Canadian Cannabis Cafes

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Ozrat, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    sander- you really need to smoke a joint and mellow out.

    IS smoking pot harmful. Some people say it is, some folks say it isn't. Depends on who's evidence it is. I find it hard to believe that sucking in smoke that burns brain cells isn't harmful, but I am not going to get into that with you.

    I am saying that laws exist for reasons, usually as the outcome of government policy decided by bargains between the government and social forces with which the state is forced to deal. As such there are no natural civil liberties. The notion of natural civil liberties is a normative argument- a nice idea but without historic fact.

    You are making the notion, a normative one, that a person should be allowed to do just about anything that he wants, even if it hurts himself, and that's a civil liberty.

    Historically that isn't true. Historically suicide was a crime. And there are rules against all sorts of harmful behavior that hurts no one but yourself. So history indicates that your definition of a civil liberty is too broad and fuzzy.

    Add that to the possibility that the trade and use of marijuana might have harmful social effects. You say it doesn't. A person gets shot because of a drug deal, a family loses it's savings because the father is a stoner, worker productivity goes down because people prefer to smoke pot, investable capital that could go into productive growth is given to dealers for a recreational drug. These are all possible harmful social effects. There are more.

    A civil right is a right so central to the individual and so essential to the maintenance of the political order that losing such a right would be germane to losing one of the fundamental values of a society. Such, the right to free speech, to assemble, to practice a religion, habeas corpus, right to remain silent, right to legal representation, of fair adjudication, to be free of involuntary servitude, to vote--- Those are essential civil rights that make a working democratic society possible.

    What is a civil right determines a relationship between the individual and society.

    Whether a person has the right to harm themselves is another point. For example the idea of assisted suicide, or the right to die, is hotly contested in some countries. The power of the state to put someone to death is contested abuse of state power. The right to an abortion is especially a battle between the woman's right to her own body vs the right of the unborn fetus to have a life.

    Those civil rights define the limits of personhood and what a person is allowed to do or be free of government oppression.

    Never has a person had an unlimited right to do what they want if it doesn't hurt anyone else- simply because the state has an interest in the welfare of the society and the lose of a single member is harmful to that society as well.

    A person engaged in a trade that has harmful social effects or which has ancilliary harmful effects, as noted above, is not a civil right.

    You're conceptualization of a civil right is overly broad- basically you are saying "anything goes." Ok, then beastiality would be perfectly legal. Selling your property as a dumping ground for hazardous waste would be legal. Shooting off a 9mm into your backyard would be perfectly legal even if it's in an urban area.

    Those acts have never been considered civil rights because the harmful consequences to society outweigh the benefits to the individual, and those actions do not define the essential boundaries of the legal relationship between a citizen and the state.
     
  2. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    i wont comment on the civil liberty thingy as i find it entirely irrelevant, but i'll say this:

    obviously, it's harmful... just as harmful as any other legal drug...

    don't you have liquor stores? during the time when drinking alcohol was prohibited in the US, had Canada become a shithole just because there you could buy alcohol? what harmful effect would there be in selling cannabis?

    if cannabis products would be legal in a normal fashion, there would be no illegal drugdeals... you'd have a simple supplier, much like a liquor wholesalesman that provides any coffeeshops with the products they need. why would one shoot someone over something he can acquire legally? it would be like shooting someone over a truckload of sigarets. true, it happens, but thats simple crime.

    first of all, if you spend your entire saving on weed, you end up with trashcans full of it. hell, you'd be able to use it as central heating. the habit is not that expensive (trust me, i should know).

    if you are referring to him becoming a passive addict sitting in his chair all day smoking reefers instead of working, well, thats exactly the same danger that exists with alcohol today.

    once again a misconception. why would productivity go down? it is yet again exactly the same as happens now with alcohol. many use it, but not that many abuse it. smoke and drink in your free time, dont bother people when you are doing it and society wont be harmed.

    but if legalised, the "dealers" would be standard regulated shopkeepers, much like your liquor shops today. the money gets injected back into the economy just like any money you spend at another normal store.
     
  3. APTYP

    APTYP Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2003
    You don't argue with the insane, the zealots, or Welsh the Loony Old Man. How many sane americans do you know who think that the best thing for America to become is a benevolent police state?
     
  4. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Note that I was never arguing that historically speaking civil liberties were natural. I was always talking about the natural state of affairs in modern day societies.
    No, history indicates that countries have not adhered to my defintion of civil liberties. COnsider the following thing: would you consider freedom for slavery a civil liberty? Because according to you, such a thing could never be considered a civil liberty until it was accepted. The point of the basic civil liberties is that they are basic, and therefore should exist always, not just because the government was kind enough to make it into a civil liberty.
    Which is illegal in itself. And which is actually LESS likely when pot is legalised because it is taken out of the criminal circuit.
    If pot wasn't legalised this would not only still happen, it would happen with a greater risk because there is no control on pot, causing things such as hugely high prices.
    As well as that, if the father wasn't a stoner, he might've been a drunk, or a gambler or basically anything else. These vices are the choice of the person, the fact that he drags along others in his fall is sincerely regrettable, but that is in no way the fault of the pot, but the fault of the father.
    If pot were physically addictive, it would be a different thing, but since it isn't, smoking pot is your own free choice.

    Ehehe. Silly. Worker productivity goes down because people prefer to smoke pot is in no way the fault f the legalisation of pot. Worker productivity goes down because people prefer to do a lot of things, pot is on the same level with computers, TVs, books and lots of other things. Care to abolish the entirety of culture to obtain "worker productivity"?
    This is not harmful, since that is now part of the natural business. Meaning that investable capital is put into a pot business, which is a legal part of the environment. If you consider this to be harmful, you should abolish any transaction of goods.
    Name them, I will show you that they aren't the fault of the legalisation of pot.
    The freedom to act is quite fundamental.
    Very much so. This, however, in no way answers my question of "Why should someone not be allowed to harm his own body?"

    The state is there for the citizens, the citizens are not there for the state. Remember that.

    No, it isn't.

    As long as it doesn't hurt anyone but yourself: yes.
    Hurts the animal, so: no.
    Hurts the environment and other people in the direct environment of your grounds so: no.
    If done in such a way that no-one would get hurt: yes. If doner uncontrolled with the risk of someone getting hurt, then: no.

    Try really thinking about what you say to try to take down my theory before posting.
     
  5. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    Wrong. Plato was the first to make it into a crime. A crime against the state (of all things). But most old cultures and many other philosophers didn't see it as a crime whatsoever. They saw it as a decent and often as an honorable way to take leave of this life if you couldn't cope with it anymore because of grief, poverty, loss and so on.

    Damn, I really don't want to get into this discussion...

    I think you should both smoke a couple of reefers and make out. :D
     
  6. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    ATPYP- If all you are going to go for the flame fest, insult post with little content, post elsewhere.

    Frankly, you’ve been doing this too much here and I am tired of it. Chill out, think about it, and come back in a week if you want to post here. Temp ban.

    You can feel free to call me a Nazi. I don't mind. I just don't have the time to waste with your bullshit.

    Yes, that’s true. But that was also Greek society and Greek culture- which emphasized honor as central virtue would make suicide more acceptable. Only recently has suicide been linked to despondency, and a mental illness.

    Whether one should have the right to kill oneself or not is a valid question. But for the past few hundred years, suicide has been seen as a crime. A silly crime, but there it is. The state could commit you to an institution if you tried it and failed. No civil right to suicide.

    Ok, Suaside- much of your comments deal with whether it’s fair to make pot illegal and alcohol legal- or which is worse.

    Personally I agree with you. Grass should be legalized, it should be produced and monitored under regulations for purity of content, and it should be taxed. In terms of harmful affects it is, in my opinion, less harmful than alcohol and probably just as harmful as would be unregulated tobacco.

    But that’s not the point. That goes back to the two wrongs don’t make a right argument. Is grass harmful- yes- or so many experts would have us believe. Sander might say that’s all bullshit, but the experts would counter that position. I will assume it does and still think it should be legal.

    Does that make it a civil right? No.

    It used to be that people had a right to drink at 18 in the US. Now they are supposed to wait till 21. At one point there was no right to drink – drinking was illegal. It used to be that you could smoke anywhere, now you can’t in confined public spaces. Those liberties were constrained because they create no constitutional challenges- there was no civil right to smoke or drink.

    It is not a civil right to take substances that have a harmful affect on your body. If the government fails to regulate some substances because of political pressure (and there would be huge pressure against alcohol or tobacco) than it won’t. But that comes down to the political bargaining between state and society.

    We might have a liberty to have a drink, or smoke a cigar, and in some countries smoke a joint, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a civil right, but rather a liberty.

    You also make a comparison between alcohol and Canada and the US. It’s a good analogy- Canadian Club Whiskey- came from Canada. Much of the alcohol that came into the US came from Canada and significant capital was spent to try to stop the spread. That trade funded much of the mob violence of major cities- Capone got a lot of his money through speakeasies and booze. Lots of bad booze got sold as homegrown moonshine, people got poisoned by some types of alcohol, criminal organizations sprang up around the trade and even in rural areas. SO yes, it had problem.

    Would a lot of this be removed if grass was made legal- yes. That’s one reason I support legalizing it.

    But is smoking or trading in marijuana a civil right?
    (1) There is no unqualified civil right to utilize substances that are harmful to oneself or which can cause harm to a society through it’s use.
    (2) There is no civil right in the trade of substances that are deemed to be harmful.

    Like it or not, most people thing marijuana is harmful.

    Ok, civil rights-
    http://search.eb.com/ebi/article?eu=295500&query=civil right&ct=

    Noteworthy- there were no civil rights until you have the beginnings of democracy. Why? Because democracy means that the government is constrained from using its’ coercive or repressive power (under the color of law) to deny you privileges.

    According to Black’s Law Dictionary- Civil Rights- or Civil Liberties- are those rights guaranteed and protected by Constitution (feedom of speech, press, from discrimination). Body of law dealing with liberties shorn of excesses which invade the rights of others. They are constraints on government.

    If you open a civil liberty to smoke grass- why not heroin, cocaine, angel dust, crack. If the person can do anything harmful they wish to- when does the line end? Making anthrax in your basement?

    So Sander- the freedom to act is not fundamental. The freedom to act in ways that are not harmful to others is more acceptable, but even that is not fundamental. If you were to say the freedom to act is fundamental than so is the freedom to put up child porn on the internet, the freedom to own automatic weapons, the freedom to maintain hazardous substances.

    That’s the problem- the notion of a freedom to act is too broad to be practical. Civil rights need to have boundary conditions- like the freedom of speech doesn’t include the right to slander, the freedom to worship doesn’t include human sacrifices, the freedom against discrimination doesn’t mean that people are not allowed to think racist thoughts.

    Note that even the freedom to think is not unlimited and without boundary conditions. If you think certain thoughts you can be thrown in an insane asylum.

    Fair enough, modern democracy allowed us this return of a notion of “natural” rights protected by civil rights. But this was also based on an argument that there exists a natural “social contract”- a concept of Locke and Hobbes that Hume disproves.

    What democracy allows is for citizens to contest for greater liberties, and liberties need to be fought over. Much like how the early revolutionaries in the US had to fight for the right to vote, free speech and religion, and black had to fight for civil rights, and women had to fight for equal rights and gays are fighting for their share of the rights.

    Civil rights need to be fought for, they cannot be presupposed.

    If your argument is that people should have “a basic right to act” than this is a normative argument. I would say this is still too broad and needs boundary conditions.

    But you are arguing that people have an unlimited right to act- untrue. That people have the right to smoke pot, which I would say is a liberty found in a few countries and not in most. It is also a liberty that could be taken away.

    If the majority of the Dutch felt that smoking pot was harmful and had damaging social consequences than the Dutch could remove that liberty.

    In the US we are having similar arguments about whether people have the right to burn a flag (a violation of free speech?) whether gays have the right to marry (the right to have a family) whether religious schools should get money from the state (free exercise and establishment rights). More- the right to die, the right to an abortion? These are rights to be free of government influence on your individual person. But these are not rights to act.

    And that’s the point- no countries have adhered to your definition of a civil liberty.

    Honestly, I agree that the creation of civil liberties usually involves a society looking back at the way it decided what liberties were allowed and deciding that those liberties should be allowed. Some rights have been lost- the right to have slaves or to keep someone in involuntary servitude.

    That’s the point- it wasn’t that the government was kind enough to change it’s mind. The government is rarely kind enough to grant a civil liberty to anyone. Civil Liberties need to be fought for. Usually that’s done through the courts by opposing laws which would conflict with expectations drawn from the constitution of a state. For example- laws limiting the right to sue fast food companies because of the food they sell, or gun manufacturers for selling guns that were used in crimes- can be contested under constitutional rights to due process which allows an individual to obtain legal recourse through the courts without being exempted by legislative statutes.

    Civil rights are restraints on government action. For example, if the government passes a low that one set of schools would be for muslims another for Christians, or if it would fund only Christian organizations and not Hindu- that’s discrimination and against the law.

    Nothing works that way for smoking pot.

    The question is not whether pot should be legalized. Frankly I support legalizing it.

    The question is whether there is a civil right to smoke pot. Under what standard? You submit “The right to act” which is just plain wishy-washy nor is that, as you admit, a standard that exists.

    The second issue is whether the Dutch benefit from a trade that causes harmful effects to it’s neighbors. Using the illustration offered by SUaside and elaborated above, yes and those effects are predictable.

    The freedom to act as you define it makes little sense since it offers no boundary conditions. If a civil right is a restraint on the state, than a civil right to act would include the right to commit a variety of crimes, irregardless of consequence. One cannot drink and drive- even if one does not cause an accident.

    Because of the notion that the state has an interest in protecting the live of its citizens, even against the wishes of that citizen. Why you don’t have a right to suicide, why you might be prevented from using certain substances.

    Whether you like that or not, is not the point. One can fight for that right, but it doesn’t mean that right currently exists even if it “should” exist.

    Note- my position on this is not whether a person should be allowed to smoke pot, rather it is that there is no civil right to do so.

    You’re lecturing a person who studies politics, Hobbes, Locke, Hume and the nature of the state-society relationship and who used to practice law? “Remember that?”

    And no, you’re wrong. Empirically- there remain absolutist and autocratic states in which civil rights don’t really exist. Are they less states because of that?

    The state exists as an institution that evolved allowing rulers to dominate, repress and extract resources for society and to defend it’s territory from outer rulers. That the democratic state offers rights has much to do with the seizure of the state by elites that didn’t want absolutist kings to deny them access to property rights. That the franchise of rights have expanded to the mass of citizens took time and effort to fight for those rights.

    Workers got the right to vote late by challenging property restrictions on the right to vote. Blacks in the US got it by the Civil Rights movement, women through protests. Rights are acquired by fighting for them.

    The state has not evolved much beyond that. The Weberian definition of a state still emphasizes a centralized institution that governs within a bounded territory through the monopoly of the use of legitimate force. Who controls the state determines what the relationship of that state to society is. State’s are just institutions- they are not thinking, self-interested people. It is the people who rule who decide what the state is.

    The state is less a servant to the citizens than the means of domination and control possessed by those who rule over those that don’t rule.

    The point is that there is no current civil right to smoke pot. Not that there couldn’t be a civil right to smoke a joint. But that such a right needs to be fought for and won. There is no “inherent” right to smoke a joint because there are no “natural rights” except those that are fought for and won.

    Back to Canada- these guys say there is a civil right to smoke pot. Doubtful. But they can fight for it. If they win, they can overturn current laws and liberate potheads everywhere. If they lose, it’s off to jail. Fights are not without consequences- they could lose. There could be a legal right to smoke pot in the US. The problem might be that too many of the potential protestors are too stoned to organize and fight for it.

    Animals don’t have civil rights but are commonly considered property. You can own a dog, a cat, a fish. You can generally slaughter an animal you own without legal sanction. Based on your definition, a citizen (a human invested with civil liberties and rights) can do what they want with their property. But you can’t fuck a dog without going to jail or the loony bin. Why? Because the government has a right to protect you, and that includes your mental wellbeing. The government can also regulate what it deems deviant social behavior.

    Sander- I know you’re an idealist. But you need to start with some empirical basis in reality before you go off on these kinds or argument. And while you enjoy using complex ideas, those ideas need definition. A universal right to act- is just too broad and civil rights don’t exist just because you want them to. Rights exist because enough people fought for them that the government was forced to make them rights for society and forced to live under restraint.

    Hurts the environment and other people in the direct environment of your grounds so: no.
    If done in such a way that no-one would get hurt: yes. If doner uncontrolled with the risk of someone getting hurt, then: no.

    Try really thinking about what you say to try to take down my theory before posting.[/quote]
    Ditto- Why are those acts considered illegal or highly controlled- because the government has the right to protect the well being of individuals and a society and does not trust individual to act in ways that may cause damage to others.

    Sure, one might be able to sue if one was hurt by any of the acts listed above. But the government restricts those actions because of the likelihood that they may lead to some harm to society. Why? Because the state has an interest in maintain social peace and preventing harm to others. It’s not that these acts are definitely going to cause injury- but that they could cause injury, and as such the interest of the state to sustain social peace (prevent social deviance, protect well-being, maintain public order, etc) kicks in.
     
  7. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    yeah and thats exactly why i said i wouldn't get involved in the civil rights debate thingy.

    i just think legalising it would solve more problems than it would create. also the stance against cannabis is just pure hypocrisy (just compare it to any other legal drug)...

    swa, signing off this discussion, hf debating civil rights stuff :p
     
  8. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    DAMN YOU Suaside-

    All L33t speakers are to be shot!
     
  9. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Mar 18, 2004
    Still Welsh, have to appreciate the way he edited your post.
     
  10. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    [quote="welsh
    So Sander- the freedom to act is not fundamental. The freedom to act in ways that are not harmful to others is more acceptable, but even that is not fundamental. If you were to say the freedom to act is fundamental than so is the freedom to put up child porn on the internet, the freedom to own automatic weapons, the freedom to maintain hazardous substances. "[/quote]
    The freedom to put up child porn on the internet, to own automatic weapons and to maintain hazardous substances should indeed not be illegal, as long as you can show that these things will not harm others or are extremely unlikely to harm others. Putting up child porn shows that you have some connection to making child porn, and can thereby be considered illegal. Carrying automatic weapons is overkill: a handgun would do the trick, and it should therefore be illegal. Maintaining hazardours substances should not be illegal, as long as you can make sure they will only harm yourself, whether directly or indirectly.
    I'll say it again: whether or not it is a civil liberty doesn't matter, it should be. The freedom to harm yourself should be a basic cicil liberty, and you still haven't shown why it shouldn't be.
    Freedom of speech doesn't include slander because slander hurts people, sacrifices are ilegal because they harm other people. Racist thoughts do not harm other people and are thereby legal. Discrimination goes for discriminatory acts, not speech.
    And the fact that you can be thrown in an insane asylum if thinking in a certain way stems from the idea that you are then a menace to others.
    And again, you fail to show why this right shouldn't be a basic civil right.

    That's bullshit. It is sad when the govenment denies people their civil liberties and makes them fight for them, that is not good. You confuse the way in which they are gained and the reason why they are or should be gained.
     
  11. Ozrat

    Ozrat Antediluvian as Feck
    Orderite

    Apr 2, 2003
    You mean 30 grams, don't you? That's a whole ounce for you non-metric folks.

    In laymen terms, if you ARE caught with up to an ounce of fine juicy, crystallized hairy colorful Canadian bud then you are relieved of your treasure for confiscation and are handed what is the equivalent of a parking fine. No temporary or permnament police record and no future hassles of said incident.

    But then again you have to factor in how much the police would react if they saw a couple of college kids sitting on a porch somewhere around campus, or on campus for that matter. I don't know anybody here who's been arrested for pot despite being caught with it. My school's drug policy places up to 30 grams of weed as equivalent as being drunk in public: a $130 fine and a slap on the wrists.

    Then again, I've smoked with a Catholic school teacher and a police officer here in Canadalandia.

    Try comparing that to the Anti-Weed country of America, eh? Decriminalization of Marijuana is something of a hot Canadian political topic as UJ already pointed out. Frankly I'm glad that Canadians have the balls to stand up to fix a flaw in the legal system that has caused way more problems in North America and prolly the rest of the world in the last 70 years than it has fixed.
     
  12. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant
    Orderite

    Jan 29, 2004
    I personally don't get what's that good about weed anyway. It tastes like potpourry, it looks like dried shit, it makes your brain functions go down 75% while smoking it and it makes you damn hungry too.

    I tried it once or twice (allright... So a dozen times might be more like it); and I have to say: I don't really like it all that much. Give me a beer over a joint anytime.
     
  13. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    But Jebus, driking is illigeal at my age!
     
  14. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    So is pot, CCR.

    I have to agree with Ozrat on this- the marijuana laws in this country are nuts. That you can get a minor charge in some states and put away for 20 years in others, is just nuts. Furthermore, I think there is a lot of reason to believe that the possession charges that send folks to prison are being applied disporporationally against minorities.

    Sander- I think we are both trying to define the terms of the argument. My point was merely that I don't think smoking pot should be a civil right, that civil rights are fought for, that they need to be defined, and that I thought that what's going on in Canada is less about a civil right than about making a profit- something which I think is true in the Netherlands as well.

    I am not sure if you are willing to dismiss all non-democracies as non-states. That's a big jump that few people would take.

    I think your argument tends towards the normative ("it should be thus") whereas mine are going more empirical ("But this is how it is?)

    You're right that people can vote for civil rights- to me this is basically a fight done through democratic processes, a fight that requires collective action, a goal, leadership and a campaign. Few civil rights have been granted without those elements- conflict and power is the basis of elections and most state-society interactions.

    What "should be" and "what is" are important distinctions vested in history. We can say that slavery should not be allowed today, but 200 years ago, many would dispute that. Thus civil rights change even if we think they should always have applied.

    The same goes for an unqualified right to act. Whether we should have that right- if defined- is a fair one. On this I sympathize with the right to die, the right to abort, the right to be free from most government influence.

    So if you are asking whether "we should" have those specific rights"- yes.

    But that doesn't mean we do. Historically, the state has been held to a vested interest to protect life and to protect individuals from harm, even if self-inflicted. Whether freedom from government action in that capacity "should be" a right or not is fair debate. Whether that interests exists and is acted upon by states vis-a-vis individuals is empirically grounded.

    Last comments- You need to have definitions of rights for the right to make sense. I suggest that your boundary conditions are too broad.

    The reason why is that such rights need to be operationalized- applied- in realistic circumstances. Too broadly defined and the courts wouldn't know what to make of that right, or where the limits end- thus opening up lots of litigation. Executive wouldn't know the limits of those rights and where their powers end, and civilians would constantly test the limits of those rights (as they do all rights). Law is firstly about peace and order, secondly about equality and justice. Based on that broad definition, peace and order woudl be frustrated, undercutting the very purpose of civil rights that you wish to articulate.

    Sorry, from what I know of law, a "right to act" would be too wishy-washy for anyone to appropriatly apply.
     
  15. EyeMaster7

    EyeMaster7 A Smooth-Skin

    677
    Jan 20, 2004

    What??? I didn't know my canabian restaurant was so famous!!! err.... wait a minute. A hamster and a rat are my customers... hmmm. I think it's time to check how UJ is running (or ruining) the place.


    Do you waste your time reading that??? :rofl: Half their posts are about one accusing the other of not reading what he had posted.


    :arrow:
     
  16. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    Jesus Welsh, everything's so literal with you. THere's a thing called sarcasm.