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#303563 - 10/26/17 06:16 PM The war on drugs & opiods
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2131
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
We have now been hearing, every day, about the opiod crisis. We have spent over 1 trillion dollars on our war on drugs and that effort hasn't even been able to keep the prices of drugs high. (an example of that is the simple fact that heroin is cheaper than pharmacy dispensed opiods. Its also generally agreed that today's heroin is spiked with other drugs to make it considerably more powerful). Anyway (I have mentioned this one before) I thought I would refer to Portugal's solution to drugs. It was all pretty simple. First they decriminalized ALL drugs. The second thing they did is make sure that help for addicts was freely available to all. The result of this was that Portugal no longer has a drug problem. Some are now even saying that Portugal also doesn't seem to have any drug addicts. Even better is that their crime took a nose dive after this thing was put into place. Their solution seems to work, ours does not but is based on firm moral ground <sigh> (everytime we do stuff for moral reasons it seems to be very expensive and fails)

What is interesting about this is that this is yet another solution that works and which we completely ignore. This is not unusual. If it isn't invented here its got to be bad seems to be the common mantra. The rest of the industrialized world has solved their healthcare needs but we continue to fight over something that simply makes sense. Anyway, here are a couple of links to Portugal and drugs (googled "portugal drugs" - got over 8 million hits):

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...g-10301780.html

https://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years...ning#.GmnT89IvY

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/20...sue-not-a-crime

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/opinion/sunday/portugal-drug-decriminalization.html

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#303565 - 10/27/17 06:46 AM Re: The war on drugs & opiods [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7923
Loc: North San Diego County
Actually real heroin is pretty expensive. Collecting all that poppy sap is very labor intensive and there are huge scaling problems when you try to grow your plantation. Like you need tons of workers and you can't satisfy many customers per acre of poppies.

Which is why dealers put fenantyl in it. Fenantyl is synthesized in a lab. A little fenantyl and you have 10 times as much "heroin" you can sell. And now they have carfentanyl that is so powerful they are worried about drug enforcement types dying when they bust somebody or some place with it present. 50,000 times stronger than heroin! But all of these things are opioids: Pretty safe if you take the right dose.

Unfortunately, almost all government actions in the war on drugs ignore the fact that there are real chronic pain victims out there who actually need it. They make it so hard to fill legitimate prescriptions that these folks end up committing suicide. But government tends to do the easy thing, even if it does not work, because then it looks like they are doing something.

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#303572 - 10/28/17 01:10 AM Re: The war on drugs & opiods [Re: jgw]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13295
Loc: Whittier, California
Nevertheless, we're still sending soldiers to Afghanistan to protect the poppy growers anyway. And by association, we're protecting the largest black market.
Talk about working at cross purposes, instead of protecting Big Pharma lab operations that synthesize the stuff, why not enlist the Afghan poppy farmers to grow the organic stuff for export TO the pharma companies and put in the necessary regulatory machinery to make sure it gets used in legitimate pain control?

That's not going to eliminate the synthetics industry but it would create a system in which Afghan farmers are contributing to legitimate medical needs, American agricultural technology makes them more efficient and there is free trade incentive to create a more legitimate market atmosphere that results in a legitimate jobs program instead of a black market.

If Hawaii is the pineapple capital, and Colombia is the coffee capital, and Iowa is the corn capital, what's wrong with Afghanistan being the legitimate opiate medicine capital?
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#303573 - 10/28/17 02:07 AM Re: The war on drugs & opiods [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7923
Loc: North San Diego County
Sure, that would be great. But I think poppy growing can only survive where labor is dirt cheap. With carfenantyl, the price of a fix just dropped to pennies. Of course, the pharmacy (or illegal distributor) needs to make sure it is cut right so users get the right dose. There's nothing inherently dangerous about fenantyl or carfenantyl other than people are screwing up the dosage and overdosing.

If you put it in the hands of competent pharmacists, nobody would ever overdose.

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#303581 - 10/28/17 06:30 PM Re: The war on drugs & opiods [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2131
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I will say it again. As long as we are depending on criminals to supply our addicts with drugs there WILL be death! If you really want to kill people make sure that their drugs are produced with absolutely no regulations.

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#303589 - 10/28/17 10:06 PM Re: The war on drugs & opiods [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7923
Loc: North San Diego County
I really think that's why Sessions has such a hard on for pot smokers: The opioid folks die, so that takes care of them. But pot smokers just party on and never die, so they must be locked up!

Seriously though, legal medical marijuana may well be the best tool available for attacking the opioid problem. I've read a lot of personal stories about chronic pain victims who have cut back or cut out their pain pills altogether because they found a strain of medical weed that helps them. And pain pills following some legitimate injury or disease seems to be a pretty common path to heroin addiction.

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#303598 - 10/29/17 08:55 PM Re: The war on drugs & opiods [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2131
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Remember, one of the major industries AGAINST marijuana, in all its forms, is the drug industry. It is seriously threatening them and they have already bought congress so it remains interesting.

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