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Richard Branson: "War on drugs a failure, decriminalise now"

View Poll Results: Is Cannabis a safe drug?
Yes. Legalise it 8 0.00%
Yes but don't legalise it 1 0.00%
In moderation 5 0.00%
Only when drinking beer 0 0%
Nope 2 0.00%
Not really. I got Schizophrenia 1 0.00%
should Dero13 not start threads 5000001 100.00%
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiron View Post

It will cascade across the US over the next decade or so I suspect. This is how Alcohol prohibition also ended.

The question is, will this eventually lead to the legalization of other recreational drugs and will Australia take heed (I doubt it).

Ecstacy should be legalised and regulated I'm not sure about some of the others. It will probably all depend on the addictive properties of a substance.

Heroin should be legalised but only in a medicalised sense i.e. addicts would need to have their dosage administered by qualified health professionals.

Things like meth and crack though should stay illegal but if the other recreational substances are legalised this would surely free up time and money for law enforcement agencies to actually go after substances that are lethal.
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Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

Heroin should be legalised but only in a medicalised sense i.e. addicts would need to have their dosage administered by qualified health professionals.

Yeh, not sure if weed would need some medical professional regulation, or at least some sort of initial and perhaps annual assessment of someone that is able to purchase (i.e. assess whether they are more susceptible to paranoia, schizophrenia etc.)

Does the medicinal marijuana in the US include the THC content?

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Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

Things like meth and crack though should stay illegal but if the other recreational substances are legalised this would surely free up time and money for law enforcement agencies to actually go after substances that are lethal.

Yeah and allow criminal enterprise to still flourish off the illegality, that makes total sense.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TrainsPillsBreaks View Post

Yeah and allow criminal enterprise to still flourish off the illegality, that makes total sense.

A government can't condone drugs like crack and ice. They're use is so marginalised and destructive that it should be trying to stop them. The widespread use and huge amount of money able to be made and relative harmlessness of weed make it perfect for government regulation and taxation.
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Originally Posted by McFargus View Post

Yeh good news. Uruguay is getting on board as well:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...=feeds-newsxml


Users will be able to purchase up to 40g (1.4oz) per month - enough for 20 cannabis cigarettes.


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New Drug Schedule "Recreational Drugs"

>Alcohol, Magic Mushrooms, LSD, Harmine, DMT, Mescaline, Salvia, Cannabis, Tobacco

To get access to buy these drugs you must pass a week long course where you will be taught about drug safety, what to expect from psychedelics and things like set and setting and what do when something goes wrong.
Pass a multiple choice test at the end. You get a license.

This license acts the same as a car license, its got points, you fuck up, you lose points and depending on severity you may have license suspended or cancelled.
You can only buy drugs in personal amounts.

Research Chemicals like 2-C Family stay Controlled until scientific research can show they are safe enough for Recreational Drug category. Class A/Schedule 9 Drug category is scrapped entirely and all drugs become S8/CB (Controlled Drug, you have to be prescribed from someone who has a permit to prescribe such substances)

This is what I would do.
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How do you lose points on your license? Get picked up DUI or something like that?

Why bother with the license at all and just give people education on the drugs at school or something?

Then you don't have to bugger about with licensing and a new bureaucracy for managing it and if you get busted driving DUI or whatever, you can just get charged normally.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fangoriously View Post

How do you lose points on your license? Get picked up DUI or something like that?

Why bother with the license at all and just give people education on the drugs at school or something?

Then you don't have to bugger about with licensing and a new bureaucracy for managing it and if you get busted driving DUI or whatever, you can just get charged normally.

DUI, violent behaviour, buying substances for under age people etc etc

The point will be to try prevent dangerous, violent behaviour. I think people would think twice about getting into a fight when drunk if they have a license that can be revoked so they no longer have access to substances.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiron View Post

DUI, violent behaviour, buying substances for under age people etc etc

The point will be to try prevent dangerous, violent behaviour. I think people would think twice about getting into a fight when drunk if they have a license that can be revoked so they no longer have access to substances.

ok, so you want a more liberal approach to drugs by making them legally available, but then you want more regulation which in turn means more costs which contradicts the claim that the current war on drugs is costing us millions therefore we should save that money by legalising them.

your argument hasn't been well thought out has it.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

ok, so you want a more liberal approach to drugs by making them legally available, but then you want more regulation which in turn means more costs which contradicts the claim that the current war on drugs is costing us millions therefore we should save that money by legalising them.

your argument hasn't been well thought out has it.

Yeah because giving someone a fine and demerits from their licence, which they can pay without ever having to go to court is way more expensive than sending someone to court and then incarcerating them on the States dime.

Your argument hasn't been very well thought out, has it?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiron View Post

DUI, violent behaviour, buying substances for under age people etc etc

The point will be to try prevent dangerous, violent behaviour. I think people would think twice about getting into a fight when drunk if they have a license that can be revoked so they no longer have access to substances.

Yeah, but they don't think twice now about driving DUI or on drugs anyway, so I don't think a license would really stop much.

Even less if it's legal and you can get a mate to purchase it for you anyway.

I'd support the legalisation of substances, but just have the same punishment for causing an accident/fight as if you were drunk right now. You go to court and face the penalties.

No need to manage a license on top of that as well.
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

Yeah because giving someone a fine and demerits from their licence, which they can pay without ever having to go to court is way more expensive than sending someone to court and then incarcerating them on the States dime.

Your argument hasn't been very well thought out, has it?

But i'm not the one arguing for legalising drugs. If Kiron is going to argue that the cost of enforcing the drug laws is a good reason to legalise drugs, then surely setting up another bureaucratic regime to replace the current one is somewhat illogical.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

But i'm not the one arguing for legalising drugs. If Kiron is going to argue that the cost of enforcing the drug laws is a good reason to legalise drugs, then surely setting up another bureaucratic regime to replace the current one is somewhat illogical.

It's more about harm reduction. You really don't want to encourage people to take drugs, but if they do, you would want to make sure they are equipped with the best information when they do and not just bullshit they have picked up from what others have said.

And I hardly think it would be a bureaucratic regime if is something like an RSA one day education thing. Prisoners cost $269 per day, so in the scheme of things it's a drop in the ocean
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We are one of the most educated country in the world. Almost everyone has access to the internet. Yet we need more education on the harm of drugs? You must be kidding me. There are pill testing kits out there that you can buy, but let's be honest, no one is interested in testing their pills. No amount of education will stop someone taking an illicit substance, so the whole education thing is a red herring to me.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by McFargus View Post

You really don't want to encourage people to take drugs

I kind of got a different impression from the 10,000 beer ads I've seen this year
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

There are pill testing kits out there that you can buy, but let's be honest, no one is interested in testing their pills.

Wouldnt it be better if all pills were awesome and none of them dodgy?
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Originally Posted by CheelWinston View Post

Wouldnt it be better if all pills were awesome and none of them dodgy?

honestly, the quality of pills are about 386 on my list of critical issues facing our society
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

We are one of the most educated country in the world. Almost everyone has access to the internet. Yet we need more education on the harm of drugs? You must be kidding me. There are pill testing kits out there that you can buy, but let's be honest, no one is interested in testing their pills. No amount of education will stop someone taking an illicit substance, so the whole education thing is a red herring to me.

Yet making it illegal does what exactly?

You said it: the demand will always be there, but yeah, ya know, let's keep wasting everybody's motherfucking time. So, let's educate, legislate, regulate and taxate this shit rather than eternally chasing our tails.
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The reasons I came up with a license:
A: To show a way people have gone through the educational course that is required to be sat to purchase substances.
(In my opinion people should not only be taught about the dangers of drugs and Alcohol, but how to take them correctly and what to expect. The Psychedelic Explorers Guide would be a key teaching manual in the classes)
B: To create a more streamlined approach of dealing with troublemakers using substances.
(People can get fined more easily I believe with a license, also revoked points would have wider reaching consequences like the ability to even purchase substances or enter venues)
C: To create more disincentive to act up while on a substance.
E: To control the amount of substances bought and perhaps even track those substances.
(this would also apply to Alcohol)

Even if you don't like the License idea (I agree it has issues) I think the educational classes are a must. There is way to much disrespect and misinformation out there about substances.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

honestly, the quality of pills are about 386 on my list of critical issues facing our society

yeah but think of Anna Wood

never forget Anna Wood

and some other kids who died
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiron View Post

Even if you don't like the License idea (I agree it has issues) I think the educational classes are a must. There is way to much disrespect and misinformation out there about substances.

Pretty good suggestion I believe, though it still suffers from its inherent contradiction that drugs can be harmful and so we need to be educated about taking them responsibly. Pretty strict quotas would have to be enforced which would still produce a black market for drugs I believe.

If regulation will lead to improved quality drugs and better highs then I fail to see how the demand for drugs will remain largely the same in the long-term.
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Kiron, it would be way easier to simply make it all part of your drivers license.

They already do it with parking fines, fines for jaywalking and not buying train tickets.

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Originally Posted by CheelWinston View Post

yeah but think of Anna Wood

never forget Anna Wood

and some other kids who died

Yeah we should totally ban drinking water to prevent people killing themselves with it ever again.
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Gotta love that nearly 20 years on that Anna Wood is still causing moral outrage against MDMA and will probably be the biggest hurdle in ever getting MDMA legalized. (even though what caused her death was misinformation about drug effects and how to deal with them)
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

Yet making it illegal does what exactly?

You said it: the demand will always be there, but yeah, ya know, let's keep wasting everybody's motherfucking time. So, let's educate, legislate, regulate and taxate this shit rather than eternally chasing our tails.

so if we dicount harm minimisation and cost as valid reasons for the push to making drugs legal, the only other plausible reasons are tax revenue and the argument that says 'i should be free to put anything i like into my body'? Somehow, i don't think either of those arguments will be compelling to ou policymakers or the general public..........at least not in the next 50 years.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

so if we dicount harm minimisation and cost as valid reasons for the push to making drugs legal, the only other plausible reasons are tax revenue and the argument that says 'i should be free to put anything i like into my body'? Somehow, i don't think either of those arguments will be compelling to ou policymakers or the general public..........at least not in the next 50 years.

How many more Anna Woods do you want to send to their graves?

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Originally Posted by CheelWinston View Post

yeah but think of Anna Wood

never forget Anna Wood

and some other kids who died

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Originally Posted by Davomaxi View Post

How many more Anna Woods do you want to send to their graves?

you make it sound like it wasn't her choice to drop a pill and take that risk. no one forced her to do anything. if you take that risk, then you need to understand that death could be a consequence.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

so if we dicount harm minimisation and cost as valid reasons for the push to making drugs legal, the only other plausible reasons are tax revenue and the argument that says 'i should be free to put anything i like into my body'? Somehow, i don't think either of those arguments will be compelling to ou policymakers or the general public..........at least not in the next 50 years.

It's not just one or two reasons it's many reasons:

- harm minimisation through proper drug education.
- harm minimisation through quality control on ingredients.
- harm minimisation through properly funded rehabilitation clinics.
- distribution would require something like a liquor licence.
- reduction in judicial and police enforcement's time on dealing with drug related crime.
- reduction in criminal syndicates influence on society and resultant crimes.
- revenue increases through the legal cultivation, manufacture and distribution of drugs.

I don't know what the general public will say in the next 50 years. I bet you pot is legal within the next 20 years in a lot of countries though. That's legalisation not just decriminalisation.
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We may as well just cut and paste the previous 21 pages of this thread if we're going to argue with buffed again.
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Originally Posted by austraboy View Post

We may as well just cut and paste the previous 21 pages of this thread if we're going to argue with buffed again.

I don't know about you but I really enjoy gathering contusions from smashing my head repeatedly against a brick wall. It's not everyone's cup of tea to be sure, but a solid bout of dysphasia really mixes things up quite well imo. Puts the cat among the pieons so to speak.
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

We are one of the most educated country in the world.

*countries
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Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

It's not just one or two reasons it's many reasons:

- harm minimisation through quality control on ingredients.

Think this is a big one. So many research chemies out there at the moment that people are taking having no idea what the hell is in them(i.e. mephedrone). Legalisation would make sure any of these analogues would have to go through the same sort of process as any new medicinal drug has to.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by McFargus View Post

Think this is a big one. So many research chemies out there at the moment that people are taking having no idea what the hell is in them(i.e. mephedrone). Legalisation would make sure any of these analogues would have to go through the same sort of process as any new medicinal drug has to.

That's going to be a problem. While research on animals and proper trials would undoubtedly produce more data as to the effects and pitfalls of various recreational substances, the real issue is going to be a harm/benefit analysis. With medicinal drugs, there is nearly always a significant beneficial effect for a particular disease or set of symptoms. Thus the side effects can be viewed in the context of the beneficial effects, and a judgement can be made as to whether the harm outweighs the benefit (which it nearly always does on clinical trials - most drugs simply don't make it though the process). Take something like Vioxx - despite it's well publicised cardiovascular side effects, patients and doctors successfully lobbied to have it put back on the market because it has a significant medical benefit. But you or I are certainly not going to use it if we want a painkiller.

When it comes to the plethora of research chemicals and more well know recreational drugs, the only medically relevant counterpoint to the side effects that will undoubtedly surface is 'people can get high'. Which is not something that I have a philosophical objection to, but it's extremely questionable as to whether it's even a medically relevant point. One can point towards the use of substances like MDMA, LSD and psilocybin in conjunction with CBT or psychotherapy. However, that's not relevant to a blanket legalisation for recreational use. That's only relevant to use in controlled, medical scenarios. So how is a judgement made as to the side effects/benefits of recreational drugs. Are we willing to see X% of people suffer side effects simply because we want to get high? You can make a philosophical argument about the personal assumption of risk, but absolutely no clinical trial monitoring board or ethics committee is going to accept that into a medical judgement. You'd have to fundamentally change the way clinical trials are run from an ethical perspective when attempting to run them on recreational drugs. And you'd have to be willing to accept a certain level of potential harm to users.

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Originally Posted by McFargus View Post

Think this is a big one. So many research chemies out there at the moment that people are taking having no idea what the hell is in them(i.e. mephedrone). Legalisation would make sure any of these analogues would have to go through the same sort of process as any new medicinal drug has to.


Have you ever tested the pills you take?
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Originally Posted by YossarianIsSane View Post

That's going to be a problem. While research on animals and proper trials would undoubtedly produce more data as to the effects and pitfalls of various recreational substances, the real issue is going to be a harm/benefit analysis. With medicinal drugs, there is nearly always a significant beneficial effect for a particular disease or set of symptoms. Thus the side effects can be viewed in the context of the beneficial effects, and a judgement can be made as to whether the harm outweighs the benefit (which it nearly always does on clinical trials - most drugs simply don't make it though the process). Take something like Vioxx - despite it's well publicised cardiovascular side effects, patients and doctors successfully lobbied to have it put back on the market because it has a significant medical benefit. But you or I are certainly not going to use it if we want a painkiller.

When it comes to the plethora of research chemicals and more well know recreational drugs, the only medically relevant counterpoint to the side effects that will undoubtedly surface is 'people can get high'. Which is not something that I have a philosophical objection to, but it's extremely questionable as to whether it's even a medically relevant point. One can point towards the use of substances like MDMA, LSD and psilocybin in conjunction with CBT or psychotherapy. However, that's not relevant to a blanket legalisation for recreational use. That's only relevant to use in controlled, medical scenarios. So how is a judgement made as to the side effects/benefits of recreational drugs. Are we willing to see X% of people suffer side effects simply because we want to get high? You can make a philosophical argument about the personal assumption of risk, but absolutely no clinical trial monitoring board or ethics committee is going to accept that into a medical judgement. You'd have to fundamentally change the way clinical trials are run from an ethical perspective when attempting to run them on recreational drugs. And you'd have to be willing to accept a certain level of potential harm to users.

Yep excellent point, it's such a hard question. Don't really have an answer to this.
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

Have you ever tested the pills you take?

A few times, when I have had the luxury of time and a pill testing kit on me. Vast majority of times I have relied on what people have told me or pill reports, then it's bottoms up and hope for gurn.

Last edited by McFargus: 15-Nov-12 at 12:27pm

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http://reason.com/blog/2012/11/14/st...-island-and-ma

Rhode Island and Maine are announcing legalization bills.
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Originally Posted by McFargus View Post

A few times, when I have had the luxury of time and a pill testing kit on me. Vast majority of times I have relied on what people have told me or pill reports, then it's bottoms up and hope for gurn.

in other words, you are not interested in harm minimisation and it's basically a red herring to distract from the real issue which is regular drug users just want the freedom to be able to take drugs when and how they choose. So then i can't understand why drug users don't just come out and say that and instead throw around nonsense like Geezah's reasons above.
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

in other words, you are not interested in harm minimisation and it's basically a red herring to distract from the real issue which is regular drug users just want the freedom to be able to take drugs when and how they choose. So then i can't understand why drug users don't just come out and say that and instead throw around nonsense like Geezah's reasons above.

I think there's a bit of truth in this, generally. However, there is a lot more to harm minimisation than pill testing. I think you could effectively reduce a lot of the acute adverse effects with harm minimisation, but there's the potential for increased chronic effects accompanying and increase in availability and purity. I don't think it's a red herring, there is definite benefit, but I might agree with you about where the drive for legalisation comes from.

Although in that specific example, research chems are pretty much impossible to test with an average kit. Pills as well, as there are a large number of compounds that can induce false positives, and the kits do not indicate the absence of particular contaminants, only the presence of an (unspecified amount of) active ingredient. To be honest, the only real use for them is telling whether you've been ripped off or not.

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Originally Posted by B_e_de View Post

It's the same as going out on a busy street and looking at the people around you, most of them are fgts.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

in other words, you are not interested in harm minimisation and it's basically a red herring to distract from the real issue which is regular drug users just want the freedom to be able to take drugs when and how they choose. So then i can't understand why drug users don't just come out and say that and instead throw around nonsense like Geezah's reasons above.

A) You assume that all people who advocate harm minimisation are drug users.

B) The fact that most users can't be fucked in testing their pills actually reinforces the argument that legalisation is actually a harm minimisation measure. If they were legalised then you wouldn't need pill testing kits.
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Originally Posted by austraboy View Post

A) You assume that all people who advocate harm minimisation are drug users.

B) The fact that most users can't be fucked in testing their pills actually reinforces the argument that legalisation is actually a harm minimisation measure. If they were legalised then you wouldn't need pill testing kits.

If users can't be fucked testing their pills, then how will education improve safety? Why don't you just say that the drug users on here who support legalisation just want the government to take the risk out of drug use for them? Is that the role of a government........to play nanny for people who voluntarily choose to partake in a risky activity? that's why i find this whole debate truly ridiculous.
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

If users can't be fucked testing their pills, then how will education improve safety? Why don't you just say that the drug users on here who support legalisation just want the government to take the risk out of drug use for them? Is that the role of a government........to play nanny for people who voluntarily choose to partake in a risky activity? that's why i find this whole debate truly ridiculous.

I think its more that, in the case of purity and content, prohibition creates extra risk that otherwise would not exist.

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Originally Posted by B_e_de View Post

It's the same as going out on a busy street and looking at the people around you, most of them are fgts.

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Originally Posted by YossarianIsSane View Post

I think its more that, in the case of purity and content, prohibition creates extra risk that otherwise would not exist.

that's the whole point though........it ain't good for you, so don't do it. if you choose to do it, then live with the risks and the consequences. that's life isn't it?
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

If users can't be fucked testing their pills, then how will education improve safety? Why don't you just say that the drug users on here who support legalisation just want the government to take the risk out of drug use for them? Is that the role of a government........to play nanny for people who voluntarily choose to partake in a risky activity? that's why i find this whole debate truly ridiculous.


How is pill testing and education related?

Pill testing requires someone (usually a fearless youth) to pro-actively seek out a kit.
Education is passive and can be absorbed without really having to do anything.

If the education was voluntary and required you to go to a specialised venue to hear about the potential risks in drug taking, then yes I would say that it wouldn't work.

However if education was in the schools and advertised on television then it would be a different story.
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

that's the whole point though........it ain't good for you, so don't do it. if you choose to do it, then live with the risks and the consequences. that's life isn't it?

sorry but that's a pretty ridiculous comment...

so you're saying we should never implement any measures to reduce the risk of any activity??
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

that's the whole point though........it ain't good for you, so don't do it. if you choose to do it, then live with the risks and the consequences. that's life isn't it?

Pure MDMA, as an example, is really not that bad for you...arguably better for you than alcohol...legalisation would mean you go the chemist and know without a doubt you're buying a 50Mg hit of MDMA and nothing else...if things were legalised, education about things would naturally increase, quality can be controlled, amounts people buy can be regulated, the black market shutdown, the Government ends up filthy fucking rich...failing to see any problems here.

Testing schmesting, not that people many users are high enough up the drug chain to ask to test PRIOR to purchasing to then go "naah, sorry, not good enough, noty buying them"...when they've already bought them, and then test them and they show as being speedy or Meow or whatever, 99% of people would be like "arrr well, fuck it" and gobble them anyways...suppose you would throw them away and flush that money down the toilet?
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Originally Posted by austraboy View Post

sorry but that's a pretty ridiculous comment...

so you're saying we should never implement any measures to reduce the risk of any activity??

the fact that drug use and supply is legislated as an illegal activity is harm minimisation. Legislators are saying (to those who are not too stupid to ignore it) that we think drug use is a risky and dangerous activity, therefore we have made it illegal.

What you want is for the government to make it easier for people to indulge in that risky lifestyle.

Driving is legal because it's a necessary part of life, but the government has imposed speed limits to minimise the potential harm of high speed accidents. Can you seriously equate drug use with driving?
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Originally Posted by Random_Kiwi View Post

Testing schmesting, not that people many users are high enough up the drug chain to ask to test PRIOR to purchasing to then go "naah, sorry, not good enough, noty buying them"...when they've already bought them, and then test them and they show as being speedy or Meow or whatever, 99% of people would be like "arrr well, fuck it" and gobble them anyways...suppose you would throw them away and flush that money down the toilet?

then don't do it.......if you are so concerned about harm minimisation, don't do it. but the fact that people choose to ignore it means that they are happy to take the risk. i don't see why the rest of society and the government should wipe your arse for you
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Originally Posted by austraboy View Post

How is pill testing and education related?

Pill testing requires someone (usually a fearless youth) to pro-actively seek out a kit.
Education is passive and can be absorbed without really having to do anything.

If the education was voluntary and required you to go to a specialised venue to hear about the potential risks in drug taking, then yes I would say that it wouldn't work.

However if education was in the schools and advertised on television then it would be a different story.

again.........what stronger message do you need that something is potentially bad for you than making it illegal? why is it illegal to drive at 170km/h? why is it illegal to punch someone in the face? why is it illegal to buy alcohol under the age of 18?
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