If you want to decriminalise sex work, then decriminalise sex work. In Australia (at least in Victoria) brothels are legal but street-walking certainly isn't. It is a magnet for all sorts of crime and just unsightly to have on the streets.
It is society’s job to make sure people don’t become heroin addicts but we shouldn’t persecute those that do.
Then society is asked to fork over a lot of resources to rehabilitate addicts as it is their responsibility for them getting addicted. Criminalization of hard drug use in that case is simply an attempt to save money.
The current fentanyl epidemic in drug decriminalized Seattle is an example of how messed up decriminalization can get. The resulting society costs (including a rise in property and violent crime) then lead to a backlash on decriminalization and we should be back to square one shortly in an election or two.
I’m not familiar with what you refer to in Canada. In any case I absolutely don’t want hard drugs to be legalised and marketed like alcohol, I’m talking about something like clinics providing for free in proper doses for those that come seeking. It’s fine to have harsh penalties for those that try to supply outside of that.
Drug rehabilitation costs for fentanyl are very costly and most of those people aren’t coming back even with those resources. They are simply gone.
Rehab isn’t free, and I don’t think we can afford it on a large scale. People eventually have to take responsibility for their decisions, and the no coming back aspect is definitely a deterrent (whenever we encounter a person in crisis, which sadly is often these days, I make a point of telling my 5 year old that this is where drugs get you).
I also want to point out that this is a huge cop-out, pun absolutely intended. If you put in people in prison, you are effectively putting them in rehab unless you're planning on giving prisoners fentanyl.
Rehab is very often the way that people address really serious drug problems, even when they're taking responsibility themselves for the treatment. Saying that rehab is too expensive for the state to bear is effectively saying that these people shouldn't go on rehab at all, because if the state can't afford it, then the broader community of drug-addicted unhoused people definitely can't.
Is the alternative that they just get left on the street? That's not what anybody wants, including the tough-on-crime people. I'm trying to figure out how someone can have a concern about the scalability of rehab and not have a concern about the scalability of prison/arrests, which are effectively trial costs + admin costs + housing costs + rehab costs + probation/enforcement costs.
The way I see it, if you've got someone on the street and they're drug addicted, you have basically two options: you can leave them on the street, or you can pay to get them off of the street. Telling them to have responsibility doesn't really solve the problem, if they're addicted to fentanyl that's probably not something they can fix on their own. In my mind, I see "tell them to take responsibility, it's not our problem to solve" as equivalent to "leave them on the street" -- and I don't think that's what most Californians want.
Like, some people support criminalization because they think that prison is a more effective rehabilitation. I think the evidence is kind of against them on that, but I at least understand the reasoning. And even those people would agree that as far as rehabilitation goes, prison is more expensive in the short term. They just argue that the long-term effectiveness for individuals/communities makes the long-term cost of prison/criminalization less in the long run. Which is again something people can debate, but it's a very different argument than telling people to "take responsibility" for themselves -- being imprisoned/arrested is pretty much by definition the state taking responsibility for you.
Ah, I think you missed what I wrote above: rehab often doesn't work. I didn't say what we should do afterwards, just that if you get involved in fentanyl, you have a good chance of simply never getting over that.
Rehab is not only expensive, it is not effective. There is also an element of individual choice: given a choice between going to rehab and staying on the streets so they can do more drugs, a lot of people simply don't want to bother with rehab. Throwing resources at these people...we can do, we are doing that, to the tune of ~$100k/year, but much of that is simply not effective because they aren't aligned with what the person under treatment wants. So you don't want to tell them to take responsibility, then what? Force rehab on them somehow since they aren't expected to do any effort in themselves? Can forced rehab work?
Criminalization of drugs is simply because (a) people don't make the best decisions, (b) we all have to pay for those mistakes. If you can't "take responsibility" for your own behavior, society has to take that responsibility for you.
I don't understand how you think that criminalization means we don't have to pay for those mistakes. Putting people in prison is expensive, it isn't free. And then they eventually come out of prison. So unless you're planning on keeping them in prison indefinitely, you have just paid more money for what is effectively a temporary rehab. And if the plan is to keep them in indefinitely... that is very, very expensive to do.
> If you can't "take responsibility" for your own behavior, society has to take that responsibility for you.
But you're arguing we don't have means to do that. You're arguing that rehab doesn't work and is too expensive, and that instead we should put people in prison which will be... permanent rehab? Temporary rehab that also doesn't work? Except more expensive for the state?
The disconnect here is that you're arguing that we can't treat addiction because it's too expensive and doesn't work, and the alternative you're proposing is a system where we either temporarily or permanently take responsibility for someone's entire life, which is both wildly expensive for us to do, and in the case of temporary prison sentences is likely (and in fact when you look at the statistics on rehabilitation after prison, arguably more likely) to have the same outcome.
> I didn't say what we should do afterwards
I don't understand, what we do afterwards is the only part of this conversation that seems to actually matter. People are already on the street addicted to fentanyl, you can either leave them there or the state can try to expend money/resources getting them off of the street and dealing with that addiction. Telling them to have personal responsibility is leaving them there.
Which, fine, I guess, but again I just don't think that's an outcome most people in California (or anywhere else) want, regardless of how sympathetic they are or aren't towards those people.
If you think prison is effective rehab and that it's worth the increased cost, then fine, say that, but again, that's just a very, very different argument from saying that we should criminalize drug use because it's too expensive for the state to take responsibility for other people. Criminalizing drug use is the state taking responsibility for other people on the taxpayer's dollar.
Of course, it isn't free. It is cheaper than what we are currently accomplishing through the homeless industrial complex ($10k/month just for a place to park a derelict RV at a recent project), so let's not kid ourselves that prison is more expensive than the alternatives: it isn't. Someone inside also can get treatments and will find it much harder to acquire drugs (fentanyl is much more expensive in prison and very cheap outside of prison).
> But you're arguing we don't have means to do that.
No, we are arguing about where that responsibility should be taken: when they want to go to rehab (which they may never want), or before they actually start doing drugs.
> People are already on the street addicted to fentanyl, you can either leave them there or the state can try to expend money/resources getting them off of the street and dealing with that addiction.
We have fewer options than that. Usually its a combination of both: the state (actually the city) expends money to deal with the addiction, but they are back on the street in a couple of weeks because they want more drugs and we can't actually force them to let us deal with their addiction (no criminalization = no judge to force rehab, of course).
> If you think prison is effective rehab and that it's worth the increased cost
Prison is cheaper than what we are spending on the problem right now. We've passed that point a few years ago.
I don't think I've heard even the strictest pro-prison people try to seriously make the argument that prison is cheaper than housing for the same time periods of detention. Prison is really expensive, it's in a lot of ways a strict superset of housing. Even just holding people in preparation of a trial and getting them convicted is really expensive. Where are you getting these numbers from?
> No, we are arguing about where that responsibility should be taken
I mean, if you want to argue about that, sure. But my argument is that they're on the street right now and saying that they should have avoided getting addicted to drugs in the past is not particularly useful to the current conversation unless you have a time machine handy.
> no criminalization = no judge to force rehab, of course
Look, this is just a different argument. Are you arguing that rehab does actually work, but we need criminalization so we can force it? I have seen people argue that point, but it's not really an argument about personal responsibility, it's an argument that the state should have even more involvement in rehabilitation than it currently does.
Regarding the cost, of course that should be taken into consideration but I don’t understand how it can be that expensive. Or rather, I understand how it can be but there is no good reason for it to be. The state has all means to commission drug manufacturers to provide it cheaply for this purpose. It is in fact very important that there exists no monetary incentive for any industry to sell drugs to these clinics.
Regarding people not coming back, that is incredibly tragic, yet it’s still better to keep them “contained” rather than leaving them to procure their next fix on their own by any means necessary.
It may be of interest to you to learn there are a number of countries in the world that manage to provide their people with tax funded healthcare at little or no cost to recipients, without excessive taxation and while being generally pretty good places to live.
Not going to get into a long conversation about it beyond just saying that this is a statement that needs a lot of qualifiers and shouldn't just be taken completely at face value. There are significant debates about what is fueling some of Seattle's current problems, and whatever people's ultimate opinions on who is right and wrong about those debates -- the debates do exist and should be taken somewhat seriously.
ISeattle's drug policies obviously have some effect on the rest of the city because of course crime policy will have some effect on a city in some kind of direction, but it's just a hugely complicated topic, and stuff like "a rise in property and violent crime" very clearly have multiple inputs playing into them and pretty obviously aren't solely the result of drug policy in a single city.
I only know what I see, I live in Ballard so most of our crime is driven by that segment of the population. I've caught more than a few prowling my car (I have an open garage). I have to dodge people in crisis often with extra care, I don't want to get a baseball bat to the head like that poor Amazonian in Belltown. I see shoplifting at Target with impunity, I saw a guy run out with two small TVs just a couple of weeks ago.
These people that are doing this look way drugged out. They look gone. It is not regular crime at all.
- There is debate about whether drug policy specifically is the primary cause of the various increases in drug usage that we've seen around the US.
- There is debate about whether drug addiction in cities like Seattle merely correlates with homelessness/crime or whether it is the primary causal effect.
- And there are also debates on various metrics that people use that lead even people who do believe there is a causal effect to disagree with each other about how significant they think that causal effect is.
And some people do believe that it's all a straight causal effect and there aren't any complications and banning the drugs will solve the problem; but there's enough debate about it from enough serious researchers and a large enough number of inputs going into the system that I think it's slightly hand-wavy to describe the relationship between specific drug policies and crime like it's an established and widely agreed on fact rather than a highly contested debate among various researchers.
Instead we're supposed to trust ever-bigger governments (controlled by ever-bigger corporate interests) to make those choices for us, and restrict those scary dangerous freedoms that people once had.
Unless we want vigilantism. Which we really do not.
A tight society with a strict moral code (and it's enforcement in... communal style) would need no police and laws.
Also, we did vigilantism. It’s really, really bad.
Making drugs illegal is a major deterrent to doing drugs. Simple as that.
Half of the US is on some form of amphetamine from middle school onwards. We don't have an issue with people taking drugs. We want them to take the right drugs and pay the right companies for them.
You might have a problem with 'drugs' but that's politics.
Which drugs do you draw the line at? Coffee? Alcohol? Nicotine?
Yes I know about the David Nutt report. It's not remotely objective.
The people wanting to use drugs would view "punished" as anything that gets in the way of them and their drug of choice. Saying it harms no one is to say that the person using isn't being harmed.
I have (though probably used to have more) libertarian sympathies but it seems like that falls down in a large number of hard cases. I don't want to run other people's lives any more then I want someone else to run mine but there's an extreme version of the libertarian argument that equates any help with control.
There will be a demand and there will be people fulfilling the demand. It’s much better to have the fulfillers regulated instead of it being a source of money and power for criminal organisations.
Just look at how well prohibition worked in the US.
Nordic countries are actually rather (in)famously known in Europe as having strict drug laws.
> Making drugs illegal is a major deterrent to doing drugs.
Obviously, but people still do so many drugs, and the numbers are increasing. This is despite relatively very few countries actually even decriminalizing (_not_ legalizing) drugs.
From my own experience living in the Netherlands, weed being legal means tourists come to smoke it, but a lot of the Dutch are just completely uninterested, including teenagers. If you had given me easy to access cheap weed at 16 I would've been blazing all day, but I didn't come from a place where it's legal. Dutch teenagers did. Second order effects such as perception of drugs are a thing that must be considered as well.
As for it being a deterrent, it may be for some, but the measure should not be drug use but harm, and what is abundantly clear is that criminalisation drives up crime, and causes substantial harm up to and including large numbers of deaths.
Keeping drugs illegal given the evidence we have of the harm it causes is deeply immoral.
It seems like the cops shouldn’t even have time to go around harassing prostitutes.
I mean, sure, don’t harass prostitutes. Ok. But how about enforcing some of the other laws?
More tickets more arrests more better, you get a promotion!
Senate Bill 357, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would revoke the state’s current law which bans loitering in a public place with the intent to commit prostitution—a law that advocates say is “inherently discriminatory and targets people not for any action but simply how they look.” In turn, this has resulted in the disproportionate criminalization of trans, Black and Brown women, and has also perpetuated violence toward sex workers.
I don’t believe in a one age fits all laws approach. Where I’m from, most things switch to adult at 18 - including drinking, voting, enlisting. Murder/criminal convictions are possible before that.
I don’t think a killer should go free just because they were were 10 years old when they abducted, tortured, mutilated and killed a toddler. And then went on to become a pedophile.
It feels like this line of thought would apply even stronger toward military service.
Meanwhile prostitution is a disadvantage to society as a whole when you take the whole surrounding business and expenses.
Is the argument here that people are too young to make an informed decision about military service before 25, but that it's important for our national security that some of them make that decision anyway? This feels a bit less like a response to GP's point, and a bit more like a more general argument that national security sometimes requires us to take advantage of minors.
If the argument is that social benefit sometimes outweighs moral costs, then that seems to me to be an argument that we should also look at the social/individual/financial costs of criminalizing prostitution and approach the issue at least partially through an effects-based lens rather than a purely moral one.
On the other hand, if we're willing to take a hard stand that some transactions aren't really consensual when incentives are involved, and that (particularly for minors under 25) some people aren't really able to make fully informed decisions about some topics in general -- well, it's not that I'm against that conclusion, I do think that incentives and life situations and information/maturity do play into whether or not a contract/interaction can be actually consensual in a real sense. But it's just... that conclusion has implications, and I don't think those implications can be swept under the rug just because the military is important.
Looking at all sorts of research, having sex come with an emotional baggage for vast majority of people. Which is natural given the evolutionary role.
Can it benefit a society to push vulnerable people to provide services that are likely to cause mental instability? Can it even be seen as a neutral at bottom line?
Buying side is usually riddled with all sorts of issues too.
As a society, we should strive towards helping people to find mates organically and help to build lasting relationships.
Citation needed. It's highly dependent on the country ( e.g. the Maldives sure as hell don't need an army, but a navy/coast guard is important), it's circumstances (nobody is endangering the US or Canada in any way).
> Navy is important.
Navy is military, of course.
> nobody is endangering the US or Canada
Or, nobody is endangering the US or Canada because of the US military.
You have to either accept that some humans are "bad", and have deterrents for them, or you have wait for a "bad" human to come and take what they want.
Russia seems like its being an arsehole, the "not threatening your neighbors" bit goes both ways
Its possible to have mechanisms to deal with bad actors that aren't blatant threats of violence
I don't understand this. Putin believes Russia will benefit more from not getting along, taking what he thinks Russia needs, meaning he thinks that the current war is the best course of action, and beneficial in the long term. What would the motivation be for "getting along" when that would be detrimental? Agreements can't alway be made, because "best" is different depending on the perspective. For example, look at Nazi Germany. Non violent mechanisms wouldn't convince them that genocide wasn't the best course of action.
> Its possible to have mechanisms to deal with bad actors that aren't blatant threats of violence
Do you have an example, ideally one that has proven successful in the past? Currently, sanctions, limiting bank transactions, etc are used as non violent mechanisms. All of these were used against Russia, yet tanks still came over the border. What sort of non violent mechanism do you think could have been used have been to stop, or now remove, the Russian tanks within the Ukrainian border?
When I say this, I don't mean it in a way that is belittling, but you might want to look at some history books for examples of the perceived irrationality of leaders that result in wars. You can't always make someone agree with you.
If we set the age of adulthood to 25, maybe people won't be mature until 32.
There's this utopian notion that sex workers are just like you and me, except their hard on their luck so they're choosing to do sex work and so we should make it as legal as possible for them.
The truth is nearly all sex workers are drug addicts that need serious help.
Like assuming gun owners are all rational people or motorcycle riders should be able to make the correct decision about protecting their head.
Some things in life, the state should deter people from doing in everyway possible because it's just extremely horrible for humans to engage in.
This isn’t true and it varies by region and country. It’s a very condescending view.
Some are people looking to pay for college. Some are drug addicts. Some are people who struggle academically and have untreated disabilities and found sex work is something that they can do. Some are people who want side money to buy a Gucci bag or something.
Most sex workers aren’t 80 pound meth addicts walking under a highway overpass at 3 am. In 2022, most sex workers are making deals online, in clubs, and various institutions. Plus there’s the whole sex streamer business which is absolutely massive.
That's just bullshit. Maybe it's valid for some subset of sex workers in some jurisdiction where sex workers is illegal and dangerous so only few really desperate people do it, but it's a ludicrously bad sweeping statement.
In places where sex work is legal, regulated, safe and with healthcare, that's simply untrue, verifiably so.
It’s dystopian and might be a hard read for some of you, but it might rectify a lot of the idealistic visions of what this work looks like.
It’s violence and predation all the way up and down. It’s hard to see how California isn’t failing the people and communities it claims to stand up for.
Read the “popular highlights” for a quick introduction.
Sex work can be made far safer. A holier than thou blanket ban on legalisation of sex work will only guarantee that it won't become safer.
Similar to drug use, if we as societies continue to pretend that people won't partake in drugs because there are laws against it, all we're doing is ensuring drug use is more dangerous.
If you don't want to be a sex worker, don't be one. If you don't want to take drugs, don't take them (though I'm sure many anti-drug types enjoy a whiskey or 10).
But don't pretend you're doing people a favour by refusing to entertain the idea of legalising largely harmless behaviours. You're just ensuring that the actions which are going to happen regardless are more dangerous for those involved.
A bit like abortion, really.
People want to talk about their beliefs and feelings without having to know what this stuff looks like in real life. The abstraction makes it all palatable.
This might seem like a good idea abstractly, but it means more pimps can make more money and they aren't good folks.
Why can't we legalise sex work and cut a lot of pimps out of the equation? Maintain a "ban" on street walking, but allow brothels and escorting.
What is prostitution anyway? A coal miner sells his body in similar ways to a prostitute.
Why can't we legalise drugs and cut cartels and gangs out of the equation? Personal use amounts, manufactured and taxed like other drugs (alcohol, cigarettes etc)
Why can't we legalise abortion and cut backyard operators out of the equation?
Why should your moral stances take precedence over the safety of others?
You can't legislate behaviours away. They're going to happen. We've been taking drugs for 10s of 1000s of years. We've been trading our bodies for benefits for at least a few thousand.
These actions are largely harmless. Let's realise that making them illegal is a large part of what makes them dangerous.
My ultimate viewpoint is that criminalization makes criminals and a lot of people want sex workers and drug users (there are others, of course) to be considered criminals and be treated as such. I don't see the societal benefit of this, as it just leads to illicit systems taking place that serve to exploit people. Sex work isn't harmful, but sex trafficking and abuse are- there is definitely a way to allow people to participate in sex work with dignity and protection from exploitation- and criminalizing sex work only contributes to forcing people into situations where they operate in shady unregulated realms where the control rests with organized crime instead of giving that control to the sex workers themselves. Because they can't operate legitimately, and the status of criminalization comes with stigma and marginalization that further create more issues rather than solving any issues.
People will buy sex and people will sell sex, they have been doing so since time immemorial regardless of the law- so IMO the priority should be in making sex work safe, focusing LE and CJ systems toward human trafficking, exploitation, abuse, and slavery instead.
You are abstracting and failing to see that there are abusers and manipulators in the world. 'Cut it out', yeah, no kidding. It's just that easy too
I want to see the man here that wants to give his daughter to the world, to be used by all kinds of men for some cash.
I've got a hard trouble believing any well adjusted, sane man (or woman) will have no problems with it. Doesn't matter what adjective we use ("you are not progressive enough"). Nobody cares.
Well, these "sex workers" are someone's daughter, too.
I wish I could grasp just how much % of people exist that actually believe this insanity that is rampant in 2020's.
Is it a case of a loud minority, or (majority of) people really believe this is how life should be lived?
This will make the city streets more unsafe.
Really we need solutions that allow sex workers to get off the streets more. Currently it's illegal for them to organise and operate in ways that would really make them safe.
We, a small group, and I were on our way back from a wedding. Just minding our business walking down the street to our hotel.
This person was clearly on drugs and paranoid or something.
Touch grass and stop perpetuating this nonsense, as if interacting with the police is like playing Russian roulette.
2019 had 634 deaths by police in the US .
From the Wiki article:
"The Washington Post has tracked shootings since 2015, reporting more than 5,000 incidents since their tracking began. The database can also classify people in various categories including race, age, weapon etc. For 2019, it reported a total of 1,004 people shot and killed by police. According to the database, 6,600 have been killed since 2015, including 6,303 men and 294 women. Among those killed, 3,878 were armed with a gun, 1,119 were armed with a knife, 218 were armed with a vehicle, 244 had a toy weapon, and 421 were unarmed."
So if you're not carrying a weapon (and probably also threatening the officer/someone with it), you're already way less likely to be killed.
How many police interactions are there per year in the US? 61.5 Million in 2018 . That's a 0.00017% chance of dying per police interaction (assuming you're unarmed, 421 unarmed deaths over 4 years).
It’s easy to say academically in your living room that paying some poor soul for a blowjob hurts nobody. It’s even easier to pivot to some knee jerk about how police are the problem.
Reality is more complex. And the political reality is that these poorly implemented policy changes are going to create strong republican majorities all over the place.
And this is happening while our cities are being ravaged by a major drug epidemic.
This will most likely breed more sex workers which no one needs at a time when most stores have help wanted signs.
Skilled prostitution goes much, much higher than that.
Even on the low end of the pay grade, the benefits of being self employed and able to do drugs on the job outweighs the requirement to show up to work on time and sober at Safeway.
Feels very college to me. Classic case of book smarts replacing street smarts.
Naive Utopian vibes. There are very bad people in the world unfortunately. Sounds like lots of these commenters don’t know it yet.
It's basically saying "prostitution is bad and illegal but if you are offering it we won't punish you (wink)". Frankly it seems to me the worst of both worlds. The customer is automatically in a condemned state and can't redeem themselves. Kind of like how sanctions against Russia levied with no clear terms for removing them won't make them stop since you have basically made them your enemy with no honorable agreement possible.
We have extensive rules here in Germany to protect the health of workers. In that spirit, any physical and mental health risks taken by people who are doing sex-work should be insured-to-death.
This work also entails information inequality: Most young workers do not (cannot) really know what they are getting into. We make training a must for wood-workers, why not sex-workers? Make licensing through training a must, also enforce them yearly perhaps. Make regular health-checks a must as well, pricing that into the insurance.
Prosecute people who seek or employ unlicensed sex-workers heavily. This should be seen as bad as abusing children. Following the same logic, the workers should never be afraid to be prosecuted, even when they are not licensed. So I like what California is trying to do too.
Also make sure the Police has some members who speak enough foreign languages to cover at least Eastern Europe languages.
We once had street prostitution in NYC. You should’ve seen Times Square after hours. Oh boy. Real good for the local economy. /s
Cities were the place to be until the 60’s when anyone who could fled to the suburbs to get away from the crime and general decay. SF lost about 1/3 of it population by the 80’s compared to the 50’s peak.
Cities started to revive in the 90’s and became the new cultural and business Mecca. Now social unrest, crime, cost, and QOL issues seem to be getting worse and the city government seems to not only unconcerned by also encouraging it.
I’m long on suburban real estate.