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Why is alcohol legal ?


KickMePlease
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One of the reasons why drugs are illegal and in my opinion the main reason is that they are a 
threat to society and cause unethical behavior of addicts or people using drugs occasionally, 
such as car accidents, home abuse, theft for drug funding, for drugs like meth, you may be bolder to rape or kill someone, 
upbringing disorders of children when parents are addicted, giving birth to handicapped children while the mother is pregnant 
and taking drugs or taking drugs before pregnancy etc. maybe I'm stupid but I really can't understand what makes alcohol less 
harmful to society than the rest of drugs, here in Poland it is very common alcohol using, 
its like culture if you don't drink you are strange, most families are brought up in pathologies, 
there are many accidents because the driver was drunk, I even have some friends who said they were beaten by their parents, 
one had a broken arm when his father got pissed, and beat him all over, one of them committed suicide. 

What are your thoughts? if you are for or against banning alcohol, if not why?
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Historically, it hasn't been effective to ban perception-altering substances. It makes people want them even more, it seems. And most people who use alcohol and drugs aren't addicted. Iirc, in the US alcohol addiction disorders affect about 1 in 12 for men, and 1 in 25 for women. Most people can use these substances without being a threat to their society, so perhaps addiction should be the focus rather than the substances themselves? Prohibition in the US would seem to suggest this, since the booze still flowed but made drinking even more dangerous by creating a black market for it. 

My latest solution for everything is early and regular childhood mental health checks paid for by universal healthcare programs.

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Posted (edited)

different governments have tried to ban alcohol, as well as other recreational drugs. Whatever the reasons given, there are underlying motives for such bans - mainly religious ones. These substances reduce inhibition. Civil obedience as well as moral righteousness rely heavily on suppression of 'base' or 'animal' impulses. Hedonism, loquacity, veracity, disrespect for authority - these are all threats to the social order. In societies with a very tight organization, conformity, demanding hierarchy, repression and exploitation, there is an inevitably high level of stress and frustration - the very factors most likely to drive people to drink and drugs. And since the lowest classes have the most stress and access to the poorest quality of escape chemicals, they tend also to have the highest rate of addiction and concomitant criminal behaviour. Since those governments are the least inclined to change the circumstances of their citizenry, they are the most likely to turn the law against the substances and people who use the substances.

But since rich and influential people can always circumnavigate the law and find access to whatever they want, the lawmakers themselves are not inconvenienced: they can wage an endless 'war on drugs' from underneath their parasols atop the battlements (figuratively).

Alcohol, othoh, if far too easy to make, and some of the home-made versions are lethal. https://earthsky.org/human-world/strange-brew-how-poorly-crafted-booze-can-make-you-sick-or-dead/ So, while the upper classes' refusal to abide by prohibition gave rise to a whole new system of organized crime to supply them with high quality booze, the working class had to make do with moonshine or similar, resulting in much loss of labour in the factories. The whole exercise proved unconscionably expensive and futile. At the time of repeal, and even when Nixon declared war on the disaffected voter blocs [marijuana] https://www.vera.org/news/fifty-years-ago-today-president-nixon-declared-the-war-on-drugs it was not so easy to make other mind-altering substances in one's kitchen. 

Whatever the law, the patterns of use, effect and enforcement remain pretty constant. But at least there is some tax revenue from alcohol to pay for it. 

Edited by Peterkin
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My two cents worth.....

Alcohol has been with us for eons and along with being pleasurable, is also a social necessity in this day and age. Most societies recognise those facts, but at the same time also publicise the effects and damage of drinking to excess, and especially drinking and driving. Drinking in moderation is the key.

Tobacco? Have never ever had a cigarette/cigar to my mouth, even as a hairy arse teenager. Yuk!!! And of course is now discouraged as probably cancer causing.

All other illegal drugs I am pretty ignorant about, and again, like tobacco, have never participated in indulging in such fantasies, although the opportunity did confront me once at about the age of 26....I politely declined. But am of the opinion in this day and age, that they all should remain illegal, as the consequences of taking them, and of overdosing is not condusive to one's well being, to put it mildly. And of course in this day and age again, why would we/should we, legalise anything that just adds more complications and problems to good living, and the problems that even the established, conventional alcohol can have when taken to excesses. My only exception of course is for medical reasons.

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13 minutes ago, beecee said:

Alcohol has been with us for eons and along with being pleasurable, is also a social necessity in this day and age. Most societies recognise those facts, but at the same time also publicise the effects and damage of drinking to excess, and especially drinking and driving. Drinking in moderation is the key.

So it's OK because it's a necessity, pleasurable, and we've been doing it a long time?

 

15 minutes ago, beecee said:

All other illegal drugs I am pretty ignorant about, and again, like tobacco, have never participated in indulging in such fantasies, although the opportunity did confront me once at about the age of 26....I politely declined. But am of the opinion in this day and age, that they all should remain illegal, as the consequences of taking them, and of overdosing is not condusive to one's well being, to put it mildly. And of course in this day and age again, why would we/should we, legalise anything that just adds more complications and problems to good living, and the problems that even the established, conventional alcohol can have when taken to excesses. My only exception of course is for medical reasons.

https://substanceabusepolicy.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13011-021-00394-7

Quote

Portugal decriminalized the public and private use, acquisition, and possession of all drugs in 2000; adopting an approach focused on public health rather than public-order priorities. Arguing that the Portuguese Drug Policy Model has not proven influential enough to emancipate drug use from the stigma that associates it either with crime or pathology, this article critically discusses the developments and current challenges the Portuguese drug policy confronts, namely the growing diversity of drug use patterns observed in Portugal as well as in Europe. To this end, international and national legal instruments concerning drugs and official local data were analysed. Despite encouraging results, conclusions indicate that these policies are marked by contradictions and ambiguities that have permeated its history since the very beginning, and modest ambitions, particularly regarding the implementation of harm reduction measures. 

Just making them illegal hasn't worked, same as with alcohol. Focusing on treating the addictions seems to bring better results.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

So it's OK because it's a necessity, pleasurable, and we've been doing it a long time?

Try banning religion, which is also pleasurable to many and been with us a long time.  The proper answer of course is that rightly or wrongly, alcohol is accepted, and  as long as we (society) educate the existng dangers of alcohol when taken to excess, particularly for our young.  I just don't accept in adding other potential harmful drugs to the legal list. Coffee and tea are also classed as drugs...sugar is another. We can go from the sublime to the ridiculous...

24 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Just making them illegal hasn't worked, same as with alcohol. Focusing on treating the addictions seems to bring better results.

I'm all for that. Treatment that is, and we have free adequate treatment centres in Australia. And while being illegal hasn't worked, I still believe being illegal has deterred many anyway. I also accept that "being illegal" (which they are in Australia) also brings out the criminal opportunist to take advantage of that illegality, which ironically speaking, validates another point I was making to a couple of others, re evil/misfits/criminals/wrong doers, being part  of any society.

I will add though, being an old bastard, that I maybe stuck in my old traditional ways, but equally, I do not see any advantage, particularly for our young, in legalising any of the drugs currently illegal. That can send a message, that it is OK to do them.

Edited by beecee
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Posted (edited)

Why is alcohol legal?

Since it is entrenched socially and is an established production industry it's a big money maker.

It's a painkiller, a euphoriant.

It encourages philosophizing.

In my opinion ethanol makes you deranged metabolically and probably hurts the brain -- if there's other weakness in the metabolic constitution -- function at low levels, before the damage we see accrue in the liver from having to process it to metabolites assuming inordinate levels over time.

Your post is a little strange on the "color commentary" about beatings and what not... but I suppose you round it out as alcohol should be illegal like these other drugs, because look at all the havoc they wreak.

I would agree with some points on societies restricting use, but also that enforced restriction seems to create a response of rebellion: don't tell me what I can or cannot do. Counter-revolt by the Libertarian streak against the Nanny state.

16 hours ago, Phi for All said:

My latest solution for everything is early and regular childhood mental health checks paid for by universal healthcare programs.

Whose latest grift?

Edited by NTuft
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In any kind of representative government, where consent of the governed is present, it's a matter of enough of the populace wanting it to be legal. 

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16 hours ago, beecee said:

Try banning religion, which is also pleasurable to many and been with us a long time.

No whataboutisms, red herrings, or strawmen, please.

16 hours ago, beecee said:

The proper answer of course is that rightly or wrongly, alcohol is accepted, and  as long as we (society) educate the existng dangers of alcohol when taken to excess, particularly for our young.  I just don't accept in adding other potential harmful drugs to the legal list.

I really don't like this stance, with a foot on either side of a line. Education is great for alcohol, but you want to simply ban other mood alterers instead of using what you agree would work with alcohol?!

16 hours ago, beecee said:

Coffee and tea are also classed as drugs...sugar is another. We can go from the sublime to the ridiculous...

Well I didn't, but you just did. Please stop.

 

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17 hours ago, beecee said:

I just don't accept in adding other potential harmful drugs to the legal list.

All drugs are potentially harmful. It just depends on the dose. People have died from drinking too much water. An inherent harmful/not harmful demarcation doesn't exist.

 

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Nobody is going to solve the recreational drug problem. People use them for different reasons: religious ecstasy, introspection, sexual pleasure, conviviality and escape. It only the last category that renders these substances (I exclude narcotics, the concentrated opioids and barbiturates) dangerous is that people don't just desire escape - they crave it and need it. Some form of pain is making their life difficult to bear in sobriety. The more kind of pain we could eliminate from people's lives - prevent, rather than treat - the fewer would seek oblivion or fantasy, and end up in addiction. As long as people have crappy lives, they'll do whatever they can to leave those crappy lives - for an hour or eternity.

Education is a good start; life-long health care is a prerequisite; social and economic environment are major factors.  

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I wonder why alcohol which is a heavy / middle drug is legal and light drugs are banned such as LSD, mushrooms, 
weed, also the country could earn a lot to sell MJ, Phi saw that banning is not a solution, people will continue to take, 
of course but in smaller amounts, if it is not common, there will be no such damage as to the rebellion, 
I don't know, alcohol is deeply rooted in culture, people can perceive it not as something for their good but as another 
"muzzle", there is also the second the option that they can accept it, after some time and after protests, 
as it was in Poland a few months ago when the government wanted to tighten abortion laws, every day there were several 
thousand women on the streets in each large city, especially near the parliament, but later it was Covivivivi, 
now this things with Ukraine, and peoples stopped talking about it, the topic is almost completely dead. Anyway I think that 
prohibition will not come back, it would be too controversial, unless alcohol is something completely normal everywhere, 
who even care about people who suffer from it, as I mentioned, pathological families are very common in Poland, neighbors will 
not even call the police because they will not After all, it is more important to run away and have fun at the party.



and of course that dont solve all of this problems, peoples be using drugs even when they be illegall but well maybe in small
amounts, so the problem will be smaller ???



and of course alcohol is not a problem in itself, but there is a problem in people, but they don't seem to care about hurting 
other people, they just want fun and escape. that's how I see it.



I'm sorry that I write such a font, but I write from the translator that it will be just faster than looking all 
the time so that I can translate one word every moment.

 
 
 
 
 
5 hours ago, swansont said:

In any kind of representative government, where consent of the governed is present, it's a matter of enough of the populace wanting it to be legal. 

this dont work like that, maybe in Us where the govermnet has more respect for peoples

 
9 hours ago, NTuft said:

Your post is a little strange on the "color commentary" about beatings and what not... but I suppose you round it out as alcohol should be illegal like these other drugs, because look at all the havoc they wreak.

yeah that's what I wanted to emphasize by this, but what do you mean saying this strange "color commentary"?

oh now i know what to do to make the font normal heh

 

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1 hour ago, KickMePlease said:

I wonder why alcohol which is a heavy / middle drug is legal and light drugs are banned such as LSD

You consider LSD a 'lite drug' like pot.  That is crazy talk...

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5 hours ago, Phi for All said:

No whataboutisms, red herrings, or strawmen, please.

Thanx, Green Plus+

5 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Well I didn't, but you just did. Please stop.

again, Thanks 

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Every government has its own attitude to each kind of drug. These attitudes are influenced by culture, religion, history, sometimes by pressure from bigger countries and trading partners. They have different reasons for the laws they pass and the laws they enforce (not necessarily the same) and how strict and harsh the enforcement is. Some judge a substance more harmful than it is, simply because it's alien to their culture. Sometimes they pass a law - or reinstate an old one that had been neglected by mutual consent - in order to assert their authority, to demonstrate moral rectitude, to signal a reform, to mollify or intimidate an identifiable political faction.

There is no universal or general situation: peoples, their governments and their challenges are all different.

Yes, toxins are bad for human physiology. But then so are a lot of other things we are expected to survive. Governments have various degrees of control over the people's actions, and vice versa. 

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11 hours ago, NTuft said:

Whose latest grift?

An amalgam of what works around the world. In the US, start with a national healthcare insurance, heavily regulate the role of private companies involved to keep the focus on care and not profits, and make sure people are educated about their mental and physical health from a young age, helping them understand the consequences being in an altered chemical state can have on them.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

this how looks most of stats whenever you look

 

Those charts represent total harms, yes? Not per capita? So this just means, the more people use something, the more harm it can do. Are any prescription drugs included? 

Edited by Peterkin
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1 minute ago, Peterkin said:

Those charts represent total harms, yes? Not per capita? So this just means, the more people use something, the more harm it can do. Are any prescription drugs included? 

No, the values are normalized, otherwise they would not make sense. Also, it is more of a rank score. They used multiple factors, such as mortality, dependence, impairment of cognitive functioning, etc. and the idea was to create scores that reflect their relative relationship to each other. I.e. a drug with double the mortality would receive double the score on that metric. For some, data are more lacking than others and also are shifting. Depending on what you look out for, cannabis has been shifting up and down over the years and depending on cohorts, for example. Long-term data are going to be quite interesting in that regard.

That being said, certain harms could increase once the use increases. However, that is not always the case. For example, legalization of cannabis did increase hospitalizations in certain regions, but it was not an universal effect and the trend stabilized within a relatively short time frame.

Conversely, if alcohol was not such an accepted social drug, harms, especially those to others, would be massively mitigated. These types of rankings are therefore somewhat tricky, but almost every way folks look at it, it is clear that the top spot belongs to alcohol by a fair margin.

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6 hours ago, Phi for All said:

I really don't like this stance, with a foot on either side of a line. Education is great for alcohol, but you want to simply ban other mood alterers instead of using what you agree would work with alcohol?!

The other "mood alterers" are already banned, and have been for ages. I've given my reasons why I believe that to be morally correct and I stand by that. Sometimes being in the middle, gives one a better view of the extremes that may exist both left and right.

7 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Well I didn't, but you just did. Please stop.

Perhaps I did. So let's be clear...are you saying alcohol should be banned? or that other already illegal drugs should be legalised and made available? Or are you questioning that coffee and tea are also drugs? I'm saying I am with the status quo, as is in my country.

 

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16 minutes ago, beecee said:

The other "mood alterers" are already banned, and have been for ages. I've given my reasons why I believe that to be morally correct and I stand by that. Sometimes being in the middle, gives one a better view of the extremes that may exist both left and right.

I fail to see how this is the middle-ground. At best, it is inconsistent. We know that alcohol does great harm and we gave up on banning due to combination of cultural reasons, law enforcement challenges (including criminalizing large swathes of the population) and the realization that drug addiction are more effectively treated by health intervention rather than by legal enforcement. The opioid crisis which was not limited to the "fringes" of society anymore but also affected "good suburban" folks, further reinforced these findings. 

But for some reasons, we should just accept alcohol  (which, again results in more deaths than any other drugs, education or not) because society accepts it? That sounds like circular logic, really.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, CharonY said:

But for some reasons, we should just accept alcohol  (which, again results in more deaths than any other drugs, education or not) because society accepts it? That sounds like circular logic, really.

I'm not at all denying that alcohol has resulted in far more deaths then other illegal drugs. But it is legal, and available to all and sundry and being the "social necessity" that it is, is certainly impossible to ban. Plus I like my weekly six pack of VB!

If other current illegal drugs were made legal and equally available, who is to say that deaths from those drugs will not sky rocket? That is my reasoning. Why add more temptation particularly for our young? It may appear circular and perhaps even hypocritical, but the adverse  consequences it seems to me anyway,  far outweigh the circular and possibly hypocritical aspects. Like I said, I have not even ever had a cigarette to my mouth and never partaken in any other illegal drugs. And again, how far do we go into supposedly banning other stuff like coffee and tea?

"Tea contains a poisonous substance called tannin and coffee contains a poisonous substance called caffeine. When these stimulants go inside our body, they directly go to the area of our brain and they control the two glands concerned with our sleeping." WIKI

Damn!! I almost forgot!!! I do partake in another "legal" drug, although now generally only at ceremonial and traditional Fijian gatherings and turnouts. 🤤 It is the traditional Fijian drink named yaqona or commonly called kava. It is though seen as non adicitve and is more soporific than anything else...and legal of course!

 

Edited by beecee
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CharonY said:

No, the values are normalized, otherwise they would not make sense. Also, it is more of a rank score. They used multiple factors, such as mortality, dependence, impairment of cognitive functioning, etc. and the idea was to create scores that reflect their relative relationship to each other. I.e. a drug with double the mortality would receive double the score on that metric. For some, data are more lacking than others and also are shifting. Depending on what you look out for, cannabis has been shifting up and down over the years and depending on cohorts, for example. Long-term data are going to be quite interesting in that regard.

Indeed. Also, I wonder about the reporting - how reliable the numbers are. Much remains unknown. 

I don't question that alcohol is both the most abused and most accepted of those substances. But I don't see the remedy - not even a partial one - in prohibition. Outlawing things that people want simply drives commerce in those things underground; it feeds crime, secrecy and desperation - not to mention misappropriation and corruption in law enforcement.

It might, however be possible to legislate a better distribution of substance use. 

Legalizing marijuana legal is a start, but as long as it costs vastly more than wine and spirits, nothing will change. Legalizing magic mushrooms and peyote will not divert a noticeable population from alcohol, unless there is sufficient, affordable supply, and even then, it would take time. I think we're stuck with alcohol, and the vast tax revenues from its overconsumption, because we just can't offer the users a viable alternative.

Edited by Peterkin
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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I don't question that alcohol is both the most abused and most accepted of those substances. But I don't see the remedy - not even a partial one - in prohibition.

I don't believe we could (or should) ban alcohol as I am pretty sure we would have full scale riots on our hands to deal with. So yes, you are essentially correct.

48 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Outlawing things that people want simply drives commerce in those things underground; it feeds crime, secrecy and desperation - not to mention misappropriation and corruption in law enforcement.

I don't believe that this would ever have any chance of eventuating, as the general rioting, would deter any government from ever attempting to ban alcohol.

48 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I think we're stuck with alcohol, and the vast tax revenues from its overconsumption, because we just can't offer the users a viable alternative.

It's far more powerful then tax revenues from alcohol, as it is now (and has been for many many years) a well established social necessity, that is as much a part of society, as is eating.

48 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Legalizing marijuana legal is a start, but as long as it costs vastly more than wine and spirits, nothing will change. Legalizing magic mushrooms and peyote will not divert a noticeable population from alcohol,

 We all sit here pontificating about the detrimental side of alcohol and banning it, then in the next instant, we pontificate about adding even more detrimental drugs to the list. Makes no sense to me. Plus why would you need to divert people from alcohol, by making "magic mushrooms and peyote" (Don't even know what peyote is) How do you know by legalising this stuff, and making it more available like alcohol, that the detrimental effects and death from it will not sky rocket? I prefer to stay with the devil we know, considering the possible consequences.

Edited by beecee
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