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Thread: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Sorry for writing an essay... I wanted to be thorough from my medical perspective. Skim if you wish!

    If all drugs were legalized, there would be an initial systemic shock of abuses, I think. Addiction rates would skyrocket with the more addictive ones, though in theory supply and demand would create shortages and so maybe it wouldn't be so widespread. In any case, the rates would taper off. In my view, something illegal is more tempting to try. Most people start experimenting with drugs in their late teens to early 20's, partially because this is the rebellious phase (for lack of a better term). Rebellion speaks to doing what is not allowed.

    My main concern is that most people don't understand the original uses of the drugs, and just want to abuse them. For instance, many of the organic varieties such as cannabis (also known under its political name as "marijuana"), mushrooms, peyote, etc. all originally had spiritual uses among indigenous cultures. They were (and still are) used as methods of connecting with a sense of higher power, for analyzing one's deeper internal processes, and for exorcising the mind of troubles. Maybe legalization would allow further education, and in turn people would discover appropriate uses from the original sources.

    Ecstacy was originally made to help with panic attacks. The active ingredient, MDMA, when in pure form, is less harmful to the adrenal system than ecstacy. Ecstacy can be cut with a number of things, such as speed, DMT, even poisons, in order to increase profit while reducing use of the key ingredient MDMA. MDMA has a lesser duration and does not tax the nervous system as intensely. Crystal meth, if I recall, was first made by the Japanese for their suicide pilots, but even the allies used it to increase soldiers' endurance and treat battlefield depression. It comes from ephedrine which, in most drug stores, can still be bought on the shelf. (Except in areas that are trying to control meth production, in which case it's behind the counter.)

    Cocaine.... I don't see much systemic worth to this refined derivative, but its original source, the coca plant, has a wide array of medicinal uses that I support. It's a beneficial treatment for arthritis, and a wonderful calmative for those suffering from chronic pain and post-operative pain. Cocaine itself does have some medical uses, but I would consider its presence in any medical facility to be high risk.

    Heroin... this is a tricky one. Opiates do have beneficial uses in medicine, but for recreational use I don't really see the point. I would support every person in the world having a small amount of smokable and/or ingestable opium in their home for medicinal use only, but because it has been illegalized for so long, social policy would prevent people from using it responsibility. For instance, in China, prior to the Opium War with the West, opium was considered medicine and addiction was rare.

    Cannabis... I find all smoking offensive generally. Your lungs are not meant to accommodate combustable material, and no matter what way activists spin it, it's unhealthy to inhale any kind of smoke. It damages the cilia of the lungs and renders them more susceptible to infection. That said, cannabis is comparatively better than most other smokables. It does not cause cancer, has huge medicinal potential, and has non-offensive recreational uses. Out of all controlled substances this is one that does not belong on the list.

    Tobacco - and by this I mean pure, organic tobacco, straight from the plant, dried, and rolled into smokable form or put into a pipe, not industrially refined tobacco - also has uses. Again, I find smoking offensive, but if I am to be honest I cannot omit the benefits. The nicotine in tobacco increases thoughtfulness and concentration, which is why it is passed around at a lot of indigenous group gatherings because it facilitates open conversation. While I have not had the chance to read studies comparing industrially produced tobacco with organic varieties, I'm willing to bet that the latter is less carcinogenic.

    Alcohol... depends on what kind. Moderation is key, but it also has addictive potential. I believe low percentage alcohols are beneficial to blood chemistry as well as the cardiovascular system, especially when had with meals. Getting drunk to the point where you are throwing up is essentially poisonous to the liver and brain, and I do not support it. I am of the mind that alcohol is one of the worst offenders to society that has been allowed legal status, but I blame the user and not the drug itself.

    In the end... it's up to the user to define what is appropriate to them and the rest of society. In any debate that involves alcohol, for example, you can't blame the substance for the occurrence of drunk driving, or bar fights, or any number of negative happenings. The same goes for the other drugs. With the exception of a few (like crystal meth), I don't believe a drug is inherently good or bad. It is based on the intentions of the user.

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Which illegal drugs do you propose to legalize and tax?

    Marijuana?
    Heroin?
    Cocaine?
    Meth?
    Ecstasy?
    Inhalants?
    LSD?

    All of the above?

    How about prescription drugs widely abused in the U.S. such as Benzodiazepines?

    And if these drugs are legalized, do you propose the legal age of use be 21 as with alcohol? Or 18, as with cigarettes? Or should these now legal, but regulated, drugs be available to minors as well?

    Would these drugs be sold along side cigarettes and alcohol? Or would you need to pick them up at the local pharmacy?

    Have them all regulated, taxed. and for 21+ only (with today's standards)

    Of course I follow the assumption that if someone is considered an adult at age 18 they should be able to drink, if not then the official age for adulthood should be 21.

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Sorry for writing an essay... I wanted to be thorough from my medical perspective. Skim if you wish!
    I'm not familiar with your medical expertise. Could you elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius
    If all drugs were legalized, there would be an initial systemic shock of abuses, I think. Addiction rates would skyrocket with the more addictive ones, though in theory supply and demand would create shortages and so maybe it wouldn't be so widespread. In any case, the rates would taper off. In my view, something illegal is more tempting to try. Most people start experimenting with drugs in their late teens to early 20's, partially because this is the rebellious phase (for lack of a better term). Rebellion speaks to doing what is not allowed.
    Addiction rates would indeed skyrocket. But I don't know how your supply and demand theory comes into play here. If the government regulators didn't supply the necessary demand... then the illegal trade would flourish... which is the problem we're trying to eliminate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius
    In the end... it's up to the user to define what is appropriate to them and the rest of society. In any debate that involves alcohol, for example, you can't blame the substance for the occurrence of drunk driving, or bar fights, or any number of negative happenings. The same goes for the other drugs. With the exception of a few (like crystal meth), I don't believe a drug is inherently good or bad. It is based on the intentions of the user.
    I'm no medical expert... but I know enough about addiction to know that users (addicts) cannot define what is appropriate in terms of the substance they abuse. Not only would we as a society be left with the bill for their health woes... but we'd also be left cleaning up the mess that addicts make of their lives and the lives of others... through violence... sexual abuse... etc.

    Alcohol already adds a huge burden to our social costs. Imagine the costs of cleaning up the messy lives created by all these other drugs.

    And for those who believe that legalization of anything other than the 'softest' of drugs, such as marijuana, has been proven effective anywhere in the world... I ask for some examples.


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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Legalize marijuana, tax it, use the money generated to fund an actual secure border initiative, increase our level of resources in combating organized illegal drug distribution in the U.S., and the number of in and out patient rehabilitation programs for hard drug users. Decriminalizing marijuana and actually securing our southern border would do a lot to curb the spillover violence in the U.S.
    *insert profound statement here*

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    I'm not familiar with your medical expertise. Could you elaborate?
    I'm a Doctor of TCM (which entails a Masters of Oriental Medicine, 5 years study in mainland China plus thousands of clinical hours). Admittedly, I don't have hands on experience working in detox clinics... but I am familiar with the social and physiological effects of narcotics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Addiction rates would indeed skyrocket. But I don't know how your supply and demand theory comes into play here. If the government regulators didn't supply the necessary demand... then the illegal trade would flourish... which is the problem we're trying to eliminate.
    In theory, if the drugs were legalized, taxed, and provided via official outlets, it would take the matter out of the hands of the illegals altogether. There is nothing in it for them once they cannot make money off of it. Supply and demand would be controlled by government, via licensing of companies that produce it (think: alcohol). Legal or not, addiction is not going to be eliminated, but the idea is stop flooding the justice system with people who use drugs or possess them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    I'm no medical expert... but I know enough about addiction to know that users (addicts) cannot define what is appropriate in terms of the substance they abuse. Not only would we as a society be left with the bill for their health woes... but we'd also be left cleaning up the mess that addicts make of their lives and the lives of others... through violence... sexual abuse... etc.
    I agree with most of this... however, legal or not, society already has this burden, and right now there is the addition burden of jailing the addicts if they are caught with the narcotics (especially according to the three strikes rule). Addicts are currently stigmatized by the system because they are seen as doing something wrong/illegal/immoral before they are seen as individuals with a medical condition that needs treatment. Law reform would rectify this.

    Also, consider that there are legal drugs which have addictive potential, such as alcohol, and pharmaceuticals, but because they are legal addicts can seek help openly without the stigmas of the justice system.

    By the way, last time I checked, people had to pay for their own detox in most of the U.S. Am I wrong? Are there social programs to help them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Alcohol already adds a huge burden to our social costs. Imagine the costs of cleaning up the messy lives created by all these other drugs.
    Regarding the bolded part, I don't need to imagine it, the reality is already happening. I see no distinction between now and if the drugs were legal in terms of people still needing treatment. Your assumption operates on the fact that legalization = much higher use in the population. This isn't necessarily so, since legalization means open use, which means more social dialogue, which means more education. (By the way, we must be clear on which drugs we are referring to. I am not in favour of legalization of heroin or crystal meth, but am in favour of law reform for users that are caught.)

    My main argument is that people should not be arrested for what they decide to do to their own bodies. The vast majority of drug users are recreational in nature, and not addicts. I am also against a system that wastes billions of tax dollars each year on an endless "war" and throws people in jail for possession of small quantities of drugs -- this cost is also a burden to society.

    Alcohol is a good sucess story in terms of legalization, open production, and taxation. Alcohol is now brewed by companies with government licenses, the government knows where they all are, and the substance is controlled. If people want to abuse alcohol they are free to do so, but many, many people use it responsibly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    And for those who believe that legalization of anything other than the 'softest' of drugs, such as marijuana, has been proven effective anywhere in the world... I ask for some examples.
    I don't think anywhere in the world has legalized the other drugs I mentioned, so it would be hard to find examples. The UN has a very strict narcotics control policy which it obligates all of its members to adhere to. This is the primary reason why cannabis is not legalized in most of the developed world.
    Last edited by Orion; 03-13-09 at 12:54 AM.

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Sorry for writing an essay... I wanted to be thorough from my medical perspective. Skim if you wish!

    If all drugs were legalized, there would be an initial systemic shock of abuses, I think. Addiction rates would skyrocket with the more addictive ones, though in theory supply and demand would create shortages and so maybe it wouldn't be so widespread. In any case, the rates would taper off. In my view, something illegal is more tempting to try. Most people start experimenting with drugs in their late teens to early 20's, partially because this is the rebellious phase (for lack of a better term). Rebellion speaks to doing what is not allowed.
    I do agree with this in essence, except this belief doesn't take into consideration a couple issues :
    a) The economy is as addicted to the 'war on drugs' as it's users are on the street level. (Government profits bringing drugs into the country, police officers benefit by having more people to throw in jail, and the cartels benefit by controlling the main supply)
    B) Any attempt at legalization MUST at the same time break the hold that criminals have on the market... not an easy task. All the drug dealers would just take what was illegal activities and bring it to light...

    My main concern is that most people don't understand the original uses of the drugs, and just want to abuse them. For instance, many of the organic varieties such as cannabis (also known under its political name as "marijuana"), mushrooms, peyote, etc. all originally had spiritual uses among indigenous cultures. They were (and still are) used as methods of connecting with a sense of higher power, for analyzing one's deeper internal processes, and for exorcising the mind of troubles. Maybe legalization would allow further education, and in turn people would discover appropriate uses from the original sources.
    Spritual and recreational uses of drugs are very different issues... I wouldn't be able to prove it in any sense, but I do believe that the spiritual aspect of drug use is at least a part of why they are made to be illegal... maybe that the spiritually enlightened human represents a threat to the status quo, and that drugs was one method of 'activating' this spiritual enlightenment.

    That's all just speculation though.

    Ecstacy was originally made to help with panic attacks. The active ingredient, MDMA, when in pure form, is less harmful to the adrenal system than ecstacy. Ecstacy can be cut with a number of things, such as speed, DMT, even poisons, in order to increase profit while reducing use of the key ingredient MDMA. MDMA has a lesser duration and does not tax the nervous system as intensely. Crystal meth, if I recall, was first made by the Japanese for their suicide pilots, but even the allies used it to increase soldiers' endurance and treat battlefield depression. It comes from ephedrine which, in most drug stores, can still be bought on the shelf. (Except in areas that are trying to control meth production, in which case it's behind the counter.)
    PURE MDMDA is not bad for you, it's not good for you either, in that it screws with your brain chemistry... However, I did do some research for a highschool project where I learned that ecstacy, or some of it's chemical makeup once used up in the brain has a biproduct of hydrogen peroxide (the stuff you use to disinfect cuts) and burns holes in your brain.

    Cocaine.... I don't see much systemic worth to this refined derivative, but its original source, the coca plant, has a wide array of medicinal uses that I support. It's a beneficial treatment for arthritis, and a wonderful calmative for those suffering from chronic pain and post-operative pain. Cocaine itself does have some medical uses, but I would consider its presence in any medical facility to be high risk.
    Agreed. Coca has some medical benefits, the powder derivative even less, and cocaines derivative crack is just gross.

    Heroin... this is a tricky one. Opiates do have beneficial uses in medicine, but for recreational use I don't really see the point. I would support every person in the world having a small amount of smokable and/or ingestable opium in their home for medicinal use only, but because it has been illegalized for so long, social policy would prevent people from using it responsibility. For instance, in China, prior to the Opium War with the West, opium was considered medicine and addiction was rare
    .

    Agreed.

    Cannabis... I find all smoking offensive generally. Your lungs are not meant to accommodate combustable material, and no matter what way activists spin it, it's unhealthy to inhale any kind of smoke. It damages the cilia of the lungs and renders them more susceptible to infection. That said, cannabis is comparatively better than most other smokables. It does not cause cancer, has huge medicinal potential, and has non-offensive recreational uses. Out of all controlled substances this is one that does not belong on the list.
    That's why many modern day hippies invest in 'vaporizors' that burns the pot hot enough that the THC and all evaporates, but not so hot that it's smoke.

    Tobacco - and by this I mean pure, organic tobacco, straight from the plant, dried, and rolled into smokable form or put into a pipe, not industrially refined tobacco - also has uses. Again, I find smoking offensive, but if I am to be honest I cannot omit the benefits. The nicotine in tobacco increases thoughtfulness and concentration, which is why it is passed around at a lot of indigenous group gatherings because it facilitates open conversation. While I have not had the chance to read studies comparing industrially produced tobacco with organic varieties, I'm willing to bet that the latter is less carcinogenic.
    I'm almost certain that tobacco would be MUCH less carcinogenic if it's home-grown and dried. I hadn't seen this process first-hand, but a friend of mine once worked in a tobacco plant where he described the process of making tobacco as essentially :
    Cutting, drying, mixing in a vat of chemicals where the tobacco is 'melted' then spread out allowed to dry and THAT is the tobacco that makes it into the cigarettes... Also, that there is considerably more CHEMICALS added to tobacco then these is tobacco.

    Alcohol... depends on what kind. Moderation is key, but it also has addictive potential. I believe low percentage alcohols are beneficial to blood chemistry as well as the cardiovascular system, especially when had with meals. Getting drunk to the point where you are throwing up is essentially poisonous to the liver and brain, and I do not support it. I am of the mind that alcohol is one of the worst offenders to society that has been allowed legal status, but I blame the user and not the drug itself.
    It's alcohol's 'social' acceptance that's at least part of the issue... it's far more dangerous than marijuana, and the cause of so many ills in society... BUT, they've been brewing alcohol for thousands of years now, I doubt that'll change anytime soon.

    In the end... it's up to the user to define what is appropriate to them and the rest of society. In any debate that involves alcohol, for example, you can't blame the substance for the occurrence of drunk driving, or bar fights, or any number of negative happenings. The same goes for the other drugs. With the exception of a few (like crystal meth), I don't believe a drug is inherently good or bad. It is based on the intentions of the user.[/QUOTE]

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    I'm a Doctor of TCM (which entails a Masters of Oriental Medicine, 5 years study in mainland China plus thousands of clinical hours).
    Thanks for the clarification. I've got no medical training. (Though I've known a number of addicts.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    In theory, if the drugs were legalized, taxed, and provided via official outlets, it would take the matter out of the hands of the illegals altogether.
    But later in your post you claim you're not in favor of legalizing hard drugs such as heroin or crystal meth. So it's not quite clear to me where you draw the line. Crack cocaine? Crystal meth? Ecstacy? Seems like you're still going to have a substantial underground illegal market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Also, consider that there are legal drugs which have addictive potential, such as alcohol, and pharmaceuticals, but because they are legal addicts can seek help openly without the stigmas of the justice system.
    Alcohol is a problem, no doubt. And I'd generally say that many pot-smokers fall into the same category as alcohol drinkers. Legalizing marijuana would probably be feasible with few consequences. But as far as other drugs go... no way... I've seen what happens to people who start using harder drugs... there's simply no comparison to alcohol. None.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    By the way, last time I checked, people had to pay for their own detox in most of the U.S. Am I wrong? Are there social programs to help them?
    Most health care programs in the U.S. provide some basic detox coverage. It varies from plan to plan. There are also plenty of private support centers and organizations, such as AA, or even churches. I think anyone looking for help with alcohol or drug problems in the U.S. can find some minimum level of support if they seek it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Your assumption operates on the fact that legalization = much higher use in the population. This isn't necessarily so, since legalization means open use, which means more social dialogue, which means more education.
    Frankly, when dealing with addiction, education is just about worthless IMHO. My Yale educated uncle drank himself to death. All the 'education' in the world could not save him from the bottle. Look at the Hollywood stars who drink or drug themselves to death. Smart people, right? They certainly don't need 'education.' It's the ready and relatively cost affordable availability of drugs that does them in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    (By the way, we must be clear on which drugs we are referring to. I am not in favour of legalization of heroin or crystal meth, but am in favour of law reform for users that are caught.)
    So we're back to the illegal market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    My main argument is that people should not be arrested for what they decide to do to their own bodies. The vast majority of drug users are recreational in nature, and not addicts.
    If it were just 'their own bodies' that were impacted... that might be a valid point. But addicts have a much greater impact on all of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Alcohol is a good sucess story in terms of legalization, open production, and taxation.
    As I mentioned earlier, I think alcohol is fundamentally different than many illegal drugs. But that's just an opinion.

    Last edited by Grateful Heart; 03-14-09 at 01:45 AM.

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    But later in your post you claim you're not in favor of legalizing hard drugs such as heroin or crystal meth. So it's not quite clear to me where you draw the line. Crack cocaine? Crystal meth? Ecstacy? Seems like you're still going to have a substantial underground illegal market.
    I acknowledge the contradiction in my thought process, but these drugs are the worst of the worst and I only see high addictive potential. Like I said though, I would like to see sentences reduced and the three strikes rule removed in this department. Users, and especially addicted users, shouldn't be put in jail with the key thrown away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Alcohol is a problem, no doubt. And I'd generally say that many pot-smokers fall into the same category as alcohol drinkers. Legalizing marijuana would probably be feasible with few consequences. But as far as other drugs go... no way... I've seen what happens to people who start using harder drugs... there's simply no comparison to alcohol. None.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    Frankly, when dealing with addiction, education is just about worthless IMHO. My Yale educated uncle drank himself to death. All the 'education' in the world could not save him from the bottle. Look at the Hollywood stars who drink or drug themselves to death. Smart people, right? They certainly don't need 'education.' It's the ready and relatively cost affordable availability of drugs that does them in.
    I didn't mean educated as in a university degree, although I'm glad you brought up the post-secondary system because that's where a lot of young people begin to experiment for the first time, away from their parents and supervision. It is also the first time they get any real life experiences with things like drugs and sex, but up until that point there is no real education. They are just told that these things are bad and they should not do them. I believe the discourse on drugs with young people needs to be altered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    So we're back to the illegal market.
    Meth can be created with very common ingredients and a simple methodology. Anyone with grade 12 chemistry knowledge or solid instruction from someone else who knows how to do it can manufacture crystal meth.

    The others... cocaine is fairly widely distributed but the quality varies. It has to be shipped in pure from afar (and in my opinion the government has a hand in this, though I could never substantiate it), and is then diluted for resale. It is relatively accessible in the big cities. Heroin on the other hand is more rare and I don't think its addiction is too widespread.

    In any case, in addition to putting forth the aim of reducing the amount of money put into the drug war, I am also in favour of reducing the amount of judical pressure put on addicts which in turn congests the justice system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    If it were just 'their own bodies' that were impacted... that might be a valid point. But addicts have a much greater impact on all of us.
    Addiction is often correlated to poverty and hardship. Let's face it, drugs make people feel good. They enduce a pleasurable response and that's why people want them; it's also why people get hooked. Why should they want to seek out this good feeling if their life didn't already provide it? Drugs are just the veneer for personal problems and this is what defines the difference between recreational use and self-medication.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    As I mentioned earlier, I think alcohol is fundamentally different than many illegal drugs. But that's just an opinion.
    In what way?

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    Re: 5 Human Heads Discovered in Ice Chests

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    I acknowledge the contradiction in my thought process, but these drugs are the worst of the worst and I only see high addictive potential. Like I said though, I would like to see sentences reduced and the three strikes rule removed in this department. Users, and especially addicted users, shouldn't be put in jail with the key thrown away.
    Yes, not all illegal drugs are created equal. If it grows in the ground it should not be illegal. Though coke and heroin come from natural sources, it's the processing they go through...

    To legalize everything in one shot, would require some sort of 'government approuved supply' initially to know where the supply is coming from. It almost defeats the purpose of legalization if you just give the criminals a sudden edge in a legal market...

    I don't think crack should ever be sold legally... there really is no benefit from this 'derivative of a derivative'... if someone wants it that bad they can buy coke and cook it themselves. Same with crystal meth... which I think should just have a system to get people off the drug, since people will do it no matter how disgusting it is...

    With legalization comes a greater level of control than simply 'banning' it... different techniques can be used to reduce and potentially eliminate usage without the need to make it illegal. I've been told there was a time where you could buy heroin at the corner store.

    At the end of the day with freedom comes the responsibility to not abuse any drugs.


    Meth can be created with very common ingredients and a simple methodology. Anyone with grade 12 chemistry knowledge or solid instruction from someone else who knows how to do it can manufacture crystal meth.
    And different recipes, but crystal meth is so thoroughly disgusting of a drug... I've seen more than a few people I once called friends ruin their lives with this drug.

    The others... cocaine is fairly widely distributed but the quality varies. It has to be shipped in pure from afar (and in my opinion the government has a hand in this, though I could never substantiate it), and is then diluted for resale. It is relatively accessible in the big cities. Heroin on the other hand is more rare and I don't think its addiction is too widespread.
    The government KNOWS that for every bust there are ten shipments that get through. The only pure cocain you'll get is if you are buying it at the docks. It gets 'stepped on' virtually every step of the way...

    The government has been caught many times both helping drugs get into the country, as well as shipping it into the country. There are just too many benefits for the people meant to stop the flow to profit, and since they are the ones doing the busting and very few cops are interested in busting their own, it's very low risk to them as well. There are so many people that ship drugs in... the ones that get busted are the 'small fish' that are trying to establish themselves as 'big fish'. There are MANY BOOKS on this subject.... I'm sure a few movies too, but that's less relevant.

    In any case, in addition to putting forth the aim of reducing the amount of money put into the drug war, I am also in favour of reducing the amount of judical pressure put on addicts which in turn congests the justice system.
    Yes, 80% of drug users ONLY use marijuana (I forget the study)... and most potheads are... well, tend to be less violent,

    Addiction is often correlated to poverty and hardship. Let's face it, drugs make people feel good. They enduce a pleasurable response and that's why people want them; it's also why people get hooked. Why should they want to seek out this good feeling if their life didn't already provide it? Drugs are just the veneer for personal problems and this is what defines the difference between recreational use and self-medication.
    I would add that many rich people get hooked on drugs with little noticeable effect since they have the means to sustain that addiction... you don't hear about these as often untill they OD. Not just celebrities, many business class people too. While there is a correlation to poverty... the real correllation is the deeper aspect you pointed out : Their life doesn't provide the fulfillment that they simulate having by using the drug.

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