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   URI Visit Hacker News on the Web
       
       
       COMMENT PAGE FOR:
   URI   Malaysian Grandfather Is Facing Death for Weed
   DIR   text version
       
       
        ulisesrmzroche wrote 2 days ago:
        Oh, yeah, I remember this. I saw a doc a few weeks ago about this,
        “My Father, Dr. G”.
        
        Malaysia has some crazy drug laws still, but that’s to be expected
        from a muslim country. But they’re actually making really good
        progress when it comes to decriminalized cannabis, comparatively
        speaking.
       
        systemvoltage wrote 2 days ago:
        What is the enforcement like for Marijuana in the EU? Why isn’t it
        legalized there yet? The US will be legalizing it nationwide most
        likely in this decade.
        
        Honestly, I would expect EU to take the lead in liberal drug policies
        more than anyone else.
       
        slothtrop wrote 3 days ago:
        Derailing: Leaving aside that these drug laws are draconian, strict
        punishment does appear to have an impact on crime when observing 1st
        world countries. Japanese poverty rate for example is reportedly 16%
        and the last official rate in the U.S. was 10.5%, but has one of the
        lowest murder rates in the world. People like to chalk this up to mere
        "culture", which is absurd. Culture changes, and is itself informed by
        various factors which can include the law. The rehabilitation
        proponents skeptical of punishment tend to focus on recidivism only.
        The only question to ask is whether the severity of punishment is
        warranted.
       
          jessaustin wrote 2 days ago:
          Is there some reason you're under the impression that Japanese
          criminal punishments are more harsh than USA criminal punishments?
          Look at the incarceration rates and you'll find that's completely
          backwards.
       
            slothtrop wrote 1 hour 26 min ago:
            Incarceration rate is not a reflection of it being more strict.
            Time served, and death penalty, is.
       
          volkl48 wrote 3 days ago:
          While I do believe the Japanese murder rate is low, the Japanese
          criminal justice system is also a complete farce and I would not
          consider their statistics reliable.
          
          Unsolved cases are unacceptable and so suspicious deaths without an
          obvious suspect are classified as a suicide or natural death with
          little investigation and no autopsy. [1] [2] --------------
          
          Not that when they believe a crime has occurred is much better.
          
          If the police think you have committed a crime, you are guilty,
          whether you are or not.
          
          If you don't agree that you're guilty, they can just torture you with
          sleep deprivation and non-stop interrogation for a month without
          access to a lawyer.
          
          If you cave to the torture at any point and sign a confession (or if
          someone just...forges your confession) that confession will be
          considered binding with little chance of overturning it. Good luck
          withstanding that. [3] [4]
          
   URI    [1]: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/02/03/national/media-...
   URI    [2]: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2007-nov-09-fg-autop...
   URI    [3]: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2015/12/05/forced-to-confe...
   URI    [4]: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/10/call-eliminate-japans-ho...
   URI    [5]: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2016/10/10/japan-forced-c...
       
            slothtrop wrote 3 days ago:
            It's a leap to assume that crime and incarceration rate stats are a
            fabrication by virtue that the solve-rate of crimes is abnormally
            high. They have nothing to do with one another.
       
              volkl48 wrote 2 days ago:
              I disagree. They're the product of the same pressure. Crimes need
              to be solved and unsolved crimes or acquittals are to be avoided
              at all costs.
              
              If that is your reality:
              
              They can be solved by aggressive prosecution of those under
              suspicion - torturing confessions out of people if they are
              unwilling to confess (maybe because they're innocent).
              
              They can also be solved by selective prosecution - don't look too
              hard at cases that seem like they'll be difficult, call them a
              suicide or natural death and close the book. No crime, no problem
              to make you look bad if you can't solve it.
              
              ------
              
              I am not alleging that Japan is actually a place with high crime
              rates.
              
              Just that the deep flaws in their system provide a strong
              incentive to distort their crime rates. Especially for homicide,
              being both high profile and being a crime where the victim can't
              complain about how their case is handled.
              
              You're citing their homicide rates as an example of "strict
              punishment does appear to have an impact on crime", and I'm
              suggesting Japan's homicide statistics aren't a great example.
              
              --------
              
              On a related note (and one I've read far less on), it seems the
              vast majority of criminal offenders basically get a suspended
              sentence, at least for their first offense.
              
              So, I'm not sure that you can really say that Japan's criminal
              justice system is an example of "strict punishment" either.
       
          WhompingWindows wrote 3 days ago:
          Your premise that strict punishment leads to impacts on crime in the
          1st world is not supported by just picking Japan and the USA as your
          only evidence.
          
          Issue one, do criminals actually know the penalties for their crimes?
          Deterrence relies upon criminals knowing facts of the law, when
          evidence suggests crime is impulsive and done by those who lack
          education and opportunity. The economy is hurt and crimes are on the
          rise in the US; I'm surmising criminals are not vastly less aware of
          laws than a year ago.
          
          Issue two, even if criminals knew the penalties, deterrence would
          rely upon them to weigh and measure the consequences and not commit
          crimes. How does deterrence work when criminals believe themselves to
          be lucky and not susceptible to being caught? How does deterrence
          work when desperation, poverty, and a culture of crime leads young
          men to view punishment with a shrug or disdain?
          
          Issue three, the biggest in my view, We've seen rises in violent
          crime in the US in the past year -- has deterrence gone down? Have
          laws changed towards less severe punishment? Or, have socioeconomic
          conditions changed?
          
          Issue four, Japan is a highly insular island nation with an ancient
          culture and quite a unique cultural attitude. They have extremely low
          littering and crime, their populace is extremely "tight" in its
          conformation to laws and regulations such as masking, quaranting,
          etc. So I wouldn't say they are a good example of an average nation.
       
            slothtrop wrote 3 days ago:
            > Your premise that strict punishment leads to impacts on crime in
            the 1st world is not supported by just picking Japan and the USA as
            your only evidence.
            
            They were just the only example, because I can't be arsed to detail
            all of East Asia that happens to have a comparable inequality and
            strong enough middle class.
            
            See also Singapore, Taiwan, China, South Korea. Hell, see more than
            that. Lower crime rate, generally stricter punishment than found in
            the U.S.
            
            > Deterrence relies upon criminals knowing facts of the law,
            
            It doesn't. This gets transmuted through culture, and would-be
            assailants have an overall sense of what punishment would entail
            without knowing specifics. Anyone in the first world regardless of
            class would expect 1st degree murder to lead to ample time served
            for example.
            
            > deterrence would rely upon them to weigh and measure the
            consequences and not commit crimes.
            
            To an extent. It's not entirely conscious.
            
            > How does deterrence work when criminals believe themselves to be
            lucky and not susceptible to being caught?
            
            Cost-benefit analysis. They gamble.
            
            > How does deterrence work when desperation, poverty, and a culture
            of crime leads young men to view punishment with a shrug or
            disdain?
            
            It's viewed with a shrug when incentives to commit crimes are
            comparatively strong. Not so in the aforementioned countries.
            
            > Issue three, the biggest in my view
            
            Weird thing to say. It's not relevant.
            
            > We've seen rises in violent crime in the US in the past year --
            has deterrence gone down?
            
            Nope. Unrest has gone up.
            
            > Issue four, Japan is a highly insular island nation with an
            ancient culture and quite a unique cultural attitude.
            
            Uhuh, and would this be the same bullshit argument to hand-wave
            away the circumstances of similar neighboring counties?
            
            Culture is informed, and culture is not immutable. Laws change
            culture.
       
          watwut wrote 3 days ago:
          America has pretty strict punishments. It locks up quite a lot of
          people and for long.
          
          Another factor in murders is gun control - America has much bigger
          prevalence of guns. And most murders are in the moment escalation -
          impulsive acts, arguments that went out of hand and so on. When gun
          is present, people are more likely to pick them up and kill someone.
          If they are not present, the same thing does not end in death.
       
            slothtrop wrote 3 days ago:
            And yet, not as strict. It's a revolving door with high recidivism.
            
            Violent crime tends to scale more with poverty. The relationship
            with firearm laws is weak. See: the U.K.
       
              watwut wrote 2 days ago:
              USA is more strict. Also, Japan lock up much much less people
              then America.
              
              Yet also,  Americans are obsessed with idea of punishment. Their
              first idea of what to do with basically any issue is to punish
              more.
       
              tt433 wrote 3 days ago:
              This idea that we need to be stricter is what led to the crime
              bills now under bipartisan attack
       
        nashashmi wrote 3 days ago:
        The bias in the headline is apparent. Referring to the guy’s family
        position as a cause for sympathy.
        
        It does not stop there. Details of what he did was he didn’t
        “disclose” the hemp ingredients in the product he sold. That is
        illegal anywhere.
        
        Further people who bought it did not want to buy hemp. That was deceit.
        
        Death penalty is anger.
       
        rorykoehler wrote 3 days ago:
        Malaysia is planning (or at least was planning) to decriminalise
        cannabis. Also it seems to me that they are much more relaxed about it
        than they let on. For example I came out of a business meeting in KL
        and there were 2 guys casually smoking weed at the entrance to the
        office tower.
       
        simonh wrote 3 days ago:
        The death penalty for drugs offences has quite a bit of popular support
        in Malaysia, but there are signs this support could be quite fragile.
        
        In studies of people who say they support the mandatory death penalty,
        when faced with 'judging' specific cases and given the option of
        recommending the death penalty or another sentence as most appropriate,
        they very often shy away from recommending the death penalty as
        appropriate. It's one thing to give a blanket answer, but quite another
        to stick to that line when faced with decisions about particular
        circumstances.
       
        joncrane wrote 3 days ago:
        His court date is today.  Is Malaysia ahead or behind US time?    We may
        know the result soon, or even already.
       
          xtracto wrote 2 days ago:
          Sorry but I chuckled at your comment
          
          > Is Malaysia ahead or behind US time? We may know the result soon,
          or even already.
          
          I think the only places that are "behind US times" is the Aleutian
          islands (the Russian ones, the US ones well.. are part of the US).
       
        refurb wrote 3 days ago:
        As someone who has spent time in Asia the drug laws can sometimes be
        quite draconian.  From what I’ve gathered it’s mostly due to the
        association of drugs with crime.  Of course that association is often
        (but not solely) driven by the laws themselves.
        
        Combine that with a more conservative social view (either Confucian or
        Islamic) and your end up with a lot of agreement with the use of severe
        punishments.
        
        The interesting thing is that many parts of these countries where the
        central government wields less power you see a pretty laissez faire
        attitude.  If problems done arise it’s ignored.
        
        I saw this in Morocco as well.    An official policy of marijuana
        prohibition but small towns had pretty open marijuana use.
       
        mssundaram wrote 3 days ago:
        > chocolate bars and brownie edibles made with hemp seed oil
        
        The article continues to refer to "hemp seed oil". Is that a mistake
        from the author? The seed oil has no medicinal properties. The
        processed oil from the flowers and to some extent that leaves is what
        contains medicinal value.
       
        nvilcins wrote 3 days ago:
        Make no mistake, drug suppression benefits many parties: governments to
        have a tight control over the people (their consciousness), and
        entities that profit from the situation and would be harmed by drug
        liberalization (both "legal" businesses and underground drug industry).
        And they will hold the regulation tight as long as they can, regardless
        of what's actually best for people all things considered. Hence the
        absolutely disproportionate and draconic laws in many parts of the
        world (including the developed countries).
        
        However, the biggest offenders in my view are the "unthinking masses"
        that dictate the overall view on drugs and drug use, hence, block
        reason and change. For some reason when it comes to drugs it's allowed
        to have a really strong opinion and say on how _others_ should live
        based on either absolutely nothing, or fear-mongering fuelled by the
        aforementioned beneficiaries.
        
        Yes, drugs do harm people, but not intrinsically. People die from
        over-doses because of mis-information and not knowing what they get
        (from the random guy on the street). People get hooked but mostly as an
        expression of underlying problems. Why is alcoholism and gambling more
        OK? And do we help people by taking their substances but leaving them
        in the same shitty life situation? That's just patting yourself on the
        back for actually not doing anything.
        
        At the same time people use responsibly as well, you just don't hear
        from them because, well, why would they tell you about it if it means
        getting ostracized, thrown in jail, or killed?
        
        If you don't stay neutral if you haven't at all educated yourself about
        this fairly complex topic (which it totally fine), you are on the wrong
        side of history, the witch-hunter of today, and will be frowned upon by
        the future generations.
       
          rhacker wrote 2 days ago:
          There's a portion of the population that will never be able to
          consume any of the mentioned substances responsibly. That same
          portion is responsible for killing people on the roads every day.
          Maybe we can hand-wave that away with SDV in 15 years. I don't know,
          but I don't think it's a clear-cut witch hunt.
          
          However I'm all for trying to focus in on solutions to stop
          drunk/buzzed/drugged out driving (and other activities that take
          lives of families and children). Even if that includes 100% vehicle
          breathalyzers (as in mandatory even without prior drunk driving
          records).
       
          eternalban wrote 2 days ago:
          Drugs affect behavior. Drugs that historically were assimilated via
          elaborate cultural mechanisms -- such as alcohol, beer, harvest,
          festival, +folk remedies for overdose -- are part of the societal
          matrix and accounted for.
          
          No one really (really, outside of comical personalities) ultimately
          cares about "tight control [over others'] consciousness". People who
          care about societal order care about 'understood' phenomena and
          pervasive cultural mechanisms to sublimate its effects. Even
          assimilated drugs (again alcohol) still cause societal ills, even
          with literally thousands of years of usage experience.
          
          A drug that makes you bliss out is perfectly fine for you, but a
          society of blissed out slackers could be looking for future trouble.
          That is really the legitimate basis for minimally thinking about the
          wide spread use of drug X (that affects behavior). That should not be
          controversial. Our modern additional factor is that there are for
          profit entities that also produce "medicinal" synthetic formulations
          that offer individuals some form of chemical psychological relief and
          pleasure, and thus present the possibility of distortion of facts
          around other, natural, drugs.
          
          Whether the effect of a drug is primary or incidental is irrelevant.
          That the 'effect' occurs is the only thing that matters. I remember
          this previously famous electronic music artist who lived in the
          basement of the building where I lived as a student in W [109]th in
          Manhattan where he could score Heroin on the sidewalk. He was a
          Heroin adddict. He was intelligent and articulate. The Columbia
          English major girls kept him company. We had interesting
          conversations regarding addiction. His two main points were, that
          Heroin finally gave him relief from the un-ending pain/sensory-input
          of the body. He had an elaborate theory regarding that benefit. His
          second point was regarding the harm of Heroin. His take was that all
          negative effects of heroin were secondary and related to maintaining
          the usage, not the drug itself. I.e. if you were rich it was not a
          problem drug. You raided mother's purse only if you were poor so
          let's not blame Heroin. :)
       
            nvilcins wrote 2 days ago:
            > No one really (really, outside of comical personalities)
            ultimately cares about "tight control [over others']
            consciousness".
            
            Many governments are participating in different kinds of censorship
            as well as organized disinformation campaigns. You may agree with
            certain policies ("drugs are bad" or "citizens are simply better
            off not knowing certain aspects of reality"), but the "control over
            consciousness" is a fact.
       
              eternalban wrote 2 days ago:
              Oh, of course, but the distinction (not being pedantic, it is
              important) is that they control "behavior" not "consciousness".
              
              Many people obey some mass idiocy promoted by some organized
              entity precisely because of their intelligence, appreciation of
              the situation, and their take on the equation of benefitial
              social behavior. It's not heroic but it is not unintelligent. And
              this social calculus may actually be happening inside the heads
              of the majority of the population. We simply do not know.
       
            rjbwork wrote 2 days ago:
            Regarding your final anecdote - heroin is actually dirt cheap to
            produce.  It's the illegal nature and all the externalities
            involved that seem to make it so expensive for users.  We should
            probably just allow people to buy pure doses of known quantity at
            drug stores.  We'd largely solve overdoses and addict poverty/petty
            crime that way, I think.
       
          passtheglass wrote 3 days ago:
          I agree with your point, but many Asian countrys' pouplaces'
          attitudes to drugs are deeply influenced by the damage caused by
          British opium trade. It is more deeply rooted than a problem of
          education I think, unlike in the West.
       
            nvilcins wrote 2 days ago:
            > I agree with your point, but many Asian countrys' pouplaces'
            attitudes to drugs are deeply influenced by the damage caused by
            British opium trade. It is more deeply rooted than a problem of
            education I think, unlike in the West.
            
            Deep emotional pain is simultaneously (a) completely understandable
            and needs compassion, and (b) not the best tool base decisions on.
            
            I think the real question is how can we shape the conversation to,
            well, be a conversation.
            
            P.S. (At least to my experience with people from some Asian
            countries) the newer generation does not have that emotional
            connection, but they do repeat those same old (false) arguments,
            almost religiously.
       
              bobthepanda wrote 2 days ago:
              I’m not familiar with Malaysia, but as far as I know Singapore,
              Japan, Korea, China certainly have educational systems that push
              conformity towards group values. (And high rates of bullying for
              those who stick out.)
              
              The other thing is that unfamiliarity breeds resentment. It is,
              and was, a lot easier to get weed in the US than it is in a lot
              of Asian countries, and so most people don’t have a nice person
              they know who smokes weed. Whereas even if you don’t smoke in
              the US, it really isn’t that hard to find someone who smokes
              weed, and a fair amount, if not most, are just average people.
       
          nashashmi wrote 3 days ago:
          > And they will hold the regulation tight as long as they can,
          regardless of what's actually best for people all things considered.
          
          I get dismayed when people think of drugs in terms of social freedom
          and opposing government. This is quite frankly a highly liberal view.
          And not one at all in line with the true definition of drugs.
          
          Drugs are an intoxicant. They destroy minds. They destroy health. And
          they can make addicts lose control. Not to mention destroy
          communities.  There are laws on the books specifically for this
          reason. It affects society. It does not just stop at the individual.
          There is a reason why neighborhoods around bars fall in value. While
          those around coffee shops rise in value.
          
          Drug users WHO ARE IN CONTROL OF THEMSELVES see rules against drugs
          as oppressive. But the rules were never made for them! Using drugs is
          like balancing the tight rope, not something everyone can do. And
          advocates need to understand this.
          
          Lastly comparing illegal intoxicants as similar to legal intoxicants
          is a poor justification. You try to stretch people’s benign
          feelings to one form of drugs onto another.
       
            chillacy wrote 2 days ago:
            It is a liberal view but drugs as intoxicants is not necessarily
            any more “true” of a view... just a different one.
       
            harimau777 wrote 2 days ago:
            What do you mean by "they destroy minds"? That seems like a
            difficult thing to quantify.
       
            nvilcins wrote 2 days ago:
            > I get dismayed when people think of drugs in terms of social
            freedom and opposing government. This is quite frankly a highly
            liberal view. And not one at all in line with the true definition
            of drugs. (..)
            
            > Drug users WHO ARE IN CONTROL OF THEMSELVES see rules against
            drugs as oppressive. But the rules were never made for them! [..]
            
            Frankly, most of the rules never really were about solving actual
            drug problems in the first place. Rather about controlling certain
            socioeconomic groups of people that happened to be associated with
            whatever substance.
            
            At least that's the case for the US, however, most of the world has
            been influenced by their views and still hold them even when US is
            starting to change. Many parts of the world that lived peacefully
            (or even synergistically) with certain drugs now have one of the
            harshest rules regarding them, and that changed during the past
            ~50-70 years really.
            
            > Using drugs is like balancing the tight rope, not something
            everyone can do. And advocates need to understand this.
            
            I would say very few people educated on the matter claim drugs are
            not an issue at all and advocate their use to everyone. In fact,
            one of the main problems is - knowing the risks associated to drug
            use, and the fact that it's just gonna happen in the "real world" -
            how to minimize the harm? (i.e., education and treatment over
            punishment and rejection)
            
            > Lastly comparing illegal intoxicants as similar to legal
            intoxicants is a poor justification. You try to stretch people’s
            benign feelings to one form of drugs onto another.
            
            I'd say the main reason for making comparisons is to draw attention
            to the inconsistencies of people's judgements. When the statistics
            show how much more harmful alcohol (or pain pills) is to the mind,
            health, and society than almost any other substance, both
            relatively and in terms of prevalence of abuse, I just don't see
            how one can with a straight face claim it's right to send a kid to
            a cell for "smoking a joint", but have no desire to have any
            changes regarding the "normal" drugs.
            
            Inconsistencies is what points you towards flaws in your thinking.
            Some may ignore it because it's easier to assume you know
            everything about everything. Some will use the opportunity to
            investigate.
            
            > Drugs are an intoxicant. They destroy minds. They destroy health.
            And they can make addicts lose control. Not to mention destroy
            communities. There are laws on the books specifically for this
            reason. It affects society. It does not just stop at the
            individual. There is a reason why neighborhoods around bars fall in
            value. While those around coffee shops rise in value.
            
            Don't want to be snarky, but these are just talking points. There
            are a lot of comparisons with other situations that could be drawn
            here, but as you've pointed out that's not necessarily the best
            tactic. However, if so, we should also have a "conversational rule"
            against throwing around three-word claims that are supposed to
            prove something but are clearly meaningless _without going into
            more detail_.
            
            P.S. Nothing in life is black or white, it's all about balance and
            overall well-being.
       
            sneak wrote 3 days ago:
            > Drugs are an intoxicant. They destroy minds. They destroy health.
            And they can make addicts lose control. Not to mention destroy
            communities. There are laws on the books specifically for this
            reason.
            
            That's simply not true, or there would be laws on the books banning
            alcohol, too.
            
            It's just arbitrary culture bias against certain drugs, weaponized
            against minorities.
       
              nashashmi wrote 2 days ago:
              There were laws, a constitutional amendment in fact, against
              alcohol. Civil disobedience did away with that. As seems to be
              the case with legalizing drugs, where mass incarcerations are
              doing away with those laws.
       
                petre wrote 2 days ago:
                Gorbachev had an anti alcohol campaign in Russia as well. While
                it had an impact in reducing male mortality and violent crime,
                it had some ill effects as well. Destroying vineyardsn in tge
                Caucaz and Moldova was kind of overdoing it. [1] I really like
                thevRussian humor part. They nicknamed Gorbachev mineral’nyi
                sekretar’, mineral-water-drinking secretary and the campaign
                was known as the dry law.
                
   URI          [1]: http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1985-2/anti-alcohol-campa...
       
              awillen wrote 3 days ago:
              Anyone who opposes the legalization of drugs (especially weed,
              but lots of others) but drinks/thinks alcohol should remain legal
              is just an absolute hypocrite.
       
                Taylor_OD wrote 3 days ago:
                Yup. 100%. If you are pro alcohol but anti weed you are either
                willfully ignorant or a hypocrite. I've partaken in both
                heavily in the past and now partake in neither but if I was
                going to casually pick one up again for social reasons weed
                would have a far lessor impact negatively on my life.
       
          vixen99 wrote 3 days ago:
          >People die from over-doses because of mis-information and not
          knowing what they get (from the random guy on the street).
          
          Certainly, 81,000 dead in the US during 2020 is a lot of
          misinformation and ignorance. Presumably these are mostly young lives
          each with family members having to live with the tragedy.
          
          Not all who oppose legalization are from the 'unthinking masses'.
          Here's an argument from someone who's spent his working life as a
          psychiatrist working with prisoners and their drug habits. [1] "If
          the war against drugs is lost, then so are the wars against theft,
          speeding, incest, fraud, rape, murder, arson, and illegal parking."
          
   URI    [1]: https://www.city-journal.org/html/don%E2%80%99t-legalize-dru...
       
            nvilcins wrote 2 days ago:
            > Not all who oppose legalization are from the 'unthinking masses'.
            
            Not all are, but which of the two do you think really steer the
            general perception of drugs more?
       
            ramblerman wrote 3 days ago:
            81000 is almost a factor 50 higher per capita than portugal which
            has decriminalized most drugs and treats addicts as people with a
            health issue, like one might alcoholics.
            
            The quote you pulled from the article from 1997 is also pretty
            pathetic.
            
            If the author can't distinguish between a crime where there is a
            very clear perpetrator and victim (rape/incest/murder) and one
            where at essence we are talking about self harm (drugs/suicide) the
            premise leaves a lot to be desired.
       
            standardUser wrote 3 days ago:
            I wish this country would wage a war on rape instead of a war on
            drugs. But it seems to have no interest in that.
            
            Obviously the big, glaring, unmissable difference between drug use
            and the other crimes you've mentioned is that doing drugs is a
            personal choice that primary impacts the individual whereas every
            other item on your list is only a crime because it has a victim.
       
              pjc50 wrote 2 days ago:
              Merely mentioning rape - the #metoo campaign - and revealing how
              widespread it was caused meltdowns.
       
          _fat_santa wrote 3 days ago:
          I can't help but imagine in 20-30 years the wold is going to on an
          "Apology Tour" over cannabis. The dam has broken on cannabis
          legalization, and the laws in some of these countries I feel is
          hanging on by a thread at this point.
          
          At some point in the future everyone will come to their senses and
          were going to have days of remembrance for people that we harmed in
          the drug war, I hope.
       
            Darmody wrote 2 days ago:
            I am afraid in 20-30 years we will see the real consequences of
            smoking cannabis non-stop. I've never seen so many people smoking
            it as if it was part of their diet. And it's not even legal here.
       
              eschaton wrote 2 days ago:
              Oh no, people smoking cannabis. The horror.
       
              Hallucinaut wrote 2 days ago:
              Why wait 20 years? Look at Portugal or the Netherlands today.
       
                Darmody wrote 2 days ago:
                The culture surrounding weed was no the same back then. Now
                they almost want to sell it as a healthy snack.
       
                  Apocryphon wrote 2 days ago:
                  What about the hippies from the 60s? Surely there are more
                  sample populations.
       
                    Darmody wrote 2 days ago:
                    Maybe I have a wrong perception but I think weed is more
                    widespread today and more acceptable than it was back then.
       
                      Tagbert wrote 1 day ago:
                      More widespread and acceptable but that doesn’t mean
                      that individuals are smoking more, just that more people
                      are indulging. Even that may not be a large, overall
                      increase from the studies I’ve seen. The main effect of
                      legalization in our area was that it was no longer
                      hidden.
       
                        Darmody wrote 1 day ago:
                        More widespread means more people are smoking. And
                        culturally now it's seen as normal as alcohol.
                        
                        Kids here smoke as soon as they start high school,
                        that's around 12-13 years. After a couple years they
                        gather before school starts to smoke, then go to class,
                        then smoke again.
       
            dillondoyle wrote 2 days ago:
            I hope it's not going to be so long we have to remember - we need
            to actively release non-violent, smaller offenders and clear their
            records.
       
        juanani wrote 3 days ago:
        Shameful this is happening but I was curious to why are these laws so
        strict there? Was it because of why/when they were written? Maybe some
        info on how seriously the locals live by these laws? The article could
        have explored that regions' strictness more, it just repeats the title,
        over and over into a few paragraphs. Similar to news coverage of a
        fire.
       
          DyslexicAtheist wrote 3 days ago:
          Malaysia like all predominantly Muslim countries have some incredibly
          barbaric and backward laws such as death penalty for being gay, using
          drugs, or insulting those in power. The mere accusation of sodomy[1]
          is enough in all of these places to spend life in prison, a labor
          camp or worse.
          
          > The article could have explored that regions' strictness more
          
          quick googling or Wikipedia has you covered[2].
          
          __ [1]
          
   URI    [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_Ibrahim_sodomy_trials
   URI    [2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_in_Malaysia
       
            Chris2048 wrote 3 days ago:
            See also; the sons-of-the-soil racial benefits:
            
   URI      [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumiputera_(Malaysia)#Conten...
       
          kumarsw wrote 3 days ago:
          I'll take a try at this. The answer is some combination of:
          
          1. Traditional Asian values
          2. Legacy of British colonial law. Punishment by hanging and caning
          were introduced by the British
          3. Southeast Asia was a drug trafficking hotspot in the 70s. IIRC at
          least some of the harsh drug penalties are from recent times as a
          reaction to that
       
            refurb wrote 3 days ago:
            This is a much more accurate answer than “Islam”.
            
            Just like US drug laws aren’t driven by one thing but rather a
            combination of moral fears, racism, fear of crime, intent to
            protect people from themselves, etc.
       
              bitwize wrote 3 days ago:
              Let's not forget Big Paper and Big Plastic, both of whom are
              threatened by a thriving hemp industry.
       
                Mediterraneo10 wrote 2 days ago:
                The claim of industrial hemp being held down, is something one
                mainly hears from Americans unaware that there is an entire
                world outside their borders. In many other countries, though
                cannabis as a drug might be restricted, hemp for industrial use
                was never banned. Yet modern industry has shown little interest
                in use of hemp because, indeed, paper and plastic in their
                current forms are regarded as superior.
       
              myklcc wrote 3 days ago:
              Islam as a contributing factor is a signficant ommision from the
              list you are replying to, mind.
              
   URI        [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undang-Undang_Melaka
       
        beervirus wrote 3 days ago:
        Lots of countries have laws that are abhorrent to us. Death penalty for
        weed, death penalty for being gay, etc.
       
          vinay427 wrote 3 days ago:
          The article is about the relative opposition to this policy in
          Malaysia, compared to in many other countries where these things are
          banned and heavily penalized, and therefore the possibility that this
          man will become a "cause celebre" for changing the regulation around
          medical marijuana.
       
          DocTomoe wrote 3 days ago:
          ... death penalty for anything is pretty much a sign for a barbaric
          society.
       
            msla wrote 1 day ago:
            Ultimately, every country will kill you for something.
            
            Whether it's officially the "Death Penalty" is semantics.
       
            msla wrote 3 days ago:
            When you get down to it, every country has the death penalty for
            something.
            
            Don't believe the Netherlands does? Try shooting into a crowd of
            police officers over there.
       
              ccmcarey wrote 3 days ago:
              What an idiot comment.
              I don't understand why people make such obviously and easily
              verifiably false claims. [1] There is no capital punishment.
              
   URI        [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_...
       
                msla wrote 1 day ago:
                Is English your native language?
                
                > What an idiot comment.
                
                I'm pretty sure you're the one making comments without
                understanding, here.
       
                katmannthree wrote 3 days ago:
                They're saying that you'll be shot on the spot and left to
                bleed out, not that you'll be arrested tried and then executed.
       
                  ccmcarey wrote 2 days ago:
                  Urgh I missed that, but I maintain that his comment is firmly
                  "idiot comment" material as it's pretty obvious that the
                  context is about capital punishment and not getting into a
                  gunfight.
       
                  tt433 wrote 3 days ago:
                  I couldn't tell either fwiw but that's an interesting point;
                  sounds more like a suicide method than an act of state
                  punishment though
       
            sokoloff wrote 3 days ago:
            There will always be a tiny sliver of the population who prove
            themselves unsuitable/unable/unsafe to live freely with society and
            that society has to deal with them somehow.
            
            Whether it’s better to lock them away to suffer an isolated
            existence for life or sentence them to die is a matter that can be
            debated I think, as both paths have elements that are more terrible
            than the other.
       
              eznzt wrote 3 days ago:
              Locking them away might sound better, but remember the state has
              to pay for them until they die, which really sucks.
       
                kevinmchugh wrote 3 days ago:
                It's a good thing the extra rigor applied to death penalty
                usage in the US causes it to be more expensive than life
                imprisonment. Giving the state a fiscal incentive to execute
                would be heinous.
       
                carschno wrote 3 days ago:
                Weighing economic costs against a human's right to live looks
                like a very strong indicator for a barbaric society to me.
                Although I'm aware that this is done (implicitly) in probably
                all societies to some degree.
       
                matwood wrote 3 days ago:
                What really sucks is killing someone that we find out later was
                not guilty. One of the many problems with the death penalty is
                that it's permanent.
       
                  sokoloff wrote 3 days ago:
                  Locking someone away wrongly for a year or twenty years is
                  also permanent in that they can’t get that life/time back,
                  even if they’re still alive when found not guilty. It’s
                  just permanent and slightly smaller, but still a horrific
                  theft IMO.
       
                    matwood wrote 3 days ago:
                    Agreed. I hope nothing in my original comment makes anyone
                    think otherwise.
       
                      sokoloff wrote 3 days ago:
                      Not at all; I do think some people imagine "life without
                      parole" is somehow safer or lower-risk than the death
                      penalty.
       
        uxcolumbo wrote 3 days ago:
        Killing or imprisoning people for using a medicinal plant is crime
        against humanity. If it can be abused, then regulate it.
        
        And yet alcohol is totally fine ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
       
          ekianjo wrote 3 days ago:
          > killing or imprisoning people for using a medicinal plant is crime
          against humanity
          
          SE Asia was hit hard by opium. not so long ago.
       
            andi999 wrote 2 days ago:
            To what time period and what situation are you referring?
       
              ekianjo wrote 6 hours 36 min ago:
              
              
   URI        [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_opium_in_China
       
          DyslexicAtheist wrote 3 days ago:
          > And yet alcohol is totally fine ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
          
          since this is Malaysia it needs a disclaimer: "except for Muslims"
          
          I would also not drink in certain places like Kelantan and
          Terengganu[1] even as a non-Muslim otherwise the locals might get
          really upset :)
          
          One colleague got caught carrying weed into KL int airport from NZ (<
          3gramm) in '97 for personal consumption (the idiot). He was supposed
          to go offshore with us (work on oil-rigs). Instead he spent 5 nights
          in prison. Our office (a large US diving company) sent their local
          lawyer to pay a bribe and get him back to work. It was a minor
          inconvenience that could have ended really badly.
          
          If you ever get yourself arrested in such a country make sure to
          contact a lawyer. Avoid contacting your embassy as the first step
          (which often escalates situations in ways the country is supposed to
          "act tough".) Better yet don't smuggle drugs (even if it's just weed)
          [1]  which reads:
          
          > Muslims are barred from drinking alcohol. Non-Muslims do not face
          any curbs but some local governments discourage the sale of alcohol
          in neighbourhoods that are predominantly Muslim. In the states of
          Kelantan and Terengganu, alcohol bans are enforced in places like
          hotels, but non-Muslim establishments like Chinese restaurants and
          sundry shops  are pretty much left alone.
          
   URI    [1]: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/liquor-control-bill-h...
       
            BelenusMordred wrote 3 days ago:
            > alcohol bans are enforced in places like hotels
            
            Kelantan has some crazy rules but you can definitely drink to
            excess in a tourist hotel or on the islands without any concern.
            The Perhentians is certainly not a pious place of purity, it gets
            fairly loose there.
            
            > If you ever get yourself arrested in such a country make sure to
            contact a lawyer.
            
            Not getting arrested in the first place is what you should really
            be doing. In basically all of South-East Asia on-the-spot fines are
            routine and expected. If you don't go that route and it hits the
            books you are in for a world of trouble and no amount of coffee
            money will save you. Not endorsing this, simply saying that's how
            it works.
       
              ValentineC wrote 2 days ago:
              > In basically all of South-East Asia on-the-spot fines are
              routine and expected. If you don't go that route and it hits the
              books you are in for a world of trouble and no amount of coffee
              money will save you.
              
              Except in Singapore. Don't bribe the cops in Singapore — the
              police and other law enforcement officials are paid a very decent
              wage here [1], and they'll just report you to save their own
              skin.
              
   URI        [1]: https://www.police.gov.sg/Join-SPF/Police-Officer/Direct...
       
                BelenusMordred wrote 1 day ago:
                Sinkies are always the exception to the rule in the region.
                Pretty sure that goes without saying.
       
          axtscz wrote 3 days ago:
          To be fair, alcohol has not always been "fine". There have been
          various times in history where alcohol was prohibited and in fact
          still is in some countries. As much as what happened is a travesty,
          alcohol may be a good comparison for what is happening with Cannabis.
          After the prohibition in the US, Alcohol became legal and frankly
          widespread. Perhaps the same thing will soon happen for weed
       
            Mediterraneo10 wrote 3 days ago:
            Consumption of alcohol seems to be trending down in the West -- the
            figures for adult males' consumption in the 19th and early 20th
            century is shocking compared to today. So, lifting prohibition
            doesn't necessarily lead to higher consumption forever, there are
            cultural factors (and legal ones like drunk driving being taken
            more seriously than it once was) that reduce usage.
       
              karmelapple wrote 3 days ago:
              For those looking for a citation: [1] In 1770, colonial Americans
              drank about 3.5 gallons of alcohol per year - today it’s
              roughly 2.3.
              
              One thing I learned when visiting an old settlement in Iowa: the
              settlers of the time made sure to have a constant supply of beer.
              The rate they consumed beer seemed to mean they’d have a slight
              buzz throughout many days.
              
   URI        [1]: https://daily.jstor.org/a-brief-history-of-drinking-alco...
       
                kevinmchugh wrote 3 days ago:
                The beer that was being consumed was often table beer, 3%abv at
                the absolute most. Made with a small amount of malt, left to
                ferment only a couple days. 3.5 gallons a year means about an
                ounce and a quarter a day. Drinking a gallon of 1%abv beer
                every day is probably not great for your liver but you might
                never feel an alcohol buzz from it.
                
                Heavy drinking and all its bad effects were more common back
                then, but I don't think table beer is the culprit.
       
                  cecilpl2 wrote 3 days ago:
                  That number of 3.5 gallons per year is in terms of pure
                  ethanol. 3.5 gallons of ethanol weighs 10,500 grams, which at
                  14 grams per standard drink is 750 drinks per year, or 2
                  drinks per day on average. That's quite a lot.
       
                    kevinmchugh wrote 3 days ago:
                    Right, I think we agree on the math here. When we read
                    about people in the 18th century drinking beer with
                    breakfast, they weren't having a standard drink. It was
                    more likely a very low ABV drink.
                    
                    If you drank a gallon of 1%ABV beer every day, you'd have
                    3.65 gallons of ethanol per year. That's not exactly what
                    was happening - binges on whiskey and rum were common, but
                    they weren't constantly buzzed, either.
                    
                    That much alcohol is going to be bad for a liver no matter
                    how you drink it. I don't think this was healthy. My point
                    is just that there was less inebriation than we suppose
                    when we think about drinking beer with breakfast
       
                sandworm101 wrote 3 days ago:
                In those time "beer" was drunk like water because it was safer
                than drinking the parasite and disease-infested water.    Today
                we (mostly) all have water that is safe to drink.
       
                  refurb wrote 3 days ago:
                  This is apparently a bit of a myth.  There was some knowledge
                  of safe versus unsafe water.  “Clean” water supplies
                  weren’t uncommon and alcohol wasn’t a common substitute
                  for clean drinking water.
                  
                  That said, the beer was often weak and watered down so any
                  mention of chronic use should be tempered by the strength of
                  the drink.
       
                DyslexicAtheist wrote 3 days ago:
                for a long time consuming ale was common also for kids in
                Europe since it was safer to drink than water.
       
       
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