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May 19, 2002
3:18 PM   Subscribe

Drug War Roundup III A 70% increase in the price of cigarettes seems to have dropped the teenage smoking rate by 7%. On May 15 you heard the Drug War Czar say anti-drug ads were a flop. He announced a new campaign the next day. San Franciscan test subjects in a medical marijuana study say they're given "low-potency ditch weed." Subjects in a similiar study in Canada say the weed they're given is way too good. Lastly, Canada is debating whether to decriminalize smoking pot on the heels of a committee conclusion that it doesn't lead to hard drug use, committing more crimes or driving fast.
posted by raaka (16 comments total)

 
A tale of how heroin pushed out marijuana in New York.
posted by sheauga at 4:23 PM on May 19, 2002


Wow, nice little story there sheauga. Thanks. Although I myself am not much of an avid pot smoker(I tried it a few times...) I think it promotes happiness and peace more than anything. When you're high you just want to go hug a tree. When you're drunk you want to kick someone's ass. Now which one should be illegal?
posted by spidre at 5:10 PM on May 19, 2002


To quote the inimitable George Carlin; "in a country where alcohol ruins more lives than anything, they ban an artifical sweetener -- BECAUSE A RAT DIED!" Until there is no money to be made off of cigarettes, they'll continue to be sold. Same with alcohol.

I've never seen a violent side-effect to pot -- personally, or in others. It generally causes laziness, and your short-term memory is so shot that getting angry is usually a short-lived affair.

And a big "ha ha!" to the recipients of the "low-potency ditch weed". I've never had schwag, but I've seen enough of it. Nothing like the sensation of swabbing your throat with 40-grit sandpaper, without the pleasent buzz afterwards.
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:18 PM on May 19, 2002


The conservative Canadian newspaper The National Post is for decriminalization.
posted by sillygwailo at 5:48 PM on May 19, 2002


No amount of sensible, logical argument for decriminalization will ever get to the Drug Fuehrer... er, I mean Czar.

It's in no small part a matter vested (read: financial) interest being overwhelmingly in favor of keeping things as they are. There's little interest on the part of either party in stopping the disenfranchising of the sort of people who lose their right to vote to drug laws, or to do anything that might see a reduction in the bribes... er, campaign contribution they get from logging, gas, cotton, drug and tobacco companies.

Besides, who could the Feds scapegoat when we're not at war, if it weren't for "evil drug barons"? And by that THEY don't mean Pfizer.
posted by clevershark at 5:56 PM on May 19, 2002


Decriminalizing/full-out legalizing marijuana seems pretty reasonable, but has anyone ever seen a decent approach to the heroin problem? Was it the Netherlands that tried the program whereby addicts would be allowed to safely use heroin in a supervised environment, on a boat, that ended up being a tragic failure when it was discovered dealers were smuggling in heroin and selling it?
posted by jeb at 5:57 PM on May 19, 2002


jeb: try the first Drug War Roundup.
posted by raaka at 6:08 PM on May 19, 2002


Of course, Canada may be in the process of decriminilization but the good ole USA is wanting to do random drug tests for everyone under 18. Yep, minors have no right, they're all God's children and we should protect them:

"Thanks be to almighty God, who has guided us, protected us and comforted us in this effort," says DeForest Rathbone

Of course this may open the eyes of people once they find that 1/4 of students are no longer allowed to attend class because they smoked marijuanna.
posted by geoff. at 6:28 PM on May 19, 2002


People like Rathbone scare the sh*t out of me... but not out of America, unfortunately. Oh well, that'll just be more jobs for us foreigners in the US that American kids won't have the skills to fill.

Never mind the dependency on foreign oil, look at the american dependency on foreign workers. It's going to be on the rise.
posted by clevershark at 6:51 PM on May 19, 2002


I agree that decriminilization of drugs should happen in the United States on three grounds.

1) It is your Constitutional right to be able to harm yourself how you choose.
2) It will be easier to treat addicts, gather taxes and stop gang-related crime with decriminilization.
3) Criminilization isn't stopping drug use anywhere. Among people my age, "Do you smoke?" does not refer to cigarettes.

However, we shouldn't encourage drug use, in the same manner that we don't encourage getting drunk or starting to smoke. There are still harmful benefits (lack of concentration, poor decision making), especially in the short term. If we were to decriminalize drugs, we should have the following guidelines for such implementation:

1) Greater penalties for drug-related crime, in the same way that a car crash when you're drunk gets you greater penalties than if you're not.
2) Increased drug education funding, and a more logical drug education policy (i.e. - just tell kids what drugs will do will do to them and cut the BS).
3) Government sponsored treatment facilities, using part of the tax revenue.
posted by Kevs at 7:46 PM on May 19, 2002


It is your Constitutional right to be able to harm yourself how you choose.

True, but it is then also my right to happily point and laugh when you are dying in a ditch somewhere as a result of your God-given right to screw yourself up. Sadly, that doesn't happen, as people have come to expect that someone else will bail them out of whatever results from bad decisions. The idea of Gov't sponsored treatment centers is sadly unrealistic, as there is no way that taxes from legal pot sales would ever match the number of people wanting to sponge off society.

Example? Those 19 year old girls with six kids. Her own decisions got her where she is, but it's my tax money that keeps her and her similarly useless spawn alive after the fact. Call it a hunch, but I doubt that teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and any number of other social ills would be as rampant as they are if the "victims" knew that there was absolutely no financial safety net. The problems would certainly not vanish, but with virtually no repercussions from these actions now, there are no real reasons to think more carefully.

I can't afford to pay for your mistakes or general stupidity through taxes. I am already stretched to the edge as it is.
posted by Electric Jesus at 8:18 AM on May 20, 2002


Those 19 year old girls with six kids

you may seemistakes or general stupidity

but i see six solders for your ro-tat-ing-neon jesus routine...just kidding.

"I am already stretched to the edge as it is"

welcome aboard charlie, now get in fucking line.
posted by clavdivs at 8:44 AM on May 20, 2002


I wrote this whole long spiel and was about to post it, but then I realized what a troll Electric J's post was...........

....but in looking up where my tax dollars actually DO go, I found this.

Scary.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:49 AM on May 20, 2002


"I doubt that teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and any number of other social ills would be as rampant as they are if the "victims" knew that there was absolutely no financial safety net."

The drug users would die off quicker-- perhaps we should legalize voluntary euthanasia for drug users or shifltless, lazy, depressed individuals while we're at it? Another advantage-- the budgets of many beleaguered taxpayers would benefit from savings on lower rates / better accessibiltiy to prostitution. Live someplace with no safety net-- and you'll see what happens to women! The guys love it, as long as it's not their sister. Of course, those women are all loose and immoral, and it's their choice to seek out "a good time, AIDS, die young" instead of slow starvation, exploitation and humiliation.

And of course, everyone knows that married fellows never catch AIDS from prostitutes-- just ask the Mustang Ranch. Married women can't get HIV from someone who slept with an IV drug user, because all husbands are faithful. And those Wall Street types who are heroin users, as long as they can pay for their own rehab and pull another ENRON scam, more power to them.

It's all the fault of the terminally ill who want to smoke dope instead of shutting up and spending their medical benefits on socially acceptable alternatives like Brompton's Mixture.
posted by sheauga at 2:45 PM on May 20, 2002


B.O.P:

Of course I'm a troll. Can't you see how my heart doesn't bleed a red river for all the soulless nothings who can't be bothered to get a job when welfare actually pays more (in some cases) than anything they are qualified to do? How dare I expect to take home the lion's share of what I earned while these wastes of skin do nothing each and every day and, on rare occasions, actually brag about it? How callous of me to not be moved by the mother of six, no two of which have the same father. How dare I expect her to keep those greasy legs together for an entire weekend?

I work too hard for too little pay to care about those who have no interest in helping themselves. Sadly, we all know that any opinion that isn't wildly left wing around Metafilter is instantly dismissed.

Typical? Yep. Surprising? By this point, nope.
posted by Electric Jesus at 5:42 PM on May 20, 2002


...so much for compassionate conservatism....

Social services is a tiny slice of the tax pie: more of your money is going to the Pentagon and Archer-Daniels-Midland (in the form of farm subsidies) than it is to support welfare mothers. I guess welfare's OK as long as one is incorporated.

And people would be less dismissive if you argued rationally instead of demonizing your opponents as "useless spawn", "soulless nothings", or "wastes of skin".

I work too hard for too little pay

I agree, we SHOULD raise the minimum wage.

How dare I expect her to keep those greasy legs together for an entire weekend?

You're right. We should provide women with free effective birth control on demand.

...who can't be bothered to get a job when welfare actually pays more (in some cases) than anything they are qualified to do?

Absolutely. Better job training and access to post-secondary education could make a real difference. Good point.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:11 AM on May 21, 2002


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