April 1, 2009

The Refugee and jk Hash it Out

Hat-tip: Reason Hit&Run

On the web Posted by John Kranz at April 1, 2009 10:29 AM

"Buy a bale of weed at Sam's Club..." I don't care who y'are - that's funny, right there!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 1, 2009 10:39 AM

So which drugs should be legalized (and taxed and regulated like alcohol and cigarettes are) and which should not?

marijuana - yes, otc
hashish - yes, otc
psyllisybin (or however you spell it) - yes, otc
whatever that crap they take at raves is - yes, otc
quaaludes - yes, ?
cocaine - yes, prescription
opium - yes, prescription

Now all we need is a breathalizer for stoners and a few thousand new government employees in the FDA.

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2009 1:21 PM

I meant to also include that employers must still be able to require drug testing. Drug users must never become a "protected class." (In fact, let's do away with the entire concept of "protected class.")

Posted by: johngalt at April 1, 2009 1:26 PM

On first principles, jg, I'd support a broad move toward legalization across the board. In our more serious discussion a few posts down, I asked whether or not I own my body.

As a pragmatist, I say as much freedom as we can get. If it were just marijuana, we'd free 47% of the folks in jail for drug crimes and see a great loosening of police resources. Plus the availability of safe, legal and perhaps less expensive marijuana might make it a good substitute for those seeking harder stuff.

If we saw the reduction in crime I expect, I would then press for more. I don't expect "Instant Amsterdam." I'll take anything I can get.

Disclaimer: I do not use any of the products I seek to legalize and have ZERO intention of availing myself if they become legal. I seek liberty and a concomitantly more peaceful and fair world.


Posted by: jk at April 1, 2009 1:37 PM

Agreed on all points. And why isn't there more debate on this by now? That was the intent of my "legal drug toke," err, "tote board" after all. BR?

On the "Amsterdam" issue, it's unfair to blame legal drugs for all of their problems. It is also a welfare state. Perhaps we could trade drug legalization with the Democrats for some rolling back of entitlements (along with legalizing domestic oil production.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2009 12:33 PM

JG, I did get a chuckle out of our your "toke board" as you call it. I guess I was a bit blogged-out on the topic after the previous exchange.

However, I think your more serious point is highly valid. That is, the phrase "legalize drugs" is extremely broad. While I personally see no redeeming virtue in the recreational use of pot, I could potentially be persuaded to legalize it. I certainly know plenty of highly productive people who use the stuff.

However, I would *never* legalize drugs such as heroin, LSD, meth, crack, speed, ecstacy, etc. These are toxic, dangerous substances that can addict, permantly harm and even kill users in a single dose. I would no more advocate their unrestricted availability than I would any other poison. Cocaine is probably in the middle of the continuum between pot and heroin, but I would not legalize it because I have friends who started with a little recreational use of coke and graduated to crack for the faster, quicker high. It destroyed their lives. It is simply too dangerous to fool with, IMHO.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 2:31 PM

And, let me answer JK's question before he gets a chance to ask it: "Isn't in my brain to fry if I want to, provided that I do no harm to others?" Theoretically, yes. However, these substances are so noxious that harm to another is nearly inevitable (e.g., petty/serious crime, child neglect, spousal abandonment). Thus, like drunk driving, the probability of harm to another is so high that it justifies government regulation and intervention before the fact, even to the point of a war on drugs.

There! I said it! You smoked The Refugee out! (No pun intended.) He supports the war on drugs!!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 3:25 PM

Actually, I'd like to make a pragmatic point. During prohibition, folks sold and drank high-proof hard liquor, because if you're going to smuggle, it doesn't make sense to brew 3.2 beer. Now that it is legal, there are a lot of low alcohol choices: light wines, wine coolers, &c.

You speculate on the legalization of crack. I posit that there would be no such thing as crack without the war on drugs. Just as there is no mad rush to moonshine bathtub gin today. This is an underconsidered benefit of legalization: much more sociable variations of these products would proliferate.

Posted by: jk at April 2, 2009 4:12 PM

Not so sure there is such a thing as "heroin lite." ("A third fewer bad trips, less pushing" as a slogan?) Also, don't assume that moonshine is a thing of the past. The Refugee has friends from North Carolina who occassional bring along a bottle of genuine moonshine just for fun. Why would anyone brew and consume something that is indistinguishable from jet fuel both in taste and energy potential? For the same reason that little boys light everything on fire - pure entertainment value and to prove they can.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 4:35 PM

Ahhh, youth. I remember that! :)

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2009 7:06 PM | What do you think? [10]