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Look at substance of substance abuse
Guelph Mercury (Canada) ^ | December 16, 2002 | Bill Penner

Posted on 12/17/2002 8:21:08 AM PST by MrLeRoy

Illicit drugs are in the news again, with talk of creating safe injection sites in major metropolitan centres, and the potential decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. These discussions cause me a certain amount of personal turmoil. I have written in this space before about my own negative experiences with substance abuse, as well as my belief that all drugs should be decriminalized and regulated.

I continue to struggle to reconcile these apparently opposing views on illicit drugs.

I'm not a believer of the 'harmless' theory of marijuana use. I'm one of those guys whose history of drug abuse was what your mother warned you about.

Marijuana led me to stronger, more dangerous, narcotics that affected my abilities. Or perhaps it was my association with other law-breaking lowlifes who were quite content to seek solace from consciousness-altering drugs, rather than facing reality, that led me astray.

Either way, I fell deeper and deeper into the drug culture, and I regret it.

And yet I want to decriminalize all drug use.

My experiences have taught me that substance abusers get caught up in that way of life for the same reasons that I did all those years ago, a weakness in character.

It's the same reason people get addicted to pornography, alcohol, gambling, or other anti-social activities.

The causes of character weakness are much debated in scientific and medical circles. Some argue they are genetic, others argue psychological trauma is at the root of the problem. It's the old nurture versus nature discussion.

And the symptoms of character weakness? A lack of acceptance in the past, an inability to live in the present, and an underlying pessimism about the future. This leads to giving up easily in the face of adversity, a sense of hopelessness, always looking for the easy way out, and depression.

You only have to look at the alarming increase in the sale of prescription drugs to combat depression to see that character weakness is a growth industry.

The good news is that with hard work, effective parenting, and dedicated teachers, weak character can be overcome.

Hopelessness is a learned state, and it can be unlearned. Children at risk can be identified and taught optimism at an early age.

This is not about perpetuating the disgusting idea of victimhood that is so prevalent today, it's about filling the gaps that religion used to fill in most people's lives.

Don't get me wrong. There is plenty of real criminal activity at play in the illicit drug trade. There are lots of people out there willing to risk breaking the law to get rich from other people's weaknesses.

Just take a look at the burgeoning Internet pornography businesses and the state sanctioned lottery and alcohol industries.

As long as there is big money to be made selling pot, or crack, or whatever, there will be violent organized criminals prepared to take advantage of the situation.

Half-hearted measures like safe injection sites and lightening up on marijuana won't do the trick.

Yes, it does begin to acknowledge that the problem with substance abusers is more social than criminal, but it won't do anything to eliminate the violence and crime associated with the drug trade.

The only way to do that is to remove the potential for profit. Once unscrupulous people have no reason to prey on the weaknesses of others, then we'll have a fighting chance at dealing with the root causes.

Complete decriminalization, with government regulated supply of product, and a massive public health campaign, will choke off illegal profits and allow the abusers to be treated.

Assuming, of course, that the government won't become addicted to the tax revenue like they have with gambling, and keep the whole disgusting business in operation for their own nefarious purposes.


TOPICS: Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: addictedlosers; addiction; antigovnerds; apotheadstory; blackhelicopters; canadablows; cheetos; conspiracists; crackbabies; doperlosers; drug; drugbadforhealth; druggiesgoaway; drugskilledbolin; drugskilledelvis; drugskilledgrech; drugskilledjanis; drugskilledjimi; drugskilledriver; drugskilledsid; drugskilledthain; drugvicbelushi; drugvicdimwit; drugvicgarcia; drugvicruffin; gowodgetem; klintoonsnorted; legalizenever; lockemup; memoryloss; nasalanal; paranoia; penisenvy; saynopetodopers; stonedstupid; tinfoildruggies; wod; wodlist

1 posted on 12/17/2002 8:21:08 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: *Wod_list
Wod_list ping
2 posted on 12/17/2002 8:21:29 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
Half-hearted measures like safe injection sites and lightening up on marijuana won't do the trick.

Nor will feel-good pop psychology and self-esteem training.

"Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead...Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." -- St. Peter


3 posted on 12/17/2002 8:43:39 AM PST by ppaul
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; headsonpikes; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; ...
WOD Ping
4 posted on 12/17/2002 8:45:22 AM PST by jmc813
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To: MrLeRoy
...a weakness in character... It's the same reason people get addicted to pornography, alcohol, gambling, or other anti-social activities.

This is where he nails it: It's the addict, not the drug. And some addictions are just part of life. (I can stop freeping any time I want. Really.) Making addiction the subject of laws has been ineffective and counterproductive. Unless there is a plan to "win" the Drug War, it should be shut down.

5 posted on 12/17/2002 8:46:40 AM PST by eno_
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To: MrLeRoy
"Complete decriminalization, with government regulated free market supply of product, and a massive public health campaign, will choke off illegal profits and allow the abusers to be treated. "
6 posted on 12/17/2002 8:52:14 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: ppaul
"Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead...Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." -- St. Peter

In the end, that's the only solution to drug abuse. But unless you propose to mandate religious faith, I don't see how this is relevant to the question of what goivernmental policy should be.

7 posted on 12/17/2002 9:02:42 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: MrLeRoy
If there is a syllogism here, is it:

The problem is weakness of character;
The solution is to make drugs more readily available and legal;
Therefore, use of mind-altering drugs strengthens character?

Huh, what? Huh, what?

8 posted on 12/17/2002 9:09:44 AM PST by Migraine
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To: Migraine
The problem is weakness of character;
The solution is to make drugs more readily available and legal;

Who says that?

9 posted on 12/17/2002 9:11:55 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: maritimeman
Funny but true. It even bears out in studies: An Australian study found stoned people died at a lower rate than sober people, and, of course, at a much much lower rate than drunk people in car wrecks.

Marijuana may not be utterly harmless, but it sure is a lot less harmful than cheap beer is to a teenager.
11 posted on 12/17/2002 10:35:47 AM PST by eno_
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To: MrLeRoy
Having lost the argument, the WODdies are reduced to entering lame-*ss insults amongst the Keywords.

Pathetic...strike that...bathetic.
12 posted on 12/17/2002 10:45:01 AM PST by headsonpikes
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To: Kerberos
will choke off illegal profits and allow the abusers to be treated. "

The biggest problem here is that when drugs are legalized what will happen to all those
drug runners? Will they go out and get real jobs, I think that upfront, they will be hurting.
Then probably crime rates may rise, they have to keep up the high life style
No profit no money,
so we are proposing putting drug dealers in the unemployment lines,
13 posted on 12/17/2002 1:02:28 PM PST by vin-one
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To: vin-one
"so we are proposing putting drug dealers in the unemployment lines, "

No what we are proposing, or at least what I am proposing, is putting them out of business. What happens to them after that is their problem. As far as them committing violent crime, they are already committing violent crime. We’re just helping to keep them doing such with our illogical drug policies.

There is data somewhere, but I can't recall right now that shows after prohibition ended violent crime went down. The same thing would happen if we ended the war on drugs if for no other reason than that police officers could be using their time to apprehend violent offenders as opposed to chasing pot users.

14 posted on 12/17/2002 1:26:16 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
trying to light a fire under some of the WOD'ers out there.
Not necessarily pointed at you......
15 posted on 12/17/2002 1:30:54 PM PST by vin-one
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To: vin-one
"trying to light a fire under some of the WOD'ers out there"

Not really, just trying to answer the question for what it is. This is a problem that I have studied for well over 20 years, and there is no other conclusion to come to. The WOD does not achieve the desired objective so therefore it is time for a new plan.

But I will confess that sometimes I do like lighting a fire under them as when you do, it really comes out as to just how illogical their positions are.

16 posted on 12/17/2002 1:37:10 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: ppaul
GOD MADE HERB
GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD
GOD GAVE IT TO MAN

Genesis 1:11
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.

Genesis 1:12
And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:29
And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
17 posted on 12/17/2002 2:38:49 PM PST by PaxMacian
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To: MrLeRoy
Complete decriminalization, with government regulated supply of product, and a massive public health campaign, will choke off illegal profits and allow the abusers to be treated.

... thus perpetuating the injustice of this even being considered as a proper matter for legislation.

I don't want to pay for some drug addict's cure. That'll cut into my own dope money.

18 posted on 12/17/2002 3:12:48 PM PST by jodorowsky
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To: Kerberos
No what we are proposing, or at least what I am proposing, is putting them out of business. What happens to them after that is their problem.

BUMP!

19 posted on 12/17/2002 3:13:49 PM PST by jodorowsky
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To: MrLeRoy
"There are lots of people out there willing to risk breaking the law to get rich from other people's weaknesses. Just take a look at the burgeoning Internet pornography businesses (legal) and the state sanctioned lottery (legal) and alcohol industries (legal).

What is his point? He wants to remove the "potential for profit" by legalization, yet illustrates (with three examples) how people are profitting and getting rich in legal activities that prey on people's weaknesses.

I think he's still doing drugs.

20 posted on 12/17/2002 4:36:58 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: PaxMacian
And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

He didn't say to smoke them, or use them to get stoned and turn your mind into silly putty.

21 posted on 12/18/2002 10:24:47 AM PST by ppaul
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To: ppaul
He didn't say hunt down all those that possess this flower and imprison them.
22 posted on 12/18/2002 10:42:36 AM PST by PaxMacian
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To: MrLeRoy
I don't see how this is relevant to the question of what goivernmental policy should be.

Government policy should not be madated pop-psychology, counseling, etc., etc., ad nauseaum, that's for sure. Stop wasting taxpayer dollars on psychologists/shrinks.

23 posted on 12/18/2002 10:44:33 AM PST by ppaul
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To: ppaul
I should also point out that "kaneh-bosm", in traditional Hebrew is kaneh or kannabus, mistranslated into the
septaugint as calamus, a common marsh plant with little value and none of the qualities ascribed to
kaneh-bosm. The root 'kan' means "reed" or "hemp", while bosm means "aromatic". This word appears five
times in the Old Testament each in a positive light; in the books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah,
Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. None of these are negative toward use.
24 posted on 12/18/2002 10:46:38 AM PST by PaxMacian
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To: jodorowsky
I don't want to pay for some drug addict's cure.

I don't want to pay much more for the incarceration of addicts AND non-addicted users AND their suppliers.

25 posted on 12/18/2002 11:14:48 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: robertpaulsen
What is his point? He wants to remove the "potential for profit" by legalization, yet illustrates (with three examples) how people are profitting and getting rich in legal activities that prey on people's weaknesses.

His points are these: how much profit? and who's getting it?

26 posted on 12/18/2002 11:17:49 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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To: ppaul
Government policy should not be madated pop-psychology, counseling, etc.

I didn't see him call for mandated anything. I did see a call for "effective parenting and dedicated teachers."

27 posted on 12/18/2002 11:42:51 AM PST by MrLeRoy
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