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Ray Charles
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMNobody II
yes, there is definately a way to do that. you have public intoxication laws that apply to both alcohol and marijuana. i think that the two should be treated the same: you don't get to go to work drunk, if you wander around on the streets drunk enough you might get arrested, the same shoud be true for marijuana. i am a very occasional smoker (ie ive smoked twice in the past 6 months), and even with as little tolerance as i have (ie none), it is possible to smoke a small amount and be at the same level of intoxication as with a couple drinks.

Practically, people don't do that. We call people who drink just to get drunk alcoholics. It's not a good thing. We call people who smoke just to get high potheads. Again, not a good thing.
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:16 AM Ray Charles is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
Well, as a matter of priciple, I have a problem with altered states of consciousness. I don't think that pot is gonna make you go crazy but it does make you percieve things differently and respond to them differently. I don't like that.
Percieving things differently doesn't make you crazy or necessarily dangerous. It doesn't usually make you disconnected from reality like you don't know what you are doing. Acid or extreme alcohol intoxication are exceptions among possible others. Individuals already respond differently to different situations. What about people percieving the world around them in altered state don't you like? People have been altering their consciousness in any way they can since the dawn of time. Drugs are not the only way of doing this. The chemicals produced right in your own head are some of the most potent mind altering drugs known to man. You are a walking drug factory, the most advanced clandestine drug lab in the world is sitting behind your eyeballs. Should we regulate our emotional states with the criminal justice sytem instead of waiting for the results when people don't?

This was what I was talking about earlier when you seemed to think I was speaking too highly of altering consciousness. Altering consciousness with most drugs merely pushes pre-existing buttons in your brain that you already had. Ecstasy, for example, gets you high on your own neurotransmitter serotonin by stimulating the body to release more than it normally would. The active ingredients in marijuana stimulate your cannabinoid receptors. Your cannabinoid receptors exist because you have an entire system in your body that is stimulated and regulated by your own natural endocannabinoids. Oipiods from poppy extract to heroin to morphine and newer stuff like oxycontin all work because we have opioid receptors for our endogenous opioid neuropeptides like enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins. Cocaine works by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, making more of them available than would normally be there. Drugs that act like this merely tweak the systems already in place in your body. Therein lies the problem. Regulating what chemicals you can and cannot put into your own bloodstream is regulating what processes can and cannot go on within your own mind and I see that as an unnneccessary and unwanted intrusion into my personal liberty as each persons mind is their own domain. The government should not be the final authority in what goes on in your own head.

Alcohol, the most socially-accepted addictive drug which can have life-threatening health hazards operates on the adenosine receptors. It also interferes with the normal functioning of the neurotransmitter/amino acid glutamate, potentiates the inhibitory function of the neurotransmitter Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), directly stimulates release of the neurotransmitter serotonin and of endorphins and also leads to increases in the release of dopamine.

Alcohol abuse can also cause a slew of prolems equal to or far worse than anything marijuana is proven to cause. For all the hype about how marijuana makes you stupid and kills your brain alcohol actually does just that and to a far greater degree. Alcoholism will actually shrink your brain. Binge drinking can produce necrotic neurodegeneration in the areas of the brain most closely associated with the hippocampus. Non-alcoholic but heavy social drinking can result in permanent cognitive and neurological impairment. The fatty acid ethyl esters produced in the brain from ethanol are particularly damaging to the hippocampus. Even low to moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with brain atrophy in a study of middle-aged men. By potentiation of GABA-mediated inhibition and blockage of glutamate release in the hippocampus, ethanol can significantly reduce spatial learning and memory by 30 minutes following administration, and the effect does not fully reverse for 24 hours in rats.
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...27/ai_n6125559

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Charles
Practically, people don't do that. We call people who drink just to get drunk alcoholics. It's not a good thing. We call people who smoke just to get high potheads. Again, not a good thing.
You aren't going to tell me that people only drink alcohol for the flavor are you? That's such a joke. Even if people don't drink to get totally wasted they are doing it to alter their consciousness, even if it is just slightly. one drink = altered consciousness for most people. If you only wanted flavor you would order something that tasted good and didn't have alcohol in it. Most people don't even like the taste of alcohol itself which is why it often has to be distguised or dilluted to make a palletable drink.

Fine cannabis can be enjoyed by a connoisseur just like any fine wine or cigar. Both also mind altering drugs BTW. The point of consuming cannabis is to alter ones state of consciousness but I would argue that that is exactly the same point in consuming wine and tobacco as well. The flavor excuse is just that. If flavor were really more important that alcohol content, non-alcoholic drinks would be far more popular than they are. There was a time when drinking alcohol was a matter of practicality but that time has past as there is no shortage of clean drinking water.

Also, people who drink to get drunk are not necessarily alcoholics. They are binge drinkers. You don't need to be addicted to alcohol to be a binge drinker. Binge drinkers often only drink on the weekends. You don't even have to get blind drunk to be a binge drinker. IIRC that is officially defined as having the equivalent of four drinks in two hours, which gets most people legally drunk with a decent "buzz" going. It's not that this is healthy behaviour that should be encouraged but as long as only the health of the consumer is being potentially harmed by their lack of moderation no one really cares. It is not considered a threat to society.

Binge drinking is fairly common in america and the "buzz" experienced should be about equivalent to a marijuana high, except that THC does not diminish inhibitions as much as alcohol nor increase risk taking as much as alcohol nor diminish capacity for judgement as much as alcohol. It is always interesting to me that a drug that is toxic to every cell in your body, causes so much death, destruction, and violence is considered the proper way to alter ones consciousnes while a drug which is non-toxic and causes passivity and relaxation is considered verboten, and for good reason. By the same criteria that marijuana is deemed too dangerous for society, alcohol should be considered akin to cocaine. It is more toxic, more addictive, more likely to cause problems by consumption and yet the conventional wisdom is that alcohol is OK and marijuana is an unnacceptable risk to society.




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I don't want that in my society and the best way to get rid of it as far as I know is prohibition
Not neccesarily. When marijuana was made illegal no one knew what it was because almost no one in the country at the time smoked it recreationally. It was available in many medecines at the time and had never caused a problem as tincture of cannabis but not many people used it recreationally. Compare that with now. Everyone knows what marijuana is, even if they've never seen it or smoked it. It is immortalized in movies and popular culture. 1/3 to 1/2 the country has smoked it depending on which source you believe. 50% of high schoolers try it before graduation according to statistics collected since 1965. Prohibition did not make weed go away and in fact it seems like it has had the opposite effect. Especially if you compare and contrast rates of use in countries with harsh penalties for use with more lenient areas. The more lenient areas generally have lower rates of use and fewer problems associated with use. In the states there is almost no difference in rates of use between states where it is decriminalized and states where it is still punished heavily.

Also, this is our society, not yours. Where does telling others how to live their consensual private adult lives even come into the picture in the first place? I can understand limiting actions that cause problems like public intoxication and operating a vehicle while intoxicated but I don't understand the notion that we need to stop people from experiencing intoxication all together. Perhaps if you prove that you are incapable of handling intoxicated states you should be restricted from altering your consciousness but punishing people punitively for what they might but haven't done yet doesn't seem like a fair system of justice to me.
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:38 PM pyramid is offline  
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The netherlands is very different than the US in alot of ways. Why would what worked there work in the US?
It did work here for a while, we just never got "coffee shops" or the federal government to agree it was a good idea:
http://www.drugwardistortions.org/distortion1.htm

Quote:
From 1972 to 1978, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession (covering one-third of the US population) and 33 other states reduced punishment to probation with record erased after six months to one year. Yet, after 1978 marijuana use steadily declined for over a decade. Decriminalization did not increase marijuana use.

[National Research Council, "Informing Americaís Policy On Illegal Drugs: What We Donít Know Keeps Hurting Us" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), pp. 192-193.]
Full text of "Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don't Know Keeps Hurting Us (2001)" : http://books.nap.edu/books/0309072735/html
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:50 PM pyramid is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
Practically, people don't do that. We call people who drink just to get drunk alcoholics. It's not a good thing. We call people who smoke just to get high potheads. Again, not a good thing.
so you are saying I'm not a person?

Also, as Pyramid said, people who drink to get drunk aren't necesarily alcoholics. As with marijuana, I occasionally drink, and when I do so, I generally drink to get drunk. I don't think that getting shit faced every couple months is alcoholism.
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Ray Charles
 
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Originally Posted by pyramid
Percieving things differently doesn't make you crazy or necessarily dangerous. It doesn't usually make you disconnected from reality like you don't know what you are doing. Acid or extreme alcohol intoxication are exceptions among possible others. Individuals already respond differently to different situations. What about people percieving the world around them in altered state don't you like? People have been altering their consciousness in any way they can since the dawn of time. Drugs are not the only way of doing this. The chemicals produced right in your own head are some of the most potent mind altering drugs known to man. You are a walking drug factory, the most advanced clandestine drug lab in the world is sitting behind your eyeballs. Should we regulate our emotional states with the criminal justice sytem instead of waiting for the results when people don't?

This was what I was talking about earlier when you seemed to think I was speaking too highly of altering consciousness. Altering consciousness with most drugs merely pushes pre-existing buttons in your brain that you already had. Ecstasy, for example, gets you high on your own neurotransmitter serotonin by stimulating the body to release more than it normally would. The active ingredients in marijuana stimulate your cannabinoid receptors. Your cannabinoid receptors exist because you have an entire system in your body that is stimulated and regulated by your own natural endocannabinoids. Oipiods from poppy extract to heroin to morphine and newer stuff like oxycontin all work because we have opioid receptors for our endogenous opioid neuropeptides like enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins. Cocaine works by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, making more of them available than would normally be there. Drugs that act like this merely tweak the systems already in place in your body. Therein lies the problem. Regulating what chemicals you can and cannot put into your own bloodstream is regulating what processes can and cannot go on within your own mind and I see that as an unnneccessary and unwanted intrusion into my personal liberty as each persons mind is their own domain. The government should not be the final authority in what goes on in your own head.

Alcohol, the most socially-accepted addictive drug which can have life-threatening health hazards operates on the adenosine receptors. It also interferes with the normal functioning of the neurotransmitter/amino acid glutamate, potentiates the inhibitory function of the neurotransmitter Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), directly stimulates release of the neurotransmitter serotonin and of endorphins and also leads to increases in the release of dopamine.

Alcohol abuse can also cause a slew of prolems equal to or far worse than anything marijuana is proven to cause. For all the hype about how marijuana makes you stupid and kills your brain alcohol actually does just that and to a far greater degree. Alcoholism will actually shrink your brain. Binge drinking can produce necrotic neurodegeneration in the areas of the brain most closely associated with the hippocampus. Non-alcoholic but heavy social drinking can result in permanent cognitive and neurological impairment. The fatty acid ethyl esters produced in the brain from ethanol are particularly damaging to the hippocampus. Even low to moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with brain atrophy in a study of middle-aged men. By potentiation of GABA-mediated inhibition and blockage of glutamate release in the hippocampus, ethanol can significantly reduce spatial learning and memory by 30 minutes following administration, and the effect does not fully reverse for 24 hours in rats.
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...27/ai_n6125559


You aren't going to tell me that people only drink alcohol for the flavor are you? That's such a joke. Even if people don't drink to get totally wasted they are doing it to alter their consciousness, even if it is just slightly. one drink = altered consciousness for most people. If you only wanted flavor you would order something that tasted good and didn't have alcohol in it. Most people don't even like the taste of alcohol itself which is why it often has to be distguised or dilluted to make a palletable drink.

Fine cannabis can be enjoyed by a connoisseur just like any fine wine or cigar. Both also mind altering drugs BTW. The point of consuming cannabis is to alter ones state of consciousness but I would argue that that is exactly the same point in consuming wine and tobacco as well. The flavor excuse is just that. If flavor were really more important that alcohol content, non-alcoholic drinks would be far more popular than they are. There was a time when drinking alcohol was a matter of practicality but that time has past as there is no shortage of clean drinking water.

Also, people who drink to get drunk are not necessarily alcoholics. They are binge drinkers. You don't need to be addicted to alcohol to be a binge drinker. Binge drinkers often only drink on the weekends. You don't even have to get blind drunk to be a binge drinker. IIRC that is officially defined as having the equivalent of four drinks in two hours, which gets most people legally drunk with a decent "buzz" going. It's not that this is healthy behaviour that should be encouraged but as long as only the health of the consumer is being potentially harmed by their lack of moderation no one really cares. It is not considered a threat to society.

Binge drinking is fairly common in america and the "buzz" experienced should be about equivalent to a marijuana high, except that THC does not diminish inhibitions as much as alcohol nor increase risk taking as much as alcohol nor diminish capacity for judgement as much as alcohol. It is always interesting to me that a drug that is toxic to every cell in your body, causes so much death, destruction, and violence is considered the proper way to alter ones consciousnes while a drug which is non-toxic and causes passivity and relaxation is considered verboten, and for good reason. By the same criteria that marijuana is deemed too dangerous for society, alcohol should be considered akin to cocaine. It is more toxic, more addictive, more likely to cause problems by consumption and yet the conventional wisdom is that alcohol is OK and marijuana is an unnacceptable risk to society.





Not neccesarily. When marijuana was made illegal no one knew what it was because almost no one in the country at the time smoked it recreationally. It was available in many medecines at the time and had never caused a problem as tincture of cannabis but not many people used it recreationally. Compare that with now. Everyone knows what marijuana is, even if they've never seen it or smoked it. It is immortalized in movies and popular culture. 1/3 to 1/2 the country has smoked it depending on which source you believe. 50% of high schoolers try it before graduation according to statistics collected since 1965. Prohibition did not make weed go away and in fact it seems like it has had the opposite effect. Especially if you compare and contrast rates of use in countries with harsh penalties for use with more lenient areas. The more lenient areas generally have lower rates of use and fewer problems associated with use. In the states there is almost no difference in rates of use between states where it is decriminalized and states where it is still punished heavily.

Also, this is our society, not yours. Where does telling others how to live their consensual private adult lives even come into the picture in the first place? I can understand limiting actions that cause problems like public intoxication and operating a vehicle while intoxicated but I don't understand the notion that we need to stop people from experiencing intoxication all together. Perhaps if you prove that you are incapable of handling intoxicated states you should be restricted from altering your consciousness but punishing people punitively for what they might but haven't done yet doesn't seem like a fair system of justice to me.

All things that I know, except for the marijuana history, which was interesting.

While lots of people do drink to get drunk they're not the majority. Most people drink socially in situations where they're not getting drunk.

Telling people how to live their lives comes in simply because I can. The power to make laws in America ultimately resides with the people. If it's the will of the majority then there's a good chance for it to become law. Should I decide that I want my ideal society to not have marijuana in it then I have the right to pursue that goal.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:01 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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Ray Charles
 
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so you are saying I'm not a person?

Also, as Pyramid said, people who drink to get drunk aren't necesarily alcoholics. As with marijuana, I occasionally drink, and when I do so, I generally drink to get drunk. I don't think that getting shit faced every couple months is alcoholism.

Funny how when I asked in this thread earlier if it was possible to smoke without getting high, the only answer I got was, "Why would you want to do that?"
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:02 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
Funny how when I asked in this thread earlier if it was possible to smoke without getting high, the only answer I got was, "Why would you want to do that?"
It is possible, or at least to smoke little enough that you don't feel much. Same as with drinking small amounts.
Old 01-16-2006, 12:13 AM Junkie Mod is offline  
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Ray Charles
 
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It is possible, or at least to smoke little enough that you don't feel much. Same as with drinking small amounts.

And my point stands that the people who go out of their way to smoke pot are doing it to get high.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:36 AM Ray Charles is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
And my point stands that the people who go out of their way to smoke pot are doing it to get high.
Do you deny that most people who drink do it to, if not to get drunk, at least feel something?
Old 01-16-2006, 03:14 AM Junkie Mod is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
And my point stands that the people who go out of their way to smoke pot are doing it to get high.
Alcohol isn't considered a social lubricant for it's flavor.

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Most people drink socially in situations where they're not getting drunk.
Drunk to what level? If you are drinking socially and you have ~2 drinks per hour then you are likely legally drunk after the first hour. If you have only ~one drink per hour then your perception is still likely altered to some degree. We are talking about what degree of intoxication now, not whether or not it exists. To many people binge drinking is social drinking. Four drinks in two hours is not that hard to put away. You could nurse a beer every half hour and still manage that over a two hour period. Or have one shot plus one beer per hour. It's not uncommon for people to have a couple shots and a beer just to start off their drinking.

From my experience at social gatherings where alcohol is served. It seems to me that most of the guys I know drink about 2-3 beers per hour. Seeing someone do a couple shots in a matter of minutes is not uncommon either. I'm pretty sure shots are not for flavor. The purpose of pounding a shot of high test alcohol is to get more alcohol in your system as fast as possible. The purpose is intoxication.

Then there's keg stands, beer bongs, beer enemas, drinking games... The point of alcohol for many many people, if not all of them, IS to alter their consciousness. Not everyone may prefer to alter it to the same level of intoxication but I still believe the intoxicating qualities of alcohol are one of the major reasons it is still consumed.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:00 PM pyramid is offline  
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Ray Charles
 
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Originally Posted by pyramid
Alcohol isn't considered a social lubricant for it's flavor.


Drunk to what level? If you are drinking socially and you have ~2 drinks per hour then you are likely legally drunk after the first hour. If you have only ~one drink per hour then your perception is still likely altered to some degree. We are talking about what degree of intoxication now, not whether or not it exists. To many people binge drinking is social drinking. Four drinks in two hours is not that hard to put away. You could nurse a beer every half hour and still manage that over a two hour period. Or have one shot plus one beer per hour. It's not uncommon for people to have a couple shots and a beer just to start off their drinking.

From my experience at social gatherings where alcohol is served. It seems to me that most of the guys I know drink about 2-3 beers per hour. Seeing someone do a couple shots in a matter of minutes is not uncommon either. I'm pretty sure shots are not for flavor. The purpose of pounding a shot of high test alcohol is to get more alcohol in your system as fast as possible. The purpose is intoxication.

Then there's keg stands, beer bongs, beer enemas, drinking games... The point of alcohol for many many people, if not all of them, IS to alter their consciousness. Not everyone may prefer to alter it to the same level of intoxication but I still believe the intoxicating qualities of alcohol are one of the major reasons it is still consumed.

I suppose what we have here is a difference in perspectives. If all the people you see drinking are binge drinking, you'll naturally assume that everyone who drinks is a binge drinker. From the CDC website's overview of alcohol: http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/factsheet...nformation.htm

Quote:
Binge drinking is generally defined as having 5 or more drinks on one occasion, meaning in a row or within a short period of time (Naimi, 2003). However, among women, binge drinking is often defined as having 4 or more drinks on one occasion (NIAAA, 2004) (Wechsler, 1998). This lower cut-point is used for women because women are generally of smaller stature than men, and absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men.


About 1 in 3 adult drinkers in the United States report past-month binge drinking, and this ratio has changed very little since the mid-1980s (Serdula, 2004).

...

Heavy drinking is consuming alcohol in excess of 1 drink per day on average for women and greater than 2 drinks per day on average for men (NIAAA, 2004).

In 2002, 5.9% of U.S. adults reported heavy drinking in the past 30 days; the prevalence of heavy drinking was greater for men (7.1%) than for women (4.5%) (CDC, BRFSS, 2002).
The majority of the population doesn't abuse alcohol.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:35 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ray Charles
I suppose what we have here is a difference in perspectives. If all the people you see drinking are binge drinking, you'll naturally assume that everyone who drinks is a binge drinker. From the CDC website's overview of alcohol: http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/factsheet...nformation.htm
I didn't say everyone, I just said it's fairly common here in the states. The amount I claimed to observe was not representative of everyone either, I was just reporting on what I see when I go out to bars and parties.

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The majority of the population doesn't abuse alcohol.
The majority of the population doesn't abuse any drug. The majority of drug users don't abuse drugs either.

33% of all adult drinkers self reporting past month binge drinking is still fairly common. One third of the adult alcohol consuming population is drinking to get drunk on a regular basis for the past 25 years. That appears to not even factor in underage drinking as they limit it to adults. Underage drinkers may account for 15% to 25% of alcohol industry sales or more 1 [CNN]. Underage drinking is also more likely to kill teens than all illicit drugs put together. By 12th grade 50% of highschool seniors have tired weed but by eighth grade 50% of highschool freshman have already tried alcohol and 20% report being drunk at least once. By 12th grade 80% of students report having tried alcohol and 30% report that they drink 3 or more times per month and binge drink. There are more alcohol related traffic crashes for people under 21 as there are for people over 21 and there are over twice as many fatal alcohol related traffic accidents for underage drinkers versus of age drinkers.
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa59.htm

Alcohol is far from being a benign drug.
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Last edited by pyramid; 01-18-2006 at 03:16 PM..
Old 01-18-2006, 03:14 PM pyramid is offline  
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I didn't say everyone, I just said it's fairly common here in the states. The amount I claimed to observe was not representative of everyone either, I was just reporting on what I see when I go out to bars and parties.


The majority of the population doesn't abuse any drug. The majority of drug users don't abuse drugs either.

33% of all adult drinkers self reporting past month binge drinking is still fairly common. One third of the adult alcohol consuming population is drinking to get drunk on a regular basis for the past 25 years. That appears to not even factor in underage drinking as they limit it to adults. Underage drinkers may account for 15% to 25% of alcohol industry sales or more 1 [CNN]. Underage drinking is also more likely to kill teens than all illicit drugs put together. By 12th grade 50% of highschool seniors have tired weed but by eighth grade 50% of highschool freshman have already tried alcohol and 20% report being drunk at least once. By 12th grade 80% of students report having tried alcohol and 30% report that they drink 3 or more times per month and binge drink. There are more alcohol related traffic crashes for people under 21 as there are for people over 21 and there are over twice as many fatal alcohol related traffic accidents for underage drinkers versus of age drinkers.
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa59.htm

Alcohol is far from being a benign drug.

Underage drinkers are obtaining alcohol and drinking it illegally. If they're breaking the law to get something then I'm not crying when it comes back to bite them. As sad as it may be, there will always be a minority of the population who will pursue self-destructive habits. That can't be helped, and we can't spend all our time trying to legislate in an effort to save people who it won't matter to anyway.

Aside from that, trying to say that alcohol or marijuana is benign or not is a pointless excercise. Alcohol-related deaths come from the poor choices people make regarding alcohol. We can try to limit the number of people who will make bad choices through education, but it will never be enough.

And getting back to the main point, I don't want marijuana legalized because it's nearly sole use (as a drug) is to produce effects in people that I don't like. Alcohol is irrelevant to this debate, as far as I can tell.
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:31 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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And getting back to the main point, I don't want marijuana legalized because it's nearly sole use (as a drug) is to produce effects in people that I don't like. Alcohol is irrelevant to this debate, as far as I can tell.
I don't like Element clothing, but you don't see me screaming to outlaw it.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:14 PM lawlzkekeke is offline  
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I don't like Element clothing, but you don't see me screaming to outlaw it.

But it's your right to do that if you want to.

The difference is that you don't dislike it enough to actually do anything about it.
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