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Drugs

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For the purposes of intelligent discussion and debate, I place on the table...

 

 

Drugs

 

With the highly libertarian GOP candidate Ron Paul campaigning for the nomination, the topic of drug legalization has been discussed everywhere recently. The libertarian position is simply that, under the 10th amendment, the national government has no right to make and enforce drug laws; rather, that they should be left up to the individual states to decide. What this means is not a blanket legalization, but a state-by-state decision process without federal interference.

 

So, for whatever reason, are you for or against drug legalization?

 

 

This is NOT the place to talk about last night's trip, what drugs you've tried, how often, etc. If you wish to make claims about the effects of drugs, arguing from personal experience would probably be considered a violation of the new rule clarification, "Accounts of illegal activities." So if a specific drug and its effects are being discussed, rather than arguing from personal or secondhand experience, sources would always be preferred. If you wish to make claims, please support them. Please do not belittle anyone for their personal convictions or opinions on the matter, because opinions WILL differ regardless of facts.

 

 

 

---

 

 

I personally feel that drugs should be legal. I do not *necessarily* support drug USE, but I believe legalization could provide a safer avenue through regulation, and an economic stimulant by making it easier for Americans to produce in what amounts to a VERY productive industry, rather than smuggling it in from foreign suppliers. But that's just me ^.^

 

 

Thoughts?

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So long as you do not harm or inconvenience another person, take as many illegal ones as you want.

 

Make sure you check with your pharmacist before you start popping the legal ones.

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I've got to say, I pretty much agree with you Philo. I wouldn't do any of it myself (I even find alcohol utterly repulsive), but as long as it's regulated and people can do it safely... then by all means, go for it. Just don't drive or put yourself in a position where you're very likely to harm people.

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I am of the opinion that putting people in jail, sometimes for effectively the rest of their lives for growing a weed is the silliest thing our justice system is wasting money on right now. I believe any crimes committed while on drugs should be punished as crimes without regard to the drugs. DUI would still be a crime obviously because alcohol is legal but it's still a crime to drive under the influence. If someone chooses to contaminate their body with harsh drugs at home alone, why should that be illegal? It's their choice. (Note, I don't necessarily think it's moral or right to consume drugs, but IMO that's between a person and God, not the government.)

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With the highly libertarian GOP candidate Ron Paul campaigning for the nomination, the topic of drug legalization has been discussed everywhere recently.

 

Did you know that one of Paul's campaign advisers' last names is Wead? xd.png

 

I personally feel that drugs should be legal. I do not *necessarily* support drug USE, but I believe legalization could provide a safer avenue through regulation, and an economic stimulant by making it easier for Americans to produce in what amounts to a VERY productive industry, rather than smuggling it in from foreign suppliers. But that's just me ^.^

 

Another benefit is that the U.S. would be able to grow industrial hemp. Ending the War on Drugs also hurts the cartels in Mexico. They have a bad drug war going on over there....

 

I am of the opinion that putting people in jail, sometimes for effectively the rest of their lives for growing a weed is the silliest thing our justice system is wasting money on right now.

 

Huge waste. The U.S. can save billions each year and stop ruining peoples' lives.

 

http://www.forbes.com/2005/06/02/cz_qh_0602pot.html

 

"Milton Friedman leads a list of more than 500 economists from around the U.S. who today will publicly endorse a Harvard University economist's report on the costs of marijuana prohibition and the potential revenue gains from the U.S. government instead legalizing it and taxing its sale. Ending prohibition enforcement would save $7.7 billion in combined state and federal spending, the report says, while taxation would yield up to $6.2 billion a year. "

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I support people's right to do pretty much whatever they wish with themselves, so long as they don't harm others. If you want to destroy your body with harmful chemicals that's really your business. For the safer drugs though. . .seems just kind of silly. Laws regarding things like driving under the influence should definitely apply to other recreational substances though.

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You stole my thread! tongue.gif

 

Pretty much everything you said, Phil.

 

... since we can't talk about illegal activities, I think that's all I can really say for now.

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This is a messy subject, I think.

 

A part of me says:

If all these drug addicted people want to continue to ruin their bodies, I say let them.

Another part of me says:

Do I really want someone tripping on drugs behind the wheel of a vehicle?

 

Also, legalizing drugs would introduce drugs to people, who may have highly addictive personality traits, to these substances they wouldn't have tried before. So, you'd have more drug addicted people. Then these drug addicted people would constantly have to visit the Doctors, driving up the doctor bills in the US. Then again, they would all be too high to go to work, so maybe that would lower the unemployment rate.

 

I really don't know.

 

If I knew it was just going to effect a single person, that would be one thing. But, something like this can effect a multitude of people in a very, very bad way. Maybe if it was legalized, but there were a large amount of rules surrounding it.

 

Besides, walking through a puff of someone smoking Cigarettes is bad enough. A Puff of Weed? URGGGGG. x_x;

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I usually stay out of the debate of legalization and the pros/cons economically, leave it to those who can better predict its impact. Also, politics! Ewwww... =o

 

However, on a personal level, I would be downright mortified if certain drug use increased due to its legalization. Hard drugs that can have symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, violent mood swings, paranoia, are a huge danger to those using and their family members/associates if it gets bad enough. Not to mention mixing them with other drugs-- talk about uppers, downers, and all-arounders.

 

Drug abuse often leads to poor financial situations, and quite often the desperate resort to unlawful ways to get more money. Most often I see them steal from family members, break into "friends'" homes, and prostitution (putting themselves in great risk). Then there's the more infamous ways, like assault and general burglary. I don't think the actual cost of the drugs is the huge issue, it's the quantity. I'm not optimistic that legalization would cut down on the 'expenses' and have less people in such situations, honestly. Whether it's $70 to score or $20, the money is going to disappear pretty fast.

 

It's pretty unfortunate what drugs can do to a user's family as well. Not because of it's illegality and a family's disapproval of it, but how it really tears people apart. Nobody likes to watch their son/daughter/friend slowly kill themselves and not be able to do anything about it. Or steal from them, or know that they've been manipulating you for more money. No one wants to make the decision to call the police on someone they care about, 'cause they're getting out of hand and busting doors off the hinges again... =/

 

I don't like thinking of all the medical personnel who have to spend their time, energy, and resources on another dummy who went into cardiac arrest. Then releasing them and knowing full well you'll be seeing them again soon... probably leaving through the back doors, instead.

 

But yeah, I'm sure everyone disagrees with drug abuse and the consequences that come with it, it's kind of a no-brainer. Maybe legalizing would cut down on abuse, or have no impact whatsoever. Pessimistic side of me thinks that even with staunch regulations, there will still be abuse and even more so if the stuff is more readily available. Conversely, maybe fewer people would be tempted because it no longer has the allure of being 'illegal', but nah, I don't buy that. I wouldn't care if most abusers just sat at home and killed themselves alone, without impacting a single other individual, but that's unfortunately not common to see. I'm open to the idea of legalizing 'less dangerous' drugs like Mary Jane, but harder stuff will take a lot more to sway me =S

Like, a guy in a time machine popping up and being all, "S'okay man, legalizing heroin had no ill effects, and actually cut down on crime and boosted the economy! I'm from the future, I know these things."

He'd have to be carrying some charts and graphs too, I don't believe anything until I see it on a pie chart.

 

Just for the record, I hate alcohol and cigarette abuse too, and don't feel the "well they're legal so why not _?" is really a good argument. I'd have to say drunks are almost worse than any addict. Especially when they puke in the back of a patrol car and then roll around in it and ohmyGOD moving on.

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Another part of me says:

Do I really want someone tripping on drugs behind the wheel of a vehicle?

The current laws don't stop anyone tripping from being behind a wheel. People do it every day. When you get arrested for it it's a DUI or DWI.

 

 

Nine, I know what you mean, my father is a heavy drug addict. It's been rough on our family for the past 7-8 years emotionally and financially. But the current system of handling drugs obviously isn't working, and I believe it's detrimental in many ways. It's time for a change.

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The current laws don't stop anyone tripping from being behind a wheel. People do it every day. When you get arrested for it it's a DUI or DWI.

Yes, I realize that, but if drugs become legalized, do you really think that'll not increase the amount of people behind the wheel by a large percentage?

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Would feeding the addiction really be helpful, though? Some drug addiction is absolutely monstrous to get over, but being clean, healthy, financially and emotionally stable are worth every excruciating moment, I feel. I don't feel drug addiction is anything anyone should ever feel tempted to do or go through, which is why I'm totally hesitant on legalizing a vast majority of drugs. There are definitely huge gaps (craters) in how drugs are handled, some that make you want to bang your head against a wall-- I totally agree. I don't like that growers get put away longer than sexual predators or even 2nd degree murder charges... but I'm not convinced that wide-spread legalization, opening the flood gates per say, is going to fix problems. Unfortunately, I don't know how to go about fixing up all those holes, either.

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Yes, I realize that, but if drugs become legalized, do you really think that'll not increase the amount of people behind the wheel by a large percentage?

Possibly, possibly not. No one can say for certain. But I believe the current war on drugs can be likened to prohibition, and that worked out wonderfully wink.gif (sarcasm intended tongue.gif)

 

 

Would feeding the addiction really be helpful, though? Some drug addiction is absolutely monstrous to get over, but being clean, healthy, financially and emotionally stable are worth every excruciating moment, I feel. I don't feel drug addiction is anything anyone should ever feel tempted to do or go through, which is why I'm totally hesitant on legalizing a vast majority of drugs. There are definitely huge gaps (craters) in how drugs are handled, some that make you want to bang your head against a wall-- I totally agree. I don't like that growers get put away longer than sexual predators or even 2nd degree murder charges... but I'm not convinced that wide-spread legalization, opening the flood gates per say, is going to fix problems. Unfortunately, I don't know how to go about fixing up all those holes, either.

 

I'm not sure what to think about what would be best, but the libertarian and strict constitutional side of me says let the states make the choice individually. Don't like drugs being legal? Move to a different state. For instance, "K2", "Spice," etc are now illegal in Tennessee, but anyone wishing to partake in such a substance can either do it illegally in Tennessee (not difficult) or cross the state line about 10 minutes away and purchase some legally. People will get it either way, and I don't think the way things are handled now is the best way to do it. Smarter people than I can come up with a better solution, but my inclination is towards state by state drug laws.

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Would feeding the addiction really be helpful, though? Some drug addiction is absolutely monstrous to get over, but being clean, healthy, financially and emotionally stable are worth every excruciating moment, I feel.

Legalizing isn't the same as handing it out for free. And some legal drug dependencies and addictions can be just as monstrous to get over and some get less support because they go unrecognized for what they are.

 

If hard drugs were legalized though, people could find better help to get off them than spending time in prison.

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Legalizing isn't the same as handing it out for free. And some legal drug dependencies and addictions can be just as monstrous to get over and some get less support because they go unrecognized for what they are.

 

If hard drugs were legalized though, people could find better help to get off them than spending time in prison.

I can vouch for this. My father's addiction is to perfectly legal off the shelf medication that requires no prescription and is just as bad as PCP in large quantities (ask the cops who have dealt with him). Illegalizing certain drugs doesn't make much sense when one can get just as high off readily available cold remedies.

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Legalizing isn't the same as handing it out for free.  And some legal drug dependencies and addictions can be just as monstrous to get over and some get less support because they go unrecognized for what they are.

 

If hard drugs were legalized though, people could find better help to get off them than spending time in prison.

Yeah, prescription drugs are real common problem. I think word is getting spread about them though, at least moreso than it was years ago.

 

However, I'm not so supportive of any method that may increase the number of users, be it illegal or not. It could be good, it could be bad and I'm more inclined to expect the latter. History and experience has taught me that, and I wouldn't feel comfortable taking such a risk with something as huge as drugs.

I'm not so sure what you mean by your last sentence though. Like, because drugs are illegal most addicts are sent to jail instead of given the option to become clean? Or that if drugs became legal, rehabilitation centers and clinics would become more staffed, supportive, and numerous? Sorry, can't tell if I'm misreading it or not, hah.

 

Edit:

Illegalizing certain drugs doesn't make much sense when one can get just as high off readily available cold remedies.

I don't like the fact that people can get high off of balloons and condensed air cans as much as hard drugs, but again, I'm not comfortable with making more (and some notably dangerous) options more readily available/easy to get. Some of the hard drugs have extreme side effects, and I don't want to see an increase of that anywhere. It's silly that Mary Jane can be illegal but alcohol isn't, but I unfortunately don't have any say on that. Hypocrisy is there, I don't deny it in the least.

Edited by Nine

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Yeah, prescription drugs are real common problem. I think word is getting spread about them though, at least moreso than it was years ago.

That's true, and that's good, though fffff I wish it had been sooner. There's no way to measure the cost I have had to pay for becoming 'dependent' (or whatever they'd like to call it when one isn't addicted but still require several months of hellish withdrawal) on prescription medications taken exactly as prescribed because the industry refused for so long to recognize the drug in question even had such an issue. That's not counting things like philpot's father's issue either.

 

I'm not so sure what you mean by your last sentence though. Like, because drugs are illegal most addicts are sent to jail instead of given the option to become clean? Or that if drugs became legal, rehabilitation centers and clinics would become more staffed, supportive, and numerous? Sorry, can't tell if I'm misreading it or not, hah.

 

Some of both. I know that some are given the choice of cleaning up or jail, though I am tempted to think it is more common when there are other intersecting issues. I know that some people really need the choice to be a rock and a hard place, it's in the vicinity of 'rock bottom'. But the thing is, alcoholics face the same choices and alcohol isn't illegal. I've met some of both, drug addicts and alcoholics, that were given the choice between sobering up/cleaning up or jail. It was mainly for the same reasons too--they had done something illegal under the influence.

 

I do think clinics and such would get more support, etc., if drugs weren't illegal. More people would consider supporting such things when what they were supporting wasn't the rehabilitation of criminals, yech.

 

This does not in any way mean I think drugs are good and happy things; oh no oh no, I most assuredly do not. I just don't think criminalizing something that's already awful makes it any easier to deal with.

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So, for whatever reason, are you for or against drug legalization?

 

For the most part? For. Absolutely. And I support decriminalization of drug use (and possession) across the board. Prohibition, be it of drugs or alcohol, does not work. Note that this does not mean that I'm all "YAY! Drugs for everyone!!!" But addiction is more of a health issue than a criminal one. And most other problems caused by drugs are either exacerbated or caused outright by the drug laws. (When was the last time you saw beer distributors killing each other?) And decriminalization would, at the very least, make it easier for addicts to seek help.

 

Marijuana should absolutely be legalized. There is not a single argument against it that couldn't be equally applied to alcohol.

 

This does not in any way mean I think drugs are good and happy things; oh no oh no, I most assuredly do not. I just don't think criminalizing something that's already awful makes it any easier to deal with.

 

^This

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I personally feel that drugs should be legal. I do not *necessarily* support drug USE, but I believe legalization could provide a safer avenue through regulation, and an economic stimulant by making it easier for Americans to produce in what amounts to a VERY productive industry, rather than smuggling it in from foreign suppliers. But that's just me ^.^

basically this.

i have no intention of taking them myself, it would be very bad for my anxiety. but we are never going to get these things off the street. if they were legalized at least then the manufacturing process would be under constant scrutiny and they would be somewhat safer. basically not cooked up in some unknowns backyard toilet.

and lets face it, anyone seen what your cigarettes contain? they're legally and while they don't display effects in the same manner as illicit drugs they are still detrimental to your health. and alchole isn't exactlyy the perfect angel either.

 

though i can fully understand why it is something people would want to keep illegal. for some people taking these can be extremely harmful. as my friend Ash said to me when this discussion came up "Vix your paranoid enough sober and sane, I do not want to see you when your having hallucinations and tripping out" i don't drink for similar reasons and don't smoke because i have no desire to. I could be an extreme case though. My anxiety really is out of control. meh

 

Note: hehe i'm not in America, I'm Aussie

Edited by Keriel

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A great many people who would support legalization or decriminalization of softer 'drugs' are in fact not actually addicted to those substances, are not constantly in a state of being too high to go to work, and do not take hallucinogens before attempting to operate heavy machinery. The arguments that all of society would grind to a halt because everyone would instantly try marijuana and become so hooked on it that they can't get off their couch except to go out and murder people? Those arguments are a little closer to propaganda than truth. wink.gif

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(When was the last time you saw beer distributors killing each other?)

I dunno... a good portion of store robberies are for cigarettes and beer, if you can believe it. =P

 

I don't think comparing Marijuana to alcohol is the best way to make a point for legalization, however. Alcohol abuse is really awful, a cornerstone for many domestic abuse cases, child endangerment, assault, all that. Comparing something you want legalized to something of that nature doesn't support anything other than the fact that alcohol is stupidly dangerous too.

 

Of course, I'm not referring to responsible drinkers, alcohol in cooking, those who enjoy wine, etc. Just as I support those who use drugs responsibly, such as those for medication.

 

I do think clinics and such would get more support, etc., if drugs weren't illegal.  More people would consider supporting such things when what they were supporting wasn't the rehabilitation of criminals, yech.

From what I've heard, it's a really thankless job what with the fluctuating success rates, high expenses, and lack of public support. I know that residents often feel threatened if there's a clinic somewhere near their area, under the false assumption that it's drawing the 'wrong types' to their neighborhoods (when in fact it can be very much the opposite).

It doesn't help that those addicted to hard drugs are often almost impossible to persuade one way or another. Denial is veeery common with addicts, and if they staunchly refuse to go on their own free-will it's pretty much a lost battle. Then there are the cases of relapsing and how hard it is to prove a clinic's overall success.

 

Regardless, I would love if clinics were better staffed and financially (and publicly) supported. Drug addiction is very grounded in science with chemical dependencies, emotional trauma, basically things that could possibly be fixed one way or another-- barring other variables. There's always the question of, "Did the drugs cause him to do this crime, or are drugs unrelated to his criminal decision?" and there certainly are people with sociopath tendencies addicted to drugs. Ever controversial, though I still completely support helping those who are easily identifiable as able to be rehabilitated; with prisons overcrowding, it'd be great if we could have some necessary space for real monsters.

 

I'm getting a bit off the main topic here-- I guess a point I'm trying to make is that drug addiction is really, really serious. I'm so happy that strides have been made in drug research, such as identifying what parts of the brain are affected, how it affects the synapses, but there's still mountains of things we don't really know, like why some people are more prone to addiction than others, nature v.s nurture. The severity and difficulty in the topic of addiction is what gives me reason to pause and disagree with widespread legalization (med to hard stuff). I think we need to know a lot more about what they do, prevention, vulnerabilities, and ways to help relieve addiction before we open the gates to something we're not sure about. Also, ways to shut down the stupid doctors who over prescribe and provide meds against better judgement and more advertised warnings.

 

I know someone who was so physically dependent on sleeping meds that he took 8x the recommended dose and suffered through months of insomnia when weaned off. Those are some of the more scarier cases; not only are they meds most families have somewhere in their cabinets, but you're never quite aware of your own dependency until it may be too late (for your liver at least).

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I know someone who was so physically dependent on sleeping meds that he took 8x the recommended dose and suffered through months of insomnia when weaned off. Those are some of the more scarier cases; not only are they meds most families have somewhere in their cabinets, but you're never quite aware of your own dependency until it may be too late (for your liver at least).

 

Which is why I avoid taking even ibuprofen if I can help it. I avoid addictive substances because I've seen firsthand what the effects can be. My father's addiction started with being prescribed pain pills for legitimate health concerns, but he's always had that addiction prone side of him. When he does something, he does it in excess. He doesn't drink just a little, he doesn't dip just a little, and he doesn't pop just the recommended dose of pills either. Trust me, I know what it's like to have a life and a family torn apart by drugs, but this is the LEGAL stuff, and nothing is being done. It seems to me to be the height of hypocrisy to have bottles of 300 offbrand Mucinex pills packed with DM sitting on a Walgreens shelf, while growing a weed that is arguably less addictive and harmful can get you put in jail for hard time. Clearly drug laws haven't stopped the production and use of them, not when almost every pop artist on the radio boasts about doing hard drugs on a regular basis. It's everywhere, normal, accepted in some circles, and right now the drug laws are so sporadically enforced and ineffective that I'm not sure they're doing any GOOD, or that they aren't doing bad. If the states were granted their constitutional right to decide these things for themselves, I'm pretty sure the consequences (good or bad) would become apparently quickly.

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I don't actually take any illegal drugs, nor have I ever (a choice I made, not prudishness !)

 

However, I'd like to see ALL of them legalised and for sale ONLY in carefully supervised government outlets (like the liquor stores in Ontario !) - with a whacking tax on them. And with safe injection sites right there; needles for injectables would come with the drug !

 

This would:

  • get lots of lovely money in to the government - and goodness knows they need it - which would also help fund addiction services
  • mean you knew exactly what you were getting and didn't have to wonder if you were injecting chalk or something
  • kick drug dealers who sell contaminated crap to just anyone into the gutter where they belong
  • dramatically reduce drug related crime - much of which is violent and particularly nasty
  • reduce the prison population by god only knows what massive percentage
AND (going by when drugs have been legalised - as in some country I cannot find the report on just now - ETA - Portugal) REDUCE usage. Because there would be no-one out there hoping to get you hooked so they could make a profit out of you.

 

About the behind the wheel of a car thing - I doubt very much if it would up the numbers there either. Consider alcohol. Drunk drivers drive drunk no matter what. Because they (think they) can. That's a type of person, nothing to do with a law. The same applies now to the stoned - the kind of person who will drive under the influence, who doesn't pass their keys to a mate BEFORE lighting up - will do so no matter what. And there is also the seductive appeal of the illegal. If it's legal - many will lose interest. No fun any more. No Big (Wo)Man Defies Law ! biggrin.gif

 

Anyone with money who wants a drug can get it. I was offered god knows what (I didn't wait to find out) in town just the other day, while walking across to a bookstore ! By the size, I think acid, but... This would just make things clean and tidy and a LOT safer in so many ways. I'm actually amazed no government has already done it just for the MONEY xd.png

Edited by fuzzbucket

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Hmm... you make a very intruging case Fuzz.

Being 67 years old gives you - something..... xd.png

 

PS

 

In Holland, where cannabis laws are far less harsh, drug usage is amongst the lowest in Europe.

Ten reasons to do this - some I cited, others I didn't.

And one country that saw a reduction was Portugal.

 

Most of the legislators against this are against it because of silly "moral" reasons, the decadent moral climate they believe we live in and all that - not for anything at all based on evidence. People who wants drugs WILL take them. Better they take something safer than drain cleaner-laced coke.

 

Oh - and alcohol (not to mention tobacco) is actually in many ways MORE dangerous than weed - as long as we aren't talking skunk here.

 

I used to work in Public Health, by the way. This is a point of view based a lot on what I saw at work, not a moral POV. Drugs are neither "right" or "wrong" - what is sometimes wrong is what drugs drive people to do. Pimp, steal, beat up people....

 

ETA I can't buy into the "rights" thing, though. Laws are there because some of the things we think we should have a right to do harm others or harm society as a whole. I mean - why should we not all have a "right" to drive on whatever part of the road we like - and without a licence ??? Looky - the other side of the freeway is empty and I'm in a hurry.... And why SHOULDN'T we have the right to drive when drunk ?

 

DUH.... xd.png

Edited by fuzzbucket

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