212 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. It seems to em that if you want to advocate continuing the prohibition of drugs you need not only to show that particular drugs are more harmful than others, but that prohibition works for those drugs. Freelander may or may not be doing a good job of advocating the relative safety of heroin. He does not seem to be telling us why he does not then advocate the legalisation of heroin and the continuing prohibition of cannabis.

  2. If monkton was making a general statement about government reports he would be right but the ipcc is something else.

    Under George bush us gov reports couldn’t tell the truth.

    Peer review ed lit not gov lit is the standard and not all lit or studies are equal.

  3. Freelander won’t read this either, but others might; I thought it had some funny moments.


    Freelander you might find this book interesting, “Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind” in which Robert Kurzban “shows us that the key to understanding our inconsistencies lies in understanding that the human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution and these modules don’t always work seamlessly together, so it’s quite easy to develop impossibly contradictory beliefs, to violate our supposed moral principles, and overinflate our opinion of ourselves.”

  4. The reason to ban drugs doesn’t rely on the harm to the user.morphine, although benign when used sensibly should not be allowed as a rec drug because drugged people are a danger to others, including their kids if they have any. I pointed this out way back.

    Some seem to think ganja is fine.it is not.

  5. @Alan

    Quite so.

    Say Freelander is right that there is a knock-down case for cannabis being as harmful a drug as alcohol. Obviously, there isn’t, but supposing there were.

    Under these circumstances: why is alcohol legal but cannabis not?

  6. I’m sorry but you seem Freelander to argue your convictions about the dangers of drug abuse (or nuclear power for that matter, if my memory serves) about as plausibly as would Ian Plimer.

  7. Peer review ed lit not gov lit is the standard and not all lit or studies are equal.

    so the editors of the International Journal of Drug Policy, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and the International Review of Psychiatry are as bad at reading the literature as the government’s National Drug Strategy.

  8. @Freelander

    I have very limited knowledge in the fields of medicine and biology to have a say on the issues discussed. I have a bias view against drugs however I did follow up on the links gerald and others have provided and gave a thought about it. Unforunately, even though I have not been convinced to support drug legalisation yet, I do suggest you to analysis the evidence they provided fairly. In the end, we don’t want ourselves to end up like the right-wing extremist.

    @gerald and others that supported drug legalisation

    Thanks for the evidence provided, they’ve provided me with new understandings on this issue. Although Freelander’s attitude is not to be appreciated, I believe his (and mine) sceptism about drug legalisation can be understood. In the past, although there may not be evidence that cannabis links to psychosis problems. It did create painful history for user’s families, whether it is safe or not is an important issue. However the other issue can be that, even if it does not cause psychosis problems, it may cause some social problems? (I’m not too sure how to describe it) to families. With that being said, I fully understand cannabis can be a useful drug for medical purposes. As for alcohol………. even though I agree that it is very dangerous substance, I don’t see a possibility of a government able put fourth a law to ban it without them getting thrown out by the public in Australia.

    @Julie Thomas

    Most certainly true about inconsistencies. I have found inconsistencies in the things others say and do quite a lot of times, and I have also found inconsistencies in the things I say and do as well sometimes (not always easy to recognise self-inconsistencies). Most of inconsistencies of myself have caused me to think back like “why the hell did I say that (or do that)?”. It might be because people got used to react a certain way if they did so in the past, so that even if they knew they were wrong and wanted to change, they acted the way they did in the past unconsciously. It might also be that the person does not have full understanding of the things they say. Unforunately it is difficult if not impossible for people to actually think about everything they say or do, just my two cents worth.

  9. Some seem to think ganja is fine.it is not.

    Says you Freelander. In my experience, it is fine and even better, it is dandy. Your certainty on this issue reminds me of arguing with a libertarian about whether welfare harms people.

  10. Corrections in my moderated post “It did create painful history for user’s families, whether it is safe or not is an important issue. However the other issue can be that, even if it does not cause psychosis problems…”

    Should be “It did create painful history for abusers/addicts’ families. Safety of the drug is an important issue, however the other issue can be that, even if it does not cause psychosis problems…”

  11. @Julie Thomas

    In the end, eating food will ensure you die. So too will breathing. These things do “harm” you in the long run.

    In the short run, not eating and not breathing will ensure you die a lot more quickly. There will be no long run. What to do?

    Enjoying your life entails risk of harm. Death is the only way to be sure one is minimally harmed. It’s a paradox, but most of us prefer the risks of life.

  12. I find this thread a little amusing. Maybe drugs do not cause mental illness in itself. Is that what is important.

    Back on the dark ages when I worked in the welfare field, I do know, I did not find any situation that was made better by the used of drugs, including alcohol in many cases.

    Now I might have been unlucky , plain blind or bias for this.

    I also found, no matter the situation, little could be done until the drug use was dealt with.

    Drugs, often were a secondary cause of the dire straits many found themselves in.

    I worked in child protection and family support. This also meant that mental illness was often present.

    Yes, some may be able to control their drug habit. I believe most cannot.

  13. Sillier and sillier, with the only redeeming feature you’re not also climate change deniers; although that appears to be a consequence of chance rather than rational deliberation.

    Well one of you wondering why one might be reticent to ban alcohol? Well maybe some of you bright sparks can work that one out all by yourselves?

  14. @Freelander

    No need to be patronising; I know precisely why alcohol isn’t banned. However, I note that when it was banned, things got worse, not better. I also note that the same arguments for why we don’t ban alcohol would apply to marijuana if it happened to be on the other side of the prohibition fence.

  15. @Catching up

    Back in the dark ages when I worked in the welfare field {…} I did not find any situation that was made better by the use of drugs, including alcohol in many cases. (minor typos corrected)

    This is almost certainly correct (assuming by ‘drugs’ one is describing non-prescription medication), but it’s not really pertinent here. Nobody, AFAIK, is arguing that self-medication with currently illicit or proscribed substances is a good answer to challenges in one’s life. Neither for that matter, is watching TV, or self-harming or eating to excess but these, like getting drunk, are all legal. The question is — what behaviour should be permitted by the state, or at any rate, not punished by the state when detected.

    Yes, some may be able to control their drug habit. I believe most cannot.

    This is the language of the Daily Telegraph. Alcohol and tobacco dependence rarely gets the designation “drug habit”. Such people are not demonised as “druggies” and losers.

    What we have with illicit and illegal drugs is a morally-augmented instant of afirmation bias. Almost by definition, only those with substance abuse problems come to our attention and so they define the group. Sometimes, precisely because of the co-morbidities, poor and marginalised folk are disproportionately represented and cum hoc ergo propter hoc kicks in. A nice tidy narrative in which moral or ethical bankrupts who are become the authors of their own misery and anti-social conduct. Because suffering mental illness is widely seen as moral illness, the coextension tends to fit very nicely — a real cultural synergy and is perfect for the Daily Telegraph crowd.

    Lots of people drink alcohol without it running their lives. Most can gamble without going nuts. I daresay most illicit drug users likewise fit it into a niche in their recreation — and perhaps if it were legal, more would do so more easily.

  16. Anyway if instead of responding to what I’ve said you all insist on slaying phantoms of your own delusion don’t expect me to continue playing. At some point your accumulated silliness ceases to amuse.

  17. @Freelander

    Settle down, matey. You and I are usually on similar pages so let’s see why we diverge here. Tell me what you think I’m missing:

    1) Alcohol – unequivocally causes illness, contributes to violence. Physically addictive. No medicinal benefits. Regulated, taxed, still available on the black market but no-one bothers.
    2) Marijuana – possibly causes illness, users do not become violent. Not physically addictive. Medicinal benefits. Only available via the black market, representing lost potential public revenue, not to mention incurring enforcement costs.

  18. I can’t see how anyone has provoked Freelander’s chip-on-the-shoulder antics. Seriously mate, settle down and grow up. We don’t all have to agree with you on everything, even if you are convinced that you’re yet another anonymous keyboard genius.

  19. What a rabble!

    There are some big differences between alcohol and ganja, which explain why a sensible policy maker would be reticent to ban one but not the other.

    Come on now, think! Show that you intellectually tower over the likes of cardinal Pell!

  20. BTW I’m undecided on the prohibition matter. I used to favour prohibition of most currently illicit drugs but I’m currently not so sure.

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