Currently illegal activities in historical sources, how much the taint?

In SDMB Registration Agreement thread, there was discussion of appropriate and inappropriate links to websites. Tuckerfan said he wanted to post a link to a full-text copy of an 1880 book available for downloading. UncleBeer said that it was OK as long as it wasn’t a book on how to build a better bong, or cultivate more potent opium poppies, or something like that.

My question here is this: if a historical source describes or even instructs on the use of a drug that is now illegal, or available by prescription only, but that material makes up only a small part of the whole work, then is it a violation of SDMB rules to post a reference to it? For instance, suppose I had a link to a downloadable copy of an 1890 household medical advisor that, among many other things, gave directions on the use of cannabis for insomnia?

Taken as a historical document, or a glimpse into an earlier society, or even as an intellectual curiosity, it would probably be okay. However, would need to see it directly before judgment could be passed, it’s on a case by case basis, as is so much around here.

What we’re trying to avoid here is dissemination of modern-day information that might be used to violate or circumvent current law as it stands in the United States. We also don’t want this place to be a drug den or the anarchist’s clubhouse, either; it’s counterproductive to the community in place here.

Besides, there’s lots of other places where you can find all that stuff; it’s not our job to guide you to it. Go do that on your own time.

your humble TubaDiva

I dont’s see how it’s a question of doing it on my own time or anybody else’s, but point taken.

As it stands, it’s a hypothetical matter only, and I was merely curious as to how the rules would be applied in a particular case. Needless to say, I’ve been here long enough to know that posting about certain topics can be dicey for the reasons TubaDiva mentioned, and if I actually was thinking of posting such a link, I’d definitely want to check it out with a mod or admin.

Well, that’s one. Only 4,000+ to go. :smiley:


OK, what about discussions of things that may be legal in some jurisdictions but not in others? Here in Nevada, the possession and sale of bongs, “one-hitters” and a wide assortment of other pipes and devices that are generally used for the consumption of illegal combustibles is perfectly legal. AFIK, they’re still legal in Indiana as well as quite a few other states. We even have hookah bars here, where you can smoke flavored tobacco through a waterpipe.

I once posted a thread on building a bong out of any three houshold items, based on the presumption that said bong would only be used for the consumption of legal combustibles, and someone, I forget who, popped in to wonder how long it would be before the thread was closed by a mod because such equipment is illegal in so many states. The thread was never closed, it died of natural causes at something just under thirty posts.

Is there an actual policy on this, or would it be a mod/admin judgement call as to whether a thread would continue or be closed and the poster warned?

While I’m not an administrator, and I’m still the newbie here, I think I’m correct that we tend to shut down threads that discuss illegal activity in much of the US. We’re not trying to be prudes, but rather trying to protect our patron’s butts. The Reader just doesn’t need the potential grief.

Academic discussions about drugs and their effects are fine. I think most of us allow pretty wide latitude in drug-related discussions. But equipment, etc.----it’ll probably be shut down. There are boards out there that allow it, but we don’t.

Most decisions are made by the individual Mod/Admin. A judgement call. Only Cecil is perfect. :smiley: