Are Drug Abusers Criminals?

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posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 11:30 PM
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thelibra, good post.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Is the person who uses illegal drugs a criminal? --Yes.
Should that person be a criminal? --I don't know.

Is there any adult out there who doesn't know that certain drugs are highly addictive? If you're aware of this fact, why would you start using? The one thing I've always had trouble understanding was how someone who's already got problems, would now burry him/herself in even deeper troubles by becoming addicted to something as terrible as heroin, coc aine, or meth (I don't consider pot, mushrooms, peyote and the like in the same category at all).
I've been through some tough times, but I had enough sense to know that becoming an alcoholic (or something worse) would only make things more unbearable.
Maybe kids need to be exposed to hardcore addicts early in life. Maybe they need to watch someone go through withdrawl to show them how bad it is to start using. It might traumatize some, but hopefully it will teach them that you can't use these drugs to run away from your problems. You'll just bury yourself deeper.

Now,.... with prior knowledge that a certain drug is highly addictive, should you be considered a criminal for using? Your first offense is that you're perpetuating the problem by buying the illegal product. Probably a bad example, but it's much like buying stolen property, when you know it was stolen. There's no excuse when you're buying it or using it for the very first time. Once you're addicted (though you may have known this would happen prior to the addiction), you become sick. Some people use drugs to get away from their problems, other people use food (and die from obesity), alcohol,..... and so forth. There are plenty of grown adults who were abused as children, who do not use. There are plenty of dirt-poor adults who never turned to crime to earn their living.

We have addictive personalities, and we have those who know better, no matter how tough their lives might be. It takes a lot of discipline to overcome certain problems, and to stay away from temptations. Some unfortunate people turn to crime, gangs, drugs, food, alcohol, and some people find a way to avoid all these things, and pull themselves through it without the negatives.

As someone already said; Personal Responsibility Goes a Long Way!
I don't know if drug addicts should be treated as criminals. They need help,... but how do you help these people when so many of them go back to using again? I'm not very familiar with the psychology behind addicts, but they seem to exhibit self-destructive behavior that most of the time doesn't seem curable. I don't know. Different personalities form different habits.
I think it all starts with parents, and how they raise their kids. It just determines so much for any person. Learning how to make responsible decisions and learning how to deal with stress early in life is so incredibly important. It is the first step to staying out of this kind of trouble.

I'm not going to start about the Government, War on Drugs and all that. Most of what needed to be said, has already been said by other members. Whether or not the Government perpetuates these addictions is beyond me. I've never lived in a cardboard box so I can't judge those people who do, but I would find it difficult to believe that I would allow myself to pick up a $200.00 a day habit to make myself "feel better" about my situation.
Hell, if I could raise $200 a day, I wouldn't be living in the street! I know what you'll say,..... you'll say it grew to $200, because they were trying to keep themselves from getting withdrawls. Well,... why didn't they think of this before they started using?

Maybe I sound heartless, but I'm undecided on the hard drug addicts at this point.




posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by 2manyquestions
thelibra, good post.
Thanks for sharing your experience.


My pleasure. Hope it gave a little personal first-hand perspective that the official studies never quite seem to convey, because they're always pretty much obliged to send the message of "Don't Do Drugs". I feel no such compunctions about certain drugs in a controlled positive environment and done responsibly in moderation.


Originally posted by 2manyquestions
Is there any adult out there who doesn't know that certain drugs are highly addictive? If you're aware of this fact, why would you start using?


Well, a friend of mine whom has tried much harder drugs than myself said "it's all about the experience." He wanted to do everything life had to offer at least once, and that way he'd have some firsthand knowledge, for knowledge's sake. And, to this end, he's now clean except for cigarettes and booze. He wasn't really trying to escape anything, or find himself, or fit in, he quite literally wanted the ability to be able to say "Oh, yeah, I tried that once, here's what it does, here's the good side, here's the bad side, and here's why I did or did not do it again".

Personally, I think in regards to the hard drugs (coc aine, heroin, etc) that this is an extremely stupid philosophy, and I thought so back then as well, but apparently some people are actually capable of pulling it off, as he did. However, I think one of the key psychological differences in whether or not one will become addicted (chemistry aside), is the intent. If one is looking for an escape, or to self-medicate, they are more likely to be hooked than if someone who isn't.



Originally posted by 2manyquestions
The one thing I've always had trouble understanding was how someone who's already got problems, would now burry him/herself in even deeper troubles by becoming addicted to something as terrible as heroin, coc aine, or meth (I don't consider pot, mushrooms, peyote and the like in the same category at all).


Ah, that I can answer. It's typically escapism or self-medication for psychological or physiological reasons. Having had my own share of mental problems in the past, I can certainly relate, though I do not approve. Even when I myself was trying to escape and deal with my problems through other means, I never touched the hard drugs, thank god. But then, I consider myself made of stronger stuff than most people.


Originally posted by 2manyquestions
I've been through some tough times, but I had enough sense to know that becoming an alcoholic (or something worse) would only make things more unbearable.


I had no such sense, when I turned 21, suddenly the desire to drink vanished, literally overnight. I think it was over a year before I had another drink. The cigarettes though, continued to issue me commands to smoke them for almost ten more years.


Originally posted by 2manyquestions
Maybe kids need to be exposed to hardcore addicts early in life. Maybe they need to watch someone go through withdrawl to show them how bad it is to start using. It might traumatize some, but hopefully it will teach them that you can't use these drugs to run away from your problems. You'll just bury yourself deeper.


To be honest, I don't know what the answer is. If you want to know what really truely scared me into not doing hard drugs, it was all the cheesey 80's movies about the guys that would do crack and then die from heart attack, or the guys that OD'd on heroin, and after school specials about what happens. So ultimately, it was propaganda (which just goes to show not ALL propaganda is a bad thing). And, come to think of it, another pretty big seller was the "No one ever said, I want to be a junkie when I grow up." As much as we laugh at the Public Service Announcements and after school specials nowadays, they seriously had a positive impact on me and my friends.



Originally posted by 2manyquestions
Now,.... with prior knowledge that a certain drug is highly addictive, should you be considered a criminal for using?


Sure. Like I said, if a drug can be shown to be more addictive than cigarettes, it should be illegal, otherwise, make it legal and let people's actions during their intoxication be the crime. And, to be honest, if that was the only condition, then there would be drugs a thousand times better than heroin, crack, coc aine, etc... that were only JUST addictive enough to make you go buy a pack and left less of a bad feeling afterward. Granted we'd have a new generation of escapism via drugs, but at least those people wouldn't be breaking into our houses to steal stuff to pay for their habits.



Originally posted by 2manyquestions
I don't know if drug addicts should be treated as criminals. They need help,... but how do you help these people when so many of them go back to using again?


Ultimately nothing breaks an addict except the addict. No one forced me to quit smoking, I decided for myself that it was time to quit. I'd set a goal: get a permanent job, and then I'd quit smoking. After 12 years of contract work, I got hired perm, so I quit my hardest addiction. No amount of anti-smoking legislation, propaganda, warning from relatives and friends, doctors, or anything got me to quit until I was damned-well ready to quit. So what addicts need, more than anything, is willpower and the ability to honor a deal with themselves. There are tools and programs set up in society to help the addicts, but until they make a conscious decision to cease their habits, it won't be effective in the least. Of everyone I know that's ever been in a rehab center, they've all said all the center was pretty much nothing more than a great way to find new dealers and try new cuts of their drug of choice.


Originally posted by 2manyquestions
Maybe I sound heartless, but I'm undecided on the hard drug addicts at this point.


Well, really there's not too much to say. I would wager to say that very few people are forced to take a hard drug with zero choice on the part of the taker, so a heartless stance is not exactly unwarranted. I personally wouldn't associate with an addict to hard drugs. Everyone I know who has taken hard drugs in the past either didn't become addicted and hasn't taken them since, or broke their addiction and have been clean for a long time. But if my own brother started shooting up I'd probably disown him till he was off it. Heartless? Yeah, but I don't need a zombie stealing my stuff to buy his fix. Just like a zombie has no compunctions about eating their beloved family members, a smackhead has no compunctions about stealing from the same people. And the only thing I hate more than nazis is zombies.



[edit on 9/26/2006 by thelibra]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by chissler

Originally posted by LordBaskettIV
Phylocibe Mushrooms, and peyote are not harmful.



Well Libra, after reading your post I would have to agree with your comments surrounding that quote. However I must indicate I was referring to this quote from Lordbaskett. I wished to indicate that too much of these drugs is without a doubt harmful, and even small amounts can be harmful.



Physical Effects of Mushrooms

After ingestion:

-emptiness of the stomach feeling
-involuntary/voluntary muscle spasms (usually the arching of the back and bending back of the shoulders as well as tilting of the head)
-visual distortions, such as the breathing effect of walls and the movement of still patterns (especially geometric, complex or striped patterns). Trees and nature especially exhibit a flame or vortex, twisty-type characteristic when viewed.
-Feeling of Vertigo
-Numbness in the limbs, especially in the legs.
-Moist, numb feeling in the lower abdomen, like you just pissed your pants.
-Outlining of distant objects(skies look as if they're painted on)
-Red shift in vision.
-Colors seem more vibrant and alive
-uncontrollable smiling and laughter
-increased sensitivity to touching (especially touching objects with interesting textures or finishes)
-increased perspiration, hot flashes
-Tiredness or overall lethargy
-loss of appetite
-auditory distinctions are much more sensitive (enjoying music as if you've heard it for the first time).
-Constant peeing, with urine exhibiting a foul odor (like burnt rubber.)
-sensitivity to taste, textures and temperatures in the mouth.
-dilated pupils, overall look of tiredness.
-Closed eyed visuals (usually geometric, complex patterns, nature and/or cosmic oriented, etc...)
-redness in the skin in certain areas, sometimes accompanied by itching.
-Auditory hallucinations (a constant high pitch in the background, hollow metallic noise, like your inside a metal tunnel, or some other "broken record" occurrence.)
-increased heart rate
-acute vision
-nausea and/or dizziness
-upset stomach, cramps
-weakness in the knees
-Nervous Euphoria
-confusion on the onset
-Slight drunkenness when walking or moving
-Teary eyes, especially when yawning
-manic energy, indecisive judgment in looking for something to do or get
-Trouble understanding how to operate machinery
-Tongue, throat and breathing seem to tightly integrate with the though process
-Strange feeling around teeth
-Feeling of extreme lightness
-weird feeling around nose
-Vomiting, after which is usually accompanied with intense open-eyed hallucinations
-A "wah, wah" feeling in your body, like your being bombarded by some kind of kinetic force.
-Heavy philosophical rambling, like you're a college professor talking to a room full of students. Especially profound with high doses.

Source


None of these are harmful? These are all from a small dosage, what could a large dosage lead to?

Effects of Peyote can normally last anywhere from 10-12 hours. Visual and auditory hallucinations lasting up to 12 hours is not harmful? I'm thinking it is.

What sort of short-term memory is an average user of these drugs looking at?


i don't see how the above symptoms are 'dangerous'...that's what the drug is supposed to do to you, and what the user wants to experience. I myself as a veteran mushroom taker will tell you that it is not a dangerous drug physically. it could be mentally if you take too much (depending on the person), but it is defenitely not addictive in anyway shape or form. in fact, if you took mushrooms day after day, the effect would go away-you would have to keep taking more and more and more, to the point where you can't get anymore, but it really isn't an addictive sensation at all.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:36 PM
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thelibra, great reply.
Thank you very much for offering some personal insight into the subject.
I always like to hear it from someone who's been through it, rather than those who study it. It's good to get a little bit from both sides.


I've known many alcoholics, I know a lot of smokers, even people who battled drug addiction, but I can't say I've ever had the experience myself. I saw them, and I knew I didn't want to become like them. My dad smoked for many, many years, and then one day decided to quit. He quit cold turkey, and hasn't picked up a cigarette since. That was almost 15 years ago. My mom smokes to this day. She's tried quitting, but can't. She doesn't have the willpower. The longest she's gone without a cigarette was two weeks. I've tried pleading with her, tried helping her, but this is something I can't force her to do. It's terrible when you're stuck on an 11 hour flight with a smoker who can't do what they feel they have to do. Cigarettes are definitely bad for a lot of reasons. The fact that they're dangerous to one's health, but not dangerous enough to motivate someone to quit right away is bad.

I have my own addiction,......sugar.
Fortunately I know how to pace myself, and work it off when I need to.

Someone close to me seems to have the same characteristics as your friend. She wants to experience everything, just so she can say "I tried that". Fortunately her addictions don't last very long, and as far as I can tell, she's clean of drugs. It really does seem to come down to the strength of willpower, and the person's character. Some people are stronger than others.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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2manyquestions...

Many who post in this particular forum probably have alot of personal experience(which is why these threads get so heated).. but we cant really talk about it since it is in violation of the T&C.....


Its just nice to have the facts to back up the experience.. in life..not just this subject.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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Also, i'd like to point out you can't really 'overdose' on hallucinogens and die becuase your body will reject them and make you throw them up. You will be tripping super hard, but you're not going to die, unless you kill yourself by mistake. that's why you should always have a friend that you trust with you.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by psilogod
Also, i'd like to point out you can't really 'overdose' on hallucinogens and die becuase your body will reject them and make you throw them up. You will be tripping super hard, but you're not going to die, unless you kill yourself by mistake. that's why you should always have a friend that you trust with you.


while the physical aspect may be true... there are of course those that will have serious psychological repricussions from use.. and in the case of this thread; abuse of psychodelic drugs. Whether natural or manufactured. If this was just the case of users and not abusers this would complicated the matter .. but in this thread it is about abusers. when Anything is abused drugs, food, anything.. it always has consequences.

Does that mean we should keep throwing them in prison.. absolutely not.

The real question is how do we the people get it from:
How it is... to... how it should be? in regards to our nations drug war policy.

[edit on 9/26/2006 by TONE23]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 04:20 PM
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Tone thanks for the invite.

I was going to post this on my blog, and may still, but I want to put it here first.

I worked Narcotics for many many years. The projects almost 100% of my time until here recently.

There was this girl, we will call her "Cindy."

Cindy was a phenomenon in highschool. One of the fastest women on the planet, broke all kinds of records. She was competing for the Olympics when I guess the stress got to her and she began using Crack. Of course she messed up really bad and was kicked off of the team.

I met her in 1992, she weighed all of 87 pounds, looked like a ghost. It was early December and freezing cold. She walked up to my Patrol car where I was eating. (Not a Donut!) She asked me to arrest her. When I asked her why she wanted to be arrested, she said she was cold and needed something to eat. She asked me what crime she could commit that would only get her a couple of days. She broke my heart. Worse when I discovered her history a few days later.

Is she a criminal? By the definition, yes she is, yet does that do justice to this waif in the night that only wanted help? Hardly!!
She needs far more than society is prepared to give her at our present sociological stage of evolution. Far too many of us see only a crack whore, and not a human that went through tragic circumstances to end up selling their bodies for that one last fix. Is she a victim? If so, then why are there so many that scream, "Get a JOB" when the homeless are discussed, why do we cringe when we see a "Crack Whore" walking in our beautiful well trimmed neighborhood? Is it because we don't want to acknowledge that we could so easily have become one if not for our fortunate circumstances? Or because they are different? Who Knows, I don't.

The drug war is LOST people, trust me. This from one that has been in the trenches and in an Administrative position now. So the war didn't work, how about some Humanity? Some compassion? How about we devote the BILLIONS we spent losing the war and develop some real strategies. Maybe a social program or two, clinics, anti-abuse programs, rehab center that are free and people can ACTUALLY GET IN THEM!!!

There is so much we can do, and yet so little we are doing.

Now on an aside...

To those that want to post FACTS about the DEA and Police Narcotics Units being corrupt and on the take. You have no idea what your talking about. Your fact are false, your suppositions are in error and your post plain foolish. I have worked every aspect of Narcotics to include Internal Affairs and yes, there is corruption just like there is corruption in the Garbage union or Auto Workers. But it is NO WHERE near as prevalent as you would espouse.

Comments like this always come from those self righteous individuals that have never done anything and want to sit in judgment of others. Though I know how ridiculous their comments are and normally ignore them, sometimes they need to be told from someone that has been there, is there and still fighting the good fight.

Thank you all and good night....


Sorry, could not resist..

Semper



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 06:25 PM
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The ancient emperor "Sirus the Great" of ancient Mesopitiama had a great outlook on goverment that is in some ways still unriavled to this day. He had tolerance.

The example I take (AND ON A COMPLETLY NON RELGIOUS MEANING) is Sirus and the Hewbrew people. Sirus was not jewish, officially his empire wasnt jewish, he didnt do anything or agree with anything the jews did really but he would much rather them building a temple in jerusalem or praying to their God than being POed for Relgious persicution and trying tostart a rebellion. So Sirus let the jews be jews. And this was not the only case, local deities, local customs and what not were allowed as long as they were not violent to the general populas.

So I ask you why close to 3500 years ago someone can understnad that " if I dont aggree here and they arent doing anything "worng" why should I persecute them?" and now we dont even have this kind of tolerance.

So what would you rather here...

A few people having a drink in their living room causing no harm at all and enjoying themselves or a few people in a truck driving eradically over the speedlimit making an liquor run potentially harming people or breaking into places to get the liquor along with the 20th ammendment?

Tolerance. Thats really what the US was founded for. Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness eh?



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 08:26 PM
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no drug user or abuser is a criminal simply becasue they use drugs. drugs became illegal illegally in the first place. beyond that, its not morally wrong and it doesent hurt anyone (depending on the drug and/or amount).

past that arguement most drugs arent illegal in the first place. caffine, nicotine, alcohol being the big 3.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
Tone thanks for the invite.

I was going to post this on my blog, and may still, but I want to put it here first.


Thanks for joining in... your perspective is perfect for this thread.

Great story, BTW, it really gets hits the crux of the problem...

And your still the most compassionate cop I have ever talked to(and Ive talked to alot.. including the 6 of them living in my neighborhood)




To those that want to post FACTS about the DEA and Police Narcotics Units being corrupt and on the take. You have no idea what your talking about. Your fact are false, your suppositions are in error and your post plain foolish. I have worked every aspect of Narcotics to include Internal Affairs and yes, there is corruption just like there is corruption in the Garbage union or Auto Workers. But it is NO WHERE near as prevalent as you would espouse.

Comments like this always come from those self righteous individuals that have never done anything and want to sit in judgment of others. Though I know how ridiculous their comments are and normally ignore them, sometimes they need to be told from someone that has been there, is there and still fighting the good fight.


Raises hand in acknowledgement.

While I am guilty of this quite often.. I think you know why I have this perspective Semp(so you cant fault me entirely on that one...


As I am often a finger pointer to the govt. complicity in the drug trade.. most of the cases are NOT organized; but rather just a person in the system who thinks they can beat it or cheat it somehow for their own gain. But there are times where it is a more cohesive operation.(see the French Connection; Iran-Contra Affair; And the current Afghan Conflict) It is not an everyday thing. But there are times where this does happen.

Sorry Semp I just couldnt help myself either...



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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That is fine Tone.

I mean there is no excuse for corruption such as was found in New Orleans, LA, etc. Some was actually organized, but remember, these are BIG organizations and only a small percentage have cast dark clouds that the rest of us must struggle through the rest of our lives.

I am not saying it does not exist, I'm saying that the average "Joe" cop out there joined and works for the betterment of his community and the country as a whole.

Semper



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:40 PM
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ohhh absolutely..

It is indeed a 'few bad apples' that ruins the image for all.

While every cop I know may not be as compassionate as you.. almost every one of them is just a regualr guy/girl trying to provide a living and do what they think is right for the benefit of their communities.

But when I talk of corruption Im rarely really talking about the everday cop...I save it for the big guns with the big motives and opportunites...



posted on Nov, 4 2006 @ 06:48 PM
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Holy hell, how did I allow a post like this in my own thread to go unnoticed?

Semper, thank you for your story. Great post.


Originally Posted by Semperfortis
Is it because we don't want to acknowledge that we could so easily have become one if not for our fortunate circumstances? Or because they are different? Who Knows, I don't.


I would agree with this. People don't want to be reminded of what they could become. The harsh realities are something we do not want to know or our kids to know.

Prejudices against a drug abuser are no less than those of the color of someones skin. People feel negative towards others since the color of the skin indicates some sort inferiority, ridiculous right? Well if we quickly conclude that this nameless soul on the corner is worthless, I fail to see why people would not connect the two.

Many drug abusers are good people and are not deserving of our ridicule. Some are just looking for that one thing to turn their life around and some stranger pointing the finger is just another reason to put another needle in the arm.



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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It really depends on the situation and the drug.



There was Nikki who had been on the streets for 25 years. That fact alone was remarkable that someone could survive so long with sich poor living conditions. She was sexually abused at a young age and ran away from home.


Statistics prove that bringing up kids in a broken home in poor economic conditions sets the table for our next generation of criminals. Why is it legal for our country's losers to have kids but it is illegal for a guy to smoke a doobie (hurting no one) in his own living room?



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by Scramjet76
Why is it legal for our country's losers to have kids but it is illegal for a guy to smoke a doobie (hurting no one) in his own living room?


What does on thing have to do with the other?

Maybe if people didin't spend their money on drugs and stay stoned all the time, they'd be better parents.



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by Scramjet76
Why is it legal for our country's losers to have kids but it is illegal for a guy to smoke a doobie (hurting no one) in his own living room?


And who are we to decide on who is and is not a loser?

Sometimes I feel people confuse their rights with privileges. Sometimes something that is not even a privilege becomes a right. The state can determine what substances to control and not control, thats a simple answer. What they can not do is keep couples from having sex. Thus permitting anyone to have a baby. I agree with the message that some people should not have kids. But putting this up against smoking marijuana is a lost battle in my opinion.



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 07:26 PM
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What does on thing have to do with the other?


What I'm trying to say is this>>

Having children and bringing them up in a poor manner is legal, EVEN though the results of such actions can be huge and span an entire lifetime.
Smoking a doobie in your living room and watching the game on tv is illegal, EVEN though the results of such actions can be minimal to none.... other than the individual gets a few hour buzz.

This is a direct result of society continuing to view things through the eyes of "right and wrong" instead of "cause and effect."





And who are we to decide on who is and is not a loser?


Exactly... there's no way to police such actions. Some people might be able to function on drugs and still contribute to the economic system and raise an ok kid. While others who are totally sober can't hack it.

I'm not saying there aren't alot of opportunities in the USA... obviously this is the land of opportunity. But we need to give people more to do with their time other than doing drugs and pumping out kids. I would vote to distribute wealth more equally. Obviously this doesn't take care of the problems alone but it attacks (the roots of) a host of problems in our society. Unfortunately then you get back to the "handouts" problem which republicans hate. Admittedly that is a big problem. You have to figure out a way to distribute wealth more equally without taking away the competitive nature which drives our system. How do you do that? You got me!





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