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 Post subject: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:37 am 
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Something to spark a public debate about drugs, the governments drugs policy, the law and the real dangers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvan ... nel-4.html

As is mentioned in the article above the previous UK Government chairman of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Professor David Nutt was sacked from his post for telling people that the governments drugs classification system is seriously faulty - this made a lot of people pay attention, even more attention was gained when half of Home Office's Advisory Council's members quit in protest.

Also read the following.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... iding.html

Please note: I am not trying to tell people that all drugs are safe, likewise people should know that not all "illegal drugs" are anywhere near as dangerous as governments tell us. Finally and in some respects the most important point about the mis-classification of drugs by governments means that people no-longer believe what the governments tells us, this is because Ecstacy (an easy example) is nowhere near as dangerous overall as Heroin yet they have the same classification :roll:

Final note: I am not, or in any way condoning the use of illegal drugs, or even the very harmful legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco - I merely want to hear peoples opinions on the matter.

Below is the current UK government drugs classification.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/drug-law/

Below is an article that contains a graph comparing the dangers of drugs, dont bother looking and certainly dont comment on the graph unless you read all of the text in the article first.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210

I just found this and thought it was also worth a read.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13354294

Quoted from the Home Office "Just because a drug is advertised as legal does not mean that it is either legal or safe”. I would like to parody that "Just because a drug is advertised as illegal does not mean that it should be illegal or is particulary unsafe”

2008 record = 580 from "Exposure to narcotics and hallucinogens"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog ... lity-rates

For ecstasy in the years 1993-2006 ecstasy was used by the deceased person an average of 33 times per year, of that number 17 per year as the sole cause. Which according to the guesstimate of 500,000 tablets used per year in the UK that is a (contributory) death rate of 1 in 15,150 pills, or as an absolute cause of death of 1 in 29,400 pills.

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Ecstasy-%28MDMA%29.htm

Compare that number with the amount of theaths by the massively popular, legal, easily obtainable "Paracetamol" that is probably found in every house in the country. It is of course highly regulated and each and every pill is safe from being "cut" with any number of random nasty things unlike "illegal" drugs, and they come with dosage levels, guidelines, do's, dont's and so on.
Please not that in the following link there is no mention of whether any of these deaths were suicide or accidental.

http://www.pharmweb.net/pwmirror/pwy/pa ... icodm.html

Or put into perspective ecstacy kills about a quarter of the amount of people that ecstasy does even they are both considered "as dangerous" by the government - this is obviously not the case, although to have a better understanding we would need to know how many (pill equivelent) shots of heroin were used per year to get a relative understanding to ecstacy.

http://www.urban75.com/Drugs/drugdeath.html


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 11:08 am 
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Yeah the drugs policy of most countries is ludicrous. What is more ludicrous is the UK government hiring an expert in the field (David Nutt) as drug advisor, not listening to a word he says, and then firing him for making his views public. I suppose we can't really expect anything better in a society that marginalises the scientific method and evidence-based enquiry, and treats anecdotes and prejudice as a better guide for legislation.

Ah well, at least things can't get any worse. Oh wait, a Tory government you say? Shit...

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 11:20 am 
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im of the opinion that if someone makes an informed decision, then it's their weight to bear. the regulation of these choices should be limited to public areas. i dont care if someone gets trashed every weekend at home, but i dont want to deal with them on the road, or in a public place like a park or something.

i think the best way to actually get people to make good choices is with education. nothing is more dangerous than human ignorance. with a real education on the effects of various substances on the human body, i really do believe that people will make better choices.

i think portugal has taken an interesting approach. i believe they've decriminalized most if not all drugs; however you can still be picked up for doing them in public(public consumption of anything is discouraged iirc, i might be misremembering things). you dont get tossed in jail though, youre sent to a seminar or little lecture about the effects and possible dangers of the drug you were using. they make sure that you know what youre getting yourself into, give you help if you decide you want to stop, or just let you leave if you decide not to care.

if someone wants to do drugs, they're going to do drugs - damn what the government says. if they were more informed about what the actual side effects were though, i think some people might stop, or switch to a less damaging substance.

http://www.erowid.org/ has a lot of info on various things.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Quote:
What is more ludicrous is the UK government hiring an expert in the field (David Nutt) as drug advisor, not listening to a word he says, and then firing him for making his views public.


I thought that this was not just disgusting but also that it proved to anyone with a brain that David Nutt was right and the government was stopping his "expert" evidence and point of view from coming out - most importantly it got a huge amount of press in the UK which is exactly what should have happened a long time ago, this brings me back to my original point - only if there are enough people interested and the taboo's have been pushed aside can we have a public debate about this matter that the government refuses to discuss (not just this government, all of them for decades).

Quote:
Ah well, at least things can't get any worse. Oh wait, a Tory government you say? Shit...


Not on topic, please do not discuss at all.

Quote:
im of the opinion that if someone makes an informed decision, then it's their weight to bear. the regulation of these choices should be limited to public areas. i dont care if someone gets trashed every weekend at home, but i dont want to deal with them on the road, or in a public place like a park or something.


This first part of your sentence is abhorrent from any governments point of view, the rest of your sentence makes total sense to the average person and in general I agree with you so long as you take into account "harm to the non-drug users" (partners, children, parents, household members, pets, and working colleagues) which was in a link about half way down showed the 2 common legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco) are ahead of most for "harm to the non-drug users"

Quote:
i think the best way to actually get people to make good choices is with education. nothing is more dangerous than human ignorance. with a real education on the effects of various substances on the human body, i really do believe that people will make better choices.


Well said - my point in other words. If the governing laws are bullshit how can education make any sense without going against the grain of the government and its laws........

Quote:
i think portugal has taken an interesting approach. i believe they've decriminalized most if not all drugs; however you can still be picked up for doing them in public(public consumption of anything is discouraged iirc, i might be misremembering things). you dont get tossed in jail though, youre sent to a seminar or little lecture about the effects and possible dangers of the drug you were using. they make sure that you know what youre getting yourself into, give you help if you decide you want to stop, or just let you leave if you decide not to care.

if someone wants to do drugs, they're going to do drugs - damn what the government says. if they were more informed about what the actual side effects were though, i think some people might stop, or switch to a less damaging substance.

http://www.erowid.org/ has a lot of info on various things.


This is far less mentioned than the cannabis shops of Amsterdam and is not as well documented overall - but is does seem to be working by most measures - the main problem with both examples of Holland and Portugal is that they will get "drug tourism" which skews everything more than you would think it would in measuring the real effects of the change amongsth many others including the economy boom/bust local/glabal trends and so on - the only real test must be a long term test - say 10-years.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Interesting that this topic should be raised on the day that this was in the news http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110511/ap_on_he_me/us_philip_morris_int_l_annual_meeting

I was young once and experimented with some types of drugs. Yet strangely enough, the only ones I've ever had/have any addiction issues with are the legal ones. I had a drinking habit for a few years and that's something I can still struggle with even these days. Comparatively, it was amazingly easy to stop smoking pot after thirteen years of use. I don't see any time in the near future where I'll be giving up smoking though. Maybe because as the above article states, it's not as easy to do as some think it to be. Despite doing acid in my youth, I never went a bit Syd Barrett, and while I'm sure most doctors would be more than happy to blame my depression and anxiety on my prior drug use, I know for a fact they'd be wrong if they did.

My grandad used to smoke and stopped smoking decades before he died. My mum once asked if he missed cigarettes, and his reply was that 'at times he could he felt like he could eat one, nevermind smoke one.' He also believed that you haven't quit anything addictive until you're dead.

Maybe the answer lies in moderation. Anything done to excess is not good for you.

While It's strictly off topic, I've always been amazed by the war on drugs that goes on in so many countries. Obviously I think they're futile, but what interests me is that so many governments rarely, if ever, choose to examine the root causes of why people do drugs in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Quote:
Maybe the answer lies in moderation. Anything done to excess is not good for you.


Who is going to argue twith that point, Arsenic is perfectly safe in tiny quantities, 200mg of nicotine will kill instantly if it went straight into the bloodstream.

Quote:
While It's strictly off topic, I've always been amazed by the war on drugs that goes on in so many countries. Obviously I think they're futile, but what interests me is that so many governments rarely, if ever, choose to examine the root causes of why people do drugs in the first place.


A major point that many governments refuse to even look into, why do people take drugs.? Damned good question, there are social drugs and there are non-social drugs, very often they are the same but as you have already pointed out moderation is not just "the key" but the difference - remember that no-one takes drugs unless they have some form of addiction, social pressures (peer) or for fun/social enjoyment (pleasure).


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:47 pm 
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There's more reasons than those (marginal probably) to take drugs.

I don't understand why drugs are not grouped by types. Why do we compare ecstasy and methadone and not methadone and oxycodone?

The numbers you brought up for how dangerous the stuff is are potentially misleading. Death is not the only potential problem.
As much as I wish I could help to shore up public finances by buying overpriced fancy samples of weed on top of the scotch, my main concern with those puritan laws and the mindset that goes with them is that research is lacking. Public money is spent on fairly arcane stuff of dubious value while there's lots of work to be done in this aera which would yield information of immediate practical use to the public.
It'd also be cool if academics would run experiments with hallucinogens again. Forget LSD. What about all those fascinating-sounding synthetics concoted by chemists lately?


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:52 pm 
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andyb wrote:
Quote:
Ah well, at least things can't get any worse. Oh wait, a Tory government you say? Shit...


Not on topic, please do not discuss at all.


Actually I think it is very much on-topic, though perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I meant that as Labour is supposed to be the more liberal and progressive of the two parties that a Conservative government would herald even worse decisions being made regarding drug policy. My personal opinions on which party is in power is indeed off-topic, perhaps my disgust at the Tories in general coloured my post. Apologies.

Also, I concur that moderation is key (with the proviso that inhaling the smoke from any burning material legal/illegal, drug or not, will have an effect on health), and feel that if most soft drugs were legal and humanity could exercise moderation then there would be no such thing as a "drug problem". Idealistic perhaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Quote:
I don't understand why drugs are not grouped by types. Why do we compare ecstasy and methadone and not methadone and oxycodone?


Without reading up on them I couldnt tell you the difference bar their names - apart from that, a good addition of logic into this subect would be great.

Quote:
The numbers you brought up for how dangerous the stuff is are potentially misleading. Death is not the only potential problem.


Which is why I included this.

Quote:
Below is an article that contains a graph comparing the dangers of drugs, dont bother looking and certainly dont comment on the graph unless you read all of the text in the article first.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210


Quote:
Actually I think it is very much on-topic, though perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I meant that as Labour is supposed to be the more liberal and progressive of the two parties that a Conservative government would herald even worse decisions being made regarding drug policy. My personal opinions on which party is in power is indeed off-topic, perhaps my disgust at the Tories in general coloured my post. Apologies.


My one and only point here is simply that it was the Labour government that stopped David Nutt from changing the governments policy and then sacked him for telling the world his valued opinion, although I agree with your general premise about different political parties overall concepts on how the country(s) should work and be run the obvious point is that this issue comes up so rarely it is not easy to compare how different governments would handle the issue - lets find out, pust the issue.

Quote:
Also, I concur that moderation is key (with the proviso that inhaling the smoke from any burning material legal/illegal, drug or not, will have an effect on health), and feel that if most soft drugs were legal and humanity could exercise moderation then there would be no such thing as a "drug problem". Idealistic perhaps.


Ideal in some minds, some would disagree, but right now I cant think of an argument againts that.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:15 pm 
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This war on drugs generates a black market currency and economy that supports a great deal of crime and human suffering.

1. First it jump starts and supports the existence and growth of organized criminal organizations. The US continues to sustain the remnants of the criminal organizations that got their start in the 1930s during the days of Prohibition.

2. Second the drugs are used as a currency to pay petty and non-petty criminals (addicts) to commit crimes to pay for the illicit drugs. Illegal drugs are the currency of crime.

Terrorist organizations often tap into this economy to fund their activities.

3. We pay billions of dollars for huge bureaucracies of gun toting fools who could be better deployed, sans weapons, as bus boys, bouncers and prison guards.

There are too many needless wars going on. The war against drugs is one needless war too many. Make it legal, regulate it, and tax it.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:22 pm 
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Quote:
1. First it jump starts and supports the existence and growth of organized criminal organizations. The US continues to sustain the remnants of the criminal organizations that got their start in the 1930s during the days of Prohibition.


Agreed.

Quote:
2. Second the drugs are used as a currency to pay petty and non-petty criminals (addicts) to commit crimes to pay for the illicit drugs. Illegal drugs are the currency of crime.


I dont know - so no comment.

Quote:
Terrorist organizations often tap into this economy to fund their activities.


Well know fact that is often pointed out by the "anti-drugs" group.

Quote:
3. We pay billions of dollars for huge bureaucracies of gun toting fools who could be better deployed, sans weapons, as bus boys, bouncers and prison guards.


I dont know - so no comment.

Quote:
There are too many needless wars going on. The war against drugs is one needless war too many. Make it legal, regulate it, and tax it.


I dont want to simply say that, but instead I wanted to discuss the points on both sides.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:26 pm 
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HFat wrote:
What about all those fascinating-sounding synthetics concoted by chemists lately?


"Synthetic drugs—substances that mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs—are causing a sharp rise in serious health problems ranging from seizures and hallucinations to death. The Associated Press (AP) reports that synthetic drugs, often sold as incense or bath salts, can be bought for as little as $10 in head shops. Hospitals are seeing a rapid increase in synthetic drug users with problems including breathing problems, rapid heartbeats, delusions and extreme paranoia.

Figures from the American Association of Poison Control Centers show at least 2,700 people have gotten sick from synthetic drugs since January, compared with fewer than 3,200 in all of 2010. At that rate, medical emergencies stemming from synthetic drugs could rise nearly fivefold by the end of 2011, according to the AP. The drugs are suspected in at least nine deaths in the U.S. since last year.

One of the most popular synthetic drugs, bath salts, are crystallized chemicals that users snort, swallow or smoke. The two powerful stimulants in the salts mimic cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine. In the first three months of 2011, poison control centers received more than 1,400 calls for bath salts, compared with 301 in all of 2010."

I remembered reading that recently. The article itself only pertains to America, though it would be interesting to know some global figures.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Quote:
bath salts


Not the stuff from boots..............................

Quote:
Synthetic drugs—substances that mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs—are causing a sharp rise in serious health problems ranging from seizures and hallucinations to death.


2 questions.

1,) Are these "synthetic drugs" actually legal as their sellers often claim or are they illegal as the government tells us they must be if they mimic or are similar to know drugs that are also "illegal" (was mention in on of my links).

2,) Have these "substances" that have been sold as "bath salts" been taken in other forms e.g. not in a hot bath, but have instead been inhaled or swallowed.?

Either way it all points towards sensible and scientific regulation being the key rather than politics.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 2:00 pm 
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10$ "bath salts" supposed to mimic cocaine, LSD and meth? Is this supposed to be a joke or an entry for some kind of "last thing you'd want to try" award?

I was thinking about Shlugin-type stuff that could actually be scientifically interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 2:03 pm 
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I read the whole article about the harms of alcohol.
Seems pretty silly to me, and here's why:
"Overall, alcohol is the most harmful drug because it's so widely used."

"Crack cocaine is more addictive than alcohol but because alcohol is so widely used there are hundreds of thousands of people who crave alcohol every day, and those people will go to extraordinary lengths to get it."


What does that prove?
Nothing. (well okay, it does prove something)
Taken 100 cocaine users and compare it to 100 alcohol users please.
Alcohol is not that addictive to most people and when used in moderation has very few (if any) long term side effects. Heck, researchers recommend a glass of red wine every day to reduce stress and supply antioxidants (which could also be sourced other ways). Alcohol looks bad because of it's widespread use, due to it's popularity, which is (IMO) based on low cost, easy availability, easy to use, and of course being legal.

The harm of drugs could be:
Addiction
Loss of productivity
Cost of health care to society
Other costs to society (violence, death, etc).

Those statistics saying alcohol is the most harmful would lead someone to say "well alcohol should be illegal and cocaine and crack should be legal!"

Now to your overall topic: I think marijuana should be legal, not sure about the other drugs. I do agree our war on drugs is expensive and has poor results. I don't pretend to have all the answers but I appreciate the discussion. It's funny because at least in the US, like the issue of gun control it's not really a LEFT-RIGHT issue. There are people on both sides of the political aisle who are for/against prohibition.

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Last edited by djkest on Wed May 11, 2011 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 2:06 pm 
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andyb wrote:
Not the stuff from boots..............................


Not bloody likely. They're much cheaper than the ones you'd get from Boots :lol:

Quote:
1,) Are these "synthetic drugs" actually legal as their sellers often claim or are they illegal as the government tells us they must be if they mimic or are similar to know drugs that are also "illegal"


As I recall, the original article (and not the one that I quoted from) stated that they are legal. Though legislation is being pursued in at least some States to change that.

Quote:
2,) Have these "substances" that have been sold as "bath salts" been taken in other forms e.g. not in a hot bath, but have instead been inhaled or swallowed.?


"One of the most popular synthetic drugs, bath salts, are crystallized chemicals that users snort, swallow or smoke."

Quote:
Either way it all points towards sensible and scientific regulation being the key rather than politics.


Agreed.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 3:01 pm 
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andyb wrote:
1,) Are these "synthetic drugs" actually legal as their sellers often claim or are they illegal as the government tells us they must be if they mimic or are similar to know drugs that are also "illegal" (was mention in on of my links).

2,) Have these "substances" that have been sold as "bath salts" been taken in other forms e.g. not in a hot bath, but have instead been inhaled or swallowed.?

Either way it all points towards sensible and scientific regulation being the key rather than politics.


Andy

'Synthetic drugs' are usually a legal grey area or a 'yet to be classified' area. these inventions are only going to be pumped out more and more as governments try to crack down. take for instance the JWH compounds, heck, I am pretty sure they are already onto the next 1-2 generations of the products that would be outside the scope of a JWH ban

djkest wrote:
Those statistics saying alcohol is the most harmful would lead someone to say "well alcohol should be illegal and cocaine and crack should be legal!"

My proposal is dispensaries. I have no doubt in my mind that according to the current drug laws, alcohol should be illegal- there is a large body of evidence backing this up.

I am also a firm believer that if Cocaine (among others) became legal, restricted (age and availability), taxed and NOT CUT/ADULTERATED, the social costs associated with these drugs would decrease relative to the benefits that society would gain (the major one being an increase in purity, and therefore safety of the drugs, the second being a black market shrink).

To supplement the legalisation, it would be necessary for rehabilitation to be more accessable.

I believe that this period of prohibition is not unlike that of the alcohol prohibition: knee jerk, unnecessary and it will not last forever.

HFat wrote:
10$ "bath salts" supposed to mimic cocaine, LSD and meth? Is this supposed to be a joke or an entry for some kind of "last thing you'd want to try" award?

By mimic, the reality is usually a much more subdued level.

Then again, bk-mdma was quasi-legal at one point, so is 6-apb, as is mephedrone (at least here in nz) and They all have parallels with classic 'hard drugs'.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Haych wrote:
While It's strictly off topic, I've always been amazed by the war on drugs that goes on in so many countries. Obviously I think they're futile, but what interests me is that so many governments rarely, if ever, choose to examine the root causes of why people do drugs in the first place.

For a little light relief on the subject of the war on drugs check out the late Bill Hicks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy-y-uamSiE


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 6:59 pm 
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djkest wrote:
What does that prove?
Where society needs to deploy its attention and resources. That is the reason to consider weighing how wide spread the problem (number of people) is as well as its intensity per affected person.

That is why you would look at deaths per year in a population instead of deaths per user.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 4:02 am 
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smilingcrow wrote:
For a little light relief on the subject of the war on drugs check out the late Bill Hicks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy-y-uamSiE


One of the great comedians IMHO. I still have five of his albums that I listen to.

nzdcoy wrote:
I am also a firm believer that if Cocaine (among others) became legal, restricted (age and availability), taxed and NOT CUT/ADULTERATED, the social costs associated with these drugs would decrease relative to the benefits that society would gain (the major one being an increase in purity, and therefore safety of the drugs, the second being a black market shrink).

To supplement the legalisation, it would be necessary for rehabilitation to be more accessable.


Something kind of along those lines was adopted by the Swiss http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5263748.ece Is it a solution? Yes and no. Did it bring about positive results? If the artcile is anything to go off, then yes.

As far as I can ascertain, the main illegal drug for which legalisation is being requested is Marijuana. That's not to say other drugs aren't being advocated for legalisation. Just that maybe we should start with something for which there is a great demand (which is, incidentally, why any war on drugs is doomed to fail. You may as well wage a war on the various Apple products). My personal point of view is that the politicians and citizens of the many countries where the legalisation of marijuana is debated, can list pros and cons until they're blue in the face. Only legalising it is going to give any true answer. Despite the fact I don't use it myself, I am for its legalisation. Though I will admit that I'm slightly biased as my fiancee suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and while she's far from being a frequent user of Marijuana, on the occasions she does use it, it does provide relief from the symptoms of her disease, and the flu-like symptoms of the beta interferon injection she takes on a weekly basis.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:09 am 
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I agree with djkest. If Crack or Heroine were legal, they'd produce more problems than Alcohol. I know lots of people who can handle Alcohol. From what I've heard, it's next to impossible to handle Crack or Cocaine.

I've read a couple of times that Marihuana was criminalized for political reasons. Every expert on the topic says it's way less addictive than Alcohol or Nicotine, the immediate physical effects are less debilitating than those of Alcohol and it's not as toxic as cigarettes, mainly for all the sh*t they put in there. Every expert I know says if only one of those three could be legal, it should be Pot.

This is my personal experience too. I've smoked a bit of pot, though it never had any real effect on me. I know a couple of people who smoked a lot more than I did. I never experienced any of them get physically or mentally incapacitated, as I must have seen thousands of people get from Alcohol over the years. I've also never known anyone to be addicted to pot. I've heard it's possible, but then again it's possible to get addicted to just about anything. Pot addiction seems to be a negligent risk at worst.

For me, maintaining the illegality of Marihuana is a sad sharade by modern governments. Part of it is the idiocy of modern societies. I've heard people (of a generation or more ahead of me) talk smack about pot at parties while they were getting drunk on their beers and liqueurs. When they were puking from the balcony later, that was just funny to everybody.
I wondered what they thought Marihana is or what it does. They were probably misinformed or not informed at all. Which has never stopped anybody from having an opinion...


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:22 am 
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quote wrote:
I agree with djkest. If Crack or Heroine were legal, they'd produce more problems than Alcohol.
Anyone know what the experience has been in Spain and Switzerland?

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:14 am 
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It seems there are some myths about crack. Crack is a form of cocaine just like hash oil is a form of marijuana.

Cocaine and heroin are not legal in Spain or Switzerland.

Drugs are not made illegal because they are dangerous. There are very dangerous legal drugs. Sometimes similar drugs will end up on both sides of the fence. And legal drugs can become illegal when they're handled by people who are not authorized to do so.

Pot is not innocuous. It's practically impossible to die from overdose but as with every drug, it's more dangerous for some people than others and it's a shame this isn't being researched seriously considering how popular the stuff is.

It's amazing how clueless the public and even medical professionals are about the effects of very common drugs. Take paracematol/acetaminophen for instance which I guess most of you have used. Thousands of people die every year as a direct consequence of abusing this drug. The non-lethal effects and indirect fatalities are probably unknown. Can any of you tell me what harmful and lethal doses are as a function of weight, height, age, sex, diet or whatever you think the relevant parameters are? Or simply what harmful and lethal does are for you? How much should people who drink alcohol and who can't or won't stop take? Who else should take smaller dose or avoid the drug altogether?


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:30 am 
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Quote:
My proposal is dispensaries. I have no doubt in my mind that according to the current drug laws, alcohol should be illegal- there is a large body of evidence backing this up.

I am also a firm believer that if Cocaine (among others) became legal, restricted (age and availability), taxed and NOT CUT/ADULTERATED, the social costs associated with these drugs would decrease relative to the benefits that society would gain (the major one being an increase in purity, and therefore safety of the drugs, the second being a black market shrink).


As I said before, alcohol in moderation is not dangerous. Nearly any "drug" is dangerous when used in excessive amounts. The question is- what are the effects for reasonable amounts, medical benefits, and how addictive is it. I would not support any measure that would make alcohol illegal. We tried it before and it was a disaster in this country.

Quote:
To supplement the legalisation, it would be necessary for rehabilitation to be more accessable.

I believe that this period of prohibition is not unlike that of the alcohol prohibition: knee jerk, unnecessary and it will not last forever.


I doubt you are correct. Alcohol prohibition in this coutry as a federal law lasted from 1920 to 1933. Most of the drugs we are talking about legalizing have been prohibited for much longer than that. It's not really a knee-jerk reaction; I don't know how you would get that impression. I guess the million dollar question is- and always a subject of debate- is what happens to useage numbers with legalization. If every drug under the sun was legal, I wouldn't try them. It wouldn't change my life- but I'm only 1 person of billions.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:43 am 
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HFat wrote:
Take paracematol/acetaminophen for instance which I guess most of you have used. Thousands of people die every year as a direct consequence of abusing this drug. The non-lethal effects and indirect fatalities are probably unknown. Can any of you tell me what harmful and lethal doses are as a function of weight, height, age, sex, diet or whatever you think the relevant parameters are? Or simply what harmful and lethal does are for you? How much should people who drink alcohol and who can't or won't stop take? Who else should take smaller dose or avoid the drug altogether?


Quote:
In June 2009, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee recommended that new restrictions should be placed on paracetamol usage in the United States to help protect people from the potential toxic effects. The maximum dosage to be consumed at any given time would be decreased from 1000 mg to 650 mg, while combinations of paracetamol and narcotic analgesics would be prohibited. Committee members were particularly concerned by the fact that the present maximum dosages of paracetamol had been shown to produce alterations in hepatic function. On January 13, 2011, the FDA asked manufacturers of prescription combination products containing paracetamol to limit the amount of paracetamol to no more than 325 mg per tablet or capsule and began requiring manufacturers to update the labels of these products to warn of the potential risk for severe liver damage. Manufacturers will have three years to limit the amount of acetaminophen in their prescription drug products to 325 mg per dosage unit. The FDA also is requiring manufacturers to update labels of all prescription combination acetaminophen products to warn of the potential risk for severe liver injury.


Unfortunately these changes probably won't make that much difference. People can still swallow a handful of pills if they want to. It's like Ibuprofen- it comes in 200mg tablets, but the 800mg tablets are prescription only. What's to stop me from taking 4 of the 200mg tablets?

One thing I believe though, is that drugs that are used for SUICIDES, much like guns- well, you can't blame the method. Being able to kill yourself doesn't make you kill yourself. There are many ways to commit suicide. In places where they don't have as many guns, they use alternative methods- and the suicide rates aren't any lower. But that is a discussion for another topic, I'm afraid.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:45 am 
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Legalise it, regulate it and tax it... but not too much :D
Weed could be handed out to unemployed violent teenagers who will then stay in all the time chillin' instead of wandering the steets terrorising little old ladies. Research should be carried out into developing THC inhalers as smoking is clearly harmful and anti social.
Cocaine should be supplied free of charge to American air traffic controllers who seem prone to falling asleep on night shift. I'm sure many other shift workers would also be keen on a "tonic" that was in fact very popular and legal in the 19th century.
All the policeman that currently bust people for possession of small amounts of weed and/or coke could spend their time catching real criminals - have you seen the appalling figures for solving cases of burglary in the UK?
The damage done to people by alcohol might reduce, resulting in savings for the health service and the amount of fighting on the streets at weekends should also decline dramatically, resulting in A&E units having more resources available to look after accident victims.
One concern is what the criminals involved in the drug business would turn to in order to maintain their lifestyle. Perhaps their undoubted business skills could be used by some of the major international corporations, they'd fit in rather well with just a change of suit.
Sales of black BMW's with trick wheels and tinted glass would slump.
Farming in America is revolutionised -
Quote:
U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday

South American farmers would be able to legally grow their crops without fear of the USAF spraying their fields with herbicides -
Quote:
In the meantime, untold thousands of Colombians and Ecuadorians have become sick from the blended chemical spray. Studies have shown the environmental dangers of inhalation and skin and eye saturation of the floating mist. And critically valuable maize, yucca and plantains have been destroyed in large swaths of the fertile country.

For years, DynCorp International of Fort Worth, Texas, has had the lucrative US multimillion-dollar annual contract for Colombian aerial spraying operations.


Prohibition of alcohol in the US was extremely unpopular, impossible to enforce, made criminals out of millions of normally law abiding citizens and sparked a period of unprecedented criminal activity. Prohibition of drugs is just as senseless in my view.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:47 am 
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djkest wrote:
The question is- what are the effects for reasonable amounts, medical benefits, and how addictive is it.

Many MDs routinely prescribe very addictive and dangerous drugs with dubious benefits. When research shows that the benefits are not there for some classes of patients, some MDs don't care and others keep handing out the stuff because it's so addictive that their patients don't want to stop.
Some popular prescription drugs have ended up in lists including "hard drugs" (a nonsensical category) such as the one posted by the OP.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:53 am 
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djkest wrote:
In June 2009, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee recommended that ... combinations of paracetamol and narcotic analgesics would be prohibited.

This is insanity! Can someone explain what I'm missing? These combinations are awesome as many of you could testify.


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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:00 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
One concern is what the criminals involved in the drug business would turn to in order to maintain their lifestyle
The US experience from the prohibition era would indicate that they will shift over into new forms of criminal activity... but that the crime organizations will slowly die out over about one and a half life times.

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 Post subject: Re: Lets discuss illegal drugs - and legal ones too
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:10 am 
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ces wrote:
There are too many needless wars going on. The war against drugs is one needless war too many.

The War On Drugs is a real war, with a human enemy and material targeted for destruction. The fact that the enemy is not a sovereign state makes no meaningful difference.

Nevertheless when Nixon began it he was able to profit from the fact that confusion was widespread enough to have it be vaguely thought of as being an idealistic cultural crusade.

This is because Lyndon B. Johnson's War On Poverty had established a precedent for 'waging war' on things other than sovereign states. The War On Poverty, however, was entirely a metaphorical war, with the word "war" used because the project required the same national unity and enthusiastic effort that past military wars had brouht forth. The War On Poverty, too, was entirely a constructive effort, it was all about building up. It very well could have worked if it hadn't been derailed so quickly.

The War On Drugs is a destructive effort, and of the nearly $1 trillion spent on it so far I would venture to say that only a very small percentage was devoted to prevention of drug use, and the procedures designated as preventive probably weren't very sagely guided. In any case, the problem has not gotten any better, and it certainly is a problem, and I'm certain that there actually is a way to reduce the desire for recreational drugs among the populace.


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