Thus, any photos posted online could be scoured for identification information. And with computer vision technologies becoming more mature, it means that regular video footage of people could identify them the same way in seconds or less using a wide variety of different visual traits.
The implications of this on individual privacy are immense.
I used it on reddit to convince people it was unsafe to post any images of that sort. It seemed to work for about 6 months.
There's magic in image enhancement, but I don't know that ridges and valleys of a fingerprint are there, yet. I don't even know that "this specific person is scared that they leaked their face in a way that is recognizable to them" even scales to "never upload anything" - it could be this sort of news is programming the population that computers can tease out identities with any and all leaked information, pictures, audio, etc.
Heck, a decade and a half ago there were claims that governments could narrow a search for an audio file upload based on the deviation from 60hz on the power line noise - in an audio recording.
So who knows?
Wow. Any source for this?
So, under some assumptions this typically shouldn't be able to work. :-)
edit: extensively documented at https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnhanceButton, for example
It's not clear to me that they identified him that way. It might be that they arrested him due to other evidence, compared the fingerprints afterward, and told him that they could prove the fingerprints matched, whereupon he pled guilty.
It's no unheard of to elicit guilty pleas using less than scientifically robust forensic methods.
The biggest one was the money laundering.
Porras had used a money laundering service controlled by Homeland Security Investigations. Vendors sent the money launderer a certain amount of Bitcoin and the money launderer mailed cash back to the vendor. At some point in the money launderer’s career, federal agents quietly took control of the money laundering operation and used the position to identify dozens of darkweb vendors.
I reckon that'd be enough to run through a database.
Then again a lot of forensic techniques seem to fall into the same category:
A lot of the problems come from human bias and over-stating the accuracy of tests at trial.
Alone it's not conclusive, but it's one more piece of evidence linking all of the activity together.
The possibility of this kind of attack has always been mathematically possible and it doesn't take machine learning or computer vision to do it. It boils down to basic linear transformation.
There's a long history of attempts to identify persons by photos of fingerprints for evidence, there's just a level of uncertainty involved which make it more suited for gathering intelligence than court-submitted evidence.
I know, that's not a bright vision of the future. I wonder where is the line where technology will switch from useful to socially dangerous and how far we are from it. To tell the truth, it already kind of switched from useful to a useless waste of time in many cases.
Or the day when FAANG & other big tech will get bored with selling those stupid ads and move on to more powerful and scary things.
Having said that it could just as obviously be a deceit to distract from an informant or other sources of information.
The article you link neither talks about a fingerprint of Angela Merkel nor about a fingerprint recovered from a photograph.
(But a CCC group did indeed years later show a politicians fingerprint recovered from a photo, but again not Merkels)
I thought via the title that they fingerprinted the lens used to take the photograph, not that there was literal pictures of fingers.
I, too, thought parallel construction.
The article mentions they compared his finger prints to those from the picture. How did they know to check against his prints? Sounds like they already knew who it was, by means that aren't admissible as evidence.
Kinda like 4chan and DMCAs: there’s no point since it’s usually deleted by the time it’s submitted anyway.
For example, they have a (heavily limited) de-facto warrant canary. Since damn near all of them specify that no data should be deleted for a period of time, posting is disabled on a board, or the entire site so nothing gets deleted.
They also disallow posting of files with embedded data (based on some heuristic) and either strip exif data, or forbid posting images containing it. (the exif stripping thing comes from people accidentally doxing themselves by posting an image from facebook a few years back)
So really, nothing about this is suspicious at all, it's completely standard law enforcement practice to obtain fingerprints in any way possible and submit them to the FBI for matching, and then run down any possible matches. Your local police department does this for car breakins if they can spare the resources (not too unusual to get good latent prints off the windows, but it is unusual for police department to spend the time/money). The only odd thing here is LE's fortune, and the accused's misfortune, of images having been uploaded with such clear capture of the fingerprints.
seems like a pretty low bar for evidence. Seems like the kind of thing that could heavily skew towards telling you what you want to hear. Maybe someone else knows if it actually works like that, the writeup made it sound like that to me.
I'm just some guy who saw a tv documentatary at some point about how forensic techniques that worked like that got called into question when conflicting DNA evidence started turning up.
It doesn't sound like that to me, but maybe I am misunderstanding what a comparative analysis would entail.
For example my impression is that DNA evidence is very reliable while for example optically matching hairs or matching bite marks, which I think was done in the past in a similar 'does A match B setup' is fairly unreliable.
It's interesting to me both from both the 'what bar does evidence have to meet to make sure there are no false convictions' side as well as the 'what are the privacy implications of posting pictures with fingerprints in them' side.
The American intelligence apparatus has compromised nearly all network traffic, from hardware backdoors on up. I assume the real way this person was detected and caught would be too embarrassing to admit, hence the fingerprints-from-a-photo cover.
it would be a national security catastrophe if it leaked that NSA was bulk decrypting all TLS/SSL traffic Internet-wide, by using a giant rainbow table of prime pair products for instant decryption without factoring, which was first proposed by Rabin back in 1997 at a NIST working group for establishing crypto standards.
then NSA would lose the biggest SIGINT advantage since ENIGMA back in WW2.
so instead, DEA is tasked with finding the dummies who post photos of their hands or bookshelves or who made n00b opsec mistakes like re-using handles or email accounts that connect to their real names. then DEA applies Parallel Construction to fabricate an investigative evidence chain to present to the Court. the Court never needs to know the truth.
by the way, i personally do believe NSA is doing this, and all of Tor is as good as plain text to Ft Meade, because Rabin's idea really would scale with today's computing and storage capacities, and because that is exactly what i would do too.
just what do you think Bluffdale is really for?
I love to talk about how we can mitigate attacks on cryptography as much as the next person, but have you looked at what algorithms Tor uses?
While they have a bunch of alarming legacy 1024-bit RSA and DH stuff, they also have Ed25519 identities and Curve25519 ECDH key exchange, plus running everything over TLS with various ciphersuites -- many of which are now ECDH.
The type of handshake and key exchange is chosen by the client, and I think the default has been to prefer the ntor method for a long time.
Whats that all about bro?
Can someone explain this part to me. Was he previously convicted of a crime that precluded ownership? Or are the police able to take legal behaviour and change it to illegal behaviour later on?
Whether that crime was a felony, I don't know.
But I believe the "felons can't possess firearms" also includes possession while committing a felony - you don't need an actual conviction (but the felony would need to be proved).
Certainly if he was previously convicted he can't legally poses a firearm.
However I believe that possession of a firearm while operating a drug distribution business is also illegal.
The article seems ambiguous on which it is.
There's also a discussion to be had about your and the legal definition of a "gun." For example, antique firearms such as some black powder rifles are specifically excepted  from the Federal legislation, but it could vary on a state by state basis.
What are some actual, practical steps we all can take towards making decriminalization a reality?
Does anyone really care that this drug dealer is locked up? Is anyone safer now? Do I have to worry any less about getting mugged on the subway at night?
Of course people are calling to defund the police, and if that happens I’ll have to be more worried.
Since it's become clear that the NYPD is intentionally not doing its job in "protest" over perfectly reasonable state and local oversight of their activities, we need to ensure that they actually do their jobs rather than create a more dangerous place by not doing so.
And this deeply troubling activity may actually get the city to soften these important reforms.
>Of course people are calling to defund the police, and if that happens I’ll have to be more worried.
Given that crime is at its lowest point in NYC in over 50 years (and that includes the recent uptick in shootings), it seems to me that your concerns are misplaced, especially since the reduction in funding --much less than the widely quoted $1 billion -- for the NYPD has yet to take effect.
I don't think it's right to punish a pub for all problems caused by alcohol intoxication, but I do think punishing a pub for serving alcohol negligently is okay.
My understanding is one of the main reasons methamphetamines are so widely used and sold is because meth is cheap and easy to make compared to safer possible alternatives. That indicates to me that this seems like a market that needs regulation, not prohibition.
I'm not saying meth should be legal, I'm saying the drug market can be regulated to reduce harm. If that regulation means disallowing certain substances that do cause excessive harm, that's a good thing too.
You could replace meth with any sort of legal substitute and the statement would still be correct.
'The bar was selling liquor. Liquor destroys people.'
'The pharmacy was selling opiates. Opiates destroy people.'
So, when faced with a dilemma of hypocrisy like that, let's punish the wrong do-ers when they do wrong, as is traditional with substance abusers, rather than the 30 'criminals' involved in the supply chain that haven't actually done first-party harm to the peace at large.
One could say that they could be done in parallel, and I agree, but the resource spent to fight both sides of the crime in parallel should still be spent on keeping the peace, not preventing the imaginary destruction of future peace.
Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you.
The same thing goes about keys -- it's amazing how people willingly share photos of their keys (with full signature and all) in full view.
But I think you are likely talking about different keys than the ones that open physical doors ;)
If Party A sends Party B Bitcoin, and Party B sends Party A money, and that transaction is considered "money laundering" -- then let's suppose Party A sends Party B gold (coins, bars, bullion, etc.), and Party B sends Party A money -- does that transaction also count as "money laundering"?
Use the spell checker.
Randomly misspell different words.
(How do you hyperlink text here?)
Hello and welcome to the Darknetmarkets bible for buyers.
The buyer's DNM bible aims to be a complete guide that covers all steps that users have to take in order to buy securely from darknetmarkets.
In case you're thinking about launching your criminal career or whatever.
Then some years later, the ear on drugs became associated with the growth of the private prison industry and it's lobbyists.
Indeed I provide no references here because it is quite an involved topic and difficult to prove given the publicly available information.
- John Ehrlichman, Domestic Policy Chief for Richard Nixon, in a 1994 Interview for Harpers Magazine
Like the war on terror, the decades long war on drugs has been a roaring success.
Thank you. This trend where people recast everything in the 20th century to be racially motivated (but can't provide any proof, because it's like complicated) is exhausting.
And when people 'recast' things it's sometimes because new evidence emerges, or becomes more well known.
An example of that is in these comments, the interview by former Nixon aide John Ehrlichman made only in 1994, but probably still not that well known until this article from 2016:
I prefer the war on some drugs when consumed by some people
Adam Conove made a whole episode in his show, "Adam ruins everything", about the true reasons why weed is illegal.
Spoiler: it's about giving the government of the US a tool to discriminate black people and mexicans.
So it sounds like original bad intent (destroy competition) led to it being abused for further bad intent (racism).
I could provide more references but I’m typing with thumbs - they are easy to find, though.
It also was a way to increase the private jails business, which in fact peaked during the 80s, but the racial and political discrimination stands too. The following piece from the Wikipedia article about the War on Drugs is telling.
"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
— John Ehrlichman (White House Counsel and Domestic Affair advisor during the Nixon administration)
I believe it was started as a voter disenfranchisement effort by the Nixon Administration.
> Indeed I provide no references here because it is quite an involved topic and difficult to prove given the publicly available information.
Agreed, as I have none either.
I think the fact that black people are prosecuted at higher rates or the fact that crack is prosecuted harder than cocaine is a sign of racism, but it does bug me when people assign a conspiratorial level of control to the problem. It's a lose-lose, and at least in 2020 we are eon the side of prosecuting things too harshly.
We also got anesthetics from the general availability of drugs. I doubt doctors would've tried using cocaine on patients if it had been illegal back then.
> I provide no references ... it is ... difficult to prove given the publicly available information
These claims seem to strongly negate each other... to a degree that one detects the putrid scent of conspiracy theory.
To the downvoters: what would you call a strongly held belief that cannot be supported by documentary evidence; a problem you attribute to a coordinated effort to hide the actors and their intentions? Sounds an awful lot like a theory that there is a conspiracy.
Surprisingly, the prohibition of alcohol in 1920's did not punish alcohol drinkers, just distributors. This model for drugs today would be a major improvement over the draconian treatment we have of the non-violent drug offenders.
Also consider that methamphetamine is not "life destroying poison". Addiction is the medical condition that destroys lives. Methamphetamine and similar drugs are also prescribed for medical conditions where they help people. Focusing on the substance is just more drug war propaganda.
Those things can be mutually exclusive though. For example, you could make it so meth/heroin isn't readily available at the local pharmacy/gas station, yet also make it freely available under doctor supervision at rehab centers.
I think many people (myself included) are apprehensive about making drugs totally legal because many law abiding citizens who otherwise would have never touched the drug may whimsically decide to try it at a rough patch in their life just by seeing it on the shelf at the gas station. I am more in favor of decriminalization, but if legalization really is the most effective solution I would like to see advertising completely banned, behind-the-counter only, generic labels only, etc.
Well yes, a lot of the discussion is around fear of what might happen. Why isn't anyone afraid of what already is happening? Illegal recreational drugs are literally a greater than $ billion dollar a year business in the US alone. I could understand this position if recreational drugs were somewhat uncommon and the fear was that legalizing them would make them more widespread. They are widespread already. Anyone who wants recreational drugs in the US can easily get them.
> many law abiding citizens who otherwise would have never touched the drug may whimsically decide to try it at a rough patch in their life just by seeing it on the shelf at the gas station
They already do. Anyone can try alcohol to get over a rough patch in life. I think a lot of people would be shocked just how low addiction rates are for addictive drugs. Even a drug like heroin that can cause physical dependence, has an addiction rate of about 12%. Let's turn that around. A full 88% of people who try heroin never get addicted. Plenty of people even become physically dependent on opiates like heroin but never become addicted. Think pain treatment and then the thing causing the pain goes away. People successfully withdraw from the physical dependence because they don't have an addiction problem.
> I would like to see advertising completely banned, behind-the-counter only, generic labels only
I don't find that unreasonable. Interesting how that contrasts to the constant advertising on TV in the USA for prescription drugs.
Banning corporatization, advertising, and branding of these substances is an intriguing idea, and probably necessary to make progress in this country.
They likely wouldn't. Most drugs aren't socially accepted, the gas station wouldn't stock them (and that's usually not what people ask for when they talk about legalization).
Consider LSD. It's illegal, heavily so. But there's 1P-LSD, it's a "research chemical" and very similar to LSD. It has been legal for a few years (and still is in many countries) and has only been made a controlled substance in parts of Europe last year.
If illegality was what kept people away from drugs, you'd expect to have seen a lot of normal people tripping in the last year. But you haven't (okay, maybe you have, it would explain a lot of things, wouldn't it?), and it was really only used as an easily obtainable and legal alternative to LSD by people who want an LSD-like drug because they know LSD.
I don't know, I'm still not convinced. I think legalization is an important step on the path to social acceptance.
Examples: Marijuana, abortion, gay marriage
These things used to be socially unacceptable and illegal, but they are now socially acceptable and legal
Some drugs might not be socially acceptable right now, but I would argue legalizing them would help them become more socially acceptable. I admit that legalization may only be partially causal though (i.e. social acceptance was mounting before legalization). And convenience stores would certainly stock drugs if there was demand and they were allowed to.
Social acceptance among whom? Half of the country votes for a party that made reversing Obergefell, the Supreme Court case that made gay marriage legal in the US, part of its party platform in 2016 and 2020:
> Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary
> Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch” — full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.” In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Court twisted the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment beyond recognition. To echo Scalia, we dissent. We, therefore, support the appointment of justices and judges who respect the constitutional limits on their power and respect the authority of the states to decide such fundamental social questions.
> Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere in this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states.
> These things used to be socially unacceptable and illegal, but they are now socially acceptable and legal
And you don't get Marijuana or an abortion at the gas station. But you might be able to get gay married at a gas station in Vegas ;)
I don't think they're anywhere close to socially acceptable yet, outside of young and very progressive people. You're not going to talk to your manager at a bank about getting an abortion or smoking weed, but you can absolutely talk to them about smoking cigars or some new whisky. They're less ostracized, I'd say, but I see your point.
I'm not sure it's legality and availability changes frequency. Abortions aren't becoming more common, they peaked in the 80ies (in the US) and have been falling since. I don't know the current numbers, but a few years ago they recorded the lowest numbers since they started recording them in the early 70ies.
> And convenience stores would certainly stock drugs if there was demand and they were allowed to.
If they were socially accepted at the level of Alcohol, maybe, but that'll take decades if not centuries. There's a demand for sex toys, and they're legal, but convenience stores don't usually have them stocked. It's changing, but very slowly, because society is much more socially conservative than Hollywood and media companies reflect back, and most people don't want dildos and life-size sex dolls presented where they shop with their children. I believe the same is true for drugs.
Also, there's no reason why they wouldn't be sold in special stores, and that's a big plus for legalization: you can regulate what is legal. You can put age restrictions on what's legal. And, from a state perspective: you can tax what's legal.
Abortion is tricky because you can be against abortion but in favor of the right to choose. I know many people, even Christians, who hold this stance. We do know abortion rates go down when abortions are made legal. So that would seem to perhaps point to the laws not having much to do with social acceptance around abortion.
As far as marijuana we could use real numbers. Only 8% of Americans think marijuana should be illegal. So no I don't expect a big jump with legalization. I would imagine the number of people who find it socially acceptable to go from let's say 92% to maybe 93%. 
It might not sound like it, but this is nothing but a tautology. Interfering with the person's life was just the definition of addiction.
This was obviously-dumb enough that the DSM-V gave up on the word "addiction" entirely.
Quite the opposite. Focusing on the substance instead of the medical condition is part of the war on drugs and essential for the propaganda to work.
Imagine two people who regularly consume cocaine. One of them is homeless; the other is an executive somewhere.
By definition, the definition of "addiction", the first one was "addicted", and the second one wasn't.
There are arguments to be made for this kind of definition. But you can't use it to say "addiction is what destroys lives, not drugs". That's a tautology. Addiction is the name we give to destroyed lives, not something that can be observed independently of whether a life is destroyed.
Sure you can. It's perfectly reasonable to say sports injuries are what hurts people, not sports themselves. Even though by definition an injury hurts someone. Especially to make the point that what we want to focus on is reducing the injuries, not reducing the sports.
Everyone understands why the distinction was made, and flagging it as a tautology is just engaging in pedantry.
But here's an interesting experiment: rewrite my point that "it isn't the substance that destroys lives but the medical condition of addiction" - without using the offending tautology. Maybe I'll learn something.
This can't be done. Addiction isn't a medical condition. It is, according to this characterization, a description of a set of circumstances. You cannot determine whether somebody suffers from addiction by inspecting the person's behavior or reaction to whatever they're supposedly addicted to. You make a subjective judgment about whether their life would improve if they stopped doing it. Again, this is why the field of medicine gave up on using the word.
Compare https://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=3303 .
> It's perfectly reasonable to say sports injuries are what hurts people, not sports themselves.
"He's not hurt because a rock hit him in the head. He's hurt because his skull is broken."
This is a terrible analysis. It tells you that the solution is to not break your skull, regardless of whether you get hit with a rock / bullet / whatever. Of course, that's impossible. The solution is to avoid the trauma that leaves you with a broken skull, not to resist the breaking.
> Especially to make the point that what we want to focus on is reducing the injuries, not reducing the sports.
To the extent that you want to reduce injuries, you abandon that goal when you define the groups as "uninjured; no problems" and "already injured; nothing to be done". If that's how you see things, you're limited to fixing injuries that have occurred; you can't take any steps to prevent or avoid them. To do so would be to admit that sports might be dangerous even if you're not yet injured.
From this year:
"The Journal of Addiction Medicine (JAM), the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, seeks Editorial Fellows. Applicants should have at least two years of addiction research experience, have an MD or PhD degree, have completed clinical specialty training, and hold faculty positions at the instructor, or assistant professor level or other junior faculty level equivalent. Candidates who have published at least 3 peer-reviewed papers, have strong knowledge of addiction science..." 
> Addiction isn't a medical condition.
We now have genetic markers for inherited tendencies for addiction, and we are starting to understand the changes that occur in the brain.
From Harvard medical school (also note the use of the word "addiction" - I guess they missed the memo that everyone in the field of medicine gave up on using the word?):
"It might seem strange to group gambling problems in the same category as a problem with drugs or alcohol. But addiction experts are beginning to move away from the notion that there are multiple addictions, each tied to a specific substance or activity. Rather, the Syndrome Model of Addiction suggests that there is one addiction that is associated with multiple expressions.
For example, brain-imaging technologies have revealed that our brains respond similarly to different pleasurable experiences, whether derived from ingesting psychoactive substances, such as alcohol and other drugs, or engaging in behaviors, such as gambling, shopping, and sex. Genetic research has revealed that some people are predisposed to addiction, but not to a specific type of addiction." 
You can provide counter evidence to my evidence, by my evidence remains, so the best you can say is that addiction as a medical condition is currently being debated in the medical community. Your claim that it is not a medical condition goes too far.
> "He's not hurt because a rock hit him in the head. He's hurt because his skull is broken."
> This is a terrible analysis.
No it isn't. It's perfectly fine to get hit in the head with a rock if you can avoid getting your skull broken by it or avoid getting hurt by it. Softer rocks or better helmets are both solutions, so it is of course worth talking about the broken skull being the root problem, and how to avoid that root problem.
> To the extent that you want to reduce injuries, you abandon that goal when you define the groups as "uninjured; no problems" and "already injured; nothing to be done". If that's how you see things, you're limited to fixing injuries that have occurred; you can't take any steps to prevent or avoid them. To do so would be to admit that sports might be dangerous even if you're not yet injured.
That's a strawman. No one did that here. You can of course talk about sport injuries as something that hurts people (uh oh tautology) and as something that you want to prevent and how you might go about that. And of course sports and gambling might be dangerous even if you're not yet injured. No one here claimed otherwise. However, gambling is far more dangerous for some people than it is for others. Admitting that gets us much closer to solutions than "gambling is just dangerous".
You still go to prison in Switzerland for selling heroine on the street. Also there still is a heroine problem though arguably smaller than it used to be.
And yet it was widely available on the streets back when it was illegal, and now it's hard to find on the streets and it's still illegal. So what changed? Clearly it was not the law that fixed things, right?
> Also there still is a heroine problem though arguably smaller than it used to be.
A tiny fraction of what it used to be. Since I would consider that success, I don't get your point? I very much doubt anyone is expecting addiction to disappear? The point is that it costs tax payers far less when you fix the actual problem instead of trying to treat medical problems as if they are a legal problem.
Very few people are incarcerated for dealing because people with this problem have better and safer alternatives than street scores.
Second, other life destroying poisons include: alcohol, nicotine, sugar, fast food, dopamine hits from social media feedback/gambling/gaming... are you ready for the government to decide your intake for those?
The only thing prohibition does is fund organized crime, and increase the costs of policing by pretending that the "war on drugs" can be won. Taking drugs are part of human culture. It may as well be a war on human behavior.
When you subtract the dangers of dealing with cartels and policing, drug use is another form of escapism. As with any form of escapism, it can reach the point of abuse. We should absolutely have a social safety net for addicts of every sort, and it would be much cheaper than the costs of imprisonment and the war on drugs. Added bonus: actual liberty, instead of slogans on a bumper sticker.
I say this coming from a long line of addicts/alcoholics, including myself. If our drug of choice had been available from the local pharmacist:
- the drugs would have been cheaper and free of more dangerous cutting agents
- gangs/cartels would not make a dime
- we would've spent less time finding them
- some of us would have gone to rehab instead of prison
In a nutshell, even though we are poor, we would have had the same opportunities to get our act together as wealthy addicts.
And no, this isn't a crazy idea. This is how things worked before prohibition.
The government does regulate alcohol ad nicotine directly. The federal gov subsidizes sugar, various localities tax it. Various politicians have made it clear they want to regulate or ban social media. Gambling is banned, monopolized, or regulated by every state government. Ever heard "video games cause violence"?
My point is that the government has its hands in everything. People should be free to do all of the above activities. I fully support legalization of everything mentioned. But unfortunately it's not outlandish for the government to control them.
Weed on the other hand will send me one a 1 month train to hell smoking every day falling deeper and deeper into a depressive haze and there's nothing I can do about it.
Everybody is different, I guess.
The answer to that question that I see is that the government is responsible to step in when someone else get hurt under humanitarian obligations. If you make someone responsible for an outcome then they will likely want to implement rules to reduce their own risks.
The rules should of course be proportional to the risk and balanced. It make sense that drugs and driving should not be combined and which outcome can't be fixed afterward. Parenting and drugs are also a pretty problematic area, but it is difficult for the government to make a law against that combination without banning drugs completely. If people took drugs while working with heavy equipment, makes decisions that impact people, work within health care or education, then there is an additional increased risk that the government is expected to manage.
ADHD medicine, especially the non-self medicated versions, have the opposite effect for the government. It reduces the risk that they have to step. If all the other alternatives have failed and you found a solution that do work then that is good and the law might then need to change to incorporate that success. It doesn't however change the reason why the government might still want to tell you what you can and cannot put into your own body.
Where I live we also have universal health care and meth stresses the heart quite a lot. The result is that when the heart start to fall apart it is the government that has to pay for repairs, and those are often quite expensive surgeries that need to be redone every few years. I am no doctor so I can't answer if 10mg is small enough to be safe, but if I was taking it I would find a doctor and do regular heart checkups.
Similar, I would want the government to step in and pay for healthcare when a victim get hit by a car driven by an uninsured driver. It is not fair to let the victim die just because someone else were unable to take responsibility for their own faults.
So to make a general theory, people should be responsible for their own actions when there is a high likelihood of repayment for wrong doing. For those things individual freedom is positive. For other actions which is irreversible and where individuals will sometimes be unable to take responsibility, and we expect the government to step in, then individual freedom may be balanced against risk.
"It doesn't work in the USA" is increasingly very poor evidence when it does work many other places, and often has for over a half a century.
Everyone (I think) did meth except me and one other guy, a Native American. It was expected. The pace was set by meth. Lunch was about 10 minutes. Often we would get to work like 3AM for pours. I lasted like 3 months and couldn't handle it any more.
After awhile guys would burn out and not show up. No big deal, replace them with another guy. I saw my supervisor later at a restaurant. He told me how he had tried at one point tried to commit suicide. The resulting impacts on the former employees lives (and the lives of their families and associates) wasn't the companies problem so long as the building went up fast.
That company is still around too. No, not going to name and shame.
While I'm generally in favor of people being allowed to put whatever they want in their bodies there is significant moral hazard and danger. Particularly with drugs like meth and heroin.
> I would argue the bad cases you’ve seen are from people with no self control.
Please reconsider this position. It is outdated and goes against all recent evidence about the science of addiction, and the chemical changes that occur in the brain to cause addiction. Addiction is a medical condition. It has as little to do with self control as having cancer does.
Compared to dexamphetamine:
- It has less cardiovascular impact (no cold extremities, no excessive sweating, less "fight or flight")
- It has a lower impact on sleep (I can take a nap while under the influence)
- It lasts longer (9 to 12 hours, compared to 4 to 6)
- It makes living a balanced live easier (dexamphetamine would feed perseveration, meth makes switching tasks much easier)
- No noticeable comedown
Some of the downsides of methamphetamine include:
- A much higher abuse potential (however, I have never felt the need to exceed my daily dose. I want to live a normal live, not experience some shallow euphoric bliss.)
- It is unclear what the neurotoxic properties are in therapeutic dosages.
- The social stigma
Methamphetamine is routinely prescribed for the treatment ADHD (also obesity and narcolepsy, amongst other off-label uses), and is sold under the brand name of Desoxyn (in the US). Meth IS medication!
On that note, maybe don’t believe everything you read about drugs online.
Isn't it Dexamphetamine that is the routine treatment for ADHD? As far as I understood, methamphetamine has much stronger effects than dexamphetamine, also meth been prone to cause more adverse effects and have more neurotoxicity than the dex counterpart?
Maybe I'm completely off base here.
A lot of the information about methamphetamine is, bluntly, propaganda. For example, there seems to be nothing about methamphetamine that is uniquely harmful to teeth, but "meth mouth" is a common trope. When taken orally at therapeutic doses it's not clear methamphetamine is any more harmful than dextroamphetamine, but it's certainly possibly it has more scope for abuse. It's certainly dangerous at high doses! Unfortunately it's hard to find hard data and not drug war propaganda.
I think as a society it is worth talking about limiting activities that are a net drain on society (and not just on health - also credit cards, advertising, the lottery, and much more). We don't do that, though. Instead we crack down extremely harshly on a small subsection, and completely ignore the rest.
We've used it as a tactic for decades and it's been the only reliable force for change.
There is no reason for your representative to listen to you in America unless you throw a wrench in the gears.
Like BLM protests proved, you will just get ex-felons robbing honest people and burning down buildings.
Just in case you don't know, there have been about 110 nights of continual protests in nearly every metro area in the US.
You may want to ask yourself why you're not joining in with them to influence the movement instead of complaining about it here.
News flash: we already pay for these things because emergency rooms can't ask for payment before delivering life preserving treatment. Also, we already pay for a lack of social safety net by paying for the cost to put so many people behind bars not to mention an unhinged law enforcement that refers to the population as civilians and has a motto like "protect and serve" while going to the supreme Court to get a ruling that the police has no duty to protect.
Of course, the government should try to limit drug distribution and sales. For example, we will still need strict labeling requirements. Unlabeled, improperly labeled, and unsafe storage conditions should be against the law. But it helps nobody to put anyone in prison for personal drug possession* or drug use.
*Assuming they are not selling/distributing improperly labeled controlled substances.
Maybe the Gov should go after Coca Cola and Pepsi or McDonald's and Burger King. The fast food industry has caused more health issues peddling their poison than all the drug dealers in the country. An epidemic of obesity and related illnesses from type II diabetes, HBP, Heart Disease, etc have destroyed more families than all the marijuana use could ever.
Indeed, and if you feel this way, perhaps you should seek penalties against those who actually wrought the destruction: the people who put that methamphetamine into human bodies, where it does the harm.
I think you'll find that those people who hold the ultimate responsibility for this destructive act were destroying property that entirely belonged to them (to preserve or destroy as they please).
If we don't have the right to own and control our own bodies, the only thing in the world that totally unambiguously belongs to us, we have no meaningful rights to own or control anything.
At such a point (which is where we seem to be), they're not rights that are being respected, simply privileges temporarily afforded by the state to be revoked arbitrarily.
Of course, this is pure sophistry, but it will appeal to many people. The better line of argument I believe is about the extreme positive impact that decriminalization/legalization have had in every single country that have tried. That is much harder to dispute and twist.
Our society should prevent stupid things / unknown things. Like lead paint.
And for everything else it should make sure people from themselvs are aware of the risks and should have options which are more favoriable then drugs.
Meth does not make you incapable of holding down a job. It will probably make you incapable while you're in your chasing-the-high phase where you're constantly upping the dose to outrun your tolerance. But in the climate of prohibition, everyone either stops doing that at some point or reaches an equilibrium where they can't afford higher doses so they settle into a maintenance dose where they would be totally capable of holding down a job if they hadn't spent the last n months making themselves unemployable.
And why do they become unemployable? Because the word getting out that they use meth in itself makes them unemployable, and then because the price of meth is inflated due to prohibition, they turn to crime to make enough money to pay for their addiction.
Legalizing meth would certainly lead some people who wouldn't have otherwise tried it to try it, and some fraction of them would become addicted and suffer the health consequences, and many of those who got addicted would in fact become burdens of the state. But life would be better for anyone who did find themselves addicted, life would be better for people who didn't choose to try the drug on account of lower crime. Some people who would try meth under prohibition would be less interested in it because if it were legal it would fail to signal their disregard for authority, and it's possible that the different personality types of new addicts under legalization would lead to different outcome, but it's probably not worth speculating about what differences there would be.
Legalization trivially reduces crime by denying an income stream to organized crime. If public policy under legalization were not entirely incompetent, and we were able to either help a significant number of addicts hold onto a legitimate income, or help a significant number settle into an affordable maintenance dose (which would be easier than it sounds since their drug would likely be much cheaper), then the criminal activity of drug users would likewise plummet. These cost savings surely offset the increased burden on the social safety net.
 This is generally the case with illegal drugs. Generic Desoxyn is actually extraordinarily expensive, at 1 USD/mg in the US. which is higher than the street price in some parts of the US per https://havocscope.com/black-market-prices/meth-prices/. It's possible that this has to due with the cost of achieving pharmaceutical-grade purity, but I'm skeptical of that. I think it's more likely that the price of the pharmaceutical drugs reflects one of the many market failures of the US healthcare system, or the costs of DEA licensing for its production and distribution. But it's worth acknowledging that a quick google search doesn't back up my claims about price inflation.
 The health consequences of meth are also exaggerated by prohibition. Meth is somewhat neurotoxic for chronic high-dose users, and definitely caridotoxic. The skin issues associate with meth addicts are caused by the meth itself combined with obsessive picking at the face, but while meth can cause some dental problems as a result of clenching the jaw and gnashing one's teeth, it's likely that most of the dental issues associated with meth addicts are actually cause by impurities in the drug that's available to them, a result of prohibition.
 This is critical: the consequences of drug use would be redirected from people who made no choice whatsoever to involve themselves in drugs to people who at least made some choice, even if they somehow didn't fully comprehend the consequences of that choice. And even for the latter group, the consequences wouldn't be as bad as they are under prohibition, though that group would probably be larger.
This is an unbelievably privileged position to take.
Are you not aware that the country itself was established in the finest tradition of civil disobedience?
The declaration of independence was an act of civil disobedience.
The end of colonial empires was an act of civil disobedience.
Slavery and segregation were resisted by civil disobedience.
Oskar Schindler is the only member of the Nazi party to have been buried in Jerusalem in recognition of his civil disobedience.
Are you really suggesting that all of these acts in defiance of unjust laws were morally wrong, and that everyone should have just waited for the law or regime to change?
Perhaps WWII is an exception to this, but it is absolutely in the minority. Wars of aggression (Cold War, War on Drugs, War on Terrorism) have never improved any part of the world in any way - they cause misery and poverty for the majority for untold generations, no matter what high-minded rhetoric is used to justify them.
I find it incredibly doubtful that I would elect to place myself in harms way to further any of the campaigns you've listed. I do not believe it is my place to judge others for doing so, however.
Time to arrest the liquor store owners?
Social safety nets are just forcefully taking money from people creating value in society, taking a fee to keep alive government bureaucrats, and give the rest to people who don't produce value.
It's an incentive to not create value and a disincentive to do so.
If you want to donate to people in need, feel free to do it, just don't force the entire of society to do it.
The concept of controlled substances is ridiculous and I don't think it needs to be justified, unless you're a government shill who benefits from it or some authoritarian person who feel like they need to impose their values on everyone else.
Fascism is a totalitarian authoritarian political doctrine where the state is strong.
I want a weak (or, even better, non existent) state and a society based on voluntary transactions and not on taxes taken under the threat of violence.
The much more common notion of anarchy, socialist anarchy, actually advocates for smaller societies and more localized leadership (e.g. at the city level). Some role for a kind of state (e.g. an alliance of local micro-states) is often preserved, especially for military and diplomatic purposes.
```Canna_Bars, on Hansa, advertised pounds of methamphetamine. In the description of the product, Porras had claimed the methamphetamine came “direct from Mexico.”```
So, defintely not legal anywhere, nor is mass distribution of meth really something that is of benefit to anybody but the cartels he bought it from.
"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed."
- Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States
In a world with legal drugs, you’d still want to prosecute someone for giving money to cartels, but there would be much less incentive for people to do so in the first place.
And? That’s whataboutism, not a response.
> Drugs are....
That sounds like a vast oversimplification, to say the least. Also, again, I’m not defending drug laws.
"The person abusing the child is not on trial in this instance, this one person (who did not harm or victimize anyone) is."
More people have died in Mexico and Central America due to the drug war than have died in the war in Afghanistan.
If you buy drugs from a supply chain that involves the cartels, you are indirectly funding organized murder and crime.
Furthermore, the destruction caused by the individual use of meth cannot reasonably be attributed to anyone other than the person who willingly purchased, acquired, and ingested the substance with full consent.
It's not moral to ask citizens to pay taxes, but it's not immoral to pay taxes: you do it because it's the least harmful option available to you.
The IRS doesn't agree.
The US is already spending 13bln per day
It has had the effect of adding trillions to the debt we are passing on to our children and grandchildren though. Good job boomers!
And I say that as a boomer myself.
If taxpayers don’t fund the police, the police funds itself.
Same thing with confiscated cars in relation to drug deals which was quite recently in HN
With that said, meth undoubtedly has a higher potential for abuse and addiction than marijuana and is worse for the health when abused. But evaluating just how much of a difference is near impossible while it remains illegal and while there is an huge and profitable government funded industry around the war on drugs.
In our society, we look out for each other, if somebody is in distress, e.g. hurt on the side of the road, we help him, call an ambulance, he gets medical help.
The fact that society makes huge efforts to save and cure people requiring medical attention, is at the root of the taboo on substances (or behaviors) that are unhealthy. Otherwise that would be a pure waste of resources for the society.
At least that was the theory. In practice, you are free to drink booze until you pass out...
People in the Netherlands don't get stoned everyday just because they can.
I understand punishing sellers, but I think the punishments for drug charges (and most charges in the US), are so draconian. 1 Year in prison for this guy should be enough. From what I've heard, prison is terrible, people do not want to spend 1 day in prison.
There is absolutely nothing he will learn in year 3, or year 4, or year 5, that will make him a better person when he comes out.
"Tough on crime" and "war on drugs" are just two huge mistakes we have made that we cannot retract, because it is politically unpopular to do so.
Hopefully there's a satisfactory middle ground between "locked up in harsh conditions for years" and "ain't nobody's business if you do".
More time in prison, more people in prison, more lobbying dollars to encourage the use of the prison system. We have 2.5 million people in jail/prison.
Obviously, you must balance the harm of the intervention itself with the harm that the intervention is trying to mitigate.
In fact many of your measures are already in place. Civilized society does control your diet, through food regulation. It controls what you watch to some extent - you'll have to go a bit out of your way to find sex and violence. Alcohol is indeed a restricted substance, and many injury-prone sports have been discontinued or modified to be safer, although some (like boxing) continue despite solid evidence of terrible cumulative injury - to great controversy. I'm not sure what you're going for with the pre-crime thing...
There's no need to equate "my business" with "draconian control".
No they don't. I can grow my own food and it is perfectly legal and loads of people do exactly that.
> you'll have to go a bit out of your way to find sex and violence.
Hardly. It's all over the internet. Even teens easily find it.
> Alcohol is indeed a restricted substance
Not for adults though, which is what we are talking about here, right?
> any injury-prone sports have been discontinued or modified to be safer
Only commercially. I can engage in the vast majority of the more dangerous version of those sports in my own free time any time I want. Play American football without helmets in my own backyard? Who is going to stop me?
So no, none of the things you mentioned are controlled to the point of being illegal. And even in rare cases where they are illegal (buying raw milk for example), no one gets thrown in jail for five years for doing it, and people do continue to do it and take those risks, and society does continue to pay when things go wrong.
> Obviously, you must balance the harm of the intervention itself with the harm that the intervention is trying to mitigate.
Who decides that? Because I find it difficult to put a measure on the cost of removing so many freedoms trying to make life risk free. It's not a society I would want to live in. I will temper that by saying I'm fully in favor of requiring people to wear masks in public. But only because it's a public emergency and in unusual circumstances I'm flexible. But what you are suggesting is long term and permanent policy.
That being said, there is an epidemic of childhood diabetes and _newborn_ obesity, which is entirely due to mother's high sugar & processed foods diets. It's a serious matter.
Also, it's possible to be a long-time user (obviously not a abuser) of heroin or meth (I know it's not exactly comparable but consider people taking adhd meds).
I'd take that over abusing sugar, which will cause fatty liver, diabetes, and cancer.
With the realities as they are coca-coal is probably safer, but because it’s cheaper, won’t have unexpected adulterants, and you won’t have to invest much time or effort in finding a new supply if your favorite vending machine breaks down.
I like that you spelled Coca-Cola "coca coal" :)
"Having a high BMI during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of various health problems for a baby, including:
Being significantly larger than average (fetal macrosomia)
I’ll grant you that sugar has a higher total social cost, because more people are addicted to it.
Diabetes is far more dangerous than legal and medically supervised heroin. So you got that wrong. What else did you get wrong?
Alcohol addiction is worse than sugar addiction without a doubt, I can agree with that.
Diabetes is a very serious disease. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out a cocaine addiction is safer long term. You would really need to back up your claim with stats instead of just continuing to insist.
I don’t feel like my claims are controversial at all. Take cocaine. It’s use often leads to psychosis. Snorting cocaine damages the nose significantly. Injecting cocaine is probably the worse drug for the number of punctures a person will do because of the short high and incredible addictive nature of the drug. Cocaine damages the cardiovascular system. It leads to ulcers. It decreases appetite so strongly it often leads to malnutrition. Cocaine increases the risk for seizures and strokes. Cognitive impairment often occurs after long heavy use. This is completely ignoring the social costs of cocaine use, which are significantly higher than being diabetic. The cartels don’t profit from insulin.
I’d rather be diabetic than have years of heavy cocaine use behind me. I’ve been close to people with type 2 diabetes and people that went through cocaine addiction.
Well yes, and a thread about why recreational drugs should be legalized to reduce harm. But either way we should not be comparing the legal use of one substance to the illegal use of another. It's a mostly useless comparison when it comes to the nature of the substances and mostly useful to talk about the risks of prohibition.
As far as your other claims, I already said "You would really need to back up your claim with stats instead of just continuing to insist."
Anecdotal evidence about your friends and which addiction you would prefer don't do anything to move the conversation forward, so lacking stats and evidence about your claims, I'll stop here.
The hypothesized causes of meth mouth are a combination of MA side effects and lifestyle factors which may be present in users:
Dry mouth (xerostomia)
Clenching and grinding of the teeth (bruxism)
Infrequent oral hygiene
Frequent consumption of sugary, fizzy drinks
Caustic nature of methamphetamine (less likely: “Meth mouth is generally most severe in users who inject the drug, rather than those who smoke, ingest or inhale it.”)
"No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
Education and positive incentives are the better solution.
It may sound cold but at least you don't have to steal money from all the people who actually create value and you don't have to pay for bureaucracy
Bob dies and the company goes under. A few of his customers can't find alternate suppliers and go under as well. Some products cease to exist; others become more expensive. A huge loss to the market.
We all pay for others' mistakes and misfortunes.
When someone creates hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution and they have far less in the bank or in profits, who pays for the cleanup costs? You will. Your "simple solution" only fixes small cases of mistakes or misfortune, the easily affordable ones.
And while you might be happy living in a society where you watch someone die on the sidewalk because they should "pay for their mistakes or misfortunes" I think the vast majority of us don't want anything to do with that kind of society. We aren't here to serve the economy, it's here to serve us.
He's still a felon carrying a gun which is bad, but it's not worse than any other gun.
I would like to point out that I used the word lots and not many, not most, not all. I specifically used the word lots. So counter statements like yours couldn't be used.
And if we're going to be pedantic, I guess it's my turn.
> Other types of crime require crimes against people.
There area many crimes where you don't commit it againit a person. Selling counterfeit goods, the victim is a company. Creating fake currency. Selling illegal weapons. Smuggling people in to countries (many do commit crimes againist people, but it is not required, just taking money and getting someone across a border hurts no-one). Shoplifting. Insurance fraud. The list goes on and on.
Your logic is fallacious. You know what has a 100% correlation with dealing drugs and committing those other crimes? Breathing. Drinking water. Eating. Correlation tells us little. Perhaps it does hint that a disregard for authority exists.
Also I'd say most of those crimes are not victimless...
Let's be serious, you and I both know, I meant a high percentile. This is just a bad faith argument made after using an anedote of knowing 12 drug dealers to say a statement about a high percentile of drug dealers would commit other crimes to make money if drugs were legal. Despite the fact that a high percentile of current drug dealers commit other crime. The reason I'm not using an exact number is because I don't want someone like you saying "Well the in the US 26% don't do that" when I found a stat for differnt country. We both know what is meant.
> Your logic is fallacious. You know what has a 100% correlation with dealing drugs and committing those other crimes? Breathing. Drinking water. Eating. Correlation tells us little. Perhaps it does hint that a disregard for authority exists.
My logic is: Someone who got into selling drugs to make a profit because the barrier to entry is low would move into another area of criminality to make money because the barrier to entry is low.
Your logic is: ???
Is it that they would still sell drugs? Why don't they sell something that is legal? Is it because the barrier to entry is higher? That they just wouldn't try and make money anymore?
> Also I'd say most of those crimes are not victimless...
Drugs is not a victimless crime either. Drug users are often victims of shoddy drugs being sold with dangerous chemicals in them. And I never said they weren't victimless, I just said they weren't against a person. A company is not a person.
Selling drugs is cheap, profitable, easy, and relatively low risk if you’re somewhere weed has been decriminalized but not legalized. You think smuggling people and selling weapons to felons is low risk and easy? You think insurance fraud is low risk and easy? That’s an absurd argument to make.
You know what they’ll move into? Selling literally anything else. I’ve seen it a dozen times. “Oh dealing drugs makes good money but it turns out selling artisanal chocolate/soda/nude pics/clothing makes even more money.”
I’ve got to say it seems like this argument comes from a lack of real world experience and a strict adherence to the reports and theories of law enforcement agencies. Contrary to your belief, non-drug crimes do not suddenly spike in areas where drugs are legalized. See: Europe, American states where weed is legal.
I'm assuming you're counting people who sold drugs to a friend as a drug dealer?
And trust me, most drug dealers are not college kids. Those are edge case drug dealers. Even the small time ones who sell say 100 pills/an oz of coke a month.
> I’ve got to say it seems like this argument comes from a lack of real world experience and a strict adherence to the reports and theories of law enforcement agencies. Contrary to your belief, non-drug crimes do not suddenly spike in areas where drugs are legalized. See: Europe, American states where weed is legal.
I think the difference is, I had experience with a lot more drug dealers than you. Ranging from school kids selling a hundred bucks of weed a week, to people selling to pay for their weed, to folk selling because they got into drug debts, to people who supplied the entire town with a specific drug. You seem to know only small time folk selling weed.
> Contrary to your belief, non-drug crimes do not suddenly spike in areas where drugs are legalized. See: Europe, American states where weed is legal.
Weed? That's not where the money makers are. Very few people sell weed to make money, there is no money in weed. Heroin, cocaine, crack, meth are what people sell when they want to make money. These drugs not not legal in any country, in Portugal it is treated as a health issue but it is as far as I know, still illegal to sell the drugs.