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If I did misread his comment, then his analogy is not very apt; why compare general Canadian culture to specific subcultures in the US?
This is much like Americans who often refer to specific denominations by the name of the president pictured on it.
I don't know if I would say Americans do that "often". In fact, about the only time I've heard that is in rap like, "it's all about the Benjamins", and he wasn't even president.
One might even say you are a loonie for suggesting such at thing
Sure, but people love to eat tasty things and get a buzz. Point is, I think there are plenty of people that society might label "addicts" that are just fine with their addiction level. I am concerned with society imposing its will on individuals even more than is already the case.
I am all for the existence addiction-curbing products to help those that want to quit; I know it is hard.
For a true heroine addict, removing the enjoyment of heroine is not leaving them "exactly the same" and affecting "nothing else", because heroine has become pervasive to who they are. One could argue that it just returns them to their pre-heroine, "good/clean" state, though I am not sure that would be true. But one could also argue that it changes them for the better vs. being an addict, and that's probably true overall (in the heroine case).
But yes, we are talking in different directions. You are saying this one case is okay, I am worried about implications. Like a "gateway" drug, this could be a "gateway" punishment, which is the only reason I am being devil's advocate.
I am also worried about future implications. I think most people would take the heroine shot, but that's just what is (possibly) possible today. Will we soon have different drug usage (or other behavior patterns) we will be able to curb?
My main point is just this: An individual's mind/nervous system is possibly the most personal thing they possess, and from my perspective forcible permanent alternation of its state is something akin to rape. I am not of the mind that serious criminals have the same full set of rights as non-criminals, but there are limits to what should be inflicted on even the worst people.
Incarceration is a terrible thing and I am sure it often changes people in a negative way, permanently. Maybe it is worse than changing someone through chemical means. We've never had the ability to study which is "worse" until now.
Despite its horrors, the fact is that prison has been the most accepted means of punishment by society for a long time. Perhaps that is only because the technology required to build a "cage" is so low. We definitely should be exploring new options, so this kind of research is in the right general direction. Still, I am not sure I will ever be comfortable with a punishment system based upon forcible permanent mind alteration, and it certainly isn't something I think we should be leaping to embrace.
But qualify further, by all means - you definitely sound more reasonable now. I still disagree with your main point, which is that it is a lesser violation of their "natural" rights. It may be a more convenient solution for our society, though.
Imagine a day where insurance companies can deny you coverage because you haven't had the "cigarette/alcohol/fatty-foods vaccine".
I am ok with giving an offender the option (maybe vaccine instead of jail time or fore reduced jail time), but forcing a person to permanently destroy a conduit of pleasure sounds too Clockwork Orange-y for my taste.