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The legalization of recreational drugs

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Stephanos
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25 posted 12-13-2002 02:13 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

you're forgetting that abusing Heroin for example IS a crime   .  I know you are arguing that it shouldn't be.  I disagree.  I don't think there is a legitimate level of use of taking Heroin for pleasure due to its inherent danger.  There are laws that require medically trained individuals to distribute narcotics for pain control, but not laws that allow individuals decide for themselves.  Why?  Because of the universally recognized danger of abusing narcotics.  

There is not a legitimate recreational use for narcotics.  Why?  Because it has been medically proven to be harmful and addictive.  Science does not support the detrimental nature of golfing.  Every other example you cite, has a legitimate and proper place in society.  How epidemic is golf for breaking up marriages?  It can be abused.  But it clearly has a legitimate use.  Let's get off of a philosophy kick for one second... some things are obviously harmful and should be made illegal for that reason.  


Heroine for recreational use is not legit.  It is one of those things that are obviously detrimental to individuals and societies.  Ask any  psychologist, how harmful addiction is, and how pathological it is both psychologically and physiologically.


Drug abuse is not a victimless crime.  I am an RN.  I work on a med-surgical unit at the hospital and see the devastating results of addiction on a regular basis.  People can function and still play some golf.  I am willing to say that no one can really function in responsiblity to their families, friends, and employers and do heroin... at least not for long.  It is immoral to abuse drugs.  It is immoral for the reason of self-harm, and hurting others who care for you.  It is far from being a victimless crime.  Ask professionals who specialize in treating addicts and see what they say.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-13-2002 02:16 AM).]

Local Parasite
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26 posted 12-13-2002 02:33 AM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

I happen to find it hilarious that drug use is outlawed in Canada, but suicide is legal.  I'm willing to bet suicide is more harmful to one's health, and more devastating to one's peers, than any recreational drug is...
Christopher
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27 posted 12-13-2002 03:08 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
Drugs and alcohol do NOT impair morality.
I still can't agree with this Ron. If it impairs brain function (which it does), then how can you say that it doesn't affect morality? Where else does morality come from, than the very place where the drug is having its affect?
jbouder
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28 posted 12-13-2002 08:55 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

I'm having difficulty understanding why anyone would advocate for the right to engage in self-destructive behavior.  I suppose there is some benefit in allowing the incurably selfish to remain stoned, getting them out of the way of those who would devote their time and energy to something productive.  But once again, it leaves the good work in the hands of the few.

Once a person realizes that there are more important things in life than rampant "me-ism," the whole recreational drug debate seems pretty ridiculous.  Selfishness, in my opinion, impairs good judgement as much as drug use.

Jim

[This message has been edited by jbouder (12-13-2002 08:57 AM).]

hush
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29 posted 12-13-2002 01:34 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Ron-

'Drugs and alcohol do NOT impair morality.... Let's make low self-esteem illegal.'

I certainly think that your logic makes sense. But I also think that drugs can have a reciprocal affect that doesn't necessarily mean neglect or abuse.

Generally, I don't think golfing injuries incapacitate a person to care for him/herself as much as drug addiction.

Like I said, "My mother has never been neglectful." But I also explained how it feels to have the tables turned in a matter of a few seconds, and be forced into parenting the parent.

If it wasn't me, she would have called a neighbor, or one of her brothers.

I guess there's a fuzzy line that seperates where self-destruction (I don't think drug use is always self-destructive) ceases to destroy only one's self.

When you expect others to pick up the peices for you, that's crossing that line.

It applies to drugs that are legal, as well- because I can also tell you how heavily my mother's pack-a-day habit impacted her pocketbook (and consequently, mine) and how many ICU visits she's had for pnemonia.

I don't necessarily this line can, or should, be legislated, I'm only pointing out that drugs do affect others. There's a line between recreation and addiction, and there's also a point where the affect drugs have on your health is debilitating.
Ron
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30 posted 12-13-2002 03:16 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Jim said I'm having difficulty understanding why anyone would advocate for the right to engage in self-destructive behavior.

Because legislating away the right for self-destructive behavior obviously doesn't work, Jim.

I'm most emphatically NOT advocating the use of drugs. (If I did, I'd have to edit my own posts, since that's against our Guidelines.) Amy said she doesn't think drug use is always self-destructive, and I'm guessing that Caelestis, who started this thread, and perhaps many others, probably agree with her. I don't. Did you know that alcohol is classified as a poison? Literally. Its recreational effects are only the result of killing yourself "a little bit." Earlier, I compared fat to drugs, making the point that immoderate ingestion of fat kills far more people in our civilization that drugs even touch. But there's a really big difference, too, in that it's impossible to over-dose on fat. I know, because I think I tried this past Thanksgiving. But you CAN kill yourself with most recreational drugs and, in my opinion, you do so "a little bit" every single time you use one. Frankly, I can't personally think of anything quite so stupid as doing drugs.

So, does that mean it should be illegal? I maintain that's the wrong question to ask. The right question is, what do we intend such legislation to accomplish? If you answer that you want it to STOP drug use, you got yourself a really big problem. Because, very obviously, it doesn't. You just want to make it harder? Wrong answer again, because many of the posts in this thread only demonstrate how incredibly easy it is for even our kids to get illegal drugs.

The ONLY positive thing a law against drug use does is show our collective disapproval.

I might even agree that was something worthwhile if it wasn't for the very real negative things that such laws do. Al Capone would never have been an historic figure, and would probably have killed far fewer human beings, had the U.S. government not been so foolish as to abolish the sale of alcohol in 1920. But Prohibition never really ended in 1933, it just abated for a few decades, and the drug laws that started surfacing in the 1960's have simply replaced our earlier mistakes.

When the government passes laws against things that people INSIST on doing, it only opens the door for people who don't respect the law to make a huge profit. And because by their very nature they don't respect the law, they do some really nasty things to get their way. When was the last time you heard about a bootlegger gunning down his competition? When was the last time an alcoholic broke into your house to get money for a bottle? Drug dealers and pimps don't just break the law, guys. They are a direct RESULT of the law. Get rid of the law and they, like the bootleggers, will cease to exist. Addicts don't mug you because the drug makes them do it. They do it because our laws have, at once, made the drugs prohibitively expensive and then thrown the addict into a culture where crime is actively encouraged. We aren't protecting people from themselves. We're throwing them into a profit-motivated cesspool from which too many will never emerge.

I would love to get rid of drugs, including alcohol. Especially alcohol. But eighty years of history tells me that ain't going to happen. Since our laws don't stop drugs, and don't appear to even slow them down, I would much rather we at least try to control it. Get rid of the criminal element by making it less profitable. We could tax the hell out of marijuana, still sell it at a fraction of the cost a drug dealer does, and then spend the money on education and rehabilitation. Shoot, just saving the money we now spend on jailing over half the prison population would be enough to help some of those families that are being abused every day in spite of our laws. I'm cynical enough, especially in view of rampant alcohol abuse, to suspect our legislators probably wouldn't do it right. But I can't hardly imagine how they could do it more wrong.

I don't want to encouraging people to use drugs. I just don't think prohibiting it is effectively discouraging it in any realistic way. Instead, it teaches people to break the law and creates an environment where that attitude then becomes the norm.
Ron
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31 posted 12-13-2002 05:03 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Christopher said If it impairs brain function (which it does), then how can you say that it doesn't affect morality? Where else does morality come from, than the very place where the drug is having its affect?

I guess it depends on your definition of morality, Chris. Your autonomic functions, breathing and heart beat, for example, are also centered in that same area. By the time those are impaired by drugs, however, you're usually in no position to hurt someone else.

I recognize that some definitions of morality include reasoned response, but I consider those to more appropriately be ethics. In my opinion, ethics are usually situational. Change the situation enough and most people will re-think their ethics. John might be unwilling to shoplift at Macey's for a lot of good reasons, not the least of which is fear of getting caught. For most people, that's an ethical question and John could probably think of situations where he would feel justified stealing from the store. How much the situation would have to change is another question entirely.

Morality is a much deeper behavioral conditioning that is not so easily subject to the situation. Would John steal five bucks from his best friend? For many people, I think, that question goes beyond ethics into morality. Even if they knew they would never get caught, it would feel very, very wrong to them. I'd like to think it would take more than a fifth of tequila to betray a close friend's trust. That's probably a bad example because, in truth, I know there's not a lot of people who place that much value on friendship. Change the five bucks into a pretty girlfriend and betrayal might not be so easily escaped. But I suspect I've hit close enough to the mark to make my point.

I had a friend some twenty years ago who was absolutely paranoid about drinking and driving. Randy just couldn't stomach the consequences of hurting someone. I picked her up one night at the bowling alley and found her absolutely, falling-down smashed -- and then spent over three hours trying to get her home. She refused to get into my car. Randy was too drunk to make the rational judgement that it was safe for ME to drive her home, but not nearly drunk enough to forget her unusually strong convictions. The associations between car and alcohol were buried every bit as deeply as those of breathing and keeping her heart pumping.

Drugs might affect what you think, and they can certainly affect what you do, but they don't change who you are.
fractal007
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32 posted 12-13-2002 05:17 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

"We could tax the hell out of marijuana, still sell it at a fraction of the cost a drug dealer does, and then spend the money on education and rehabilitation."

Ron:

That's a good idea.  It would certainly solve a problem a friend of mine posed today.  He claimed that if we make marjuana legal then the common citizenry of Canada and the US will end up having to pay to keep the stoners alive through welfare.  Taxes will be raised in order to compensate for an increased incidence of stoners living as jobless welfare bums.

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

Skyfire
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33 posted 12-18-2002 03:01 AM       View Profile for Skyfire   Email Skyfire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfire

Stephanos, you said,
"Drugs hurt family members, friends, neighbors and society in general."

*thinks* I smoke pot. It doesn't hurt my family members. How could it? I don't smoke it around them, and most of them don't even know I do it. Does it hurt my friends? Well if they don't like seeing me high, then I don't go around them when I'm high. Simple as that. Just common decency, in my opinion. How does my smoking pot hurt my neighbors? Society? I'd like to know how MY smoking pot hurts society. Hypotetically, at least I'm not selling myself on the corner to support my crack addiction. That hurts society more than my recreational indulgences does.
But that's just my opinion *shrugs*

jbouder, you said,
"I suppose there is some benefit in allowing the incurably selfish to remain stoned, getting them out of the way of those who would devote their time and energy to something productive."
I'm sorry, but that really offends me. I'm in first year University. Passing all my courses, thankyouverymuch. I go out on the weekends and smoke a little bit of pot. Does that make me selfish? If so, why? It's no more selfish for ME to do something I enjoy than for YOU to do something you enjoy.


[This message has been edited by Skyfire (12-18-2002 03:07 AM).]

Stephanos
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34 posted 12-18-2002 08:57 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Skyfire,

I used to smoke Pot myself in my late teens / early twenties ... I am 31 years old now.  I am aware how the use of Marijuanna tends to progress toward experimentation with other drugs.  It did so with me.  It is harmful to your health.  It affects the "sharpness" of your mental abilities.  Telling me you make good grades says nothing for two reasons.  1)  I don't know what your full potential is as a student, so "good" might be not so good for you if you are smart enough.  2)  A long term use of Pot might result in a different story for you... your aspirations, goals, and general mental aptitude IS or will be affected by Marijuanna.  I know it does, because I've been there and done that.  And all my friends smoked too.

And what is harmful to you does hurt those who love you.


Stephen.
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35 posted 12-18-2002 02:07 PM       View Profile for Skyfire   Email Skyfire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfire

Hmm... something I'll need to ponder...
Denise
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36 posted 12-18-2002 11:10 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Drugs are drugs and extremely dangerous.  I think calling them "recreational" tends to make them seem benign, when they are anything but that.

I've known people who smoked pot and went onto stronger drugs.....and most are now dead, way too young to be dead. I know people who smoked pot and still to this day only smoke pot. After about 30 years of smoking pot, some on a daily, some on a weekly basis, they couldn't be classified as the brightest bulbs in the box anymore. And some were quite intelligent. They've lost that potential forever.

The same can be said for alcohol abuse. It destroys lives, relationships, financial security, but it would cause more ill in society if it were made illegal again. A lot needs to be done in the regulation department, i.e., bars following the law by not serving obviously drunk patrons, etc. (what? and lose money?!), but making it illegal is not the answer. In the same way, I don't think drugs should be illegal.

I've long thought that the only way to win the so called war on drugs is to legalize them, and as Ron said, with regulation. Those who want to do drugs will do them whether they are legal or not. Those who won't do them, won't do them even if they are legalized. Legalizing them would take the profit out of it and do away with much of the associated crime under the current system. Just as Prohibition only made matters worse, and criminals rich, so it is in the drug trade.

Morality cannot be legislated. It has never worked that way and it never will, in my opinion.

Ron
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37 posted 12-19-2002 12:00 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Rhonda said It doesn't hurt my family members. How could it? I don't smoke it around them, and most of them don't even know I do it.

One could argue, I think, that feeling a need to hide something from your family IS harmful. To them. And to you.

As Denise said and I alluded to earlier, there are a lot of similarities between Prohibition and the current War on Drugs. I found a really good Policy Analysis that was published in 1991, with a lot of hard numbers and what I think are some convincing conclusions. One of the things that surprised me in this article was to discover that many Prohibitionists, like Irving Fisher, specifically thought to target the young. "Prevent the young from drinking and let the older alcoholic generations die out." Unfortunately, statistics suggest Prohibition produced exactly the opposite effect, partly because it made drinking more romantic, and partly because those who broke the law running a speakeasy weren't real conscientious about protecting the young. When was the last time you heard of a drug dealer asking for ID?
winston
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38 posted 12-19-2002 10:02 AM       View Profile for winston   Email winston   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for winston

My personal, humble opinion is that drugs, alcohol, and the rest are an evil.

Christopher
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39 posted 12-19-2002 11:15 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
Your autonomic functions, breathing and heart beat, for example, are also centered in that same area. By the time those are impaired by drugs, however, you're usually in no position to hurt someone else.
Not quite sure I agree with this though. I think if I could buy this, the rest makes absolute sense. But these are the exact things the drug affects - right off the bat. Now, your friend, that's awesome, the kind of thing I'd like to hear more often. Perhaps... I don't kow. Still processing this, because it just doesn't make sense to me, is a dichotomy.
Ron
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40 posted 12-19-2002 12:42 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Look at it this way, Chris. If you spent five years teaching a puppy to salivate at the sound of a bell, would he still drool all over when you got him drunk? I think he would. What I call morality is a deeply buried behavioral response that cannot be easily escaped.
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41 posted 12-19-2002 01:09 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Drugs are a waste of health, time and money--period.   They distract and corrupt people away from intimacy with what is important in life and drive them to serve a base appetite of addiction (s).  
Nothing can justify drug usage when it damages so thoroughly and there are so many other alternatives for escape.  It is like abortion--I will never accept it because there are always better ways to deal with the problem.  Killing can never be justified.  In a way drugs try to kill an inward problem but never can, they can only hide it for transient moments, but it only becomes larger and the individual strives to hide more and more frequently seeing this but not accepting, only wanting to escape.  There are always better things through which to escape.


[This message has been edited by Essorant (12-19-2002 01:15 PM).]

Ron
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42 posted 12-19-2002 02:23 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

There you go being extreme again, Essorant. Can't you decide? What happened to your "everything in moderation" theory?

Or does that only get to work when YOU decide the terms?
fractal007
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43 posted 12-19-2002 02:29 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

"It doesn't hurt my family members. How could it? I don't smoke it around them, and most of them don't even know I do it."

That's good for you.  I know a guy[we know eachother rather well, actually] who's been stealing from his family, smoking up in his house believing his family couldn't smell it, and he's dropped out of school from grade 13.

I imagine you must be a pretty stealthy person.  This guy isn't, and he's pretty much torn apart his family.  His family can't leave any money laying around anymore, his they check to make sure their valuables are still around everytime they go to bed, his father is more stressed than ever and it's potentially effecting his marriage.  

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

Ron
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44 posted 12-19-2002 06:02 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I'm sure you'd agree, fractal, that people are responsible for their actions. If this guy wasn't stealing from his family because of pot, he'd just be stealing because of alcohol, or gambling, or women, or to support his comic book habit. People like him always find a reason.
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45 posted 12-20-2002 10:55 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I'm sorrying I spoke a bit rashly.
I just see that drugs are more destructive and extreme more than kept within any form of moderation. The individual in almost all cases I think intends on a form of set moderation and control over the drug.  But in just as many cases inevitablly the drug will create an addictions that will result in more and more of an inability to retain moderation and control.  It is because the inward will beside the drug takes and is taken in the addiction to extremes that we need the outward will of laws to make up for that--the control that is most often not there, where extremes show up more often then don't.  There are exceptions, but the chief truth is that drugs are taken by, and take, people to extremes.  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (12-20-2002 10:56 AM).]

Stephanos
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46 posted 12-27-2002 01:07 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Denise,

you wrote,

"Morality cannot be legislated. It has never worked that way and it never will, in my opinion."


There are some out there who feel that morality is intrinsic to the whole idea of legislation.  Some even go so far as to say that Civil Law is a macrocosm of the individual awareness of "moral law" or the "natural law" within us all.  I think there are strong arguments to support these assertions, though some may not agree.


I'm trying to figure out what you are trying to say.  Are you saying that you believe that legislation is, in fact, not based on moral principles, or that it should not be based on moral principles?  


If you say that legislation IS not based on moral principles... I would like to ask what are laws against, let's say, murder based upon?  And please give support of your answer.


If you say that legislation should not be based on moral priciples... I would like to ask what it should be based on, which would also not involve moral consideration.  Also, since you are a Christian, what Biblical support can be given for a position that morality should not be legislated?  


I agree with the fact that legislation or "law", biblically speaking, cannot change anyone's heart or make them truly moral or righteous ... but this is another question entirely separate from a question concerning civil law.  I think of how Martin Luther interpreted Paul's statement in 1 Timothy 1:9 that the law "is not made for a righteous person but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine ..."  He stated that the law was necessary for the curbing of immoral actions in society.  Though they couldn't change their hearts by the law, they couldn't be fully aware of the moral issues without it.  


What am I saying?  Though I agree that legislation is not the final solution to mankind's moral problem, it seems to be an ever present institution to address it and restrain it as long as it is there.  Remember the 10 commandments?  They are still in legal action.  God never rescinded these commandments did he?  And some of our governmental laws to this day reflect exactly what is in the old Decalogue... "You shall not murder"... "You shall not steal".

Just wondering what your thoughts are here.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-27-2002 01:10 AM).]

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47 posted 12-27-2002 06:57 PM       View Profile for Caelestis   Email Caelestis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Caelestis

"If you say that legislation IS not based on moral principles... I would like to ask what are laws against, let's say, murder based upon?  And please give support of your answer."

Actually, I'd say that the laws against murder are based mostly on logic.  A society would hardly function properly if everyone were free to kill anyone they wanted to and could.

Hardly anyone wants to be murdered, and thus we have created laws against murder primarly to protect ourselves, though perhaps in part because of morality.  The same applies to the laws against thievery.
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48 posted 12-27-2002 07:05 PM       View Profile for Caelestis   Email Caelestis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Caelestis

"Drugs are a waste of health, time and money--period.   They distract and corrupt people away from intimacy with what is important in life and drive them to serve a base appetite of addiction (s).  
Nothing can justify drug usage when it damages so thoroughly and there are so many other alternatives for escape.  It is like abortion--I will never accept it because there are always better ways to deal with the problem.  Killing can never be justified.  In a way drugs try to kill an inward problem but never can, they can only hide it for transient moments, but it only becomes larger and the individual strives to hide more and more frequently seeing this but not accepting, only wanting to escape.  There are always better things through which to escape."

Essorant, you seem incredibly closed-minded.  What do you like to do for fun?  Do you do these things in order to escape from reality?  I admit that there are people who use drugs for this purpose, but a great majority of drugs users take drugs because it is *fun*.  These people can have great lives, high intelligence, be valuable members of society -- and they, like everyone else, like to have fun.

Although I don't believe it is even relevant wether or not drugs are unjustifiably self destructive, as I think that should be left to an individual's judgement, there is an abundance of proof that marijuana is safer than almost all recreational drugs, including alcohol.
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49 posted 12-28-2002 12:58 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hi Stephen,

I've had a really rough day and I'd like to reply in depth point by point to your questions but I can't really think straight right now, more so than usual Have you ever tried to help your spouse hook up a DVD player on an outdated TV? I think we need an RV modulator and an S output cable? And that was the highlight of my day.

Well, to sum up, of course most laws have their basis in morality (some don't have any basis in morality but were just enacted for business/political purposes), and in the West that morality would be the Judeo-Christian ethic based on the Ten Commandments. And, as you said, all people have the natural or moral law within, as well, that forms the basis for civil law. And, to an extent, certain laws do help in restraining rampant immorality by making known the acceptable standards of a given society, but even the best intentioned citizen can only obey imperfectly, at best, thus my belief that you can't really legislate morality, per se. If you could, everyone would be perfect.

I guess my point was that legislation doesn't always work as planned, i.e., Prohibition and the current War on Drugs, in particular. I can see the rationale behind both, in that the legislation was/is aimed at eliminating the harm to society of the effects of alcohol abuse and/or illicit drug use. But it doesn't work. In attempting to alleviate one problem, a host of other problems are created in its place that are equally devastating, or more so, to society than the problem that was intended to be eliminated by the legislation that imposed criminal penalties on the undesirable behavior in the first place.

Something is desperately wrong when a youngster can stand on a corner and earn $1,000 a day or more selling illegal drugs. There are not enough cops to go around to keep on top of the problem, and even if there were, at that lucrative rate, the drug dealers would find a way to continue doing business. The profit has to be taken out of it, and the only way I see that happening is to decriminalize the industry and regulate it. Take it out of the hands of the criminals. Make staying in school and getting a legitimate job seem like a wise alternative.

I am not advocating alcohol abuse or illicit drug use. I am saying that legislation designed to solve the problems didn't have their intended benefit to society.

Also, there are numerous immoral behaviors that are not specifically deemed illegal by this or other societies, with resultant criminal penalties for the practice of such immoral behaviors. So, in that sense, I don't see a perfect correlation between civil law and morality. What is the criminal penalty for not honoring your parents? For coveting your neighbors goods or spouse? For not loving your neighbor as yourself? For lying to a friend, for gossiping?

Also, civil law, although based on natural or moral law, is still subject to man's understanding of that law, or a society's understanding of that law. For instance, in the 1600's Puritan legislation in England closed the theatres and forbade the performance of dramas (including Shakespeare), recitals, the performance of popular music, dancing, outlawed statues, stained glass windows, etc., in churches and cathedrals. In New England, their counterparts in the New World legislated against the celebration of Christmas (public and private celebrations) because of its pagan influences, with civil penalties meted out for violations, and other societal restrictions that seem outlandish and over-the-top, today, but that to the Puritans, I'm sure, seemed rational and moral.

As for the Ten Commandments, as a believer, Christ has fulfilled the requirement of the Law on my behalf and has taken the penalty of my violation of them upon Himself, freeing me from "the curse of the Law", allowing me to live in newness of life because of and through Him. No, for me, the Law has not been done away with, or rescinded, but has been fulfilled perfectly on my behalf by Christ through His finished work on the cross.

God's Law demands death for the smallest infraction, we can't forget, not merely a civil or criminal penalty for not pefectly obeying it. And it doesn't count if we "almost" make the grade, or try a little harder than the next guy (the Law doesn't grade on the curve). It requires perfection.

The primary purpose for the giving of the Law was and is to show people that they can't perfectly obey it and thus lead them to a child-like faith in, and dependence on Christ, as the one who perfectly obeyed it for them, taking their punishment, and as the one who is more than willing to bestow His benefits upon them, freely, by His grace, "because of the great love with which He loved us".

I hope I've beter explained where I am coming from, Stephen.  
 
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