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How Chemistry Stymies Attempts To Regulate Synthetic Drugs

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-drug-war-here's-your-scorecard dept.

Crime 364

Hugh Pickens writes "Brandon Keim reports that the war on drugs has a new front, with chemists fabricating synthetic mimics of marijuana, dissociative drugs and stimulants. So far lawmakers appear to be a losing the war, as every time a new compound is banned, overseas chemists synthesize a new version tweaked just enough to evade the letter of the law in a giant game of chemical Whack-a-Mole. 'Manufacturers turn these things around so quickly. One week you'll have a product with compound X, the next week it's compound Y,' says forensic toxicologist Kevin Shanks. 'It's fascinating how fast it can occur, and it's fascinating to see the minute changes in chemical structure they'll come up with. It's similar, but it's different.' During the last several years, the market for legal highs has exploded in North America and Europe. While people raised on Reefer Madness-style exaggerations may be wary of claims that 'legal high' drugs are dangerous, researchers say they're far more potent than the originals. Reports of psychotic episodes following synthetic drug use are common and have led to a variety of laws, but so far the bans aren't working, as the drugs can be subtly tweaked so as to possess a different, legal molecular form. One obvious alternative approach is to ban entire classes of similar compounds; however this is easier said than done. 'The problem with that is, what does "chemically similar" really mean? Change the structure in a small way — move a molecule here, move something to the other side of the molecule — and while I might think it's an analogue, another chemist might disagree,' says Shanks. 'That's the crux of the entire problem. The scientific community does not agree on what "analogue" essentially means.""

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I don't understand (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200603)

Doesn't every chemical have to go through thorough tests before deemed safe for human consumption?

Re:I don't understand (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200645)

Of course not. We've injested billions of different molecules from nature since the dawn of time, and until very recently we haven't had the scientific know-how to test them.

Re:I don't understand (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200653)

Not if the chemical isn't marketed as being meant for human consumption, obviously...

The synthetic weed that they're selling at headshops and shit nowadays is sold as incense, some of them are sold as bath salts. They say right on the side "not safe for human consumption", but then again, so do cans of spray paint and duster and there are thousands of people out there huffing that shit.

Just more stupidity all because the government refuses to legalize a plant that grows wild all over the damn world.

Re:I don't understand (5, Funny)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200783)

but then again, so do cans of spray paint and duster and there are thousands of people out there huffing that shit.

Kittens don't come with warnings. Does that mean they are safe to huff?

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kitten_huffing [wikia.com]

Re:I don't understand (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200807)

Just more stupidity all because the government refuses to legalize a plant that grows wild all over the damn world.

If the government legalized it and even limited to purchase in gov only stores, they could at least kill off most of the issues related to the drug trade, in one fell swoop removing pushers, drug runners, mules, and cartels. Granted, at this point they'd also have to sell cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and heroin for less than street value, but that's purely attributable to the stubbornness of the "war on drug" folks who've now created this entire underworld subculture. Apparently those "war on drugs" people were incapable of learning from history and what occurred the last time they declared "war" on a common and highly desired item (prohibition). At least they seem to have learned their lesson with tobacco.

Re:I don't understand (5, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201001)

Not necessarily...
The black market drugs would need to be significantly cheaper than the over the counter stuff, or it simply wouldn't be worth the risk (of police, of poor quality product, of being ripped off by an unregulated seller etc) for the purchaser... And if the profit margins are slim enough it wouldn't be worth it for the seller.

With legal production, you have efficiencies through economies of scale as well as savings through being able to ship via official channels and not needing to smuggle etc, so you could easily undercut the black market on price and still turn a tidy profit.

Legalizing drugs would destroy the business of those in the illegal drug trade over night, save the police millions and allow the government keep track of who is buying what drugs.

Re:I don't understand (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201043)

Yep, it would put cartels and the mafia out of business overnight, leading to less crime and a marked improvement in living conditions and health for everyone, which is why its unlikely to ever happen. Politicians know its good to have a boogeyman in your back pocket to scare the electorate, like wartime presidents never losing office. Law enforcement knows their budgets would be slashed without much crime, and the increasingly paramilitary tactics they are adopting would become unneccessary. In short, those in power would lose control.

Re:I don't understand (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201253)

Don't forget the for-profit prisons. They have a vested interest in high crime and recidivism rates. Also I recently found out that they make prison population projections from third grade reading skills, so the for-profit prison industry also has a vested interest in harming education. That there is such a thing as a for-profit industry is a clear sign of a sick society.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200997)

You have to see it positively. There is a lot of people that have their bread and butter dependent on WoD - prison industry for once, all the military regimes outside of US that get help from DEA, the whole new industry of synthetic drugs, the legal drugs that have to be used because the weed is not allowed. Of course the progress in science and around that is associated with it can be useful also in other areas like in generic drugs used in medicine that the bastards from big pharma cannot forbid so maybe it is a good thing or rather has a good aspect also still stupidity of and ethic problems associated with WoD are just staggering and I wonder for years now how is that possible that not only USofA but also other countries go that route without looking at facts and benefits/costs of each route. I suppose it is no wonder than that other things where common approach based on reason and costs/benefits analysis is needed such things do not get resolved.

Re:I don't understand (4, Funny)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200661)

I don't think these drugs are purchased from a pharmacy.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200667)

Doesn't every chemical have to go through thorough tests before deemed safe for human consumption?

That's why these substances are sold as "bath salts" - because even though they are legal, describing them as drugs would require FDA approval.

Re:I don't understand (4, Insightful)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200883)

"Doesn't every chemical have to go through thorough tests before deemed safe for human consumption?"

No, because we used to be a free country where everything was considered legal until proven otherwise. Back in the early 20th century, it took a constitutional amendment to ban a substance. It was understood that that was not within Congress' powers to do so otherwise, which gave rise to all sorts of dodges such as calling the ban an "excise tax", with outrageously high duties.

We have slid down the slippery slope to the point that agencies such as the BATF, DEA and FDA can ban substances by totally discretionary administrative action - and anyone with molecules vaguely similar can have all property seized, be prevented from making any effective legal defense and sentenced under draconian mandatory minimums to decades in prison. But they still like to pretend that they are still exercising their authority with some authentic legal basis, so they'll do a bit of hand-wringing while actually prosecuting anyone with any potentially mind-altering material, or "precursors" or even just for possessing glassware without license from our masters.

I say they never had the authority to ban anything, nor to even tax anything to a level that would remove it from regular commerce.
When they try to use their power to do so, they are acting outside their delegated auhtority ultra vires, they have lost their immunity, and so are entitled to even less deference than any other band of armed thugs that invades homes, steals property and kidnaps, terrorizes and kills citizens.

Oh My Precious Broodmate! Be Not Thou Paranoid! (0, Offtopic)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201033)

Great Mother Government is our Purpose, oh my precious Broodmate. Have you so soon forgotten the smell of her loving pheromones?

Legalize it all. (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200609)

All of it.

Some junkies will kill themselves... but that will taper off quickly. Some kill themselves. Some don't. Some never touch the stuff. If people want to destroy themselves... let them.

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200655)

You've prompted my first ever Slashdot comment.

The problem is that people using this stuff are killing innocents. Look at the Florida cannibal (repotedly on bath salts) and the guy a mile from my house in Farmington Hills, MI who killed his adoptive father and beat his adoptive mother & brother to within an inch of their lives on K2/Spice.

By the way, it hurts a lot of people a lot when a user ODs. A lot more than I thought it would.

Re:Legalize it all. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200717)

Same reason should be used to ban alcohol,cigarettes and fossil fuels then

Re:Legalize it all. (4, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200983)

I don't think anyone has ever eaten some guy's face after smoking a cigarette or filling up their car with gas, so no... the same reason shouldn't be used to ban cigarettes and fossil fuels.

There are rational arguments for why you might want to ban either (and arguments for why you shouldn't), but the one you're presenting here makes no sense whatsoever.

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201063)

I don't think anyone has ever eaten some guy's face after smoking a cigarette

Has someone eaten some guy's face after using marijuana? What kind of non sequitur are you pushing here?

The truth is that plenty of people die because of tobacco. Children get asthma because of tobacco. Second hand tobacco smoke can cause cancer. Tobacco smoke is far more dangerous than marijuana smoke (yes, really -- marijuana smoke does contain carcinogens, but even heavy marijuana smokers do not show an increased risk of cancer).

or filling up their car with gas

Cars kill tens of thousands of people per year, and I can assure you that people's faces have been torn off by cars.

The fact of the matter is that the war on drugs has nothing to do with public safety. Making methamphetamine illegal for recreational use (it is certainly legal by prescription) has actually created a much greater risk to the general public: illegal methamphetamine production. I have never seen a crazed methamphetamine user (I am sure they exist, I have just never seen one), but I have seen a house burn to the ground after the byproducts of methamphetamine production caught fire. Mobile production facilities create major chemical hazards on the sides of highways. I would rather have a legal, regulated chemical plant producing methamphetamine for people to buy over the counter than the system we have today.

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Interesting)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201151)

I have never seen a crazed methamphetamine user (I am sure they exist, I have just never seen one), but I have seen a house burn to the ground after the byproducts of methamphetamine production caught fire.

I had a roommate in college who used to be a very heavy meth user. He quit because he started becoming very paranoid and was beginning to hallucinate. It got to the point where he literally thought everyone was out to kill him, and he was afraid that he was going to have to start killing people to save his life. I'm not sure how he realized it was the drugs, or how he managed to stop, but I would be very willing to bet that he was quite dangerous during that time.

Re:Legalize it all. (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201231)

So your point is what...that someone who noticed that his life was becoming terrifying as a result of his drug use was able to stop using that drug? Your roommate did not kill anyone, and he certainly did not create a hazard waste site on the side of a busy highway.

Sure, methamphetamine can create paranoid delusions in its users. Do the people who sell it for recreational use take the time to explain that to their customers? If you could buy methamphetamine legally, you could be given a warning about the danger of using it -- just like we warn people about the dangers of using alcohol and tobacco.

Note that the methamphetamine that is sold legally, the kind you need a prescription to buy, comes with warnings. It is also produced in a much safer, and much better controlled, manner. You do not have to worry that pharmaceutical methamphetamine is laced with hazardous residual chemicals, a common and serious problem with illegal methamphetamine. It is unusual for a pharmaceutical production facility to burst into flames; it is common for an illegal production facility to explode.

People are going to use methamphetamine recreationally, and we need to accept that as a fact of life. The issue we need to address is the health and safety of the public, both those who use methamphetamine and those who do not. Banning the drug has increased the risk to public health; we can do better.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201167)

Has someone eaten some guy's face after using marijuana? What kind of non sequitur are you pushing here?

The post this responded to said "The problem is that people using this stuff are killing innocents. Look at the Florida cannibal (repotedly on bath salts) and the guy a mile from my house in Farmington Hills, MI who killed his adoptive father and beat his adoptive mother & brother to within an inch of their lives on K2/Spice." That was obviously not about marijuana, so you're the launching off into a non sequitur.

And the other part of your post? Cars are made with iron, steel, aluminum, fiberglass and dozens of other materials. It would be just as idiotic to ban those materials due to car accidents harming people as it would be to ban gasoline due to car accidents. There are many great reasons to get rid of fossil fuels. Car accidents aren't one of them since solar, electric, propane and every other type of automobile will still cause the same types of accidents even if gas is banned.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201223)

>>I don't think anyone has ever eaten some guy's face after smoking a cigarette

>Has someone eaten some guy's face after using marijuana?

Has anyone eaten some guy's face after using steak sauce? Because you have to admit, raw face is pretty bland.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201097)

The argument is that it affects 'innocents' cigarettes have burned chidren alive from starting an unintented fire. As for fossil fuels how do you think you make a synthetic chemical?

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201109)

You can add up every single murder and suicide committed under the influence of illegal drugs, every death by overdose, every death due to organ failure caused by years of addiction ... and you still won't come close to the number of deaths and the amount of damage caused by the "War on Drugs" rather than the drugs themselves. If you don't think the argument makes sense, that's your problem for not paying attention.

Re:Legalize it all. (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201211)

The problem is that you aren't paying attention.

The original post said "The problem is that people using this stuff are killing innocents. Look at the Florida cannibal (repotedly on bath salts) and the guy a mile from my house in Farmington Hills, MI who killed his adoptive father and beat his adoptive mother & brother to within an inch of their lives on K2/Spice." and and the person I responded to said that you might as well use the same argument to ban cigarettes and gasoline. That's a stupid argument because cigarettes and gasoline haven't ever been implicated in violent, cannibalistic assaults.

Nothing in my post had anything to do with the war on drugs, just the stupidity of the argument presented by the person I responded to, so why the hell are you launching into a tirade about the war on drugs?

You're replying to some imagined viewpoint that can't possibly be extrapolated from what I posted. I think the proper term would normally be "strawman", but your reply is so completely unrelated to what I said that I think it really deserves a term that's more derogatory. Unfortunately, I can't think of one right now, so "strawman" will have to do.

Re:Legalize it all. (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200753)

If only there existed relatively safe plant [wikipedia.org] that people could smoke instead and not turn into fucking flesh-eating zombies after use...

Oh well, I'm sure Big Pharma will come up with something to combat these cravings at a very reasonable price per dose, because Big Pharma cares...

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200961)

You really should just stop pretending weed is ever gonna be legal in the usa. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! (no matter how much sense it makes)

At best... Best... we might get it decriminalized. but so far that is turning into a clusterfuck too. state says ok. feds put you in jail.

Theres just far too many groups, people, and money on the side of keeping it illegal.

Cops. - Drug users are easy nonviolent targets.
Border patrol. - We sieze so much money it should be a crime!
Drug dealers. - If it was legal we'd lose profit!
Drug smugglers. - If it was legal we'd be out of a job!
Religous nuts - Anything that people enjoy is a sin.
Assholes - We don't want anyone doing anything that they enjoy.
Politicians - We don't want to look 'soft on drug crime'.
All the people related to courts and the mess there. - We make bank processing all these drug offenders.
Prisons and all the people THEY employ and support in one form or another. - We make bank housing all these non-violent people.

Thats alot aginst it so far... Then you get into the businesses..

Oil companies.
Paper companies.
Plastic companies.
Textile companies.
Wood product companies.
Alcohol producers.
Tobacco producers.
Pharma companies.

Now you're talking a FUCKLOAD OF MONEY AND INFLUENCE stacked up vs. it ever being legal. It's just not going to happen.
It makes me think all the potheads are fucking morons for saying it daily. (yeah i smoke pot too. but i'm not stupid enough to imagine its gonna be legal here in the land where the dollar is king) Theres wishful thinking about what might be logical and right. And then theres completly losing touch with reality. And that's where most of the 'leagalize it' people are. Totally out of touch.

So long as we bow to the almighty dollar before anything else. It's gonna be illegal. Yelling 'legalize it' without addressing any of the previous problems and the influence involved is just stupid. Pointless. And getting annoying.

Re:Legalize it all. (2)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201133)

Cops, drug dealers, "assholes", and "plastic companies" are conspiring to keep marijuana illegal?

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201013)

So I tried THC for the first time in my life last week a few weeks leading up to my 30th. (To go along with my "Try everything once" mantra since I was raised a very picky eater having never tried some vegetables before 25).

I have asthma so can't smoke, but I found some interesting recipes online. Ended up making gee and then using that in a ton of stuff. Toast, brownies, cookies, spaghetti, etc.
--

Holy fark have I (we) been lied to. Jesus Christ, that's illegal? I want to go back and cock punch every single cop and DARE presenter I ever had. Alcohol has much more serious side effects than that. I had way too much my first time not knowing the limits and I didn't black out or go try to pick fights (as too much Jim and Jack tend to do). I just felt like I was getting heavier and sinking into the couch. It was the worst parts of being drunk (uncoordinated, couldn't talk right, blurry vision) without the blackout to forget it. Subsequent dosages were much better. (And I re-watched the Avengers a 2nd time and that was interesting to say the least).

I already believed that everything should be decriminalized/legalized (Like how Portugal does it) and that was just because of my observations on society. There is absofarkinglutely no reason pot should be illegal let alone a schedule 1.

The WORST possible side effect is that we all turn into the British and queue for everything. If you've seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother where they get in line and time feels like it's gone by for ever, that's pretty much it.

Oh, and it took away (or at least made me ignore) my chronic knee pain. I mean. If you have the means to try it and haven't and you already don't see a problem with alcohol, my suggestion is try it. You will be equally as "WTF".

Anonymous because.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201113)

Yeah, good stuff. OD on weed and you fall asleep but hey you can still drink yourself to death.

Re:Legalize it all. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201157)

I am "absofarkinglutely" "equally as WTF".

Marijuana. Not even once.

Re:Legalize it all. (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201027)

While I certainly agree that weed should be legal, let's not forget that hundreds of thousands of people ingest these other chemicals every day, yet only one guy went around eating a guys face. I think we can reasonably conclude that there is no causal relationship between the two.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201153)

If only there existed a relatively safe way to procure said plant.

Oh, wait. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road_(marketplace)

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200777)

I've no experience of "bath salts" (besides actual bath salts) but I'd take reports that it contributed significantly the the cannibal's antics with a pinch of salt.

I'm probably being too cynical, but it sounds more like a newspaper going for moral outrage. It's also interesting that you mention Spice, which I have tried myself; it's meant to be a legal version of pot, and that tends to dampen violent tendencies rather than amplify them. The guy you mention may well have been smoking the stuff before the assault on his adoptive family but I'm very skeptical that one led to the other, but of course the papers will take this as a cue to stir up a campaign to ban it.

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201147)

The "blizzard" bath salts are not like anything that can be described. I have never taken the stuff myself, however, being in the psych ward over many occasions, these bath salts are the purpose of MORE THAN HALF of the people there.

The situation comes from people using this stuff like cocaine. The first initial buzz is very much like cocaine. But unlike cocaine, you don't do a line every 5 or 10 minutes, because the bath salts have a half-life of possibly from 8 hours to DAYS. After enough consumption, you WILL have a psychotic episode ranging anywhere from schizo tendencies to what you can classically attribute to PCP.

The doctor, Amy Metzger, who is usually the doctor on said psych ward has written a paper about its effects http://altoonaregional.org/news_archived2011.htm#06-03-11d [altoonaregional.org]

Re:Legalize it all. (3, Insightful)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200797)

You've prompted my first ever Slashdot comment.

The problem is that people using this stuff are killing innocents. Look at the Florida cannibal (repotedly on bath salts) and the guy a mile from my house in Farmington Hills, MI who killed his adoptive father and beat his adoptive mother & brother to within an inch of their lives on K2/Spice.

By the way, it hurts a lot of people a lot when a user ODs. A lot more than I thought it would.

Except you forgot things like this [huffingtonpost.com] , which totally refute your small area claims of increased crime.

Just because 10 crimes out of 1,000 people happens does not mean you have an increase in problems. It just means you are falling into the media's fascination with only reporting bad things.

Decriminalize/Legalize all but the most harmful and that may be a step in the right direction. Or simply take the exact approach Portugal took.

However, this being /. and all, I do not fully expect you to actually read what I've linked for you.

Re:Legalize it all. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200965)

However, this being /. and all, I do not fully expect you to actually read what I've linked for you.

Passive aggressive much?

Re:Legalize it all. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200819)

It's a good thing they're under prohibition then so things like that don't happen anymore.

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200903)

The problem is that people using this stuff are killing innocents.

So is the war on drugs. It's killing roughly 10,000 people a year across the border in Mexico (which in itself is almost as numerous as are killed by drunk drivers, the most common case of innocents killed by drug users. It's killing people who are imprisoned for using drugs (there are hundreds of thousands if people jailed each year in an unhealthy environment, do the math). It's killing people due to increased government power and reduced freedom. It's killing people due to a massive misallocation of society's resources.

By the way, it hurts a lot of people a lot when a user ODs. A lot more than I thought it would.

How about when that user spends a few years in jail? I bet that hurts a lot of people too.

Propoganda (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200923)

I've got news for you. If the guy beat his adoptive mother and brother to within an inch of their lives on K2, then they should thank their lucky stars he was on K2, or they would be dead right now.*.

Disclaimer:I've actually tried K2 and know what I'm talking about.

Perhaps you were unaware of this, but when the government wants to make something illegal, they are often not truthful. Furthermore, correlation doesn't equal causation. If one smokes a joint and then goes and kills someone, they didn't kill someone because they smoked a joint; they killed someone because they are a murderous person.

Re:Legalize it all. (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200989)

Most (all) of the problems you list are from poor quality control. If you're smoking/injecting the drug equivalent of mystery meat you've got to expect some strange side effects.

Re:Legalize it all. (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201057)

Bath salts are a legal substance being abused...

Do you think people would resort to taking bath salts if marijuana and other such drugs were available legally? As the article points out, as more substances are made illegal they are creating ever more dangerous substances in order to achieve similar highs. This wouldn't have happened if drugs were legal, if anything research would have been performed to create safer versions.

Also if drugs are sold legally, you can better keep track of who is taking them...

And people kill innocents all the time, wether on illegal drugs, legal drugs like alcohol or prescribed medicine from a doctor, or on no drugs whatsoever... Just because someone had taken bath salts at the time he tried to kill and eat someone, doesn't mean the bath salts had any influence over his decision to commit such an act.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201077)

Now compare that to deaths from alcohol and cigarettes and it looks extremely safe.. .

Re:Legalize it all. (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201249)

The problem is that people using this stuff are killing innocents.

This is a point less argument, outside of the person using what ever everyone is an "innocent". Everyone whom ever dies by the fault of another was a "innocent" because they did not kill them selves. People add the "innocents" because they know it will cause a reaction out of people, a reaction of "oh no they aren't just killing each other they are killing people like me".

The correct statement is "The problem is that people using this stuff are killing people" and that i can agree with, but if that is really your defense then back it up showing how likely you are to be killed by a person on "this stuff" vs. someone on one of the many many many other things we allow people to use every day. Then step back and realize that humans made it all the way up to the 19th century without having a ban on substances in the way we have now.

Re:Legalize it all. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200683)

Junkies who never touch the stuff? That sounds like a pretty complicated achievement.

Re:Legalize it all. (5, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200813)

Precisely. Prohibition didn't work in the 1920's, it just made drinking more dangerous and added to the crime rate and violence. The "war on drugs" is simply prohibition revisited. Stop trying to make prohibition work, it will never work. Legalize it, tax it, and regulate it, just like we do with alcohol and tobacco.

There may be a few drugs that are too dangerous and need to be restricted, but if the majority of them are available, the demand for the most dangerous ones will drop dramatically, whether they're legal or not.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200907)

Well, in truth, the War On Drugs (tm) is like Prohibition but with a much better and well funded sleazy marketing campaign. Of course, Prohibition was profitable for gangsters and to some extent the government, but this current idiotic war is REALLY profitable for corrupt law enforcement (there's another kind?), the private treatment industry and, lately, the private prison industry. If they'd have thought of those things in the '20s we'd still have Prohibition today most likely.

This is stupid. All those idiots who think the Free Market (tm) should rule everything just love to ignore how it seems to be saying in this case that a very significant amount of people don't want this stupidity to continue any longer.

Re:Legalize it all. (-1, Offtopic)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201003)

However we should follow New York city and find ways to Ban the consumption of sugary sodas.

Druggies who damage their bodies with drugs, and are unable to work and be productive citizens they are OK, let them live their lives as they choose, however if you are a fat person, then you are a bad person and needs reeducation.

Black Market sell products that you cannot legally get or get at the price close to what supply and demand can tolerate. It is a natural part of the economy. In New York the biggest black market item is unpasteurized milk.

The reason why something is illegal, is the combination of two things, 1. It is overall more dangerous then it will help. 2. People want it anyways.

Prohibition didn't work because the Demand was much too high. The other drugs do not have as much of demand and are not part of our culture.

Re:Legalize it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201095)

Precisely. Prohibition didn't work in the 1920's, it just made drinking more dangerous and added to the crime rate and violence. The "war on drugs" is simply prohibition revisited.

It isn't even revisited, it is a continuation of the original prohibition. Thank Harry Anslinger (and the wood pulp paper industry to some extent) for this "the harder we squeeze, the worse it gets so we will keep squeezing harder!" stupidity.

Re:Legalize it all. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200909)

As some one who has a family member with an addiction problem I can say you are full of shit. You have no idea how an addiction effects everyone around the addict. How it destroys marrages, families and friendships. Not to mention the enevetable crime that ensues as the addict tries to support their habit. I suggest that if you think you are man enough to take a cold hard look at the facts that might challenge your view, go to some AA meetings, go talk to addiction councellors. Then see if you think the same way.

Re:Legalize it all. (4, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200973)

And spend the money on rehab and not punishment. Look at Portugal as an example. And keeping drugs illegal is costing tax payers a TON of money. My GF works in the ER. She's had a patient in and out with sepsis and other serious infections that he got from a needle. Give or take they estimate that the it's cost the hospital "$1M" (in hospital money). Between sedation, partial amputation of a limb, etc. It would have cost the government pennies for a clean needle and some clean, medical grade heroin. And then force him into a treatment program instead of locking him up and making me pay for it.

Whitelist (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200613)

Blacklisting is always going to be running behind the curve. I think whitelisting allowed recreational mood/thought-altering substances (currently: ethanol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, fat, others?) might work better. Simply make it illegal to sell or distribute new substances to the general public without permission from the FDA.

Re:Whitelist (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200743)

Blacklisting is always going to be running behind the curve. I think whitelisting allowed recreational mood/thought-altering substances (currently: ethanol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, fat, others?) might work better. Simply make it illegal to sell or distribute new substances to the general public without permission from the FDA.

One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all.


The FDA is never going to whitelist anything potent for over-the-counter recreational use.

Re:Whitelist (0)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200869)

The FDA is never going to whitelist anything potent for over-the-counter recreational use.

Oh, I'm sure Big Pharma is pumping a lot of money into lobbying to make sure that they never do, either.

Imagine the anarchy if the millions of people in this country on anti-depressants, anti-nausea medications, cancer patents, etc, ...started growing their own medicine in their backyard? How would they make their enormous profits pimping their patented drugs? Can't have that, now...

This country's drug laws are based entirely on FUD, with a little financial self-preservation [wikipedia.org] at the hands of people like William Randolph Hearst [wikipedia.org] , and now the Pharmaceutical Industry, thrown in for good measure.

Re:Whitelist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200955)

Pump money where they will but the end result is really the same... government control. The government could tell "big pharma" to screw itself and do the right thing for the citizens. Why not place the blame firmly where it belongs? If politicians allow themselves to be bought and sold we should blame those that take them up on their offer? Hell no. If you want reform and change you need to do it on the level the government. Otherwise you'll spend a few decades chasing big pharma... another few decades chasing big oil... another few decades chasing big [industry we've decided to vilify this week]... when all along we could have just went after big government and did for ourselves.
 
Don't blame industry for following the rules that the government has handed out (as unwritten as some of them may be). Go after the guys who ultimately wield the power.

Re:Whitelist (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200803)

I think whitelisting allowed recreational mood/thought-altering substances

That is exactly what we have now. How does this help at all?

We should legalize drugs, and then apply truth in advertising laws to drug packaging. The FDA can evaluate the safety and risks of recreational drugs; the packages should include a summary of that assessment, and drugs which have not been assessed should have a big warning on them. Give people accurate information, not a jail cell, when they want to get high.

Re:Whitelist (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200937)

The FDA can evaluate the safety and risks of recreational drugs

That won't work, because the FDA works for the pharmaceutical companies, and they want to keep marijuana illegal (it presents them with competition, after all).

when will we learn? (5, Insightful)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200615)

What this means is that the drugs which are legal, are potentially more dangerous than the ones which are banned. Marijuana, mushrooms, LSD have been around long enough that they've been well studied, and we know the risks are minimal. But the latest synthesised version of them has not been studied, and might be dangerous. When will we learn that the war on drugs is just making things worse?

Re:when will we learn? (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200731)

When business and public safety unions cannot lobby politicians and they will be prosecuted, by death or indefinite jail terms not funded by taxpayers, for doing so.

Re:when will we learn? (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200735)

All one has to do is look at the US drug schedules [wikipedia.org] to realize that they have no realistic basis.

I mean, THC is ranked as having a higher abuse potential and danger than cocaine. Psilocybin is ranked higher than amphetamines. Peyote is ranked higher than opiates.

I'm sure it's just coincidental that all the intoxicating substances that grow wild with little human intervention, that have been used spiritually and medicinally for tens of thousands of years, are rated as being "more dangerous" than the opiates that make up the bulk of the pharmaceuticals in use around the world today. It's not like the companies selling the legal recreational drugs like alcohol and tobacco are putting money into keeping these things scheduled in this unrealistic way or anything. [wikipedia.org] Oh, wait...

Re:when will we learn? (4, Informative)

khipu (2511498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200795)

Opiates also grow naturally and have also been used medically for thousands of years.

Re:when will we learn? (3, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201221)

You're like, totally harshing my buzz man..

Re:when will we learn? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200919)

I mean, THC is ranked as having a higher abuse potential and danger than cocaine.

This is not 100% accurate; Schedule II drugs are supposedly drugs with a high potential for abuse, but which have legitimate medical uses; Schedule I are those with a high potential for abuse, but no legitimate medical uses. Cocaine has use as an anesthetic, and amphetamines have use in treating narcolepsy, ADD, and obesity.

The problem with these schedules, of course, is that things become political hotbuttons. Law enforcement officers want to be able to arrest anyone who possesses marijuana, without having to listen to a story about having a prescription; they view placing marijuana in Schedule II as conceding defeat. MDMA was put in Schedule I despite legitimate medical uses as well, because cops wanted to crack down on hippies, punk rockers, and other subcultures. The war on drugs is more about increasing and maintaining police power than about public health.

Declare the compounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200633)

Make it illegal to sell drugs without declaring the exact compounds and forbid driving or operating dangerous machinery under the influence of any drug. Then you can a) see what's on the market and b) don't need a new law every time someone comes up with a modification. Anybody who's stupid enough to take this stuff doesn't have anything worth protecting in their head anyway.

Re:Declare the compounds (4, Interesting)

geoskd (321194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200677)

Make it illegal to sell drugs without declaring the exact compounds and forbid driving or operating dangerous machinery under the influence of any drug.

What about Prozac? What about caffeine, or sugar for that matter. These are all psychoactive chemicals, and quantifying the difference between them and ... say cocaine... is extremely subjective.

-=Geoskd

Re:Declare the compounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200725)

Well, make exceptions for known compounds that have been proven to be harmless.

Re:Declare the compounds (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201011)

Caffeine is a non-selective adenosine antagonist. Prozac is an SSRI. Cocaine is an SNDRI. Sugar is indirectly psychoactive, at best. The pharmacology is far from subjective.

Re:Declare the compounds (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201029)

lsd is a drug

caffeine is a drug

therefore, they are the same legal entity

no, this is just intellectual dishonesty, sophistry, or you're just stupid

marijuana should be legal, but there's drugs out there where the effects are so horrible, they should stay illegal. simply because the effects of those drugs being illegal, while bad, are less than the effects drugs being legal: screwed up lives

methamphetamine. what this shit does to you? permanently? this shit should be legal?

then we get into a discussion about how safe environments and how carefully monitored dosing prevents tragedies

what the fuck?

when did society get in the business of enabling drug use?

if someone has fallen through the cracks and is addicted to drugs, society should treat this person, not put them in jail. but this should be reactive, not proactively enable "safe" use of highly addictive substances that really fuck up your life. addiction is a REAL PROBLEM, not a vague idea that a little application of will power can get over.

of course, some treatment is ineffective. with more resources, they might be effective

well yeah, with inffinite resources, even the most helpless basically suicidal self-destructive addict can be saved

but we don't live in a world of infinite resources

there's a difference between recreational casual use, and a person that is basically trying to kill themselves in slow motion

highly addictive substances have probably destroyed more lives in the history of homo sapiens than all wars combined, by orders of magnitude. making it all legal really just enables a lot of us walking around with the seeds of self-destruction to go full blown self-destructive. there has to be a barrier in society against the use of really vile substances

you have to understand what chronic drug use really is: suicide. society is not interested in enabling suicidal tendencies. therefore, there will always be illegal substances. come to grips with this, naive idealists

don't engage in sophistry and reductive nonsense when you talk about drugs. it is one of the most if not most complicated issues ever to face mankind. there are no easy answers, and there is really just a lot of pain, no matter what the legal approach

all i can say about drug use with certainty is this: as soon as someone says the answer is simple, and that simple answer is complete legalization or complete prohibition, you are dealing with a fucking moron who doesn't understand drugs

Yes Please (2)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200637)

Let's ban synthetic drugs while the tradicional/crime financing drugs are still around

Let's make more difficult for people to have their nicotin fix in a less harmful way by banning all 'less harmful' alternatives.

The drug traffickers and tobacco companies are grateful for your cooperation.

If they were Realy serious (1)

drewsup (990717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200639)

Why not pass a law that just bans any drug that has the potential to be used recreation-ally? Or is that too easy?

Re:If they were Realy serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200675)

tobacco?

Re:If they were Realy serious (4, Informative)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200773)

Why not pass a law that just bans any drug that has the potential to be used recreation-ally? Or is that too easy?

Because that always works so well... [wikipedia.org]

Humanity was getting high since the dawn of time. At some point people are going to have to confront the fact that humanity enjoys altering their consciousness for recreational purposes.

Re:If they were Realy serious (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200793)

You mean like alcohol and tobacco? People use caffeine recreationally, despite the danger in doing so. There are a number of ornamental plants that can be used as a drug.

We need to go in the other direction, and stop banning drugs. We also need to stop letting a law enforcement agency dictate the laws it is charged with enforcing (see: emergency drug scheduling). While we are at it, let's stop having paramilitary police, stop attacking civil rights, and stop having the largest prison population on Earth.

Re:If they were Realy serious (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200943)

If you can determine a way to make it outrageously profitable for the rich, and big corporations without threatening the profits of Big Pharma and other key financial interests that hold all the power at the moment, then legalization might have a chance, but until those who control^H^H own the reins of government are satisfied they aren't missing out on a potential money source, it ain't gonna happen.
Prohibition doesn't work, that has been made very obvious, but its going to continue until it suits the rich and powerful to change it.
Personally I would like to see Marijuana legalized, so that the authorities can try to enforce restrictions on more hazardous substances. I don't smoke it, but I recognize the fact that many people under 40 seem to do so, and nothing is going to stop it when a vast majority think its harmless. Its certainly far more harmless than alcohol.
As for the new chemical drugs being developed, I don't know what you can do about that other than offering a simple and legal solution (like legalized pot) and hoping that people will choose that instead to remove the demand for the harsher and riskier stuff like Bath Salts etc.

Innovation (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200671)

And they say there is no innovation in America...

Re:Innovation (0)

Hrrrg (565259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200749)

Why not ban all mind-altering substances except for a whitelist? Say alcohol, caffeine, nicotene are legal. Everthing else illegal. IANAL but that would seem to solve the legal problem.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200829)

Why not ban all mind-altering substances except for a whitelist? Say alcohol, caffeine, nicotene are legal. Everthing else illegal. IANAL but that would seem to solve the legal problem.

i say this for the rest of the community
FUCK YOU!

Re:Innovation (2)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200945)

Sugar is a mind altering drug. In fact most foods do affect brain chemistry. What you suggest is not only abhorrent for human rights (pursuit of happiness, liberty) but likely impossible. Not that there won't be lobbyists and politicians and evangelical preachers who won't try something like that. Also I'd like to second what your previous replied said.

Re:Innovation (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200953)

Why not ban all mind-altering substances except for a whitelist? Say alcohol, caffeine, nicotene are legal. Everthing else illegal. IANAL but that would seem to solve the legal problem.

They already do that. Oh, wait, were you talking about people NOT in prison?

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201031)

What about dealing with the real problem instead of covering it with sand? Aren't you people in America supposedly liberals?
In my little pseudo-socialist state in the EU possession of any drug is legal(Portugal not the Netherlands), only the selling of certains drugs is illegal, and well look at the reports because it worked better in terms of lowering consumption than the controlled selling of some substances in the Netherlands.

And yes many now believe that all drugs should be legal for consumption and selling, and no drug should be an allowable excuse for a crime.

States are taking a new approach (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200689)

In my state (Georgia), they just banned synthetic pot, and not by chemical name. They actually banned anything that is sold "as a replacement for pot," or something equally vague.

The law says head shops had to either stop selling immediately, or come to court within 30 days and "prove" their product is not a public danger (or something equally vague).

This law seems too broad to be enforceable, but from what I can tell, it has worked. I've heard all the head shops sold off their stock and dont carry the products anymore.

The war on drugs is a stupid idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200779)

The war on drugs is just as stupid as the Prohibition. If drugs were legal, but warned against, like tobacco and alcohol, you'd get rid of a huge number of drawbacks with the present policy. The financing of criminal networks would go away. The prisons wouldn't be so full of petty criminals. There would be no development of new synthetic drugs. The users/abusers would be safer, because they would be buying quality assured substances.
Experience from countries like Portugal and the Netherlands show that harm reduction is much more effective than the war on drugs.

Re:The war on drugs is a stupid idea (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201081)

Without the war on drugs, how would we justify giving the police assault rifles, body armor, grenades, tanks, helicopters, etc?

Outsourcing is the problem! (1)

methano (519830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200785)

If the pharmaceutical industry had not moved so much of it's research off shore, the industry would be doing much better, vast hordes of US and European chemists would not be out of work and if someone made this kind of stuff, we could just arrest them. No need to involve Interpol or whoever that international police force is.

Harness it (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200809)

Time to harness the creative research being done by these chemists. They have so many test subjects volunteering that we're getting large scale field studies. Don't lose all that data!

Basic Needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200859)

When will governments just recognize that getting high is just-as-basic-a-need as sex, food, and sleep and just legalize drugs. Many people can get by with drugs, however, many can't and most don't want to.

"Analogue" extremely misleading (5, Interesting)

NCatron (103418) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200895)

Working in drug discovery, I'm still amazed at how often a small change of sometimes even a single atom of a molecule can take an pharmacologically active molecule and make it near-worthless - or even worse take a (relatively) safe molecule and turn it unacceptably toxic. I'd stay FAR away from any "analogue" being created with the sole purpose of rounding a ban without having any sort of safety and probably minimal efficacy testing.

I'd say this kind of story gives even stronger evidence for why illicit drugs (the less-toxic at least) should be legalized & controlled - if this article is not overly sensational and there really is an escalating war of chemistry we could get into some pretty nasty stuff being marketed to consumers who do not know any better.

There is also the other side of this (4, Interesting)

durdur (252098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201073)

If someone discovered a new biologically harmless but mind-altering drug, it would be made illegal, too. They are banning these things not only, or even primarily, because they are dangerous, but because they get you high.

dats Y im a conservative when we r talkin drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200929)

ill stick with the original ones!

Canada (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200931)

In Canada, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act bans "Cannabis, its preparations, derivatives and similar synthetic preparations".

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38.8/page-24.html#h-27 [justice.gc.ca]

I call BS (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200947)

'That's the crux of the entire problem. The scientific community does not agree on what "analogue" essentially means.""

The crux of the problem is our crazy war on drugs. The fact that a person cannot smoke a joint at home legally, but can drive to the bar, get hammered, get in an assaultive fight, then drive home drunk possibly killing people is simply ridiculous.

Instead of allowing a real market, with the safest possible standards, we have a black market with adulterated crap, and chemical 'analogues' with unknown long term effects.

Instead of simple stores and methods of purchase, we have gang wars, and prisons filled to bursting, many with low end crimes. As a society can we focus on the sociopaths and rapists please? And quit with this stupid shit?

The War On Some Drugs exists because... (4, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200949)

...religion hates spiritual experience and even simple pleasure it doesn't ration.

Note the level of Bible Thumper influence which not only drove Prohibition, but anti-"narcotics" (cannabis is not one) laws in the same era.

Taliban must control sex and control other pleasures, and to accomplish that goal must define disobedience as "sin" then punish it.

The cost of WOSD is spectacular, and it fuels the wave of immigration from the narco-states it creates (though the Christian Taliban are completely incapable of connecting the disruption of civil society with flight to the US!).

Religion is a minor issue in the war on drugs (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201021)

...religion hates spiritual experience and even simple pleasure it doesn't ration.

Thus explaining why Jews are required to drink wine every week and are required to drink four glasses (definitely enough for almost anyone to at least get a buzz) on Passover. You also forgot about the numerous religions that use psychedelic mushrooms as part of their ceremonies. Religion is not the problem here.

If you want to know why we have a war on drugs, I can think of the following more plausible explanations:

  1. Racism. Congressmen were told that black men who used cocaine would becoming unstoppable monsters, that Philipino immigrants would bring their horrible opium habits with them, that white women who smoked marijuana would want to have sex with black men, that crack makes black people crazy, that PCP makes black people crazy, etc.
  2. Police militarization. The war on drugs is a great excuse to give police officers assault rifles, body armor, and even military tanks and helicopters (see: 1033 program). The police can also use the proceeds from seized assets from drug arrests in their own budgets.
  3. Expanding executive branch power. The Controlled Substances Act allows the attorney general's office to simply declare drugs to be illegal, without any democratic process.
  4. Corporate profits. Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, pharmaceutical companies, firearms companies, prison operators, companies that make surveillance equipment, petrochemical companies, and numerous others have all seen expanded profits because of the war on drugs.

Religion is really a minor issue here. There are a few priests who will pound on their pulpits about the evils of drugs, but their power in the drug war is limited at best.

Re:Religion is a minor issue in the war on drugs (2, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201145)

You're cherry picking. The religions you describe represent less than 5% of all religious people on the planet. The other 95% are exactly in line with what GP said.

Prohibition fails, again (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200971)

Any prohibition creates a profitable black market, but technology has added a profitable, front-counter venue for these "illicit" products, as well. At this point the only thing that could provide a shred of control or containment is legalisation.

Of course, legalisation carries a political risk not often noted; unemployment figures would sky-rocket, should the jailed be liberated.

A simple proposal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201047)

The number of protein targets for "recreational" drugs is small (and while there are ways to get high or unconcious by substances not docking to a primary protein target, these are not the problem discussed here).

Prohibit by default sales of any compound with a binding constant to these targets exceeding some threshold without FDA approval (and associated restrictions on distribution channels, i.e. for sale only in pharmacies, and/or with a prescription, if they have a legitimate medical use).

No need to try to capture any chemical space.

Re:A simple proposal (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201171)

How about you just leave us alone with whatever we want to do with our protein receptors?

Criminalize actual acts that actually harm someone else, regardless of the cause. If you want to make an aggravated crime out of doing harm as a result of doing something else that's known to be risky, especially on a second or further conviction, that's got some merit.

But criminalizing people self-stimulating (or inhibiting) their own bodies is tyranny. It has failed over and again, every time, creating far more damage than the drug consumption ever has. While failing to stop the consumption. And destroying both justice itself and the people's ability to trust it, atop the rubble of everything else the prohibition touches.

Perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201123)

If you were to remove the ban on the safest drug ever known you would have a lot less of this shit.
It is a monster of your own making.

USPTO to the rescue. (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201125)

Applying the precedent set by software patents, I should be able to get a patent for "... any substance which causes people to enjoy themselves...".
Then Johnson and Johnson could sick some sort of RIAA inspired analogue on these "pirates".
That would avoid implementation details like chemical formulae and such.

mmmm mojo...

Not Marijuana or LSD (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201139)

These synthetic drugs aren't mimicking the effects of marijuana, or of LSD. They just change your perceptions or ideas. They aren't mimicking the effects of valium, either, but nobody ays that they are. Because "mimicking valium" isn't scary scary scary. Because the corporate mass media isn't trying to scare people about valium. Because valium is actualy Valium, a brand name drug sold by giant pharmacos that advertise on TV. Marijuana and LSD are sold by independent operators who don't pay TV corps $billions a year to make them sound friendly. That's why they're illegal. Even though they're not anywhere near as scary as valium, which is actually addictive.

But that doesn't stop Slashdot from saying these drugs "mimic marijuana", or the Miami cops telling the corporate mass media that bath salts are "a new form of LSD" when some idiot turns themself into a flesh eating zombie possibly by smoking some. Because there's no corporate PR pushback to protect the brand, any kind of inane lie will fly around the media if it appeals to fear of drugs.

The fact that in 2012 the mass media is quoting cops saying bath salts are "the new form of LSD", and Slashdot is pimping the idea that some arbitrary drug "mimics marijuana" shows that the only victory in the Drug War is the first casualty of any war: the truth.

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