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Old 28-08-2013, 03:57   #46
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

Loss of life is very sad, but in perspective, more people in the UK die from Peanut or lactose allergies than recreational drugs.Alcohol/Tobacco deaths make recreational drug deaths look miniscule in comparison.
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Old 28-08-2013, 04:37   #47
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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I was in Amsterdam a couple of years ago, where they had legalised some drugs that are illegal in Australia. I was somewhat surprised and disappointed to find that the residents I spoke to felt the experiment was not working and that the laws would most likely be reversed. I was disappointed as I thought the legalisation would minimise the problem. Having lost someone close to me to illegal drugs I am very interested in finding a solution before my son is old enough to be exposed to the social pressures and associated risks, I see so much of it day to day here.

Matt
A law was passed that allows dutch municipal authorities from allowing Canabis to be sold to foreigners. It has not been implemented in Amsterdam, and its not clear if it can be enforced against EU citizens anyway.

I dont think decriminalising certains drugs ( or criminalising others) would change things much anyway,

Its interesting in the US to read the history of drug criminalisation , much of it is tied up with suppressing certain races.

As to a solution, there isnt one. just teach your son reasonable values and respect. Then you have to let me find his own way.

Dave
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Old 28-08-2013, 04:52   #48
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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As to a solution, there isnt one. just teach your son reasonable values and respect.
Yes, and how to sail too, it's an addictive drug I advocate to many people. The therapeutic effects are amazing.
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Old 28-08-2013, 05:00   #49
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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I was in Amsterdam a couple of years ago, where they had legalised some drugs that are illegal in Australia. I was somewhat surprised and disappointed to find that the residents I spoke to felt the experiment was not working and that the laws would most likely be reversed. I was disappointed as I thought the legalisation would minimise the problem.
First things first: it is a myth that drugs in Holland have at any point been legal, including soft drugs. However, there is a "law of tolerance" that prevents you being prosecuted if you hold a small amount of soft drugs (small enough to consider you a user, not a dealer). For the famous coffee shops there are also stringent rules on the amounts they can have in stock and the supply lines they use.

Having grown up just outside Amsterdam from my perspective it worked just fine throughout the '70ies and '80ies. However, it does seem like the system has failed. Many causes for that - foreign junkies arriving by the droves, particularly since the borders of Europe opened, but also the less sheltered upbringing of kids. There is much less (if any at all) what we in Holland call "social control", neighbours, friends, church etc keeping an eye out, and consequently kids take decisions they are not mature enough yet to make without anyone stopping them when it is not yet a problem.

From my own perspective, I have always been aware of the dangers of drugs and although I grew up less than 10 miles outside of Amsterdam city centre, I have always encountered more drugs abroad (US, Africa, England, you name it, people offering it to me and people asking about it). The mystique of drugs was certainly removed by the tolerance law - as a kid I knew they were available but I was taught at school what they did and had, as most kids, no interest in them. The excitement of people when I got abroad when they found out I was Dutch, was quite strange to me.

It's hard to say what we need to do now - I don't believe reversing soft drugs tolerance will cure the problem. But we do need a change.


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Old 28-08-2013, 05:24   #50
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

IMHO the only really effective way to convince young and stupid people that taking drugs is not cool is to sell them legally in Pharmacies at a fraction of the street price and with each sale give the idiot a pamphlet showing a drug user lying in a pool of vomit and explaining how to get help.

The drug problem exists because a drug pusher convinces teenagers that drugs are cool and hip and youngsters want to conform with their peer group. Pushers do this to recruit new customers. Removing the profit will remove the pusher and ultimately remove the problem.

I advocate selling all drugs legally in licensed pharmacies and help the people that buy them to learn just how stupid their behaviour is.
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Old 28-08-2013, 05:57   #51
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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First things first: it is a myth that drugs in Holland have at any point been legal, including soft drugs. However, there is a "law of tolerance" that prevents you being prosecuted if you hold a small amount of soft drugs (small enough to consider you a user, not a dealer). For the famous coffee shops there are also stringent rules on the amounts they can have in stock and the supply lines they use.

Having grown up just outside Amsterdam from my perspective it worked just fine throughout the '70ies and '80ies. However, it does seem like the system has failed. Many causes for that - foreign junkies arriving by the droves, particularly since the borders of Europe opened, but also the less sheltered upbringing of kids. There is much less (if any at all) what we in Holland call "social control", neighbours, friends, church etc keeping an eye out, and consequently kids take decisions they are not mature enough yet to make without anyone stopping them when it is not yet a problem.

From my own perspective, I have always been aware of the dangers of drugs and although I grew up less than 10 miles outside of Amsterdam city centre, I have always encountered more drugs abroad (US, Africa, England, you name it, people offering it to me and people asking about it). The mystique of drugs was certainly removed by the tolerance law - as a kid I knew they were available but I was taught at school what they did and had, as most kids, no interest in them. The excitement of people when I got abroad when they found out I was Dutch, was quite strange to me.

It's hard to say what we need to do now - I don't believe reversing soft drugs tolerance will cure the problem. But we do need a change.


Onno
This is very much what I was hearing from the locals in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. Being a bit of a na´ve Australian, I thought the Amsterdam solution was a big success, but as you suggest, it seems it just attracted a pretty ordinary sort of tourist.

I still feel that legalisation should work, but I don't really know enough to support that. But I agree with the point about the social infrastructure, particularly as I am surrounded by families who let the TV raise their kids. My son's teachers keep saying how smart he is, but I think he's just an ordinary kid who has been raised by adults, rather than technology.

What I can say is that living with a drug addict in your life is a nightmare, as even the best person brought low by drugs can become a real problem to have around. Having your stuff pinched and sold to Pawnbrokers to fund a drug problem is sad for everyone involved and you never really trust them again, no matter how close they used to be.

Anyway, enough of this, too grim for a sailing forum, don't know what got me heading down this track in the first place, must still be weighing on my mind after so many years...

Matt
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Old 28-08-2013, 06:00   #52
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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First things first: it is a myth that drugs in Holland have at any point been legal, including soft drugs. However, there is a "law of tolerance" that prevents you being prosecuted if you hold a small amount of soft drugs (small enough to consider you a user, not a dealer).
Sorry, yes, I should not have said legalised, rather "tolerated" would maybe have been a better word.

Here in South Australia I believe a similar rule used to a apply for home grown Hemp plants... but that rule is long gone too.

Matt
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Old 28-08-2013, 06:52   #53
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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DEA is only one Agency, am pretty sure there are other ones in the US who spend time (and money) on drug enforcement. But I think the numbers really start to stack up when you factor in the cost from processing folks through the criminal justice system (especially those who get recycled over decades) and then add on the cost of incarceration. Of course lots of those costs are jobs........

The irony is that the illegal drugs trade only generates that sort of figure because it is illegal. Sold legally would be a fraction of the money in the business, certainly not enough to keep the average crime lord in the manner to which he has become accustomed. Of course I am not suggesting legalising all drugs, at least not to the point of retail!

But I would certainly legally Cannabis / Marijuana so that it becomes as much of a gateway drug to Heroin etc as M&M's are (by simply being sold by different people). Party drugs?, I would make certain "legal highs" legal and over the counter - would cut the mass market away from the other stuff which will always be available (whatever "it" is someone somewhere will take it for fun )....

...the big one is Heroin! - accept no substitutes!, IMO it is the "cure" for most drug addictions (including crack). Not available retail, but medicalised - i.e. on prescription and cheap to free (In most places not exactly expensive or hard to get as it is - but most people don't use it, that won't change)......The "cure" is simply that quality control will mean less harm to users and cheap / free means less harm to society - just because someone is a Heroin Addict does not mean they can't actually hold down a regular job (even if not as an Air Traffic Controller ), it just usually means that currently they can't afford to.

Obviously the puritanical moral "outrage" will have to be put aside - but once folks start counting the cash in own pockets / seeing similar policies works elsewhere change IMO will come...........and then perhaps we will have a war on obesity - folks willingly ingesting health altering substances into their bodes- no matter what the costs, no matter what the risks, and no matter what the consequences.
I've often thought, that as an asymmetrical approach to the problem, that we give out unlimited amounts of high quality drugs to whoever wants them, but make it conditional on not receiving any other government assistance.

Then let Darwin do, what Darwin does, when we don't interfere.

Use of drugs by someone is almost always a symptom of the real problem, which is mental illness to some degree. But, curing that real problem would cost even more than drug enforcement so that's a loser, too.
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Old 28-08-2013, 06:55   #54
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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IMHO the only really effective way to convince young and stupid people that taking drugs is not cool is to sell them legally in Pharmacies at a fraction of the street price and with each sale give the idiot a pamphlet showing a drug user lying in a pool of vomit and explaining how to get help.

The drug problem exists because a drug pusher convinces teenagers that drugs are cool and hip and youngsters want to conform with their peer group. Pushers do this to recruit new customers. Removing the profit will remove the pusher and ultimately remove the problem.

I advocate selling all drugs legally in licensed pharmacies and help the people that buy them to learn just how stupid their behaviour is.
I think the explosion of legally prescribed pill addicts in the US has thoroughly dis-proven the theory that legalization makes drug addiction go away. Where I live now, we have more people dying from prescription pill overdoes, than from automobile accidents.
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Old 28-08-2013, 08:37   #55
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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I think the explosion of legally prescribed pill addicts in the US has thoroughly dis-proven the theory that legalization makes drug addiction go away. Where I live now, we have more people dying from prescription pill overdoes, than from automobile accidents.
I would bet my shirt that these prescribed pill addicts were first using another type of drug that is illegal and are mainly looking for a cheaper legal high. The pushers of illegal drugs are a fundamental cause of the problem because they actively encourage drug taking to recruit new customers. When it is no longer profitable or cool the problem will gradually disappear. This isn't a popular policy because nobody likes foul tasting medicine.
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:57   #56
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Re: Almost 750kg Cocaine on Yacht in Vanuatu

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I would bet my shirt that these prescribed pill addicts were first using another type of drug that is illegal and are mainly looking for a cheaper legal high. The pushers of illegal drugs are a fundamental cause of the problem because they actively encourage drug taking to recruit new customers. When it is no longer profitable or cool the problem will gradually disappear. This isn't a popular policy because nobody likes foul tasting medicine.
Actually, my experience as a drug agent was exactly the opposite. People got addicted to prescription drugs, needed more than any responsible physician would give them, and then turned to the street to get more. And, at some point, an Oxycontin addict, for instance, tries heroin, and realizes it is ten times as strong at a tenth of the price of the Oxy.
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