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Author Topic: Drugs in the FSP  (Read 44969 times)

rdeacon

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #120 on: November 24, 2003, 11:15:25 am »

Actually my point is very simple:

What should be punished more: a situation that is pure accident, or an accidental situation enabled by irresponsibility?  Yes, this includes fiddling with the radio, talking on cell phones, etc (though such causes are not as easily proved as alcohol and drug use).  I don't think that a person should be pulled over strictly for talking on a cell phone, hell, I've written op-eds against it.  However, if you knowingly increase the risk of an event occuring and that event does occur, than you're responsible moreso than if you were studiously driving along and you accidentally misjudged a distance.  There should be, IMHO, a legal distinction between an honest mistake and a crime that is enabled by irresponsiblity.

rdeacon,
let me restate the problem - sometimes I am not very good at making the point that I am trying...

you say that basically 'being impaired' increases or aggravates the risk of harm to others.  This is not an 'absolute' determination - can you state what level of risk increase should be the dividing line?  For instance, if alcohol increases the risk of causing an accident by 3% (from lets say 1% normally to 4% impaired), and we agree to say that "anything that a person chooses to do that increases the risk of harm to others by 3% or more shall be illegal.  We should by universal in our application of law right?  Not haphazardly choosing whatever pet fad is popular at the time or else the 'law' will be used as a method for perks and varying degrees af law being manipulated by money and politics.  So, to be universal and say 3% increase is illegal - that might also include applying make-up or talking on a cell phone or eating/drinking/smoking while driving - might even be used to convict people of 'driving while under the stress to go pee' as I am sure there are plenty of accidents aggravated by peoples desire to get to a restroom also.  See how it doesn't exactly jive?

The other thing is that this 'increase in risk'  is an arbitrary figure.  Harm is definite and absolute - if you punch me it is universally apparent that you caused me harm.  If you get in a car after drinking 2 beers you are not harming me - only when you actually cause harm by causing an accident.  Not black & white, neat and clean - nice big grey area and open to 'public' interpetation...

Perhaps I am still not getting the point across...

michael
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LeopardPM

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #121 on: November 24, 2003, 11:52:33 am »

rdeacon,

Do you agree with the following statement:

When anyone gets in their car, and proceeds to venture out onto the roadway, the risk of accident has increased to all other drivers.

if you do agree, then we can agree that the question is one of 'amount of risk increase' - somethine we can define and hold true to...

michael
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RhythmStar

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #122 on: November 24, 2003, 01:45:54 pm »

rdeacon,

Do you agree with the following statement:

When anyone gets in their car, and proceeds to venture out onto the roadway, the risk of accident has increased to all other drivers.

if you do agree, then we can agree that the question is one of 'amount of risk increase' - somethine we can define and hold true to...

michael

FWIW, I agree with that statement and find the concept of 'amount of risk' a very useful one.  

For drugs, it should be possible to quantify risk by placing the individual in a driving simulator and administering drugs that approximate the blood levels at the time of the accident.   If they are shown to be impaired, then the amount of impairment can be used to calculate the added risk.  If they are shown to be capable despite their drugged state, then their risk factor is considered normal.

BTW, I suggest this as a voluntary test available to those who voluntarily submitted to testing at the time of the accident.  Otherwise, I guess the courts would have to proceed based on officer and witness testimony, much as today.

RS
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rdeacon

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #123 on: November 25, 2003, 01:50:03 pm »

Agreed, it is for that reason that there is any punishment at all for vehicular manslaughter.

I don't think that the question is specifically *amount* of risk increase, but rather "risk increase due to irresponsibility".  Once again, I don't know if I mentioned this here, but I'm a Constitutionalist, I think that the states should decide whether or not to implement Irresponsibility Penalties, though I would be in favor of them.

rdeacon,

Do you agree with the following statement:

When anyone gets in their car, and proceeds to venture out onto the roadway, the risk of accident has increased to all other drivers.

if you do agree, then we can agree that the question is one of 'amount of risk increase' - somethine we can define and hold true to...

michael
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thrivetacobell

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #124 on: February 01, 2004, 11:39:53 am »


   As for drunk driving, i'm rather an 'extremist' (?) in my outlook. I believe wholeheartedly in individual responsibility, and insomuch do not believe in drinking and driving laws so much as i believe in accountability. Legislation could exist but not be enforced lest an individual show complete disregard for themselves and cause some havoc on the roads. If an individual decides to drink and drive they run the risk  of being responsible for causing an accident, to the loss of life or property. Once an accident occurs, a crime has been committed and the perpetrator should be prosecuted  to the fullest extent of the law. The consequances of driving drunk  far outweigh the benefits, which would be, um... getting home sooner? As far as i'm concerned, the risk is yours, and some risks aren't worth taking.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2004, 08:27:55 pm by thrivetacobell »
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grinder

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #125 on: February 09, 2004, 07:45:00 pm »

Quote
But you still have a choice. You can look away.
Not until I've seen it to know to look away.
Quote
Or cover your eyes.
Not until I've seen it to know to cover my eyes.
I didn't have time to read through all the other posts, so I don't know if anyone has addressed the issue of what constitutes real harm. I like the definition of harm (or infringement of liberty) as being only actual physical harm. How can one person be held responsible for how another reacts to his/her actions (that don't harm someone else) or speech?  Speech does not and cannot produce any real harm as defined above, unless the person hearing that speech chooses to react violently to the speech. Acting in a way that may be offensive to someone else cannot be seen as an infringement of liberty because the person has a choice on how to react to it.

In a free society we would not have the right to impose our puritanical views of proper behavior on other people, because that eliminates choice. In the case of the orgy on the sidewalk, there is no infringement of rights. Since there are no inherent rights granted by the universe, rights are only a manifestation intelligent beings, who form societies in order to guarntee (to what extent there can be a guarantee) the agreed upon rights. No one can guarantee the right not to be exposed to something, thus there can be no right not to be exposed to something.
By being exposed to something you find deplorable, your choice is not limited in any way. There are numerous ways to deal with this situation. To say that your right to choose not to be exposed to orgies is violated by seeing an orgy on the corner is like saying that your right to choose not to be exposed to rain is violated by the clouds when they rain. The clouds, though governed by laws we only somewhat have a grasp on, for all intents and purposes experience total liberty. They can let loose the rain whenever and whereever. That's not to imply that I believe clouds have any form conscious thought. In the same way man is limited by possibility and, if he chooses a society in which he can be as free as the clouds, is causing no real harm by participating in an orgy on the corner.

Good book to read (short story actually) is Coventry by Robert Heinlein.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2004, 07:48:40 pm by grinder »
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kater

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #126 on: February 13, 2004, 03:25:21 pm »

If we're going to start recommending reading (which is usually a good idea), considering grinder's weather analogy, I'll suggest Bastiat's petition to block out the sun for the benefit of candlemakers, lampmakers, etc.  http://bastiat.org/en/petition.html

The truly sad thing about our current state is that people have come to expect protection from life itself.  Thousands of years ago, Greek citizens ran in terror from the Persians; today Americans run in terror from Janet Jackson's right breast.  The ridiculousness of our desire for blinders is almost inexpressible.  

As for thrivetacobell's argument, I'm at a loss to see how we would benefit (in terms of liberty) from the existence of laws that would be unenforced.  Actually, I wish every law on the books were enforced as stringently as governmentally possible--then the extent of our servitude would be too evident to dispute.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2004, 03:26:02 pm by kater »
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kater

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #127 on: February 13, 2004, 03:32:21 pm »

To add another tidbit, I have to bring up school vouchers in this context--or any "permission" to act that exists as an exemption from otherwise applicable laws.  When will people understand that nothing comes from nothing?  That the government provides neither programs nor exemptions without continuing to demand tribute every April 15th?  

I don't want a partial refund, or temporary permission to act as I please--I want the government to get the hell out of my decision-making process.  If I don't send kids to public school, and I choose not to support it, I shouldn't have to PAY the taxes to fund education in the first place.  Let alone have them "refunded" to someone else!!

Or (to get back to the thread topic), perhaps if I don't believe in the war on drugs, the DEA or the ATF, I shouldn't have to fund their propaganda.  The Supreme Court has long since decided that money qualifies as political speech (with whatever caveats are included under the convoluted umbrella of campaign finance reform).  So why am I sponsoring ads against marijuana?
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thrivetacobell

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #128 on: February 13, 2004, 04:13:10 pm »

  Right you are, Kater... I am thinking too much on what could be done within the confines we now have. Definately, once there was a state of just laws formed out of respect for individual responsiblility rather than political expedience, enforce those laws to the fullest extent.

   And if laws as they are now were truly carried out to their full extent, wht an eye opener that would be.
   A brief example: The other day i was driving with my buddy, whose inspection sticker was two months expired. Kept joshin' with him about how i hope he gets pulled over and taught a lesson about how intrusive the state is... We get pulled over in Essex, Ma.,and my buddy is all apologetic, promises to get it fixed Monday... The cop asks 'you promise?'  And lets him go. This is the same town where they twice got me for motor vehicle infractions, towed my car, left me in the middle of nowhere...  Man, that pissed me off. He'll probably vote for Kerry as a real alternative to Bush.
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Lothar

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #129 on: February 14, 2004, 07:01:36 am »

There should be a penalty for driving under the influence or operating heavy machinery. Beyond that, as long as you aren't hurting anyone, drug intoxication should not be penalized.
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Tyler V

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #130 on: March 09, 2004, 05:31:37 am »

I still cant beleive that this concept of punishing thought (thought-crime, if you will) is still being argued.  Becuase that is exactly what any law is if it is not punishing the infringement of someone elses right to life, liberty  and property.  What is it we are punishing when we make laws against intoxication other than a persons thoughts, their state of mind?  Are we to punish the POSIBILITY of a crime, or the hightened risk level that a crime might be commited?  Intent?  How far back do we go?  The thoughts leading up to the decision to highten the risk of a crime being commited?  These are all very serious questions, none of which i am comfortable putting in the hands of any government.  Plain and simple, a free state cannot protect the right of all individuals to not be at risk.  By doing this we must, in some manner, directly deprive another individual of his/her rights.  So, do we directly deprive someone else of his/her rights all of the time,  and by doing this protect a much smaller percentage of the populations rights occasionaly?  Or do we not liegislate the control of a persons mental state, thereby protecting his right to free thought all of the time, and by doing this realize that occasionaly someone elses rights will be violated by this action?  This could be a basic tenant of free thought right here.  How would you answer this question, and what does your answer say about your true feelings on individual freedom?

P.S.  Also, I would very much like to see what would happen if a society did not legislate any aspect of drug and alcohol production, distribution, and consumption, yet had very strict laws on infringing on another persons basic rights, i.e. physical harm and financial/property damage.  The American public is really not that bright right now, but given the opportunity to think for themselves and take repsonsibility for their own lives, with no safety nets and guarantees, they just might start thinking again.  
« Last Edit: March 09, 2004, 05:35:50 am by Tyler V »
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LeopardPM

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #131 on: March 09, 2004, 07:11:00 am »

yes!

self-responsibility is learned, often at great pain and failure - that is why it will take over a generation for true libertarianism to fully begin to work - we need to retrain ourselves and our children, teach the next generation how to exist in a world where government dependece is not a possibility and what the true costs are for every action...

michael
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thrivetacobell

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #132 on: March 09, 2004, 11:40:39 am »

<<self-responsibility is learned, often at great pain and failure>>

So true and right... but one thing you forgot to mention is that, no matter the suffering, the rewards are invaluable.

Reality is a hard master, but infinitely just.
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LeopardPM

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #133 on: March 09, 2004, 11:51:25 am »

amen
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penguinsscareme

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Re:Drugs in the FSP
« Reply #134 on: March 09, 2004, 12:44:46 pm »

Public orgies?
Do we really think people are going to be able to handle that?  Or do we have some shred of common sense left?
Sorry, walking down the street minding my own business and happening upon an orgy on the sidewalk is a little bit more freedom than I can handle.
Sometimes when I hear these discussions start to completely leave the realm of what's realistic, I ask myself, if Washington, or Adams, or Jefferson, or any of the other Founders were sitting down with me, would I be able to pitch this idea to them?  They loved freedom enough to give their lives for a slim chance of attaining it, understood it enough to give us the Constitution.

A person's decision to do stupid things like drugs is his own business until he hurts someone else.  I'll go a step further and say until he endangers someone else.  And where exactly do we draw that line?  That's one of those things we have to leave to discretion.  It's too fuzzy to nail down.  I'm not waffling, either, so don't get p.o.'ed.  Probable cause is a fuzzy line, the founders made it that way on purpose.  It's okay to leave some things to common sense and discretion.  We don't have to nail down every minute detail.
Public orgies are just one of those things that is definitely over the line, even though the line is fuzzy.  It's not healthy for me to see an orgy.  It's not healthy for my daughter to see an orgy.  If nothing else, it's disturbing the peace!
I expect to be able to conduct my public business without having to dodge orgies or people dealing and shooting heroin.  If there's a well-soundproofed private bordello or drug den between me and my destination, I couldn't care less.  I draw the line around there somewhere.

See, this is what makes me nervous.  Sometimes it starts to sound like we're not only decriminalizing vice, but facilitating it.
Say what you want, but bear in mind that there are always potential members reading.  You represent us all when you post on this forum.  You can be right, but better to be right and smart than right and stupid.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2004, 12:47:15 pm by penguinsscareme »
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