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  #51  
Old 12-13-2018, 02:02 PM
etasyde etasyde is offline
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The average life expectancy of opiate addicts is 4 years. Do you really think this is a good idea? Some drugs simply belong in a separate category here.
Horsepucky.

There's a popular sensationalist article that has told a metric f-ton of lies and misquoted statements from an UCLA study I have yet to actually track down (every link to any article quoting 4 years is dead, as if the study in question has been redacted). Here's what I could find from the study: "Researchers analyzed mortality data and electronic health records for 2,576 patients age 18 to 64 who were diagnosed with opioid use disorder between 2006 and 2014.

The study showed that by 2014, 465 people, or 18.1 percent of the study population, had died from opioid use.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Study-Opioid-addiction-increases-risk-of-death-tenfold/6701492789598/#ixzz5ZamM3YSx"

The deeper you dig, however, the more the statement changes: from "average life expectancy of 4 years" to "chance of death within 4 years is 10x higher"" The only actual paper I can find covers all narcotics, and it shifts average life expectancy from 33 from about 38 years down to 18. A significant decline, but certainly not "average of 4 years."
  #52  
Old 12-13-2018, 02:10 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
The average life expectancy of opiate addicts is 4 years. Do you really think this is a good idea? Some drugs simply belong in a separate category here.
You mean illegal opioids, right? Because right here on this board we have multiple people who have been on Vicodin, etc for longer than that.
  #53  
Old 12-13-2018, 02:31 PM
Royal Nonesutch Royal Nonesutch is online now
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The number of addicts that will turn down free drugs for the sake of 'I like to shoot up in public bathrooms instead' is going to be very small.
In my earlier post about the freedom and peace of a Quiznos bathroom stall perhaps I was being a little facetious, but if you think there aren't millions of addicts with personalities that are (to put it mildly) not exactly molded to structure, rule-following and obedience to social directives (junkies don't become junkies by listening to the Man telling them what to do) more than willing to keep on assum

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 12-13-2018 at 02:31 PM.
  #54  
Old 12-13-2018, 03:41 PM
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“Drugs” is an umbrella we need to toss to the wind. Cannabis is a thing that never should have made Schedule I ITFP. It is probably the most innocuous recreational substance out there. Mushrooms, cactus, acid, DMT and other hallucinogens have some real risks for some people, others have used them quite a lot and never had a bad trip (I can attest), but as long as they are illegal, we can never find out how predict/prevent freakouts.

Coke, meth and such like would probably not fit well in a clinical setting and have some difficult issues surrounding them. I am not sure how society would deal with them.

Opiates/opioids, though, would work quite well in a clinical-type setting. From what I understand, for heroin especially, the substance itself is the experience, and the user mostly does not care where they are, just that they are getting off.

Any way you look at it, though, what we have been doing for the past 70+ years is not working and is not helping anyone.
  #55  
Old 12-13-2018, 04:08 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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I think a major underlying problem is that a small but significant percentage of the population doesn't have the cognitive, emotional or impulse control wherewithal to handle life. Think of, say, a mildly mentally retarded person with an abusive childhood; The problems do not merely add to each other but multiply their effects. They try to cope in counter-productive ways using alcohol, acute stimulants or opioids which then further compounds their problems.

Instead of focusing on controlling the drugs, how about we control those people through some less harsh methods than prison? Some people might just need a social worker to check in on them. Others belong in a mental hospital which would still be a notch above prison. In-between you can have group homes. It would sometimes require declaring people legal minors but that would often accurately reflect their lack of development.

Politically, it might be difficult to pass in the US although it may end up costing less overall and enabling those people to be more productive than making license plates. It could also be tried in states that don't have a Saudi-like view of social control.
  #56  
Old 12-15-2018, 06:41 AM
Brayne Ded Brayne Ded is offline
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Cigarettes were never illegal.
No, but cigarette smuggling is, and that arises the differing tax rates sin two different countries justify it. The illegality is the lost tax.

FWIW, some studies claim that the tax taken in on tobacco is less that the extra health costs incurred by smokers. No comment.
  #57  
Old 12-15-2018, 08:52 AM
Textual Innuendo Textual Innuendo is offline
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
The average life expectancy of opiate addicts is 4 years. Do you really think this is a good idea? Some drugs simply belong in a separate category here.
Etasyde did a fine job debunking this, but even if it were true, philosophically, is this a bad thing? Being an alcoholic takes 24-28 years off your life expectancy AND kills ~10k innocents a year via drunk driving accidents...but banning that is a no-go.

Even the worst drugs (opiates) shorten your life less than alcoholism (18 years vs 26 according to Etasyde's cite), and illicit drugs impair driving less than alcohol (3.39 vs 63.6 adjusted odds ratio of road traffic injury).

If people want to drink, it is their choice to drink. If people want to do drugs, it should be their choice to do drugs, and we have evidence even the worst drugs are less harmful to them AND the public at large.

Further, assuming we in the US ever join the developed world and extend public health care to all US citizens, people dying young (whether due to misfortune or because their choices shortened their lifespan) is one of the largest reductive factors in overall healthcare expense. The majority of healthcare expenditure is on elderly people in the final years of life, and trimming those years saves a lot of money.

I know I *personally* would rather live an interesting life via my choices and die young than eke out a decade or two more of low quality medically-intensive life, and I think that choice should be available to others, *especially* because we have evidence that it's less harmful than alcohol (which will never be illegal)!
  #58  
Old 12-15-2018, 10:03 AM
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Whoops, mea culpa.
  #59  
Old 12-15-2018, 12:07 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Originally Posted by Textual Innuendo View Post
Etasyde did a fine job debunking this, but even if it were true, philosophically, is this a bad thing? Being an alcoholic takes 24-28 years off your life expectancy AND kills ~10k innocents a year via drunk driving accidents...but banning that is a no-go.

Even the worst drugs (opiates) shorten your life less than alcoholism (18 years vs 26 according to Etasyde's cite), and illicit drugs impair driving less than alcohol (3.39 vs 63.6 adjusted odds ratio of road traffic injury).

If people want to drink, it is their choice to drink. If people want to do drugs, it should be their choice to do drugs, and we have evidence even the worst drugs are less harmful to them AND the public at large.

Further, assuming we in the US ever join the developed world and extend public health care to all US citizens, people dying young (whether due to misfortune or because their choices shortened their lifespan) is one of the largest reductive factors in overall healthcare expense. The majority of healthcare expenditure is on elderly people in the final years of life, and trimming those years saves a lot of money.

I know I *personally* would rather live an interesting life via my choices and die young than eke out a decade or two more of low quality medically-intensive life, and I think that choice should be available to others, *especially* because we have evidence that it's less harmful than alcohol (which will never be illegal)!

I thought alcohol abuse tended to shorten the healthy part of life rather than the worn out and sick part. E.g.: Do we know that someone who overate, drank or smoked and died at 50 costs less in the last decade of his life than someone who lived healthily and made it to 80 costs in his last decade of life?

On another point: It will be interesting to see rates of car accidents, intoxicated violence, alcoholism and drug addiction over the next few years. I'm guessing that pot will at least partly replace alcohol, meth and opioids for people which will lead to better outcomes in the aggregate. For example, as you note, pot has a lesser debilitating effect on driving than alcohol and many people who would have drunk and driven will now smoke and drive instead. It's a greater risk than if they'd been sober before driving but it's in vain you'll expect that of some people.

I remember a freakonomics podcast where they mentioned that even in a place like Colombia, the main source of violent deaths is drunken altercations, not organized crime or cocaine users like you would imagine. Now imagine how that compares to the number of deaths from violent altercations between pot smokers. Some of the same people who would drink and do something horrible will now smoke and do something merely meh.
  #60  
Old 12-15-2018, 01:21 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Textual Innuendo View Post

I know I *personally* would rather live an interesting life via my choices and die young than eke out a decade or two more of low quality medically-intensive life, and I think that choice should be available to others, *especially* because we have evidence that it's less harmful than alcohol (which will never be illegal)!
You dont drink, smoke and whatnot and stay young and vibrant and just die ten years early. You age, you get old, you get sick, and feeble earlier- and then die early. Doing drugs, heavy drinking and smoking just cuts out five or ten healthy years.
  #61  
Old 12-15-2018, 02:22 PM
Textual Innuendo Textual Innuendo is offline
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You dont drink, smoke and whatnot and stay young and vibrant and just die ten years early. You age, you get old, you get sick, and feeble earlier- and then die early. Doing drugs, heavy drinking and smoking just cuts out five or ten healthy years.
Do we actually know that? I haven't seen cites, but I think this is the same thing MichaelEMouse was asking - I guess I've been assuming alcoholics and drug addicts die with much less interaction with the health system overall given those I've known in my life, but I haven't seen population-level statistics on that and am willing to be corrected.

I mean, take overdosing, which I think is the primary fatality vector for heavy drug users - I would bet 80%+ are "overdosed and was dead on arrival" and then another 15% "overdosed and after a month or less of medical care, died," with maybe 5% "overdosed and needed long term care and lots of medical intervention before finally dying."

And that just HAS to be less overall medical cost in that cohort than the much broader old-aged "lurched along the last two decades of life with obesity, diabetes, a few heart attacks, and multiple comorbidities before dying" population.
  #62  
Old 12-15-2018, 03:22 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Textual Innuendo View Post
Do we actually know that? I haven't seen cites, but I think this is the same thing MichaelEMouse was asking - I guess I've been assuming alcoholics and drug addicts die with much less interaction with the health system overall given those I've known in my life, but I haven't seen population-level statistics on that and am willing to be corrected.

I mean, take overdosing, which I think is the primary fatality vector for heavy drug users - I would bet 80%+ are "overdosed and was dead on arrival" and then another 15% "overdosed and after a month or less of medical care, died," with maybe 5% "overdosed and needed long term care and lots of medical intervention before finally dying."

And that just HAS to be less overall medical cost in that cohort than the much broader old-aged "lurched along the last two decades of life with obesity, diabetes, a few heart attacks, and multiple comorbidities before dying" population.
Well, yeah if you die forty years early due to overdose.

But smoking definitely ages you early:

https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessat...-affects-looks


https://forefrontdermatology.com/smo...ke-age-faster/

and so does abusing booze:
https://www.beachhouserehabcenter.co...to-age-faster/
https://health.usnews.com/wellness/s...-aging-process

and so does drug abuse:https://www.rehabcenter.net/drug-alcohol-abuse-aging/

https://www.northpointrecovery.com/b...effects-aging/
  #63  
Old 12-15-2018, 04:32 PM
Textual Innuendo Textual Innuendo is offline
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Well, yeah if you die forty years early due to overdose.

But smoking definitely ages you early:

https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessat...-affects-looks
...
Ah, I think we're talking about two different things then. I fully stipulate smoking and drinking and drugging will age people faster and impair their health while alive, but I still think we save money overall on them.

Take smoking for example, which is probably better studied than illegal drug use; studies in 2008 and 2012 found that reducing smoking in the population actually increases total healthcare costs, because although smokers have higher annual average costs while alive, they die many years sooner and overall save money.

I would expect this medical expense savings effect to be even stronger in drug and alcohol dependent populations, as smoking takes 8 years off your life, but opiates take 18 and alcohol 26 years.
  #64  
Old 12-16-2018, 04:20 PM
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Why should my taxes go for funding this? I work check to check for the things I have. I don't need more of my money thrown away on degenerates wasting their life.
In a big city like Chicago or NYC, it costs up to one million dollars to prosecute a felony drug charge if it goes to trial, and about $35,000 a year to incarcerate the person after conviction. It's not about more money, it's about how we spend it.
  #65  
Old 12-18-2018, 01:55 AM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is online now
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While I can see legalizing marijuana and maybe coke I cannot see others like meth because some drugs are just so nasty and addicting that keeping them illegal just might be protecting people from themselves.
  #66  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:47 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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FWIW, some studies claim that the tax taken in on tobacco is less that the extra health costs incurred by smokers. No comment.
I thought it was the other way around - that smoking reduces health care costs, overall, because
  • Smoking-related illness is a relatively cheap way to die. A common first symptom of heart disease, for instance, is death.
    Quote:
    Cardiac survival rates around 6 percent for those occurring outside of a hospital
    Cite. And for diseases like lung cancer, once you are symptomatic, you die quickly, and don't incur the other health care costs of old age.
  • Smokers tend to die before they collect Social Security, so that saves money too. If I die from smoking in my fifties, I have paid into SS but don't collect from it.
That doesn't mean that smoking is a good idea.

Regards,
Shodan
  #67  
Old 12-18-2018, 11:28 AM
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With the opioid epidemic gripping the nation today, I'm amazed that some think heroin and other opioids should be legalized.
  #68  
Old 12-18-2018, 11:33 AM
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With the opioid epidemic gripping the nation today, I'm amazed that some think heroin and other opioids should be legalized.
A lot of the ODs are the result of street-level opioids. Drugs from a pharmaceutical source won't have the "quality control" problems.
  #69  
Old 12-18-2018, 11:57 AM
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In a big city like Chicago or NYC, it costs up to one million dollars to prosecute a felony drug charge if it goes to trial...
Cite?
  #70  
Old 12-18-2018, 12:19 PM
PastTense PastTense is online now
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I would expect this medical expense savings effect to be even stronger in drug and alcohol dependent populations, as smoking takes 8 years off your life, but opiates take 18 and alcohol 26 years.
Alcohol 26 years? Cite?
  #71  
Old 12-18-2018, 12:29 PM
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A lot of the ODs are the result of street-level opioids. Drugs from a pharmaceutical source won't have the "quality control" problems.
According to this chart, most of the OD deaths are not from heroin.

Heroin - 15,469.
Synthetic opioids - 19,413
Natural and semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone -14,487.

I think much of the synthetic opioid is Chinese Fentanyl. I don't know how good quality control is in China, but I don't think that's the problem. Fentanyl is very, very potent, so even pharmaceutical-grade is going to be more liable to overdose.

No doubt a lot of it is due to pharmaceutical sources being diverted to the street, but that is not IMO quite the same thing.

Hopefully a knowledgeable source ("Dr. Qadgop. Paging Dr. Qadgop.") will be along to correct me.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 12-18-2018 at 12:30 PM.
  #72  
Old 12-18-2018, 01:11 PM
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According to this chart, most of the OD deaths are not from heroin.

Heroin - 15,469.
Synthetic opioids - 19,413
Natural and semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone -14,487.

I think much of the synthetic opioid is Chinese Fentanyl. I don't know how good quality control is in China, but I don't think that's the problem. Fentanyl is very, very potent, so even pharmaceutical-grade is going to be more liable to overdose.

No doubt a lot of it is due to pharmaceutical sources being diverted to the street, but that is not IMO quite the same thing.

Hopefully a knowledgeable source ("Dr. Qadgop. Paging Dr. Qadgop.") will be along to correct me.

Regards,
Shodan
Quality control at the dealer level.(Hence the quote marks) Fentanyl is often used to increase the potency of heroin while reducing the cost. The difficulty is getting it evenly mixed which results in many of the ODs.
  #73  
Old 12-18-2018, 01:20 PM
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Alcohol 26 years? Cite?
this CDC page puts the average YPLL due alcohol use at 30, but it is rather old (nearly 20 years) data.
  #74  
Old 12-18-2018, 03:56 PM
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Alcohol 26 years? Cite?
Alcoholic heavy drinker, maybe.
  #75  
Old 12-18-2018, 04:07 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Quality control at the dealer level.(Hence the quote marks) Fentanyl is often used to increase the potency of heroin while reducing the cost. The difficulty is getting it evenly mixed which results in many of the ODs.
Do you have a cite that the heroin deaths in the chart I cited are from mixing heroin with Fentanyl? They seem to be listed separately.

Regards,
Shodan
  #76  
Old 12-18-2018, 04:13 PM
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Do you have a cite that the heroin deaths in the chart I cited are from mixing heroin with Fentanyl? They seem to be listed separately.

Regards,
Shodan
Not a chart or stats:
Business Insider.
Quote:
Mexican cartels produce a variant called acetyl fentanyl and smuggle it into the United States for distribution, according to an NPR report. The DEA warns that all around America, drug dealers are cutting heroin with acetyl fentanyl to drive up the potency of their product.

"If you make that right mix, everyone loves your stuff," Angelo Alonzo, a recovering addict who tried heroin laced with fentanyl, told NPR. "But, you know, that right mix might kill some people, too."

In a period from late 2013 through 2014, federal officials estimate that there were at least 700 fentanyl-related deaths nationwide. More recently, reports of fentanyl overdoses have spread like wildfire.

This week, Maine Gov. Paul LePage convened a summit to address the heroin crisis in his state, calling on the National Guard to aid in efforts to thwart drug traffickers.

"In July alone, we suspect that approximately one death a day in Maine was due to a drug overdose of some sort," Maine Attorney General Janet Mills told NPR. "We are confirming this with laboratory testing, but a substantial number of those involved fentanyl."
  #77  
Old 12-18-2018, 06:44 PM
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Seriously effective arms control?
Ooh, now that's just mean.
  #78  
Old 12-18-2018, 07:36 PM
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Alcoholic heavy drinker, maybe.
The CDC page I linked includes the spectrum. If you get blitzed and fall off the veranda, breaking your neck in the ravine below, or wrack your car up on a tree, or eat the barrel of a shotgun from amplified despondency, it may take but one episode of drinking too much to truncate your existence. And ISTR reading a thread in this very board about a guy who still drinks 2 or 3 bottles of wine a day at age 80, so YMMV. Booze in quantity tends to make one stupid, but some people manage their stupid better than others.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:27 PM
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In that case the 20 year old age of the data could be important as there could be an increase (or decrease, to be fair), of safe drinking culture. 26 years seems a little high from sheer physiological harm from even a hardcore bottle-downer, although it does seem in the right order of magnitude.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:22 PM
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My only question is how legalizing recreational drugs would affect regulating everything else. By what system do we still regulate food and drugs for safety while still allowing sale of things that aren't really safe, for effectiveness, and for counterindications? Obviously, there will great harm reduction in regulating the recreational stuff just for dosage and purity, but those aren't the only things we regulate for. Would there be a separate category with looser standards? How do we deal with things that have both medicinal and recreational use? How do we navigate issues of liability?
  #81  
Old 12-19-2018, 02:41 AM
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Even if such a program "succeeded" in Portugal, I don't think that necessarily translates to success in the United States.

Also, I don't refrain from using pot because of any laws, I terrain from using it because I want to be able to pass a drug test at any time. Employers don't have to have as cuddly view of drugs as the government. Well, not yet anyway.
  #82  
Old 12-19-2018, 09:15 AM
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...Also, I don't refrain from using pot because of any laws, I terrain from using it because I want to be able to pass a drug test at any time. Employers don't have to have as cuddly view of drugs as the government. Well, not yet anyway.
Amusingly, my employer did not test for THC metabolites until it began receiving Federal funds. Now it does, so it does, and nominally has a "zero tolerance" policy for cannabis use.
  #83  
Old 12-19-2018, 09:44 AM
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I think a major underlying problem is that a small but significant percentage of the population doesn't have the cognitive, emotional or impulse control wherewithal to handle life. Think of, say, a mildly mentally retarded person with an abusive childhood; The problems do not merely add to each other but multiply their effects. They try to cope in counter-productive ways using alcohol, acute stimulants or opioids which then further compounds their problems.

Instead of focusing on controlling the drugs, how about we control those people through some less harsh methods than prison? Some people might just need a social worker to check in on them. Others belong in a mental hospital which would still be a notch above prison. In-between you can have group homes. It would sometimes require declaring people legal minors but that would often accurately reflect their lack of development.

Politically, it might be difficult to pass in the US although it may end up costing less overall and enabling those people to be more productive than making license plates. It could also be tried in states that don't have a Saudi-like view of social control.
I'm pretty sure most of those people at that level of development are probably in group homes.

I suspect the real group that is causing the problems are the ones who are adjudged to be marginally capable of handling their own affairs- in school terms, it would be the kids who were just dumb, but not "special ed". People who can't understand the concept of financial interest, or who think rent-to-own is a good idea, or who fall for those stupid cash payment for court settlement ads. We make jokes about stupid criminals, and I suspect this is the strata of intelligence where they actually come from.

What's the obligation of society and/or government to someone who's just kind of dumb versus actually mentally handicapped though?

I suspect we may have drawn our particular lines when the "zip" needed to succeed in society was much lower- these sorts could go and work in a factory doing something repetitive, or work as a farm or ranch hand, or any number of other non-intellectually demanding jobs. And at the level of the general public, economic activity was cash-based and things like drugs, loans, court settlements, etc... weren't nearly as common as they are today. All in all, I suspect it was a little easier to navigate life reasonably well if you were slow back in say... 1930 than it is in 2018.
  #84  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:28 AM
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OP: we've done that with two major recreational drugs: alcohol and cigarettes. There have been massive negative consequences: about 480,000 people die every year from cigarette smoking for example. Are the negative consequences of all illegal drugs greater than the negative consequences of 480,000 deaths per year?
So what if people die from smoking? It's a choice people are free to make
No one is robbing people for money to get a cigarette. There are no street level wars on who controls the supply of cigarettes.

The argument is that if drugs are legalized then the criminal element of manufacturing and supply is done away with and casual users won't have to worry about criminal charges for doing nothing but getting high.
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  #85  
Old 12-19-2018, 12:43 PM
Royal Nonesutch Royal Nonesutch is online now
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Even if such a program "succeeded" in Portugal, I don't think that necessarily translates to success in the United States.
I was in Lisbon a few months ago (for a performance by the famed neo-prohibitionist Bob Dylan) where in the heart of the city's main square, at 10am on a sunny Tuesday morning, you couldn't walk 50 feet without getting propositioned by dealers hawking hash and coke.

It didn't really offend me, but it was blatant and unrelenting, and I suppose there are those who don't view such activity in a favorable light.

(I didn't think to pay attention, but I hope that dealers had sense enough not to solicit families with kids in tow)
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:49 PM
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So what if people die from smoking? It's a choice people are free to make
No one is robbing people for money to get a cigarette. There are no street level wars on who controls the supply of cigarettes..
Except that about 50,000 (yes, Fifty Thousand) people die each year from second hand smoke.

And yes, cigarette smuggling is a big deal.


https://www.reportingproject.net/und...w=article&id=5
The illicit trafficking of tobacco is a multibillion-dollar business today, fueling organized crime and corruption, robbing governments of needed tax money, and spurring addiction to a deadly product. So profitable is the trade that tobacco is the world’s most widely smuggled legal substance.

and of course Big Tobacco is aiding and abetting the mob:Starting in 1999, a team of reporters from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists pored over thousands of internal industry documents and uncovered how leading tobacco companies were colluding with criminal networks to divert cigarettes to the world’s black markets. Big Tobacco was doing it for profit — to boost sales and gain market share — as it avoided billions of dollars in taxes while recruiting growing numbers of smokers around the globe. The tobacco industry, as it turned out, did not merely turn a blind eye to the smuggling — it managed the trade at the highest corporate levels.



Those revelations, and others that followed, helped lead to government inquiries, lawsuits, and promises of a global treaty to crack down on the illicit cigarette trade. Since 2004, two major tobacco companies, Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International, have agreed to pay a combined $1.65 billion to the European Community and 10 member states to settle litigation that would have further exposed their involvement in cigarette smuggling. They have also committed publicly to help fight trafficking in tobacco. Similarly, this July, Canada’s two largest cigarette companies, Imperial Tobacco Canada and Rothmans Inc., pleaded guilty to aiding fsmuggling during the early 1990s; they are to pay a combined $1.12 billion, the largest such penalties ever levied in Canada.


Organized crime syndicates and terrorist groups such as the Taliban and Hezbollah facilitate global distribution and use the profits to finance their activities. In Canada alone, police believe that 105 organized crime groups are engaged in the illicit tobacco trade, including motorcycle gangs and the Italian Mafia. Criminal organizations “are doing more than just smuggling cigarettes,” notes John W. Colledge, who oversaw international tobacco smuggling programs at the U.S. Customs Service between 1999 and 2002. “They are engaged in human, drugs, and weapons trafficking.”
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:31 PM
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The argument is that if drugs are legalized then the criminal element of manufacturing and supply is done away with and casual users won't have to worry about criminal charges for doing nothing but getting high.
More like this: in some states, a person can walk into a store and buy cannabis for personal use. Those people are not in violation of state law and may never be exposed to the criminal underworld where people have to go to a dealer who sells a range of illegal stuff.

In other words, marijuana may be a "gateway drug" that may lead to harder stuff – as long as it remains illegal. Remove the prohibition and the criminal aspect fades considerably, along with the excitement that some people feel from being naughty.
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:57 PM
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OP: we've done that with two major recreational drugs: alcohol and cigarettes. There have been massive negative consequences: about 480,000 people die every year from cigarette smoking for example. Are the negative consequences of all illegal drugs greater than the negative consequences of 480,000 deaths per year?
Those are the worst drugs of all.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:31 PM
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Those are the worst drugs of all.
I agree. I quit both years ago.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:14 AM
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You say that... But it's widely accepted that alcohol prohibition was a total mess, and historically a very bad idea. We tried banning it; the result was the rise of organized crime to fill the black market, the rise of stronger forms of alcohol as people needed to smuggle it in higher concentrations, and a rise in corruption, as federal officials couldn't help but get in on the money flowing through the black market.
I know this wasn't directed at me, but I think the argument goes something like this:

If we were starting from a clean slate where nobody drank, nobody smoked (cigs or weed), nobody used cocaine or heroin, etc. it may be a good idea to ban every single one of these substances as they cause tremendous social problems.

However, given that alcohol and cigarettes have such an ingrained social footing, any attempt to ban these two (indeed we already tried banning alcohol) would be a fool's errand. Best to leave these legal and try to minimize the harm through education campaigns.

But do we want to add to the problem by creating more users of these other harmful substances? Putting marijuana to the side because that isn't the topic of the thread, do we really want legal heroin, LSD, and cocaine? I cannot think of any societal benefit to the increased use of the drugs; and if they are legal, then more people will experiment. We already have the problem with alcohol and cigarettes killing more people than cars and guns combined; why add to this problem?

I don't necessarily agree with the argument, but it has superficial appeal.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:44 AM
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Some drugs are so inherently dangerous that they need to be controlled. It's easy to say the people who die from addiction and eventual overdoses did so of their own doing but that's cold comfort to their spouses and children.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:52 AM
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Some drugs are so inherently dangerous that they need to be controlled. It's easy to say the people who die from addiction and eventual overdoses did so of their own doing but that's cold comfort to their spouses and children.
And the thousands of people that die yearly due to prohibition of these substances don't count?
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:17 AM
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I cannot think of any societal benefit to the increased use of the drugs...
Is that still part of your hypothetical, or your actual opinion? Because I certainly can.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:19 AM
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Some drugs are so inherently dangerous that they need to be controlled...
Which you do have in mind? If you're talking about paint or methanol, I'm with you--those things can kill you stone dead...but I'm not sure I'd call them drugs.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:32 AM
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And the thousands of people that die yearly due to prohibition of these substances don't count?
Are you offering a strawman and implying I said they don't count or are you offering a false dichotomy where we can either outlaw dangerous drugs, or treat addicts compassionately, but not both?
Just let me know which fallacy you're offering up before I respond.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:41 AM
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I was in Lisbon a few months ago (for a performance by the famed neo-prohibitionist Bob Dylan) where in the heart of the city's main square, at 10am on a sunny Tuesday morning, you couldn't walk 50 feet without getting propositioned by dealers hawking hash and coke.

It didn't really offend me, but it was blatant and unrelenting, and I suppose there are those who don't view such activity in a favorable light.
I was in Lisbon last summer and experienced the same thing with drug dealers.

However, I also experienced the same thing with restaurant hosts/servers and souvenir shop proprietors; everyone in those squares is aggressively hawking their products, be it heroin, paella, or cork souvenirs. We talked to the first half dozen guys, boy was that a waste of time, but then we learned our lesson and just ignored everyone. At least the drug guys would leave you alone once you told them "no," unlike the restaurant guys who would harangue you until halfway down the block past their place.

I did let the ginjinha guy talk me into a couple of drinks, but that was totally worth it. It didn't take much convincing.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:35 PM
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I've thought about why people do drugs and I came up with to different answers. One is to get high and the other is to be comfortable. This brought up another question, what percentage do they fall in? Do most get high or do most get relief?

In my case I started out getting high on pot but as I got older I saw the medical benefits from it. I haven't smoked for years because I'm taking Hydrocodone and I have to be clean on my piss test. I started taking hemp oil last week and I feel better but doesn't do much for pain.

I found out that it did not contain CBD due to false advertisement. It is not a full spectrum oil as they claimed. Anyway, I ordered a bottle of CBD oil today. I'll get it next week if not sooner. Get this, The 30ml bottle of 750mg oil is $60 and the 60ml bottle of 1000mg oil is $70.

Guess which I picked.
  #98  
Old 12-31-2018, 05:44 PM
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Is that still part of your hypothetical, or your actual opinion? Because I certainly can.
Are will still talking about recreational use of heroin and cocaine? That's what I meant. You believe there are societal benefits to that?
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:41 AM
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Are will still talking about recreational use of heroin and cocaine? That's what I meant. You believe there are societal benefits to that?
You also included LSD in that statement, which is a completely different animal compared to cocaine, which itself is not at all like heroin. Increased use of these substances would amount to more people learning about what they are and what they do. And not everyone who tries heroin once or twice is going to become a junkie, but at least they will understand heroin, which is a societal benefit.

That is the biggest benefit to increased use that we lose completely with demonization: the more ignorant we are about these substances, the worse equipped we are to deal with the direct and peripheral issues surrounding them. And when addiction becomes problematic, the fact that we cannot deny the addict access to the stuff means we will put more effort into dealing with the real world causes and effects of addiction.

Learning about things is far more effective than blithely calling them bad, stay away from them. We tried the latter approach and (some of us) have discovered that it does not work, as evidenced by the fact that you tried to cram cocaine, LSD and heroin into one tidy group in which they do not fit together.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:00 AM
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You also included LSD in that statement, which is a completely different animal compared to cocaine, which itself is not at all like heroin. Increased use of these substances would amount to more people learning about what they are and what they do. And not everyone who tries heroin once or twice is going to become a junkie, but at least they will understand heroin, which is a societal benefit.

That is the biggest benefit to increased use that we lose completely with demonization: the more ignorant we are about these substances, the worse equipped we are to deal with the direct and peripheral issues surrounding them. And when addiction becomes problematic, the fact that we cannot deny the addict access to the stuff means we will put more effort into dealing with the real world causes and effects of addiction.

Learning about things is far more effective than blithely calling them bad, stay away from them. We tried the latter approach and (some of us) have discovered that it does not work, as evidenced by the fact that you tried to cram cocaine, LSD and heroin into one tidy group in which they do not fit together.
Let's just take heroin as an example. What would I learn from using heroin once or twice (and thankfully not becoming addicted) and then stopping? How would my attitude change and how would it change? How would society benefit from my increased knowledge more so than the knowledge I could gain by reading articles about how heroin works on the human body?
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