Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Countdown to $200 Oil and Nickel Heroin

by FPS Doug Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 10:23:13 AM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

$200 oil will be very bad news for the bourgeoisie (insert dozens of links), but every cloud has a silver lining (or similar proverb), and although the Youth of Tomorrow may never see a decent wage in the crashing economy, he, she, or it can look forward to cheaper and cheaper thrills from our allies in Afghanistan.    

According to the DEA, Afghani heroin is now selling in Los Angeles at $90 for a highly pure gram. That works out to about a dime per pure milligram (compared to $2.50 in 1975, equivalent to about $10 in today's money). Five milligrams is a hefty dose for a naive user. So a first heroin experience is now available for less than the price of a candy bar.

Fifty cents for a ride on the White Dragon!

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (Forty miles of bad road/ If the Bible is right, the world will explode), and honest valedictorians of the Class of 2008 will forget about promoting traditional virtues to their unfortunate classmates.  

Your pension will be annulled! Inflation will zero out your pitiful savings! Your children will beg in the streets! Your world will dry up and burn down!

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

That's your future, riding a 100 mph Santa Ana wind across the sky!

You can't stop it, you can't even slow it down, but you don't have to feel a thing, thanks to our friends and allies in Afghanistan.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Fifty cents for a ride on the White Dragon!

 


Display:
I don't know how it looks in the US but we seem to be on the cusp of a generational split here in the UK. Talk about legalisation is now beginning to seep into the mainstream as we look at the pointless criminality and wasted opportunities our generation-long "war on drugs" has wrought.

Course it'll probably take another generation till anything happens (we'll try decriminalisation ie supply still criminal first and watch that sucker fail), but I think that, outside of our perenially stupid and backward political classes, people are beginning to notice that prohibition doesn't work (funny that).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:12:29 AM EST
There is a diary in the history of the UK drugs war, but it probably couldn't be written without coming under severe legal pressure when You placed a deal of the blame for the current situation on a couple of UK maedia organisations and their campaign against the NHS.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:24:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drugs are almost as useful a bogeyman as al Qaeda, and cynical politicians will still be peddling the "War on Drugs" until the last well in the United States or the UK or France dries up and the last child dies on the bare ground.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Anyone who thinks it can't happen here, wherever here may be, should think twice about the stretch of the Sahel where Kevin Carter made his famous photgraph. In 1965 it was still green.

Qui vit sans folie n'est pas si sage qu'il croit.

by FPS Doug on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed that prohibition hasn't worked, but things can get a lot worse as well a better.  I'm still not convinced that legalisation wouldn't make the situation even worse, and I don't think there are very effective "medical programs" for people who do get addicted.

I've worked in a drug addiction treatment service on a voluntary basis and the devastation caused to addicts, their friends and families, and to wider society is huge.  I would support ANYTHING that could be shown to reduce that suffering but as far as I can see more effective law enforcement against pushers has to be a large part of the solution - insofar as their is a solution.  

Increasing the self-esteem and social prospects of those who get into (especially heroin) addiction is another large part of the solution, but a lot of drug abuse today is by people with money and prospects looking for even more thrills at everyone else's expense.  Sorry, but I just don't buy libertarian tolerance in that context.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 12:16:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is always the big hurdle pro-legalisers have to get over. The idea that we are promoting some kind of free-for-all where the social ills of drugs explode without legal restraint.

No. We. Are. Not. Suggesting. That.

The biggest problem of illegal drugs is their illegaility, not the drug.

If you hand over the production and supply of any product to crimnals don't be surprised if quality control diminishes. Also, do not be surprised if they engage in turf wars to enhance their turnovers, usually invovlving guns, knives and other associated mayhem. Equally, don't be surprised if users find themselves devoting much of their time earning the sums necessary to get their fix which, cos they are usually at the bottom of society, means they have to nick things.

All of these largely go away if supply is regulated and legal.

EG. UK didn't have a heroin problem until legal supply through the NHS was removed in 1972. At that time there were 500 registered users and illegal heroin was non-existent as a problem. Now it is illegal, there are 500,000 users, that's some record of success. And most of those half million have to go out thieving to pay for their habit. They mug people, they break into houses, they assault shop owners, they do credit card fraud. Each and every day. Half a million of them.

Do you suppose it might be an idea to stop that ? Heroin is not a disabling drug if it is clean and in reliable dosages. Once somebody's life is stabilised , then we can consider weaning them off. Not onto methadone which is just a piece of crap statistics massager.
They can work, if they have a regular supply.
They can get shelter, if they have a regular supply. They can stop being parasites, but only if they have aregular supply.
Or we can endure, as we have been doing, half a million petty thieves roaming the streets screwing htings up for the rest of us, supporting a criminal community of several thousand drug suppliers and a hundred or so gun runners whilst they're at it.

The same goes, in different ways, for all illegal drugs. I'd have thought Al Capone taught us an unforgettable lesson. Make something people want illegal and you get a mess of illegality which is far, far worse than the original problem.

No, it wouldn't disappear overnight, but it would stop growing. It would begin to diminish. Maybve not in a decade, like smoking it will just cease to be acceptable amongst most people, it won't have a cachet of being forbidden. You won't feel like a young soul rebel. You'll just be seen to be a bit naff, having to go to the pharmacy. give it a generation.

But if we carry on as we are, we're fucked.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you familiar with alcoholism?

I don't have a horse in this race, and I do think drug laws in America are steeped in racism and classism.  But I struggle with the legalization argument when I look around and see the damage caused by quite legal drugs.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:38:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you familiar with alcoholism?

Turambar has my answer to that;-

Drug legalization is not supposed to or intended to solve the drug problem. Drug legalization is intended to solve the crime and violence problem.
We can then work to solve the drug problem using honest information and discussion. Use tax revenues from drug sales to help fund rehab and intervention.

However, whether a drug is legal or not will have little effect on addicts. Do you think alcoholics went away during prohibition ? Nope, they were big Al's favourite customers. There will always be people who abuse drugs, legally or otherwise, as the legal status of their poison becomes irrelevant to their addiction. However the cost to society is very very much less if, as Turambar says, we can separate the issues.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:54:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand Turambar's argument, but was questioning the nonchalance with which you state, "The biggest problem of illegal drugs is their illegaility, not the drug."

No.  That's one of the problems of illegal drugs.  Another is that they cause a lot of suffering regardless of their legal status, and not just of the physiological variety, but also social and economic.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 04:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is hardly nonchalance to say the biggest problem of illegal drugs is their illegality. In societal terms that's true.

Yes, addiction is a problem for the individuals, but that problem exists independently of the legal status. But as others are pointing out, alcoholism hardly becomes easier to treat/manage/contain if they have to combine their addiction with the illegaility of maintaining supply.

Addiction is an entirely different problem that, incidentally, becomes nearly impossible to deal with if the addictive substance is illegal. The problem that legalising drugs solves is society's problems that arise from drug illegality. It has little impact on addiction except to offer the possibility that numbers will diminish over time. Like I said, alcoholism wasn't remotely affected by prohibition.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 04:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well said. Legalization has to be accompanied by regulation and a legal distribution network, more or less as alcohol is treated - in the U.S. at least. I think that we can predict that most addicts would rather go to see the nice, legal franchise-holder for a hit than the not-so-nice pusher. This offers the chance to identify addicts in order to offer treatment.

Interestingly, civil lawsuits have made pubs more responsible for alcohol-fueled problems, such as DUI - in the Northwest at any rate. No reason not to apply this development to drug-induced behavior issues.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 07:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm quite prepared to accept that legalisation will reduce the level of drug related crime and thus be beneficial to society as a whole.  And if the problem was only heroin I might even go along with it.  

But we are also looking at ecstasy , crack cocaine, and an increasing variety of ever more potent and addictive synthetic drugs - most of which make the user dangerous to themselves and to others and some are becoming increasingly lethal.  Where do you draw the line on the legalisation argument?  Which drugs are in and which are out?  

With some of the drugs now coming on the market you are practically asking doctors and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense poisons - to become accessories to mass suicide and murder.  

The truth is many of these drugs are taken in a social context that is almost impossible to regulate.  Children and young people need to be protected and the freer availability of such drugs will put them even more at risk.  Crime is the price we pay because we're not quite yet prepared to write off the addicts and encourage them to kill themselves.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 09:13:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I use e on occasion, but the idea of getting addicted to it is ridiculous because I am not a broken individual in desperate need of parental love, affection, friends, hope, etc. I know people that do fall into that category, though, and they are at high risk for addiction.

You know where I'm going with this. Drug addiction is a symptom of a culture that has problems.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 09:27:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same goes for Alcohol and many other drugs.  Many can avoid addiction and others can not for a variety of reasons, - some genetic, some physiological, some psychological, some cultural etc.  There will never be a society where a proportion of people will not be at risk of serious addiction and harm.  

The question is whether the best strategy for minimising it is to make hard drugs illegal or to seek to legalise and regulate them.  The problem with regulation is that any restrictions it imposes will create space for at least a residual illegal market.

Once a pharmacy issues cocaine to a user - what is to prevent it being re-sold to others.  If the drug my only be consumed on the premises, then there will still be an illegal market for cocaine for parties etc.  If it is administered in a pharmacy, what is there to prevent the addict jumping into a car and accidentally killing someone?

The practical difficulties around legalisation are horrendous.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 09:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is whether the best strategy for minimising it is to make hard drugs illegal or to seek to legalise and regulate them.

Maybe the easiest step is to start with the by far most popular illegal soft drug, marijuana.  Turn it back into a plant product--decriminalise what must be by now three generations of users, and then see what risidual hard drug problem remains.

The problem with regulation is that any restrictions it imposes will create space for at least a residual illegal market.

I think this is an important point.  There is still, I'm sure, a very small market for super-strength moonshine but that the market is very small and that most of us have many many products we can use before we get to that point suggests to me that we can look at the "key effect" of a drug and then legalise drugs which offer the "key effect" without the overwhelming potency.  The most obvious are: opium gum and coca leaves.  Make those legal while keeping the derivatives illegal.  (This could be a step 2 after making marijuana legal in step 1.  Again, we can then see what the hard drug situation looks like at this point before proposing step 3, which could be medical prescription.)

Once a pharmacy issues cocaine to a user - what is to prevent it being re-sold to others.

Nothing, except that the pharmacy would issue a one-person supply and so maybe re-selling would be parochial rather than industrial as at present.  The dutch experience with their ageing heroin-user population is a key area for analysis here.

If the drug my only be consumed on the premises, then there will still be an illegal market for cocaine for parties etc.  

Not sure about this one.  The parties market will be taken care of (in the biggest biggest majority is my guess) by steps one and two above.

If it is administered in a pharmacy, what is there to prevent the addict jumping into a car and accidentally killing someone?

Well, first it can be made illegal to drive while under the influence of any substance, including nicotine, coffee, sports drinks, the lot.  That's my prejudice, though, as I think cars are inherently dangerous.  Second, the drug-user will be responsible for their behaviour under the effects of the drug--just like with drink-driving.

The practical difficulties around legalisation are horrendous.

Pace Turambar, are they at they at the same magnitude of dangerous as the current illegal situation, and if not, are they higher (by how many magnitudes?) or lower (by how many..etc..)  My guess is that they are far lower, as here at ET we can get the workings of an effective legalisation policy started with a morning's thought, while sorting out the chaos that FPS Doug and Turambar have highlighted is...well, legalisation is the solution to the problem and though complex in its particluars (though I really do think it is not that complex--all the issues are to do with over-limited supply [the Amsterdam syndrome--"the only pub in town" syndrome] and behaviour issues (will legalisation lead to worse social behaviours?  I don't see why it would--as long as the legalisation is done correctly...heh...)

I think maybe our current generation of politicians would be able to screw up legalisation most effectively and there is an argument that it is better to keep such markets out of their greedy and un-educated paws...but I think Turambar proves that argument false.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:41:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've seen this right? Alcohol is an incredibly dangerous drug both mentally and physically. Many, many people are addicted to it. Many are abusive, destructive and dangerous to themselves and others. Also, many use it quite reasonably. It's quite legal though. And reasonably cheap. And certainly more dangerous than MDMA.

Also, legalization doesn't mean writing off the addicts. Is the fact that alcohol is legal mean we don't have treatment programs for alcoholism? That there aren't campaigns against over-indulgence?

by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does the fact that alcohol is legal and very destructive for many strengthen your case for the legalisation of other drugs?  

PS Alcohol addiction treatment programs have generally very low success rates

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't necessarily strengthen a legalisation argument. It may strengthen a criminalization argument for alcohol. Your reaction to the hard drugs seemed "these are so dangerous, therefore ... ". I was just pointing out that a legal drug was just as dangerous as some you pointed to. That's all.
by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:17:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
R343L:
these are so dangerous, therefore ... ". I was just pointing out that a legal drug was just as dangerous as some you pointed to.

I have to admit I AM really scared by a lot of the new synthetic drugs which are so much more dangerous than many that went before.  Sure banning Marijuana in the 60's was political, and all the wrong sorts of politics, but we can't go back to the "pre-prohibition" days even if we wanted to - the world has changed

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:15:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which are these 'new synthetic drugs' that are 'soooooo' much more dangerous than many before? MDMA? 2CB? 2CT2? BZP? GHB? All of those are great if pure and dosed properly, and not so nice if in questionable purity or too high dose. Sure, you are unlikely to find anything as forgiving as good old LSD, a drug for which an actual deadly dose has yet to be found, despite incredibly numerous users over the years. But are any of the ones above really 'worse', than say quaaludes which were quite popular in a prior era? Or meth, heroin, crack, and coke; these are quite old ones as well...
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
an increasing variety of ever more potent and addictive synthetic drugs

In the world of marijuana the strength is shooting up--and how could my friend Mary, who remembers the calm and friendly smoke of the late sixties, obtain said calm smoke these days?  She can't go to a specialist shop (it's illegal); she might be lucky enough to know a dealer from the old days (but maybe the dealer is in prison!  Nasty dealers!); and so she asks around (be careful!  It's illegal!)--and what does she find?  

"You can have 'this' or 'that'".

The alcohol equivalent would be: You can have "gin" or "whisky" (no we don't sell beer).  So Mary buys some "gin", takes it home, it's in an unlabelled bottle, she takes a swig.  Oh man!  

Maybe the gin tastes like whisky, or the whisky tastes like gin, or maybe it tastes like battery acid.

Mary is lucky: she remembers what whisky and gin used to taste like before they were made illegal.  She worries for the kids today who don't know the difference and are happy enough to drink this...very dangerous drink...because they don't know any better--and they trust the black market!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:15:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't find that crappy dope from the Sixties?

Boo hoo!

But don't assume that "kids today" are so stupid they take ten hits of the elusive one-hitter...

"Are we stoned yet, Beavis?"
"I don't know, Butt-Head."

It sounds like an update of Reefer Madness!

In the US, the FCC gives cop shows like Law & Order credit for "public service announcements" when they run stories about killer smack so pure it kills every junkie who buys it. In the real market, the chance of getting a lot more than you paid for is about the same as being hit by a meteor.

In the black community millions of lives have been destroyed by long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses where "intent to sell" was defined by possession of microscopic amounts of crack, and even the DEA admits that crack and cocaine abuse "has stabilized at high levels."

So the "War on Drugs" has destroyed millions of lives and failed to reduce supply below "high levels," and when the DEA talks about "high levels," they mean levels high enough to provide a basis for five or six national economies.

The only thing about drugs that hasn't gotten bigger and better since the Sixties is the argument for prolonging the "War on Drugs," and that argument is still the same old ditchweed they were peddling as far back as Reefer Madness.

Behind the semi-transparent metaphor, my diary actually argues for drugs as a rational alternative for the impoverished "economic man" of the near future, and it isn't exactly dignified for lucky travelers like most of us who contribute to EuroTrib to argue against any escape from an increasingly brutal reality, unless we can also offer the unlucky majority a better way out than video games and TV.

Qui vit sans folie n'est pas si sage qu'il croit.

by FPS Doug on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:18:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't find that crappy dope from the Sixties?

Boo hoo!

You're old enough to remember it, right?

BOOM!  HEADSHOT!

(Waaaaay too much strong psychosis-inducing craziness around, no?)

But don't assume that "kids today" are so stupid they take ten hits of the elusive one-hitter...

I think the US situation may be different to here in the UK.  Apparently we are now a net exporter of grass--which comes from genetically modified seeds made in Amsterdam; which are grown at home under artificial lights and the strength is what the kids want and like.  They enjoy the intensity.

Using the alcohol metaphor, they think "beer is for wimps"--and indeed, sales of spirits are soaring...and yes, we're in agreement!

(Except for the bit where you get knocky for no reason--why the FUCK should you be rude about Mary?)

(My point being--all that wound-up-tight lashing out...gah...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell Mary from a fellow 'old timer' it's that time in life to take a camomille at 10:30 p.m.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:45:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She usually does (it's more like 8pm and lights out by 10), but you know--New Year, the occasional gathering of old friends...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:41:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rg:
genetically modified seeds

Somehow I doubt that Monsanto et. al. have had the cannabis seed under the microscope (if they had, all the second-generation seeds would probably be sterile). What we are looking at (or smoking, in some cases) is a triumph of good, old-fashioned plant breeding.

None of which addresses FPS Doug's larger point, which is that the GWOD is a massive and manifest failure (not to mention hideously expensive and extremely corruption-inducing), and that we need to radically rethink how we approach intoxicants.

On that note, has anyone ever noted whether a substance is permitted or proscribed bears little relation to its harmfulness? I mean, where is the logical argument for allowing nicotine and alcohol and prohibiting LSD and cannabis?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:10:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What we are looking at (or smoking, in some cases) is a triumph of good, old-fashioned plant breeding.

I'm working on second-hand info here, but I was told that you can now buy seeds that are guaranteed female--not sure how they do that, but that's the kind of thing I mean.

That the GWOD is a massive failure is clear to everyone except those who think drugs are dangerous and should therefore be made illegal.  That alcohol and nicotine are still legal is, for them (I think), the next challenge.  That is why I think the key issue at present is to inform the public, pace Turambar's most excellent comment, that the illegality causes violence and (my point) more dangerous products (no non-illegal quality control).  Because there is still a belief that some drugs "should be illegal" because of their harmful effects, so the need is to show that the harmful effects of making substances illegal--and my position here would be that you need to have a range, such that 80% proof alcohol may be illegal but that only works because substances up to a certain % aren't.  The example with mary jane would be to limit THC (say) to 8% active ingredient (or somesuch, as I say I am not an expert and have been told that there are 2 main ingredients and that the current crops are heavily into the more schizoid one, a kind of super-trippy joint...so a % of the other ingredient too...that kind of thing--I would make opium legal and then render substances with over a certain level of morphine (or suchlike) "under medical supervision only" etc...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'm working on second-hand info here

I'd like to get info. from anyone/someone with more direct knowledge/information

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:42:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Working from an admittedly disjointed memory from a conversation with a man in a kilt, the different sex seeds are a niticeably different shape, so it is relatively easy process to sort them.

never having attempted to grow the afformentioned, I don't realy know however, so YMMV, take with pinch of salt.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never heard that. As far as I know, any sativa seed can become a male or female plant depending on the circadian rhythm it is exposed to at the early seedling stage.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly, so when you plant them you might get five males and no useful crop--hence the new seeds or experiments into new seeds, I don't know the details, as I said, I am not an expert but I know an iguana who knows a panda if you know what I mean.  This iguana also told me that the "super strength" is a product of the artificial lights--the plants are always "on".  The mellower, more rounded smoke, used to come from Africa (ya know, the whole mediterranean belt and beyond kinda thing) but because of the import risks (it's illegal!) the home-grown "artificial" grass is now the market (unless you have very good contacts.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is so, then obviously you'd get faster growing times to maturity.

Finnish pandas are remarkably shy at the moment with a dirth of brown bamboo. But the salamanders ply their craft under all sorts of rocks in a hydroponic context.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:42:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On a serious note, have you heard the same things from your animal friends?  I mean that the market is turning "hard"--and "soft" is losing out?  Coz maybe it's just a UK phenomenon.

I can see a potential market (at least in the UK) for "soft" (grow old gracefully!), but I wish oh wish that these markets didn't have prison sentences hanging over them like blades--all that illegality is hard--I think...hmmm...this hardening, this intensifying is symptom and cause....I cannae explain it well but there's something about the ratcheting up such that the mellow drug becomes tougher, dirtier, more paranoic--which feeds the "they're too dangerous to legalise" narrative, which creates the tension...a negative feedback loop.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:51:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe the link is that in both cases (the arguments for keeping drugs illegal and the drugs themselves) there is a loss of distributed quality and therefore subtlety...I dunno...there's something tying the two sides together (abolitionists--drug mafias)..the rush to judgement/profit...the rush...I dunno...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:00:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, not at all. It is a very soft market that combines both organic and synthetic dance. There are a few powdery movers and shakers found in VIP club,s but it is a very small circle as far as I know. Chinese eyes are only found around the Russian mobsters and their doll servants - I've never met a Finn with a habit, though I am sure they exist.

The big scourge is speed. I don't know how widespread it is, but I have certainly come up against it in the music biz, and a fantastic guitarist I know is on his way to jail for badly beating up his girlfriend. Though that has been after a decade or so of abuse when his career collapsed and he was living in Sweden. Speed appears to be one of those drugs that you pay for all the highs with an equal amount of lows. It's a disappearing act drug as opposed to an enhancer, with a definite negative loop attached. I can understand why it is attractive to guitarists though, just as I can understand why the Peruvian cocoa is attractive to anyone who is selling any type of bullshit for a living.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
just as I can understand why the Peruvian cocoa is attractive to anyone who is selling any type of bullshit for a living.

Ah, you just hit the note!

Yeah, there's a speedy edge to the scuzz-live circuit--poor artiste's cocaine I thought (nicotine as the working man's cocaine), but I don't know that circuit really.  So yeah, a UK phenomenon maybe?  Or maybe it's more local than that?  Other reports much appreciated!

(btw, I can see speed and the cold and dark going together...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:12:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do know someone who during the 60's to the 90's mixed in the chemical circles and the one thing he was absolutely adamant about was that no speed was to happen anywhere near him, he was of the opinion that it messed far too many people up too badly, and was worse than cocaine and herouine put together.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:17:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would agree. I've never heard a good word about it.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:28:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which 'speed' would this be? Because the illegality of amphetamine can arguable be said to have moved the market into methamphetamine, which is a very, very different beast. (meth is easier to make in your average bathroom lab than amph.) With amphetamine it depends a lot on where you are on the dosage curve as well. 5-10mg will bring some greater energy without that hard speedy edge, and has a much more gentle comedown than large doses. That said, even for larger amph doses, I have seen very few bad reactions, and this stuff was very, very common (in its prescribed, pharmaseutical form, one big yay for ADHD, big, big 'epedemic' of this 'disease'...) in some of my former circles. Some people got dependent on the effects for daily function (as they were prescribed a daily dose, and some thought, hey, why not...), but the vast, vast majority of even those had not much difficulty quitting the habit, by well, quitting the habit. A few weeks of grumpy discomfort perhaps, but no cataclysmic horror. So, if anything, I'd say, legalize amph, keep meth illegal, and see a move to the 'softer side' of speed with an accompanying reduction in harm?
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:14:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm relating purely anecdotal evidence and only about the stimulant amphetamine. You may be right. I have not heard of meth in Finland. It's use is on the decline in Europe according to Drugscope, but worldwide usage more than double that of e (2004).

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:

None of which addresses FPS Doug's larger point, which is that the GWOD is a massive and manifest failure

It's not a manifest failure.

The CIA is running a regular coke supply line from Columbia, just as it did back in the happy Reagan days. The GWOD has never been about ending drug use, any more than the GWOT has been a serious attempt to hunt down Bin Laden.

Heroin supply is up after Afghanistan. Turkey and Pakistan are both major supply routes.

Someone has a finger in those pies, and it's not the Salvation Army or the local Rotary Club.

Social destabilisation? Black people in prisons? Middle class people acting like snow-driven self-absorbed wankers? This is a problem for who?

Drugs won't be decriminalised as long as drugs are a useful tool for profit and abusive social engineering. There isn't any more happening here.

Marijuana may be decriminalised now that it's become a cottage industry and there's no longer a useful monopoly on sales. But heroin and coke? Not any time soon.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the key point, from which ANY discussion of drugs HAS to radiate, around which ANY discussion of the War On Drugs TM HAS to revolve:  

The War on Drugs is not a failure; it is a success:  It is doing pretty much what its designers WANT it to do.  Social devastation, impoverishment, criminal gangs, ubiquitous uncontrolled police activity--these are all DESIRED OUTCOMES.  

And, mainly, it is making money hand-over-fist.  The money from illegal drug-running is a key support underneath many governments, and not just places like Afghanistan, but more importantly places like the USA.  The merger between government, corporate, and criminal enterprise began in the last quarter of the 20th century (arguably the last third) and has reached the point where they are essentially the same thing.  

BTW, I am not sure Naomi Klein mentions the War on Drugs in her book Shock Therapy, but once you see how Disaster Capitalism (a strategy of neo-liberalism) works you see that illegalized drug traffic is just another venue for its operation.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:25:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't buy the WoD being planned: anything they do plan they fuck up.

I do buy that the WoD - as evolved - is too useful to shut down.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:34:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently, the "elites", are far smarter than we are and are capable of predicting the consequences of their actions over the very long term in way you or I could never imagine. <sigh>
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 05:19:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we are dumber, seemingly by choice.  

After Prohibition ANYONE could have predicted the main effects of the War On Drugs.  

We did not predict the SCALE, but as Chris says, this thing has grown and evolved.  After all, it started in the early days of the merger.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 03:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FPS Doug:
In the real market, the chance of getting a lot more than you paid for is about the same as being hit by a meteor.

In Ireland there have been a lot of deaths recently from cocaine - some because it was cut with all sorts of dodgy substances - including ventinery drugs - and some because it was mixed with alcohol, and some because people react in different ways to the same drug.  Cocaine is lethal for some people and you don't know how your body will react.  So being "savvy" doesn't necessarily protect you.

FPS Doug:

nd it isn't exactly dignified for lucky travelers like most of us who contribute to EuroTrib to argue against any escape from an increasingly brutal reality, unless we can also offer the unlucky majority a better way out than video games and TV.

Ah right - the ultimate cop-out - which must be music to the ears of any corrupt elite - screw the masses and give them drugs to forget their pain.  The real "opium of the people" to replace the religion of old.

DIGNIFIED?  There is nothing dignified about drug addiction.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And not all drug use is drug addiction! Look, we don't expect people to work 365/7/24, we give them some time off, some vacation. Why not allow for some drug induced vacation from reality? Cannot be worse than the one that involves watching junk on TV after all.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:36:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you probably know, I don't see an important distinction between internal and external 'drugs' - except the taking of the former is usually voluntary. Going through puberty is frequently the most powerful 'trip' anyone can experience. It can totally change personality by changing how you look at the world and feel it.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:50:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
someone:
Why not allow for some drug induced vacation from reality? Cannot be worse than the one that involves watching junk on TV after all.

Ah but unfortunately it CAN be an awful lot worse than watching Junk TV

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:37:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll have to disagree. 'Junk TV' is a far greater threat to both the individual and society. Junk food too. Junk anything.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And watching Junk TV CAN be an awful lot worse than getting high. And playing computer games CAN become 'addictive'. So much so that it is pursued to the exclusion of all other activities. Shall we ban computer games?
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:53:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we are talking about different things  My (little) experience is with heroin addiction and for a variety of reasons and factors it reduces life expectancy very dramatically and has hugely traumatic impacts for the family concerned..  To compare this to junk TV is just crass.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, a few things.

First, someone was not reacting to your heroin story so

To compare this to junk TV is just crass." may be true or untrue but it's not what someone was doing--she simply was not comparing junk TV to your experience with heroin addiction ["this" in your quote above].

  1. I think you are conflating "drug use" with "drug abuse".  A puritan (the body and mind must be free of impurities such as drugs) believes there is no drug use without abuse.  There are probably 1,000,000,000 drug users across the planet who would disagree (Isis put the use-abuse ratio as 95%-5% and I'll go with that.)

  2. Your experience has "a variety of reasons and factors".  If we remove "illegality", "cut product", "family disfunction", "mental illness", "criminal system", etc. (none of which are "heroin") would we also have "reduced life expectancy" and "hugely traumatic impacts for the family"?  Remember that heroin (or varitations thereof) is a pain killer administered in hospitals on a daily basis.  It is only life-threatening in high doses.  It steadies the hand (surgeons) and removes anxiety (GPs and surgeons).  It apparently creates constipation (or at least laudanum did according to de Quincey.)

The worst I've heard of opiates taken as a mind-altering drug is that it replicates the chemicals we receive through social interaction and hence isolates the taker from wider society.  Here's the article from an ex-user (Richard Hell from "Richard Hell and the Voidoids"), it's worth a read, here's the start:

The Problem With Heroin by Richard Hell

What is heroin? It amounts to a concentrated, injectable form of opium. Opium drips right out of the seed pods of the opium poppy when incised a few days in their growth cycle after their petals fall. A simple process discovered in the early 19th century isolates morphine from opium, and another simple process, discovered late in the 19th century, makes heroin from morphine. Morphine is about ten times the strength of opium, and heroin is about four times the strength of morphine. Opium was legal, freely available, and widely used in both the U.K. and the U.S. until the early part of the 20th century. It's been an indispensable medicine wherever it has been known throughout human history. It is referred to as the "joy plant" in Sumerian texts 6000 years old. In 19th century Britain it was the drug indicated in the treatment for any pain from infant teething to rheumatism, as well as for sleeplessness, diarreah, coughs and colds, and depression. It was and is very effective against all these complaints. It is in fact the cure for the common cold, or all its symptoms. It was largely self prescribed, since medical care for the mass of people was still mostly a matter of traditional remedies, and it was as popular as aspirin is now. Every home had its bottle of laudanum -- opium dissolved in alcohol --, and in areas where living and working conditions were their worst, shop counters on Saturday market day would be laden with two or three thousand vials to meet the demand for the week. None of this caused alarm, in fact it was so much taken for granted that it is hard now to know how many people were physically addicted. That term "addiction" has become so loaded for us who have been force fed the image of the drug "fiend" that it takes some effort to imagine a society where widespread addiction is tolerated, but it was true of both England and America just 150 years ago. At worst it was regarded as a bad habit, an unfortunate weakness, like laziness. It was neither a crime nor a disease.

Note by rg--the emphasis is mine, and I'm happy if anyone can tell me Richard's numbers are wrong, and I want to emphasise that according to his formula heroin is forty times as strong as opium.  

And yet opium is illegal.  Why?

http://opioids.com/jh/index.html

P.S. I'm also happy for anyone--at any time!--to correct my bad maths!)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:43:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, correct. I was reacting primarily to this bit:
Frank Schnittger:

FPS Doug:

nd it isn't exactly dignified for lucky travelers like most of us who contribute to EuroTrib to argue against any escape from an increasingly brutal reality, unless we can also offer the unlucky majority a better way out than video games and TV.

Ah right - the ultimate cop-out - which must be music to the ears of any corrupt elite - screw the masses and give them drugs to forget their pain.  The real "opium of the people" to replace the religion of old.

DIGNIFIED?  There is nothing dignified about drug addiction.

I.e. reality escape as a necessarily bad thing, and use conflated with abuse and addiction.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were enough tranquilizers prescribed in America in the 70s to indicate that a large proportion of the population were borderline catatonic.

BTW there is no such thing as 'addiction' - it is all part of Learned Behaviour Disorders, with alcohol as the MOST destructive since we learn to consume alcohol in so many different circumstances, that almost anything can trigger the behaviour.

A huge 'addiction' problem was expected after the Vitenam war as soldiers who had been using heroin returned to the States. Almost all stepped off the plane and never touched heroin again. Why? Because all the stimulii for their behaviour were no longer present in their environment.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry that should have been 'a significant part'.

The point at which a Learned Behaviour (like putting milk in your tea) becomes a Disorder is more of a social question than a medical one. But alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such. Punishment is irrelevant - most alcoholics 'punish' themselves more brutally than anyone else can inflict. It also has nothing to do with willpower.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:09:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven Triloqvist:
BTW there is no such thing as 'addiction'

Er, actually, Big Wiki begs to differ; both addiction and physical dependency are recognized phenomena:

Addiction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physical dependence on a substance is defined by the appearance of characteristic withdrawal symptoms when the substance is suddenly discontinued. Opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, alcohol and nicotine induce physical dependence.

Could it be you are equating use with addiction?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I am propounding a heretical view based on research at the Central Health Labratories of Finland. It is based on extinction, from a proven theory that states that parts of neural networks are reinforced by something called the Rest Principle for neurons. This is a natural development in changing networks.

The process can be changed artifically by the use of opioid blockers which prevent endorphins (released by eg alcohol consumption) entering receptors on neurons. These receptors are like locks which accept a specifically shaped molecular 'key'. (BTW Heroin is like a hotel master key which explains its more rapid change in neural networks) When these 'locks' are opened they promote more connections (over time) to neighbouring neurons that are firing at the same time. Thus the 'behaviour' gets hardwired.

But because of the Rest Principle, the opioid blockers only work over time IF THE BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES - ie they only work to reduce drinking if you carry on drinking! What you get is the same response to the stimulii, but no 'reward' (s it is called by Skinner) and thus no reinforcement.

Physical withdrawal symptoms are entirely different from 'addiction' or 'physical dependence'. Physical dependence doesn't exist - it is 'mental dependence' ie a Learned Behaviour Disorder.

Withdrawal symptoms do not last long and can be comfortably masked. But the process of extinction takes several months. There has been a 70% success rate in those patients presenting themselves for teatment at new clinics. These patients are in the 100 - 200 units week range (say 1 -2 litres of vodka a day)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no argument with the neurobiology, but merely with the semantic leap that seems to be made here. If withdrawal systems are dismissed as evidence of a physical dependency, then it becomes easy to argue that there is no such thing as "physical dependence".

I am not a neurobiologist, but given the imminently physical nature of this therapy - rebuilding neural pathways - I find it difficult to see how within the parameters of this therapy approach any addiction can be without a physical element.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:02:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a semantic difference of course. Most people believe, like Hemingway, that there is some kind of 'phsyical switch' located somewhere in the brain. There is no 'place' - it is the whole system. And so it is, in that sense, still physical.

But calling it by it's correct name - a Learned Behaviour Disorder - helps us to think about it as being part of the continuum of all behaviour learning, rather than some physical aberration to do only with alcohol and other drugs or drug releasers.

Dependence is the wrong word. Is an 'obsessive' who must have 10 locks on their door or carry out abnormal hygiene rituals 'dependent' or do they have a Learned Behaviour Disorder? At what point does a video game player become 'dependent' on playing or is the Learned Behaviour Disorder just becoming more dominant?

That is why withdrawal syptoms (adjusting to disruptive metabolic change) need to be seen as a separate issue.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Ireland there have been a lot of deaths recently from cocaine

Cocaine is lethal for some people and you don't know how your body will react

I think it is important to clarify the highlighted parts into real numbers/percentages.  A quick scroogle took me to this article:

Is cocaine killing our young people? Where are the facts? » Blog Archive » BifSniff

Dr Chris Luke, consultant in emergency medicine in Cork Universiy Hospital, says that long term users put their heart under huge strain over a long period such that eventually even taking a couple of lines could be the straw that broke the camel's back and the heart can just give out.

He says this is why we are now seeing an increase in cocaine related deaths, because long term users are begining to suffer the consequences.

Also mentioned is a general figure believed by medics, though not backed in the article by any specific report: `between 0.1 and 1% of people who dabble in it (coke) will pay with their lives'

(My emphasis)

(btw, I knew a man in Italy who died aged 46--he was a notorious sniffer and was always to be seen in a white shirt, pack of Marlboros visible through the breast pocket.)

Another point from the article (and oh, yes!  How I wish papers would understand this basic point) is that "being stupid under the effects of a drug" does not make the drug dangerous--except for stupid people:

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Cocaine 'biggest killer of all'

Shane Coughlan and David White were both 18 when they went missing on 25 February 2007 after failing to return from a trip to a shop for cigarettes in the early hours.

Their bodies were found in the Grand Canal close to their homes at Clondalkin, a suburb west of Dublin, after a huge hunt for the missing youths.

Their inquest found that both men had taken ecstasy and cocaine, which may have led them to decide to go swimming in the icy water to cool down, according to the State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy's report into their deaths.

(My emphasis)

Overall, though, I think Turambar's comment is the key one.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rg:
`between 0.1 and 1% of people who dabble in it (coke) will pay with their lives'

I'm a bit dubious about that claim. The British crime survey says that

BBC NEWS | UK | Cocaine use 'continuing to rise'

The BCS found that 2.4% of people aged 16-59 had taken cocaine in the last year, compared with 2.1% in the 2002/03 survey and 0.6% in 1996`.

Which would give an excessive death level from cocaine which I don't think we are seeing.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The way I read "0.1-1.0" percent is the medics saying:

"Yes, there is a non-negligible effect, mostly heart attacks (late 30s and beyond) and overdoses [prob. cocaine and alcohol]"

But the numbers are so small that a 0.1 (one in a thousand) to 1.0 (one in a hundred) means that the deaths are at the very far edges (=most people won't get heart attacks or die of mix-overdoses--even if they sniff and mix)

The article said it was anecdotal from A&E medical staff so I'd guess they extrapolated a guesstimate from what they understand to be the total usergroup.  Or maybe it means "of a thousand people who turn up here with cocaine in their systems 1 will die (for whatever reasons), or maybe it's ten, that's the range."

I'd imagine their alcohol range might be something like "10-20%"

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:55:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
In Ireland there have been a lot of deaths recently from cocaine - some because it was cut with all sorts of dodgy substances - including ventinery drugs

That line of argument is dubious  and misinformed at best, if not downright dishonest (Not on your part, more from government sources) Firstly its just uneconomic to cut the drugs with much beyond either powdered milk or powdered dextrose. Getting hold of veterinary drugs in quantity to cut powders would raise all sorts of alarms and would be all over the papers, When was the last time you heard of a secure vets medical warehouse beink knocked over? which you would need to do to obtain the quantities you are talking about.

The majority of fatalities are caused by people who get a batch from higher up the supply chain than they usually do, and so as a favour to their mates decide not to cut it as much as they usually would. their mates end up with stuff that's 20% pure rather than the about 3% pure which they are used to so accidentally overdose.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent comment!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:21:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why thank you kind sir.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The evidence fro this comes from drug seizures and autopsies

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:56:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Links please.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is cocaine sometimes cut with? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
The first thing the monsters that distribute this poison can lay their hands on. Phenacetin, a banned pain killer which has been linked to kidney and liver cancer, is now the number one cutting agent used by cocaine dealers.
  • 4 months ago
Source(s): GP for more years than I care to remember

ScienceDirect - Forensic Science International : Phenacetin and cocaine in a body packer

A case of acute intoxication of cocaine adulterated with phenacetin is reported. Twenty-four packages were found in the stomach and intestine of a 25-year-old male. The identification of phenacetin was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis.

PHENACETIN

DANGER! SUSPECT CANCER HAZARD. MAY CAUSE CANCER. Risk of cancer depends on level and duration of exposure. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. MAY CAUSE KIDNEY, LIVER AND BLOOD DISORDERS. MAY CAUSE METHEMOGLOBINEMIA.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thx!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Psychedelic Chemistry - Cocaine

The cutting or diluting agent used for cocaine again varies with the individual and the substance that is readily available to that individual. Some of the common cutting agents for cocaine are:

Procaine which is a synthetic preparation in powder form used as a local anesthetic; Mannite, a sugar substance used as a laxative and produced in Italy; Menita, a milk sugar from Mexico and South America; Lactose or Dextrose, a white powdered milk sugar used as a baby food supplement and purchased readily in the United States in any drug store; Powdered methamphetamine also known as speed; Epsom salts; Quinine used to treat leg cramps and malaria; Powder vitamins purchased in health food stores and just about any soluble powder that is not disruptive to the body can be used, such as baking soda, powdered sugar, powdered milk, starch, etc



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Wales | Drugs 'legal in 10 years' claim
The legalisation of all drugs is "inevitable", according to the Chief Constable of North Wales.

Richard Brunstrom, who has campaigned for drugs like heroin to be made legal, says he believes the move towards decriminalisation is "10 years away".

The chief constable said repealing the Misuse of Drugs Act would destroy a major source of organised crime.

He also said he thinks ecstasy is safer than aspirin. Drugs charity DrugScope said legalisation is "unlikely".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, alcoholism is a problem.
Would it get better if alcoholics had to pay out the nose at the local speakeasy rather than get it at more reasonable rates at the liquor store? Would the damage be less were alcohol illegal? Perhaps you would have fewer alcoholics, but I bet they would be far more destructive, to themselves and those around them than is currently the case.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting...

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Before 1971, the UK had a relatively liberal drugs policy and it was not until U.S. influence had been brought to bear -- particularly in United Nations circles -- that drugs use was generally criminalised. Before the passage of the Act, it was possible for heroin addicts to be prescribed enough of the drug to manage their addiction without being forced to buy from the black market, for example.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Related item - Hallucinogens, such as LSD and Psylocybin, were not illegal in Texas until about 1968, if I recall correctly.

The big impetus for criminalization in the U.S. was the identification of marijuana and LSD with 1) the 'counterculture' and 2) the demoralization of the U.S. troops in Viet Nam. Then our 'leaders' figured out that they could put activists away for a few years for a nickel bag (e.g., Lee Otis Johnson in Houston - one joint = five years at Huntsville is my recollection).

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 07:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that was the propaganda of the time, but look at the money involved. Making drugs illegal makes some people a very lot of money.

Share. Share resources, share delight, share burdens, share the healing. If we only could realize that sharing will bring us back from mass suicide.
by Isis on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but it was also the reasons that it was an easy 'sale' to the U.S. electorate.

As to the money - again, you are correct, but that was more like an outcome than a cause. I had two friends who were the primary sources of mescaline in Austin, and who processed it in their bathtub. They made living expenses, and I don't mean 'high'-living.

Another friend was a serious source of high-purity LSD, which he mostly gave away.

As to marijuana, in Texas and California at least, it was supplied via huge friends' networks in the late '60s. The money part was modest, until after the serious legal repercussions were felt - at which time some of our 'friends' became the Hell's Angels.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Law enforcement against prohibition

You have 3 choices when it comes to regulating drugs.

  1. The government can regulate it
  2. Private industry can regulate it.
  3. Criminals can regulate it.

We have given up all control of the drug market BY CHOICE. Pot is more valuable than gold. Heroin is more valuable than Uranium. Back when Heroin was legal it cost as much as Aspirin.
We currently allow drug dealers to set the price, set the purity, set the age limit, and determine the locations that drugs will be sold. If drug dealers want the price to have a 17,000% markup, the drug to be cut 50/50 with Drano, that there will be no age limit, and the drugs will be sold in schools, that is where they will sell it.
If we allowed private industry/government to control the market we would see the price set by the market for a 10-30% profit margin, the purity with be 99.9%, only people over 18 will be able to buy drugs, and hard drugs will only be available at a pharmacy with no advertisement or branding while pot will be sold everywhere that cigarettes are sold.
Criminals currently regulate the drug market. Most of the violence is gang related BECAUSE there is no legal way to settle disputes. When was the last time Bayer and Pfizer got into a shootout? Yet more violence is from addicts having to steal to pay for the 17,000% markup. Addicts can't openly talk about their problem out of fear from the government. Meth is growing in popularity because it is easier to acquire and cheaper than cocaine. (Cocaine is awfully safe when compared to Meth.) Is this type of system what we really want?
Drug legalization is not supposed to or intended to solve the drug problem. Drug legalization is intended to solve the crime and violence problem.
We can then work to solve the drug problem using honest information and discussion. Use tax revenues from drug sales to help fund rehab and intervention.

That's my take. There are two different problems (drug crime and the medical effects of drugs), but one can be solved pretty easily (if the second is thought of as well).

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu

by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with your analysis here, but I object to the use of the word "criminals," as if there's a quiet class of men and women who are drug distributors. I believe that such organized crime are not private citizens, but government/private contractors. Gary Webb back in the 1990's exposed the CIA's running of crack to the ghettos of California. Who paid the CIA? The US Treasury and Congress. These "criminals" are actually government law enforcement professionals.

Share. Share resources, share delight, share burdens, share the healing. If we only could realize that sharing will bring us back from mass suicide.
by Isis on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you go up the crime ladder far enough, you'll naturally end in politics. It's the same with every social organisation (military, religious, law, media etc.). On the highest level, everything is political.

That's why you have to tackle the drug problem in a political context and work your way down. In other words, start to change foreign policy (Afghanistan, the CIA) and domestic policy (legalisation, health care) instead of taking on small dealers on street corners.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu

by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:20:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good diary FPS Doug. Now how about asking your friend Jacob Freeze if he will allow you to post one of his very interesting photos in the next photo blog on Friday, January 11th.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:43:01 AM EST
Agreed, but I don't understand why you and DVX took out after rg. Far as I can see, he was just adding pertinent comments.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 12:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you confusing me with another? I didn't take out after rg.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 01:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
instead of posting a new comment. I was using your quote to address 'FPS Doug' at the same time as compliment his diary.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:36:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am pro-legalization, I've worked in California's medical marijuana movement back in 1995-96, I've seen what marijuana can to do help people in genuine need. I think half of my close friends are addicts -- recovered or not, of all sorts; sex, heroin, alcohol, cocaine, etc.

But I don't expect, despite the liberal plea that I and many others with lives steeped in addiction and addicts, that "illegal" drugs will be legalized. Why?

Because the profits from the drug trade, heroin in particular, are used by all the Mossads' and MI6s' and CIAs' of the world to fund their illegal activities around the globe. That's why.

Take a look. Drug payments from the base of the food chain, whether addicts or recreational users (plenty more of those that addicts), goes into the hand of -- who? -- answer me that. "The distributor" and the distributor's "distributor." And who might these people be? Those that can get planeloads of cocaine from Columbia to England and Spain without inspection, but get clearance. Sounds like a job for our clandestine federal spy agencies with their "black budgets" and extralegal activities. Who else? Corrupt shippers? And who allows corrupt shippers to survive inspections? Government hacks getting bought off on the side? It's not so movie-like, folks.

Organized crime is organized drug payment and distribution, and it's at the very least facilitated by our spy agencies.

Just think, billions in currency that just "disappears" from our economies. Hmmmmm . . . When you buy your dot of cocaine, where does that money go? Who said it? "Follow the Money." Think about it. Free, unobstructed use of money that's not being traced, that you can put in banks, you can use for whatever you want. Where does that money go? Oh, you say Pablo Escobar had a zoo on his estate, but that's not billions in currency, that's a few million. Case in point, the US's "Iran-Contra" affair of the Reagan years.

You might reference Michael C. Ruppert's "Crossing the Rubicon" for a detailed account of drug profits and the CIA.

Our goal in a better world is to legalize drugs and provide treatment for the 5% of people who naturally would become addicts, but until we dispose of the Old World Order, we'll be stuck with stupid laws and the propaganda to support the secret acquisition of billions in currency for clandestine activities and payoffs.

Share. Share resources, share delight, share burdens, share the healing. If we only could realize that sharing will bring us back from mass suicide.

by Isis on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:35:00 AM EST
RENDITION PLANE CRASHES WITH TONS OF COCAINE ON IT - soc.culture.usa | Google Groups
This Florida based Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA  crash landed on
September 24, 2007 after it ran out of fuel over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula
it had a cargo of several tons of Cocaine on board now documents have turned
up on both sides of the Atlantic that link this Cocaine Smuggling Gulfstream
II jet aircraft # N987SA that crashed in Mexico to the CIA who used it on at
least 3 rendition flights from Europe and the USA to Guantanamo's infamous
torture chambers between 2003 to 2005.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You beat me to it. I was about to link to this recent comment by Helen:
Following on from my mention of Gary Webb's treatment at the hands of the tradional media for revealing the extent of the CIA's invovlement with cocaine smuggling in the 80s comes this about a rather embarrassing plane crash.

CIA Torture Jet wrecks with 4 Tons of COCAINE

This Florida-based Gulfstream II jet aircraft, #N987SA, crash landed on September 24, 2007 after it ran out of fuel over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. (At the time) it had a cargo of several tons of Cocaine on board. Now documents have turned up on both sides of the Atlantic that link aircraft # N987SA to the CIA, who used it on at least 3 rendition flights from Europe and the USA to Guantanamo's infamous torture chambers between 2003 to 2005.

We'll call that a "whoops" shall we ? :-))



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:04:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't remember who had said it and was hoping that it came up on Google, but after a few minutes fruitless searching, gave up and threw the first link up I could find.

but Helen was my original source.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:13:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think I've seen it mentioned yet:

Drug use, whether legal or illegal, recreational or medicinal, and whether female or male can cause birth defects.

Drug use is not benign no matter how much we wish it to be. People who can not control their drug use potentially cause disasters to others and to society at large.


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:03:28 PM EST
I've only been able to follow this conversation in spots, and I don't have much time,  so please forgive me if I misunderstand or if I have missed something.

The arguments for legalization of hard drugs drugs seem to be:

  1. People have a right to have some fun in their lives.  Alcohol and cigarettes are legal, so why not "hard" drugs.

  2. Hard drugs are not necessarily all that damaging to health in themselves

  3. many of the harmful effects are a consequence of them being illegal and uncontrolled - e.g. dirty needles, contaminated product, uncontrolled dosages, uneducated users

  4. Addiction is as much a socially learned behaviour as it is a physiological disorder, if not more so

  5. OK some people may get addicted, have violent reactions etc. but that is a problem that should be handled medically

  6.  Criminalisation creates a huge class of unjustly convicted criminals

  7.  The costs of drug related crime to society are huge and could be much reduced by legalisation

  8. Criminalisation serves the interests of corrupt elites and security organisations

  9. Prohibition has been shown not to work in relation to Alcohol

  10.  Things couldn't be much worse than they currently are

anything else I should add?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 03:58:44 PM EST
You might add that the estimated social cost of alcohol in France is 1.2% - 1,4% of GDP.

Source: WHO Europe, Eurocare (European Alcohol Policy Alliance) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies.

....Something to think about in terms of priorities.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting stat - but how does it help make the argument for legalisation of hard drugs - - does it not say the reverse - even legal drugs cost a fortune in social costs, and so decriminalising hard drugs may not reduce social costs?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:31:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Social costs include police enforcement, hospitalization, emergency services, and days off work. Legalization would remove the first cost, reduce the second and third(quality control of product), but probably not affect the fourth.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If drug use becomes a lot more widespread as a result of decriminalisation, would that not offset some of the benefits?  We give out clean needles now anyway.  It doesn't require decriminalisation to mitigate some of the harmful effects of criminalization.  How can we model the effect of decriminalisation on usage volumes?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:59:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Somewhere in there should be that the illegality of drugs funds criminal organizations. Some of this crime is simply crime due to the illegality of the product sold, but some of it is linked to organized crime of larger scope. Such a reliable, profitable enterprise providing constant monetary support can certainly not make it easier to combat these undesirable organizations.

Thanks for your little summaries of comment threads, btw. I find them quite useful.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:10:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the compliment - I wasn't aware I did this habitually, but I am a simple person and sometimes I have to reduce your complex/lenghty arguments to terms that I can understand.

so your point is

11) The presence of a drug related  and funded criminal sub-culture can provide the basis for larger criminal and dysfunctional tendencies/organisations in society (e.g. Mafia?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:37:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in my view, is that decriminalizing drugs would instantly cut crime by 90% or so - both by eliminating drug trafficking and by completely eliminating the need for petty criminality by addicts to pay for another dose.

Imagine that.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you ever heard of jail workers unions, police unions, police departments, jail owners (thanks privatisation)...

Don't mention that argument... (in the US at least.)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is certainly some sociology out there on the "amplification of deviance" which argues that the presence of a large security industry dependent on the continuance of crime creates a situation where at least some crimes are created just to keep the industry expanding and "profitable".  Parliaments create a lot more new laws than they annul, legal precedents/rulings are creating new "offenses" all the time,  enforcement procedures can have the effect of turning innocent bystanders or minor offenders into more serious ones, Jails are "universities of crime" where prisoners are socialised into a criminal subculture etc. etc.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany: We Demand: Heroin To Be Provided By The State

Horst Kruse, Police chief Bielefeld: "Traditional drug policy has failed. I believe, heroin provided by the state will initiate a change. Like it is in Zurich. Where drug addicts do not have to spend their time with chasing after drugs. Acquisitive criminality and offences form 20% of the all criminal offences which could then be curbed as well as social and health depravation. The problem of addiction would, of course, remain the same, but this is not to be solved by police efforts anyway."

Hans Dieter Klosa, police chief Hannover: "Since I started my work as police chief in Hannover, I voted for giving heroin to long term drug addicts. Traditional drug policy has lead us into a dead-end street. What we have to combat most nowadays is acquisitive criminality. But we cannot just accept that this forms such a large percentage of all criminal offences. Today, 60% of all robberies are committed by drug addicts - and that is only because of the wrong policy."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:00:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's worth noting that if you criminalise the activity of taking a drug you directly change the actual experience.  (Think: alcohol in Saudi Arabia.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

How about

12) The  libertarian  belief that the individual is sovereign and the state should "interfere" as little as possible and it is only do-gooders and interfering bureaucrats who think they know whats good for people.  The "right to take drugs" is comparable to "the right to bear arms"?  

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 04:54:36 PM EST
I somehow think that the right to bear arms comparison isn't going to come up the way you want at this site.

Also I don't exactly hear people saying the right to take drugs. I think I'm hearing a lot of we have no choice - all the alternatives are worse.

With guns, there actually seems to be some direct benefit to banning them.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And create an even bigger illegal black market in armaments?  Surely the legalise drugs argument is similar - more regulation of who owns the uzi machine guns etc.

I know I'm being deliberately provocative here - if it makes you uncomfortable with the stock libertarian defense of legalisation, so be it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:07:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if you are being deliberately proactive then that's ok! :)

Banning guns does not create a bigger black market, at least in our country. As far as crime goes, it does not create more crime either - though there is some shift in who is doing the crime.

Frankly I don't know if banning drugs creates a bigger black market either. Someone else can argue that. It does seem, depending on how things are banned, to create crime.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guns are not banned in any society that I know of (maybe they were in 18th century Japan or something like that).

What we have in most, well, civilised countries is a rather heavy level of regulation that makes it very difficult to carry arms for personal protection (also: swords, knifes, spears, crossbows, etc.)

But if you really want to own and shoot a gun, sure, you can. Join a club. Get a licence.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are correct. Banning is not the correct word. Thank you.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. Certainly, sometimes I have the urge to shout: "From my cold, dead hands!". Might look something like this:
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 06:07:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"rg" paints a picture of a nice old hippy wandering around the mean streets of Drugtown, looking for weak pot.

Dude, if you don't want anybody to laugh at your friend, don't put her in a cartoon!

Frank Schnittger doesn't want the "War on Drugs" to lose its gun license, even though it keeps shooting everything except what it aims at.

The apposite persona to flesh out this metaphor is Mr. Magoo.

IMHO, that little weirdo has done enough shooting already.

Qui vit sans folie n'est pas si sage qu'il croit.

by FPS Doug on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:32:01 PM EST
Methinks thou dust shoot thyself up thine own derriere...

Frank Schnittger:

I've only been able to follow this conversation in spots, and I don't have much time,  so please forgive me if I misunderstand or if I have missed something.

The arguments for legalization of hard drugs drugs seem to be:

  1. People have a right to have some fun in their lives.  Alcohol and cigarettes are legal, so why not "hard" drugs.

  2. Hard drugs are not necessarily all that damaging to health in themselves

  3. many of the harmful effects are a consequence of them being illegal and uncontrolled - e.g. dirty needles, contaminated product, uncontrolled dosages, uneducated users

  4. Addiction is as much a socially learned behaviour as it is a physiological disorder, if not more so

  5. OK some people may get addicted, have violent reactions etc. but that is a problem that should be handled medically

  6.  Criminalisation creates a huge class of unjustly convicted criminals

  7.  The costs of drug related crime to society are huge and could be much reduced by legalisation

  8. Criminalisation serves the interests of corrupt elites and security organisations

  9. Prohibition has been shown not to work in relation to Alcohol

  10.  Things couldn't be much worse than they currently are

anything else I should add?


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course Mary is a cartoon, she's my cartoon,  I think I didn't get across that she wasn't looking for weak pot so much as pot that's

A LITTLE BIT LESS EDGY

--so why were YOU rude about her?  Not anyone else, not any nasty person in Drugtown, just YOU, mate, being rude.

http://www.inyerface-theatre.com/what.html

(You already told us you only admire Jerome--hey!  BOOM!  Your eyebrows are on fire!)

Mind you, I think this may be a US/UK thing (honestly!) as my experience is that the underlying agression (BOOM!  HEADSHOT!) that generates rudeness and spikiness is...I dunno...a function of an uncaring...what; society?  Fundamental economic inequality?

Thing is, I already KNOW there are rude and spiky people around--I spend my days trying to keep their tone to a minimum because IT ESCALATES AGRESSION!

Or maybe it's cathartic, heh?

Anyways,

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 05:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good pot is hard to find.  

But not as hard as pot with no EDGE.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A friend of mine was talking about the "old pot".

"What you got," he said, "was the nice effect.  It was gentle.  The more you took, the bigger it got, but it didn't stop being nice."

"This new stuff," said another person, "I don't like it at all.  I just start worrying about things."

Take pot and worry!

I suppose one has to be a connoisseur to appreciate all the subtleties--much like whiskies or beers--which was my point originally.

Reminds me of the scene in American Beauty where the guy who lives with his Nazi dad is explaining about the pot with no paranoia attached.  As I understand things, there are two active ingredients: one makes you high and the other makes you fuzzy.  African tribes (this is what I've been told) used to produce an almost purely "fuzzy" version which they used to drive their warriors into a frenzy prior to battle--but all these subtleties (like discussing the differences between russian vodka and chinese beer) are--lost when the choice is "This".

So no, I don't think pot has to have an edge in the pointy sense (but how would I know, eh?)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The more you took, the bigger it got, but it didn't stop being nice."  

I am with you.  

But now it is clear:  In the process of "improving" it, they altered what was in it, making it stronger but less nice.  

Which reminds me of hash from the old days that was probably the strength of modern weed, but NOT the same.  Less edge.  

"He partner, won't you pass that kief around?  
My head is spinnin' now, I've got to slow it down.  
Don't you know I really got to slow it down . . . "  

Country Joe could never write that now.  

/snark  But I guess he COULD produce BOOM! HEADSHOT! /snark off

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 09:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know the old stuff, only the less and the more potent. The latter usually comes from Holland if my sources don't lie and my experience holds true (Acapulco, Panama, Northern Lights, Purple Haze, White Widow). There's a huge difference, you simply HAVE to know about dosage. But I don't see one kind having other effects, generally.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:03:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok , so now for the hard part.  What are the arguments against de-criminalisation of hard drugs?

  1.  It will make drug hard drug usage much more widespread.  (How can we substantiate or refute this claim?   Did alcohol consumption go up after the Prohibition - yes)

  2.  It will expose children, disabled, socially inadequate and other vulnerable groups to greater peer pressures to experiment

  3.  There are already huge social costs associated with alcohol, tobacco, and the over- prescription of prescribed drugs.  Why make that worse?  We need to be more restrictive on drug use, not less.  Campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption (drink driving) and smoking are having some success.

  4.  Many "hard drugs" are damaging to health especially when taken over a prolongued period of time.  New ones are becoming available all the time and we don't have much data on their short, medium and long term effects yet

  5. We are promoting a culture of drug dependency.  reducing people to Zombies instead of educating them to be self-confident, self-reliant independent citizens who develop a greater capacity to deal with their "issues"

  6.  If you need drugs to enjoy yourself, escape from reality, etc. you have a bigger and different problem which needs to be addressed

  7. The fact that a large element of addiction  is socially learned behaviour doesn't make it any less real or difficult to overcome

  8. Addiction programs are notoriously unsuccessful (by and large) and most do little more than stabilise the level of addiction and mitigate the harm done

  9. You can mitigate the harmful effects of criminalising drugs,  by having needle exchange programs, methodone programs, prisoner and family support programs and focusing on larger dealers rather than users when it comes to law enforcement

  10. Legalising and regulating hard drugs will create huge ethical diemmas for the medical and pharmaceutical professions who will be expected to prescibe and/or dispense drugs they know to be harmful to patients who are supposed to be under their care.

  11.  It is impossible to regulate how even legally dispensed hard drugs will be taken -  dosages, mixing with alcohol, whilst driving, whilst working in sensitive jobs requiring high judgment/motor skills which can be impaired by such drugs

  12.  The more restrictive the "legal" dispensing rules, the greater the scope for at least a residual "illegal" market with all the problems we have now

  13. Crime will be with us always.  Criminals will simply move on to other activities if drug trafficking becomes less profitable.

  14. The US will always have a war on something.  If not Drugs, then Islam, or Russia, or Iran, or Venezuela, or greedy oil producers. The US needs to have an external enemy it can define as "other" in order to enforce conformity and compliance at home. As US wars go TWOD is no more innane then usual.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 06:48:51 PM EST
It will expose children, disabled, socially inadequate and other vulnerable groups to greater peer pressures to experiment

On the other hand, the only licensed sellers can be made to check ID and can be fined / incarcerated for violating rules.

Many "hard drugs" are damaging to health especially when taken over a prolongued period of time.

Alcohol is most definitely a hard drug by this rule.

If you need drugs to enjoy yourself, escape from reality, etc. you have a bigger and different problem which needs to be addressed

So, when you have a family or social gathering involving food, do you prefer incredibly tasty and interesting food or do you just go get McDonald's? Would you consider it necessary to have a good setting and food for a good social meeting? Also, drugs can be, like art, music, food and so forth, a sublime experience for the senses and the mind. It doesn't have to be (and for many casual users) this horrible cycle of violence, dependence and consumption just to maintain a "normal" attitude (or stave off withdrawal).

Legalising and regulating hard drugs ...

Do doctors and pharmacists prescribe alcohol and cigarettes?

It is impossible to regulate how even legally dispensed hard drugs will be taken ....

We can't do that with them being illegal either, so I think this is irrelevant. Worse, with them illegal a relatively responsible user can't be sure they aren't taking say MDMA cut with too much caffeine or with speed or whatever. This makes it harder for people to regulate their own usage. When I drink alcohol, I don't have to worry it is mixed with wood alcohol or has meth in it.

Crime will be with us always. Criminals will simply move on to other activities if drug trafficking becomes less profitable.

Not really. A great deal of crime went away after Prohibition ended.

The US will always have a war on something.

I don't think this is an argument for continued criminalization. Just a criticism of US political culture.

by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. A great deal of crime went away after Prohibition ended.  

Too true.  

It left a lot of Prohibition-spawned police agencies without much to do.  Outlawing of "narcotics"--a previously non-existent category--followed.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:45:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will make drug hard drug usage much more widespread.  (How can we substantiate or refute this claim?   Did alcohol consumption go up after the Prohibition - yes)

I think prohibition was a distinctly different case, as previous to prohibition, drinking was a general social activity, taken part in by a vast majority of the population.  Hard drugs were not an indulgence of almost every family before the drug misuse laws were introduced.

It will expose children, disabled, socially inadequate and other vulnerable groups to greater peer pressures to experiment

I would say there would be less peer pressure, as there would no longer be the pressure to rebel.

There are already huge social costs associated with alcohol, tobacco, and the over- prescription of prescribed drugs. Why make that worse? We need to be more restrictive on drug use, not less. Campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption (drink driving) and smoking are having some success.

Campaigns to reduce smoking and alcahol consumption have succeeded because they have been based on medical fact. From the beginning much of the campaigns in the drug war have been based on Propaganda, (For example see Reefer Madness) When your users see the information they are being supplied is considerably disconnected from their experience, not only is the campaign going to ineffective, it will reduce the believability of future campaigns. I cant track it down at the moment, but a servey of Government anti drug campaigns in Manchester showed that every single government anti drug campaign since the 1970's had actually increased the number of drug users. (This may however be down to more accurate surveys after each campaign)

Many "hard drugs" are damaging to health especially when taken over a prolongued period of time. New ones are becoming available all the time and we don't have much data on their short, medium and long term effects yet

There are in fact good figures for this and many of the traditional hard drugs, if produced to medical quality are in fact particularly safe for health. Figures for this come from NHS supported addicts who were being supplied  at the time of the missuse of drugs act.

I'll answer the rest tomorrow, I was up too late last night.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 07:53:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, I'll have a go.

# It will make drug hard drug usage much more widespread.  (How can we substantiate or refute this claim?   Did alcohol consumption go up after the Prohibition - yes)

I see lots wrong with this argument, mainly its lack of subtlety (but yes, it will be used so...)  How about:

Step 1 - legalise soft drugs--marijuana, magic mushrooms, ecstacy/MDMA (sold like alcohol and cigarettes and with information leaflets in packets as to dosage, effects, precautions, etc.)  Wait 6 months.  

Step 2 - legalise the weaker forms of "hard" drugs (though I'd like to lose the word "hard" if possible): opium and coca leaves.

Wait 6 months.

Step 3 - Licence chemists to issue the remaining hard drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine) following the dutch model

Maybe Step 3 should be incorporated with Step 1, but I suggest that the demand for Step 3 drugs is a function of the illegality of Step 1/2 drugs.

The "They drank more after the repeal of prohibition" argument should be debunked as far as possible.  The numbers are very dubious (how to tell how much people were drinking during prohibition?) and the rise in and of itself doesn't tell us how this affected society.

#  It will expose children, disabled, socially inadequate and other vulnerable groups to greater peer pressures to experiment

This sounds all wrong to me.  Multiple Sclerosis sufferers benefit from marijuana (among other things it's a muscle relaxant.)  My experience of the socially inadequate is that they smoke more grass (and I presume take other illegal substances) than the wider population at present (my experience may be skewed of course, but I see it as a function of social marginalisation.)  At present all the above groups are exposed to peer pressure to experiment, however they experiment with substances that have had no "legal" controls placed on their quality and with no "legal" information as to dos, don'ts etc.  Someone with better social services experience could write this better, but just as it stands I have to ask: Why would they be more likely to use?  Once drugs are legalised the govt. can lose its hypocrisy and produce a new health model.  I just don't really get this argument, I suppose.

#  There are already huge social costs associated with alcohol, tobacco, and the over- prescription of prescribed drugs.  Why make that worse?  We need to be more restrictive on drug use, not less.  Campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption (drink driving) and smoking are having some success.

Again, I'd like to debunk the assumption.  Smokers on average die younger; the taxes they pay on cigarettes are a net benefit to the taxpayer.  Alcohol is a social issue which can only be solved by social interventions (such as building some factories which make wind turbines!  Drug costs are paid where the poor live I guess.)  Rather than ask "Why make it worse", ask: "Would these social costs be reduced by making alcohol and tobacco illegal?"  And again, a non-smoking, non-drinking population will age, get alzheimers, arthritis, suffer organ failure, the whole gamut--and how about diet?  Which leads to the end point: It is education that is needed, and the period leading up to legalisation would be a perfect time to really get to grips with what "a healthy lifestyle" means and promote it.

#  Many "hard drugs" are damaging to health especially when taken over a prolongued period of time.  New ones are becoming available all the time and we don't have much data on their short, medium and long term effects yet

Drugs are only damaging if taken at an incorrect dosage/frequency, that's the simple fact.  Sniff too much cocaine--heart attack.  Sniff a line once a month (assuming quality, which is what legalisation would give you), the physical effect is nada.  Really, nada.  The drug is not strong enough, and the body is resistant enough to suffer NO long term effects.  Ditto any other drug (unless the drug is dangerously toxic at the level of a single dose, in which case it should remain illegal--but I don't think there'll be too many takers for such a drug!)  New drugs can be licenced the way any other drugs are licenced (control trials etc.)

# We are promoting a culture of drug dependency.  reducing people to Zombies instead of educating them to be self-confident, self-reliant independent citizens who develop a greater capacity to deal with their "issues"

This is the moral majority argument.  We are currently promoting a culture of TV dependency, fast food dependency, car dependency.  "Reducing people to Zombies" is the sort of rhetoric that was big in the US in the thirties through to the sixties.  Self-confident, self-reliant independent citizens don't need the state to make things illegal so they can't do them!  Indeed, this argument is a direct product of people not being in the least aware of what drug use is actually about--which is a function of drugs' currently illegality!

#  If you need drugs to enjoy yourself, escape from reality, etc. you have a bigger and different problem which needs to be addressed

The answer to this approach is: "Thank you Dr. Freud, and when did you stop beating your wife?"  Just change "need" to "want" and add "sometimes" after "yourself" then you can see the puritan aspect here.  At this level of argument I would say, "And what makes food or sex different?"  That they're natural?  As opposed to...marijuana and opium and coca?  Is pepper a food, or is it only there to enhance the meal?  How about sweet chili sauce?  You're supposed to enjoy yourself sometimes; the argument that enjoyment shouldn't need enhancements...music is a social enhancer too.  This is the "use" = "abuse" argument and the answer really is, "Okay, please feel free not to partake."

# The fact that a large element of addiction  is socially learned behaviour doesn't make it any less real or difficult to overcome

When drugs are illegal users are less likely to ask for advice/help and therefore illegality makes any addiction more difficult to overcome and no less real.

# Addiction programs are notoriously unsuccessful (by and large) and most do little more than stabilise the level of addiction and mitigate the harm done

See argument above, also check out "by and large", look for best practice (prob. in countries closest to legalisation would be my guess.)

# You can mitigate the harmful effects of criminalising drugs,  by having needle exchange programs, methodone programs, prisoner and family support programs and focusing on larger dealers rather than users when it comes to law enforcement

Which is working or not?  Ceebs has posted comments from police chiefs stating that legalisation is the only route; this argument is again the moral one (it presupposes that the harm of a drug lies in the substance itself (which is really a strange argument, I think, unless one presupposes that "drugs" = "bad") rather than in the social setting, quality, and dosage of the substance

# Legalising and regulating hard drugs will create huge ethical diemmas for the medical and pharmaceutical professions who will be expected to prescibe and/or dispense drugs they know to be harmful to patients who are supposed to be under their care.

This begs the question "Are the drugs harmful?" to which the answer is: "No, not in the correct dose/frequency of usage".  And I expect that GPs would be glad to finally be able to treat users effectively (methadone, no!) rather than doing a merry dance around the illegality of the substances that have brought the users to the GP in the first place.  The chemists--I don't think it will be any more of a problem for them than handing out contraceptive pills and valium.

#  It is impossible to regulate how even legally dispensed hard drugs will be taken -  dosages, mixing with alcohol, whilst driving, whilst working in sensitive jobs requiring high judgment/motor skills which can be impaired by such drugs

Drugs are already being taken--with no controls, no safeguards, no protections.  Make it illegal to do any dangerous activities while under the influence and prosecute those who do.

#  The more restrictive the "legal" dispensing rules, the greater the scope for at least a residual "illegal" market with all the problems we have now

Again, I think this argument comes from a lack of knowledge of drugs.  Ethanol is not available in the Off Licence but who wants to drink it?  It is the effect people are after.  Make sure the drugs that produce the effect are safe (again, the "all drugs are bad" argument can't accept that a drug can be safe and produce an effect other than sobriety), that's it.

# Crime will be with us always.  Criminals will simply move on to other activities if drug trafficking becomes less profitable.

Criminal activity rises and falls.  Legalisation would see it fall.  The problem with legalisation is...?

# The US will always have a war on something.  If not Drugs, then Islam, or Russia, or Iran, or Venezuela, or greedy oil producers. The US needs to have an external enemy it can define as "other" in order to enforce conformity and compliance at home. As US wars go TWOD is no more innane then usual.

The problem as stated is that the US needs to have wars on something.  By stopping the US govt having needless and counterproductive (and funded by taxpayers) wars, maybe it will start having useful and productive wars (the war on malaria; the war on CO2 emissions).  This argument is "Well, might as well beat up on the druggies as anyone else" but yes, there is a truth in here because I do see problems with legalisation as follows:

--A single country that legalises can become a magnet for people from other countries that don't (the Amsterdam/only pub in town effect)

--The UN has passed laws banning certain drugs and I'm not sure nation states would be allowed (by the US!) to legalise eg opium or coca

--Those who make money from the situation as-is will do pretty much anything to keep the quo status; flakiness on the part of legalisation measures will be followed by very public social destruction of those involved (hence it's the police chiefs, respectable figures, who have to start the ball rolling, and they are!)

-------------

Hokkay.  I'd like to say "Thanks Frank!" for laying the arguments out like this.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From a government perspective 6 months is a non starter. You will probably need something like 4 years between each step.

"Are the drugs harmful?" to which the answer is: "No, not in the correct dose/frequency of usage".

Even prescription drugs have side effects and in certain situations can be deadly. I do not believe that recreational drugs are even safer. Also there are secondary consequences that can not be ignored. Men who take drugs that can damage sperm (alcohol for example) before conception, and women who take drugs during pregnancy.

In a sense, this rather strange view as to the safety of drugs really hurts the rest of your argument. What else are you glossing over?

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:50:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, 6 months is a bit quick.

Re: dosage/frequency, I was trying to make a simple point: that any substance has a level of dosage/frequency above which it is dangerous.  Some substances are dangerous at any level but many are not.  The discussion is about currently illegal drugs and the ones I know about have lower limits where

  1. A single dose will not harm you
  2. A minimum frequency of usage will not harm you

The fact that people can and do take doses above the limit of 1) and can and do have a frequency of intake higher than 2) does not affect the truth of the statement (I don't think.)  Compare Drug X with iron.  Iron is dangerous above a certain dosage and also has an intake frequency that is dangerous.

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/iron.html

Note an important point: different individuals have different risks.  Legalisation can clarify this.

Note also that iron is an essential element: you have to intake it; dose/frequency is the key, not the substance in and of itself.

I do not believe that recreational drugs are even safer.

Let's compare iron to psilocybin (currently illegal):

Psilocybin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Toxicity

The toxicity of psilocybin is relatively low; in rats, the oral LD50 is 280mg/kg -- almost one and a half times that of caffeine. When administered intravenously in rabbits, Psilocybin's LD50 is approximately 12.5mg/kg. [9] Death from psilocybin intake alone is unknown at recreational or medicinal levels.

As for frequency the general rule is "Don't take it more than once a month."

With regards to secondary effects I can see two aspects:

  1. Lack of information.  Do drinkers know that their sperm is affected?  Ditto any other drug.  This is an education issue and certainly is hindered by keeping substances illegal

  2. The "human factor".  We don't have railings to prevent people from walking out into roads (except where cars are moving very fast--which might be comparable to Step 3 drugs); the effect of being hit by a car is definitely catastrophic for the individual and others around them.  So why don't we have railings?  Because we educate people not to step in front of cars.  (Side issue about how I think cars are more dangerous than drugs precisely because people still step out into roads without looking.)  Another example: we don't fence off the sea; we do put out red flags when it is unsafe to swim.  Education is the key.

I think the issue here is the word "safety".  Are you safer as a regular car user or as a regular user of opium?  Are you safer downhill skiing or eating a marijuana cake?  Are you safer eating a magic mushroom or taking a valium tablet?

Are drugs innocuous?  No.  They have specific physical and/or mental effects.

Are drugs dangerous?  Not if taken at the right dose/frequency.

Dependency:

This is a tricky area as it has to do with frequency, which is socially determined.  Do four pints of beer once a week create a dependency?  How about three glasses of red wine?

These are all issues that can be dealt with if the substances are legal.

I'm sure I'm glossing over lots of things, I haven't said how much I dislike cocaine, how much I am averse to pills of any kind; how I hope to be able to use opium in my old age (rather than morphine from the doctor--ten to one!); how I think cars in all their aspects are the number one health risk to children; how I worry that businesses will immediately try and sell other drugs the way they sell alcohol (consume!)

But none of those are arguments for keeping drugs illegal (except for cocaine.)

So, let's keep cocaine illegal to piss off the city types who like a sniff, make heroin available on prescription dutch style, let's accept that if we make marijuana legal there will be a long weekend where half the population gets stoned, let's accept that some people are much more susceptible than others to negative effects (and educate vendors and public appropriately); let's accept that poverty breeds desperation, that desperation leads to risk-taking behaviour, that risk-taking behaviour leads to dangerous outcomes; let's accept that people will be just as stupid with legal drugs in them as they are with illegal drugs in them...

...heh...

I suppose there is an underlying argument that most people are stupid and so keeping drugs illegal keeps them out of the hands of more people = less stupid people taking drugs, but again, the issue of stupidity is solved by education, not criminalisation.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, let's keep cocaine illegal to piss off the city types who like a sniff,

In case anyone doesn't get it, cocaine should be legalised even though I personally don't like it or its effects on people and sold in chemist shops--the huge problems created by its illegality (as outlined by Turambar) are clear.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 10:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This "once a month" usage sounds like it is in fantasy land. It might be interesting to see just how many smokers light up once a month. If what you are proposing is recreational freedom then I am not nearly as interested as if you are proposing keeping addicts out of jail and out of the morgue. I am not for encouraging more drug experimentation with everything and anything.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh, uh, what??? Yeah, smokers light up more than once a month. Do drinkers drink more than once a week? (Depends on the drinker...) Smot pokers, they tend to poke smot at various rates, depending on who they are. Is a spliff in the evening 'worse' than hours of mindless TV?? Other drugs, hard drugs? The use rate here can be quite low. Esp. for psychedelics (schrooms, LSD, etc.) These ones do not seem to make one want more immediatelly. Normal use rates for these, among people I know use? A few times a year! Tripping is a large time investment, and a large investment of 'mental energy'. Every week?? Every month?? No way! Most people wouldn't want to do them this often, at least not on a continual basis. There are people who like a line of coke every now and then, without craving it on a daily, weekly, monthly or whatever frequency. A hit of speed for that awesome party, every other month, or rather not with a steady frequency, but not often! Casual drug users, they come in various forms and shapes, not all the same. But, for the vast majority of those I know, the use rate is very low. Really!! Now, is this representational? Anecdotal evidence says not much, maybe my friends are very, very special, and everyone else take a hit every day, and are inevitable led to a nasty spiral of increasing use and abuse? I don't know, really I don't. But I doubt it.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 05:11:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
--Psilocybin is an hallucinogenic.  Hallucinogenics are typically taken once or twice a year, though the frequency can rise to once a month, the frequency you might go on holiday (it's that kind of drug.)

I am not for encouraging more drug experimentation with everything and anything.

From what you say about psilocybin your personal attitude to recreational drugs is I think misinformed.  (An attitude shared by maybe a majority of the population.)  But is your reaction to recreational drugs ("I am not for encouraging more drug experimentation") a reason to make them illegal?

In other words, you don't like drugs so you are happy that people who do should be criminalised?

I'd ask you to read Turambar's post again.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 06:37:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many people I know smoke a spliff for creative reasons or because in a working week they want to get up fresh in the morning after relaxing with friends and getting a good night's sleep. They are usually normal alcohol drinkers also, but avoid excess alcohol during the week. Smoking usually happens in people's homes.

The other attraction is that the lift and joy a spliff gives comes relatively fast and then eases off over a few hours giving much more control over the effects. This is in contrast to alcohol where the peak may not come till much later, and there is a feedback desire to maintain the peak with more drinks.

Music is beautiful when you're high. Every note is separate, perfect and complete - similarly every word. Beauty and love is epitomized in each note. Your hearing becomes so acute - you can hear sounds miles away and differentiation between different tones, notes, sounds, no matter how close in tone they might be to one another, is heard without any effort or thought. Your eyesight is affected also. Things become more defined, distinct, more silhouetted - colours are more beautiful. There's nothing I enjoy more when I'm smashed than to sit in a garden full of flowers, with birds singing, while the sun is going down. I really saw God in his own wonder then, for the first time."

J. Berke and C. Hernton, The cannabis experience. Peter Owen, 1974.

Of course you'll find horror stories also.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 07:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The excellent Drugscope site gives the unhysterical facts on all 'recreational' drugs. It is an excellent and intelligent resource, and recommended for all potential experimenters young or old.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 07:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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