DRUGS: Have we got it arse about

Over at Blunty the debate is still going on. I may well have over the period of the last couple of days, started to change my position somewhat. My line of thought is below, I do not have all the answers or research facts, in some cases I think common sense  covers it. DO we have our Drug policy arse about?

I’m struggling here, trying to look at this in an objective fashion, without all the past beliefs and prejudices and you know something, ITS NOT EASY.

 

But here goes.

 

1                    Alcohol causes untold numbers of deaths and serious injuries, is widely consumed and when taken in small amounts is generally quite harmless. Like other substances though, when taken in excessive amounts has the capability of killing, either the individual or others via the Inebriated individuals actions and I have not counted serious harm, due to violence either. BUT, its legal, its regulated and we have laws on what you can and cannot do having consumed it.

 

 

2                    SMOKES. Now this is an entirely different category for my mind. Its well documented that the substances put IN Cigarettes KILLS and has long term health effects. However, smokes do not temporarily impair an individual. This substance if you wish to call it that, requires a totally separate debate. Its really about wether or not a company should be able to pedal a MAN MADE DRUG THAT KILLS LONG TERM and IS ADDICTIVE. In that sense alone it’s the same as all other KILLER DRUGS YET WHY IS IT STILL LEGAL

 

 

3                    Heroin, Speed, Cocaine, Eckies. These give an immediate effect to the user, are able to generate their effect by minute quantities being consumed, cause the major funding drain, for both enforcement activities and health care of OD and long term addicts.

 

 

4                    Marijuana. This one whilst the same in the sense of generating an immediate effect, I think does not on the whole, pose dangers in the short term to the user and typically is not addictive for the majority.

 

I would almost put Marijuana in the same space as smokes, but it is different in that it generates effects like Alcohol, so its two for one. The question is, does Marijuana pose the same long term effects health wise as cigarettes if it was legal, additionally, its short term effects are the same perhaps as consuming grog.

 

The smokes and grog are legal, with certain conditions attached to their distribution and what you may or may not do having consumed them. It follows then { Assuming you are still with me here}, that Grass, is a one stop shop, its Grog and smokes rolled into one. WHY then should it be Illegal………….I FIND NO REASON. Actually I suspect that taken as a whole, Grass would perhaps generate no more health care issues than grog and Smoke combined. I suspect, but have no facts, that overall, should you get people away from smokes and some migrated to grass the HEALTH CARE issues would diminish quite significantly.

 

ARE we targeting the wrong killer.

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5 thoughts on “DRUGS: Have we got it arse about

  1. The whole idea of ‘targeting’ is off-base. You were close when you pointed out that the amped-up chemistry-lab drugs are the ones that cause big troubles, but the fact remains that getting bent is an absolutely universal human cultural behaviour.

    I was both frightened and fascinated when I found that out, researching for a topic at University. But it’s true. I found out two more universal truths about drugs as well, so I’ll list all three, and you can see what it tells you.

    Truth 1: every human society has some means of getting bent. Mostly it’s drugs of some sort, though some highly specialized groups resort to meditation, fasting, sleep deprivation or the like. And even some of those groups use certain relatively mild drugs, like caffeine. Some drugs are stronger. Some are weaker. But they’ve all got ’em

    Truth 2: In its native society, no drug represents a major harm. American Plains Indians used tobacco without the problems we’ve got. They also use psilocybin and peyote in their sacraments to this day. Andean Indians never developed a coke habit. Booze doesn’t kill our people at anywhere NEAR the rate it kills people like the Aborigines.

    Truth 3: (Comes in two parts.) In the originating society, every drug has some kind of social ritual around it. Think of having a cup of coffee with a friend, and the complicated rituals of a coffee shop. Think of the ‘smoke break’. Think of ‘your shout’ down the pub. Think of the dope smokers with their rules about how to share, which way to pass the jay, etc. Second part of this truth: the more powerful the drug, the more complex and important the ritual behaviours. Caffeine (coffee/tea) is a ritual offering to visitors — but we will often use it alone, although you’ll find people have lots of funny little habits about their tea and coffee breaks. But caffeine is relatively weak. Pick a REALLY strong drug like magic mushrooms, and you find the native people who used them generally had a guide, and a complicated ritual that might last days.

    So: all societies have drugs. No drug in its own society is a killer. And drugs have social rituals and settings; the more potent the drug, the more complex the supporting rituals and settings.

    You can ascertain all these things for yourself. It’s easy — it was undergraduate level research for me.

    What comes next is the interesting bit.

    If all societies have drugs — are we looking at a human behaviour as basic as, say, mating, or dominance? Is the urge to change your consciousness as deep-seated as the purely biological urges? Is there such a thing as a ‘purely biological’ drive? To what degree is drug-seeking/consciousness-altering present in everyone?

    Next: if drugs in their native societies don’t present problems, it seems obvious that’s because the societies have evolved means of dealing with them. Now, that can’t be biological. Drugs have the same physical effects on humans, all over the world, within the bounds of simple physiological variation. Therefore, the adaptation must be non-biological… which makes it most likely social, and most likely learned.

    So — is it possible that these ‘rituals’ surrounding the use of drugs are part of the answer? Do these careful social constructions that surround virtually all forms of drug use play a role in keeping the drug experience “safe”, and socially acceptable?

    It seems likely to me.

    And if that’s true — then by criminalizing drugs, and driving them underground, we are quite literally preventing our society from learning to deal with these drugs. We are, quite literally, preventing the problem from finding its own solution.

    I don’t advocate open slather. There are too many drugs now, and many are too strong and dangerous. But it’s clear that prohibition and criminalization has failed, and I’ve just shown you strong evidence to suggest that by definition, criminalization can never lead to a solution. So it seems to me it’s time for a great deal of careful reseach, and thought — and a lot more tolerance, and a truly vast shift in terms of education.

  2. You said: “Its really about wether or not a company should be able to pedal a MAN MADE DRUG THAT KILLS LONG TERM and IS ADDICTIVE. In that sense alone it’s the same as all other KILLER DRUGS YET WHY IS IT STILL LEGAL”

    In my mind the only possible reason is the government trading it’s soul for income. Many drugs on the market that are prescribed by health professionals are poisonous. Most of the drugs the missus is on are carcinogenic. The pill has the potential for some nasty side effects. Your food has unquantified long terms effects through preservatives and additives. Why do they allow all of these and a zillion more that I couldn’t hope to cover with an entire website devoted to it?.

    I can’t disagree with decriminalising pot. Excessive use of alcohol is – IMHO – FAR more potentially damaging than weed. The law is designed for your average middle of the road person with a sensible common sense head on their shoulders. I can’t see how that person would destroy themselves with smoking it moderately especially when you consider what that person can already acquire legally. ie: Valium, sleeping pills, various opiates, alcohol, fiorinal etc etc…

    Seems hypocritical to me.

  3. Crap, I dont have time to rant now, but I’ll be back.

    Big props to you H man for opening your mind & heart to others experiences & opinions.
    Today Drug law reform, tomorrow the monarchy heh heh heh.

  4. I know bugger all about this topic and cheerfully admit my ignorance. I’ll leave it to men & women smarted than I to figure this one out. The Law of Unitended Consequences seems both relevant and prevalent in these cases.

  5. Flint, I cannot say, I do not disagree, especially now, having put some thought into the issue. I am in agreeance. What lept of the page of your post was the reference to societies where they are utilised. Popping to mind was why and when the do, but also, and I think this is a big one. The structure in the society. Basic items, such as elder respect, passing rights perhaps, recognising that individuals are now no longer children responsibility for their actions. Also knowing full well, the ramifications of erring.

    This then makes we wonder, do we send to many mixed signals to our youth, is the structure fucked up enough, we almost condemn the er on the wrong side. Do we restrict them so much and put insufficient faith and teaching into them, that we guarantee, they will go ” Off the reservation ” so to speak.

    I think the answer to a lot of these is yes, and we do need to seriously look at how we start addressing this. its a major fundamental shift in how we operate as a society, but like all change, it must start somewhere and maybe, just one brick at a time.

    Moko: You bring very relevant points, the pharmasuitical industry and current laws are but one series of blocks in a wall that is not only failing to perform as we wish it too, but is, structurally flawed. Unfortunately our current crop of engineers ( politicians and law makers ), seem to be bereft of this adaptability.

    NBOB: Its been an enlightening couple of days, G S T QUEEN…

    Lerm: your ignorance as your refer to it, does not stop you having some input into the debate. people who profess to be experts do not seem to have been able to fix it. New ideas and a fresh look is whats required.

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