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Author Topic: The illegality of products in the US  (Read 3288 times)

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Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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The illegality of products in the US
« on: July 17, 2011, 12:03:15 PM »
My Aunt posted an interesting status on facebook last night. "...what would you legalize if you could. I wasn't surprised that most people who answered said pot. I was a little surprised that a couple of people said prostitution. What would you legalize?"

My answer: Pot, Prostitution, shrooms. . . I really believe these are fairly harmless things. If you tax and monitor them then the government can make money off of it and it could be safe. Not to mention the money saved on the war against them. As Americans we demonize and promote these things in the same breathe. We glamourize it in commercials and yet tell our kids that it's evil. Without giving them any real facts on the matter. And schools don't either. They feed people the same bs propaganda.

Pot and mushrooms are natural substances. And they're less harmful for us than cigarettes and alcohol which are legal. Pot helps to stabilize moods, promotes happiness, and is a viable treatment for depression and painful illnesses. A downside is that it can make you lazy but there are plenty of other things that do the same thing such as TV and video games.

The only real difference between the mushrooms we buy in supermarkets and psilocybin mushrooms is one has a chemical in it that produces hallucinations. In many cultures and religions trips are very spiritual things. And shrooms are hard to abuse and non habit forming.

As for prostitution. It's just sex. We pay for porn, sex. We pay for strippers, sex. We pay for sex toys. Sex sales and Americans use and abuse this. But in the end everyone pays for their own little sex pleasure. If prostitution were monitored it could be safe. STD screenings and less shady operations. It's a job that someone gets paid for. While some people may stand morally opposed to it there are others that promote it. There are people who stand morally opposed to just about anything and everything there is out there. Just because one person or group of people don't like it doesn't mean that those who incorporate it into their lifestyle should be deprived of it. I personally do not and wouldn't have a need or want for prostitution but I know many people who would utilize it if it were legal, and I am not one to judge or condemn, and many more who utilize it in it's illegality risking their well being to legal consequences if caught doing something that I feel is harmless. Why does the exchange of money change the fact that there are two consenting adults? It really shouldn't.

These are laws that ruin people's lives. Good, honest people.

Some of the other answers were to legalize the sale of home grown vegetables Though I didn't know this was illegal seeing as you can sale them to a farmers market at the very least. And the legalization of growing hemp in the US. Hemp is a grand product. There are so many uses for it. Not only can we make rope from it, we can also make lotions, papers, fabric, food, medicine, dietary supplements, building material, plastic, jewelry, water and soil purification, weed control (in the garden), and even fuel. Why is this product illegal to grow in the US? What is the point? We could clearly profit from its many benefits. There is a zero tolerance policy in the US because of the relation of hemp to marijuana.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 03:20:02 PM »
Cheka Man had a thread a little while ago with the same question. There were many interesting answers...

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=66829.0

Offline DudelRok

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 12:17:15 AM »
I can't think of anything. There are so many loopholes in the current laws that the things I'd, at the very least, want to try without possible infringement from the law... I can either go to Nevada for sex and there are a few states where I could probably get away with weed pretty easily.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Nevada

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_the_United_States

When it comes to drugs, in general, though, don't have enough that it looks like you are trying to sell and suck up to your arresting officer. Confess, confess, confess for a much more lenient sentence. HELL, I know some officers who will flat out let you go provided you share. This all goes quadruple for anyone who's only a casual (or first time) user. You might be surprised what you can get away with by pretending you are innocent and naive.

Though I do agree with ShrowdedPoet that legalization and regulation would not only boost the economy but it would make getting help for such things (addiction in particular) much easier and would remove the taboo of seeking help.

What else? Copyright laws? Well... I'm a downloader and know how to keep my visibility low. This is another manner of not having enough to be mistaken as a "seller." In most cases it's a personal lawsuit anyway which is nothing more than a media scare tactic to frighten the rest of us.

I suppose a repeal on the rules of public nudity as well as manners of "indecent exposure." Provided their ain't kids around... who is being hurt, exactly? There are plenty of things I don't wanna look at, so don't look at them. (Which is FUNNY cause I've outlawed that very thing time and time again via Nationstates.) But then such things being legal removes their fun so I don't care anymore.

This is difficult for me... I'm having trouble.

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 09:28:43 AM »
Your theory of confess and act innocent is flawed.  My life has recently been destroyed by a drug arrest and being innocent people, being polite and respectful. . .got us nowhere. 

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 10:07:30 AM »
Well, technically people do not pay strippers for sex.  They pay for the entertainment of seeing the woman or man dance along with being disrobed.  If one were to pay the entertainer for sex that would then be an act of prostitution.  So far as pornography is concerned, the actors in the pornography are agreeing to engage in sex on camera.  One of them is not paying the other to have sex, they are mutually agreeing to have sex and someone is paying them to film the experience.  When a person buys the video or purchases online accounts, they are spending the money to watch what was filmed.  Typically that money goes to the production company that filmed, not to the people having sex.   There are quite a few barriers between the people having sex and the ultimate consumer.  The distinctions may not be appreciated by most people, but there are quite a few of them.

The sex industry is indeed a booming marketplace.  Human beings are sexual creatures and have those impulses and desires, so obviously appealing to the desire will generate revenue.  Prostitution is often viewed as just another venue in that industry to make money.  Men and women asked to take one final step in an effort to make money in that trade.  Yet even in the avenues of the legal trade there are a multitude of abuses.  Underage girls in pornography, extreme fetish videos that border on abuse, human trafficking, and extremes of abuse and drug use are all areas that have been tied to this industry.  Prostitution has an already long list of abuses tied to its profession, so merging the two and providing legal protection does seem a poor idea. 

As for drugs, the example proposed is one that can show the destructive nature of drugs.  People have their lives destroyed by the laws against drug use.  Yet the laws are well known, well posted and they can be informed on the repercussions.  People still take the risk in order to obtain mushrooms and weed.  So obviously they view the destruction of their lives as a fair trade to the temporary boon of the drugs they wish to obtain.

Offline Vekseid

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 10:30:56 AM »
I'd be all for a constitutional amendment making possession inadmissible as evidence in any form. To many frames get setup that way, especially in more corrupt areas. Not just drug drops (an officer drops a bag of weed into your vehicle then 'notices' it) but also the recent attempts to frame people for child pornography, etc. And can often punish innocents in similar situations, like the shrooms in Poet's case.

If someone uploads child pornography to my servers, for example, I have to take a very specific route to legally report it - sending it through the mail would bring charges, for example. And I had to put my name on a government list in order to do so, giving up a lot of personal details. How many people does that put off? The crime was in the uploading. I should not have to fear the act of reporting the crime.

Offline Malefique

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2011, 04:01:46 PM »
I'd legalise prostitution simply because of the aspects of people trafficking and underage prostitutes.  If it is legal it can and will be monitored a lot more easily than if the police have to actually track it all down first before they can check it.  And in my own country I know that the police have had a lot of problems because they have been able to charge the prostitutes with offences but have had a real problem with making a charge stick against the pimps and traffickers.  I know workers in all kinds of areas are not escaping exploitation and unlawful treatment because of the lack of inspecting bodies with authority to protect them, but if you legalise drugs and prostitution you free up a lot of people whose time and budgets are eaten up chasing largely low grade offenders so they can do more to tackle the impact on the victims' lives (and I do include drug addicts and sex workers), and to hunt down the big timers who will not want to surrender their illegal cash cow to licensed legal outlets. 

PS: they should keep the ban on the home-grown veg, though.  Too many people have their lives ruined by broccoli and brussels sprouts...
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 04:03:35 PM by Malefique »

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 11:59:25 PM »
The reasons for bans on prostitution can stem from the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Venereal Diseases were the number 1 reason men were taken out of action in both wars, and if not the number 1, it was a significant number. That and given the virulence and/or promiscuity of humans, it can spread like wildfire.

It has been said before and will be said again, but we are still living with the repercussions of World War 2. At least until those born before 1960 are pushing up daisies. Those that were apart of that conflict and their children raised with their values are currently the ones in public office and have the voting power.

Given the fact that people are living longer, it will be a while before there is a decent "changing of the guard" but it is happening. Kids that have been able to vote since 2005 are taking a more active roll in policy making and have shown influential voting numbers in various regions around the country. We'll be able to take care of our parents' BS soon enough.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2011, 03:46:44 PM »
I'm with Carlin.

"Buying's legal.  Fucking's legal.  Why isn't buying fucking legal?"

Offline Missy

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2011, 04:52:46 PM »
I'm against the legalization of weed and pot and other kinds of intoxicants. Just because I've seen documentaries on the effects these substances have on human function. It is scientifically dangerous and unsound in my personal opinion. No less so than alcoholic consumption, which should also be curbed at least or, in the best circumstance, prohibited once again. Just my opinion.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2011, 08:04:36 PM »
I'm against the legalization of weed and pot and other kinds of intoxicants. Just because I've seen documentaries on the effects these substances have on human function. It is scientifically dangerous and unsound in my personal opinion. No less so than alcoholic consumption, which should also be curbed at least or, in the best circumstance, prohibited once again. Just my opinion.

 Alcohol prohibition worked real good the last time it was tried. To be able to do that would mean a -massive- bureaucracy with hundreds of thousands of agents/people to be constantly checking for illegal booze. It's highly unlikely to happen again.

Offline Missy

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 12:06:42 AM »
Alcohol prohibition worked real good the last time it was tried. To be able to do that would mean a -massive- bureaucracy with hundreds of thousands of agents/people to be constantly checking for illegal booze. It's highly unlikely to happen again.

I've heard too many stories of people getting hurt for alcohol to say or do nothing. Part of the problem is personal responsibility really, too many people drinking too much and drinking specifically to get drunk. If it were a matter of say wine over a romantic dinner perhaps, where alcohol is a secondary activity and drunkeness were a condition to be avoided, it might not be so much of a problem.

Offline Lilias

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 04:52:37 AM »
Then it is all a matter of education, not of allowance or prohibition. Do we ban something wholesale because some people don't know when to stop? Let's go ahead and ban painkillers, then, because there are people addicted to them.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 04:55:46 AM »
Pain killers do have an actual use though aside from recreational.

Offline Lilias

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2011, 05:00:37 AM »
So does food, and I believe that obesity is more of an issue than alcoholism, but nobody has suggested rationing it.

The point is that anything, no matter how useful, can be abused. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Restrictions only make something more appealing.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2011, 05:14:54 AM »
The problem is that the issue of addiction and self destructive habit is not so simple as restriction makes someone want the item more.  There are physical and psychological dependency issues that go with certain substances.  Alcohol for instance has a physical component that is extremely dangerous.  Someone that is addicted to alcohol can actually die from not having the substance.  That is why many pharmacies in hospitals actually stock beer.  Detoxification of an alcoholic can actually kill them.  Oddly enough alcohol is one of the only substances that can produce a lethal affect by moving away from the substance. 

Food is certainly dangerous in overindulgence, though in truth the act of overindulgence is a dangerous act no matter the object.  Yet food is not so immediately dangerous to the individual and requires quite a bit of overeating to become dangerous to the body.  In fact one could say that lack of exercise is more the killer than food.  An overindulgence with inactivity.

Offline Lilias

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2011, 05:27:05 AM »
Of course, once someone is on the downward spiral, there are many complications. The whole 'restriction -> appeal' pattern has more to do with those who are not caught on yet. I guess we can't know exactly how many people started on an ultimately addictive habit simply following the lure of the forbidden.

But I'm serious about the food restriction bit. People kvetch right, left and centre about how harmful junk food is, but nobody has come out to suggest closing down McDs (the quick and easy way) or the government monitoring of people and rationing of food to overindulgers. Neither is feasible, and neither is advisable. It's not for the government to mandate what citizens can and cannot consume. What the government can do is educate the people, and then let them make their own decisions and live with the consequences.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2011, 05:57:01 AM »
Education is certainly a productive route to take.  Making people aware of the dangers in overindulgence in both food and inactivity will certainly produce better results than outright banning of certain foods.  People learning how to properly regulate their eating habits and exercise routines to lead a healthy lifestyle is probably for the best.  The difference between illegal substances and food is that nobody ever became physically addicted to a bag of cheetos nor did anyone suffer food related death/permanent injury from a buffet.  Education is extremely productive there because the time table for learning and benefits is also present.  People have time to make proper choices and if the wrong choice is made there is not an immediate danger to them.  Overindulgence is truly needed.

Drug use is certainly something that should also need education along with alcohol use.  Yet is the choice to drink and drive made with a clear mind?  Are people often in a position where making the decision to not drink and drive is a clear one?  Typically not unless previous preparation, turning over the keys as soon as one walks into a party, are made.  Therefore education, while important for the preparation, is not going to help the later decision.  The threat of fines, arrest and license suspension are more immediate and persistent in a person’s mind and might prevent even a drunk individual from getting into the car.  Would the campaign against drunk driving have been as effective without government regulation and enforcement?

When people decide to use illegal substances like marijuana or heroine, they are not making the decision in a vacuum.  Education might help them avoid the situation or understand the reason why they should avoid the substance, which is certainly a great deterrent.  These substances though are so powerful with such consequences that the government does need to provide further incentive not to participate in the drugs.  A taste of such things can lead to that precious “downward spiral” you made reference to earlier.  That downward spiral is exceptionally dangerous and hard to correct.

For instance, I educate many people about the dangers of prescription medication abuse.  That is one of our primary goals before someone leaves the hospital is that they understand the importance of restricting the pain medication and eventually removing themselves from the medication.  People are addicted though, they do not make clear decisions.    If not for the government enforcement of prescription medication, these people would be less inclined to follow the education I have outlined.  Knowing the “why” is often not enough.

Offline vtboy

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2011, 09:30:16 PM »
I am frequently struck by the fact that so often the most vocal advocates of smaller, less intrusive government are the greatest proponents of expanding police power to prohibit and punish "immoral behavior". Whatever one's view of the wisdom of consuming intoxicants, purchasing sex, or wolfing down quarter-pounders,  history's lesson has been unequivocal: people are powerfully drawn to sensual indulgences and government efforts to curb them will, at best, be ineffectual. Worse, actually, as criminalization has always proven more destructive than the perceived scourge it was intended to eliminate -- witness the growth of the mob during Prohibition, the civil war now being waged in Mexico by drug lords, our swollen prison populations, and the fortunes squandered in hunting down and prosecuting pot-growers, crack-sellers, and escort services (at least the ones who service politicians). To top all this off, of course, there is the rank hypocrisy of declaring war on penny-ante, street corner purveyors of euphoria when drug manufacturers are granted patents to haul in billions on equally habituating prescriptioin mood stabilizers.   

Education is certainly the better approach, though Americans -- especially kids who are most at risk of engaging in dangerous behavior -- seem particularly resistant to both fact and reason. I know I was in my youth. Had a great time, though.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2011, 08:38:15 AM »
A swollen prison system is more of a feature than a bug for some lobbyists.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2011, 01:33:54 PM »
My view of prostitution if your a willing adult man or woman, and choose to sell your sexual services for money then why is it the government business at all? In comparison women have the right to privacy with their bodies regarding abortion, a man can be paid to fight another man in a ring and its a sport called boxing and I consider both far more immoral than prostitution. In the former case I feel your killing a human being and in the other case your beating up another person bloody for money and gambling (noting animal fighting is illegal in most places that are civilized).

I would argue making it legal and having to have a license and pay taxes would keep out minors and give funding to fight sex trafficking etc.

As for drugs if people want to do them fine make it legal but for those 21 and over, with government taxes and make it like beer or cigarettes or pipe tabacco or cigars. Make sure its manufactures properly. This would strip away organized crime and let legitimate companies provide it for a price likely cheaper. And once could make things like heroine and crack illegal under tighter laws as an illegally produced untaxes product. Hit them for manfacturing, transport, selling, not paying taxes, not having a proper facility etc. If I'm 21 and want to try marijuana why shouldn't I and it be legal I'm not a child.

Offline Missy

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2011, 09:18:57 PM »
Considering all the shit they put in cigarettes, I'm not really inclined to trust the government to regulate what goes into these drugs anyways.

Offline James Moriarty

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2011, 07:50:28 PM »
My main difficulty with the way the US in particular handles drug laws is the massive inconsistency with which they are applied.  As has been mentioned, alcohol is a more dangerous drug by almost every conceivable metric than pot or even shrooms and LSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysergic_acid_diethylamide, see especially the chart under 'adverse effects'), and yet, it's legal while these others have penalties that range from slaps on the hand to long minimum prison sentences.  Also, if you have read Jimmy Carter's interesting piece on the war on drugs (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/opinion/17carter.html), you'd know that the effort has been met with widespread failure.  My inclination is to think that official regulation and decriminalization of most drugs and drug offenses would reduce drug related violence, increase end user safety and ease the almost mind-boggling prison problem in the US.

Another interesting one mentioned here is prostitution.  Does anyone have statistics about venereal disease in NV vs other states?  It would be very interesting to learn that (and I have no idea whether this is true) people who can deal in sex trade legally are also safer and "cleaner."  If true, it would largely mirror the situation with drugs, as far as every remotely objective (statistical, analytic, case-study based) study that I have seen.  I have always wondered whether the sex business was for all practical purposes inherently degrading to those who participate in it.  And it's not something special with sex that makes me think that: I worry that it's inherently degrading to be paid to do anything that's specifically about your body.  What I mean is that treating the human body as itself something that can be bought and sold (such as under the table organ purchases) strikes me as something that might be almost necessarily a strain on the human psyche, which is normally directed to think of other human beings as ends in themselves rather than as mere objects.  But I am not sure about this.  Comments?

-Moriarty

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Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2011, 12:22:11 AM »
Shrooms have one particular hazard that makes them more dangerous than alcohol in my book:  identification errors.  Mushrooms containing psilocybin can often be confused with lethal mushrooms, that kill much faster than alcohol.

On the 'sex workers being cleaner' front - that depends on your sex worker.  If you're talking high-priced 'escorts', you might be right.  If you're talking about the common streetwalker, who might be using that trade to support a drug habit (particularly an intravenous drug habit), you can be looking at a real health hazard.

Offline Will

Re: The illegality of products in the US
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2011, 01:44:06 PM »
Shrooms have one particular hazard that makes them more dangerous than alcohol in my book:  identification errors.  Mushrooms containing psilocybin can often be confused with lethal mushrooms, that kill much faster than alcohol.

That's a hazard that would be made mostly irrelevant if they were cultivated and sold legally.  It also assumes that people still go out and look for wild mushrooms, as opposed to just growing them indoors to begin with.  It's really hard to say if that is or isn't the case.