Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/Sources/Load.php(225) : runtime-created function on line 3
Ending the Drug War
I Read This
September 26, 2018, 07:24:22 EDT *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: The Lupinia Hosting Community, which hosts I Read This, is supported by donations!  Please contribute if you're able, click here for details.
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 14 15 [16]
  Print  
Author Topic: Ending the Drug War  (Read 35469 times)
Current
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3141


« Reply #225 on: March 02, 2009, 06:16:30 EST »

Andrei, you are assuming that those who deal drugs have some intent to be criminal.  That if they were not dealing drugs they would be doing other sorts of crime.  I see no reason why that should be the case.

I've known a few drug dealers over the years.  Those were honest folks really, more honest than most.

Think of it this way.  If someone made studying higher mathematics illegal tomorrow (because of the it's obvious detriment to society) then would that mean that you would be more likely to take up another crime were it later to be made legal?
Logged
Ihlosi
Political Analyst
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 232


« Reply #226 on: March 02, 2009, 06:37:32 EST »

Outside of addiction and overdose, Heroin actually has no physical effects.

Don't take a drug dealers word on the effect of drugs. Please. Chances are they simply don't have the information, and even if they do, they have a major conflict of interest when informing others about the effects.

I can trivially name another side effect of heroin: Constipation. In fact, the stuff is one of most effective antidiarrheals you can find.

There are other side effects, like interfering with the immune system during long-term use.

And, well, "overdose" isn't a physical effect. Opioids are respiratory depressants at any dosage, "overdose" just occurs when breathing stops long enough for the person to die.
Logged
Andrei
Political Analyst
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 472


« Reply #227 on: March 02, 2009, 13:24:11 EST »

Quote from: Bringerofpie
Actually Andrei, if you legalize certain drugs (namely Marijuana), many dealers will either go into illegal sale of legal goods (namely, selling Marijuana without a license) or legal sales and business (Marijuana).
Quote from: Current
Andrei, you are assuming that those who deal drugs have some intent to be criminal.  That if they were not dealing drugs they would be doing other sorts of crime.  I see no reason why that should be the case.
I will answer you both at once since you said the same thing (essentially).

If marijuana, or any other drug, was legalised, selling it would become just another business rather than the easy but risky money it is now.

The people who sell it currently would be forced to compete with people who would probably be smarter, more ethical, wealthier or harder-working than they are (let's face it, there are reasons certain people resort to criminality while others don't).

Would experience and market inertia allow some of them to keep their place in the niche? Probably, but most would simply be displaced by others better adapted to legal commerce and would need to look for some other area of shady-to-illegal activity.

Quote from: Current
Think of it this way.  If someone made studying higher mathematics illegal tomorrow (because of the it's obvious detriment to society) then would that mean that you would be more likely to take up another crime were it later to be made legal?
That's a false analogy.

I did not go into higher math while it was illegal, I went into it while it was legal. If it was made illegal, I would probably look for some other legal line of work. A better analogy would be if I would take up a different petty crime if jaywalking was legalised (I do it all the time).

A real-life example happened in Romania relatively recently, as the EU outlawed* home distillery of hard liquour (tuica in this case), which is something of a tradition in certain rural areas. From what I hear, home production has continued on unabated, but my links to rural life are tenuous to say the least...

My reply would be that there is a non-trivial difference between jaywalking or clandestine home-distillation and dealing drugs.

I guess you could argue the latter isn't too different from selling (or giving) home-grown weed to friends (especially given the usual quality of home-distilled fruit liquour), but that would be forgetting the weight of tradition and the novelty of the law. Give it a few decades, and I'll bet either the law will change or the home-distilled alcohol will disappear.

*: Technically speaking, it is not against the law to home-brew hard liquour, but according to the law it must be inspected prior to consumption even if you only made 5 litres of it, and you must pay (fairly prohibitive) taxes on it even if you made it yourself from your own prunes and drank it alone in your yard.
Logged

He looked severely at me for awhile, then, grabbing his moustaches, he said:
- Boss, with all due respect, you are naive and pedant.

"Alexis Zorba", by Nikos Kazantzakis (translation mine)
Current
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3141


« Reply #228 on: March 02, 2009, 13:45:43 EST »

Really, they can force themselves on people without their consent can they?

Consent is meaningless without knowledge and understanding of the consequences. And I doubt that the majority of drug addicts has sufficient background in pharmacology or biochemistry to understand why, how quickly and how badly certain substances will mess up your brain. (No, the information from the drug dealer doesn't count. Drug dealers have a major conflict of interest).
I don't think a background in pharmacology is really necessary.  All that a person need know is that taking drugs is dangerous.  People already know that, it is taught in schools (at least it is in Britain).

Do you have any scientific backing for that idea?

Since opiates pretty much directly activate the receptors in the brain responsible for pure euphoria, it is pretty much a given that any user will want to repeat the experience.
That's not really the same thing as an addiction though is it?

Quote from: Randy Barnett
Whenever someone complains that libertarians are just pie-in-the-sky utopian (or distopian) intellectuals, just ask them again about the real world consequences of the War on Drugs, and see who gets all pie-in-the-sky right quick.

The "war on drugs" is a US thing. You don't need to be a libertarian to find it excessive.
Well, we have it is Britain unfortunately.

Quote
This business of saying that people under the influence of drugs cannot make their own decisions is very dangerous.

What part of biochemistry do I need to explain? You brain is responsible for decisions. It needs certain levels of various chemicals to make decisions we consider "free" or "self-controlled". If you mess up this chemical balance, you can radically alter the outcome of this decision-making process, up to the point of completely changing the personality.

Heck, you don't even need "drugs" to test this. Just try to slip into light hypoglycemia for a while, it turns people, even the otherwise nice, into utter assholes that make decisions that they would not make under normal circumstances, and that they usually cannot explain afterwards.
I'm not really disagreeing with you about biochemistry.

What I'm saying is that definitions that work for medical purposes do not necessarily work for legal ones.  What you are not thinking of here is the scope of abuse that these bring with them.  What the law needs is very clear evidence.  Clear enough so that people can see that the law is being followed.

Any law that can be abused by the government will be.

Logged
Ihlosi
Political Analyst
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 232


« Reply #229 on: March 02, 2009, 14:07:58 EST »

I don't think a background in pharmacology is really necessary.  All that a person need know is that taking drugs is dangerous.  People already know that, it is taught in schools (at least it is in Britain).

Dangerous shmangerous. Telling a group of people that something is "dangerous", without any further explanation, will just encourage some to try the activity. Especially if that group consists of teenagers. Without the excursion into (neuro-)chemistry, there's no way of knowing why the stuff is dangerous, how quickly it will mess you up, and how badly.

Quote
That's not really the same thing as an addiction though is it?

It's psychological addiction. Basically, your brain comes psychologically pre-addicted to opioids, since they're used in the brains reward system for things that you should seek out (for example sex), and to keep your body going in emergencies (but not to numb it completely, since pain is a strong motivator to avoid such emergencies in the first place).

Quote
Well, we have it is Britain unfortunately.

Does Britain pay other countries to spray suspected drug plantations with RoundUp?

Having drug laws does not equal having a "war on drugs". The latter includes foreign policy (up to military action, or requesting such from other countries), drastic punishments even for possession of small amounts of drugs, etc.

Oh ... funny random thing in the news today: The most promising candidate in local politics of the conservative party close to where I live was busted for drugs today. And not for taking them, but for being a drug dealer. Police found 80 grams of heroin ready for sale in his house, and a couple of thousand Euros in suspected drug money. Heck, he even admitted it after they arrested him. Tongue

« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 14:11:14 EST by Ihlosi » Logged
Bringerofpie
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1485



« Reply #230 on: March 02, 2009, 15:45:57 EST »

Outside of addiction and overdose, Heroin actually has no physical effects.

Don't take a drug dealers word on the effect of drugs. Please. Chances are they simply don't have the information, and even if they do, they have a major conflict of interest when informing others about the effects.

I can trivially name another side effect of heroin: Constipation. In fact, the stuff is one of most effective antidiarrheals you can find.

There are other side effects, like interfering with the immune system during long-term use.

And, well, "overdose" isn't a physical effect. Opioids are respiratory depressants at any dosage, "overdose" just occurs when breathing stops long enough for the person to die.

Thank you for assuming that I get a lot of information from Heroin dealers. I really appreciate it. I actually got that little tidbit from one of my dad's copies of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Logged

Set a new standard
Defy the odds
Step up.

Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.21

Does anyone else get more liberal every time they take the political compass test?
Ihlosi
Political Analyst
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 232


« Reply #231 on: March 02, 2009, 16:12:25 EST »

I actually got that little tidbit from one of my dad's copies of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sorry, but the "it's just addictive and may kill you in case of overdose, but doesn't have any other effects" sounded dangerously like an advertisement.

In that case you probably got "no toxic effects" mixed up with "no other physical effects". The other long-term effects are due to opioids acting on opioid receptors in the body ... which isn't direct toxicity, but has adverse effects nonetheless. It also leads to a larger histamine release than most other opioids, which can also cause adverse effects (itching).

The long-term effects of opioid use are mostly well-documented, though there's still some research going into the exact mechanism (like the immunosuppressive effect). The only thing that makes heroin even worse stuff than most other opioids is that it crosses the blood-brain-barrier much more readily, thus affecting a larger part of the nervous system.
Logged
Bringerofpie
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1485



« Reply #232 on: March 02, 2009, 17:38:35 EST »

I actually got that little tidbit from one of my dad's copies of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sorry, but the "it's just addictive and may kill you in case of overdose, but doesn't have any other effects" sounded dangerously like an advertisement.

In that case you probably got "no toxic effects" mixed up with "no other physical effects". The other long-term effects are due to opioids acting on opioid receptors in the body ... which isn't direct toxicity, but has adverse effects nonetheless. It also leads to a larger histamine release than most other opioids, which can also cause adverse effects (itching).

The long-term effects of opioid use are mostly well-documented, though there's still some research going into the exact mechanism (like the immunosuppressive effect). The only thing that makes heroin even worse stuff than most other opioids is that it crosses the blood-brain-barrier much more readily, thus affecting a larger part of the nervous system.

I should have been more specific, it doesn't have any effects that codeine doesn't also have. The itching is largely psychosomatic, believe it or not.

I know the difference between a toxic effect and a physical effect.

Now, this is not to say that heroin is good. Quite the contrary, I would never do it.
Logged

Set a new standard
Defy the odds
Step up.

Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.21

Does anyone else get more liberal every time they take the political compass test?
The Dude
Abides
Political Analyst
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104



« Reply #233 on: March 02, 2009, 22:21:24 EST »


Dangerous shmangerous. Telling a group of people that something is "dangerous", without any further explanation, will just encourage some to try the activity. Especially if that group consists of teenagers.


Someone should mention that to public school officials.  "Drugs and unprotected sex are dangerous" is about as in-depth as they get in my area.
Logged

That rug really tied the room together.
wodan46
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1469


« Reply #234 on: March 02, 2009, 23:23:26 EST »


Dangerous shmangerous. Telling a group of people that something is "dangerous", without any further explanation, will just encourage some to try the activity. Especially if that group consists of teenagers.


Someone should mention that to public school officials.  "Drugs and unprotected sex are dangerous" is about as in-depth as they get in my area.
That's thanks to the retardism of Conservatives and to a lesser extent Liberals.  The subject of driving is a different one.  "wear your seatbelt correctly or it might slit your throat, as we show in this graphic photo that you will never be able to cleanse from your mind for the remainder of your life" was a sufficiently good message that I will immediately straighten my seatbelt if twisted no matter what.  In turn, the simplest way to demonstrate why unprotected sex is dangerous is to describe and show them the physical effects of STDs in graphic detail.
Logged

The plural of "anecdote" is "anecdotes". Not "data".
Bringerofpie
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1485



« Reply #235 on: March 03, 2009, 15:30:38 EST »


Dangerous shmangerous. Telling a group of people that something is "dangerous", without any further explanation, will just encourage some to try the activity. Especially if that group consists of teenagers.


Someone should mention that to public school officials.  "Drugs and unprotected sex are dangerous" is about as in-depth as they get in my area.
That's thanks to the retardism of Conservatives and to a lesser extent Liberals.  The subject of driving is a different one.  "wear your seatbelt correctly or it might slit your throat, as we show in this graphic photo that you will never be able to cleanse from your mind for the remainder of your life" was a sufficiently good message that I will immediately straighten my seatbelt if twisted no matter what.  In turn, the simplest way to demonstrate why unprotected sex is dangerous is to describe and show them the physical effects of STDs in graphic detail.

By sending them to Florida State University? Sorry, had to say it.
Logged

Set a new standard
Defy the odds
Step up.

Economic Left/Right: -7.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.21

Does anyone else get more liberal every time they take the political compass test?
Current
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3141


« Reply #236 on: March 12, 2009, 13:43:56 EDT »

Going back for a moment to the issue of Smoking.  I found this quite funny....

In the recent G20 summit in the Excel exhibition centre there were rooms set aside for the visiting world leaders to smoke in.  But, it seems parliament passed a special law allowing smoking for this occasion.

To anyone who knows about history this should come as no surprise.  In Britain in the past ~two centuries certain bans existed on gambling.  The sorts of gambling that was seen as being practiced by the lower classes were banned.  Those enjoyed by the upper classes, such as horse racing were permitted.  In general rulers permit themselves and their class liberties, but they deny them to other classes if its politically useful to do so.
Logged
Current
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3141


« Reply #237 on: March 12, 2009, 18:37:00 EDT »

I don't think a background in pharmacology is really necessary.  All that a person need know is that taking drugs is dangerous.  People already know that, it is taught in schools (at least it is in Britain).

Dangerous shmangerous. Telling a group of people that something is "dangerous", without any further explanation, will just encourage some to try the activity. Especially if that group consists of teenagers. Without the excursion into (neuro-)chemistry, there's no way of knowing why the stuff is dangerous, how quickly it will mess you up, and how badly.
I agree that it is probably preferable to teach children and teenagers about addiction.

I'm not convinced that it will improve things a great deal.  What children are already taught about is the possibility of addiction and the danger of it, as well as the possibility of overdoses.

What you are talking about is explaining part of the process of addiction.  It's not the whole process of addiction, which isn't fully understood, since the brain isn't fully understood.

That said I think explaining a bit of the neurochemistry would be useful.  I think it's an exaggeration though to say that teenagers aren't informed about the dangers.  They are but some of them ignore them.  Given the rest of the dubious swill poured down their throats in school is that any surprise?

Quote
That's not really the same thing as an addiction though is it?

It's psychological addiction. Basically, your brain comes psychologically pre-addicted to opioids, since they're used in the brains reward system for things that you should seek out (for example sex), and to keep your body going in emergencies (but not to numb it completely, since pain is a strong motivator to avoid such emergencies in the first place).
I see your point.  But I don't think this really constitutes "addiction".  Surely on this basis we should say that someone is addicted to an activity that releases endorphins from the first time that they do it.

My understanding of the situation is that addiction is caused by an imbalance.  After the addictive substance has been taken for a period of time the brain recalibrates itself.  Parts of the brain receive higher levels of signaling chemicals and recalibrates itself to consider that level normal.

(I see from a quick web browse that the signaling chemicals are different with different types of drugs).

Quote
Well, we have it is Britain unfortunately.

Does Britain pay other countries to spray suspected drug plantations with RoundUp?

Having drug laws does not equal having a "war on drugs". The latter includes foreign policy (up to military action, or requesting such from other countries), drastic punishments even for possession of small amounts of drugs, etc.

Oh ... funny random thing in the news today: The most promising candidate in local politics of the conservative party close to where I live was busted for drugs today. And not for taking them, but for being a drug dealer. Police found 80 grams of heroin ready for sale in his house, and a couple of thousand Euros in suspected drug money. Heck, he even admitted it after they arrested him. Tongue
Just because things are not as extreme as in the US doesn't mean things are acceptable in other places.  In the UK laws allow the police to impound the assets of *suspected* drug dealers.  If the police accused me of being a drug dealer they could take my possessions making it very difficult for me to defend myself against the allegation.

The UK has taken part in direct suppression of drug manufacture too.  They have done it in an important place, the Helmud province in Afghanistan.
Logged
Medivh
Pundit
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3466


Power-mad elf


« Reply #238 on: March 12, 2009, 21:13:21 EDT »

I don't think a background in pharmacology is really necessary.  All that a person need know is that taking drugs is dangerous.  People already know that, it is taught in schools (at least it is in Britain).

Dangerous shmangerous. Telling a group of people that something is "dangerous", without any further explanation, will just encourage some to try the activity. Especially if that group consists of teenagers. Without the excursion into (neuro-)chemistry, there's no way of knowing why the stuff is dangerous, how quickly it will mess you up, and how badly.
I agree that it is probably preferable to teach children and teenagers about addiction.

I'm not convinced that it will improve things a great deal.  What children are already taught about is the possibility of addiction and the danger of it, as well as the possibility of overdoses.

Not really. What children are taught can be summarised very briefly: "Drugs are bad. You can get addicted. Addicts are losers, and they never win. Winners never use drugs. You can't be a winner if you're an addict, and drugs will turn you into an addict."

Very little in the way of specific information about drugs is actually taught.

Teaching them that, say, cannabis, though not addictive, has been known to trigger psychosis in vulnerable individuals would have a better effect. A significantly higher portion of the population would, at least, try to find out if they're vulnerable to becoming a psychotic before trying cannabis. Specifying that heroin is potentially 1) addictive on the first hit and 2) cut with drain cleaner will make most people steer well clear of same. Actually providing information rather than the current state of drug "education" will reduce drug usage.

What you are talking about is explaining part of the process of addiction.  It's not the whole process of addiction, which isn't fully understood, since the brain isn't fully understood.

That said I think explaining a bit of the neurochemistry would be useful.  I think it's an exaggeration though to say that teenagers aren't informed about the dangers.  They are but some of them ignore them.  Given the rest of the dubious swill poured down their throats in school is that any surprise?

Which dubious swill, barring religion, sex and drug ed (which seem to be universally bad so far)? I'm afraid that your idea of "dubious swill" might be a local affair.

Quote
That's not really the same thing as an addiction though is it?

It's psychological addiction. Basically, your brain comes psychologically pre-addicted to opioids, since they're used in the brains reward system for things that you should seek out (for example sex), and to keep your body going in emergencies (but not to numb it completely, since pain is a strong motivator to avoid such emergencies in the first place).
I see your point.  But I don't think this really constitutes "addiction".  Surely on this basis we should say that someone is addicted to an activity that releases endorphins from the first time that they do it.

My understanding of the situation is that addiction is caused by an imbalance.  After the addictive substance has been taken for a period of time the brain recalibrates itself.  Parts of the brain receive higher levels of signaling chemicals and recalibrates itself to consider that level normal.

(I see from a quick web browse that the signaling chemicals are different with different types of drugs).

Fairly close; you've described one known mechanism. Usually it's done by way of increased receptors, all requiring a certain amount of transmitter x to be "satisfied". What happens in other cases, such as heroin, is the chemical "factories" that produce the neurotransmitters the drug is replacing end up reducing their output. For some reason, such factories are quick to kill output, but much slower to increase same when the situation requires it.
Logged

And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
Ihlosi
Political Analyst
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 232


« Reply #239 on: March 13, 2009, 04:03:45 EDT »

Fairly close; you've described one known mechanism. Usually it's done by way of increased receptors, all requiring a certain amount of transmitter x to be "satisfied".

Another mechanism is downregulation of the receptors - the neuron in question needs a certain number of "inputs", with the number of inputs roughly equaling the number of receptors time the concentration of the substance in question. Increase the concentration of the substance, and the number of receptors is regulated down, since there are more "inputs" than necessary. Bring the concenctration of the substance back to the previous level ... and you're in trouble until the number of receptors has increased again. I believe nicotine addiction works this way.

What happens in other cases, such as heroin, is the chemical "factories" that produce the neurotransmitters the drug is replacing end up reducing their output. For some reason, such factories are quick to kill output, but much slower to increase same when the situation requires it.

I believe that for some drugs (some of the synthetic stuff, as far as I've heard), the factories won't recover in some cases. The user is then pretty much messed up permanently.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 14 15 [16]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!