Canberrans graduating to harder drugs?

johnboy 29 August 2008 24

The ABC has been having a poke into the 2007 data on drug use released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (Report here)

It seems that less of us are drinking and smoking on a regular basis, but…

    “The report shows 13.8 per cent of Canberrans have taken illicit drugs in the last 12 months.”

And bear in mind these are the results people are willing to confess to a man from the Government.

I’d say they’re extremely understated.


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24 Responses to Canberrans graduating to harder drugs?
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tap tap 5:27 pm 31 Aug 08

astroapien: Your example of a circumstance where changing one set of laws wil have a knockon effect and force other changes is about as silly as mine. The main issue with your line of reasoning is that it is fallacious on the grounds of being an appeal to consequence, speed limits are in no way connected to drug laws, changing one does not add weight to the argument that the other either should or would be changed.

Secondly your example about speed limits also falls over because those laws are statistically effective in stopping people harming themselves and more importantly others. Which puts it in an entirely different group to illicit drugs, and especially marijuana.

How much face would the government lose? None. The issue at hand is drugs legalisation, not speed limits or anything else. If they did something silly like legalising smoking marijuana but not selling it, that would be different. Precedent does not work the way you think it does.

laws shouldn’t be changed at the whim of a city or nation of people because those people are always going to have shifting views and trends based on any number of external influences…

Actually yes they should and it happens all the time. Why on earth should laws not be changed if the majority of the nation wants it? This is a democracy, laws exist to suit us as a society.

This drug taking ‘minority’ might not be as minor as you think, tax dollars from new revenue would benefit everyone to a point (as opposed to the same money being spent and going to criminals), but i dont think the whole of society would benefit from the changes to the laws. But its fair to say that there will be less people being adversely effected by the laws, which is good enough.

The only people who would be adversely effected as far as i can see are people who are living under the misguided conservative notion that we had it right at one point and since then we’ve been getting steadily worse. Truth is that democracy is an evolving system, designed to change as society does, hopefully one day ending up at a very good place.

astrosapien astrosapien 2:02 pm 31 Aug 08

tap said :

And if we start changing these laws because it’s easier than throwing police and/or education at people, where do we stop… What law would you abandon next because it’s easier than expecting people to do the right thing (in the justice systems eyes).

Again, I make it clear that I DO understand your point, but it can set a dangerous precedent too…

If I understand your argument correctly, you are saying that if we legalise drugs then we’ll certainly legalise murder! Boo! Society will fall! (ok possibly that was a fairly unsubtle version of your argument)

Why would changing a law in one area neccesitate unrelated laws in unrelated areas? Anyway the justice system is designed to be changed, thats why there are ways to repeal laws in place. It seems strange that we should have to abide by laws simply because the justice system tells us its right. Like the tail wagging the dog. On the other hand it does seems more sensical that we should have the justice system abide by what we tell it is right.

Yes, you’re right, you did take it to a fairly unsubtle version of my argument. But there are always going to be groups of people that think that what ever laws impede them from doing what they want to do should be changed.

If laws regarding drug use and supplying were amended, what would stop a motor group from arguing that the government changed the laws over there, why can’t we change the laws so that we can drive as fast as we want to (brought this one up because there was a thread on here not too long ago that was talking about road speeds and stuff like that).

And from a government standpoint, how much face would they lose if they had to tell one group that they wouldn’t consider changing laws that would benefit them when they had just changed the laws for another group.

I’m not saying that I disagree with you necessarily. I’m zero tolerance for drugs (I’ve never been drunk or stoned), but I am at least able to see that the country’s approach to marijuana versus alcohol is severely out of wack, and it could be argued that alcohol destroys more lives than weed ever has, but again, it set a dangerous precedent.

I guess the only other point that I would make is that laws don’t have to be liked by everyone. And laws shouldn’t be changed at the whim of a city or nation of people because those people are always going to have shifting views and trends based on any number of external influences… Laws should remain consistent where the people cannot. Update them, yes, but only in such a way that it is consistent with what came before it, unless there is sufficient evidence and studies have been done to prove that it would BENEFIT society as a whole. Amending drug laws would really only benefit a minority and the benefits would be hard to argue.

tap tap 9:24 am 31 Aug 08

neccesitate changes to unrelated laws in unrelated areas*

tap tap 9:22 am 31 Aug 08

And if we start changing these laws because it’s easier than throwing police and/or education at people, where do we stop… What law would you abandon next because it’s easier than expecting people to do the right thing (in the justice systems eyes).

Again, I make it clear that I DO understand your point, but it can set a dangerous precedent too…

If I understand your argument correctly, you are saying that if we legalise drugs then we’ll certainly legalise murder! Boo! Society will fall! (ok possibly that was a fairly unsubtle version of your argument)

Why would changing a law in one area neccesitate unrelated laws in unrelated areas? Anyway the justice system is designed to be changed, thats why there are ways to repeal laws in place. It seems strange that we should have to abide by laws simply because the justice system tells us its right. Like the tail wagging the dog. On the other hand it does seems more sensical that we should have the justice system abide by what we tell it is right.

astrosapien astrosapien 1:33 am 31 Aug 08

shauno said :

The thing most people get wrong here is calling it a drug problem. The more correct
terminology should be a prohibition problem. The great majority of the problems cause by drugs are the fact they are made illegal and the subsequent black market criminal element that comes into it. A good example is the prohibition of alcohol and the violence that it caused in the US with Al Capone etc.

One thing is for sure no matter how many countless billions are spent on the so called war on drugs its all a waste of time. Some members of society over 1000’s of years have been and always will take drugs for various reasons. And due to prohibition all we have done besides making some people feel all good inside taking the moral high road is finance organise crime and cause massive amounts of other illegal activities such as theft. And the list could go on and on not to mention directly financing terrorism which is funded by the sale of opium and hash. Which has only got a high market value due prohibition.

I understand the point that you’re making…

However, the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, the people that are using/supplying/growing/producing are still breaking the law…

And if we start changing these laws because it’s easier than throwing police and/or education at people, where do we stop… What law would you abandon next because it’s easier than expecting people to do the right thing (in the justice systems eyes).

Again, I make it clear that I DO understand your point, but it can set a dangerous precedent too…

tap tap 6:36 pm 30 Aug 08

We should also ban fat people. Fat, fat fatties are no better than us bloody smokers
Too true. We should also ban old people, those bastards just aren’t cost effective.

shauno shauno 8:09 pm 29 Aug 08

A good example of the shear insanity involved is Corby in Bali being put away for 20 years for the possession of a naturally growing Asiatic herb. And then in the same country a guy gets less the 10 years for murdering a Judge.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 5:11 pm 29 Aug 08

Who says dope or MDMA is a harder drug than alcohol?

Drugs are a social/health issue, not a law enforcement issue. Most drug-related crime property crime is by heroin/meth freaks stealing to pay for their next fix. Make it easier for them to get that fix without resorting to crime whilst not encouraging others to take up the habit and you have solved the drug problem! Anyone got a way to do it?

shauno shauno 5:01 pm 29 Aug 08

The thing most people get wrong here is calling it a drug problem. The more correct
terminology should be a prohibition problem. The great majority of the problems cause by drugs are the fact they are made illegal and the subsequent black market criminal element that comes into it. A good example is the prohibition of alcohol and the violence that it caused in the US with Al Capone etc.

One thing is for sure no matter how many countless billions are spent on the so called war on drugs its all a waste of time. Some members of society over 1000’s of years have been and always will take drugs for various reasons. And due to prohibition all we have done besides making some people feel all good inside taking the moral high road is finance organise crime and cause massive amounts of other illegal activities such as theft. And the list could go on and on not to mention directly financing terrorism which is funded by the sale of opium and hash. Which has only got a high market value due prohibition.

Julius Constantius Julius Constantius 4:57 pm 29 Aug 08

I think smoking will slowly die out naturally, but trying to force people to quit now would cause an uprising of sorts. Smokers Vs Non-Smokers a battle to the death *star trek suspenseful fight scene music playing*

jakez jakez 4:29 pm 29 Aug 08

peterh said :

captainwhorebags said :

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

the only thing is that the other pursuits including drinking don’t have a warning label on them with a graphic image of one of a myriad of terminal diseases.

If you get sick from smoking, you put a drain on the health resources. If it is banned, think of the numbers of people who won’t need health resources, and where that money would be better spent.

I think it comes down to the type of society you want to live in though. All of what you just said, doesn’t rebut fnaah’s point. The things that fnaah mentioned all put a drain on our health resources however I don’t think that’s a reason to ban them. Liberty dies piece by piece and if we head down this path (a path created by Government intervention), we will soon find ourselves in the world of Demolition Man.

I’m already a cranky bastard. By that stage, enhancing my calm would be an impossibility.

Julius Constantius Julius Constantius 4:26 pm 29 Aug 08

We should also ban fat people. Fat, fat fatties are no better than us bloody smokers

peterh peterh 4:23 pm 29 Aug 08

captainwhorebags said :

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

the only thing is that the other pursuits including drinking don’t have a warning label on them with a graphic image of one of a myriad of terminal diseases.

If you get sick from smoking, you put a drain on the health resources. If it is banned, think of the numbers of people who won’t need health resources, and where that money would be better spent.

Julius Constantius Julius Constantius 4:21 pm 29 Aug 08

If we banned filters I know I’d consider quitting.

jakez jakez 4:14 pm 29 Aug 08

Julius Constantius said :

If we ban coolness then smoking will have no place in society.

Neither will I. 😛

Julius Constantius Julius Constantius 4:05 pm 29 Aug 08

If we ban coolness then smoking will have no place in society.

jakez jakez 3:52 pm 29 Aug 08

captainwhorebags said :

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

YES! As I was reading your post I was thinking of Demolition man!

fnaah fnaah 3:50 pm 29 Aug 08

Ban tobacco? Sure, whatever. Make the other stuff legal.

(Please feel free to take my statement and immkediately imply that I’m a commie/pinko/nutjob/hippie/Hitler/whatever).

Prohibition does not work (nor will it work for tobacco). Spend money figuring out *why* people want to anethsetise themselves, and maybe you’lkl figure out how to stop them doing it.

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 3:19 pm 29 Aug 08

Where do you stop though? If you’re going to ban tobacco because of the health problems, then you might as well ban alcohol. Overeating. “Dangerous activities” such as skydiving & abseiling.

Even healthy past times such as football produce plenty of patients at ED with broken limbs, sprains, concussions etc.

I’m not a smoker, I’d probably support a ban but it really is a hard sell. Maybe in another 5 or 10 years.

Enhance your calm John Spartan!

peterh peterh 3:11 pm 29 Aug 08

jakez said :

peterh said :

no-one wants to look at the impact for tobacco / health /taxpayer.
if they did, it might be banned.

See that’s the problem with taxpayer funded health systems. Now let me preface this by saying that I absolutely believe we should have taxpayer funded health systems and it is important we have a health safety net, however there is a cost to our freedom.

The problem is that smokers don’t suffer the consequences of their actions, we do. A government program becomes the justification for a further Government program that limits our liberty, because personal responsibility has been subverted.

Very frustrating.

and again i come back to the idea of banning tobacco.

the black market is rife in australia already, what with illegal weapons, illicit drugs etc, but the population does not seem to be affected by the black market, and tobacco users (myself included) would have no choice but to give up.

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