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  #1  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:53 AM
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Default What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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  #2  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:23 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

Yay, Mark Kleiman!! Welcome back.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:28 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Yay, Mark Kleiman!! Welcome back.
Yep -- I was delighted to see this diavlog.
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:39 AM
beren beren is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

Kleiman is awesome. And a much-needed antidote to the legalize-everything libertarian crowd that so often dominates debate about drug policy. Data! Let's make our decisions on data, not wishful thinking.
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:52 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by beren View Post
Kleiman is awesome. And a much-needed antidote to the legalize-everything libertarian crowd that so often dominates debate about drug policy. Data! Let's make our decisions on data, not wishful thinking.
Too bad all that data didn't point to any direction. It continues to be a huge dilemma.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:56 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Too bad all that data didn't point to any direction.
Says Bozo, not Kleiman.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:04 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
Says Bozo, not Kleiman.
OK, that's probably fair because I didn't listen to the whole diavlog. But looking at the list of subjects, I didn't see much of a program proposal except what was mentioned at the end (which I did listen to) about jail and consequences. That seems to be pretty much what we have now and how's that working?

I'm sure all of the data is good and true but what to do?? People like to get high, so much so that they'll risk anything for it. And some people have lives in which there isn't anything to lose.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:23 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

I love McWhorter, and I'm loathe to ever request more Reason/Cato participants given their over-abundance here at BHTV, but in this case I would have loved to hear a Libertarian discuss these issues with Kleiman.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:31 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
I love McWhorter, and I'm loathe to ever request more Reason/Cato participants given their over-abundance here at BHTV, but in this case I would have loved to hear a Libertarian discuss these issues with Kleiman.
I actually thought McWhorter was good at bringing up some of the issues and asking some of the obvious questions. I suppose a Matt Welch type would have made for an interesting debate -- perhaps we can have that on a future date -- but on the whole I'm not excited for more libertarian ideology, which increasingly seems to me based on faith rather than data. Maybe another wonk with a more pro-legalization view would have been good, though, so they could get into a debate. I'm sure one could be found.

Ultimately, also, there's only so far you can go without acknowledging the political road blocks, which Kleiman brought up here. It's the refusal to do that when talking about the issue as a whole that tends to frustrate me with Welch.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:53 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

Agreed. Fwiw, I only got through about 25 mins.

Will Wilkinson was sorta who I was thinking of as he tends to dig into data/research pretty well. Though you're right that Libertarians usually want to speak of ideals rather than practical reality.
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:03 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Will Wilkinson was sorta who I was thinking of as he tends to dig into data/research pretty well. Though you're right that Libertarians usually want to speak of ideals rather than practical reality.
Will would likely be good, I agree.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:08 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Ultimately, also, there's only so far you can go without acknowledging the political road blocks, which Kleiman brought up here. It's the refusal to do that when talking about the issue as a whole that tends to frustrate me with Welch.
What frustrates me about Kleiman is that he ultimately ends up being a defender of the status quo. This was clear at the very end of the conversation when John threw him the softball of "What would you tell President Obama if you had the chance?" Basically, Mark answered, I dunno; nothing much. He added something about not moralizing over drug use, but substantively had no suggestions.

Actually, there are real ethical questions here beyond preaching a faith-based anti-drug message. There is the troubling double standard that alcohol consumption is legal, while marijuana and cocaine consumption are not. There's also the claim that an individual has a right to do what s/he wants to her body and mind without being incarcerated. There's also the disproportionately awful outcomes of current drug policy for the disadvantaged here and abroad. Finally, there's the cost in blood and $$ of the prohibitionist War on Drugs.

This is perhaps the third or fourth time Mark has been on Bheads to promote the pilot program he loves in Hawaii, which mixes positive and negative behaviorist reinforcement (mostly negative) for users. It's not enough. At least the libertarians bring some creativity and passion to grapple with the unsustainable, unmitigated and lame-brained disaster that is prohibition.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:57 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
What frustrates me about Kleiman is that he ultimately ends up being a defender of the status quo. This was clear at the very end of the conversation when John threw him the softball of "What would you tell President Obama if you had the chance?" Basically, Mark answered, I dunno; nothing much. He added something about not moralizing over drug use, but substantively had no suggestions.
Aha! This vindicates what I said upthread. It's a huge dilemma and huge cost in lives but we really don't have a clue what to do about it.

Just say no but some people have no good reason to say no.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:23 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Actually, there are real ethical questions here beyond preaching a faith-based anti-drug message.
I agree with this, although I think we disagree on what they are. I'd point to a bunch of things, but a few are: (1) the point mentioned in my last post that prohibitions often operate by protecting certain segments of the population at the expense of others; (2) the idea that if one uses drugs one is a somewhat stupid or worthless person who is not entitled to our concern (I see this somewhat in the argument that we shouldn't worry or care about whether ending restrictions leads to more addicts, as well as in operative's argument); (3) the total waste and negative incentives of putting people in prison for drug use (the McWhorter argument, basically); and (4) the negative effects of both the drug war and open drug use and sales on communities.

I don't think there are clear answers, unlike you, I think. But I do think these are issues worth discussing and the current situation is bad. But I don't agree that Mark's approach is maintaining the status quo -- we don't have only two options, the Drug War or legalization of everyting.

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There is the troubling double standard that alcohol consumption is legal, while marijuana and cocaine consumption are not.
I completely disagree with you on this. Alcohol causes more problems in large part because it is legal, accepted in our society, and widely used. It is also impossible to make illegal for those reasons (as we stupidly tried). But creating more drugs that are in this same category seems like a bad idea. And the idea that there's some need to treat all drugs the same -- the double standard idea -- or to make other drugs legal just because they cause us no worse problems than alcohol makes absolutely no sense to me. That we have a societal relationship with alcohol that is of a particular kind does not mean that we have established a particular line with regard to what drugs can and can't be made legal that must be perfectly consistent. The law is not consistent in that way. It's a made-up and unjustifiable demand.

Also, on these grounds we should get rid of prescription requirements for all kinds of prescribed drugs. Not because there's any real demand in some cases, but just because they aren't as abusable as alcohol.

Also, it misrepresents the discussion, I think, to group marijuana with all other drugs when Mark himself said he's probably be okay with legalizing pot, although he'd rather try a decriminalize and all personal use and growing co-ops approach. I think most of us here taking a more cautious approach toward legalization or even decriminalization are saying that we would be fine with decriminalizing or more with pot. I was in favor of the CA Proposition, for example, and think the feds should lay off states that choose to have more lax laws about marijuana.

My reason here is not some pointless comparison of alcohol's harms vs. pot's (I would agree that alcohol is worse). It's that I think that marijuana isn't all that harmful (unlike alcohol), and -- like alcohol -- is already so widely accepted and available and inexpensive that making it illegal ends up encouraging disrespect of the law in general. Add to that the harmful effects of the drug war as directed against pot users or small sellers and the Mexican effect, and I think we clearly should start by changing the law here.

This is another reason, however, why I get frustrated when the discussion becomes framed as "supporters of the War on Drugs" (which Kleiman is not) vs. people in favor of across the board legalization (which I'm not comfortable with, in large part because I think the kinds of concerns Mark raises are valid and serious ones).

Last edited by stephanie; 07-06-2011 at 01:33 PM..
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2011, 03:22 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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I agree with this, although I think we disagree on what they are. I'd point to a bunch of things, but a few are: (1) the point mentioned in my last post that prohibitions often operate by protecting certain segments of the population at the expense of others; (2) the idea that if one uses drugs one is a somewhat stupid or worthless person who is not entitled to our concern (I see this somewhat in the argument that we shouldn't worry or care about whether ending restrictions leads to more addicts, as well as in operative's argument); (3) the total waste and negative incentives of putting people in prison for drug use (the McWhorter argument, basically); and (4) the negative effects of both the drug war and open drug use and sales on communities.
Agree with all those points. Point 3, however, is a biggie in the debate on legalization. Pretty much everyone who is in prison in the USA (world leader in per capita incarceration) is in there for drug-related offenses (including alcohol). You would not be absolutely correct to enter a prison and state that EVERYONE is here because of drugs, but it would be a very understandable first impression. Mark says we have a benign neglect approach to weed and upgrade probation and parole for hard drugs to reverse this scourge of prohibition. Too little, too late.

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I completely disagree with you on this. Alcohol causes more problems in large part because it is legal, accepted in our society, and widely used. It is also impossible to make illegal for those reasons (as we stupidly tried). But creating more drugs that are in this same category seems like a bad idea.
I don't know if you consume alcohol, but this is often the point of view of those who do prefer alcohol and reject other psychotropic substances. From the POV of the person who doesn't like alcohol but does like, for example, codeine, ritalin, LSD and Ecstacy it seems like a violation of a fundamental right to deny them their substance of choice. This right can be framed in religious terms (as with peyote for Native Americans or alcohol during prohibition for religious Jews and Catholics) or it can be framed as a general "pursuit of happiness" in which no one is directly harmed but the person herself.

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Also, on these grounds we should get rid of prescription requirements for all kinds of prescribed drugs. Not because there's any real demand in some cases, but just because they aren't as abusable as alcohol.
I don't think a prescription drug analogy is a good one. We have made a kind of contract with medical professionals to trust their knowledge and wisdom to properly administer the drugs we need for our health. We rely on their expertise, not their policing. (Also, not a good area to get into because -- on freedom grounds -- we already allow fake medical practitioners to dispense billions of dollars worth annually of useless potions that do great harm to individuals and their families. These folks die or go untreated by science because they prefer "alternative" medicine [sic]. (Ironically, one of those fake medications is weed.)

Quote:
This is another reason, however, why I get frustrated when the discussion becomes framed as "supporters of the War on Drugs" (which Kleiman is not) vs. people in favor of across the board legalization (which I'm not comfortable with, in large part because I think the kinds of concerns Mark raises are valid and serious ones).
The reason I tend to think that is that I see no way to end the War on Drugs
without legalization. Demand for drugs is insatiable, and Kleiman doesn't really address reducing demand. As long as their is demand, producers will deliver, and as long as production and distribution are illegal, we'll have a war on drugs.
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:11 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Agree with all those points. Point 3, however, is a biggie in the debate on legalization.
And I don't see why you'd need legalization to address 3 at all. It's one way of addressing it, but so are various other ways of ending the war on drugs, including decriminimalization or a change in penalties. This gets to my point about the false dichotomy.

Also, pragmatically, as long as you waste your time and resources arguing with those, like me, who agree with you on some of the most important things you want done, because we aren't comfortable with a full-scale legalization approach that is politically impossible anyway, you make less progress toward the achievable items. Plus, I think full-scale legalization, if desireable, probably happens once you address fears with a small steps approach.

You otherwise seem to me to be arguing about the existence of a problem I know about and agree with you on, as if that should convince me of the rightness of your proposed solution. You need to tell me why other solutions wouldn't work as well or aren't worth trying, not that the problem exists.

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I don't know if you consume alcohol, but this is often the point of view of those who do prefer alcohol and reject other psychotropic substances.
That alcohol is really damaging but we can't do anything about it given its place in our society, so shouldn't create more such problems? Really? That shows some personal taste preference for alcohol? What I said seems to me a pretty negative statement, not an argument that alcohol is really hunky-dory. It makes me feel, a little, like you have a set script of how you think the argument should go and what the sides are (the false dichotomy, again) and are fitting me into it.

And, no, I don't drink.

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From the POV of the person who doesn't like alcohol but does like, for example, codeine, ritalin, LSD and Ecstacy it seems like a violation of a fundamental right to deny them their substance of choice.
You aren't going to convince me of this. I don't think there's a fundamental right to use any particular substance, and, of course, the SC agrees with me. I don't think alcohol prohibition violated any rights (various counties prohibit the sale of alcohol even now).

The one exception, of course, is use as required for a religious ritual.

The question for me is a pragmatic one. But if the argument is going to be "it doesn't matter what the effects are, we have a right to use and sell whatever, without reference to the cost to society," then we can simply agree to disagree.

Too bad, in that I suspect we agree a lot on actual policy questions, which is why I think it makes more sense to focus on them rather than berating people who don't agree on the "rights" thing. Okay, you aren't berating me, obviously, but I think that's why many of the legalization people aren't doing a good job of pushing the arguments that could actually be effective.

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I don't think a prescription drug analogy is a good one.
Seems to me it follows right from your own argument. That we allow exceptions to the prohibition for medical purposes doesn't justify having a prohibition otherwise if you take the position that there's some rights-based argument for legalization.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:43 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Plus, I think full-scale legalization, if desirable, probably happens once you address fears with a small steps approach.
Fine. I'm all for incremental progress.

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I don't know if you consume alcohol, but this is often the point of view of those who do prefer alcohol and reject other psychotropic substances.
That alcohol is really damaging but we can't do anything about it given its place in our society, so shouldn't create more such problems? Really? That shows some personal taste preference for alcohol? What I said seems to me a pretty negative statement, not an argument that alcohol is really hunky-dory.
Part of the problem with Kleiman's argument is that it presumes that other substances would not replace or displace alcohol but simply be added to alcohol. Certainly, some people would abuse both alcohol and cocaine, but probably many people would enter marijuana culture or stimulant culture and stay there, eschewing alcohol.

That has been my personal experience. I used a lot of illegal psychotropics for a period in my life (late teens and early twenties) but never drank. Everyone is different and people will self-medicate and recreate in different ways and in response to different life challenges and participation in different subcultures.

In retrospect, in my own life, I'm grateful that I used "drugs" as opposed to alcohol. Chances are good that if I had been an alcohol user or addict I would have done significant harm to myself and/or others. (This is anecdotal, of course, but food for thought).

Another life experience of mine was to be on the persecuted end of criminalization. I saw lots of lives ruined by criminalization. We who lived through the hysteria of the war on drugs have a different take on the "Yes, there's a double (booze) standard, but so what?" attitude of prohibition apologists. The government's message that it's okay to buy truckloads of gin and vodka (and profit through their production, promotion distribution and sale), but if we catch you with a joint, you're going to prison was deeply disenfranchising. We may have generational differences on this, but to counter-cultural boomers like me prohibiting drugs is something like banning guns, or abortions. Probably abortion is a better analogy because there is nothing about terminating pregnancies or drugs in the Constitution, while guns are mentioned in the 2nd Amendment.

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The question for me is a pragmatic one. But if the argument is going to be "it doesn't matter what the effects are, we have a right to use and sell whatever, without reference to the cost to society," then we can simply agree to disagree.
The problem is that there are many different methods for calculating the "cost to society." Some of the variables are unknowable at this point, which is why Mark developed the "once you let the genie out of the bottle there's no turning back" argument. He says that he might be willing to run the experiment of legalization, except that you could never undo it if it didn't work out well. That's a status quo argument.

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That we allow exceptions to the prohibition for medical purposes doesn't justify having a prohibition otherwise if you take the position that there's some rights-based argument for legalization.
The medical profession works fine if you can afford good health care and your purpose is being healthy. But if your intention is to alter your consciousness, getting your doctor's permission to do so is an inappropriate solution. One of the problems with the status quo of prohibition is that we already have physicians as gatekeepers for psychotropic drug use. Anyone who knows how to work the system can stay supplied with weed (in many states), uppers like Ritalin and Adderall and downers like Vicodin and even Oxycontin. This is not a good system for patients or doctors.

Here in California today legitimate doctors CAN prescribe marijuana to people who want to get high with a pretext (back pain, anger management, anxiety). The overwhelming majority of physicians will NOT do so because they see through the fraud of medical marijuana and have plenty of real medicines to treat back pain and anxiety. Nonetheless, there are enough unscrupulous physicians to keep all the users supplied and the industry flourishing, while reducing imports of illegal weed. This could also happen with other drugs. Doctor: "No, I will not prescribe you 'medicinal' cocaine, but you can get your cocaine license (and stop annoying me with your pretext maladies)."

We should be trying pilot programs of legalization (wink-wink medicalization) of heroin, coke, ecstasy, etc.) Methadone maintenance has been working for many people for decades. Mark agrees that heroin maintenance is possible; he just doesn't like the idea for stimulants.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:14 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Part of the problem with Kleiman's argument is that it presumes that other substances would not replace or displace alcohol but simply be added to alcohol. Certainly, some people would abuse both alcohol and cocaine, but probably many people would enter marijuana culture or stimulant culture and stay there, eschewing alcohol.
Maybe -- that's something I'd want to look at Mark's evidence for. My personal sense is that there'd probably be some exchanging of alcohol for pot by those who are alcoholic or prone to it, but it's unlikely that there'd be a lot of other substitution, at least not in a positive way. The effects of the drugs aren't similar enough.

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That has been my personal experience. I used a lot of illegal psychotropics for a period in my life (late teens and early twenties) but never drank.
I respect your personal experience, but if you are saying you didn't drink simply because you used these other drugs and otherwise would have, I expect that's somewhat atypical, and unlikely to be the way that someone prone to addiction, particularly addiction to alcohol, would use the drugs. Also, my understanding from friends who used psychotropics is that they aren't really addictive in the way that many others are (alcohol and what we generally consider hard drugs). But scary enough in terms of potential effect on one's brain that I'm more skeptical that I might otherwise be about including them in my category of drugs I'd treat differently, like marijuana.

But like I keep saying, I'd like to see the evidence, such as it is. I am just not willing to assume on faith that we aren't greatly increasing use -- it's just too logical that we would be and too consistent with the fact that alcohol is used much more routinely and is more of a problem as a result. I could give my own anecdotal experience, but I'm not sure that would be especially useful.

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if we catch you with a joint, you're going to prison was deeply disenfranchising.
I think I addressed this already, but I have a somewhat different take on this that comes to a similar conclusion. IME, the prohibition on marijuana is so widely ignored -- while some are punished harshly for their use -- that it, like Prohibition, encourages disrespect of the law. Dishonest propaganda about drugs probably has a similar effect with regard to the public campaign against them, at least based on what I recall from school. And that's too bad, because some of the stuff we were told was true and compelling. But rather than based on "if we catch you with a joint..." it was more like the prohibitions against underaged drinking when I was in college -- people ignored it and never once thought they'd get in trouble for it. Anyway, given that that kind of thing means that the legal sanction which did restrict to a much greater degree willingness to use and access to other drugs was already gone, or so it seemed to me, with marijuana suggests to me that the argument for the law is largely gone.

I have enough concerns about opening up another field for marketing, though, that I'd rather decriminalize use and allow private and co-op growing, as I said, to full-scale legalization.

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He says that he might be willing to run the experiment of legalization, except that you could never undo it if it didn't work out well. That's a status quo argument.
Except that he didn't say "keep the status quo." He said "there's too much risk to just legalize it and see how it goes." And, again, he seems to me obviously correct on this point -- you can't go back.

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But if your intention is to alter your consciousness, getting your doctor's permission to do so is an inappropriate solution.
I'm not saying otherwise. I don't think there's any legal merit to the "rights" argument, remember. What I'm saying is that some people don't like going to the doctor yet still might want treatment that drugs can provide. Others, obviously, would like to use drugs that have legitimate medical purposes (Valium, percoset, vicodin) recreationally or because they are addicted. If you claim you have a "right" to use cocaine and heroin, I don't see how this wouldn't invalid all the laws by which we justify making drugs prescription only. I should be able to go pick up some vicodin at Walgreens without a prescription. And I assume the average libertarian would agree with this.

At this point, it's really not worth arguing about, since it's not going to happen. I think it weakens the argument for rational changes in the drug laws (which Mark would support) when we insist that it be put on this basis.

And I agree that those in the know can get drs to prescribe them vicodin or whatever, but I find incredibly implausible the argument that there'd be no greater ease of access or common and accepted use of such drugs without medical need or as a result of addiction if no prescription was required.

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We should be trying pilot programs of legalization (wink-wink medicalization) of heroin, coke, ecstasy, etc.) Methadone maintenance has been working for many people for decades. Mark agrees that heroin maintenance is possible; he just doesn't like the idea for stimulants.
This is not legalization, first. Second, I think Mark's distinction based on stimulants working differently makes total sense, but, sure, experiment with efforts to see if they do work. Legalization, however, means by definition that none of the supervisory frameworks for these kinds of programs (such as the monitoring and limits on patients on methodone) are going to be there. The drugs will just be legal.

Last edited by stephanie; 07-07-2011 at 02:16 PM..
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:00 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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At this point, it's really not worth arguing about, since it's not going to happen. I think it weakens the argument for rational changes in the drug laws (which Mark would support) when we insist that it be put on this basis.
As I said, I'm all for the incremental approach, but zero progress has been made under Obama, in spite of the fact that his base constituency is overwhelmingly pro-legalization of weed.

I'm afraid this is going to be another one of those state-by-state issues (like the DP), and we're going to end up with a quasi-legal system attached to a bogus medical system, which is what we have here in CA today.

I thought John and Mark's best argument was when they compared the state lotteries to the previous numbers racket. Maybe we'll end up with offshore Psychotropic Casinos and some broke state like Michigan will be the first to allow a "Las Vegas" of drugs.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:11 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
zero progress has been made under Obama, in spite of the fact that his base constituency is overwhelmingly pro-legalization of weed.
I think the second part of your statement is untrue, probably because we understand who his base constituency is differently. That would be a good topic to discuss over in the Dem Party thread!

I do think a successful movement for decriminalization of marijuana could be put together, building in part on the efforts in CA. Demanding that it come from the top of one major party won't work. It would be more likely to work if from the Republicans, as far as that goes, because that would nullify a certain aspect of the opposition, but it's not going to any time soon.

Yes, this means that I don't think Gary Johnson or Ron Paul is going to win the Republican Primary.

Last edited by stephanie; 07-07-2011 at 10:15 PM..
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  #21  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:32 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I think the second part of your statement is untrue, probably because we understand who his base constituency is differently. That would be a good topic to discuss over in the Dem Party thread!
I was wondering about the same. Decriminalization yes, but legalization is harder to sell even to Democrats. I can see future generations, perhaps moving in that direction, although it's hard to tell on this particular topic. I admit that my view is biased by the fact that in mental health we see the people for whom any drug or alcohol use is detrimental (including the inappropriate use of prescription medications).
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:40 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

I think there's some question about gaming these Town Hall forums, but there are consistent reports like this:

Quote:
Republicans were not the only ones flooding President Barack Obama with questions during his "#AskObama" Twitter town hall; the event also generated a huge response from those opposed to the war on drugs.

Data gathered by TwitSprout showed the most retweeted question for Obama was about the legalization of marijuana.

"Would you consider legalizing marijuana to increase revenue and save tax dollars by freeing up crowded prisons, court rooms?" was retweeted 4911 times, according to the analytics service.

A question about letting the Bush tax cuts expire came in second place, with only 1800 retweets.
President Obama is opposed to legalization, but friendly to decriminalization and to the bogus medical marijuana community:

Quote:
During his YouTube Q&A in January, Obama was asked what his plan was to help alleviate the detrimental effects of America's drug war.

He responded by saying that while he's not in favor of legalization, he did see room for adjusting the drug war to focus less on incarceration and enforcement and more on medical treatment and other forms of interdiction.
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  #23  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I think there's some question about gaming these Town Hall forums, but there are consistent reports like this:

President Obama is opposed to legalization, but friendly to decriminalization and to the bogus medical marijuana community:
So, we have to unpack the different issues, stopping the drug war, decriminalization, proposing rehabilitation treatments, medicalization of drugs (not a popular thing in many places or to many physicians), and legalization with state take-over of distribution.

We can't put everything in the same bag.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:00 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I think there's some question about gaming these Town Hall forums
I don't think one has to assume gaming to say that the popular positions or questions at some Town Hall forum does not necessarily reflect the views of "the base" generally. Especially when it comes to certain kinds of issues.

I do think this gets into the "who is the base" question also, as I said. I don't believe the Republican base in '08 shared Ron Paul's view on the wars -- yes, I know your hopes for currently, but think '08 -- yet similar flurries from Paul supporters probably could have been found on that issue or, heck, on drugs.

Last edited by stephanie; 07-07-2011 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:29 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I think there's some question about gaming these Town Hall forums, but there are consistent reports like this:
What proportion of the base, do you think, twitters?
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:33 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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What proportion of the base, do you think, twitters?
"Twitter" is a noun! You want to conjugate "to tweet."
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:36 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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"Twitter" is a noun! You want to conjugate "to tweet."
Well, now you know which part of the base I am in.

;-)
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:38 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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What proportion of the base, do you think, twitters?
The Twitter results were consistent with previous YouTube and other Internet interactions between the WH and the public.

We'd have to see more reliable numbers on legalization polling, I agree, but in general I think the Dem. base would be in favor and would certainly have libertarian allies.

My guess is that only the religious right and pre-boomer seniors would be strongly opposed to legalization, although there is some crossover (no pun intended) between the religious right with the religious left.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:22 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Dem. base
I'm commenting on this in the Dem Party thread.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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I agree with this, although I think we disagree on what they are. I'd point to a bunch of things, but a few are: (1) the point mentioned in my last post that prohibitions often operate by protecting certain segments of the population at the expense of others; (2) the idea that if one uses drugs one is a somewhat stupid or worthless person who is not entitled to our concern (I see this somewhat in the argument that we shouldn't worry or care about whether ending restrictions leads to more addicts, as well as in operative's argument); (3) the total waste and negative incentives of putting people in prison for drug use (the McWhorter argument, basically); and (4) the negative effects of both the drug war and open drug use and sales on communities.

I don't think there are clear answers, unlike you, I think. But I do think these are issues worth discussing and the current situation is bad. But I don't agree that Mark's approach is maintaining the status quo -- we don't have only two options, the Drug War or legalization of everyting.



I completely disagree with you on this. Alcohol causes more problems in large part because it is legal, accepted in our society, and widely used. It is also impossible to make illegal for those reasons (as we stupidly tried). But creating more drugs that are in this same category seems like a bad idea. And the idea that there's some need to treat all drugs the same -- the double standard idea -- or to make other drugs legal just because they cause us no worse problems than alcohol makes absolutely no sense to me. That we have a societal relationship with alcohol that is of a particular kind does not mean that we have established a particular line with regard to what drugs can and can't be made legal that must be perfectly consistent. The law is not consistent in that way. It's a made-up and unjustifiable demand.

Also, on these grounds we should get rid of prescription requirements for all kinds of prescribed drugs. Not because there's any real demand in some cases, but just because they aren't as abusable as alcohol.

Also, it misrepresents the discussion, I think, to group marijuana with all other drugs when Mark himself said he's probably be okay with legalizing pot, although he'd rather try a decriminalize and all personal use and growing co-ops approach. I think most of us here taking a more cautious approach toward legalization or even decriminalization are saying that we would be fine with decriminalizing or more with pot. I was in favor of the CA Proposition, for example, and think the feds should lay off states that choose to have more lax laws about marijuana.

My reason here is not some pointless comparison of alcohol's harms vs. pot's (I would agree that alcohol is worse). It's that I think that marijuana isn't all that harmful (unlike alcohol), and -- like alcohol -- is already so widely accepted and available and inexpensive that making it illegal ends up encouraging disrespect of the law in general. Add to that the harmful effects of the drug war as directed against pot users or small sellers and the Mexican effect, and I think we clearly should start by changing the law here.

This is another reason, however, why I get frustrated when the discussion becomes framed as "supporters of the War on Drugs" (which Kleiman is not) vs. people in favor of across the board legalization (which I'm not comfortable with, in large part because I think the kinds of concerns Mark raises are valid and serious ones).
I agree with this.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:00 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

Mr. Kleiman never explicitly says this, that many currently illegal substances even if made legal would not damage society measured in lives/productivity lost from violence, incarceration, & overdose as legal alcohol does now so why are we having the state making the consumption and distribution of these substances illegal?, but we are meant to infer this. This is a clear motif on this subject. I'm not sure I agree with the assertion, but regardless, this line of thinking as it is found here is incomplete.

Traffic accidents kill more then many practices that are legal yet no one even suggests we should make illegal personal automobiles. We all implicitly realize it's not the absolute harm that is resultant of some practice that is important here but the fraction of utility over harm that matters. I will postulate that this fraction can be approximated by the fraction of users that lead a "normal productive life" over users that do not live a "normal productive life". Merely anecdotal though I have lived near both endpoints of the economic spectrum found in America; This fraction is much worse for hard drugs (Does not include weed) then it is for alcohol.

I'm still for legalizing weed, though I am much more ambivalent about legalizing harder drugs, because of ancillary arguments. It's just this one argument's persuasiveness does not match up with it's saturation and persistence.


*Whatever that means
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:28 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

I think it would be interesting to hear a diavlog on the history of the marketing campaign aspect of the drug war. The gov did all it could (reefer madness etc.) to try and paint marijuana as a terrible monster, but only with limited success. However, even among people I know who are fairly open-minded to drug experimentation, cocaine still maintains that scary image. Some of that is obviously due to results (coke ruins more lives, people see that and judge accordingly) but I bet a good amount of the public perception also has alot to do with the narratives that ad campaigns and movies tell.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:34 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
I think it would be interesting to hear a diavlog on the history of the marketing campaign aspect of the drug war. The gov did all it could (reefer madness etc.) to try and paint marijuana as a terrible monster, but only with limited success. However, even among people I know who are fairly open-minded to drug experimentation, cocaine still maintains that scary image. Some of that is obviously due to results (coke ruins more lives, people see that and judge accordingly) but I bet a good amount of the public perception also has alot to do with the narratives that ad campaigns and movies tell.
there is also the fact that most people in the US that do "coke" are not only doing cocaine - they are doing cattle dewormers, horse tranquilizers, and all sorts of other crap that looks white and powdery. Its an interesting question how many of the problems actually come from the cocaine content versus the additives that would disappear if it were legalized.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:40 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
there is also the fact that most people in the US that do "coke" are not only doing cocaine - they are doing cattle dewormers, horse tranquilizers, and all sorts of other crap that looks white and powdery. Its an interesting question how many of the problems actually come from the cocaine content versus the additives that would disappear if it were legalized.
Cocaine is a strong topical anesthetic with a pronounced effect on the membranes it contacts, and an easily recognizable smell and taste. Very few people with experience with the drug would ever be fooled by something "white and powdery" - even if it was an effective stimulant.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:38 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Cocaine is a strong topical anesthetic with a pronounced effect on the membranes it contacts, and an easily recognizable smell and taste. Very few people with experience with the drug would ever be fooled by something "white and powdery" - even if it was an effective stimulant.
if you think you've done coke that was remotely close to pure in the U.S. in the last 20 years you're living in a fantasy world.

http://www.popsci.com/science/articl...deworming-drug

and that is before it gets to the US and gets further cut with whatever-the-hell by each layer of distribution. unless you are the one importing kilos you aren't getting anything close to pure.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:54 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
if you think you've done coke that was remotely close to pure in the U.S. in the last 20 years you're living in a fantasy world.

http://www.popsci.com/science/articl...deworming-drug

and that is before it gets to the US and gets further cut with whatever-the-hell by each layer of distribution. unless you are the one importing kilos you aren't getting anything close to pure.
You didn't say "cut with" - you strongly implied "substituted for." The use of the term "veterinary deworming drug" obscures the use of the same substance as cancer treatment for people. The ratio of the impurity is completely unquantified there. And "last 20 years?" the earliest date cited there is behind another link:

Quote:
reports of levamisole in cocaine go back to 2004
I'm guessing that what you meant to say is that the cocaine available in the U.S. isn't pure. Now that's a new thought!
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:13 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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You didn't say "cut with" - you strongly implied "substituted for." The use of the term "veterinary deworming drug" obscures the use of the same substance as cancer treatment for people. The ratio of the impurity is completely unquantified there. And "last 20 years?" the earliest date cited there is behind another link:



I'm guessing that what you meant to say is that the cocaine available in the U.S. isn't pure. Now that's a new thought!
remember when i said that you have a knee-jerk response of being an ass when you respond to my posts? this is another example of this tendency of yours. Your general reading comprehension seems normal, until you read one of my posts then its off to moron-ville you go.


I stated:
Quote:
there is also the fact that most people in the US that do "coke" are not only doing cocaine - they are doing cattle dewormers, horse tranquilizers, and all sorts of other crap that looks white and powdery. Its an interesting question how many of the problems actually come from the cocaine content versus the additives that would disappear if it were legalized.
i suspect that you are the absolutely one and only person unable to comprehend the incredibly obvious point that i was wondering how many PROBLEMS come from the coke and how many from the "additives" that are included in the coke. Do you really want to defend the idea that my words "the cocaine content versus the additives" is difficult to understand?

you really should be embarrassed, Jeff. You are presenting yourself to the world as having a second grade reading comprehension level when you respond to me, while its pretty obvious that you're pretty sharp otherwise.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:22 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
remember when i said that you have a knee-jerk response of being an ass when you respond to my posts? this is another example of this tendency of yours. Your general reading comprehension seems normal, until you read one of my posts then its off to moron-ville you go.


I stated:


i suspect that you are the absolutely one and only person unable to comprehend the incredibly obvious point that i was wondering how many PROBLEMS come from the coke and how many from the "additives" that are included in the coke. Do you really want to defend the idea that my words "the cocaine content versus the additives" is difficult to understand?

you really should be embarrassed, Jeff. You are presenting yourself to the world as having a second grade reading comprehension level when you respond to me, while its pretty obvious that you're pretty sharp otherwise.
You make wild over-the-top assertions about stuff you think you know something about and never, ever back down when somebody calls you on it. But, I accept your characterization. I should be embarrassed, and it's all about you.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:49 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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You make wild over-the-top assertions about stuff you think you know something about and never, ever back down when somebody calls you on it.
if you called me on something i asserted instead of something you made-up, we would get further. for example, if you wanted to dispute the extent to which the cocaine supply in the us is stepped-on and contaminated, I'd be happy to have that conversation with you. Do you think i have an exaggerated idea of how bad the contaminants in coke are? I'd be interested if you have an opinion on the subject whether from personal knowledge, an article etc.

but back to my original post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
there is also the fact that most people in the US that do "coke" are not only doing cocaine - they are doing cattle dewormers, horse tranquilizers, and all sorts of other crap that looks white and powdery. Its an interesting question how many of the problems actually come from the cocaine content versus the additives that would disappear if it were legalized.
my only assertion, whether "wild over-the-top" or not, is that people using coke are usually also doing the contaminants that are included at the time of production or later by street dealers.

but the reason for my post was to wonder
Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
how many of the problems actually come from the cocaine content versus the additives that would disappear if it were legalized.
there is nothing i can "back down" from there, because it is a question. and again, i'd be interested in your thoughts on that even if its as simple as "i doubt that is a real issue"
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:37 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: What People Know About Drugs is Wrong (John McWhorter & Mark Kleiman)

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
Mr. Kleiman never explicitly says this, that many currently illegal substances even if made legal would not damage society measured in lives/productivity lost from violence, incarceration, & overdose as legal alcohol does now so why are we having the state making the consumption and distribution of these substances illegal?, but we are meant to infer this.
If I'm following this sentence correctly, you are suggesting that Mark's implication was we should legalize other drugs, since they are causing fewer problems than alcohol now? If so, he specifically said otherwise (with the exception of pot). He thinks legalization would increase the problem from currently illegal drugs, but that there are alternatives to the drug war that would not.

He also thinks -- and this goes to the alcohol comparison -- that once a drug is legalized it will be quite difficult to go back. (I'd say that's different than making a drug illegal when we first recognize it as a problem, probably.) Alcohol, of course, is the extreme example of this, since it's so widely accepted and socially significant.
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