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DEA "Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization" Claim 3 - a rebuttal
(self) | March 26, 2012 | (self)

Posted on 03/26/2012 11:07:14 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies

The DEA Web pages on "Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization" are linked with some regularity on FR. They're full of errors in fact and logic; since I couldn't find a comprehensive rebuttal online, I've started creating one. Here's my rebuttal to their "Fact 3;" more to come as time permits. ("Fact 1" rebutted at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2858443/posts; "Fact 2" rebutted at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2861557/posts.)

Claim 3: "Illegal drugs are illegal because they are harmful."

Fact: The legal drugs alcohol and tobacco are legal despite being harmful.

  • Claim: Drug use can be deadly, far more deadly than alcohol. Although alcohol is used by seven times as many people as drugs, the number of deaths induced by those substances are not far apart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2000, there were 15,852 drug-induced deaths; only slightly less than the 18,539 alcohol-induced deaths.

    Fact: Because the drug alcohol is legal, it can be and is effectively regulated for concentration and lack of contamination. Because other drugs are illegal, they are forced into the black market where no such effective regulation is possible — so the illegality of drugs makes them more deadly than they would otherwise be.

Ecstasy

  • Claim: Ecstasy has rapidly become a favorite drug among young party goers in the U.S. and Europe, and it is now being used within the mainstream as well. According to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, Ecstasy use tripled among Americans between 1998 and 2001. Many people believe, incorrectly, that this synthetic drug is safer than cocaine and heroin. In fact, the drug is addictive and can be deadly. The drug often results in severe dehydration and heat stroke in the user, since it has the effect of “short-circuiting” the body’s temperature signals to the brain. Ecstasy can heat your body up to temperatures as high as 117 degrees. Ecstasy can cause hypothermia, muscle breakdown, seizures, stroke, kidney and cardiovascular system failure, as well as permanent brain damage during repetitive use, and sometimes death. The psychological effects of Ecstasy include confusion, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, drug craving, and paranoia.

    Fact: Ecstasy can be deadly — as can cocaine and heroin (and alcohol). The DEA comes less than halfway to supporting their claim that the belief that "this synthetic drug is safer than cocaine and heroin" is "incorrect." Those considering using Ecstasy should know the risks ... but the DEA insures that it won't be listened to by 'crying wolf' with its claim that Ecstasy is as unsafe as heroin.

Cocaine

  • Claim: Physical effects of cocaine use include constricted blood vessels and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Users may also experience feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. Cocaine-related deaths are often the result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest. Cocaine continues to be the most frequently mentioned illicit substance in U.S. emergency departments, present in 30 percent of the emergency department drug episodes during 2001.

    Fact: That an emergency-department patient mentions something says nothing about whether that something was a causal factor in their emergency; does the government track "mentions" of techno music or pizza? This profoundly silly statistic is used to artificially inflate the numbers on the harmfulness of drugs.

Marijuana

  • Claim: Drug legalization advocates in the United States single out marijuana as a different kind of drug, unlike cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. They say it’s less dangerous. Several European countries have lowered the classification of marijuana. However, as many people are realizing, marijuana is not as harmless as some would have them believe. Marijuana is far more powerful than it used to be. In 2000, there were six times as many emergency room mentions of marijuana use as there were in 1990, despite the fact that the number of people using marijuana is roughly the same. In 1999, a record 225,000 Americans entered substance abuse treatment primarily for marijuana dependence, second only to heroin—and not by much.

    Fact: Regarding "mentions," see the previous bullet point. As for substance abuse treatment admissions: Curious how the DEA mentions comparative usage statistics in the first bullet point, but not here. Since in 2008 there were 71 times more past-month users of marijuana than of heroin (http://www.samhsa.gov/data/nsduh/2k8nsduh/tabs/Sect1peTabs1to46.htm#Tab1.1A) the DEA's statistic actually indicates that marijuana is much less addictive than heroin. And regarding the "record" admission number, note that many substance abuse treatment admissions come through ever-multiplying "diversion programs" from the criminal courts, such as California's Proposition 36, under which "all offenders charged with nonviolent drug-related offenses are potentially eligible to receive treatment services" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64143/#A80751) ... which means that many of those admitted to these treatment programs have no substance abuse problem but only an aversion to jail.

  • Claim: At a time of great public pressure to curtail tobacco because of its effects on health, advocates of legalization are promoting the use of marijuana. Yet, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.” Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, including the most harmful substances found in tobacco smoke. For example, smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette.

    Fact: Because tobacco is legal, its sellers have motive and unfettered opportunity to make tobacco less harmful, for example, by developing lower-tar cigarettes. Again we see that the illegality of drugs makes them more harmful than they would otherwise be.



TOPICS: Government; Miscellaneous; Politics
KEYWORDS: cocaine; dea; drugs; drugwar; ecstasy; marijuana; warondrugs; wod; wodlist; wosd

1 posted on 03/26/2012 11:07:22 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Drug War = Assured Government Employment.

We need to just let the states decide on this matter the whole “federal drug war” needs to stop as it gives the feds too much power.

If they want a Damned Drug war they need to actually declare an actual WAR as defined in the constitution.


2 posted on 03/26/2012 11:22:37 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: GraceG
Or pass a new Prohibition amendment.
3 posted on 03/26/2012 11:24:17 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

[ Or pass a new Prohibition amendment. ]

Amendments should always be of the:

“Government Shall not do this to the people” type

And MOST Certainly NOT: “The People are not permitted to do X”


4 posted on 03/26/2012 11:34:34 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

When alcohol was illegal there was a lot of “cutting” involved in illicit alcohol and crappy quality control on what was put in alcohol things like methanol were put in.

When you take any product or service into the black market the quality and thus the safety of the product goes way down as people selling it don’t give a crap about your safety because the producsers are far more disconnected from the users. Because if the users know who was smuggling/making the drug the supply would be quickly cut off.


5 posted on 03/26/2012 11:37:30 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: GraceG
Amendments should always be of the:

“Government Shall not do this to the people” type

And MOST Certainly NOT: “The People are not permitted to do X”

The 18th was of the latter type - and it turned out to be a terrible idea.

"the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited."

6 posted on 03/26/2012 11:40:33 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

The Conservative Argument against Federal Drug Prohibition: There exists no Constitutional Amendment authorizing a 2nd prohibition.


7 posted on 03/26/2012 11:44:56 AM PDT by Mechanicos (Why does the DOE have a SWAT Team?)
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To: Mechanicos
The DEA won't touch that one with a ten-foot pole.
8 posted on 03/26/2012 11:47:50 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

BFL


9 posted on 03/26/2012 11:48:39 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: autumnraine

http://www.google.com/search?q=BFL - first hit:

“www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/bfl/
“FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) - Weekend Bass Tournaments - News, Results, Photos - FLW.”


10 posted on 03/26/2012 11:55:27 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

When your job depends on locking people up you’re going to do what it takes to keep your job. The Drug War is a failure and the government just won’t admit it. Here’s a question for the prohibitionists : If the drug war is such a success why don’t you add alcohol and tobacco to the list of prohibited substances?


11 posted on 03/26/2012 12:14:05 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: jmacusa
Here’s a question for the prohibitionists : If the drug war is such a success why don’t you add alcohol and tobacco to the list of prohibited substances?

That one always brings out the fancy footwork (call it the Prohibitonist Polka).


12 posted on 03/26/2012 12:26:03 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Ha. It usually starts with “The government can’t tell ME what to do!”. Oh, yes it can.

Followed by “We tried to ban alcohol and it didn’t work. We had crime, violence, poisoned hooch, people still drank anyway...”. Oh, the irony.


13 posted on 03/26/2012 12:37:16 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

What is the most powerful drug known to mankind?

Government Money.


14 posted on 03/26/2012 12:41:02 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

If, through inaction we allow the government to outlaw a vegetable, please don’t complain if they outlaw a meat like beef or lamb.

There are studies to show that beef and lamb contain harmful substances so the government could ban them (for our own good, of course) under the same sort of legal reasoning by which they ban marijuana.

Butter, bacon anything could be banned.


15 posted on 03/26/2012 12:49:29 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (No wonder this administration favors abortion; everything they have done is an abortion xa)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

LOL!!


16 posted on 03/26/2012 1:31:11 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

The war on drugs keep a lot of people across many different fields, employed.

It wastes a lot of taxpayer money that either would not have to be confiscated from taxpayers.

I say we let the government and pharma make safe synthetic drugs, pure, clean. If people get addicted, and commit crimes, they are placed into centers they cannot get out of but they can have as much drugs as they want, and they can either overdose eventually, or they can have a momoent of clarity and ask to get clean.

If they get clean and relapse, they go back into the locked building center, get their drugs, and they never get let out alive.

Simple as that. The people who want drugs will get them. The people that want to get clean, can get clean (once). If they backslide they really didn’t want to get clean. The rest of society who wants to be safe from being killed or robbed by drug addicts, will be.


17 posted on 03/26/2012 1:39:01 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

It’s flawed nanny-state big brother logic.

There are plenty of legal things that are harmful that are legal.

More people die from alcoholism and smoking than illegal drugs. More people kill others driving under the influence and texting /talking on cell phones than illegal drugs.

Yet government makes a ton of money from alcohol taxes, tobacco taxes, gas taxes.

Government just can’t figure out how to legalize drugs after spending so much money and time on “the war on drugs” and really would be afraid so many people on drugs would be dangerous to others if they drove or were armed or out in public and they freak out. Which is legitimate. Which is why my prior solution to drug users would have to be employed.

Companies can be allowed to make pure synthetic safe drugs. If you could handle drugs fine. If not, and you steal or commit crimes on drugs, you’d be locked into a govt drug facility where you’d get as much drugs as you wanted. Either you eventually overdose or you ask to get clean. You get one time at being rehab’d. You get put back into society after becoming clean. IF you stay away from drugs you’re fine. You fall back into drugs again, you’re back in the locked facility and you don’t get out. You get all the drugs you want and eventually you overdose because you made the choice drugs were what you really wanted.

That’s how people can choose or not to do drugs, but not be a danger to society at large. THe ones that can handle drugs have no reason to be removed from society. The ones that can’t and commit crimes on drugs get removed from society.

And personally I would not mind using the same model for dangerous alcoholics.


18 posted on 03/26/2012 1:50:10 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: GraceG

Yes but a lot more people also knew how to make various alcoholic beverages safely too, because they learned from their parents who learned from their parents how to make certain alcoholic beverages from the old country. Wines, brandies, other certain liquors were often made by families as just part of something the family did.


19 posted on 03/26/2012 1:52:49 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Wolfie
Followed by “We tried to ban alcohol and it didn’t work. We had crime, violence, poisoned hooch, people still drank anyway...”. Oh, the irony.

What irony?

20 posted on 03/26/2012 2:15:36 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Wolfie
Never mind, I just caught up with you. :-(
21 posted on 03/26/2012 2:16:24 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
THe ones that can handle drugs have no reason to be removed from society. The ones that can’t and commit crimes on drugs get removed from society.

I'm not sure we can't get that done using the existing penal system ... but the underlying principle you state is rock solid.

22 posted on 03/26/2012 2:24:57 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

I understand and agree, that’s why I have come up with a new solution to the problem. It would be a building that housed only drug abusers, they could not get out, the only way out of the building would be for the staff to service the vending units (replacing drugs) and one to monitor an intercom in case one came to clarity and desperately wanted to get clean rather than eventually overdose. If it was a person who never asked before, there would be an armed team that went in the only entrance (multiple locked foyers) to get that one person out. If they had failed at getting clean a prior time, they would be ignored as they proved the past time that wanting to get clean was not really what they genuinely wanted.

People have to accept the consequences for misusing and abusing drugs and hurting/murdering/stealing from others. It is almost impossible to cure drug addiction personalities. That is because almost none of them want to sincerely give up the drugs. THere are those people who would like to get the high but are scared of addiction, bad health, or realize it’s not a workable way to live life, and/or don’t want to ever be in a position to hurt or murder others because they were high, and they therefore don’t do drugs. To them they understand the benefits to avoiding drugs outweigh the consequences of screwing up while on drugs even though you feel real good while screwing up. We already know this because we all make choices regarding alcohol.

Drugs are much more potent and therefore addictive than alcohol. And believe me, alcohol is addictive. Wouldn’t have AA and a whole bunch of people making money getting people sober if it wasn’t. We lose a lot of innocent people to drunks. We have a lot of wrecked lives and families do to drunks. Their own families and lots of others’ families who are innocent victims of the drunks.

Therefore a more drastic solution is required if drugs are to be legalized. ANd it’s the one I’ve outlined. We tolerate just one screwup before being put in a facility you can’t get out of, but you will get your drugs there, they will be safe and pure, as much as you want. We believe you only once if you say, while in that facility, you want to get clean. You only get one time at getting clean. You use drugs again, you’re back in and you never get out alive, as you’ve proven you can’t stay clean and really at your core want your drugs above anything else.


23 posted on 03/26/2012 3:27:00 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

I have come up with a new solution to the problem. It would be a building that housed only drug abusers


England had a much less drastic solution They simply treated addiction as a health problem, to be treated by physicians. Addicts would simply go to the doctor to get their maintenance “fix” for a nominal fee, and then go back to their lives. Almost all worked, and had normal lives. Since the cost of the drugs was nominal, the men had not turned into thugs and the women had not turned into prostitutes or thieves.

This approach worked for years ... until the U.S. Government pressured them into discontinuing it — the drugs were made illegal, and hence costly, and the addicts were tossed out of their normal lives (due to the cost of the now illegal drugs). And now England had a drug addictioni problem, with overdose deaths, petty crime to support their habits, and police corruption with drug money profits.

Just another case of lofty motives leading to disasterous results.


24 posted on 03/27/2012 8:14:02 AM PDT by Mack the knife
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To: Secret Agent Man
Drugs are much more potent and therefore addictive than alcohol.

Some drugs are. According to research cited by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, of all those who ever used alcohol 15% at some point became dependent; the corresponding figures for other drugs are:

Heroin: 23%
Cocaine: 17%
Marijuana: 9%
Psychedelics: 5%

25 posted on 03/27/2012 8:14:40 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Mack the knife
England had a much less drastic solution They simply treated addiction as a health problem, to be treated by physicians. Addicts would simply go to the doctor to get their maintenance “fix” for a nominal fee, and then go back to their lives. Almost all worked, and had normal lives. Since the cost of the drugs was nominal, the men had not turned into thugs and the women had not turned into prostitutes or thieves.

This approach worked for years ... until the U.S. Government pressured them into discontinuing it — the drugs were made illegal, and hence costly, and the addicts were tossed out of their normal lives (due to the cost of the now illegal drugs). And now England had a drug addictioni problem, with overdose deaths, petty crime to support their habits, and police corruption with drug money profits.

Just another case of lofty motives leading to disasterous results.

You're too generous. The U.S. government may have had lofty motives for the failed policy it has imposed on its own citizens - but to push that policy on another country that had a working policy is clearly a simple case of bureaucratic arrogance and @$$-covering.

26 posted on 03/27/2012 8:20:25 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Meth is more addictive than any of those you listed. That’s a real big one right now.


27 posted on 03/27/2012 2:27:35 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Mack the knife

But do you see the total illogic here?

They are addicts. THey go to doctors to ‘get their fix’.

They aren’t fixing anything. These people will be perpetual addicts with the blessing of the state the rest of their lives. They aren’t trying to get them to not be addicts. They aren’t correcting anything. They are enabling the addict for the rest of their lives.


28 posted on 03/27/2012 2:30:21 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
And whose business is that, if they weren't violating anyone's rights nor becoming burdens on society?
29 posted on 03/27/2012 2:33:35 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Mack the knife

That program is what Keith Richards credits for him being able to survive his years of heroin use. Apparently the program gave only only top end pharmaceutical grade, very clean. I won’t go so far as to say it’s actually a good solution, but it does show once again that the primary source of the problems of drugs comes from the illegality.


30 posted on 03/27/2012 2:34:32 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Did you even read my posts about this? This is for the people who have demonstrated they cannot handle being on drugs. People that injure, murder, kill, or steal from others because of drugs.


31 posted on 03/27/2012 5:12:25 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
[Mack the knife:] Almost all worked, and had normal lives. Since the cost of the drugs was nominal, the men had not turned into thugs and the women had not turned into prostitutes or thieves.

This approach worked for years

They aren’t trying to get them to not be addicts. They aren’t correcting anything. They are enabling the addict for the rest of their lives.

And whose business is that, if they weren't violating anyone's rights nor becoming burdens on society?

This is for the people who have demonstrated they cannot handle being on drugs. People that injure, murder, kill, or steal from others because of drugs.

No, Mack's post was about people who were handling it, and the policy that allowed them to do so.

32 posted on 03/28/2012 8:25:02 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
Meth is more addictive than any of those you listed.

Yes and no - addicts who have completed treatment have a higher relapse rate for meth than for other drugs ... but the percentage of dependence among past-year users is actually much smaller for meth (22%) than for heroin (58%), and also smaller than for cocaine (27%).

33 posted on 03/28/2012 9:48:41 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

I am sorry, doctors giving people drugs they are addicted to, is not doing ANYTHING to cure them of their addiction.

They will be taking it the rest of their lives if there is no goal to get them clean.

If this is the case why not have all the non-addicts claim they are addicts to get clean drugs and sell them, since they are all paying for them? Why don’t I get free drugs that I need to keep living a normal life? I have severe allergies, why can’t I go to the govt clinic and get free tylenol allergy sinus whenever I need some?

I am talking about doing NOTHING to people who can handle drugs. The addicts get to have as much as they want to the point of overdose - but it will be clean and pure and given by the govt. But they will be in a secure building for their safety and ours. If they decide they want to be clean they get one shot. If they backslide they’re back in the building until they overdose. They’ve proven they want the drug more than anything else.

And really, to use Keith Richards as an example of govt-given drugs to “maintain a normal life” is absolutely the worst example you could ever give. Keith is hardly functional, or “normal”. The guy looked 100 before he was 50. Getting govt heroin hardly affected the toll his lifestyle (that included drugs) took on him. He is hardly the posterchild you want to prop up as being the success story for govt giving people drugs. Seriously. Out of curiousity, are you on government drugs right now? Given that example I have to ask.


34 posted on 03/28/2012 3:48:31 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man; Mack the knife
[Mack the knife:] Almost all worked, and had normal lives. Since the cost of the drugs was nominal, the men had not turned into thugs and the women had not turned into prostitutes or thieves.

This approach worked for years

They aren’t trying to get them to not be addicts. They aren’t correcting anything. They are enabling the addict for the rest of their lives.

And whose business is that, if they weren't violating anyone's rights nor becoming burdens on society?

This is for the people who have demonstrated they cannot handle being on drugs. People that injure, murder, kill, or steal from others because of drugs.

No, Mack's post was about people who were handling it, and the policy that allowed them to do so.

I am sorry, doctors giving people drugs they are addicted to, is not doing ANYTHING to cure them of their addiction.

Agreed, it's maintenance not a cure - just as injected insulin doesn't cure diabetes.

If this is the case why not have all the non-addicts claim they are addicts to get clean drugs

I imagine that under that policy doctors questioned/examined patients to try to screen out fake addicts. It's either that, or just sell it in a regulated manner to any adult with the money to pay for it, as we do with the drug alcohol.

and sell them, since they are all paying for them? Why don’t I get free drugs that I need to keep living a normal life? I have severe allergies, why can’t I go to the govt clinic and get free tylenol allergy sinus whenever I need some?

The cost wasn't zero but "nominal" - and my preferred policy would be to have users pay the full cost.

I am talking about doing NOTHING to people who can handle drugs.

I prefer that policy to the one Mack described - but I prefer even the one he described to our current counterproductive policy.

And really, to use Keith Richards as an example of govt-given drugs to “maintain a normal life” is absolutely the worst example you could ever give. [...] Out of curiousity, are you on government drugs right now? Given that example I have to ask.

That was Mack's example, not mine. What drugs are you on that have rendered you unable to distinguish between "Mack the knife" and "JustSayNoToNannies"?

35 posted on 03/29/2012 7:51:29 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Rebuttal to “Fact 4” at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2893202/posts


36 posted on 06/08/2012 12:56:06 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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