Sunday, 20 April 2008

Should drugs be decriminalised?

Reading this post over at Revellian, he asks the question whether drugs should be decriminalised.

I believe that drugs should be completely decriminalized in favor of treatment. It’s ridiculous to send someone to prison because they are caught with drugs. Prison will only worsen things and ruin that person’s life; however, a person selling large quantities of illicit substances, does deserve prison.

So I ask you, should alcohol be illegal? Should the laws be changed in favor of treatment for people? One of the oldest arguments is that if alcohol is legal, then marijuana should be legal too; it is in some states and countries. In my opinion, marijuana should be legal. If not, then make alcohol illegal.


He goes on further to state this:

What bothers me to no end is someone who drinks alcohol saying something negative about a drug user. If you drink alcohol, even in scarce moderation, you too are a drug user and are no better than a crack head…period. If the previous sentence offends you and you drink, you might be a hypocrite! We are all equal and should be treated as such.

Some of the most erratic behavior I’ve ever seen is from people going through cigarette withdrawal. I quit several years ago but it was extremely difficult. I know that until the day I die, I will be in tobacco recovery - the addiction NEVER goes away. Marijuana is psychologically addictive but can be tough to quit for some people. Overall, alcohol is by far more dangerous than pot.

Everyday heavy use of marijuana does have side effects and it is an addictive drug. Prison may not be the answer and as this blogger has previously stated, addiction whether it be cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine or just good old fashioned pot is difficult at best to live with. And yes I agree, alcohol abuse is extremely dangerous and is as bad as a regular pot smoker. Am not talking about those who partake in the occasional joint or billy (bong). Habitual users of marijuana often deny that it has any side effects and to think this is living with ones head in the sand. Mood swings are quite common, paranoia creeps up on you, DENIAL is the biggest affliction.
See the following link at NIDA for information how marijuana affects the user. There are drug programs in place and many of those caught for first time go through the 'drug court' here in Queensland. If they continue to use, then they either don't want to give up pot and or don't believe it is as harmless as proven. This is not a personal attack on Revellian, just on the topic at hand.



Semaj Mahgih said...

A look at the binge drinking of teenagers [and my Peugeot was virtually ruined by a girl throwing up in the back when I collected her to take her back from one of these] is pretty dire.

It's not so much the drug itself methinks but the use that's made of it and how society views the people who use it this way.

Nunyaa said...

Yes but who wants to live in a sad false existence of being stoned all day. That goes for being drunk as well. Like I said, it isn't the casual user I'm talking about but the one who can't go a day, or half a day without. There are programs, they choose not to utilise them, so therefore they put up with what the law is. Jail is no deterrent either.

Crushed said...

It should be a matter of personal choice though, don't you think?

Yes, a tiny minority abuse these things, but prohibition doesn't work.
The fact is, 20s America showed Alcohol prohibiion works less well than licensing and controlling its distribution.

The same logic applies to pretty much everything else, it's just we've never seen the logic. In fact, of prohibted drugs, most are a less of a socal nuisance than alcohol, and many are far more stimulating in a mental sense- how much art, literture, film, comes from mind altering substances?

I'd draw the line at heroin, because that truly is a poison, but much else I'd like to see legalised, with the same rules applying as appply to alcohol.

Nunyaa said...

Most drug/alcohol users do it by personal choice in the first instance.
I had everyday contact with someone who HAD to be stoned. He made my life hell and I see it as no better than an alcohol addiction.

Crushed said...

My take on that, is that 'stoners', aren't addicted to cannabis, but rather, to being stoned. It's a regrettable tendancy which develops in people who have too much free time, if cannabis is available to them. The drug itself isn't addictive, but the feeling, I think can be. It's the heightened conceptual awareness, that can be so alluring. I think people can get stuck in Stonerland and not want to come out.

If you HAVE to be stoned, then yes, it's a problem. But you need to look beyond the being stoned. That's a synptom, a symptom that something is wrong in the world of the stoner, that he HAS to be stoned. You can't blame the drug for providing what the user wants it to provide. The user is ABusing the substance, to evade their own life. It provides an easy way for them to do it, but they'll find a way anyway. You mentioned gambling the other day.

Use of any substance to fill in a hole, is bad. In fact, I'd go further. Use of ANY ONE thing, in isolation.

Be it Alcohol, Cannabis, Cocaine, Sex, Gambling, even Love. There are people try to evade reality by finding a specific person to solve their problems. That's an addiction too, a psychological addiction to an individual. Just as bad, in my opinion

Unhappy people will always find ways to escape reality. But that doesn't mean their escape routes might not be of value, when used responsibly, by those who use them to ENHANCE their lives, rather than REPLACE their lives.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I don't know: I grew up in the "free for all" 60s and think that one of the reasons so many of my own generation die in their 50s is the long-term effect of drug abuse. But it is true that much hypocrisy surrounds the issue. I enjoy my g and t but am the first to admit I am taking a drug, then you look at how hars it is to quit regular smoking and I am sure that , if alcohol and tobacco were discovered today, they would be banned.

Nunyaa said...

I agree with what you are saying Crushed, it is probably the denial that I have come across that irks me more.
Welshcakes, I just hope that with the advertising my kids make an informed decision when older.

LordSomber said...

"If you drink alcohol, even in scarce moderation, you too are a drug user and are no better than a crack head…period."

Basic moral relativism.
While you're at it, just go ahead and say "killing a cockroach is just as bad as killing a human."
Same 'argument.'

Nunyaa said...

Exactly Lordsomber.