Drug policy

by ,

Now this is a book I would like to read:
Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use
by Jacob Sullum, senior editor of Reason magazine,
Tarcher/Putnam, May 2003.

My perception is that the war on drugs is one of the most foolish expenses of modern governments,
and a huge contributor to social inequity and thus the disproportion of ethnic populations in prison.

Some key historical points are made in
Cory’s recent letter
to his MEP (Member of European Parliament?):

File-sharing is part of the traditional cycle of new technology development:
from the phonorecord to the VCR, from the radio to the satellite service, every
new technology that lowered the barriers to reproducing and distributing
copyrighted works has had to make use of the popular media of the day to conjure
itself into existence — usually over the howls of protest of rights-holders who
were merely the legitimized pirates of from the last fight.

When the phonorecord people bitterly fought radio, they conveniently forgot that
they’d built their business through widescale infringement of the sheet-music
publishers. It’s no different today: filmmakers (who enthusiastically violated
Edison’s film patents), broadcasters (who played records without permission or
payment), cablecasters (who pirated free-to-air signals for their networks) and
even hybrid entertainment/electronics companies (like Sony, whose piratical VCR
was characterized by the motion-picture people as the certain death of the film
industry) are all standing shoulder to shoulder in the fight against programmers
and ordinary citizens who have, once again, discovered a better way to
distribute and reproduce creative works.

It’s no surprise that these pirates of the entertainment industry want to pull
the ladder up behind them and dog the hatch. After all, the traditional role of
inventors has been to create massive new revenue opportunities for the
entertainment industry, and the traditional response of the entertainment
companies has been to seek legislative relief from those opportunities.


About rae

I'm a long-time Mac and iOS developer. I'm also a big fan of Ruby on Rails and relational databases. I tend to work remotely, in my basement with occasional trips to the office. I'm also a big videophile, both TV and film, and can't wait for a good, inexpensive home 4k solution.

6 comments on “Drug policy

  1. Jeff K

    Is that a troll of some kind? Anyone who wants to is using marijuana right now, and legalizing it won’t help them being any less useless than they already are.

  2. Reid

    All legalizing would do would be to reduce crime rates (think 1930’s prohibition), reduce the (expensive) prison population, make it a bit less lucrative to get into crime, generate revenue via taxation. Legalizing all drugs would virtually wipe out crime as we know it. We could take the money we save from prisons and from taxing the stuff and use it to treate the addicts, which we’re doing now anyway.

    It’s a position. Perhaps one you do not agree with, I am guessing. I simply don’t agree with prohibition; it’s been proven ineffective and, indeed, harmful.

  3. Casual Observer

    Naw, this is just another one of those catch-all laws the cops use. Decriminalization will INCREASE crime as follows:
    1. Broad availability to the poor == more crack babies
    2. The cops only appear to use the laws on a complaint basis, this makes it easier for them to go to someone’s place where the wife says “He’s strung out on drug X and has been an ass today”. The cops can’t arrest him for being an ass, so they arrest him for possession.

    Legalizing drugs would wipe out intellectualism as we know it. Recognizing the comorbidity of mental disorders with drug use and understanding side effects is a lot of detailed study the pothead on the street isn’t going to be familiar with. Imagine Emergency rooms with 4 times the number of violent uncontrollable screaming lunatics. No thanks.

    Your position is also documented to be false. Crime comes from a different non-drug related disorder of the brain. Instead of killing each other for their drug money, the ex-dealers would have to travel farther afield.

    The illicit drug trade and corrupt morals of the cops are working just fine. It’s been a tough balance to achieve. 🙂

    1930’s prohibition was working just fine exactly the same way until the crooks started bombing outside of the approved target area. I almost feel sorry that the cops pay has been lowered so much since prohibition.

    I think they should bring back prohibition, but you need to execute the enforcers who are caught this time. That should save space in jail. ..and the drunks can go home singing about how they beat the system along with the potheads. It will spread cheer throughout the land.

  4. Jeff K

    Whoa, a right wing jokester. It should be noted that the comorbidity is more than likely due to those with mental disorders self-medicating using cocaine, canabis or what have you.

    However I have to agree, hoping for less crime is not a demonstrated fact. In fact a study of white-collar crime indicated the pre-existing clinically significant mania seemed to take some CEOs and their cohorts beyond simple greed and anti-social behvaiour to commit the largest white-collar crimes ever perpetrated (in the last 10 years in fact). It is also known that cocaine can create or exacerbate mania.

    I read somewhere that crack babies often recover, but fetal-alcohol syndrome babies do not. The mere existance of LSD as an abused substance is singly traceable to Harvard Professor Timothy Leary promoting it in the 60’s. I don’t know if you recall, but after a Pink Floyd concert here in Toronto in the 80’s, one young fan attempted to walk out into lake Ontario beleiving it to be a solid surface. I believe he drowned.

    References for all of the above: Kaplan&Saddock “A complete textbook on Psychiatry, 2005 8th edition” (A 5000 page tome, btw).

    The toxic side-effects of cocaine only take up one full page in the book, btw, despite the fact in the 80’s it was considered addiction and side-effect free, or as Robin Williams once said, “They shouldn’t call it free-basing, they should call it house-basing, since it’s not free, it’ll cost you your whole house.”(roughly) ..or Richard Pryor, notable for 2 quotes, one about him setting himself on fire while trying to get high, and the second about who really is in jail which he noticed while serving time for his drug conviction.

    Those seeking relief from whatever in drugs should seek out a psychiatrist. Many celebrities, take Courtney Love are condemned for their use of prescribed psychiatric medications (!!!), and you don’t have to finance the drug-lords to do it… but give me some warning before the program is introduced, so I can buy some more pharmaceutical stocks.

    The drug culture is driven by ignorance. I’ll just cheapen my stance by saying I think most people who use alcohol are better off with a prescription for one or another psychiatric medication. Hm, now I sound right wing.

    Gallager, the comedian claims all of his creativity comes from drugs in one of his skits, however the sort of humour he uses that comes from that does not interest me, it only seems to interest others on canabis making the same silly connections between his floating elephants and what not. I am entertained by the Wychowski brothers who spent years reading philosophy books before writing the script to the Matrix. No intoxicated person would ever understand it, which is why, IMHO it was not banned before release since those dopes at the MPAA didn’t get it. Keep sniffing that coke & chugalugging 40ozers at the RIAA & MPAA boys.

    Which reminds me, one of my coworkers at K-mart died of cardiac arrest. He was 30 something and chug-a-lugged 40ozers of hard liquor on a regular basis. All of the potheads in highschool amounted to nothing and were by and large not molested by the police. I don’t need a textbook that tells me that’s not true.

    At least one person you know probably had an utterly miserable childhood because of substance abuse by a parent. Well you might still remember them, I don’t know for sure.

  5. Jeff K

    Not that anyone ever reads my POV comments, but here’s an article about the man who invented “Ecstasy”. Alas, he doesn’t remember the first person killed by his concoctions nor where his wife was born, but hey, c’est la vie.

    Incidentally, despite ecstasy racing around raves and having read why some teens like it, the only person I ever met who took it had damaged the dopamine balance in his brain with the stuff and was whining about how he would have to take one or another psyhiatric medication for the rest of his life in order to live a normal life. Well, after he gets over the depression he got into about wrecking his mind, his life could be normal, I guess.

    I should really start up another sock-puppet and put myself down pointing out that cars are a dangerous invention too, but it’s a different class of problem.

  6. Liberal Lad

    If drug policy were liberalized, I feel that the quality of my Ecstasy would go up. These days I’m at the mercy of the dealers who sometimes spike my E with meth. Meth is death. My neo-con parents are pretty out of touch, they don’t even know that 1/2 the kids at the rave are taking their booze money, spending it on E and have change left over for a joint. What a laugh. They smoke their cigarettes which are nothing more than a poisonous weed for working-stiffs who wouldn’t suck up to the boss if they didn’t smoke it. They also load up on coffee at work too. A decent raver knows you only need 1 can of Red Bull on Saturday morning to get yourself to your job at McDonalds.

    Oh and that sucks too, I’d rather be downloding MP3s and warez. Well I’d read the Toronto Star, but since that one night at the club when I achieved that ultimate high (they said I was sweating like a pig!) I’ve only been able to understand what’s written in the Toronto Sun. I find it puzzling though that the Sun is so against gays and welfare. Some of the drugs I take liberate the seperation in my mind between the hemispeheres and all of a sudden I want to read Now magazine or Chomsky and “come out”, whatever that is.

    One day I tried LSD and I wanted to paint swastikas on National Post newspaper boxes and dismantle the corporate welfare state but I was too busy lying in a ditch the next day trying to shake off the downer from a line of coke the night before. That’s another thing, those bastards at the Post are singly responsible for the high price of my coke, but they use English that’s too hard for me, so I’m not too sure how they do it. That LSD is for 60’s flower children, even rats won’t self-administer the stuff.

    Anyway, I have to get back to class before the school library bans your kewl site here and besides that group of nerds in the corner reading Lord of The Rings is starting to scare me, I think I can read their thoughts. How do those smart people read so good anyway?

    What was your question again? Well anyway, I feel fine so therefor my mind is working properly, but don’t cancel the welfare system — just in case.

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