Would libertarian legalisation of illegal drugs coupled with a health care approach prove better than prohibition for society?

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
Virgin Media's 9pm March 4th documentary on gardai's policing of violent Dublin drug gangs shocked many viewers. It should lead to a complete overhaul of the policy on illegal drugs with an emphasis on health care for addiction or even a libertarian legalisation of drugs.
Libertarians believe the citizen should be free to do whatever s/he likes as long as it doesn't harm others. The harm to others of illegal drug use is indirect in that by example it encourages the curious,naive,ill informed and reckless to try drugs that are potentially extremely harmful.
The first major experiment with prohibition was the prohibition of alcohol in the USA in the 1920s. That proved disastrous as gangs sprung up all over the country to supply the enormous mass demand for alcohol,with police departments bribed to ignore speakeasy pubs.
While demand for illegal drugs today in the USA isn't a mass market like alcohol, it is a very big market for a minority of maybe a tenth of the adult population. Its size in buying power is so large that together with demand in Europe it funds drug gangs and their franchise networks that seriously threaten democratic governments in Mexico, Columbia and central America.
The tens of thousands of drug related murders in recent years in Mexico suggest the futility of a "War on drugs" started by the administration of President Nixon over a generation ago. In the USA, drug related crimes and punitive prison sentences explain the enormous incarceration rates of black Americans. Aside from the costs in policing drugs,these are extreme prices to pay for the endless war on drugs.
So maybe it's high time to consider legalisation of all illegal drugs, not just cannabis. To protect the public,the model should include government control of drug quality and distribution. Distribution outlets shouldn't be in convenient locations, to discourage consumption. As for drug quality, a high quality of some drugs regarded as deadly long run needn't prove an immediate threat to health. Apparently, Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles lived to old ages despite a heroin habit presumably because they could afford a high quality supply. Crack cocaine would be problematic though, as it is can be extremely addictive after a very short period of use, unlike cocaine. Drugs that are known to be extremely harmful in the short term should be off the menu.
There should be some regulatory barriers to shopping for drugs in government outlets. Shoppers should undergo an initial counselling session on the dangers of the drugs they wish to buy, with a waiting period of a few weeks before buying. There should be limits on the quantities they buy recorded on a common database in all outlets. The limits would be needed to prevent sales on the street. In cases of drugs known to be toxic for health,their users should be recorded in a confidential database at the HSE to prevent their health issues from clogging up lengthy waiting lists.
Such measures would deprive drug gangs of most of their market, drastically reducing criminality as gangs fade away and addicts find a legal supply. There is a danger that gangs would turn to other crimes but few crimes generate so much money as drugs. There is a possibility that smuggling between Ireland and Brexit could prove lucrative without the violence of the drug trade.
 


Lumpy Talbot

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
33,864
Twitter
No
Free market system, Patt. Sellers and customers won't go through any regulatory rigmarole such as waiting periods and won't be perusing official menues.
Drugs that are known to be extremely harmful in the short term should be off the menu.
Thats the regime that has been tried and has failed utterly.
 

Orbit v2

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
12,455
The other side of the libertarian coin is the state getting out of things like socialised healthcare. After all, if you are to be free to put any substance in your body, then nobody else has any responsibility to fix you up, when the inevitable health problems arise.

Most people who call for the legalisation of drugs aren't true libertarians of course. They are me-me nanny-staters who want the freedom to do what they want, but also to be able to blame the state when it all goes tits up. These people (and the criminals who supply them) won't abide by the kind of restrictions suggested here. Why would they? If they can continue to get the drugs cheaper with no restrictions from the criminals then that is what they will do.

Intelligent people who put these ideas out there, do so in full knowledge (cynically) that they will never happen, and will never have to defend their daft ideas.
 

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
Free market system, Patt. Sellers and customers won't go through any regulatory rigmarole such as waiting periods and won't be perusing official menues.


Thats the regime that has been tried and has failed utterly.
Cocaine can be very harmful in the long run but not in the short run. Customers would buy from government outlets to deprive gangsters of money,to ensure uncontaminated supplies and possibly to save money. as for the latter, the government outlets in the early years could corner the market by selling at heavily discounted prices to street drugs to drive the gangs out of business.
Finding supplies would be a challenge but allowing certain suppliers to import drugs for sale to the government might avoid international legal restrictions.
 

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
The other side of the libertarian coin is the state getting out of things like socialised healthcare. After all, if you are to be free to put any substance in your body, then nobody else has any responsibility to fix you up, when the inevitable health problems arise.

Most people who call for the legalisation of drugs aren't true libertarians of course. They are me-me nanny-staters who want the freedom to do what they want, but also to be able to blame the state when it all goes tits up. These people (and the criminals who supply them) won't abide by the kind of restrictions suggested here. Why would they? If they can continue to get the drugs cheaper with no restrictions from the criminals then that is what they will do.

Intelligent people who put these ideas out there, do so in full knowledge (cynically) that they will never happen, and will never have to defend their daft ideas.
Customers would buy from government outlets to deprive gangsters of money,to ensure uncontaminated supplies and possibly to save money. As for the latter, the government outlets in the early years could corner the market by selling at heavily discounted prices to street drugs to drive the gangs out of business.
 

Ardillaun

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
13,158
Ireland could take a baby step by legalizing cannabis. Canada did so and is still here. In North America, banning heroin has just meant that more potent, dangerous alternatives like fentanyl are smuggled in.

Latin America should get wise about appeasing the US and say we‘re not going to kill each other or poison ourselves any longer to try to stop you getting the drugs your citizens demand:


Trump should publicly spray Roundup on himself and his family every day to show how safe it is.
 
Last edited:

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
Ireland could take a baby step by legalizing cannabis. Canada did so and is still here. In North America, banning heroin has just meant that more potent, dangerous alternatives like fentanyl are smuggled in.

Latin America should get wise about appeasing the US and say we‘re not going to kill each other or poison ourselves any longer to try to stop you getting the drugs your citizens demand:


Trump should publicly spray Roundup on himself and his family every day to show how safe it is.
There should be a counselling session before allowing a person to buy cannabis products because it can cause mental health problems. A formerly heavy marijuana user told me that in his Dublin council flats, quite a large number of his young men friends were addicted,constantly stoned, and he disputed the claim that it's non addictive. Its impairment of mental powers of concentration can last a long time as apparently the ingredients get into the body fat. In comparison, the effect of alcohol on concentration lasts about a day. Most worrisome, cannabis is associated with schizophrenia, but separating cause and effect is difficult; people prone to the disease may be attracted to the drug. There is a very high rate of schizophrenia in Ireland.
 

Ardillaun

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
13,158
There should be a counselling session before allowing a person to buy cannabis products because it can cause mental health problems. A formerly heavy marijuana user told me that in his Dublin council flats, quite a large number of his young men friends were addicted,constantly stoned, and he disputed the claim that it's non addictive.
Nobody would be forced to take it. By any measure, cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol.
 

Politics matters

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
7,636
I remember sitting in the canteen in the job right after that kid got decapitated and one of my colleagues asserted those who use drugs are complicit in that poor lad's death.

Does anyone else feel the same way? I don't know if I feel complicit, but, without the market for cocaine he wouldn't have been murdered.
 

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
Nobody would be forced to take it. By any measure, cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol.
Those who work in jobs requiring mental alertness and students need to realise cannabis makes you dopey over a relatively long time. It isn't called "smoking dope" for nothing. In the middle east where cannbis is substituted for alcohol, I've read that many university students in classrooms are doped out.
 

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
I remember sitting in the canteen in the job right after that kid got decapitated and one of my colleagues asserted those who use drugs are complicit in that poor lad's death.

Does anyone else feel the same way? I don't know if I feel complicit, but, without the market for cocaine he wouldn't have been murdered.
The reality is that users will largely ignore the often terrible consequences for people in the areas supplying drugs.
 

Dearghoul

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
11,239
Nobody would be forced to take it. By any measure, cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol.
I'm really not sure about that, Ardilaun.

Certainly you could put the statistics for alcohol's contributions towards cirrhosis of the liver et al on one side of the equation but on the other we have the admittedly anecdotal effects of the new strains of cannabis on mental health.

Jury's out, I think.
 

toughbutfair

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
11,004
I remember sitting in the canteen in the job right after that kid got decapitated and one of my colleagues asserted those who use drugs are complicit in that poor lad's death.

Does anyone else feel the same way? I don't know if I feel complicit, but, without the market for cocaine he wouldn't have been murdered.
Sorry but yes, I believe you are complicit.
 

Ardillaun

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
13,158
I'm really not sure about that, Ardilaun.

Certainly you could put the statistics for alcohol's contributions towards cirrhosis of the liver et al on one side of the equation but on the other we have the admittedly anecdotal effects of the new strains of cannabis on mental health.

Jury's out, I think.
All drugs are potentially poisons. I would encourage people to avoid them where possible, esp. recreational drugs. However, cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol: on the one hand, some association with mental illness; on the other, a blizzard of injuries and pathologies starting with one of the most devastating, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Even the social effects can’t be compared; a substantial proportion of victims and perpetrators of violent crime are drunk. BTW I am not a cannabis user, US Customs please note, although it’s legal where I live.
 
Last edited:

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
All drugs are potentially poisons. I would encourage people to avoid them where possible, esp. recreational drugs. However, cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol: on the one hand, some association with mental illness; on the other, a blizzard of injuries and pathologies starting with one of the most devastating, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Even the social effects can’t be compared; a substantial proportion of victims and perpetrators of violent crime are drunk. BTW I am not a cannabis user although it’s legal where I live.
Even if cannabis is less dangerous, it can cause a prolonged impairment of mental concentration over a few days unlike alcohol's relatively short impairment of a day,mostly from fatigue. I understand traces of cannabis remain in the body for weeks after use.
 

Patslatt1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
5,045
All drugs are potentially poisons. I would encourage people to avoid them where possible, esp. recreational drugs. However, cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol: on the one hand, some association with mental illness; on the other, a blizzard of injuries and pathologies starting with one of the most devastating, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Even the social effects can’t be compared; a substantial proportion of victims and perpetrators of violent crime are drunk. BTW I am not a cannabis user although it’s legal where I live.
Irish women have learned to drink like men, unlike in 1960s Ireland and before. The result is one of the worst fetal alcohol records in the OECD countries.
 

Ardillaun

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
13,158
Even if cannabis is less dangerous, it can cause a prolonged impairment of mental concentration over a few days unlike alcohol's relatively short impairment of a day,mostly from fatigue. I understand traces of cannabis remain in the body for weeks after use.
It does persist in the system and can be detected in urine samples for a long time. I can’t really speak on the long-term effects of cannabis but obviously some people do go overboard and take too much of it. As a chronic hater of Wings, I sometimes wonder if that is what happened to Paul McCartney after the Beatles - Lennon on heroin was better. However, like most Irish people, I’ve seen a lot more misery created by alcohol than any other drug. At least cannabis users usually confine the harm they cause to themselves.
 
Last edited:

Ardillaun

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
13,158
Irish women have learned to drink like men, unlike in 1960s Ireland and before. The result is one of the worst fetal alcohol records in the OECD countries.
The remoter, native communities of Canada have been blighted by FASD and alcohol addiction. That disaster hides in the Canadian figures because it only affects a small (but growing) proportion of the population.

Freedom brings its own hazards. I don’t have a single female relative (that I know of) who drank to excess, unlike the men. This practice among young women of drinking shooters makes me shudder, if I can be so sexist etc. Why try to get drunk quicker? It will happen too soon with beer, let alone anything stronger. Many of them don’t seem to be regular drinkers and they’re out of their minds in no time. Women get drunk more quickly anyway and the bar scene has its own risks for them which I will leave for others to discuss.
 
Last edited:

toughbutfair

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
11,004
I support allowing people to take as much heroin as they want, give them a free supply.
The Liberal part of me supports the freedom aspect while the right wing part of me sees the cost savings in allowing these people overdose, much less crime and city centres that are cleaner.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top Bottom