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Forums > Social Discussion > Was 'Prohibition' relevant?

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:
Written by: ----------


Also, the comments about drugs and alcohol. I am strongly against prohibition- we tried it with alcohol, and it was a tragic joke. In fact, it helped give rise to the spectre of organized crime in North America, a tragic, unintended consequence if there ever was one. Making it illegal did not take away people's desire for it. It was just driven underground.




This point is often raised in connection with drugs/alcohol- basically saying that prohibition was tried in America, didn't work and, by implication, infering that all future attempts at prohibiting substances are doomed to failure.

I'm not going to argue here that prohibiton is good or bad, but, I do want to raise some questions about the logicality of the above.

Firstly, the American prohibition experiment was a one-off, and we can't conclude much from one experiement, however disasterous it may have been.

Secondly, and the real point I want to make here, is that there were a host of factors involved which were quite possibly far more relevant in its failure than the actual prohibition: -

Even a brief look into the history of that period will reveal that corruption- deep and pervasive, riddled the government organisations responsible for enforcing and governing prohibition.

Lots of money was involved in liasing between corrupt government officials and gangsters, moving the illegal produce to end users. Without that corruption, alcohol would not have been anywhere as easily available as it was.

Now I'm not denying that corruption exists today; but it's in no way on the level that existed then.

Neither am I saying that if that gross corruption didn't exist then, that prohibition would have succeeded (though I do believe that it would have fared much better).

What I'm saying is that, it could be argued that the prohibition experiment never took place- that we can't conclude anything whatsoever about the practicality of prohibition from what took place in that period.

And that's the main issue I want to discuss here, but obviously there's a lot of side issues and I'm happy for the thread to meander around a little- as always, I hope that people tempted to get annoyed and post aggressively will moderate themselves and give themselves time to think before posting.


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:prohibition is still going on dave.



the only reason everyone references the american 1930's prohibition of alcohol is because it was a very special scenario for two reasons.

firstly because it was prohibition of a previously legally obtainable substance and secondly, for the fact that there was an end to the period of prohibition in that case - this is very rare.



in the uk, drugs of 'class a' are completely prohibited, as are most 'class b' drugs.



the experiment i prefer to see are the ones that give a choice about drugs to the individual.



lambeth council's pilot scheme involving reduced penalties for cannabis possesion.

this resulted in a national downgrading of the illegal class that marajuana is placed in.



anyone seen footloose...? wink





cole. x


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i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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hefalump


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Total posts: 9
Posted:We have a prohibition experiment happening right now with drugs. It's not working, the drug use rates are climbing, and corruption is painfully evident. I think it's pretty obvious prohibition causes organized crime. If you ban something on the legal market, logically the illegal market will continue to supply the product.

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

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Posted:Prohibition is also in effect - to varying degrees in many muslim countries, where alcohol is illegal under Sharia law.

I'm not sure how relevant that is to your discussion, but I'll plough on anyway.

I have experienced the system in Saudi Arabia first hand, where all alcohol is expressly forbidden, although I know that in surrounding countries such as Dubai foreigners may drink in specific places.

Punishments in Saudi are extremely severe - I think you get a public flogging (probably around 50 lashes) for alcohol, and deportation. Still ex-pats resolutely brew their own (leading to some pretty lethal concotions and nice explosions), smuggle stuff in and go partying at the embassy.

Not sure where I was going with that lot...
just pointing out that prohibition wasn't restricted either to America or the past smile


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

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Posted:i think two other important factors to consider with prohibition are the penalties for violating it and the standard of living ie what ppl have to lose as ppl with less to lose take bigger risks

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

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Posted:I think it is relevant. Whenever you ban people from doing something they enjoy, whether it's drugs, gambling, or whatever else, they will continue to do it.

Alcohol is such a pervasive drug that it would be practically impossible to cut it off from a society.

As it happens, other drugs are also widely used. While not nearly as pervasive (because it's not nearly as historically accepted), marijuana is still used by a sizable minority of the U.S. and Western European populations. People enjoy it and they aren't going to stop just because it's illegal.

At no time in human history has a ban on a recreational drug been successful. I defy you to find a counter-example. And the more draconian and intense the enforcement, the bigger a problem it becomes.


-Mike )'(
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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

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Location: Dallas.........ish

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Posted:the DEA has become a total travesty in its attempts to end the drug trade (mind you a multi billion dollar industry) in the US...by legalizing drugs and just taxing them you could essentially bottem out the entire economy of places like columbia and afghanistan without any lives put into combat
usage would skyrocket after drugs were legalized for about 6 weeks and then bottem out to all time lows....funnel the tax money into more awareness programs in schools and improve rehab clinics and there you go...the drug problem is solved


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:Written by: LLiigghhttnniinngg

I think it is relevant. Whenever you ban people from doing something they enjoy, whether it's drugs, gambling, or whatever else, they will continue to do it.





Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that some people will continue to do it.

Whereas some others will refrain from an activity on the basis that it's illegal, most especially the next generation of potential new users.

Additionally, some who did use, but weren't especially committed, would cease on the grounds that it's not worth the bother now it's illegal.


Written by: LLiigghhttnniinngg



At no time in human history has a ban on a recreational drug been successful. I defy you to find a counter-example. And the more draconian and intense the enforcement, the bigger a problem it becomes.



I'd put forward the prohibition, in some places, of smoking in public places (eg pubs).

You're right that draconian and intense is not the way to do it.

My feelings are that pure prohibition will likely be ineffective; then again, I'd also say that pure education will also likely be ineffective.

I think that a good mix of legislation and education is the most likely to succeed.

Some of the factors that make the smoking ban more successful, IMO, include the general education and challenging of some of the prevelant smoking myths, as well as smokers understandign that non-smokers have rights too, and, that smoking bans, on the whole, have as many positive as negative effects on those who do choose to smoke.

-------------

On the subject of heroin prohibition- yes, it's easy to look around and say it's not worked; but can we really conclude that?

What are we comparing the current situation to?

Is it not possible that if heroin wasn't prohibited, that the situation would actually be worse?

I'm not saying it would, just asking how we can know.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Total posts: 2830
Posted:Dave you could argue about the implications of prohibition in America, but it would be a travesty to deny that prohibition in America never happened, and we can learn from that experience ie. It happened so learn from the experience.

Lightning, I can actually think of one counter-example and Ill include to show the extreme end of the spectrum, not to contradict you. I think the Chinese were successfully in banning the use of opium for a while at least. While I suspect opium use in China has risen in recent years, their tactic of killing anyone associated with the trade worked for many years. However, the death penalty has not been as effective in Malaysia, for example.

Dave, Im not sure this is correct Whereas some others will refrain from an activity on the basis that it's illegal, most especially the next generation of potential new users. I would suggest that illegality would be attractive to the next generation, perhaps the generation following.

I think there is a big difference between banning smoking in public places (eg pubs) and banning smoking altogether.

I agree that education is important, not sure about the legislation. Perhaps both are just band-aid solutions. Dont we really need to tackle the cause of these problems (addictions compared to recreational use) like high unemployment, loss of self-esteem, boredom etcetc. Perhaps the system is broken and these drug problems are as symptom.

On the subject of if heroin wasnt prohibition. They have tried to conduct these experiment in Australia. But Im not sure if they were every carried out. I think there have been experiments in other countries though.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:Written by: Stone

Dave you could argue about the implications of prohibition in America, but it would be a travesty to deny that prohibition in America never happened, and we can learn from that experience ie. It happened so learn from the experience.





I'm not denying that the historical experiment called 'Prohibition' happened- obviously it did.

I'm simply challenging the view that it has any real relevance to modern day prohibiting of drugs, and I'm arguing that extremely high levels of government coruption were more responsible for it's failure than the prohibition aspects.

Written by: Stone


Dave, Im not sure this is correct Whereas some others will refrain from an activity on the basis that it's illegal, most especially the next generation of potential new users. I would suggest that illegality would be attractive to the next generation, perhaps the generation following.



What I meant about the folowing generation was along the following lines-

if drug abuse is the norm in the environment that a child is brought up in, then it will have a tendency to adopt the habit.

For example, in working class cultures in the UK where virtually all adults smoked, and smoking was seen as the norm, most of the next generation who stayed within that culture would tend to become smokers.

Conversely, if children were brought up in a culture where no-one smoked, and smoking was seen as a strange historical in societies past; I suspect that very few would be inclined to take it up.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:Also, in connection with illegality being appealing to the next generation, I think it's important to say that, once again, its some of the next generation.

ie there's also plenty in the next generation who have respect for laws that prohibit substances, especially if its backed up with decent education on the subject.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Dave, when I said implications of prohibition in America, I meant relevance to modern day. Yes I think it is relevant, but as you point out we need to be aware of the complicating factors like corruption at the time. I was not entirely sure of your meaning when you said it could be argued that the prohibition experiment never took place- that we can't conclude anything whatsoever about the practicality of prohibition from what took place in that period.

Yes I would agree that children brought up in a culture where no one smoked, would decrease the likely hood of adoption. I was thinking more generally, like society as a whole. Where according to Australian media reports, the rate of smoking has increased in the next generation. I have also heard stories (probably urban myths) of Amish kids becoming attracted to cocaine and other things.

I think there will always be a some as in some of the next generation, so it would be interesting to know if the some is increasing or decreasing with each generation.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
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Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

I'm simply challenging the view that it has any real relevance to modern day prohibiting of drugs, and I'm arguing that extremely high levels of government coruption were more responsible for it's failure than the prohibition aspects.




a couple of quick points: 1. the law is sometimes an ass, and prohibition is a good example of this

2. corruption and prohbited activites go hand in hand sometimes - we see it in the drug trade and in the prohbition experiment of America. It's going to happen - we are not all going to play by the 'rules' just because they are the rules (see point 1)


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:When you say 'prohibition is a good example of this', are you talking about 'prohibition' the historical American experiment, or about prohibiting things in general?

If the first, then that issue is precisely what this thread is discussing, and I've tried to argue that prohibition failed not so much because the law was misguided, but because it wasn't effectively applied due to gross corruption.

If the second, then I'd argue that not all forms of substance prohibition are examples of the 'law being an ass' (eg banning smoking in some public places, prohibiting alcohol sales to those who are under-age etc).

----------------------

One of the prime functions of law is to prohibit, whether that be actions, or use of substances.

I think few would disagree that laws in general are a good thing, yet, when it comes to the law prohibiting substances, more people frown upon it.

Maybe it would be interesting to ponder why it is that most are totally happy with the prohibition of actions (eg murder), yet less so with prohibition of substance use/abuse?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

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Posted:Written by: onewheeldave


I think few would disagree that laws in general are a good thing, yet, when it comes to the law prohibiting substances, more people frown upon it.



Maybe it would be interesting to ponder why it is that most are totally happy with the prohibition of actions (eg murder), yet less so with prohibition of substance use/abuse?





i did that 'write a big post then delete it thing'.

but then you posted this so i get to write a new one smile



my last post made the point that cigarettes are the worst possible example of a recreational drug - their use directly affects those near the users and they have little or no positive effects.



the prohibition of actions usually only apply to actions that have a negative effect on other members of the society (which i'd like to add 'prohibition of smoking in public places' falls under - that is a prohibition of an action, not the of use of a substance).



if you say to a human being "you cannot do this", they will ask "why?"



if the answer is "because it has an immediate detrimental effect on you and others" then hopefully the moral argument will win out for that person and they will obey the restriction on their liberty.



if the answer is "although recreational use is managable, there is a possible chance of detrimental effects through overuse of this substance" then i doubt you will ever convince a whole society (or even the majority) that such a restriction on their freedoms is justified.



besides, we live in a society that says "you can take these substances, but not these ones" which will always cuase a problem - especially if it permits the recreational use of some drugs but seemingly arbitrarily bans others (alcohol vs weed debate anyone? wink).



prohibition on actions are fairly black and white whereas substance prohibition is hazy - for substances the law is "you can drink this and buy these over the counter but you can't take this and you shouldn't have these unless we say you need it" but for murder it is "do not commit murder".

if the two categories of prohibition were brought into line with each other (i.e. "it is illegal to imbibe any substance that has a phycological or poysiological effect - a teetotal society), there is a slim chance that prohibition might work.

but i still doubt it (not to mention that that law may idadvertantly cover food and water wink).



-------------------------



as for your theory set out in the following quotes (please correct me if you think i have picked these badly and misrepresented your views as this is not my intention):



"if drug abuse is the norm in the environment that a child is brought up in, then it will have a tendency to adopt the habit."

"if children were brought up in a culture where no-one smoked, and smoking was seen as a strange historical in societies past; I suspect that very few would be inclined to take it up."

"there's also plenty in the next generation who have respect for laws that prohibit substances, especially if its backed up with decent education on the subject."



i think your view is slightly skewed here.

i was well educated about the risks of illegal drugs and was brought up in a stable environment where illegal drugs were exactly that - prohibited.

most of the drugs that are prohibited today have not only been illegal since i was born, but have been for many generations before.

but despite these facts, illegal recreational drug use in my generation is higher than in was in previous ones.



which kinda shows us that either there is something seriously amiss in the education or legislation systems OR that prohibition of substances does not work in a society that actively permits and promotes the controlled recreational use of other substances.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Dave, prohibition failed and continues to fail for many reasons including corruption. I think the American experiment is probably an excellent example of what happens when prohibition is introduced. Especially when the people think the law is misguided and they have no respect for it. Look what happens when a book or movie is banned? Sales go through the roof.



Prohibition doesnt stop murder. Murder is not something we generally contemplate, so when people act its mostly impulsive.



The restrictions on minors are there to protect them, but as adults many feel they have the right to make their own decisions.



Most are saying prohibition doesnt work. So Im wondering why you continue to push the prohibition barrow, and not explore more realistic options to prohibition?


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:coleman-



I think that most of the generation who take drugs you're refering to, did not grow up in an environment where drugs were absent.



Their peer group used drugs extensively and promoted their use (by associating drug use with 'coolness' and considering it anti-authoritarian and pro-free expression).



My belief is that if a generation grew up in a culture where smoking was almost totally absent, and objective information was available which explained why, in previous generations, a significant percentage of the population found themselves addicted to it; that very, very few would take up smoking.



You're right to distinguish betweem nicotine abuse and other drugs, however, in my opinion, the difference is primarily one of scale.



The views of many of our generation concerning drug use are, IMO, scewed by the fact that drug use/abuse is rife, and often seen as the norm.



In that environment, objectivity is almost impossible. A alcoholic cannot be objective about alcohol until they either see how it is ruining their life or have overcome the habit.



I believe that if we could have a generation where drug use was not rife/the norm, yet which studied the recent history of drug use/abuse objectively- that generation would view our current situation (concerning alcohol, nicotine, pot, heroin etc, etc) in much the same way we view our cultures previous use of slavery, or our cultures previous non-allowance of the vote for females; a historical curiousity, perplexing yet disturbing.



Try and put yourself in the position of one of that generation when they mull over the fact that, in the recent past, 4,000,000 human beings a year died horribly from totally avoidable causes (smoking); that every friday/saturday night casuality wards would be stretched to overflowing by the victims of that nights alcohol-fueled carnage.



I've got the flu, and I'm rambling; I'll shut up now smile


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Posted:Stone, I'm really not pushing prohibition.

Mainly I'm identifying (in the initial post anyway) what I consider to be a flawed, 'knee-jerk' dismisal of prohibition.

My opinion is that the way forward is likely to involve a combination of legislation and education.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Bad luck about the flu.

I would regard that 'knee-jerk' dismissal of prohibition as a huge obstacle.

A combination of legislation and education could work. My thinking is a good education program should negate the need for legislation. Im a bit anti-legislation, as you may have noticed, perhaps its the convict heritage wink

cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

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Posted:dave -



(quotes from you are in bold to stop me having to use the quote thingy for everything smile)



"I think that most of the generation who take drugs you're refering to, did not grow up in an environment where drugs were absent.



Their peer group used drugs extensively and promoted their use (by associating drug use with 'coolness' and considering it anti-authoritarian and pro-free expression)."




their peers are a part of the same generation.

which means that the impetus to try drugs is not a case of the previous generation's choices to use recreational drugs affecting the next.

which if i have understood you correctly, is what you were suggesting is the overriding factor in any one particular generation's decision to take drugs.



however, i do understand that your point is that those peers that take drugs may have been influenced by their parents' decisions, and that then spreads to those who were not, due to peer pressure.



which means primarily this is a problem to with attitudes.



if the 'coolness' could be removed from drugs, the main influencing factor would possibly become the previous generation's choices.



i don't think so myself but we won't know until that days comes i guess smile



"My belief is that if a generation grew up in a culture where smoking was almost totally absent, and objective information was available which explained why, in previous generations, a significant percentage of the population found themselves addicted to it; that very, very few would take up smoking."



i agree 100% with that.

but the major reason for my belief here is due to the fact that nicotine, used as a recreational drug, has no positive effects.

its a little more difficult for me to believe that this would be the case with other recreational drugs - especially if there is a legal recrational drug existing within the culture (i.e. alcohol).



even if we assume that recreational drug use is prohibited throughout the society, the other major factor for me is that medicinal drugs are becoming more and more prevalent.

in a culture where it is possible to buy ibuprofen tablets in child size doses from your local supermarket, it is hard to instill the idea that "some drugs are bad because instead of primarily making you better, they make you feel or think differently".



its hard to say because drugs have always been a part of human existance and the use of medicinal drugs means they always will be.

i don't think human curiosity will ever be overcome, which means a drug found with 'side effects' that could be used in a recreational fashion, will inevitably be used for that purpose by someone.



i am at a loss when i try to comprehend the reasoning of this paragraph:



"I believe that if we could have a generation where drug use was not rife/the norm, yet which studied the recent history of drug use/abuse objectively- that generation would view our current situation (concerning alcohol, nicotine, pot, heroin etc, etc) in much the same way we view our cultures previous use of slavery, or our cultures previous non-allowance of the vote for females; a historical curiousity, perplexing yet disturbing."



i think that viewpoint may be closely connected to your own experiences with the recreational use of marajuana turning into abuse i.e. taking a drug due to habit or addiction rather than out of choice.



comparing recreational drug use to oppression (slavery and male dominance in society are both examples of oppression) is a step too far for me.

you could argue that the abuse of recreational drugs can be viewed as a tool for oppression and i would be able to latch on to your line of reasoning but i don't think hedonistic tendencies (for lack of a better term) will ever be viewed as completely negative.



i see the situation more from stone's point of view - "Dont we really need to tackle the cause of these problems (addiction compared to recreational use) like high unemployment, loss of self-esteem, boredom...".



i.e. that the problem is not the recreational use of drugs, but rather the factors that turn this use into abuse (including the very nature of addiction itself).





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Amanita
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

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Posted:Excuse me Dave, but I don't think the quote you lifted from me was "Knee jerk".
I merely used the failed american experiment to make a point- that if people want to do something badly enough, it will still happen regardless of what the law says, and that pushing something underground can have some serious if not tragic consequences.

I tend to agree with what Stone and Coleman are saying- that education and examination are the real keys to addressing the problem. Case in point- there was a heartbreaking incident that took place on an Inuit reservation in Newfoundland a few years ago. Five youths died in a group gas sniffing gone wrong. Gas sniffing and substance abuse was endemic in the community, to the point that the sister of one of the deceased only had this to say to the reporter who interviewed her:
"I want to die sniffing gas like my brother".
Doesn't that just tear you up to hear that- that this young girl could feel so hopeless that she WANTED to die like that?

So what could have been done to help this community? Ban gasoline? Heavily fine and/or imprison anyone caught with drugs or alcohol? I don't think that would have helped the community at all. In that case, the widespread substance abuse that ran rampant there was merely a symptom of something far deeper.
This community was desperately poor, with most of the adults out of work or career welfare recipients. Education was almost non existant there. A sorry situation all around. Like I said, simply banning the offending substances would have done nothing to improve this picture- that WOULD have been a knee jerk reaction.

In that community's case, a better alternative might have been to work with those people- give them access to schooling and job training. Offer counselling and addiction treatment for those who want it. Attack not the symptom, but the root of the problem, the root being the deep poverty and hopelessness in that community.

As for society at large, I know that I would not last very long teaching a public health class. The kids might like me, but the more conservative parents would be flipping out. Why?
I know better than to stand there and lecture about abstinance, abstinance, abstinance. Those kids won't take it seriously, and any adult who relentlessly beats the "abstain from everything" drum is NOT going to be taken seriously, but instead viewed as a prude and a killjoy. Here's what I would do- give these kids the REAL facts on drugs and alcohol. Teach that there's a world of difference between a bit of weed or a casual drink, and hardcore addiction. Of course, teach respect for the law- "You've only got a few more years before you can drink legally, it's worth waiting for" and "Currently, using weed is illegal- is that occasional toke worth the trouble it may land you in?"
But I would not stop there- as a friend of mine puts it, there's nothing worse to a teen than "being a loser". Here's where the kids would get some real education, and the parents would probably want my head on a plate. I would not stand there and lecture about the evils of drugs and alcohol- I would go out and find some real recovering addicts- people who have done serious damage to their life and health, and still aren't all better yet. And I would bring these people into class and let them talk.
When the kids say "I will never be you", let the addicts say "Yeah, sure. I used to say the same thing. I've been in your shoes."
And I would not bring in just any old "wino" to talk to the kids. I would find somebody who used to have it all- nice job, nice family, a perfectly respectable life until they got addicted. Maybe hearing and seeing it from somebody who's been there might make an impression. Maybe one of these ER visits where they bring in a staged "drunk driving casualty", done up to look shockingly real. Maybe a talk with somebody who smoked to the point of lung cancer, thinking "it won't happen to me".

Perhaps this is a way to get youth to take things seriously- don't preach at them, really educate them. Teach them that no, a social drink or two most likely won't hurt. But a drunken binge will. Let them see how rediculous drunk people can be, and ask "is that how you want people to see you?" Show them the recovering addict and ask "Do you really want to start down that road, seeing where it leads?"

Just a few thoughts..


"Do not meddle in the affairs of Tower Cranes, for you are soft and would look better when squashed by a full concrete bucket"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:When it comes to seeing a post which basically says that American prohibition shows that anti-drugs legislation can't work, it is, IMO, worthy of being classed as 'knee-jerk'.



For the reasons I covered in the first post of this thread, I think it's highly questionable that American prohibition can be used to conclude anything as I think it's likely that the main cause for its failure was corruption amongst the enforcing officials.



-----------



Much of the rest of your post I agree with very much- I'd like to see real people coming into the classrooms and telling how drugs have negatively affected their lives.



Like I said before, prohibition alone will likely fail everytime; I'd say also that education alone will likely fail.



I suspect that a combination of legislation (properly enforced) and education is likely to be the best approach.



For me, I believe that I have a knack for spotting myths and plausible sounding, but ultimately innacurate 'knee-jerk' myths on the subject of drug use.



IMO, the prohibition argument is one of those, and I just wanted to expose it as such by putting forward my reasoning.



-----------------



I've had a good range of experience with drugs, I know what it's like to be deluded whilst using them, and, more important, I know what it's like to look back objectively having escaped from that delusion.



When a smoker puts forward their point of view that there are benefits to smoking, that smoking is a choice, I know that they are deluded, as I once was.



I don't know if a complete ban on smoking would kill the habit, and thereby save the lives of 4,000,000 people annualy, anymore than anyone else can know it won't.



Currently I would not support a complete ban on smoking, precisly because I don't know if it will help or hinder the problem.



I do support the coming ban on smoking in pubs (partial prohibition) as I feel that one of its effects will be that less people will smoke, and also for other reasons such as the rights of non-smokers to use social facilities like pubs.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Stone

Lightning, I can actually think of one counter-example and Ill include to show the extreme end of the spectrum, not to contradict you. I think the Chinese were successfully in banning the use of opium for a while at least. While I suspect opium use in China has risen in recent years, their tactic of killing anyone associated with the trade worked for many years. However, the death penalty has not been as effective in Malaysia, for example.




I don't think it was so effective as there wasn't a long period of time in which there were no executions. Then again, it's the exception that proves the rule: if you REALLY want zero drug use, then get ready to use some pretty darned heavy-handed measures.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Amanita
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

member
Location: Halifax, NS

Total posts: 157
Posted:Dave, I pointed out that prohibition WAS a knee-jerk measure, and that reinstating it would only repeat an old mistake. In the original thread that you are referencing, I did not mention other measures such as education because at the time they did not seem relevent to the discussion, or to that thread topic. We were talking about a so-called utopia, somebody mentioned banning alcohol, and I mentioned a historical precident suggesting that it would not work as planned. Enough said.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of Tower Cranes, for you are soft and would look better when squashed by a full concrete bucket"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Amanita


Dave, I pointed out that prohibition WAS a knee-jerk measure, and that reinstating it would only repeat an old mistake..........









Written by: Amanita


Excuse me Dave, but I don't think the quote you lifted from me was "Knee jerk".........





Maybe there's a misunderstanding here. I'm definitly not claiming that prohibition itself was a knee-jerk reaction; maybe it was, but that's not the point I was making.



The point I was trying to make is that the often seen "prohibition was tried, and it failed, therefore prohibition doesn't work" quote is a knee-jerk reaction. It's the kind of comment used to attempt to dismiss suggestions that prohibition can work, and it does so without offering any real reasoning, and, IMO, it is invalid for the reasons I picked out in my original post.







Does that make sense? Here's your original quote (the one I was refering to with this thread)-



Written by: Amanita




Also, the comments about drugs and alcohol. I am strongly against prohibition- we tried it with alcohol, and it was a tragic joke. In fact, it helped give rise to the spectre of organized crime in North America, a tragic, unintended consequence if there ever was one. Making it illegal did not take away people's desire for it. It was just driven underground.





Unless I'm totally confused, that is a prime example of what I'm calling the 'knee-jerk' dismisal of prohibition on the grounds of an experiment that, I'm arguing, proves absolutely nothing about the effectiveness of bans.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by:
Unless I'm totally confused, that is a prime example of what I'm calling the 'knee-jerk' dismisal of prohibition on the grounds of an experiment that, I'm arguing, proves absolutely nothing about the effectiveness of bans.



What would prove something about the effectiveness of bans? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I'm not at present saying what, if anything, could prove the effectiveness of bans; simply that, for the reasons I previously put forward, American prohibition did not disprove their effectiveness.

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:No, American prohibition didn't disprove it. I think the historical string of failed attempts at prohibition prove it, though.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

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Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: LLiigghhttnniinngg

No, American prohibition didn't disprove it.


Then we agree. That was the point of this thread. I was concerned that many, on seeing the 'American prohibition failed, therefore prohibition doesn't work' line, would tend to accept it at face value.

I just hope that more people come to realise it's an invalid argument.


Written by: LLiigghhttnniinngg

I think the historical string of failed attempts at prohibition prove it, though.


Maybe you should name a couple?

I can't promise to comment though, as I may not know much about them.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, let's see...the Jamaicans tried to ban apples (complicated story as to why). Someone at some point tried to ban chocolate (Maybe the Spanish?). Then there's the Chinese and the opium. A few different governments have tried to ban alcohol; that never works.

And then there's modern prohibition: every country except the Netherlands has criminalized marijuana et al. And we see how well THAT works.

How many more examples do we need?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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