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Old 26-03-2009, 03:33 AM   #91
septimus
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I've always been in favor of legalization. I feel the amount of money spent in an effort to stop the flow of drugs, at least to the US, is ridiculous. I'm talking from the initial efforts to prevent it getting here in specialized forces, all the way down to the overcrowding in the prison system to deal with people caught with a fairly small amount on themselves.

I saw a video for this organization before:
http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php

Basically, it's people from law enforcement, current and past, for the legalization of drugs. One of the things that I found hit home the most for me was their comparison of drugs to cigarettes. Basically what they were saying is that education is the primary way to get people to give up their drug, whatever it may be. Over the past couple of decades the number of people quitting smoking has been increasing greatly due to a better understanding of the negative effects cigarettes cause.

What they said was that instead of trying to force people to quit by making them criminals, it would be more effective to educate them, so that they choose to quit on their own. There will always be people that use drugs, like there will always be people that smoke, or drink. But I personally feel that drugs, if legalized can be much more easily controlled, (The tax income from it wouldn't be that bad either!) But basically, if the drugs are illegal there is no real method to look into the long-term, and short-term negative impacts drugs have on people, therefore it is difficult to really educate people about the reasons to not use them.

In terms of it ending the violence and whatnot, I don't really buy into that, the drug dealers now are really just people that prey on others, they will find something else to prey on if the drugs are legalized, I just think that legalizing the drugs will have more of a positive impact then the current method, let's face it, if it hasn't worked for the past few decades we have to admit that the war on drugs is a failed war, and look into other methods to curtail drug use.

More on my comparison of cigarettes to drugs:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=96950224

That shows that since smoking has been looked at negatively, and education, and studies of the negative effects have been looked into there has been a drop in the number of people that smoke. I saw Alci mention that more people will try drugs due to peer pressure, and the ease at which it can be attained, cigarettes though are the same way, most people try due to peer pressure, or seeing family doing it. They're easy to get, at least in the US. But, as education has increased on the subject the number of people smoking has slowly declined, and continues to decline.

I don't really believe that legalizing it will make it any easier for people to get it, as it is now I imagine that most people here either know someone, or know someone thats knows someone that deals drugs.
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Old 26-03-2009, 08:18 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivi
As for relation to alcohol and crime? Are you being serious or what?
Your conventional wisdom does not prove anything.
What is widely accepted as the reason why crime dropped in the '90s in the USA? Better police tactics, tougher gun control law?
No, the single most important reason is that 18 years before that, abortion was made legal.
What I am trying to say with this example, is that it's quite easy to state things that make sense, but that the underlying causal relation might just not be true.
Get me more specific data that proves your point of less alcohol-related crimes, which proves your point, I am very interested and will without hesitation admit that you have proven this causal relation. Before that, I wonder why you don't back your claims up with data, because frankly even a 5 year old can come on an internet forum and spout random "widely accepted wisdoms"...
Read "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt, then you'll understand why I'm reluctant to accept your conventional wisdom for truth.

edit: Do I say that alcohol/other drugs are a good thing? No, it's as you say actually poisoning your body. But instead of putting your resources into banning it, you'd better put them into informing people to help them make the right choice for themselves. Because that is the only way to actually do something about anything.
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Old 26-03-2009, 01:45 PM   #93
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Today, I was debating weed legalization in drug awareness. I was thoroughly unleashing arguments: how marijuana turns normal citizens into criminals, how the government spends billions to enforce drug laws, when I lost my train of thought. My teacher grinned saying, "My point exactly." FML
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Old 26-03-2009, 02:04 PM   #94
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i would love to give vivi a topic and just let him argue both sides by himself.

I wonder how many times he'd call himself out.


obvious troll/spam
I removed the response below as well - HG
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Old 27-03-2009, 11:10 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
i would love to give vivi a topic and just let him argue both sides by himself.

I wonder how many times he'd call himself out.
I apologize that I don't believe the legalization of drugs is the solution to our current drug problems, or is it because you've got a fetish with pedobear that I can't see eye to eye with?
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Old 27-03-2009, 11:13 PM   #96
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How does the legalisation of abortion eighteen years prior have an impact on crime in the 90's?
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Old 27-03-2009, 11:19 PM   #97
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I think he is making an assumption that a lot of people that werent planned, so to speak, would have been brought up uneducated and neglected, and thus were more likely to have been involved in some sort of crime when they grew up...so crime went down [edit] because there were less neglected/uneducated people

I dont really know, im just guessing
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Old 28-03-2009, 01:01 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViVi View Post
How does the legalisation of abortion eighteen years prior have an impact on crime in the 90's?
Google is your friend.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legaliz...d_crime_effect

And the main criticism on it:
http://www.isteve.com/freakonomics_fiasco.htm
Obviously you'll say that I exaggerated by saying it is widely accepted, because there is a lot of criticism on it, but you cannot deny that for a controversial study, its methods are quite convincing.

And I think this really explains perfectly what i was saying: Try to clear your mind of prejudices and go where the data leads you.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...186920,00.html
Also, I will try to keep to this last part, which I think is essential to following the trail that data leaves for you:
Quote:
And by the way, if you can come up with some good evidence to the contrary, Levitt will listen, and if you're really convincing, he's the sort of person who will change his mind.
Edit: Criticism focusses on his positive causal relation between abortion and crime rate, yet it does not touch his other results: The single most cited reason for the decreasing crimerate (innovative policing strategy) has, according to his study, absolutely no impact on crimerate. Which brings me back to my original point: Conventional wisdom is useless as an argument, unless you can back it up with data.
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Old 28-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #99
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I think you're arguing the wrong side Hobbe.
Your statistics may or may not have some connection with ban of consuming alchool or lifting ban, or simply that was a warm year and high temperature can make ppl loose their minds or simply the national football team lost an important game and everybody went nuts.

I lost count how many times i saw on tv news crimes and other incidents where those who did it said since beeing under the influence of alchool they didn't judge right anymore and exagerated their reaction grabbing a knife and stabbing.
There is a sure relation between consuming alchool and crimes since the purpose of alchool is to loose control of your body, to forget about all restrictions and all your problems, create a state of euphoria, indiference and you feel above everything. I don't know about you but my common sense tells me if a person it's known to be violent/dangerous and he gets drunk it's better to avoid having a conflict with. Don't tell me you don't see ppl all around who act much more violent than usual when drunk ? It's so obvious it's ridiculous to argue this.
I know ppl who look "normal" but when drunk they just turn into walking zombies and seek for a reason to get a fight going from anything.
Sure if you're an evil person you will do crimes even when sober but the potential increases under influence of alchool.
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Old 28-03-2009, 04:50 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSider View Post
I lost count how many times i saw on tv news crimes and other incidents where those who did it said since beeing under the influence of alchool they didn't judge right anymore and exagerated their reaction grabbing a knife and stabbing.
Yes, I've seen people say that the reason why some German kid shot 10 people at his school, is because his girlfriend might or might not have broken up with him.
No, the reason is because he was a nutcase, simple as.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darksider
There is a sure relation between consuming alchool and crimes since the purpose of alchool is to loose control of your body, to forget about all restrictions and all your problems, create a state of euphoria, indiference and you feel above everything. I don't know about you but my common sense tells me if a person it's known to be violent/dangerous and he gets drunk it's better to avoid having a conflict with. Don't tell me you don't see ppl all around who act much more violent than usual when drunk ? It's so obvious it's ridiculous to argue this.
Seriously, read my posts. I never said alcohol doesn't create the mentioned state of less control. I am saying, on the other hand, that you can't say that they won't get aggressive because they haven't drunk.
People who drink to created the state you mention, probably have a lot of frustrations, which even without alcohol might lead to violence. Which is why I went out to search for data to prove that without alcohol the same kind of people would not commit violence.
And the data seems to say that we can't without hesitation accept that alcohol is the reason for violence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darksider
I know ppl who look "normal" but when drunk they just turn into walking zombies and seek for a reason to get a fight going from anything.
No. I don't accept that. Anyone who is in their righteous mind will have this occur maybe once, but after that, you KNOW you're an aggressive drinker, and make sure you don't drink that much. For me, anyone who drinks so much they're really gone, are not normal people. I do not per definition accept that these people wouldn't cause trouble if there was no alcohol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darksider
Sure if you're an evil person you will do crimes even when sober but the potential increases under influence of alchool.
Evil in this case is a bit black-and-white imho. People will problems I'd say.
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Old 30-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #101
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everything that you've posted DS is just a rehash of everyone else that has posted. and the post is 100% feeling and supposition.

basically the against side operates 100% off of feeling and fear. no wonder it's such a horrible place to live.

never said i was for or against, was looking for intelligent arguments on the against side and haven't found 1. not 1 person on the against side used any factual basis for anything.
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Old 30-03-2009, 05:19 PM   #102
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hai,
I just came to say that we shouldnt ban whatever is ethically wrong.
It limits freedom.
that is all.
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Old 30-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
Fact is, a lot of ppl in Holland aren't so satisfied with this legalization at all, so there is (imo) an example of Fail.
!define a lot
and how about ppl who are happy with the legalisation.
howmany of those are around?
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Old 30-03-2009, 10:23 PM   #104
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From my experiences in the "drug world" most of the people that do drugs other than marijuana is for the simple fact that they stay in your system alot shorter than marijuana. I could be wrong and it is just my opinion but legalize marijuana and alot of the hard drug users would stop.
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Old 27-04-2009, 03:53 AM   #105
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Default Decriminalization in Portugal

Saw this article and thought I'd resurrect the topic. I wasn't aware that Portugal decriminalized back in 2001. According to the numbers, it looks like decriminalization does some very good things.

http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...893946,00.html

Quote:
Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It's not the Netherlands.)

Although its capital is notorious among stoners and college kids for marijuana haze–filled "coffee shops," Holland has never actually legalized cannabis — the Dutch simply don't enforce their laws against the shops. The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal's drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to "drug tourists" and exacerbate Portugal's drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.

The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.

Portugal's case study is of some interest to lawmakers in the U.S., confronted now with the violent overflow of escalating drug gang wars in Mexico. The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world's harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.

"I think we can learn that we should stop being reflexively opposed when someone else does [decriminalize] and should take seriously the possibility that anti-user enforcement isn't having much influence on our drug consumption," says Mark Kleiman, author of the forthcoming When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment and director of the drug policy analysis program at UCLA. Kleiman does not consider Portugal a realistic model for the U.S., however, because of differences in size and culture between the two countries.

But there is a movement afoot in the U.S., in the legislatures of New York State, California and Massachusetts, to reconsider our overly punitive drug laws. Recently, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter proposed that Congress create a national commission, not unlike Portugal's, to deal with prison reform and overhaul drug-sentencing policy. As Webb noted, the U.S. is home to 5% of the global population but 25% of its prisoners.

At the Cato Institute in early April, Greenwald contended that a major problem with most American drug policy debate is that it's based on "speculation and fear mongering," rather than empirical evidence on the effects of more lenient drug policies. In Portugal, the effect was to neutralize what had become the country's number one public health problem, he says.

"The impact in the life of families and our society is much lower than it was before decriminalization," says Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual's "drug czar" and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, adding that police are now able to re-focus on tracking much higher level dealers and larger quantities of drugs.

Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, like Kleiman, is skeptical. He conceded in a presentation at the Cato Institute that "it's fair to say that decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise." However, he notes that Portugal is a small country and that the cyclical nature of drug epidemics — which tends to occur no matter what policies are in place — may account for the declines in heroin use and deaths.

The Cato report's author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, "that is the central concession that will transform the debate."
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