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Thursday, February 18. 2016
It is a sad story, but it is often true that "once the needle goes in, it never comes out." The facts that many succeed in "recovery" is remarkable. Mr. Williamson does not understand the whole of it, though.
For one thing, in every country there is a strong market for opiates. For another, in every country there are illicit entrepreneurs eager to supply it. Demand will never go away. For another, pain meds like Oxy are one of the blessings of modern medicine. Relief of intractable pain whether from metastatic cancer or otherwise, is a gift to patients so there is the good with the bad, as always with everything in life. People using Oxy can be fully functional in work and life.
I have come to believe that "the war on drugs" is pointless. All it does is to drive up prices, and thus drive up crime. That is what prohibition does, every time. Rehab and detox are available everywhere in the US for those who decide to give it a try. I am in favor of some form of medically-monitored drug legalization as exists in England. There will always be addicts in this world, people addicted to all sorts of things besides "substances." People often habitually do what they feel like, even if it is unwise immediate gratification. That is one reason many are disappointed in life. Human nature at its least admirable. There is no fix for that, so it has to be accepted. There are no psycho-utopias other than drugs, romantic/sexual passion, or through God. Just my professional opinion.
However, that is more of a medical view than a moral view.
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“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” – GK Chesterton, Radio Broadcast 6-11-35
I have mixed feelings about this. Perhaps drugs should be legal BUT should all drugs then be legal? That is, can I walk into the drugstore and buy antibiotics or other prescription drugs and if not why not?
I will agree to legalization but I think drug users should not suck up our medical and legal resources. Commit a crime because you use drugs and go to jail for 10 extra years. There is no good reason that all non-drug using citizens should have to put up with drug using criminals. If your drugs cause you health problems, so sorry but no free health care. You made the choice now live with it. And my last suggestion is to consider offering/giving/providing drugs to anyone under 18 is assault and child abuse and if the mother or father hunts down the drug pusher and shoots him that they have a legal right to do so to prevent said assault and child abuse.
If you commit a crime, you should suffer the appropriate consequences. It should matter not if you committed that crime because you were on drugs, drinking, talking on your cell phone, etc. The influence of drugs should serve neither as an excuse to lessen your punishment - as we see too often when a drunk driver is treated leniently when he kills someone - nor increase it. The problem is that the courts allow more leniency - they claim the crime wasn't really intentional - if the person was under the influence of drugs/alcohol. I call BS on that. The person knowingly and willfully consumed the intoxicant and should have known that it could influence their actions. Bottom line: if a drunk driver kills someone, it should be dealt with as second degree murder PERIOD.
Surprisingly I agree with you. If you commit assault it shouldn't matter that your assault was racially motivated, but in fact it does matter. If you commit any crime that is considered 'aggravated' you should only suffer the punishment for the crime the 'aggravation' should not enter into it, but it does. So I would actually be fine with punishing a drug user commensurate with the crime committed without consideration of the aggravating effect of choosing to use drugs as long as we do the same with all crime and punishment.
But understand that there is a problem with this 'cleaner' way of charging and punishing someone. If I am driving a car and accidently run over a toddler in my neighborhood it truly is a different crime than if I drink or take drugs and choose to operate a car and run over the same child. So I'm not sure society is ready to equate a drunk driving accident with a 'true' accident. My intent was to be consistent with the reality of present day views of crime and punishment.
Very few people can function long term while addicted to Oxy in my experience with friends and co-workers. But then, most of them were not in life-changing pain. They started out just wanting a good time.
I would add Exercise to your list of psycho-utopias. Many people are addicted to exercise in the same way that people are addicted to drugs or alcohol. It fills a void.
Wind, I agree. And regarding children and drugs, I would include drugs used to treat behavior labeled as ADD. Drugging children with ritalin should be a crime.
You guys are tough. I thought I was the only one who thinks like...we...do. You might be interested in the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition folks: http://www.leap.cc/ .
The problem is always balancing "rights". A person may have a right to damage themselves but no right to damage/hurt their parents, wives, children. They have no right to society's charity. Nobody thinks that thru when wanting to get high. So how is all this balanced? If the individual will not refrain, it is left to family and society to restrain them. How to restrain is the problem. Enable them with govt supplied drugs? Punishment and Prison? Rehab? Govt sponsored drug dens with supplies and emergency medical? There are more worthy causes and problems for society's charity and funding than drug users. I will ask again: Where are all the psychologists, sociologists, criminologists with comprehensive solutions to this drug problem. Every college had departments full of these experts and there is not a comprehensive answer? Why is that?
Yes, but the drug war provides power and the opportunities for graft to thousands of politicians, employment to a hundred thousand bureaucrats, and excellent excuses for police departments and officers to equip themselves with powerful and noisy toys - and excuses to use them. It forces high prices and profits for drug dealers and smugglers, and encourages mildly corruptible police officers to become fully corrupt and go "on the take". Few enough, but still far too many.
However, the war on drugs is ENTIRELY unconstitutional on a Federal level. The Constitution does not authorize the Federal government to do ANYTHING about drugs, and the nearest analogue - Prohibition - needed a constitutional amendment which was then REPEALED. Prohibition - drugs or booze, either way - was and is an absolute failure.
Yes. Legalize ALL drugs. The death toll in that first year may be brutal, but the druggies will eliminate themselves, and the rest of us can go on.
I believe that by expanding the number of people who live their lives in a wakeful stupor, you are relieving some of the stress of overpopulation ! Think about it--when they are stoned they are pretty harmless unless they are trying to steal something. They don't eat very much. They really don't require special housing. Most importantly--they don't organize, they don't confront, they don't do much of anything to annoy the more energized part of the population ! They are very easy to manipulate and control. Isn't that what you call a win win?
Narcotic induced hyperalgesia. People do not find a adequate level of pain control. The amount of narcotic and pain grows. Patients end up being fired from multiple physicians and clinics. Many end up on street drugs to fill the addiction we gave them. Not so fast my friends....
I'm 20+ years sober and I've probably known about as many addicts as a doctor or counselor would know during a similar amount of time. There are a lot of common threads. People use drugs because they're in pain--physical, emotional, whatever. They hurt, they medicate. Sadly, the source of the pain is frequently hard to determine.
A simple solution to the drug problem would be to open a quasi-prison, a "camp," and allow anybody who chooses to enter. You have a bed, food is available, and there's all of the drugs you can consume. Drugs are still illegal outside of the camp but the only penalty for possession is confiscation, after which, the drugs would be sent to the camp.
Entering the camp would be simple. Walk in. Exiting would require a 30-day period of sobriety while still remaining in the camp. This would indicate that whatever issues were causing the need to self-medicate have been resolved. Putting together 30 days abstinent in an environment where anything you could possibly want is freely available would be a significant feat. Return visits would be allowed.
Like Ken says, there would be some people who come in and never leave. Society benefits from this as it's a lot less dangerous to have these people in a controlled environment than it is to have them out on the streets.