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  Reply # 1525063 3-Apr-2016 09:42
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On the decriminalisation side, I'd be thinking if MJ is legalised, or at least decriminalised, it will be alternative substance of choice for many, especially those who use alcohol.

 

Alcohol -based societal  harm would be decreased, overall.

 

I'd rather meet a stoner than a drunk

 

 





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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  Reply # 1525065 3-Apr-2016 09:46
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SepticSceptic:

 

Fred99:

 

 

 

What "product" will the gangsters turn to?

 

 

 

 

There will always be something - may not be now, but there will be something ..

 

Umpty Candy ? - 2000AD - Judge Dredd Reference - Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy was a confectionery sold in Mega-City One which became known as "the sweet that was too good to eat." Although it was not a narcotic drug (in Mega-City One, sugar is also illegal) and was not addictive per se, it tasted so good that it was impossible to stop eating it once it had been tasted. People who tried to give it up experienced severe withdrawal syndromes. The problem became so acute that the judges banned Umpty Candy, arrested Ump and faked his death, pretending that the secret recipe had died with him. However, a corrupt judge ensured that the secret got out, and black market Umpty was soon being sold illicitly by criminals known as umptybaggers

 

 

 

 

I feel that the additional costs of regulating, licensing, etc etc will make legal drugs more costly. Weed especially. The black market will undercut that


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1525146 3-Apr-2016 11:02
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tdgeek:

 

 

 

I feel that the additional costs of regulating, licensing, etc etc will make legal drugs more costly. Weed especially. The black market will undercut that

 

 

 

 

Possibly. But - bearing in mind I don't smoke weed - it seems to me that 'bad' weed in the sense of cut with dangerous chemicals isn't so much of an issue. Having a clean, legal source of pills, injectables and opioid substitutes has already been shown to to reduce harmful effects significantly. This applies both to the immediate harmful effects of taking an unknown dose of an unknown mix of chemicals, and also the longer term harmful effects of catching AIDS and hepatitis from dirty needles.





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  Reply # 1525148 3-Apr-2016 11:08
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As an aside, a Nixon aid has now admitted that the war on drugs was a lie from the very beginning. According to him, it had nothing to do with drugs at all, but was an attempt to discredit black people and Vietnam war protesters, both high on Nixon's enemy list. https://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/legalize-it-all/

 

Yet most of the rest of the world eager to suck up to the Americans jumped on the bandwagon. Just think of all the lives destroyed by this cynical, evil ploy that had no basis whatsoever in any factual research. The policy is still in force here. What a tragic waste.

 

I don't doubt that drug use on its own does real damage and has also destroyed many lives. But I do have to wonder which has done the greater harm. A lot of heat and passion has gone into the debate here, and will go into the wider discussion throughout society as this issue continues to be raised, but it certainly doesn't help when those who are supposed to show leadership and set an example take the easy option and continue to endorse a bankrupt policy that hurts people just because they are fearful of change.

 

 





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  Reply # 1525149 3-Apr-2016 11:19
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In the case of marijuana the stuff the organised crime distributes is pretty bad quality. The equivalent of prohibition moonshine hooch in other words. In present day NZ there are people who sell black market alcohol but very very few. Also it is legal to have a distiller yourself and there is a non-commercial home distilling scene.

Somewhere similar in popularity at the weekend in NZ is MDMA (ecstasy). A similar situation exists. The users are taking stuff and hoping for the best. The market has established a price somewhere around $45 for that stuff. The level of harm from the genuine product appears to be very low which is why despite being so popular it hardly makes the news.

Users of that are predominantly high income for obvious reasons.



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  Reply # 1525156 3-Apr-2016 11:27
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I haven't touched drugs since the 1960s when I experimented along with other kids, but I had some friends in Holland who were mild users. I remember an evening when they were on ecstacy. The tablets at that time were new, legal and pure, and they only cost a dollar or two. Everyone had a great time (except me, I felt a little left out) and nothing crazy happened. One of them told me that the drug just made them all touchy-feely and enhanced tactile pleasure. They also did a lot of dancing.

 

 





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  Reply # 1525159 3-Apr-2016 11:34
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This was a write up about the war on cannabis. Personally Im not really into it, but I can't say I haven't tried it. I think it should be legal, it should be taxed, growers should be registered and illegal growers should be forced to register or fined. Audits would need to be done, It should be allowed to be prescribed by a GP. And that tax money should be spent on policing harder crime, including stuff like meth, fraud, domestic violence and burglary.

 

Its sad to think people that ended up in jail for selling weed, that probably didn't have much support outside of jail, would feel like they needed to join a gang to have something to do when they get out of prison. I don't think people who are "stoned" are particularly violent, most of them just have lost the plot temporarily, I think alcohol is much worse when it comes to violence, domestic or otherwise.

 

I also have another friend who used it when he was having chemotherapy and he said it was brilliant and helped him through a tough patch. Fortunately hes in remission now and has been for quite some years.

 

When you mention the "War on Drugs" there are most definitely social drug problems out there. But I agree that cannabis is arguably not a major one. 

 

It appears many politicians are on the wrong side of public opinion when it comes to this one, and as the population gets older the voter base changes I would expect to see changes towards the "illegal canabis stance". In my opinion the Greens are right about whats happening environmentally and more work needs to be done, I think they got the cannabis argument down. But to be completely honest in my opinion they have lost the plot when it comes to social and fiscal policy. I think its healthy they have their place in parliament to keep the rest of the house aware of these issues, but no I am not a green voter.






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  Reply # 1525194 3-Apr-2016 13:50
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Fred99:

I'm not very interested in anecdotes, no matter how dearly other posters may grasp on their "personal experience with use or abstinence from drugs, it's irrelevant to the topic. Almost all of us use drugs.


Here's how experts see it:



The other point to note is that while experts in the field might favour decriminalisation, many people seem to consider this as "legalisation" - to the extent that there'll be the equivalent of candy stores dispensing cheap methamphetamine and heroin to school kids.  Nobody sane wants this.


Perhaps those who are in fear of decriminalisation and treatment of diseases of addiction as diseases, might consider "what if" a child of theirs was addicted.


"Of course it won't happen" (because we're "good" parents) is head in the sand denial of reality - aided/exacerbated by the fact that when something's criminal, then it gets hidden.


Would they want their own child thrown in a prison cell and condemned to a life with a criminal record - or given medical help to manage and overcome their addiction?



Redo the graph with both axes startibg at zero. The 1.5 starting point for both axes distorts the facts.

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  Reply # 1525230 3-Apr-2016 16:10
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Growing up, hash was more common than weed in the UK. Here in NZ I have only very limited experience with this sort of thing - people doing it at the odd party or concert. I would have no idea where people get it from or anything.

 

 

That said, I have noticed hash is almost unheard of here although I do not know why, particularly. It used to be generally held to be 'stronger' than weed (never found that) but with some of these hybrid 'skunk' things I have read of, I doubt that is still the case.

 

 

May have been in the 60's though.





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  Reply # 1525320 3-Apr-2016 19:23
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Kiwifruta:

Redo the graph with both axes startibg at zero. The 1.5 starting point for both axes distorts the facts.

 

That's a fair point - not my graph though, the BMJ data doesn't include a lot of substances that are below that starting point - and I suspect that once you get close to that zero point then it's going to get so ambiguous that it's almost pointless.  For example get to coffee, which can be harmful (in excess) is claimed to be beneficial to health in some quantity (depending on who's funding the study - LOL) probably rates better than a zero in terms of social harm.  Substances in chocolate, supplements affecting serotonin levels, foods which have significant metabolic effect, the slight sedative effect of hops or the almost opiate-like effect from the alkaloids in lettuce.  And then there's fugu sushi.


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  Reply # 1525327 3-Apr-2016 19:41
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Geektastic: Growing up, hash was more common than weed in the UK. Here in NZ I have only very limited experience with this sort of thing - people doing it at the odd party or concert. I would have no idea where people get it from or anything. That said, I have noticed hash is almost unheard of here although I do not know why, particularly. It used to be generally held to be 'stronger' than weed (never found that) but with some of these hybrid 'skunk' things I have read of, I doubt that is still the case. May have been in the 60's though.

 

 

 

Hash was around in NZ in the '70s.  I believe much of it may have come from Afghanistan, decline in availability possibly due to the difficulty in getting it here, then I guess the Taliban weren't very keen on it either.  Last saw it in London in the late '80s.

 

From my limited experience and supported by some articles I've read, the high from Afghani hash was quite different to "skunk" etc.  Very mellow, intensely pleasant,  - and not even slightly inducing any unpleasant feelings of paranoia, confusion etc.  I believe that may be from the different balance of cannabinoids in the plants.  If they legalised weed - yup - I'd be temped by good hash. This is not to be confused with hash and hash oils rendered from local weed - which may as well be a different drug.


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  Reply # 1525354 3-Apr-2016 19:58
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Fred99:

Kiwifruta:

Redo the graph with both axes startibg at zero. The 1.5 starting point for both axes distorts the facts.


That's a fair point - not my graph though, the BMJ data doesn't include a lot of substances that are below that starting point - and I suspect that once you get close to that zero point then it's going to get so ambiguous that it's almost pointless.  For example get to coffee, which can be harmful (in excess) is claimed to be beneficial to health in some quantity (depending on who's funding the study - LOL) probably rates better than a zero in terms of social harm.  Substances in chocolate, supplements affecting serotonin levels, foods which have significant metabolic effect, the slight sedative effect of hops or the almost opiate-like effect from the alkaloids in lettuce.  And then there's fugu sushi.



Fair enough.
Did the source list the units of measure for the graph's axes?

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  Reply # 1525381 3-Apr-2016 20:23
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Kiwifruta:
Fred99:

 

Kiwifruta:

Redo the graph with both axes startibg at zero. The 1.5 starting point for both axes distorts the facts.

 

 

 

That's a fair point - not my graph though, the BMJ data doesn't include a lot of substances that are below that starting point - and I suspect that once you get close to that zero point then it's going to get so ambiguous that it's almost pointless.  For example get to coffee, which can be harmful (in excess) is claimed to be beneficial to health in some quantity (depending on who's funding the study - LOL) probably rates better than a zero in terms of social harm.  Substances in chocolate, supplements affecting serotonin levels, foods which have significant metabolic effect, the slight sedative effect of hops or the almost opiate-like effect from the alkaloids in lettuce.  And then there's fugu sushi.

 



Fair enough.
Did the source list the units of measure for the graph's axes?

 

 

 

Was based on a BMJ article and survey of about 300 medical experts in Scotland.  The questionnaire is here:

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1525409 3-Apr-2016 21:56
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Less than perfect digitisation of original, but redid graph with 0,0:

 

 

Don't think there's much misrepresentation of data - starting at 1.5,1.5 just means less blank space on graph. Looks like a nice linear correlation.


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  Reply # 1525417 3-Apr-2016 22:15
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And alcohol is right up there with heroin and crack cocain!

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