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Canberrans graduating to harder drugs?

By 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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Canberrans graduating to harder drugs?
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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 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 9:24 am 31 Aug 08

neccesitate changes to unrelated laws in unrelated areas*

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.

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