700,000 Pot Legalization Signatures Filed in California

Bruno Dante

Over 500 posts
But they do, by fuck, they do.

If there were no speed limits here, our roads would be a Mad Max style death trap. Not only do we (in Oz) need limits but also a constant police presence to keep the more belligerent and foolhardy from simply ignoring those limits.

We have hardcore gun control here and our death rate from shootings is less than 10 a year. In the U.S. it's thousands per year.

Marijuana? If alcohol and tobacco is legal then it's a no brainer - marijuana should be legalised.

But let's face it; the vast majority of this deranged herd we call humanity needs some form of protection from itself.
I think regulation would be a better form of 'protection' than the current situation though.

Yes, a percentage of the populations does already. But you don't think there would be more people taking heroin for a test drive if it were sitting on the shelf next to the Coors Light?

I hear you, though. I agree that it's a waste to lock up the guy who minds his own business and sits in his living room and shoots up. But if that same guy later ends up in the county hospital because of his habit, then you're back to having a public interest - taking away money and resources from everyone else.

I just think there's too many ways that someone's drug use can affect the general public, directly or indirectly, so the government should at least attempt to mitigate the risk to some degree.
There's different forms of decriminalisation / legalisation though. You could have a system whereby (for example) registered heroin addicts who met certain criteria can get their fix at a clinic. This has been trialled in the UK and it met with success where some addicts were able to get and hold down jobs because their waking lives weren't devoted to finding enough money to get drugs then finding someone who had some drugs. They were then able to wean themselves off it far more effectively than by being given methadone (which is the widely prescribed 'cure' in the UK). Obviously it only works for people who are prepared to register etc. and who want to sort themselves out. Unfortunately it hasn't been extended because (as with so many other things) the political will for this sort of pragmatism doesn't exist due to the controversy it would cause (you can imagine the stupid scaremongering headlines).
 

mjp

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But you don't think there would be more people taking heroin for a test drive if it were sitting on the shelf next to the Coors Light?
No, I don't. But then everything changes when it's legal, so it's hard to say what the eventual outcome is. In that case you have to ask if addiction causes crime, and I don't think it does.

How many alcoholics do we have in the world? How many of them stick a knife in your back or steal your car when they run out of booze? How many times has someone hit you ever the head with a crowbar because they were out of cigarettes?

When a drug is "illegal" its users become criminals by definition. It seems more likely someone who has to cultivate a lifestyle of lying, sneaking around and avoiding cops is much closer to doing actual crime than someone who can walk into the grocery store and buy their Friday night heroin.

Anyway, I still don't believe someone who is not predisposed to suck down some meth would do so, even if the meth was next to the Chivas on the shelf. There are hundreds of substances that are completely legal and completely addictive. The laws we have now are like making beer illegal but leaving wine in the grocery store. They are arbitrary, senseless and maybe worst of all, used as tools of oppression.
 

bospress.net

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Over 5000 posts
Alcohol, tobacco, weed are less addictive, less expensive, etc. so you don't have the same level of desperation. Regulate it and tax it.
I have to argue this point. Tobacco is crazy addictive. I have been trying to kick it for 25 years. I'm doing great now, by only smoking a couple cigarettes a week, but I have been in this place before only to start buying packs again. I dream about cigarettes...

Also, talk to a hardcore alcoholic and you will know that they cannot stop.

I'm not convinced that cocaine is more addictive. I have done coke, meth, in my younger years, maybe 10 times. It was GREAT, but I didn't crave or need it the next morning and do not crave or need it now...

Bill
 

Gerard K H Love

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Over 5000 posts
Cigarettes make you crave another cigarette and I never felt any high from them. I never smoked more than half a pack a day but I would smoke one cigarette 2 or 3 times- which is bad. When I quit in Feb 1998 I had been smoking one or two cigarettes a day for the previous six months. I craved cigarettes and dreamed about them for about a year. In fact I have had dreams of smoking in the last couple of years in which I was worried that just one drag off a smoke would make me start again.
Bill is right cigarettes are very addictive even the dogs like to sit with my wife when she goes outside for a smoke. They say nicotine is more addictive than heroin but I never heard of anyone getting sick from kicking it.
 

marina del rey

Over 500 posts
How many alcoholics do we have in the world? How many of them stick a knife in your back or steal your car when they run out of booze? How many times has someone hit you ever the head with a crowbar because they were out of cigarettes?
That's my point. I think those drugs can exist without the same level of desperation occurring amongst the users. I have a hardcore alcoholic in my family. He's screwed up a lot of things, but he's never stolen from me in order to go buy booze. I also have a family member who takes whatever drug is in front of him. He's stolen my shit to sell it for drug money, he's taken my ATM card out of my wallet, you name it and he's done it. Making the drugs legal wouldn't help the issue - he would still need the money. And he'd do anything to get his fix.

I still don't believe someone who is not predisposed to suck down some meth would do so, even if the meth was next to the Chivas on the shelf.
Maybe you're right. It's hard to tell what would happen if it were to become legal. Would I pick up some meth at the grocery store now? No. Would I have done it when I was 21? Maybe.

I have to argue this point. Tobacco is crazy addictive. I have been trying to kick it for 25 years. I'm doing great now, by only smoking a couple cigarettes a week, but I have been in this place before only to start buying packs again. I dream about cigarettes...

Also, talk to a hardcore alcoholic and you will know that they cannot stop.
Point taken. I guess 'less addictive' was the wrong description. I was trying to say that no one would hit you ever the head with a crowbar because they were out of cigarettes, but I'm not quite convinced that a serious meth user wouldn't.
 

mjp

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Well it all comes back to whether or not someone thinks that addiction causes crime. And if an alcoholic or smoker isn't likely to rob you to get their fix, the answer is clearly 'no.' So the question becomes why do illegal drug users often turn to crime?

All I'm saying is you already force them into an underworld by marginalizing and criminalizing their behavior, and that seems makes the step to real crime much easier.

Physically and mentally I think you would be hard pressed to find a scientific difference between someone craving meth or nicotine. Any scientists in the audience feel free to shoot that down.

But if addictions are equal, how else can we explain the crime?

Bob Marley said once (when he was very, very high), "Laws cause crimes and violence." And in this scenario, I think he's right on target.
 

marina del rey

Over 500 posts
Physically and mentally I think you would be hard pressed to find a scientific difference between someone craving meth or nicotine. Any scientists in the audience feel free to shoot that down.

But if addictions are equal, how else can we explain the crime?
I think that's where we disagree then. I don't necessarily think all addictions are equal. There's certainly more of a physical reaction from meth withdrawal than there is from nicotine withdrawal.

If I'm addicted to caffeine and I don't drink a coffee, then I get a headache. If I'm addicted to heroin and I don't get my fix, then there's vomiting, muscle spasms, sweating, etc. If I'm experiencing those things, I'm more likely to do whatever I need to in order to alleviate the symptoms.

But I've never been addicted to any of the heavy things, so I realize it's pretty easy for me to sit back and pontificate. I'm just basing that off of what I've seen from others around me.
 

bospress.net

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Over 5000 posts
Heroin is a different beast altogether. My understanding of Opiate addiction is that your cells get addicted to the drug. Nicotine, Caffeine, alcohol are all physical addictions, but are even a stronger mental addiction.

If I was president, I'd pardon all non-violent drug offenders in the US. That would clear out what, half the prison population? I would then push hard as hell to get the laws changed to make all drugs legal.

Of course, I would not be re-elected and likely would be killed. On top of that, those that write laws, the Congress, would never pass it, so in a few years, the same people would be in prison for minor (in the whole scale of crime) offenses doing hard time for non-violent offenses with seriously dangerous people.

(/pontification)

Bill
 

mjp

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If I'm addicted to caffeine and I don't drink a coffee, then I get a headache. If I'm addicted to heroin and I don't get my fix, then there's vomiting, muscle spasms, sweating, etc. If I'm experiencing those things, I'm more likely to do whatever I need to in order to alleviate the symptoms.
Yeah, I hear you.

Of course it's kind of difficult to rob someone when you're doubled up on a dirty mattress somewhere sweating out a dope withdrawal. ;)

I've never been addicted to any illegal drugs either, but I just keep thinking back to nicotine, and the clusters of people outside 12 step meetings chain smoking during breaks, and the people in drug treatment centers chain smoking around the clock. If hard core addicts can quit heroin, alcohol, meth, whatever, but not nicotine, I think the idea that smoking is a "lesser" or different addiction kind of goes out the window.

Along with the whole 12 step crackpot philosophy (which doesn't work anyway).

But this is all speculation and blah blah blah because these things will never be legal in this country.

Heroin is a different beast altogether. My understanding of Opiate addiction is that your cells get addicted to the drug. Nicotine, Caffeine, alcohol are all physical addictions, but are even a stronger mental addiction.
Actually I saw something recently about new research that indicates that any addiction changes the way the brain functions, and those changes never go away. So it would seem that any differences would have to be physical.
 

hoochmonkey9

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the thing that always killed me about 12 step programs is that they don't treat the addiction, they transfer it. so, like mjp pointed out, you can smoke your brains out at AA meetings, just don't have a beer. addiction is the disease, regardless of the poison.
 

CRBSMILE

Over 500 posts
It's all about the money.
Yes. It Is.
And in the promise of saving time and not posting 25 quotes, I agree with mjp whole heartedly.
I've smoked ciggs since I was 13 and the longest I've quit was 2 weeks.
I "kicked" cocaine and meth. "on my own", all it took was an adult realization that I was going to put my own life, and the lives of my kids, and my Hubby's life,( oh but Yes! he was right in it with me), into the gutter.
All these laws and rules and AA programs are really based on the "fact" that People do not have a genuine personal choice in their lives.(God will save you). Telling people that they need protection from their own selves and CHOICES is the worst thing you can do, because you are saying that they, as individuals, have no power.
I have done my fair share of "bad" drugs. If heroin was offered OTC next to the Nyquil I would not be tempted to buy, and I am the of 'type' that is considered a drug addict. Whatever.
The governement does not care about the well being and health of the people. Drug laws have nothing to do with those issues. I think it is pretty obvious to most pot smokers that booze can be much more detrimentle(sp?) then a few tokes from a doobie.
It really is all bullshit. And most of us know it. People like pigmantoo are caught in the middle in many ways, because they really want to help others but the belief system that they are working within/against just does not work. CRB:)
 

Gerard K H Love

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Over 5000 posts
There is an anonymous group called Fear of Success Anonymous it is where people who fall off the wagon of alcohol addiction, cocaine addiction and others go to. It is some peoples answer (or excuse) to why the can't control their own behavior.
I recently quit drinking and smoking pot (the good kind) and I'm doing fine but I know people who have a very hard time quitting anything.
 
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