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Actually I've never read a philosophy book, these are all just ideas that seem fairly natural to me, probably something to do with my liberal upbringing or something.
WHatever, you're still wrong.

WHat the exact metaphysical meaning of a moral truth is has no relevance to the real world. THat's why I get pissed when people bring that nonsense up in a debate, it's meaningless irrelivant rubbish, and just bogs an argument down in pointless semantics.

In the real world, there are laws, and always have ben laws, stating that murder is wrong, and you have to obey them, if you decide that you don't agree, and that killing is actually a good thing to do, then you'll be removed from society.

You'll then be free to ponder metaphysics to your hearts content in your little cell, whiole everyone gets on with their real life in the real world.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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This whole argument has been about what should and should not be illegal, hence philosophical discussions of morality are both inevitable and relevant.

 

If you only want to discuss what is and is not illegal, you can just read the statutes or ask a lawyer.

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Legalizing any more drugs than are already legal would be a disaster. Removing some illegal drug trafficking and the related crime does not justify suddenly also having thousands of deaths per year from "whoops, I was over the limit, haha, sorry ociffer" stoned drivers, degradation of lives and society from addiction and dereliction, etc. (rather than go through them again, simply refer to any "harmful effects of..." list), and the fact that other drugs are still illegal, simply shifting the focus of such crime from one drug trade to another.

 

Unless, the suggestion would be to make every single drug legal? See how silly that sounds. Suddenly, it's perfectly okay that everyone can sit around and do heroin because they're free to do so. As we all know, everyone in the world is a responsible human being who knows the best possible thing to do at all times - with regard to health, career, childcare, future, society, etc., and no one's judgement is ever less than perfect. "But heroin is too hard! We're talking about marijuana." Well how about coke then? Yes of course; I kindly refer you to the slippery slope. :)

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This whole argument has been about what should and should not be illegal, hence philosophical discussions of morality are both inevitable and relevant.

 

If you only want to discuss what is and is not illegal, you can just read the statutes or ask a lawyer.

No, this has been about the things that have already been designated illegal and/or immoral that are casued by alcohol use.

I'm not trying to add to or subtract from the list of immoral or illegal activites, simply pointing out that removal of alcohol would significantly reduce them, and with nothing to lose, since alcohol has no legitimate purpose anyway.

IT would be a win-win situation.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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No, this has been about the things that have already been designated illegal and/or immoral that are casued by alcohol use.

I'm not trying to add to or subtract from the list of immoral or illegal activites, simply pointing out that removal of alcohol would significantly reduce them, and with nothing to lose, since alcohol has no legitimate purpose anyway.

IT would be a win-win situation.

 

OK, I thought you were suggesting that alcohol should be made illegal. If you are referring exclusively to changing public attitudes then I agree that this would be a bloody good idea, particularly in the UK where the amount you drink is as much a status symbol as anything else.

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Yes, and it can happen as well.

Look at how much attitudes towards smoking have changed in the last 20 or so years, in the UK and US at least. It's become virtually criminal in some areas, and socially unacceptable at the very least in others. You see smokers standing outside their offices puffing away in the rain like naughty children, or they have designated special little areas in buildings that they're shunted into if they're allowed to smke at all.

They'll all eventually just give up.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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...or "Blah, blah, blah, blah, bollocks"

 

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

...that doesn't happen, and never will happen. That's what you may want to happen, but it simply doesn't, so let's stick to taking about what actually happens in the real world when humans get hold of alcohol and drugs, and not what would happen in an ideal society when humans get hold of them - and what happens here, right now, on Earth, is that innocent poeple, and lots of them, get hurt and killed.

I don't know why you're focusing so much on drunk drving, that's just a drop in the ocean of the problems casued by alcohol.

 

The number of people killed by alcohol pales in comparison to the top causes (according to most statistics):

 

In the western world the top causes of death and serious injury are:

1. Medical negligence/malpractise.

2. Automobile accidents.

3. Gun violence/assault with various weapons.

4. Cancer

5. Tobacco

6. Alcohol related disease/accident.

 

In the developing world, the causes are:

 

1. Disease

2. Malnutrition.

3. Pollution

4. War/Famine

... somwhere down the list: alcohol.

 

 

Alcohol is a drop in the bucket compared to most other causes of human misery, and alcohol abuse is usually a symptom of a deeper problem, not a cause, so eliminating alcohol will only stick a bandaid on the problems in society that lead people to take drugs in excessive quantities. There is no argument or evidence, to support the view that occaisional, moderate consumption of alcohol is dangerous or harmful, but there is plenty of evidence to support the argument that banning it altogether will create more problems than you solve.

 

That's whay I already said, however I don't want to change their attitude to one that says 'taking mind altering chemicals for amusment is a good thing as long as you do it in moderation',

I want to change it to one that says it's a bad thing, period, so let's not do it at all, lets leave that primeval craving in the past along with religion, and anyone who wants to continue to do it will be treated like the worthless, animals they are.

 

 

Well, sorry, but if you want to talk about the real world then you can forget about your fantasy of people ceasing to take mind altering substances. People have been doing it for as long as there have been people (and it is hardly unique in the animal kingdom). Going for such extremes as trying to make everyone completely stop using all drugs is about as far from reality as you will ever get. It isn't going to happen, so you are just huffing and puffing an extremist veiwpoint, and that will get you nowhere.

 

While I generally agree with you that people who take mind altering substances and religious types are idiots who should be despised and shunned by society, I don't lump alcohol in the same category as speed or LSD.

 

Alcohol is demonstrably beneficial in low doses, so there is no reason to ban it totally, just make sure that drunken idiots are royally despised. And since alcohol has so many valid industrial and scientific uses, you can't eliminate the potential for people to use it without eliminating a whole range of things that are worthwhile to society, well worth the risk of a few inoocent people being killed by drunks.

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Yes, and it can happen as well.

Look at how much attitudes towards smoking have changed in the last 20 or so years, in the UK and US at least. It's become virtually criminal in some areas, and socially unacceptable at the very least in others. You see smokers standing outside their offices puffing away in the rain like naughty children, or they have designated special little areas in buildings that they're shunted into if they're allowed to smke at all.

They'll all eventually just give up.

 

 

No they wont, it might reduce the numbers a bit, but making it socially unnaceptable only makes it more attractive to certain types of people. They do it because it is rebellious and anti-establishment, or to piss off their parents. And then once addicted, they are not likely to give up. And as long as governments are in the pockets of tobacco companies, there is no chance they will stop making the stuff, so those addicts who took up the habit as foolish teenagers are not likely to ever quit, no matter how antisicial they appear.

Edited by obscurus

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... somwhere down the list: alcohol.

Alcohol is a drop in the bucket compared to most other causes of human misery, and alcohol abuse is usually a symptom of a deeper problem, not a cause, so eliminating alcohol will only stick a bandaid on the problems in society that lead people to take drugs in excessive quantities. There is no argument or evidence, to support the view that occaisional, moderate consumption of alcohol is dangerous or harmful, but there is plenty of evidence to support the argument that banning it altogether will create more problems than you solve.

That's blatant death statistics you're referring to, that doesn't take into consideration the myriad of other social probelms it casues.

While sometimes it may be a symptom of other problems, the point is that in a society where is so readily available and so readily encouraged and totally acceptable, people are going to turn to alcohol far more frequently and quckly and in far higher numbers than in a society without a drink culture.

 

Well, sorry, but if you want to talk about the real world then you can forget about your fantasy of people ceasing to take mind altering substances. People have been doing it for as long as there have been people (and it is hardly unique in the animal kingdom).
That doesn't mean we're goign to continue to do so for eternity. We used to do a lot of barbaric things we no longer do.

Give us some credit at least- we are gradually maturing as species.

 

Alcohol is demonstrably beneficial in low doses, so there is no reason to ban it totally, just make sure that drunken idiots are royally despised.

Yes, technically, but no doctor would ever recommend peole start drinking. The level of benefit is quite small, and you can do a lot of better things to recive a higher benefit.

And since alcohol has so many valid industrial and scientific uses, you can't eliminate the potential for people to use it without eliminating a whole range of things that are worthwhile to society, well worth the risk of a few inoocent people being killed by drunks.

I'm not suggesting it stop being used for those purpsoes. Of course people already drink cleaning fluids and disinfectants if they can get nothing else, but such pople are rare and the dregs of society. It's also arguab,e that such people would exist in a society that shunned alcohol, and the basic idea of getting high for kicks. It's a long way from a society where someone has to break into a medical facility to steal pure alcohol, to a society like the current western one, where there's a pub on almost every corner and a liquor store on every other corner, tempting and encouraging people to buy it.

 

 

No they wont, it might reduce the numbers a bit, but making it socially unnaceptable only makes it more attractive to certain types of people. They do it because it is rebellious and anti-establishment, or to piss off their parents. And then once addicted, they are not likely to give up. And as long as governments are in the pockets of tobacco companies, there is no chance they will stop making the stuff, so those addicts who took up the habit as foolish teenagers are not likely to ever quit, no matter how antisicial they appear.

I took it up as a foolish teenager, and I quit. The point is, that if it han't been around, I wouldn't have started in the first place.

It's the sheer prevalence of tobacco and alcohol that's a big part of the problem.

THe amount of cocaine usage, for example, in the UK, is miniscule compared to the amount of tobacco and alcohol usgae. Why? - becasue cocaine is frowned upon socially, it's illegal, it's hard to get and it's expensive. If the same terms applied to tobacco and alcohol, vastly fewer numbers of teenagers would take it up i nthe first place.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Check out these nice stats:

 

http://www.madd.org/stats/0,1056,1789,00.html

 

Edit: some favorites:

 

*Of the over 159 million alcohol-impaired driving trips reported by Americans in 2002, over 44 percent, or 71 million trips, were made by moderate drinkers.

 

*Approximately 18 million Americans — 8.5 percent of the population — meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

 

*About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.

 

*In 2001, more than half a million people were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every minute.

 

*Alcohol is closely linked with violence. About 40 percent of all crimes (violent and non-violent) are committed under the influence of alcohol.

 

*Alcohol-related fatalities are caused primarily by the consumption of beer (80 percent) followed by liquor/wine at 20 percent.

 

*The intoxication rate (those over .08 BAC) for male drivers involved in fatal crashes was 25 percent, compared with 12 percent for female drivers.

 

*For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3:00 AM, 77 percent involved alcohol in 2003. The next most dangerous time period for alcohol-related crash deaths were 9 PM to midnight (64 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol), followed by 3 AM to 6 AM (60 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol).

 

Well, now that I've quoted a large portion of the list...

 

It sure sounds beneficial to society, doesn't it. <_<

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Hmm, and you think you are in a bad situation? :laugh:


Too late to save us but try to understand

The seas were empty -- there was hunger in the land

We let the madmen write the golden rules

We were just Children of the Moon

We're lost in the middle of a hopeless world

Children, Children of the Moon watch the world go by

Children, Children of the Moon are hiding from the Sun and the Sky

 

© The Alan Parsons Project - Children of the Moon

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That's blatant death statistics you're referring to, that doesn't take into consideration the myriad of other social probelms it casues.

While sometimes it may be a symptom of other problems, the point is that in a society where is so readily available and so readily encouraged and totally acceptable, people are going to turn to alcohol far more frequently and quckly and in far higher numbers than in a society without a drink culture.

 

Very true, the culture of binge drinking that exists needs to be dealt with, and the availability of alcohol needs to be reduced. That isn't however, a case for banning it altogether.

 

That doesn't mean we're goign to continue to do so for eternity. We used to do a lot of barbaric things we no longer do.

Give us some credit at least- we are gradually maturing as species.

without a concentrated program of eugenics to breed out people who are succeptible to addiction and barbarity, and some genetic engineering, sorry, humans are going to continue to do barbaric things. We might be able to reduce a lot of it by making sure people are as educated as possible, but you will never eliminate it completely.

 

Yes, technically, but no doctor would ever recommend peole start drinking. The level of benefit is quite small, and you can do a lot of better things to recive a higher benefit.

 

True. Alcohol is hardly an essential nutrient, you can live without it quite nicely.

 

I'm not suggesting it stop being used for those purpsoes. Of course people already drink cleaning fluids and disinfectants if they can get nothing else, but such pople are rare and the dregs of society. It's also arguab,e that such people would exist in a society that shunned alcohol, and the basic idea of getting high for kicks. It's a long way from a society where someone has to break into a medical facility to steal pure alcohol, to a society like the current western one, where there's a pub on almost every corner and a liquor store on every other corner, tempting and encouraging people to buy it.

 

But the problem is, alcohol is extremely easy to make in a bakyard still or fermenter. It takes very little equipment or skill to brew beer in your garage or your living room, and this is exactly what happens every time alcohol is prohibited - people just start making it in their homes. I am all for banning the advertising of alcohol, and I would go so far as to suggest that it should be sold in plain, non-descript plastic bottles so that there can be no glamour associated with it - legislate so that pubs must be located in areas that are hard to get to, and cannot be reached by car, so that people can't drive home drunk. But it is better to make a drug legal, and control its use and distribution as best you can, than to push it underground, where you lose all control over it.

 

I took it up as a foolish teenager, and I quit. The point is, that if it han't been around, I wouldn't have started in the first place.

It's the sheer prevalence of tobacco and alcohol that's a big part of the problem.

THe amount of cocaine usage, for example, in the UK, is miniscule compared to the amount of tobacco and alcohol usgae. Why? - becasue cocaine is frowned upon socially, it's illegal, it's hard to get and it's expensive. If the same terms applied to tobacco and alcohol, vastly fewer numbers of teenagers would take it up i nthe first place.

 

 

Most teenagers take up tobacco and alcohol at ages when they are legally too young to use it. Making it illegal only makes it more attractive to teenagers. Tobacco should theoretically already be hard for teenagers to obtain, as it is illegal to sell it to a minor (in Australia at least - it carries a fairly severe fine), and illegal for minors to use, yet you can see plenty of derelict 12 year olds puffing away at bus stops in a lot of places (usually poorer areas, which demonstrates again that is difficult to price things out of peoples reach - someone will just start smuggling cheaper cigarettes).

 

 

Making an addictive drug illegal makes it expensive, but this doesn't stop people from using it, although it might in some cases reduce the number who use it a fair bit (it certainly doesn't in the case of marijuana), but what happens is, drug dealers give kids free samples to get them addicted, then those kids take up a life of crime to support their addiction. People who can afford it see it as a luxury item and a status symbol (the biggest users of heroin and cocaine are lawyers, politicians and judges), those who can't afford it rob houses to pay for it.

 

Making heroin illegal (it used to be quite legal up to the 1940s) has not changed the number of people who use it significantly, but it has caused a huge range of problems. As heroin is illegal, the purity and quality is highly variable, it is expensive, so users resort to sharing needles as needles are hard to obtain, and it causes a huge problem with hepatitis and HIV.

 

Most burglaries are commited by heroin addicts. Make heroin legal, and the rate of burglaries will drop dramatically. there is plenty of evidence to suggest this will happen, and governments around the world know this. The reason they don't do it, is because they are afraid that by legalising heroin, it would be interpreted as a tacit approval of it's use as a recreational drug, instead of the medicinal analgesic it should be used for.

 

Cocaine and heroin should be treated as prescription pharmaceuticals (heroin is almost identical to morphine, it has less side effects and is more potent), and regulated by the government. Manufacturers and distributors should be under strict licencing conditons and controls, and illegal distribution of drugs should be punished very harshly.

 

Alcohol and tobacco should be heavily taxed, and polititions should be banned from accepting donations from companies that make such products.

Edited by obscurus

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Surely, it's just for argument's sake when you're putting forth that legalizing heroin would reduce burglaries?

 

Heroin is a horrible, life destroying drug. I think most people know and accept that so I won't waste time collecting statistics. Cocaine sometimes kills people on first use, and often hooks first time users. The whole notion of 'legalized, gov't regulation' is batty - how is making it available only through a perscription (and for what illness, love of getting high? addiction?) any different from saying it's illegal? It would still have to be gotten by the majority of those who want it by illegal means, through illegal channels, unless they can get one of those magic perscriptions.

 

I'd prefer the burgularies over a society full of heroin doped zombies.

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In the real world, there are laws, and always have ben laws, stating that murder is wrong, and you have to obey them, if you decide that you don't agree, and that killing is actually a good thing to do, then you'll be removed from society.

 

^

Off topic but there've been quite a few societies in which murder hasn't been considered wrong.

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There has never been a socirty where wanton random murder of anyone for any reason is seen has right.

Of course there have been socirties where certain types of killing under specific circumstances are accpeted, but that occurs even in our own. War for example, or as punishment for some crimes, or self defence.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Is "socirty" the same as "society"?


Too late to save us but try to understand

The seas were empty -- there was hunger in the land

We let the madmen write the golden rules

We were just Children of the Moon

We're lost in the middle of a hopeless world

Children, Children of the Moon watch the world go by

Children, Children of the Moon are hiding from the Sun and the Sky

 

© The Alan Parsons Project - Children of the Moon

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I took it up as a foolish teenager, and I quit. The point is, that if it han't been around, I wouldn't have started in the first place.

It's the sheer prevalence of tobacco and alcohol that's a big part of the problem.

 

Are you suggesting that you remove a persons right to choose whether they smoke/drink or not? I thought it was bad enough when they banned smoking in pubs, but to ban smoking altogether is ridiculous. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for No Smoking sections in pubs and pubs that don't allow smoking at all, but the choice should be up to the pub owner. If he/she wants to have a smoking free pub, let them do so, but they shouldn't be forced into it.

 

 

Alcohol and tobacco should be heavily taxed

 

Tobacco is heavily taxed, at least over here in the UK it is. It pretty much supports the NHS.


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Surely, it's just for argument's sake when you're putting forth that legalizing heroin would reduce burglaries?

 

Heroin is a horrible, life destroying drug. I think most people know and accept that so I won't waste time collecting statistics. Cocaine sometimes kills people on first use, and often hooks first time users. The whole notion of 'legalized, gov't regulation' is batty - how is making it available only through a perscription (and for what illness, love of getting high? addiction?) any different from saying it's illegal? It would still have to be gotten by the majority of those who want it by illegal means, through illegal channels, unless they can get one of those magic perscriptions.

 

I'd prefer the burgularies over a society full of heroin doped zombies.

 

 

Most of the life destroying effects of heroin are a direct result of it being illegal.

 

Let us compare Heroin with Morphine, as the two chemicals are almost identical in effect and chemistry (the only difference is a few carbon atoms or so - heroin is also analogous to a wide range of similar chemicals that are widely used as prescription painkillers). Heroin doesn't make you high. Heroin is a powerfull painkiller and depressant, and, like morphine, it's main side affect is chemical addiction, which can be managed if the doctor prescribing it knows what he/she is doing.

 

1: Illegal Heroin is cooked up in labs with no quality control -> users have no way of knowing how much will kill them, or if it is contaminated with rubbish that will kill them. If heroin was manufactured with quality control measures by a licenced pharmaceutical company under strict conditions, the quality of the product could be assured, leading to much less chance of overdosing or contamination.

 

2: While there are some people who have problems with prescription painkillers like morphine or codeine, they are a small number, as in most places it is very difficult to get hold of prescription painkillers unless you have a dodgy doctor or rob a pharmacy. These days, either option is very difficult, very few people bother. Heroin is used by so few people, and put it in perspective, the number of people who ruin their lives because of painkiller addiction is actually very, very small.

 

3: A pure form of heroin can be delivered orally instead of intraveinously, which means if someone did manage to get themselves adicted to it, they wouldn't have to risk HIV or hepatitis by using dirty syringes.

 

4: Legalising heroin as a prescription only painkiller medicalises the problem, which means addicts can more easily (or more easily be forced to) seek proper medical advice to wean them off the drug. there are actually a number of ways of doing this qquite easily, but for some reason governments have been slow to adopt them.

 

5: There is more heroin and cocaine in prisons (per capita) than there is outside of them - clearly, making it illegal to use only makes it easier for serious addicts to obtain - it is not uncommon for addicts to commit crimes purely because they know it is easier to get hold of heroin in jails than outside of them.

 

6: It is a crime to use or ditribute prescription medecines without proper authority, so the idea that suddenly millions of people would suddenly take up heroin is ludicrous for two reasons:

 

1 - they couldn't even if they wanted to, just like you can't easily take any other prescription medecine without a prescription.

2 - Even before heroin was criminalised (it used to be a common ingredient on childrens cough medicine), it wasn't a big problem (though it was a problem, because it was readily available without prescription).

 

 

Heroin is one of the most effective painkillers available to modern medicine. It has fewer side effects than it's chemical analogue, morphine, and does less damage to the liver, causes less nausia than morphine or codeine, and it's only significant side effect is the potential for addiction, which can be managed easily if the drug is administered in a controled manner by a competant physician. It used to be available to doctors as the painkiller you use when nothing else does the job. It should be again.

 

If you have a serious accident, and are in a lot of pain, would youu prefer morphine, which gives you nausia and liver damage as side effects, and is just as addictive as heroin, or heroin, which has no side effects other than potential addiction?*

 

I know which I would choose...

 

*heroin does not need to be broken down by the liver as much morphine or codeine (etc) do - morphine is broken down by the liver into heroin first, so morphine is the poor mans heroin if you will.

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So as soon as it's legal:

-fewer people will be interested,

-no more health problems or dependancy,

-those who are interested will get it legally,

-those who can't, will just give it up, and won't just get it illegally anyway (same as previous),

-only those who can make it legally will do so, the rest will stop and find a new economic venture,

-as a result of availability, more, new people won't start abusing it

 

Just want to make sure I understand. :rolleyes:

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So as soon as it's legal:

-fewer people will be interested,

-no more health problems or dependancy,

-those who are interested will get it legally,

-those who can't, will just give it up, and won't just get it illegally anyway (same as previous),

-only those who can make it legally will do so, the rest will stop and find a new economic venture,

-as a result of availability, more, new people won't start abusing it

 

Just want to make sure I understand. :rolleyes:

 

You don't understand.

 

So by your logic, morphine, codeine (and other heroin derivatives) and all other potentially addictive painkillers should aslo be illegal, and people suffering pain should just grin and bear it. Come on...

 

Making heroin illegal was insane and counterproductive - it means one of the best painkillers known to medicine is unavailable for legitimate use. It means a small manageable health problem becomes a big, serious health issue (avoidable spread of aids, hepatitis), and a very large criminal issue (prisons filling up with people who just need medical treatment to cure their addiction, not punishment in drug filled prisons). Police resources tied up dealing with somthing that would not be anymore of a problem than morphine is, instead of using those resources to tackle violent crimes or white collar crime.

 

Making heroin legal for medical purposes only is not the same as putting it on supermarket shelves or handing it out at shools. AS with all other prescription painkillers, there will be some problems with dependecy, that is unavoidable. People will still be able to bribe doctors (who by the way, in most jurisdictions, have to report and account for every drop of morphine they keep in stock or administer, and justify it's use, so it isn't easy in most places for doctors to be), and they will still be able to rob pharmacies (as people do now for morphine), but that is better than people being mugged in the street and left for dead so a junkie can get some dirty heroin of dubious quality and OD later.

 

People will always use drugs - people who take heroin do so because it makes them numb and dulls their physical or emotional pain. People in pain often become addicted to whatever helps them forget their pain, the problem is not the drug, but helping the person deal with that pain without abusing painkillers.

 

Heroin is a legitimate painkiller if administered iby a physician, just like morphine.

 

The only difference between morphine and heroin is that mophine has worse side effects. So unless you are also saying that morphine should be made illegal, you are basically suggesting that patients in need of pain relief should suffer with lesser painkillers, or no pain relief at all.

 

 

the number of people who took heroin and had a problem as a result before it became illegal (in the 1940s) was not great, and instead of the knee jerk reaction goverments took by making it illegal, they should have just treated it the same way they treat morphine or codeine.

 

Now a lot of governments make money out of heroin being illegal - the CIA for example covertly runs a number of drug cartels in South America, and the US government makes a fortune out of selling cocaine and heroin. They quite happily permit Afghanistan to grow poppies to be processed into heroin, because they get a nice big slice of the pie. That is the real reason they keep such substances illegal.

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Society and everyone who lives in it are completely responsible and never have poor judgement. There are no bad apples. Society is ideal and utopian, and everyone should be allowed to do anything they want at all times. Do I understand now?

 

That is just too naive.

 

As for heroin (even though it's not really the point of the discussion), it was outlawed because years ago a huge portion of the friggin' population was hooked on it. Even down to toddlers. Mother comes home from a hard day at the factory and what is her solution? She dopes her infants so they stop crying and go to sleep. To hell with the health problems later, at least they're quiet. That's not so much the case today, because it's not "socially acceptable" - nor legal. Sure it's not a perfect system, so we can't compare to all those other perfect, wonderful solutions that are in place in our world of only black and white. :rolleyes:

 

I've seen you argue indefinitely before ;) so I'm really reluctant to even address points... but in throwing caution to the wind:

 

It means a small manageable health problem becomes a big, serious health issue (avoidable spread of aids, hepatitis)

AIDS and hepatitis would not have been avoided with legalizing heroin. A lot more people in the world have sex than inject heroin. So that's just, well, wrong.

 

and a very large criminal issue (prisons filling up with people who just need medical treatment to cure their addiction

So, since we agree that there will always be abusers, dregs of society that will get hooked on something they shouldn't, then your solution is instead of filling prisons with people who were not deterred by law, you'd rather fill hospitals with people who were not deterred by no law.

 

Police resources tied up dealing with somthing that would not be anymore of a problem than morphine is, instead of using those resources to tackle violent crimes or white collar crime.

So again, you'd rather have doctors busy, than the cops? Why do you seem to think that if suddenly it was legal, no one would have illicit interest in it anymore? The "morphine problem" isn't so bad, because heroin is available on the street. Take the heroin out of the picture (by putting it behind a perscription) and suddenly they have nothing? No, they'll get one, the other, or something else. How would today's and tomorrow's junkies get their fix? A doctor visit?! Or perhaps they'll vanish.

 

Has the quasi-legalization (medical) of pot changed the abuse? Nope - in fact, it has only cause the casual embracing in pop culture of the drug as something "cool and anti-establishment" (huh, sounds like cigarette advertising). When an announcer at a televised awards show makes a pot reference and the audience chuckles and applauds like Butt-head, there's maybe a slight problem.

 

Making heroin legal for medical purposes only is not the same as putting it on supermarket shelves or handing it out at shools.

Right. So what makes you believe people won't want it anymore? Or if they do, that they won't get it illegally anyway?

 

they will still be able to rob pharmacies (as people do now for morphine), but that is better than people being mugged in the street and left for dead so a junkie can get some dirty heroin of dubious quality and OD later.

Heh, that sounds like such a better situation - they can still commit burglaries and armed robberies (which were supposed to be reduced), but at least you won't get mugged (I don't carry heroin on me, so they'd have to be out for my wallet...), and as a bonus, we get to save some junkie's life by making sure he gets a safe, quality high.

 

People will always use drugs

Bingo. So the choice is, making it easy for them to develop dependancies, commit crimes due to impaired judgement, have accidents, etc., or make it hard for them, and let the scumbags who want it for the most part fight their own war with their own type. Again, imperfect solution for imperfect situation.

 

Heroin is a legitimate painkiller if administered iby a physician, just like morphine.

I don't recall saying anywhere that its medicinal use should be erradicated from the planet. Pot is not really legal either, yet it's being perscribed for medical reason more and more to date. You'll still get in trouble if you are caught with it on the street, which is how it should be.

 

Members of a society are not allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Some rules do serve good purpose. I guess this is why the debate hasn't been settled, still, after all these years.

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Members of a society are not allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Some rules do serve good purpose. I guess this is why the debate hasn't been settled, still, after all these years.

 

FACT: Making drugs illegal does nothing to stop people (ab)using them. This is repeatedly demonstrated by countless statistics. In a lot of cases, the illegality of the drug itself is what attracts users. Banning things often serves only to encourage them, especially when the harm caused by the substance is negligible compared to the harm caused by banning it. People are much less likely to abuse something that is seen as a medication by society than they are to take something that is seen as an illegal drug. People are often averse to medication, but there is always a portion of the population that feels that doing something dangerous and rebelious, such as taking illegal drugs, is somehow worthwhile.

 

FACT: Heroin is chemicaly almost identical to morphine, except that it has LESS side effects than mophine.

 

FACT: outright banning of drugs demonstrably creates more problems than it solves.

 

I am not suggesting a black and white scenario here, I am simply pointing out the logical inconsistency of two almost identical chemical chemicals being treated completely differently. Both should be banned or both should be used as restricted painkillers.

 

As I said before, banning heroin outright was not the correct response to dealing with social abuse of the drug, it should have simply been subjected to more rigorous restrictions. Now a perfectly good painkiller is unavailable because it has been unfairly demonised and stigmatised by hysterical morons who can't seem to see the middle ground between banning something and giving people complete freedom to do as they wish.

 

The case for banning alcohol and cigarettes is far stronger than the case for banning heroin. Heroin kills a few thousand people each year. Alcohol kills millions. Medical grade heroin has no side effects other than addiction. Morphine has many.

 

Some narcotics have no medicinal value and of course should be illegal (eg LSD), but it should be the dealers and manufacturers, not the users, that are punished.

 

Give me one logical reason why mophine and codeine should not also be made illegal, since they are for all intents and purposes the same as heroin (they are broken down by the liver into heroin, so they are just another form of heroin). It angers me immensly that people see the world in such issues of black and white that they are unable to see that it is wrong to demonise one of the best painkillers we have in a futile attempt to solve a problem that only exists because of the legal status of heroin.

 

You seem to be labouring under the hysterical fantasy that people would suddenly start shooting up all over the palce if heroin were given the same legal status as morphine. That is patent bullshit. Yes, there will always be people who abuse drugs. Yes, heroin is a potentially dangerous drug and it's use needs to be carefully managed. But criminalising it is pointless - it just creates more harm than good. We need to accept that not everyone is sensible enough to avoid abusing mind-altering substances, and minimise the damage that is caused. You can't do that by banning it and sweeping the social problems that drive people to drug abuse under the rug, it just makes things worse, and creates a black market economy based on drugs.

 

There is a world of difference between making something legal for everyone to buy at the local grocery, and making something legal in the sense that doctors can administer it under controlled conditions in hospitals.

 

If you can't see that, you are really buying into the panic and mindless hysteria associated with drugs, and buying into a false dichotomy where you think that if drugs are available in even a very limited, restricted way, everyone will start taking them.

 

The fact that you think that legalising heroin for a strictly limited range of uses will turn everyone into heroin zombies indicates you have no perspective or sense of balance on the issue.

 

 

A lot of law enforcement bodies around the world, and a lot of medical organisations, have been lobbying governments for years to change the policy of governments from outright illegality and prohibition to a more intelligent, more effective approach that treats users as a medical issue, and dealers as the criminal issue, and minimises the harm casued, but governments lack the political will to do what they know is right, because of the uninformed panicy, hysterical, irrational fears that people will stir up...

Edited by obscurus

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If I were founding a new country now, I would make it part of the written consitution that all laws passed must be supported by a published and challengable "chain of reasoning", starting from the axioms ("Human suffering should be minimised", etc) right through to the conclusion ("Murder must be illegal"). Any glaring errors in the chain of reasoning could be challenged and if successful, the law would collapse.

 

Politicians would therefore have to pass laws that make sense, rather than using the hysterical buzzwords and emotional manipulation they use now.

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More likely you'd have people pass laws with all sorts of common logical fallacies, but they'd be the sorts that most people wouldn't notice. (for example, how many people realize that correlation isn't causation... in particular do the media or people who pass laws indicate any understanding of that?) And who decides if a chain of reasoning is valid, if it's challenged? I imagine challenges to laws would probably end up much like cases sent before the supreme court. I beleive that generalizations/concepts (such as "murder must be illegal") cannot be logically argued from other generalizations/concepts (like "human suffering must be minimized") without the sort of qualitative fudging that allows any sort of law to be passed - so even amongst people competant in logic, there would be room for disagreement about whether "murder must be illegal" can be logically deduced from "human suffering must be minimized".

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True, it might not be perfect, but at least the act of forcing politicians to provide a logical justification would improve the intelligence of laws over the current level of "Terrorist! Paedophile! Danger! Evil!" waffle that we have to endure.

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