Quote of the Day – Sam Harris

31 07 2007

Our prohibition of certain substances has led thousands of otherwise productive and law-abiding men and women to be locked away for decades at a stretch, sometimes for life. Their children have become wards of the state. As if such cascading horror were not disturbing enough, violent criminals — murders, rapists, and child molesters — are regularly paroled to make room for them. Here we appear to have overstepped the banality of evil and plunged to the absurdity at its depths.

Sam Harris

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3 responses

31 07 2007
Kate

So here’s a question: if you got to be President, which drugs would you want to see legalized? All of them? Do you think that the government has an interest in limiting access to, or controlling any substance.

I am not being snarky, I just wonder where (if anywhere) the line should be drawn. I am not sure if it is rational, or just a product of my own prejudice, but I have a lot easier time arguing that pot should be legalized than that meth should. Just curious about your thoughts on the issue.

1 08 2007
Mitchell

that’s a tricky wicky one. First of all, If I became president we’d have a whole lot more to worry about than legalized drugs.

Here’s what wikipedia says about the Netherlands’ distinction between “hard” and “soft” drugs:

A distinction is drawn between hard drugs (which bear “unacceptable” risks; e.g. cocaine, heroin, etc.) and soft drugs such as the psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms as well as cannabis products: hashish and marijuana (as defined in the Dutch Opium Act). The distinction is drawn on whether the substance is only psychologically addictive (i.e. producing no worse effect than moderate craving when withdrawn) or also physically addictive. One of the main aims of this policy is to separate the markets for soft and hard drugs so that soft drug users are less likely to come into contact with hard drugs. This policy also aims to take the soft drug market out of the hands of the criminals, thus reducing crime.

Part of me wants to say, yeah, make em all legal – if you want to destroy your life with meth we’re probably better without you anyway. But obviously I’m not just going to say that.

Let’s take several things into consideration:

1st, i don’t like that it takes 15 minutes to buy Advil Cold and Sinus (Colorado has recently put all such drugs behind the counter and puts your ID info into a database to stop people from buying it to make meth.)

Advil cold and sinus should not be a controlled substance. You need metal to make an atomic bomb, they certainly don’t check your id when you buy a new muffler.

Meth should not be legal. Meth poses a significant public health risk as wherever it is made is contaminated with some nasty stuff.

Other drugs don’t have such a clean answer though. Take Cocaine for instance. It’s not exactly good for you, but it is clearly not Heroine.

I think ultimately that it comes down to a matter of public health, and I would support something similar to the ‘hard drug’ ‘soft drug’ system.

-mitchell

1 08 2007
Hard Drugs and Soft Drugs « Fear of Ignorance

[…] Drugs and Soft Drugs 1 08 2007 As a follow up to this post, someone sent me this graph.  Not sure how it was compiled or exactly what is meant by […]

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