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Why is alcohol legal ?


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3 hours ago, MigL said:

One question you should be asking yourselves.
And we won't even consider abusers, but if you have a son or daughter, how happy would you be if he/she had the occasional alcoholic drink, or burned an occasional joint, or did an occasional line of coke, occasionally smoking crack or crystal meth, or even injecting heroin every once in a while. 
Does the idea of your son/daughter doing some of the above, stress you out a hell of a lot more than the first two ?
And, if you found your son/daughter with a needle stuck in their arm, would you say that it was all-right since prohibition wasn't working anyway ?

If it does, ask yourself "why ?", and then apply the resulting answer to the question of making it legal for everyone's son and daughter. 
 

Call up from the basement, Dim, and ask your mom if she's happy with you making the house smell 'skunky' all day and night.
( yes, that was a dig )

I would preempt such a potential situation and make it an area of discussion well before it crosses their mind to try it, so that they know I'm accessible to discussing such topics. I wouldn't be a finger-wagger.

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1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

I would preempt such a potential situation and make it an area of discussion well before it crosses their mind to try it, so that they know I'm accessible to discussing such topics. I wouldn't be a finger-wagger.

That's a good theory. We tried it, in several areas we thought our kids might need guidance. Come 13, they tend to shut down: don't want to be seen with you in public, don't want you to know how they feel, don't eat what you pack in their lunch, don't ask you any questions, slam doors if you ask any. You retaliate with various stratagems that seem clever at the time and that make you cringe in retrospect. In between skirmishes, you can have hilarious family dinners and pleasant evenings of entertainment or homework mentoring, then hostilities resume.

The best-laid plans of mice and parents oft go up the generation gap.

Edited by Peterkin
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7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Like I said, I'm not going to feed you, but I'm happy to use you as an example...

You keep saying that, and as yet are unable to show any real evidence supporting banning alcohol or anything invalidating the myth of karma! 🤣 But par for the course for you.

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Under what? I made my case; you have repeated yours. Again. We are done.

You offered an opnion, that's all. Thankfully the general moral standards of my society, will never see the ignorant banning of alcohol, nor the legitimising of any other drug already on the illegal list, for the reasons given.

4 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Of course. There is a reason young people don't tell their parents everything. At least, there was when I didn't tell mine. They would have been more upset about the grass than the LSD, which they didn't understand. They would have been more afraid of me getting arrested than getting high, simply because it was illegal. In fact, I was a lot closer to being arrested for political activities than pot. They - and I - also didn't know that I was a lot closer to following my father into alcoholism than any of the other dangers they didn't know about. And they didn't know what I would pay, eventually, for the tobacco habit I picked up from them.   

Sort of supports at least one of the reasons I presented a while back......"In reality I'n not really interested with any political agenda, and that appears to be the only aspect people taking part in this thread are pushing...that and of course the line one would expect those that do or have partaken in illegal drugs to take, in a kind of self defence case mechanism".

But thankfully, you seemed to have emerged from such rebellion against authority. I congratulate you on that score, but suggest perhaps you  are just one of the lucky ones.

As I have said before, I never ever had any desire, inkling or move to try anything other then what was legal, and I was far from being an angel. My old man told me he would buy me a shandy when I turned 18. I had already been drinking for more then 12 months...Mum knew that but kept it from the old man.

I encouraged my own Son to drink, and at the same time informed him of the dangers and unpleasentness of over indulging. Like me, he has occasionally over indulged on special occasions, but also like me, never let that over indulgment affect others.

Thankfully, and I say it again, thankfully, he has also like me, never seen the need to indulge in any other illegal drug taking. I'm as sure of that as any parent can be.

5 hours ago, MigL said:

One question you should be asking yourselves.
And we won't even consider abusers, but if you have a son or daughter, how happy would you be if he/she had the occasional alcoholic drink, or burned an occasional joint, or did an occasional line of coke, occasionally smoking crack or crystal meth, or even injecting heroin every once in a while. 
Does the idea of your son/daughter doing some of the above, stress you out a hell of a lot more than the first two ?
And, if you found your son/daughter with a needle stuck in their arm, would you say that it was all-right since prohibition wasn't working anyway ?

If it does, ask yourself "why ?", and then apply the resulting answer to the question of making it legal for everyone's son and daughter. 
 

Call up from the basement, Dim, and ask your mom if she's happy with you making the house smell 'skunky' all day and night.
( yes, that was a dig )

It was something always worrying the Mrs about our own Son, and the potential to go  out and experiemnt. Many times I needed to comfort her and explain that I was reasonably sure he was and would remain clean. As usual, another wise question/post, without fear nor favour from political ideologies or simply supporting some self defence mechanism. THANKS.

Edited by beecee
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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

That's a good theory. We tried it, in several areas we thought our kids might need guidance. Come 13, they tend to shut down: don't want to be seen with you in public, don't want you to know how they feel, don't eat what you pack in their lunch, don't ask you any questions, slam doors if you ask any. You retaliate with various stratagems that seem clever at the time and that make you cringe in retrospect. In between skirmishes, you can have hilarious family dinners and pleasant evenings of entertainment or homework mentoring, then hostilities resume.

The best-laid plans of mice and parents oft go up the generation gap.

Hmmm... My experience, both as a child and as a parent is quite different.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Genady said:

My experience, both as a child and as a parent is quite different.

Probably everyone's is. Largely a function of changing styles, attitudes and issues of different time periods. My parents were post-WWI; I'm first-batch boomer; my kids are 70's vintage.

Edited by Peterkin
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Posted (edited)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179811/

More Reasons States Should Not Legalize Marijuana: Medical and Recreational Marijuana: Commentary and Review of the Literature:

Abstract:

Recent years have seen substantial shifts in cultural attitudes towards marijuana for medical and recreational use. Potential problems with the approval, production, dispensation, route of administration, and negative health effects of medical and recreational marijuana are reviewed. Medical marijuana should be subject to the same rigorous approval process as other medications prescribed by physicians. Legalizing recreational marijuana may have negative public health effects.

Introduction:

Recent years have seen a cultural shift in attitudes towards marijuana. At the time of this writing, medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia; recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington and Colorado. A substantial and growing literature documents legalized marijuana may have adverse effects on individual and public health.

brief extracts:

Myth: Marijuana is Not Addictive:

A growing myth among the public is that marijuana is not an addictive substance. Data clearly show that about 10% of those who use cannabis become addicted; this number is higher among adolescents........................

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders:

Marijuana has been consistently shown to be a risk factor for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. The risk of psychotic disorder is more pronounced when marijuana is used at an earlier age..............................

Effects on Cognition:

Early studies suggested cognitive declines associated with marijuana (especially early and heavy use); these declines persisted long after the period of acute cannabis intoxication...................................

Other Negative Health Effects:

Substantial evidence exists suggesting that marijuana is harmful to the respiratory system.

 

more at link....................................

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Edited by beecee
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Is that study about natural marijuana or the enhanced high THC variety?

Quote

The primary problem with the current available cannabis in dispensaries in Colorado is that the THC content is not like it used to be. Prior to the 1990s it was less than 2%. In the 1990s it grew to 4%, and between 1995 and 2015 there has been a 212% increase in THC content in the marijuana flower. In 2017 the most popular strains found in dispensaries in Colorado had a range of THC content from 17–28% such as found in the popular strain named “Girl Scout Cookie.”2 Sadly these plants producing high levels of THC are incapable of producing much CBD, the protective component of the plant so these strains have minimal CBD. For example the Girl Scout Cookie strain has only 0.09–0.2% CBD.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312155/

 

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Posted (edited)

Another.............................

W.H.O.

https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use/alcohol-drugs-and-addictive-behaviours/drugs-psychoactive/cannabis

Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit:

Cannabis

extract:

Acute health effects of cannabis use

The acute effects of cannabis use has been recognized for many years, and recent studies have confirmed and extended earlier findings. These may be summarized as follows:

  • Cannabis impairs cognitive development (capabilities of learning), including associative processes; free recall of previously learned items is often impaired when cannabis is used both during learning and recall periods;
  • Cannabis impairs psychomotor performance in a wide variety of tasks, such as motor coordination, divided attention, and operative tasks of many types; human performance on complex machinery can be impaired for as long as 24 hours after smoking as little as 20 mg of THC in cannabis; there is an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents among persons who drive when intoxicated by cannabis.

Chronic health effects of cannabis use

  • selective impairment of cognitive functioning which include the organization and integration of complex information involving various mechanisms of attention and memory processes;
  • prolonged use may lead to greater impairment, which may not recover with cessation of use, and which could affect daily life functions;
  • development of a cannabis dependence syndrome characterized by a loss of control over cannabis use is likely in chronic users;
  • cannabis use can exacerbate schizophrenia in affected individuals;
  • epithelial injury of the trachea and major bronchi is caused by long-term cannabis smoking;
  • airway injury, lung inflammation, and impaired pulmonary defence against infection from persistent cannabis consumption over prolonged periods;
  • heavy cannabis consumption is associated with a higher prevalence of symptoms of chronic bronchitis and a higher incidence of acute bronchitis than in the non-smoking cohort;
  • cannabis used during pregnancy is associated with impairment in fetal development leading to a reduction in birth weight;
  • cannabis use during pregnancy may lead to postnatal risk of rare forms of cancer although more research is needed in this area.
  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Another.........................

https://www.newsweek.com/scientific-research-debunks-common-pro-pot-arguments-opinion-1615863

Scientific Research Debunks Common Pro-Pot Arguments | Opinion:

 

In the debate over marijuana legalization, supporters of the pot industry often resort to poor arguments, outdated studies and hyperbole to "bust marijuana myths."

First and foremost, advocates of marijuana legalization routinely deny that the drug acts as a "gateway" to more dangerous substances. While it's true most people who use marijuana don't go on to use other drugs, the vast majority of those who have tried heroin or cocaine, or prescription drugs used marijuana first. Yes, they also "drank milk first," as some sarcastically exclaim, but there is no mechanism connecting milk and drug use.

By contrast, research has indicated that marijuana users are 2.6 times more likely to abuse opioids, perhaps because of the way the brain craves more highs.

Some misconstrue the "gateway theory" to imply that use of marijuana causes a person to use heroin immediately afterward. This is not normally the case. The truth is simply that people who use drugs do not normally use just one.

MORE AT LINK

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

 

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6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

They would have been more upset about the grass than the LSD, which they didn't understand. They would have been more afraid of me getting arrested than getting high, simply because it was illegal.

That was your parents ( much like mine ) in simpler times.
But you are not ignorant of the facts, nor are your kids.

What do you and your kids fear that your grandkids might get into ?
I'm sure they were brought up to make wise choices in life, and again, I'm not talking about alcohol or cannabis products ( yes I've noticed the increased strength also ), but do you think your grandkids should have the option of legalized 'harder' drugs ?
After all, prohibition is not working.

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Posted (edited)

https://archives.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2017/09/marijuana-use-associated-increased-risk-prescription-opioid-misuse-use-disorders

Marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of prescription opioid misuse and use disorders

New research suggests that marijuana users may be more likely than nonusers to misuse prescription opioids and develop prescription opioid use disorder. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Columbia University.

more..........................................

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https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17040413

Cannabis Use and Risk of Prescription Opioid Use Disorder in the United States

 

Abstract

Objective:

The authors sought to determine whether cannabis use is associated with a change in the risk of incident nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder at 3-year follow-up.

Conclusions:

Cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder.

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24 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Is that study about natural marijuana or the enhanced high THC variety?

Is that addressed to me? 

HINT: I have posted now five articles/papers on cannibis. I'm sure if you are interested enough you can chose to read them rather then just my condensed versions.

Edited by beecee
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Concerning cannabis addiction: Note the paper says it relates to persons with ten years of continuous use. If you do anything for ten years everyday, you will be very likely automatically compelled to perform  that action. Personal commitment and guided behavioural modification can alter that compulsive routine people call 'addiction'.

Not by any stretch of the imagination does cannabis dig as deep a hole physically and mentally as alcohol.

Concerning the  "increasing potency" of modern cannabis strains: In terms of effects, increasing Delta-9 THC content on its own doesn't necessarily correlate with greater intoxication. It's actually down to several compounds acting synergistically to modulate its effects. You can get 10% THC strains that are much stronger in effect than one measured at 30% simply because the latter lacks or has less of the synergistic components of the former. Its just a way for breeders and sellers to relieve people of more money.... those numbers matter commercially and for some consumers it's a rainbow to chase.  The % of THC does not correlate in experienced potency like the ABV of alcohol does.

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22 minutes ago, MigL said:

That was your parents ( much like mine ) in simpler times.

Different times, different place, different world-views, but I wouldn't characterize their experience as simple.

26 minutes ago, MigL said:

But you are not ignorant of the facts, nor are your kids.

Some facts. Some partisan positions. Some medical opinions. Some advocacy, some propaganda, some hyperbole. 

28 minutes ago, MigL said:

What do you and your kids fear that your grandkids might get into ?

I don't know what my daughter fears - she prefers to pretend everything is just perfect in her perfect family. As for me, drug and alcohol use is nowhere near the top of my list of concerns for them. 

31 minutes ago, MigL said:

I'm sure they were brought up to make wise choices in life

That's never stopped anyone doing something stupid once in a while.

32 minutes ago, MigL said:

but do you think your grandkids should have the option of legalized 'harder' drugs ?

Sure.

33 minutes ago, MigL said:

After all, prohibition is not working.

Exactly so.

One thing about legalization is quality control. Another thing about legalization is price control. If it's not worthwhile for organized crime to handle the drug traffic, there would be a whole lot less killing over it; if it doesn't attract petty, incompetent criminals, there would be fewer accidental poisonings from bad product. If it were legal, more people with a problem would seek help; if there were savings from policing/court/incarceration costs, plus income from taxation, there would be a lot more help available. 

Other people's grandkids are out on those streets, too. Most of them on meaner streets than Georgetown's.

12 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

The % of THC does not correlate in experienced potency like the ABV of alcohol does.

Thanks, that's helpful.

So, do any additives in the final product behave anything like those in tobacco?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Different times, different place, different world-views, but I wouldn't characterize their experience as simple.

Some facts. Some partisan positions. Some medical opinions. Some advocacy, some propaganda, some hyperbole. 

I don't know what my daughter fears - she prefers to pretend everything is just perfect in her perfect family. As for me, drug and alcohol use is nowhere near the top of my list of concerns for them. 

That's never stopped anyone doing something stupid once in a while.

Sure.

Exactly so.

One thing about legalization is quality control. Another thing about legalization is price control. If it's not worthwhile for organized crime to handle the drug traffic, there would be a whole lot less killing over it; if it doesn't attract petty, incompetent criminals, there would be fewer accidental poisonings from bad product. If it were legal, more people with a problem would seek help; if there were savings from policing/court/incarceration costs, plus income from taxation, there would be a lot more help available. 

Other people's grandkids are out on those streets, too. Most of them on meaner streets than Georgetown's.

Thanks, that's helpful.

So, do any additives in the final product behave anything like those in tobacco?

You mean like carcinogenics and irritants? Hard to extricate the two because many people combine them, where tobacco acts as the supporting material. There's about 400 compounds, of which 60 are cannabinoids.

Edited by StringJunky
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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

Some facts. Some partisan positions. Some medical opinions. Some advocacy, some propaganda, some hyperbole. 

Aint that so!!!! 

https://www.newsweek.com/scientific-research-debunks-common-pro-pot-arguments-opinion-1615863

Scientific Research Debunks Common Pro-Pot Arguments | Opinion:

In the debate over marijuana legalization, supporters of the pot industry often resort to poor arguments, outdated studies and hyperbole to "bust marijuana myths."

1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Concerning cannabis addiction: Note the paper says it relates to persons with ten years of continuous use. If you do anything for ten years everyday, you will be very likely automatically compelled to perform  that action. Personal commitment and guided behavioural modification can alter that compulsive routine people call 'addiction'.

Probably correct...I have been drinking alcohol though for 55 years or more, and I am still not compelled to grab a can every day...plus as I said before I never drink alone when out.

1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Not by any stretch of the imagination does cannabis dig as deep a hole physically and mentally as alcohol.

yes, that's been repeated ad-nauseum by a few, and I say so what? Again alcohol is a social necessity in every walk of life and has been for yonks, despite the physical and mental dangers when taken to excess, over long periods. That is no reason, (only an excuse) to add anything more to the legal list as per alcohol, and cause even more harm then good.

1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Concerning the  "increasing potency" of modern cannabis strains: In terms of effects, increasing Delta-9 THC content on its own doesn't necessarily correlate with greater intoxication. It's actually down to several compounds acting synergistically to modulate its effects. You can get 10% THC strains that are much stronger in effect than one measured at 30% simply because the latter lacks or has less of the synergistic components of the former. Its just a way for breeders and sellers to relieve people of more money.... those numbers matter commercially and for some consumers it's a rainbow to chase.  The % of THC does not correlate in experienced potency like the ABV of alcohol does.

Increasing potency is just another reason why this crap should stay banned (as it will) in most socieities. I'm really not that knowledgable with these figures and such, other than they illegal and should stay that way, other then of course for validated  medical purposes.

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On 5/7/2022 at 7:11 AM, MigL said:

would think cannabis use should be compared to cigarette use rather than alcohol, but I do think it is rather strange that the new mantra is "Cigarettes are bad; pot is good for you". They both involve breathing byproducts of combustion ( there is a reason fire-fighters wear supplied air ), and smoking 20 joints a day will have equivalent ill effects as smoking a pack of cigarettes; plus, you'll be perma-stoned.
All I'm asking for is like for like comparison.

As for the 'harder' drugs, which bear comparison to alcohol yet no-one seems to mention comparative down-sides to health and society, I would love to see life expectancy numbers for an alcoholic compared to a heroin addict, or the negative impacts of either condition on family/society.

Still working my way through the thread so sorry if I am repeating things that others have already mentioned. A couple of things related to that. Ranking intrinsic risks of a given drug is tricky as quite a few things can change the risk assessment. For example, if heroin is pure and consumed under supervision certain risks are minimized (e.g. sharing of dirty needles, fentanyl associated overdose risks and so on). 

Other personal risks are also associated with likelihood of addiction. Those are fairly high for opiates, but also nicotine (though the former happens faster), while cannabis is quite a bit lower on that scale (takes longer and habit formation is not quite as strong).  Addicts to tobacco, tend to smoke quite a bit more to satisfy their addiction, compared to cannabis users.

So if we talk about cannabis, the effects and risks are somewhat distinct from tobacco. The most common effects we see shared are likely due to combustion of the wrappers. While we still need more study, the association with cancer appears to be weaker compared to tobacco and long-term use was associated with different biomolecular markers of cardiovascular health than tobacco use. It is not quite clear what long-term effects are, but at least preliminary data shows a seemingly lower risk (or at least no higher than tobacco).

While nicotine overdose is (AFAIK) a rare event, cannabis overdoses can happen, usually via edibles or oils. However, alcohol overdose is also fairly frequent and is generally more harmful (as in it can end up being deadly if not treated).

In many ways comparison of cannabis and alcohol also makes sense, as part of the risk is impairment and of course the former is legal. With regard to the impact of legalization, which has been brought up a couple of times, I like to refer to Statscan data showing that two years into legal weed, the number of folks indicating to have consumed cannabis at least once in the past three months of a the survey increased slightly, from 14.9% before  to 16.8 % in 2019, which remained unchanged in 2020.

The number of folks with daily or almost daily used remained unchanged before and after legalization. Likewise, the rate of folks driving within two hours of smoking remained unchanged. In other words, the free availability of cannabis has not resulted in dramatic increases in its use within the population.

For issues mentioned above and the fact that an alcoholic might be at different risks than a heroin addict. Alcohol is legal and you can get pure product easily, for example and treatment might be easier to come by.  

The other issue is that one can only calculate changes in life expectancy (or e.g. years lost) in a population by looking at reduction from the control cohort, but this could be skewed by the number of alcohol vs heroin use. From that perspective, I find the way of ranking by experts in the paper referenced earlier in the thread quite compelling. While clearly they will be biased a bit based on the available expertise, it is probably the closest to a comprehensive comparison we can get, given the many confounding factors.

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Pretty good summary.

We're going to do some kinds of disservice to our bodies.

Government can't prohibit everything that's bad for us - especially since most of the things that are bad for in excess are good for us in moderation. Government can't protect us from our own stupidity and recklessness. Government can't punish us into becoming smart, abstemious people.

The best government can do is keep us informed, regulate the potential hazards, and make help available when we need it, even for self-inflicted harm.  

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4 hours ago, Peterkin said:

We're going to do some kinds of disservice to our bodies.

Government can't prohibit everything that's bad for us - especially since most of the things that are bad for in excess are good for us in moderation. Government can't protect us from our own stupidity and recklessness. Government can't punish us into becoming smart, abstemious people.

The best government can do is keep us informed, regulate the potential hazards, and make help available when we need it, even for self-inflicted harm.  

While that is certainly true, it still does not give any logical reason, to legalise those drugs that are currently illegal...Some government prohibitions and laws are absolutely 100% necessary and always will be, at least while stupidity is a common commodity in any society, and evil and wrong doers exist to a lesser extent.

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10 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Government can't prohibit everything that's bad for us - especially since most of the things that are bad for in excess are good for us in moderation. Government can't protect us from our own stupidity and recklessness

You mean we aren't required to wear seatbelts or have insurance when operating a vehicle ?
Or wear a harness/tie off when working at heights ?
Or get permits and engineering approval when doing home renovations ?
Or have working smoke/CO detectors in your house/apartment ?
Etc. Etc.

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14 hours ago, MigL said:

That was your parents ( much like mine ) in simpler times.
But you are not ignorant of the facts, nor are your kids.

What do you and your kids fear that your grandkids might get into ?
I'm sure they were brought up to make wise choices in life, and again, I'm not talking about alcohol or cannabis products ( yes I've noticed the increased strength also ), but do you think your grandkids should have the option of legalized 'harder' drugs ?
After all, prohibition is not working.

Because prohibition doesn't work, they have the option of whatever drug they want; the only difference between legal and illegal is, prison rather than a hospital; I know which I'd prefer my loved ones end up in, after they make a mistake.

22 hours ago, MigL said:

Call up from the basement, Dim, and ask your mom if she's happy with you making the house smell 'skunky' all day and night.
( yes, that was a dig )

I'm not sure why you'd object to me being stoned in the privacy of my home.

 

stoned.jpg

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17 hours ago, beecee said:

 

Thankfully, and I say it again, thankfully, he has also like me, never seen the need to indulge in any other illegal drug taking. I'm as sure of that as any parent can be.

 

On what planet are parents able to be so certain about this?  Do Australian youth not sneak off and do things they never share with their parents?  Crikey!

15 hours ago, beecee said:

 

Marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of prescription opioid misuse and use disorders

New research suggests that marijuana users may be more likely than nonusers to misuse prescription opioids and develop prescription opioid use disorder. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Columbia University.

 

Associated?  I think researchers need to always bear in mind the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.  It may be that personalities that tend to self-medicate for psychological issues with MJ would also be more prone to self-medicate with opioids.  If so, this would call into question the notion of MJ as a causal "gateway." 

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

You mean we aren't required to wear seatbelts or have insurance when operating a vehicle ?
Or wear a harness/tie off when working at heights ?
Or get permits and engineering approval when doing home renovations ?
Or have working smoke/CO detectors in your house/apartment ?

Yes, regulation. But cars are not banned, lest we crash them; working in scaffolding and towers are not banned, lest we fall off, and fireplaces and stoves are not banned, lest we burn our homes down. And we do all those things: drive carelessly, build and work carelessly, heat and cook carelessly. Accidents do happen, because nobody can force us to be sensible. Government can only try to minimize the damage we do to ourselves. 

And that's all legalization of drugs is meant to accomplish: make regulation possible; re-allocate the money from the futile attempt at prevention of the cause to mitigation of the effects.

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

You mean we aren't required to wear seatbelts or have insurance when operating a vehicle ?
Or wear a harness/tie off when working at heights ?
Or get permits and engineering approval when doing home renovations ?
Or have working smoke/CO detectors in your house/apartment ?
Etc. Etc.

Absolutely. But these laws should take a number of things into account, such as what the outcome is. I think quite a few folks have come around to the point that decriminalization would benefits, as the criminalization of drugs has, on balance, create more harm than it has prevented. This is especially true for drugs which have less severe health outcomes. 

The other point is to see whether those laws are applied equally and fairly. This is linked to the first point where drug laws have been especially harsh on certain groups and applied unfairly.

Yet another point, which is more related to OP (but also to the other points above) is the internal consistency. I.e. on what basis do we classify certain drugs as legal or at least punish possession and use less harshly (if at all) than others. One argument is based on harm reduction, but as mentioned alcohol does great harm and remains legal. 

The main argument seems to be that it is not effective/possible to make it illegal. But that applies to quite a few other drugs, too. Many countries are therefore likely to make less harmful drugs (such as cannabis) legal.

One of the reasons why alcohol is underestimated as health risk is of course the fact that it is socially acceptable and as such it is perhaps unsurprising that alcohol causes more deaths than all other drug uses taken together in most industrialized country (taking 2016 data death per 100k people in Canada 16.6 vs 7.3, 23.2 vs 18, UK 30.5 vs 8.5). Same goes for other measures, such as years of life lost (YLL). For disability adjusted life years (a measure of disease burden) it the outcome is a bit more mixed and in some countries impact of alcohol can be more similar relative to all other drugs (e.g. USA 1178.6 alcohol DALY per 100k vs 14603 all other drugs; UK 965 vs 614, Canada 807 vs 693).

Perhaps an interesting comparison is Portugal where the discrepancy is quite visible (alcohol vs all drugs per 100k people): death: 68.1 vs 4.9, YLL: 1483 vs 162.4 and DALY 1790 vs 313.

(GBD 2016 Alchol and Drug Use Collaborators, Lancet 2018; 5:12 987-1012).

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45 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

This discussion, seems to show why the elderly shouldn't be allowed to vote; it's not their future...

Thanks; I needed that.

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