Damn it, Baltimore

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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby gisambards » Fri May 01, 2015 11:32 am

The reason the alcohol trade is not immoral in my eyes is simply because it doesn't prey off of addiction as its business model - the people selling alcohol are not trying to get their customers addicted to their product. Tobacco companies and most drug dealers are, and that is entirely immoral and ends a lot of lives.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby krankittoeleven » Fri May 01, 2015 11:44 am

I'm gonna try to keep this short because it's getting late and I had a long night at work, but I want to chime in on this drug topic that has sprouted up.

I've mentioned before that I am in a relationship with a former heroin junkie (and all around general opiate abuser). Orange has done a stellar job of describing the kind of adventures [read: horrors] one experiences when you keep that sort of company, so I will spare the gory details and simply say I've looked into the abyss and it had teeth and nearly chewed me up and spit me out (and I wasn't even the addict!) Some how we managed to get through it and without us hating each other, which is probably a bloody fucking miracle.

That being said, I am 100% for decriminalization of all drugs (not legalization though, except with a few things, like pot and shrooms). The war on drugs has fucked this country six ways to Sunday and has done nothing but create a perpetual cycle of people getting busted, going to jail, getting out, finding out they can't get a job or a place to live and then going back to selling or using again because it's the only thing they fucking know. And if that isn't bad enough, we've pretty much screwed over other countries in the process. Columbia has practically begged us to end the war on drugs (not sure if its decriminalization or legalization they are after in regards to America's policy) because the Cartles would not have such a stranglehold on them if it didn't exist. The war on drugs pretty much gave the Cartels the freedom to become what they are today. They had no competition and they thrived on it.

Drug abusers aren't bad people, they are people who need some serious help, but poor people can't scrape up the money for treatment/rehab and drug abuses and the poor go hand in hand. Hell, my girlfriend and I aren't poor, we're not rich by any means, but we live comfortably enough, but rehab would have killed us financially. Rehab is for the rich; cold turkey is for everyone else, apparently. Maybe, just maybe if the government cared more about rehabilitation and less about throwing every person in jail who ever glanced sideways at a joint I wouldn't have spent that horrible night in a parking lot screaming for help while I shoved my fingers down my girlfriend's throat to get her to puke up the month's worth of sleeping pills she had ingested because she'd rather be dead than keep going through withdrawal. Don't get me wrong, I'm flattered she wanted to spend what she thought would be her last time on earth with me, but seriously, I could have done without all the puking.

*takes a deep breath*

Sorry if this got a bit ranty and/or disjointed, I'm tired and the screen is getting blurry. This ended up longer than I wanted it to be, but shorter than it could have been, so I guess I'll take it, even if I'm not entirely certain I've expressed the point I set out to express when I started typing this.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby ShuaiGuy » Fri May 01, 2015 12:20 pm

<Redacted>
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Last edited by ShuaiGuy on Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby sunglasses » Fri May 01, 2015 1:00 pm

gisambards wrote: Tobacco companies and most drug dealers are, and that is entirely immoral and ends a lot of lives.


I'm going to have to pop in on this topic.

Just how many drug dealers have you known? I've known more than I probably should have growing up. The ones I knew dealt pot, crack, and psychedelics. The pot dealer would smoke his shit with you, so I don't know how you'd interpret that. He also was selling pot to afford college. The crack dealer dealt crack to afford his crack habit and help support his girlfriend's baby he was raising. Before anyone gets all "omg crack and babies" he never did crack around the kid. I knew one chick who sold Oxy's, but she had AIDS and they were her own pills.

All I'm saying is it's not always what people think. Now, drug pushers, drug lords, the cartels. THEY are bad, bad people. No doubt there. I mean, you know it's bad when the crack dealer was once asked by his client about heroin and he's like, "Fuck no. Those Columbians will fuck you up."

That being said, in the US decriminalization would help a lot in many urban communities.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby iMURDAu » Fri May 01, 2015 1:02 pm

gisambards wrote:Do you know what most drugs do to people? Do you think the kind of person willing to sell heroin to people is a bad person because heroin is illegal, or because they're the kind of person willing to sell that poison to people? While I acknowledge that a lot of drugs pushers are simply disaffected youths who have been failed by the system, born into poverty and with no other immediate options, most of these don't go into it as a full-time job - they're usually moral enough to not get too heavily involved (and that doesn't necessarily mean they're saints, it just means they've got at the very least some semblance of compassion). The ones who actively make a career out of selling drugs - they're bad people. They just are. They're selling addictive, dangerous chemicals to people who they know will keep buying them, and will ultimately die because of it. They're prioritising their finances over the lives of other people. It's not being poor that does that. It's being a bad person.


It is being poor that does that. If you've been poor all your life and someone says you can make thousands of dollars a day standing on a corner or sitting in a house its really hard to resist that temptation. You can see things from your lofty perch across the ocean and think everything is clear and laid out in black and white but what you're not seeing is a culture that in America has become very permissive regarding prescription drug abuse. I've known more than a few people who've been prescribed painkillers and made money by selling their prescription. In their mind its not selling addictive dangerous chemicals, its more like helping other people who haven't been to the doctor for their own pain yet. We naturally worry about the street dealer because the street dealer may be armed to protect their money/stash/turf/etc but young and middle aged doctor shoppers are the new breed. There is a gray area because nobody wants to speak out against this trend since we don't want to discourage doctors from "helping" addicts like my wife's childhood friend who went from heroin to a prescribed alternative and does what? Sells it so she can buy new purses, have the latest phone, and still be doing what? Shooting up in her mom's basement where she lives.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby Tesseracts » Fri May 01, 2015 1:03 pm

It seems the people here sympathetic to legalization and decriminalization are Americans. Maybe you need to live in America to understand how hopelessly fucked up our system is.

gisambards wrote:The reason the alcohol trade is not immoral in my eyes is simply because it doesn't prey off of addiction as its business model - the people selling alcohol are not trying to get their customers addicted to their product.

overcoming-disbelief.jpg
overcoming-disbelief.jpg (67.23 KiB) Viewed 915 times


You know who else uses addiction as a business model? Junk food. I'm completely serious. Nobody talks about junk food in the same way they talk about drugs, but the health consequences are just as serious. There is a huge advertising industry built up on getting you to consume as much fat and sugar as possible, and it's all 100% socially acceptable.

And you know what? Let's not limit ourselves to physically harmful substances. Getting you to buy a bunch of shit you don't need is pretty much the business model of absolutely everything. That's how capitalism works. They charge the highest price possible and try to get as many people as possible to buy their stuff, regardless of how harmful it is. The goal of business is to make money and most businesses need laws to prevent them from destroying the environment in the process.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby gisambards » Fri May 01, 2015 1:25 pm

iMURDAu wrote:You can see things from your lofty perch across the ocean


Britain isn't all tea, crumpets and stately homes. I grew up in a part of Manchester with a lot of these issues. We have an mostly effective drugs policy, and yet drug abuse is rampant in parts of society - even the Scandinavians, with their justice system and drugs policy focused almost entirely on reform, have drugs issues in their inner cities.
Yeah, the war on drugs is terrible, I get it. But it's idiocy to pretend it's the main reason for drugs issues in society - the rest of us have the same problems.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby Tesseracts » Fri May 01, 2015 1:41 pm

gisambards wrote:
iMURDAu wrote:You can see things from your lofty perch across the ocean


Britain isn't all tea, crumpets and stately homes. I grew up in a part of Manchester with a lot of these issues. We have an mostly effective drugs policy, and yet drug abuse is rampant in parts of society - even the Scandinavians, with their justice system and drugs policy focused almost entirely on reform, have drugs issues in their inner cities.
Yeah, the war on drugs is terrible, I get it. But it's idiocy to pretend it's the main reason for drugs issues in society - the rest of us have the same problems.

I don't think anyone said the war on drugs is the REASON for drug issues. I would think the primary reason is the drugs themselves, and the fact that they exist. I simply think the SOLUTION is to dial back the war on drugs as much as possible, and replace it with policies focused on helping people rather than hurting them because they're "bad."
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby iMURDAu » Fri May 01, 2015 3:24 pm

I'm not saying that policies enacted by any government body is, are, were driving the War On Drugs. You specifically made the argument that people sell drugs because they're bad people and I'm saying its not that simple because there is a stigma against the youth standing on the corner whether he's selling drugs or waiting for a cab to take him home from work while prescription painkillers and heroin are flowing through suburban homes and ravaging some rural communities. Profiling parents who drive minivans is basically impossible.

I worked at a tobacco shop for 5 years. Basically managed the place without the fancy title or authoritah over others because I was alone during my shifts. So yes I was prioritizing my finances over the health of my community. I quit smoking tobacco when I was 17 because Camels went over $2 a pack and I said fuckthatshit. Does that make me a bad person? The grocery store I work at now sells tobacco. We also have endcaps full of soda, chips, cookies, we have tables of pastry laid out and candy at every register. We'd sell alcohol if it were legal to do so in this county. I'm not saying all that=meth but it goes back to what Tess said about addiction being the goal of certain industries.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby Crimson847 » Fri May 01, 2015 3:52 pm

aviel wrote:Yes to the former if you don't cut people off and knowingly serve addicts, and yes to the latter regardless. (Alcohol is not harmful in small amounts, cigarettes are harmful in any amount).


So if I run a business with an alcohol license where I don't really know whether my customers are addicts or not and don't put much effort into finding out (popular bars, convenience stores, liquor stores, etc.), am I a bad person? Because that's the basic attitude that most dealers I've encountered operate under: they may or may not "knowingly" sell to addicts, but they don't put a whole lot of effort into figuring out if any given customer is running their life into the ground.

As for cigarettes, this would mean anyone who sells cigarettes (convenience store employees, grocery store employees, smoke shop employees, etc.) gets slotted into the "bad person" category. Seems a bit much.

Yes without a prescription, yes, debateable, yes, I'd have to do more research ,I'd have to do more research, and you'll need to be more specific.

Maybe I shouldn't say "Bad Person™", but getting people addicted to drugs (even legal drugs) is an immoral thing.


Those were largely rhetorical questions. The point is that "addictive, dangerous chemical" covers a lot of territory, so a more specific set of qualifications for "Bad Person" status is necessary. What set of qualifications did you use to arrive at these answers?

Incidentally, the reason I'm adding the trademark and scare quotes to "bad person" is because we're not talking about simple, run-of-the-mill immorality here. This is not merely an abstract discussion of morality, it's a legal discussion. In this case, the idea being debated is that selling certain drugs (regardless of how careful or scrupulous you try to be) is not only immoral, but that it merits prison time. As such, the question is not simply whether such people are doing something we might object to morally, the question is whether said behavior makes the person such a grave threat to others that they must be removed from society by force.

gisambards wrote:
iMURDAu wrote:You can see things from your lofty perch across the ocean


Britain isn't all tea, crumpets and stately homes. I grew up in a part of Manchester with a lot of these issues. We have an mostly effective drugs policy, and yet drug abuse is rampant in parts of society - even the Scandinavians, with their justice system and drugs policy focused almost entirely on reform, have drugs issues in their inner cities.
Yeah, the war on drugs is terrible, I get it. But it's idiocy to pretend it's the main reason for drugs issues in society - the rest of us have the same problems.


The main reason for "drug issues" is human psychology and the way our neurochemistry interacts with certain outside chemicals, both natural and synthetic. Nobody credible expects drug abuse or addiction to disappear under legalization, medicalization, decriminalization, or really any conceivable regulatory environment. The argument is that prohibition creates or aggravates a number of additional problems (a violent black market, prison overcrowding, police militarization, etc.), while failing to curb the initial problem (misuse of drugs) to a sufficient extent to justify all those extra unintended consequences.

gisambards wrote:Well, if you apparently think there's nothing immoral about taking advantage of people and addicting them to substances that will ruin their lives and ultimately kill them, then I get why you might be sympathetic to drug dealers. Personally, I believe profiting from poisoning people to be nothing but immoral, no matter how poor you are: besides, the vast majority of poor people actually don't deal drugs, and there are a lot of rich drug dealers (drug barons, or tobacco company executives, for example), so I think anyone blaming it entirely on society and the law clearly hasn't seen this sort of thing first-hand.


I'm sympathetic to drug dealers because I've known quite a few, including some hard drug dealers. I've seen the way they operate from the perspective of a "friend" (or as close to that as druggies get), a customer, and the friend of a customer whose life is falling apart. Heck, I've been a small-time dealer in soft drugs myself. Not to mention I've worked jobs that involved selling alcohol, I've bought alcohol for people who were underage (17-20), and as a cigarette smoker I routinely give out cigarettes to people who ask for them, sometimes in exchange for payment if they insist. It's difficult to forget about all the grey areas when you know the person being judged, and it feels rather uncharitable for me to point fingers in judgment at others with my own unclean hands.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby aviel » Fri May 01, 2015 4:01 pm

Crimson847 wrote:So if I run a business with an alcohol license where I don't really know whether my customers are addicts or not and don't put much effort into finding out (popular bars, convenience stores, liquor stores, etc.), am I a bad person?

Depends on what effort you can put in I think, but yeah, if you're negligently selling to people whom you could absolutely find out are addicts (e.g. by looking at purchasing record) then I'd say that's not moral.

As for cigarettes, this would mean anyone who sells cigarettes (convenience store employees, grocery store employees, smoke shop employees, etc.) gets slotted into the "bad person" category. Seems a bit much.

It's a bad thing, even if it might not make them a bad person over all.

What set of qualifications did you use to arrive at these answers?

Harm that the drug causes as it is administered by the dealer, mostly.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri May 01, 2015 4:48 pm

Tess wrote:overcoming-disbelief.jpg


Just a quick aside, I freakin' love some of the photographic reactions Tess posts to stuff. This one still sets me to giggling.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Fri May 01, 2015 5:25 pm

Well, they're being charged with manslaughter. So now, CNN can stop acting like it being between the hours of 10pm and 5am is a shocking news story.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby sunglasses » Fri May 01, 2015 5:42 pm

Ericthebearjew wrote:Well, they're being charged with manslaughter.


It's a little more than that.

The most severe charge appeared to be second-degree murder, filed against Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving a transport van that brought Mr. Gray to the Western District police station after his April 12 arrest.

Other charges included involuntary manslaughter, assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said at a news conference. Warrants were issued for their arrests, Ms. Mosby said.


From: http://www.wsj.com/articles/baltimore-p ... ss_US_News

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/05/0 ... r-charges/

Please note that Monday a letter had been sent to the city's prosecutor:
The Baltimore Police Fraternal Order of Police No. 3 issued a letter to Mosby Friday morning on behalf of the officers involved saying that the death was not the officers’ faults and they also requested a special prosecutor citing conflicts of interest with Mosby’s office.

If you want to see the full letter sent: https://cbsbaltimore.files.wordpress.co ... osby-3.pdf

I, personally, am pleased that they are being charged and not just a grand jury deal.
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Re: Damn it, Baltimore

Postby Marcuse » Fri May 01, 2015 6:51 pm

Just a reminder to keep things on topic. It looks like people have returned to it without me, but if people would like to discuss drug use/abuse then maybe it might be preferable to make a thread about it.
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