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Old 10-24-2003, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ban All "Nonmedicinal Drugs" and Raise Drinking Age to 25: Randerolf Says Hell No

In the student paper, some guy wrote about banning all drugs and raising the drinking age to 25. http://www.the-campus-voice.com/issu...p_23_2003.html

The main point was said in the title, but I'll post the letter for your convenience. The main point of the thread is the reply which I will post after his.

Quote:
In the September 9th issue of the Campus Voice, I read Jay Stamper's "Keep your beer to yourself". I would like to voice my opinion on this topic.
Many people do drink and do drugs now because everyone is doing it. But how many people actually know the consequences of these things? I believe that drugs and alcohol are the # 1 killer of people these days, not guns or diseases. In fact, a relative of mine has been on drugs since he was 15. We do not know if he is alive or where he even is right now. This is a prime example of what drugs can do to a person. I also used to "smoke and drink" but now when I sit back and reflect on the stuff I did, it was incogitant of me.
Mr. Stamper made a valid point about alcohol and drugs. Not many people will stand up and state their feelings about this topic. I appreciate the fact that Mr. Stamper stated his feelings because people need to be aware of the danger and fatalities that can occur.
I believe the drinking age should be raised to 25 because at that age, many people are more responsible about things. Statistics prove most accidents or deaths are caused by college students under the influence of alcohol. And doing drugs should be outlawed no matter what unless they are to be used for medicinal purposes. I believe shirts that state information promoting alcohol and drugs are not only inappropriate in certain environments but also prove ignorance.

Ryan White,
Downtown Campus
Here is my reply. I am polishing it now. I respect all of your opinions. I was woudnering if you thought that the bolded section was funny.

Quote:
When 52-year-old, conservative Rush Limbaugh is addicted to OxyContin, Lorcet, and hydrocodone, we know that our nation’s drug policy has to be reexamined. It’s not just middle-aged talk radio hosts that are hooked. We've seen Benjamin Curtis, the 22-year-old “Dell Dude,” being arrested for criminal possession of marijuana (“Dude, you’re going to jail!”) and Jaguar receiver Jimmy Smith, age 34, using cocaine. Celebrity abusers are only a few of the tragedies: crack babies, gangs fighting over drug territories, and people stealing to support $100-a-day habits. Is our approach to drugs really working?

A recent letter writer proposed that “doing drugs should be outlawed no matter what unless they are to be used for medicinal purposes” and that the drinking age be raised to 25. I feel that our heavy-handed approach to drugs is failing us now and that hard-line policies will serve us no better than their disappointments in the past.

The most disappointing aspect about the War on Drugs is not that it has failed to keep the pushers out our children’s schools or that there are hundreds of thousands of people in prisons who have never committed violence against anyone, never stolen anything, never threatened anyone; the disappointment lies in that murders, child molesters, and rapists are released early because our prisons are at capacity with nonviolent drug offenders. When you see a repeat offender on the news, think of the marijuana smoker who was taking up his cell.

Put yourself in the shoes of the drug offender to see how effective our system is. You would pay inflated, black-market prices, while black-market riches lure anyone willing to break the law as a drug dealer. This is why you see pushers in our schools and the reason why in 1997 Charles Manson, despite being locked in a cage and searched, was found to be running a flourishing narcotics business in his prison. When a drug bust occurs, the market is even more lucrative: the supply is purged while demand is the same. Thus, prices explode beyond the already artificially inflated levels. The overly inflated prices are why if you were an addict, you probably couldn’t work at a normal, law-abiding job: you couldn’t make enough to support your habit. You would have to become a prostitute, steal from people, or make black-market profits off of drugs. What if drugs were regulated, and addicts could work law-abiding jobs to support their addiction?

Than again, say you are not addicted. You don’t hurt anyone, but you do drugs in the privacy of your own home and get caught. Would you be a better person if you spent five, ten, or fifteen years in jail? In jail you meet people who know how to steal, kill, and cheat other people. Would you join a gang? Who would you meet and what skills would you learn in prison?

Let’s say that all nonpharmaceutical drugs were illegal as the letter writer proposed. One only thinks of the prohibition of alcohol of the early 20th century. Drugs. Gangs. Violence. Caffeine is a stimulant that has similar effects on the nervous system as cocaine. If you have a cup of coffee every morning, stop. See if you have headaches, irritability, and other signs of withdrawal. I know a few professors that would resort to violence for a shot of espresso in the morning. As for tobacco, a substance more addictive than marijuana, I would love to see the Marlboro Men fight with the Camel Clan over cigarette territories. Although I write that last statement tongue-in-cheek, it’s not quite so funny when we think of the people who’ve died from violence of drug cartels or from impure drugs.

In our current system, it’s almost impossible to help people deep underground in the drug culture. This is what I admire about Holland’s drug policy. People see what marijuana does to users. This is the key: We can treat users instead of them being hidden from those who can help and those who can learn from drug users’ mistakes. Addicts in a regulated drug industry wouldn’t die anonymously from some impure drug sold from a two-bit chemist in a trailer. The drugs would be regulated, and legal production would create prices at levels that people wouldn’t have to steal to support their habit. There will always be people who make poor choices, but we could help addicts rather than locking them away, instead letting them seek help without fear of criminal prosecution.

We need to reevaluate our nation’s drug policy. We must focus our limited law enforcement resources on safeguarding our nation from terrorism and our neighborhoods from violent criminals instead of pursuing peaceful drug users. (In the year 2000, 734,497 Americans were arrested on marijuana-related charges. That same year, only 625,243 violent criminals were arrested for murder, rape, robbery, or aggravated assault, according to the FBI). Even if you unsure if you agree with me on the issue, let’s take steps in a sensible direction that most Americans agree upon. Let’s stop federal harassment of cancer and AIDS patients in the seven states that have decided to legalize medicinal usage of marijuana (recommended by a doctor). Americans agree that arresting sick and dying people by overstepping state wishes is inhumane. Federal marijuana laws should be repealed and, states should be free to adopt alternatives to today’s failing punitive drug laws.

We’ve been down that path of a heavy-handed, feel-good War on Drugs. We know where that path leads. It’s time that we “just say no” to the War on Drugs.
I'd love to hear what you think about the bolded section, but also..

- Would raising the drinking age effective?

- How can shape our drug policy to do the most good and the least harm?

-Should we ban all "nonmedical" drugs?

Last edited by Randerolf; 10-24-2003 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 10-24-2003, 03:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the only thing it would do is give drug cartels and dealers more leverage and power... the use is so widespread that it is not possible to control all drugs to such extremes.
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Old 10-24-2003, 07:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
I believe that drugs and alcohol are the # 1 killer of people these days, not guns or diseases. In fact, a relative of mine has been on drugs since he was 15. We do not know if he is alive or where he even is right now. This is a prime example of what drugs can do to a person.
*shaking my head

I live in a European country where one can start drinking alcohol in bars at age 16, where there is no legal age restriction on drinking alcohol in private, where one can grow ones own pot legally at age 18 and where one can posess 5 grams for indiviual use at any time - been using both since the age of 14 and 11 years later, I have never killed anyone, never considered getting myself a gun and doing allright for myself in every hedonistic domain imaginable - talk about consequences
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Old 10-25-2003, 02:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hahah, just read scott Adam's "the Dibert Future"in which he makes the predicition: "In the future, the legal drinking age will slowly be raised to 120"
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Old 10-25-2003, 08:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Ban All "Nonmedicinal Drugs" and Raise Drinking Age to 25: Randerolf Says Hell No

Quote:
Originally posted by Randerolf




I'd love to hear what you think about the bolded section..

I'd change marijuana to cocain or heroin, only because pot isn't addictive.
Prohabition and the war on drugs are failures, when will the powers that be realize this?
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Old 10-25-2003, 08:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with many of your points and think that you have written this pretty well. Personally I feel that the drinking age should be eliminated and that drugs should be legalized - in short people should be free to make their own decisions and bear the consequences. ESPECIALLY those who are over 18. It bothers me that there are people in America who are old enough to pay taxes, old enough to vote, and old enough to get drafted and go to war, but somehow not old enough to drink a beer.

You are submitting this for publication? Good luck - I'll be interested to hear what sort of feedback/reaction you get.
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Old 10-25-2003, 08:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Free to make their own choices, except when it comes to gun ownership?
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Old 10-25-2003, 09:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Food Eater Lad -

I'm sorry, are you talking to me? I am reading what I wrote and don't see anything about restricting gun ownership. I don't think I've written anything like that on this board... Maybe I don't understand what you are saying?
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Old 10-25-2003, 09:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Your letter makes the other guy look like an idiot. Which he is.

To voice my own opinion, I think raising the drinking age to 25 would just create more closet binge drinking. If you look at Europe where the drinking age is much LOWER than in the US, I think the stats show they have far less alcohol abuse and far fewer alcohol related deaths among young adults. Making something illicit only raises its cachet.

I think our efforts at regulating illegal drugs would be better spent on prevention and treatment than on the level of draconian enforcement we have now. A first-offense druge possession (POSSESSION, not selling) charge in some places carries a heavier sentence than a rape charge. This is insane. I don't know about full legalization, but it seems to me that at least marijuana should be decriminalized, and that if we want to decrease drug-related crimes the government should take over production and distribution and tax the hell out of drug sales. Seems to me that "prohibition" isn't working so maybe we ought to try something else.
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Old 10-25-2003, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ubertuber
Food Eater Lad -

I'm sorry, are you talking to me? I am reading what I wrote and don't see anything about restricting gun ownership. I don't think I've written anything like that on this board... Maybe I don't understand what you are saying?
Just tossing some chum in the waters. Some people are so quick to say let people make their own choices, take all the dangerous drugs you want and then with the same breath they say that people cant make choices about owning guns. These people are called liberals.

Last edited by Food Eater Lad; 10-25-2003 at 10:24 AM..
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Old 10-25-2003, 11:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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FEL -

Gotcha. Nope, I'm not one of those libertarian types, not really a modern liberal. I say let 'em have their guns if they want them. But that is a different thread and I don't want to threadjack Randerolf.

I just checked out the actual link you posted Randerolf - it is from almost a year ago? And this is a college of some sort, but I didn't see which one very easily. Anyway, now more than before I think your letter is interesting because you have some great points that you make. Too many pro-legalization college students feel that way because they just want the freedom to do drugs - as a result they don't really articulate very well for their cause. Your words are a useful contribution to the debate. Do let us know how this turns out!
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Old 10-25-2003, 12:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree with this, after all, Prohibition was a huge success! Right?
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Old 10-25-2003, 04:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Prohibition was a success if you look at it in terms of less people were drinking during that age. It was a failure in terms of cost, cost in money and lives to enforce. What we should learn from Prohibition is that things have a cost.
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Old 10-25-2003, 04:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Fuck that, i think we should lower the drinking age, the less of a deal it is, and the less something is restricted, the less people wanna do it. Like in europe, people drink basically whenever they want, true it is a different area, but i think it should be lowered to 18. If they raised the drinking age, it would do nothing but piss off a lot of college students, and simply make them buy in bulk.

Just my thoughts though, i have no facts to back it up.
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