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Why All Drugs Should Be Legalized

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    I'll say it straight up, there are some drugs that are bad for the body and mind but some illegal drugs could be good for people if given in a controlled manner by a physician. Some drugs are highly addictive and cause damage to the body and mind (e.g. meth, coke, crack, heroin) to name a few. However, other drugs, such as cannabis, do zero damage to the body and for many or even most people cause no harm psychologically even when used heavily. It is medically impossible for anyone to overdose on cannabis, and it is entirely possible for one to drink themselves to death and overdose on alcohol. Yet cannabis is still illegal.

    Also, some drugs, such as MDMA, have important uses in psychotherapy. While I have never used it and have had no need to, it helps many people to get over trauma that they have suffered and recover from PTSD. However, the drug is still illegal even for therapists to administer. Additionally, psilocybin mushrooms have also helped many people to heal from mental health conditions when given in a theraputic setting, but it is impossible for people to get this treatment due to drug laws. Other illegal drugs have important medical and psychological applications but are banned by the law.

    In addition, legal drugs, such as oxycodone, cause a lot of harm. However, they are still prescribed by drug companies regardless of negative effects that are far worse than their alternative that can be used in some cases (cannabis).

    Drug laws also target minorities and other individuals that cannot get a lawyer. In many minority neighborhoods, people are arrested and jailed long term for using and selling small amounts of drugs. This results in voter suppression and the inability to participate in our society.

    I had a good friend that got charged for selling a dime bag of weed to his cousin in a parking lot. Lucky for him he was white and able to afford a lawyer, but he was facing a felony charge (luckily he got it down to a misdemeanor). Had it not been for being able to spend nearly ten thousand dollars on a lawyer, he likely would have been imprisoned for a couple of years and would have lost his voting rights. If he were a minority or unable to find a good lawyer, my friend likely wouldn't have voted again and could be in jail right now.

    Furthermore, some cops in minority areas go around looking to shake people down for drugs to get them sent to jail for their own sick power trips. I feel that the drugs laws are an active attempt to suppress members of society and keep those in power more powerful. In the case of cannabis (and maybe some other illegal drugs), the substance is not very hazardous. Yet it is banned in order to keep people from thinking from themselves and to be used as an excuse to send minorities to prison and prevent them from participating in society and having an influence in our world. That is why I feel every drug should be legalized.

    Also, philosophically, I do not believe that drugs should be banned even if they are harmful. Some drugs are very harmful. However, even those that are should be legal because it is everyone's choice to do with their body as they please. Even if heroin and crack were legal, I wouldn't be smoking and/or injecting them. However, I think that if one chooses to make such a bad decision, the government shouldn't punish them over it. The person should instead be encouraged by their doctor and/or others around them to make better choices.

    This has been proven to be a far better model. In portugal, where all drugs are essentially legal for personal use, use is down. Why? because doctors and even cops simply encourage people to give up their illicit vices rather than arresting them. This has caused drug use to drop and those addicted have easier access to rehab/detox facilities to get clean. When an individual is arrested for drug use, it causes them to lose connections with society and actually ends up encouraging drug abuse rather than discouraging it.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I guess you forgot that this country is "capitalistic" thus the system wants to make money, also on drugs legal or illegal. But yeah also the "capitalistic" system drives you "nuts" because you need money for everything to keep you alive, so if you don't have any, then "drugs" give you at least one moment in "heaven". Sorry to say this country is asking for it the way it is, also because its wars where the warriors come back totally "nuts". It only will get worse now Trump gets the power; he will only care for the rich and himself.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    TheCause, Welcome to this site. Without question we need more input. The title of this thread is ridiculous. Not all of anything is a good idea. Looking at somethings more open mindedly will bring a cause for common ground. Marijuana is most comparable to beer. Therefore relaxing restrictions is only logical. However it's sale should be legal but use should be at persons home. Wait until people get a look at California tax revenues and more logic can be introduced since it won't increase use but will tax those already using it.

    Edit add / interesting info:

    pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/evolution/patent...

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Simple question that begs the answer for a solution. What group is the biggest abuser of illegally obtained prescription and non prescription drugs?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    You make some good points TheCause. I'm in favor of full decriminalization of all drugs and legalization of the vast majority of them.

    As you pointed out - the countries that have tried this model actually see drug use and dependence decline. That's because a holistic approach that attempts to get to the root cause of why someone is addicted to drugs is a much better way to get them help over arresting them, charging them with a crime, and then labeling them with a scarlet letter for the rest of their lives.

    Far too many Americans still believe that the so called war on drugs was and is a good idea without taking one minute to think about the tens of thousands of lives we have ruined and hundreds of billions of dollars we have wasted. And for what? Creating a private industrial complex that locks up nonviolent "criminals" because they have an addiction?

    It's the literal definition of insanity.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Simple question that begs the answer for a solution. What group is the biggest abuser of illegally obtained prescription and non prescription drugs?

    There's no simple answer to this question.

    People don't pick up a needle and heroin some random day and just decide to test the waters. The vast majority of heroin users are former legal opioid patients who lost their health insurance or had their doctor take them off the drug without weening them off. An OxyContin and Percocet prescription can easily turn into a heroin addiction in a heartbeat.

    Children who were once dependent on amphetamines and methylphenidates are more prone to become addicted to crystal meth. Adults who suffer from chronic pain and were prescribed opioids to help ameliorate it are more prone to become addicted to heroin.

    It's just not easy to label this group or that group because drug addiction afflicts the rich and poor alike.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    jaredsxtn wrote:

    "You make some good points TheCause. I'm in favor of full decriminalization of all drugs and legalization of the vast majority of them."

    I agree and have two questions. Can anybody become an addict? I tend to think that under the same conditions some people can and some people can't. When in the Navy I tried on a limted amount whatever was going around or was available. I personally did not like loss of control so nothing appealed to me.

    2nd. Why is there a push to limit/eliminate opioids? My thoughts are there are more expensive patented drugs that big pharma wants to capitalize on.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I think opioids typically work well thus many become dependant on them. They are heavily prescribed so there's a money component as well. As to your question about addiction. I think that because Heroin is addictive that's obvious. The total elimination of pain is a reason many opioid users long for the "relief" and thus they are drawn to them longer than the prescribed time line. Sadly many new heroin users are looking for the relief they had found on opioid. Death tolls are ridiculously high as related to opioid use / abuse.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: I agree and have two questions. Can anybody become an addict? I tend to think that under the same conditions some people can and some people can't. When in the Navy I tried on a limted amount whatever was going around or was available. I personally did not like loss of control so nothing appealed to me

    Science has tried to find an "addiction gene" to no avail for decades. That's because addiction is such a complicated disease.

    The only scientific consensus I've come across in my years of reading up on this issue is that individuals with a childhood trauma are far more likely to become addicted to drugs an alcohol than individuals who didn't experience a major trauma in childhood.

    Other than that, the jury is still out because so many variables can contribute to someone becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.

    Chet Ruminski Wrote: 2nd. Why is there a push to limit/eliminate opioids? My thoughts are there are more expensive patented drugs that big pharma wants to capitalize on.

    There's a push to limit them because we are witnessing an overdose crisis on a national scale.

    Big Pharma has flooded the market with opioids and doctors were far too quick to prescribe these powerful drugs for any number of reasons. And then these doctors found themselves in a Catch-22 because they are responsible for getting their patients hooked on these drugs and must decide whether to continue the prescription or wean off the drug and risk them turning to the black market to feed their addiction that the doctor is responsible for starting.

    The blurred line between Big Pharma and the doctors they solicit is quite worrisome. I devoted a large section of my college thesis project on this issue back in 2006 and little has changed because the industry has a stranglehold on our politicians who have the ability to make new legislation that would prohibit pharmaceutical representatives from soliciting doctors. Nothing will change in the industry until the profit motive is taken away.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I've got only one reply; how about 22000 people dead due to overdoses? The US is indeed number one in this case!!
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    The poster seems to have moved on. You would think that after several days and various replies that one would follow up. Hmmm. One and done ?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Interesting comparison of opposite extremes and different results.

    m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=143...