Confused and Dazed
By "ignoring medical evidence" I was referring to your initial decision to post solely in response to The_Panda's aside about drug dealers. Which was most certainly what occurred. It wasn't a dismissal. It was ignoring it, by which I mean you acknowledged it in no way, shape, or form.Hmm well I've looked through the thread and at no point have I completely dismissed the (potential) links between marijuana and scizophrenia. I really cannot see any medical evidence I've "ignored".
Granted, I don't think that you, specifically, did this, but any time anybody tries to argue that marijuana should be legal on the basis that alcohol is, even though it's more dangerous, this is the exact kind of argument they're making. It was a general statement, to a general argument.Well first of all I don't think they do use them overtly (or at least the more educated advocates). Secondly, I can't see any period I have, making this argument somewhat defunct.
Those exact possibilities are why I described the transmission rate as "effectively 0". It's low, but there is a minute chance that there will be exceptions. My point was, that when you KNOW you're exposing yourself to that risk, you won't take it, not that you'll only expose yourself to it when you KNOW you WON'T. Positive versus negative affirmation.There is literally no way to be sure the girl/guy you're ****ing is clean unless you follow them to the clinic before you test yourselves, make sure they carry out the test, use maximum protection every time, follow their sexual history back through both themselves and their partners and then have someone follow your partner at all times to make sure that they are not ****ing someone else whilst they are seeing you. That is the only way to be 100% sure.
Before you dismiss this as irrelevant because the chances are so minute, don't. The point I'm making is an extreme one because it highlights just how hard it is to entirely eliminate risk.
When you try to apply it directly to this debate (or any other that isn't about transmission rates of HIV), yes. When you take it as it was intended, as an example asking, "You don't ignore something just because it's uncommon, do you?", no.Let me rephrase then. They're completely incomparable in terms of being a reliable and/or worthwhile stat in this debate.
That's just the difference between individual and population analysis, there. Obviously, that wasn't the level the example was intended to be looked at in the first place, otherwise we wouldn't be talking about rates.Prolonged abuse of a substance in a person with predisposed tendencies to develop mental issues vs one instance of sexual intercourse. Yeah, they're pretty incomparable.
Well, at least this affirms my suspicion that you can't look at these things objectively.Lol.
An argument he wasn't making. All he did was compare two specific statistics, for the sake of example. That example, again, was, "Don't ignore risks because they're unlikely." Not, "If risk X is more likely than risk Y, it is bad," as you seem to be interpreting it.The reason being that it hurt his argument.
No, it still was stupid, because you were creating an argument which simply wasn't there, in saying that he made any kind of judgement call based on the riskiness of any activity. True, there was no way to disprove your logic, but I didn't need to, since you created it out of thin air.Except it's not at all stupid if we follow my original logic. If you think it's stupid because of the examples used, that was kind of the point.
I must say, the more I think about this comparison, the worse it becomes. To compare a fatal disease which has destroyed tens if not hundreds of millions of lives with a non-fatal disease which may not even be caused by the drug in question is really very poor form. Shame on the OP for making the point and shame on you for defending it.
And again, you're not looking at it from an objective, one-dimensional angle, as it was intended. Nobody's comparing the diseases themselves. All that's been compared is the likelihood of contracting them. It's comparing numbers, and nothing more. The fact that those numbers had implications attached to them was to (hypothetically) get you to understand the reason behind listing the numbers.
Fair enough. But again, it was a general statement directed at a general argument, not a direct reply to anything you said.Yes. So? Doesn't mean I agree with them/associate myself with them.
If I had intended it to be the be-all-end-all of the economic argument behind marijuana legalization, you'd have a point. But it wasn't, so you don't. It is one extremely specific argument. It has nothing to do with criminalization of users, because that has nothing to do with tax-spending nor the prison system. Yes, to say that criminalization has no impact on economics at all would be wrong. But I didn't.You see, the last sentence of paragraph 1 and the whole of paragraph 2 showcase exactly why I described your argument as "short-sighted".
Firstly, the idea that people having criminal records and subsequently not being able to get jobs is somehow not linked to economic arguments is unbelievably ignorant. It really worries me that you missed this. Public money does not stop at the prison gates.
I should hope not. But it is common among other, less distinguished marijuana proponents. Looking back, it was in direct reply to ironknight42, who said that legallization would "reduce traffic into prisons". Even though this one did have a context, it's another one of those "general statement to a general argument" things.Secondly, I don't think that the prisons point is made very often explicitly by experts/intelligent laymen/women when confined strictly to marijuana. It's linked to wider drug issues, but I think the vast majority would notice that prisons are not filled with marijuana "junkies" (oxymoron pretty much I know).
This is the only part I agree with, partially. Even though I think they ought to be labeled somehow, calling a casual drug user a "criminal" isn't the way. Still, I think that distinction exists; if you get rejected for a job because of drug use, they knew you were a drug user, not just a criminal in general.Finally, a breakdown of my points re criminalisation of marijuana users (with a prior admission that much of what I say may only relate to the UK).
1. A person is given a criminal record for posession/use/ even dealing cannabis. A crime which harms nobody directly other than the person who chooses to use it.
Being something like a teacher or a doctor carries a much heavier responsibility on it than most professions, though. I doubt an alcohol offender would have a much easier time getting jobs in those fields than a marijuana offender. Teaching carries with it the responsibility of setting an ideal role model to students, which generally rules out drugs of any sort at all. Will they use in front of children? Doubtful, but it seems like a possibility that is best eliminated in its entirety (in the US, it's illegal to have tobacco products anywhere within 100 yards of school property, for instance). More relevantly, they're federal employees, who are expected to obey any and all federal laws at all times (I don't know if this is the case in the UK at all or not). Is that a good reason? Maybe not necessarily, but federal employees play by entirely different sets of rules in just about every regard, so if the government doesn't want to allow drug use as part of their screening process, as an employer, that is their right (of course, none of this applies to private school teachers, nor to teacher licensure in general, even though that's a government-controlled thing)(of course, I'm talking about the US, and it's probably totally different in the UK, I don't know). And anybody who goes into any sort of medical field can't be a drug-offender, for the simple reason that they are prescribing and dispensing drugs all the time, and need to be as low-risk as possible, considering the high potential for abuse (no, someone who smokes weed casually isn't going to steal prescription drugs, but it's a risk factor in a field that needs to be as stringently controlled as possible).2. Because of this criminal record, the user is excluded from a large part of the job market.
3. This leads to two potential scenarios. Firstly, many talented people are excluded from jobs such as teaching/being a doctor/many other skilled professions. As such, many companies and infrastructures lose out on talented workers which could have helped improve the various fields in which they would have worked. For no other reason than they chose to use something in their own time.
Basically, it's industry-specific, and not a general trend. If these professions don't want to hire drug users, they'll find ways to avoid them, criminal record or no.
I'm not quite visualizing the jump from "completely qualified, but unable to be a doctor" straight down to "unemployment".The other scenario is that many of these users simply cannot find a job. This obviously costs the government a significant amount of money in welfare benefits. A section of society are barred from helping the economy grow because of pointless draconian drug legislation.
I didn't interpret it as rude or mean or anything, just the whole part where you were reading into me saying things I wasn't even addressing.Hence the use of the phrase "short-sighted". Not facetious, not particularly rude, you simply chose to interpret it that way.
Except his opinion. Really, there was no need to attempt to refute it in the first place, except maybe asking, "You don't mean every single person who's ever sold any drug to anyone ever, do you?" for clarification.An aside which contributed nothing.
Unless you mean something specific by "shopkeepers" that I don't, I was rephrasing the same thing, since grocery stores do sell tobacco and alcohol. And clerks are shopkeepers of sorts, right?Except that my point was clearly linked to his isolated and narrow-minded painting of what drug dealers do, and linking that to the very similar way in which shopkeepers and bar-owners operate.
True. But if we're going to worry about things like labels and hiring policies at large, there are much better places to start than with drug offenders.Yet it is one that society could deal with in a way which would benefit society as a whole.
Assuming they hadn't harmed anybody. I'm trying to glean whether the problems those with drug charges face are specific to them, or other petty criminals in general (or whatever you want to call people who've committed crimes that aren't "bad").Well very few distinctions exist, other than the fact the traffic offender may very well have caused others harm/put others in danger through his/her actions.
Still not sure what you're getting at here tbh, but I think the main issue relies on the way in which we identify non-violent offenders who do not cause/carry direct harm/threat to others.
Well, there's no evidence suggesting anything about turning marijuana from illegal to legal, because it hasn't been done. The closest thing I can think of is when certain states in the US legalized it for medical use, where, yes, few people took advantage. Until the federal government declared that they would no longer uphold federal law by superceding state laws, at which point the number of licenses positively exploded. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean anything, since it doesn't account at all for the many more who use regardless of whether or not they have a license allowing them to, but it does allude to the general idea that legality is preventing many from using.There is no evidence to suggest that legalisation leads to a significant increase (if indeed there is any at all) in marijuana consumption over a long-term period. The risks as they are would remain, but would be easier to treat.
I agree with the part about treating them, though. It's definitely true, and more importantly, scientists need to be able to run actual studies on this stuff, since all we have so far are limited and ghetto-rigged experiments, that may or may not actually be significant.
But (I assume) we both know the boons to driving and sex. As for drinking and smoking, search me. But just because something is less dangerous doesn't make it okay. They're pretty bad barometers for that sort of thing. You can just as easily read it as meaning that they should be illegal as well.Drinking is legal, smoking is legal, driving is legal (and harms those other than the person taking the risk), unprotected sex is legal.
Yeah, it's a bit much, but nothing more than you'd pay for the most hackneyed, unimportant studies. Or the most groundbreaking ones, for that matter. See, no one study is ever going to prove much, and so when dozens of others come up with the same thing, it's more or less accepted, and then people can read about it (in general, not the specific study, necessarily). As it stands, most people are unable to differentiate between good science and bad, relevant and irrelevant, etc. If you throw every pertinent study at them in a row, and they believe each one, their opinions on the matter are going to swing back and forth, for no reason other than that nothing is yet conclusive, and they don't understand what is actually happening. Take the recent fiasco with neutrinos exceeding the speed of light; every person who hears about it is formulating their own, completely baseless, opinions on whether or not it's right, despite those who performed the experiment stating repeatedly, "Whoa, don't get your panties in a bunch, this is just one study, and we need to see if it holds up." I don't know whether or not this explanation justifies the price, necessarily, but I do believe it justifies not throwing each study at people and saying, "OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THIS, IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!"20 pounds a day is pretty steep, especially for something which is in the interests of public health and from a british university system funded (in part) by the taxpayer.
And, even if the university where the study is conducted is publicly funded, publishing something is entirely in its own category. As is the case with the particular journal this one was published in (Journal of Pharmocology, for the record).
Okay, it seems I was wrong about being able to find it normally. I guess I just thought that since you can usually find full-text studies around the internet, it meant that they were somewhere, and not just certain ones are (as is the case, obviously). Anywho, I found it because my college subscribes to various scientific databases, and allow students access. I had thought that you were a university student, too? (I also assumed that every school does this sort of thing, and I'm just now realizing that they may not)Where?
No, but going back to the smoking/cancer example, it's like saying, "Well, only 4% [or whatever] of smokers aged 18-55 have lung cancer, so it's not the cause." Which, of course, is bogus, because people almost always get cancer later in life. Doing it that way, you're not only cutting out a fair share of those who are likeliest to be affected, you're also drowning out the numbers of those who are by using such a gigantic parameter, with people who are unlikely to exhibit anything.Just because it is most prevalent at that point doesn't discount the possibility of it in other years. Secondly, I don't think the article is trying to do everything at once, which is good. I'm sure a study on twenty somethings will come in time. Right now, the evidence
And you're absolutely right, because no study should ever attempt to do more than a little bit at once. It's just part of what exhibits this paper as not being very scientifically strong. Actually, having looked back on it, it both reads and is actually presented more from a sociological standpoint.
P.S.- Did you miss something you were writing there, or...?
Nothing explicitly wrong with it, but it doesn't exactly help your credibility to cite your own work rather than that of others. Especially since it was part of his conclusion, it's essentially stating that the conclusion is true because he said it was. Also, the first study was, again, pretty scientifically void, and criticized, and a large part of the reason Dr. Nutt was fired in the first place (from what I read, anywho). It was just he and other people in his committee (didn't say how many, even; also, there were two who weren't part of the committee) assigning scores to drugs, based on 16 factors (there is much to be argued in terms of objectivity and relevance, here, as you can see). That's where the "alcohol is 5 times more dangerous to others and twice as dangerous to the user as marijuana" numbers come from (it's called "Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis", if you wanna take a shot at finding this one; since I do have access to all these things, I can't actually tell if someone who doesn't can read them or not).
Also, even though I'm undermining it as much as I can, there's nothing strictly wrong with the way they're going about it. It's just that, since this is only one small study, it should be taken as such. For example, you aren't going to take the drug ratings they came up with to be objectively true, right? After all, it was only twenty or fewer people who said that, after they were averaged out (I got that because there were 18 people listed on his committee's website, plus 2. This may have gone up or down since, or maybe not everybody participated, I really don't know). Twenty people who can be called experts, granted, but still. It's just such a minute thing in the scheme of things, and that's why I have a problem with that UKCIA website throwing it in peoples' faces, as if it's more relevant, than, well, anything else.
I'll admit that it's far less terrible than most of those sorts of resources I've been thrown to over the years. But you're still putting far too much veracity into what they're saying. It's easy to find a scientific experiment that disproves something, because it's just some amount of data. But unless it's accepted as the opinion of the community at large, as a result of lots of thorough experimentation, it doesn't amount to much, generally speaking.It's far less biased than most, and uses scientific data for the vast majority of its claims. I don't know what else you expect.
Obviously. The fact that they're trying to do so just proves that they are biased, as does the fact that you're saying "BS" and "scaremongering anti-drugs brigade". You both are coming at the issue with some slant, some purpose. Which isn't wrong, because you're not going to set up an informational resource without a purpose. My point was, that they alternatingly buy into disproving scientific studies (easy to do, as I said) and dismiss proving ones (less easy to do). I don't actually care whether or not they're biased, but they're biasing the science, and misleading people into thinking that it's okay.You use these words in such a loaded context. The whole point of articles such as that are to downplay and rationalise some of the BS that comes from the scaremongering anti-drugs brigade.
Just for clarity, what I mean by "disproving" study is a study that finds no links between things. Unless it's conducted many times, in the same way, and virtually all find no links, can it be considered valid. On the other hand, a "proving" study would be one that finds a link between things. If a link is found, it is only disproven by conducting the experiment many more times, with them overwhelmingly finding no link. The number is more than 19 disproving incidences to every one proving one. This is because it's unlikely for a coincidence to show up any more than very rarely (I don't know why it's a 95% confidence interval, it just is; it's some statistics thing. Anywho, this xkcd comic explains the idea pretty well, bearing in mind that there really haven't been adequate numbers of studies to prove the weed/schizo link one way or another (and if you try to say there are, it goes in favor of there being a link, anyway), and the comic's entire point about taking any one study too seriously).
GOOD LORD. It's almost as if I used the most obtuse example possible for the sake of illustrating my exact point, isn't it? (if you look carefully, you'll also notice that at no point did I compare the two in any sense beyond both having correlations to things; I could have used anything besides smoking)Comparing a pastime which is linked at close to 90%+ of lung cancer cases with something which is not even close to being proven as a definitive factor in developing scizophrenia. Nice.
And holy hell, my posts just keep getting longer. ****ing debates.