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Dave L
05-05-2006, 03:48 AM
Noticed this thread has been cold for a while since the last presidential election controversies have died down. Well, tour is of course very important to me, this thread can still be used to kindle less heated political
topics important to fans, or to shed light on topics people in the DMB fan community feel should be addressed, or perhaps for just feelings on the bands stance on certain issues. I hate politics, but that's the climate here in the good ole USA, and people unfortunately should not think about politics only every four years. Decisions are made all the time in our communities at the lowest levels including public hearings of town boards. Often times most citizens don't even know they go on. It's these seemingly grass roots issues that spawn larger political ideologies, and we all have the power to participate and instill change.
I'll kick it off....slightly off forum topic, DMB politics, but certainly related:

Dave L
05-05-2006, 03:50 AM
Albany DA David Soares openly condemned our state's local and US drug war stating that our government is aware of [it's] ineffectiveness, but continues to support it as it provides law enforcement official with lucrative jobs. "My advice to Canada is stay as completely far away from U.S. drug law policy as possible," said David Soares, the Democratic district attorney for Albany County. Here's a link (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--prosecutor-drugla0503may03,0,3394256.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork) to the story.
Dave Matthews is no stranger to encouraging political reforms and has been quoted in Rolling Stone, "Whoever came up with the idea of restricting financial aid for drug offenses? He needs to be in prison."
I'm interested in the DMB fan community's take on drug laws, reforms and our current policies local and national.
What's your take?

wired
05-05-2006, 06:33 AM
very interesting topic dave. you make some excellent points. i especially agree with the following and feel that it bears repeating:

Decisions are made all the time in our communities at the lowest levels including public hearings of town boards. Often times most citizens don't even know they go on. It's these seemingly grass roots issues that spawn larger political ideologies, and we all have the power to participate and instill change.

as far as drug use, i've been for the legalization of marijuana for a long time. i think the first step, if nothing else, is legalization of hemp as an industrial crop. hemp grows extremely well and and naturally here in kentucky. if this happened, kentucky farmers could easily replace out tobacco farming (which i would like to see be radically reduced for obvious reasons) with hemp crops and it would be a more viable income for small farmers. as it is, the beautiful farmlands of kentucky are being sold and converted to housing tracts faster than one can imagine as more and more small farmers are forced to sell their land and turn to factory jobs. beyond that, i don't have any original arguments for the legalization of marijuana beyond those that proponents argue.

nanciestripping
05-05-2006, 07:25 AM
i've never smoked marijuana before - but i definatly think it should be legalized and taxed like cigarettes. there is no point in the government making marijuana illegal i think its stupid. i think the government has a lot of problems reforming drug laws because nobody wants to be labelled as pro-dugs or pro-drug cartel

my friend kind of compared it to how schools used to only teach abstinence and many have now given that up to teach safe sex. i think its similar to how the government preaches 'marijuana is bad and therefore illegal' they need to let it be ok. it seems to me a lot less worse than tobacco

and it would give the government and farmers additional income

"Pay down the debt with pot!"


-brad

wired
05-05-2006, 07:35 AM
it seems to me a lot less worse than tobacco


i liken it more to alcohol than tobacco, as it is a mood-altering substance, but i would rather see kids get stoned than drunk off their asses - you never hear of kids dying from too much pot. nor does it cause violent behavior. nor does it cause people to drive 110 miles an hour. alcohol and kids scare me - its effects are far more destructive than pot.

which brings me to our legal drinking age...

in many south american countries there is no drinking age and i never saw the alcohol abuse among young people that i do here. alcohol was a social thing, not forbidden fruit, and the young people were much more responsible in their alcohol consumption. i think the legal drinking age limit has done more to put young people at risk for things like alcohol poisoning, death and car wrecks due to drunk driving than anything else we have done.

nanciestripping
05-05-2006, 07:40 AM
i definatly agree with the drinking age problem - look at anywhere in europe

when kids grow up and see that drinking is no big deal.. then it isn't a big problem

i grew up where my parents would let me and my friends drink as long as we didn't drive - no exceptions

and i have no problem at school being able to handle myself in drinking situations

i think its nuts that we can vote at 18, die for our country at 18, get married at 18 but can't drink at 18

give me a break

-brad

John
05-05-2006, 08:08 AM
i think its nuts that we can vote at 18, die for our country at 18, get married at 18 but can't drink at 18

give me a break

-brad

I don't know, man. Maybe it's just because I don't drink and don't really understand why so many young people who are all gung-ho about it, but I think the difference about drinking in that list is you can drive at 18, and alcohol affects the driving. I hear, literally, once a week about young high school kids getting killed/seriously injured due to drunk driving. Just last week there was an SUV in Dallas with 7 high school kids in it, and the driver was drunk and cut across six lanes of traffic and hit a tree. In the middle of the afternoon. One week later, one kid is still unconscious.

I just think: Not everybody is as levelheaded and smart about making these decisions, especially at 18. Plenty of teen drivers die in car accidents without alcohol involved. I'd hate to see what happens when alcohol becomes a factor, too.

Lowering the drinking age to 18 incorportates ALL these risks. And the benefits? Kids being able to get drunk in bars for a few extra years? I gotta say no deal on this one.

wired
05-05-2006, 08:17 AM
john, i understand where you are coming from. but i would abolish it altogether. kids growing up in cultures that don't have drinking ages do NOT have the same social issues we do regarding the irresponsibility. they just don't. you make something not taboo, it loses its magic and allure.

and to add: i was in south america from age 17 to age 18. i went to discos and taverns every weekend with my friends who ranged in age. you could buy alcohol if you were 10 at the local grocery. none of them EVER got completely wasted like my american friends would if given the ability to drink unencumbered. simply because, to them, it was no big deal. it was there and you could partake if you wanted. it was a completely social thing to do - not a means to an end like it is here in the states.

John
05-05-2006, 08:18 AM
john, i understand where you are coming from. but i would abolish it altogether. kids growing up in cultures that don't have drinking ages do NOT have the same social issues we do regarding the irresponsibility. they just don't. you make something not taboo, it loses its magic and allure.

That's a good idea, but it would take at least a generation or two for that thinking to sink in. So what do we do in the meantime?

tiglet26
05-05-2006, 08:30 AM
That's a good idea, but it would take at least a generation or two for that thinking to sink in. So what do we do in the meantime?

I think that is definately why the government can't consider changes such as legalizing marijuana and abolishing a drinking age.....once it's open for all, sooo many people, teens and young adults in particular, would jump at the chance to use these things...all of the problems with these substances would get much worse before they got better. Teens would race out to buy alcohol, just becasue they can. Many of them wouldn't know how to control themselves or limit themselves and it would put many more drunks on the road. Sure, once the thrill of it all died down, it might lead to less abuse, but the history of alcohol use in U.S. is much different than that of other countries. There's no way to know what kind of affect the lack of drinking laws will have here.

As for marijuana legalization, I'm middle of the road. Sure, for the occasional user, it's effects aren't much worse than tobacco or alcohol. But I have seen many people in my day use pot only for it to become the transition drug to much more serious drugs. HS star athletes abusing pot, then needing other stronger drugs to take the edge off. I have a personal friend that has been struggling for YEARS to rid himself off his problems and his past. He's gone as far as dropping out of college to enter a rehab program on his own, moving half way across the country to get away from his friends and the pressures to continue, but it still doesn't seem to help. With legalization, I would just be afraid to see many other young kids end up in his situation.

wired
05-05-2006, 08:32 AM
That's a good idea, but it would take at least a generation or two for that thinking to sink in. So what do we do in the meantime?

therein lies the conundrum. but then again, we have the exact same problem with sex in this country.

growing up, my parents had a very relaxed attitude about alcohol. i could drink it if i wanted to, and in fact, by the time i was 14, my parents would offer me a glass of wine or something with dinner. around age 16, i had the freedom to drink as i wanted at home. i didn't feel the need to get drunk at every opportunity. actually, i didn't really get drunk until i left home. in turn, i learned to enjoy it as a social thing and not necessarily for its alcoholic affect. i have no problem offering my own 12-13 year old a small glass of wine or beer with dinner. i wouldn't offer it younger just because i don't think it'd be good for their bodies. and as they get older, like brad's parents, they will be allowed to drink in controlled situations (meaning, at friends' houses or at ours and as long as they stay put). most of the kids we know are growing up with the same non-issue attitude about alchohol. hopefully, they will be spared the need to go out and guzzle like a fiend just because they can.

anyway, the moral to this really disjointed rambling: i think that a lot of change can start in the home through the attitude that parents present to their kids about it. but honestly, i can't see it ever happening in the u.s. we are just too puritanical a society.

wired
05-05-2006, 08:41 AM
But I have seen many people in my day use pot only for it to become the transition drug to much more serious drugs. HS star athletes abusing pot, then needing other stronger drugs to take the edge off.

the same can be said of alcohol abuse. i don't know if you've ever known an alcoholic, but it runs in my family. it destroys lives. however, just because it has that effect on some people, doesn't mean that we need to limit it for everyone. there will always be people with undiagnosed mental/neurological issues who seek to self-medicate. which is what happens in a great many of the people who become addicts of *any* mind altering substance (including alcohol). there will always be people with the propensity for addiction. this doesn't mean that the solution is to ban all of those substances. has the illegal status of any of those drugs made it harder for a heroin addict to become a heroin addict? i don't think it is such a barrier that it is keeping the people who *want* that escape from finding it.

certainly, i know that the government telling me cocaine is bad is not what keeps me from doing cocaine. and if the government suddenly made cocaine legal, it wouldn't entice me to use it any more than it does now, no more than having alcohol legal entices people who don't drink to do so.

Dave L
05-06-2006, 07:55 AM
Well said Carrie. I have never agreed with how "society" hides behind the defense that marijuana as a gateway drug. It is not the substance that is the gateway, it's lack of direction and structure in that individuals life. If you're prone to abuse then you will abuse, wether it's heroin or cough syrup. We continue as a country to try to "legislate" out stupidity. That is to say, people do stupid things so we'll pass a law that makes what they are doing wrong and impose consequences.
What? Look at cell phones and driving. Yes I see people with "hands free" here in New York, still driving distracted. Apparently we needed a seperate law for this even though we already had one for distracted driving.

I agree it's a tad too late with the no drinking age argument, it probably couldn't happen. And as for legalization of cannabis for crops medicine or personal use, the increase in # of people you would see using would only be because they can come out of their basements and houses. I find out every day that people, including adults well respected in the community, have been using either recreationaly or for medical reasons for years.
I bow out with two thoughts, the first, The power to tax is the power to control....think of this the next time a 18 yr old offers you a doob in exchange for buying them some booze.
The second, a quote....
"those who sacrifice liberty for temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty” - Ben Franklin