> Wang says: “Chinese [people] have risked death to eat pufferfish for a long time. The government couldn’t inspect every household to implement the pufferfish ban. So it opened up the industry by legalising it.”
> Duan says that, thanks to the legalisation, and to the number of fisheries experts graduating from the Ocean University of China and Dalian Ocean University, “pufferfish dining will soon become hugely popular like the eating of crayfish”.
So something is dangerous and people are going to do it anyway so they legalize it and try to make it safer instead of criminalizing it. The US could learn from China on this one.
Edit: Not explicitly referring to puffer fish. Just I like the general idea policy wise of using tools other than prohibition. I apologize for being off topic a little. (even though I quote the article)
Pufferfish has been legal in the US for decades at least, there is a classic Simpons episode in which Homer consumes one.
If you meant to comment on drug policy: many drugs are illegal not because of the harm they cause to the user but because of the harm the user causes to others, and it's not feasible to make a "safer" dose because the nature of these drugs encourages addicts to use larger or stronger doses over time. This is in contrast to alcohol [edit: and marijuana], which is legal because (a) it's potency has remained unchanged for centuries, (b) it's easy to control consumption, and (c) the amount of liquid necessary to be ingested to reach debilitating or unsafe levels of intoxication are generally large enough that this level of consumption is the exception, not the norm, among the alcohol-consuming population.
The difference between alcohol and the other drugs is that alcohol makes other activities dangerous, but the onus is ultimately on the individual. The other drugs simply make the person dangerous, due to hallucinations, violent/uncontrollable urges, etc. They also have permanent physiological effects on the brain even at low doses and only a few uses, whereas alcohol would require substantial amounts of consumption to have significant or permanent effects. Not even remotely the same thing.
Are you making the case that alcohol doesn't sometimes cause people to act violent or dangerous?
I'm not really a fan of anything more than caffeine and the occasional alcoholic beverage, but let's be realistic, there's plenty of violence that happens because people are under the influence of alcohol that wouldn't happen if they were not. I'm sure there's thousands of people in prison right now for that reason. Any drug that lowers inhibitions has a chance to cause someone to act on a violent urge they wouldn't otherwise.
> The difference between alcohol and the other drugs ... They also have permanent physiological effects on the brain even at low doses and only a few uses, whereas alcohol would require substantial amounts of consumption to have significant or permanent effects.
So, your evidence is that you can pick a drug that is worse than alcohol, thus alcohol is better than "other drugs"? That's not how logic works.
I'm interested in how making them illegal abates this? It seems like a non-sequitur to me. Further, even after making many natural drugs in categories that did this, we legalized tons of opioids made by US manufacturers, so that doesn't even follow with the actual law in the US.
Further, using alcohol regularly has a similar effect, and I'll bet you it's far more dangerous over time.
I will suggest instead that drugs are illegal for two reasons: Moralization, which is basically randomness applied to ethics; and because it allows our justice system to pick and choose who to imprison.
A third reason is that generally speaking, they cause a lot of pain and suffering. I’m against prohibition, but dismissing it entirely as moralizing and social control misses the very real dangers of drug abuse, and their attendant social costs. It’s just that the only thing worse than the harm caused by drugs, is the harm caused by drugs and their prohibition. Legalizing drugs is just step 1 though. Step 2 has to be a massive overhaul of treatment for addicts and the mentally ill.
Nothing compared to the US prison system, which is where we send people. It is entirely moralizing. Our prison system is the way that it is because of a specific morality in the US, just as so many laws and political positions that exist. There is nothing ethical about it.
If you want people who are addicted to drugs to be able to free themselves from the cycle in a country with a prison system like ours designed to cause fear, you must make the drugs legal, so that coming forward isn't a permanent personal threat.
If anything, this reinforces your point about moralization and selective criminalization. The same chemical can be a medicine or a crime, and most of the difference comes down to money and class.
Even so, I think more regulation, not less, of the alcohol industry is a good idea. Hitting the alcohol industry with advertising bans as harsh as the tobacco industry has would probably do a lot of good. Regulations requiring plain packaging might also do some good.
There is something to be said however about the relative addictiveness of alcohol and opiods. Most consumers of alcohol don't experience any negative symptoms at all when they go weeks without drinking, because most people who drink alcohol do it with insufficient intensity and frequency to develop an addiction. Most people never experience the side effects of cannabis withdrawal for the same reason (which are physiologically terrifying but not physically dangerous.)
I know some people claim to be casual consumers of heroin. But I also know from personal experience that opiod addicts are liars. I've known one person killed by alcohol (a drunk driver, not DT) but three who were proscribed pain killers (two for workplace injuries, the other because his morbid obesity was causing back pain...) Before they wound up dead, each of these people turned into lying manipulators seeking more and more drug as their tolerance grew.
The medical industry needs a lot more regulation. A fat person never should have been prescribed opium derivatives to treat pain caused by the strain his obesity was putting on his skeleton. That man got himself into medical trouble in the first place by having very poor self control, and instead of treating that psychological deficiency or treating his weight gain, the doctor gives him powerful addictive pain killers to mask the pain? That doctor belongs in prison. I know three people who took doctor prescribed doses for no more than a few weeks and got hooked and eventually killed. The alcohol industry is bad, but it's not that bad. The pharma/medical industry is getting away with murder and few are critical of it.
> "The alcohol industry is bad, but it's not that bad."
I regret that phrasing. I believe on an individual level that opiods are more addictive than alcohol, but the alcohol and tobacco industries are scum on par with the painkiller industry and I would love to see them punished with very harsh regulation. Banning alcohol from television/radio/billboards would be a great start. I believe some countries also restrict tobacco to plain packaging, white cartons with black lettering. I'd like to see that brought to America and applied to the alcohol industry as well.
The corporate lobbying against such regulation would be intense, but I think it would be worth the fight.
I think many people are critical of it. The president is even putting out initiatives to combat it. I agree that it should have happened sooner, and the response should probably be more severe, but it does seem like the culture of "you broke your toe, he's some oxy" is starting to fade.
As for the alcohol industry being "not that bad"...eh, maybe? I think there's a lot less stigma around alcohol abuse because of how much normal, healthy consumption is a part of many cultures. There's a lot of problems with the alcohol industry and it's toll on society, and I would say it seems that US culture's lax attitude towards that is more troubling.
I don't understand why alcohol and prescription drugs can be advertised on TV while cigarettes are banned. I'm pretty strongly in the "do whatever you want, but we don't need to advertise vice" category. Advertising the products equates to direct cultural approval of these things which helps encourage abuse. I'm not saying take away the drugs and booze and smokes, just don't let them put ads everywhere if you feel they're a societal problem.
The reason I mentioned alcohol poisoning and not long term organ damage is because I consider that to be a less severe issue even if the bodycount is higher. Elderly people living to be slightly less elderly than they otherwise would concerns me a lot less than people dying young. A teenager dying from alcohol poisoning (or a DUI) is a greater tragedy than a grandpa dying at 70 from pickling his liver (rather living a few more years to be killed by all the fried food he eats for breakfast every morning.)
That's not even getting into the links between dementia and alcohol abuse, because I personally find nothing more terrifying than being a shell of my former self as my mind fades out.
If those "drug addicts" have access to cheap, uncontaminated drugs and the dosage is controlled by their doctors then all of the problems that are commonly associated with "hard" drug use disappear.
However most people get jealous of those "cured" people who live a normal life but still have their doctor treat them with the drug that made them addicted in the first place. Usually it's along these lines: "What?? My tax money is used so someone else can stay addicted?" When the clinic was shutdown around 70 people became homeless because they cannot afford street drugs and 6 died from overdoses. Of course the reaction was something like "If after decades of treatment people are still addicted, then maybe the clinic wasn't so successful after all."
No, these drugs literally destroy the brain at a physiological level. Meth, Ecstasy, cocaine, etc. have permanent effects on the user. One use doesn't usually cause noticeable damage, but regular use does.
Wouldn't their logic then be, "I'm already committing potentially felony level crimes each day, so what difference does robbing someone make? Just another crime to my list of crimes." By othering them through making their daily routines a crime, I would argue that it encourages them to branch out into other crimes.
Contrast this image with the working addicts you often see in other countries with decriminalization. They often are able to function in society as a normal person, go to work, run a household, and they might use at the end of the day as maintenance for their addiction or might use a small dose in their car on their lunch break or whatever. Not arguing that this is good for the drug user, but at the very least their entire life isn't in a complete shambles due to being labelled a dangerous criminal.
No, you assume they are acting logically. Someone high on meth is not acting logically. They're hallucinating, acting impulsively, etc. Logic has nothing to do with it.
By othering them through making their daily routines a crime, I would argue that it encourages them to branch out into other crimes.
That's simply not true. They branch out into other crimes not because they're already committing one crime but to support their growing drug habit. (And speaking of the "original" crime, the penalty for drug use crimes is usually just mandatory rehab for the first or second offense, as states no longer have the money to pay to incarcerate drug users.)
Those other drugs aren't unsafe because they're uncontrolled. They're unsafe because they're unsafe: they cause permanent physiological changes to the body even at small doses and even after only a few uses. (Contra alcohol and marijuana which requires truly staggering use before causing permanent physiological harm.)
It shows you have no idea what you are talking about.
My degree is in cognitive science and I've probably represented more drug users than you have. I'm well versed in the science and policy of controlled substances, and it's pretty clear that if you think that their are "so many illegal drugs that are safer for the user and the population than alcohol" than you have no idea what you're talking about. Marijuana aside, the drugs on the controlled substances list earned their spots on that list.
every country could stand to learn that lesson.
"Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence."
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:
Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin
Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are:
Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone
Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are:
Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol
Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are:
cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin
Haunting, but good read: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-33472971/inside...
No there's nothing to be learned here because the US is a very different system. It consists of strong independent state level enforcement entities, it's a collection of individual states, each with an economy of the top 50 economies of the world.
While China has certainly grown like crazy, there, they have a very different system. Everything is centralized so all of the quotas, and inspections are accepted at the central state level. One which also faces challenge of obfusticating as much as possible actual numbers for various reasons: loss of face and the inability to get an accurate gauge within your own country.
So anytime you read a piece of a news out of China, realize what I mentioned above, there are no independent investigative bodies that are able to challenge each other, much like you have individual states, in China the government has final say and the entire judicial system is built to jail, execute anyone the system deems a threat.
It wouldn't be surprising to read about articles in the future about more health complications from eating these farmed pufferfish-as the world recalls, China doesn't exactly instill confidence in their healthcare system when they poison their own citizen's children with HIV.
Not saying everything about China is bad but most of it is quite below the standard of what UN defines as adequate for human rights to exist.
So there's no lesson here imho, and these type of China #1 threads from throwaway accounts we are seeing more and more recently annoys me.
HN has turned into fucking reddit.
I wouldn't say though that life is below UN standards for the average city citizen. I'd still count it a first-world country purely on lifestyle.
China is actively stealing from advanced technology holding countries. Whataboutism is a common way to justify the behavior, which further inflmmates and even conjures up the good old sinophobia.
I think that much of what you read as anti-Chinese content is simply anything that describes a future without China as a hegemony.
China faces a huge risk of fragmenting like the USSR did, from which it would never fully recover.
but given the iron grip of the government and the military it is far more likely we will see China slip into a authoritarian state much like Putin's Russia or North Korea.
I think instead a far more likely candidate that could possibly challenge the US hegemony is a sort of EURO-ASIA partnership, where European countries would compete for highly educated workforces. Culture might be a barrier, but I feel that Japanese and Koreans work well with Europeans.
So it would be a China exclusive economic coalition that would pose a challenge to the US, if they do not move away from their current trajectory.
Russia will 100% fragment in the next 5 years, as they are literally on their last reserves and China is also not far off because their debt is staggering, not unlike the Japanese real estate bubble crisis.
Again my prediction is the US hegemony is unlikely to be challenged by a sole country superpower, but rather economically and technological coalition of outside countries that can pose a challenge (basically US vs the rest of the world which is even unlikely....as the US has port calls all over the world).
If China is to replace US, it needs to start building those nuclear carriers fast and well, something which is an impossibility at this current rate.
Many people I talk to or read call China's people brainwashed or oblivious. People are more apt to post anecdotes about Chinese people they know that confirms these beliefs, and those anecdotes are readily upvoted because it confirms other people's beliefs, further pushing it more.
It's almost propaganda in a way. Not explicitly released by a government, but the dark hand of the media and influence. I don't think western people know much about what it's like within China or its people. Imagine if Chinese people did not know much about the US, and the government started encouraging or posting about slavery, the Boston massacre, Guantanamo Bay, war in the middle east, homeless situations, etc.
I might be off, but I think people have swung too far in the other direction, that some balance needs to be brought, else there's gonna be another Red Scare and I see prejudice is very strong against the Chinese these days although people won't admit that.
Interestingly, there are traditional fermentation processes by which the toxin level in the liver and ovaries can be reduced to similar levels to the normal edible parts over a couple of years, which have managed to survive despite prohibition of fugu in Japan during the Edo period.
This happened with the USDA + US beef industry, they wanted to be able to "cold sterilize" (irradiate) beef to eliminate E. coli. In principle why not, but there was also the belief that the industry wanted it so it would catch (and allow) mistakes in inspection and contamination to go through.
Maybe for some things, it's good to have it be hard and only some people highly trained are allowed to do it, like fugu chefs...
For what benefit? Some more people get to taste an expensive bland fish that isn't going to be feeding millions? I don't believe fugu can be raised in captivity at scale.
Japanese solution: we will employ the finest of artisans who have practiced for five years to exactly remove the poisonous parts of the pufferfish. As these artisans are specially-trained, we will also charge you at a most exquisite price.
Chinese solution: we will just breed out the poison.
It is damn good.
Do you really want to eat poison-free pufferfish there?
I'd rather eat the poison-free kind there than the poisonous ones.
(I just couldn't help make that joke)
These people have had personal experience more recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oQbCOz9nlU&t=28s
Google for yourself.
And then there are the fake vaccines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL46TjUaebs&t=48s
Your survival so far is not strong evidence for others.