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Source: (consider it) Thread: Why daddy's nose bleeds: responsibility and disease and addiction
Doublethink.
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
A "few bucks" here and a few more there, diverted from the general health budget - when all that is needed is that those attending these events have a bit of short term memory and remember the publicity about those who died at the last festival and the signs they saw on the way in to this one. And the same few bucks furthering an illegal activity from which some are making very many bucks. Sorry, but I don't buy that one.

OK if we must think about human lives in terms of money, the cost of treating those who *nearly* die, but don't - including the people with lifelong disability as a result (e.g stroke due to high blood pressure due to either contaminated or over strength drug) likely far outstrips the cost of the preventative measures suggested.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Gee D
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We do not think of human lives in terms of money, but that is how we think of the provision of health services. The health budgets are limited; were there to be some sort of major epidemic, then there could be a transfer of money from somewhere else, or a bit more borrowing. Otherwise, those who control these funds spend them in accordance with parliamentary allocation.

Now, that requires working out priorities. Spending money testing illegal substances at these events seems to me to be a much lower priority than establishing support services to keep elderly people in their own homes if that be their wish - particularly when there's so much publicity about the danger of the drugs being sold. Or at the other end of the spectrum, paying for research into deal with AIDS, for example. It's not a never-emptying bucket.

[ 12. July 2017, 07:56: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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mdijon
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I'm interested that ignoring warning features in the health care priorities. To push that idea, what about those elderly people who struggle to remain in their homes as a result of smoking-induced strokes? Should we reduce their priority for support on the basis of having ignored the warnings on smoking?

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
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Gee D
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Smoking is has been strongly and effectively discouraged here to the extent that the numbers smoking have dropped dramatically over the last 50 years. At the moment, it's a bit above 10% of the adult population.

Regardless of that, smoking has never been illegal here while the use of the drugs we are talking about is. That is the major difference. My point is to deny that it's a proper use of public money to test something illegal while affirming that it is a proper use to provide large warnings of the danger at the events.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
My point is to deny that it's a proper use of public money to test something illegal while affirming that it is a proper use to provide large warnings of the danger at the events.

Even if a utilitarian case could be made of overwhelming cost-effectiveness would you still stand by that point?

And would your argument extend to not providing condoms targeted at prostitutes as a tacit condoning of illegal soliciting?

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Gee D
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I am not sure that I understand how the assessment outlined in your first sentence could ever be measured.

The offence here is along the lines of soliciting in a public place for the purpose of prostitution. So any connection between supply and commission of an offence would be at the most very remote, so remote that causation is impossible to see.

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irreverend tod
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From personal experience of having a relative with a serious prescription medication problem - many drug addicts start using to avoid having to cope with the real world and its expectations of them and then can't stop.
The problem with legalizing is that it normalizes this avoiding behaviour, which puts a huge burden on the families and then eventually the state. The drug addiction becomes the disease they suffer from, which they might fight any attempt to cure, so they can continue to avoid reality.
Legalizing means that someone will be making a huge amount of money, while others are left to deal with the fall out. Drug addicts eventually cease to function as the addiction gets more entrenched and more medication is needed - and we will all end up paying.

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Ohher
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quote:
Originally posted by irreverend tod:

Legalizing means that someone will be making a huge amount of money,

"Someone" is already making huge amounts of money selling drugs illegally. In Mexico, I read, some drug cartel leaders essentially buy the goodwill of those around them -- buying their silence and co-dependence, if you will -- by delivering some of the services once delivered by the now-disrupted government(s) of their state(s).

The question then becomes, who do you want to be on the receiving end of the money? Who do you want playing Robin Hood? In theory, at least, voters can expect some responsiveness from government, and absent that, can rid themselves of same.

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Brenda Clough
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Liquor is a good example. Licensed, it supplies a steady stream of money to the state, which could in theory be used for alcoholic counseling or other services. Controlling the suppliers prevents manufacturers from foisting off poisonous brews onto the public, so that people don't go blind from drinking bathtub ethanol. Brought under the umbrella of society, liquor is now controlled by social mores. It's tacky, to fall down drunk in the street; if you are inebriated at work they fire you and if you try to drive your friends grab your keys. Overindulgence is recognized as a social ill. People who drink cheap disgusting things (vodka Jello shots, ew) are held to be unsophisticated and probably too young to have any sense. In many countries there is a culture of teaching the kids to drink properly (wine at meals).
So is liquor better in, or out of legality? In the US we have tried it both ways, with Prohibition, and I believe we have determined it's better legal.

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Ohher
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I'll confess, though to a certain bewilderment about the "voluntary" bit of the addiction process.

I agree that once someone is addicted to a substance, whether legal or illegal, we're dealing with a different animal than when an individual is faced with an actual choice -- that is, when the non- (or not-yet-) addicted individual is offered that first hit or toke or shot or whatever it is, and could at least in theory say, "No thanks, I'll pass."

Having, during a time well beyond the statute of limitations, and in a jurisdiction where I no longer reside, indulged in illegal marijuana use, I know at least a bit of the mental process which led to my first "yes" vote: curiosity + some peer pressure (everyone in the group was partaking) + having seen no particular harm befall anyone present as a result of partaking (I had said "no" a number of times previously) + the belief in my own invulnerability common among the young (early 20s).

Later on -- a couple of years -- I was offered "harder" substances, and always said no. The whole idea scared the bejeezus out of me. Alcoholism was present in my family; I had already suffered a couple of bouts of depression; I wasn't all that enamored of the disorientation and disinhibition I'd previously experienced from overdrinking or from smoking pot, etc. etc.

I wonder, then, about the mental process that gets a substance "virgin" to make that first voluntary -- but nonetheless scary and risky -- foray.

Of course, this doesn't apply in lots of situations: people who get addicted through a doc's prescription or people too young to make responsible decisions, or people essentially coerced into the first trial, etc.

But at least some folks must enter into that first situation with some knowledge of likely or at least possible dire consequences, and yet even simple self-preservation seems not to enter into their calculations. That's the bit that bewilders me.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by irreverend tod:

Legalizing means that someone will be making a huge amount of money, while others are left to deal with the fall out.

Let's talk about banks with large operations in Miami ..
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duchess

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I do think there needs to be consequences to addiction acting out behavior. This is the only way people hut rock bottom. There is definitely a genetic propensity in some people to be addicts. In my own family, I see it for generations.

There are some clean and sober people in my own congregation that got that after dearly paying the price (ostracized, marriage broken up, jail etc). They are now along up for lost time livinging life. One is getting involved in politics and just went overseas in a program to see how other countries do things. The other is on a 3rd marriage and that one has lasted many years....and that person is helping their spouse through aggressive cancer.

They inspire me. I'm up not having slept much. One of my family is leaving the residence of a drug and alcohol addict tonight after a hellish confrontation. Bags are packed and that persons is sleeping peacefully on my futon. They will travel on tomorrow to relatives outside the area.

I coped by trying not to be too dragged into things. But I'm always available for those taking proactive action...to help.

I have no really good answers except we need to treat this as a disease that also has what I believe not only a physical but an emotional and spiritual wound. The 12 step programs help as they give support and wisdom. I did Alnon in for 5 years and
I learned to detach and let the other shoe fall. That lesson is huge in itself.

I've called the cops on the family member some years ago. Hardest thing I've ever done.

[Trying to edit grammar. Plz forgive typos I don't catch as I wrote this in haste on a cell phone).

[ 17. July 2017, 13:25: Message edited by: duchess ]

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I am not sure that I understand how the assessment outlined in your first sentence could ever be measured.

One could for instance total up the cost of death and treatment of drug overdoses, and compare that with the cost of providing a testing service. My point was to understand whether you were advocating a point of principle about not doing anything that might be seen to condone illegality, or whether it was a pragmatic position based on assumptions about the real world.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by duchess:
I do think there needs to be consequences to addiction acting out behavior. This is the only way people hut rock bottom.

That does appear to be the way most addicts who recover start thinking about recovery. There's no need for it otherwise.

That said, I think there are ways to try and keep people alive while waiting for that moment that might be worth considering.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I am not sure that I understand how the assessment outlined in your first sentence could ever be measured.

One could for instance total up the cost of death and treatment of drug overdoses, and compare that with the cost of providing a testing service. My point was to understand whether you were advocating a point of principle about not doing anything that might be seen to condone illegality, or whether it was a pragmatic position based on assumptions about the real world.
I wrote from the perspective of principle. It seems wrong to me to make use of a substance illegal, and then to provide testing facilities so that those wanting to use it can check its strength and purity. Society sufficiently carries out its duty by the large warning signs at all these events. The later digression into costings etc was in answer to the posts of others.

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Golden Key
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Gee D.--

Harm reduction.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
It seems wrong to me to make use of a substance illegal, and then to provide testing facilities so that those wanting to use it can check its strength and purity.

Why? Because its a mixed message that might confuse people or something deeper?

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Society sufficiently carries out its duty by the large warning signs at all these events.

A metaphor might be not making buoyancy aids available in a well known trouble spot on the basis that there were adequate warning not to swim? Is that really discharging a duty of care if there's something more that could be done?

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mark_in_manchester

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quote:
I learned to detach and let the other shoe fall. That lesson is huge in itself.

Sounds like you're going through it, Duchess.

That shoe metaphor needed looking up for this UK non-flats dweller. It's a good one.

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(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:


quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Society sufficiently carries out its duty by the large warning signs at all these events.

A metaphor might be not making buoyancy aids available in a well known trouble spot on the basis that there were adequate warning not to swim? Is that really discharging a duty of care if there's something more that could be done?
I was talking purely in the context of the activity being illegal, and so your test fails at that level. It's not a valid metaphor. In any event, there's a pretty good argument that the council's actions in providing the sign would be sufficient to provide a full defence to any claim for damages. There have been recent cases here that a council has satisfied its duty of care by providing a sign saying eg that there are rocks close to the surface and that diving from a bridge is dangerous. If you're talking of some moral obligation as opposed to a liability in damages, again it's hard to see what more a reasonable council could do.

Golden Key, the users are choosing to engage in an illegal activity. A number of large signs reminds them that the activity is illegal and that there have been problems with drug purity in the past. What more harm reduction should society reasonably provide?

[ 18. July 2017, 10:49: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
If you're talking of some moral obligation as opposed to a liability in damages, again it's hard to see what more a reasonable council could do.

I was talking morals rather than legality. Say that the area is private property and there's a no trespassing sign. But people have drowned and the "more that could be done" is a fence around the river.

Why not do more if it can be achieved? Do you have a principle that can be further articulated?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Why not do more if it can be achieved? Do you have a principle that can be further articulated?

US law has a doctrine called "attractive nuisance", which basically says that if you have something like a trampoline or a swimming pool on display, you have to expect that it will attract trespassing children, and are potentially liable for them being injured.

So if you have a rickety old climbing structure on your property that you know is unsafe, posting a sign will not stop you from being liable when a child climbs on it, falls, and hurts themselves.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
A metaphor might be not making buoyancy aids available in a well known trouble spot on the basis that there were adequate warning not to swim? Is that really discharging a duty of care if there's something more that could be done?

Do you mean a buoyancy aid? or a life preserver?

Because they signal quite different things. A life preserver says "here's a place where people are at risk of falling in to the water; here's a safety device to help save them if they do. So watch your footing!"

A buoyancy aid says "come on in - the water's fine". Providing buoyancy aids at a location where it was unsafe to enter the water would be the height of irresponsibility.

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mdijon
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Yes OK, a life preserver. I don't think that would qualify as attractive nuisance.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
If you're talking of some moral obligation as opposed to a liability in damages, again it's hard to see what more a reasonable council could do.

I was talking morals rather than legality. Say that the area is private property and there's a no trespassing sign. But people have drowned and the "more that could be done" is a fence around the river.

Why not do more if it can be achieved? Do you have a principle that can be further articulated?

Private property is more than likely fenced from the road in more populated areas, not necessarily so as you get more remote where paddocks tend to be large. But rather than keep changing your ground, how about you deal with the situation I presented in answer to your post - a sign is there, people climb over the fence and dive into the river? None of which is illegal. Drug taking is. That's my principle, there is no obligation legal or moral to test the quality of drugs illegally on sale at these events.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
But rather than keep changing your ground, how about you deal with the situation I presented in answer to your post - a sign is there, people climb over the fence and dive into the river?

I'm changing my ground because you find reasons why the scenarios are not alike.

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
That's my principle, there is no obligation legal or moral to test the quality of drugs illegally on sale at these events.

Yes, I get that's your principle but I'm struggling as to why. Clearly there's no legal obligation, perhaps arguing that there's a moral obligation is going to far, but the simplest way of putting this is;

Why not if it will save lives?

You might argue it won't save lives, or more lives can be saved in another way, hence the point of my scenarios to get away from that. I'm trying to understand what principle is at work that might be more important than saving lives.

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

Why not do more if it can be achieved? Do you have a principle that can be further articulated?

US law has a doctrine called "attractive nuisance", which basically says that if you have something like a trampoline or a swimming pool on display, you have to expect that it will attract trespassing children, and are potentially liable for them being injured.

So if you have a rickety old climbing structure on your property that you know is unsafe, posting a sign will not stop you from being liable when a child climbs on it, falls, and hurts themselves.

And, in some places, you're responsible for making it virtually impossible to get to that backyard pool: wall or unclimbable fence with locked gate, etc.

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Feel one way, and it is nasty. Use a substance, feel different or better. Suggests people crudely self medicate because thing are bad for them. -which came up in another discussion.

Lots of people use drugs. Some people abuse drugs. Those are two very different things.I'm now convinced that the people who abuse drugs do so because they are either rich and bored or poor and in pain. Research is confirming what many people have learned the hard way: there is a connection between trauma, the resulting changes to the brain, and addiction.

Personal responsibility sounds like such a good thing to those who have NO FUCKING CLUE what the lives of addicts have been like.
quote:

Paige’s life was chaotic from the very beginning as she was regularly exposed to violence, neglect, open drug use and inappropriate living conditions. That lifestyle had its effects on her education – she changed schools 16 times with sporadic attendance before finally quitting in Grade 10. After her mother relocated them to the Downtown Eastside in 2009, Paige moved more than 50 times, shuttling between homeless shelters, safe houses, youth detox centres, couch-surfing scenarios, foster homes and a number of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels.
...
In addition to her other vulnerabilities, Paige was also dealing with serious health concerns as she was diagnosed as a young child with Marfan syndrome, a condition that left her legally blind without her glasses. The same illness left her with other unmet health needs, including medication she could not afford and a requirement for ongoing cardiac care.
...
Predictably, given Paige’s environment and the constant trauma, she developed problems with alcohol and substance use herself. Paige ended up in the Emergency ward or detox after being found unconscious or incoherent at least 17 times. She was involved in more than 40 police files, mostly for public intoxication or disturbances involving alcohol ... the ministry’s approach to Paige was one of waiting for her to ask for help, rather than proactively offering it and acting decisively to ensure her safety and well-being.

Anybody want to tell Paige she should have been more responsible? Save your breath. She died of an overdose at age 19.
[Waterworks] [Mad]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:


Originally posted by Gee D:

That's my principle, there is no obligation legal or moral to test the quality of drugs illegally on sale at these events.

Yes, I get that's your principle but I'm struggling as to why. Clearly there's no legal obligation, perhaps arguing that there's a moral obligation is going to far, but the simplest way of putting this is;

Why not if it will save lives?

You might argue it won't save lives, or more lives can be saved in another way, hence the point of my scenarios to get away from that. I'm trying to understand what principle is at work that might be more important than saving lives.

So someone could have the drug tested, then be met at the out door by a police officer and charged with possession. Why not? The state fulfills its obligations by the posters on clear show, and of course there are media reports of the deaths at each event. If you're still silly enough to purchase these drugs, that's your decision.

As an aside, I'm not at all convinced that there's any real change in the numbers dying but rather that the concentration at events gets the headlines.

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Golden Key
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Gee D--

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
So someone could have the drug tested, then be met at the out door by a police officer and charged with possession. Why not? The state fulfills its obligations by the posters on clear show, and of course there are media reports of the deaths at each event. If you're still silly enough to purchase these drugs, that's your decision.

As an aside, I'm not at all convinced that there's any real change in the numbers dying but rather that the concentration at events gets the headlines.

--If someone at a concert can be kept from taking tainted drugs, that saves resources (ambulance, hospital, police, and the cost of those), emotional damage for attendees, and emotional damage for the person's loved ones.

--If the person takes tainted drugs, they might well hurt someone else.

--If the person takes tainted drugs, the effect may be a fried brain, which will likely mean total, lifelong care. Someone will have to pay for that.

--If tainted drugs are discovered, people may stop buying from that particular dealer. The cops might even catch the dealer.

--Arresting someone for possessing and using drugs makes no sense, and just causes more damage.

--In a country with no universal health care, like the US, addicts have a hard time getting rehab.

--When, in the history of our sorry species, has "Don't!" + consequences been enough to stop everybody from doing stupid things?

--I'm definitely not drug savvy. Alcohol is the only thing I've tried; and I can only have a sip of communion wine anymore, due to conflicts with several meds I'm on. For me, self-medicating tends to be very dark chocolate, books, TV, movies, etc. Luckily for me, those are both legal and socially acceptable--and dark chocolate is even good for me!

--I think people want to feel better, to fit in with friends, to try something new, to explore their brains. Some make the mistake of doing that via harmful things. That doesn't mean they're awful people.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
So someone could have the drug tested, then be met at the out door by a police officer and charged with possession. Why not?

Because that would undermine the ability to reduce harm. We have needle exchanges that don't attract police attention, although meeting drug users exchanging needles would be a good opportunity to make arrests. The view is that the harm reduction is worthwhile.

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
The state fulfills its obligations by the posters on clear show, and of course there are media reports of the deaths at each event. If you're still silly enough to purchase these drugs, that's your decision.

OK the state meets its obligations, but is government simply about meeting obligations? If something more beyond minimum obligations would save lives, why not do it?

[ 19. July 2017, 10:09: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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Gee D
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Because the action is illegal. That may sound simple, but that's the answer.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Gee D--

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
So someone could have the drug tested, then be met at the out door by a police officer and charged with possession. Why not? The state fulfills its obligations by the posters on clear show, and of course there are media reports of the deaths at each event. If you're still silly enough to purchase these drugs, that's your decision.

--Arresting someone for possessing and using drugs makes no sense, and just causes more damage.

--In a country with no universal health care, like the US, addicts have a hard time getting rehab.

Your first point is an entirely different argument altogether. If parliament decides that possession (perhaps below a limit) or use is no longer no offence, my objection goes.

There is universal health care here, but that is entirely irrelevant to my argument - as are all your cost/benefit points I've not copied over. I'm arguing from the principle that the state should not support the commission of an illegal act.

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quetzalcoatl
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In London, there are frequent warnings about bad drugs on the streets, which are usually causing fatalities. The same currently with legal highs, which are killing people. But I don't know who is actually testing stuff, or if it's coming from drug clinics, police, and so on.

I think at some festivals, the testing is done by various charities, but the police support it.

To say that kids know that stuff is illegal, therefore it's their problem, strikes me as morally vacuous.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
To say that kids know that stuff is illegal, therefore it's their problem, strikes me as morally vacuous.

Not necessarily kids - many of those attending would be well into their 20s. They not only know it's illegal, but they are warned of the dangers on site.

Why is it the state's problem?

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
To say that kids know that stuff is illegal, therefore it's their problem, strikes me as morally vacuous.

Not necessarily kids - many of those attending would be well into their 20s. They not only know it's illegal, but they are warned of the dangers on site.

Why is it the state's problem?

Not sure how the state comes into it. I guess the police support such charities, as they end up picking up the dead bodies. Just blaming people seems inane to me.

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Gee D
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What charities? And who is blaming people?

It is the state's problem (not really a problem, but we'll keep your word) because the criminal law and its enforcement is a matter for the state; it is a public not a private concern. At the moment, the possession and use of some drugs is illegal. Why should the state which declares carry out purity testing on something the use and possession of which it has made a criminal offence? I don't understand any argument of principle against this. Indeed, as I read the list you set out a couple of posts ago, a lot of your thinking is along cost/benefit lines, not of principle.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Because the action is illegal. That may sound simple, but that's the answer.

Can it have a bit more unpacking for the benefit of someone who doesn't get it yet? It's not just that I disagree, I don't understand your view. Which is the action you are referring to that is illegal? Taking/possessing the drugs or testing them?

Needle exchange is very well established as harm reduction and seems to be linked to illegal activity. You seem to be suggesting that would be off as well?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Indeed, as I read the list you set out a couple of posts ago, a lot of your thinking is along cost/benefit lines, not of principle.

You wouldn't accept that "least harm" was a principle? It's certainly the principle behind things like needle exchanges - nobody who runs a needle exchange programme is suggesting that injecting drugs is a good thing, but it is clear that injecting drugs with sterile needles is less bad than sharing used needles with your mates.

And for that kind of programme to work, the police have to support it (to the extent of not lurking outside arresting users for possession), or people won't use it.

It's the same principle that hands out condoms to teenagers. Yes, it is illegal for minors to have sex. But if minors are going to have illegal sex, it's very much better if they do so in a way that doesn't result in pregnancy and STD transmission.

There is an argument which is sometimes made which is that handing out condoms encourages minors to have sex, and that kids who would not normally have had sex are emboldened to do so by the fact that they have been given condoms. There is, AFAIK, not a shred of evidence that that actually happens.

[ 19. July 2017, 12:54: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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Golden Key
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Gee D--

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Your first point is an entirely different argument altogether. If parliament decides that possession (perhaps below a limit) or use is no longer no offence, my objection goes.

There is universal health care here, but that is entirely irrelevant to my argument - as are all your cost/benefit points I've not copied over. I'm arguing from the principle that the state should not support the commission of an illegal act.

I was under the impression that concert drug testing in the US is done by private organizations. Checking around a bit, that seems to be the case.

One of them is DanceSafe. On their site is "Drug checking is a valuable public health tool and Johns Hopkins University agrees".

I also found this at DrugAbuse.gov: "Concerts and Drugs: Is There a Way to Reduce the Dangers?". It's a blog for teens, and this is a short article trying to get them to look at different sides of the issue, and comment on it. And boy, did they! One comment I liked, by "Dan": "If harm reduction encourages drug use than seat-belts encourage speeding and should be banned".

From the search hits I got, it looks like this has been an issue in Australia for at least several years. This SMH article looks at different sides: "Can testing make drugs safer for those who ignore calls not to take them?".

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quetzalcoatl
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In the UK, it has been The Loop, which has been doing the testing, although there may be others.

https://wearetheloop.org/

I think in some parts of the UK, police have been turning a blind eye to cannabis use. I think it's the dealers they're after, but this is presumably at the discretion of Chief Constables, not all of whom are convinced by the 'war on drugs'.

[ 19. July 2017, 14:17: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Because the action is illegal. That may sound simple, but that's the answer.

Can it have a bit more unpacking for the benefit of someone who doesn't get it yet? It's not just that I disagree, I don't understand your view. Which is the action you are referring to that is illegal? Taking/possessing the drugs or testing them?

I don't know how to unpack such a simple statement any further. The state should not on the one hand make certain actions illegal and on the other support those actions. Would you say that a health officer should dash up to a man about to rape a woman and give him a condom saying that it will minimise the risks of his catching something from her? And I did think it was pretty obvious that the illegality was taking/possessing drugs not testing them (although strictly I suppose that the person testing them would be possessing them for a moment).

Golden Key, I read the SMH each day for want of anything better - the alternatives are both Murdoch owned. It's certainly not the paper it was when John Pringle and Angus Maude were editors. But while the SMH runs such an article, there's little demand for testing beyond that paper itself.

[ 19. July 2017, 22:01: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

I think in some parts of the UK, police have been turning a blind eye to cannabis use. I think it's the dealers they're after, but this is presumably at the discretion of Chief Constables, not all of whom are convinced by the 'war on drugs'.

The drugs that have been causing deaths at festivals here are rather more dangerous than cannabis even before the impurities.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I don't know how to unpack such a simple statement any further.

Which is interesting, because it implies that this is axiomatic for you in a way that it isn't for me. I agree the state shouldn't generally make a habit of getting involved in illegality, but I do think there is a place for harm reduction. Needle exchange has been very successful in reducing HIV. You would say that doesn't matter in the face of a principle regarding illegality. When the principle of saving lives comes up against legality I'm in favour of saving lives.

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Would you say that a health officer should dash up to a man about to rape a woman and give him a condom saying that it will minimise the risks of his catching something from her?

No. You don't really think that's the same do you?

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
And I did think it was pretty obvious that the illegality was taking/possessing drugs not testing them

In which case it seems to me possible to argue that the state isn't actually doing anything illegal, or encouraging anything illegal, simply trying to reduce harm in the setting where something illegal is already happening.

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Gee D
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Yes, I do think it the same if you carefully read what I said. The condom was to be used to protect not the victim of the rape but the perpetrator. Here, the test is to protect the person committing a criminal offence - admittedly one of much less seriousness.

As to the first, I do think it's axiomatic. While the action remains a criminal offence, such matters as your perception of harm reduction do not come into it. That equally deals with your last paragraph.

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Gee D
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And just to make it clear, the impure drugs that have caused deaths here have not been cannabis or even heroin, but such real nasties as methamphetamines (or ice) which even in the pure state lead to very real problems. The use of this drug is very closely linked now to many violent crimes committed here, particularly in country areas and amongst the original inhabitants of this land.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Yes, I do think it the same if you carefully read what I said.

Maybe this is what it's like for you with your axiomatic legality, but I can't see how one has to explain why giving a rapist a condom isn't at all like testing drugs for impurities.

There's someone being raped in front of you. That's quite a big difference don't you think?

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Gee D
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But the condom is being handed out to protect the rapist from possibly catching something from the victim. Your wanting to test an illegal drug in case it contains something harmful to the person whose consumption will be illegal. There is an enormous difference in the scale of the offence being committed, but each is an offence.

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quetzalcoatl
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What the fuck is axiomatic legality? Is this a posh phrase for no compassion?

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
There is an enormous difference in the scale of the offence being committed, but each is an offence.

Really not the only difference.

A rape victim becoming a rape victim in front of one really isn't simply on a scale of badness above someone taking drugs in front of one.

There is something qualitatively different about someone being raped compared with a drug offense.

If you feel that the only thing making you think the state ought not be involved in providing something to be used in rape is the illegality of rape, and the thing that stops you advocating saving lives of drug users is the illegality of their activity then that seems to me a profound overvaluing of legality as a guiding principle.

[ 20. July 2017, 10:57: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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Jane R
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The drug user is criminal and victim, both at once. You say that it is impossible to ignore the criminal even if doing so would prevent harm to the victim.

Your rapist analogy does not work because in that case, the criminal and victim are *different people*.

[x-posted with mdijon]

[ 20. July 2017, 10:57: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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