Cost and Crime

Karlin
#1
"If they are going to steal and hurt people to get the "stuff", just give it to them and we would all be better off."

Thats the basic idea of a new way to look at drugs and crime that goes with it. Concerns that "everybody would get it if its free and then we will just have everybody addicted" are not well founded - would YOU take heroin just because its free? Of course not.

A big proportion of the crime, and basic family debt and poverty, come s from "sin taxes". It all on products that are "sins", things that people get adicted to, that we say they made a choice on and only their weakness and lack of willpower is keeping them tied to these things.

Tobacco, Opiates,booze - those three alone account for a lot of poverty, when people are compelled to spend on them but don't really have enought spare money for them without breaking the budget. And the high costs are artificial, not market forces or production costs, but taxes or the premium paid when its illegal. That part, prohibition, is a benefit to crime, without the prohibition, they would lose their corner of the market and society would have less powerfull organised crime, a good thing eh?

I wouldn't include all the "sins" in the giveaway - not gambling , and not METH and other'chemical' drugs or COCAINE that have no medicinal value. Thats a fuzzy line tho... but you get the idea.

Tobacco is unique in some ways. The high price does seem to have deterred teens - or is it that they don't want to be addicted? Perhaps a rebate for adults who smoke and who cannot quit .

There is something wrong where "if you have money, its affordable and you can smoke ; but if your are low income smoking is a major budget killer." Its not protecting the rich, and it is unintentionally creating poverty conditions for smokers who cannot quit. If high tobacco taxes really worked as a deterrant for teens, we would have 90% of rich kids addicted to tobacco, but its not that way.

Reasons for addiction, and the reasons for not having the toughness required to beat addictions, can and often do come from things beyond a persons control, not a choice. Anxiety, health problems - {some people with bowel diseases find tobacco helps] social status including personal appearance, intelligence, etc. etc.

I want to not blame the addicts completely.There may be some validity in that. Or maybe its just an excuse [I am an addicted to tobacco...]

its just not right that addicts are suffering financially for years on end from taxes that are completely optional. Give them the stuff, and crime will go down, there will be less suffering. And for some, just living without the constant poverty conditions would allow them to feel better, less anxiety, and they just might quit! Very few I suppose, its a pipe dream! ha/

This can be extended to all the essentials, like housing - everyone deserves basic shelter, and we have plenty of resources to make it happen. Why not gaurantee basic shelter to everyone?
And FOOD - having affordable basic food would ease the budgets of the poor and allow for better health and less health care expenses. Plus, its a basic human right.
Socialist? No, please don't frame this as a "left-right" debate. Its time we got away from that and openedup some new views on these problems that are chronic now, going on and on, creating classes of poor people and desperation that just holds everyone back from being the best they can be.

We will hear replys that say " a lot of people are just so lazy and useless, they would just trash anything we give them." Its true I guess, but lets not begrudge them this just because they are messed up - being that messed up isn't what they would choose to do with their lives.

There are allways other factors.

Actually, I have yet to meet an addict of opiates that does not have health problems that were there before they became addicts.

Undertreatment of pain, and 'authority denials' of pain being real, so they could deny those WCB claims, often drives people to self-medicate. From there, its a short path to being addicted to "street drugs" but not METH or COKE - they are just looking for opiates to relieve their pain. Their doctors didn't give them the right drugs, instead opting for the modern anti-depressants, etc. that didn't help at all.

This happens because doctors have been trained to see them as mental cases, that they have psychological problems and not real pain . Anyone with neurological pain could easily be mis-judged like that... and morphine helps when nothing else does - of course they are candidates for addiction to street drug opiates.

Should we now make them pay $100 a day for it?
 
no1important
#2
I think with tobacco addiction, the government should give smokers free smoke quitting aids like Zyban, nicorette or the patch. It will save money in the long run.
 
Reverend Blair
#3
What do you with those of us who chain smoke while wearing the patch though, No 1?

That's something about smoking that makes it even harder to quit...not only is nicotine incredibly addictive, but the habit itself is so insidious that you smoke without even realizing it.
 
zenfisher
#4
That is very true Rev. Its extremely hard to quit. Its a matter of retraining your thought process. I think that is more difficult than getting over the nicotine addiction. I still reach for a smoke when I'm driving...Its been almost ten years since I've had a smoke. That is exactly the reason I won't have another one, no matter how tempted I am. I would be back to a pack a day be the end of the week. The memory is that pervasive within me.
 
no1important
#5
I tried to quit many times. But now I just say "F'it" as what will be will be. If I die I die. Not much I can do about it, I will let "fate" take its course. I don't even realize I am smoking half the time as well. I chain smoke when I drive and when on computer.
 
Karlin
#6
So we agree that stopping smoking is tough. Maybe its just too hard for some to quit, lord knows I want too and most smokers would quit if it were just a choice.

The tobacco products are right there, behind every damn cashier I ever stand in front of. I don't know if regulations could help this situation, or maybe that stopping-smoking aids should be free[they sure should be - it smacks of "create the problem, offer the solution" tactic!].

And they still smoke on TV and in the movies - whats with that - is there still an agenda to keep us hooked, get us started? I thought the lawsuits would break big tobbacco coprorations and their evil schemes... it should be distributed like alcohol, or prescriptions maybe?

Boomers who started smokingin the 60s or 70s when it was being pushed and advertised and gernally accepted, and now possibly have those painfull bowel disorders that smoking seems to help, or an anxiety problem , and smoking helps these, well, these people [me] find it impossible to quit.
Difficult to the extreme anyhow.
Beyond out capabilities for now.

If we are poor, the cost of this addiction can be onerous, completely breaking the budget, spending almost as much on tobacco as rent. The second or third biggest budget item each month...
SIN taxes were never meant to break a person, just the sin.

I don't know how to do it, maybe with rebates for the poor, or reducing the extra taxes on tobbaco, but this cost is too much, and its just too hopeless to know I am poor because of this habit I can't quit no matter how many times I try.

ARRRRGGGGGG, thats how I feel about tobbacco. I hate it, I avoided it until I was 30yrs old, I allways knew it would be bad for me. Yet, things happened that got me started. That situation is gone now , but I have the habit to remind me of those times!! Oh ya, I WANT to quit. And when I have to scrimp on food to buy tobbacco, its really discouraging.

Karlin, smoker.
 
no1important
#7
Raising the price does not help either. It increases the black market, robberies of trucks and warehouses, and robberies of little corner stores.

The black market so to speak was selling "export a" for $30 a carton at one of the skytrain stations, They had "quebec" on the little piece you pull to open them. So I assume they were stolen....

And in some sleazey and not so sleazy bars you can buy them 3-4$ a pack, from the natives and others. I have been approached more than once.

So by raising taxes so high $8(some brands cheaper some more and depends where you shop) a pack (20 smokes in a pack) has created an underground economy. The government is losing out on taxes and creating crime at the same time.

I would like to quit but the patch is useless, it does not take away the urge of putting something in your mouth and plus I got really dizzy from smoking while on it. I know you are not suppose to smoke while on patch but ........ I would like to try Zyban again, but it never worked the other 2 times(maybe they need to make it stronger) , neither did laser treatment. So I am really out of ideas.
 
Vanni Fucci
Free Thinker
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by no1important

I would like to quit but the patch is useless, it does not take away the urge of putting something in your mouth and plus I got really dizzy from smoking while on it. I know you are not suppose to smoke while on patch but ........

Heh...I had a patch on each arm and smokin' like a bandit...

 

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