Why Libertarians are wrong and stupid

Yesterday, I did a post about executing drug dealers.  There were some comments.  I have discussed this issue online before, I have gotten many of the same comments.  They break down into three categories:

  1. The problem is drugs are illegal, make them legal.  Why should the goverment regulate what kind of fun people have (this is the Libertarian answer).
  2. Why not execute the drug users?
  3. Be careful, this argument can be used to punish gun makers/retailers.

I think the first argument is wrong and stupid.  It’s one of the reasons I’m not a Libertarian anymore.  Then I will get into why the other two are almost as bad.

First: Lets talk about fentanyl.

Anybody want to take a guess as to what the LD50 of fentanyl is?

For those of you who don’t know what an LD50 is, it is the lethal dose in milligrams per kilogram of body mass, that kills half of the test subjects.  It is the median lethal dose per weight.

We’re not sure what the LD50 is for humans, but for our closest biological relative (monkeys) it is 0.03 mg/kg.

To put that in perspective, for humans the LD50 for Sarin nerve gas injected into the body is 0.014 mg/kg.  Since these things are generally measured in orders of magnitude at that level, fentanyl is just about as poisonous as Sarin.

Remember, that fentanyl bust that could kill 26 million people was only 118 lbs.  Two bags of dog food worth of fentanyl had enough power to OD the whole state of Texas.

Here is a picture that really makes this click.  The image below is of a lethal dose of heroin and fentanyl for an average size man.

That’s not much.

Compare that to America’s favorite depressant, alcohol.

The BAC at which death is expected to occur for most people is 0.4-0.45%.

Using a standard BAC calculator, the maximum number of drinks I can put in is 20.  At 280 lbs, male, age 35, consuming 20 shots (1.5 oz) of Vodka (40% alcohol) in one hour, I’d have a BAC of 0.32%.

A standard bottle of hard alcohol is 750 ml which is 25 oz.  For an average person to die of alcohol poisoning, they’d have to chug a bottle of hard liquor.

I have been on fentanyl.  I like fentanyl, fentanyl is a friend of mine.  When you wake up from surgery or have a slipped disk compressing your spinal cord, fentanyl is a beautiful thing.

It was administered by an MD in anesthesiology, who spent 8 years learning how to dose me correctly so I don’t die.  Fentanyl is not something that can be given out by a bartender recreationally.

Then there is the fact that opiates are far more addictive than substances like alcohol.

The fact is, a person can come home after work on a Friday, sit down with a beer or two and relax watching TV.  There is no such think as coming home after work and shooting up with some fentanyl and zonking out on the couch to relax.  The latter ends with that person becoming an addict in every self destructive way possible.

Furthermore, with alcohol, the lethal dose being so big, you can make yourself a double and still live.  If you make yourself a double on fentanyl, you die.  The difference between feeling no pain and death is measured in micrograms.

Then we come back to the son of Eric Bolling.  He died because he accidentally took a lethal dose of fentanyl.  The toxicity is so high, that you can take a lethal does and not know you are taking the drug at all – Bolling’s son abused Xanex.

I was in college, I got drunk a few times.  That’s normal.  What frightens me as a parent is something like fentanyl, which has zero room for error and you can take without knowing it.

If you want to equate drugs  with guns, than fentanyl is a thermonuclear weapon.  This is not a substance people should just be allowed to have.

I even have the same feeling about marijuana.

What we know is that marijuana causes brain damage in teens.    It is permanent.  We know that if mom and dad drink regularly, it is more likely that the kids will drink under age.  Same with recreational marijuana, and those kids are destroying their brains.  This is causing all sorts of problems in Colorado schools.

Being addicted to alcohol and tobacco is a problem.  Allowing substances that is 10 to 10 Million times worse is not a solution.

Maybe I am too paternalistic, but I have a real problem with highly addictive, highly dangerous substances being legal for consumption.  Especially around children.

Second:

Many people who become addicts to hard drugs are self medicating from emotional problems.

I am not an unsympathetic person.  Allowing someone with depression to get high on heroin or fentanyl to escape their problems is not sympathy.  Executing them is not a fix.

Libertarians like to point to Portugal’s decriminalization of drugs as a fix.  That’s not what fix the issue (which is again, more evidence why Libertarians are stupid).

Portugal realized throwing addicts in jail didn’t fix their underlying addiction issues.  Portugal stopped putting addicts in prison, and instead worked to get them clean, trained for work, go them emotional support, and into a monitored halfway-house like program to turn them into productive people.  The result is that these people didn’t feel the need to go back to heroin as self medication.

The opiate crisis in rural America is part of the loss of rural American jobs, the shift in the economy, the state of uncertainly about what it means to be an man in the modern world, etc.

It is an emotional issue.  It will be more difficult for us to do what what Portugal did because we have a much larger population in a much larger country, with a much less European economic system.  But similar measures are possible.

I’d rather get non violent drug users clean and working and in therapy than in prison to get worse.

This is also why I really want to execute drug dealers.  I have a moral problem with someone who takes advantage of emotionally broken people for money.

I may not want to kill Pawn shop owners, but I think the ones that open up down the street from casinos who pray upon the gambling addicts are real pieces of shit.

The guy with depression on heroin because he’s too broke and broken to see a therapist doesn’t need a bullet.  The guy who sells him the heroin so he never gets his life together does.

Third:

This is perhaps the dumbest comparison.  People commit crimes with guns, but the intention of the manufacturer and retailer is to sell to someone who is law abiding.  Who will never use that gun for harm.

The people who illegally make heroin or fentanyl, or steal it to sell it on the street know it will be used for bad purposes.

The only comparison would be a gun manufacturer setting up shop in Chicago for the explicit purpose of making guns for gang members and not selling to FFLs.

Just like the guns vs. lawn darts idiocy, the issue is intention.

The intention of licensed makers and retailers is for a legal but potentially dangerous products not to be abused and used safely for good.

When you make a product that you know is poison and will be abused, and you sell it to people who you know will harm themselves or others, you deserve no protection.

This is exactly what the PLCAA does.

Smith and Wesson is like Merck.  They make something lethal but intended for good when used by licensed individuals.  The people who steal their products and sell them illegally to criminals should be held responsible, not the manufacturers themselves.

In conclusion:

If your attitude is “let people knowingly sell something as lethal as Sarin to emotionally damaged people, so that the users can commit slow suicide while destroying their families and society in the process, because that’s the kind of fun they want to have” is some serious bullshit.

 

30 Replies to “Why Libertarians are wrong and stupid”

  1. Sure, Fentanyl is hazardous. So is ethanol. So are many other medications.
    Why is OD caused by fentanyl (or carfentanyl) an issue? Because it’s used as an adulterant by criminal drug peddlers. Store owners selling legal drugs have no incentive to adulterate their wares with poisons, any more than liquor store owners have a reason to put methanol into your booze. In other words, the libertarian argument isn’t just that prohibition causes crime, but also that prohibition causes the sale of adulterated and therefore hazardous product. Come to think of it, both of these points were demonstrated during the alcohol prohibition.
    Another point: it’s a perfectly libertarian position to say that selling an adulterated product makes you criminally liable for the harm caused by that adulteration.




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  2. I mean I could put a picture of a .22lr next to a picture of a 9mm and say this is the minimum amount of each that you need to be lethal…. That doesn’t exactly prove why it should be outlawed.

    Fentanyl is no doubt some scary shit, it can be absorbed through the skin. Cops are ODing on it when they find it. It is being used to cut other drugs, and that is a major danger and source of many if not most ODs right there.

    Prohibiting the use of fentanyl hasn’t stopped any of those things. Misusing any drug legal or illegal hasn’t stopped anyone or prevented any families from being destroyed.

    Maybe moving black markets into the light of day would help prevent things like cutting heroin with fentanyl to get better profits because the cost to produce the herion goes down.

    Maybe moving black markets into the light of day would help people procure cheap, legally produced, and pure drugs so you don’t end up with things like fentanyl cut heroin or laced pills or marijuana.

    Maybe moving black markets into the light of day would help people remain functional addicts and better enable them to seek treatment because they can now use, get treatment, function, and not have to resort to crime or other means to procure their drugs.

    I think you admit as much in your second point.




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    1. Aim small, miss small. While I think we should legalize all the things, I do recognize that in the real world it’d be very difficult. I have zero issues with legal weed, legal coke, legal ecstasy, legal LSD, legal shrooms, legal heroin Heck, half of what I just listed is illegal only because the pharmaceutical companies don’t make it. I understand that fentanyl legalization would be a nuclear bomb going off in modern society. People couldn’t easily handle that kind of freedom right away. That being said, the drug war has had a negative effect on gun rights. Reaching back a bit, Prohibition was a “drug war” if you consider alcohol a drug, which it is. The spate of violence from Prohibition partially begat the NFA, which we bitch and moan about constantly.

      If there wasn’t a war on alcohol, the NFA maybe wouldn’t have come about, or if it did, us gun owners would have had our shit together and had a real chance to fight it. Moving forward to the GCA days, that was partially put in place because the Democrats leveraged an uptick in drug-related street crime in the 60s. The Hughes Amendment leveraged supposed machine gun crime by drug cartels in the 1980s.

      If we didn’t make recreational drug use highly illegal, there wouldn’t have been drug wars. We walked back Prohibition, but it was too late, the NFA train was already rolling and no one seemed to want to stop it. Then everything else became illegal and begat Prohibition 2.0 which was an excuse for the Democrats to promote gun control. GCA, Hughes, etc. It’s a pain to legally acquire machine guns in this country in part because drugs are illegal. If the drugs were legal, there’d be little to no criminal elements involved in the production, sale and distribution of those drugs. And maybe we’d have easy-to-acquire MGs, suppressors, and SBRs.




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    2. “Fentanyl is no doubt some scary shit, it can be absorbed through the skin.”

      No, it can’t. The hazards of fentanyl are being severely overblown.

      “Cops are ODing on it when they find it.”

      I challenge you to find one of those reports where the cop actually tested positive for opiates. There is, on the other hand, a metric butt-load of terrified hysteria about it in law enforcement, leading to panic and placebo effects being mistaken for an overdose.

      “It is being used to cut other drugs, and that is a major danger and source of many if not most ODs right there.”

      This. Fentanyl is cheaper for the drug dealers to produce than morphine or heroin, and as far as the users are concerned it gives the exact same effects, so the dealers have a strong motive to cut their product with fentanyl. When they get it wrong, or if the user takes a higher dose than the dealer expected, is when there’s a problem.

      Move it into the light of day, where the risks aren’t worth the rewards for the dealers, and many of those problems will fix themselves. And users will be more likely to seek help.




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      1. “No, it can’t. The hazards of fentanyl are being severely overblown.”

        Don’t they have fentanyl patches? All I know is that fentanyl is a very powerful drug, I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Powerful in comparison to what though and in what context is a very valid question. Does the usage make all the difference? These are details that will never be expounded upon by any normal news source because they are actually educational.

        “I challenge you to find one of those reports where the cop actually tested positive for opiates. There is, on the other hand, a metric butt-load of terrified hysteria about it in law enforcement, leading to panic and placebo effects being mistaken for an overdose.”

        All I can go on is the occasional piece of old media I see about it and such stories as cop ODs from touching fentanyl powder.

        I do however think you are 100% correct though, there is definitely hysteria afoot fueled in general by the opioid crisis and maybe specifically by a potential fentanyl boogie man.

        I think we also need to be cognizant that OD doesn’t necessarily mean dead, that is a detail many don’t understand.

        An interesting bit I remember from my deviant behavior class in college was that most people who die from OD typically do so from poly drug usage or from tainted/cut drugs.




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        1. The fentanyl patches required development of a carrier molecule to allow it to absorb through the skin. And it still takes about 4-8 hours to reach the maximum absorption rate (about 100 mcg/hr), and about 14 hours to reach peak concentration in the blood.
          (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2729633)

          Untreated powder held to the skin over a 24 hour period with an occlusive dressing has a total absorption of less than 20%. (One subject did get about 52% absorption – after running 10 miles with the patch on.)
          (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2957211)

          The American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology released a joint statement last year that is informative.

          “[I]ncidental dermal absorption is unlikely to cause opioid toxicity. If bilateral palmar surfaces were covered with fentanyl patches, it would take approximately 14 minutes to receive 100 mcg of fentanyl. This extreme
          example illustrates that even a high dose of fentanyl prepared for transdermal administration cannot rapidly deliver a high dose. […] Therefore, based on our current understanding of the absorption of fentanyl and its analogs, it is very unlikely that small, unintentional skin exposures to tablets or powder would cause significant opioid toxicity, and if toxicity were to occur it would not develop rapidly, allowing time for removal.”
          (https://www.acmt.net/_Library/Fentanyl_Position/Fentanyl_PPE_Emergency_Responders_.pdf) [PDF warning]

          On an anecdotal note, I have on more than one occasion gotten fentanyl solution on my bare skin while drawing it up for administration.* I have never once felt any effects from those exposures.

          “Powerful in comparison to what though and in what context is a very valid question.”

          Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

          To give you an idea, our starting dose for morphine is 2-4 mg, while our starting dose for fentanyl is 50 *micrograms*. It also binds more tightly to the drug receptors than morphine, so an equivalent dose of fentanyl requires a higher dose of naloxone to counter it.

          —–
          * I /despise/ the blunt tip devices we have to use now to draw up meds. Not a /one/ of them works as well as an actual needle. >:(




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          1. Thank you for the information.

            I recently saw several scary TV News stories about carfentanyl, supposedly made for tranquilizing elephants and such. Is carfentanyl a problem?

            Is part of the problem that these are man-made drugs, and can be cooked up in a lab?
            Is a lot of fentanyl coming from clandestine laboratories in China?




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            1. Remember, the TV News rarely has more than the most superficial of clues on what it’s talking about – and fear sells.

              Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid, and it is much stronger – about 100 times more potent than fentanyl. It is used as a large animal tranquilizer.

              It is strong enough that there is basically no approved human use, because the therapeutic index (the difference between a therapeutic dose and a toxic dose) is too small. I am aware of one human study where it has been used: it was tested as a cocaine antagonist, and the dosing was measured in *nanograms* per kilogram.

              However, “casual” contact – like you would see in a routine drug bust – has a similar risk profile as fentanyl. In other words, brush it off if you get any on you and don’t lick the suspect, and you should be fine. If there’s a concern for airborne powder, wear eye protection and a dust mask. And don’t lick the suspects (or anything else). The moon suits you often see the drug task forces training in are massive overkill and completely unnecessary for fentanyl/carfentanil operations (not to say that there might not be other substances involved that would justify them, though – drug dealers tend to be rather… non-compliant with OSHA standards).

              As I understand it, a lot is coming from China, and from Mexico, because it’s both cheaper to produce than the equivalent dose of morphine or heroin, and easier to smuggle in to the US (smaller volumes, to start with).




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  3. A respectful (I hope) rebuttal:

    I have always had a hard time clearly expressing my views on drug legalization and drug usage because it involves so many issues; from government overreach, border security, crime, self defense, to mental health, societal decay, and prison sentencing.

    Here are my core problems with drugs being illegal:

    1) There is no Constitutional Amendment banning drugs. If there’s one thing I can say about the successful ratification of the 18th Amendment in the Progressive Era, it’s that at least the authoritarians (both left and right) of the day stayed within the confines of the Constitution. After the 21st Amendment, authoritarians abandoned any pretext on operating inside the scope of the Constitution. That unconstitutional (imho) tradition continues to this day on everything from guns to Administrative Law regulations.

    I am a realist however and understand there is very little hope of going back to the pre-progressive era Constitutionally constrained Federal Government.

    2) Both Federal and State governments have used the War on Drugs as a pretext to shred the 4th Amendment (long before “terrorism” became the excuse), 2nd Amendment (even if someone in your house is legally proscribed a schedule 1 drug, you can be arrested for owning guns while that drug is present. Kind of a 10th Amendment deal as well), 5th Amendment (civil asset forfeiture is now commonplace even without due process; Thanks SCOTUS!), and, as with almost all modern laws, the 9th and 10th Amendments are not even given a second thought.

    The War on Drugs has been the single most damaging public policy to the Bill of Rights since the New Deal.

    —–

    All that being said, I am not understating the danger of some or most of the drugs that are currently classified as Scedule 1. You hit the nail on the head that most of our issues of the day have more to do with loss of purpose and therefore depression, lack of self worth, and moral decay of societal/social mores.

    Laws and enforcement are not going to stop illicit drug usage until the greater societal problems are addressed, much like mass murder in schools or public venues will not end for similar reasons. Nobody wants to touch the harder issues because it might accidentally require people to look inward at their own problems. No, instead we should just ignore introspection and blame a substance or a tool and pass laws against those things because that helps perpetuate the lie that there is nothing wrong with us and we can continue to abandon personal responsibility of the individual… and when that solution doesn’t work, some slimball drug dealer politician will hook us up with another drug law so we can keep ignoring the real problems.




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  4. A big thing being overlooked is that people aren’t taking fentanyl for fentanyl’s sake. It exists in the illegal drug market due to prohibition. Specifically because it is easy and efficient to smuggle.

    If the average addict could buy the olden day’s OTC opioid cough medicine, they would, and no one would ever mess with fentanyl again.




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  5. Also, most Libertarians support firearms rights even more so than Republicans. I’ve met plenty of Republican Fudds who think machine guns should stay on the NFA for example, or question my use of suppressors. I have yet to meet a Libertarian who thinks I have no “use” for a machine gun or a suppressor. In other words, calling Libertarians “stupid” isn’t a good way to encourage unity in the gun community, unity which we sorely need right now.




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  6. Frankly, I’ll be a lot more concerned when Libertarians prove they can actually WIN AN ELECTION.

    Until then, as I said… Mexico is right there, walking distance from parts of the States. It’s a real libertarian paradise: de facto full legalization of drugs, de facto full firearms legalization (if you’re in the right gang), total tolerance of alternative sexuality (especially if your sexuality involves rape or torture/murder, NTTAWWT), and almost no government intervention (because the cops are mostly with the gangs too).
    If you don’t want to go that far, there’s always urban Chicago, urban Detroit, or most of LA where the police cars don’t go. Real wonderful places to be free, all of them.




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  7. Yeah, drugs & drug dealers suck ass. But killing drug dealers isn’t feasible. Just like outlawing shit that can be made in your bathtub or grown in a closet with proper lighting. Just doesn’t fucking work. What it does do, is provide easy money for the criminally inclined or the desperate. Yeah, it sucks the idea that kids are going to get ahold of stuff they shouldn’t and hurt themselves. However, I look to South America where the drug dealers & their minions are virtual kings that kidnap, rape, & murder with impunity. That easy money gives them the incentive to do more of the same, buy weapons, & pay off government agents. Why is Chicago such a shit hole of corruption? I bet it wasn’t a 10th no 20th as bad before the mob had enough cash to pay off literally everyone in the 1920s. Then we have millions of people fucking begging to get into the vastly safer USA causing their own problems & providing a perfect environment for the drug gangs to operate.

    Drugs are easy money. Easy fucking money. You take away the easy money, you hamstring their cash flow for buying guns & politicians. You have safer drugs & impetus to make less harmful drugs. (They’re working on a synthetic booze that has a similar effect of alcohol but won’t poison you.) You have less of a reason for millions of people to invade nearby countries. They’re not going away but they’ll have to switch to harder ways of making money. Such as ones that will get them shot to death.




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  8. “This is also why I really want to execute drug dealers.”

    Did Miguel get Rodrigo Duterte to write a topic on the blog?




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  9. J.Kb:
    Wow! What a thoughtful, well researched, and well reasoned post! I read some of the linked articles and you are not exaggerating. I have changed my libertarian-leaning mind on this issue.




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    1. …on the other hand, in reading the comments, there seem to be a lot of cogent arguments on the other side, which make me want to tilt back to libertarian thought.
      I suppose this (a libertarian society) is one of the things one can envision in the far future, when all the bugs are worked out and society has adjusted to the mindset. But the emotional and ideological baggage that society must carry around today seems to indicate that a transformation to a free libertarian society won’t be easy or quick.




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      1. I agree wholeheartedly about society changing. It will not be quick or easy.

        Many people cannot fathom even fathom a life now with minimal reduction to .gov bureaucracy. It simply never occurs to them to ask why do I need to ask permission to do this? Why must I pay a fee or tax for this? Etc etc.




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  10. I part ways with the “libertarians” on drug legalization, too. I’m not interested in arguing here, but I was interested in what you said about marijuana. Here’s my take on that:
    If you and your school-age kid are sitting on the couch watching the game and you’re having a beer, your kid isn’t. If you’re smoking a joint, so is your kid.
    The same people who condemn secondhand smoke from cigarettes (generally not “libertarians”) seem to think secondhand marijuana smoke is harmless. It isn’t.




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  11. Well, hmmm. Having worked at a police department as a civilian in the local drug task force, I have to say that my feelings about the war on drugs is a tad bit tainted. But…

    Having watched home videos of users smoking their favorite nastiness, filling up the room with huge clouds of whatever carp they are currently smoking, and then laughing while their babies and toddlers act all funny while reeling through the smoke…

    Having seen the destruction from people putting drugs over their own bodies’ needs…

    Having seen the destruction caused by people needing money for legal drugs and legal intoxicants (stealing, robbing, burgling, panhandling) to themselves and the people around them…

    I hate drugs. I have no problem with drug dealers forced to self-ingest all the product they are caught with, whether it be alcohol for alcohol-free locations, or pot, or cocaine, meth or fentanyl. Fine with it. Perfectly happy to see this done in public, right after their sentencing. Or on the streets, give the dealer a pass at arrest if they eat all their stuff right there and then.

    People forget one of the main causes of death before Prohibition was alcohol related. Beer boys were common before Prohibition, as in a bunch of workers would pay boys to go get a bucket of beer from the local joint. Prohibition was successful in changing the drinking habits, in reducing the number of deaths by drinking (as in poisoning of the body until the body just stops, via ulcers, cirrhosis, what not.) Alcoholism was a huge public health crisis, as many spent all their money on booze and not on food (much like legal drug users in Europe are doing today, or in places where drug use has been ‘decriminalized.’)

    Killing dealers is fine and dandy with me.

    Killing users? Well, after the 3rd time of sending to treatment and them ‘relapsing’ (hate that word, as it is too nice of a word for the hell of drug use), well, after the 3rd time, they ought to be offered all the drugs they want, from the huge stash of it we seize, and it to be used in a special section of the region, so all the dead users will pass in an easy to clean place.

    And that doesn’t even cover my feelings about dumb-butts overdosing and needing Narcan. There ought to be a tattoo tip that marks the dumb-butt. Three separate times of ODing, and no more Narcan for them. Screw it. If they didn’t get the message after the third time, then they are lost to the world.

    Screw them. Screw them all.




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    1. First time with NARCAN, they get a big D tattoed on their chest, and a referral to treatment.
      Second time, they get an N, and are placed in treatment.
      Third time they get an R, and are placed in treatment, and a halfway house for a year.
      Fourth time? The DNR request is honored.




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  12. I don’t know. I understand and completely get your reasonings for being against drug legalizations. But it’s still something people put in their bodies. Their own bodies. For their own reasons. Yes it might be dangerous, yes it might kill them, yes its addicting and horrible and causes tons of problems. I don’t think the government should be allowed to regulate it. (The usage I mean, not the selling of. It’s usually interstate commerce and if it’s not its its up to the state to regulate it.) As for executing people for selling drugs? Completely against it. Unless they KNOW whatever drug they are selling is laced with stuff that WILL kill people, if someone ODs on their stuff its not a murder charge. That person CHOSE to buy the drugs, CHOSE to use the drugs, and then died because of it. If it turns out they bought bad heroin because the dealer put extra stuff in there that killed them and they didn’t know? Then arrest the drug dealer for murder, if they knew about the extra stuff. If they didn’t its probably like negligent homicide + whatever jail time for dealing drugs.

    Rereading your post I realize we are a lot closer than I thought opinion wise. Really don’t feel like deleting or rewriting it. It made me think about my own reasons for believing what I believe, which is always a good thing.




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  13. You seem focused on fentanyl as if it is representative of all recreational drugs. It’s not. “If you want to equate drugs with guns, than fentanyl is a thermonuclear weapon.” And arguing against legalizing drugs by equating all drugs to fentanyl is like arguing against the second amendment by equating handguns to nukes.

    “For an average person to die of alcohol poisoning, they’d have to chug a bottle of hard liquor.”
    Marijuana’s LD-50 is around1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. (Source https://weedpress.wordpress.com/science/studies/ld50-of-cannabis/) Yet you insist marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.

    “What we know is that marijuana causes brain damage in teens. It is permanent.” No, we don’t.
    From the first linked article “But whether marijuana can cause lasting damage to the brain is less clear.”
    From the second linked article “researchers are still not clear on the exact effects of marijuana use, mounting evidence does suggest the drug may affect younger brains differently than older brains.”

    So no, we don’t know marijuana causes brain damage or had any permanent effects. ALL recreational drugs are detrimental to teens, including alcohol and tobacco. Legalizing recreational drugs does not mean giving them away to 13 year old’s on the street corner. In fact legalization and regulation will help keep these drugs out of the hands of kids. Maybe your experience was different but in high school it was way easier for me to buy illegal drugs than booze. Liqueur stores did not want to lose their license by selling to minors but drug dealers did not have that worry.

    “The people who illegally make heroin or fentanyl, or steal it to sell it on the street know it will be used for bad purposes.” Where “bad purposes” are purposes you don’t like such as getting high instead of getting drunk.

    “When you make a product that you know is poison and will be abused, and you sell it to people who you know will harm themselves or others, you deserve no protection.”
    Does this apply to tobacco and alcohol dealers also? If not why not? Perhaps you think alcohol and tobacco are not poison and are never abused. I’m not saying all recreational drugs are “good” (and this includes tobacco and alcohol) just that they should be treated like current legal recreational drugs.

    “If your attitude is “let people knowingly sell something as lethal as Sarin to emotionally damaged people, so that the users can commit slow suicide while destroying their families and society in the process, because that’s the kind of fun they want to have” is some serious bullshit.”

    First, fentanyl is not a typical recreational drug. Many drugs are equal or less lethal than alcohol or tobacco. To base your argument on the single worst case you can come up with is disingenuous.
    Second, not everyone, or even the majority, of drug users are “emotionally damaged people trying to commit slow suicide” just like the majority of people at your local pub. Condemning all drug users is as ignorant as condemning everyone who relaxes with a beer after work, and about as accurate. Believe it or not there are many people who just have a different preference than you on how to have a good time but are still productive members of society.
    Third, for people who do have an addiction problem tossing them in jail is the worst possible ‘treatment’. Drug abusers are often locked out of getting treatment for fear of going to jail. Legalization would let them get the help they need. After all it’s not like prohibition is keeping them off drugs. For addicts keeping drugs illegal just insures that their lives will be ruined. If not by the drugs than by the legal system.

    Conclusion.
    You equate all recreational drugs to the “thermonuclear weapon” of drugs while ignoring the fact that this is a very small part of the equation. You would not put up with this in a gun debate but think it is perfectly fine when talking about drugs.

    You seem to have bought into the Reefer Madness version of drug users. From my experience this is not accurate. It is difficult to get a accurate count of responsible drug users due to current laws but, at the very least, based on the amount of drugs coming into the country vs the number of drug arrests, it would appear the vast majority of drug users manage to avoid problems with the law.

    You totally ignore the positive effects of legalization.
    Way less Crime
    Fewer drug deaths due to known purity and dosage. (This alone make legalization worthwhile.)
    More tax revenue.
    More freedom.
    The ability of abusers to get help without the fear of prison.




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    1. Good point not yet covered, it was much easier for me to get illegal drugs than I was to get liqour or tobacco in highschool.

      Though i suppose the friendly neighborhood drug dealer probably wouldn’t have any compunctions about promising those if asked.

      More anecdotal evidence in agreement. Both my parents partied hard when young, it was the 70s lots of people did. My dad in particular did some interesting drugs. It was never a problem for them. They were both purely recreational users. Both have been nothing but productive members of society that did nothing but eat the shit sandwich bite after bite to give their kids a better life. It’s possible to be both if only in an anecdote.

      This leads to another point that you make here, culture and society needs to change as well. Prohibition if anything just said ok guys calm it down a bit. My dad tells plenty of stories of people drinking and smoking joints on stop on the job in building and construction and shops.

      I’ve heard plenty of stories from railroad workers that would make your hair stand on end, doing coke off the instrument panel of a fully laden cargo train for example. Again during the 70s.

      Stories of union contracts where you can be too drunk to legally drive but you can still work and operate equipment.

      From what I gather most of this began to change in the 90s with changes in opinion and work place safety.

      Imo on the job is still happens it’s just been pushed underground and is more clandestine.

      Another anecdote. I have never met a tradesmen who doesn’t party hard. The people who make the world go round are sending of the biggest partiers yet they still manage to do their jobs (most of the time).




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  14. Miguel, your response is to what you either think people said or what you wanted them to say.

    You’re not listening.

    Everyone has blind spots, this is clearly yours.




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