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Drugs - Harm Reduction - Illegality - Costs

 
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This thread is about heroin, crack, cocaine, crystal meth, marijuana and other street drugs. I'm willing to concede that big pharmaceutical companies are worse than Satan, but please take attacks on them down to "meaningless drivel". This is about street drugs.

I'm into harm reduction. To me that means protecting the vast majority who are not on drugs, from all of the problems that drug users cause. It would be nice if the addict could be helped, but as the perpetrators of many crimes, I think the end goal of any drug policy should put the rights of non criminal, non drug users above those of the addict. I have personal experience with about 500 addicts. Many have worked for me and my parent's farm was a dumping ground for young delinquents when I was in my teens.

I have years of experience in managing the behavior of this misbehaved crowd. I know what they respond to. The threat of jail or other official punishment is a laughing matter for most of them. Canada has fairly mild punishment. Back on the farm, my primary management goal was theft and vandalism prevention and protecting my younger siblings from physical assault and sexual advances. It was simple then --- I used violence, the threat of violence and destruction of their valuables. It worked very well, but as an adult, I have had to abandon this approach since I don't want to be punished by our mush minded system.

Most addicts whom I've dealt with as an adult, have been employees. They respond well to financial incentive. That's why they come to work. I've also found that assigning the worst jobs to offenders helps to discourage some behavior. With these workers, I'm mostly trying to prevent fighting, chronic complaining, smoking, and dangerous actions. One problem used to come up all the time amongst a particular ethnicity of worker. They would hoot like baboons, at women who walked past the jobsite. A few days off with no income worked pretty well. The simplest problem to deal with is laziness. I never put more than 4 hours pay into a guy who isn't productive enough.

I think public policy should reflect the reality of what motivates this crowd. A huge amount of our drug trade is financed by the welfare system. We need to empower social workers by giving them the ability to withhold funds from those who buy drugs with their food money. Prisons and the threat of prison haven't worked. I'd rather see offenders sentenced to community service. Hard work stuff, not polishing a stool at a thrift store.

I'm assuming that we're never going to cure everyone and that there will always be addicts among us. Does anyone have other carrot and stick type suggestions, that would save public money and encourage addicts to improve their behavior.

 
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There was a study in the UK that showed the way to cut down on this problem was quite easy.
Parent skill training , methodone treatment and counselling And having a job
But because its not sexy nor instant nor does it fit in with certain political philosophy And it costs lots of money it has never been properly implimented.

David
 
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I think that a major part of the equation is differentiating between different substances based on their consequences for society and the indivudals that abuse them.
IMHO and experience, marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, coca leaves, and unrefined opium are in a totally different class as far as harm goes. Make these legal. Move on to the real problem substances.

Methamphetamine, herion, cocaine, and other chemically refined drugs are a totally different story as far as social destructive power. This is not at all to say that LSD and marijuana are harmless, but that they are in a different league. Looking at the statistics, alcohol is firmly in between these two groups, and is a mess itself, though not going anywhere due to cultural mores.

Stop prosecuting drug users, and even drug dealers. Get to the heart of the matter and only prosecute the manufacturers of these refined drugs. In my opinion, the biggest harm done by drugs is the incarceration and criminalization of drug users. If a person is of questionable moral fibre before a trip to jail, just wait and see what a hardened criminal they are afterwards. Jail makes borderline people bad, and bad people worse. Like Dale said, prison is no deterrent.

Not an easy issue, but if we treat it like doctors, and go in with a basic philosophy of 'do no harm', we will do better than we do now.
 
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Dale,

I think your question has been addressed by Penn and Teller who's opinions I know you respect.

For starters - Marijuana should be off this list. Also, Alcohol should quite possible be on that list.

Philosophically I think people should be allowed to do unto themselves whatever they wish. But clearly CRIME should be punished. To me it doesn't mater if someone robs someone for drug money or to buy a ticket to Rio, the crime is the same, the motive is irrelevant, and it is the crime that ought to be punished. I would also suggest that while there certainly are drugs which can destroy a persons life (Heroin, Meth, Alcohol) and I have seen this in the flesh and even amongst my own friends. The addict is in need of intervention and assistance (which practically can be very hard I know - addiction takes over consciousness and transforms the individual) not punishment. In fact those in need of punishment and legal intervention most in my view are the large scale traffickers. There has long been a public/private partnership in this. Banks and even governmental institutes benefit greatly from large scale global drug trafficking.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Dale Hodgins wrote:A huge amount of our drug trade is financed by the welfare system. We need to empower social workers by giving them the ability to withhold funds from those who buy drugs with their food money.



This has NOT been my experience, though admittedly I am only speaking here for my experience. I know plenty of folks on one or another form of welfare. None of them use this aid for drugs (though granted some of them are drug users) I'm pretty sure Social workers already have access to a sales record. Certainly anyone who walks into a store and buys 200 dollars of coffee in a go is going to raise some eyebrows from the cashiers. Anything else (like piss testing) is a direct violation of something we Americans like the call the 4th amendment. Nearly everyone I know personally who has become seriously involved in drugs began doing so with their own disposable income whilst still under the umbrella of their parents. These are mostly white middle class kids. The ones who kept at it realized they could make money selling to others and trafficking and broke the 'never get high on your own supply' rule. This has been my observation of people who get sucked into the black pit of serious addiction.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I truly believe that our two worst drugs are cigarettes and alcohol. They are legal here and therefore they aren't street drugs. Organized crime has trouble turning huge profits with legal substances. Because of this, I would like to see many drugs legalized.

The illegally of marijuana has led to it becoming currency in cross border meth and crack deals here in BC. The Hell's Angels are our largest producer. There are regular home invasions and other violence directly related to the supply chain for marijuana. If it were legal, we'd still have unmotivated pot heads, but they wouldn't be financing gang activities. My brother was a chronic user during a 20 year run as a small time dealer and grower. Although he moved approx. 5 million during this time, he has absolutely nothing to show for it other than stories and scars. Most of his associates are in the same boat.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Dale Hodgins wrote: If it were legal, we'd still have unmotivated pot heads, but they wouldn't be financing gang activities. My brother was a chronic user during a 20 year run as a small time dealer and grower. Although he moved approx. 5 million during this time, he has absolutely nothing to show for it other than stories and scars. Most of his associates are in the same boat.

< This has definitely been my observation as well with one, possible two exceptions. Lots of money changing hands and yet somehow there is never enough to pay the rent. It's madness. I'd also like to echo David and Adam and say that I'm glad I grew up around people who were realistic and honest about drug use. People who lump all drugs into one category, are in my opinion asking for trouble when it comes to curious kids. Education and honesty is what its about.

Keep in mind Dale, if pot were legal you'd also probably have more motivated pot smokers as well - some of the hardest working most productive people I know and have had the opportunity to work for have been stoners. I even worked one job where before attempting anything dangerous (like tractor work) the boss would call for a 'safety meeting' spark up a joint of sativa and proceed to talk about and work through the process of whatever we were about to do in detail so that no one would fuck up. It was something akin to the airforce giving their people amphetamines to dial them in for critical tasks coupled with a pep talk. There where never any accidents on that farm - though I would chock it up to the careful explanation and attention to detail rather than the drug use - even though that particular strain did do wonders for putting people in a hyper aware 'in the moment' state. There are not many people I would trust enough around dangerous machines to even consider this - and I can see how many people would shudder at the very thought - but the proof is in the pudding as they say.

My biggest problems with drug laws at the moment stem from the fact that they ARE legal in my state. Or at least that pot is. However there is no provision in the law for growing for individual use. If I wanted to grow a few plants as part of an outdoor rotation (those root systems get massive and rot quickly) I have to go through hella red tape. And a few outdoor plants would last me several years no problem I like to use the whole plant, dislike potent strains, and have absolutely no desire to add monetary stresses to growing what is a fickle prissy plant. I am actually quite worried about the Harm that legalizing marijuana might have on my state. Any jerk with a few grand can get licensed by the state and burn up a billion watts of electricity while dumping bottle after bottle of 'miracle grow + high phosphate ocean death mix' on their plants and totally screw up the ecology of the region (as has happened with california) But people who want to grow one or two plants organically and responsible for personal use are better off financially just buying the damn stuff (probably from someone with more money than environmental ethic) it is a frustrating situation.

How's that for a different take on drug harm and drug costs. I forget the numbers but I'm sure I can track them down again - but the amount of roundup and other herbicides sprayed aerially in sensitive watersheds like the amazon basin and payed for with US tax dollars in the name of combating drugs is staggering. That's real harm in my view - and the price and availability of drugs has done nothing but come down and shoot up respectively despite these efforts.


Edited for subject/verb agreement
 
David Livingston
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Has it occured to you Dale that you are for some of these folks the parent they never had ?

David
 
Dale Hodgins
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David Livingston wrote:Has it occured to you Dale that you are for some of these folks the parent they never had ?

David


It has seemed like that at times. The brightest of the 500 was John Dorcheid. Whenever I talked to him about going easy on the cocaine, he'd say ---"You're not my mother". I met the two dedicated people who adopted John as a baby. They did everything in their power to help him. Several of their friends hired him and trusted him more than they should have. On several occasions he ran off with the money collected when he delivered my used building materials to customers. After a brief coke binge, he would return and work off his debt. Very few businesses can accommodate characters like John. I've had a few dozen quite talented people whose fatal flaw brought them to me. John would warn new guys --- "Are you sure you want to board this slave ship ? He bitches constantly and won't let anybody smoke."

At least 400 of this group have been guys of below average ability and intelligence. This is the elephant in the room, whenever public policy concerning those who can't fit in is debated. Some have damaged their minds with drugs, but many are people of low innate intelligence. There are always going to be guys who are just too stupid to make good decisions. Often this leads to drug usage. It also leads them to being manipulated by guys like John.

Managing adult behavior, when the adult doesn't want to be managed, will always be a tricky thing. Most will not volunteer to give up drugs and quit stealing or fighting or whatever. The best we can hope for is that some will reform and become useful citizens and the rest can be managed in a way that reduces the harm that they do to others and to themselves. Experience has shown me that the carrot and stick work better than counseling. I would like to see less resources dumped into this bottomless pit. That would mean that the criminality of the substances should be abandoned in favor or stricter enforcement of other laws that druggies break. I've met many social workers who are heavily entrenched in the "poverty industry". They seem like a well meaning bunch. None can match my ability to reform assholes with the promise of money or the threat of firing. They can council until the cows come home. To most of their charges, their words are background noise.
 
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(I can't help it..."Not the balefire!"...Hilarious!)

I agree with the general idea. The American experiment with alcohol prohibition almost a century ago showed the general and specific weaknesses of such an approach, and there is more control in most circumstances when a thing is legal, because to quote a famous doctor, "You can't get a permit to do a damned illegal thing!" Perhaps a paraphrase, but you get the point.

As soon as, say, pot is legalized for recreational production and use, you can have age of use laws, guidelines and restrictions with regards to public use and activities (driving any kind of vehicle, operating heavy machinery), and the government can tax it. This observation applies equally to prostitution, if you apply the reasoning. If a thing is illegal, full stop, there is no control at all.

My personal view involves garden-scale access, where I could grow medicinals in with my veggies, and in animal pasturage, where I could have yet another useful forage plant simply with relaxed attitudes towards industrial hemp strains and growing.

With this specific example, and extending to the whole discussion, if the issue was less politicized, intelligent people would be more likely to join the discussion and industry would be more likely to look to marijuana's straightlaced industrial cousins as raw feedstocks with way lower environmental costs.

One real cost is the fact that a whole crop with diverse uses only related to the medicinal plant, one that is hugely versatile and in great demand, is completely off the books in the US for legal reasons and to most small-scale farmers in Canada for reasons of red tape.

-CK
 
Landon Sunrich
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Chris Kott wrote:(I can't help it..."Not the balefire!"...Hilarious!)



There is nothing funny about erasing a thread so as to make it seem as though it never existed Chris!
 
David Livingston
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I agree about the elephant in the room Dale .
Education is our only hope as a society .
There used to be loads of jobs folks could do , jobs that gave them respect , a place in society , an ok life . but now what?
Near where I was born local industry had over 10,000 jobs that were basic labouring now these jobs no longer exist and people with college drgrees try to get jobs emptying the bins.

The devil makes work for idle hands . Or maybe they join the army ?

David
 
David Livingston
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It seems I am not the only one to see the connexion between éducation And crime réduction
http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25981123

David
 
Dale Hodgins
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I just discovered that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead while I was writing the beginning post in this thread. If his drug were legal, he might have purchased it from a licensed facility where a pure product might have been taken under controlled conditions. Who knows what his dose was cut with ?

Here's Mick Jagger talking to Larry King about drug legalization --- He has lost a few friends to drugs ---


Here's Mick talking about drugs 47 years ago. If you remember this, you're fckn old. ---


Christopher Hitchens on the war on drugs. ---
 
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Dale : Your personal choice regarding cigarettes, And enforcing that Ban on the job site will certainly remove from your employment / environment those
whose addictive personalities so dominate their personal life that they can't Not Smoke.

Just a couple of years ago when Rehab centers were starting to enforce a No Tobacco Rule, There was a whole class of Repeat Offenders who would
rather do hard time, and have it show up on a Record, than do Time in a Re-hab where Tobacco was Banned!

As a Group of people, these are the ones Man, Woman, any shade or hue of the Rainbow that mere good intentioned programs will never reach !
 
Dale Hodgins
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My dad had a 35 year run as a slum lord. He never called it that. For the first 20 years there were major problems amongst the tenants. There were fires, dangerous dogs, rotten kids ... When he went smokeless, everything changed. Not only has there not been another fire, many other things improved. There is no longer litter all over the parking lot, screaming at midnight, pitbulls and Dobermans barking and scrap cars occupying a parking space. The most dramatic change has been in the reduction of police visits for domestic disputes. It's been my experience that most hard core drug users also smoke. A ban on smoking eliminates that demographic. Now, these lower priced apartments are occupied by students, pensioners and young families who are saving up for their own place. They used to be occupied by people who were going nowhere in their lives.

I've heard this sort of change referred to as gentrification. Often with gentrification, developers buy up slums and kick everybody out so that upscale homes or condos can be built. In this case, the apartments haven't become more expensive. They've actually gotten cheaper when you consider all of the upgrades in insulation, windows etc. Tenants no longer have scratches all over their cars or neighbors who steal their bikes. Most importantly, they stay for a long time. Moving is expensive for all involved. Tenants spend money and units get banged up in the process. Vacancies are a thing of the past and midnight moves where those who owe rent sneak off in the darkness are over.
 
Chris Kott
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So everyone around me who still smokes, including my formerly two-pack-a-day father, have started using e-cigarettes, and all who haven't switched completely have drastically cut their actual tobacco smoking, eliminating all but the nicotine from the smoke. The cold weather and lack of inside smoking space might have something to do with it, I must admit. What does that mean with regards to any links between cigarettes and hard drug use and related undesirable activity/behavior?

I quit smoking like four times, the last time over seven years ago because I am a heavy pot user, and I heard bad things about the effects of smoking both at the same time. I wouldn't take up even just vapourized nicotine because that's what paralyses the lungs' self - cleaning capacity, which makes us more susceptible even to air pollution.

The last bit I'll add is that the freedom to cause onesself injury causes harm to others in systems with health care paid for by tax dollars.

-CK
 
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Chris Kott wrote:The last bit I'll add is that the freedom to cause onesself injury causes harm to others in systems with health care paid for by tax dollars.



And taking away the personal financial responsibility for those actions removes a major natural deterrent to those actions. It is "too big to fail" on a personal level.

 
Dale Hodgins
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The majority of smokers are not criminals and are not hard core drug users.

The majority of hard core drug users are cigarette smokers. By eliminating smoking from our lives, we have a good chance of eliminating many of society's other ills. The same thing would probably happen if we could somehow no longer associate with people who live on junk food or with those who call their girlfriend their bitch. I don't know how a landlord could ever determine or enforce such restrictions. The smoke net is broad and it tends to catch lots of other things. Many otherwise acceptable tenants may have been screened out by this policy. I returned to the farm, (which has 7 rental units) in November, for Dad's funeral. It's a really nice spot now. When I moved west in 93, it was a gong show. Most of the tenants have a garden. There were no dead vehicles or garbage piles.

I don't have to wonder what would happen in the absence of cigarettes. It's been eliminated at the farm and there has been massive improvement. I don't tolerate it at work, not from my helpers, not from other trades ( I threaten legal enforcement) and not from my customers. I make it clear to all customers that part of our deal is that the place be completely aired out if someone has smoked there and that no smoking is to happen inside during a project. This may have cost me some work. I don't care since these customers are not my target market. I always price things a little higher if a building has been smoked in. I call it the smoke tax. I don't tell smoking customers that, but I always slip it in.
 
Chris Kott
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I am too rational to be so completely libertarian, Richard. While I don't think nanny statism is good for human independence or even competence, I think it is appropriate to ensure there is a safety net for such things as health care and against financial misfortune. I think that without it, a highly specialized urban population would have a higher level of poverty and death, not to mention crime. Losing a job or getting sick would mean getting the money you need somehow, or else dying.

I think that it's like making sure that people in sensitive positions (politically, economically, positions otherwise prone to corruption) are sufficiently paid so that no bribe would be worth losing the job.

Having said that, adequate financial compensation has to go hand-in-hand with harsh punishment for offenders, and objective oversight.

Throwing around nifty catchphrases from past years is only useful to obfuscate the issue. The "Too big to fail" criticism is only relevant when addressing issues of the cronyism of politicians to corporate entities. Too often it is used to gloss over the human costs of such a corporate entity being allowed to go tits-up. I am not saying that they should get that big, but they exist, and employ millions, directly and indirectly. If we are to get off this drug, it will kill lots of poor and middle-class people to do it cold-turkey.

People these days think of the 2008 economic downturn as a financial crisis, and it may have been. But I think there was still food and goods on store shelves.

I think that the conversation is greatly improved when we stop parroting half-qualified TV sound bites. Then we get to actually examine the meat of our own arguments. It's like writing research notes in your own words as opposed to copy - and - paste plagiarism.

But if you meant something other than what I assume was meant, I would love some clarification.

-CK
 
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Chris,

I think the too big to fail thing has got to be a whole 'nother topic. I think most of those companies should have gone 'tit's up' as you so elegantly phrased it. Car companies that make the same car with different cup holders year after year despite real concerns around the energy supply. Banks that deal recklessly in bad loans? These are industries than can and should go the way of the dinosaur - yeah they'll be lots of unemployed people but I too am not so libertarian that I don't believe in retraining opportunities and some level of direct government intervention on the rank and files behalf.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Also, I kinda got to agree with Dale on the cigarettes. I used to be ok living with people who only smoked outside - but they almost leave the damn butts everywhere and won't even smoke filter less cigarettes.

I do know some really cool really nice people who are smokers and they stay that way as long as they have cigarettes - but when they run out they get cranky

I don't know how people even do that. Tobacco is strong medicine by my book. One cigarette will put me in a weird trancey out of body state. With nausea. Its not my thing.
 
Chris Kott
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Landon, I'm with you, but it's like there's no middle ground. If you let the market dictate success and failure, which I support, ultimately, without social intervention on a scale as large or larger than the corporate buyouts we've already seen, people will either go without, or they'll overburden the welfare system. What will millions eat while they attend retraining programs? Considering free trade has killed manufacturing in North America, what will they do?

The whole bottom-dollar system is broken, because if a thing's value isn't concrete, it doesn't matter. If the science we need to pursue has no short term payout, it doesn't get funding, and it gets blacklisted if it's too economically disruptive.

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but this does play into about every thread you can imagine.

-CK
 
Landon Sunrich
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Totally. IMO (and this is just my opinion really) The entire economic model is so damn broke that it needs to be taken out and shot. What I advocate is basically that the only companies that are too big to fail at this point are Big Ag - the world starves with out them it sucks but it does. Since they are already so interwed with the government I think government should basically take control of this industry - and get on a pedistal and start talking permaculure. In sure the people get feed and declare a national multi-month holiday where 90-95 percent of people (those working most non-essential jobs) get to stay at home - stop fucking driving to work everyday, put in a garden, and fiddle around in the shop. To insure people don't get to distracted with their free time I could see shutting down some portions of the internet and limiting youtube to informative videos, capping netflicks to one movie or two episodes a day and quadrupling the hosting budget for permies.com
There ya go - thread hijacked
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you Stalin, now back to drugs and harm reduction. Let's accomplish that before we shut down the internet and nationalize all industry.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Thank you Stalin, now back to drugs and harm reduction. Let's accomplish that before we shut down the internet and nationalize all industry.



When I was in 6th grade I did my term project on Stalin. I dressed up as him and spoke to the class.

Right, drugs... Try as they might my parents couldn't totally keep me from this bad influence. To all pervasive.



 
Dale Hodgins
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I was downtown at 6 pm last night. I found a good parking spot near city hall and the moment I exited the vehicle, a guy asked me if I was looking for meth. "No", I replied. After about 5 seconds of walking to my destination, he said, "How about pot ?". I didn't do any of the things that buyers do. I didn't ask the time or engage him in any way and I don't look like a drug sick loser. He was obviously not paying attention during those orientation classes.

I talked about this on the radio this morning. Their subject was pushy salespeople. We have a cop who often comes on a radio show with comical stories about really dumb criminals. I think it's good for kids to hear that stuff.

When they were 5 and 11,I took my kids on a slow drive by of the East Hastings district of Vancouver at 5 am. It was like a half frozen scene from a zombie movie. I called them from their beds in the van to look out at the sea of inhumanity on the sidewalks and in doorways. It was sort of like going to the lion safari. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle and keep moving.
 
Landon Sunrich
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City hall? Dale, He probably thought you where the mayor!

;P
 
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Two things I feel should be suggested, even if nobody agrees:

1) I don't like the tone that implies that substance abuse of any kind is all the same thing. Potheads are less of a societal problem than alcoholics, and I get the feeling they're being grouped together with meth heads and heroin addicts. The problems of individual addictions are unique, even if they do overlap in places.

2) Let's leave even allusions to the disgraceful mayor of Toronto out of civilized chat, shall we?

-CK
 
Landon Sunrich
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Sorry, Chris I couldn't help myself. I think Dale SHOULD be mayor of Victoria

I also have to agree with you about casting all drugs of the same mold when they clearly aren't. Interestingly (to me at least) Everyone I know who kicked heroin has also kicked smoking tobacco (and they all did do both). They also now all (every last one - and I do know a handful or two) smoke weed. Because something needs to replace that rush of euphoria.

But hey, at least its not heroin.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Landon Sunrich wrote:Sorry, Chris I couldn't help myself. I think Dale SHOULD be mayor of Victoria



Finally, something we agree upon 100%. We currently have a mayor and council who have capitulated to the demands of leaders within the poverty industry. The large shelter downtown has a parking area for stolen shopping carts and several places have relaxed their substance abuse rules. Our old mayor, Allan Lowe, was much more into preventing harm to the majority.

The mayor of, I think it was Langley, part of greater Vancouver, got sick of druggies constantly occupying a large open area near city hall. He got a farmer friend to spread a load of chicken shit. Businesses in the area were on board, despite the smell. The druggies went away. Vancouver news latched onto the story as though heavy handed tactics were being deployed in an attempt to prevent freedom of speech and assembly. If I were mayor and thought I could get away with it, I'd start with water cannon and step it up from there. Some sort of labor camp would be nice. I'd go all Cartman on their asses.
 
David Livingston
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Firstly Dale I am unsure by what is the poverty industry its not a term in common use here across the pond?
Secondly I was once in a senior local govt rôle in a large metropoliton area in the North of England. We were suddenly plagued with beggers obviously an organised gang probably from Romania/ Moldova. So booted And suited , official tie, name badge etc I went around taking photos of them all. Day after they dissapeard never came back And I never had the chance to tell them there was nô film in the camera

David
 
Dale Hodgins
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David Livingston wrote:Firstly Dale I am unsure by what is the poverty industry its not a term in common use here across the pond?
Secondly I was once in a senior local govt rôle in a large metropoliton area in the North of England. We were suddenly plagued with beggers obviously an organised gang probably from Romania/ Moldova. So booted And suited , official tie, name badge etc I went around taking photos of them all. Day after they dissapeard never came back And I never had the chance to tell them there was nô film in the camera

David



I've been saying "Poverty Industry for at least 15 years. I use it when referring to ineffectual enablers who seek additional public funds to spend on those who don't produce anything that the economy considers useful. I often coin new phrases that will guarantee me a few new enemies. They usually refer to whichever group is bugging me the most at the time.

 
David Livingston
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Oh yes those who prevent things that work because they feel they know better. In the UK right wing politians. who say the dole is too generious yet admit they could not live on that amout of money themselves.
Ho hum

David
 
Landon Sunrich
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Another slight derail here huh,

First regarding the city allowing bums to park their stolen shopping carts.

I've fantasized a bit about being homeless. It seems a likely outcome, based on a series of my own person choices. I've certainly practiced.

I think shopping carts are an amazing resource and big pavement hogging grocers a great bane.

I'd run my shopping cart with a team of 2 or 4 good sled dogs.

Second. I've worked around a lot of chicken shit. What kind pelleted or fresh? Had it gotten wet? Few things worse than dense gloppy concentrated chickenshit. I totally remember that story. I was shocked. Actually Mercer or some place might have tried that 'round here. Or it was a slow news day, Whatever...

Such a non issue. I've slept dirty miserable spots. If its too stanky to put out a blanket and picnick and seriously disrupted the intent of the park the general public should be up in arms. If not why do we care?

And shelters there are like what really bad dorms? Big 20 person hostile type places? Surly this couldn't cost the city much unless a very large amount of people where in need of such basic services like warm running water to bathe.


Finally, Pot - the other alarming thing I've noticed about this drug is what a gateway species it is into starting to dig horticulture. Next thing you know raised beds are going in greenhouse are going up and it all pistons and stamens all the time. Whack, dude.

 
Chris Kott
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Yeah, if it weren't for pot, I wouldn't have developed such an interest in horticulture, and wouldn't have happened across permaculture at all.

I have read a lot of hippie bashing on this site from people I otherwise respect, but I doubt that permaculture would be as far developed as it is without its army of hippie early adopters and experimenters.

-CK
 
Dale Hodgins
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Two of my brothers got their start in gardening through pot production. One brother was in grade 7 when he discovered that kids would buy hash that he made with a mixture of rabbit shit, spices and vegetable oil.

They say using too much makes you stupid. The owner of this stash (photos of drug den removed to meet the high standards of this site and to satisfy prudes everywhere) only knew me for a few days before showing me his operation. Now there are pictures on the internet. Why would anyone grow so much oregano ? And why would they smoke it.
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I wonder if it would be OK to give an addict a dollar and get a nice dental photo, to illustrate how it affects teeth and general cleanliness ?

Perhaps a photo series of demeaning things they'll do for a dollar ? It could be anything --- stand in a puddle, eat a bug, ...

Don't worry, I won't post anything until I get official approval. Time to dust off the camera.
 
Chris Kott
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I don't think that potheads are any less worthy of the respect accorded all people. And there are many who choose to smoke pot as an alternative to a handful of pills every day.

Also, as to the cognitive deficit thing, I have been smoking pot since like grade 11. I have also been playing those brain games on lumosity.com. I will not speak to my scores in relation to others playing in my age range, although I will say that they are high, and my performance over time was improving. I will only claim that this is relevant in terms of having developed a personal mental operational baseline. When I was started on an antidepressant (symptoms of anxiety), though, I noticed a 2% loss in the first week. I got off as soon as I noticed, but I am still struggling to get back to where I was.

The short of it is, with the exception perhaps of strains bred specifically to affect the mind in that way, pot doesn't even come close to some very common prescription pharmaceuticals.

And on that note, I will also bring up that any one I have ever met that works with medical pot users has stressed strongly that the individual cannabinoid profiles of different strains can have radically different effects. I know myself that some types are good for anxiety, but not for pain, others vice versa.

I don't think that ridiculing anyone fits within Paul's posting rules. Be nice.

-CK
 
Dale Hodgins
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This house has been demolished and I don't know where he went or his last name, so his secret is safe. We don't police the small operators very heavily in western Canada. He's not a member of the forum, so the niceness rule does not apply.

Harm reduction for this guy might involve hiding lighters from kids. The kids are growing up in a home where there is always a mild level of paranoia and resentment toward those who don't approve. I don't think these kids will have an equal chance in life. They are likely to come out of this home less educated and less capable of making their way in the world than they would be if their dad had a different hobby.
 
Chris Kott
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While I am sure you know this particular situation better than I could guess, I read an article in the paper that said that, statistically speaking, because of the high level of capability required to not screw up an indoor operation, the kids coming out of such situations, on average, we're much more schedule - oriented and did better than average in math and science.

And I disagree with your lesson in manners. I think that the niceness rule applies to everyone. Manners and consideration of others cost nothing, which makes the return on investment pretty good.

I think it was Robert A. Heinlein that said that the loss of proper manners is the first sign of a civilisation in decline. Do you wonder why I worry?

-CK
 
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