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We had an interesting discussion the other day with some friends.

One of them said he would be ok with legalizing all drug use, a Libertarian stance, IF the user accepted all personal responsibility for the outcome. Meaning, no free rehab, no cops with Narcan and no free social services as a result of drug use. Freedom comes with consequences...some of them unintended.

What say you?
 

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I would tend to agree, but I am afraid the hospitals would be swamped with overdoses and the tax payers and people with medical insurance would end up supporting their medical care.
 

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Legalize it all as long as being under the influence or addiction isn’t a defense against being responsible for the consequences. As for drugs we commonly obtain through prescriptions, why am I forced to pay a tax to a physician? Sure, it’s probably a good idea. But, not always necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I would tend to agree, but I am afraid the hospitals would be swamped with overdoses and the tax payers and people with medical insurance would end up supporting their medical care.
That already happens.
Also, the billions of dollars saved on drug rehab would make up the difference.

Many drug users wouldn't make it to the hospital if the police didn't carry Narcan.
 

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We had an interesting discussion the other day with some friends.

One of them said he would be ok with legalizing all drug use, a Libertarian stance, IF the user accepted all personal responsibility for the outcome. Meaning, no free rehab, no cops with Narcan and no free social services as a result of drug use. Freedom comes with consequences...some of them unintended.

What say you?
My thoughts:
  • I don't think the issue is binary, legal or not legal. There are different drugs with different effects and whether we regulate them or deregulate them, we should do so intelligently. Marijuana should not be a Schedule One drug, under an ounce should not be criminal and it should be able to be prescribed for legitimate medical uses. Psychoactive drugs may need to be more regulated. They can cause people to do dangerous things. Cocaine, meth and heroin should be studied with a more open mind. Do they cause crime and violence on their own, or is it because people get so desperate to have them? I am no expert, I don't know.
  • There hardly any way to enforce drug laws. We should limit the drug laws we have to a very few that really need to exist and that we can actually enforce. An unenforceable law is useless and can have serious unintended consequences.
  • The idea of "IF the user accepted all personal responsibility for the outcome" will never, ever happen. If people get screwed up on drugs, legal or illegal, there will always be public assistance for them, right or wrong. And while I find that repugnant also, I recognize that withholding public assistance for drug problems would have some of the same unintended consequences as keeping them illegal.
  • We probably need to get morality out of the equation. It hasn't worked. We need drug policies that are rational and enforceable.
Personally, I would be all for giving hard drug users all of the drug they want, its purest form, and let nature take its course.
 

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I can agree on marijuana after all you never hear of someone getting stoned and abusing another. And myself I would want it to be used like I use alcohol, only at home or if on the road strictly in my room or if they have an in house bar possibly. Many other drugs I cannot agree with due to the many side effects and the damage they cause to the body.
 

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I can agree on marijuana after all you never hear of someone getting stoned and abusing another. And myself I would want it to be used like I use alcohol, only at home or if on the road strictly in my room or if they have an in house bar possibly. Many other drugs I cannot agree with due to the many side effects and the damage they cause to the body.
I remember a comedy routine by a comic out of Chicago, but I can't remember his name. He was saying how he judges if a drug was dangerous by how scared he would feel if he were trapped on an elevator with someone high on it.
Alcohol? Maybe somewhat scared. Depends on what kind of drunk the guy is.
Meth, Cocaine? I'm really scared.
Weed? Ah, not so much...
 

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I don't think we could stand by and watch this happen. We care more about drug addicts than they care about themselves.
Therein is the frustration.
 

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I'm sure legalized meth/coke/heroine will produce a generation of outstanding citizens. What could go wrong?
 

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In a perfect world people should have choice. But it is an imperfect world and those kind of selfish choices have consequences. Consequences that everyone else has to deal with, pay for, etc. Their freedom stops at the tip of my nose. So no, not in favor.
 

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In a perfect world people should have choice. But it is an imperfect world and those kind of selfish choices have consequences. Consequences that everyone else has to deal with, pay for, etc. Their freedom stops at the tip of my nose. So no, not in favor.
This is probably the best summation of my feelings as well. Thanks.
 

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I'm no sociologist/criminologist, so this is just one old guy's not so informed opinion.

How about working to remove the profit motive for the cartels that are ruining nearby countries and causing so much damage to the US?

Decriminalize possession of drugs. Stop the pipeline feeding our insane "prisons for profit" nonsense.

Set up public clinics/treatment centers where addicts can get their drug at low cost, but under one condition: they enroll in programs to get them off of those drugs.

Just one old man's incomplete thoughts on a Tuesday evening. ;)
 

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I know certain countries in Europe have gone the legalized drug way with various outcomes
I am not sure it could work here as well as it does there.
They have a more socialist type society so the unproductive people in their society will just count on all the government programs to help them survive.
We here in the US count on people to live their lives and deal with the consequences, well anyway we used to.
I do not think we need to expand the folks who will be so messed up on drugs that we will need to use our limited tax dollars to support them.
Sure, I would be for legalizing drugs if we don’t have to pay for their bad choices.
I also worry about the message it sends to kids. How bad can heroine be if it’s legal to used mom?
 

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I would legalize marijuana immediately nationwide. I do not see the difference between being high and being drunk. Both are impaired, and I’d argue that being high has fewer consequences (no hangover).

I would eventually legalize most drugs and place vice taxes on them.

The OD issue with opiates needs to be sorted out before they are legalized. Although overdoses can be sorted out through natural selection.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In a perfect world people should have choice. But it is an imperfect world and those kind of selfish choices have consequences. Consequences that everyone else has to deal with, pay for, etc. Their freedom stops at the tip of my nose. So no, not in favor.
That is assuming the we have to take care of the addict as a result of his drug use.
We already pay (big) for the consequences of illegal drug use.

My question is, what if we didn't have to pay the consequences for their drug use. (This is a theoretical question because there are always some sort of consequence that society will have to bear)
 

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I absolutely believe that drugs should be legalized as it is none of the government's business what any adult does with or to their own bodies.

I also think that there would be no more addicts than there are now.

Why do I think this?

Because I believe the same people that are prone to become addicts will do so whether it is legal or not.

During Prohibition, there was a huge uptick in alcohol use among those that did not appreciate the government telling them they could not have a drink.
 

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Lots could go wrong, but:

1. they do it anyway...legal or not
2. eventually it would be a self limiting problem
Look at how companies exploited the therapeutics of opioids.

Now imagine that exploitation on steroids, especially with the moral hazard afforded by a truly libertarian framework.

Families would be destroyed; entire communities would be laid waste.

I am a "hands off" kind of guy, but only if the societal cost is minimal. Legalizing all drugs would destroy our next generation.

I've always thought the argument for legalizing drugs a cowardly one; so few people are afraid to "draw a line" or see laws enforced.
 

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I absolutely believe that drugs should be legalized as it is none of the government's business what any adult does with or to their own bodies.

I also think that there would be no more addicts than there are now.

Why do I think this?

Because I the same people that are prone to become addicts will do so whether it is legal or not.

During Prohibition, there was a huge uptick in alcohol use among those that did not appreciate the government telling them they could not have a drink.
The "number of addicts" argument doesn't hold water because right now most drugs are illegal and use is stigmatized.

Imagine the marketing power of Coke or Pepsi but the products are methamphetamine, LSD, heroin, molly and cocaine. We're talking about tens of billions of dollars in a new market. Under a truly libertarian approach, there would be no repercussions for marketing such products. Read up on how pharmaceutical companies marketed oxycontin. Now imagine a market that probably has 100x revenue potential.

A lot of people that will never use drugs now would end up with their lives destroyed.

Many would not be able to hold down jobs, would rob people to get their next fix, or would prostitute themselves for the next fix.
 

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@PEF...good point about the drug companies exploiting the situation with no laws preventing drug use.

Oxycontin and Heroin have devastated the state of WV. The cost of the social services is staggering. In-patient rehab, needle exchange programs, medical costs etc. The success rate of re-hab is abysmal, especially if it's court ordered.

I'd like to see the dealers get long prison sentences or the death penalty.

No matter how many resources or how much money is thrown at the drug problem, it's not getting better. That's why West Virginians are so frustrated.
 
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