Thursday, January 10, 2019

So much for drugs being a "victimless crime"

Readers will remember a discussion in these pages last week concerning illegal drugs and the damage they do.  It's been continued over at Borepatch's place, and at Aesop's.  (Links are to all their blog posts on the subject, by keyword;  so their recent posts on the subject lead at present, but will scroll down in the list as later articles overtake them.)

As if to make my point for me (and Aesop's), we read this news from Michigan.

A 6-year-old girl was rescued Thursday evening by police from a home in Mount Morris Township after she posted photos online of her dead father and unconscious stepmother.

A pit bull, police said, had been gnawing on the 40-year-old man's face.

. . .

[Police chief] Green said the couple appears to have suffered a drug overdose.

It was unclear what kind of drugs they were — or where they came from.

. . .

Green said the child's grandparent reportedly saw the photos of the adults on Facebook, which the child posted with a mobile phone to get help. The grandparent called 911, which went to police in Ingham County and was passed to Mount Morris Township police.

When police went to the house, the officer heard the little girl screaming.

Green said she told the officer that "the dog was chewing on someone's face."

The officers broke into the house, found the girl's father, who was dead, and stepmother, who had been unconsciousness for at least 24 hours. The girl had not had anything to eat for a day — maybe longer.

The child told the officers she had woken up early Thursday and thought her parents were still sleeping. She tried to get them up, too. When they didn't respond, she splashed water on their face — but they still wouldn't waken.

There's more at the link.

That little girl is the victim of her parents' drug crime.  They may not have intended her to be a victim, but she sure as hell ended up that way.  I doubt she'll ever fully recover from having to see and experience those things.  She had to watch a pit bull eating her father's face as he lay dead.  That's the stuff of nightmares, right there.  The effects of seeing that will be with her for the rest of her life.  For forcing her to endure that, and depriving her of a parent in the most ghastly way imaginable, I'd gladly have dealt with her father myself, very severely indeed . . . but he's in the hands of a higher Power now, and beyond our judgment or punishment.

I concede Borepatch's point that the War on Drugs has rendered it difficult - sometimes impossible - for people in pain to get the medication they need to alleviate their condition.  I'm in that category myself.  I can no longer easily get (outside a hospital) the strong opioid medication (Percocet) I used to be prescribed to control episodes of severe pain (my pain has been non-stop, 24/7/365, since a partly disabling injury in February 2004, and will be with me every minute of every day for the rest of my life).  I have to make do with less effective medications, taken in larger quantities, because that's all the medical profession can prescribe without being suspected of drug-trafficking.  I don't like that - I resent the hell out of it - but I understand why the policy exists.  That little girl personifies the reason for the restrictions.

I agree, such restrictions should not be necessary;  I agree, more effective approaches should be found;  but what approaches?  Riddle me that.  Too many patients are addicted to legally prescribed medications.  Unless and until a solution is found to that problem, probably the only practical approach is to limit the number of prescriptions issued for such drugs.  Know a better, practical, effective way?  Please tell us about it in a comment to this post.

Drugs are not a "victimless crime".  Their abuse is not just a malum prohibitum offense, as some argue, but malum in se - evil in itself.  There are always moral consequences to their abuse, even if not immediately visible, and even if some reject any moral code that defines such consequences.  That's too bad.  Their rejection won't change reality - a reality that poor little girl will have to carry in the deepest recesses of her mind and her soul for the rest of her life.



EF G said...

Seems to me that the child also became a victim of bad parenting - I mean, she knew how to post pictures on "social media" but not how to dial 911?
That is some serious neglect.

Aesop said...

She's six.
You figure she could tell that that was a bona fide 9-1-1 emergency when she "couldn't wake her parents up"?

This sort of situation is exactly Bruno Kirby's "Best Day Of My Life/Worst Day Of My Life" from City Slickers.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Where you and I part is "Unless and until a solution is found to that problem, probably the only practical approach is to limit the number of prescriptions issued for such drugs."

This assumes that the government is at all likely to impose such a limit in an effective and intelligent manner. And I know of scant evidence for this assumption. Governments are good at brute force and bean counting, and bad at subtlety and nuance.

Drugs exist. In decades of War On Drugs the government has notably failed to remove them from society. So some children are GOING to be victims of their Parents' fecklessness. But, thanks to the War On Drugs, in addition to this little girl, who the government failed to save, we have you, a victim of an anti-drug policy misapplied. And, since I am a Sovereign Citizen, it is misapplied IN MY NAME!


Prohibition does not work. It didn't work with alcohol, and because so many people defied it it became obvious that it didn't work rather quickly (13 years is goddamned quick for a government program to be terminated!). The War On Drugs drags on because the numbers are not quite large enough to make the failure plain.

In the 1990's, when we were also being treated to a 'Drug Epidemic' panic by government agencies in search of funds and power, I looked up multiple years DEA stats on 'regular drug users', regular being defined as someone using an illegal drug once a month or more (this is the DEA's definition of the time, not mine). The DEA, which I considered unlikely to underplay the numbers, was claiming year after year that there were about 16 million regular users of illegal drugs, of which 10 - 11 million were 'basically pot smokers'..

That leaves slightly over 2% of the then adult population of 270 million.

I would argue that that little girl is a victim, nor of drugs per se, but of being born to people who should not have been parents. Over history, there have been a lot of such little girls (and little boys). Some of them have grown up to be monsters, and some have grown up to be saints, and most have landed somewhere in between. And preventing such morons as her parents from spawning can superficially sound like a swell idea, until you start thinking about how, and who would do it, and that way lies a certain despicable Austrian...and that rat bastard Woodrow Wilson.

I strongly feel that the largely inevitable tragedies of letting terra-cotta toothed imbeciles breed are not preventable by any course of action I am willing to undertake. I also strongly believe that attempting to prevent such tragedies is not worth the pain inflicted on persons like yourself. And I deeply resent the policies that make your pain something that I, as a citizen, have had a hand in.

HMS Defiant said...

On drugs.
I suffer now and then from absolutely devestating pain in the feet. My wife had a knee replaced a few months ago and I was the one that kept driving way over there to pick up her doctor's prescription of opoids and getting them and never ever even thinking once that I could take even one of those damned things. Never going to happen.

Here in Ohio, saw a picture of a nice looking white couple with needles in their arms, dead to the world in their SUV with their child in a car seat behind them when the police found them.

Paul, Dammit! said...

I'm friendly with several physicians who are part of the expat Brazilian community my wife is part of.
They're feeling the pressure to minimize narcotic prescriptions and duration as well. When my wife had surgery in November, and I was a little frustrated because she was undermedicated (IMO) and in severe pain in the days after surgery, my friend explained that the rate of addiction by habituation to legitimately-prescribed dosages over 10 days for short-term pain management isthe worse demographic for the potential for addiction. It's bad enough that surgeons limit their liability by knowingly underprescribing.

Aesop said...

The overreach that leaves one person in pain is your responsibility, but loosing the floodgates to create thousands of little girls like the one in this tale is somebody else's fault? That buck stops...over there, somewhere...?

That's a mighty selective sense of moral responsibility you have there.
Try not to pull a muscle.

2% is also just about exactly the percentage of the population that's incarcerated, on parole, or probation. The overlap with drug users coincides to a remarkable degree.

So people who make poor life choices make poor life choices.
Who knew?

"prohibition does not work."
Lazy sophistry. The prohibition on murder hasn't worked since the tablets were carried down from Mt. Sinai. Shouldn't we repeal that one too? It clearly hasn't worked.

How well does drug prohibition work in Singapore?
What about in Saudi Arabia?

How many cases does it take before a given law "doesn't work"?
Is it a percentage of the population, sliding with time, or is it a hard actual number of cases?
Isn't that sort of pure utilitarianism setting up inevitable failure over time for every law?
And for the entire idea of law?
Knowing that, why would you do that?

Because "Oh well, boys will be boys"...?

Shouldn't speeding laws go away too, then? Just spitballing, but I'm betting there are 20 to 200 times the number of speeders than people doing speed.
Shouldn't traffic be entirely laissez faire, because people will always act in the best interests of everyone, including themselves? And if they don't, and knock off a few tens of thousands of innocent motorists, that's not anyone else's fault is it?
Society should never have set that standard.
Because enforcing laws leads to death camps.
That's why we round people up and gas them by the millions every day.

What about robbery?
Or rape?
Or child molestation?
Those laws aren't working either, when last I looked.
Or simply all laws?

Wars never work. They're just law on an international scale.
How many Nazis should we have killed before we called it quits?
If communists invade this country, at what number of invaders should we just throw down our guns and surrender?
How many people trying to break in before you should throw your front door open, and let them rape you wife and kids, take all your stuff, and soil the carpet on their way out when they're finished?
5? 20? 42?

How many illegal aliens should we use as the benchmark for when it's time to surrender a border as a quaint notion, overtaken by events?

Are there things that are objectively right and objectively wrong, or if enough lemmings leap over the cliff, shouldn't we just give up our morals and principles and join them? Because "everybody's doing it"?

Fifty million mothers telling their kids not to do that are waiting with bated breath for the answer to that question.

Now tell me that drugs are "magically different".
Because things you don't like are evil, and things you like are good.

So we're not really talking about ethics, morals, or objective truth, but rather, ice cream flavors. And everyone should be free to try them all, because some of them are going to do it any ways.

That's why prohibitions on anything are actually evil.
Reductio, meet absurdum.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

My case against the Drug Laws runs as follows;

1) There was a period when some states had outlawed alcohol and hadn't outlawed the major illegal drugs. In that period, the vast majority of social problems were from drunks. This social balance may have changed, but I would like to see.

2)The brainless enthusiasm for 'we gotta GET the Drug Lords' has lead to a lot of loss of civil rights, such as the creation of the entire 'asset forfeiture' scam. That isn't, so far as I know, duplicated in other forms of crime.

3) Contrary to decades of myths, heroin, cocaine, and pot (the Big Three) don't make people run amok. They may cause them to neglect their children. So does alcohol, and we all know where THAT lead. If I knew of evidence that the War On Drugs actually slowed the rate of use, instead of being mostly a price support, I might be willing to see it continue.

What I would like to see is a shift in Law, such that anything you do while under the influence of a drug you took of your own will is assumed to be a deliberate act, and punished as such. At the same time, I would like to see marijuana, heroin (and all opiates, generally), and cocaine made broadly legal, provided that they are sold with accurate claims of purity and clear descriptions of all adulteration. We leave the exotics (starting with LSD and PCP) illegal, and wait ten years t see where we are.

The last time the Big Three were legal, there were some social issues, but it isn't clear how many and how big. The present system is failing in a number of ways. Like so many of my political positions, this comes down to 'What's being tried doesn't appear to be working, let's try something else'.

Of it's a disaster, few can always change back. That, to my mind, is the REAL (and under appreciated) lesson of Prohibition; laws are not permanent. We can try things and then repeal them if they don't work.

Poodlehorde said...

It's hard, but a partial solution to the problem is allowing the inevitable overdose to run its course. Possibly attempt the rescue one time (an indelible mark like a tattoo would make sure recidivists would not get a second treatment); but something along those lines would certainly lower demand and solve the problem of resource over use and the termoil and years long heartbreak that we have now.

Beans said...

Er… I keep hearing Prohibition didn't work. Prohibition didn't work.

Bullscat. Prohibition did work, to a point.

Before Prohibition, alcohol abuse was one of the major public health issues. I'm not talking about the person who drinks a 24 pack on a Friday night, I'm talking about the chronic user who starts the day with a drink, drinks during work, at lunch, at work, after work, at dinner and before bed. Chronic drinking. A major hazard in an industrializing society. Drunk and machines are a bad mix. Drunk and fast moving vehicles are a bad mix. Spending money on drink vs food or decent housing and clothing is a bad mix. Toss in unacceptable rates of death by cirrhosis, malnutrition and other effects of long-term high usage of alcohol.

Yes, there were the ninnies of the Temperance movement who didn't like alcohol because they were, well, ninnies, but there was strong support throughout society for temperance due to the turn of the century's version of meth and heroin fiends. Alcohol fiends. A real thing. Broken families, excessive violence, domestic battery, crimes of all sorts linked directly to widespread alcoholism.

Then came Prohibition. Part of Prohibition was businesses and society in general not accepting drunks at the work place anymore. Yes. Organized Crime surged, but individual crimes directly due to alcohol decreased. So did medical issues related to alcoholism.

We as a nation had serious issues with alcohol. Prohibition gave us as a nation a chance to step back and reset.

So, well, next time someone tells you Prohibition was an abject failure, remember who taught them that. What political family rose to primacy due to first, Prohibition and then to legal sales after prohibition, when they had money?

What political group controls the message that prohibition didn't work? Could it be the same political group that tends to attract the very druggies and losers that a modern Prohibition effects?

takirks said...

We already held a plebiscite in this country over the issue of drugs; the drugs won.

Socially, until the average citizen is willing to do what needs doing about the issue, which means actually stepping up and cooperating with the cops, and most importantly, not "looking the other way" when they see drug use going on or have it reported to them...? Well, guess what? The half-hard BS of "enforcement against the bad dope dealers" ain't going to cut it.

Aesop makes the mistake of likening the issue to that of murder, saying that prohibition against murder is equivalent. It's not--The problem isn't the way we punish the crime, but the way we approach how socially acceptable it is. Hell, in some communities? Everyone looks the other way when gang-bangers murder gang-bangers; they don't care enough to do anything about it, and that's why the murder rate is what it is, there.

So long as drugs and drug use is socially acceptable enough that the average person doesn't immediately "do something about it", prohibition is a waste of time, and actually inimical to upholding the rest of law-and-order; it's like in the military: You simply do NOT give an order that you know will not be obeyed, because once you do that, it erodes the authority of every other order you will ever give.

If drug use and all that were socially unacceptable, to the same degree that, oh... Say, child molestation was, then you might get some traction with making it illegal. Until the majority of society is willing to do about seeing you do drugs or buy them what they would do if they saw you raping a six-year old, guess what? You've not got the social weight to effectively make a ban on drugs work. All you can do is work around the edges, and attempt to ameliorate the side-effects.

Think about it: Are you willing to step up and do to a drug dealer or user what you'd do if you saw someone raping a kid? Are you willing to die to put a stop to it? No? Well, guess what, bubiya? You're not committed enough to this issue to really support your thesis of "Ban it all!!!". And, until you are? Don't talk to me about this "prohibition" idea of yours, because until you're willing to turn your dope-using son in for using that shit the way you would (hopefully...) if you caught his sorry ass raping a pre-teen in his room, well... You're not really serious. The only way you can make a ban on drug use and abuse work is if the use of them has that level of social disapproval, and until it does? You're just posing as a badass. And, making it virtually impossible to effectively deal with the problem as what it actually is--A medical and mental health issue. Sane, normal people don't destroy their lives with drugs, despite what the propaganda says. Every single person I know who's done that? They had seventy-eleven other issues going on in their lives, and the drug abuse was a symptom of those issues.

Aesop said...


#1). Fair enough. The stats are there for the looking. So, out of curiosity, how many incidents do we need from heroin, cocaine, etc., before you see them as a problem on their own? I'd have no problem granting that alcohol is a far bigger problem, and that's because it's a legal drug. So why would anyone intelligent want to add more items to that category?

#2). True, and no apology intended nor offered for the abuses of poorly-written and ill-conceived laws, but I'm going out on a limb to suppose that in, say, arson or rape, there isn't quite the same pallets-of-cash return on investment or sheer profitability you get from heroin or cocaine, among others.
So can we agree that criminals with literally semi-trailers full of cash are a bigger problem than mere criminals with pocket change?
And if so, what should be done about those misbegotten profits, should the opportunity arise?

#3). You'd be right about that myth, except for the evidence of our lying eyes, and the 1970s for heroin, and the 1980s for cocaine. Some of us saw that first-hand, not on Miami Vice reruns or Scarface marathons on TNT. So, in fact, both the drugs, and jonesing for them, do cause people to "go amok". Quite regularly.

#3a). That the Slap Fight on Drugs (we've never had a War) is a joke is acknowledged from all sides. Pointing that out answers none of the objections to legalization, any more than hiring retards shows that any other business is a bad idea, or the Keystone Kops prove that police are a bad idea. It just shows you shouldn't put retards in charge of important things.
El Al, for example, does great airline security. Pointing to the TSA doesn't disprove the idea that good airline security can exist, and underlines that there's a better way to do things.

"Legal heroin and cocaine"...?
To what purpose?
"claims of purity enforced"?
By whom? If someone sells impure drugs, or unlabeled drugs, because they've always done that, because they're criminals, you'll do...what, exactly?
Declare a War On Drugs, perhaps?
Imagine my gigglesnorts.

After ten years, will you be responsible for all the lives snuffed, scarred, and otherwise squandered for opening the floodgates?
Or will that still be somebody else's problem?

Your idea of law as social experimentation, WRT drugs, is what scientific testing calls Medicine By Dr. Mengele.
It's an unethical experiment, and you're using actual human beings as the guinea pigs with a known poison, and you're pretending, to yourself and to them, to be completely agnostic about any likely consequences.
It's akin to pushing people off a cliff for ten years, to see if anyone learns to fly.

It's funny when it's turkeys for a stunt at fictional WKRP; for actual people in real life, not so much.

Aesop said...


Well played, and bonus points for engaging the actual points of contention. But you skipped a few steps.

"Everyone looks the other way when gang-bangers murder gang-bangers; they don't care enough to do anything about it, and that's why the murder rate is what it is, there."

So, do we thereby suspend the murder statutes? Ever?
If not, why not?

" it's like in the military: You simply do NOT give an order that you know will not be obeyed, because once you do that, it erodes the authority of every other order you will ever give."
Oh really?
Doesn't that advice refer to conditional orders?
Or do they just suspend the UCMJ whenever the mood strikes, to appease morale? Show your work, if you please.
And since you brought them up, how does the US military treat drug use/abuse, if "prohibitions don't work"?
I'll wait while you consult the appropriate references.

"Until the majority of society is willing to do about seeing you do drugs or buy them what they would do if they saw you raping a six-year old, guess what?"
Oh, pick me!
The answer is What you'll do, or feel, about drugs is irrelevant, since we have a justice system, not a vendetta system. Your job isn't to enforce the law, it's to obey it. Pointing out that a lot of people think the law is like the Pirate's Code: really just guidelines, really - doesn't absolve the moral and legal imperative to follow it.
Here's a helpful reference for you:
How do you feel about that, and what difference will your feelings make in open court?

Character is what you do when no one's looking.
You've done an excellent job - really, you have - of describing that people are perfect douchecanoes, given the chance, but nothing to demonstrate why this ought to be how society goes about its business.

And yes, drugs and crazy is a chicken and egg problem. All I'm asking for is to throw them into the coop, or the stew pot. And make an omelet by breaking a few eggs. The rooster who crows too often, too early, is always known by the helpful appellation "Sunday Dinner".

takirks said...

Aesop, what I'm talking about is reality. You're talking some idealistic bullshit that is never, ever going to actually happen. People want to get high, and they are going to do whatever they want to do in order to do it--You trying to make laws against it is going against the natural grain of human desire. Humans generally want to be murdered slightly less than they want to murder others, so laws can work (somewhat) when you make them against murder. Anything lacking that amount of social agreement? Not going to work, with actual real live people. That's reality; deal with it.

In the military, oh, yeah... You keep on issuing orders that you know aren't going to be obeyed, and you're going to find out something most of us who live in the real world already know: There's a finite amount of "obey" in every human, and when you blow that on stupidity like "drive 35 miles per hour through an ambush, or we'll give you a speeding ticket", guess what the end result is? Nobody pays any attention at all to you, because your attempts at enforcing stupidity have discredited everything you do--Even if you issue orders that are the right thing to do, nobody will pay attention to them because they're buried in a mass of idiotic precedent that you've created. The order that will not be obeyed is the order that should not be issued, because once you start that ball rolling, you don't know where the hell it ends.

That's the world of reality. Sucks, but it's true; every time you come up with some stupid BS like a 55mph speed limit that nobody actually obeys, or stop lights that have times set too low to ever possibly avoid a red light on, that erodes people's willingness to obey. Scofflaws don't start out with things like murder, because those things aren't socially acceptable just because of laws, but because it's socially unacceptable in the first damn place. You can't make something socially unacceptable just by passing a law, and that's basically what the drug laws are; you're trying to create social unacceptability by fiat, and it does NOT WORK. Laws that are passed in accordance with social mores work; laws that are not? They actually tear down the effect of "law and order".

And, I wager, you're probably a huge hypocrite on this issue: Posit that the laws were such that drug abuse was a capital crime; you prove someone does dope, and it's an automatic no-appeal life sentence to degradation in prison or execution. Under those circumstances, do you turn your kid in when you walk in on them blowing some dope? Or, do you try to hide that, talk to them, and try to get them treatment if they're addicted?

Would you do that if you walked in on that kid raping their six-year old cousin? Consider what you think your response would be, to that happening, and then compare it to the hypothetical about walking in on them doing dope. Are your reactions consistent? If they are, well, I have to give credit to the strength of your beliefs. If not, might I point out the hypocrisy of your position?

More, below:

takirks said...

This isn't about legality; laws only work when enough of society thinks that the law is in accordance with the social acceptability of the act. If murder is socially acceptable because the victim "dissed" the killer, guess what? That's inner-city violence, and why you're not going to be able to merely "pass a law" against something and see effect. Indeed, you're actually going to tear down respect for the law with these things, such as it might be. I honestly don't know what the hell is unacceptable in some of those communities, because I've heard things said and observed actual effects that would tend to suggest that there is no sufficiently transgressive act which they'd react to--Assuming it was performed by another member of the community. Outsider? Hell, just looking at them cross-ways is enough to get yourself murdered. Indicates a complete lack of civilization, but there you are; that's that community.

In regards to the overall community, here in the US? Drugs are well past the point of acceptability, and a realistic view would recognize that whatever discussion was had on this point, the anti-drug side lost. Being as that's the case, laws are futile until the general public starts to have a consensus that "drugs are bad, 'mmmkay...?". And, because we don't want to create an atmosphere of discredit with the rest of the legal system and social mores, it would be wise to just knock off the bullshit and accept that people are going to do whatever they need to to "get high". You lost your moralizing arguments about twenty years ago; deal with it. It's a train wreck, and that wreck happened mostly because your idiotic side chose to engage on the legal level, and not the "social acceptability" one.

Look at cigarette use, for an example: Hell, you can't even show historically accurate cigarette use in period pieces, these days. We haven't banned cigarettes, but the use is going down more and more; were you to ban them, then I can about guarantee the use is going to go up, 'cos "rebels" love them some transgression.

Frankly, I'm tired of these arguments; the "drug control" types are idiots, because we've got seventy years of evidence that the War on Some Drugs has not and will not work. Quit abusing my civil rights because you can't teach your kids not to blow dope. Deal with the fact that you're little darlings are unfit for survival, and stay the hell out of my life because you want to control everyone in an attempt to save their precious little unfit lives.

Bluntly put, in my world, were I running things? We'd solve the drug problem in a couple of generations, because I'd make everything legal, let the abusers pay the price for their abuse and die, as well as start sterilizing the habitual users that didn't manage to kill themselves. When some dumbass is willing to ferment human feces and then breath the fumes because he heard someone say that was a way to "get high", it's about Goddamn time to just quit with the obviously wasted attempt to prevent them from harming themselves, and start encouraging them to do away with themselves a bit more quickly, for the good of the species.

You can't play God and fix this shit, either by laws or other means. Accept that, and move on; the unfit are going to kill themselves, and if they're unfit because of trauma they might have experienced, so be it. You cannot save the world, and the idea that you can write laws that will work to do such a thing are a waste of time, and positively inimical to the rest of whatever half-ass legal system mere men can cobble together.

BC said...

A child saw one of their parents die, and another well on their way to it. That really sucks, your appeal to my emotions works in that regard.

I suggest that instead of watching their parents die, we get the police to throw a flash-bang grenade into bed with the child. That way they won't have to see or hear anything like that ever again.

Oh wait, here it is. Child in a coma after flash bang grenade thrown into a child's crib, brought to you by the war on drugs raid on innocent people. Story on NBC May 14, 2014, I won't post a link here so the anti-spam won't kill the post.

Totally better to blow up innocent kids than for a kid to watch their parents make horrible life choices and suffer the consequences for it.

hightecrebel said...

how does the US military treat drug use/abuse, if "prohibitions don't work"?

Ignore it until it can't be avoided, then destroy the offender who failed to keep it behind closed doors, or ignored the 'there might be a urinalysis test on the 11th' being tossed about starting on the 23rd. Or, for those who they KNOW have an issue, but know their shit, and pop up on the randoms, they are suddenly 'unavailable'/'in the field'/'on leave' for the 48-128 hrs so it's not in their system. Or, in one case I know of, was 'accidently' labeled as deployed a week before they were actually rotating out.

Instead of worrying about those types of things, they bump up the numbers of 'abusers' 'treated' by sending anyone who admits to drinking more than three beers in a 24hr period to their own version of rehab (ADAPT/ASAP/etc.).

If they actually enforced the supposed prohibition, they'd be less hard-core and more hollow.

Howard Brewi said...

I have pain issues due to spinal fusion surgery and arthritis. I avoided any addiction to the post surgery drugs. I was given gabapentin to try for long term use. It seems to do a good job on the nerve pain and I occasionally resort to it on a bad night to get some sleep. The loss of balance and deep "crash" that are side effects for me are way worse than anything experienced from percocet. I mostly try to use stretching exercises and such physical therapy taught me plus NSAI meds. The gabapentin may help you though.

Sevesteen said...

This is a lot like scraping up a horrible gun crime and saying "See, this is why we shouldn't allow semiautomatics!".

We don't have a severe opioid problem, we have a minor opioid problem and a severe "laced with fentanyl" problem. We have very little problem with either prescription drug diversion or overprescription. A politician that doesn't know this is willfully, "shoulder thing that goes up" ignorant--or more likely is more concerned with votes and power than people in pain.

There will always be some number of people who ruin their lives with drugs. If toughening up on drug use were going to work, we'd have seen a lot more evidence by now.

We have a problem with guns. If we cracked down hard enough we could sharply reduce gun violence--but that's a good deal only if you don't count all the other costs of the crackdown. We tried it with alcohol. And we're still trying it with drugs, with similar results.

Peter said...

@BC: If you'd been reading here longer, you'd have known that I publicized that 2014 incident, and I was furious about it. See these three articles:

One can be against, and condemn, any and all excesses of/by law enforcement (as I've done repeatedly in these pages). However, that does not condone crime or criminals, and it doesn't mean I'm against law enforcement in general. I carry retired Federal LE ID to this day, and associate with some policemen, deputies and agents whom I'm proud to call my friends. Others . . . not so much.

I repeat my argument. If you have a better solution, show us. Lay it out, let it be analyzed and assessed by those who know the realities of the situation, and let's see if it can be made to work. I'll gladly support it if it's better than the mess we have now. However, don't expect me to support the legalization of narcotics that will cause this sort of tragedy. That's out of the question.

takirks said...

Peter, the thing is... We've already had this discussion, and the dopers won.

Right now, I can sit here at home and make a few phone calls, and I could probably put my hands on anything I wanted to in the way of illegal drugs within 30 minutes. That's no different than it was when I was in high school, damn near forty years ago.

We've spent how much money, and wasted how many lives since then, in a misguided attempt to "wage war on drugs"? If we actually were doing that, we've lost. Pure and simple. And, in so doing, we've flushed a lot of our civil rights down the toilet, made millionaires out of drug smugglers, and warped law enforcement so badly that we may never recover.

All so you puritan types can feel good about keeping us "pure", and so the do-gooders can get their rocks off about how much they're "helping others", when what's actually going on is that all y'all are doing is fighting human nature and enabling other people to drag themselves to hell on the installment plan.

I'm done with you all, to be quite honest. I hear the moaning and whinging about it all, but you're the same people that won't turn in the dopers you know about, and look the other way when it's someone you "care about" doing the drugs. If you had the courage of your convictions, then you'd all be turning your kids in for smoking weed, along with your friends--And, demanding the death penalty for all and sundry selling and using these "evuulll druuuugs".

But, you don't--You wail and moan about how "evil" drugs are, but you actually won't take the steps you would if you really believed that shit. Which you don't. So, to signal your "virtue", you guys want to perpetuate this half-hard crap, and continue to spend billions of dollars on enforcement, while looking the other way when it's emotionally convenient.

takirks said...

Most of you really don't believe in this shit, but you're unwilling to bite the bullet and do what would need to be done in order to actually enforce what you want--Which would mean doing things like China did when they went after their opium problem. Automatic summary execution for the dopers, the sellers, and the enablers. That's the level of commitment that you would actually need to have, in order to "put an end to drug abuse", the way you want to do it.

And, you won't actually do it. So, quit your bitching about the drug problem, and start accepting that you can't stop other people from doing stupid shit to themselves. Let the fires burn, and maybe in a generation or two, we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel, after natural selection takes its nasty course. Or, not. Either way, shut the hell up. I'm tired of listening to all the great moralizers whinge on and on about how much damage drugs do to society, while at the same time, being entirely unwilling to take the steps it would actually take to end the problem--Which would mean putting a bullet into the head of every user, salesman, and smuggler. Many of whom are your family members and neighbors. You're too "nice" to bite that bullet, because you're such great "humanitarians", and because of that, you're taking my goddamn civil rights away and flushing my tax dollars down this black hole of "drug enforcement".

Face it: Your way has been tried for the last century-plus, and all we have to show for it is more dopers, more dope, and a lot of wasted money. Quit trying to "save humanity", because we really can't take too much more of your bullshit.

Legalize dope. Cease "helping" the dopers--Let them die. They're manifestly unfit; nature has been shouting that for years, and you've been ignoring it. Nobody became a doper because some syringe mugged them in a sunny park, somewhere--They all made choices. Let them deal with the natural consequences, and cleanse the gene pool of the susceptible. All you do-gooders and goody-two shoes have managed in the last century is to piss away a bunch of money, and a lot of our civil rights. Just... Stop. Accept that there are a bunch of people you can't save, and whose business you should just stay out of. Let 'em die--They're going to do it no matter what you do.

HMS Defiant said...


Will said...

I'm really surprised how people that I know are smart can be so stupid about history and facts dealing with human nature. You pro-government-control fanbois totally ignore that for ALL of recorded history, humans have searched and worked to acquire intoxicants/mind-altering substances. The percentages that are attracted to this varies, but is NEVER zero, and tends to be a fair bit of them. You think you can control this by passing laws forbidding it? When you ignore human nature, you will never get your desired results.

Takirks is right, this half-assed drug control fantasy you all seem to live in is stupid. The damage it has caused to our nation is tremendous. You all act like Democrats/Leftists. (Frankly, that is about the worst label I apply to people that I don't think should be shot on sight.) You all want to treat drugs like they are a deodand, instead of blaming the user for any difficulties they create by inappropriate use. You all bitch about how the anti-gun crowd treats gun ownership, and then you turn around and do the same thing with drugs. Where's the logic?

The only drug laws that should exist should be for misuse that causes, or threatens, harm to others. Those should be severe. They should start with schools and businesses. Show up under the influence, and they should be allowed to toss you out for any length of time they deem appropriate. DUI? I want to see your ass in jail for a year, and the vehicle crushed. Hurt someone with a DUI? You pay all costs to those you hurt, and jail for 5 years minimum. All money to be paid personally, any insurance payout to come after you have expended all personal funds. No money? Your ass stays in jail until you work it off. Someone died? You don't get out.(I've read that one of the Scandinavian countries has the DUI arresting officer take you directly to prison, where a judge checks everything has been done correctly, and there you sit for a year. Supposedly they popped their equivalent of our VP after a party, and away he went, which was the basis for the story being published.)

The key word is responsibility.

Will said...

Well, damn. It just occurred to me that I think I may have answered my own question regarding how the major pro drug-law players in this multi-blog thread could be so obtuse in missing the facts that are so glaring on the subject.
My paragraph about deodands and the anti-gun crowd has reminded me that The Left/Progressivism/socialism is probably a belief system. I think that, judging by Aesop and Peter's fervent* support in the face of the actual history of drug control, suggests they have also created or bought into a belief system on the subject.

It's not practical to expect to change someones belief system (how often do you hear of someone changing their religion?). This may explain why there are no major changes regarding drug laws, other than the obvious reason that benefits accrue to the people who work in the law enforcement community. If it's true that a belief system has been generated to support the drug enforcement entity, no changes that significantly reduce it can be made. We're screwed, I think.

*lots of emotion and hyperbole

Researchers, very reluctantly**, concluded a few years ago that we are hard-wired for a belief system. It seems obvious that we are able to accommodate multiple belief systems, including ones that apparently conflict (God's sense of humor?).

**They found the thought that humans were created to have religion (that's a belief system, people) to be quite unsettling. From their perspective there is no basis for it.

takirks said...

Let's go back and look at the historical era and the people that came up with this half-hard "drug prohibition" movement we're discussing, and observe raw historical fact.

Late 19th Century, all these asshole social do-gooders start their whinging about how the little brown immigrant people are gonna destroy White America (and, Europe plus the rest of this shaky edifice we call "Western Civilization", which I'm with Gandhi on; it'd be interesting to see what we made of one...). These control freaks came up with a number of theories--Ban alcohol. Ban "obscenity", which meant that even discussing sexual matters or selling condoms was worthy of prison... Ban narcotics and other drugs for "recreational uses", along with everything else under the sun that they didn't like. Hell, they tried to ban brown and off-white people, too--That bitch Sanger leading the way to a slow-motion genocide, in the name of "improving the race". And, ohbytheway, the asshole Sullivan was right there with them, denying those little brown and off-white people the ability and right to defend themselves, when the pogroms started up. Don't fool yourself, either--That's precisely what they wanted, and worked towards.

How much of this shit has actually, y'know... Worked? Any of it? Ferris...? Ferris...? [tapping on mike] I don't think this thing is working--Nobody is piping up with a damn thing that those do-gooding parasites of the late 19th Century "Progressive" movement came up with that works. Nothing from that era and mindset has had anything other than a pernicious effect on the tone and tenor of our civilization. They wanted control, reached for it, took it, and produced... What, precisely? What working legacy of theirs is still with us?

Face the facts: Humans want to get high. They're gonna do it. Every man and woman that ever takes a recreational swig of alcohol is doing it. Hell, even caffeine is a mind-altering substance, but because it is socially acceptable, it is legal. Care to posit the reaction if you suddenly made it illegal? Yeah; I'd be out killing the mofo's responsible for that, on the daily.

takirks said...

You want a successful model for ending drug abuse? Look at what we've done with cigarettes. It's no longer socially acceptable to even portray smoking cigarettes in entertainment, and it's becoming a private sin, once again. If we were to tell people that they were going to be responsible for all the side effects of smoking, like lung cancer and all the rest of them, you'd see even less. We should be doing drugs the same way--Work at it from the other end, and instead of outlawing them entirely, make their use socially unacceptable and, more importantly, make the abusers pay the price for using them. All of the price, to include buying their own Narcan and trips to the ER. No Narcan ticket on your ass? Well, sorry, bub... City, state, and federal tax payers aren't ponying up to pay for your stupidity. We will happily pay for slab space down at the local morgue, to keep your body from rotting in the streets, but that's it.

You should be able to buy any drug you want, in whatever quantity you want, anywhere. And, along with purchase, you get informed about the side effects, plus you pay for the rest of us to deal with those. I'd also have them sign "Don't waste the time, effort, or money" releases when they picked up their cheap drugs, acknowledging that if they die, too bad, too sad, the rest of us don't give a damn. Oh, and once you're habitual? Loss of franchise, and automatic sterilization. And, your kids go into foster care, where they're gonna get told on the daily what a fucking loser you are, for having chosen drugs over them.

Hell, yes. I'm an asshole. But, I guarantee you that when I was done, the rate of drug abuse would be a lot smaller than today, because I'd also be doing shit like going on national TV and telling the inner city that we were gonna offer 'em subsidized cheap drugs, and thanking the pushers for helping us eliminate the inner city black. Rap stars? Dealers? Dude, I'd have those fuckers in the White House and give 'em awards for their participation in the program to kill off the inner city blacks. I'd be giving speeches talking about how cheap drugs will help keep the failure in the inner city, and cut crime, celebrating the drug dealers and criminals good work in helping conduct the black genocide.

Wouldn't actually mean it, but by God, I know it would work. You put enough dealers faces on billboards, thanking them and acknowledging their work? Most of the rest of the black community is gonna wake up to what is going on, and realize that they're committing suicide as a group.

It would be cruel as hell. But, it would work.

takirks said...

And, yeah... I'm with Will. The key word is "responsibility". We've been insulating the drug users from reality for the last century-plus, and it hasn't done a damn thing to reduce the problem.

You want to make drug abuse go away? Actually reduce it? Quit enabling it. Quit treating human beings as though they were so many farm animals or children, without agency or responsibility. And, when some of them inevitably kill themselves, too bad. They'd have done it some other way, and there's not a damn thing you can do to stop them. Better they do it alone in their rooms, shooting up, than committing crimes to buy the overpriced suicide they're really wanting. You want oblivion, sweetheart? Fine; here it is.

You can't "help" these people--All you can do is make sure they're informed of the reality of what they're getting into, and then let reality ensue. No Narcan, no heroic emergency medical treatment that they're not paying for. Want that ER visit? Well, hey... We'll sell you a bond or insurance for your little chemical trip, sweetie. Can't, or won't pay for it? Tough shit. Die. You're a drain on society, anyway.

And, before you start in on how I'm cruel, that people do drugs because they've experienced trauma? Too bad. The truth is, you're trying to keep these people alive, when the reality is... They don't want to be. Let them go. Self-induced euthanasia is what they're seeking. Give it to them.

Decriminalize drugs, and let's try something that might actually work: Make the users take responsibility for using, and make it abundantly clear that they're on their own. You have to make a choice to become a drug user, and most do it in ignorance and/or a lack of care, knowing that someone else will be there to pick up the pieces. Quit picking them up, and make it clear that the abusers are what they are--Human waste.

Aesop said...

I want to be in the gallery when takirk's doctor testifies, "Hey sorry, we thought your mom was ODing, but it turns out it was her having a stroke. Now you can feed her, water her, and turn her towards the light, 'cause her brain's permanently fried. Sorry about that."

You just want to shift the decisions about drugs from beat cops and prosecutors and judges and a jury of your peers, and drop it onto paramedics, a doctor, and a couple of nurses, and leave them hanging at 3AM. Like that will.

But thanks for sidestepping and ducking entirely the reality of the UCMJ, or the military's absolute prohibition on drug use/abuse, as if it doesn't exist, or that doing what you advocate in society by the US military nearly destroyed it in the 1970s, and took a decade of crackdowns to mostly weed out.

That sort of shuck-and-jive bottom-dealing on the topic speaks volumes.

And you're going to cut people off from medical care, in a society you posit lacks the moral backbone to condemn drug use in the first place?
Who's fantasizing now?

Human nature is bent. Always has has been, always will be.
You don't write laws to get 100% compliance, and you don't throw the baby out with the bath water when that doesn't happen.
You write laws to provide guardrails for the 98% of society who only needs to know where the cliff edge is.
The ones who jump off will take care of themselves.

All I'm advocating for is a front-end loader and a dumptruck to clean up the mess.

You'd rather grease the path near the edge.

And calling what's going on a disasterpiece, while accurate, is nothing like a crackdown. It's just an earlier version of the TSA: kabuki theatre for the low-information Bubbas. Most of the funding in the misnamed "drug war" is for funding the incarceration of violent criminals since the crack epidemic of the 1980s. Take that out of the pie, and we probably spend more on PBS than we do on actually cracking down on drugs, at any level. Starting with letting them get here through wide-open borders and legal ports of entry in the first place.

See if you can figure out the likely correlation between the decline of violent crimes since about 1985, and the increase in incarceration of criminals, including those who pled violent felonies down to drug possession (as if that was all they were on the hook for). Especially given that crooks commit 10-50 felonies/day when they're loose.
Hoods gonna hood, and thugs gonna thug. Except when they're already in the can, and best of all LWOPed.

Three strikes work.
You could look it up.

Aesop said...

You and several other posters want to tap dance around the realities of law, morality, and public policy, and pretend "there's nothing we can do, so we should do nothing", but when the rubber meets the road, you're perfectly happy to fund a similarly useless (by your standard) war on carjacking, robbery, theft, burglary, murder, or anything else you don't like, either for yourself or your relatives. So for you, laws are "what I don't like", and nothing should be illegal if humans want to do it.

What laws would you keep, using such a silly standard?
What about the harm to the innocent of using perfection as the standard to judge laws by?

Those answer destroy your argument, so you won't even consider them.

The only reason to justify government is to protect the rights of the individual.
You want to protect the "right" of individual drug users to use, but you see no problem with that when they drive impaired into your wife and kids, a market full of pedestrians, or a schoolbus full of kids?
After it's too late to do anything but buy caskets in bulk?Srsly??
GTFO of town with that nonsense.

People who use drugs harm more than just themselves.
Now, if you want to make any form of public impairment attempted murder (because you cannot control a vehicle, nor demonstrate the sense not to wander into traffic), we can talk.

But if not willing to go there, you're just another do-gooder, but instead of inflicting the mentally ill homeless onto all of society because "locking them up makes you sad", you're the one arguing for doing the same thing with drug addicts.

You want a world so free that decent folks have to lock themselves up, or strap up like every day is a patrol in Fallujah, rather than throw the vastly small fraction of life's screw-ups in a can, and throw away the can.

How does incarcerating the 97% to pander to the worst 3% advance human freedom or liberty?

We've tried that experiment with the crazy, so we already know how it turns out.

Despite that reality, you think you're holding principled moral high ground, instead of surrendering society to the lowest common denominator of human behavior.

You want to throw out the only morally defensible reason for any government whatsoever, and instead use its withdrawal to bring about, on a societal scale, the exact "solitary, poor, nasty, bruttish, and short" existence that caused mankind to develop it in the first place.

That is simply sheer madness, dressed up in unearned moral superiority.

And you refuse to engage on what laws you would support, because then, inevitably, logic and common sense would show that any reason to support those laws would and could also be applied to drug prohibitions. And you don't want drug prohibitions. And only drug prohibitions.

Pardon, your slip is showing.

Once upon a time, I regularly played with machineguns, high explosives, heavy equipment, and firearms regularly. The guys I worked with were closer than family.
And if I'd caught or known any one of them was high, I would have turned them over in a heartbeat. If they'd actually endangered or hurt me or any of my guys, I would beaten them to death with a shovel, and then turned them in.

So yawping about how some people's moms aren't willing to be harsh on this cuts no ice, and says more about the failings of the softies than about what ought to be done. You're just appealing to the Gilligans of the world as a sop, and using them as an excuse for those who use their heads solely for a hat rack, and think with their emotions.

No sale.

HMS Defiant said...

OK, Yes. What you said.
I had to read it more carefully.
I go late into hte night to read. For some reason I can't do it in the light.