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Addiction and drug legalization/decriminalization (split from First World Problems)

Elixir

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I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,330
I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,891
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Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive
Be that as it may, it’s wrong.
I DO know physiological and psychological addiction from more than a half century of experience, first hand and with others. Pot doesn’t begin to qualify any more than a favorite video game would.
 

rousseau

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Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,330
quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive
Be that as it may, it’s wrong.
I DO know physiological and psychological addiction from more than a half century of experience, first hand and with others. Pot doesn’t begin to qualify any more than a favorite video game would.

The science is pretty clear on this. I've found modern and relevant papers that state it as fact, which I'm way too tired to dig out now because I've been up since 2 AM. The basic gist is that pot activates the Dopaminergic system, and chronic use will make that system less sensitive. It's the same thing with alcohol, pop, fast-food etc.

Yes, it's not a hard drug by any stretch of the imagination, and not particularly hard to give up, but it is physically addictive.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,891
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
The basic gist is that pot activates the Dopaminergic system, and chronic use will make that system less sensitive. It's the same thing with alcohol, pop, fast-food etc.
So what? Absent any undesirable symptoms upon discontinuing use, all that is, is some clinicians addicted to examining metabolic by-products. Yes, it’s the same as fast food, video games or ANYTHING that is done repetitively until it becomes a habit. That only makes it “addictive” by colloquial or chemical definition. It should be more properly be called “habit forming”.
You want to see real addiction, take someone off extreme alcohol, cocaine (crack, freebase) or heroin and watch what happens.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,330
The basic gist is that pot activates the Dopaminergic system, and chronic use will make that system less sensitive. It's the same thing with alcohol, pop, fast-food etc.
So what? Absent any undesirable symptoms upon discontinuing use, all that is, is some clinicians addicted to examining metabolic by-products. Yes, it’s the same as fast food, video games or ANYTHING that is done repetitively until it becomes a habit. That only makes it “addictive” by colloquial or chemical definition. It should be more properly be called “habit forming”.
You want to see real addiction, take someone off extreme alcohol, cocaine (crack, freebase) or heroin and watch what happens.

Right, no disagreement there. I've done hard drugs, I know the difference. But I would add that pot can be pernicious, and it can have deleterious effects for this very reason, that people perpetuate the idea that it's harmless.

You're not going to burn out, or die from withdrawal, but chronic use doesn't have a neutral impact. And after a while, I imagine it does become hard to stop.

I have nothing at all against pot, but I definitely think we're living in a time where it's effects are poorly understood. Which will hopefully be fixed by legalization, allowing pot smokers to be a little more informed.
 

Elixir

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after a while, I imagine it does become hard to stop
I can’t speak for everyone but I’ve seen some who have a hard time stopping some surprising habits. I have stopped consuming pot without a second thought when traveling, extremely busy, or just from neglecting to maintain the habit. Commonly for days or weeks, sometimes for months and for more than a year on a few occasions. Usually, exactly zero repercussions. But … arriving in Hawaii one time long ago, I do recall feeling almost desperate to find some pakalolo, while the people I knew there were off-island. I only had a few days and didn’t want to miss out. Getting in the water cured that feeling instantly. 🤗
 

southernhybrid

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Aug 13, 2001
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Georgia, US
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I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
I don't believe it's physiologically addictive, at least not for me or anyone I know who has used it. I can understand the psychological addiction, as we tend to desire things that we enjoy. We've used too much during the pandemic, but I've never had a craving or any type of withdrawal symptoms when I've not had it or was too busy to be bothered with it.

I'm more addicted to cake than I am to weed. I think it's psychological but I do love sweets so it might be more than that. I'd give up weed before I'd give up cake. Oddly enough, cake helps me keep my weight from getting too low. I workout so much that over the past 10 years, my metabolism has increased to the point where I. have to eat a lot or I lose weight. I used to worry about gaining weight, but now I worry about losing weight. I'm not sure which one is worse. Seriously! If you want to lose weight, cut back a bit and do aerobic exercise every day. It really helps. At least it did for me.

Then again, maybe some of us have brains that make it easy to become addicted to a lot of things. I smoked a bit when I was in my 20s and gave it up entirely without ever missing it, or craving it. I haven't had a drink in at least 3 years and never found ETOH attractive. I take opioids for pain and sometimes if the pain isn't too bad, I forget to take one. They don't make me high. I don't crave them. All they do is lower my pain lever by up to about 50%, and that allows me to exercise and do housework without being in agony. I've been on the same small dose of about 3 years.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,891
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
I don't believe it's physiologically addictive, at least not for me or anyone I know who has used it. I can understand the psychological addiction, as we tend to desire things that we enjoy. We've used too much during the pandemic, but I've never had a craving or any type of withdrawal symptoms when I've not had it or was too busy to be bothered with it.

I'm more addicted to cake than I am to weed. I think it's psychological but I do love sweets so it might be more than that. I'd give up weed before I'd give up cake. Oddly enough, cake helps me keep my weight from getting too low. I workout so much that over the past 10 years, my metabolism has increased to the point where I. have to eat a lot or I lose weight. I used to worry about gaining weight, but now I worry about losing weight. I'm not sure which one is worse. Seriously! If you want to lose weight, cut back a bit and do aerobic exercise every day. It really helps. At least it did for me.

Then again, maybe some of us have brains that make it easy to become addicted to a lot of things. I smoked a bit when I was in my 20s and gave it up entirely without ever missing it, or craving it. I haven't had a drink in at least 3 years and never found ETOH attractive. I take opioids for pain and sometimes if the pain isn't too bad, I forget to take one. They don't make me high. I don't crave them. All they do is lower my pain lever by up to about 50%, and that allows me to exercise and do housework without being in agony. I've been on the same small dose of about 3 years.

All of the above.
Good chance you and I are of somehow similar metabolic types. Except I have no tolerance for opioids.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,330
I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
I don't believe it's physiologically addictive, at least not for me or anyone I know who has used it. I can understand the psychological addiction, as we tend to desire things that we enjoy. We've used too much during the pandemic, but I've never had a craving or any type of withdrawal symptoms when I've not had it or was too busy to be bothered with it.

I'm more addicted to cake than I am to weed. I think it's psychological but I do love sweets so it might be more than that. I'd give up weed before I'd give up cake. Oddly enough, cake helps me keep my weight from getting too low. I workout so much that over the past 10 years, my metabolism has increased to the point where I. have to eat a lot or I lose weight. I used to worry about gaining weight, but now I worry about losing weight. I'm not sure which one is worse. Seriously! If you want to lose weight, cut back a bit and do aerobic exercise every day. It really helps. At least it did for me.

Then again, maybe some of us have brains that make it easy to become addicted to a lot of things. I smoked a bit when I was in my 20s and gave it up entirely without ever missing it, or craving it. I haven't had a drink in at least 3 years and never found ETOH attractive. I take opioids for pain and sometimes if the pain isn't too bad, I forget to take one. They don't make me high. I don't crave them. All they do is lower my pain lever by up to about 50%, and that allows me to exercise and do housework without being in agony. I've been on the same small dose of about 3 years.

I think the question is more one of degree. No, you're not going to be addicted like you would to something like Cocaine, but there is a physical dependency that I've posted links to a number of times now. If you're interested in understanding it, you can take a look here.

Like alcohol, pot is mostly harmless if used in moderation. It's chronic use that can impact the brain, just like you shouldn't drink every day, eat McDonalds everyday, drink pop everyday etc etc.

I've definitely seen the effects in friends who use chronically.
 

southernhybrid

Contributor
Joined
Aug 13, 2001
Messages
6,621
Location
Georgia, US
Basic Beliefs
atheist
I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
I don't believe it's physiologically addictive, at least not for me or anyone I know who has used it. I can understand the psychological addiction, as we tend to desire things that we enjoy. We've used too much during the pandemic, but I've never had a craving or any type of withdrawal symptoms when I've not had it or was too busy to be bothered with it.

I'm more addicted to cake than I am to weed. I think it's psychological but I do love sweets so it might be more than that. I'd give up weed before I'd give up cake. Oddly enough, cake helps me keep my weight from getting too low. I workout so much that over the past 10 years, my metabolism has increased to the point where I. have to eat a lot or I lose weight. I used to worry about gaining weight, but now I worry about losing weight. I'm not sure which one is worse. Seriously! If you want to lose weight, cut back a bit and do aerobic exercise every day. It really helps. At least it did for me.

Then again, maybe some of us have brains that make it easy to become addicted to a lot of things. I smoked a bit when I was in my 20s and gave it up entirely without ever missing it, or craving it. I haven't had a drink in at least 3 years and never found ETOH attractive. I take opioids for pain and sometimes if the pain isn't too bad, I forget to take one. They don't make me high. I don't crave them. All they do is lower my pain lever by up to about 50%, and that allows me to exercise and do housework without being in agony. I've been on the same small dose of about 3 years.

I think the question is more one of degree. No, you're not going to be addicted like you would to something like Cocaine, but there is a physical dependency that I've posted links to a number of times now. If you're interested in understanding it, you can take a look here.

Like alcohol, pot is mostly harmless if used in moderation. It's chronic use that can impact the brain, just like you shouldn't drink every day, eat McDonalds everyday, drink pop everyday etc etc.

I've definitely seen the effects in friends who use chronically.
I read a few of the articles in your link. They mostly discussed changes in dopamine receptors. The control groups were extremely small.Another problem I found is that none gave specifics regarding how they defined a THC abuser. I'm a bit skeptical of these findings. I have read other studies that showed a correlation of harm when users were below the age of 25. I never tried it until I was over 30. It's not surprising that it could have negative impacts on fetal development. Pregnant women need to be very careful about what they consume as many things can have very negative impacts on fetal development that are safe for adults. No drug that impacts our brain is totally safe, imo. But, how much can one use without serious long term side effects hasn't been researched enough to draw any valid conclusions.

I've said, half jokingly and half seriously for years that there will be a new dementia called, THC dementia as us old hippies age, but it's hard to know if it's age or lifestyle habits that bring on dementia. After having studied dementia, especially AD, for years, and after having cared for folks with dementia for many years, it's hard to say why some people get it and others don't.

For example, supposedly exercise and being educated help prevent it. But, I've had quite a few patients who had advanced degrees, who still ended up with AD. I had a woman who literally did cartwheels across the floor when she was admitted to the assisted living facility where I worked, yet she had severe dementia. Obesity is supposed to be a big risk factor, yet most of my former patients weren't over weight. My mother never drank or used any medications or drugs, she exercised everyday and was thin, yet she developed AD a few years after reaching 85. I've come to the conclusion that living past 85 is likely to be the biggest risk factor of developing AD.

Early onset AD, meaning having symptoms prior the age of 65, has a strong genetic link. I've had two patients in their 40s who died from AD. I did have one patient who had alcoholic dementia. He was very withdrawn and quiet. I don't know if that was due to the dementia or if that was his normal personality. I imagine that people who get high in the morning and stay that way all day are probably doing serious damage to their brains. Most anything used in excess is going to cause problems. I can't imagine using that much, anymore than I can imagine eating cake all day long, despite loving cake. Imo, anything that is used in abundance loses it's ability to give one a sense of enjoyment.

My only memory problem so far, is forgetting names of people who I haven't seen in a long time, including celebrities who I haven't thought about in years. Oddly enough, I rarely forget numbers and if I'm paying attention when we grocery shop, I can usually remember the price of everything in the cart. For fun, I used to add up the prices in my head and see how close I could get to the correct total while waiting in line. I have friends my age who have never used weed or drank who have much worse memories than I do. There are some age related memory issues and some that aren't normal with age. I know that I'm not as sharp as I was 10 or 20 years ago, and perhaps my little habit has been partly responsible for that. Still, as we age, most of us have concerns about memory impairment that will leave us dependent. It's a crap shoot imo.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,330
I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
I don't believe it's physiologically addictive, at least not for me or anyone I know who has used it. I can understand the psychological addiction, as we tend to desire things that we enjoy. We've used too much during the pandemic, but I've never had a craving or any type of withdrawal symptoms when I've not had it or was too busy to be bothered with it.

I'm more addicted to cake than I am to weed. I think it's psychological but I do love sweets so it might be more than that. I'd give up weed before I'd give up cake. Oddly enough, cake helps me keep my weight from getting too low. I workout so much that over the past 10 years, my metabolism has increased to the point where I. have to eat a lot or I lose weight. I used to worry about gaining weight, but now I worry about losing weight. I'm not sure which one is worse. Seriously! If you want to lose weight, cut back a bit and do aerobic exercise every day. It really helps. At least it did for me.

Then again, maybe some of us have brains that make it easy to become addicted to a lot of things. I smoked a bit when I was in my 20s and gave it up entirely without ever missing it, or craving it. I haven't had a drink in at least 3 years and never found ETOH attractive. I take opioids for pain and sometimes if the pain isn't too bad, I forget to take one. They don't make me high. I don't crave them. All they do is lower my pain lever by up to about 50%, and that allows me to exercise and do housework without being in agony. I've been on the same small dose of about 3 years.

I think the question is more one of degree. No, you're not going to be addicted like you would to something like Cocaine, but there is a physical dependency that I've posted links to a number of times now. If you're interested in understanding it, you can take a look here.

Like alcohol, pot is mostly harmless if used in moderation. It's chronic use that can impact the brain, just like you shouldn't drink every day, eat McDonalds everyday, drink pop everyday etc etc.

I've definitely seen the effects in friends who use chronically.
I read a few of the articles in your link. They mostly discussed changes in dopamine receptors. The control groups were extremely small.Another problem I found is that none gave specifics regarding how they defined a THC abuser. I'm a bit skeptical of these findings. I have read other studies that showed a correlation of harm when users were below the age of 25. I never tried it until I was over 30. It's not surprising that it could have negative impacts on fetal development. Pregnant women need to be very careful about what they consume as many things can have very negative impacts on fetal development that are safe for adults. No drug that impacts our brain is totally safe, imo. But, how much can one use without serious long term side effects hasn't been researched enough to draw any valid conclusions.

Unfortunately, with the drug being illegal in most places that's what researchers are stuck with. It's boiler-plate science for the most part, though, not very difficult to see the association between over-use/effects. If there wasn't at least a slight physical dependency you wouldn't see people using chronically for sometimes decades, they would just get bored with it and stop using.

That's not to say that it's hard to stop, but when someone doesn't have the will to stop it's very easy for them to just keep getting sucked in.

Contrast this with, for example, Organic Tulsi that I started smoking about a year ago. At first there was a bit of novelty getting to smoke again, but the plant is literally not habit forming, and eventually I just got bored with it. There were no effects at all.
 

southernhybrid

Contributor
Joined
Aug 13, 2001
Messages
6,621
Location
Georgia, US
Basic Beliefs
atheist
I have thought of myself as not prone to addiction, having had zero trouble stopping consumption of every intoxicant I ever tried (I’ve tried most of them).
But right now I am suffering cravings for the pot plant I planted very late last year. Due to being late, it only yielded an ounce or two and it’s all gone. But it was great. Can’t wait to try it again, but it’s gonna be cold turkey until October. I have a whole big tub of good, strong buds but I will be throwing it all away … it doesn’t pique my craving. I figure to start this year’s crop in a week or two… and am excited just anticipating it.
Am I addicted?
If so, so what?
If not, what else could cause recurrent thoughts about it? Maybe it’s more of an infatuation than craving?

I probably drone on too much about it, but some quick searching on Google Scholar will reveal pot as addictive, psychologically and physiologically, much to the chagrin of pot-smokers who claim otherwise.

When I got back on edibles last winter I could definitely feel them pulling me further into it, so I try to keep a healthy distance and consistent dose (which is a lot easier without flower).

Tobacco is another story entirely. It took me a few years to kick that habit.
I don't believe it's physiologically addictive, at least not for me or anyone I know who has used it. I can understand the psychological addiction, as we tend to desire things that we enjoy. We've used too much during the pandemic, but I've never had a craving or any type of withdrawal symptoms when I've not had it or was too busy to be bothered with it.

I'm more addicted to cake than I am to weed. I think it's psychological but I do love sweets so it might be more than that. I'd give up weed before I'd give up cake. Oddly enough, cake helps me keep my weight from getting too low. I workout so much that over the past 10 years, my metabolism has increased to the point where I. have to eat a lot or I lose weight. I used to worry about gaining weight, but now I worry about losing weight. I'm not sure which one is worse. Seriously! If you want to lose weight, cut back a bit and do aerobic exercise every day. It really helps. At least it did for me.

Then again, maybe some of us have brains that make it easy to become addicted to a lot of things. I smoked a bit when I was in my 20s and gave it up entirely without ever missing it, or craving it. I haven't had a drink in at least 3 years and never found ETOH attractive. I take opioids for pain and sometimes if the pain isn't too bad, I forget to take one. They don't make me high. I don't crave them. All they do is lower my pain lever by up to about 50%, and that allows me to exercise and do housework without being in agony. I've been on the same small dose of about 3 years.

I think the question is more one of degree. No, you're not going to be addicted like you would to something like Cocaine, but there is a physical dependency that I've posted links to a number of times now. If you're interested in understanding it, you can take a look here.

Like alcohol, pot is mostly harmless if used in moderation. It's chronic use that can impact the brain, just like you shouldn't drink every day, eat McDonalds everyday, drink pop everyday etc etc.

I've definitely seen the effects in friends who use chronically.
I read a few of the articles in your link. They mostly discussed changes in dopamine receptors. The control groups were extremely small.Another problem I found is that none gave specifics regarding how they defined a THC abuser. I'm a bit skeptical of these findings. I have read other studies that showed a correlation of harm when users were below the age of 25. I never tried it until I was over 30. It's not surprising that it could have negative impacts on fetal development. Pregnant women need to be very careful about what they consume as many things can have very negative impacts on fetal development that are safe for adults. No drug that impacts our brain is totally safe, imo. But, how much can one use without serious long term side effects hasn't been researched enough to draw any valid conclusions.

Unfortunately, with the drug being illegal in most places that's what researchers are stuck with. It's boiler-plate science for the most part, though, not very difficult to see the association between over-use/effects. If there wasn't at least a slight physical dependency you wouldn't see people using chronically for sometimes decades, they would just get bored with it and stop using.

That's not to say that it's hard to stop, but when someone doesn't have the will to stop it's very easy for them to just keep getting sucked in.

Contrast this with, for example, Organic Tulsi that I started smoking about a year ago. At first there was a bit of novelty getting to smoke again, but the plant is literally not habit forming, and eventually I just got bored with it. There were no effects at all.
While I've never had problems stopping and I've never had any withdrawal symptoms, which is what I associate with something being addictive, the problem now is that regardless of its legality, it's easier to obtain than ever.

But, you're correct about the lack of research being due to its illegality on a federal level in the US, and probably many other countries. It's insane that cannabis remains classified in the same category as heroin, etc. The only legal drug, ETOH, is often more harmful than some of the other recreational drugs. I'm pro legalization or at the very least decriminalization of all recreational drugs. That would make them safer and keep otherwise law abiding citizens out of prison. Instead of spending a fortune on incarceration, we could spend some on rehab, for those who desire help, at a much lower cost.

Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes. Some of them are run by gangs, making it very difficult for the guards to do their jobs or even feel safe. There is a shortage of prison workers and I can understand that. I'm not just talking about private prisons. We need prison reform badly, as the current system often meets the definition of "cruel and unusual punishment". Now I'm on a rant about prisons. Btw, is the prison system any better in Canada? Do Canadians ever get insanely long sentences for using or selling drugs?
 

Loren Pechtel

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs.
That’s why all drugs should be “legal” to possess and consume. The nanny state can’t protect everyone from everything.
The sufficiently addictive stuff should probably be prescription only but addiction being a valid reason for a prescription.

I think the typical date-rape drugs should be illegal, though.
 

Politesse

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
 

Elixir

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs.
That’s why all drugs should be “legal” to possess and consume. The nanny state can’t protect everyone from everything.
The sufficiently addictive stuff should probably be prescription only but addiction being a valid reason for a prescription.

I think the typical date-rape drugs should be illegal, though.
Date rape and all rape should be illegal. If someone tied up a victim in order to commit tape, you wouldn’t outlaw rope.
 

Elixir

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
 

Toni

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
 

Elixir

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It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict.
Check the Portugal model's performance.
Some conditions differ domestically, so 1:1 projection of results is probably a mistake, but understand - legalization can't be expected to instantly cure the destructive influence of people consuming bad things. But it would cure the secondary societal effects pretty quick. Sure some people steal to get alcohol, but they rarely break into homes, steal the electronics and jewelry and trade them to a fence for alcohol; that kind of activity is rightfully more associated with heroin, cocaine etc.. and if those things were legal, that kind of crime would decrease at least in proportion to the cost. Incarceration is also destructive and expensive. Probably better and cheaper if those who are so inclined are allowed to OD or seek professional help - which needs to be readily avbailble. Sounds cold, but I truly believe that is the most compassionate "solution"/approach.
Legalization wouldn't happen without a body count, either. Again, check to Portugal model. It's not perfect, just a whole lot better than what we have.
 

southernhybrid

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
Of course, it won't solve the problems that you mention. ETOH has destroyed many lives and it's been legal for a long time. But, is it a plus to lock someone up because they have an addiction to drugs? Is it a positive to destroy a person's life by giving them a long jail sentence due to drug usage?

I once was almost chosen to be on a jury of two young black men who were charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell. I wasn't chosen for the jury, probably because I was the only one who raised her hand when asked, "Who thinks that recreational drugs should be legal"? Later I found out from an acquaintance, that one of the men got a 30 year sentence and the other one got a 20 year sentence. That was about 10-15 years ago. If these drugs were legal or at least decriminalized, the two young black men might have had the chance to live better lives, especially if the crazy amount of money we spend on enforcement and imprisonment, was used to offer rehab, and job training.

When Portugal legalized or decriminalized drugs, usage didn't increase. If these drugs were legal, that would probably stop a lot of the crimes that currently happen in relation to drugs. It would stop or slow drugs coming over the border, since they could be regulated here. I might be overly optimistic about this, but I think it's got to be better than locking people up for years for the crime of using something potentially harmful for themselves.

Of course, it's different if someone is driving erratically while under the influence or giving drugs to minors etc. But those are different crimes. If we could at the very least, make cannabis legal at the federal level, that would be a good start. Statistically, the police arrest far more black folks for these crimes, despite the fact that white folks use at the same rate, maybe more. So, racism is another problem related to drugs being illegal. We can't stop people from being poor parents, from having drug related emotional problems, for misusing drugs etc. I just don't see any reason to make using a crime. We should offer help, not lock people up for years for using or selling drugs that have been around, probably since the beginning of civilization.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
 

Loren Pechtel

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I once was almost chosen to be on a jury of two young black men who were charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell. I wasn't chosen for the jury, probably because I was the only one who raised her hand when asked, "Who thinks that recreational drugs should be legal"? Later I found out from an acquaintance, that one of the men got a 30 year sentence and the other one got a 20 year sentence. That was about 10-15 years ago. If these drugs were legal or at least decriminalized, the two young black men might have had the chance to live better lives, especially if the crazy amount of money we spend on enforcement and imprisonment, was used to offer rehab, and job training.
Why are they even allowed to ask a question like that in jury selection?
 

Toni

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
Legalization won’t make for fewer crack addicts. It won’t make fewer affects at all.

I agree that we already struggle, as a society, to deal with the issues I brought up. I’m concerned they will escalate as those who are actually deterred by the laws against drug use start using drugs. I’m concerned there already are not enough treatment programs for addicts, and not enough support for the families of addicts. Society is paying an enormous cost because of addiction. We really need to get a handle on addressing it before we expand the opportunities for abuse and addiction.
 

southernhybrid

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
Legalization won’t make for fewer crack addicts. It won’t make fewer affects at all.

I agree that we already struggle, as a society, to deal with the issues I brought up. I’m concerned they will escalate as those who are actually deterred by the laws against drug use start using drugs. I’m concerned there already are not enough treatment programs for addicts, and not enough support for the families of addicts. Society is paying an enormous cost because of addiction. We really need to get a handle on addressing it before we expand the opportunities for abuse and addiction.
The biggest cost to society is locking people up and enforcing the drug laws. I understand your concerns. I just don't think that legalization or decriminalization will make things worse. In fact, I think it will make things better, especially since it would cost a lot less to offer rehab and job training compared to the cost of imprisoning people and spending so much money on law enforcement. Two of us have mentioned that when Portugal made their drug laws more lenient, there wasn't any increase in drug usage. I doubt that the illegality of drugs deters usage, or at least not much. We can probably agree that alcohol is one of the worst drugs out there and it's legal. Most people don't abuse it, but there will always be some that do. That would likely be the case if other drugs were legal.

A lot of young people experiment with drugs. I never did but my sister tried just about everything she could get her hands on. She drank too much when she was in her 20s, but then settled down by the time she was about 30. She doesn't even drink now. Weed makes her paranoid, but she does take an anti anxiety agent prescribed by her doctor. That's a control drug that is often abused too. She uses it very conservatively. It seemed like almost every young person was experimenting with drugs in the late 60s and early 70s. I was the straight weird one.

Perhaps if drugs were decriminalized, younger people who want to experiment could do so safely. Legalization would give the government more control over the substances. Drugs wouldn't be laced with unknown, dangerous substances. Anyway.....I've said more than enough. I doubt legalization at the federal level will come in my lifetime.

One more thing.....

There will always be abusive or neglectful parents, regardless if it's drug related or due to something else.

Very few people are going to suddenly want to shoot up heroin or use cocaine just because they are legal. But, speaking of cocaine, my husband once worked in a place that made contact lenses, where the doctors and most of the managers used coke, so they could work long shifts. Mr. Sohy never used, but he told me some crazy stories about that place. No surprise the place went bankrupt after a few years. That was in the 80s, when cocaine was very popular. At least it was in Raleigh, NC. Illegality doesn't stop people from using, and it's not the drugs, if used in moderation that ruins one's life, it's being arrested and given a long prison sentence that ruins one's life.

I get it though. We have different perspectives based on our experiences and influences.
 

spikepipsqueak

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Illegality doesn't stop people from using, and it's not the drugs, if used in moderation that ruins one's life, it's being arrested and given a long prison sentence that ruins one's life.
That ^^^

And the illegal things people do to support an addiction which costs a bomb because it is illicit.

My ex was a heroin user and an alcoholic. He claims neither drug affected his behaviour. I beg to differ. The heroin not so much, but the alcohol made him a superlative arsehole.

One of his wives, a nurse, tolerated the heroin usage but hated the alcoholic aspect and worried more about the health aspects of that.
 

Toni

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
Legalization won’t make for fewer crack addicts. It won’t make fewer affects at all.

I agree that we already struggle, as a society, to deal with the issues I brought up. I’m concerned they will escalate as those who are actually deterred by the laws against drug use start using drugs. I’m concerned there already are not enough treatment programs for addicts, and not enough support for the families of addicts. Society is paying an enormous cost because of addiction. We really need to get a handle on addressing it before we expand the opportunities for abuse and addiction.
The biggest cost to society is locking people up and enforcing the drug laws. I understand your concerns. I just don't think that legalization or decriminalization will make things worse. In fact, I think it will make things better, especially since it would cost a lot less to offer rehab and job training compared to the cost of imprisoning people and spending so much money on law enforcement. Two of us have mentioned that when Portugal made their drug laws more lenient, there wasn't any increase in drug usage. I doubt that the illegality of drugs deters usage, or at least not much. We can probably agree that alcohol is one of the worst drugs out there and it's legal. Most people don't abuse it, but there will always be some that do. That would likely be the case if other drugs were legal.

A lot of young people experiment with drugs. I never did but my sister tried just about everything she could get her hands on. She drank too much when she was in her 20s, but then settled down by the time she was about 30. She doesn't even drink now. Weed makes her paranoid, but she does take an anti anxiety agent prescribed by her doctor. That's a control drug that is often abused too. She uses it very conservatively. It seemed like almost every young person was experimenting with drugs in the late 60s and early 70s. I was the straight weird one.

Perhaps if drugs were decriminalized, younger people who want to experiment could do so safely. Legalization would give the government more control over the substances. Drugs wouldn't be laced with unknown, dangerous substances. Anyway.....I've said more than enough. I doubt legalization at the federal level will come in my lifetime.

One more thing.....

There will always be abusive or neglectful parents, regardless if it's drug related or due to something else.

Very few people are going to suddenly want to shoot up heroin or use cocaine just because they are legal. But, speaking of cocaine, my husband once worked in a place that made contact lenses, where the doctors and most of the managers used coke, so they could work long shifts. Mr. Sohy never used, but he told me some crazy stories about that place. No surprise the place went bankrupt after a few years. That was in the 80s, when cocaine was very popular. At least it was in Raleigh, NC. Illegality doesn't stop people from using, and it's not the drugs, if used in moderation that ruins one's life, it's being arrested and given a long prison sentence that ruins one's life.

I get it though. We have different perspectives based on our experiences and influences.
Story of two brothers is true. They were 2 years apart and in high school together. The older brother was more of an introvert. The younger, the opposite. Growing up in an upper middle class household in a very, very nice inner ring suburb of a fairly major city, they attended a lot of the same parties while in HS. OB (older brother) drank a fair amount, a habit that continued, but not problematically, through college and somewhat into his adult job holding life. He also did some experimentation with the drugs of the day, none of which were addicting the way that cocaine or heroin is. He always could take it or walk away, although he's said many times, he sees how one could become an addict. He earned his degree and grad degree and established a pretty good career, married, raised children and drinks very little. Hasn't touched the other stuff in decades.


YB (younger brother) was instantly, or nearly instantly 'grabbed' by excessive alcohol use and abused alcohol and recreational drugs throughout high school. He totaled more than one car while under the influence, thankfully hurting no one except himself. He was always brought home by the nice police officers who were happy to take home the handsome, well spoken if absolutely plastered boy with a very nice address, no charges. YB was always employed and there was always another car, another drunk night, with whatever drugs he could score. Worked in trades out of high school and was very talented at his work, had good union jobs. Lost them all due to the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Was violent with parents and Third Brother and stole from them. Parents tried to get him into rehab a number of times and tried a 72 hr. psych hold when he was really off the rails. By off the rails, even his drinking buddies/drugging buddies and maybe his dealer called his parents to express concern that he was going to inadvertently kill himself. Checked himself out of every rehab because none of them would allow him to continue to use. Continued....to this day, including having a child who is now an adult and who was seriously neglected by both parents and grew up in squalor and has somehow managed to do much better for himself. He's successful in a union job in the trades, whittles away at a degree, is married with children. YB, now a father and grandfather, has done a couple of stints in prison, none on drug charges, and has also done some jail time for things like DUI and drunk and disorderly. He's about to turn 65 and is panicking because he has zero savings. ZERO. Although he has always been employed, mostly at decently paying jobs, every day except when he was incarcerated, he still has zero savings, zero assets. His brothers barely tolerate him; his son tries to tolerate him but isn't comfortable with him around his kids. YB has numerous serious/potentially fatal health problems and some obvious cognitive decline.

Beyond a couple of DUIs and drunk and disorderlies, none of his other arrests/incarcerations were directly related to drug or alcohol use/abuse.

I cannot even begin to hazard a guess at the thousands of dollars he has cost his family when he stole from them, much less when they tried to help him or how many thousands of dollars he's defrauded from the state and federal govt.

This, and the now adults who I knew as young kids into their adulthood, who were raised by people who were highly, highly dysfunctional or by other family members because their own parents were that dysfunctional--just more dysfunctional than the family members who actually 'raised' them---at least one of whom posts frequently about his own numerous diagnosis, including PTSD from a LOT of childhood trauma---Those are the reasons I give pause. We must find a way to address addiction, and mental health. I wish I were convinced that decreasing prison populations would free up funds that would be so used.

I am much less expressing opposition to decriminalization of most drugs (knowingly consumed by the user) than I am expressing concern about increasing the types of societal ills I've mentioned in this very, very long post.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
Legalization of drugs doesn't fix the flaw in our "intelligent design". The problem doesn't go away, it merely transform into something else that needs to be addressed. Relegalization of alcohol didn't come at no price. Nearly a century later, we are losing over 10,000 a year in drunk driving accidents.

So the idea that legalization solves it, is folly. Just because prison is a bad idea doesn't make any arbitrary resolution 'good'. We need to stop putting addicts in jail though, and we need to look at drugs in a mature manner to determine how best to regulate them in our country, both in its quality (fentanyl) and it's addiction.
 

southernhybrid

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
Legalization of drugs doesn't fix the flaw in our "intelligent design". The problem doesn't go away, it merely transform into something else that needs to be addressed. Relegalization of alcohol didn't come at no price. Nearly a century later, we are losing over 10,000 a year in drunk driving accidents.

So the idea that legalization solves it, is folly. Just because prison is a bad idea doesn't make any arbitrary resolution 'good'. We need to stop putting addicts in jail though, and we need to look at drugs in a mature manner to determine how best to regulate them in our country, both in its quality (fentanyl) and it's addiction.
I totally agree that legalization doesn't fix all of the problems related to drug usage, but legalization or decriminalization, lowers the cost of enforcement, and imprisonment, and keeps users from spending years in prison. There is nothing that will solve all of societies problems. I just believe that making drugs illegal and imprisoning non violent people for using doesn't solve a thing, and in many cases it makes things worse.

And since you mentioned fentanyl, a drug that some of my former patients took for severe chronic pain, if drugs were legal, they wouldn't be laced with fentanyl and users would know exactly what they were getting. It would drastically reduce overdoses and deaths. Even fentanyl can be used without any untoward side effects, if used correctly at doses that don't kill. I doubt it's even used any longer for pain, since so many other less severe opioids have been laced with it.

I don't think any of us who support legalization believe that legalization will solve societies ills. Nothing will do that. Humans are imperfect and sadly, the brain disorder known as psychopathy is too common, especially among those in high places. But, I digress. Psychopathy might make for an interesting discussion in the appropriate place some time.
 

Elixir

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if drugs were legal, they wouldn't be laced with fentanyl and users would know exactly what they were getting
I don't think that would be true, at least not right away. It would take a while for most people to realize that saving a few bucks by buying someone's bathtub brew instead of a reputable laboratory's product, is not worth one's life.

I believe that legalization would come with a hefty death toll in the very near term, but would save countless lives and improve countless more over the medium and long runs.
 

southernhybrid

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if drugs were legal, they wouldn't be laced with fentanyl and users would know exactly what they were getting
I don't think that would be true, at least not right away. It would take a while for most people to realize that saving a few bucks by buying someone's bathtub brew instead of a reputable laboratory's product, is not worth one's life.

I believe that legalization would come with a hefty death toll in the very near term, but would save countless lives and improve countless more over the medium and long runs.
That's entirely possible, but I was thinking of the newish text strips that one can use to test if something is laced with fentanyl. It's already saved some lives. Sadly, some idiots in high places in some states, want to ban them, as they believe that will cause more young people to experiment with drugs. There was either a news piece or an article I read about a group of young college students, who were going to use some opioids, but they tested the drugs for fentanyl prior to using. The drugs they had bought illegally were all laced with fentanyl, so they destroyed them. If they had taken them, it's possible that one or more of them would have died.
 

Hermit

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I believe that legalization would come with a hefty death toll in the very near term...
That is not what happened in Portugal.
...but would save countless lives and improve countless more over the medium and long runs.
That is what happened in Portugal, except the lives saved were pretty much countable, at least in terms of the reduction in overdoses and AIDS cases.

It's worth mentioning that Portugal did not legalise drugs. It decriminalised their use.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
Legalization won’t make for fewer crack addicts. It won’t make fewer affects at all.

I agree that we already struggle, as a society, to deal with the issues I brought up. I’m concerned they will escalate as those who are actually deterred by the laws against drug use start using drugs. I’m concerned there already are not enough treatment programs for addicts, and not enough support for the families of addicts. Society is paying an enormous cost because of addiction. We really need to get a handle on addressing it before we expand the opportunities for abuse and addiction.
You being concerned with whether they will escalate is not evidence they will escalate.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
Legalization of drugs doesn't fix the flaw in our "intelligent design". The problem doesn't go away, it merely transform into something else that needs to be addressed. Relegalization of alcohol didn't come at no price. Nearly a century later, we are losing over 10,000 a year in drunk driving accidents.

So the idea that legalization solves it, is folly. Just because prison is a bad idea doesn't make any arbitrary resolution 'good'. We need to stop putting addicts in jail though, and we need to look at drugs in a mature manner to determine how best to regulate them in our country, both in its quality (fentanyl) and it's addiction.
I totally agree that legalization doesn't fix all of the problems related to drug usage, but legalization or decriminalization, lowers the cost of enforcement, and imprisonment, and keeps users from spending years in prison. There is nothing that will solve all of societies problems. I just believe that making drugs illegal and imprisoning non violent people for using doesn't solve a thing, and in many cases it makes things worse.

And since you mentioned fentanyl, a drug that some of my former patients took for severe chronic pain, if drugs were legal, they wouldn't be laced with fentanyl and users would know exactly what they were getting. It would drastically reduce overdoses and deaths. Even fentanyl can be used without any untoward side effects, if used correctly at doses that don't kill. I doubt it's even used any longer for pain, since so many other less severe opioids have been laced with it.

I don't think any of us who support legalization believe that legalization will solve societies ills. Nothing will do that. Humans are imperfect and sadly, the brain disorder known as psychopathy is too common, especially among those in high places. But, I digress. Psychopathy might make for an interesting discussion in the appropriate place some time.
Elixir loosely said: "If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what"."

My response was to that specifically. Yes, we should legalize some drugs, decriminalize others. But the 'so what' thing seemed to ignore the problem that legalized drugs will still mean addictions and overdoses and more progressive rock music, and these are all things we are desperately trying to eliminate. I'm not claiming any answers, just saying, some problems don't disappear and other problems that do disappear actually transform into others.

I think cost could be a big problem. If illegal drugs can be produced for less (and/or go untaxed), we might not accomplish as much as we hoped.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
Legalization of drugs doesn't fix the flaw in our "intelligent design". The problem doesn't go away, it merely transform into something else that needs to be addressed. Relegalization of alcohol didn't come at no price. Nearly a century later, we are losing over 10,000 a year in drunk driving accidents.

So the idea that legalization solves it, is folly. Just because prison is a bad idea doesn't make any arbitrary resolution 'good'. We need to stop putting addicts in jail though, and we need to look at drugs in a mature manner to determine how best to regulate them in our country, both in its quality (fentanyl) and it's addiction.
Legalization doesn't do anything about the harm the drugs cause, except where that harm is due too low quality drugs. It takes a very big bite out of the harm caused by acquiring the drugs.
 

Loren Pechtel

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if drugs were legal, they wouldn't be laced with fentanyl and users would know exactly what they were getting
I don't think that would be true, at least not right away. It would take a while for most people to realize that saving a few bucks by buying someone's bathtub brew instead of a reputable laboratory's product, is not worth one's life.

I believe that legalization would come with a hefty death toll in the very near term, but would save countless lives and improve countless more over the medium and long runs.
Unless they go nuts with the taxes the lab product would be cheaper.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
Legalization won’t make for fewer crack addicts. It won’t make fewer affects at all.

I agree that we already struggle, as a society, to deal with the issues I brought up. I’m concerned they will escalate as those who are actually deterred by the laws against drug use start using drugs. I’m concerned there already are not enough treatment programs for addicts, and not enough support for the families of addicts. Society is paying an enormous cost because of addiction. We really need to get a handle on addressing it before we expand the opportunities for abuse and addiction.
You being concerned with whether they will escalate is not evidence they will escalate.
Alcoholism is a pretty strong indicator that it could be a problem. The question becomes how many new addicts, verses how many just choose drugs over alcohol.
 

Toni

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Prison destroys more lives than drugs. I've read many articles lately about our prison system. Most of them are hell holes.
Not to mention, hardly a place of respite from drug culture; manhy people booked for recreational drugs leave that system hooked on harder stuff. The term "correctional facility" is a sick joke.
If drugs were legal it would be a big "so what". All the drug related crime right wingers complain about could disappear. It would be even better if those drugs all grew on common trees in refined form, so people could learn not to fuck with them at zero cost. Or not, and ...
This is a sticking point for me. I know too many people raised by alcoholics and drug addicts and sometimes both kinds of addicts to say, yeah, legalization will make all the problems go away. It won't. It won't solve all of the domestic horrors that come with living with an addict. I also have a difficult time believing that drug addicts will stop stealing to support their habit--after all, alcoholics often steal to get money. Nor will they regain more emotional control and/or mental acuity so will no longer be violent and will be able to hold down jobs, look after themselves and any children they brought into the world, be decent family members or contributors to society. Of course some will do just that, be functional addicts just as there are functional alcoholics and functional addicts today, those who manage to hold down jobs and even manage to keep a family, stable housing, etc. Even with the highest functioning addict, those around them pay an extremely high price. Forever. I don't see getting high/drunk as being terrible. I see the fall out to those surrounding those who continually get drunk/high/both as terrible.
The point is all the harms you point to already exist and there's no reason to think they'll get worse with legalization.

And I'd much prefer the property crime of alcoholics to being mugged by a crack addict.
Legalization won’t make for fewer crack addicts. It won’t make fewer affects at all.

I agree that we already struggle, as a society, to deal with the issues I brought up. I’m concerned they will escalate as those who are actually deterred by the laws against drug use start using drugs. I’m concerned there already are not enough treatment programs for addicts, and not enough support for the families of addicts. Society is paying an enormous cost because of addiction. We really need to get a handle on addressing it before we expand the opportunities for abuse and addiction.
You being concerned with whether they will escalate is not evidence they will escalate.
You having an opinion about my opinion does not make your opinion more valid than mine. In fact, we may not have yet seen the peak in number of addicts. Even a very cursory reading of a police blotter will tell you that there are many, many addicts who are not arrested on drug charges but are arrested on drug adjacent charges. Or ask any public defender how many of their clients are not struggling with addiction(s). The number will be extremely small.

Unfortunately the problems society has with addicts will not disappear or even decrease if all substances become legal. The number of those arrested and charged with dealing is quite small compared to the number of addicts.
 

Elixir

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Toni said:
It won’t make fewer affects at all.

If cocaine is legal and $10/ounce it will reduce or eliminate muggings.
(I know that ain't gonna happen in MY lifetime - maybe yours. Meanwhile, DON'T GET MUGGED!)
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Chapelle in White face: And the needle shortage is into its second week. The President announced he will be invoking the War Production Act to increase national needle production. And now to take a look at the commodities market, Dale with heroin.

Dale (almost unconscious): The... spot.. price of heroin went ... ... up or ... yeah. Freeze in Afghanistan reduced poppy pro... pro... duction by 15 percent... ... .... ...

Chapelle: Dale? ... I guess he was finished. Now to Eric covering weed.

Eric (eating bag of chips, blood shot eyes): Hey man. Everything is like totally fine here. Snacks are abundant.

Chapelle: That’s good to hear, now Chuck with cocaine. Chuck?

Chuck: WHAT?! Oh... the cocaine market was steady today as imports from Colombia are looking strong deapite the initial concerns over the hurricane that struck their shipping lines!

Chapelle: Woah... thanks Chuck. Niw Johann with a look at the Acid/PCP market.

Johann: Help! The teleprompter is trying to eat me!!!!
 

ZiprHead

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Legalization doesn't do anything about the harm the drugs cause, except where that harm is due too low quality drugs. It takes a very big bite out of the harm caused by acquiring the drugs.
The biggest harm of drugs is the incarceration system.
 

Elixir

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Relegalization of alcohol didn't come at no price. Nearly a century later, we are losing over 10,000 a year in drunk driving accidents.

So the idea that legalization solves it, is folly.
During prohibition things were worse by most measures. Societal ills included entire cities and regions being violently controlled by murderous crime bosses . People didn’t prefer that.
But for some reason they do prefer to make the same mistake with every toxin on the planet… ‘cept botulinum toxin of course.
TDMTP
 

Tharmas

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I’d like to add my 2¢.

First, I am a recovered alcoholic and drug abuser, so my thoughts on this topic relate more to personal experience than any formal study.

I believe most drugs should be made legal. I don’t think decriminalization is really an answer.

Legalization does not mean making drugs available willy-nilly. It means regulation, like we have with alcohol, or maybe even more stringent.

When I was on my way to becoming a full-blown alcoholic, in high school, alcohol was pretty difficult for me to come by. There were decrepit liquor stores in some of the seedier areas of town that would sell me beer out of the back door, at exorbitant prices. I could steal out of my parent’s liquor cabinet. I had a friend with a phony ID. I tried making wine once out of grape juice with regular baker’s yeast (that’s actually a funny story).

But meanwhile, I could get a hold of, and used, pot, meth, acid, psilocybin, DMT, MDA, and even opium, as well as others I can’t think of now. Why? Because unlike alcohol, they were easy for me to get, completely unregulated.

  • When I lived in Canada (British Columbia) in the 70s, alcohol purchase was regulated by the state – the government owned the liquor stores and you could only legally buy from them. They were basically a 9 to 5, six days a week kind of deal. This did not stop the alcoholics from drinking too much, but I’m sure it cut down on underage drinking and maybe kept a lid on things. I was aware of “bootleggers,” but they weren’t selling hooch from home-made stills. Rather, they were selling legally purchased booze after hours. (Rousseau can correct me or bring this up-to-date).
  • I strongly believe that alcoholism and other drug abuse has two factors, a genetic component and a psychological component. I believe certain populations may be more prone to substance abuse, but still, it is a combination of those two factors, nature and nurture if you will. I don’t think making more drugs available will change the percentage of abusers in a population. You will notice that an open bar at a reception or party does not mean every guest drinks until they pass out. Some people simply don’t like to drink. In my case, cocaine never did anything for me and I refused to waste my money on the stuff.
I agree very strongly that the answer to abuse is not incarceration, and is not in making certain drugs illegal. Instead I vote for education and regulation.
 
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