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  #3385  
Old November 19th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Agent Minivann View Post
I think an unaccounted for problem with legalizing all of the victimless crimes already mentioned is that there will still be an illegal market.
Of course. There are still people who make whiskey in backwoods stills. But let's play hypothetical Bob.

Bob is a stoner. He buys his weed from a shady hardcase with tattoos on his face and a pit bull the size of a Caddy. One time, the dealer beat the hell out of a kid who didn't have enough to pay for his drugs. Another time, the dealer sold Bob a bag of weed that was cut with something, and Bob got to make friends with some people in the emergency room.

Bob is also a degenerate gambler. He loves to play blackjack and bet on sports. He has a bookie who employs a variety of colorful employees, including retired boxers and more than one ex-con. He plays cards in the back room of a laundromat with a group of gentlemen who all have prison nicknames and an assortment of blunt instruments. Once Bob lost a big bet on a horse race, and a fellow called Hammer broke his leg before he could sell his kidney to pay the debt. Another time, one of those card players cheated, and Bob lost his car.

Bob also likes the women, but prefers to pay for them. He spends an inappropriate amount of time with women named Mercedes and Candi, and enjoys their company in lovely motels that charge by the hour and don't always change the sheets. Once one of his companions stole his wallet and his pants, and another time he picked up a little more than he paid for and got to have a doctor give him a penicillin shot in his dingus.

Now one day Bob discovers he can buy marijuana in Walgreens. He no longer has to be frisked before he can get a week's supply; he simply has to be over 21. And he won't have to worry that the blunts he buys are laced, because they are FDA approved.

And Bob discovers that there is a legal casino in town. He is delighted, because he can now place bets without having to worry that someone will break his collarbone if he can't cover the spread. Not only that, but the dealers are state certified, and if he catches one cheating, he can sue.

And then Bob discovers the legal brothel up the road. All the entertainers are tested regularly and the rooms are clean. Sheets are changed after every appointment, and the women clean up between meetings. Bob no longer has a need to spend his evenings with an ice pack on his genitals, and the one time that a companion steals twenty dollars from his wallet, the woman is fired and arrested and the brothel pays him back.

Sadly, the dealer has to turn to selling crystal meth, and mixes a batch improperly, which kills him when the mixture turns into poisonous gas. The laundromat closes and all the gamblers who used to fleece Bob wind up having to get day jobs at a sewer treatment plant. The pimp who used to run the girls at the No Tell Motel uses his girls to start a daycare center.

When these things are legal, there will still be those who sell them illegally. But their customers will dry up, and the much smaller market will require far fewer illegal entrepreneurs. The only way to compete with legal vices will be to charge far less (cutting deep into the profit margins) or to offer more extravagant alternatives. There are still places where you can buy moonshine, but I've never even seen a glass of illegal alcohol. I'm sure I could find a supplier for illegal cigarettes, but why bother when I could get them at the grocery store?

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Last edited by InfinityMax; November 19th, 2008 at 10:36 AM.
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  #3386  
Old November 19th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Imax,

That was a nice story. I especially liked the ending. But what about a story like this:

John never gambled, used drugs, or visited prostitutes. One day all this became legal. He picked up some pot at the Walgreens, played a few hands of Hold 'Em, and made an appointment with a genital manipulation engineer.

He soon discovers that he sucks at Texas Hold 'Em, has lost enormous amounts of money, and consoles himself with more drugs and courtesans. As he slowly becomes filled with self-loathing he starts to take it out on his family, even to the point of becoming violent.

Months later his wife has divorced him, he has been fired from his job, and the bank has foreclosed on his home and repossessed his car.

Meanwhile, the drug manufacturers, the casino, and the brothel are making money hand over fist and they live happily ever after.
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  #3387  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by SuperflyTNT View Post
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Originally Posted by Grungebob View Post
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I think marijuana leads to harder drugs, but the pot isn't what causes the jump. Alcohol is motivating factor for someone to try harder drugs. The pot only puts them in a situation that could involve riskier drugs because it is illegal.

In other words, if you hang out with someone who drinks, you'll occasionally befriend a guy who smokes pot. If you hang out with someone who smokes pots, you'll occasionally have some dude pull out cocaine at a late night party. Pot doesn't make you think coke would be interesting. Alcohol makes you think cocaine might be fun to try once. Most of these situations involve alcohol. It's the gateway drug.
BS! That reads more like a hunch than anything.
Well, without revealing too much I think I can contribute here. Yes, the idea that pot is a gateway drug is absolutely true. It's like a barrier: "If I'm morally OK with smoking a little weed, how bad could some speed or acid be...I mean they're all drugs...". And Gulp is right - if you are a partyer and like to drink you will almost certainly be exposed to dope. They go hand-in-hand. When one gets involved with the 'dope scene' you will end up meeting all kinds of individuals and trying all kinds of drugs. I think cocaine is down the road, though, and the people that smoke pot will generally have shrooms before coke. Funny, but it's a 'natural' thing - no additives in pot or shrooms, so they are considered 'more safe' by most people who are not opposed to all things.
Well said, TNT. It was a while before coke showed up in the party circles that "my friend" told me about, and shrooms and pills were there first after pot. And luckily my friend was smart enough to leave the scene when coke started showing up on a regular basis.

GB, I don't think I made my views clear. I'm for legalization of pot. Shrooms, I can see the reason why they are illegal, even though it is a shame. Too many young people are irresponsible, and I had a friend jump out of his 7th story dorm window.

I think the gateway argument is more nuanced than just: you smoke pot, then you move up eventually. The gateway argument works for cigarettes. If you're okay smoking a cigarette, you're probably okay trying a beer. Beer just gets put in the enviable spot of being considered acceptable. And I would argue from a hunch and personal experience, that beer is a strong factor in someone wanting to make the night just a little more fun. Pot makes you paranoid (stereotypically) and eventually you just want to sleep or sober up.

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  #3388  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Both good stories. I have one of my own.

It goes something like this:

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire,
Kinfolk said Jed move away from there
Said Californy is the place you ought to be
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

Hills, that is.
Swimmin pools, movie stars.

The Beverly Hillbillies!


Bannister

PS. I don't know, it's just the way my mind works.

That can only mean one thing. And I don't know what it is.
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  #3389  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Did you have to use 'Bob'! Why oh why did you have to use 'Bob'?
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  #3390  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannister View Post
Both good stories. I have one of my own.

It goes something like this:

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire,
Kinfolk said Jed move away from there
Said Californy is the place you ought to be
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

Hills, that is.
Swimmin pools, movie stars.

The Beverly Hillbillies!


Bannister

PS. I don't know, it's just the way my mind works.
Oh yeah? Well...
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip that started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailing man, the skipper - brave and sure. Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour. That's right, you heard me; a three hour tour!

The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed! If not for the courage of our fearless crew the Minnow would be lost. Hey, are you not paying attention or something? I said the Minnow would be lost!

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted dessert isle. With Gilligan, the skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, and the rest (namely the professor and Mary Anne) here on Gilligan's Isle.

(My mind works that way sometimes too.)
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  #3391  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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InfinityMax InfinityMax is offline
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by jbbnbsmith View Post
Imax,

That was a nice story. I especially liked the ending. But what about a story like this:

John never gambled, used drugs, or visited prostitutes. One day all this became legal. He picked up some pot at the Walgreens, played a few hands of Hold 'Em, and made an appointment with a genital manipulation engineer.
The point is, John made those choices. We advocate personal responsibility when it comes to pregnancy, but somehow believe that the only way to keep a weak-willed wiener like John from destroying his life with drugs and hookers is to tell him he's not allowed. Why is John not responsible for his actions and little Janie (the 17-year-old cheerleader who is carrying the quarterback's accidental son) is?

Hell, I see arguments denying universal health care based on personal responsibility, somehow saying that if you don't have enough money to pay for a liver transplant, it's your own fault, but if you ruin your life with drugs and hookers, you get to blame Merck and the brothel? Screw that. Give me the option to ruin my life, and maybe I'll use a little free will to just decide not to be a loser.

John is a loser. If he can't handle his weed, he needs to stay off the bong. If he's a sex addict and can't manage to walk away from $1000 a night call girls, he needs to lay off the lame whining about how he should never have been allowed to visit them in the first place.

Here's another angle on your argument - shouldn't that argument also be applied to outlaw cigarettes, alcohol, and high fructose corn syrup? I mean, those things hurt people, too, but we can still get them at the corner gas station. Or do you advocate making everything addictive or dangerous illegal, and rather than allowing a free society where people can choose whether or not to harm themselves, we keep our people safe by telling them they can't use anything we don't think they should?

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  #3392  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

I liked both Imax's and jbbn's stories, and, truth be told, they could both happen with the legalization of various drugs and other assorted vices. I think everyone can agree, though, that only jbbn's story could happen while those activities remain illegal, though, as long as we understand that he picked up his pot behind the Walgreens.

I don't do drugs, visit prostitutes, or gamble to excess and legality wouldn't change that for me--in the words of Bricktop from Snatch, "I'm sweet enough as it is". I have, however, had the opportunity to do all three on several occasions despite their illegality and have usually abstained...I'll leave it up to your imagination to decide which ones I endulged in.

Drugs and prostitution (and to a lesser degree gambling) are all risky activities that if engaged in cary very real dangers, but those dangers are made infinitly more serious by the illegality of the activity. If you buy drugs you have no idea of their potency because you are trusting your local dealer; if you exchange money for sex instead of dinner and lies you can't be sure where your friendly callgirl or boy has been. Legalization and, more importantly, regulation, takes the uncertainty out of the equation. Yes, there will always be an underground for those services, but as Imax said, it will be miniscule in comparison.

How about we do this as a simple cost/benifit comparison? Lets only use proven benifts and costs, though, since we really don't know what would happen if drugs/prostitution were legalized tomorrow. I'll start with the benifits of drug legalization, and I'd love to have someone gimme the negative costs, expressed either as proven detrimental effects of legalization (perhaps as expressed by our two legal drugs, alchool and smokes) or the positive effects of continued prohibition.

Benifits:
--How much is spent and has been spent on the "drug war" in America, and how is that going? That money would now be available for other things.

--How many rights have been bent and broken during said war? You'd no longer have to worry about having to prove your innocence and suing to get your stuff back if wrongly arrested on a drug charge.

--For that matter, how about we empty out roughly half the prison population, free up almost every cop on vice duty, and remove the incentive for corruption at state, local, and federal levels that comes with such a high-income racket.

--Taxation of a controlled substance. Huge revenues going to the government, even if use rates stay as they are now.

These are just a few that spring immediately to mind. There are others that aren't that long a leap in logic (for example, the legalization of opiate darivatives would probably end all support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, since a large amount of that support has to do with economic reasons, rather than religious ones, mainly the fact that poppy is the main cash crop in the region, as in Turkey) but I wanted to stick with the ones that are pretty well indesputable. So, what are some proven, unarguable benifits of prohibition?

You are the brute squad!

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  #3393  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

OH! And on a side note, how big a load of hypocricy is it that both our current president and our president elect have both admitted to using illegal drugs in the past, including cocain, but both have worked to toughen drug laws and take a hard-line approach to punishing users? The only reason that either one of those jokers isn't in jail can be summed up in two words: dumb luck.

If President Bush wanted to save his legacy and actually do something good he would sign a presidential pardon for every single non-violent drug offender in prison today, to be implemented in waves every 3 months. He could then challenge the congress to allocate funds to the states that would set up treatment centers and job placement for those returning non-cons (they wouldn't have their lives permenantly screwed up by being cons, of course, because a pardon wipes the record clean) and they wouldn't have much choice because one way or the other those folks are getting out thanks to him. President Elect Obama has already talked about putting a New Deal style national works program in place, and this would dovetail nicely with it.

That would wake the country up and force it to take a serious look at the way it approaches the drug war, hey?

...and while I'm in fantasy land I'd like to ride a unicorn, please.

You are the brute squad!

Quote:
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  #3394  
Old November 19th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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InfinityMax InfinityMax is offline
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

I always wanted a griffon.

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  #3395  
Old November 19th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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...and while I'm in fantasy land I'd like to ride a unicorn, please.

PSSST... Hey.

I hear you're in the market for a unicorn ride. I can make that happen, but it's gonna cost you 200 candy canes. Believe me, I wouldn't normally charged that many candy canes, but after a couple seconds riding that unicorn across fields of cotton candy, you'll see that you got a real deal at 200.

What do you think? Just give it a whirl. You only live once.

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  #3396  
Old November 19th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

The unicorn I ride farts rainbows.
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