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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    09 Nov '15 15:21
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    YouTube

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media I've seen.

    And yet, very harsh drug laws remain on the books in many states and in the federal system.

    Where is the disconnect? If nobody cares to argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
  2. 09 Nov '15 15:49
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    Dodging questions about what the government should do about fantasy football again I see.

    Pathetic.
  3. 09 Nov '15 16:18
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    I don't disagree w/Christies views on this at all.
    Best I have ever seen him .
    But why the disconnect ? Good question.
    On a government level I believe it is all about money. Its a big industry locking people away.
    On a society level I think its just callousness until it affects them directly, either personally or with a loved one.
  4. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    09 Nov '15 16:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    It's hard to disagree with that. The crux of the matter, I think, is whether we non-addicts are willing to accept the notion that addiction is a disease and act accordingly.

    For non-addicts, equating addiction to a disease such as cancer rankles because it lets the addict off the hook to some degree for their stupid and selfish choices. It's not difficult to feel some sympathy for Chris Christie's mother who addicted herself to nicotine in 1948 before the dangers were widely understood, but harder to feel sympathy for someone picking up the habit in 2015, and harder still for someone breaking the law to addict themselves to meth or heroin.

    It is true however, as any regular attendant of AA meetings will affirm, that some people are predisposed to addiction, so that once they have made the stupid and selfish choice one too many times, that predisposition grows into a monster that can be every bit as fatal as cancer, and is indistinguishable from disease. An addict may be able to choose, in the short term, not to take a drink or indulge in the needle while a gun is held to their head, but they have lost long term ability to choose, lost control of their lives, and will likely die. Whatever substance they are addicted to (often more than one) has in their mind become a necessity for survival, like food or water. They need it no longer to get high, but simply to feel comfortable enough in their own skin to face a day. It solves nothing for us to point judgmental fingers at these poor souls. They need help, and are very likely judging themselves more harshly than we ever will.
  5. 09 Nov '15 16:51
    Drug addiction can happen to a wide range of people. It happens to highly educated and intelligent people, and it happens to those who are not.

    I think perhaps heroin is the worst of the worst. One hit and you are pretty much screwed for life. To add insult to injury, it is dirt cheap.
  6. 09 Nov '15 17:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    Compassion for addicts and harsh punishment for possession could be more consistent with one another if only the possessors of large quantities of drugs were the target of harsh punishment, as it would more likely be punishing high-volume dealers. I wonder what percentage of high-volume dealers are serious addicts.
  7. 09 Nov '15 18:06
    Originally posted by JS357
    Compassion for addicts and harsh punishment for possession could be more consistent with one another if only the possessors of large quantities of drugs were the target of harsh punishment, as it would more likely be punishing high-volume dealers. I wonder what percentage of high-volume dealers are serious addicts.
    What is the difference between someone who feels compelled to lie and one that feels compelled to stick a needle in their arm?

    We could all any bad behavoir an addiction. Where then do we draw the line and punish bad behavoir, or do we simply excuse it all?
  8. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    09 Nov '15 19:33
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    If I were in a smug mood, I'd say "ask your conservative buddies, they're the one's that pushed for these harsh penalties!"

    Frankly I agree with Chris Christie, but as you know change comes slowly in a country this large. It's just sad that if a democrat said the same thing, the GOP candidates would be lining up to denounce the insolent liberal as "soft on crime"
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    09 Nov '15 19:34
    Originally posted by JS357
    Compassion for addicts and harsh punishment for possession could be more consistent with one another if only the possessors of large quantities of drugs were the target of harsh punishment, as it would more likely be punishing high-volume dealers. I wonder what percentage of high-volume dealers are serious addicts.
    Many harsh drug laws punish possession of small amounts as well. Of course, I agree that there should be a difference between possession with intent to use and possession with intent to distribute.
  10. 09 Nov '15 23:18
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    From a strictly pragmatic stance, prohibition of drugs hasn't done much to slow down, or contain addiction.

    Christie's example of his mother's smoking is about a legal substance which for several decades has endured a highly critical media campaign against it, and yet prospers. It is disingenuous to say that his mother didn't know. I'm her age and my parents knew smoking was harmful. His speech recounts her efforts to quit.

    Why people begin doing something that is universally viewed as self destructive is not something I can explain, not for cigarettes, certainly not for hard drugs.

    I say legalize, and make people aware that they will bear the consequences of their addiction. Legalizing would surely minimize the tangential crime that evolves from the addiction being tremendously expensive. I see little, if any, difference between addiction to heroin, and addiction to legal drugs like booze and cigarettes. Higher prices don't seem to make a difference, except to make crime the only way of satisfying the addiction.

    I don't argue for or against compassion for drug addicts, except that the disconnect I see is that some are criminal, while others are cash cows for government. Compassion is voluntary, and differs from funding stuff via taxation.
  11. 09 Nov '15 23:26
    Originally posted by sh76
    Many harsh drug laws punish possession of small amounts as well. Of course, I agree that there should be a difference between possession with intent to use and possession with intent to distribute.
    Absolutely true. White boy Rick was on local TV last week, coming up for parole after years of incarceration. He was one of the leading dealers of crack, and powder cocaine in Detroit in the 90s. His product killed and left permanently damaged literally thousands of young men and women, but nobody forced them to snort of smoke the stuff. At some point, we are going to have to revive the concept of personal responsibility. As long as everyone can shed a tear, and say they're sorry, without any notion of actually taking responsibility for their choices, our society will continue to devolve.
  12. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    10 Nov '15 04:58
    Originally posted by sh76
    In case you've been under a rock for the past few days or pay no attention to the American media, Chris Christie delivering what, by all accounts, was a beautifully delivered and touching defense of compassion for drug addicts.

    [youtube]FdYMx7sycW4[/youtube]

    I see almost no disagreement or criticism of the speech in the blogosphere or in the social media ...[text shortened]... argue against compassion from drug addicts, why do we still punish drug possession so severely?
    I have nothing against having compassion for drug addicts and giving them help to get clean and clear while in prison. But I also believe we should have compassion for the rest of the public that are not addicted to the drugs by protecting them by keeping these people away from them.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    10 Nov '15 16:47
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I have nothing against having compassion for drug addicts and giving them help to get clean and clear while in prison. But I also believe we should have compassion for the rest of the public that are not addicted to the drugs by protecting them by keeping these people away from them.
    If the drugs were cheap, safe and legal, addicts would pose very little danger to society.
  14. 10 Nov '15 16:58
    Originally posted by sh76
    If the drugs were cheap, safe and legal, addicts would pose very little danger to society.
    Absolutely!

    A few hurdles remain. How to make addictive drugs legal, safe and cheap.

    Legal is simple. Cheap ought not be too much of a problem. Safe, is problematic. Who is to be in charge? Government has proved not so dependable in regulating prescription drugs, but big pharma hasn't necessarily done much better, either in containing costs or promoting safety.

    Perhaps a system where big Pharma produces the drugs, with the supervision of Government, to assure quality and price.

    It is surely true that an addict who is satisfied is safer than one who is jonesing.
  15. 10 Nov '15 17:45
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Absolutely!

    A few hurdles remain. How to make addictive drugs legal, safe and cheap.

    Legal is simple. Cheap ought not be too much of a problem. Safe, is problematic. Who is to be in charge? Government has proved not so dependable in regulating prescription drugs, but big pharma hasn't necessarily done much better, either in containing costs or ...[text shortened]... d price.

    It is surely true that an addict who is satisfied is safer than one who is jonesing.
    On page 289-290 of the Handbook of Drug Control in the United States (available at Googlebooks) the following issues are listed:

    What drugs should be legalized?
    What potency and purity standards should be set?
    What age limits for use should be established?
    Where should they be allowed to be sold?
    How should raw materials and manufacture be controlled?
    How free should the market be for potency, pricing, advertising, etc.?
    What restrictions on use should be established for workers in critical jobs where impairment might lead to high levels of risk to the public?
    What penalties should be established for violations of laws and regulations?
    What agency should be charged with oversight and enforcement? FBI? DEA? FDA? ATF?

    Add to this last point determining the respective roles of federal, state and local governments.

    Much will be learned from the social experiments now underway in some states concerning marijuana.