opiate can. Thankfully I was never one to believe any propaganda against drugs so I knew right off the bat that I could enjoy pot again after I finished the withdrawals - something that in itself worked as a sort of goal to reach and further helped me stay off of them. But people who don't understand that there are so many better drugs out there think that opiates are the end of the road and they won't feel that good again. You can probably understand then why so many people relapse. So all in all this entire plan as far as I can tell with what information they're giving, is just another plan that is useful to politicians and worthless to those it's supposedly meant to help.
Of course we likely won't see any such problem solving. Partly because those most qualified to say what would help an addict usually were themselves addicts, and clearly everyone that fell under an unavoidable change in brain chemistry enjoys eating kittens. Partly because there's not much money in giving people drugs that won't make them relapse back to addictive drugs provided by the same company in all likelihood.
I can't believe it's 2015 and we're literally torturing people because the thought of a drug that both gets people high and is harmless or even beneficial is just too goddamned scandalous.
Oh, and speaking of basic things people have trouble admitting to: Let's also stop mentally torturing people by telling them outright that they'll be addicts for life and relapse is right around the corner. Neither me or anyone I know that has properly taken care of themselves post-withdrawal has had any feeling but disdain towards that stuff. Probably because it feels good to be healthy again and not constipated or any other 200 side effects those things have. Feels good to smoke weed too.