The War on Drugs

Jenny - posted on 03/23/2010 ( 71 moms have responded )

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I posted this in another topic on another board but I'd like to branch it out to a topic of it's own.

I believe all drugs should be legalised. Keeping readily available substances illegal is causing more harm to society than good.

First off, whoever would shoot heroin tomorrow if it was legal raise your hand. People don't do hard drugs because they are bad for you, not because you are "not allowed". People who do take hard drugs have issues going on that cannot be addressed with laws.

Second, a pound of marijuana should cost the same as a pound of potatoes or tomatoes. The reason the prices for drugs are so high is DIRECTLY related to the legality of them. Marijuana specifically is very easy to grow and maintain. People should not be murdered over the cost of a plant.

Third, you could destroy the revenue for organised crime overnight. Why was prohibition overturned? Because it was way more dangerous to society to keep alcohol illegal than it was to have government control over distribution. Does any here support making alcohol illegal again? It is the EXACT same rational for drugs.

Fourth, if cocaine and amphetamines were never made illegal, crack and meth would have never been invented. Legalizing drugs would allow quality control. When is the last time we were warned about a bad batch of beer on the streets? We have created a system where uneducated people are brewing this stuff in bathtubs. We could also have recommended dosages with quality control to help combat OD's.

Fifth, we already have an extensive network of pharmacies to control the distribution of drugs. At the point of purchase we could also have an extensive variety of outlets for counselling and other forms of treatment available. Billions of dollars are being spent on drugs every year and we are choosing to give that money to underground networks instead of towards our citizens. We have been successful in reducing smoking rates through education campaigns funded through taxes and it is becoming more and more socially unacceptable. We did this without making the substance illegal.

Last, I don't believe in legislating morality. I do not recogine the government's authority to tell consenting adults what they can and can not do with their bodies. The side effects of the illegal drug trade such as theft and murder ar ealready illegal because there is a victim. There is no victim in adult drug use.

Check out LEAP. It is a network of former police officers and legal experts who have formed to get the word out. We have been fighting a losing "war against drugs" for generations. Why would we ever expect different results in the future? It is actually a war on our citizens and it needs to stop.

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Jenny - posted on 03/23/2010

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For me it's more about harm reduction than saying "it's ok". Like with smoking, while it is legal is strongly discouraged in our society, or at least where I live. In turn smoking rates are dropping and less youth are starting. Alcohol is about the only other legal example. We have said it is ok for adults to use a substance that alters their minds recreationally but we put restictions on it in the capacity that it can harm other. The old "your right to punch ends where my nose begins" arrangement. Then we tax it out the ying yang. While there is still an underground market for those products there really isn't a lot of rum runners and contraband cigarette sales going on. More importantly, it is harder for minors to buy a 6 pack of beer than a hit of meth. Drug dealers do not ask for ID.

I do know a good amount of people who do use cocaine recreationally. They have good jobs, contribute to society, have clean records and aside from drug use do not break laws and all that jazz. Who are we to tell them what they do in their free time?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results. In countries with the death penalty there is still drugs, in prison there is still drugs. The time has come to stop wasting billions of dollars and try a different approach.

Ez - posted on 03/24/2010

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There are two major issues stopping me from being able to support the legalisation of drugs. First is the sense that it would be like condoning this behaviour, and some other posts have mentioned this. When I was going out partying in my early 20s, and using speed and ecstasy recreationally, I knew it was wrong. And the things that stopped me from getting in too deep with that scene was the knowledge that it was illegal, a fear of getting caught, and the social stigma attached. I would hate to remove those deterrents.

The second is simply the fact that legalising drugs would not stamp out the street or black market. Look at prescription drug abuse. I work in a General Practice and we have new doctor-shoppers and drug-seekers every single day, plus the ones who are already on our books. We get fairly frequent anonymous tips from people claiming Mr Whatsisname is dealing his pain pills or sedatives on the suburban streets. It would be impossible to remove the black market if hard drugs were sold over the counter, or by prescription, just as it is impossible with the current narcotics and benzos.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/24/2010

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I see your point but like you said, drugs affect different people in different ways. Now I don't know about any of you but I have heard more stories about alcohol ruining people's lives than pot.

I can compare drinking to smoking a joint because it was my *opinion*, I can't handle my drink so I don't drink, simple. That's not to say that I smoke pot, but I used to quite regularly before I had my children. Any drug is a choice a person makes, whether it legal or not ALL drugs have the potential to ruin someone's life, actually thinking about it, pretty much ANYTHING can, but we don't go and make cars illegal because someone abuses it and ruins someones life, we take each case as it comes. (I hope that made sense)

Moderation and control is the key. Of couse if someone is buying cannibis from a dodgy dealer who has laced it in god knows what and sprayed it with whatever to make it heavier (to sell more) then you would expect people to have problems, if it was controlled there wouldn't be those problems. IN MY OPINION. :)

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think that's part of the problem with drugs....it's illegal, so people have to resort to all sorts of things to obtain them There's a whole sub-culture connected with it that MIGHT be eradicated (or at least lessened) should they be legalised.

To be honest, i've seen more damage from people getting drunk than from people taking drugs. People can get very violent and abusive through alcohol......most of the druggies i've met are soooooo laid back, i mean unless you can be hugged to death! lol.

I'm not really clued up enough to have a properly educated view on what impact it would have on society, but from my own personal experience, i see less damage from drugs than alcohol or even cigarettes.

A lot of people just use drugs on the weekend or whatever, they function, the have jobs etc etc. the only people they are possibly damaging is themselves.

La - posted on 03/24/2010

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As far as legalizing all drugs: I don't think it would necessarily attract THAT many more user/addicts than already exist. Just because something harmful is available doesn't mean that everyone is going to run out and get hooked. Take cigarettes for example- they are a harmful substance and easily available but I'm not going out and buying any. I think many if not most of the people who have problems with hard drugs are going to have those problems whether the drug is legal or not. Addicts tend to get stuck in addiction because of underlying emotional or mental issues, not because the drug is convenient or affordable.

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Johnny - posted on 04/02/2010

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Marijuana became illegal in Canada in 1923 and in the United States in 1937. I'm not sure about why it was criminalized in Canada, but I know that in the United States much of the lobby to make it illegal was made up of tobacco farmers who did not want the competition. Marijuana smoking was not considered to be a serious problem like alcohol drinking was. The push to prohibit alcohol came largely from Christian and women's groups.

Rosie - posted on 04/02/2010

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jenny do you know if meth, or heroin, or cocaine were ever legal? i think alot of people, myself included, have trouble comparing this to prohibition. because drugs have always been illegal (in my lifetime, not sure about earlier that's why i asked ya:) so we don't know what it would be like with them being legal and are afraid of the outcome. they knew what it was like for alcohol to be legal, and then to take it away is why i think it failed. drugs weren't legal (as far as i know) so i can't compare it to prohibition.

Jenny - posted on 04/02/2010

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Here is the op ed piece that Sting references:

Today is the 75th anniversary of that blessed day in 1933 when Utah became the 36th and deciding state to ratify the 21st amendment, thereby repealing the 18th amendment. This ended the nation's disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition.


Corbis
Celebrating the end of alcohol prohibition, Dec. 5, 1933.
It's already shaping up as a day of celebration, with parties planned, bars prepping for recession-defying rounds of drinks, and newspapers set to publish cocktail recipes concocted especially for the day.

But let's hope it also serves as a day of reflection. We should consider why our forebears rejoiced at the relegalization of a powerful drug long associated with bountiful pleasure and pain, and consider too the lessons for our time.

The Americans who voted in 1933 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption.

The change from just 15 years earlier, when most Americans saw alcohol as the root of the problem and voted to ban it, was dramatic. Prohibition's failure to create an Alcohol Free Society sank in quickly. Booze flowed as readily as before, but now it was illicit, filling criminal coffers at taxpayer expense.

Some opponents of prohibition pointed to Al Capone and increasing crime, violence and corruption. Others were troubled by the labeling of tens of millions of Americans as criminals, overflowing prisons, and the consequent broadening of disrespect for the law. Americans were disquieted by dangerous expansions of federal police powers, encroachments on individual liberties, increasing government expenditure devoted to enforcing the prohibition laws, and the billions in forgone tax revenues. And still others were disturbed by the specter of so many citizens blinded, paralyzed and killed by poisonous moonshine and industrial alcohol.

Supporters of prohibition blamed the consumers, and some went so far as to argue that those who violated the laws deserved whatever ills befell them. But by 1933, most Americans blamed prohibition itself.

When repeal came, it was not just with the support of those with a taste for alcohol, but also those who disliked and even hated it but could no longer ignore the dreadful consequences of a failed prohibition. They saw what most Americans still fail to see today: That a failed drug prohibition can cause greater harm than the drug it was intended to banish.

Consider the consequences of drug prohibition today: 500,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolent drug-law violations; 1.8 million drug arrests last year; tens of billions of taxpayer dollars expended annually to fund a drug war that 76% of Americans say has failed; millions now marked for life as former drug felons; many thousands dying each year from drug overdoses that have more to do with prohibitionist policies than the drugs themselves, and tens of thousands more needlessly infected with AIDS and Hepatitis C because those same policies undermine and block responsible public-health policies.

And look abroad. At Afghanistan, where a third or more of the national economy is both beneficiary and victim of the failed global drug prohibition regime. At Mexico, which makes Chicago under Al Capone look like a day in the park. And elsewhere in Latin America, where prohibition-related crime, violence and corruption undermine civil authority and public safety, and mindless drug eradication campaigns wreak environmental havoc.

All this, and much more, are the consequences not of drugs per se but of prohibitionist policies that have failed for too long and that can never succeed in an open society, given the lessons of history. Perhaps a totalitarian American could do better, but at what cost to our most fundamental values?

Why did our forebears wise up so quickly while Americans today still struggle with sorting out the consequences of drug misuse from those of drug prohibition?

It's not because alcohol is any less dangerous than the drugs that are banned today. Marijuana, by comparison, is relatively harmless: little association with violent behavior, no chance of dying from an overdose, and not nearly as dangerous as alcohol if one misuses it or becomes addicted. Most of heroin's dangers are more a consequence of its prohibition than the drug's distinctive properties. That's why 70% of Swiss voters approved a referendum this past weekend endorsing the government's provision of pharmaceutical heroin to addicts who could not quit their addictions by other means. It is also why a growing number of other countries, including Canada, are doing likewise.

Yes, the speedy drugs -- cocaine, methamphetamine and other illicit stimulants -- present more of a problem. But not to the extent that their prohibition is justifiable while alcohol's is not. The real difference is that alcohol is the devil we know, while these others are the devils we don't. Most Americans in 1933 could recall a time before prohibition, which tempered their fears. But few Americans now can recall the decades when the illicit drugs of today were sold and consumed legally. If they could, a post-prohibition future might prove less alarming.

But there's nothing like a depression, or maybe even a full-blown recession, to make taxpayers question the price of their prejudices. That's what ultimately hastened prohibition's repeal, and it's why we're sure to see a more vigorous debate than ever before about ending marijuana prohibition, rolling back other drug war excesses, and even contemplating far-reaching alternatives to drug prohibition.

Perhaps the greatest reassurance for those who quake at the prospect of repealing contemporary drug prohibitions can be found in the era of prohibition outside of America. Other nations, including Britain, Australia and the Netherlands, were equally concerned with the problems of drink and eager for solutions. However, most opted against prohibition and for strict controls that kept alcohol legal but restricted its availability, taxed it heavily, and otherwise discouraged its use. The results included ample revenues for government coffers, criminals frustrated by the lack of easy profits, and declines in the consumption and misuse of alcohol that compared favorably with trends in the United States.

Is President-elect Barack Obama going to commemorate Repeal Day today? I'm not holding my breath. Nor do I expect him to do much to reform the nation's drug laws apart from making good on a few of the commitments he made during the campaign: repealing the harshest drug sentences, removing federal bans on funding needle-exchange programs to reduce AIDS, giving medical marijuana a fair chance to prove itself, and supporting treatment alternatives for low-level drug offenders.

But there's one more thing he can do: Promote vigorous and informed debate in this domain as in all others. The worst prohibition, after all, is a prohibition on thinking.

Mr. Nadelmann is the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Jenny - posted on 04/02/2010

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Sting is joining in to fight the good fight in a recent editorial piece:


Whether it's music, activism or daily life, the one ideal to which I have always aspired is constant challenge -- taking risks, stepping out of my comfort zone, exploring new ideas.

I am writing because I believe the United States must do precisely that -- and so, therefore, must all of us -- in the case of what has been the most unsuccessful, unjust yet untouchable issue in politics: the War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs has failed -- but it's worse than that. It is actively harming our society. Violent crime is thriving in the shadows to which the drug trade has been consigned. People who genuinely need help can't get it. Neither can people who need medical marijuana to treat terrible diseases. We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and sacrificing our liberties.

For too long, the War on Drugs has been a sacrosanct undertaking that was virtually immune from criticism in the public realm. Politicians dared not disagree for fear of being stigmatized as "soft on crime." Any activist who spoke up was dismissed as a fringe element.

But recently, I discovered just how much that's changing--and that's how I came to speak out on behalf of an extraordinary organization called the Drug Policy Alliance.

I learned of DPA, as they're known, while reading what once might have been the unlikeliest of places for a thoughtful discussion of the Drug War -- the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal.

It featured an op-ed that dared to say in print -- in a thoughtful, meticulous argument -- what everyone who has seriously looked at the issue has known for years: the War on Drugs is an absolute failure whose cost to society is increasingly unbearable and absolutely unjustifiable.

The author of that piece is a former Princeton professor turned activist named Ethan Nadelmann, who runs DPA. I was so impressed by his argument that I began reading up on the group.

Their work spoke directly to my heart as an activist for social justice -- because ending the War on Drugs is about exactly that.

For years, the Drug War has been used as a pretext to lock people in prison for exorbitant lengths of time -- people whose "crimes" never hurt another human being, people who already lived at the margins of society, whose voices were the faintest and whose power was the least.

Civil liberties have been trampled. Law enforcement has been militarized. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars -- dollars denied to urgent problems ranging from poverty to pollution -- have been spent. People who do need help with drugs have been treated as criminals instead. Meanwhile, resources to fight genuine crime -- violent crime -- have been significantly diminished.

And in exchange for all this, the War on Drugs has not stopped people from using drugs or kept drugs from crossing the borders or being sold on the streets.

To me, it all adds up to a clear message of exactly the sort I've always tried to heed in my life: It's time to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.

That's where DPA comes in. Their focus is on reducing the harm drugs cause rather than obsessively and pointlessly attempting to ban them.

I'm partnering with DPA because they champion treatment, advocate effective curricula for educating young people about drugs -- and from local courtrooms to the Supreme Court, they are utterly relentless defenders of the liberties that have been sacrificed to the Drug War.

Now, political conditions in Washington seem finally to be aligning in favor of profound change in drug policy. President Obama has openly said the Drug War is a failure. Legislation to decriminalize marijuana is pending on Capitol Hill.

But success is far from guaranteed. Indeed, the echoes of the old politics of intimidation and demagoguery that have long surrounded the War on Drugs can still be heard. We must all work to ensure this issue becomes a priority and is acted upon in a meaningful and sensible way.

That's why I hope you'll join me in becoming a member of the Drug Policy Alliance today. We need a movement that will put the team at DPA in a position to take maximum advantage of the political changes in Washington while continuing to fight for sanity in drug policy across the nation.

Everyone knows the War on Drugs has failed. It's time to step out of our comfort zones, acknowledge the truth -- and challenge our leaders ... and ourselves ... to change.

?? - posted on 03/27/2010

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Those Chinese (and other countries) dealers, they just go to other countries and deal drugs there instead... there are many different 'gangs' that lead up the drug world... there are chinese gangs, japanese gangs, american gangs, korean, canadian, biker, homosexual, any sort of 'group of people' that an individual would feel comfortable buying from.

And they're all 'underground' even if the FBI & CIA & DEA (& whatever other abbreviations) monitor that shit and know their names... we could kill off a bunch of em, but another bunch will just keep popping up.

You have to catch em before you can fry em... and all of those... freedoms, civil rights and junk like that, drug dealers get those too. Makes it a lil more difficult -- besides, if catching them (to get them off the street) was possible, they'd already be caught.

Jenny - posted on 03/27/2010

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There are still drugs readily available in countries with the death penalty. There are still gangs, there are still OD's. We cannot legislate a health problem.

People (and other animals) have been taking intoxicants since they discovered there effects and will continue to do so.

Sharon - posted on 03/26/2010

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If we had laws like Chinas' there'd be less drug crime, lol. DEATH to all dealers. Problem solved.

Dana - posted on 03/26/2010

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Yeah, I think I'm not going to change your mind either. That being said, alcohol is much worse than pot when it comes to effects from either one.

Lea - posted on 03/26/2010

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I don't think I'm going to change anyone's mind about this. If you think MJ is the same as alcohol, thats your opinion. I just think its trashy to do MJ at all, but then I think smoking cigarettes at all is trashy too, and certainly drinking too much. I don't think having one or two drinks when the kids are in bed once or twice a week is though.

Sunny - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think thats the problem that its such an everyday thing, some people except that and others close their eyes to it. I dont have any idea how legalizing any drug could in reality, (in theory its a great idea) make us better off. I could never agree to saying it was ok to buy and shoot up heroin, the thought of it makes me feel sick. So many people have a story of someone they know or something that has happened to them that would be more than enough of a reason to not want drugs legally available. Than at the same time some places seem to make the use of pot and mushys work. I dont know i dont see how it could work for the better and as so many people have said alcohol has caused to much damage to our community why is it so different?

Jo Sydneys a whole different world on its own lol but i get your point totally, i was more meaning the contents of what is used in each country to make ecstasy, not the drug world in general.

I dont have any answers, i think the problem goes far beyond legalizing use or not. I just hate that people (politicians especially) close their eyes and pretend its not there.

?? - posted on 03/24/2010

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Considering Canada, BC in particular has been 'a main focus' of marijuana production (if you want to call it that) since I can remember, I can gaurentee you that my experiences with drugs started early and it's still something I see / smell / am confronted with / have to accept as an everyday thing here.

I know tons of people who have NEVER had a BAD experience with drugs. I know I have though. I have also had just as many bad experiences with alcohol, violence and just plain bullying.

I also witnessed the EXACT same things while I was in Australia. Which is 1 reason that your posts seem awkward to me. While I was in Australia, living in Sydney for 3 months, there were murders, there were beatings, there were drug deals and there were cops in my apartment complex EVERY NIGHT because of drug dealers, drug users and alcohol abuse.

I don't know exactly what the stats are in ANY city, country, anywhere, but I do know that your experience, my experience, my friends experiences - they really vary.

So there's just way too many variations -- which is a part of my 'issue' with the whole war on drugs -- everyone is different and there isn't really 'a majority reaction' that we can focus on to fix things.


I know this is slightly off track! Sorry !

Sunny - posted on 03/24/2010

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Jo i didnt take it as an attack an i know that everyone has a different experience. I grow up with my dad as a drug dealer and i have lived with dealers as a teen. I was saying that in Australia, where everyone is far to relaxed and open (and im sure the drugs slightly differ from country to country) we dont have an issue (more to say its not the sole reason) for people, teens taking drugs from peer pressure. Im not saying that i dont believe you that you werent addicted to ecstasy but i have never been addicted to it, i had no withdraws and no one i know has and all the studies i have read claim that it has no or is at the lower level of of addiction. Although it is a drug and i know full well that the feelings given by these drugs can be hard to let go of, even if i had no problem doing so. I guess where i am most dealers just dont have the time or energy to hassle people who dont want to use when they can find plenty who do. Im glad you wrote to me because it shows the difference in experience and area, where as you and im sure plenty of people you know had bad experiences, myself and the people i am around havent. I know that cutting drugs ect. isnt the only problem with drugs lol i worded that really bad. Cutting drugs was the problem for me, i almost od after taking a pill that was sold to me as md/speed and was really pvp/pva. As for the country that was my point! There are crops everywhere! What does everyone think Tasmania is for lol! (inside Aussie joke!) When i moved to Melbourne it was alot harder to buy drugs because some of the biggest dealers had been locked up and the biggest lab raids carried out but the supply in the country was still good. We took drugs to dance for 12 hours at raves ect. we never sat around smoking all day and not leaving the house ect. Maybe where im from and in the dance clubs ect people are just happy to have a good time, no pressure no addiction just fun. For me it was fun. I should add to that this was not all that long ago and i was doing this from age 14 till i had my son just before my 19th birthday. I still have plenty of friends who go out on the weekend have a blast then its back to life, work , uni as normal and they have been doing it for years. Thanks Jo for correcting some of my mistakes it was way too early in the morning after 3 sleepless nights lol But i do think our parts of the world and the way we used the drugs also affect our experiences, maybe.

?? - posted on 03/24/2010

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Sunny I'm just going to... take the bits and pieces along your post cause it's easier than trying to explain later what I was referring too, please don't take this as an attack;



Ecstasy i enjoyed because i was completely in control of my body, it simply heightens the senses and increases energy, its in no way addictive.




I was addicted to ecstacy.



Peer pressure - is a joke. im sorry but i have never been pressured into taking drugs, no one is going to simply hand you over drugs with how much it cost, if you want it you pay for it. Yes sometimes someone will say do u want this or that but if you say no they wont ever ask again. There is a line and people know it.




I had people ask me repeatedly if I wanted to do this, that or another thing, no matter what I said. Peer pressure does exist.



Those who use and those who dont. There were plenty of people in our group that never used or even tried drugs, we knew that so never offered or used in front of them.




When I was an addict, I didn't give a flying fuck who was there or if they did drugs or not. If they didn't like it, they could go away. I wanted my hit.



The problem with drugs is what people add to them and what people dont know. Dealers cut drugs with anything to make it go around and to make more money.




The problem with drugs is not what people add to them, that is PART of the problem but there is SO MUCH MORE to it that is not JUST the problem.



As for the small town comments im from a town of 1,000. where do you think the weed is grown?! I moved to the city and it was harder (still easy but harder) than the country to get drugs.




I grew up in a valley lined with 4 small towns, each with between 500-5000 people. Hunters and trappers, loggers and people who went up the backroads we on constant look out for BOOBY TRAPS because of people's forrest grow ops. I know of a few people who were shot at while getting firewood or grouse hunting because they walked just a lil too close to someone's grow operation. My own grandfather came home with a pick up truck full of pot plants because they thought they were TOMATO PLANTS.



Weed was never harder to get. When I moved to Montreal, it wasn't any harder to get. It was just grown differently and was crappier quality - Montreal weed was complete shit compared to what I was used too.



Anyways... I just wanted to say that Sunny, as much as your experience is your own, it didn't "clear those things up" because my experiences are the complete opposite.

Sunny - posted on 03/24/2010

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Can i just say to address a few things that have come up....as someone who was a regular drug user i didnt like pot it mad me moody and i felt the wear on my body, i felt no addiction. Ecstasy i enjoyed because i was completely in control of my body, it simply heightens the senses and increases energy, its in no way addictive. The first time i went out just drinking after giving up drugs i was a mess, lost control of my motor skills, slurred speech ect and felt like crap the morning after, nothing like when taking drugs. Peer pressure - is a joke. im sorry but i have never been pressured into taking drugs, no one is going to simply hand you over drugs with how much it cost, if you want it you pay for it. Yes sometimes someone will say do u want this or that but if you say no they wont ever ask again. There is a line and people know it. Those who use and those who dont. There were plenty of people in our group that never used or even tried drugs, we knew that so never offered or used in front of them. The problem with drugs is what people add to them and what people dont know. Dealers cut drugs with anything to make it go around and to make more money. Ecstasy for example you dont just die from, thats just stupid! Its people who think they have to drink 10tone of water or mix their drugs that od. Over here (Australia) the government published a book and gave it to every family about all the different drugs, what they are made with, what they are cut with, the affects good and bad, the cost, and how to use them in the safest way and what to look out for if you get into trouble. As for the small town comments im from a town of 1,000. where do you think the weed is grown?! I moved to the city and it was harder (still easy but harder) than the country to get drugs.

?? - posted on 03/24/2010

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people kill other people with guns...



people kill other people because of drugs...



people are killed because of people being drunk...



guns don't just get up and shoot people for no reason...



drugs don't just get up and go into people for no reason...



alcohol doesn't just get up and go down people's throats for no reason...



I think the comparisons between guns, alcohol and drugs is dumb.



Hand gun = pot or alcohol?



Automatic = pot or alcohol?



I don't get the parallel so it doesn't make any bloody sense anyways lol

Lisamarie - posted on 03/24/2010

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Actually, Lea, I live in the UK where guns are illegal and so are automatic weapons, people kill other people with guns, if you choose to do a drug that's on you.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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Great questions Jo. I'm going to give those some thought. Def lots of kinks to work out but I do believe addressing drug use from a healthcare viewpoint rather than a legal one is the way to go.



Lea, would you support making alcohol illegal? Why or why not?

Lea - posted on 03/24/2010

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I do not agree with the argument that because alcohol is legal, pot should be. Thats like saying, because handguns are legal, automatic weapons should be. Its ridiculous.

?? - posted on 03/24/2010

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I'm just gonna throw this out there... and trust me... drugs are bad in my town of about 30k... so bad that there was even a murder here in 2008 and a drive by shooting down the street from where I was living all becuase of the drug ring going on between Trail and Vancouver, Kelowna & Kamloops.

The pharmacy tech program is one of the most popular courses to take these days. Putting the drugs behind the counter may stop some, but it will make it more available to others. And it might close one avenue of crime (on the street) but it opens up another avenue of crime (behind the counter).

There are kids that are addicted to all sorts of over the counter medications, they pay upwards of $50 for ONE pill in this area, and that won't change.

I can see where some of this might work, but in other ways I think it will corrupt the pharmecies. What drugs become available? Heroin, cocaine and meth? Exstacy and speed? Mushrooms and acid? LSD? What about Oxy? What about vicodin and demerol and all the prescription meds that make up a huge percentage of the addicts?

I honestly don't really know either way, there's good points and there's bad points to the whole thing but I ultimately don't know if it would help or just move the whole "drug war" into a different arena... There's a lot of shit that would have to be exacted before anything like this could EVER be possible... because right now it seems like making it easier to get over the counter is only going to make it worse for the people who are of age and already addicted. Offering counselling and rehab at the counter -- all of those things are available right now and I don't see very many addicts volunteering to go to rehab...

I dunno. There are some valid points, but there are also lots of concerns.



Fortunately in my town, most of the kids avoid the hard drugs here (obviously there are some that are into it, but not that many) because this town is SUCH A SHIT HOLE that the easiest way out is to get your education and go to college, or play hockey or some sport. The majority of the addicts in this area, alcoholics and drug addicts, are older people, in their 30's or older. And the kids that are in the shit, they're children of addicts or alcoholics.

Another 'good thing' about this town, even though the drugs are there... because it's a small town, the people that HAVE the drugs and do sell them, won't sell to just ANYONE... so unless you're willing to jump headfirst down a bumpy road, in this town, you're not going to get the harder drugs. They aren't that easily accessable here.

Rosie - posted on 03/24/2010

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i definitely feel heroin is addictive whether you have an addictive personality or not-that's why i chose to stay away from the stuff even though i don't feel i have an addictive personality. however my sister has a very addictive personality, and has tried almost every drug numerous times, except for heroin (i think, i havn't spoken to her in 3 years) and is an alcoholic, and at last check she smoked pot on a daily basis. those 2 contradictions are why i can't decide on this issue yet. i wish i knew statistics on who gets addicted and who doesn't. if there even are statistics on that.
i would also agree with dana saying that if drugs were readily available at the store or whatever, kids, or anybody for that matter could get them easier. i have no clue where i would go to get drugs right now. as someone who isn't into the drug scene i have absolutely no clue where to go to get them. however, if i did know where to get them, i wouldn't, cause i have no desire to.
i don't know-i'm so confused. part of me says yes, part of me says no.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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It does not seem reasonable at all, it's just the way it is. Yes I live in BC. My city has a population of 100K people and is very removed from the larger centres. Drugs are simply everywhere.



I don't mean end the war on drugs for the US, I mean for everywhere. The US stats were just the easiest to find so I focused on those.



Two students were gunned down in a firefight on university grounds a few days ago, the story is on the front page of CNN. It stems from the drug wars in Mexico, drugs have no borders. This is the environment we have created through keeping them in the hands of criminals..

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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I live outside of Cleveland, OH. That's my point though, it all comes down to location and lifestyle. Not every Tom, Dick, Harry and their kids have easy access to drugs. What may seem reasonable where you live. Which is BC Canada, right? is good for all of America.



And sorry but, I'm going out the door to play with my son. I'll have to come back to this thread later.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/24/2010

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Where I live, I think every 3rd person would know where to get some type of class A drug pretty easily, which is not the case for underage smokers and drinkers ho can't get servved, of course there is alwasy going to be some stupid adult who buys it for kids but that goes with everything that you're underage for.

I personally would prefer people who use drugs should be putting their money back into society rather than to some dodgy dealers and then we're still paying for their healthcare.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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What do you mean by "don't fight it either"?



May I ask what approximate area you live in? You don't have to answer.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Yeah Jenny, I get your point, I disagree.

Don't legalize them, don't fight it either. And YES it is hard for many teens to get their hands on hardcore drugs. Not ALL but MANY.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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They are not hard to get now. They could not possibly be easier to get. It is about taking the power out of the criminal and gang hands and giving it back to the people. If drugs were legal the US would have saved $3.8 billion this year alone plus whatever was made in sales. That could fund massive education campaigns and treatment centres.



Our current system is simply not working. How long do we go on essentially burning giant piles of money before we try another way?

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Really? You think by legalizing them and putting restrictions on them they'd be harder to get?

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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I am not saying that to be ridiculous. I think I have made some VERY valid points in this thread and am not about to start attacking people for disagreeing with me. I'd like to stay on the facts here. These are the most common places where you would find drugs in a community, that was my point.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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I disagree. I think it all boils down to lifestyles. I'm no stranger to drugs but I can tell you right now, I have no clue where I could get meth, heroine, or coke. If it were legal I would.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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Bill Hicks said........
George Bush says 'we are losing the war on drugs.' Well, you know what that implies? There's a war going on…and people on drugs are winning it! Well, what does that tell you about drugs?

Sorry, couldn't resist! Love Bill Hicks! ;)

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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Dana, where would get the kids get the drugs if they were legal? It would be the same situation as it is with cigarettes and alcohol and they would be provided by older freinds, siblings and parents. There are not alot of liquor dealers outside of highschools tempting the kids. We will never get to a situation where no minor can get ahold of drugs, it is about getting the number as low as possible.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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I beleive we are all in agreement that drugs can be harmful and they do affect individuals differently. My arguement is not that drugs are safe so we should give them to everyone. My arguement is you can not treat a health issue with the law.



Legalising drugs would make them safer than the current street grade stuff. They would no longer be made in bathtubs and by underground chemists. They would be accessible by reasearch institutes to discover possible interactions with other medications and recreational drugs. We could determine proper dosage levels and sife effects. Right now we do not know much because the scientists cannot get the product to test it.



I can go out right now at this moment and have any drug I want within an hour and I live in a city of 100K. They are very easily accessible by any one of us. So why don't we go and buy them? I know my answer, I don't want to. Legalising drugs does not make them more accessible but less.



I also agree with restrictions. Age of consent would be the same as alcohol in your given area. No public use or intoxication (which is already law). That sort of thing.



One thing I wanted to point out on addiction rates. They have remained (estimate) at around 10% of users since before, during and after prohibition. People become addicted to many things and it is not neccessarily the substance that is too blame but the addictive nature of the person. I'll try to find a link on that.



Since January 1st of this year the US alone has spent just under $3.8 BILLION dollars on the drug war (and that is a conservative estimate). In three months. So do the streets feel safer? Are drugs less available? Has gang activity subsided? Can you afford that? We all know the answer is no. It is time to try a different approach.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Well, that's addicts on the streets. That's a whole other issue. There are plenty of addicts who come from good homes with people who care about them and they have no issues other than they picked up a drug because it was "cool". If it were legal, how many kids would try it because it's legal and the "thing to do".

La - posted on 03/24/2010

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No you don't have to have an underlying issue to get hooked, but I haven't heard of too many addicts on the streets that haven't either been abused in some way or had something traumatic or overwhelmingly emotional happen to them.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Yes, those would be the drugs. You don't HAVE to have an underlying emotional/mental issue to get hooked to drugs. Yes, it makes it easier to get "lost" when you need to because you can't handle the pressures of life but there are also people who are "normal" kids who get hooked on drugs.

La - posted on 03/24/2010

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Dana, what would you call a drug that gets you hooked fast? Heroin, crack, meth? Cause I know people who have tried those drugs and didn't get hooked. And I also know people who smoke pot and CAN'T move on...a lot (but not all) of drug addiction comes from the emotional issues of the user rather than the properties of the drug itself. The feeling derived from the drug DOES make it easier to become addicted, but I feel that you also have to have an underlying emotional/mental issue that makes you vulnerable to the pleasurable feelings constantly sought as relief by addicts.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Completely disagree, how many kids try alcohol when they're younger. We're talking about drugs that get you hooked FAST. It's not like pot where you can smoke it for a while and move on.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/24/2010

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In October last year, in the UK our chief drug advisor, David Nutt was sacked because he stated in a letter that alcohol was more dangerous than ecstacy, LCD and cannibis. Scientific research was done and the danger level for alcohol ranked at number 5 after herion, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone. Tobacco was number 9 and cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, while still harmful, are ranked lower at 11, 14 and 18.

According to them the cheif advisor was not expressing the dangers of drugs and therefore was not looking out for public interest. To me this is ridiculous, if tobacco and alcohol are ranked so high up how are they legal and cannibis isn't?

Nutt acknowledged there was a "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness linked to cannabis use. But he argued that to prevent one episode of schizophrenia it would be necessary to "stop 5,000 men aged 20 to 25 from ever using" cannabis.

One of his arguments was; 100 people die a year from horseriding, 20 people die from misuse of ecstacy.

Edited to add; like I stated previously, it should definetely be done in your own home, if you (general) choose to do drugs other people shouldn't have to have it shoved in their faces. :)

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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Dana S

Oh, and I agree too Sara, if alcohol is legal then pot should really be legal too






Cathy S
I agree too but only with the same public use laws as smoking regular cigarettes .... because I don't want to inhale anyone's second-hand smoke, regardless of type. If I want to inhale smoke I'll start a fire and then it'll only be for the firemen to rescue me!




I agree with that too!

Sara - posted on 03/24/2010

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Where's Esther when you need her to talk about legalized marijuana and how it affects society? Esther, krijgen op deze! (Hope that's right...)

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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I agree, Cathy, it can make some people crazy after prolonged use. Of course those same people usually have issues to begin with or would have down the road.



Oh, and I agree too Sara, if alcohol is legal then pot should really be legal too.

Sara - posted on 03/24/2010

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Or cancer patients undergoing chemo, to help with nausea and weight gain...

Sara - posted on 03/24/2010

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Yes, but it doesn't make much sense for alcohol to be legal and pot not to be. It's a drug, just like alcohol. I can appreciate that people's lives have been hurt by pot use, but people's lives can be hurt by alcohol just as well. Plus, I think pot should be available to people medicinely as well. I, however, don't put pot in the same category as harder drugs cocaine, meth or heroin.

Lea - posted on 03/24/2010

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What Cathy is saying is RIGHT and I can tell you this because there is someone in my own family who has had their life ruined by pot. If you haven't been personally affected by this, good for you, but you need to know that its not harmless and it has hurt people. It is a drug and I'm glad it isn't legal.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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I see your point Jenny but, I do think that legalizing all drugs would be more destructive to society than them being illegal is. I think there would be an overwhelming mentality that if it's legal then it must be okay. When I was in high school heroine or coke wasn't all over the place because it was illegal, can you imagine if it were in stores. There would be a ton of kids standing outside of 7/11's asking older patrons to buy them a gram of coke or whatever amt of drugs, just like they do with alcohol or cigarettes now.



I could see the legalization of Marijuana but at the same time, as I get older I don't think pot's so hot either. I think it makes the majority of people who smoke it, stagnant. Maybe if they started giving drug tests to those on Welfare (here in the U.S.) I'd be down with it more. lol



Cathy, I imagine that your friend who punched through a wall would have done that whether he/she was high on pot or not. Pot doesn't make you crazy, doesn't give you super strength or make you think you may have super strength.

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