Blue Phil said (Mar 26 2008, 22:22) Consider the practicalities of legalising ALL drugs - perhaps you could address the following points you have thus far managed to ignore. Who pays for the drugs? If 90% of heroin users for example don't work then I doubt they're going to start simply because of a change of supplier. The tax payer will simply subsidise a lifetime of oblivion for those who decide that is an acceptable way of life for themselves."
Where'd you get the 90% from? People can live fine off pure heroin, just like any other medicine...
Are the drugs to be subject to taxation? If so then they're going to be more expensive than at present.
Yes, they would be subject, unless they're only available on prescription, e.g. heroin. How would having a legal supply lead to an increased price? The current inflated prices are due to the costs and risks of them being illegal.
At what age will people be able to buy/be given/prescribed hard drugs? Or do you think kids are going to wait until they're 18 before starting?
When all of the "glamour" or "rebellion" is taken out of them, by being legal, less people will use them. The phrase "forbidden fruit" springs to mind... Compare, for example, our rate of drug use with that with countries like Holland and Switzerland, in which you can obtain heroin on prescription.
Do you really think that the government should be dishing hard drugs out to kids?
With all due respect, no intelligent person would ever suggest such a thing...
How much success have the government had in curbing alcohol abuse amongst the young? How much success do you honestly think they would have in discouraging "inappropriate use" amongst substances that are far, far more addictive - and which they themselves have just supplied?
1. not much. 2. Please define "inappropriate use". I'd take it to mean any amount which leads to harming other, i.e. people need to learn some sort of self-control, which is a lot easier if you know what you're taking, which isn't the case at the moment!
How will the government even manage to control the supply and distribution routes of heroin for example? Deal with the Taliban? The war lords in Pakistan? It would take an army to do so with any success; our own army collaborating in the drug trade with the intent to poison our own kids.
No, buying the stuff from the farmers help them out of poverty and so will turn them away from things like the Taliban.
If you suggest that heroin "substitutes" be used do you really think the punters will go through all the trouble of registering and going on schemes and sitting having talks with well meaning social workers? They'll simply take what's on offer, sleep through the sermons and carry on making the lives of honest people a misery.
The "misery" is caused by the illegality - people having to commit crimes in order to be able to obtain the stuff. Have a legal supply and you have a big drop in the crime rate (see the Swiss experience).
To counter all that, I'm afraid the only arguments you've put forward is that the government should start a few anti drug schemes alongside some propaganda slogans. All the evidence shows this hasn't worked with drink let alone drugs! If legalised alcohol causes our town centres to be no go zones at weekends then it's absolute madness to suggest we can curb that whilst legalising crack and heroin!
For heroin see above, as for crack, you are aware what it is don't you? It's a very cheap & nasty version of cocaine, which is a product of prohibition - it never existed until the late-70s around the same time that cocaine started to become glamourised - people want the stuff, but due to the price a cheaper version was created to fulfil a gap in the market. Good old capitalism!
Your argument that the government already indulges in shady practices with regard to alcohol and so might as well apply them to drugs needs no further discrediting - it's just plain barmy and has not the trace of any logic to support it.
No offence, Philip, but I fear your views are stuck in the past when the drug trade was largely confined to the relatively harmless stuff. Time has moved on and now it's not just a few students fighting the system by having a spliff; whole communities have been blighted by crack and heroin and the scum who supply it. It's immoral to do anything other than criminalising anyone involved in the trade.
Again, the crime is caused by prohibition - think of the success that the USA has in the 1920s with banning the legal sale of alcohol for a rough idea of the results and how to solve the problem...
Blue Phil said (Mar 27 2008, 20:59) In that case my libertarianism only goes so far .......I'll always put the interests of the majority of honest, working people before that of self indulgent wasters out for a free ride. The vast majority of people hooked on hard drugs are living like parasites on the state. They will always do so until they're forcibly persuaded not to.
You seem to be having a go at the people who use the stuff, not the drugs themselves... It appears that you don't have a problem with "honest, working people" taking drugs...
Anyway a lot of things that are products of nature are subject to government regulation and have to be so if we aren't to live in a state of anarchy . Would you have kids buying heroin from the corner shop? It's just a question of where to draw the line and what's counter-productive to society as a whole. Would anyone really want a situation without ANY form of regulation?
Was anyone seriously suggesting that there'd be no regulation and that kids could buy heroin from Spar? Legalisation DOES NOT EQUAL a complete free-for-all. You have a regulated system: some are relatively freely available, others on prescription.
As for the price of ciggies; I'll bet you the tax on them over here is a damn sight higher than over there. What happens over here as a consequence is that most punters bring them in from abroad to avoid the tax.
True, but that's due to government's taxation policy, not drugs...
With drinks the punters go to the multi national supermarkets to get the stuff at a decent price. With drugs they'd end up using their current suppliers who operate at a "street level" market system that doesn't involve health and safety rules, pensions for distributors and police and army security pay structures etc etc ......
Not sure about you, but I'd rather be able to have a safe and legal supply, as I'd have idea what's in it, how strong it is and the likely side-effects, as opposed to one, which is illegal and dangerous.
The only workable alternative to break the current supply method would be for the government to actively subsidise the whole business - from the supply and distribution routes that stretch all over the globe right down to the point of delivery.
No it isn't - a legal and relatively safe system is a lot more cost-effective way of dealing with the problem. After all, you don't hear of turf wars between the makers of Marlboro or Benson & Hedges, or between the makers of Stella Artois and Guinness do you?
Now you tell me what the reaction would be when Joe Public works his ###### off all week to pay for a pint or two and a ciggie ....and then sees his taxes paying for the non-working local junkie to live a life of oblivion. I don't know what it's like in the USA but I do know that there's a whole generation of kids in GB who would take the "easy" lifestyle choice ...........
Do you have the same view of alcoholics? it's the same position with people who are addicted to, e.g. heroin.