yankee2 had this to post in response to another comment on the article..
“You are dead WRONG. The reasons people use drugs are numerous, and varied, but a BIG reason is that our society is so sharply stratified, i.e., there is a HUGE gap between the haves and the have-nots. Those who “have” have far more than a fair share, and that includes income, wealth, opportunity, political power, freedom and even justice, legal and social.
Those who do “NOT have,” on the other hand, are generally trapped in a miserable downward spiral, without ANY of the above, and worse, without respect or even hope. Drugs (and sex) provide some of the very few pleasures available to many people. THAT is why people use drugs. The fault is, overwhelmingly, society, or rather a profound lack of society, for tens of millions of Americans.
You are correct that “certain things are simply wrong, and wrong because of the pain they cause others as much as the individual.” What is WRONG is that the right (of which I think you must be one) thinks that it can totally discard millions of people simply because the job market apparently has no place for them. THAT is the fault, in particular, of those with anti-social agendas, i.e. those who REFUSE to share the common wealth, those who believe society should serve ONLY The Rich, at the expense of the weak and poor, i.e. those who are totally ANTI-SOCIAL. The fault certainly does NOT lie with the victims.
And if the “victim” is simply unemployable, because of a relative lack of intelligence, talent or drive, that TOO is the fault of a society corrupted by GREED. THAT, to take care of the weak, is the principal role of society! Even the NEANDERTHALS took care of their weak! Why can’t WE?
Of course, SOCIETY is not bad, itself. In fact, it is society that is civilization’s highest, most noble achievement. It is people like you, who would DESTROY society, who HAVE destroyed much of what society normally does, that are TRULY BAD. It is conservatives, Republic-RATS, and the Corporate Class, who, through their GREED, would destroy all social aspects of society, simply to redirect those funds (taxes) into their own pockets, who are truly bad!
If you have no use for society, you CAN and SHOULD reject it. Go find a rock to crawl under, and let the rest of us share our wealth with those who need it the most. See how well YOU fare in the ABSENCE of society.”
yankee2[in reply to brainbiter]
I would like to add, to my bit written below, that by the time a person becomes ADDICTED to a drug, he no longer “chooses to use” that drug. At that point, it becomes a medical condition. Society has a responsibility toward those who now use a drug because they are addicted to it. They are NOT parasites, they are victims, and medical patients, to whom society, if we still have society, owes support.
And BTW, there are no “psychosis inducing strains of marijuana.” Your beliefs about drugs are extremely backward and ignorant, (apparently) in every way.
I am STRONGLY pro-legalization, of marijuana specifically, but also of most drugs generally. Unlike most of our “Drug War professionals,” I am well aware of the results in the Netherlands and in Portugal, which have been extremely positive, both from the perspective of drug users themselves and also from that of those who wish to see drug use reduced. Certainly the HARM, SOME perhaps due to drug use, but MOST due to prohibition, has been SHARPLY reduced, in the European countries which have legalized (or nearly legalized) drugs.
However, I have to take issue with at least one “fact” presented here. I am NOT aware that “40% of people over 12 … regularly smoke pot in the U.S.” According to NORML, “nearly 100 million Americans admit having smoked marijuana (in their lifetimes). Of these, twenty million Americans smoked marijuana during the past year.” That equates to about 6-7% of Americans who have smoked pot IN THE LAST YEAR. The number who “smoke pot regularly” must be much less than that. I believe it is approximately 2-3% of the adult population, i.e. 6-8 million, NOT 40% (120 million).
That said, a big part of the problem with legalization has been that we are NOT 40% of the population. Unlike the case with alcohol prohibition, when as many as half of all adults used alcohol, and wanted it legal, pot smokers are a small MINORITY. And like other minorities in America, we are DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. OUR needs and wishes are IGNORED. Our very WELFARE is IGNORED, or even actually SCORNED. As in the White House today, the TRUTH, even the SCIENTIFIC truth is totally IGNORED, in favor of personal prejudice.
Americans, and esp. the American government, seem to need, or want, a scapegoat, i.e. a red-herring distraction from the REAL ISSUES which plague our nation, i.e. a common “enemy” (why else do we suppose it’s called a WAR?) to discriminate against. First it was Native Americans, then African Americans, then the Mexicans, Irish, Italians and Puerto Ricans, and (forgive my failing to mention some groups) now that discrimination against those groups has “gone out of fashion,” i.e. has become anathema to most people, it is pot smokers who are the chosen victims of bigots.
It is STILL socially acceptable to discriminate against pot smokers!
Mr. O’Neil needs to be a bit more careful with his “facts.” He’s certainly on the right track, but it is the prohibitionists who trade in partial truths and lies. WE speak the TRUTH, to the full extent that we are able.