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Achilles
10-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071011/ap_on_re_us/schwarzenegger_bills) SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California motorists will risk fines of up to $100 next year if they are caught smoking in cars with minors, making their state the third to protect children in vehicles from secondhand smoke.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed a bill that will make it an infraction to smoke in a vehicle if someone under age 18 is present. But the traffic stop would have to be made for another offense, such as speeding or an illegal turn, before the driver could be cited for smoking. As someone that used to beg his mother to roll the window down so he could breathe, I'm very pleased to see this legislation.
*Thinks of lady he saw on the freeway once with a 'At least I can still smoke in my car' bumper sticker* :)

PoiuyWired
10-11-2007, 02:41 PM
Another Reason Not To Have Kids.

mimartin
10-11-2007, 02:44 PM
Iím split on this one.

On one hand I donít appreciate the government getting so involved in my personal life.

On the other, I feel that if people are so irresponsible to smoke in an enclosed environment with minors then the government should step in to protect those children.

Second the cost of dealing with diseases related to second hand smoke makes this a public issue and an issue the government has deal with.

Distractions in cars lead to accident, cigarettes are often listed as the distraction within the vehicle that contributed to the accident. When you have children in the car you are already distracted so adding another distraction probably isnít a good idea.

So I applauded California for passing this. I just wish people would use a little common sense and keep the government out of our personal lives.

MdKnightR
10-11-2007, 03:17 PM
Iím split on this one.

On one hand I donít appreciate the government getting so involved in my personal life.

On the other, I feel that if people are so irresponsible to smoke in an enclosed environment with minors then the government should step in to protect those children.

Second the cost of dealing with diseases related to second hand smoke makes this a public issue and an issue the government has deal with.

Distractions in cars lead to accident, cigarettes are often listed as the distraction within the vehicle that contributed to the accident. When you have children in the car you are already distracted so adding another distraction probably isnít a good idea.

So I applauded California for passing this. I just wish people would use a little common sense and keep the government out of our personal lives.


I was contemplating a response to this post, but you seem to have hit the nail on the head! Very well put!

Gargoyle King
10-11-2007, 03:26 PM
Jeez! I thought the smoking laws were a tad harsh over here in the UK! I'm not a smoker however and hate smoke in cars, 'specially on long trips so on the most part i agree with this law. I really still can't get over the fact that old Arnie is the governer of Cali, bet you he himself never imagined this when he signed up for The Terminator! :D

Web Rider
10-11-2007, 03:58 PM
I pretty much agree with Mimartin. I don't like the invasive government involvement, even though I don't smoke. But because I don't smoke, and I've only had rare occasions of being stuck with smokers in anything, be it a house or a car, like he says, if people are so careless to smoke in a sealed car with a child or children inside, they need to get in trouble.(and be smacked upside the head).

This is similar to the cell phone argument as well. Smoking takes your hand off the wheel, or at least poses a problem for quick reaction, since you've got something in your hand while driving. On that note as well smoking should not be allowed in cars.

but again, kinda 50/50. Children's health is very important, of course these are likly kids who go home to s smoke filled house, so.... I think th best "punishment" for these kinds of cases are either a probation-style infraction, perhaps with a smoke detector in the car? Or some kind of mandatory classes/assistance to quit smoking, or at least to not do it in sealed areas around kids.

Darth333
10-11-2007, 04:32 PM
I never liked the smell of cigarette, especially in a car, but I think I dislike that kind of invasive law even more. I think emphasis should be put on education rather than coercitive and punitive methods for that kind of thing. Where will it stop? Will giving children fries and chocolate bars become illegal too as it can eventually make them fat and increase the risk of developping heart diseases? Should we legislate on evrything that poses a threat?

Second the cost of dealing with diseases related to second hand smoke makes this a public issue and an issue the government has deal with.
I don't think that banning smoking in cars when there are minors around will be a very efficient way to reduce second hand smoke diseases...

tk102
10-11-2007, 04:38 PM
Do you disagree with seat belt laws too, D3? Just curious. :) The dietary argument was also used by groups against those laws.

Darth333
10-11-2007, 05:32 PM
Do you disagree with seat belt laws too, D3? Just curious. :) The dietary argument was also used by groups against those laws.
Seat belts are directly related to the car driving activity. They are known to be the most effective type of device to reduce the the risk of serious injuries/death (and the cost on society) in a car.

Banning smoking in a private car when there are people under 18? It's not a law about "highway safety" and I'm far from being convinced that such a measure can have any noticeable effect on the kids health except in some exceptional cases... Cigarettes are still legal as far as I know and the overall purpose of the law seems more of a way to "set the example" and "increase public awarenes" by using coercitive methods rather than education. (and btw,this is not about the "right to smoke" - I'm a non smoker anyway- . It's a general statement about the implementation and purpose of such a law).

SilentScope001
10-11-2007, 05:39 PM
Sounds like a way to make extra cash.

"Citizen, you were endangering the life of others by driving at 100 MPH, and breaking many traffic laws. But, OMG, you were smoking with kids in the car! YOU MUST PAY A FINE!"

And if you are a good driver who doesn't break the law, you don't pay the fine. Simple. Nothing changed except for the fact that police officers can now make even more money on routine traffic stops.

Oh, cool, I found the guy who smokes! I get a bonus $100!

Now, if you like having the governmet make money from tickets, then this is a great law. I am also in support of it. But, if you don't like it, well...
***
As for the arguments that the rights of smokers are being infriged, I have this to say:

"Just because the slippery slope is a fallacy, doesn't mean it's not true."

Totenkopf
10-11-2007, 06:06 PM
Well, the income tax certainly went down the slippery slope. I'm against such invasive govt involvement "in the name of the children" or public health. Where does it end? It is also another way for govt to enhance revenues (you better have indisputable evidence should you decide to contest anything in court, 'cause the judge ain't likely to believe you otherwise) and criminalize another type of behavior. Welcome to the nanny state.

tk102
10-11-2007, 06:09 PM
Cigarettes are still legal as far as I knowYes, but not for minors. If alcohol was given to minors, that would not be okay. Yet cigarette smoke goes into their lungs without any oversight.
and the overall purpose of the law seems more of a way to "set the example" and "increase public awarenes" by using coercive methods rather than education.Education has been in place for the past 40 years that cigarette smoke is harmful. There has been a number of ad campaigns over the past couple years in the United States from the American Lung Association educating people of the dangers of second-hand smoke to children and adults.

But going back to what you said regarding seatbelts...
Seat belts are directly related to the car driving activity. They are known to be the most effective type of device to reduce the the risk of serious injuries/death (and the cost on society) in a car.

So then, in the case where safety and health of a person is directly affected, you would say it is okay for the government to apply coercive measures (eg. fines) to prevent actions that would effectively endanger a person's health/safety and, by implication, the cost on society. That seems a fair role for the government, I'd agree.

Banning smoking in a private car when there are people under 18? It's not a law about "highway safety" and I'm far from being convinced that such a measure can have any noticeable effect on the kids health except in some exceptional cases...
What I read from this is that you do not believe that second-hand smoke poses a health threat to children, at least not enough to warrant traffic fines. Maybe more education isn't such a bad idea. ;)

http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35422

Jae Onasi
10-11-2007, 06:29 PM
I'm not too excited by restrictive laws, but smoking is known to contribute to the development of childhood asthma (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/502471) and other health problems. Fries and chocolate don't cause harm in and of themselves, while smoking does cause changes in the lungs, bronchi, and other airway passages. Food is essential to life, and smoking is not, so food issues can't be compared to smoking-related illness. The cost of treating asthma in the US in 1998 was $12.7 billion and is likely much higher nearly 10 years later, so it is a big public health concern. Asthma is a big reason of illness-related childhood hospital admissions, and it does cause death in children and adults (1.6 per 100,000 people in 2000). It's a problem that is taken far more lightly than it should, and if smoking contributes to asthma and other childhood problems, then we should do whatever we can to reduce childhood exposure to smoking, mainly for the sake of the affected child but also for the cost to society. I'm not sure that tickets for smoking in a car are entirely the answer, but there should be a lot more done about smoking and children. I've seen kids on ventilators due to asthma flare-ups. If I never saw that again, it would be too soon.

JasraLantill
10-11-2007, 07:25 PM
I agree with Darth333. The nanny state legislation seems to be getting more and more invasive every year. I'm all for promoting child health, but banning smoking in cars with child passengers doesn't seem to me to be doing all that much, especially when driving in the wonderfully healthy smog-filled air of Los Angeles. Makes me think that this law is nothing more than a good PR stunt for Arnie. There's a seatbelt law in place already--and kids still die each year in car accidents because they weren't wearing their seatbelts. The no-smoking-in-the-car law will probably be enforced in pretty much the same way.

Hmm...perhaps the next California law will prohibit people with a BMI over 30 from eating in their car. Or, better yet, let's just eliminate all the fast food drive-thrus all together--make you actually get out of the car and *walk* inside to order your food. After all, if you're eating in the car, that's also a dangerous distraction as you have to take at least one hand off the wheel to hold that Big Mac, not to mention the skill it takes to balance that soft drink between your legs because you didn't pay extra for the optional cup-holder when you bought your car.

Rev7
10-11-2007, 07:30 PM
I think that this law stinks because the cop cannot pull you over unless you are commiting another offense. Otherwise I fully agree with this law. :)

Corinthian
10-11-2007, 07:42 PM
I'm not pleased about the Government telling us one more thing we're not allowed to do, but this one at least makes sense, you're not just endangering yourself, you're endangering others.

MdKnightR
10-12-2007, 02:31 AM
Do you disagree with seat belt laws too, D3? Just curious. :) The dietary argument was also used by groups against those laws.


I, for one, do disagree with seatbelt/helmet laws. However, if the person is underage, I think it should be required. Adults, by nature of being, are decision makers and can decide whether or not they use these devices. I ride a motorcycle and I CHOOSE to wear a helmet (and other safety gear) because it is a good idea....not because the law tells me to do so. Same with seatbelts.

Ray Jones
10-12-2007, 10:48 AM
I, for one, do disagree with seatbelt/helmet laws. However, if the person is underage, I think it should be required. Adults, by nature of being, are decision makers and can decide whether or not they use these devices.So, as an adult and parent, I can decide to seatbelt my children while I do not use it, and as a result I might die in a car crash but my children do not?

John Galt
10-12-2007, 12:08 PM
I think this is too invasive and is unconstitutional, as are laws requiring the use of seatbelts and helmets. I think responsible people would at least roll down the windows, wear seatbelts, and helmets in the case of motorcycles, and I see no reason to get the nanny state involved.

But then again, what do you expect from the People's Republic of California?

tk102
10-12-2007, 12:35 PM
A retrospective from 1988 when California first banned smoking on airlines, trains, and buses:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE2DF1638F931A35752C0A96E9482 60

Darth333
10-12-2007, 12:52 PM
What I read from this is that you do not believe that second-hand smoke poses a health threat to children, at least not enough to warrant traffic fines. Maybe more education isn't such a bad idea. ;)

http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35422I've never said that. Re-read the post: I only said that banning smoking in a private car when there are people under 18 (and in addition only when someone will be intercepted for another offense.) is likely not going to be very effective and misses its goal if there was another goal than the state just trying to act as a "nanny"...

A retrospective from 1988 when California first banned smoking on airlines, trains, and buses:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE2DF1638F931A35752C0A96E9482 60
That is a quite different environment from a private car...

tk102
10-12-2007, 12:57 PM
I'm far from being convinced that such a measure can have any noticeable effect on the kids health except in some exceptional cases...When you referred to kids' health, I assumed you were referring to the effect of cigarette smoke on kids' health, not the indirect of effect of being a distraction to the driver. Therefore I provided a smoking/health link.

Nowhere is it stated (except in this forum) that the goal of this law is anything other than children's health. It has nothing to do with driver distraction. Maybe I'm still not understanding you.
That is a quite different environment from a private car...You still have people in a confined space who are inhaling 2nd hand smoke against their will --- and doing so on public roads instead of public transportation.

lukeiamyourdad
10-12-2007, 05:29 PM
I wonder if this law can be enforced? It seems highly unlikely that police officers will be able to spot something like that unless they erect barricades and check every car.

Then there's the "myth" of the cost on society. Many want the ban on cigarettes but that's not going to happen anytime soon. Believe it or not, the cost on society is less then the income coming from the taxation of cigarettes. In order to have a good income while minimizing the cost in health care, it's actually more profitable for the State to have around 30% of the population buying cigarettes. Nobody denies that cigarettes are harmful to your health, only that they're not so harmful on the State economy.

Check this out:
http://www.pierrelemieux.org/artsocial.html

I also got confirmation of this from many European teachers if it's worth anything in your eyes.

And no I don't smoke.



Is this law going to reduce smoking? Absolutely not. The only truly effective cost of reducing tobacco smoking in our societies is to raise the taxes on cigarettes. But like I said, if smokers bring in a great deal of revenue, you won't see insanely high prices either.

Achilles
10-12-2007, 06:16 PM
I wonder if this law can be enforced? It seems highly unlikely that police officers will be able to spot something like that unless they erect barricades and check every car. This isn't necessary. In AZ (not sure if other states have this law as well) there is already a similar law surrounding seat belt use. Police can pull you over for speeding (which most people do) and issues a separate citation for not wearing a seat belt. Same thing will apply for smoking in a car with a minor. Sure they won't catch every person that does it, but this law is meant to act as a deterrent against such behavior, nothing more.

Is this law going to reduce smoking? Absolutely not. The only truly effective cost of reducing tobacco smoking in our societies is to raise the taxes on cigarettes. But like I said, if smokers bring in a great deal of revenue, you won't see insanely high prices either. I didn't get the impression that this was within the scope of the law that was passed. It seems that the law is concerned with child safety rather than smoking reduction.

John Galt
10-12-2007, 07:14 PM
I really don't think that the government ought to tax cigarettes(or any other specific product) in the first place. It is harmful to consumers and businesses when specific domestically produced and consumed products are subject to restrictive taxation.

In general I don't think the state should be playing "nanny" to citizens. It is the responsibility of individuals to run their own lives, for good or ill, and each person should be responsible for his own actions, and be prepared to accept the ramifications without whining to state and federal governments to solve their (or other peoples') problems for them.

tk102
10-13-2007, 01:38 AM
Are you all for drug legalization too John Galt? Full-scale gambling? Prostitution? I mean you could point the finger at the government for "nannying" those behaviors couldn't you?

Yes, my modus operandi is to see how far people adhere to their ideology

mimartin
10-13-2007, 01:50 AM
I really don't think that the government ought to tax cigarettes(or any other specific product) in the first place.Ok, but then who is going to pay for the health care cost associated with smoking and tobacco use? Is it fair to push that expense on to those non-smokers that pay taxes and for health insurance?

John Galt
10-13-2007, 02:38 AM
Are you all for drug legalization too John Galt? Full-scale gambling? Prostitution? I mean you could point the finger at the government for "nannying" those behaviors couldn't you?

Yes, my modus operandi is to see how far people adhere to their ideology

Yes, I have advocated legalization of drugs, gambling, and prostitution before. They are all currently more or less monopolized (illegally) by organized crime, and as we saw when prohibition was repealed, removing the mafia(I'm using the term as a catch-all for organized crime)'s primary source of revenue greatly reduced its power. With the reduction in the mafia's power came a general reduction in crime, and a decrease in unorganized crime(from desperate junkies who are robbed or who rob other people).

Legalization would open all of these "vices" up to the free market, regulated, of course, by the FDA to ensure that purity standards in drugs are followed. Legalization of needle sales would also reduce disease transmissions, as would requiring licensed prostitutes to be screened regularly.The legalization of prostitution would also serve to prevent the abuse of prostitutes by pimps, which we are currently unable to do anything about because of the womens' status as criminals.

Just because you asked :)

back on topic:

@mimartin:

no, but then again I think the entire medicaid/ insurance system is fundementally unjust. Smokers should have to bear the consequences of their addictions and pay their own medical bills, just like everyone else should have to bear the burden of their own retirement and healthcare costs. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

lukeiamyourdad
10-13-2007, 01:12 PM
This isn't necessary. In AZ (not sure if other states have this law as well) there is already a similar law surrounding seat belt use. Police can pull you over for speeding (which most people do) and issues a separate citation for not wearing a seat belt. Same thing will apply for smoking in a car with a minor. Sure they won't catch every person that does it, but this law is meant to act as a deterrent against such behavior, nothing more.


I guess we'll have to wait and see how effective it really is. I doubt it'll make much of a difference.



I really don't think that the government ought to tax cigarettes(or any other specific product) in the first place. It is harmful to consumers and businesses when specific domestically produced and consumed products are subject to restrictive taxation.

That's always bothered me to some degree. Not taxation, but the ideology. Questions: You mention the FDA regulating certain products. How is the FDA going to pay itself? Are you for a strong US military? Well equipped police forces and firefighters? Good prisons that don't let criminals run out? Good security at the borders? A justice system that pays well its judges so they aren't corrupted (at least too easily)?


The legalization of prostitution would also serve to prevent the abuse of prostitutes by pimps, which we are currently unable to do anything about because of the womens' status as criminals.

Currently, in the Netherlands, around 9% of prostitutes have a legal license. Most others work illegally. It's relative success, but you have to understand that there's more then simple economical calculations here. Prostitutes are not the most popular people. They tend to hide their jobs from even friends and family. They're not well seen really. So going legal isn't always the best option.

Then there's Belgium which overtaxes its legal prostitutes for moral reasons. It brings up an interesting point. Morality. Many, if not most, people in society, especially religious people and in this case feminists, would oppose to such a legal measure considering it immoral. The legislature would then try to conciliate both those who are for legalization and those who are against. Thus, weird laws get passed. On one hand, you legalize it, on the other, you overtax the workers in order to act as a deterrent.


no, but then again I think the entire medicaid/ insurance system is fundementally unjust. Smokers should have to bear the consequences of their addictions and pay their own medical bills, just like everyone else should have to bear the burden of their own retirement and healthcare costs. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

While I do agree with you about how people should take care of their own crap, this brings another question to the table. If I get hit by a drunken driver, while safely crossing the street at an intersection, on a green light, am I responsible for this accident? Is it fair that I ruin myself for healthcare costs? You could say make the drunken driver pay. But what if he has no money or at least not enough? Then you could say that it still doesn't justify how society as a whole should pay for it, and you would be right. But where does that leave me?

I'd like to talk about the word "unjust" now. Social justice is a strange idea. The left considers it equality among all citizens. Meaning no one is bigger or better then the other. The right consider it differently. The bigger should have the advantage over the weaker because he worked for it or whatever.
Who's right? Who's wrong?

Neither. They're different visions on the same concept. As such, the leftist will consider society paying the healthcare costs for X individual as "just" and the right-winger will think the opposite. You can debate until the end of time, there will not be a consensus on the matter.
Not saying you're right or wrong yourself, just something to think about.

RedHawke
10-13-2007, 01:47 PM
Banning smoking in a private car when there are people under 18? It's not a law about "highway safety" and I'm far from being convinced that such a measure can have any noticeable effect on the kids health except in some exceptional cases... Cigarettes are still legal as far as I know and the overall purpose of the law seems more of a way to "set the example" and "increase public awarenes" by using coercitive methods rather than education. (and btw,this is not about the "right to smoke" - I'm a non smoker anyway- . It's a general statement about the implementation and purpose of such a law).
Agreed... I do not smoke either, but when I heard about this it sounds to me as just some more of our "wonderful" touchy-feely Californian crap. It gets pretty thick around here on planet California. ;)

MdKnightR
10-14-2007, 02:26 AM
I really don't think that the government ought to tax cigarettes(or any other specific product) in the first place. It is harmful to consumers and businesses when specific domestically produced and consumed products are subject to restrictive taxation.

In general I don't think the state should be playing "nanny" to citizens. It is the responsibility of individuals to run their own lives, for good or ill, and each person should be responsible for his own actions, and be prepared to accept the ramifications without whining to state and federal governments to solve their (or other peoples') problems for them.


I am really starting to like you! :thmbup1: If I didn't know any better, I'd swear we were the same person. :D

Yes, I have advocated legalization of drugs, gambling, and prostitution before. They are all currently more or less monopolized (illegally) by organized crime, and as we saw when prohibition was repealed, removing the mafia(I'm using the term as a catch-all for organized crime)'s primary source of revenue greatly reduced its power. With the reduction in the mafia's power came a general reduction in crime, and a decrease in unorganized crime(from desperate junkies who are robbed or who rob other people).

Legalization would open all of these "vices" up to the free market, regulated, of course, by the FDA to ensure that purity standards in drugs are followed. Legalization of needle sales would also reduce disease transmissions, as would requiring licensed prostitutes to be screened regularly.The legalization of prostitution would also serve to prevent the abuse of prostitutes by pimps, which we are currently unable to do anything about because of the womens' status as criminals.

Just because you asked :)

Ditto! As George Carlin once said, "Selling's legal. ****ing's legal. Why isn't selling ****ing legal?" and "Why is it illegal to sell something that is perfectly legal to give away?"

tk102
10-14-2007, 03:15 AM
Raise your hand if you have kids and you disagree with this law.

lukeiamyourdad
10-14-2007, 05:00 PM
Raise your hand if you have kids and you disagree with this law.


What does it have to do with anything? Even if I had kids, I don't smoke, so it wouldn't affect me in particular or any non-smoking parent as a matter of fact, unless their kids ride often with a friend's parents that they do smoke.

Even then, if the parent really doesn't want his kids to be exposed to cigarette smoke, he can always ask the other parents to avoid smoking in the car.

Ray Jones
10-14-2007, 06:35 PM
Why would someone bother to avoid smoking when my kids are in his car when he doesn't with his kids in the car?

SilentScope001
10-14-2007, 11:31 PM
Why would someone bother to avoid smoking when my kids are in his car when he doesn't with his kids in the car?

Because you asked nicely. Smokers can be nice people, you know.

tk102
10-15-2007, 12:05 AM
What does it have to do with anything?
I used to think that too.

Jae Onasi
10-15-2007, 12:25 AM
I am really starting to like you! :thmbup1: If I didn't know any better, I'd swear we were the same person. :D

Ditto! As George Carlin once said, "Selling's legal. ****ing's legal. Why isn't selling ****ing legal?" and "Why is it illegal to sell something that is perfectly legal to give away?"

Who's going to pay for all the health care of the people who are on disability for smoking-induced emphysema or lung cancer? Who's going to pay for the intensive care unit stays of these people when they end up on respirators when they get pneumonia? Who's going to pay for all the extra police required to deal with whacked out druggies shooting up on Friday night? Who's going to pay for their health care when they finally discover they have AIDS? Who's going to pay for rehab for the addicts?

If you're going to get drunk, smoke cigarettes, or indulge in other risk-taking behaviors, then I think you should pony up and pay for your share of the taxes required to pay for all your medical care you'll need for yourself and those exposed to your vice(s) when said vice finally catches up to you.

Why would someone bother to avoid smoking when my kids are in his car when he doesn't with his kids in the car?

Because my kids have bad allergies and smoking makes it worse.

Achilles
10-15-2007, 01:34 AM
I used to think that too.Funny how that happens.

lukeiamyourdad
10-15-2007, 01:48 AM
I used to think that too.


Because it makes someone more easily accept a "Save the children!" argument?

Ray Jones
10-15-2007, 01:07 PM
Because you asked nicely. Smokers can be nice people, you know.Oh yeah, that's why they made a law instead of asking nicely.

MdKnightR
10-15-2007, 03:33 PM
Who's going to pay for all the health care of the people who are on disability for smoking-induced emphysema or lung cancer? Who's going to pay for the intensive care unit stays of these people when they end up on respirators when they get pneumonia? Who's going to pay for all the extra police required to deal with whacked out druggies shooting up on Friday night? Who's going to pay for their health care when they finally discover they have AIDS? Who's going to pay for rehab for the addicts?



Uh, isn't that what our government is already doing with our taxes? Legalization wouldn't change things for the worse in those situations.

Jae Onasi
10-16-2007, 12:56 AM
Uh, isn't that what our government is already doing with our taxes? Legalization wouldn't change things for the worse in those situations.

Well, they'd have to do a lot more of it if it were all legalized, and I think it'd have a huge negative impact on public health (mainly drugs). Hait Ashbury's a pretty good indicator of what would happen if illegal drugs in particular were legalized.

MdKnightR
10-16-2007, 11:38 AM
Well, they'd have to do a lot more of it if it were all legalized, and I think it'd have a huge negative impact on public health (mainly drugs). Hait Ashbury's a pretty good indicator of what would happen if illegal drugs in particular were legalized.

Let me pose a question then. If Marijuana was legalized today, would you run right out to the nearest convenience store to buy a pack of lefty-cigarettes? I'm guessing not.

If people want to smoke it (or use any other drug), it is readily available already. Legalization (I prefer the term "decriminalization") would simply put a stop to the organized crime associated with it. Look at Prohibition. When alcohol was outlawed, organized crime saw an opportunity. The same opportunity that outlawing drugs has afforded the street gangs of today. If aspirin was outlawed tomorrow, there would soon be a black market for it.

Harry Browne (RIP), the Libertarian who ran for President in 2000, said his first act of office if elected would be to pardon all nonviolent (key word there) drug offenders. Can you imagine an end to prison overcrowding? That would do it! Sure, keep the bass turds that commit violent crime locked up, but people being put in jail for possession is a travesty to a free society.

Totenkopf
10-16-2007, 12:09 PM
As regards nonviolent offenders, house arrest and community service seems like a much better idea (keeps the lib judges happy and minimizes the pressure on jail overcrowding). Always thought that minimum sentencing guidelines were a bit draconian and even counterproductive to a degree.

John Galt
10-16-2007, 12:13 PM
Let me pose a question then. If Marijuana was legalized today, would you run right out to the nearest convenience store to buy a pack of lefty-cigarettes? I'm guessing not.

If people want to smoke it (or use any other drug), it is readily available already. Legalization (I prefer the term "decriminalization") would simply put a stop to the organized crime associated with it. Look at Prohibition. When alcohol was outlawed, organized crime saw an opportunity. The same opportunity that outlawing drugs has afforded the street gangs of today. If aspirin was outlawed tomorrow, there would soon be a black market for it.

Harry Browne (RIP), the Libertarian who ran for President in 2000, said his first act of office if elected would be to pardon all nonviolent (key word there) drug offenders. Can you imagine an end to prison overcrowding? That would do it! Sure, keep the bass turds that commit violent crime locked up, but people being put in jail for possession is a travesty to a free society.

I support this message.

I think people ought to have the freedom to run their own lives how they wish. This includes the freedom to ruin their own lives, so long as they don't harm anyone else in the process the government should not intervene. This also increases the importance of personal responsibility in society, so implementing Libertarian ideals might cause a few bumps in the road, simply because of the people who have relied on Uncle Sam to do their moralizing for them would have to come to grips with their newfound freedoms.

lukeiamyourdad
10-17-2007, 01:24 AM
As regards nonviolent offenders, house arrest and community service seems like a much better idea (keeps the lib judges happy and minimizes the pressure on jail overcrowding). Always thought that minimum sentencing guidelines were a bit draconian and even counterproductive to a degree.


I 100% agree with this. Although it has little to do with the subject, I have a friend who committed a crime, was sentenced to house arrest but allowed to pursue his studies nonetheless, going out only for school on a tight schedule.

He's one of the most amazing mathematicians I've ever met. It would have been such a waste if there was minimum sentences for certain offenses. The Conservative party (of Canada) proposed minimum sentences for offenders. Obviously, if my friend had been to prison because of such measures instead of being judged properly, based on his past and wish to redeem himself, he would have continued to be a drain on society after he came out of prison.

Everything must be judged on a case by case basis.


I think people ought to have the freedom to run their own lives how they wish. This includes the freedom to ruin their own lives, so long as they don't harm anyone else in the process the government should not intervene.


Most of the time, people do have the freedom to do as they wish with their lives as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.


This also increases the importance of personal responsibility in society, so implementing Libertarian ideals might cause a few bumps in the road, simply because of the people who have relied on Uncle Sam to do their moralizing for them would have to come to grips with their newfound freedoms.

Ironic really. In a way, laws represent morality in a society. Technically, Uncle Sam does your moralizing for you. The State puts limits on what you can and what you can't do, even a minimal one, would have certain laws prohibiting certain behaviors. Telling people not to harm each other is a form of moralizing. That's how I take your statement.

In fact, it's quite childish to say that the government is the one telling its people what to think, especially in a democracy. On one side, the people do elect the legislators, so they have a legitimacy to make laws that represent the wishes of those who voted for them. I think it would be more correct if someone said the government tells you what you can and can't do. If anything, you should blame certain radical non-governmental organizations for forcing their ideals upon the populace, but hey, that's democracy.

MdKnightR
10-17-2007, 02:23 AM
On one side, the people do elect the legislators, so they have a legitimacy to make laws that represent the wishes of those who voted for them.

In a perfect world......




By the way, the USA is a republic, not a democracy.

Rev7
10-17-2007, 02:32 AM
By the way, the USA is a republic, not a democracy.
Actually the United States of America is both a Republic and Democracy. :)

lukeiamyourdad
10-17-2007, 05:50 PM
In a perfect world......

I think you missed the point. The legislators have legitimacy to act. Of course, who has been elected with 100% of the vote? No one. The fact that you disagree with certain laws does not make the entire system illegitimate. This is the system you chose to live in. Personal responsibility no?

It's a form of dictatorship of the majority. It's not a perfect system, but people are generally happier under working democracies then under working dictatorships.


By the way, the USA is a republic, not a democracy.


Don't know what a democracy is eh?

Rev7 said it already, America is both. If you're so picky, the word democracy wouldn't even exist. No country would be one. For reasons of logistics. Can you imagine referendums every day? Does a regular citizen, with job, wife, kids and hobbies have the time to get up every day, get properly informed on every subject, foreign or local, that's going to be involved in referendum of the day, read every bill which will be voted and then decide what to vote? 24 hours isn't enough.

America elects its leaders. It's a democracy.

Jae Onasi
10-17-2007, 10:05 PM
Let me pose a question then. If Marijuana was legalized today, would you run right out to the nearest convenience store to buy a pack of lefty-cigarettes? I'm guessing not.

If people want to smoke it (or use any other drug), it is readily available already. Legalization (I prefer the term "decriminalization") would simply put a stop to the organized crime associated with it. Look at Prohibition. When alcohol was outlawed, organized crime saw an opportunity. The same opportunity that outlawing drugs has afforded the street gangs of today. If aspirin was outlawed tomorrow, there would soon be a black market for it.


Alcohol does not have the same addictive qualities of heroin and some other illegal substances, nor does it cause extensive health problems like crack or ice do. Why do you think we have to give prescriptions for some medications? Because the risk of serious health problems associated with incorrect medication usage (under- or over-) makes it mandatory that someone who knows what they're doing instructs the patient on the correct way to take it. A reasonable number of my patients are health-savvy and could make their own decisions on these things. A lot of my patients could care less. A lot of my patients are blessed in other areas besides intelligence and would not be able to learn enough to figure out how to take it on their own. A great majority of patients think that if some medicine is good, even more must be better, when in fact 'even more' could become risky or even deadly. A few of my patients, God bless them, are complete and utter morons and would be a danger not only to themselves but to others if they had to try to figure some of this out on their own. A very few would actually use the meds for malicious reasons.

You cannot equate alcohol with any illegal drug with the exception of maybe marijuana. Heroin, cocaine, crack, ice, meth, PCP, etc are so dangerous either physically/lethality or in terms of addiction potential that they should never be legalized. If you need some more convincing, go volunteer in an ER or a police department (preferably a larger city one) on some Friday or Saturday nights, if you haven't already--you'll get to see the destructive effects of these drugs first hand on a regular basis. After you see a few people come through who are in withdrawal because they can't get their fix, or who've destroyed their bodies with meth (if they haven't caused an explosion trying to make it at home), or the kids who've been beaten to a pulp because their parent(s) were strung out, you'll have a different perspective.

I'm all for personal responsibility, but that doesn't mean you should hand someone a gun to shoot themselves with, and legalizing highly addictive and/or dangerous illegal substances would be akin to doing just that.

MdKnightR
10-18-2007, 02:06 AM
Actually the United States of America is both a Republic and Democracy.

Just wanted to see who was paying attention. ;)


Alcohol does not have the same addictive qualities of heroin and some other illegal substances, nor does it cause extensive health problems like crack or ice do.

I suppose that Cirrhosis of the liver isn't an extensive health problem. Or that people can't die for alcohol poisoning. Or drunken driving is harmless. Seems to me that they are equatable.

Alcohol is very additive to many people, as is nicotine. Some people don't even know that they are predisposed to alcoholism and are addicted from the very first drink. In fact, up to 40 percent of industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol use and alcoholism.

Why do you think we have to give prescriptions for some medications?

Ah, but there's the rub! Prescription medication is LEGAL, but that's not to say that people don't get their hands on it using less than savory methods.


You cannot equate alcohol with any illegal drug with the exception of maybe marijuana. Heroin, cocaine, crack, ice, meth, PCP, etc are so dangerous either physically/lethality or in terms of addiction potential that they should never be legalized.

What about the medicinal use of marijuana? Or how about the addictive qualities of the legal drug morphine? Morphine can be just as harmful as heroin.

If you need some more convincing, go volunteer in an ER or a police department (preferably a larger city one) on some Friday or Saturday nights, if you haven't already--you'll get to see the destructive effects of these drugs first hand on a regular basis. After you see a few people come through who are in withdrawal because they can't get their fix, or who've destroyed their bodies with meth (if they haven't caused an explosion trying to make it at home), or the kids who've been beaten to a pulp because their parent(s) were strung out, you'll have a different perspective.

And this is my point. ALL of this happens in a society that has the mistaken notion that the war on drugs is a productive venture. Ever since today's illicit drugs were outlawed, addiction has risen dramatically. There was virtually no drug problem before these drugs were outlawed. People weren't robbing their grandmothers so they could go buy Coca-Cola by the case! (FYI, cocaine was one of the original ingredients for those of you who didn't know) All the money that has been funneled into this "war" has been spent in vain, and yet people are in an uproar over spending in the Iraq war.

I'm all for personal responsibility, but that doesn't mean you should hand someone a gun to shoot themselves with, and legalizing highly addictive and/or dangerous illegal substances would be akin to doing just that.

No one said such a thing. I am not advocating addiction. Decriminalization would be a productive move because all the funding that has been poured into combating drug trafficking could then be used for treatment and programs that encourage people to stay off drugs. It is widely known that the best way to combat addiction is through workplace drug screening. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 77% of drug users in the United States are employed. 77%!!! If every place of employment were to participate in a Drug-Free Workplace program, it would make an incredible positive impact that the current approach could never have. Not to mention the impact that would have on the cost of health care and health insurance coverage.