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Mark Parton doesn’t get why people like drugs

By johnboy - 9 June 2010 216

An intriguing post by 2CC’s Mark Parton on his blog today.

It seems either policing has become massively more effective or you’re all hoovering up more drugs, particularly charlie (cocaine).

Across the country our most dominant illicit drug is cannabis, but there has been, according to these stats from the Australian Crime Commission, an increase in the use of cocaine.

Can you think of anything worse than snorting this powder up your nose ? Makes my skin crawl. I still don’t really understand I do wonder how some otherwise intelligent individuals ever find themselves hooked on these substances. What would possess you to inject a substance with a reputation as bad as heroin into your blood stream ?

Well, either drug users (not necessarily addicts) are really dumb, or maybe reputations are misleading?

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Mark Parton doesn’t get why people like drugs
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Gilbert 9:44 pm 18 Nov 14

ex-vectis said :

Many years ago (more than I like to remember! :-)), when living in the UK, I used to go to Amsterdam every few months.

Not for the red-light district (honest!) but for the weed (aka, Cannabis, Marijuana etc). I didnt go to get ‘wasted’ but because I enjoyed trying the different types and the subtle differences in flavour and effect. I’d like to think I became quite a connoisseur; in the same way as someone might say they are a connoisseur of fine wines/spirits.

I’d even take fellow poms with me who had never tried weed but who felt safe that I’d not take them into some drugged nightmare haze they would never wake from. Most of them enjoyed it and some didn’t – like everything! But they were all grateful to me for ‘educating’ them as the only real information they had was the mis-information pumped out by successive Governments and anti-drugs campaigners. One of the campaigns that always made me laugh was the one that said “Smoking dope leads to harder drugs” – well, yes it does because it is illegal and so the person selling it to you will probably be quite willing to sell you the harder stuff as well.

Even the Poll at the top of this thread does nothing to help people make an informed decision. The choices are “Their users must be really dumb” or “Might be more fun and less harmful than some say”!! What sort of choices are they? Where is the choice of “All drugs, including Tobacco and Alcohol, are harmful but taken sensibly and in moderation the risks can be reduced and be fun” (although don’t know about tobacco there, never understood why people smoke tobacco! :-)).

I read in the paper recently the account about the young girl who had become addicted to smoking Cannabis. But then I saw that she had started when she was 14! Why is it that the media screams about that (that itself is an anomally as well. Cannabis is not physically adictive but can be very habit forming and therfore form a psychological dependance – I know of many folk who wake up in the morning and ‘cant function’ until they have had a cone. In the same way as I know people who cant function until they have had a coffee in the morning!!) but there is very rarely any mention of the kids who become physically addicted to alcohol? Where were this girl’s parents? How could it be that the girl had come into contact with Cannabis at the age of 14 (or even younger!)?

The underlying reason for this mess is that it is illegal, a taboo subject and as such there is little informed debate. Well meaning folk, but with little or no knowledge on the subject, jump up and down with the hysterical “Just say no!!! Dont touch it!! One smoke and you’re hooked and will die!!”. With that approach no wonder our kids want to see what the fuss is about, its called human nature. If Cannabis was legal, but reglated along with Alcohol & Tobacco and with punitive taxes, then it is widely agreed that much our drugs problems – along with drug related crime! – would reduce. The downside would be that stoners would be more visible with the increased danger of people being bored to death if accidently getting into conversation with one (just try having a conversation with a stoned person; they dont make the most interesting people to talk to! :-)).

Just like alcohol, if you smoke (or even eat! I’ve had some wicked hash-cakes in Amsterdam!!) to excess every day then it WILL be detrimental to your life and health and eventually be the prime cause of everything that comes crashing down around you. Is’t it sad that due to our laws there is a safety net for those who develop a problem with alcohol (and that safety net can be the persons social circle as well as charity and governmental) but not with drugs?

Ok, i’ll stop there as this is in danger of becoming RA’s longest ditribe of drivel for a long time chuckle.

Can I just point out that it’s not the USE of drugs that is the problem it is the ABUSE. It appears to be that, too often, the people who condemn the recreational use of drugs are those who have never taken them. Comments like “I cannot understand……” are typical of those who condemn without knowledge.

Special G 8:14 pm 19 Jun 10

Pommy B yo – I’m trying to work out what your point is in posting this list of different drugs and the criteria it is based upon.

a) the physical harm to the individual user caused by the drug; b) the tendency of the drug to induce dependence; c) the effect of drug use on families, communities and society.

I am guessing you are suggesting that Ecstacy as it is way down the list should be legalised as alcohol comes in at No 5. This kind of defeats your own argument on legalising party drugs. If alcohol comes in at 5 and is legal yet causes all this damage then that would be good grounds to maintain the ban on the other illicit substances. Take into account that any bugger with a container and a vegetable/piece of fruit can make alcohol yet it is a little trickier to make the others.

Pommy bastard 3:00 pm 19 Jun 10

ex-vectis said :

Spideydog said :

What a load of poppycock ….. there are MASSIVE amounts of help available for these people and they are not penalised, vilified or “referred to the Police” by the places that offer such help.

Fair play; may have been being disingenuous there. Do you have examples, and compared to folk with Alcohol, Tobacco and/or Gambling problems?

How about the other points?

Pommy bastard said :

By ‘Working’, I mean are they doing what they set out to do? IE. To irradicate the menace of drugs within our society and protect the vulnerable.

Clearly the answer to taht would be a resounding NO!!

Pommy bastard said :

However, the second to last point does intrigue me – when is it ever needed to create criminals?

True, 🙂

They by their existence and implementation crimilaise a person for having what may be the subsatance equivalent of a long neck of beer in the privacy of their own home, thereby creating “criminals” for no reason.

I would refer people to this:

Professor David Nutt’s harm index, published in a controversial paper entitled Estimating Drug Harms: a risky business, is based on scores allocated for 20 substances based on physical harms, dependence and social harms.

He identifies three main factors that determine the harm associated with any drug of potential abuse: a) the physical harm to the individual user caused by the drug; b) the tendency of the drug to induce dependence; c) the effect of drug use on families, communities and society.

Within each category there are three components, leading to a nine-category matrix of harm, with scores of zero to three for each category. This is the final list based on that classification. In brackets is the classification given under the Misuse of Drugs Act, with Class A attracting the most serious penalties.

1. Heroin (Class A)

2. Cocaine (Class A)

3. Barbiturates (Class B)

4. Street methadone (Class A)

5. Alcohol (Not controlled)

6. Ketamine (Class C)

7. Benzodiazepine (Class B)

8. Amphetamine (Class B)

9. Tobacco (No class)

10. Bupranorphine (Class C)

11. Cannabis (Class B)

12. Solvents (Not controlled)

13. 4-MTA (Class A)

14. LSD (Class A)

15. Methylphenidate (Class B)

16. Anabolic steroids (Class C)

17. GHB (Class C)

18. Ecstasy (Class A)

19. Alkylnitrates (Not controlled)

20. Khat (Not controlled)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article6899534.ece

ex-vectis 1:35 pm 19 Jun 10

Spideydog said :

What a load of poppycock ….. there are MASSIVE amounts of help available for these people and they are not penalised, vilified or “referred to the Police” by the places that offer such help.

Fair play; may have been being disingenuous there. Do you have examples, and compared to folk with Alcohol, Tobacco and/or Gambling problems?

How about the other points?

Pommy bastard said :

If by “working” you mean they are….

PB, are you a poli!? They do the ‘drum it in by repetition’ thing…. lol

By ‘Working’, I mean are they doing what they set out to do? IE. To irradicate the menace of drugs within our society and protect the vulnerable. (I’m assuming that is what drug legislation aims to do). Of your points above I cannot agree much more. However, the second to last point does intrigue me – when is it ever needed to create criminals?

Something that sickened me a bit a few weeks ago was the TV program ‘Getaway’. They went to Amsterdam and covered all the great things there a tourist can see/do. However, they didn’t mention the Coffee Shops (and the ‘Smart Drugs’ – IE. Mushrooms – shops) there! That was pure and unadulterated censorship as any visitor to the Netherlands will know. Coffee Shops are part of the Amsterdam way of life – just as the brothel windows, museums and architecture are. Surely they should have mentioned the Coffee Shops and Smart Shops; if only to warn potential visitors that if they do decide to smoke/eat some Cannabis then do it with an experienced (and trustworthy!) friend, try very very small amounts as it is very strong stuff, and to stay off the Mushrooms totally (‘tripping’ can potentially be a VERY frightening experience!!). Even the central Amsterdam Tourist Information office does a ‘Mellow Pages’ of the Cannabis Coffee Shops (it even gives them a star rating!!). Just wanted to get that off my chest – Getaway really wound me there… *mutter* *twitch*

Spideydog 12:25 pm 19 Jun 10

ex-vectis said :

can we come to the conclusion that the current ‘drug’ laws simply dont work and just drive the issue underground. Thus making it more difficult for people who do develop problems to get help

What a load of poppycock ….. there are MASSIVE amounts of help available for these people and they are not penalised, vilified or “referred to the Police” by the places that offer such help.

Pommy bastard 12:12 pm 19 Jun 10

ex-vectis said :

So, are the current drug laws working? If not why not? If you beleive they ARE working, what makes you think that?

Depends on your definition of “working”.

If by “working” you mean they are protecting us? No.

If by “working” you mean they are eliminating drug use? No.

If by “working” you mean they are reducing the harm done by drug use? No.

If by “working” you mean they are educating the population? No.

If by “working” you mean they are keeping kids from starting to use drugs? No.

If by “working” you mean they are keeping money out of manufacturors and dealers hands? No.

If by “working” you mean they are punishing people for victimless crimes? Yes

If by “working” you mean they are filling jails with non criminals? Yes.

If by “working” you mean they are creating more harm than they stop? Possibly.

If by “working” you mean they are creating criminals with no need? Yes.

If by “working” you mean they are wasiting a great deal of police time? Yes.

Pommy bastard 11:32 am 19 Jun 10

More dangerous disinformation from “Canberra Creative Liar” then, lets blow this lot out of the water..

CanberraCreative said :

And no, I’m not dangerous. Sending the message to not use a potentially dangerous substance cannot be a dangerous message to send.

Sending out the message that ecstasy is called “meth” and causes dehydration a very dangerous message to send out.

CanberraCreative said :

Your attempts to lessen the risks and normalise the use of drugs are what is truly dangerous.

Seeing as 50% of the Australian public has used drugs in one form or another it is not me that is trying to normalise it, and only a complete idiot would come up with Your attempts to lessen the risks and normalise the use of drugs are what is truly dangerous.

Yep that old “lessening the risks” sure makes things dangerous!!!

CanberraCreative said :

As for alcohol, show me someone who has died from a single drink of beer, wine or spirits. Regardless of if you do, I will line up one hundred case studies of people who have died from a single dose of heroin, a single pill of ecstasy or a single snort of cocaine.

Two classic strawmen here, well done, in your attempts to lie and be disingenuous you excel yourself.

Strawman 1) No one has ever claimed that one dose of alcohol has a lethal effect, though no doubt examples could be found if it were relevant, which it isn’t.

Strawman 2) Lumping heroin cocaine and ecstasy together, (and of course ignoring all other drugs) is at best laughable funny, at worse the kind of disgusting disinformation we have come to expect from you.

CanberraCreative said :

PB, you’re deluded, you’re dangerous, you’re ill informed. Such a combination is not conducive to a long and fulfilling life.

Laughable, the man who calls ecstasy, “meth”, and claims that it causes dehydration, that relies on sources like Eric Clapton for drug information, who quotes selectively from papers without giving links to them, claims that 85% of Australian youth has not tried drugs, the list of your foolishness is growing ever more lengthy…

I work every day with kids at risk from drugs, I’ve seen first hand the effects that disinformation, and twisted logic, like yours has on them and their ability to make good choices. You should go back to your university, and keep out of real life until you are old enough to understand that the world is not as simple as you are.

ex-vectis 11:19 am 19 Jun 10

After a week off with the flu (!! Not had that since a teen, and I’ll never call a heaver Cold the Flu again! :)) it is quite amusing to see the posts on this thread.

It moreorless follows the format of drug-related discussions worldwide. The problem is that many of the people commenting have never taken an illegal drug (most have never even seen one!) in their lives. So therfore their opinions are generally formed from news reports (invariably negative – When was the last time you saw a headline like “Man takes line of Coke before night out and has fun”?) and comments from biased individuals (politicians use drugs – or anti-drugs – as a good vote winner; using the ‘scare mongering’ tactic which does tend to work well).

The people who comment from a ‘user’ (maybe a perfectly happy and non-problem user – just as the majority of Alcohol users are) perspective immediately put themselves in a dangerous situation as the listener/reader should then report them to the police; otherwise they are failing to report a crime.

From all the opinions (and flames!) stated in this thread, can we come to the conclusion that the current ‘drug’ laws simply dont work and just drive the issue underground. Thus making it more difficult for people who do develop problems to get help, provides a good source of revenue for criminal organisations, criminalises otherwise upstanding users and costs us tax payers a fortune to police!

So, are the current drug laws working? If not why not? If you beleive they ARE working, what makes you think that?

phototext 10:15 am 19 Jun 10

Sorry mods, still playing catchup.

Cleo, post 189 by CanberraCreative seems to suggest that alternatives to the present system does in fact reduce drug deaths.

CanberraCreative:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If a person needs drugs to have fun, to enjoy life, to escape the pressures of life… they are very small indeed.”

I still don’t understand this attitude. This obsession and vilification of people who use drugs to “escape” is bizarre. If escape is the issue, then you must also have problems with people going to the movies, reading fiction, playing computer games, listening to music, looking at art…. why the big problem with people escaping their lives CanberraCreative?

phototext 9:54 am 19 Jun 10

Post 172 by Cleo:

“Imagine if drugs were legal, don’t you think the death toll would go up with drugs?”

No. I think it may in fact go down. My logic rests on the fact that people are taking drugs under the present system anyway, if legalised and standardised/ regulated then casual recreational users of heroin (yes they do exist) are less likely to die from an overdose because of a stronger than normal batch of heroin being on the streets.

There would be other health/ safety benefits from legalisation/ standardisation/ regulation too.

I’m not advocating a system where smack is available at IGA but again it comes back to it isn’t working at present, lets try something else that may be better overall.

phototext 9:08 am 19 Jun 10

To CanberraCreative and whoever else, we obviously are not going to agree on the idea that drugs can or cannot be used in a safe manner. So that being pointless to discuss, what would your solution be to the current state of affairs, that the present legal system and “just say no” doesn’t work?

phototext 9:01 am 19 Jun 10

You guys have been having lots of fun in the last week.

Page 3, post 126 by CanberraCreative: You missed my point. Oh well.

Page 3, post 131 by Cleo:

“Oh you little bitch lol,truth always hurts, really got to you did I?”

Huh? I think that this is implying that you think that you hurt me with your comments, cute, but no. I think you missed my point too, oh well.

Page 3, post 133 by Cleo:

“phototext I would really like you to find proof that drugs don’t hurt and destroy lives, I dare you to.”

At no point have I said that drugs are not capable of causing harm, so your question is somewhat inane. If you had been paying attention you would have seen that I wrote at post 90.

“There have been more ecstasy related deaths since then but the amount consumed and the subsequent deaths from ingestion of MDMA show it is far less dangerous than those who like to trot out Anna Wood would like us to believe.”

But, as you joined the discussion later you may have missed it. So, at post 112, after you had joined in I wrote the following:

“No one else benefits from the current system, as that is the case isn’t it about time we tried something else, something that might make it safer, healthier and might save lives.”

Just to make sure you don’t miss it “safer, healthier and might save lives”.

To which you replied at post 118 “Diddums about the poor druggies”.

If we are talking about saving lives and minimising the health effects of drug use we need to look at the current legal system and ask if it is working. I don’t believe it is and think that it does more harm than good. One of the more complex social and health issues at the moment cannot be solved by a three word slogan “Just say no”. It didn’t work when Nancy said it twenty years ago and it isn’t working now, but it sure is easier than actually trying something else, hence the reason the government likes it so much.

Some people are going to take drugs. Some people are going to take drugs in excess and damage their health. Some people are going to take drugs in moderation and not damage their health. How the current system helps those who take drugs in excess and damage their health is beyond me.

So, tongue in cheek. Cleo I would really like you to find proof that the current system works at not hurting and destroying lives, I dare you to.

CanberraCreative 1:15 am 19 Jun 10

Pommy bastard said :

No alcohol then?

You are the lowest of the low. You support and disseminate the sort of disinformation that killed the young people you used as a warning against drug use.

I’m getting the impression you are a christian.

Atheist actually.

And no, I’m not dangerous. Sending the message to not use a potentially dangerous substance cannot be a dangerous message to send.
Your attempts to lessen the risks and normalise the use of drugs are what is truly dangerous.

As for alcohol, show me someone who has died from a single drink of beer, wine or spirits. Regardless of if you do, I will line up one hundred case studies of people who have died from a single dose of heroin, a single pill of ecstasy or a single snort of cocaine.

The dangers from alcohol are from the excesses of alcohol. Indeed, medical evidence shoes that many alcohols such as red wine and stout beer have positive health effects in moderation including antioxidant properties.

You won’t die from a beer, you may very well die from a single tablet or a single injection of illicit drug.

PB, you’re deluded, you’re dangerous, you’re ill informed. Such a combination is not conducive to a long and fulfilling life.

Special G 8:02 pm 18 Jun 10

Because dying is not the only social problem associated with drug use. Which is why they are illegal. Not only are there health side effects to your fantastic night out there are other issues which not only impact on you.

I’ve met a hell of a lot more people whose lives have been negatively effected by drug use than positively effected.

Those who like getting their high – don’t bother thinking about your actions or whose lifestyle your dollar funds. Who you may effect. and when your mate has a bad experience or gets hooked and is dying in the gutter and your too busy enjoying yourself to care don’t come crying back here because sympathy is something you ain’t going to get.

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