View Poll Results: Should recreational drugs be illegal?

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Thread: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

  1. #17
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckskull View Post
    I'm posing this as more of a moral question on the whole issue, not specific drugs.
    As a moral question, there are two angles that springs to mind (I am sure there are more, but I don't feel like writing an essay).

    1. The liberty to do whatever you want to your body as you see fit, or indeed, whatever you want so long as it caused no harm to others. It's my default stance on life, but it's on the assumption that adults -are- responsible enough to be trusted, and I have many times been proven wrong.

    2. The moral question aspect of consuming those in the first place. And I am including alcohol and cigarettes to the mix. Those are legal, tolerated, and in some cases, encouraged. Yet personally, I think that alcohol is a great invention, just not for consumption, and the world may not have been a worse place if cigarettes were never invented (we'll never know). But they are here and given their high acceptance, they are here to stay, and asking whether they should be banned too is kinda pointless. You are about as likely to ban those widely accepted substances as you are to ban religion.

    For me, 1 and 2 present a conflicting dilemma. Legalise it, and I think we'll be opening a valve that given time, we won't be able to shut if we wanted to (I think that there is as much chance of legalising all drugs as there is of banning cigarettes - I certainly would not want to spend my life campaigning for either). Is enlarging the market size of substances people regularly consume, and unfortunately sometime abuse a morally positive decision? *Shrug*

    By the way, I didn't vote. This topic interest me about enough to make this one post, but I am honestly quite apathetic to it. If it was legal, I wouldn't be calling for it to be made illegal (unless we are actually better off than now than we would be if it would be legal - but I think that's anyone's guess). It's illegal, I wouldn't sign a petition for it to be legal. I probably mentioned in the other thread that I have marginally more interest in being able to legally firing bullets into a decommissioned vehicle in a controlled environment, but that's not to say that I care enough about to make to campaign about it. Life offers more recreational activities than I have time or money to indulge in, even after the removal those I can't.

    Yes, I've pretty much repackaged what I said in the other thread. Then again, everyone's already gave their opinion, and I bet it's going to be about the same between the other thread and this one.

  2. #18
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    My reply to this will probably give an indication of what I think of education as well, but here goes:
    Would your go and take a cap/shot of bleach from under your kitchen cupboard, you know It's bad for you, so why do it ? does this mean Mr.Muscle should be outlawed? /synic
    It depends what is meant 'dangerous' I view drug taking as an 'other-regarding' action, drugs and 'dangerous' mean to me that one of my mates getting stoned and doing something foolish to either me or themselves - of course, the foolish thing could be the taking of the drug itself and them having a bad 'trip' or it could be them running into a road or jumping into a river.
    Bleach has no enjoyable side effects and if ingested is far more dangerous than anything that could be considered a recreational drug or even a hard drug. By dangerous I mean something that poses a direct and significant threat to your personal health.

    Irresponsible drug use is indeed very dangerous. So is irresponsible car use and irresponsible power tool use if you really want to go down the route of tortured analogies. The reality is, just about everything you do in your day to day life is dangerous if you do it in an irresponsible manner. I could get myself or someone else killed quite easily if I acted irresponsibly when I went to get a paper tomorrow morning. If you are taking a drug you expect to alter your mental state that significantly you should take steps to ensure yours and everyone else's safety. I also think failing to do so, should be a crime. just as it is now with alcohol; drunk driving, drunk and disorderly and so on.

    For example; responsible users of hallucinogens, the drug class most likely to lead to such scenarios, ensure there is someone sober, who understands the drug they are taking there to look after them or the much more commonplace designated driver.

    As an interesting sidenote, I have seen drunk people run into the road and jump into a river personally. So should alcohol be banned, because those people were idiotic?

    Not to mention many, very dangerous activities - that serve no functional use bar entertainment, just like recreational drugs - are perfectly legal on the understanding they are done in a responsible and safe manner. Rock climbing, motorsport, swimming with sharks etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    Aren't drugs usually mixed though, mostly with alcohol I would imagine.
    Yes they are, often with fatal results. Alcohol is a very bad thing to mix with most substances because it is a depressive, It is especially dangerous when combined with 'downers' for example. It is reported to be involved in nearly 50% of Multiple Drug Intake deaths.

    Why? Because the average college kid doesn't know that. Hands up everyone who knew at 16 that mixing a couple of downers with 5 pints could stop your heart in minutes. I imagine very few people did. Our current system only encourages irresponsible use, by leaving the education of young people on the safe ways to take substances they want to try to hearsay, trial and error or the usually disreputable person they are buying from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    So which do you want, control (what do you mean exactly by control?) or liberty?
    By control I mean an age restricted, regulated supply, just like nicotine and alcohol. Currently there is zero control over the supply of these substances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    As I mentioned in the last drug thread, where else is there for us to go in the way of education. We educate and educate and the message doesn't get through, granted you may think the education is crap, non-effective or whatever, but when you do have people losing friends etc to drugs and yet there willing to still do drugs I take an objective view and basically say fudge 'em.

    The problem isn't about education in this country, Its about responsibility, the lack of which seems to cause the most of the problems in this country - trying not to go off topic ofc.

    All in all I don't know, but I find it very hard to believe legalising any more substances will benefit us as a society.
    Current drug education is nothing more than 'just say no' and 'reefer madness' with new graphics slapped over the top. Telling someone not to do something is not education, at worst it is often encouragement. Education is explaining how to do something safely and responsibly.

    No other law is decided by how the irresponsible minority act. If it was we wouldn't be allowed to do much of anything by now.

    As for responsibility, that is something else our young people need to be far better educated on. You aren't born responsible or irresponsible. it's something you're taught, just like any other skill, but as your rightly pointed out OT.

    If your attitude is fudge(ahem) them, is it worth the billions of pounds a year spent fighting these drugs? or should we just sell them, slap VAT on it and spend that money making the country better for the rest of society? 17.5% of the UK drug trade is a LOT of money.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckskull View Post
    Why? Because the average college kid doesn't know that. Hands up everyone who knew at 16 that mixing a couple of downers with 5 pints could stop your heart in minutes.
    Is that the really the case? I think it's common sense that mixing substances may produce unexpected, and possibly undesirable effect. Even someone like myself who is not into those things would come to that conclusion just from reading the packaging of over the counter medication.

    Could it not be just a case that lots of people are either stupid or wanting to push the envelop of what they can do? Tell kids they can't smoke, and they'll want to do it even though the packing clearly state 'SMOKING KILLS', well, it didn't kill Jimmy (yet), so it should be fine.. right? Ditto for alcohol. Tell people not to take drug, and some may just be more curious. Warn them that mixing substances is a really bad idea, and maybe that's exactly what they'll do.

    Would it be unreasonable to say that at least some people are so addicted in finding new 'high' that they would disregard sensible advise?
    Last edited by TooNice; 31-03-2010 at 01:26 AM.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Aye I wouldn't expect bleach to have enjoyable side-effects, but drugs also have an undesired side-effect, thats what I'm trying to get at.
    For example; responsible users of hallucinogens, the drug class most likely to lead to such scenarios, ensure there is someone sober, who understands the drug they are taking there to look after them or the much more commonplace designated driver.
    ^ I got trolled in the previous thread by suggesting something like this by a pro drug hexite.
    Not to mention many, very dangerous activities - that serve no functional use bar entertainment, just like recreational drugs - are perfectly legal on the understanding they are done in a responsible and safe manner. Rock climbing, motorsport, swimming with sharks etc.
    Those that take part in those activities enter into a contract to be part of it, as i mentioned earlier taking drugs is both an self and other regarding action - why should I bare the brunt of some ones drug induced actions.
    By control I mean an age restricted, regulated supply, just like nicotine and alcohol. Currently there is zero control over the supply of these substances.
    Like alcohol/cigs then, we all know how successful keeping it out of the hands of under 18's is
    Education is explaining how to do something safely and responsibly.
    So the next time some one throws a wobbler after taking X they've definitely got someone to blame. Swings and roundabouts.
    No other law is decided by how the irresponsible minority act. If it was we wouldn't be allowed to do much of anything by now.
    You have the "tyranny of the majority" to thank for that.
    If your attitude is fudge(ahem) them, is it worth the billions of pounds a year spent fighting these drugs?
    No, evidently not as its getting us nowhere.
    or should we just sell them, slap VAT on it and spend that money making the country better for the rest of society? 17.5% of the UK drug trade is a LOT of money.
    I mentioned in the other thread I doubt the money made from drugs would be enough to cover the prospective fallout from drug fuelled incidents, this also creates another argument as well. If something is now legal surely it can be grew/boiled/fermented or whatever by individuals? - By by drug tax.
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    Those that take part in those activities enter into a contract to be part of it, as i mentioned earlier taking drugs is both an self and other regarding action - why should I bare the brunt of some ones drug induced actions.
    I don't expect to go out and get harassed by a bunch of chavs on the bus, but it happens. It's ridiculous to say that making drugs legal will suddenly lead to an increase in stupid and anti-social behaviour. I don't think legalising drugs will dramatically increase or decrease the users, it will just regulate it. I can't think of any recreational drug that will make you more aggressive than alcohol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    So the next time some one throws a wobbler after taking X they've definitely got someone to blame. Swings and roundabouts.
    Do people do this with alcohol? No, if someone wakes up in the hospital after getting their stomach pumped they definitely don't go "hey, nobody told me that would happen, why wasn't I educated properly?" You don't seem to realise that alcohol = drug. Just as cannabis = drug. I don't understand these wild assumptions you are making.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    I mentioned in the other thread I doubt the money made from drugs would be enough to cover the prospective fallout from drug fuelled incidents, this also creates another argument as well. If something is now legal surely it can be grew/boiled/fermented or whatever by individuals? - By by drug tax.
    Again, do people do this with alcohol? No, because people want something they can trust. Do you think weed smokers would still go to some shady dealer to get their weed, if they could just go to the shops and get the exact amount of the exact strain at a regulated price? The whole point of legalising drugs is so that people no longer need to do this. Sure, people will still want to grow their own weed, like how people still brew their own alcohol.

  6. #22
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    Is that the really the case? I think it's common sense that mixing substances may produce unexpected, and possibly undesirable effect. Even someone like myself who is not into those things would come to that conclusion just from reading the packaging of over the counter medication.

    Could it not be just a case that lots of people are either stupid or wanting to push the envelop of what they can do? Tell kids they can't smoke, and they'll want to do it even though the packing clearly state 'SMOKING KILLS', well, it didn't kill Jimmy (yet), so it should be fine.. right? Ditto for alcohol. Tell people not to take drug, and some may just be more curious. Warn them that mixing substances is a really bad idea, and maybe that's exactly what they'll do. Would it be unreasonable to say that at least some people are so addicted in finding new 'high' that they would disregard sensible advise?
    Those numbers were drawn from a personal experience in college, 5 pints of stella, 2 benzo's and 2 paramedics cutting him out his clothes on the kitchen floor. Of course there could of been other factors involved, I'm not a doctor, but that's what happened.

    Thankfully, he survived and we all learnt the scary way that alcohol amplifies the effects of other drugs. Something no-one bothered to tell us in the many drug talks, roadshows and pamplets we were given during highschool and college. No-one explained to us what a CNS depressant was, and why it was so dangerous to mix with other substances, like alcohol. He'd had more than 5 pints before with no problem and more than 2 bennies before with no problem, he saw no reason not to. I'm sure immaturity played more than a small part, but he was and still is a responsible and intelligent person, but that doesn't matter he wasn't psychic so if he wasn't taught something he couldn't know it. If he had known these things, he wouldn't have done it. He said so himself.

    Yes there are stupid people out there, but what is the cure for stupidity? Education. You echoed my own sentiment there, if you tell young people not to do something it will often encourage them too. Frankly regardless of what you say, most are going to try it anyway, so in my mind the educational focus should not be on discouragement but on safety. The law enforcement focus should be on 'hard' drugs, the kinds that can kill you or cause severe chemical addiction after only a try or two.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    This whole recreational drugs use thing is crap imho, there are lots of things out there that can kill you that people do everyday, theres feck all news to report so every now and again stuff gets blown up out of proportion or brought into the public eye thats been going on for ages, then everyone jumps on the bandwagon and its the end of the world...

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Lots of things in this life that can kill you. Probably any item in the house / garden can kill you if used wrongly.

    I say, those that want to take the 'Recreational' drugs, go ahead. Its a free world. Gorge yourself on the stuff if you want.

    I feel sorry for the people who have to be around the 'drug takers' when they are off their heads. The innocent people who get sucked into mayhem. Much the same as when you get a group of drunks who can't control their behaviour. Its always the by-standers that get the hassle.

    Maybe they should put a special dye in with the drugs that makes the person that has taken it glow bright pink!! That way any 'normal' person can stay way clear of the idiot!

    Anyway, must have a sad life if one has to resort to Recreational drugs to have a good time!! Very sad.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haiku32 View Post
    Snip>>>
    I'm referring to all recreational drugs here, alcohol included so quite plausible and hardly wild.
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    For me, it's a simple argument.

    Is the current system, in any sense of the word, working?

    My answer would be no. Almost all of the local kids seem to be on cannabis at one time or another, and even at my old grammar school, where a lot of people seemed to do nothing other than schoolwork, there was still a fairly large contingent of illegal drug users.

    So as things stand, what benefit is the law having? I struggle to see one.

    I think there's all sorts of things that could go wrong, but I'm fairly positive that if the government were to legalise all drug-taking then they would come up with loads of ways to regulate and police it to make sure people could get help.

    Having said that, public opinion is against drugs in my opinion. If there was a referendum on it tomorrow, I'm positive that it would be massively in favour of criminalisation. Any government that suggested it would probably be soundly beaten in the Commons, and ridiculed in the press... I doubt it could work.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    I mentioned in the other thread I doubt the money made from drugs would be enough to cover the prospective fallout from drug fuelled incidents
    Then I'd suggest you do more research into the estimated prevalence of use, the cost of those drugs, and the estimated cost of social harm caused by their use. Alcohol has pretty much the highest social cost of any drug - relatively the social cost of use of e.g. cannabis and mild halucinogens is much lower. And quite apart from the increased tax revenue, you'd also have decreased policing costs associated with policing the current illegal trade in those drugs, which could be rediverted into dealing with any "fallout".

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    this also creates another argument as well. If something is now legal surely it can be grew/boiled/fermented or whatever by individuals? - By by drug tax.
    No. The fact that consuming a product is legal does not automatically make it legal for anyone to produce and supply that product - that's what control and licensing is all about. There's no reason it would be any different for other drugs than it is for alcohol - you're quite legally entitled to home brew as much beer and wine as you want for your own consumption, but how many people do it? Has it negated the government's tax revenue form alcohol? It would be up to the government to decide which drugs it was legal to grow / make at home for personal use, which would (ideally) be informed by the complexity of the process, the chemicals involved and the likely purity of the finished drug. I certainly don't see any situation in which it would be made legal to home-produce drugs for public supply.

    Quote Originally Posted by psu1 View Post
    Anyway, must have a sad life if one has to resort to Recreational drugs to have a good time!! Very sad.
    I don't believe anyone here said they "ha[ve] to resort to Recreational drugs to have a good time". Anyone who does have to would be termed an addict, and if I knew someone like that I'd strongly advise them to lay off and seek treatment. But, in the same way that plenty of people enjoy an occasional drink without being an alcohol, plenty of people also enjoy the occasional use of other drugs without being addicted.

    There are plenty of other forms of legal addiction: gambling, computer games, all sorts, but this thread isn't about addiction. It's about whether a responsible adult should have the freedom to alter their state on consciousness with a wide range of substances, not just the one or two the government of the day approves of.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    No. The fact that consuming a product is legal does not automatically make it legal for anyone to produce and supply that product - that's what control and licensing is all about. There's no reason it would be any different for other drugs than it is for alcohol - you're quite legally entitled to home brew as much beer and wine as you want for your own consumption, but how many people do it? Has it negated the government's tax revenue form alcohol? It would be up to the government to decide which drugs it was legal to grow / make at home for personal use, which would (ideally) be informed by the complexity of the process, the chemicals involved and the likely purity of the finished drug. I certainly don't see any situation in which it would be made legal to home-produce drugs for public supply.
    And how would you know if someone was taking there own produce or a government approved substance - that was my reasoning behind the by by propsective tax, I think having a plant on your windowsill is bit different from using your bath to brew.
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by psu1 View Post
    Maybe they should put a special dye in with the drugs that makes the person that has taken it glow bright pink!! That way any 'normal' person can stay way clear of the idiot!
    What about those out there that are using recreational drugs such as cannabis for medical reasons to aleviate pain, reduce nausea associated with treatments like chemotherapy, or those using it to manage digestive issues?

    Surely your going to be tarring all of those with the same brush if you radical plans came into fruitition.

    You can't look at this in a digital view with "naughty drug users" and one end and "squeaky clean non-users", the world isn't as easy to pigeon-hole like that. It's really like an analog style system with a wide range of people using it for a wide range of things.

    Yes, there are going to be people using it to 'escaping' from their lives - same applies to Alcohol
    Yes, there are going to be people that want it every day - same applies to alcohol
    Yes, there are going to be people out at the weekend enjoying it - same applies to alcohol.

    What's the difference here between the two?

    The difference is the fact one has been classed as 'illegal' by a bunch of people who are not really in contact with the real world and who do not take advice from advisors because it is NOT what they want to hear, while the other is legal as it's been used and abused for so long.

  14. #30
    jim
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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    I certainly don't see any situation in which it would be made legal to home-produce drugs for public supply.
    Adding to that, I don't think it's likely to be a big issue.

    Let's suppose that cannabis is legalised tomorrow, and Boots begin selling it. Now they buy in bulk, from farmers who grow absolutely tonnes of the stuff. Considering all of the economies of scale involved, price drops right down. So you can get cheap, safe (comparatively speaking) cannabis from the high street.

    Or alternatively you can dedicate a room in your house to growing it yourself, buying lights to keep them warm enough, watering them regularly, buying the plants, so on so forth. Or you could let some bloke down the road do it, and then buy it off him. Except he's feeling the pinch from high street providers, so you never quite know if he's padding it out with junk.

    There'll always be one or two who prefer to do things their own way, but they'll be few and far between. Just as there are now with tobacco and alcohol.

    Cracking down on home producers is unlikely to come into it... there's a reason people go to the pub for their booze, rather than making it themselves in a bathtub and inviting everyone round for a pint.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    Hard to say, there people who can do stuff, and carry on with their life functioning ok, there's also people that end up in a downward spiral. Just like with alcohol.

    I guess it all depends on the people.

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    Re: Should recreational drug use be illegal?

    I find it difficult to understand why someone would think that a harmless Business Consultant growing a few plants a year for occasional sharing with his wife while watching telly was worth arresting, fining and imprisoning. However that's what could happen to me if I didn't live abroad and grow my garden in a part of Spain where it's legal, provided I don't sell it.

    It does me no harm, does my wife no harm, does Spain no harm and does the local sweetie manufacturers a world of good. We would even be allowed to get together as a cooperative and grow a supply for all of the members, provided that no money is paid for it.

    I know this discussion isn't about types of drug, just the general principle, but the example above is near one end of a scale, with people injecting bleach into their eyeballs at the other.

    Either the government has to listen to its own drugs advisors, instead of firing them for doing their job, and start to think about legalisation, or someone will try a legal challenge in the European courts. It is the thin end of the wedge you have to watch for, once cannabis grown for home use is legalised, sale to friends will not be far away, and then the question of why cannabis has favoured status comes in and the idiots we elected will need to re-think the whole question.

    The way in is via places like Spain, Netherlands and Belgium where their liberal cannabis laws are a freedom. The idea is that freedom should be set to the maximum across the EU, so Frenchies can point at the Belgies and complain that the French government is oppressing them by criminalising a harmless activity that is legal in a neighbouring country. The Frogs then have to convince the court that cannabis use is infringing on the rights of others or legalise it.

    Sooner or later these totally pointless prohibitions will be eased, but meantime, loads of us are criminals.

    Did anyone see series three of ‘The Wire’? The makers contend that the ‘War on Drugs’ is actually a war on America’s underclass, as they basically are the street level members of the supply-side community easiest to arrest. This is the danger, that ordinary people become criminalised by the simple fact that their career is illegal, as opposed to actually criminal.

    From a purely philosophical point of view, what is crime? A good dictionary definition is “An act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.” i.e. a crime is something which is illegal. This sort of circular reasoning doesn't go unpunished in thinking circles. It's only acceptable in pub arguments and parliament. In Saudi Arabia having a crucifix on your wall where people looking in the window can see it is illegal. So possession of a crucifix is a crime, but it’s not a crime in Rome. So is it actually a bad thing?

    There’s an argument that all laws that do not serve to protect the well-being of the population as a whole from the actions of a subset are themselves immoral. i.e. they are themselves an attack on the well-being of the population, and should thus be illegal.

    There are exceptions, of course, I think the seat belt laws are a good thing, but these are a minor encumbrance for a major benefit.

    The problem with all of my philoserfizin’ is that there are recreational drugs that are clearly not a good idea. Crystal meth and PCP are so destructive that they probably shouldn’t be sold legally, but there probably wouldn’t be much of a market for them if there were cheap dope. We’ll never know unless we try.

    (Thanks Evilmunky)
    Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.

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    chuckskull (31-03-2010),format (31-03-2010),Lee H (31-03-2010)

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