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Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?
February 6, 2008 6:37 AM   Subscribe

A BBC Horizon documentary, asks "Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?" (iPlayer link valid for UK users until 11 Feb). Here comes the science...

The programme is based on a paper published last year in the Lancet titled "Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse" (pdf), which attempts an objective ranking of the 20 most common recreational drugs in the UK in terms of harm. A summary of the rankings and comparison with the existing UK classifications is here. The Transform Drugs Policy Foundation (Previously).has an interesting blog post summarising some of the policy discussions and media reaction resulting from the original paper.
posted by Jakey (71 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait, are you saying drug policy might be irrational?
posted by delmoi at 6:39 AM on February 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Having seen people messed up by both, I gotta say E is worse. Much worse.
posted by rocket88 at 6:42 AM on February 6, 2008


The question is not which is "worse", even if such a thing could measured linearly. The question is, which are harmful to society.

Speaking as an anti-social nondrinker, I don't seem much good to alcohol and quite a bit of bad. But I doubt my view will carry the day.
posted by DU at 6:46 AM on February 6, 2008


"...cigarettes legal, alcohol legal, kill more people than all illegal drugs combined times one thousand, they are legal. Marijuana, a drug that kills...um...no one, and let's put in some kind of time frame.............................. ever, is illegal."

And he would know.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 6:57 AM on February 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


My middle school health textbook had a section on the dangers of marijuana. Its big claim was that smoking it could impair your driving in combination with drinking alcohol. Then there was a little drawing from the perspective of a car driver with two hands on the steering wheel -- one with a bottle of booze, the other with a lit joint.

When my mom gave me the "don't do drugs" spiel, she told me to stay away from pot because it's not as good as when she was a kid.
posted by danb at 7:01 AM on February 6, 2008


The paper is actually old news.

As for the Horizon's question, there are very few pure MDMA users compared to pure alcohol users, so an epidemiological comparison is very difficult. But roughly, based on typical use patterns, alcohol will lead to greater problems over a unit population in the long run, but no so much over the short run. Again, the typical polydrug use patterns of MDMA makes calculating its toxicity in humans prone to confounds.

And within the scope of the individual, the question is meaningless.
posted by daksya at 7:03 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can see why alcohol ranks higher than E based on how many people misuse it for instance, but I was really rather bothered by marijuana apparently being more dangerous than gluesniffing. I mean, what the fuck? They even said, some people die on their first abuse of solvents. Who has ever died on that first toke of a joint?
posted by opsin at 7:04 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


In the 19th century morphine addiction was promoted as a substitute for alcohol addiction. The rational is that morphine made people less violent (true) and had less long term health damage damage.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:05 AM on February 6, 2008


DU: As a nondrinker I'm sure you don't seem much good from booze's point of view.
posted by MNDZ at 7:12 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, because after I have a few drinks, I lose my short-term memory for the rest of my...sorry, what was the question?
posted by Dasein at 7:13 AM on February 6, 2008


seriously though, rational dialogue is something that I always support. It's about time that we talk some sense.
posted by MNDZ at 7:14 AM on February 6, 2008


My wife has asked that I leave the glo-sticks and pacifier behind when we go to wine tastings. It's like, can I do anything?
posted by everichon at 7:39 AM on February 6, 2008 [21 favorites]


Horizon these days depresses me.
posted by Artw at 7:48 AM on February 6, 2008


Apropos of nothing in particular, I'm coming to wonder if simply removing all laws on mind altering substances would be quite a beneficial experiment. Strike them all from the books (with exceptions of underage restrictions) and see what happens. Watch the data come in, and then pass laws based on verifiable trends. Not that this is likely, given that the government and law enforcement agencies would lose a prime revenue stream, but still. I didn't think that way before, even during pothead college days. Now it might not be a bad idea to just legalize it all.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:52 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Horizon these days is just Daily Mail TV. Does wi-fi cause brain tumours? Does MMR cause autism? Does homeopathy work?
posted by influx at 7:53 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


daksya, I suspected that the paper may have been discussed here before, but I didn't hit on any of the same links as you, so I missed your post in the search.

Watching the programme yesterday made me ask the same kind of questions as opsin, which is why I included a link to the paper which details the individual parameter scores for each of the drugs. That lets you see that cannabis outscores solvents primarily because of its higher addictiveness. Whether you think that the relative dimensions of the harm scale deserve an equal weighting, or are equally well based in fact, is a matter for debate, but when they are listed explicitly it at least enables that debate.
posted by Jakey at 7:56 AM on February 6, 2008


"Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?" No, it tastes way better.
posted by jbickers at 7:56 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I looked all over and could not find it. But I thought it was even posted here. Their was a guy that ate like 20,000 pills over 10 years or something. Anyway it was a total insane number.
posted by Mr_Zero at 7:58 AM on February 6, 2008


There
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:04 AM on February 6, 2008


Does a bear shit in the woods????!!!!
posted by illuminatus at 8:09 AM on February 6, 2008


Often, bears defecate in streams.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]




Thanks FM.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:21 AM on February 6, 2008


You're welcome! I also just found the related Metafilter post.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:24 AM on February 6, 2008


It's gonna be hard to peg the "dangerous" tag on the $155 billion alcohol industry and make it stick. They'll just shift it back to pot and MDMA.
posted by crapmatic at 8:28 AM on February 6, 2008


Alcohol, in moderation, is actually very good for you, and noticably improves your chances for living longer.

The problem is if you drink so much, so often, that your body becomes addicted to it. I know someone who was a counselor in one of those very expensive drug rehab places where lots of famous musicians would often end up. He said that alcohol additiction was much worse than any other addiction in terms of how difficult it was to fight and how much it ruined lives. He said the residents would definitely agree with him.

John Maher, founder of theDelancy Street rehab program, and former alcohol and heroin addict, used to get in trouble for publically saying the same thing (though he died of a drug overdose).

If you've ever known anyone truly addicted to alcohol, then you know what I'm talking about.

This two faced nature of alcohol is what makes the controversy. If you are talking addiction, then alcohol is much worse, hands down.
posted by eye of newt at 8:29 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


So a man who can't remember much from one minute to the next tells scientists he took 40,000 Es in nine years, and they're fine with that as clinical evidence?

Agreed on Horizon's slide into scare TV nonsense. Last week they even had me half convinced that gravity was fundamentally flawed and that I was about to go floating off into space.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 8:40 AM on February 6, 2008


This two faced nature of alcohol is what makes the controversy. If you are talking addiction, then alcohol is much worse, hands down.

One might even say face down...
posted by fairmettle at 8:41 AM on February 6, 2008


interesting, eye of newt. It can't help those fighting alcohol addictions that we as a society are literally swimming in it - just count how many times per day you are bombarded with the message that drinking alcohol will make you cool, happy, fun, sexy, etc. And then imagine that your body and your brain are at odds on this matter. It can't be fun dealing with that.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:43 AM on February 6, 2008


Just looking at that survey I have a hard time believing that Cannabis is worse than Solvents. By Solvents they mean sniffing glue, right?
posted by trbrts at 8:44 AM on February 6, 2008


Horizon has been dumbed down to hell and back these past few years so I was only half watching it... but it seemed to have calmed down from the earlier episodes this series with 'Let's have Michael Portillo watch a dead pig being electrocuted!' and 'Let's put a stand-up comedian in a locked room with no lights and see if he goes mad!'

Anyway I think they were saying that Cannabis is dangerous because it makes you a loony. If you are genetically disposed to it. And they 'proved it' by giving some bloke one of the active ingredients and he had 'similar' symptoms to schizophrenia. Oh and it 'may be' linked to lung cancer.

There was an interesting point on LSD can be used to speed up therapy for psychological problems and that some psychiatrists / psychologists would like to be able to do more research

Oh and there was at least one drug on it that I've never heard of which makes me officially old.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:54 AM on February 6, 2008


Oh and there was at least one drug on it that I've never heard of which makes me officially old.

Which one?
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:03 AM on February 6, 2008


I'd never heard of a couple of those drugs, but hey, I'm from the burbs.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:11 AM on February 6, 2008


Which one?

Flatliner... which sounds like something from Neuromancer and Buprenorphine
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:13 AM on February 6, 2008


I love how the new offical truth is now "Cannabis causes schizophrenia." It's like we're back to the reefer madness days.

Sure, some studies correlate smoking pot as a teenage with later development of schizophrenia, but adolescent alcohol use is a much stronger predictor. That isn't really talked about.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:21 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


(I can't believe that no one has snarked that the video is only available in the UK. Or can I hack a cookie or something?)

When my mom gave me the "don't do drugs" spiel, she told me to stay away from pot because it's not as good as when she was a kid.

And of course, that was as big a lie as the rest of the "drug education" we got. ;) Marijuana now is so much better than the old days. (If better = stronger.)

"Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?"

As others have said, "worse" is so ambiguous as to be pointless. Alcohol in moderation can be beneficial (I don't know about *very* good for you ...); MDMA could be a beneficial psychiatric drug for those users who would benefit from it. Who knows? There's not much research.

The problem (in the US) is that we have lots of anecdotal and clinical data on alcohol, but very little on MDMA.

Marijuana, on the other hand, has been proven to be at least somewhat effective in treating (mostly mapinc links with reference to original sources):

- Alzheimer's Disease
- Brain tumors
- Epilepsy
- High blood pressure
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nerve pain from AIDS (from crappy government weed!)
- Psychosis

Among other researched benefits, some from over 30 years ago.

Obviously, more research is needed. I'd love to see MDMA, LSD, and marijuana rescheduled in the U.S. My mind boggles at why they aren't.

IMO, the massive differences in the culture of alcohol (legal, advertised, socially acceptable, known ingredients, regulated) and MDMA (illegal, black market, unsure of quality or dose, etc.) make it nigh impossible to compare the hazards/benefits. On second thought, just read that last blog post. Despite the aims of the study, the study really does miss the bigger picture. Essence:

The more you criminalise the drug (by moving it up the rankings) the more risky you make its use and more social harms you create associated with its illegal supply. Given there is no evidence that these increased harms are offset by any deterrent effect associated with classification the whole system seems even more bizarrely unscientific and unsustainable.

(I still want to watch the video, if it's possible ... help me out, interweb masters.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:44 AM on February 6, 2008


Yeah, because after I have a few drinks, I lose my short-term memory for the rest of my...sorry, what was the question?

Dersin, it takes more than a few drinks, but look up Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome...
posted by monocyte at 9:46 AM on February 6, 2008


Well, this is the rub, as usual.

Legal - Alcohol, tobacco, prescribed medications.
Illegal - Controlled substances on the list.

Let's just skip alcohol and tobacco for now, and go to the prescribed medications. Ever open up one of those informational pamphlets that tell you side effects? Some of those side effects being completely life threatening? I'd like to see prozac, xanax, ambien and other drugs in the list. Compare and contrast the results of treatement using GHB and Prozac...or other mind-altering substances.

It is very simple. If the side effect is you feel good, have an altered state of consciousness or euphoric response, it is quickly deemed illicit. However, if a big pharmaceutical company tells you you might die or have seizures or destroy your liver (in some cases)...that's OK, because, um...you will be less...um, depressed or something. A-OK!

I often don't understand some humans.
posted by Chuffy at 9:52 AM on February 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


If by worse you mean...more neurotoxic over a lifetime of typical use, more likely to lead to a debilitating and/or deadly fight with addiction, more likely to result in excess body fat, more likely to cause death through alcohol poisoning in a single night of binge drinking, more likely to cause death or damage if you attempt to drive while under its influence, and more likely to cause permanent damage to vital organs...then I'd have to say...hmmm...thinks about it...yes.
posted by infinityjinx at 9:54 AM on February 6, 2008


Marijuana is VERY, VERY BAD. Here's why:

"Smoking marijuana joints increases the cancer risk more greatly than cigarettes." And, um, also, um...it makes you get the munchies, so there's the diabetes risk.

Marijuana is a plant. People could grow it in their yards and then they would have enough to eat/drink. This would eliminate the need to smoke "joints," and reduce the cancer risk. This is bad for doctors, but at least they'd have the diabetes.

If people grew it in their yards, then the big pharma and tobacco companies would be bummed, because they wouldn't be able to regulate it somehow. And don't get me started on how it would destroy the textile industry.

Marijuana is the root of all evil. And it makes people get stoned and eat pizza, too. This is incredibly disruptive to society, especially if everyone spent their evenings watching The Wizard of Oz to Dark Side of the Moon.

Sniffing glue has nothing on pot, the most evil and destructive source of sitting around, getting high, known to mankind.
posted by Chuffy at 10:09 AM on February 6, 2008


I knew a trial lawyer who would take a few tokes off his mini-bong that he kept in his Covette before going up to the court room. He had some kind of blow-through filter to keep the smell down.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on February 6, 2008


So a man who can't remember much from one minute to the next tells scientists he took 40,000 Es in nine years, and they're fine with that as clinical evidence?

In US dollars, presuming he paid for every tab he took, that would equate to $800,000 worth of pills in nine years. That's a lot of E, dude must've had a lot of money. In other news, Wilt Chamberlain slept with over 20,000 women.
posted by Chuffy at 10:25 AM on February 6, 2008


Do you know what something like 80-90% of all violent crimes have in common? Men. And then. Alcohol. You can try to trace any other typical commonality, like poverty, but the widest most banal statistical commonality linking the greatest variety of violent crime across all demographic lines is alcohol and it's abuse.

Alcohol in moderation can be beneficial (I don't know about *very* good for you ...) Not medically beneficial. The red wine tannins and heart disease thing? That is a totally unproven and largely mythical. In fact your cancer risk goes way up with even casual alcohol use.

I will agree there are psychological and social benefits. But the purely medicinal benefits of even moderate alcohol consumption is yet to proved and thus far WAY outweighed by its negative medical effects.
posted by tkchrist at 10:27 AM on February 6, 2008


That's a lot of E, dude must've had a lot of money.

Dude must've also sold the pills to others and cut into his own profit margin to eat the E.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 AM on February 6, 2008


One thing not mentioned on the program, of course, is a lot of the harm that illegal drugs do, both to society and to the individual drug users is due to their illegal nature. Having to indulge in illegal activities due to finance their addiction and leading to the funding of organised crime, accidental overdoses due to unreliable quality, injecting and sharing needles leading to HIV , the progression from relatively safer forms of drugs to more dangerous more refined versions (ie opium to heroin, cocaine to crack)... in the later case I read somewhere of it happening in Prohibition with people drinking stronger and stronger booze, even in some cases injecting neat alcohol.

It's never going to happen, but if they were legalised (or at least de-criminalised) then I suspect that list would be a lot different.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:30 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


tkchrist: Not medically beneficial. (alcohol)

Numerous studies have plotted alcohol's effect on mortality as a J-shaped curve, enough to warrant prospective studies.

In fact your cancer risk goes way up with even casual alcohol use.

Cite?
posted by daksya at 10:50 AM on February 6, 2008


In US dollars, presuming he paid for every tab he took, that would equate to $800,000 worth of pills in nine years. That's a lot of E, dude must've had a lot of money. In other news, Wilt Chamberlain slept with over 20,000 women.

It's more like £40,000 at current UK prices. £1 a pill is by no means unheard of, especially if you're buying in quantity. These pills are, of course, full of crap and often very little MDMA, which is why an increasing number of people here are buying MDMA crystal which you can generally identify as genuine just by looking at it.
posted by Ted Maul at 11:03 AM on February 6, 2008


for years, my alcoholic father has been telling me in between beatings that ecstasy is bad for me. well just wait til I get home tonight, dad......
posted by gman at 11:13 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


And thus it comes full-circle, Ted Maul. The standard progression in rave/club cultures seems to be:

1) Scene begins. Pure MDMA available, usually in capsules.
2) Scene grows. Pure MDMA starts getting cut and/or substituted, due to flooded market. Most often available in pills
3) Scene implodes (partly due to the lack of the lovey-dovey vibe). Even less proper MDMA.

and now, it would seem, 4) People are fucked off by the crap drugs, and go right back to 1).
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:18 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Is alcohol worse than ecstasy?" No, it tastes way better.

Yeah but it doesn't make everything else you drink for the following four hours taste better.
posted by phearlez at 11:20 AM on February 6, 2008


testing kits have been available for a long time now. there are discussions about the reliability, but i find they work really well.
posted by gman at 11:34 AM on February 6, 2008


In bed?
posted by rush at 11:37 AM on February 6, 2008


rush in bed? not usually.
posted by gman at 11:41 AM on February 6, 2008


Can't watch video, in the US, too bad.

I like the approach and wording of the document because it doesn't even address the reality that drug scheduling is purely economic and moral. After reading the abstract I wondered why scientific classification hadn't already been applied. By dodging this issue, they're able to objectively present a very prudent notion that could potentially help a lot of people

Great post.
posted by hellslinger at 12:04 PM on February 6, 2008


John Maher, founder of theDelancy Street rehab program, and former alcohol and heroin addict, used to get in trouble for publically saying the same thing (though he died of a drug overdose).

Not according to this.
posted by Xurando at 12:05 PM on February 6, 2008


which attempts an objective ranking of the 20 most common recreational drugs in the UK in terms of harm.

...and then bases 1/3 of the ranking on the rather nebulous quality of "social harm". Call me when they figure out what an objective ranking of social harm would even be -- it looks as if they partly went with "more intoxicating drugs are more socially harmful", which does not necessarily follow. Hint: there's a difference between kinds of intoxication, not just degree, which is part of the reason why so many the comments here are "wtf, they've got weed listed as worse than huffing?!"

Also, as has been pointed out above, it's important to keep in mind that the UK has been really into the whole "reefer madness" bullshit lately...
posted by vorfeed at 12:07 PM on February 6, 2008


They should mark them on style, in which case huffing would come last.
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on February 6, 2008


Alcohol and tobacco are legal. There's pressure to keep them legal and pressure to ban them. This difference in opionion keeps the status quo. The same applies to illegal drugs. A bunch of people want them to stay banned and a bunch want to legalise them. The status quo is kept.

In most peoples heads, this isn't about allowing something because it's not as bad as product x, it's about making sure that the number of intoxicating products are kept down. You can argue that there's no reason to keep the total number of legal intoxicants reduced, and that's fine, but saying Marijuana should be legalised because it isn't as bad for you as alcohol misses the point.

I'm sure that if governments could swap bad & legal intoxicant A for less bad bud currently illegal intoxicant B, they would. For a number of logistical and societal reasons they just can't do this.

I have a feeling societies have an inbuilt pressure to keep the number of allowed intoxicants down to a number that must be as small as possible but greater than 0. Society needs stuff to get off its head on, but not too many different kinds of stuff. It's a theory though, and not one I can provide proof for. For me, alcohol fills that niche and there are pressures to keep it entrenched in that niche.

It's cool that people feel the need to continue providing pressure for the legalisation of illigal narcotics. For one, this feeds back into a general pressure to keep the currently legal narcotics still legal. However, I wish you'd all pay attention to the real issues here rather than retreading the same old tired ground.
posted by seanyboy at 2:12 PM on February 6, 2008


Chuffy: a note on eating pot - it's definitely my preferred method of ingestion, and if it were legal, would unquestioningly be growing and making my own butter. Well, I would if we went back in time and didn't have kids. But have you ever eaten any?

If you make it strong enough, 1/2 a cookie will last you the entire night (and 2 will give you one of your worst nights ever (it allowed me to understand the cop who made strong brownies on stolen bud and called 911 thinking that he was dying)), but what if you only want to be vertically gifted for an hour or so? A drink, or a drag of weed will do, but ingestion raises the amount of time to wait until there are effects, and prolongs the effects.

As well, you have to be very careful with your calculations, and while it's hard to smoke enough to make you sick (you feel the effects quickly enough that you taper off), it's not hard to eat enough to make you sick. Plus, smoke pot, and the next day the room smells fine. Cook up a batch of butter, and the entire house will still smell like it the next day.

Grow it outside, and one gets one harvest/year and the neighborhood kids might take it (heck, to add insult to injury, they might take it long before it's harvestable). Grow it inside, and it's a fair amount of effort even for just a small amount to last for one couple, and maybe a friend or two.

Because of all of this, I think that even if it weren't illegal that many (most?) would still smoke it.

And to add to the chorus a bit - whoever ranked cannabis above solvents only did so because they were on solvents at the time. That's a given.
posted by nobeagle at 2:29 PM on February 6, 2008


I'd like to see prozac, xanax, ambien and other drugs in the list.

Uh, did you happen to see "#7 benzodiazepines" on that list? Xanax, yeah.
posted by Justinian at 4:42 PM on February 6, 2008


Heres a new one on me: Smoking pot rots your gums
posted by Artw at 8:59 PM on February 6, 2008


That's because stoners pass out without brushing their teeth after filling up on snacks when the munchies hit.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 PM on February 6, 2008


The bastards probably don't floss enough*, and so their teeth are doomed.

* Which is something like once an hour, according to dentists. Actually that's probably considered slacking.
posted by Artw at 9:07 PM on February 6, 2008


You should be in the process of flossing at all times.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:49 PM on February 6, 2008


I stand by the statement of alcohol in moderation being very good for you.

"Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In addition to having fewer heart attacks and strokes, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine or distilled spirits or liquor) are generally less likely to suffer hypertension or high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, Alzheimer's disease and the common cold. Sensible drinking also appears to be beneficial in reducing or preventing diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, kidney stones, digestive ailments, stress and depression, poor cognition and memory, Parkinson's disease, hepatitis A, pancreatic cancer, macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness), angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, erectile dysfunction, hearing loss, gallstones, liver disease and poor physical condition in elderly."

But, of course, if you drink too much or too often, or drink and drive, or drink when you're angry--I could go on and on with the exceptions--then everything changes dramatically
posted by eye of newt at 12:13 AM on February 7, 2008


I'd like to see prozac, xanax, ambien and other drugs in the list.

Prozac was mentioned in the program... but it was sniffing it, not using it as prescribed (and of course the old-skool trancs liked Valium et al. are there)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:05 AM on February 7, 2008


seanyboy: I have a feeling societies have an inbuilt pressure to keep the number of allowed intoxicants down to a number that must be as small as possible but greater than 0.

I agree, if you substitute 'modern governments' for 'societies'. The sheer amount of psychoactive drugs known today are really the product of the last 100-120 years and they have been illegal most of the time. So, I don't think the notion to contain intoxicants originates from society at large.

Imagine if all drugs were legalized today, how would the drug consumption ecology change? Will one of Shulgin's shorter-acting chemicals become the new powder cocaine? Will there be 10+ drugs with past-month prevalences of, say, 10 million (with a fair bit of overlap, of course)? One may speculate on all these matters, but strictly speaking, a relatively rapid legalization of drugs portends an uncertain future.
posted by daksya at 2:17 AM on February 7, 2008


alcohol additiction was much worse than any other addiction in terms of how difficult it was to fight and how much it ruined lives

That's ridiculous. I've given up dozens of times.
posted by Sparx at 2:19 AM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somewhat relatedly, medical marijuana in San Francisco appears to be on the ropes. The federal government is threatening landlords with seizure. (I was expecting that a long time ago, but still depressing.)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:38 AM on February 7, 2008


You should be in the process of flossing at all times.

would even that satisfy them? They'd just demand you have 2 people flossing you at all times.
posted by Artw at 12:25 PM on February 7, 2008


In most peoples heads, this isn't about allowing something because it's not as bad as product x, it's about making sure that the number of intoxicating products are kept down.

Most people are idiots and assholes.

That aside, the best reason for legalisation is this: who the hell are you to tell me how to treat my body? So long as I'm not causing non-consensual harm to you or your property, where the fuck do you get any say in what I do to my self?

We allow all sorts of things that are unwise, unhealthy, or unintelligent, so long as they don't cause harm to others. You can eat Cheetos until your skin turns orange, you can run with scissors, you can have S&M sex, you can brand patterns into your skin.

It is inutterably stupid and intolerable that our adult, consenting, personal lives should not be fully liberated from the moral whims of others.

All yous in the above message are generic, hypothetical, anonymous, impersonal yous. You, dear MeFi reader, are surely not included in that group.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:41 PM on February 7, 2008


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