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Old 12-10-2012, 07:09 PM   #26
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The fallacy with this type of argument here is two-fold:

1) Certain people in society don't know how to protect themselves. By making the highly harmful drugs illegal and therefore unavailable, the government is trying to protect this particular group.

2) If the harm index is high, but the substance is not illegal, it will send the wrong message to enough people that despite the dangers, this is still something that they could experiment with. This point is sort of points back to point #1 in that certain people in society really don't know any better.

An imperfect analogy that I have just thought of is seat belts and helmet laws (for cars and bikes, respectively). Everybody knows the odds of surviving a car accident is dramatically higher if seatbelts / helmets are worn, just as people know heroin are highly dangerous. But if you don't make it illegal to not wear the seatbelt and helmets, the government (and society in general) is sending the wrong message to the general public, and a significantly larger portion of the population is gonna skip both the belt and the helmet. (The equivalent to this with heroin is, they are gonna try it because it isn't illegal.)

Also, suppose there are no seat belts nor helmet laws, and a person gets seriously hurt after an accident. Who is gonna foot the significantly higher medical bill to treat that person? And who will end up paying the costs of that significantly larger number of people getting hurt from not wearing seat belts / helmets?

The analogy extends to heroin and other highly harmful drugs.
so you think normal people with jobs who are otherwise inexperienced with hard drugs (this constitutes probably like 90% of the population) will experiment with harder drugs simply because its decriminalized?

i doubt those people will even try weed
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:15 PM   #27
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I think to have this debate, you need to re-focus the terms you use.

We have: The War on Drugs.

That breaks down into: The War on Pot, and The War on Drugs.

And, simultaneously, we have the debate on legalization of Pot, and of other drugs.

I don't think that the war on drugs needs to be dependent on the legal nature of said drugs. You can have something be legal, and still do whatever you want to discourage its use, as noted with tobacco and alcohol.

Hell, legalize pot, and slam more ads against its use for everyone if you want. You might actually stem its use(which, in the article I referenced above, in the early 90's, they did, through advertising)

Ultimately, the work under the second Bush's administration is really what has set in motion the pure level of ridiculousness in today's "war", going after medical weed and pot users. I don't think something needs to be legal, and state approved to become less of a priority in law enforcement.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #28
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Baby steps...
If we cant even legalize weed...theres no way they'll legalize the hard drugs.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:03 PM   #29
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In my mind there are three broad categories of drugs:

Non-addictive drugs (booze, pot)

Physiologically addictive drugs (coke, heroin, meth, nicotine)

Hallucinogenic drugs (LSD, mushrooms, peyote)


One of the biggest problems we face right now is that we don't divide them or police them in manners befitting their differences. My students would always ask me if smoking pot was like cigarettes--they're completely different. They didn't want to try because they thought they'd get addicted. I ran the parallel: "If you aren't addicted to Alcohol, why haven't you stopped drinking?" "Because I like it". Drugs which are not physically addictive (yes, I realize that a psychological addiction or dependence is possible--but you can even get addicted to the internet. I want to talk about the drugs themselves, not the potential problems people might face) should not be lumped in with those that are.

And by that same measure, Canada has started working extremely hard to push people away from an extremely legal yet addictive drug: tobacco. Public policy in BC has been moving towards a medically-informed solution for all highly-addictive drugs: harm reduction. Want to quit smoking? Gov't will give you quit-smoking aids. Want to make sure you don't OD on heroin? Do it in a safe place. Physical addictions are medical problems, not legal ones, and the regulatory bodies are starting to realize this.

The hallucinogens are the ones where I sort of stumble though. I'll be honest, I haven't tried them and they kind of freak me out. One of my biggest fears is losing my sanity and not being able to tell reality from fiction. I know that hallucinogens can have absolutely amazing effects on people--like some have said, they're sometimes used in therapy for those suffering from addictions, and can be incredibly helpful. They can also be inspirational, and are often referenced when talking about more peaceful cultures and how "hallucinogens aid in the sense of feeling as a part of a greater whole"--something a LOT of people could benefit from. I'm just not sure of how we could control their use as far as duration and whatnot. Dosing is (apparently) quite important.


Personally, I'm big on regulation and not restriction. Lots of money goes to gangs and criminal enterprises, and it'd be nice to take some of that away. Of course, gangs will find new sources of income (illicit drugs are not the only businesses they're in, alcoholamirite?) but by removing their stranglehold on the victims--the users--it'll help alleviate a couple of problems. Additionally, one of the things I always take note of when the police send out warnings about drugs: "You have to be careful, you never know what you're taking--it could be something totally different than what they tell you". People will use drugs. People will use drugs whether they're safe or not. People who sell drugs will try and maximize profits by cutting corners or going with new suppliers, and people are going to get hurt or die. And yet if drugs were regulated, we would have control over what goes into those pills.

Now, I'm a hardcore red tory, so while I think that everything should be regulated, I also think there should be extremely strict rules on who can buy it, how much of it can be bought, and where. One of the biggest issues with this, is that the largest users of currently-illicit drugs are those who are the least likely to have a permanent address and as a result, the least likely to have any form of ID. If we restrict the amount of impairing substances that people are going to consume, then we need to be able to track it easily. And unfortunately, because homelessness isn't likely to be solved anytime soon...well, more craptacularity.


The biggest thing that I see as a giant hypocrisy as far as this goes is the fact that social conservatives always say "It doesn't matter if you make it legal, I would never do it!" while pointing fingers at those they don't like. Joe Arpaio (the American sheriff famous for his pink-tutu chain gang prison) has said that if pot is legalized "We'll see doctors performing surgeries high, teachers getting high while they teach" and so on and so forth. Stow the fucking rhetoric. If those groups of people wanted to fuck with themselves, they could do it quite effectively with alcohol. You know what's stopping them? Their personal character. Their strengths of will. The fact that they know it's wrong. And yeah, of course, there are laws against it. But I challenge you to find a surgeon who says "Yeah, I got drunk before I went into the OR, but whatever, the guy's still alive!". You don't need drug laws to enhance safety. You need codes of conduct for people to make sure they act well in general.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:25 PM   #30
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Sorry I couldn't find the vid,

Rx Drugs - The Liverpool, England method

The clinic closed due to funding issues tied to US policy.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:50 PM   #31
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so you think normal people with jobs who are otherwise inexperienced with hard drugs (this constitutes probably like 90% of the population) will experiment with harder drugs simply because its decriminalized?

i doubt those people will even try weed
Naturally, the majority of people otherwise inexperienced with highly dangerous drugs (such as heroin) will not experiment with it simply because it is decriminalized. But I am totally willing to bet that a large enough portion will -- especially teenagers. Teenagers, by their very nature, are still experimenting with all sorts of different aspects in life. Some try tobacco, some try alcohol, some try speeding, some try sex, some try gangs, some try weed. So what makes you think only an insignificant fraction of these kids will not try heroin if it is decriminalized?

Even for adults, we are prone to making wrong decisions at times. Some of us D&D. Some of us speed under unsafe conditions. Some of us make the wrong decisions when it comes to the oppsite gender and sex. The examples go on and on because by our very nature, humans are not perfect. So when it comes to substances that is known to be highly dangerous (such as heroin), we need to draw a line.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:09 AM   #32
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Naturally, the majority of people otherwise inexperienced with highly dangerous drugs (such as heroin) will not experiment with it simply because it is decriminalized. But I am totally willing to bet that a large enough portion will -- especially teenagers. Teenagers, by their very nature, are still experimenting with all sorts of different aspects in life. Some try tobacco, some try alcohol, some try speeding, some try sex, some try gangs, some try weed. So what makes you think only an insignificant fraction of these kids will not try heroin if it is decriminalized?

Even for adults, we are prone to making wrong decisions at times. Some of us D&D. Some of us speed under unsafe conditions. Some of us make the wrong decisions when it comes to the oppsite gender and sex. The examples go on and on because by our very nature, humans are not perfect. So when it comes to substances that is known to be highly dangerous (such as heroin), we need to draw a line.
Which is why education is even more important. But keep in mind that what (I think) most of us here are advocating is not "deregulated legalization"; we are talking about the creation of schemes similar to that of tobacco and alcohol.

As it stands, because you can only buy booze at specific stores where all staff are required to take certain training (serving it right) and you get ID'd when you look young (I was ID'd twice within a week of my thirtieth birthday), it's difficult for teens to get booze. You'll note I said difficult. That's because they can do it. And teens do stupid shit with alcohol: they overdrink, they drink and drive, and sometimes they die. But do we talk about banning liquor? No. We talk about making sure IDs get checked, making sure adults don't serve to youths, and that consumption is moderated.

So why not do the same with other substances? We don't let teens buy tobacco--why would weed be different? Yet they get it now. And can get it more easily than alcohol, because drug dealers who don't care how old you are as long as you've got money will sell to anyone. And while some dealers stay with "the soft stuff", there are teenage heroin and cocaine addicts.


Like you said, everyone makes mistakes. My mom started smoking when she was 13 because (and I quote) "When I started smoking, I didn't notice how bad it smelled from my friends who were smokers". Fifty years later, she goes through about a carton a week. By leaving these criminalized, you end up with people who get stigmatized. Drink underage? Slap on the wrist, "kids will be kids", grow up, move on. Heroin or cocaine? Get addicted, stay addicted after you turn 18, end up institutionalized and/or homeless (unless you're ridiculously lucky and have parents and family with resources).




You say that everyone makes mistakes, even adults. Do we want a single mistake to lead to a lifetime of stigma and castigation? Or do we want to say "you made a mistake, but let's help get you better".
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:25 AM   #33
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I am not disputing what you are saying here, Graeme. In fact, I agree with a lot of it.

If you go back to all the statements that I've made in this thread, they were only said in relation to drugs that are known to be highly dangerous -- heroin would be the prime example here, and cocaine would be a close second even though it isn't quite as harmful as heroin.

I'm sure there are others as well, but I am not well versed enough in these matters to make any intelligent comments.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:55 AM   #34
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I'm high right now!
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:57 AM   #35
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I am not disputing what you are saying here, Graeme. In fact, I agree with a lot of it.

If you go back to all the statements that I've made in this thread, they were only said in relation to drugs that are known to be highly dangerous -- heroin would be the prime example here, and cocaine would be a close second even though it isn't quite as harmful as heroin.

I'm sure there are others as well, but I am not well versed enough in these matters to make any intelligent comments.
I understand and appreciate that--and your point is a very valid one, especially under the current circumstances. Every now and again we'll get police reports of "overpotent heroin" or "a shipment of <x drug> which has been cut with <y harmful substance>". The nature of unregulated drugs is that you can never predict exactly what it is you're getting. This was also the case (and still is) with moonshine. When alcohol faced prohibition in the states, more people died because of the unpredictable nature of illicit alcohol. And unfortunately, the war on drugs has facilitated the current state of drugs.

I'll be honest, I'm not up on the latest statistics. And while it is more edutainment than detailed statistical analysis, an episode of Penn & Teller's bullshit took on exactly the point that you brought up--heroin and cocaine are inherently dangerous and incredibly addictive. Yet they're hardly new drugs.

In the early '70s in the US, heroin was about $30/dose, and was about 5% pure. That's like paying for a dozen timmy's, and getting half of ONE doughnut. These days, again in the US, it's about $4-5 per dose and is 80-90% pure. Especially when adjusted for inflation, heroin is now six HUNDRED percent cheaper than before the war on drugs. How's that for free market competition for you?

Now obviously those statistics have been massaged and are most likely flawed in some way, but it bears thinking: what would have happened if alcohol had done the same? If Alcohol was now half the price that it is in the states, I'd wager we'd also have a higher alcoholism rate, as well as a higher number of deaths and hospitalizations. But because we tax it, because we regulate it, because we control and accurately label alcohol so that people know what they're getting, we can limit the problems.

We can't eliminate the problems. No problems will ever really "go away". But we can do our best to minimize it and help the people affected.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:59 AM   #36
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But because we tax it, because we regulate it, because we control and accurately label alcohol so that people know what they're getting, we can limit the problems.

Marijuana is cheaper and more powerful than it was 15 years ago!

What sucks about government control over weed is, in the future you'll be able to buy a pack of pinner joints for like $50, but if you added up all the weed you're getting, I bet it would be like, less than 2 grams in total, haha
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:00 AM   #37
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Marijuana is cheaper and more powerful than it was 15 years ago!

What sucks about government control over weed is, in the future you'll be able to buy a pack of pinner joints for like $50, but if you added up all the weed you're getting, I bet it would be like, less than 2 grams in total, haha
If alcohol is any sign (and tobacco as well), legalization would result in a wide variety of potencies.

And you could be sure what you were getting. Other than cancer.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:05 AM   #38
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And you could be sure what you were getting. Other than cancer.
Marijuana Doesn't Increase Risk of Lung Cancer, Mental Illness or Death | 10 Reasons to Revisit Marijuana Policy Now | TIME.com
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:25 AM   #39
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Everything except death gives you cancer. Joke fail
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:55 AM   #40
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In my mind there are three broad categories of drugs:

Non-addictive drugs (booze, pot)

Physiologically addictive drugs (coke, heroin, meth, nicotine)

Hallucinogenic drugs (LSD, mushrooms, peyote)
I agree with a lot of what you're saying but wanted to make a few corrections if I may

Alcohol IS physiologically addictive, and has LIFE THREATENING withdrawal symptoms. An alcoholic is more sure to die quitting cold turkey than any drug addict is, including heroin users.

Pot is a psychedelic (class of hallucinogen), but it's not a very strong one. In fact much of the experience on a psychedelic is how you feel/think, rather than visual hallucination.


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Now, I'm a hardcore red tory, so while I think that everything should be regulated, I also think there should be extremely strict rules on who can buy it, how much of it can be bought, and where. One of the biggest issues with this, is that the largest users of currently-illicit drugs are those who are the least likely to have a permanent address and as a result, the least likely to have any form of ID. If we restrict the amount of impairing substances that people are going to consume, then we need to be able to track it easily. And unfortunately, because homelessness isn't likely to be solved anytime soon...well, more craptacularity.
I seriously doubt the largest segment of illicit drug users are homeless. I don't know a single homeless person, but I know hundreds of drug users. I don't think the very narrow population that are homeless are making the absolutely insane amounts of money change hands every year on drugs either. Oil, weapons and drugs are the largest traded goods markets in the world.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:19 AM   #41
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A loft designed on creative enhancers:

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Old 12-11-2012, 02:20 AM   #42
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I need a new hip hop album to go with my late night drug reading!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:29 AM   #43
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The fallacy with this type of argument here is two-fold:

1) Certain people in society don't know how to protect themselves. By making the highly harmful drugs illegal and therefore unavailable, the government is trying to protect this particular group.

2) If the harm index is high, but the substance is not illegal, it will send the wrong message to enough people that despite the dangers, this is still something that they could experiment with. This point is sort of points back to point #1 in that certain people in society really don't know any better.

An imperfect analogy that I have just thought of is seat belts and helmet laws (for cars and bikes, respectively). Everybody knows the odds of surviving a car accident is dramatically higher if seatbelts / helmets are worn, just as people know heroin are highly dangerous. But if you don't make it illegal to not wear the seatbelt and helmets, the government (and society in general) is sending the wrong message to the general public, and a significantly larger portion of the population is gonna skip both the belt and the helmet. (The equivalent to this with heroin is, they are gonna try it because it isn't illegal.)

Also, suppose there are no seat belts nor helmet laws, and a person gets seriously hurt after an accident. Who is gonna foot the significantly higher medical bill to treat that person? And who will end up paying the costs of that significantly larger number of people getting hurt from not wearing seat belts / helmets?

The analogy extends to heroin and other highly harmful drugs.
A well structured response, but not compelling enough to dissuade me from my position.

If I've not misinterpreted your argument, you support maintaining the status quo approach to minimizing the impact of highly harmful drugs. A very difficult position to take, because the status quo achieves very little success at a massive cost.

In response to point 1:
I went to a very middle class high school in Langley. In that school, cocaine was readily available to anyone with the desire to experiment. I can only assume, given the high position of cocaine on a harm index that any other drug would have been available as well. An illegal status does not make a drug unavailable, as you suggest; at best, only slightly less conveniently available.

In response to point 2:
You suggest illegal status conveys a negative connotation, and that is sufficient to prevent a certain percentage of potential users from becoming users. I would suggest, it is an illegal, illicit status that sometimes draws a person to experimentation. I would also suggest, people would be aware of the highly harmful status of cocaine, crack, heroin, meth, whether they are legal or illegal, and that it is an awareness of the dangers that a drug presents that actually prevents a person from using.

Back to my original point:
By making all drugs legal significant cost savings would be realized, and they could be utilized for helping people who are currently dying of addiction unaided. The net result would be less suffering within our populous, and that's what we all seek to achieve.

I also have these thoughts... which aren't exactly politically correct... and have to do with natural selection being allowed to take place. I'll save those for another time though... since I even offend myself a bit with them.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:50 AM   #44
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:44 AM   #45
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #46
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I like the one designed sober. Needs a bit of an accent color, but its hot. The wood ceiling balances the concrete nicely.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:44 AM   #47
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:41 AM   #48
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Naturally, the majority of people otherwise inexperienced with highly dangerous drugs (such as heroin) will not experiment with it simply because it is decriminalized. But I am totally willing to bet that a large enough portion will -- especially teenagers. Teenagers, by their very nature, are still experimenting with all sorts of different aspects in life. Some try tobacco, some try alcohol, some try speeding, some try sex, some try gangs, some try weed. So what makes you think only an insignificant fraction of these kids will not try heroin if it is decriminalized?

Even for adults, we are prone to making wrong decisions at times. Some of us D&D. Some of us speed under unsafe conditions. Some of us make the wrong decisions when it comes to the oppsite gender and sex. The examples go on and on because by our very nature, humans are not perfect. So when it comes to substances that is known to be highly dangerous (such as heroin), we need to draw a line.
lol you're making a classical slippery slope argument which is easily debunked.

look at portugals heroin use before and after decriminalization - it stabilized and even decreased after

how old are you? you're just assuming that kids are retarded and will try it because its legal? you know how easy illegal drugs are to get right?

if a kid wants to try a harder drug, and i mean really wants to he will get access to it no matter its legality
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:16 PM   #49
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I agree with a lot of what you're saying but wanted to make a few corrections if I may

Alcohol IS physiologically addictive, and has LIFE THREATENING withdrawal symptoms. An alcoholic is more sure to die quitting cold turkey than any drug addict is, including heroin users.

Pot is a psychedelic (class of hallucinogen), but it's not a very strong one. In fact much of the experience on a psychedelic is how you feel/think, rather than visual hallucination.
Both points are excellent ones, and as I often do, I generalized in order to make a point.

I think a hair that we can split and (hopefully) find some common ground on is that Alcohol can create a physiological dependency, but that it's not immediately addictive in the same way that heroin, meth, and nicotine are. If you develop a psychological addiction and/or overuse it, your body becomes dependent on it.

When I think addictive substance, I think something that you use once or twice and then crave or suffer withdrawal symptoms. I totally agree, though, that once the dependency exists the body freaks out moreso than with some other drugs.

And yes, pot is a mild psychedelic, but since it is so mild and does send people on such harsh 'trips', I generally class it with alcohol. They're both drugs that people will often use to relax and unwind, generally without any harsh negative side effects (with exceptions; my mom got all paranoid when she smoked joints as a troublesome youth, and the hangovers I get can be fucking KILLER)

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I seriously doubt the largest segment of illicit drug users are homeless. I don't know a single homeless person, but I know hundreds of drug users. I don't think the very narrow population that are homeless are making the absolutely insane amounts of money change hands every year on drugs either. Oil, weapons and drugs are the largest traded goods markets in the world.
I agree, and again I typed while generalizing and not fleshing things out (and at o-dark-hundred this morning). When I said that, I was referring to things like the highly-addictive heroin, crack, meth and so on. And I realize that it is a giant generalization, and that there are lots of people functioning in society who use those drugs. But the people who are in the position to be 'recreational users' of these heavily addictive drugs are often those who have the means and resources to distract themselves or get help in kicking the habit. Homeless people are much more at risk to the continuing cycle of addiction/attempted rehab/relapse.


I apologize again if my positions previously were unclear; I sometimes end up using a dull butcher's blade for speech as opposed to the laser-sharp scalpel I intend.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:32 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme S View Post
And yes, pot is a mild psychedelic, but since it is so mild and does send people on such harsh 'trips', I generally class it with alcohol. They're both drugs that people will often use to relax and unwind, generally without any harsh negative side effects

I actually get a lot of energy from smoking pot. I always burn a big fatty right before 2 hours at the gym.
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