Last Update: 08 May 00
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REPLY #12 TO
(R) I totally disagree with you on this topic. I value personal freedom so highly that any attempt by some authority to pass laws 'for my own good' is utterly repugnant to me.
(MB) I think you're misunderstanding my main objection to legalization of drugs. I have little problem with allowing people to do whatever they want to themselves. My concern is for the deleterious effects that private drug use has upon other members of the general public and their property. It's very similar to agreeing with laws against drunk driving. If you want to stay home and get drunk, I have little problem with that. But, once the drunk gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he puts others at high risk. You may see laws against drug use as an invasion of your personal freedoms. I see them as a way to protect the public. While it's also true that you would personally be better off for not using drugs, I don't believe that this is something which requires legislation to enforce.
(R) You mention that you think drug use is an escape, and seem to think that all drug use results in intoxication. This is untrue. I used to smoke marijuana quite heavily and I never would consider the effect I got intoxication.
(MB) What would you call the effect? Remember that "intoxication" is not something which applies only to the overuse of alcohol. I doubt you're going to claim that you smoked marijuana only for the taste.
(R) I have been the victim of a few police actions against myself, for no other reason than I was in possesion of a plant that some 'big brother' decided I needed to be protected from.
(MB) Regardless of the personal spin you wish to put on it, the only reason you had any dealings with the police was because you were in open defiance of the law. The fact that you don't agree with the law does not protect you from its enforcement. Now, people can (and should) work to change laws for the better, but that doesn't give anybody the right to break laws and expect that the police won't become involved.
(R) I don't use any drugs or alchohol now, and I don't smoke either. This was a personal choice, and if I had to do it again I would still want to try all those illegal substances.
(MB) I doubt there are very many people who don't go through a period where they wish to experiment with various things. I also doubt that very many of these folks don't understand the legal status of those things they may wish to try. If we make choices, we must be prepared to accept the consequences of those choices.
(R) The best way to determine how harmful a particular drug is, is to follow a user of said drug around for a day, or a week, just to see what effect it had on their life.
(MB) Experience is always the best teacher. So, have you noticed that anybody's life is greatly and permanently improved through the use of illegal drugs?
(R) The biggest problem with making drugs illegal is the amount of lies and misconceptions that are perpetuated by the very people who profit from the war on drugs. The cops that bust people and get to keep all their possesions and wildly inflate the value of the drugs seized, do so because they directly benefit from doing so.
(MB) I think you're rather off-base here. The police don't keep the property seized in drug busts. It is sold at public auction and the drugs are destroyed. There is no doubt that there is a lot of bogus information going around, but neither side is innocent. As with almost any issue, each side puts its own favorable spin on things in order to advance its own agenda.
(R) I don't think that mood altering drugs are good, and I have made a personal decision to abstain. But when 'big brother' steps in and makes that decision for you, you are not a man. A man is capable of making his own decisions, and living with the consequences. To do any less, is to be a slave.
(MB) I don't think it's valid to go that far. Society and its government each have a vested interest in the welfare of the general public. Just because there are laws which say "Thou shalt not..." does not mean that those subject to the laws are slaves. We are all still free to live as we choose so long as those choices do not adversely impact the general public. There's an old truism that says that your right to freely swing your fist ends where my nose begins. It makes a very instructive point which applies to laws against certain drugs.
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