I think many drugs can be used recreationally, my instinct is to let people do what they want, and I wish our drug policy was more technocratic, but it's really reckless to recommend people use certain substances.
This chart really drives home how dangerous heroin is.
The typical person doesn't have that sort of willpower.
>In the prologue, he writes, “I am now entering my fifth year as a regular heroin user.”
I've read stores, even posted to HN, where lawyers can go longer than that before their finances collapse.
Indeed, heroin is terrifyingly addictive. One of my friends from high school literally resorted to purse snatching from old ladies at nursing homes to fund his addiction.
That said I’m fairly sure only something like 10% of Heroin users become addicted.
I know there are people out there who are exceptional, one of the perils of the internet is that you get a glimpse into their lives through social media.
But we can't all compare ourselves to these exceptional people.
Take a relatively harmless drug like cannabis as an example. I personally know people who are very active on cannabis and can still steer their life towards their long term goals.
But most people are not. Most people use cannabis as a way to make a boring day fun and in the long run those boring days amass to nothing gained.
So people like Carl are probably right but they should speak for themselves, not for the masses.
I dunno, opiates in particular are scary to use recreationally.
I'm firmly in support of full legalization, but that doesn't mean that it's a great idea to nip out to the local smartshop and buy some horse.
Won't unadulterated opiates be more addictive and powerful than their adulterated street counterparts? Meaning people will get addicted more quickly and more strongly? How affordable is affordable, considering that they will almost certainly be taxed? Would it be affordable enough that a minimum wage worker be able to fund a heroin addiction without sacrificing food for their kids, for example? Even now, cigarettes take a huge chunk out of poor people's budget, to the point that they buy cigarettes first and fall back on food stamps to feed the kids second.
Yeah, an opiate addiction now is ~10x the cost of prerolled cigarettes addiction. It it was closer to 1x then the property crimes and desperation associated with it would be significantly decreased. In the book Cherry by Nico Walker the author writes about his experience of robbing banks in order to fund he and his wife’s heroin addiction.
Opiates are available through legal markets by Rx. Historically, it's been a low barrier to getting these Rx.
Opiate / opioid usage tends not to stay recreational indefinitely, and I don't know any organization realistically advocating for this.
> that doesn't mean that it's a great idea to nip out to the local smartshop and buy some horse.
This would be a pivot for "seeing a man about a horse."
To anyone who disagrees: how do you square this with calls for censorship on "dangerous information"?
Essentially, it seems the "average American" can no longer be trusted with rope - they're liable to hang themselves. I don't remember this as a child. I don't know what's happened to us.
See: riots, obesity epidemic, texting while driving, et al
The world is the wealthiest it's ever been. The world is more peaceful now than it's ever been. People are healthier now then they have ever been.
This pervasive myth of decline is completely refuted by all available evidence.
In short, high fructose corn syrup leads to obesity.
What would such regulations look like?
>In short, high fructose corn syrup leads to obesity.
Is HFCS a worldwide phenomenon? US isn't the only country with obesity problems. eg. kuwait, egypt, UAE, jordan
HFCS may be a uniquely US problem, but foods with it are also exported, which explains why countries like Canada sit relatively high as well.
It was a life-changing experience for me to visit EU countries, where orange Fanta contains 11% orange juice (and vaguely looks like orange juice), compared to the dark orange nearly-pure-sugar soda we drink here. Even McDonald's food was leaner, less greasy, and closer to what you'd get at a quality restaurant.
I am really surprised by the reactions you are receiving. I think this is a very important topic of discussion to try and approach without bias.
Nowadays we have an almost uncountable number of subcultures operating independently, and many of them despise each other. I do think that many of the new subcultures in the US praise personal hedonism over any kind of collective responsibility.
As long as we allow people to worship themselves without thinking about external costs, this will probably continue.
Another factor is that technology tends to centralize control. And the people running the technology want us to be like this. Medical costs skyrocket, they make money. Smartphone use skyrockets, they make money. etc.
From an outside perspective the US looks incredibly individualistic. Even from a UK perspective, which is individualistic on a European scale. Which is itself individualistic compared to some Asian cultures.
What's happened to the ability to say "that guy's an idiot and he can go to hell his own way, I don't have to follow him down"?
So, for instance, as someone who uses substantial amounts of drugs, I support extensive prosecution of drug users - not because I don't think people should be able to use drugs but because I think there is a threshold of responsibility for drug use.
People are unable to accept that this threshold exists, but absent that threshold, many will fall into the thrall of the drug-induced haze. I have tested my own abilities here, having used drugs extensively, then abstained for half a decade as a test, and then used again. But most have not. They are not as capable as I am.
Given that, and given that people will not accept a test of their abilities, there is one surefire way to enforce the threshold: make it illegal and then permit use among those capable.
This is the status quo. Walk around any tech office and point in any direction. A ray projected from your finger will likely hit someone who has used cocaine, MDMA, LSD, Shrooms, or some other Schedule I substance that is not marijuana.
I'm into personal liberty. But I do think we need to figure out this problem of antisocial behavior.
First and most obvious, sometimes there are reasons that person is not only hurting themselves, like secondhand smoke indoors.
Second, as much as we are indoctrinated to believe otherwise, consumption habits are not purely individual choice. We all take conscious and unconscious shortcuts every day, and they can be exploited by marketers to get us to make poor decisions. It’s impossible (or at least very exhausting) to be a perfectly rational consumer when you have corporations that do everything in their power to get you to consume irrationally.
I’m not saying you should trust the state to make these decisions for you, just that your libertarian view leaves out a lot of nuance.
doesn't work when we basically live in a hive-mind
I don't think it's more irresponsibility. I think it's a much greater number of ways that you can be irresponsible.
But a long time ago, drunk driving wasn't really known to be a bad thing. And nowadays it has a pretty bad social stigma.
Underage drinking: illegal because you can drunk drive into someone else.
Underage drinking with parents at home: totally legal because you can’t affect others.
Weed: (mostly) legal, small consequences otherwise, non-addictive
Heroin: totally illegal because addiction can bring someone to harm others to get their fix.
No, there's a great moral panic around many of these things just like rock and roll.
It's pretty obvious that extremely powerful chemical addictions in conjunction with poverty are a recipe for petty crime. So unless all drugs are made free, then a i.e. broke heroin addict will constantly be tempted to steal to feed the addiction.
Attacking motives is a nasty way to argue. The general public pays for prison and police and supports keeping some drugs illegal (if not marijuana) because it fears the consequence of widespread drug use. This may be right or wrong, but it's not crazy or malevolent.
- John Ehrlichman, Richard Nixon's Chief Domestic Advisor
Ehrlichman died in 1999, but his five children in questioned the veracity of the account.
“We never saw or heard anything from our dad, John Ehrlichman, that was derogatory about any person of color,” wrote Peter Ehrlichman, Tom Ehrlichman, Jan Ehrlichman, Michael Ehrlichman and Jody E. Pineda in a statement provided to CNN.
“The 1994 alleged ‘quote’ we saw repeated in social media for the first time today does not square with what we know of our father. And collectively, that spans over 185 years of time with him,” the Ehrlichman family wrote. “We do not subscribe to the alleged racist point of view that this writer now implies 22 years following the so-called interview of John and 16 years following our father’s death, when dad can no longer respond. None of us have raised our kids that way, and that’s because we were not raised that way.”
Just pointing out that your quote is an alleged quote, and may or may not be accurate.
As far as the pushback from the family, I would just say that it wouldn't be the first time that someone is different at work than with his family. The worst people in history still sometimes had families and pets who they treated much better than minorities and political enemies.
Furthermore, Ehrlichman may not have been racist enough to spout it unprompted, the way Nixon is recorded as being. But he would not be the first person on Capitol Hill to be craven enough to go along with racism when it helps them attain or maintain power.
Those are facts. Here are some more facts:
* The article is written in 2016 by Dan Baum.
* GP refers to "a Harper's contributor". That person is Dan Baum.
* In the article in 2016, Dan Baum is relating his experience meeting John Ehrlichman in 1994.
* In the article in 2016, Dan Baum claims that John Ehrlichman, during their meeting in 1994, said the quoted text.
* An interview with a Harper's contributor need not be a Harper's interview
* It is possible to publish, in 2016, a statement made by someone in 1994
Edda Goering on her father, the famous Hermann Goering:
> "My only memories of him are such loving ones. I cannot see him any other way."
> "The things that happened to the Jews were horrible, but quite separate from my father."
We, of course, are well-informed and know that "the things that happened to the Jews" are not, in fact, "quite separate from her father". I suspect that children of people are not reputable character references.
Many of them are outside of the US sphere of influence.
First, how do the actions of other countries have bearing on what is true about the history of our country?
Second, I don't know the details, but seems to me that powerful people in other countries could, just like the U.S., be reaping political and financial benefits from criminalizing drugs.
A single person claims to have heard this statement and waited until after Mr. Ehrlichman's death, decades later, to publish the quote.
tl;dr - You're spreading misinformation because it confirms your biases
While I don't agree, I think it's perfectly possible for a reasonable, well-intentioned person to believe in drug prohibition. But actually following through with that policy inevitably means destroying the lives of millions of people. That may be defensible on utilitarian grounds. But if you're going to pull the Trolley Car level, you better make damn sure that you're not actually switching to a track running over more people,
How many of the current policymakers, politicians or prosecutors who continue to wage the drug war have bothered to do a rigorous evaluation of the evidence for themselves? How many have performed an in-depth examination of Portugal's experiment with decriminalization? How many could show you their utilitarian calculus, giving precise figures between people incarcerated and overdoses prevented? Heck, how many politicians lack an even basic understanding of the physiological effects of the chemicals they're imprisoning people for?
99 out of 100 drug warriors show a total lack of respect for the responsibility of the power that they're asking us to give them. If you're going to ruin the lives of millions of people, and infringe on fundamental personal civil liberties, then the standard needs to be higher than "I've got a good feeling that this is the right thing to do".
You are right in that reducing the causes of the WoSD to easily understood simplistic theories is too reductionistic (just like "cannabis is being suppressed because it cures cancer!!!"), but the side benefits of boosted prison and policing budgets (and civil forfeiture) are too beneficial to those in power - and thus prevent the money from being spent to actually solve the underlying problems driving drug abuse (as opposed to drug -use-). So it is sort of malevolent. Look up Richard Miller's "Drug Warriors and Their Prey".
And "moral panics" like those Anslinger leveraged to exert control on non-whites etc (and journalists who drove the fad of 'huffing' into overdrive back in the 50s) are another important factor. Again, I am old enough to remember the BS around MDMA and GHB (GHB is actually really useful, if you're responsible with it) and how all of that was founded on actions that have been shown to be less than integral by people with little integrity.
I did not read TFA, but I can guess its contents. Now that psychedelics and etc are being medicalized, journalists (who largely like to think of themselves of those who shape society) are writing lemming-like articles about the wonders and benefits of psychedelics. You know what? Those wonders and benefits were apparent / present 30 years ago. Why has it taken so long to break the silence? It's fricking science! But it was deemed 'dangerous' so ...
Because societies ... are easily lead around by the nose by those in positions of power or influence (aka presidents and journalists) who have their own agendas. Everything over the past 4 years has made it clear how so many people are so easily influenced (aka social media and presidential Twitter accounts) by "common sense". And at this point, it is just "common sense" to have a WoSD. I am certainly not arguing that heroin should be mindlessly legalized, but the problem absolutely needs to be dealt with in a different way and the existing processes are self-reinforcing because they do serve certain interests of the social systems or processes in place and those in positions of power (and who benefit from them).
I am vaguely remember now research into why corporations behave as they do despite the people in charge understanding the larger detrimental effects of the actions they undertake for the benefit of or at the behest of the corporation. I think it's analogous, but I haven't thought this through.
So the idea that "the general public" actually understands at a deep or even good level the issues, ramifications, or even the larger social forces at work is naive. You're on HN, so I assume you are smarter than the average person, but seriously, the average person has an IQ less than 120. The older I get, the more I realize how so many people are driven primarily by their emotions and unresolved psychological issues.
I guess I am ranting because my sister just asked how she can deprogram my brother-in-law from believing all the QAnon bullshite. QAnon, the drug war, the 9/11 lunatics, the Nazi Blood Libel, these are all facets of something having to do with flaws in human psychology and societies.