# Why is alcohol legal ?

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8 hours ago, Phi for All said:
8 hours ago, MigL said:

Would you suggest the same approach with gun violence in the US ?

Gun violence in the US is directly tied to poor education in that area. We're not even allowed to spend taxpayer funds on studies of gun violence in the US. Our leadership refuses to turn the light on, so how can we see what's wrong? If we had a healthcare system that supported early mental and physical health standards, and educated kids about the dangers we consider inherent in our society, I think many of our problems would disappear.

Sorry, I didn't communicate that very well ...

Both gun violence and drug use/abuse are big problems in the US.
Both are currently illegal.
Since keeping them illegal is not currently working, one proposed solution is to make drug use legal ( or decriminalized ) and focus resources on mitigating consequences of usage.
I'd like to explore using that approach for other currently illegal activities, such as gun violence.

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3 hours ago, beecee said:

if legalised could mean more experimentation and increased useages, and lessen one's reasonable judgement calls, and be a reson for further experimentation into even harder and more dangerous drugs.

Personally I'd rather decide for myself whether or not to smoke pot, even though that  might then make me have to decide for myself whether or not to do a harder drug. At some point we have quit depending on our mothers, um, I mean our government and fellow citizens, to make sure we don't touch the hot stove.

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Plus one, @zapatos.  It's worth noting that disproportionate arrests and convictions for pot possession among American Blacks was a longstanding pillar of the prison labor system in the South.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Personally I'd rather decide for myself whether or not to smoke pot, even though that  might then make me have to decide for myself whether or not to do a harder drug. At some point we have quit depending on our mothers, um, I mean our government and fellow citizens, to make sure we don't touch the hot stove.

But you also know very well, that everyone is not as strong willed as you. And myself of course, having never ever partaken in any illegal drug, and would still refuse to partake even if made legal. I simply don't nor ever will, need that type of crutch. I have a built in "contentment with life" metre and don't need artificial means. While someone as perceptive as yourself, may say, ahh but you drink beer, for the same reason! Not really, firstly I never drink alone outside my home, and in my home may indulge in 1 or 2 VB's while watching the footy, for taste and lubrication reasons. Like I say, a social necessity particularly with company.

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1 hour ago, TheVat said:

Plus one, @zapatos.  It's worth noting that disproportionate arrests and convictions for pot possession among American Blacks was a longstanding pillar of the prison labor system in the South.

And a long-standing voter-suppression system now.

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17 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

And a long-standing voter-suppression system now.

Always thought that, unlike Canada, prisoners in the US are allowed to vote, even though it is very difficult to do so.

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8 minutes ago, beecee said:

I simply don't nor ever will, need that type of crutch. I have a built in "contentment with life" metre and don't need artificial means

In that case you are only trying to limit what others can do for their own protection. I could see you trying to protect yourself from outside threats, but it seems rather paternalistic to decide you have to protect others from their own weak characters. My own opinion is that we should err on the side of allowing people to make their own decisions, rather than making those decisions for them.

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42 minutes ago, MigL said:

Always thought that, unlike Canada, prisoners in the US are allowed to vote, even though it is very difficult to do so.

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Across the country, people with felony — and sometimes even misdemeanor — convictions are subject to an array of disfranchisement laws that prevent them from voting, sometimes for life. More than 5 million Americans are barred from casting a ballot as a result, and countless more are de facto disfranchised due to confusion about and improper administration of voter disfranchisement policies.https://www.aclu.org/blog/smart-justice/sentencing-reform/right-vote-another-victim-war-drugs

They don't miss a trick!

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7 hours ago, beecee said:

Would that remain as is if legalised and readily and freely obtained?

Two things. First, legalized does not mean that it super easy obtained. There are levels of availability. In parts of Canada, for example alcohol can only by bought at licensed stores and not in regular supermarkets. Moreover, taxes make them extremely expensive. Not sure whether that limitation has any effect. But more to the point, cannabis is legal in Canada since 2018, and is closely monitored, in case you don't know.

7 hours ago, beecee said:

We err on the side of caution?

Unless we don't (see alcohol) for example.

7 hours ago, beecee said:

Here is where I differ. Whether less addicitve and/or toxic, if legalised could mean more experimentation and increased useages, and lessen one's reasonable judgement calls, and be a reson for further experimentation into even harder and more dangerous drugs.

The most common gateway drug remains alcohol. As long as that is easily available I do not see the argument as particularly strong. It should also be noted that there is no compelling data that shows that there is a gateway drug in the first place. Rather, there is a decent correlation between alcohol, cannabis and other drug abuses, but correlation is not causation. I.e. folks that are at risk to to hard drug abuse may start with what is easily available. Conversely, folks that occasionally use drugs recreationally (such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis etc.) do not seem to be necessarily more susceptible to hard drug abuse (i.e. a lot of folks drink, but do not become heroin addicts, for example).

6 hours ago, beecee said:

According to the World Health Organization, US has the lowest rate of alcohol dependence with only 1.93 per cent.

I am pretty sure that this cannot be correct. From I am fairly certain that I have read that the US had rather high levels of alcohol dependency, even among Western countries.

I checked out the WHO report https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241565639

From there the US has a 7.7 prevalence of alcohol dependence (compared to Canada 4.1, UK 1.4, Australia, 1.5, Russia 9.3 for example).

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37 minutes ago, CharonY said:

In parts of Canada, for example alcohol can only by bought at licensed stores and not in regular supermarkets. Moreover, taxes make them extremely expensive. Not sure whether that limitation has any effect.

This is largely true in Ontario, although recently some supermarkets and convenience stores have been licensed, fully or party (beer only or beer and wine). The down-side of restriction is inconvenience to the customer; the up-side is tight control. The Liquor Control Board outlets are very strict about age-checking and quality control. They also get some good deals on import items because of sheer size and volume, and in a position to feature local small breweries, wineries and distilleries. (and they've been very conscientious on Covid protocol) It's good, reliable tax revenue. Yes, most alcohilc beverages are more expensive than in the US, but I wouldn't say 'extremely' expensive.  (Cigarettes, now... )

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I think it is also the same in the prairies. If I compare prices with Europe, especially wine, it seems somewhat extreme. A part is of course the need for importing them, but prices were easily triple and more.

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5 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Yes, most alcohilc beverages are more expensive than in the US, but I wouldn't say 'extremely' expensive.

Depends on the threshold of "extreme" - I remember some sticker shock when I moved to Vancouver for my postdoc in the mid 90s. On top of the exchange rate sticker shock (Canadian dollar was a few cents lower than it is today, which kinda sucked for paying off the last of my student loan, which was in US currency)

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Why is alcohol legal?

Because the poor can make it anyway, and the rich has figured out how to make money out of it, despite poverty; much like gambling

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In the 90's, I could get a pretty decent box of plonk for $7US in LA, compared to$21CD in Ontario, (Leave us not speak of the beer). And our income was almost double there. We must have been mad to come back....

Anyway, it's still legal and somehow even the homeless and destitute manage to get an excess of it.

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9 hours ago, swansont said:

Depends on the threshold of "extreme"

Speaking of sticker shock ...

Most expensive Scotch I found at the duty free in the Toronto Airport was $9000. At the duty free in Rome I found one for the equivalent of almost$27000.

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17 hours ago, zapatos said:

In that case you are only trying to limit what others can do for their own protection. I could see you trying to protect yourself from outside threats, but it seems rather paternalistic to decide you have to protect others from their own weak characters. My own opinion is that we should err on the side of allowing people to make their own decisions, rather than making those decisions for them.

I'm not really trying to protect anyone in particular, I just prefer living in a society where we have the least number of problems possible, for my own selfish benefits and needs.

16 hours ago, CharonY said:

Two things. First, legalized does not mean that it super easy obtained. There are levels of availability. In parts of Canada, for example alcohol can only by bought at licensed stores and not in regular supermarkets. Moreover, taxes make them extremely expensive. Not sure whether that limitation has any effect. But more to the point, cannabis is legal in Canada since 2018, and is closely monitored, in case you don't know.

While you are correct with the first point and it does not mean necessarily easy to obtain, being legal in itself, will have more people willing to do the stuff I suggest.

One of my greatest surprises when visiting beautiful Japan a few years ago, was seeing alcohol for sale in all sorts of shops, and even vending machines! In Australia, all states, alcohol can only be bought in licence premises, period. Yes, it is also of course taxxed, but not to the extent that tobacco is taxxed, making a packet of cigarettes in Australia worth about \$24 and each packet "MUST" contain warnings about the dangers and photos as horrible as this....

I of course support such legislation and as I said earleir, have never had a cigarette to my mouth.

On the legality of cannibis in Canada, let me say I greatly respect the Cnanadian PM and the progress he has made in his country, but I am not sure whether that is the right decision...still none of us is pefect.

22 hours ago, Peterkin said:

And renoted, should you deem it necessary.

🙄 Is that supposed to be some sort of philsophical, wise statement?😴

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

Is that supposed to be some sort of philsophical, wise statement?

No.

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On 5/5/2022 at 8:02 AM, Peterkin said:
3 hours ago, Peterkin said:

No.

OK. Your rejection is duly and solemnly noted.

And renoted, should you deem it necessary.

It seems you are only capable of half smart, smug remarks, simply because someone reposts the full statement which you reduce to one sentence to make your usual half smart smug remarks on. You are increasingly sounding more like that obnoxious Peterson character.

That statement again concerned your claim that there was somehow a connection between racism and banning drugs. Again, I find the connection fragile at best, and probably wrongly formulated by some lazy acadamics trying to be controversial, in the same vane as that Peterson character..And of course patched together to support one particular line of argument.

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43 minutes ago, beecee said:

That statement again concerned your claim that there was somehow a connection between racism and banning drugs. Again, I find the connection fragile at best, and probably wrongly formulated by some lazy acadamics trying to be controversial, in the same vane as that Peterson character..And of course patched together to support one particular line of argument.

That actually is fairly way documented and not just some fringe opinion that you may think it is. Or to be more specific, many drug laws were enacted as part of racial panic. It is reflected especially heavily in its enforcement, where e.g. black drug abusers are far more likely to face charges for possession than their white counterpart, despite white folks having higher drug consumption. There many books written on the subject and not all of them by lazy academics.

See here an article on the link between the ban of cannabis and anti-immigrant sentiments:

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The temperance movement, which succeeded in amending the Constitution to ban alcohol in 1919, dovetailed with a similar Progressive-era push to reform pharmacy laws to regulate opiates. Cannabis was lumped in with those concerns. And as nativist sentiment spread in the U.S. in the early 20th century, some Prohibition advocates framed drinking and drugs as something done by foreigners. Mexican immigration — which had spiked due to the Mexican Revolution of 1910, as refugees fled to the U.S. to escape civil war — was already a flashpoint, so Campos says that influx of immigrants would have contributed to the growing negative sentiment around marijuana. “When drugs are seen as foreign, they’re seen as more dangerous,” Campos says.

Emily Dufton’s book Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America quotes a 1917 Treasury Department report that noted that its chief concern was the fact that “Mexicans and sometimes Negroes and lower class whites” smoked marijuana for pleasure, and that they could harm or assault upper-class white women while under its influence. And in 1911, a member of California’s State Board of Pharmacy wrote of the fear that a recent wave of immigration from India had brought with it a rising demand for pot, and that this “very undesirable lot” was “initiating our whites into this habit.”

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Anslinger was “publicizing ideas that had come from Mexico about marijuana causing madness and violence,” says Campos. “It’s important to emphasize those ideas originally came from Mexico. It wasn’t just that there was racism against Mexicans, it’s that Mexican ideas helped inspire fear about marijuana in the U.S.”

Likewise the disparity in the laws and sentencing of crack and cocaine is related to the the association of crack with black people and was discussed extensively, a report on this issue can be found here https://www.vox.com/2016/3/22/11278760/war-on-drugs-racism-nixon, which includes a controversial quote from an Nixon aide:

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A top Nixon aide, John Ehrlichman, later admitted: “You want to know what this was really all about. The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.

I will also add that these laws are often at the intersection of class and race. Folks generally agree to more severe punishments for things that they see themselves less likely to be involved in, but where they see others (i.e. their lessers) being associated with.

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

It seems you are only capable of half smart, smug remarks, simply because someone reposts the full statement which you reduce to one sentence to make your usual half smart smug remarks on.

All I did was respond, simply, directly and succinctly, to your posts. Why make a federal case out of it?

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

All I did was respond, simply, directly and succinctly, to your posts.

That's a subjective opinion.

1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

Why make a federal case out of it?

Just raising the issue of half smart smug replies, which appears to be your forte...

Edited by beecee
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5 hours ago, beecee said:

Just raising the issue of half smart smug replies, which appears to be your forte...

!

Moderator Note

You've been here long enough to know that making it personal is a no-no. Stick to discussing the topic.

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thank you all for the answers, I didn't think so many people would answer

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I didn't think so many people would answer

Well, they get a few beers in them....

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9 hours ago, beecee said:

That's a subjective opinion.

It's the only kind of opinion I have.

55 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Well, they get a few beers in them....

Two. Maximum two - I swear.

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