...a synaptic connection [the point at which nerve impulses pass from one neuron to another]...
...neurons communicate with each other through propagating an electrical impulse along their extended projections, their dendrites. When they get to the synaptic connection, which is the connection to the next neuron, they cause a secretion of a chemical into the synaptic space which bridges between the projecting and the receiving neuron and propagates this nerve impulse. It's like a computer or a telephone system, and the neurotransmitters serve as the chemical which mediates the transmission of impulses. Dopamine is one of these, and it serves a variety of functions which mediate activities that can be disturbed in such conditions like schizophrenia or attention deficit disorder.
They're relevant to addictions also because every form of substance that is abused, from nicotine in cigarettes to alcohol to cocaine or heroin, when people take these substances the reward system which reinforces the sensation that people get by them happens to involve the use of dopamine as the neurotransmitter.


Experts point out that growing prison populations are largely the result of the failed "war on drugs" in the U.S., in addition to "get tough on crime" policies advocated by many Republicans and some Democrats at the state and federal levels, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.

 An estimated two million people are behind bars in the U.S., making up a staggering 25 percent of the world's prisoners. The chief reason for the increase since the 1980s has been the influx of low-level offenders, particularly drug offenders.

...law is rooted in the western understanding of the nature of law. It is the same firm foundation upon which the American founders grounded their insistence that there are inalienable rights, endowed upon us all by a Creator, which cannot be taken away by any civil government. Positive law must reflect the Natural Law or it is unjust.
Saint Augustine said of an unjust law, "For it seems to me that an unjust law is no law at all." Saint Thomas Aquinas explained, "Human law is law only in virtue of its accordance with right reason: and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence." In doing so, they echoed Cicero, Aristotle and Plato and the entire Natural Law Tradition.
Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, gave a this explanation of how one determines whether a law is unjust, "How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not know what to say. There is a place where words break and images become obsolete. Where time ceases to pass or to count, where presence is all that remains and the soul claws its way to the surface. Where nothingness is considered beautiful and emptiness remains the most compelling of divine fulfillment, human mystery. Not all have the gift of knowing this placelessness, of living this spacelessness, of consciousness. It is a gift. Do not apologize for possessing it, and release the need to flee from it. You are gifted; this world may not want some of us, but we are precisely the ones it needs.