Debunking the Drug War
Posted: 09 August 2005 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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In the 09 AUG 05 issue of The New York Times

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 09 August 2005 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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It’s hard to believe in prohibition in light of the policy’s spectacular failure.  But I can’t say I have much sympathy for producers, distributors, or users of unnatural drugs.  The best solution to the problem of meth, and it is a problem, is to use the Dutch model and create zones to isolate dealers and users from the rest of the population and provide treatment for the addicts.

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The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisedom
-William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”

Life, what is it but a dream?
- Lewis Carroll, “A boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

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Posted: 09 August 2005 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“rabbit”]It’s hard to believe in prohibition in light of the policy’s spectacular failure.  But I can’t say I have much sympathy for producers, distributors, or users of unnatural drugs.  The best solution to the problem of meth, and it is a problem, is to use the Dutch model and create zones to isolate dealers and users from the rest of the population and provide treatment for the addicts.

Where should the line between natural and unnatural drugs be drawn?

Surely nobody (almost nobody?) disputes that some drugs do ruin the lives of many people.  The question is not whether or not this is bad, but whether or not the measures that are taken to try to curb this problem actually represent a net benefit.  Put another way:  The only way to truly stamp out drug abuse would be to wipe out the human race.  At that point, most people realize that it is fair to consider the notion that the cure might be worse than the problem, so why is it so difficult to see that the same might be true on more subtle levels?

The drugs and the drug problems that are currently being faced are the result of evolutionary pressures, just as surely as everything else is.

-Matt

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Posted: 10 August 2005 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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The line is self-evident.  Natural drugs are those which occur naturally, they grow or occur without human processing.  Even alcohol occurs naturally when honey ferments.  I’ve seen drunk squirrils.

Meth doesn’t fit that definition.

Clearly prohibition doesn’t work.  If you don’t like the Dutch model, what do you think would work to everyone’s benefit?

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The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisedom
-William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell”

Life, what is it but a dream?
- Lewis Carroll, “A boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

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Posted: 10 August 2005 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“rabbit”]The line is self-evident.  Natural drugs are those which occur naturally, they grow or occur without human processing.  Even alcohol occurs naturally when honey ferments.  I’ve seen drunk squirrils.

The line is also needlessly arbitrary.  Most OTC drugs are not naturally occuring (or have at least some active “unnatural” ingredients), but are sold freely, without prescription, even in our current repressive system.  I fail to see any logical basis to limit recreational pharmacology to “natural” substances, but allow “unnatural” ones to treat “medical conditions”.  The bottom line is that in all cases, a person is attempting, via pharmacological intervention, to modify their personal circumstances for the better.

Clearly prohibition doesn’t work.  If you don’t like the Dutch model, what do you think would work to everyone’s benefit?

Hold people responsible for their actions.  If they commit a crime, punish them.  Otherwise, I would be in favor of minimal restrictions, including zones (zoned freedom isn’t, as they say).  I would probably support a stiffening of the penalties for providing narcotics to minors, though, as drug use (natural or otherwise) can have a profoundly negative impact on a developing brain.

-Matt

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