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Criminalizing drug use

Comments on Criminalizing drug use

libertygrl
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Posted 08/05/11 - 7:37 PM:
Subject: Criminalizing drug use
Why should people go to jail, or prison, for possessing or using illegal drugs?

I can understand criminalizing the production of illegal substances, and the sale of it. But why should the users be criminalized?

Any thoughts?
cripes
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cripes
Posted 08/05/11 - 8:26 PM:

They shouldn't. The authorities use the excuse of intent to distribute in order to arrest users. It's insane but makes for profits for private prison contractors.
Thinker13
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Posted 08/06/11 - 4:15 AM:

On another note: It's similar to attempt suicide, though, a bit less severe than it most of the times. If attempting suicide calls for punishment, then, using drugs which are hazardous for life should also call for the same. The question might be: Why suicide calls for legal action/punishment against oneself?
Morgena
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Posted 08/06/11 - 5:27 AM:

Well, in Holland the sort of soft drugs are allowed for personal use only, which means they are legal, other countries do have a rather conservative law system, where those drugs aren’t allowed.

libertygrl
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Posted 08/07/11 - 10:48 PM:

Thinker wrote:
If attempting suicide calls for punishment, then, using drugs which are hazardous for life should also call for the same.

good point thumb up

Thinker wrote:
The question might be: Why suicide calls for legal action/punishment against oneself?

why, indeed.

Morgena wrote:
Well, in Holland the sort of soft drugs are allowed for personal use only, which means they are legal, other countries do have a rather conservative law system, where those drugs aren’t allowed.

it's sort of a strange conundrum, because if you are going to decriminalize the use of certain drugs, let's say heroin or cocaine for example, then essentially you are making it legal to use, and i can see why people would have a problem with that. the drugs are so highly addictive and damaging, though, that i don't think their use would be all that widespread, even if they were decriminalized. what do you guys think?

i still think selling and producing such drugs should still be illegal, though.
Morgena
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Posted 08/09/11 - 1:44 AM:

As far as I know, it’s cannabis which is legal in Holland ;-)
henry quirk
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Posted 08/09/11 - 9:39 AM:

If anything should be 'punished' it's 'action', not 'chemical'.

Example: Joe butchers his wife and kidlets with a machete...does it matter that Joe was neurologically 'fried' by a cocktail of illegal (or, illegally used) chemicals?

Except as it lends itself to convicting Joe (as point of evidence in his trial), it doesn't matter at all.

"But, Henry, can he rightfully be said to be responsible for his actions if he was baked out of his gourd?"

Yes. Joe chose to ingest...Joe must accept the responsibility for whatever whacked out shit he did while loaded.

So, decriminalize the drugs and the use of drugs, and levy the full weight of 'justice' against the actions (which, to my mind, may be inspired by the drugs, but stand wholly independent of the drugs).

More clearly: if Joe butchers while sober...hang 'em.

If Joe butchers while high...hang 'em.

The voluntary state of his brain chemistry is irrelevant (both as a mitigator of consequence and as exacerbator of consequence).
libertygrl
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Posted 08/09/11 - 9:53 AM:

quirk wrote:
So, decriminalize the drugs and the use of drugs, and levy the full weight of 'justice' against the actions (which, to my mind, may be inspired by the drugs, but stand wholly independent of the drugs).

i could get behind it. i think part of the problem, too, is that government worries about how "governable" people will be on drugs. so the idea of eliminating the drugs is sort of a preemptive strike, maybe.
henry quirk
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Posted 08/11/11 - 10:01 AM:

"...government worries about how "governable" people will be on drugs...so...eliminating the drugs is sort of a preemptive strike"

Agreed.

Here, I interpret 'governable' as ‘domesticate-able’ (controlled and bred to be controlled).

Note: government (the folks who comprise it; the 'thinking' that informs those folks) is NOT against drug use (see the plethora of mind-shapers offered up on the television everyday)...government is simply against the use of drugs 'it' doesn't control, sanction, and have a 'use' for (that use being, again, domestication).

If 'crack' served government agendas: it would be advertised 'for sale and use' along side the latest erectile dysfunction remedy and the latest depression alleviator.
libertygrl
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#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/11/11 - 12:21 PM:

quirk wrote:
Note: government (the folks who comprise it; the 'thinking' that informs those folks) is NOT against drug use (see the plethora of mind-shapers offered up on the television everyday)...government is simply against the use of drugs 'it' doesn't control, sanction, and have a 'use' for (that use being, again, domestication).

totally. why is alcohol legal and marijuana not? i would argue that alcohol is far more dangerous.
Paul
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/11/11 - 10:52 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
I can understand criminalizing the production of illegal substances, and the sale of it. But why should the users be criminalized?


Erm how could it ever make sense to allow the consumption of something, without allowing it to be produced? That's absurdly disfunctional. If you believe that production and sale should be illegal you're logically compelled to outlaw the users too, since they're the drivers behind all that crime. Leave use legal and you're strongly encouraging the crime of production/sale.

However, the notion that users are okay and sellers are bad is senseless on another level, because why in the world would selling drugs be bad if consuming them weren't? The chemicals are harmless if not consumed. A bunch of street merchants selling cocaine for people to use as fertilizer or something would have no adverse impact on anybody ('cept maybe plants) -- the only negative impact of legalizing the sale of drugs is in the consumers using the drug, not in the sellers.


Personally I'd be more pleased with the opposite scenario, where production and sale was legal but consumption for recreational purposes wasn't -- that way the legal market would eliminate the drug gang violence and you could still serve the public interest of limiting the public health crisis, poverty, brain damage etc that result from addiction to some of the stronger drugs.


Edited by Paul on 08/11/11 - 10:57 PM
libertygrl
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Posted 08/11/11 - 11:02 PM:

i just think our resources are too limited to be filling our prisons with addicts. i think it's better to conceive of addiction as an illness which requires treatment, not a crime which requires punishment. better IMO to focus on restricting the means of production rather than punishing the users themselves who are in essence the ones being exploited.
henry quirk
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Posted 08/12/11 - 8:59 AM:

"...the public interest..."

*The simpler, straight forward, solution: let folks rise or fall as each chooses...get out of the way...don't restrain them; don't save them...defend yourself against the fallers (lest they grab you by the ankle and drag you down too) and do nothing else.

#

"...better to conceive of addiction as an illness..."

*See my response above.
Thinker13
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Posted 08/12/11 - 11:08 PM:

Here in India, you have grave warnings on packs of cigarettes and tobacco mixtures. I wonder: why they allow the production of those in the first place?

libertygrl
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Posted 08/15/11 - 1:18 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:
Here in India, you have grave warnings on packs of cigarettes and tobacco mixtures. I wonder: why they allow the production of those in the first place?


there's an interesting discussion about that in the first season of "mad men". basically the risks of health damage are low or infrequent enough and the compulsion to smoke is high enough that people will do it anyway, in spite of the risks.
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