Why are drugs illegal? Is it because they are dangerous?
According to an Australian Government study in 2004, 1000 people die from illicit drugs annually, but alcohol kills about 20,000.
Flood and Harrison (2006) found there were 45,452 sports-related hospitalisations in the financial year of 2002-03, using up 117,989 bed days. I am not for one second suggesting we ban all sports though.
In 2008 1464 people died in road crashes in Australia. Henley and Harrison (2009) found there were 52,066 serious injuries from road accidents in the financial year 2006-07. Australian roads are dangerous. I am not suggesting we ban driving though.
So why are drugs illegal? It must be because they are addictive. Yes, we know that some of them are, but none of them are as addictive as tobacco, which kills about 15,000 people annually.
There will be those screaming, “If you legalise drugs there will be drug addicts everywhere!” Drugs are readily available and people with addictions will always source what they need.
I would rather see young straight men roaming the streets on good quality ecstasy than drinking themselves into a violent stupor.
WHAT’S IN A WORD?
It’s a word we hear a lot these days: pedophile. It conjures up one of the most abhorrent acts that a human can do. It’s a word that for decades or more has been used to belittle, humiliate and demean gay men.
The uneducated, religious right and some politicians like to use the word to describe all homosexuals and to try and turn public opinion against us.
So what was a well known drag queen in a popular Sydney gay bar doing using it to get back at a heckler in the audience? Her use of the word seemed to legitimise religious groups’ statements that all poofters are perverts and pedophiles.
What’s wrong with using words like Daddy or even Dirty Old Man? These more accurately relay the relationship between generations of gay men.
Was she trying to appear intelligent by using a word with more than two syllables? It was a joke? Well, it wasn’t that funny and an insult to all of us!
Re: ‘Internet privacy at risk’ (SSO 1026), we are not living in the Cold War, it is 2010. Kevin Rudd’s controlling personality has put the party on a course that will see Kevin Rudd become dictator.
How long will it be before the media gets more controls placed on it? This is all he has to do as he knows how we communicate and who we communicate with.
Kevin07 was a dream. The reality is Labor in power is the stuff of nightmares.
Congratulations to Michael Kirby on winning the Gruber Justice Prize.
A well-deserved recognition of your works and caring.
Re: ‘Campbell returns to front line’ (SSO 1026), this is progress of sorts. Not that long ago, an authority figure like Campbell would have disappeared in disgrace or killed himself (remember Justice David Yeldham?).
He still could lose his job but that would be to do with anti-ALP sentiment rather than anti-gay attitudes.
The issue isn’t about what’s fair, it’s about science and medicine. In both cases, the Red Cross policy is stupid.
Unprotected sex is a problem and HIV is a problem — not the sex of the participants. Besides, we have a blood shortage, and it’s retarded in the extreme to think it’s OK for every professional involved in the taking, testing and storage of blood and the transferring of it to the patient to be gay (risk of needle stick injury or contamination) but the blood donor cannot be, irrespective of HIV status.
Further, it’s idiotic to assume that one’s self-identification as gay or straight is a) reliable or b) has anything whatsoever to do with HIV exposure. I doubt any of the bi-curious married suburban men one finds advertising for anonymous sex in urban street publications would accurately identify themselves as gay to the Red Cross when asked.
Likewise, it’s asinine of the Red Cross to assume females don’t participate in high-risk behaviours, such as unprotected anal sex.
All blood donors would ideally provide HIV/hep C test results going back six months prior to donation, irrespective of sexual orientation and leave it at that.