Cannabis - Best as a Class B or C

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Judge Mortis said:
For legalisation, where do you stop?

Can heroin users then say well if cannabis is legal why not heroin? Crack users could say similar? Legalisation may not be as simple as it sounds.

Any point will be arbitrary. Why is the government okay with my using an opiate like oxycodone, but not okay with me using an opiate like heroin? The same applies to any number of legal, semi-legal and illegal substances.

There's no point in a slippery slope argument, they're just silly. Few people are calling for the legalisation/decriminalisation of crack or heroin in the Netherlands, and they've had implemented a successful decriminalisation of cannabis for six years now.

Judge Mortis said:
Thats is the problem though ..... people in custody for drug use alone will be far outweighed by drug users and associated crime. To be jailed for possession of drugs for personal use is almost unheard of now.

I don't see why stealing a TV to sell to fund your heroin habit is any different to stealing a TV to sell to fund something else. Theft is theft, and should be a criminal matter: motivation might explain crimes but it doesn't excuse them.

I mean, poverty is a leading (if not the leading) cause of crime and yet we only punish poor criminals, not the poor in general. Why not take the same attitude to drugs?
 
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robmiller said:
Any point will be arbitrary. Why is the government okay with my using an opiate like oxycodone, but not okay with me using an opiate like heroin? The same applies to any number of legal, semi-legal and illegal substances.

Oxycodone in potentially addictive and is certainly of the opiate group but it is not without side effects, which are similar to those of heroin use.

As for legalisation of heroin .... what purity? Who supplies it? Where would you get it? Who would supply it? What if an addict suffered an adverse reaction? Where would litigation start and end? Would the taxpayer likely go for funding someon elses habit? ( granted recovering addicts use meth )

There's no point in a slippery slope argument, they're just silly. Few people are calling for the legalisation/decriminalisation of crack or heroin in the Netherlands, and they've had implemented a successful decriminalisation of cannabis for six years now.

I am wondering what is meant by successful and by whose standards?



I don't see why stealing a TV to sell to fund your heroin habit is any different to stealing a TV to sell to fund something else. Theft is theft, and should be a criminal matter: motivation might explain crimes but it doesn't excuse them.

I am afraid it just isn't that cut and dried .... crime and drugs are hugely intertwined and there is not much else that someone will steal a TV for other than to pay for a drugs habit. While what you say may indeed have merit ... having seen the side of the fence that, dare I say it, you have not ( no offence by that either ), I know different.

I mean, poverty is a leading (if not the leading) cause of crime and yet we only punish poor criminals, not the poor in general. Why not take the same attitude to drugs?

The two are comparable?
 

RDM

RDM

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Judge Mortis said:
For legalisation, where do you stop?

Can heroin users then say well if cannabis is legal why not heroin? Crack users could say similar? Legalisation may not be as simple as it sounds.

You legalise the lot. At the end of the day if someone chooses to poison their own body that is entirely up to them.
 
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Judge Mortis said:
Oxycodone in potentially addictive and is certainly of the opiate group but it is not without side effects, which are similar to those of heroin use.

Oxycodone is just as addictive and harmful as heroin, yet I can get the former on the NHS and 7 years in jail for the latter. Legalisation is clearly not a matter of harm or addictiveness, then. So what is the basis for it?

Judge Mortis said:
As for legalisation of heroin .... what purity? Who supplies it? Where would you get it? Who would supply it? What if an addict suffered an adverse reaction? Where would litigation start and end? Would the taxpayer likely go for funding someon elses habit? ( granted recovering addicts use meth )

All of those things apply to cigarettes and alcohol in far higher numbers and far higher severities. Who do we sue when someone dies of lung cancer through their smoking? No one. Who do we sue when someone gets alcohol poisoning because they drank irresponsibly? No one. Who pays for people to quit smoking? The taxpayer. Who pays for people to quit drinking? The taxpayer.

Few object to the above situations, so why object to the same for heroin?

Regardless, the fact that you've steered this debate away from cannabis and onto heroin of all things is pretty symptomatic of drug debates in general.

Let's compare cigarettes and cannabis. Both are typically smoked, and cause lung damage, but the former is incredibly carcinogenic and ultimately far, far more damaging. Cigarettes are physically addictive, cannabis is not. Nicotine has a vastly higher LD50 than cannabis, making nicotine poisoning a very real possibility and an overdose on cannabis impossible. The list goes on and on: why are you as a taxpayer prepared to pay for the innumerable damages caused by cigarette smoking, but baulk so readily at doing the same for far less harmful substances (which we already do)?


Judge Mortis said:
I am wondering what is meant by successful and by whose standards?

Well, the Netherlands have far lower usage rates of cannabis than countries like the US (17% vs. 36.9%), spend far less on their criminal justice system (€223 p.c. vs €379 p.c.), have far higher rates of self-reporting of drug problems due to their having no criminal penalties (rates of self-reporting for problems relating to cannabis increased 43% between 2001 and 2005, despite there being no increase in cannabis smokers), they have far fewer drug deaths per capita than any other country (2.4 per million people, v.s. France's 9.5, Germany's 20, Sweden's 23.5, Spain's 27.1, etc.), etc.

I can't think of a single standard by which the Netherlands' drug policy hasn't been successful. Care to suggest one?

Judge Mortis said:
I am afraid it just isn't that cut and dried .... crime and drugs are hugely intertwined and there is not much else that someone will steal a TV for other than to pay for a drugs habit. While what you say may indeed have merit ... having seen the side of the fence that, dare I say it, you have not ( no offence by that either ), I know different.

Appeal to self-authority much :confused: Tell us why it's different, don't just be smug about it.


Judge Mortis said:
The two are comparable?

Both are punishing the wider group for the behaviour of a subset of that group, of course they're comparable. If I used heroin responsibly, and never broke the law other than to inject a blacklisted substance into myself, why should I be punished along with those who steal to fund their drug abuse? The same goes for any drug and indeed any activity.
 
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My mate has smoked it ever since he started working on a building site with his uncle. I personally think he has changed because of it but trying to get that across is like talking to a wall. I have smoked it....but i hate smoking(cant do it) so dont do it.

He just seems to have no anger theshhold,just looses it over stupid things. Your a "****** *****" for accidentally knocking the sub cable out etc etc.

He pawned his xbox 360.....for £130 to cover a phone bill of £40(the phone he had lost) but incurred a bank charge before he remembered it was coming of so his bank let him off with the charge and he kept £40 in his account for the bill. He then withdrew that and bought a half ounce the other night and is now moaning that he is absolutely skint.

Kind of irrelivent but i hope he stops it soon and i am worried about him. We have discussed it being made class B and he defends it as being a safe drug with many good effects and think that everybody and their uncle smokes it(which they kinda do) and uses it to boost his ego. :rolleyes:
 
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Sorry but thats garbage, and it says more about you than the cannabis. It is very well known that cannabis is not physically addictive although it can be phsycologically, but so can anything be to the weak willed.
What are you trying to say exactly? That it's psychologically addictive? Nicotine is also psychologically addictive, would you also say that only "weak-willed" people get addicted to smoking cigarettes?
 
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robmiller said:
Any point will be arbitrary. Why is the government okay with my using an opiate like oxycodone, but not okay with me using an opiate like heroin? The same applies to any number of legal, semi-legal and illegal substances.



Er - oxycodone is a Class A controlled drug, just like diamorphine....

PART I. CLASS A DRUGS.
....
Norpipanone
Opium, whether raw, prepared or medicinal (Regs (SI 3998) 2001)
Oxycodone
Oxymorphone
etc
....

The distinction between physical and psychological addiction that some people like to make (usually people who use the drug in question and want to deny that they are addicted) is at best silly: the physical addiction to nicotine for instance wears off after forty-eight hours - which doesn't really help people quit cigarettes. Addictive is addictive is addictive - the mechanism doesn't matter.


Judge Mortis

You should know better - while those are the penalties for all other Class Cs, the penalties for dealing, etc (everything except possession of in fact), cannabis are actually near those of class A. A special case was made when it was reclassified.



M
 
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Bear said:
Like Skunkworks, I smoked amongst other things and did so for over 8 years virtually every day over that period. That was 10 years ago and I just stopped as I'd had enough of it and am a normal working proffesional and havent touched anything since.

people have also quit cigarettes just as easily. doesnt really mean an awful lot lol
 
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Richdog said:
Class B... I smoked it solid for 4 years and in that time it more to screw my head up than anything else i've ever tried. It is HIGHLY addictive and will find whatever chinks in your mental armour it can and blow them wide open. My character changed completely, and it took me a good two years to fully recover after I quit.

I totally agree, they should make it class A tbh.
 
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Bear said:
Sorry but thats garbage, and it says more about you than the cannabis. It is very well known that cannabis is not physically addictive although it can be phsycologically, but so can anything be to the weak willed.

Like Skunkworks, I smoked amongst other things and did so for over 8 years virtually every day over that period. That was 10 years ago and I just stopped as I'd had enough of it and am a normal working proffesional and havent touched anything since.

Its not about being weak willed, its about effections.

ie, it effects different people differently, in a mental way.

brings up the past and depresses you.
 
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Meridian said:
The distinction between physical and psychological addiction that some people like to make (usually people who use the drug in question and want to deny that they are addicted) is at best silly: the physical addiction to nicotine for instance wears off after forty-eight hours - which doesn't really help people quit cigarettes. Addictive is addictive is addictive - the mechanism doesn't matter.

Oh of course, but it's usually in response to "cannabis should be illegal because it's addictive", when in fact it has the potential for addiction in the same way that video games or TV or any other kind of behaviour do.
 
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Meridian said:
Er - oxycodone is a Class A controlled drug, just like diamorphine....

Perhaps my point was badly made, but I was trying to point out that illegal drugs (by which I mean controlled and not used medically) have a certain reputation mainly because they're illegal. Their legal status and reputation isn't due to their being more dangerous or more addictive or possessing more side effects than drugs that are either legal (such as alcohol) or controlled but regularly prescribed (such as Ritalin or oxycodone or any number of other substances).

I'm not claiming that all illegal drugs are harmless or something equally absurd, I'm just trying to point out that many people's positions on drugs are pretty inconsistent: that they will decry heroin for being harmful and addictive but not do the same to nicotine, that they will claim it is impossible to use heroin without forming an addiction but not take the same attitude towards prescribed drugs of similar composition, intensity and addictiveness.

Obviously there are other factors—it's always going to be safer to take drugs under the guidance of a doctor—but lots of people have fundamentally inconsistent attitudes.
 
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I'd rather it wasn't illegal, but with severe penalties for harming anyone else due to it, but if that's not an option and we definitely think banning drugs serves any useful purpose (rather than making the problems associated with drugs worse), then class B. The effects of the stronger varieties are coming in pretty conclusive and the higher classification is justifed.

I still maintain that prohibition causes far more problems than it solves, it doesn't make drugs go away, it just means the drug market is controlled by criminals with all the associated problems of pushing, theft and so on.
 
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robmiller said:
Oh of course, but it's usually in response to "cannabis should be illegal because it's addictive", when in fact it has the potential for addiction in the same way that video games or TV or any other kind of behaviour do.


It is certainly true that there is a lot of evidence that addiction is, to a large extent, down to the brain setup of the person, not the drug itself. It has been known for a long time that there are "addictive personalities" who not only fall easily into addiction, but are also likely to exhibit the behaviour leading to addiction. The addiction could be drugs, but could also be gambling, risk-taking etc.

That said, many drug addicts do not fall into this category, and it must be assumed that for a large proportion of people, addiction is still a possibility for certain drugs.

Is cannabis addictive? It certainly seems to be for some people. The question is then: how much is down to the drug and how much to the person? My personal view is that anything which gives you a pleasurable feeling can be addictive. Is that enough to outlaw it?


You are also perfectly correct that people's perceptions of a drug colour their opinions of it. As I said in a previous thread on a similar topic, it's amazing how many people who want to legal some/all drugs often qualify that by excepting crack cocaine and/or heroin. Always those two. I would imagine methylamphetamine may soon be added to that list, given the scare stories. Hospitals and doctors are notoriously unwilling to use diamorphine as a pain-killer, despite its great effectiveness, because of its reputation. Mind you, they don't use oxycodone very much either, for much the same reason. In both cases AFAIK they are both mainly used for terminal patients. Oxy is slightly more used than that though, but only for very severe symptoms.

But the issue of comparing controlled and uncontrolled addictive drugs is a completely different one: you cannot say that because drug x is legal and very addictive, then it would be OK to legalise drug y which is harmful and addictive, just not as harmful and addictive as drug x. Historically nicotine and alcohol have been legal for any number of reasons, of which one important one is: governments usually like to have a couple of sanctioned narcotics because they know people like to get high. But they want the list a short one. In our case, it's those two. It's also not unrelated to the absolute impossibility of stopping the trade in those two. Of course it could be argued that you can't stop the trade in cannabis either. But just because a war can't be won, do not necessarily mean it shouldn't be fought: any reasons to legalise cannabis should NOT include "we can't stop people smoking it".


M
 
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Richdog said:
When I said addictive I didn't mean physically and I didn't specify exactly what I meant, of course I meant psychologically. And it doesn't make me weak-willed that I got addicted to it and it affected me so badly, it was just a time in my life when I went off of the rails, so please stop talking like you know anything about me. It affects everyone in different ways, and I am one of the unlucky ones that it affected badly. Some of my friends weren't affected at all. That doesn't make it any less dangerous.

How am I talking as if I know anything about you. You are nobody to me so why do you think I am attempting to say anything that indicates I know anything about you ??

It is as weak willed as anybody getting addicted to anything non physically addictive, just like people getting addicted to eating fast food all the time or eating chocolate etc. Obviously some people will need a crutch in rough times but that doesnt change the fact that getting addicted to something that isnt addictive is down to a lack of heart/resolve/will power
 
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Meridian said:
But the issue of comparing controlled and uncontrolled addictive drugs is a completely different one: you cannot say that because drug x is legal and very addictive, then it would be OK to legalise drug y which is harmful and addictive, just not as harmful and addictive as drug x.

But surely that makes void the argument that illegal drugs have been outlawed for our own safety? If one accepts this point, one has to accept the rather cynical view that:

Meridian said:
Historically nicotine and alcohol have been legal for any number of reasons, of which one important one is: governments usually like to have a couple of sanctioned narcotics because they know people like to get high. But they want the list a short one. In our case, it's those two.

...which is surely one that can only be taken by the government or by the most ardent of statists. How is that in any way a justification of prohibition? It might explain it but surely "they're illegal because the government wants them to be" is no justification.

Meridian said:
It's also not unrelated to the absolute impossibility of stopping the trade in those two. Of course it could be argued that you can't stop the trade in cannabis either. But just because a war can't be won, do not necessarily mean it shouldn't be fought: any reasons to legalise cannabis should NOT include "we can't stop people smoking it".

But when faced with two alternatives:

  1. A trade in drugs controlled by criminals, with uncertain quality, potency and content
  2. A trade in drugs open and transparently controlled by the government/private companies, with certain and regulated quality, potency and content

And in the knowledge that you can never curtail drug use, why not pick #2?
 
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robmiller said:
Appeal to self-authority much :confused: Tell us why it's different, don't just be smug about it.

Who is being smug? I speak from experience and I did say that I meant no offence .... take that as you will. While this may be off topic, I have seen 15 year old kids beaten senseless for falling into debt with their friendly cannabis dealer.

Let us put heroin aside then. In nearly ten years I have crossed paths with maybe 3 or 4 people who have stolen to fund alcoholism and I have crossed paths with many, many alcoholics.

In the same token, I have not crossed paths with one single person who has stolen to fund a nicotine habit.

In that same time I know of numerous people who have stolen to fund a cannabis habit.

You can quote 24.9 per capita etc, statistics mean nothing to me but I believe that cannabis ranks up there as a Class B drug and should not have been declassified in the first place. Should the Government decriminalise it then I move with those times.

At Meridian, for small time dealing in cannabis, the sentences seem to be small but I accept that large scale importation does mean large sentences. Even being caught with a sizeable cannabis farm does not mean a huge sentence these days.

robmiller, we just aint going to agree.
 
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Bear said:
How am I talking as if I know anything about you. You are nobody to me so why do you think I am attempting to say anything that indicates I know anything about you ??

Because you were typecasting and thus judging me...

It is as weak willed as anybody getting addicted to anything non physically addictive, just like people getting addicted to eating fast food all the time or eating chocolate etc. Obviously some people will need a crutch in rough times but that doesnt change the fact that getting addicted to something that isnt addictive is down to a lack of heart/resolve/will power

Many experts and authorities on the subject seem to disagree with you on the severity of its addictiveness. http://www.drugprevent.demon.co.uk/New look of Website/papers_items/is cannabis addictive.html

IS CANNABIS ADDICTIVE?

There is plenty of research that shows cannabis to be an addictive substance. The following authors have all written affirmatively on the subject of addiction.

One of the single most important reasons why there has been an upsurge in the use of illegal drugs by Western youth is the mistaken belief that marijuana is a ‘soft’ drug. not physically addictive, and mood-altering rather than mind altering. Studies of the characteristics of drugs and patterns of their use and the observations of patients, doctors, teachers and ex-drug users have made it clear how misleading these assumptions have been.
Elaine Walters Marijuana - An Australian Crisis’ 1993


Like all addictive substances, cannabis is not easy to give up. Some believe that it is more difficult to stop all use of cannabis than it is to stop the use of most other drugs.

In a study including people who used both cocaine and marijuana, many stated that giving up the use of marijuana was in some ways more difficult than giving up cocaine. - Strategies for breaking marijuana dependence. Zweben & O 1992 (2):165-71
 
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Judge Mortis said:
Who is being smug? I speak from experience and I did say that I meant no offence .... take that as you will. While this may be off topic, I have seen 15 year old kids beaten senseless for falling into debt with their friendly cannabis dealer.

Caused by prohibition, not the drug itself. Don't get the two confused.

Let us put heroin aside then. In nearly ten years I have crossed paths with maybe 3 or 4 people who have stolen to fund alcoholism and I have crossed paths with many, many alcoholics.

How many people use alcohol fine?

In the same token, I have not crossed paths with one single person who has stolen to fund a nicotine habit.

In that same time I know of numerous people who have stolen to fund a cannabis habit.

Would it have been so easy to find someone to take stolen gear if they weren't already involved with criminals?

Don't claim problems caused by criminalisation are reasons to justify the continued prohibition of drugs.

(Fwiw, I don't take drugs, never have, but I want a working solution, something the current system definitely doesn't)
 
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robmiller said:
...which is surely one that can only be taken by the government or by the most ardent of statists. How is that in any way a justification of prohibition?


I don't remember justifying it? Explain yes, justify, no. I thought I'd made it clear: due to vested interest all I do in drugs threads is try to explain/correct things.


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