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  Reply # 1524118 1-Apr-2016 16:49
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networkn:

 

 

 

 

 

I suspect it was far worse than "nothing", not just to our (western) societies - but to people living in third-world producer countries, Afhganistan, South America.  It's not good in any way having a major part of your economy based on illegal production and distribution through black markets.  That's what the "war on drugs" achieved - worldwide.

 

 

So we are going to ignore the harm done by much more widespread drug use in the countries those drugs were imported into?

 

 

 

 

What - the increased use that remarkably coincided with the increased effort on the "war on drugs"?

 

The Taliban were more effective in reducing opium/heroin production than the CIA/DEA ever were, wiping out much of the production that was previously tolerated/encouraged by the Mujahideen, who found it to be a useful cash crop with which to supplement western assistance when they needed funds to battle the USSR.  You could probably plot a reduction in heroin use and availability in the US (and here) to the rise of the Taliban, but it hasn't stopped there, production is shifting to South America, opiate addiction has been rising in the US again.  About 50,000 US deaths per year from opiate overdose.  It's a really big problem, and treating it as a criminal problem and not a medical problem has not been working.


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  Reply # 1524124 1-Apr-2016 17:01
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When does the poster shout "APRIL FOOL"


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1524125 1-Apr-2016 17:01
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MikeB4: 

 

You really need to do some research on the physical, psychological, social effects of using hard drugs like these? Legalising will just change the battle not stop the war.

 

 

 

 

Nobody expects that decriminalisation will cure the world from substance abuse/addiction.

 

But there's good long term evidence (Portugal) that decriminalisation and treatment of addiction as a medical issue has great benefits, to the users, and to society in general, and that the result is not increased use/addiction rates, but gradual decline.

 

 

 

Meth does have one thing (and only one thing) going for it in terms of hard drugs - it's actually not physically addictive (vs forming psychological depoendence). Nothing else good about it can be said IMO.  So who's going to pay the cost for treatment?  Yup - probably us - but I'd rather that than see individuals resorting to crime to fund $1000+ a week habits, going in to the hands of  gangs / crime syndicates preying on society. That is a huge burden.

 

The only potentially valid argument I've seen against decriminalisation is that once that "cut the water off" instantly to those crime syndicates, they'd automatically resort to other crime in order to preserve their revenue stream. I doubt they'd be able to find anything - they'd shrivel and die.


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  Reply # 1524127 1-Apr-2016 17:03
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nolanz:

 

When does the poster shout "APRIL FOOL"

 

 

 

 

Longer than 5 hours and 5 minutes ago, if convention is followed.




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  Reply # 1524134 1-Apr-2016 17:13
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OK, since I started this I will try again. If I am confusing people by talking about the war on drugs and then going on only about pot, I apologise. However, I happened to be living in America when the 'war' was launched, and one of the problems at that time was that [b]no[/] distinction was made between what we normally regard as hard drugs and soft ones. Everything was swept up together in the hysteria and people were going to prison for years simply for smoking a joint. When Nancy Reagan went on about it and told young people to 'just say no', she wasn't just talking about crack cocaine from South America or crystal meth in DC, she was talking about everything, the whole ball of wax. I'm not sure even she understood the distinction, or thought there was one. Like someone here said, drug use was bad. Full stop. So a lot of kids joined a lot of hardened users behind bars and I'm sure they came out of it worse for the experience. If I am mixing hard and soft together here, it is because that is how the war was presented in the media at the time.

 

Now politicians and other authority figures are talking about the war having failed, and they are also talking about everything lumped together so I am doing the same. What things like heroin and marijuana have in common is that they have both been made illegal and have been suppressed, and in both cases this has done absolutely nothing to curb their use. But of course apart from that I do make a distinction between them.

 

I fully agree with those who call for more and better education on the matter. I would like to know what would happen if 'hard' drugs were made legal. Would things spiral out of control? The experience in Portugal suggests otherwise, but I don't know enough about it to say for certain. How much of the misery caused by hard drugs is due to drug-induced behaviour, and how much is driven by the need to get money for black market purchases? If the drugs were legal would those taking them still cause problems? One thing that does genuinely bother me is the propensity to extreme violence by those strung out on meth. This seems to be completely separate from any financial motive. Some drugs, and P is certainly one, just make people crazy when they take it over extended periods. They become paranoid and irrational and unpredictable and violent for no apparent reason. I don't want people like that wandering around in my neighbourhood any more than anyone else does. So I would certainly be in favour of whatever control measures were needed. Maybe meth should remain illegal because it is so dangerous. I don't know. That is one of the things we need to find out.

 

Heroin is generally considered a very bad drug because it is so addictive. I am no expert on these things, really, but my understanding is that heroin does not make people do crazy things as long as they can get it when they need to. It used to be available on prescription in the UK. Maybe there could be something like that here. Marijuana should probably be treated like alcohol. And so on. My principle would be that these substances should be controlled, and not sold to children, of course, but should be available in one way or another unless their use is likely to lead to a serious public hazard, as might well be the case with methamphetamine. Other than that, people should be free to mess themselves up in whatever way they like. I don't think it is anyone else's business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1524146 1-Apr-2016 17:35
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Fred99:

 

networkn:

 

I am, in every way, just ask my wife!

 

 

I've got a wife like that too - aren't we lucky?

 

 

There's a popular recreational drug that for that too - but you have to run the gauntlet of your local chemist shop ladies.





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  Reply # 1524152 1-Apr-2016 17:51
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Besides the very social outcomes of drug use there is the real medical issues. Now it was hinted earlier about prescription drugs and yes those to have real and sometimes serious side effects. I am prescribed some powerful

 

medication that has serious side effects including death, however I have made an informed decision based on the advice of specialists. I am also monitored with monthly blood tests, full medical examinations and regular scans etc

 

to watch for serious side effects.

 

Illicit drug users are not informed, are not monitored etc so they do not know what could happen and what is happening. If we legalise are we also going to inform and monitor? are we going to increase health spending? ACC spending

 

and of course the increased taxation.

 

 





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  Reply # 1524153 1-Apr-2016 18:10
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Health and ACC are already paying for a lot of this stuff. Personally I would like to see users better informed about the effects of drugs and that includes alcohol.

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  Reply # 1524190 1-Apr-2016 18:47
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MikeB4:

 

Besides the very social outcomes of drug use there is the real medical issues. Now it was hinted earlier about prescription drugs and yes those to have real and sometimes serious side effects. I am prescribed some powerful

 

medication that has serious side effects including death, however I have made an informed decision based on the advice of specialists. I am also monitored with monthly blood tests, full medical examinations and regular scans etc

 

to watch for serious side effects.

 

Illicit drug users are not informed, are not monitored etc so they do not know what could happen and what is happening. If we legalise are we also going to inform and monitor? are we going to increase health spending? ACC spending

 

and of course the increased taxation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to be clear on here:

 

"decriminalise" and "legalise" are NOT the same thing.

 

The "war on drugs" (by Portugal's brave example) hasn't reduced public harm - in fact the reverse.  The war on drugs IS an abject failure.

 

It results in increased overdose, from variable purity black-market supply.

 

In the case of accidental overdose, it increases death rate, due to reluctance to seek urgent medical care, that due to fear of prosecution.

 

It results in increased blood borne contagious disease, from needle sharing. HIV, hepatitis.

 

It increases harm to addicts, due to them being rendered to live in conditions of abject poverty, that due to the high price of black-market supply.  Not saying that decriminalisation will suddenly turn drug addicts into productive members of society, but the cost to them and the cost to society would be massively reduced.

 

$40 million methamphetamine bust a week or so ago, more large scale meth lab/distribution busts yesterday.  50 years of failure suggests that those busts will have zero impact on the drug problem in NZ.  It's possibly billions, certainly hundreds of millions of $$ business in little NZ, filtering through illicit crime syndicates who'll kill to preserve business, the money coming from users who'll burgle, rob or do whatever they need to do, starve their kids, sell themselves - to support cashflow for organised gangsters.

 

It most clearly is a major public health issue in NZ, and should be treated as such.

 

Users being dispensed drugs, would be monitored, examined, and hopefully helped.  There would actually be some real statistics and data to work from.  

 

 

 

As for cost, the cost of how we've been approaching it has been huge.  From prison costs, healthcare costs (because the users use anyway), policing costs, costs of associated crime etc.  I'm confident that proper decriminalisation will reduce taxes and provide a safer society.


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  Reply # 1524217 1-Apr-2016 19:05
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Fred99: 

 

Things to be clear on here:

 

"decriminalise" and "legalise" are NOT the same thing.

 

The "war on drugs" (by Portugal's brave example) hasn't reduced public harm - in fact the reverse.  The war on drugs IS an abject failure.

 

It results in increased overdose, from variable purity black-market supply.

 

In the case of accidental overdose, it increases death rate, due to reluctance to seek urgent medical care, that due to fear of prosecution.

 

It results in increased blood borne contagious disease, from needle sharing. HIV, hepatitis.

 

It increases harm to addicts, due to them being rendered to live in conditions of abject poverty, that due to the high price of black-market supply.  Not saying that decriminalisation will suddenly turn drug addicts into productive members of society, but the cost to them and the cost to society would be massively reduced.

 

$40 million methamphetamine bust a week or so ago, more large scale meth lab/distribution busts yesterday.  50 years of failure suggests that those busts will have zero impact on the drug problem in NZ.  It's possibly billions, certainly hundreds of millions of $$ business in little NZ, filtering through illicit crime syndicates who'll kill to preserve business, the money coming from users who'll burgle, rob or do whatever they need to do, starve their kids, sell themselves - to support cashflow for organised gangsters.

 

It most clearly is a major public health issue in NZ, and should be treated as such.

 

Users being dispensed drugs, would be monitored, examined, and hopefully helped.  There would actually be some real statistics and data to work from.  

 

 

 

 

This^^^^

 

 

 

I once knew a girl that died of an overdose. She wasn't alone... The people she was with were too scared to call an ambulance.

 

 

 

What some people in this thread are not realising is that these drugs are going to be around, legal or not. 

 

Did alcohol disappear during prohibition? Of course it didn't... 

 

Sometimes a puritanical view is just like burying your head in the sand.




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  Reply # 1524220 1-Apr-2016 19:16
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MikeB4:

 

Besides the very social outcomes of drug use there is the real medical issues. Now it was hinted earlier about prescription drugs and yes those to have real and sometimes serious side effects. I am prescribed some powerful

 

medication that has serious side effects including death, however I have made an informed decision based on the advice of specialists. I am also monitored with monthly blood tests, full medical examinations and regular scans etc

 

to watch for serious side effects.

 

Illicit drug users are not informed, are not monitored etc so they do not know what could happen and what is happening. If we legalise are we also going to inform and monitor? are we going to increase health spending? ACC spending

 

and of course the increased taxation.

 

 

 

 

As well as not adequately making clear the distinction between soft and hard drugs, I also have not sufficiently distinguished between decriminalisation and legalisation. What I would like to see is a cautious graduated policy, probably starting with an easing towards decriminalisation of marijuana, with careful steps in between to see how each stage goes before moving on to the next. I do not advocate a sudden and abrupt legalisation of everything. That really would be a disaster.

 

After each step there could be a period of evaluation before deciding on the next one. I do believe that regulation and control, if properly done, is better than the current situation of illegality, no control or proper monitoring, and a gang-dominated black market. I think the negatives of those outweigh the negatives of making drugs more easily available.

 

One of the problems with illegal drugs and the current situation is precisely that the composition of the drugs is unregulated and unknown, hence potentially even more dangerous with possible fatal side-effects, and that there is no monitoring of use, so no way of knowing what kinds of risks users are taking. By 'legalising' drug-taking in some fashion, it could be properly monitored and the risks better managed. Preventing sharing of syringes and collecting them for proper disposal could also have important health benefits for the rest of the community. There would be other health-related benefits to bringing drug use out of the dark and managing it in some fashion, not least an opportunity not otherwise available to educate drug users about their choices. I don't know, but I do believe, that proper management of drug use would not increase taxpayer costs but would actually save money. For one thing, a lot fewer police would be getting paid to rip up marijuana crops and a lot fewer drug users would end up in emergency departments. I don't have any way of knowing how the costs would work out in practice, but surely it would be worth trying?

 

If the graduated approach fails at any point, the move to legalisation can be stopped and we can go back to the old ways of doing things. At least we will have tried, and we will know. Right now all we have is opinion on both sides. 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1524226 1-Apr-2016 19:24
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Anyone remember the failed experiment with legal highs?




Mike
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  Reply # 1524254 1-Apr-2016 19:44
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MikeB4: Anyone remember the failed experiment with legal highs?

 

 

 

You mean those random compounds made up by people that had a basic understanding of science, that weren't even tested?


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  Reply # 1524257 1-Apr-2016 19:50
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If you want to take drugs, you're an idiot. But, I know I would certainly prefer idiots who didn't have to break into houses or assault people to get the cash they need to fuel their expensive illegal habit.

The War on Drugs is a failure. Banning pseudoephedrine hasn't stopped any P cooks. It only means I have to grit my teeth and endure a day extra every time my sinuses get blocked. If you want weed, you can't go to the shop to get it, you've got to go to the worst parts of town and feed the gangs drug money.

Whatever... Actual scientists with actual evidence actually say we'd be better off decriminalising. It's time we admitted it.

 

 

 

Edit: fixing my link (was on mobile last night).





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  Reply # 1524263 1-Apr-2016 20:03
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networkn: It makes me laugh when I hear people talk about the tax gain from legalizing, when the cost of compliance is about a billion times more. 

 

 

Do you have a reference? If not, it's not a fact.





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