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View Diary: The Monster we've created (161 comments)

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  •  it's more than law. there are hard ethics here. (7+ / 0-)

    i've told my nephew that by buying pot illegally, he is committing an immoral act. and not because he's breaking the law necessarily.

    he is, however, funding a culture of damage, violence, and death. not to mention those 40 billion untaxed dollars leaving the American economy (a double whammy). or all the tax money paid for the upkeep of prisoners from the so-called drug war.

    it is one thing to harm oneself... it is entirely another to engage in activities that cause such wide-scale ruin, from fetuses to ruined lives.

    this is so much more than the law... but the basis of law, of justice, of ethical thinking begins with our social agreements. it has to begin with our behavior, our ethics and discussed at home, in conversations around dinner tables. and don't wait for your kids to be in high school.

    turn off the cell phones and all the other magical rectangular boxes and let's talk to one another.

    •  What it it's home-grown? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VictorLaszlo, pfiore8

      Your point is sound though.

    •  that's a convoluted bit of logic (9+ / 0-)

      so by buying pot illegally, you're funding the drug war? fuck that, by paying your taxes you're funding the drug war. whether or not a given purchase of pot funds violent cartels or some dude growing in his basement depends entirely on who you buy it from.

      militarized prohibition is the problem. i've voted against it every chance i've gotten.

      •  it is more than militarized prohibition. (0+ / 0-)

        from Pringles to prozac, we are, all of us, drugged out.

        however, as long as one buys illegal drugs, one is responsible for the violence of that culture. just as i am burdened by my decisions as a consumer and how those choices affect people and the environment. or if i decide to drink and drive.

        we are not alone. our actions are not quiet and singular. they have consequences to a scale we generally can not fathom.

        •  "that culture"? (0+ / 0-)

          way to paint with a broad brush.

          •  yet you don't respond to the premise. (0+ / 0-)

            and i'm quite surprised by what i'm reading as some kind of anger here.

            •  you lump many different things together (0+ / 0-)

              (both different substances and widely disparate groups and individuals producing and selling those substances) as a single malevolent culture, which you claim is violent and immoral on the sole basis of it being illegal, and then claim that anyone purchasing any substance designated as illegal by the state is supporting the acts of this broad brush "culture."

              your inability to distinguish between some dude growing a plant in his basement or backyard with seriously violent cartels is what is frustrating me. i'm not so much not grasping your premise as rejecting its validity.

              •  you don't understand the premise. (0+ / 0-)

                most pot comes from cartels despite this nice little bullshit story that EVERY pot smoker tells of his/her pot smoking being harmless because they but it off some dude growing it in his basement.

                bullshit. while that happens (grass grown in basements), pot is as big a business as crack or any other illegal drug and that fact, it being BIG business, propels those involved into a nasty culture.

                i have always been a proponent of legalizing drugs. not that i condone drug use. i don't. but i believe the impact on society can be mightily mitigated if legalized.

                until such time and while Mexican drug cartel drug wars continue to spill into the USofA and innocents get caught in the cross fire in bad neighborhoods or don't get the chance to grow up, I again say that purchasing illegal drugs is wrong. unethical. and immoral.

    •  context (6+ / 0-)

      I have problems with the argument that buying pot funds a culture of damage, violence and death and that the purchase should be foregone for that reason alone.  Because PAYING YOUR Federal TAXES does the same: killer death robots, a world-wide gulag, installing murderous regimes around the world (1 million Indonesians killed by Suharto, with our active support, specifically, lists of people to be murdered), illegal wars, high and unchanging levels of rape and murder in our "criminal justice system," constant shielding of corporate criminals in the mining industry, environmental racism, and so on.  The Bush administration nullified Habeas Corpus and Obama has regularized it.  And so on.  And I haven't even mentioned the government's active support of the Carbon Lords who are leading us over the precipice of climate catastrophe, with its attendant extinctions and human die-off.

      Since pot itself does NOT cause the user harm, which you seem to imply, unlike alcohol, this argument seems needlessly broad.  Supporting a network of "illegal" forces has some undesirable consequences, but it is NOT one, unified, network.  Some parts of the network are less destructive than others.  I don't know how one discriminates appropriately and minimizes harm, but that would seem to me to be the path worth exploring.

      •  the one does not nullify the other. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        although i'm not sure the comparison is apt (see my conclusion below).

        however, the first thing you must understand is this: i'm not addressing, in this context, harm to users. btw and imo, believing there is no harm is a bit naive... my opinions about drug use are based on much personal experience and those experiences were a total waste in so many ways.


        what i do say explicitly is that BUYING illegal drugs is an immoral act because it supports a dangerous and deadly culture, including the impact on women who get pregnant as users (of drugs or alcohol). there are far too many kids born with fetal alcohol syndrome or harmed by crack  et al. there are user health issues that families and society are stuck with; crime; money bleeding out of the economy in a totally negative way. there is just nothing good, positive, or life affirming about the drug culture as far as i can tell.

        in conclusion, we are forced to pay taxes. but we can certainly have power over our own discretionary spending

      •  as i said to wu ming (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        we are not alone. our actions are not quiet and singular. they have consequences to a scale we generally can not fathom.
        we do harm in so many ways and I fully agree that my analogy and its framework include the kinds of cars we buy, supporting products using Monsanto GMOs, et al... voting BIG D when, in fact, we should have worked hard at local levels finding and putting in place secular, sane, balanced thinkers to begin creating platforms of power to push against Washington and our corporate overlords (surely in league with illegal drug lords as they are with the medical industrial complex).
    •  Nothing ethically wrong with pot. (5+ / 0-)

      Turns out it does nothing to fetuses.  Making things up isn't a basis for moral evaluation.  And depending on where you are you're usually getting it from medium sized mom-and-pop grow operations (west coast specifically).  If you're getting it in the midwest you're usually subsidizing relatively impoverished farmers, which is a good thing.  Plenty of people in appalachia have small plots to make ends meat, and they risk big jail time just to have that extra bit of cash flow.  

      I saw your post below.  Remember, as long as you pay taxes, you really ARE responsible for the bombed burned out bodies of brown children worldwide.

      •  what i wrote was this: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        buying pot ILLEGALLY is an immoral act.

        i should have been clearer that the rest of my comment referred to drug use in general, thus my reference to fetuses was more related to alcohol, crack, et al. however, it is rather simplistic to make blanket statements that pot is harmless.

        what i did not address in my comments is the legal aspect in America, which certainly sucks. there is an escalation of criminalizing even ordinary behavior (remember the guy who got arrested in the mall in upstate NY for wearing an anti Bush t-shirt?).

        i am totally against the prison industrial complex and the privatization of prisons. bad idea for so many reasons, profit making being one.

        however my comment really was about the unethical aspects of participating in the illegal drug culture.

        •  Participate in 'illegal drug culture', (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          then evaluate its morality.  You simply have no clue what you're talking about.

          •  then answer this: (0+ / 0-)

            is it ethical/moral to buy illegal drugs?

            how is that you can correlate drones and tax use (correctly) but can not connect the devastation of illegal drug culture in all its aspects to buying illegal drugs, including pot.

            what makes buying pot any different from hard core drugs, if that is the invisible line or if you're putting pot in some different category? the business model is as brutal and feeds the vampires.

            or is it that you don't like to think about smoking pot and the consequences of that decision on others...

            •  Interesting question (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It is pretty clearly unethical. It is the morality that must be decided by the individual.

              Having said that, is it ethical/moral to shop at WalMart? Or buy Nike gym shoes? Or Apple iPhones?

              All are ethical, but are they moral?

              Just sayin'...

              I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

              by itsjim on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:14:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Let me come up with a better metaphor. (0+ / 0-)

              Saying it's unethical or immoral to participate in what you call 'illegal drug culture' because some people who illegally sell drugs are violent is the same as saying it's unethical or immoral to be Muslim because some Muslims are terrorists.  Or Christian.  Or American.  Or anything.  The logic here renders everything everywhere unethical and immoral.  It's like saying that providing prenatal care to a woman who happens to give birth to a killer is immoral.  "Why did you give her that prenatal care?  You know some people who are born are killers!"  Let me change it around to your statement.  "Why did you give him money for that pot!  You know some people who have sold pot at some point are killers!"  It makes zero sense.  Zero.

              •  it's not that "some" people (0+ / 0-)

                are violent in the illegal drug culture. it is that the whole set up, because it is illegal, is violent and results in zero positive benefit. the illegality of it provides the rationale to act further outside social norms, like killing, getting teenagers hooked and selling... whatever.

                of course, some drug dealers are very rich. but then, as a friend of mine said years ago: "easy money is the hardest money you'll ever make. you're always looking over shoulder." just look at the Forbes 500 billionaire drug lord, now dead.

                i'm fine with pot as medicine. or recreational use. as long as it's legal.

                it may be your perception that the drug culture is not violent or that it is only violent in pockets or certain circumstances. i don't agree.

                but as a matter of principle, i am anti most drugs, legal or otherwise. in fact, i'm not all that big a fan of health care as formulated... another disaster creating a mammoth medical industrial complex that provides access to disease maintenance and insurance. in fact, the standard now is to brand diseases in order to create drugs. it's gotten way way out of hand, imo.

                perhaps it's a bit off topic here, but since i've gone there: true health care? safe food/water, good prenatal care for all pregnant women, and clear understanding of developing children, their nutritional needs and what not to expose them to (like toxic plastics et al). now that is what i would call health care.


                •  You aren't entitled to your own facts. (0+ / 0-)

                  "it may be your perception that the drug culture is not violent or that it is only violent in pockets or certain circumstances. i don't agree."

                  You don't agree.  And are simply factually wrong.  This isn't some subtle difference in analysis.

        •  prohibition of pot is a bad law (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          just because something had been made illegal does not necessarily make it immoral, any more than something being legal makes it moral. not all pot producers are shady or violent.

    •  One reason I stopped using cocaine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, pfiore8

      was I found out that Nazis were behind the South American supply routes.  Not reacttionaries, real Nazis who'd fled to South America after WW II, like Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon.

      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

      by 6412093 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:39:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i stopped after (0+ / 0-)

        i saw on the TV news a story about a young kid who'd been shot in the head, caught in the cross fire between drug dealers.

        it was then i knew that i was part of the problem and my buying illegal drugs was connected to what happened to that child...

        after that, it became very simple.

        the commenters here seem not to be able to untangle the one issue participating in the violent illegal drug culture (created certainly because they are illegal) from the separate question of doing drugs, legal or not.

        yet, they clearly understand the same type of relationships, buying from Walmart or using products with Monsanto products or eating cheap animal meat and the horrific conditions of animals.

        and on the question of doing drugs, supposing they were all legal: like smoking cigarettes, it's a bad thing to do. enslavement is the worst of it and the bullshit that comes out of ones mouth, thinking we've hit on the secret of the universe, is the least. well, let me rethink that...

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