Could We Please Use Facts Instead Of Myth In Drug Policy

It appears there is growing interest in “doing something” about the growing problem of deaths from drug overdoses. Yet, there is no interest in using facts from science. Preference is for false notions planted firmly in the brains of politicians and the public.

We should always be aware of the role of class in the politics of drug enforcement laws. During prohibition, wealthy law makers had to foresight to remember that wealthy people have superior judgment about behavior and can be trusted. Therefore, alcohol was banned except that which was too expensive for most people and required connections within the higher classes to obtain. Whiskey was the drink of choice among wealthy people and it could be obtained legally with a prescription from a doctor.

Today health problems from alcohol and tobacco swamp those from heroin. The chance of lung cancer among smokers is 14%. Tobacco and alcohol is used by people acceptable to the general public. Heroin, while less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco, is still an illegal substance. This pushes it into the underground economy and causes deaths from uncertain quality and unsupervised use. The overriding view of drugs other than alcohol/tobacco is they are sin. Making heroin legal is legalizing sin.

The goal of “being clean” is popular for drug users like heroin but not important for alcohol or tobacco. This even though the danger from the latter is greater than danger from the former.

Ignoring facts is a time honored practice in politics and religion.

9 Responses

  1. godless

    I won’t claim to have all the answers on drugs. I will say herion is a very dangerous drug that needs to be dealt with. Good people are becoming addicted to pain killers, only to end up switching to heroin because it is cheaper. Drug cartels are slaughtering people to get these drugs to the users

    What we are doing to combat the drug problem isn’t working. I think less expensive more effective methods are available to us. We just need an open mind to attempt. Amsterdam took some bold steps and they seem to be working.

    1. godless 6:48 I think less expensive more effective methods are available to us.
      From what I understand, there is nothing more expensive than heroin and its family. The problem is we have invented religious and social taboos and myths about it. Thus, it is first prescribed then the drugs are made illegal. As you pointed out, Amsterdam, is dealing with it in a rational way. Places in the U.S. have stopped enforcing anti possession laws and found the deaths drop immediately as people who need the drugs became supervised.

  2. Drug A is addictive but does not impair a person. It causes long-term health effects including cancer.

    Drug B is addictive and causes impairment. It causes long-term health effects.

    Drug C is not addictive but is essential for life. It can cause long-term health effects but if properly used has no ill effects.

    Drug D can be addictive and causes impairment. It can cause long-term health effects.

    Drug E can be addictive and can cause impairment. It does not cause long-term health effects,

    Which of these 4 drugs should be illegal?

    Drug A is tobacco. Not illegal.

    Drug B is marijuana. Illegal in most states.

    Drug C is food. Not illegal.

    Drug D is alcohol. Not illegal.

    Drug E is narcotics such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and dilaudid. It is a controlled substance.

    Tobacco should be sold but a healthcare premium should be assessed for every cigarette sold.

    Marijuana should remain illegal. It causes long-term health effects even in moderation.

    Food is essential and should remain legal. However, people who can provide proof of a health eating practice should receive a tax credit.

    Alcohol should remain legal. It is beneficial in moderation in many cases. We have punishment for people who drink and drive. Sometimes, the punishment is insufficient. Alcohol should be sold but a healthcare premium should be assessed for every ounce of booze sold.

    Narcotics should remain as they are currently handled. They are a necessary medical drug. Abuse of narcotics in the underground market should continue to be illegal. I have been a legal user of many varieties of narcotics the past 2 years. I thank God for narcotics. I have no problem keeping my intake at a minimum. I have had no problem in quitting them after 2 surgeries. I will have no problem when the effects of the third surgery become tolerable without narcotis.

    1. Juan Ruiz

      “a healthcare premium should be assessed ”

      Where do the huge tax revenues on cigarettes and liquor go now?

  3. Just another day in the life of the FFRF and their band of anonymous aggrieved souls: “http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/13/ohio-high-school-rallies-around-prayer-after-outside-group-tries-to-ban-it-at-events.html

    The key take-aways from this are:

    (1) “Freedom From Religion Foundation Legal Director Rebecca Markert said the organization received a complaint from “two concerned citizens” alleging “serious constitutional violations” at West Branch High School in Beloit.” Naturally, two concerned citizens thought first to take their grievance in Ohio to Madison, WI and the FFRF. If I was the local school, I would request the names of the two “concerned citizens”. Funny how the school district and each of its employees can be ridiculed and trashed but the “concerned citizens” can remain nameless. I would hazard a gues that these 2 “concerned citizens” are fake.

    (2) “We’re pleased the public school district took quick action to halt the practice of inflicting coercive Christian prayers before what is essentially a captive audience,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said. “Public school students should not be expected to pray to play.” … inflicting coercive Christian prayers …. and … pray to play. Nowhere is it stated that any player had to pray in order to play but it makes for a cute soundbite. Also, the last time I checked, any person in attendance could remain silent or recite some poem to Madelyn Murray O’Hair while those hateful Christians prayed. So, neither inflicted or coerced.

    (3) “The only opposition that I have had anyone voice to me is through this letter,” Saxton told Fox News. “If anything we’ve had a strong positive show of support.” So, the local tattle-tellers, if they truly exist, couldn’t even write an anonymous letter, scathing or otherwise, to the local school district before finding FFRF? Again, this story does not pass the smell test.

    (4) Parents Brooke and Brandy Pidgeon, with a team of volunteers, banded together to sell over 4,000 “Prayer Matters” t-shirts in the community of fewer than 900 people. Now, THAT is market penetration.

    Again, FFRF overplays its hand and creates acrimony where none existed before.

    1. Matt 10:32 If I was the local school, I would request the names of the two “concerned citizens.”

      If I was the local school, I would find out if we were actually conducting Christian prayers. If we were, I would immediately halt them even I did not know who reported it. Who reported it is not important.

      “If anything we’ve had a strong positive show of support.”

      That’s were your lack of understanding history comes into view. One day, it may be that Christians make up a small percentage of that community’s population. If that time came along, you are saying it would be fine if whatever majority religious views replaced Christianity proclaimed its superiority to all others you would be happy to have your children hear that day after day. You often make the observation that the majority views about religion should be allowed to represent government. You should be happy with the harm being done to Christians in the Middle East today. They are the minority, just like Muslims are the minority here.

      1. If I was on the local school district board, I would have one vote of many on the board. I would assess the circumstances of the situation at the time and fashion my vote according to the facts and the law. I would be careful to keep in mind the constitutional rights of all the students, their parents and the citizens in my district. If someone is claiming their constitutional rights are being violated, I would certainly request to know the names of the individuals and whether they were a citizen in the district. I understand that anonymous individuals may be fearful of reprisal but I also understand that the accused have some expectation of facing their accusers.

        In this particular situation, the practice of prayer in the school seems very limited, optional and non-punitive for those who choose not to pray. It may even be the case where accommodation is made for the prayers of other faiths.

        In your example of Islam, you seem to imply to a violent reply to my hypothetical assertion of my rights as a Christian in a similar situation. Indeed, you picked a religion where violence has been known to occur to non-believers! I assume you picked it for that reason as Judiasm and other non-Christian religions have little to no history of violence towards non-believers.

        I am fully aware that harm befalls Christians who practice their religion in Muslim-dominated societies. Death, mutilation and terrorism occur on a regular basis against Christians worldwide. If such a situation whereto one day occur in the USA, God forbid, there would be more Christian martyrs. I do fear for my children as they encounter a culuture more hostile to religion. I am proud that American’s Christians rarely incite or practice violence against non-believers. The same can be said of the majority of American’s Muslims.

        I don’t see anything good coming out of the FFRF. They are tormentors of our culture and serve no useful purpose. As I pointed out, they served to incite discord in Ohio, like they do nearly everywhere they threaten lawsuits.

        1. Matt 11:58 If someone is claiming their constitutional rights are being violated, I would certainly request to know the names and whether they were a citizen of the district.

          Perhaps you have never actually been in an elected position like a public school board. What you would do is ask your attorney. The attorney knows and/or assumes certain things. He/she knows the school is in violation of the Constitution. He assumes FFRF foundation would not mess with a case if the complaining party was not a member of the district and had not agreed to go public in court if the need arose. The attorney represents the court system and is not at liberty to say or do certain things. So, the attorney has no choice but to advise the Board they should drop an un Constitution practice.

          The Board members may be spittin’ mad–they want to fight. The attorney gives them an estimate of the cost of defense, usually a specialized firm, and reminds the Board if if loses it will have to pay FFRF’s legal fees as well. There may be chest beating Christian heroes like yourself, but the most common thing is Boards’ fold their cards and, instead of complaining about the unConstitutional practice, complains about FFRF.

          1. Jon 4:56 pm: Much of what you state is correct. However, you assume 2 important things which I think are thin. The first is that the plaintiffs are real and would actually submit to public exposure. The second is that the case favors the plaintiffs. Just because FFRF is willing to take on the case doesn’t mean they are correct.

            The MN AG Lori Swanson is about to tackle MN-based 3M in a $5,000,000,000 environmental case. Her left-leaning (ok, over the cliff left) politics is probably going to be her undoing in this case which will cost 3M and the state of MN tens of millions of dollars.

            You disregarded my primary observation that the FFRF is not making any friends. People can’t think of too many good things atheists do in our society and this helps cement atheists as bullies.

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