Ganja

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Re: Ganja

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:32 pm

kingink wrote:THC is sensory altering and may be habit forming, but so is caffeine. Should it be illegal?


Caffeine is habit-forming, but it is a stimulant, and therefore does not pose a serious threat to drivers (given that it decreases reaction time and improves psychomotor response, whereas THC, as Patricoo has also pointed out, has the opposite effect).

kingink wrote:If marijuana were legalized it would be treated the same as alcohol-no smoking and driving, the need to smoke in a private or designated place, and age restrictions would be put on it.


I would hope so, but given the rhetoric the pro-legalisation lobby is fond of using, I remain sceptical that they would be as accommodating to PH&S concerns.
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
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Re: Ganja

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:18 am

From the 2012 US Presidential Election discussion thread:

agga wrote:i think that one of the very best things the federal government could do to help the situation of poor americans, especially of poor blacks and hispanics, would be to end the drug war and decriminalize drugs. don't see congressional republicans going in for this, though...


As long as the US continues backing Central and South American governments friendly to or ineffectual against the big drug cartels (like the Cali Cartel in Colombia, to give just one example, with whom the DEA has a long history of cooperation to advance US geopolitical interests), as long as we continue pushing 'free trade' with these nations, and as long as the US military keeps supporting the heroin warlords in Northern Afghanistan against the Pashtun, the very idea of a 'War on Drugs' is laughable. What we have at this point is not a 'War on Drugs', but a War on Some Classes of People Who Happen to Possess Some Sorts of Drugs. And that war is being perpetuated by the influence of privately-run, for-profit prisons which routinely neglect the human dignity of their inmates.

In short, we have a ghastly mess.

It strikes me that the people who are calling for an end to the fictitious 'War on Drugs' are likewise engaging in the sort of wishful thinking which comes from inventing a mighty demon lord which needs to be slain; when in fact we are dealing with a broad assortment of minor imps, most of them lying in the other direction. An end to the fictitious 'War on Drugs' will require a reassessment of our foreign policy along realist lines, one which does not seek to assert political or economic hegemony over the countries which are producing drugs.

But even if I don't think certain drugs ought to be legal, I completely agree that we need a drastic revision in our enforcement of current drug laws - the outcomes of the current regime are quite intolerable.
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
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Re: Ganja

Unread postby agga » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:04 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:It strikes me that the people who are calling for an end to the fictitious 'War on Drugs' are likewise engaging in the sort of wishful thinking which comes from inventing a mighty demon lord which needs to be slain;


like the DEA? we did invent that one, and it does need to be slain. it's federal law that means more than a million people, predominantly from the underclass, are jailed every year for drug offenses.

WeiWenDi wrote:An end to the fictitious 'War on Drugs' will require a reassessment of our foreign policy along realist lines, one which does not seek to assert political or economic hegemony over the countries which are producing drugs.


if drug use were decriminalized in the US, it would be much harder to justify certain types of international activities by the government, wouldn't it?

also, how is it fictitious? objective of the war on drugs may be qualified as fictitious, but the war itself? i don't understand.

WeiWenDi wrote:But even if I don't think certain drugs ought to be legal, I completely agree that we need a drastic revision in our enforcement of current drug laws - the outcomes of the current regime are quite intolerable.


well, a large segment of the population tolerates them just fine, because it's specific segments of the population that suffer, not everyone. and, my original point was that keeping millions of people - disproportionately poor minorities - in prison or in some other level of the criminal justice system serves to keep them poor, and to criminalize other aspects of their lives, and to limit their opportunities. so, ending this system would reduce poverty, reduce crime, and increase opportunities for the same people.

it might also have good effects on other countries, but i think that these are contingent on what happens in the US.
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Re: Ganja

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:03 pm

agga wrote:like the DEA? we did invent that one, and it does need to be slain. it's federal law that means more than a million people, predominantly from the underclass, are jailed every year for drug offenses.


That requires not an end to the DEA, but a change to the enforcement codes of the federal law, no?

agga wrote:if drug use were decriminalized in the US, it would be much harder to justify certain types of international activities by the government, wouldn't it?


You think so? They hadn't had much problem justifying the same sorts of political chicanery, cloak-and-dagger games and undermining of democratic governments well before Nixon. American imperialism didn't begin with George Bush Sr. involving the CIA in the War on Drugs. Certainly the War on Drugs makes it easier to justify certain international actions by the US government, but the inverse doesn't quite ring true to me - imperialism will always have other excuses to fall back on.

agga wrote:also, how is it fictitious? objective of the war on drugs may be qualified as fictitious, but the war itself? i don't understand.


Basically, that was my meaning. The objective of the so-called War on Drugs is fictitious, ergo the war itself is a fiction, at the very least wrongly defined. Much like the much-vaunted War on Terror, which is basically a war against various violent political groups we do not like, while others, equally violent (like the MEK) get a free pass.

agga wrote:and, my original point was that keeping millions of people - disproportionately poor minorities - in prison or in some other level of the criminal justice system serves to keep them poor, and to criminalize other aspects of their lives, and to limit their opportunities. so, ending this system would reduce poverty, reduce crime, and increase opportunities for the same people.


It strikes me that you can achieve the same results by outlawing private prisons and refusing to patronise the ones which do not close.

And you don't have the side effect of entrenching organised crime the way the Netherlands has. If the War on Drugs were to end tomorrow, I see no reason to believe that the primary suppliers in South America wouldn't still be the Cali Cartel, which would still be an instrument of US geopolitics. Likewise with the cartels in Mexico.
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
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Re: Ganja

Unread postby agga » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:00 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:That requires not an end to the DEA, but a change to the enforcement codes of the federal law, no?


an end to most of it. make it a sub-bureau of the FBI.

WeiWenDi wrote:Certainly the War on Drugs makes it easier to justify certain international actions by the US government, but the inverse doesn't quite ring true to me - imperialism will always have other excuses to fall back on.


"certain types of" activities, not all. i think that the drug war is in many ways a last gasp of the US imperialist involvement in central american politics.

WeiWenDi wrote:It strikes me that you can achieve the same results by outlawing private prisons and refusing to patronise the ones which do not close.


i don't know about this. fewer private prisons might just mean more overcrowded public prisons, still with hundreds of thousands of prisoners who are there for trading illicit plant products. convicting people on the basis of possession or sale or receipt of drugs is a great way of restricting their future employment opportunities, introducing them to new types of criminals and possibly indebting them to criminal networks that they had never interacted with before, restriction of their political rights, etc - i.e. taking people who already, as members of the underclass, have a bad situation and making it worse.

i don't believe that privatization of prisons is a primary driver of incarceration rate, or of the consequences of incarceration.

WeiWenDi wrote:And you don't have the side effect of entrenching organised crime the way the Netherlands has. If the War on Drugs were to end tomorrow, I see no reason to believe that the primary suppliers in South America wouldn't still be the Cali Cartel, which would still be an instrument of US geopolitics. Likewise with the cartels in Mexico.


i'm sure that decriminalization of drugs will introduce new problems as it solves old ones. but jailing huge numbers of people and enforcing the existence of a violent criminal underground in this country, above and beyond the level at which it might exist in different situations, does not seem to be solving any problems at all.
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Re: Ganja

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:38 am

agga wrote:an end to most of it. make it a sub-bureau of the FBI.


That's a good idea, actually. Don't give it any enforcement power abroad, and they might manage to not screw things up further.

agga wrote:"certain types of" activities, not all. i think that the drug war is in many ways a last gasp of the US imperialist involvement in central american politics.


A last gasp? I wonder, did that American-supported and -sponsored coup d'etat in Honduras back in '09 have anything to do with the War on Drugs? What about the consistent American animosity toward Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales? Would these things just simply go away if we called off the War on Drugs? Colour me sceptical or cynical as you wish, but you'll have a hard time convincing me that the War on Drugs is the root of these forms of involvement in Central and South American politics, let alone any kind of 'last gasp'.

agga wrote:i don't know about this. fewer private prisons might just mean more overcrowded public prisons, still with hundreds of thousands of prisoners who are there for trading illicit plant products... i don't believe that privatization of prisons is a primary driver of incarceration rate, or of the consequences of incarceration.


The private prison system exacerbates this problem in two ways. One - it provides a readily-accessible outlet for the government to continue to imprison massive numbers of people. Two - it keeps the prisoners well out of the public eye. With the exception of a few dedicated whistleblowers and activists (like these guys and these guys), very few people are interested in what goes on in the private prisons, and no institutionalised checks are there to ensure that the basic human dignities of the inmates are respected. As a matter of fact, whether or not you believe it, the private prison system in the US actually was specifically designed to accommodate the expansion of the inmate population resulting from the early implementation of the 'War on Drugs' policies (see here); without it, the policies of the War on Drugs will become untenable, and will be either reworked or rescinded.

agga wrote:i'm sure that decriminalization of drugs will introduce new problems as it solves old ones.


That is decidedly euphemistic.

agga wrote:but jailing huge numbers of people and enforcing the existence of a violent criminal underground in this country, above and beyond the level at which it might exist in different situations, does not seem to be solving any problems at all.


I agree. But you seem to be advocating a false dichotomy: either I have to be in favour of the status quo, or I have to be in favour of decriminalising drugs. I take a rather more nuanced stance - we can make reforms of drug laws that do not place such a heavy burden on the end users (and end up creating this criminal underclass), but which also do not allow for the entrenchment and institutionalisation of organised crime under a legal drugs regime (which is what happened in the Netherlands).
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
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