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The war against drugs

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Re: The war against drugs

Postby supporttheunderdog » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:15 pm

cyprusgrump wrote:
Jerry wrote:Grump, Perhaps I should have said, drugs, what's the point, there are other much less harmful ways to enjoy oneself. Most people who drink and gamble are not addicts, smoking is addictive and harmful that's why the government runs campaigns to help us quit. So let's legalize drugs and then run campaigns to restrict it? The problem with any form of intoxication is that the user may put himself or others in danger through loss of control. Where I live a couple of lads recently got stoned after taking "legal highs”, some sort of horse medication, they were discovered drowned in a local pond. Experts say it can cause agitation, a faster heart rate, higher blood pressure and unsteadiness on the feet.

I wonder how safe or productive society would be if drug taking became as popular as drinking and smoking.


Many would argue that alcohol is much more damaging than taking drugs...

Again, it is the small minority of alcohol users that abuse and or become addicted to it - often causing a great deal of harm to themselves and others in the process.

You've already shown us that no matter how much the government nannies, restricts, bans, taxes, polices or otherwise tells us what we can put in our bodies, people will always find ways of getting their 'high' - be it alcohol, gambling, smoking or drugs. It is no business of the government to tell us what we can eat, drink, smoke or otherwise put into our bodies.

It simply makes no sense to spend billions fighting the inevitable - money that would better be spent treating those that have a serious addition problem. Indeed, (again to use your earlier example) if we taxed those millions of people that were able to use drugs responsibly the whole thing would be self-funding (as you pointed out with alcohol and cigarette harm).

In the UK at the moment (as part of a programme to 'denormalise' alcohol) they are calling for a 'minimum unit price'. This will merely punish those that drink responsibly and not restrict those who do not. Criminals will step in to provide counterfeit booze which is not safe to drink and will be available on the street corner to those who would be otherwise unable to obtain it... Sound familiar...?


Criminals are already stepping in in the UK and making dodgy booze with Vodka factories: there was even a case recently where they managed to blow themselves up due to a combiantion of vapour and an ignition source.

In Cyprus they are reportedly flogging dodgy baccy down in Paphos: just glad I am not a smoker.
Last edited by supporttheunderdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby Jerry » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:32 pm

Grump, criminals will step in to undercut the price of taxed drugs just like they do with booze and fags - so the war on even more poisonous fake drugs goes on but funded by taxed legal ones. The poor buy the poison, who cares? The better off drug user is able to make a choice and is safe with the knowledge that his taxes may deny others their more dangerous pleasure.
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby cyprusgrump » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:34 pm

supporttheunderdog wrote:
cyprusgrump wrote:
Jerry wrote:Grump, Perhaps I should have said, drugs, what's the point, there are other much less harmful ways to enjoy oneself. Most people who drink and gamble are not addicts, smoking is addictive and harmful that's why the government runs campaigns to help us quit. So let's legalize drugs and then run campaigns to restrict it? The problem with any form of intoxication is that the user may put himself or others in danger through loss of control. Where I live a couple of lads recently got stoned after taking "legal highs”, some sort of horse medication, they were discovered drowned in a local pond. Experts say it can cause agitation, a faster heart rate, higher blood pressure and unsteadiness on the feet.

I wonder how safe or productive society would be if drug taking became as popular as drinking and smoking.


Many would argue that alcohol is much more damaging than taking drugs...

Again, it is the small minority of alcohol users that abuse and or become addicted to it - often causing a great deal of harm to themselves and others in the process.

You've already shown us that no matter how much the government nannies, restricts, bans, taxes, polices or otherwise tells us what we can put in our bodies, people will always find ways of getting their 'high' - be it alcohol, gambling, smoking or drugs. It is no business of the government to tell us what we can eat, drink, smoke or otherwise put into our bodies.

It simply makes no sense to spend billions fighting the inevitable - money that would better be spent treating those that have a serious addition problem. Indeed, (again to use your earlier example) if we taxed those millions of people that were able to use drugs responsibly the whole thing would be self-funding (as you pointed out with alcohol and cigarette harm).

In the UK at the moment (as part of a programme to 'denormalise' alcohol) they are calling for a 'minimum unit price'. This will merely punish those that drink responsibly and not restrict those who do not. Criminals will step in to provide counterfeit booze which is not safe to drink and will be available on the street corner to those who would be otherwise unable to obtain it... Sound familiar...?


Criminals are already stepping in and making dodgy booze - there was even a case recently where they managed to blow themselves up due to a combiantion of vapour and an ignition source.


Exactly!

See also: Smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes.

It stands to reason - you don't even have to ban these things, just raise the price with punitive taxes to the point where criminals can make a profit on them.

And, as I've said above - criminals don't care about quality or who they sell to...

It is amazing that so long after Prohibition our politicians have still not learned the lessons from it....
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby cyprusgrump » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:40 pm

Jerry wrote:Grump, criminals will step in to undercut the price of taxed drugs just like they do with booze and fags - so the war on even more poisonous fake drugs goes on but funded by taxed legal ones. The poor buy the poison, who cares? The better off drug user is able to make a choice and is safe with the knowledge that his taxes may deny others their more dangerous pleasure.


Only if the government places punitive taxes on them.

Like cigarettes - £7+ a pack in the UK now???? Almost all of it tax. So surprise, surprise the man with the van can sell the cheaper - either real ones imported from places like Greece or counterfeit ones from china. he doesn't care.

If taxes on cigarettes were reduced to more reasonable levels people would be happy to pay the tax in the knowledge of getting the 'real' product - even if more expensive than 'the man with a van'.

It is exactly the same argument.
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby Jerry » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:02 pm

But Grump it's a vicious circle, reduce the tax on fags and booze = more users, addicts (call them what you will) = higher cost to NHS and saturday night policing. Once a criminal has established his business he will always find ways to undercut safe taxed booze and fags especially if made in China - at last revenge for the Opium Wars. :lol:
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby cyprusgrump » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Jerry wrote:But Grump it's a vicious circle, reduce the tax on fags and booze = more users, addicts (call them what you will) = higher cost to NHS and saturday night policing. Once a criminal has established his business he will always find ways to undercut safe taxed booze and fags especially if made in China - at last revenge for the Opium Wars. :lol:


That doesn't follow at all I'm afraid...

If you look at alcohol for instance - some of the countries with the most expensive alcohol have the biggest problems with alcoholism. Likewise, places like France with cheap booze have few problems. It simply doesn't follow that if you reduce the cost of something people will consume more - if it did, the entire population of France would be lying in the streets surrounded by empty wine bottles....

What does follow is that if you increase the price beyond a certain point you open the door to criminals that sell sub-standard product with no restrictions or limitations.

I don't see how the drugs cartels could continue to compete with legitimate organised businesses that can advertise their product, have high-street outlets and probably in reality undercut them (given the tax was set at reasonable levels).

Imagine the difference in distribution costs between the two business models: -

Legitimate: Farm product, ship to port, put in container, remove product from container at destination.
Criminals: Produce product in concealed farm, find dozens of different routes to hide your product from the authorities including hiding your product in others, paying mules to swallow condoms full of your product etc.
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby Jerry » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:52 pm

Wrong about France Grump.

"But in fact these cultural models are totally false. In the UK, alcoholism is more visible. In France, it stays hidden. But the levels are the same."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/se ... ng-problem
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby Schnauzer » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:57 pm

cyprusgrump wrote: It is no business of the government to tell us what we can eat, drink, smoke or otherwise put into our bodies.
[/quote]

For as much as one might admire your tenacious support for the legalization of drugs (and 'Tenacity' is a quality to be admired in any circumstance) I do feel that the above statement (taken out of context........... sorry for that) weakens your position since it MUST be the business of government if their function is to be responsibly concerned for the welfare of those they govern.

Dealing with the awful consequences of 'Addiction' (regardless of it's source) is by it's very nature an extremely difficult problem for any governing body, the real issue for those empowered, has more to do with preventing the addiction than depriving the pleasure to those who advocate the use of drugs.

My personal view on the subject of 'Smoking' (cigarettes) might well be howled down when I submit the following:-

"if it be a proven fact that such smoking is as harmful to health as is suggested, then 'Tobacco' should be banned altogether", even though as I am myself a smoker (and have experienced the pleasures of the occasional 'Spliff) I may feel deprived if such action was taken. However, disregarding my own comfort, if such action was beneficial to the next generation, I would consider it a duty (easier to perform since I really wish I could give up the habit) rather than an infringement to my liberty.

Unfortunately, when dealing with 'Highs', 'Buzzes' and other such feelings of euphoria, those who wish to 'Ascend' have discovered a variety of methods to do so, 'Solvents', 'Pills' , 'Prescribed Medicines' and even 'Cough Mixtures' to mention but a few, SO, where does a government draw the line unless they take the harder course to 'Restrict', 'Ban', 'Tax' or 'Police' that which they consider unacceptable in terms of the welfare of their charges ?.

I do not think that the question of 'Revenues' or 'Expenditure' is foremost in the minds of those who seek solutions to the problems we are discussing, there are so many other considerations and, in any case, everything has to be paid for and ALL expenses by governments are usually justified by them in one way or another, even though much is wasted from time to time.

No doubt the 'Revenues' from the sale of 'Tobacco' and 'Alcohol' are an important source of income to governments, perhaps those revenues contribute to or even wholly finance the 'War against Drugs' (an unfortunate title) but, I still seriously doubt that the 'Harder Elements' will ever be legally available.

I still think that 'Education' is the most sensible course to take, ultimately 'No demand' equals 'No supply'. :wink:
Last edited by Schnauzer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby cyprusgrump » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:03 pm

Jerry wrote:Wrong about France Grump.

"But in fact these cultural models are totally false. In the UK, alcoholism is more visible. In France, it stays hidden. But the levels are the same."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/se ... ng-problem


Exactly, your quote and this one: -

Though the French are often seen, and see themselves, as a nation of moderate drinkers, certainly compared with Britons, statistics reveal similar levels of alcohol consumption and dependence.


Prove my point.

Although booze is cheaper in France, the proportion of people that face drinking problems are the same. In the UK there is £1.90 duty on a bottle of wine plus 20% VAT on the duty and the wine. In France it is 3p.

If, as you claimed, more people consumed the product if it got cheaper you would expect France to have a significantly higher problem with booze than the UK.

As it is, your article makes it clear that the ratios are the same.
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Re: The war against drugs

Postby Jerry » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:09 pm

cyprusgrump wrote:
Jerry wrote:Wrong about France Grump.

"But in fact these cultural models are totally false. In the UK, alcoholism is more visible. In France, it stays hidden. But the levels are the same."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/se ... ng-problem


Exactly, your quote and this one: -

Though the French are often seen, and see themselves, as a nation of moderate drinkers, certainly compared with Britons, statistics reveal similar levels of alcohol consumption and dependence.


Prove my point.

Although booze is cheaper in France, the proportion of people that face drinking problems are the same. In the UK there is £1.90 duty on a bottle of wine plus 20% VAT on the duty and the wine. In France it is 3p.

If, as you claimed, more people consumed the product if it got cheaper you would expect France to have a significantly higher problem with booze than the UK.

As it is, your article makes it clear that the ratios are the same.



Err no, this was the wrong bit,

"Likewise, places like France with cheap booze have few problems. It simply doesn't follow that if you reduce the cost of something people will consume more - if it did, the entire population of France would be lying in the streets surrounded by empty wine bottles...."
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