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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 18 2015, @09:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the will-it-help-or-hinder? dept.

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.

[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.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 18 2015, @09:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 18 2015, @09:07PM (#224596)

    Don't criticize it.

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +1  
       Insightful=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   1  
  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday August 18 2015, @09:25PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday August 18 2015, @09:25PM (#224599)

    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.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tathra on Tuesday August 18 2015, @10:20PM

      by tathra (3367) on Tuesday August 18 2015, @10:20PM (#224622)

      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).

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Tuesday August 18 2015, @10:30PM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Tuesday August 18 2015, @10:30PM (#224626)

      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.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by vux984 on Wednesday August 19 2015, @01:14AM

        by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @01:14AM (#224719)

        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.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday August 19 2015, @02:58AM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday August 19 2015, @02:58AM (#224749) Journal

          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):

          1. You can get the purity checked out. There are already NGOs that offer this service [bbc.com] for free, but removing the threat of legal punishment would make these services easier to run and more accessible. Alternatively, if the State becomes your regulated and taxed dealer, you will get (supposedly [thecannabist.co]) accurate labeling of purity/contents.
          2. These opiates are somewhat interchangeable. Prescription opiates led to heroin use. Legalize decriminalize them all, and if the safer opiates are cheap and effective, they will be used instead. If not, we go to:
          3. Moving away from the Drug War towards treatment saves lives. It seems obvious, but it's 2015 and we're still only pointing our resources in the right direction, keeping DEA busy and filling up prisons, which are training camps for harder crime and make it less likely for many to find employment. That in turn leads to an "IDGAF" attitude. If overdose or other ill effects are treated as "poisoning" cases rather than potential crimes, more people will make it into hospitals and into treatment programs (if needed). Obviously, you can still be punished for actions committed under the influence, such as selling your first-born.
          4. There is plenty of information to distinguish between harmful and safe recreational drugs. That information isn't reflected in the Controlled Substances Act. Heroin and other opiates occupy their own niche [wikimedia.org], but if you have the "fundamental right to control your own body" and easy access to unbiased drug education, users may stay away from the worst of the worst.
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          • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:26AM

            by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:26AM (#224848)

            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.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday August 19 2015, @02:09PM

              by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday August 19 2015, @02:09PM (#224982) Journal

              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.

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              • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:15PM

                by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:15PM (#225090)

                Is it currently a crime to ingest rat poison or arsenic?

                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...

                • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 20 2015, @12:50AM

                  by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday August 20 2015, @12:50AM (#225228) Journal

                  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.

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                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday August 20 2015, @04:17PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 20 2015, @04:17PM (#225468) Journal

                  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.

                  • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Thursday August 20 2015, @09:46PM

                    by vux984 (5045) on Thursday August 20 2015, @09:46PM (#225593)

                    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.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday August 21 2015, @12:02AM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 21 2015, @12:02AM (#225622) Journal

                      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.

                      • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday August 21 2015, @01:56AM

                        by vux984 (5045) on Friday August 21 2015, @01:56AM (#225658)

                        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.

                        No.

                        http://heroin.net/about/how-much-does-heroin-cost/ [heroin.net]

                        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.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Wednesday August 19 2015, @03:19AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 19 2015, @03:19AM (#224763) Journal

          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.

          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?

          • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:17AM

            by davester666 (155) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:17AM (#224845)

            Well, that would totally decimate support for both the Dem's and the Rep's.

        • (Score: 4, Touché) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday August 19 2015, @04:09AM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @04:09AM (#224780)

          It's not that simple.

          Yes, it is.

          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.

          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.

          • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:42AM

            by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:42AM (#224860)

            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?

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday August 19 2015, @08:11AM

              by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @08:11AM (#224880)

              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?

              Correct.

              • (Score: 3, Funny) by vux984 on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:51PM

                by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:51PM (#225103)

                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?

                That doesn't appear in the constitution anywhere.

                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.

                • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Thursday August 20 2015, @04:01AM

                  by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Thursday August 20 2015, @04:01AM (#225275)

                  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.

                  I didn't say they needed to be banned entirely.

                  Oh, no. They just need to be forced into rehab when you don't like their decisions. That's totally different from being banned.

                  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.

                  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.

                  • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Thursday August 20 2015, @08:43PM

                    by vux984 (5045) on Thursday August 20 2015, @08:43PM (#225573)

                    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.

                    • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 21 2015, @10:53AM

                      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 21 2015, @10:53AM (#225782)

                      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.

                      Do we do it? Its an infringement on your constitution rights after all.

                      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.

                      • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday August 21 2015, @05:32PM

                        by vux984 (5045) on Friday August 21 2015, @05:32PM (#225948)

                        The government has no legitimate authority to violate the constitution. Give me liberty or give me death.

                        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.

                        • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 21 2015, @05:41PM

                          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 21 2015, @05:41PM (#225955)

                          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.

                          The travel restrictions that were in place to fight ebola? Were they an intolerable infringement on your rights?

                          Yes.

                          I prefer to leave medical diagnosis in the hands of professional medical associations. I'm not suggesting I personally have any say over it.

                          If, by that, you mean "let doctors treat the mentally ill", yes.

                          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.

                          • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday August 21 2015, @07:39PM

                            by vux984 (5045) on Friday August 21 2015, @07:39PM (#225992)

                            The travel restrictions that were in place to fight ebola? Were they an intolerable infringement on your rights?

                            Yes.

                            Nuff said.

                            • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 21 2015, @08:25PM

                              by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 21 2015, @08:25PM (#226008)

                              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.

                              • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday August 21 2015, @08:58PM

                                by vux984 (5045) on Friday August 21 2015, @08:58PM (#226022)

                                Yep. I'm not an authoritarian scumbag who is willing to allow the government to violate the highest law of the land for safety.

                                Correct.

                                You're an entirely different kind of nutbag.

                                • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 21 2015, @09:27PM

                                  by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 21 2015, @09:27PM (#226042)

                                  A patriot/someone who values freedom highly, if you consider that a nutbag.

                                  • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday August 21 2015, @10:31PM

                                    by vux984 (5045) on Friday August 21 2015, @10:31PM (#226069)

                                    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.

                                    • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 21 2015, @10:53PM

                                      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 21 2015, @10:53PM (#226082)

                                      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.

                                      Yeah, that sailed right through "patriot" and deep into "nutbag" territory.

                                      Defending the constitution and the principles to which this country is supposed to aspire is patriotic, no matter how "extreme" you think I am.

                                      • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday August 21 2015, @11:08PM

                                        by vux984 (5045) on Friday August 21 2015, @11:08PM (#226087)

                                        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.

                                        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.

                                        Incorrect. Getting vaccinations is a good thing. I just wouldn't force it on others.

                                        Not forcing it on others AND allowing them to live among us IS the problem.

                                        • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday August 21 2015, @11:56PM

                                          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday August 21 2015, @11:56PM (#226100)

                                          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.

          • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Wednesday August 19 2015, @03:28PM

            by morgauxo (2082) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @03:28PM (#225043)

            >> >>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.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday August 19 2015, @04:09PM

              by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @04:09PM (#225059)

              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.

              • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Monday August 24 2015, @09:15PM

                by morgauxo (2082) on Monday August 24 2015, @09:15PM (#227242)

                "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.

            • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:43PM

              by sjames (2882) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:43PM (#225099) Journal

              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).

            • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:27PM

              by sjames (2882) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:27PM (#225113) Journal

              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).

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:21AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:21AM (#224847)

          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 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.

      • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday August 19 2015, @10:30AM

        by hankwang (100) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @10:30AM (#224909) Homepage

        It's about the fundamental right to control your own body.

        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.

        • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday August 19 2015, @10:47AM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @10:47AM (#224914)

          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.

          • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday August 19 2015, @01:16PM

            by hankwang (100) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @01:16PM (#224952) Homepage

            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."

            • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday August 19 2015, @01:25PM

              by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @01:25PM (#224963)

              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.

        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:43PM

          by sjames (2882) on Wednesday August 19 2015, @06:43PM (#225120) Journal

          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.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @03:44AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @03:44AM (#224773)

    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.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:29AM (#224821)

      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.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 19 2015, @05:16AM (#224817)

    > Legalize It
    > Don't criticize it.

    And I will advertise it!

    Man, the cultural literacy here is weak.