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#41
Hell Fury

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OK, tell me; aside from the person themselves getting addicted (and becoming dependent on the drug), what exactly is the problem? I assume there's something, as you're running on the assumption that addicts will need to be punished.

 

The objective here is the have as functional, happy and healthy a society as possible, right?

 

I would argue that there is a huge segment of the population who choose not to do drugs specifically because they are illegal and it would ruin their life.

 

Even if that segment is not as big as I think it is, legalizing drugs will not necessarily have the full negative impact immediately. Culture shifts over time and you'll have pockets of society who use drugs growing because there is no reason for them to stop.

 

With drug use comes crime, unemployment, sickness and death. If the number of addicts increases, you've had a massively negative impact of society, not positive.

 

I could be wrong. Maybe legalizing it will decrease the number of addicts both in the short term and the long term but I get the impression that this is a solution which is constructed in an effort to satisfy a romantic ideal of saving the victims of society.

 

That's not to say I don't sympathize with drug users, I absolutely do. I agree that they need and deserve as much help as they can get.

 

If you're proposing something which on balance will create more drug addicts, more crime, more unemployment and more damage to society than it actually fixes, then you aren't helping anyone.

 

It's not enough to have good intentions if the impact is going to be negative.


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Please note that any statement I make automatically acknowledges exceptions, not all X are Y.

 

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#42
Bisected8

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The objective here is the have as functional, happy and healthy a society as possible, right?

 

I would argue that there is a huge segment of the population who choose not to do drugs specifically because they are illegal and it would ruin their life.

 

Even if that segment is not as big as I think it is, legalizing drugs will not necessarily have the full negative impact immediately. Culture shifts over time and you'll have pockets of society who use drugs growing because there is no reason for them to stop.

 

With drug use comes crime, unemployment, sickness and death. If the number of addicts increases, you've had a massively negative impact of society, not positive.

 

I could be wrong. Maybe legalizing it will decrease the number of addicts both in the short term and the long term but I get the impression that this is a solution which is constructed in an effort to satisfy a romantic ideal of saving the victims of society.

 

That's not to say I don't sympathize with drug users, I absolutely do. I agree that they need and deserve as much help as they can get.

 

If you're proposing something which on balance will create more drug addicts, more crime, more unemployment and more damage to society than it actually fixes, then you aren't helping anyone.

 

It's not enough to have good intentions if the impact is going to be negative.

 

I disagree. A lot of the reason a drug addiction is so devastating to someone's life is because the laws against them. People with lower incomes can end up homeless trying to get their fix because the (very cheap to produce) drugs have their price inflated by the laws (many a celebrity or high flying executive has been found to be a "functional addict"; able to afford their habit, but unable to seek help for fear of going to jail or destroying their career because of a criminal record). Someone with a drug addiction is treated as a criminal. Yes, I'm all for rehabilitative prison systems, but drug addicts don't belong in the prison system full stop. They have an illness they caught from doing something no more inherently morally wrong than drinking a beer or having an illicit love affair with a consenting partner.

 

Look at alcohol  and tobacco; freely available drugs which it's very possible to become addicted to, (especially if you have some sort of metal illness or are part of a marginalised group in the former case). People with legal drug problems exist and sometimes they end up homeless, but at the same time, they can seek medical assistance, go to support groups and generally get help openly. Nobody's died while drunk because they were afraid of going to jail instead of getting medical attention (aside from cases when they were drink driving, of course; but at that point they'd already committed a crime aside from drinking the alcohol), misbehaviour caused by it is readily detected and if the product's got toxic impurities? The vendors and manufacturers are accountable (rather than sneering "what're you gonna do? call the police!)! Nobody's gone to jail because they tried to find help to quit cigarettes or alcohol. Nobody would consider banning alcohol. Restricting it, yes. But arresting someone for consuming it (as is the norm in many middle Eastern countries) would be unthinkable.

 

When Western societies tried to ban it nevertheless (from the influence of groups who considered such vices inherently immoral), what forced them to backtrack? People getting addicted anyway, addicts treated as criminals and being bankrupted by the increased prices cooked up by organised crime and police refusing to distinguish between AA meetings and speakeasys. The same problems we have with "illegal" drugs.

 

Arguing that addicts are inherently breaking the law by being addicted follows the same line of thinking as "hang suicide survivors for attempted murder".

 

Related note: Your reasoning is called Broken Window Theory (i.e. "if you allow errant behaviour, it leads to more and more crime"). It's beloved by law enforcement (because it gives them something they can do; crack down on petty crimes and legal misbehaviours), but much, much less accepted by the same academics who created it (with research failing to find any real evidence to support it, beyond the initial case studies). I'd argue that the zero tolerance policies it fosters cause far more harm to society (drug addiction being but a single example).


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#43
witsd

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Related note: Your reasoning is called Broken Window Theory (i.e. "if you allow errant behaviour, it leads to more and more crime"). 


Huh. I always thought that the broken windows theory was more simple than that – merely that a poor environment bred poor behaviour, including further vandalism. The official description does indeed feel like a stretch too far.


We've already boiled communication down to acronyms, emoticons and shrtnd sntnces, all of which are simply more efficient ways of transmitting the PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE signal from the fragile core of our souls out into the wider world. Maybe the next stage is to reduce it all down to a single noise. I'd favour a short, electronic beep, not unlike the noise emitted each time Pac-Man eats a dot.

#44
Hell Fury

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I disagree. A lot of the reason a drug addiction is so devastating to someone's life is because the laws against them. People with lower incomes can end up homeless trying to get their fix because the (very cheap to produce) drugs have their price inflated by the laws (many a celebrity or high flying executive has been found to be a "functional addict"; able to afford their habit, but unable to seek help for fear of going to jail or destroying their career because of a criminal record). Someone with a drug addiction is treated as a criminal. Yes, I'm all for rehabilitative prison systems, but drug addicts don't belong in the prison system full stop. They have an illness they caught from doing something no more inherently morally wrong than drinking a beer or having an illicit love affair with a consenting partner.
 
Look at alcohol  and tobacco; freely available drugs which it's very possible to become addicted to, (especially if you have some sort of metal illness or are part of a marginalised group in the former case). People with legal drug problems exist and sometimes they end up homeless, but at the same time, they can seek medical assistance, go to support groups and generally get help openly. Nobody's died while drunk because they were afraid of going to jail instead of getting medical attention (aside from cases when they were drink driving, of course; but at that point they'd already committed a crime aside from drinking the alcohol), misbehaviour caused by it is readily detected and if the product's got toxic impurities? The vendors and manufacturers are accountable (rather than sneering "what're you gonna do? call the police!)! Nobody's gone to jail because they tried to find help to quit cigarettes or alcohol. Nobody would consider banning alcohol. Restricting it, yes. But arresting someone for consuming it (as is the norm in many middle Eastern countries) would be unthinkable.
 
When Western societies tried to ban it nevertheless (from the influence of groups who considered such vices inherently immoral), what forced them to backtrack? People getting addicted anyway, addicts treated as criminals and being bankrupted by the increased prices cooked up by organised crime and police refusing to distinguish between AA meetings and speakeasys. The same problems we have with "illegal" drugs.
 
Arguing that addicts are inherently breaking the law by being addicted follows the same line of thinking as "hang suicide survivors for attempted murder".

Related note: Your reasoning is called Broken Window Theory (i.e. "if you allow errant behaviour, it leads to more and more crime"). It's beloved by law enforcement (because it gives them something they can do; crack down on petty crimes and legal misbehaviours), but much, much less accepted by the same academics who created it (with research failing to find any real evidence to support it, beyond the initial case studies). I'd argue that the zero tolerance policies it fosters cause far more harm to society (drug addiction being but a single example).


I think part of the problem here is that we are speaking way too broadly about this and lumping all drugs together.

If we are talking about marijuana, then I don't disagree with you. It should be legal.

Cocaine and heroin are more complicated.

Lets get some facts and start to discuss some of these drugs as separate cases.

Rate of addiction according to a 5 second google search;
32% tobacco
23% heroin
17% cocaine
15% alcohol
9% marijuana

 

There's another side to this though. How addicted do people get.

 

I don't believe anyone who is addicted to smoking is going to steal or kill to feed their addiction. It would be nice to get some stats on how addicted people get, if such stats exist.

 

About heroin;

What makes this drug particularly dangerous is that the dose that can cause death is only five times greater than the dose required for a high. Additionally, heroin has an extremely high risk of death from a relapse.


Having read this on the effects of cocaine, it seems like permanent psychosis is probably the most destructive outcome. Most of the others are either temporary or fairly minor by comparison.

I can't seem to easily find stats on how many people who use cocaine end up with psychosis. I think that would be helpful in this discussion if someone can find that information.

To be clear I never took a hard position that you are "wrong". My argument is just that this is complicated and although it sounds good to legalize it, you've framed it in a way that sounds really positive but it's not necessarily going to play out the way you think.

 

You're making the argument that it is wrong and unfair to treat drug addicts as criminals and I don't disagree with that but you're making an argument which to me is irrelevant.

 

If you had to kill 10 innocent people to save 1,000,000 innocent people, you'd do it, right? That's the way I'm looking at this.

 

If legalizing it will cause more harm than good then it's irrelevant how wrong and unfair it is to criminalize drug users.

 

Making the argument that it is wrong and unfair to criminalize drug users is wasting your breath because I don't disagree with you and it's not relevant to the argument that I'm making.


Please note that any statement I make automatically acknowledges exceptions, not all X are Y.

 

Please assume that I agree with you that not all X are Y.

 

Thank you.


#45
Azraelle

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The little picture thingy isn't loading for me, but my results are pretty much what everyone else is getting.  Final result: Social Liberalism.

 

EDIT: and for what it's worth, answering a few questions with "Neutral / Unsure" isn't going to radically re-polarize your results.


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#46
Kris

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HF I understand what you're saying but I find the argument of decriminalising drugs means that everyone will do drugs even more naive. Drugs are a large part of our society at the moment, especially in my generation and those who are younger. If you want to see what the effects of large scale cocaine use does to a population, go visit London, seriously I've never seen a drug be so prominent as there it is actually crazy.

I don't do drugs myself (except a little bit of weed of occasion, but we're talking like once a year) but I know many many people who do and I can count of one hand those who haven't in my circle of friends. If I wanted to I could call someone up and have anything up to heroin in my possession within an hour, I don't do it though because I have no interest in doing it.

And I'm not saying that they're not harmful, hell I've even had friends who have smoked so much weed over a length of time that they developed psychosis, but I am saying that the idea that they're not in mass use by those who want to use them already due to their illegality is ludicrous. You monitor a pub toilet over a night and you'll find multiple people snorting a line, you walk down a suburb and you'll get whiffs of weed from multiple houses.

Many people who use drugs recreationally are perfectly normal functional people in society. Again, there are harmful parts to it but my argument is just that the levy has already broken in this regard of people using drugs if they want to.
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#47
witsd

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It's also not just about the addiction level or even the rate of death, but about how the people using the drug behave towards other members of society and indeed the infrastructure. I'm fairly certain that alcohol has caused more violent acts and acts of vandalism per intoxicated person than heroin, MDMA, cannabis or LSD (probably combined!). Most likely this also applies to cocaine as well, although I suspect that that may be closer.
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We've already boiled communication down to acronyms, emoticons and shrtnd sntnces, all of which are simply more efficient ways of transmitting the PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE signal from the fragile core of our souls out into the wider world. Maybe the next stage is to reduce it all down to a single noise. I'd favour a short, electronic beep, not unlike the noise emitted each time Pac-Man eats a dot.

#48
Relos

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And there we go. Some of the questions were way too shallow for me to answer properly, but a good bit of fun nonetheless.

Edit: Huh, it doesn't want to upload properly. https://pasteboard.co/hghXcmJpA.pngFor the interested.



#49
Bisected8

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[snip]

 

I didn't say you were arguing I'm wrong that drug addicts should be helped rather than prosecuted. Where we diverge, I think, is that:

 

  • I think that making drugs illegal is far more harmful than making them legal and regulating them
  • You think legalising drugs will make their effects on society worse.

To use an example you made; of course a tobacco addict won't kill or steal to get their fix. They can buy a pack of cigarettes from basically any shop within walking distance for the price of a pizza (at least here, where they've introduced minimum sizes for tobacco that mean even smaller packs of cigarettes and rolling tobacco cost about £9-£10). Same with booze (with the additional qualifier than anyone can make their own for practically nothing). Possibly even caffeine.

 

You take away the laws banning a lot of substances and the price goes down and they become more readily available. Naturally addicts will still be addicted, but they won't be having to resort to crime to get their next fix. Make a drug legal and you can control it (organised crime won't bother with it because there's no additional overhead which gives them bigger profits than legitimate businesses) and it's easier to help people who are suffering because of it.

 

Basically it boils down to whether you think that it's more harmful to outright criminalise drugs and put them in the hands of organised crime, or legalise them and still give the law some direct control over them.


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#50
Wyzrd

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11j67ps.png
 
 
Spoiler


#51
witsd

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11j67ps.png


I think the pause for dramatic effect only works if something unexpected happens afterwards... :tongue:
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We've already boiled communication down to acronyms, emoticons and shrtnd sntnces, all of which are simply more efficient ways of transmitting the PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE signal from the fragile core of our souls out into the wider world. Maybe the next stage is to reduce it all down to a single noise. I'd favour a short, electronic beep, not unlike the noise emitted each time Pac-Man eats a dot.

#52
Wyzrd

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I think the pause for dramatic effect only works if something unexpected happens afterwards... :tongue:


I posted the thread originally on my phone and couldn't upload. The pause was not intentional. :tongue:

#53
witsd

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I posted the thread originally on my phone and couldn't upload. The pause was not intentional. :tongue:


Aha, fair enough. The:

Of course I havent posted mine yet.


seemed like you might be trying to keep us in suspense :D
We've already boiled communication down to acronyms, emoticons and shrtnd sntnces, all of which are simply more efficient ways of transmitting the PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE signal from the fragile core of our souls out into the wider world. Maybe the next stage is to reduce it all down to a single noise. I'd favour a short, electronic beep, not unlike the noise emitted each time Pac-Man eats a dot.

#54
Azraelle

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11j67ps.png

 

 

Iago-Quote-Surprise.png


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#55
Wyzrd

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Hey I could have got "Right Wing Populism".

 

Autocracy is a pretty cool one overall.



#56
Presea

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i guess im more curious about the random likes for various peoples political leanings over others


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#57
Wyzrd

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Ehh it would kick off a huge debate. But atheists who understand the value of tradition are interesting to me.



#58
Piestein

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LXOSV6G.png


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#59
Tallgeese_lll

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Ehh it would kick off a huge debate. But atheists who understand the value of tradition are interesting to me.


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#60
Wyzrd

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Not always for the same reasons.

Sometimes its just something I found interesting or surprising.





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