Opinions - If I was in charge and I had my way...

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Hlucn8, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    If You were charged with running a nation and the general welfare of the public, how would you handle the leagal issues surrounding mind altering substances.
    A few assumptions:
    You are not in any position to gain wealth or support from the big pharma co.
    You don't have any political or international pressures placed upon you to regulate the sale or trade of any particular substancew that has nothing to do directly with the health issues of consumers
    Lets also assume that your decision is not based uppon who is proffiting on the substance trade. (I.E. Terrorist groups, Moffia, Al-Queda... etc)
    In short, what commonly used substances do You feel what, collectively, we as a community should be regulated, controlled, or banned all-together.
    Before You answeres, keep in mind the mess that China found herself in before the O' wars. (I realize there were alot of political factors invovled, but the social implications cannot be overlooked, especially in this kind of discussion).
    I flatter myself in thinking that I have come up with a unique topic of discussion. If this is untrue, and the topic has been played out, forgive me.
     
  2. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    I would legalize all of them. And spend the profits on drug research and education.
     
  3. StigmataLectron

    StigmataLectron Silver Member

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    Being a libertarian and all, I don't think any drugs should be illegal. Age restrictions on hard ones higher than on softer ones, and links to erowid stamped all over each and every one. But anything that's banned can and will create a black market for it, and we just don't want that.

    Being a socialist and all, I think that the drugs should be produced and sold by public companies. The price of drugs should be directly proportional to the cost of producing them, plus the cost they take on public healthcare. In a system I envision, drug farms and factories (and other public companies) would be tended to by prison laborers who work at a set wage to pay off their debts to society before they get off of prison, until automated and low/no maintenance machinery can replace them completely.
     
  4. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    SWIM already mentioned this in another thread, but he'd legalize everything and then regulate things very similar to the way alcohol/tobacco are regulated in the U.S. Let states/ counties/ cities/ politicians have a field day with taxes, and sell using a liquor store-like model for most substances. It's already been shown to work pretty well with alcohol, why not use it for other substances too (many of which are safer/less potent than hard alcohol).

    I am actually pretty close to being a socialist himself, but he's more of a realist than anything... selling drugs casually (e.g. morphine OTC in drugstores, cocaine wine) didn't work so well in the 19th & early 20th centuries, why would it work any better in the early 21st. Eliminate as many complaints as possible that the conservatives can come up with -- the only way SWIM can think of to do this is to (A) give 'em control, and (B) douse 'em with tax money. It would still accomplish the end result of legalizing drugs and eliminating the so-called war on drugs. I would personally be fine with paying high taxes on legal and pure cocaine, amphetamines and opiates ;).
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2006
  5. Trebor

    Trebor Palladium Member

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    Legalize everything, and I mean everything. If a man wants to grow opium in his back garden that's his business. I'd give government grants to people who want to grow cannabis to sell or export to countries where it's legal. To teach people about drugs I'd charge a 200% tax which would be used for addiction centres and education purposes. And for sugar, alchohal and tobacco, 500% tax.
     
  6. Each Hit

    Each Hit Gold Member

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    i would legalize posession of all substances, but under some very strict guidelines. age limits would be the first measure of control. punishments for distributing to minors would be very pricey in an effort to try to keep drugs out of young hands. permits would be required to sell to others, and it would be illegal to manufacture certain drugs whose synthesis involves hazardous chemicals unless government approval was acquired. public intoxication might have to be banned in order to prevent people from endangering themselves or others, and driving under the influence would be prohibited for many substances (i suppose tests would have to be done to assess how each drug impairs driving ability). all drugs would have to come with a list of common effects (good, bad, and neutral) and warnings concerning safe use. i think it might also be a good idea to monitor who is buying what and how often. i know that's a violation of privacy, but i think it would be helpful in finding addicts who might actually need help with cutting back or stopping use of a certain drug. perhaps rationing certain substances would work...
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2006
  7. RPS

    RPS Newbie

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    This is the same as asking who likes baseball on a forum dedicated to baseball, but Swim'll give it a go anyway.

    I would legalize some substances, but like stated before would keep strict guidlines, and the sale would not be allowed by private citizens.

    Cheers,
    RPS
     
  8. Riconoen {UGC}

    Riconoen {UGC} Newbie

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    Libertarian socailist isn't that some kind of condradiction?
     
  9. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Wow, I'm having more difficulty answering my own question than I thought I would. As I have considered all the serious implications, done research on the history of drug control, and tried to Imagine myself in a leadership position, it has raised more questions than answered.
     
  10. Nahbus

    Nahbus Gold Member

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    I say as long as one does no harm to another human being, mentally or physically, he should be allowed to do as he pleases.
    But... well... this kind of mentally probably won't happen for thousands of years.
    Too many dumb people in the world.
    *sigh*
     
  11. grandbaby

    grandbaby Titanium Member

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    In the past year or so, I have swung from thinking that pot and shrooms should be legalized (and perhaps all non-toxic psychedelics [meaning that controlled toxicological studies should be done on all available Research Chemicals to determine what is and isn't toxic]) to a hardline "everything should be legalized and regulated" stance. The only MAJOR problem I foresee with such a policy (assuming one were ever implemented, which it probably won't be) is the one of age limits.

    When I was a teenager, and probably when you were one too, pot was easier to get than booze was. I hardly ever drank before I was 18, was only actually drunk maybe 3-5 times. But I smoked a LOT of dope. If I had been of a mindset to, I could have got coke or heroin with less hassle than booze—BECAUSE booze is regulated.

    Do you see where this is going? If everything's controlled and regulated like booze is, kids are going to turn to the most ridiculous shit to get high (even more than they do now): gas huffing will become an epidemic.

    Does anyone have a (reasonable) solution to this conundr'm?
     
  12. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    I am still considering and researching the topic before he makes up his mind.
     
  13. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    In SWIM's opinion, it wouldn't be any worse for teenagers than it is now. He attended quite a few beer keg parties in high school, and occasionally drank the hard stuff as well... alcohol may have been more difficult to obtain than other stuff, but not much. Alcohol was difficult to smuggle from parents due to bulk, and often (accurately IMO) perceived as not the best high compared to others.

    I think the problem would solve itself due to the sheer variety/amount of legal substances floating around. But maybe marijuana could be de-regulated more than the other stuff and sold alongside tobacco products... depends on society's reaction.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2006
  14. KomodoMK

    KomodoMK Palladium Member

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    I would not like to see the state of the country after leagalising crack cocaine, the addiction leading to crime potential on that one alone is huge.

    There are some drugs out there that I would legalize with strict control. But with more powerful drugs and the rather large population of naive and/or gulliable people, I don't think the legalize all method would work to well. Not to mention more powerful drugs falling into a childs hands.
     
  15. Akewstick

    Akewstick Silver Member

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    Imagine you''s country's tourist indusrty. Holland has thousands of stoners every year landing on it's shores just to get at the weed, imagine what your country would be like with every crackhead, junkie and speedfreak in the world having just one place to legally get a hit.

    Now imagine what your country's smuggling record would be like, imagine the black-market economy and organised crime.

    How long would it be before there was a coup in your country and you got chopped up by columbians?

    Legalising drugs maybe the right thing to do,but if 1% of the world legalises it, and 99% of the world bans it, that 1% is going to instantly grab the attention of 90% of the world's criminals, gangsters and pimps.
     
  16. zera

    zera Gold Member

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    I'm an anarcho-capitalist, so like all other things I'd reccommend the complete removal of government regulation and control from this field. Some common things that have been brought up in this thread:

    Age restrictions: Age restrictions basically come down to the idea that at some given age we magically become mature enough to make our own decisions. For example a 17 year old isn't smart enough to decide if he should be able to smoke cigarettes but an 18 year old can. Well what makes this possible? I know 12 year olds that are far more intelligent and responsible than certain 25 year olds.

    What really makes a child is being dependent on someone else to make your decisions for you and support you. A child is anyone who has parents, i.e. people who provide for them economically and thus can use the threat of cutting them off to control their behaviour, "If you're going to live under my roof you're going to follow my rules." Therefore it's not society's job to restrict the behaviour of children, it's the job of parents. Age restrictions are just a way of passing on the burden of raising kids to society in general, extra costs are incurred by other people to make sure your kids aren't fucking up.

    Socialist production of drugs: Anyone who thinks that the government can do a better job at producing than private companies should try the Yugo. If drugs are controlled by a socialist monopoly, like every socialist monopoly, they will produce an inferior product at a more expensive cost. Much of the problems with black market drugs comes from exactly this: low quality and high cost. Socialist rather than private production of drugs will produce some of the same problems we see now. In addition to this innovation will be stiffled if we don't have competing recreational drug companies, trying to come up with new inexpensive, amazing drugs that produce novel highs with less side effects. Imagine how many better substances we'd have if we had 100s of Shulgins working with huge corporate budgets.

    Government sponsored education: Have you people forgotten that the main reason most drugs are illegal today is because of government sponsored drug education, i.e. propoganda. You guys are imagining a liberal government with viewpoints like yours, but its far more likely that a man like Harry Anslinger could be in charge. The government should never be in charge of swaying opinion on an important public issue, like drugs, that's called propoganda. Education should be done by competing private groups, pro-drugs, harm-reduction, anti-drug groups and the like will all compete to get their message across, and information consumers will decide who makes the strongest arguments and hence how to model their drug use.

    Taxation for public health: The government should not be in charge of health to begin with, that should be left to private individuals and drug users, like anyone else, should be responsible for paying for their own healthcare. That being said, that's not the case. But let's look at the case of "public health taxes" in a world of government sponsored healthcare. Who sets the tax? How many taxes today are set based on their logical externality cost? Certainly not tobacco or alcohol, those taxes are simply based on whenever the government body in question needed to raise additional revenue. Taxes on drugs would be far worse, because they effect an even smaller portion of the population, thus politicians would have much fewer incentives not to raise them.

    The power to tax is the power to destroy, and certain drugs were first pushed into the black market by the government creating exhorbinately high taxes on them. I can't trust the government to set reasonable taxes on drugs, so I refuse to give them this power. In addition, if we make the argument that the government should tax the externality cost of all poor health decisions just becuase healthcare is public, where does it end? Are we going to start taxing tv, subsidizing people who go to the gym, extra taxes on salty food, lower taxes on oatmeal, extra taxes on homosexuals (who are more likely to contract HIV)? I'm not willing to live in such a totalitarian state.

    Regulated labelling laws: The beggining of the drug war was the Pure Food and Drug Act, which required government mandated labelling on something. In free market competition producers are going to produce the labelling that the consumer demands. Beyond that it's not the government's job to tell people what to put on any specific label. Of course I'm very oppossed to fraud and anyone who sells something presented as something else (for example presenting MDA as MDMA), should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and pay completely for any damages he caused the buyer.

    The government should not be in charge of regulating purity or setting certain requirments, because giving them this power gives them the power to eliminate politically incorrect substances.

    Not selling hard drugs: Someone mentioned the problem of crack cocaine. Now disregarding the fact that the vast majority of people who ever try crack cocaine cease regular use because it's far too hard on their body, look at the problem with black markets and their social effects? Do black market marijuana and mushroom producers cause more or less social harm than the same producers of hard drugs like coke and heroin. Guess where the most ruthless drug lords and violence occur? I've never heard of ghettoes being destabilized by gangs selling LSD. Very addictive drugs have the most incentive to be legalized from a social standpoint, because these drugs involve the most ferocious black markets. The black markets do far more damage than any use of the drug. In a free market the drug could be obtained reliably and cheaply, meaning that not only do we not have violent thugs slinging rock and shooting each other, but we also don't have junkies robbing people to pay for their habit.

    The idea of a drug tourist industry: Why are tourists coming to spend money in your country a bad thing? Great we'll produce these cheap ass drugs and sell them (and because we're the only country who makes them we have a monopoly and will make tons of money). The government won't be paying for these tourists housing or healthcare, so it's at no cost to us. In addition you assume that drug users are all bad, and take away from society. My guess is that most of the time when drug users are non-contributing members of society it's because society is structured against them, they get sent to jail, have to dump huge amounts to pay for black market prices, and have health problems associated with impurities. There were many amazing people throughout history addicted to narcotics, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. I'd say let the brain drain begin, let them all immigrant here. That was America's motto in the 19th century "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses willing to breathe free," and it worked out magnificently for us because it turned out the many of those people were actually not scum, but simply too oppressed in their old country to make anything of themselves.

    As for the idea of organized crime in my country, it wouldn't happen because there'd be no criminal activity for them to commit. It'd be perfectly legal in my country to export any drugs to anywhere in the world, even if it was illegal in the destination country, so organized crime wouldn't be necessary to export these drugs the legitimate drug producers would be the ones exporting. Now organizing crime might be the ones receiving the drugs, or even loading them on their ships at my ports, but they have no reason to do any operations in my country because their drug selling wouldn't be profitable since it's not illegal here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2006
  17. StigmataLectron

    StigmataLectron Silver Member

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    I get that a lot. Libertarian refers strictly to the social model of libertarianism; ie, people are free to do whatever they choose so long as they do not interfere with the rights of others. Socialism refers to the economic side of publically-run economics.

    Are you aware that while the United States was under a more pure Libertarian Capitalist model, before wage slavery and such had to be stopped by government intervention, many food products were incorrectly labeled? Did you know that nutrition facts, accurate and truthful, are required by the government rather by the invisible hand of capitalism? What about that even today, there are piperazine products that we are not allowed to know the contents of because of corporate competition?

    I would love to believe that if we just let everyone to be on their own - companies to compete with eachother and consumers to buy the right products, keeping the right companies in business - then the problem would solve itself. But what sort of things do you think the corporations will do to our minds when they feel the need to hide their product's chemical makeup in the name of "competitive security"?

    Another large problem is the fact that when advertising, you have no restrictions in how much truth is being told. Not only of content, but of researched facts - of course, our peer-review system works very well now, but in a world where 1) nobody is legally obligated to have correctness in their statements, and 2) those in power, who have the financial means to push over those who speak the truth (such as the way the government is doing with the prohibition to boot with), public saftey becomes exponentially more hazardous and complex.

    Your argument swiftly fails when you realise that, in a purely anarcho-capitalist society, the corporations first to become in charge of recources essentially replace the government entirely. Of course, in the invisible hand of the free market, the companies who please the customers most are generally the ones to succeed, but pleasing the customers could easily mean shoving propaganda down their throats in the same way the current government does, or predatorally (which I hope is an actual word) stamps out other businesses without any hope of competition the way Wal Mart has.

    I agree that taxation in general sucks, but in my view it is a neccissary part of life to keep a government intact. Without taxation, we would have no way to keep the general public protected from their internal evils by law enforcement. It doesn't matter much anyway; in 50 or 100 years the entire working class will be replaced by automated machines so that taxes will be in the hands of people who don't really fight back or demand equal rights. The idea of a government in general at this point of technological advancement is to slide us into the singularity of man and machine with the most ease we can.

    It's entirely possible that someone such as Mr J Anallinger is elected to a high office, and even if unamendable laws legalising drugs are made from the begining, then another crisis such as the prohibition could happen (if it's not drugs, it's going to be something else in the future, like stem cell research or wiping your ass from the front to back to prevent yeast infections), but the socio-economic model of Anarcho Capitalism does absolutely nothing to prevent it, whilst a government protecting people from lunatics like himself has the opportunity of taking neccissary preventive measures. The simple fact is that you can't just make everyone smart enough to know who to trust.

    I agree with everything else you've said about legalising everything and such though.
     
  18. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Awesome! Now were getting somewhere! Keep the debate going, I'm loving it!
     
  19. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    Its hard to have a black market when these substances are legalized. If their sales were taxed, part of that money could go towards tightening border security and keeping out smugglers. How exactly would this lead towards a coup, anyway? With the revenue generated by such an idea, more police could be on the streets (without having to be distracted by petty drug crimes), public works projects initiated, and other measures taken to ensure a happy populace. Thus, little chance of a coup or "getting chopped up by columbians", which is a statement that didnt even make sense to me. Drug lords would not likely see SWIM's country as much of a threat, for the simple reason that the country is not exporting drugs like crime syndicates are. Sure, their profits may have been lowered by not being able to import costly, inferior products, but even if they did manage to smuggle drugs in, it wouldnt do any good since the domestic drug manufacturers would be able to out-compete them in a free market. Unless this country actually WAS columbia, the drug lords would not have the wherewithal or power to go after an entire nation. I dont know about everyone else, but he thinks its silly to have to pay so much for products of varying quality, unreliable supply, and dangerous methods used just to obtain some enjoyment for the weekend. Or does You like paying out the arse for soapbar?

    you's statement that junkies and speed freaks would be lining the streets would probably be not true. Most heroin related problems are not from using heroin directly, its from its illegal status. Users would be able to hold down jobs to pay for their habit since the price wouldnt be exorbitant. Same goes for speed, although the capacity for meth to make people violent does make SWIM think that this drug might have to be regulated above all others...along with another popular, violence-associated, highly addictive drug...alcohol!

    Zera makes an interesting point about government monopolization of drug production. Perhaps private businesses could do a better job of manufacture and development. Perhaps a certain part of their budget would have to go towards partnerships with say, universities to develop new manufacturing methods and drugs themselves, in order to stimulate local economies, but I do trust that the lure of money would ensure that these businesses are effective in what they do. Probably more so than the state could be. These businesses may have to be subject to frequent inspections and regulation in order to prevent unethical practices, but SWIM can't imagine theyd be much worse than the current pharmaceutical industries =]
     
  20. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Crack cocaine is not a drug, crack cocaine is a method of administration (i.e. smoking). There's no reason why cocaine hydrochloride would need to be offered in freebase form; if someone were desperate, they could convert it themselves. Ditto with e.g. heroin sold in premade syringes, coke/heroin premixed in a syringe, etc. This sort of thing should/would not be an issue, as long as sanity ruled the day.

    As far as those who always/invariably do dangerous drugs via dangerous routes of admin... there are always people who do that. What does legality or illegality really have to do with it?