Re: Non-Btock-Style

1

Congratulations on the four years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:40 AM
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Congrats!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:42 AM
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Congrats, Al!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:48 AM
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Sex and drugs at the top of the page! Yeah, baby!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:52 AM
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Congratulations, Alameida!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:59 AM
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Congratulations!

Also: Walp?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:01 AM
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I've never smoked oregano, but smoked mozzarella is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:01 AM
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Cake!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:02 AM
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it's like "well", but more alpy. thanks for the congrats, folks, I'm going to sleep.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:03 AM
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Congratulations, Alameida!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:04 AM
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Why are you trying to screw up my business, alameida?!!?!?

Nothing makes money for lawyers like alcohol. No other drug even comes close.

Congrats to you on your four years though.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:06 AM
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Plus, the drug addiction usually involves criminal activity so it is often easier for friends and family to deal with it.

In contrast, it is legal to drink yourself in a stupor and your friends cant do a darn thing about it.

I have been struggling with a couple clients who are going to kill themselves with alcohol and I cant do a darn thing about it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:09 AM
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Congratulations on 4 years!

Never smoked oregano, but I've smoked rosemary. When I weer a chabbie it was reckoned that smoking a joint was good for chest congestion (I believe mj used to be in the British Pharmacopoeia for it), but if you didn't have any dried rosemary was a decent substitute. Seemed to work on the congestion, but didn't get you high.

alameida, your exposition of the case for decrim is masterly (mistressly?). Fuck the war on drugs for a game of soldiers (very precisely).


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:10 AM
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Many of you are aware of www.theagitator.com.

It often has a lot of info on how horrible and ineffective the war on drugs is.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:12 AM
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Congrats almeida!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:13 AM
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Nothing makes money for lawyers like alcohol. No other drug even comes close.

Have you tried tossing Viagra and business cards in the men's locker room of a county club?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:13 AM
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Congratulations on four years, Alameida. And good luck to your sponsees.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:36 AM
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Congratulations and many more!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:45 AM
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So, how ya celebrating?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:50 AM
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Congratulations!


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:51 AM
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FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORTER | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:06 AM
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Good work alameida! Good luck to your sponsoroonies.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:09 AM
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Woohoo, four years! Man, I've been here a long time -- I wasn't anything like new four years ago. I bet four years seems like forever to your sponsees.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:29 AM
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Every day at my job is like another loud, ugly chorus of "The Drug War is The Problem."*

Most people you will meet do not believe this, however. They really, really do not. I made one or two timid little speeches when I was on a grand jury about "oh hey maybe not so much with the drug war" and people looked at me like the furniture had expressed an opinion and went back to what they were doing, which was indicting EVERYTHING.

*Not an actual song. I can't help but note, however, that it's half a line of iambic octometer.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:39 AM
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24.2: Even the ham sandwiches?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:44 AM
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Ya know, it constantly amazes me how one crazy do- gooder in the right place at the wrong time can screw stuff up for generations. This guy, for example:

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/

The War on (some) Drugs has unintended consequences of militarizing the police, enriching the prison guard union, and throwing an entire generation of black men in jail. So, fun!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:53 AM
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25: Yeah, there was this one case of Criminal Possession of Swiss Cheese and Unlawful Holding of the Mayo. Sad stuff.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:59 AM
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4 years of sobriety, hooray! Now, how long have your toes been rosy?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:00 PM
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case of Criminal Possession of Swiss Cheese

His alibi was full of hole. Ta-duh-duh CRASH.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:04 PM
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holes damn it, holes


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:04 PM
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congrats rosy-toes. and it sounds like really good, if frustrating, work you are doing with these kids. as far as legalization, I have no idea, except for the ganja, which duh.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:12 PM
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ITS HOLE. COCK IT.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:12 PM
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I kind of feel that hard drugs should be legalized state-by-state. For meth, Oklahoma. For coke, New York. Heroin, Alaska. It would do wonders for tourism and surely improve some local economies. NYC could maintain its status quo.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:15 PM
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Nothing makes money for lawyers like alcohol.

Not even hookers?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:16 PM
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I thought huffing gasoline was the Alaskan high of choice.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:19 PM
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33:Double Downs for Texas?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:21 PM
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Double Downs for America.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:23 PM
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Congrats on sobriety.

I used to be a "legalize everything" type, but Mark Kleiman convinced me that I was dead wrong about that, and that (bad as the US drug war is) most of its bad parts are really about secondary effects that can be dramatically altered without resorting to legalization, which really, really will impose huge social costs.

Also (this isn't directly relevant at all, but I know it will come up in this kind of discussion) in reality, there are vanishingly few "non violent" peaceful offenders in US prisons whose only crime was using illegal drugs; people always seem surprised about this.

Finally, tax-and-regulate-and zone schemes or full legalization have not really worked out in the few places such schemes have been tried.

Anyhow, an example of Kleiman's stuff is this.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 12:53 PM
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I'm for decriminalizing pot and ham sandwiches. I agree that there could be huge social costs to legalizing, say heroin, that you'd want to go very slowly.

However, the issue isn't just that few people get put away for completely non-violent drug offenses, but how much longer you can get put away for a violent offense if it is even tangentially connected to drugs. Also, how much more violence is done by dealers and users who are trying to avoid detection, especially since getting caught is a life-crunching event where the blow is only lessened if you have information/a very good lawyer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:00 PM
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38: I don't know, in his first item he's ignored a fundamental difference between drugs, to wit: easy to overdose fatally on alcohol; very hard (impossible?) do overdose fatally on the drug most people speak of legalizing, mj. I'll keep reading but if that's what he's leading with...


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:00 PM
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40 -- he supports decriminilization of cannabis, with restrictions on commercializing use (no advertisements, limited distribution centers, etc.).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:04 PM
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How would marijuana legalization impact our nation's obesity epidemic?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:08 PM
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the issue isn't just that few people get put away for completely non-violent drug offenses, but how much longer you can get put away for a violent offense if it is even tangentially connected to drugs. Also, how much more violence is done by dealers and users who are trying to avoid detection,

That's very true, but of course the non-violent drug offenses are generally used by the cops to put away folks who (generally, they think) are engaged in more violent activity. So it cuts both ways.

And the violence done by dealers and users might be reduced, but certainly wouldn't vanish, with legalization -- any plausible taxation/regulation scheme would lead to significant evasion, and there are good reasons to think that increased use of harder drugs would lead to increased crime independently of whether or not drug use per se is criminal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:08 PM
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And just to clarify 43.1, much of our current sentencing/enforcement/law enforcement scheme is totally crazy -- but it's also true that the drug use laws are often being used as proxies to put away folks who are considered violent threats generally, rather than as creating a large quantity of independent enforcement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:13 PM
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there are vanishingly few "non violent" peaceful offenders in US prisons whose only crime was using illegal drugs; people always seem surprised about this.

I've heard this, and surprised people by asserting it, and I'd love a source if one's handy. And a biscuit, if I'm hungry.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:13 PM
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How would marijuana legalization impact our nation's obesity epidemic?

Probably be seriously detrimental - everybody would have the munchies all the time.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:13 PM
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everybody would have the munchies all the time.

But at least Standpipe's other blog would finally get the traffic it deserves.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:15 PM
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43.1: Yes, and that is a really bad idea in my opinion. The sentences are just too long and it tilts the game too much against anybody who even gets a toe stuck in the grinder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:15 PM
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48 was before I saw 44, but I think my point still stands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:16 PM
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the drug use laws are often being used as proxies to put away folks who are considered violent threats generally

And I for one can't see any downside to giving law enforcement the ability to lock people up for things they think they're guilty of but can't prove.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:25 PM
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but it's also true that the drug use laws are often being used as proxies to put away folks who are considered violent threats generally, rather than as creating a large quantity of independent enforcement.

But remove the illicit market and you remove a lot of the economic reason people join gangs in the first place.

Finally, tax-and-regulate-and zone schemes or full legalization have not really worked out in the few places such schemes have been tried.

What are his examples? The Netherlands hasn't really done tax-and-regulate for mj, in my understanding (they have virtual non-enforcement for recreational use, and legalized it in pharmaceutical form when for medical use). Oakland has recently been making a fair amount of tax money without adverse effects and is now looking for more.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:29 PM
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he supports decriminilization of cannabis, with restrictions on commercializing use (no advertisements, limited distribution centers, etc.)

Which seems to be the way things are going in this edge of the country, recent developments in LA notwithstanding. It's pretty amazing how mainstream "medical" pot has become around here; it's easy to get certified as a user and as a grower. It's obvious to everyone, I assume, that there hasn't been an epidemic of glaucoma or cancer or chronic back pain, but it's also obvious that the new reality merely confirms the old reality that lots of people smoke pot. I wish I had some right now, actually, because it will not stop fucking raining, and I could use a mellowing agent for my borderline homicidal mood.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:33 PM
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50 --

Well, yes, but that's not really relevant to the question of whether drug use per se is driving enforcement of the drug laws. It does go to the constitutionality or propriety of enforcement, and there's no dispute (from me) that the drug war leads to a lot of very bad enforcement decisions and marginally consitutional police activity.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:39 PM
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51 -- The issue isn't really pot, but harder drugs. The unregulated market in hard drugs like opium/heroin or cocaine wasn't looking that good before criminilization, and in places like Zurich were they've tried limited legalization, basically by limiting users to particular areas and trying to control distribution in a rational way, results have looked pretty bad.

None of which is to say that there's not a lot we could do to change the current system for the (much) better.

As for 52, I think Kleiman supports something like the current California system for medical marijuana, perhaps with a little bit more transperancy so that people aren't going around getting fraudulent prescriptions. I certainly do, and will vote yes on the November ballot measure for legalization.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:46 PM
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PA is behind the times, but I'm practicing with tomatoes and grow lights. Just to be ready.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 1:50 PM
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What are Kleiman's thoughts about US prohibition's consequences for poor nations?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:09 PM
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I should just start linking to articles, rather than being the voice of the guy, but his basic view is that eradication efforts are a complete and total waste of time and money (since drugs are cheap to produce, and can be grown anywhere) and that the US should stop being involved in them, and let other countries decide how they want to handle their internal drug production industries.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:14 PM
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Here's an article.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:18 PM
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Congratulations, Alameida! Lucky sponsees to have you as a sponsor.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:20 PM
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Yay Alameida!


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:21 PM
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57: That seems like it forces those countries to either legalize production (at least) or fight a civil war against often economically powerful forces, no?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:25 PM
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The thing about Kleiman (putting aside that he tends to ignore good pro-legalization arguments until he can't ignore them anymore - cf. his relatively recent conversion on pot) is that he has no good answer to the fact that outright banning means you've effectively ceded market control to lawbreakers.

It is, or at least should be, obvious that any step away from prohibition will benefit some users. Take something really nasty, like meth. There are users out there that want to stop. Only a tiny minority of those can afford a stay at a detox center without being arrested in an enlightened part of an enlightened state - the rest get to go cold-turkey in a cell and have their lives ruined with a drug conviction. Even a state-only market as part of a truly voluntary (none of this court ordered "voluntary unless you want to rot in jail") program would help them.

And more generally, this might be the civil libertarian in me, but I don't see how anyone can support someone's right to drink themselves to death and argue that heroin users should go to jail. Junkies are far less violent than alcoholics, and the amount of property crime attributable to them is miniscule. (I don't have my thumb-drive with my citation databse with me - damn you, forgetful brain! Be more remembery! - but the figures aren't hard to find - Drugwarrant is a good source for a lot of this.) Kleiman is careful in how he talks about it, but occasionally subtly acknowledges that he thinks alcohol should be illegal, but that realistically nothing can be done. He's one of the few that is even that consistent.


Posted by: glib | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:29 PM
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The thing about Kleiman (putting aside that he tends to ignore good pro-legalization arguments until he can't ignore them anymore - cf. his relatively recent conversion on pot) is that he has no good answer to the fact that outright banning means you've effectively ceded market control to lawbreakers.

It is, or at least should be, obvious that any step away from prohibition will benefit some users. Take something really nasty, like meth. There are users out there that want to stop. Only a tiny minority of those can afford a stay at a detox center without being arrested in an enlightened part of an enlightened state - the rest get to go cold-turkey in a cell and have their lives ruined with a drug conviction. Even a state-only market as part of a truly voluntary (none of this court ordered "voluntary unless you want to rot in jail") program would help them.

And more generally, this might be the civil libertarian in me, but I don't see how anyone can support someone's right to drink themselves to death and argue that heroin users should go to jail. Junkies are far less violent than alcoholics, and the amount of property crime attributable to them is miniscule. (I don't have my thumb-drive with my citation databse with me - damn you, forgetful brain! Be more remembery! - but the figures aren't hard to find - Drugwarrant is a good source for a lot of this.) Kleiman is careful in how he talks about it, but occasionally subtly acknowledges that he thinks alcohol should be illegal, but that realistically nothing can be done. He's one of the few that is even that consistent.


Posted by: glib | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:29 PM
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64

Perhaps I shouldn't write this in a thread that lacks googleproofing, but all I can think of when I think of him is that he taught a core class to one section when I was in grad school and was so reviled by his students that when they found out their section would have him for a second core course in the spring there was a mass revolt. Once permitted by the administration (which had no choice, really, given the level of complaint), half the students opted to take the second class with one of the other sections.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:44 PM
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64: Can you tell us why he was so reviled? Exceptionally boring? Overly demanding? Or?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 2:59 PM
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65: Constantly wasted on speedballs.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:05 PM
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It's hard to feel sympathetic to the "OMG, if we legalize drugs, everyone will be on drugs ALL THE TIME!" arguments (which sounds like the continuum Kleiman is on) when you see a graphic like this.
Everybody IS ALREADY taking mood-altering substances. Rich old people just get them for $8 at Target.

I'm very dubious about the whole "not all that many people are in prison for non-violent drug offenses" argument too. Sure, maybe the charge they're convicted on most recently and sent up for was not a non-violent drug offense, but how do you think most of those people got in the system in the first place? In my neighborhood, like many integrated, working-class neighborhoods, the cops roll up on kids all the time, frisk 'em, and boom, one minute you're a 15 year-old, minding your own business, holding a nickle bag or a blunt, and next thing you know you're spending the night in juvvie -- prodded, pushed around, processed and promoted to the confraternity of people on the wrong side of the law. That doesn't usually end well.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:06 PM
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Hook 'em sobriety woo!


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:07 PM
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69

Well, sure, the guy could totally suck in person -- I have no idea.

As for 63, as long as you support taxation and or regulation -- and a state-controlled program that required mandatory treatment to qualify would fall within this rubric -- you're guaranteeing that part of the distribution of drugs will be in the hands of criminals. The issue is really figuring out how best to minimize the harm caused by illegal distribution. Getting illegal distribution and the attendant law enforcement issues out of the drug game entirely is as much of an impossible dream as is "winning" the war on drugs.

And sure, treatment is nice, but you need a backstop for "mandatory" treatment to be mandatory. Non-mandatory treatment doesn't do much for the hardcore addict/crime causing population who shows up in mandatory treatment programs in the first place.

Finally, I don't think that people should be allowed to drink themselves to death -- or, rather, we should come up with a bunch of social policies that make it much more difficult to do so, including higher taxes on alcohol and a total ban on alcohol consumption for crime-committing drunks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:11 PM
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69: ...as long as you support taxation and or regulation... ...you're guaranteeing that part of the distribution of drugs will be in the hands of criminals.

But that part can be vanishingly small in relative terms, as it is with alcohol. I know I can probably get illegal booze if I want it, but I would have to try very hard. And it would be worse than what I can get for close to the same price at a store that will guarantee it's not contaminated with something nasty.

I'm tilting towards your position, but 69.last is a prescription for increasing the availability of illegal alcohol. From nearly impossible to find to merely very hard, but still...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:21 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:26 PM
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a total ban on alcohol consumption for crime-committing drunks.

Mind your own beeswax. That ankle thingy was broken I tell you!


Posted by: Lindsay Lohan | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:28 PM
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69: you're guaranteeing that part of the distribution of drugs will be in the hands of criminals

Well, yes. We have cigarette smugglers and bootleggers still. But the overwhelming majority of demand is served by legal, regulated, taxed and inspected tobacco and alcohol. And the social costs of the cigarette smuggling and moonshine running are laughably small in comparison with the costs of continued cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana prohibition.

Furthermore, as I've said before, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. In most cases, the rich and powerful do what they want without the need for any kind of "conspiracy" -- their solidarity, and the ideologies they promote, are far more effective than silly clandestine meetings. However, it's telling that the two big pushes for prohibition of what are now the illicit drugs came (A) immediately after alcohol prohibition ended and (B) immediately after most of the gains of the African-American Civil Rights Movement were consolidated. Drug prohibition is a fantastic method of social control -- it keeps prisons full, police budgets high and civil liberties advocates too busy to get ahead on other issues. Plus, of course, if you've got someone you need to put away for awhile, as mentioned above, you can just "find" a baggie on them and they're out of the picture for 5 to 10.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:30 PM
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But that part can be vanishingly small in relative terms, as it is with alcohol. I know I can probably get illegal booze if I want it, but I would have to try very hard. And it would be worse than what I can get for close to the same price at a store that will guarantee it's not contaminated with something nasty.

That's absolutely true, but is true because alcohol is relatively unregulated and cheap. In places like Sweeden where they regulate booze much more intensely, illegal booze is more common (and, there, within a culture that prizes legality relatively more than the US).

But cheap, widely available alcohol has enormously huge social costs, most of which are imposed on society by a minority of hardcore alcoholics and/or violent drunks. A world in which we had heroin and (especially) cocaine available in the same manner and quantity as alcohol would also impose huge, probably greater social costs (even though, as with alcohol, there are a good number of people who can use cocaine and heroin occasionally with no significantly bad effects).

Greater restrictions on the availability of alcohol would probably increase the market for illicitly produced or distributed alcohol, but that's OK if it results in a net overall social benefit. The name of the game is recognizing that (a) addiction is a big problem, (b) illegal distribution is a big problem; (c) law enforcement is a big problem, and also (d) that none of these big problems are going away with a magic solution.

The question is what is the best mix of policies to minimize the overall costs of all of these problems.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:31 PM
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But that part can be vanishingly small in relative terms, as it is with alcohol.

No it hasn't. Making illegal alcohol is relatively rare. Breaking a law in the consumption or distribution is very common. I've committed hundreds, if not thousands, of violations of alcohol laws.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:33 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:33 PM
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It's funny to me that the same people who think that hoi polloi need help with jobs, healthcare, education, their mortgages, their gas bill, and putting dinner on the table and god knows what else, think that the same hoi polloi would be sensible and self-governing about something as volatile as drugs.

Also, it's funny to me that no one who participates in these conversations about policy seems to understand that successful governance is the art of having your cake and eating it, too. You have to have some legal drugs, and some illegal drugs - you need the tension between the two in order to keep the country governable. Outlaw everything, you get Prohibition -- disaster. Legalize everything, you get another kind of disaster. That black-and-white thinking, whether "left" or "right," just doesn't work on real problems.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:36 PM
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That black-and-white thinking, whether "left" or "right," just doesn't work on real problems.

I think this needs a little more nuance.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:38 PM
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Nothing works on "real problems." You just kind of muddle through them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:40 PM
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who think that hoi polloi need help

Praise you, cassanthropy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:43 PM
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Except that "the same hoi polloi" would then be "hoi same polloi" or "the same polloi", so points off for that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:46 PM
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64: I was fortunate enough not to be in that section, and it was 15 years ago, so I don't recall the details, but it was not a matter of being boring or demanding. It definitely had to do with being an actively bad person, and it was not just a couple of people who had a problem.

Also, I just reread the OP and was amused to note that we are apparently talking about Mark Kleiman because Alameida said "Plate of Shrimp""Day two sucks slimy goat balls." (Sadly, No: Mark Kleiman Sucks Giant Green Slimy Goat Balls)


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:46 PM
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Additionally, people "needing help" with healthcare and education &c has nothing to do with their being sensible and self-governing, but that's more obvious than the use of definite articles in Greek.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:50 PM
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77: You have to have some legal drugs, and some illegal drugs - you need the tension between the two in order to keep the country governable. Outlaw everything, you get Prohibition -- disaster. Legalize everything, you get another kind of disaster.

You is doing a lot of work in those sentences.

That's just the thing, if we're talking about how to run the most efficient and inexorable state apparatus, then, as I wrote above, it does make sense to have some arbitrary prohibitions going. "You" don't need to clamp down hard on them all the time -- in fact, it's better if "you" make the enforcement confusing, arbitrary and inequitable. There's a built in fudge factor so that it's possible to ease up a little here, clamp down a little there, to manage all sorts of aspects of people's lives.

But what if we lived in a world where "you" didn't have to manage people so tightly? What if "you" trusted people to make their own decisions, individually and collectively, without "your" interference? That's the kind of world I'm trying to fight for.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:56 PM
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You is doing a lot of work in those sentences.

The class structure of society doesn't make it easy for me, that's certain.


Posted by: Opinionated You | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:58 PM
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85.1 should be in italics.


Posted by: Opinionated You | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 3:59 PM
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long as you support taxation and or regulation -- and a state-controlled program that required mandatory treatment to qualify would fall within this rubric -- you're guaranteeing that part of the distribution of drugs will be in the hands of criminals.

Yes. There are still bootleggers about. From what I understand mostly in the south, but I personally know a part-time bootlegger in NYC.

There are also illegal bread makers and sushi joints, unlicensed food sold at illegal warehouse parties, etc. In fact, if I were a an econ grad student, I'd seriously consider a study of cigarettes in NYC - the bodega price is at/over $10/pack depending, and I know people who buy them "off the boat" as it were for ~$4-5/pack, and stores that sell them splitting the tax difference to locals they know - more in the $6-7 range. There's a great case study in black market formation going right now.

It really is a minimax problem, and opinions will certainly vary depending on emphasis and sensibilities, but, at least to me, it is pretty clear that even for nasty drugs, the proper balance has to lie somewhere pretty far from outright prohibition.

And sure, treatment is nice, but you need a backstop for "mandatory" treatment to be mandatory. Non-mandatory treatment doesn't do much for the hardcore addict/crime causing population who shows up in mandatory treatment programs in the first place.

Well, yes, things have to be mandatory to be mandatory. I think the thing is, obviously mandatory treatment, as we have it now, combined with prohibition doesn't seem to do much good for the "hardcore addict/crime causing population". Just like we have hardcore crime causing alcoholics, I don't think the class as a class will ever go away. Some people, through whatever combination of fucked-upedness, passive-suicidal desires, hopelessness, etc. will do that. I still think the most bang-for-the-buck, as a policy matter, lies somewhere far south of shouting "no" loudly, locking up the miscreants, keeping the trade violent and profitable, and paramilitary exercises for dime bags - more in the range of treating adults who want Friday night weed or blow as adults, reasonable, non-dehumanizing treatment for folks who have a problem, and punishing actual crime instead of dope as a convenient proxy for crime (and, by the way, race).

we should come up with a bunch of social policies that make [drinking one's self to death] much more difficult to do so

Perhaps so. But I'd add in two points: (1) Some people will always do it. If not booze, than opiates, or paint thinner. (2) There are very, very few people who walk into the sort of painful addictions like alcohol willingly. There are underlying reasons, and treating symptoms and not causes doesn't work.

This risks getting nto a much wider topic involving the state of mental health treatment and the lack of achievable opportunity in this country, so I'll shut up now. And damn it, why does this soap box keep scampering under my feet?


Posted by: glib | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:01 PM
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Congratulations, Alameida. Really, really admirable.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:08 PM
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Just like we have hardcore crime causing alcoholics, I don't think the class as a class will ever go away. Some people, through whatever combination of fucked-upedness, passive-suicidal desires, hopelessness, etc. will do that. I still think the most bang-for-the-buck, as a policy matter, lies somewhere far south of shouting "no" loudly, locking up the miscreants, keeping the trade violent and profitable, and paramilitary exercises for dime bags - more in the range of treating adults who want Friday night weed or blow as adults, reasonable, non-dehumanizing treatment for folks who have a problem, and punishing actual crime instead of dope as a convenient proxy for crime (and, by the way, race).

I don't really disagree with any of that, but none of that remotely requires (or even implies) blanket legalization of cocaine or heroin on a just-like-alcohol model; it is much more consistent with continuing criminilization combined with enforcement activities directed at eliminating violent side-effects of the trade, and, on the user level, limiting arrests to those who have committed other crimes and combining treatment programs with and clear, ascertainable, relatively lenient, but also mandatory penalties for failure to continue with treatment or for committing separate crimes as a result of the addiction.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:13 PM
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74: A world in which we had heroin and (especially) cocaine available in the same manner and quantity as alcohol would also impose huge, probably greater social costs

They already do. Add up:

- direct and opportunity costs of enforcement, judicial and prison costs,
- opportunity costs, lost wages and, ah, 'human capital' costs for the hundreds of thousands of work years wasted in prisons,
- loss of life, ecnomic costs and misery in producer countries, not to mention enforcement costs there,
- the fucked up foreign policy we end up exporting to produce the loss of life, economic costs and misery mentioned above,
- the time wasted on these discussions people like you and I have spent.

I think that, if we had a magical Policy Dial that balanced total anarcho-capitalist paradise(tm) vs. Big Brother's Drug Free Zone and Useful Citizen Unit's Paradise that a reasonable balance that minimaxes costs and freedoms lies somewhere with a lot more freedoms and a lot less enforcement. And yes, it will likely increase the rate of addiction to some extent to loosen up.


Posted by: glib | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:14 PM
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Well, yeah, the current system imposes a whole lot of unnecessary and enormous costs. No argument there. I was just taking issue with the "let's legalize everything" crowd, which I also (now) disagree with.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:17 PM
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a total ban on alcohol consumption for crime-committing drunks.

Sorry, but hahahahahahahaha try living with a drunk sometime and then tell me how you'd do this.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:43 PM
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The idea would be that you would get a sticker on your driver's license that would prohibit you from buying alcohol. Or we would have a separate ID for alcohol, that you couldn't get anymore. And increase the penalties for arrest, including potential arrest for possession alone. Would this keep a hardcore drunk from obtaining booze? Of course not. But it would make doing so much more difficult.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:46 PM
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Gender Gap in Marijuana Legalization

Anne-Marie Otey at FDL

Advocates of legalizing cannabis need to convince more women to support the cause. Polls show a distinct gender gap on ending the prohibition of marijuana. In California, 65 percent of men support legalization, versus 46 percent of women. In Colorado, the divide is 58-39. In Washington, it's 64-48.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:53 PM
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93: What that would do is bring back black-market alcohol like it was 1919. I have to go now, must see if I can get some stock in a for-profit prison corporation and a copper tubing manufacturer.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:56 PM
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94: When you can get our stoner boyfriends off the goddam couch, come and talk to us.


Posted by: Opinionated Women | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 4:58 PM
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I can't find much discussion of Portugal's experience other than the Cato article and a lot of 'oh, I guess that wasn't so bad' avoidances. I do enjoy the reverse-exceptionalism about why Portugal can get away with it but the US couldn't.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:00 PM
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B!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:01 PM
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A couple years ago something like 4 or 5 of CA's students were killed by a drunk driver. (The only student in the car not to be killed has a traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage.) He had something like 15 DUIs and had only recently lost his license permanently. The dude then professionalized his drunk (and now unlicensed) driving by installing a police scanner in his car. The accident that killed CA's students occurred when the driver heard that a cop was being sent to check him out and so he began wildly speeding and taking evasive maneuvers. Now I think he's in jail for life -- since he's basically a fucking serial killer, but short of jail, I wonder what could have stopped him sooner.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:08 PM
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And κλέος καὶ κέρδεα to alameida!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:10 PM
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95 -- uh, no it wouldn't. Nice try, though!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:12 PM
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99: That's horrible, oudemia. Maybe confiscating his car (and I have no idea how that would work) would have slowed him down, but I bet even that wouldn't have done the job.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:14 PM
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The idea would be that you would get a sticker on your driver's license that would prohibit you from buying alcohol.

Right, and this will work because lack of proper ID has eradicated underage drinking.

This, right here, is the disconnect.


Posted by: glib | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:16 PM
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101: uh, what makes you think it wouldn't? Okay, maybe not like prohibition, but you'd have at least as much of a black market as you do for other drugs.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:18 PM
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87: I think the thing is, obviously mandatory treatment, as we have it now, combined with prohibition doesn't seem to do much good for the "hardcore addict/crime causing population".

Very much agree. The kind of treatment facilities you can get mandated to (in New York anyway) are all based on the Therapeutic Community model of substance abuse treatment that, honestly, I think appeals to judges and ADAs because it's so strict as to seem punitive; not because it's effective. At the beginning, it's extremely restrictive, so it's like aaalmost as good as incarceration!

This is not to say it doesn't work for some people, but I don't think it's a good bet. I see an awful lot of people bolt anywhere from the subway on the way to the program to a few months in after it turns out to be really hard (in some ways that help and in some that don't.) And a fair number of people graduate and then reöffend--buying, selling, breaking into a car to get $ to buy with--because doing a program doesn't remove the overwhelming social factors that condition use and relapse or that tie other crimes to addiction.

Argh. So yeah: less jail, more treatment, but...also an acknowledgment that treatment is a bandaid lacking other big social changes that aren't likely to change soon.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:19 PM
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Legal prohibition does not mean total prohibition in practice. Total prohibition in practice is not necessary to obtain harm reduction from a legal prohibition.

There is a lot of evidence that the ban on under-21 drinking has reduced both the extent of underage drinking and the harm caused by drunk underage people (like drivers). It obviously has not even remotely killed off underage drinking nor has it eliminated underage drunken driving. And it has created a huge fake ID industry. Are these costs worth the benefits? Maybe, maybe not. But it's just stupid to pretend that prohibition measures simply have no effect on usage or harm creation rates.

In the case of the drinking license, the idea is to reduce the ease with which hardcore abusers of alcohol can obtain booze, and also to provide an additional penalty that might increase incarceration time for the folks like the guy in 99 (who are the main perpetrators of alcohol-related problems). There are good reasons to think that such a prohibition could be helpful at the margins, and at quite low social cost (for one thing, unlike the ban on under-21 drinking, you're not imposing a general penalty on the non-abuser population).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:23 PM
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The article in 58 is interesting


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:25 PM
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105 -- the design of the treatment program, and its relationship to the legal/judicial penalty backstop, is important.

Hawaii's HOPE program has gotten quite good results with mandatory testing combined with quite minor, but certain and escalating, penalties for failure. Link here.

The results from classic "rehab" style treatment programs are generally pretty poor, particularly given the cost; IMO you'd often be better off paying people a (small) amount for passing an every 3-4 day test clean, and punishing (fines at first, then quick sentences, then more) for failing, rather than having everyone go into therapeutic rehab communities.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:33 PM
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Congratulations, Alameida! Sounds like your sponsees are helping you stay clean and sober. I hope they too can put together at least as many days as you have done.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:39 PM
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In the case of the drinking license, the idea is to reduce the ease with which hardcore abusers of alcohol can obtain booze, and also to provide an additional penalty that might increase incarceration time for the folks like the guy in 99

I just don't see how. I'm 37, and I haven't been carded since I moved here (NYC) 8 years ago, except for some big shows where they were carding everyone. I go to Ohio (relatives) some, where they're quite a bit more puritan, and even there I'm rarely carded.

As far as the under-21 argument, well, that has problems, too. It is hard to separate out cultural issues, but the U.S. has a substantially worse problem with binge drinking in young people than countries with a lower drinking age. For flyover states, I know cars are more vital, but to the extent that it is workable in some places, I would lean much more towards something like Germany's 16 to drink/18 to drive - let people learn how to responsibly drink before giving them a dangerous weapon.

The most likely outcome of such a law is just one more enhancement/additional charge once $offender is caught again. And I know that, to a certain mindset, the argument that, "well, it will keep them off the street that much longer" seems applicable. But it (a) that approach to serious offenders hasn't worked so far, and (b) the only logical conclusion is something like "third offense? Off with your head." Because for some people, that is simply the only thing that would "work".


Posted by: glib | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:44 PM
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It's important to distinguish between legalizing and decriminalizing. Because sure, drugs can totally fuck up your life. But getting caught up in the prison system will fuck up your life even worse and for a whole lot longer. You don't have to list your time in AA or rehab on every job application you fill out for the rest of your life.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:47 PM
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There is a lot of evidence that the ban on under-21 drinking has reduced both the extent of underage drinking and the harm caused by drunk underage people (like drivers).

There's a difference between making alcohol hard to get for teenagers, who, lacking experience with alcohol, may drink to excess without actually being alcoholic, and trying to keep it out of the hands of alcoholics. A lot of alcohol is consumed by alcoholics, certainly enough to support an illicit trade and all the evils that entails.

Possibly it would have the effect of causing alcoholics to avoid criminal activity in order not to get the stamp. But once there's an illicit source of supply, that stops being a big motivation. Also, once drunk, that kind of judgment is out the window anyway.

Whatever, I bet somewhere this will be tried. My guess is just that it will fail to accomplish the desired goal.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:50 PM
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I go to Ohio (relatives) some, where they're quite a bit more puritan, and even there I'm rarely carded.

I am *always* carded in Ohio. Sigh. (That was a contented sigh.) I was never carded in NYC, even when I was 16. (Blue and Gold -- do you still exist?)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:54 PM
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(b) the only logical conclusion is something like "third offense? Off with your head." Because for some people, that is simply the only thing that would "work".

Now that I'm thinking about it, another problem with the no-booze-for-alkies idea is that it may well only survive as a probation/parole restriction, otherwise it could run afoul of equal protection. But I've got a bit of a trek yet before I'm a lawyer, so ignore me.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 5:58 PM
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99: It wasn't the drinking per se that was the problem, so much as the DUIs, was it? In my imaginary world the somethingth serious DUI might get you thrown in jail. (I'd decriminalize nearly everything except risking other people.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:10 PM
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I believe Blue and Gold is still there, but sadly Verkhovyna ("Bar 81") is no more.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:10 PM
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116: Aw. I almost want to go back to the B&G for old times' sake. I bet the juke box is no longer awesome (it used to be Ukrainian folks songs and punk rock).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:22 PM
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||
On my way home, I just had to fight my way through a throng of Celtics fans headed for the NBA finals, and I had an inspiration: If you could just take that crowd and bottle the White, you could transport it to the Gulf coast and remediate that oil spill in no time.
|>


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:40 PM
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118 -- best comment ever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:47 PM
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112: There is a lot of evidence that the ban on under-21 drinking has reduced both the extent of underage drinking and the harm caused by drunk underage people (like drivers).

I believe there's also some evidence emerging, now that some of the mob mentality has receded, showing that banning under-21 drinking is increasing binge-drinking related/non-vehicular deaths, especially at colleges. Coming from the perspective of someone who holds a liquor license at a venue that produces 18+ events, I can assure you that everyone in the 18-21 age bracket drinks, and many of them drink heavily. If you can't buy a tallboy of PBR at the venue, all the more reason to bring a flask of vodka that one of your over-21 friends has purchased for you. One of the unintended consequences of our ridiculous age-restrictions on liquor in this country, combined with our ridiculous prohibition of other chemicals, is that it is far, far easier for the average HS student to score weed or acid than it is for them to get a drink of beer. Where's the harm reduction in that?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:53 PM
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Where isn't the harm in that?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:57 PM
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^reduction


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 6:59 PM
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far easier for the average HS student to score weed or acid than it is for them to get a drink of beer.

I don't know where you went to high school, but we drank beer every weekend and I never saw weed until college. I've still never seen acid or anybody who looked like they were currently using it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:01 PM
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weed is a lot easier to get now for high school students than it ever has been.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:07 PM
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124: Because of will.com !


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:08 PM
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123: I went to high school in ... the inner-city! About a mile from where I live now, actually. This was in the early 1990s, so perhaps things are different now, but all the millions in drug enforcement money that had been spent up to that point (a not insignificant amount of which had been spent in that very neighborhood) had not made any significant dent in the ability of kids at my school to procure whatever they wanted. (I didn't personally know anyone who did heroin I only knew a single person who copped to doing heroin [people suspected he was a narc, but we never found out], but that was due to a variety of factors, chief among them being the fact that most people, most of the time do not want to take heroin). Acid was $2-$3 a tab, weed, obviously, varied widely in both price and quality, but I'm sure people could have hooked me up with basically smokable MexiCali stuff for $30 a quad or so any time I wanted.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:10 PM
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^^ this decade has been the golden age of pot. It's crazy in CA right now, let alone if it gets legalized in November.

People don't talk enough about the massive amounts of prescription psychoactives people ingest. I know people for whom pot is a seemingly quite effective anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drug, without seeming to interfere with functionality very much. Compare Xanax, which is crazy addictive but incredibly widely used among upper-middle class women especially (in my experience).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:11 PM
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The little up arrows in 127 were meant to refer to 124.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:11 PM
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127.2: That's the point I was trying to make with the link in 67.1.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:14 PM
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A book I just read on the history of drug use in the States argued that we've always been heavy users, often of semi-medical drugs (patent morphine-containing nostrums); and that the only two cases of net drug use seeming to drop were alcohol before Prohibition, and tobacco recently. And both of those, obviously, are changing the social acceptibility (and the ease of access), rather than legality.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:23 PM
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Bring back Vin Mariani!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:30 PM
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129: thanks, great graphic. And surprise surprise, Xanax is the most prescribed psychoactive. I can't really speak to the subjective experience of the anti-depressant drugs on there, but Xanax and Valium are both strong opiate-type drugs that get you high for sure. Especially when you wash them down with a shot or a glass of wine. 58 million pills prescribed per year between them.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:42 PM
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And what symtoms should I have when I see the doctor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:54 PM
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I have in-laws with glaucoma, if that helps.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:56 PM
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||

Shit. I just turned on TCM to see only the last 5 minutes of Diabolique. Not that it isn't a great 5 minutes, but the whole thing is so good. Now I must stream on Netflix to scratch my itch. I will heed here the posted warning.

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 7:59 PM
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135: Just make sure you don't stream the Sharon Stone version!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:01 PM
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136: I have seen the original half a dozen times, and the Sharon Stone one never. I dated someone who had been in it, and still didn't watch it.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:05 PM
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Xanax and Valium are both strong opiate-type drugs that get you high for sure.

I'm not a pharmacologist, but neither Xanax nor Valium is remotely like an opioid. It's true they get you high, though (in manner of speaking). Nothing to help you endure a long-haul flight like two whiskies and a valium. Or so I've heard.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:14 PM
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xanax is not 'opioid type' drug except in the general sense that they both reduce anxiety/general arousal level.

and the thing about alcohol is that its just about the easiest thing to make ever, unless they start outlawing carbohydrates.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:15 PM
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132: to be picayune, Xanax and Valium aren't opiates. I say this as an old, fond friend of both parties.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:24 PM
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Four years is both impressive and very admirable.

As for the drug war, I'm so square that I have torn up Percocet prescriptions rather than dull the exquisite suffering of walking around on broken bones,* but I oppose imprisonment/disfranchisement for nonviolent crimes generally.

118: When I had to visit the Flip-Pater at Mass General after some heart attack or what have you, the ICU nurses were so white they might as well have been shipped in dark containers straight from Dublin. Flashbacks to high school in the 413 area code.

* New England Protestant useless asceticism fever! Catch it! Let me tell you about learning the hard way that the rocks lining freezing Icelandic rivers are sharp....


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:25 PM
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Also, I seem to have bruised most of the ribs in the left side of my carcass, without receiving the sort of catcher's-mitt-sized bruise that I would have expected. In unrelated news, have you ever noticed how often you have to move your ribcage?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:29 PM
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Flashbacks to high school in the 413 area code.

Huh. I know that 413 area code well. Hail, fellow.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:32 PM
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413 for life as long as I am never required to return to its largest urban area.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:33 PM
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142: Holy crap, can a seemingly innocuous ribcage injury hurt like hell. Not being able to move your ribcage without pain is inconvenient, considering that you move your ribcage when you breathe.

the 413 area code

In other New England news, Adrian puts the "belt" in Beltre! Woohoo!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:37 PM
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Geez people, by "opiate-type" I just meant that they were downers, which admittedly I should have just said. A misleading adjective among this bunch of pedants is like raw meat to the dogs.

I'm not sure I've ever actually taken an opioid. I'm afraid I'd like it too much. Although I did take percocet once, I think that's an opioid. It was awesomely marvelous for a couple of days and then I habituated or something and it just made me feel dizzy, so I gave it away.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:41 PM
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144: Which is what, like, Springfield? Eek. Not Worcester, that was 617, I think. They've changed it all around now, peh.

In other New England news, Adrian puts the "belt" in Beltre! Woohoo!

What's that, now? Who? What?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:46 PM
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147: There's a lovely Armory Museum, thank you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:49 PM
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And I missed the bruising of the ribs on the carcass, Flippanter. Sorry -- breathe shallowly? I wouldn't be so bold as to ask what happened. Catcher's mitt, really?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:51 PM
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149: You know how people say that takeoffs and landings are the most dangerous portions of any aircraft flight? They are correct.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:52 PM
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147.2: Stupid Red Sox. Forget it. Grr.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:53 PM
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I haven't been to Springfield for a while. So.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 8:55 PM
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150: Jesus. Story?

Also, no love for the Basketball Hall of Fame?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:00 PM
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Yay Basketball Hall of Fame. Is there anything else fun to do in Springfield?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:02 PM
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Is there anything else fun to do in Springfield?

The bus station there is a trip. The bar in the bus station is even more so. That's about all I know about the town, to be honest.

But Flip says he's a lifer as long as it's not Springfield, and I understand that: it's a gorgeous area.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:10 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:10 PM
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Congratulations, Alameida!


Posted by: honigessig | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:22 PM
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153: I lived around the corner from the old, old BBHOF when I was a kid. Very modest, compared to what succeeded it downtown, and practically monastic compared to the present model.

The other night, I was in southern Utah with a friend, our paragliding instructor and some much, much, much better and more experienced pilots. The second or third mountain site that we visited seemed flyable (in contrast with the ridge near the polygamist community of Hildale/Colorado City, which was blown way, way, way out). The experienced guys all got off the ridge -- a couple with some trouble, but they were all away, while my friend and I and our instructor were waiting for the wind to lighten a bit. It did, just before sunset, but then it changed direction by about 60-70 degrees and slowed again. Cutting the story short, after a couple of clumsy attempts to launch obliquely off the main ridge (paragliders launch into the wind -- the wing cells inflate via openings on the leading edge), we adjourned to a steeper, rocky point and I tried to launch again. Another step or two and I would have been free and clear with 3300 feet over the LZ to enjoy in cold-fingered terror, but I lost my footing on the rocks and played Humpty Dumpty for about 20 feet of 45-degree grade. I got away with the aforementioned bruised ribs, a few smaller bumps and some scrapes on an arm and a knee. (Thanks, largely, to POC Sports.)

I posted to my FB page a couple of pictures of the process of laying out my paraglider and stuff and getting ready to fly in the mountains the other night, but didn't get any of the flying shots I had hoped for. I'll have another chance at a different site in a week or two.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:22 PM
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dudes. duuuudes. the plain fact is that any reason you can think of to limit access to some drug applies in triple spades to alcohol, and we actually ran an experiment where we criminalized alcohol, and do you know what? it was an abject failure and got shit ton of people killed. mark a.r. kleiman is basically telling us we might be able to have drugs be illegal without significant bad effects iff we cure american society of its deeply ingrained racism. which, huh, really? not that it isn't a great idea and all. you know all those people who "OD" on heroin? they were also drunk. I have known one person to succumb to untreated pneumonia that he got by smoking heroin all the time, but honestly, only one. ever, and it was marveled at by all. my sponsee who died last year taking too much IV heroin was a) drunk, b) had taken like 45mg of valium.

has mark a.r. kleiman ever lived in an inner-city area with open-air drug markets? because I have lived in several, and let me tell you, it was horrible. I used to have to lie down in my bathtub in NYC sometimes because there were bullets flying, just literally flying around, launched from the muzzles of SKSs illegally modified to be fully automatic. it was like somalia up in that shit (granted, the early 90s were a dark era for crime). none of that warring over corners, none of that heightened crime by swarms of crackheads looking for $5 or $10, none of that cops jerking you around because they felt like it, none of those SWAT team raids on a place with 1/4 kilo in it, or nothing because they got the wrong address, none of that shit was necessary. nor did it appreciably stop people from getting high! what it does is put black people in jail, full stop. it's really just as simple as that. so, sorry, middle-class white family whose son is now a junkie instead of the alcoholic he was destined to be, but I just weighed up your modestly increased sorrow against 1/3 of black men between certain ages being in jail, and you lose. fucking heroin-dispensing vending machines in fucking pre-kindergartens, fuckers, bring it on.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 9:24 PM
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Damn, alameida. 159 really hits it out of the park.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:26 PM
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Also, congratulations on the four years.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:27 PM
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There's a Sharon Stone version of Diabolique? That makes me sad.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:47 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:55 PM
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This wasn't too bad a version. Weld, Waterston, Joan Hackett directed by John Badham.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 10:56 PM
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The fact that heroin (and especially cocaine) are generally combined with alcohol for their worst effects is one of the strongest arguments against legalization, not an argument in favor of it. Legal cocaine plus heroin plus alcohol equals a mutually reinforcing giant problem.

Prohibition of alcohol in the US actually had decently positive impact on public health and overall crime, not to mention things like domestic violence. It had terrible organized crime effects and made corrupt urban governance problems worse, but, most significantly, a largish majority of people decided that they got a fair amount of pleasure from drinking that they didn't want to give up. I think that's the right call,but we should be clear about the costs that come from a liberalized alcohol regime, as well as the benefits.

And open-air drug markets are horrible, but that's exactly the point -- you can eliminate them without putting heroin in vending machines, or whatever (actually, they largely have been eliminated, or substantially reduced, in most major US cities; the corner 5 blocks from my house was a significant open air market through most of the 90s).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-10-10 11:20 PM
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It is hard to separate out cultural issues, but the U.S. has a substantially worse problem with binge drinking in young people than countries with a lower drinking age.

The drinking age in Britain is 18 and I imagine our binge drinking problem is worse than in America. They're trying to do something short of prohibition in Scotland, but I don't see it working much. It's competitive. In countries where they don't have so much of a binge drinking culture, I guess the kids find other stuff to be competitive about.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:06 AM
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Frex, in Ukraine they seem to do competitive pissing.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:18 AM
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167: That reminds me of something I'd seen that some urinals have dots in them, to encourage the competitive spirit to piss on the dot, rather than all over the urinal. It's probably just to keep the thing clean.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:21 AM
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I'd certainly prefer not to have to clean that goal thing, but I like the idea of the dots. It's half past three over there, why aren't you sleeping the sleep of the just?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:37 AM
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I fell asleep really early because my job is exhausting, but then I woke up again for a bit. Thinking about giving it another shot.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:44 AM
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Good idea. Sleep well.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:46 AM
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I'm not sure why I'm even bothering with Presidential, but screw it.

1/3 of black men between certain ages being in jail

I think the actual incarceration rate if you limit it to guys under 40 gets you to 10 percent or a little higher (African Americans, lower for whitey). AFAIK, the only way to get in the neighborhood of a third is to include everyone still linked with the criminal justice system via things like parole and probation.

the plain fact is that any reason you can think of to limit access to some drug applies in triple spades to alcohol

To get it out of the way, yes, of course marijuana should be legal. I think we're building momentum in that direction. It's a thought that's pretty openly bandied about police lineups.

On the other hand I'm not on board yet with the idea total legalization of heroin, meth, and crack would be just like legal alcohol. What's the capture rate for heroin, 30 percent? Believe you me, a huge amount of my calls are alcohol related, but it also seems pretty obvious that people are just flat out physiologically wired in such a way that a much higher percentage of us can casually use alcohol than the harder drugs.

I think a quick and aggressive decriminalization of weed to place it on a much more level playing field with alcohol while leaving more restrictions in place for the harder drugs would yield good results in a hurry. Loads of people fight cops and each other when they're drunk. Nobody fights us on weed, ever.

Like Halford, I think there's huge room for improvement in current policy and methods without going the free for all route. Targeting types of offenders (violent) and selling behaviors that breed quality of life issues for neighborhoods (crack houses, open air drug markets) are relatively easy tweaks to the existing system and already are being implemented. I also think it would be relatively easy to knock down penalties on simple possession while retaining things like possession + gun = felony. I'm also a fan of the "dangerous weapon while intoxicated" statute.


Posted by: Teddy Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:50 AM
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Re: Alcoholics who commit crimes. People who are desperate and resourceful build stills all the time--especially in prison.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 5:38 AM
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159:

Geez, I love alameida. Excellent comment.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 8:14 AM
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Late congratulations Alameida! I didn't notice this post until just now...


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 8:48 AM
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Meth sounds vile--especially since it makes people look so old so fast. It's not huge yet on the East Coast. I can't help thinking that if regular cocaine had been cheaper and relatively more readily available, meth wouldn't have taken off.

Meth is a huge health hazard too because of the risks of explosions and the way it makes the production sites uninhabitable.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 10:25 AM
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176:I preferred meth to coke when I was tweaking. Coke doesn't give the rush, doesn't last as long, doesn't umm "stair-step" as well, the high doesn't mix as well with downers. Hell, with coke, sometimes you hardly feel high. I sought immobility and incapacity, or what's the point? I'd still go thru hundreds of dollars in a weekend.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 10:35 AM
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Oh man. It is really something, what meth does to people. I'm pretty naive about drug use, and even I can spot methface when I see it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 10:38 AM
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Megan I'm sure you've seen these:

http://www.drugfree.org/portal/drugissue/methresources/faces/index.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 11:40 AM
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has mark a.r. kleiman ever lived in an inner-city area with open-air drug markets?

Probably not, but the article linked in 58 has a section specifically on open-air drug markets and ways of dealing with them.

Also: allow me to be the first to offer you congratulations on four years! Woot!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 11:40 AM
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179: Is it wrong to have a favorite? This is definitely my favorite.

http://www.drugfree.org/portal/drugissue/methresources/faces/photo_8.html


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 11:43 AM
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Yep. I've seen 'em on the light rail whenever I ride it. Sacramento was one of the first big meth towns, although I think we've since been eclipsed by other cities.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:07 PM
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I'm not sure the "meth makes you pale, bloody-faced, and unstylish" campaign is much of a deterrent. Isn't one of the main reasons people do drugs that it means you don't have to worry about being sexually attractive anymore?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:11 PM
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Is it wrong to have a favorite?

Yes.

Isn't one of the main reasons people do drugs that it means you don't have to worry about being sexually attractive anymore?

Are you on crack?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:18 PM
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Politer 184.2: I've never heard that one, anwyay.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:19 PM
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But one of the main reasons I commented anonymously in 184 was so that I didn't have to worry about being sexually attractive.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:19 PM
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I'm pretty sure the main reason most people do drugs is that it feels good, or, depending on level of addiction, because it makes one feel less worse than if one didn't do the drug.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:23 PM
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Isn't one of the main reasons people do drugs that it means you don't have to worry about being sexually attractive anymore?

Drugs are fun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:26 PM
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Isn't one of the main reasons people do drugs that it means you don't have to worry about being sexually attractive anymore?

One of the main reasons people consume alcohol is so they don't have to worry about whether other people are sexually attractive anymore.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:49 PM
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Is it? I thought it was because alcohol is fun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:52 PM
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One of the main reasons people consume alcohol is so they don't have to worry about whether other people are sexually attractive anymore. Laydeeezsh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:54 PM
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190: I think you're sending the wrong message to the youth of today, heebie.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 12:56 PM
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Heebie is fun and makes me feel sexually attractive.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:04 PM
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193: Careful, apo. Heebie is a gateway blogger.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:06 PM
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194: Today's heebie is 30 times as strong as the heebie we know from our own adolescent experimentation.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:08 PM
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195: Yep, she's some dank heeb alright.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:19 PM
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Heebie is a gateway blogger.

Are you saying that eventually only nosflow will be able to get me off?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 1:44 PM
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197: Worse. If you're not careful, before long you'll be selling your body on the streets, just so you can read a little McMegan or Kaus off of some john's iPhone.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:01 PM
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Of course, you migh be able to get ogged or FL to take you on as a sponsee.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:02 PM
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And who's to say either of them is clean?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:11 PM
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200: I'm quite confident that neither McMegan nor Kaus are clean.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:17 PM
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And what are the odds that both of them are clean. On Tuesday. In Wisconsin?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:20 PM
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Years from now, when we're all stuck in the same nursing home by our ungrateful children, our days will consist of long pauses while we try to remember what decade it is, occasionally punctuated by someone shouting out "Sex Mutumbo In Wisconsin.com!" The nurses will think the shouting is because we're all senile, when in actuality we will be reminiscing about the days in which we were at the height of our mental powers.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 2:46 PM
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And then we'll find five dollars.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 3:08 PM
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Or so the mullahs would have you believe.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 3:27 PM
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On a hot dog.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 3:37 PM
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It's worth noting that in few other contexts is a spirited argument about drug legalization the polite response to "I'm four years clean and sober."

Not zero, but few. And don't get me wrong, I enjoy our folkways. 159 is so good.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-11-10 3:43 PM
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