The War On Drugs

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Postby Exalted Ugu » Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:19 am

"Only the weak minds take drugs as my grandpa said if ur mind is weak u got no idea what ur doing."
Only a weak mind is afraid to experiment, afraid of what is new. I was weaker when i refused all drugs, and stronger now that i trust myself to experiment responsibly.


"Over the counter (OTC) medications have been tested and are manufactured at a strength that has been proven safe for most users. Things that are available by prescription are stronger therefore a doctor has to decide if it is right for your physical condition. "

Scientists in the USA estimate over 100,000 deaths each year due to Adverse Drug Reactions to LEGAL drugs, compared with the measly 19,102 the National Vital Statistics Reports for 1999. Granted that a smaller portion of the population uses illegal drugs, and that north america is rife with marketing-driven prescription practices, this is still a rather staggering figure for something that is supposed to be safetly administered by physicians. And the statistics on the ADRs do not cover patients NOT in hospital, nor would they cover deaths such as those suicides caused by the anti-depressant paxil (also totally legal, though prescription only).


"Most of the drugs that are illegal do some sort of damage to a person's body and can even kill them. How would the FDA go about making these drugs "safe" for most users?"

The same way they went around making alcohol safe... to whit, regulating the purity of the product, preventing harmful additives and manufacturing impurities, and leaving the choice to use the product up to a (presumably) educated and intelligent consumer. Nothing in life is perfectly safe, restaraunt food (or indeed, food you cook yourself) may contain bacteria or virii, your car or plane might crash, and your house might catch fire. All the government can be expected to to is keep the risks to a managable level, without interfering with our rights to choose. Most drugs, used responsibly are no more dangerous than some sports or activities. Of course, some drugs (Crack Cocaine would be a good example, heroin a close second) have high risks, especially compared to the minimal benefits they deliver, so they definitely should be closely restricted.
Other drugs, such as the LSD so many people are irrationally afraid of, may be safetly used by responsible adults, on a recreational, spiritual or holisic medicinal basis. Some drugs, such as marijuana have been shown in government-sponsored report after report to be nowhere nearly as addictive (most reports do not consider marijuana to be addictive in the physical sense at all) or dangerous (not ONE death can be attributed directly to marijuana, in stark contrast to virtually any other psychoactive substance you would care to name) as it is presented. Since we can show that MANY popular 'drugs' are neither more dangerous nor more addctive than drugs currently legal (alcohol and tobacco, two of the biggest killers in the states), then any risk-based arguements against legalization of THOSE drugs must include a reason why those risky drugs (alcohol/tobacco) should not also be made illegal.


"What doctor, who has taken an oath to help people, is going to write a prescription for heroin or crack which could kill them in a single use?"

The same doctor who takes huge cash payments, or fancy trips abroad from pharmaceutical companies and then needlessly prescribes their stupid, risky, side-effect laden medication in cases where the problem could better be treated with lifestyle changes (like, if you EAT LESS FAT, and GET SOME EXERSIZE, you're blood pressure will go down on it's own, and unless there is some serious problem with you, you won't need VERY dangerous blood-pressure medication)
Why always bring up heroin and crack? Can you explain why a doctor should feel more ethically opposed to prescribing (say) marijuana or opium to a cancer patient, as opposed to equally addictive and debillitating (and often riskier, due to their refined, chemical nature) prescription painkillers? The DEA's own Chief Administrative Judge ruled that marijuana is the safest theraputically active substance known to man, and called government policy relating to medical marijuana "unconscionable."


"The only illegal substance I can possibly foresee being legalized would be marijuana but even that would put a severe dent in the campaign to outlaw tobacco cigarettes. "

It would dent, but there are huge fundamental differences. The active, addictive agent in tobacco is a deadly neurotoxin, and a wonderful pesticide. Marijuana is not.


"Alcohol: Whan you have alot to drink,wake up next morning with a hang-over.What is the best cure? more alcohol!! a few drinks and you feel better."The hair of the dog that bit me" is a common expression.Your body wants more alchohol,give it some and you will feel better."

.....! Maybe if you are one of those people genetically disposed to alcoholism, that's how you'd react. ME, when i have a hangover, the last thing i want is more alcohol.


"Heroin, Coccaine, have a myth about their addiction rating,steming from poor knowledge years ago."

Actually, according to "Issues and Comments to respond to Legalization of Drugs," Office of Congressional and Public Affairs Drug Enforcement Administration Publication, May 1988. as referenced here, alcohol addiction rates are approximately one seventh (10% compared to 75%) those of cocaine.


"withdrawl from alcohol is ALOT worse than opiates etc.D.T. delerium tremors are infinately worse & more dangerous than drug withdrawl."

Not infinetly, but indeed, heroin withdrawal is a a lot less risky than alcohol withdrawal. But that doesn't say anything about the percentage of users who become addicted enough to experience the withdrawal in the first place.


"Alcohol is the MOST common drug abused."

That's because it is the most commmon drug used. Just like how motorcycle accidents kill less people per year than car accidents, but motorcycles are riskier. Total number of addicts is meaningless without a comparison of the total number of users.

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Postby lorien1 » Mon Sep 08, 2003 1:30 pm

Hi There.I woul agree with most of your comments.Obtaining figures on alcohol addiction has always been hard to establish.Due to the fact "alcohol abusers" tend not to identify their abuse.Alcohol is a very addictive drug,and crime related to it is VERY high,partictulaty at the week-end.The crimes tend to be violent,normaly commited by the 16 to 20 age group.Alcohol is the most abused drug,as is the most common legal drug used.But has all the problems drug use carries.You don't have to be in the heavy bracket to feel better by having a drink after a hangover.Presciption drug addicts tend not to know they have a problem at all!! I mean it's from the doctor,he/she knows what they are doing!! The ammount of patients that
have been long term users of anti-depression/similar drugs,is staggering.Cannibis/Marijuana one day may become legal,there is a growing movement over here (Scotland/UK) to allow it for medical use.Colin.<*>.
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Postby tsian » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:00 pm

The crimes tend to be violent,normaly commited by the 16 to 20 age group

While anecdotally that seems true, do you have any evidence to this?

But has all the problems drug use carries.You don't have to be in the heavy bracket to feel better by having a drink after a hangover

No, but almost anyone not in the heavy bracket (and, in fact, some people who are in the heavy bracket) know not to have a drink when they have a hangover. They know what alchohol does to their body and realise that drinking during a hangover is simply abusing the drug.

Presciption drug addicts tend not to know they have a problem at all!! I mean it's from the doctor,he/she knows what they are doing!!

Again, anecdotally true, but do you have any proof?

The ammount of patients that
have been long term users of anti-depression/similar drugs,is staggering.


Figures?

annibis/Marijuana one day may become legal,there is a growing movement over here (Scotland/UK) to allow it for medical use

And the problem with this? Did you read the links in Ugu's post? Cannibis is neither physically addictive nor as dangerous as many (all?) of the prescription alternatives.
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Postby Phoenix » Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:15 am

I agree they all should be legal, each and every last one of them.

The issue through isn't nesscarily the drugs itself but society. Society doesn't teach about responbility insofar as these substances, even the legal ones. Its response is fear, demonize and destroy. Rather then handle it in a respondable manner. We are individuals, with different perspectives and thoughts on the world. If we want to intoxicate ourselves in some manner then we should be able too.

Of course at the same time I understand that some drugs may be too dangerous to simple allow people to use them without supervision. But considering that making drugs legal would mean a source of income for the government certainly at first some of the money could go to these programs. And also to facilate better rehab centers for current users that would like to quit.

I also see a rather large comparison to the prohibition of the nineteen twenties. Crime skyrocketed due to boolegers making a very large profit off illegal products. Of course death also made a very large profit from people who were more then willing to kill to make sure they got their money. I think this is true to day, its illegal to produce the products, illegal to transport them, and of course take or sell them. This produces so many levels of crime, because their are so many individuals involved that are breaking the law. At the same time people are ending up with criminal records and jail time for things like posscession of marijuana etc. Are these people really criminals, perhaps in a techical sense but in reality?

Furthermore the war on drugs is going beyond our own boarders. They are poisioning fields in columbia and more in order to stop the supposed problem. The war on drugs since its inception has worked at combating this problem like a war. Thats the problem its not a war, their isn't a goal to be won at least not a realistic one. This is a problem where a reasonable sound solution will work. One that involves allowing people to choose for themselves rather then being dictated what they can do. People have shown for centuries that they will do something regardless of what the current laws are. In some cases the laws are not nesscary, and are the result of either fear or misunderstanding(or a combination of the two).
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Postby lorien1 » Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:48 am

Hi There.I agree totaly with your view on the issue.To the guy that wants figures......can't give you any.I can only say,support groups for addicts of legal drug users, have been reporting a vast increase in people wanting help.Presciption habits of Doctors have been called to question, over the ammount,and period depressents & similar drugs are prescibed.The Police quoted the rise in crime related to alcohol,and the age group.Colin.<*>.
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Postby tsian » Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:25 am

can only say,support groups for addicts of legal drug users, have been reporting a vast increase in people wanting help.

Yes, and thats completely anecdotal.

Take depression, it is estimated to be a widespread problem. Increased people seeking treatment (be it preferrably therapy or medication) would not necessarily mean an increase in cases of depression. It would be equally possible that people have simply become more comfortable in admiting that they suffer from it (and everyone does at some point).



Also, I don't think anyone will say the War on Drugs is good. Nor would any reasonable person think getting a higher sentence for marijuana possesion as opposed to rape or murder makes sense.

The system is undeniable broken.

I also see a rather large comparison to the prohibition of the nineteen twenties. Crime skyrocketed due to boolegers making a very large profit off illegal products. Of course death also made a very large profit from people who were more then willing to kill to make sure they got their money.

Sure, which is why the relatively harmless drugs should be legalised and why prevention and rehabilitation should take precedent over punishment.

But, just like prescription drugs and certain weapons, not all drugs should be legal.
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Postby Phoenix » Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:04 pm

Your last line seems contradictory, because prescription drugs are either legal or not. Their is no inbetween, if they fail the fda test then they do not get to the market. On the flip side through, their are many substances that are only used by doctors. Only under their supervision, I don't see why this would be different with other substances. Also many legal drugs are just as dangerous as illegal ones. Its only through them being legal and prescribed that they can be controlled to a safe level. At least for a majority of the time and people.

Guns are made to kill, guns are designed to inflict damage. They do their job well and usually with most of the illegal varities have the ability to hurt more then a handful or so of people. If we made these drugs legal, we could control their purity, strength, and the dose. Things that do not happen now, and often cause most of the deaths or strange occurances(from the substances being cut etc).
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Postby tsian » Wed Sep 10, 2003 6:03 pm

Your last line seems contradictory, because prescription drugs are either legal or not. Their is no inbetween,

Sorry, wrong wording. What I meant is that some drugs will always need to be controlled (as in controlled substance). So, while a Heroin addict might be able to get a perscription for it, you couldn't buy it at the local Kwik-E-Mart.
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Postby Phoenix » Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:59 pm

tsian wrote:Your last line seems contradictory, because prescription drugs are either legal or not. Their is no inbetween,

Sorry, wrong wording. What I meant is that some drugs will always need to be controlled (as in controlled substance). So, while a Heroin addict might be able to get a perscription for it, you couldn't buy it at the local Kwik-E-Mart.


Ah ok, yes thats pretty much what i said in the begining. Heroin, meth, crack, cocaine, anything along that line would need a prescription or at least some further control then walking into the local seven eleven and asking for a pack of joints.....
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Postby lorien1 » Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:37 am

Hi There.I have been watching Crime INC on the discovery Channel.Last night it was drugs.It split the Drug Lords into orginisations,mafia,columbians,hispanics,cubans,blacks.being the main players.A CONSERVITIVE estimation of the drugs trade is 68 Billion dollars in the US alone.These people have so much money,planes,ships etc That are caught with drugs and impounded,are simply replaced.Their money
has bought D.E.A. agents, Police,Judges,Senators,the ammounts they can pay them, lead to corruption.I think it is time these people are taken out the loop,and drugs are prescibed,and controlled by the powers that be.Colin.<*>.
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Fri Sep 12, 2003 2:06 pm

how was this conservative estimate arrived at?

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Postby lorien1 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:17 am

Exalted Ugu wrote:how was this conservative estimate arrived at?

-ugu


Hi There.They base it on the ammount of drugs siezed.They reckon 10% of
drugs are siezed coming in to the country.They put a value on them,then multiply for estimate.Colin.<*>.
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:57 pm

How do they figure out the percentage of drugs siezed? It's not like drug dealers declare their product at the border?

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Postby ChatOmbre » Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:23 pm

Personally, I don't care how others screw up their bodies, as long as there is a way to make sure that it doesn't effect others.

The problem with The War on Drugs and the like is that it's a war against an idea. There isn't anything that says it's over like when one country is fighting another.
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Postby lorien1 » Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:51 pm

ChatOmbre wrote:Personally, I don't care how others screw up their bodies, as long as there is a way to make sure that it doesn't effect others.

The problem with The War on Drugs and the like is that it's a war against an idea. There isn't anything that says it's over like when one country is fighting another.



You would have to ask the D.E.A. and other Government bodies.I assume they can reckon what ammount of drugs are available,being involved in the field on a constant basis.Colin.<*>.
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