Is the war on drugs really worth it?


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kbr80
August 14, 2005, 05:02 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it? The Sunrise story has been on THR a few times, locked down due to JBT remarks. All cops are not JBT's, true, a small percentage are bad, just like a small percentage of citizens are bad. I am posting the latest articles on this incident. Not much information is being provided from BOTH sides. IMO, the tactics the SWAT team used were pure crap. This man did not need to die. Think about it, this could be anyone of us, 6:15AM, dead asleep, bam, door crashes in, people yelling and screaming, we reach for our weapon, we meet the lord. All of that for: being suspected of dealing, wrong information from an informant, no knock/knock warrant conducted at WRONG address. These things happen. Is a small amount of pot worth killing someone over, worth denying basic rights over?

http://www.local10.com/news/4821009/detail.html

http://www.local10.com/news/4834333/detail.html

DO NOT TURN THIS THREAD INTO AN US vs THEM RANT.
DO NOT TURN THIS THREAD INTO A JBT BASHING RANT.

PLEASE discuss the aspet of the War On Drugs and how it is eroding our rights. The war on drugs has militarized our Police Forces, to me, that is not a good thing.

For what it is worth, I see this as a good shoot, from the standpoint that the guy went for a weapon, SWAT responded. My arguement here is, I dont think SWAT needed to be there, I dont like the tactics they used, or the reasoning for having SWAT there in the first place.

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Justin
August 14, 2005, 05:07 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it?

In a word?

No.

FPrice
August 14, 2005, 05:13 PM
In a word.

Yes.

But that should not be construed to excuse deaths due to negligence.

R12GS
August 14, 2005, 05:13 PM
I had a hard enough time going to school on drugs, no way would I fight a war on them.

Justin
August 14, 2005, 05:17 PM
But that should not be construed to excuse deaths due to negligence. Evidently though, it can certainly be construed as a legitimate excuse to infringe on my rights as well as the civil rights of every other individual in this nation who chooses not to engage in the use of illicit substances.

FPrice
August 14, 2005, 05:26 PM
Evidently though, it can certainly be construed as a legitimate excuse to infringe on my rights as well as the civil rights of every other individual in this nation who chooses not to engage in the use of illicit substances.

Only in the minds of those who see it as such.

Daniel T
August 14, 2005, 05:29 PM
There has been 0 net positive effect from the War on Some Drugs. None. Absolutely none.

For all this blather about how drugs tear families apart and all the untold suffering, yadda yadda, etc, etc, IT STILL ALL EXISTS. NOTHING HAS GOTTEN BETTER.

Time for a change.

A definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

ksnecktieman
August 14, 2005, 05:30 PM
The war on drugs needs the same level of repeal that alcohol got at the end of prohibition. I include ALL drugs in that, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, pennicillin,prozac, morphine, steroids.
If someone wants to use recreational drugs, that is their business. We should legalize them. Offer education about them, and the government should produce them, and sell them at a slight profit. If we remove the massive profit potential of selling drugs we will remove the dealers from our grade schools, and high schools. The only reason they are there is to create a new generation of addicts to ensure their continued astronomical profits.
If I want to take antibiotics when I get infection in a cut, it also is my business. I do not need a doctor to tell me what an infected cut looks like.
Thirty dollars worth of heartworm medicine for my dog, and I have to pay a vet fifty dollars to tell me to give them to him.

Repeal all of them. End this expensive war, we are losing it anyway. Just like the government lost the war prohibiting alcohol.

longeyes
August 14, 2005, 05:37 PM
The war on drugs will be victorious when the end-user no longer uses, or at least moderates, his or her use of drugs. The war is finally against one's own weakness. It is a war for reason and personal freedom--the same predicates necessary for a strong and free society. To seek Control From Outside rather than inner strength is a fool's errand--and an exorbitantly expensive one that bankrupts the treasury as it bankrupts thes soul and the polity both. Besides, the gods gave man wine so he would not go mad from mortality--we will never totally eradicate the need for escapism, but we can create a world where such escapism doesn't become all-consuming.

I favor policies that take the money out of the drug trade. That is essential. All is corrupted by the vast financial empire built on drugs and the activities that appear to orbit around it.

Mk VII
August 14, 2005, 05:39 PM
it's reckless and profligate use of antibiotics like this that is breeding bacteria that are resistant to all of the well-known antibiotics and an increasing number of the new ones.

Justin
August 14, 2005, 05:42 PM
Only in the minds of those who see it as such. So, you're saying I'm free to go buy Sudafed over the counter in Nebraska without filling out paperwork?

Or that I'm free to get a refillable prescription of Ritalin?

Or that I'll never be raided by a SWAT team who screws up an address?

Or that my property cannot be taken and charged under asset forfeiture laws?

Or that I'm free to legally buy a sound suppressor or any other implement that has been restricted because it is "the choice of drug-dealers?"

Or that I'm free to stop paying that portion of my taxes used to pursue the WoD?

Gee. Silly me.

In the end, the worst substance abuser in this country is Uncle Sam, and his insatiable appetite for the green.

kbr80
August 14, 2005, 05:55 PM
In the end, the worst substance abuser in this country is Uncle Sam, and his insatiable appetite for the green. :what:


Well said.

Big Bad Wolf
August 14, 2005, 05:59 PM
No it is not worth it.

I suspect if all drugs became legal tomorrow by the end of the month crime would be at all time lows and death from drugs would diminish a lot as well. Why bother cooking Crystal Meth or sniffing paint cans when you can legally buy pharmaceutical grade pot, coke, and ecstasy? Let's not forget that pharmaceutical grade drugs would cut down on the deaths caused by backroom baked poison laced drugs people are buying now.

Jim March
August 14, 2005, 06:00 PM
The WOD is now one of our top threats to our freedom and has to stop ASAP.

The only threat I know of on the same scale is bad electronic voting machines.

FPrice
August 14, 2005, 06:38 PM
This is why I tend NOT to want to get involved in silly discussions like this. Someone starts off posing a question about drugs and when someone indicates support, then all the "interesting" comparisons come out.

Antibiotics.

Taxes and government greed.

Sound suppressors.

Electronic voting machines.

And more than a few more.

Perhaps one of the more amusing suggestions is that the government take over the responsibility for producing and distributing all "recreational" drugs.

Guys, if you can't trust the government to run everything else you say it screws up, why would you want it to take over this area of your lives????

Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.

I'll let you guys clap each other on the back and brag about you have protected your freedom. Go out and celebrate.

hifi
August 14, 2005, 07:18 PM
The opposing viewpoint that I always find amusing are those that say we should legalize and tax it. Doesn't the government already have their greedy little fingers into enough? Just legalize it.

White Horseradish
August 14, 2005, 07:22 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce. Please do not make wild-ass assumptions.

What do you know of what I've seen? I have seen all kinds of misery and tragedy. Some of it I have even lived through. Nevertheless, I say it is not worth it.

It's an utter failure. We've been at it for 30 years. Can you tell me what good has come from it?

hifi
August 14, 2005, 07:37 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.

This sounds to me more like the opinion of someone who watches too many movies than actually thinks about the problem. Too many cop shows where drugs and guns are the enemy.

An inanimate object by itself in incapable of 'causing' anything.

beerslurpy
August 14, 2005, 07:57 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it?

Depends who you ask.

No. If youre a poor and unskilled person trying to make a quick buck, then no. The drug trade is a trap for the poor, uneducated or lazy. It is enormously profitable and somewhat risky, so it makes an excellent lure for society's less desirable members.

Yes. If youre in the pharamaceutical industry, the war on drugs is an enormously powerful tool to prevent people from going outside the industry for medication. The most telling sign is that harmless drugs with known pharmaceutical benefits like MDMA or marijuana are schedule 1 (no known medical uses possible) while very bad drugs (highly addictive with few pharmaceutical uses) like PCP, heroin, cocaine and morphine can be prescribed by doctors. You did not misread. This is the law. Revenue protection.

Yes. If youre in law enforcement, the war on drugs is a great way to get federal funds. We spend billions this way each year.

Yes. If youre a prison guard, the war on drugs provides endless employement.

Yes. If you are a shareholder in a corporation that runs a prison, the prisoners provide valuable labor for bargain basement prices.

Yes. If you are in a city with large populations of poor black males, the war on drugs provides an adequate pretense to round them up and generally treat them like non-citizens.

Yes. If you are a foreign government with a "terrible drug problem" it is a great way to make money from the US taxpayer AND from the drug trade.

No. If you are not one of the interested parties, you suffer through the erosion of the 4th amendment and from generally more militaristic police work that puts you in great danger whenever someone decides to falsly accuse you of being a drug dealer or the cops simply get the wrong address.

Where do you fall in all of this?

Jim March
August 14, 2005, 08:04 PM
FPrice: you're making a HUGE assumption that the illegal status of the various drugs is affecting their demand.

You have NO data to base that on. In fact, the data that does exist says otherwise: the end of prohibition caused a drop in alcohol sales as it was no longer "cool and illegal and a political protest".

Look, I owned ferrets in California. They were illegal. I didn't care, I knew the law was wrong. I was hardly alone - pet supply places in California do a huge business in ferret food, hammocks, triangular litter pans, books, dietary supplements, ferret shampoo, etc...Petco calculated their Northern California sales in a recent year at $1.25mil - that's one chain in the less populated half of the state!

The druggies feel the same way. In some instances they're actually correct - pot at a minimum does less harm than alcohol, certainly "less harm to others" because it hardly ever turns people violent. Booze is famous for it.

In another example, the difference in cocaine sentencing for crack vs. powder has a distinctly racist overtone to it. Inner city blacks have long figured this out and are WAY pissed off about it.

Now. If the actual level of use is NOT being curtailed by illegality, then the only effect of the "war on drugs" is to introduce it's horrible *negative* effects. And as God is my witness that's a LONG list:

* Meth labs blowing up and/or spewing super-toxic crapola.

* Pot plantations in rural areas and parks/forests staffed by armed maniacs.

* The inner city drug wars (and the hyper-arming of the gangs).

* The consitution being repeatedly pissed all over.

* Cops driven to kill and in some cases murder for the various siezure possibilities.

* The violence in the cross-border smuggling process.

Any ONE of the above would be a good reason to legalize. Taken together?

It's insanity to keep going the way we are.

DMF
August 14, 2005, 08:29 PM
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Think about it, this could be anyone of us, 6:15AM, dead asleep, bam, door crashes in, people yelling and screaming, we reach for our weapon, we meet the lord. All of that for: being suspected of dealing, wrong information from an informant, no knock/knock warrant conducted at WRONG address. These things happen. Yeah, but the situation you describe is NOT what happened. They were not at the wrong address, the info wasn't bad, and he wasn't startled and suddenly reaching for a gun. From the second report you posted: "Officers said when they told Diotaiuto to stop, he instead ran to his bedroom. They said they thought he had a weapon and may have pointed a gun at them, so they opened fire, killing him."

He wasn't startled and grabbing for his gun, he ran from a SWAT team, and acted in a threatening manner.

So that brings us to this:Is a small amount of pot worth killing someone over, worth denying basic rights overHe was not killed over a small amount of pot, he was killed because he presented a threat of death or serious bodily injury, and the officers used the proper force necessary to stop the threat. Doesn't matter if it's 2oz of pot, 200 pounds of pot, a stash of kiddie porn, or a "dirty" bomb. If the suspect complies the results will be peaceful, suspect actions may force the cops to use force, and if the actions are a threat of serious bodily injury or death, the the action the suspect forces is lethal force.

As for the "militarization of the police" nonsense, I suggest you study the history of law enforcement in this country. If you really study LE history in the US, you will see that LE is now more reasonable in the approach to protecting rights, and less likely to use force, especially lethal force, on suspects.

beemerb
August 14, 2005, 08:35 PM
We tried it with booze and it didn't work and now with drugs. It will not work any better.
Bob

Graystar
August 14, 2005, 08:36 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it? History shows that rampant drug use brings down civilizations, so it’s worth it because the cost of not fighting drugs is higher.

grampster
August 14, 2005, 08:37 PM
Mr. March's comments are well spoken. He is not alone in what he says. Bill Buckley's magazine, National Review, the February 12, 1996 issue, devoted the entire contents to a discussion about the absolute failure of the "War on Drugs". There were several highly intellectual and well recognize folks who contributed to that issue. There were many facts presented that you just don't hear about regarding this drug war fiasco, mainly because of the corruption that the "War" has spawned throughout the entire status quo governmental system starting at the local level all the way to the top and thoughout the business world as well.

The "War on Drugs" may be the single largest continuing elephant in the room that tears us apart and wastes billions of dollars as well as trampling on the rights of innocent people. Witness the fact the SCOTUS declared constitutional the "taking" of private property when one is merely arrested and not ever found guilty of any crime. Get found not guilty? Try and get your property back. It's likely the local PD sold it and bought some toys to play with before your trial. Hell, if you carry too much cash around, you run the risk of having that stolen from you. If you don't think that this government crime can't devolve into other areas, ask the lady in Detroit that had an auto that was registered solely in her name, confiscated and sold, with the money going the the police department when her husband got caught trying to pick up a hooker. The courts upheld this theft.

longrifleman
August 14, 2005, 08:47 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.

Here is one of the major problems with this ongoing debate. I don't favor anyone using destructive mind altering chemicals but think the War on (some) Drugs has been and will continue to be a failure. Unfortunately, the drug warriors can't seem to accept that a great many people oppose the War for reasons other than personal use. I'm not completely sure why, but I would be interested in hearing other's opinions on this.

My understanding of the official reasons for supporting the War on (some) Drugs seems to come down to two main reasons. Protecting people from themselves and punishing people as an example to discourage other's from using drugs. If there are other reasons I would like to have the supporters explain them. (An unofficial reason is the Puritan anger with people feeling good.)

If these are the goals, I think the War fails to achieve them, so why continue with the same tactics?

Jim March
August 14, 2005, 08:48 PM
Quoting Graystar:

>> History shows that rampant drug use brings down civilizations... <<

Pardon me but what the hell are you talking about?!

I know of no such historical cases. The closest thing I've heard of is situations where endemic welfare is enacted, the population gets bored and stupid and goes drug-crazy. It's happened lots of times in Native American populations in both the US and Canada. But the drugs are a side effect, nowhere near a "root cause".

Zundfolge
August 14, 2005, 08:48 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.

And this attitude is why there will NEVER be a reasonable debate of the merits of drug laws vs drug legalization because those who support strict drug laws and the "war" on drugs are unable to see the pro-legalization side of the argument as anything other then an attempt to legitimize the use of drugs.

I don't use any currently illegal drugs ... nor do I have any interest in doing so. But I just want the government to go away and leave me alone ... leave my neighbor alone ... stop reducing MY liberty just because some other idiot can't handle his pot (or whatever other drug the idiot is using).



The arguments in support of the "war" on drugs could easily be used against the 2nd amendment. Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational guns" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce..


It comes down to a fundamental distrust of liberty itself ... the drug warriors (and drug worriers) just don't trust people to live without their intervention ... and part of the problem is that too many people expect government to take care of people who do stupid things.

Get rid of welfare (in ALL forms) and you get rid of most of the "need" for drug laws.



"But Zundfolge, if we legalize drugs there will be blood in the streets"

There already is ... the laws against drugs don't stop anyone from using drugs, but they make damn sure that those who trade in them will be criminals ... You don't see liqour store owners shooting each other (and innocent bystanders) over "turf" ... and the negative effects of alcohol use on our society are no worse then most drugs.




Anyway, I told myself not to post in this thread ... no good can come of it :uhoh:

Standing Wolf
August 14, 2005, 08:49 PM
Unwinnable wars are always a bad idea.

longrifleman
August 14, 2005, 08:57 PM
History shows that rampant drug use brings down civilizations, so it’s worth it because the cost of not fighting drugs is higher.

Two things. Do you have a source for this assertion? Second, you need to provide some evidence that what we are doing now is reducing drug use substantially. If not, we have the worst of both approaches.

I would submit that the erosion of freedom due to the War on (some) Drugs is also a threat to our civilization. Our country is being turned into a police state in an attempt to control the drugs (along with the War on Tactics). The attempt is failing. Every failure results in more calls for greater police power and less freedom. Where will it stop? How much are you willing to give up? These are questions you need to ask yourselves before supporting more War.

publius
August 14, 2005, 09:03 PM
...but it's not worth this:

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZD1.html)
No. 03—1454
ALBERTO R. GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al., PETITIONERS v. ANGEL McCLARY RAICH et al.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

[June 6, 2005]

Justice Thomas, dissenting.

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers....

beerslurpy
August 14, 2005, 09:03 PM
Zund already got it right and I feel ashamed for not having pointed this out. It is all about people feeling that others cannot be trusted with liberty and instead need supervision.

It comes down to a fundamental distrust of liberty itself ... the drug warriors (and drug worriers) just don't trust people to live without their intervention ... and part of the problem is that too many people expect government to take care of people who do stupid things.

Zrex
August 14, 2005, 09:54 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it?
No. Neither was Prohibition.

Sam
August 14, 2005, 10:00 PM
A war on drugs is just fine, but you don't make war on your own countrymen at least not if you have half a brain. Now, if you want me to go back to Columbia, and make war on their drugs again, I think it would be just great. We can start talking around 6K a month. :cool:


Sam

The Real Hawkeye
August 14, 2005, 10:06 PM
No, it is not worth it. Just as prohibition created organized crime, giving an excuse to the Federal Government to outlaw modern small arms in the hands of civilians, the war on drugs is creating an excuse for other violations of our rights by government.The war on drugs has militarized our Police Forces, to me, that is not a good thing.No, actually the war on drugs provides a convenient excuse for doing so. Apparently it was not a good enough vehicle, though, because now we have the war on terror to give them the excuse for pushing us the final step towards a police state.

P5 Guy
August 14, 2005, 10:24 PM
The I hate that so you cannot have it elitists will make the crime worse than the cause 100% of the time.
It does not matter what the banned item or thought is. If it is not an infringement of another's rights, then why is it bad?
Families and lives are torn apart in many ways how can we ban them all?

Graystar
August 14, 2005, 10:38 PM
Pardon me but what the hell are you talking about?!Ancient China was one, there were several others. I'll see if I can find some links to info on them.

Basically, everyone became a druggie, nothing got done, they got overran by barbarians.

DeseoUnTaco
August 14, 2005, 10:41 PM
No. It's not worth anything. It should be brought to an end, yesterday. We have an absolute right to choose any substance, medical procedure or treatment that we want to choose. At a practical level, the WoD has been a disaster, with trillions of dollars sunk into it and no progress to show for it. Millions of lives have been sacrificed in the name of this war, together with many of our freedoms.

End it.

Brett Bellmore
August 14, 2005, 10:50 PM
Yeah, but the situation you describe is NOT what happened. They were not at the wrong address, the info wasn't bad, and he wasn't startled and suddenly reaching for a gun. From the second report you posted: "Officers said when they told Diotaiuto to stop, he instead ran to his bedroom. They said they thought he had a weapon and may have pointed a gun at them, so they opened fire, killing him."

He wasn't startled and grabbing for his gun, he ran from a SWAT team, and acted in a threatening manner.

That's the sort of "reasoning" that starts us yelling "JBT!"; You kick somebody's door in in the middle of the night, they OUGHT to "act in a threatening manner". They OUGHT to f'ing blow you away! That is, and always has been, the problem with no-knock searches: They create situations in which citizens are within their RIGHTS to use lethal force against police!

Demanding that somebody pause to inquire as to your badge number, and check with the station, before firing on you as you're breaking into their home in the middle of the night, is simply unreasonable. So you say you're police. So you're wearing uniforms. SO WHAT? Criminals are perfectly capable of saying that they're police. Criminals are perfectly capable of dressing like police. Pretending to be cops is SOP for a home invasion!

How can you tell cops from home invaders? The only sure test I can think of, is that the cops don't have any reason NOT to let you call the station, and verify your identity. Cops don't have any reason not to let you look at that warrant they claim to have.

Act like bad guys, expect to be treated like bad guys.

There ARE legitimate reasons to resort to no-knock searches. They are rare indeed. And concern that somebody might flush a toilet is not among them. :cuss:

taliv
August 14, 2005, 11:03 PM
the downside of legalizing drugs ...


end of prohibition ---> NFA '34

end of WoD ---> ?

grampster
August 14, 2005, 11:15 PM
Zundfolge: +1

cropcirclewalker
August 14, 2005, 11:24 PM
I said it once, I'll say it again.

We're screwed.

There is too much money in the WoD.

Ollie North has a body armor factory. Do you think he would be in favor of calling a victory and quick retreat? Just like prohibition....the .gov can't afford to stop the war.

We're screwed.

O.F.Fascist
August 14, 2005, 11:40 PM
No, its is not.

O.F.Fascist
August 14, 2005, 11:51 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.

It doesnt matter.

If it only saves one life or a handful of lives, and I have to give up some freedoms for it, it is not worth it.

Why should I give up any freedoms to save someone elses life? There are already plenty of people in this world, too many it can be argued.

Let the druggies kill themselves if they wish, and if by chance some innocent here and there dies well then that is just the cost of freedom.

Freedom has its costs, and that is risk.

Everyday we go through life, there is alwasys a risk of something terrible happening to each of us, that doesnt mean that we should all give up our freedoms just to protect ourselves.

insidious_calm
August 15, 2005, 12:09 AM
I do not like drugs.

I have never done anything harder than bacardi 151. Ever. Not even in college.

I don't think other people should use drugs.

I don't think "all drugs should be legal".

I do not support the "legalize pot" movement.

...

...

...


I also understand that when it comes to cops and the "war on (people who use) drugs" there are only three possibilities. Option A: those cops too stupid to understand that it is factually, economically impossible to win the "war on (people who use) drugs" in the manner they are trying. Option B: Those who understand exactly what's going on and like to rob, pillage, kick in doors at 6am, and generally run amuck. Option C: Those who see reality for what it is, but haven't the courage to do the right thing.


In my town, USA, it's Option B. YMMV.


You can't eliminate the use of a PRODUCT, be it drugs, TEA, GUNS, or whatever, by acting on the supply side of the equation. Where there is a demand there will be a supply. The opposite is not true. Economics 101.


The north Hollywood shootout is a perfect example of this. The MG's used in that crime were illegally obtained. Lot of good those laws did huh? How many more people are gonna die for the glory of the "war on (people who use) drugs"?


I.C.

The Real Hawkeye
August 15, 2005, 12:18 AM
How can you tell cops from home invaders? The only sure test I can think of, is that the cops don't have any reason NOT to let you call the station, and verify your identity. Cops don't have any reason not to let you look at that warrant they claim to have.This deserves repeating. The no knock idea (or even the knock and smash idea) is absolutely insane in a non-despotic nation. There is a reason for the Fourth Amendment, and it is precisely to prevent this sort of thing from happening. In America, if agents of the law have a legit reason for entering a private home, they are to politely knock, wait for an answer, and present the warrant to the property owner for inspection and verification. There is NO legitimate excuse for bypassing any of that. Most people are willing to take the chance that evidence might be lost down the toilet if the alternative to this is the death of liberty. Many of our countrymen fought and died so that this sort of thing could never happen here.

Too Many Choices!?
August 15, 2005, 12:25 AM
(THE FINE PRINT:while infringing Rights and enriching organized crime) :scrutiny: .....

Then yes,it is worth it :barf: ....

Flyboy
August 15, 2005, 12:51 AM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.
Have you seen the misery and tragedy caused by sending a non-violent breadwinner with several ounces of pot to jail for a few years? Think about the effects on his family. Think about the costs to taxpayers, both to pay for his incarceration, and to support his family. Think about his kids, now living in a single-parent household.

All for having a little bit of naturally-occurring plant matter (ever wonder why it's called "weed?" Okies know why.) that is not physically addictive, and is generally hailed to be less harmful to the body than alcohol.

And that's all without touching the "extraordinary" effects, such as stormtroopers battering down doors, guns blazing. Long jail sentences for more than (I think) four ounces are typically mandatory, as having more than than a McDonald's quarter-pounder is prima facie evidence of "intent to distribute." And I haven't even touched the effects on the uninvolved--people like you and me.

In a word, no. In two words, HELL NO.

Zundfolge
August 15, 2005, 01:02 AM
Flyboy brings up the real pragmatic point.


Thomas Sowell once said "There are NO SOLUTIONS, only trade offs."


In the grand scheme of things, doing a cost/benefit analysis of both the current drug prohibition and a cost/benefit analysis of just dumping the drug laws and legalizing (and various stages in between) I think you'll find that the benefits of the drug war are greatly outweighed by the costs.



But ya know, I wouldn't care if the not one illicit drug was ever legalized ... I just want to see the unconstitutional methods of enforcing the drug laws done away with.

Art Eatman
August 15, 2005, 01:13 AM
I've been around this official hostility against drugs since well before Nixon named it the War on Drugs, and AG John Mitchell got the first no-knock law passed (1973?).

All I can say that if we're winning, I really would hate to see what losing looks like. It's my understanding that the street price of cocaine is still around $100 a gram. That's what it was when gasoline sold for $0.30 a gallon. Winning? Duh?

It seems to me--to repeat myself--that the WOD is a classic example of repeating the same experiment over and over yet expecting a different result. I've seen no change in the types of efforts over these last thirty years; they don't work--yet we keep on keeping on.

Unsane. Irrational.

How does a rational person justify such things as "arrest the money"? How?

There was a '60s song with a line in the chorus that went, "Tranquil...tranquil...full of peace and Equanil..." Hey, I hate to blow anybody's bubble, but there's no practical difference between prescription Equanil and Mari-J-wanna.

And now the WOD has given us los Zetas and the fun and games of MS 13. What an improvement in our daily lives!

And don't anybody in favor of the WOD try to say I don't know about the downside of drug misuse. I danged well do. You can't be in the night club bidness in Austintatious' entertainment district without seeing way too much. And now living on the Border, I know a bit about the suppliers' side of the deal, as well. Some one-time neighbors smuggled several tons a month, until I messed up their deal.

Art

Justin
August 15, 2005, 01:20 AM
He was not killed over a small amount of pot, he was killed because he presented a threat of death or serious bodily injury, and the officers used the proper force necessary to stop the threat.

Yes, and I suppose that the balaclava-clad, subgun-toting SWAT Team members were executing a no-knock raid in order to give him a wall calendar with pictures of cute widdle puppies and kitties, all while having a spot o' tea and pontificating on the intricate natural beauty of rainbows.

Sorry, DMF, he was killed over 2 ounces of pot. End of story.

O.F.Fascist
August 15, 2005, 01:29 AM
insidious_calm,
You can't eliminate the use of a PRODUCT, be it drugs, TEA, GUNS, or whatever, by acting on the supply side of the equation. Where there is a demand there will be a supply. The opposite is not true. Economics 101.

Exactly, you cannot stop capitalism.

The Soviet Union couldnt stop it, and neither can we.

Justin
August 15, 2005, 01:44 AM
Someone starts off posing a question about drugs and when someone indicates support, then all the "interesting" comparisons come out.

Are you really so myopic? Is your tunnel vision truly of such a strikingly small aperture that you cannot see how much of this is interconnected? If not for the war on drugs, do you honestly believe that there would still be legislators attempting to pass a federal law to require a prescription for Sudafed?!

If not for the drug war, do you honestly think that the antis would have been able to rant and rave about how dangerous "assault weapons" are?

And nevermind obvious attempts at first amendment curtailments, such as the US' attempt to extradite Marc Emery, and the DEA's admission that they took him down primarily for openly funding and advocating the legalization of pot:

Today's arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the US and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement... Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on. -DEA chief Karen Tandy, as quoted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Friday Aug. 5 2005 in a column written by Joel Connelly.


Perhaps one of the more amusing suggestions is that the government take over the responsibility for producing and distributing all "recreational" drugs.

FPrice, you've constructed a really swell strawman argument there.

At most, I've seen people advocating FDA oversight, but that hardly constitutes federal production and distribution. And even if the FDA were 80% incompetent, I don't see where they have the power to set up traffic checkpoints, execute no-knock raids, and use asset forfeiture laws.

Jim March
August 15, 2005, 01:52 AM
Quoting Graystar:

>> Ancient China was one, there were several others. I'll see if I can find some links to info on them.

Basically, everyone became a druggie, nothing got done, they got overran by barbarians. <<

Oh dear. That may *possibly* qualify as about the most ignorant thing anybody's said on this board...if you don't count the blathers of gun control proponents who come knocking once in a while.

OK. Pay attention, class is in session.

China's civilization going back 3,000 years was based on irrigation agriculture. That meant that whoever controlled the water controlled the people. What it eventually produced was a level of top-down government control over such a long period of time, it caused stagnation between the classes, the rise of an entrenched bureacracy (the "mandarin class"), extreme levels of weapons control laws and eventually a codification of this feudal society into the religious systems (Confucious, Taoism, later forms of Buddism related to Japanese Zen which actually started in China).

They eventually ran into a problem: when you have huge land masses, you cannot possibly defend against rampaging barbarians on fast horses coming out of Mongolia unless you have "citizen's militias" *everywhere*. And the nation's top-down heirarchy and utterly disarmed peasant/merchant classes prevented that.

Drugs had NOTHING to do with it.

Later, once the British established trade, opium from north India (what we now call Pakistan) and surrounding areas had an effect. But that was long after China's glory days had come to an end - the pattern of top-down heirarchy had prevented technological advancement and by the 17th century they were already no match for the Europeans...by the late 18th and 19th when opium was a moderate problem they were deep into stagnation.

Drugs become an issue in a culture only LATE in it's collapse, when totalitarianism of any of several flavors robs the nation of it's vitality. In large part, the "war on drugs" is LITERALLY part of the cause of the drug epidemic as it feeds the totalitarian urge ANY government has.

Drugs are a symptom. Out of control government power is ALWAYS the root cause of a society's collapse.

mattman the gun fan
August 15, 2005, 02:10 AM
personally living in the neighborhood i am the war on drugs is going to be going on for a good while.It seems as if all of the sellers are getting better at getting past the cops.I see fewer of them getting caught.On the issue of the police being militarized i think it could lead to a good deal of destruction.Like alot of people say if the military ever hit the streets it would be pure hell.

Pietro Beretta
August 15, 2005, 02:31 AM
Make everything Legal. Anything that is legal still has laws.

Stop money flow to the terrorist by producing the drugs our selves.
Make the drugs pure and good, as to not poison us and add unsafe substitutions.
Offer all substances at every drug store.

Create laws that make it illegal to do the drugs outside your home, or in very limited placed period. Prosecute and put to work all violators instantly. Their will be no tolerance. Make a new group of slaves to work the streets under shotgun M16 armed guards.

By doing this business would put up policies to enact random testing from everyone at anytime, to the point where daily on site blood testing occurs, with just a drop of blood like a blood sugar tester. Any one testing positive for any substance would be put on the personal file for life.

Basically making it illegal to drugs and work.

Hopefully most non drug users wont have any problems since we dont do drugs anyway.

DMF
August 15, 2005, 02:38 AM
That's the sort of "reasoning" that starts us yelling "JBT!"; You kick somebody's door in in the middle of the night, they OUGHT to "act in a threatening manner". They OUGHT to f'ing blow you away! That is, and always has been, the problem with no-knock searches: They create situations in which citizens are within their RIGHTS to use lethal force against police! Interesting rant you have going there, but you don't even have the basic facts straight. This was NOT a no-knock warrant service, it was a knock and announce.

Also, warrants must be served. When someone refuses entry the police are still coming in.

Add to that if this had actually been a no-knock he'd probably still be alive because he wouldn't have had the time to react violently.

However, feel free to continue ignoring reality and return to your regularly scheduled rant.

DMF
August 15, 2005, 02:43 AM
Yes, and I suppose that the balaclava-clad, subgun-toting SWAT Team members were executing a no-knock raid in order to give him a wall calendar with pictures of cute widdle puppies and kitties, all while having a spot o' tea and pontificating on the intricate natural beauty of rainbows. Once again, it was not a no-knock warrant, and once again, the amount of drugs, or even the crime involved doesn't matter. He presented the officers with a threat of death or serious bodily injury. That is the only reason they responded with lethal force. The argument he was killed over the pot is as ridiculous as saying that if you're mugged and shoot the armed mugger that you killed him over the contents of your wallet. Both arguments are ridiculous.

insidious_calm
August 15, 2005, 03:31 AM
DMF,


Please refer to an earlier post of mine on a different subject(link included in that post) in which a PD officer testified under oath in court that ALL of the warrants his team served were served in a no-knock fashion whether authorized or not. Also note that they had to get a SECOND warrant served only hours after the first, because they didn't find any drugs the first time. 2 ounces of pot was found supposedly in plain sight the second time. Summation= they f'd up and went back to plant evidence for CYA. This is what the war on drugs has become. JBT appologists such as yourself only serve as a prime example of why we need much greater restrictions on law enforcement.

I.C.

LawDog
August 15, 2005, 08:36 AM
Knock it off, and do it now.

LawDog

Dead
August 15, 2005, 11:38 AM
War on Drugs Worth it?? NO!

History has shown that a prohibition does NOT work, and only helps to create a criminal element in society. It was tried with alcohol, and failed what makes one think it would work with drugs? The evidence shows that the war on drugs is a complete failure, other than costing many billions of dollars, and putting 1000's in their grave. (not to mention the people that are in jail for mere possession of some drugs)

stevelyn
August 15, 2005, 12:24 PM
War on Drugs worth it?


No!

Prohibition created criminals out otherwise good citizens. It also created armed gangs competing to control a black market of booze which was in high demand and wouldn't exist if it were legal. Enforcement actions encroached on individual liberties. History now shows it was a failed policy.

The WoD or new Prohibition if you will, has created criminals out of otherwise good citizens. It has created armed gangs competing for control of a black market of drugs that are in high demand. The black market wouldn't exist if they were legal. Enforcement actions encroach on individual liberties. History is showing it's a failed policy. I wonder when the .gov is going to notice. :banghead:

The bottom line is the bottom line. There is too much money being made by both sides to end it. :fire:

The Real Hawkeye
August 15, 2005, 12:24 PM
Also, warrants must be served. When someone refuses entry the police are still coming in.As it should be. Some of us are only questioning the tactics used to do so. There are situations where immediate entry must be achieved, such as where some crazed loony has a gun held to a hostage's head, or something similarly urgent, but to prevent a few drugs from being flushed is not sufficient cause to kill someone. You cannot say that it was justified by the presentation of a weapon because the government agents in many of these situations do not have clean hands in the matter. Breaking into a home, weapons drawn, makes one subject to being shot, and justifiably so if a warrant was not first presented in a peaceful manner for review. After that, if the person refuses to come out, wait him out. There is only so much food in a house, and you could cut the water supply and electricity off. They'll come out eventually. None of this is worth becoming a police state over.

I understand that, being a policeman, you probably don't have the perspective to appreciate how most people react to police state tactics, but most folks don't like it. Would rather live under liberty. A police state might make your job easier, but it creates a living hell for the rest of us. That's why some people get so hot under the collar when you say the things you do in defense of these kinds of tactics.

Nightfall
August 15, 2005, 12:28 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.I've known a few people (some very well) who have used illegal drugs recreationally, and their lives are not ruined. In fact, one of them has kept the same job for well over a decade, and pulls in almost 80k a year. The key in your comment though, is the misery they can produce. I've seen the downside of alcohol, gambling, and other addictions. I've also seen people have a beer and play a game of poker without their lives falling apart. A LOT of things can produce misery by overuse and addiction. In fact, anything can. But until I see you and the rest singing the woes of alcohol/gambling/over-eating/sex/every other potential addiction too, the "concern" of drug-banners will ring hollow with me.

The Real Hawkeye
August 15, 2005, 12:37 PM
I've known a few people (some very well) who have used illegal drugs recreationally, and their lives are not ruined. In fact, one of them has kept the same job for well over a decade, and pulls in almost 80k a year. The key in your comment though, is the misery they can produce. I've seen the downside of alcohol, gambling, and other addictions. I've also seen people have a beer and play a game of poker without their lives falling apart. A LOT of things can produce misery by overuse and addiction. In fact, anything can. But until I see you and the rest singing the woes of alcohol/gambling/over-eating/sex/every other potential addiction too, the "concern" of drug-banners will ring hollow with me.Very true. There is a down side to liberty, but that does not mean that liberty should be done away with because the absence of liberty is even worse, and by a lot. As for people who do recreational drugs, I've known plenty too. I have personally never used them, and even resist using prescribed medication, because just don't like the idea of such substances in my system. That said, however, I went to high school with plenty of kids who did all kinds of drugs. Most of them have done just fine in life, and one of them who was almost always high in high school is now making millions a year as a commodities trader. The enforcement of drug laws is FAR more destructive to users and the rest of society than the drugs themselves. I think, therefore, we need to repeal the Constitutional Amendment that authorized the War on Drugs. Which Amendment was it again?

Ego Archive
August 15, 2005, 12:57 PM
It seems to me that if drug distribution networks are more concerned with expanding their clientle base (gang turf wars) then with law enforcement, then the law enforcement hasn't really been effective.

I'd tell them to withdraw from this engagment before the losses are too great, but I fear we are past that point.

longeyes
August 15, 2005, 01:42 PM
The price of civilization is repression. Repression begets neurosis. Neurosis begets the need for escape. So be it. The desire for moral perfection is itself a neurotic addiction. The goal should be to keep our need for "release" within sane bounds.

The war on drugs is like a mad dog trying to bite its own tail.

Take the money out of the process, through some form of legalization/de-criminalization, and the worst of the problem will vanish. Of course, the drug dealers and the money launderers and mordidaistas (this includes a lot of big financial institutions) won't like the idea too much.

saltydog452
August 15, 2005, 01:44 PM
My eldest son, now a Army cop, sorta, when he was in High School here in Dallas came home and told me about something that had happened at school. Not just that day, but it was an ongoing situtation. Other kids in the school, Thomas Jefferson High School, were offered 'free' drugs , my son included. He told me..I contacted, in person, the principal of TJ High School..The principal was indifferent...would contact the School Board..would get back to me..a week later, they didn't..I contacted the principal again..no pro-active measures were taken..Or would be taken..Seems that local school boards, at least here in Dallas, are more concerned with political issues, rather than an aggressive attempt to control drugs on campus.....

Think about it a moment, here is a kid who was aware of drugs being distributed on campus, tells his parents, parents go to to the school administrator, supposedly the info is passes onto the School Board, AND nothing happens.

I think the ,supposedly, 'War On Drugs' as long is it is a political issue rather than a determined assault, would be best described as an occasional 'minor skirmish as opposed to a 'War'.

salty.

Your opposing comments are welcome. If this thred gets 'locked', I'll be happy to talk with you via pm.

sd.

Carl N. Brown
August 15, 2005, 02:06 PM
I have seen friends and family mess themselves up badly on
drugs, including alcohol, which is a drug. I have also seen
the failure of alcohol prohibition: my county was dry to 1968.
Honestly, the War on Drugs fails in the same sense as the
War on Demon Rum. Most people though equate making drugs
legal with approving drugs and drug abuse, although it is not.
I disapprove of the auto eroticism using asphyxiation but I
doubt if I would support a federal War on AEUA. Nancy Reagan
had it right: drug abuse won't stop til people just say no and
quit. On the other hand, I don't want the government as an aider
and abetter in promoting drugs either. The government gave us
$500 hammers and $600 toilet seats. Give the government a
problem and they manage it into a permanent situation.

My big gripe with the war on drugs is that by being declared a
War it is an excemption to the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act that
forbids the use of the U.S. military against U.S. citizens on
U.S. soil. Citing the War on Drugs, the U.S marshal service got
spy satellite time and national guard aircraft for surveillance on
the Weaver family, by a false claim the Weavers were growing
marijuana. The military training at Ft. Hood Texas for the
ATF raid on the Branch Davidian outside Waco was obtained
by a false claim that the BD had a meth lab. Since the antiwar
and civil rights riots of the 1960s there has been too much
militarization of law enforcement, evidenced by the proliferation
of SWAT and SOG tactics. The WoD has contributed to that.
The result is overkill against minor offenders and totally innocent
people get caught in the cogs of the machine.

longeyes
August 15, 2005, 02:50 PM
If we need a war on bad habits, let's try a war on DEBT. It's killing America.

Sindawe
August 15, 2005, 03:30 PM
Found this online a short time ago.
==========================
A primer on Drug War panic for morons in journalism

OK, I've lived nearly half my biblical span--I know exactly how this works now. IF A RECREATIONAL DRUG:

promotes drowsiness or lassitude: you can frighten people about it by warning that legalizing it will create impaired drivers, impaired pilots, impaired helmsmen of Viking ships, etc.

prevents drowsiness or lassitude: you can frighten people about it by warning that prolonged use induces lack of sleep and hence psychosis.

is expensive: you can frighten people about it by arguing that the crippling costs of addiction ruin human lives.

is cheap: you can frighten people about it by emphasizing its "availability" to the young and the impoverished.

is physiologically addictive: you can frighten people about it by describing in detail the Goya-ish horrors of detox.

isn't physiologically addictive: you can frighten people about it by warning of the nerve-shattering psychological "crash" that invariably follows heavy use.

occurs in nature: you can frighten people about it by warning that manufacturers will steal energy from neighbours and utility companies to grow it.

must be synthesized chemically: you can frighten people about it by talking about the poisons, waste products, and/or dodgy thermodynamics involved.

is easy to make: you can frighten people into believing that their neighbours might secretly have a truckload of it in their basement.

is difficult to make: you can frighten people about it by warning them that only organized crime is sophisticated enough to organize its production. (N.B.: the same product can simultaneously be described as easy and difficult to make if the general public doesn't know any better.)

is novel: you can frighten people about it by simply stating that the long-term effects of use are unknown.

has a long history: you can frighten people about it by finding the most stupid and risky possible method of ingesting it--which will inevitably have its partisans amongst idiots looking for something to be addicted to.

gets you really high: you can frighten people about it by emphasizing its power and allure.

doesn't actually get you all that high: you can frighten people about it by emphasizing the despair and generally lousy lifestyles of the people desperate enough to take it.

can be made readily in your home country: oh ????, it's turning our kids into drug manufacturers!

must be imported from a different climate: oh ????, look at all these evil foreigners who are profiting from our misery and boredom!

is used chiefly by the well-to-do: you can frighten people about it by describing it as "trendy" and pointing to celebrity lives ruined by it.

is used chiefly by lower-class scum: you can frighten people about it by merely pointing in the general direction of said lower-class scum. (Hint: phrases like "poor man's cocaine" come in handy here.)

is often used as an ingredient in, or companion to, other drugs: you can frighten people about it by talking about all the other bad stuff users are taking.

is never used as an ingredient in, or companion to, other drugs: you still have the option of describing it as a "gateway" leading to worse substances (don't worry about contradicting yourself by admitting tacitly, for the moment, that there are worse substances).

carries a danger of overdose: you can frighten people about it by discussing the danger of overdose.

does not carry a danger of overdose: you can frighten people about it by emphasizing the effects of chronic use, since no one is terrified into quitting by the risk of immediate death.

Special note for semi-clever contrarians: you can not only practice the use of this guide by writing an imaginary scare story about licit drugs like alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine--you can actually go ahead and write that piece and sell it, thus breaking new ground in a totally innovative manner! Have fun!

Source: http://www.colbycosh.com/#dwmj
===========================

Sounds like the play book for our government and its mouthpieces.

thorn726
August 15, 2005, 03:42 PM
don't worry- you cna win the wars on drugs jsut like you can get everyone to give up their guns.

gun control works splendidly , so will drug control.

just look at the UK- they were able to get rid of guns and drugs!

(oh there aRE still TONS of drugs in UK, and planty of guns too?!?)
never mind.

RealGun
August 15, 2005, 07:34 PM
Would the war on drugs be okay if users were immune from prosecution and if growing or making ones own supply (of MJ) was no proof of intent to sell it?

Would it be okay if supplies of hard drugs were deliberately and unpredictably contaminated by law enforcement, enough to put a user in a hospital...the idea being to make users think twice about purchase or use or for them to improvise in ensuring purity?

At what point are libertarians satisfied? Are we talking about freedom to obtain and use drugs or freedom to use drugs only in a way that involves no one else for supply? There are a number of contexts, some which could draw judgments different than others. For example, I see nothing wrong with growing and using ones own supply of marijuana. What I think would be quite different and wrong, maybe criminal, is pushing the stuff on someone else (free). You could smoke a joint, but don't pass it. If one doesn't like that idea, then I think there is more going on here in a cultural or simply social sense, a questionable influence on others.

Eightball
August 15, 2005, 07:41 PM
I think it isn't worth it (the war). There's not enough LEO's, for one thing, and for another, it seems as though people would rather just sweep the whole thing under the rug and let it handle itself; in other words, they aren't willing to pony up the cash that would result in more LEO's for a better job. Even so, drugs would still be there. Why not just legalize everything, and tax the hell out of it? That way, the .gov would be earning money, not spending it (and maybe even get more regulation and more enforcement than things sit now). And, they'd know who has it, where it is, etc--just like almost everything else the populace does/owns :mad: . At least, that's my take, right or wrong.

Zundfolge
August 15, 2005, 07:41 PM
RealGun, I see no reason why the laws concerning drugs shouldn't be exactly the same as those concerning alcohol.

KriegHund
August 15, 2005, 07:57 PM
I dont think the war on drugs is worth it, no.

I do think we should regulate drugs.

straightShot
August 15, 2005, 08:37 PM
Worth it?

Make drugs worthless, and crime will go away.

Does anyone here think that Capone would have made his mark if booze was legal? It's only by making the stuff illegal that it gains worth.

You can't make it go away. That's actually a funny thought.

Make it worthless, and the elderly lady who goes to church every Sunday doesn't get knocked down for her purse. Make it worthless, and she doesn't die because some scumbag knocks her down, breaking her hip, for the measly $3 in her purse.

Is it worth it? Until we change our laws, we must abide by them. We must also accept the fact that robberies, burglarlies, killings and more all will continue to occur if drugs are illegal.

Do I know folks who've overdosed and died? You betcha.

Do I feel sorry for them? Not at all.

If I could have stopped them, I would have. A needle, a pipe, or whatever is asinine.

Do we need to spend billions attempting to stop what we cannot? Do we need to continue to provide a reason for commiting crime? I think not.

Make it worthless, and crime goes away.

Does making it available save the user? No, but it saves rest of us. A user will use no matter what the rest of us do. It's his choice.

Michigander
August 15, 2005, 08:41 PM
Most of you you support the use of so-called "recreational drugs" probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy they can produce.

Most of you who support the use of so-called "prescription drugs" (those supposibly restricted and regulated by the gubmint) probably have not seen enough of the misery and tragedy thay can produce either!

Have you ever seen anyone ride the roller-coaster, life-altering, life-shattering ride called "prescription drug abuse" culminating in numerous overdoses and eventually one from which she never wakes up, leaving two children parentless?

I have. But just because she chose a prescription drug does not mean I am calling for a ban on vicadin, tylenol, or somas. She could have ruined her life countless ways. She had issues and she would have done what she did one way or the other. No warning, restriction, regulation or law was going to stop her.

gm
August 15, 2005, 08:46 PM
Unfortunately, the drug warriors can't seem to accept that a great many people oppose the War for reasons other than personal use. I'm not completely sure why, but I would be interested in hearing other's opinions on this. I oppose it because of all the insanity it has created..the no-knocks..the property seizures...the (woops)wrong address...the innocent lives lost in fighting it....and the huge amount of tax dollars thats dumped into it every single year with little to no results which breeds more desperation,more gangs,more violance and more new drugs...and We inevitably have to pay for it,ALL of it.This is why I dispise it.



its not working in the direction its going.

spartacus2002
August 15, 2005, 09:42 PM
The War on Drugs is not worth the toll it has taken on the Bill of Rights via no-knock raids, asset forfeiture, etc. It is the classic case of the cure being worse than the disease.

Old Dog
August 15, 2005, 10:20 PM
Make drugs worthless, and crime will go away.
Hmm ... how would you propose doing that? By legalization?
Make it worthless, and the elderly lady who goes to church every Sunday doesn't get knocked down for her purse. Make it worthless, and she doesn't die because some scumbag knocks her down, breaking her hip, for the measly $3 in her purse.
And you don't think legalization would create additional drug addicts, many of whom would somehow still have to pay for their drugs?

Strings
August 15, 2005, 10:29 PM
>And you don't think legalization would create additional drug addicts, many of whom would somehow still have to pay for their drugs?<

You mean like the repeal of Prohibition created additional alchoholics? Or the sunset of the AWB created more shootings with those "Eeeevil black rifles"?

DeseoUnTaco
August 15, 2005, 10:46 PM
And you don't think legalization would create additional drug addicts, many of whom would somehow still have to pay for their drugs?
Drugs would be almost free if they were legal. The cost to synthesize a dose of heroin is less than the cost of a dose of asprin. Is there anyone who can't afford asprin? Is there anyone who can't afford a $1/day heroin habbit?

There would be no need to steal or commit crimes to pay for drugs if they were legal.

ksnecktieman
August 15, 2005, 10:49 PM
Old dog? As long as someone with a high school level chemistry education can take 200$ and a chance of blowing up himself and some property, and create 4,000$ worth of methamphetamines there will be people doing it.
I say let the government do it, or contract it out, and sell those drugs for a modest profit. Supervise it and regulate it like alcohol. Remove the profit potential and these scumbags will not be standing on the corner by our grade schools handing out free samples. We have little chance of affecting the present addicts, but we can remove their profit motive in addicting the next generation.

insidious_calm
August 15, 2005, 10:52 PM
RealGun,

I understand your frustration with the thought of making drugs legal. I share it too. This problem remains, however, nothing more than an economic one. Taxing the dealers and making it more painful for the users, either financially, physically, or both. Would be far more effective. This will never happen though.

Stop to think for a moment about the BILLIONS of dollars in the drug industry. Not just money spent on drugs and their manufacture, but on the war on drugs itself. If the war on drugs were actually won then where do all the "warriors" go and what do they do? The war on drugs is a huge financial boon to both State and federal governments. Not only as a poster child for taxation but also through things like asset forfeiture. The local PD here is rather astute at re-appropriating things like cars and cash for everything from bicycles for patrol to bullet proof vests.

Like any source of government income, the government will do whatever it takes to maintain it. That means fighting a perpetual war with just enough "show & tell" to satisfy the sheeple. Does anyone here honestly believe if the WoD was won tommorrow the .gov would lay off a few thousand drug warriors? No chance.


I.C.

Too Many Choices!?
August 15, 2005, 11:04 PM
Just like right before the end of the Clinton Gun Grab(aka. AWB) liberals, democrats, the Brady Bunch, and ALL MAJOR new outlets cried,"Blood in the streets", or ," This will create millions of new Assault Weapons with No Sporting Purpose", or my personal favorite, " The Clinton Gun Grab was an effective tool in fighting crime if you look at the statistics"(even though crime was on a steady decline since before it started :uhoh:...We saw only a slight increase in previously banned weapons because all the people that wanted them had them. The drug issue would be the same, most people that use or want to, already do! We would have the same user now probably playing,"musical drugs", switching as tolerances change/build up. Talk to your kids if you haven't guys, but this is not the way in a,"Free", society....

Everybody thinks they are Miss Cleo, until reality sinks in and none of the things these self-appointed clarvoyants have predicted what the stupid, lazy, drug loving, gun loving sodomites of the US of A will do in response to a politically motivated ideological shift based in and on NOTHING BUT THE US CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS...It scares them too much.

The problem with freedom is, you don't have the right to decide if I screw up my life, kill myself, kill someone else, take steroids, take a hammer and smash all my toes, or which type of sex I prefer( hetero or homo)...You see, in a free nation, based on a Free market, the government should regulate industries, inform the public of Credible Dangers, and baby sit criminals and and let the People decide what choices, products, or services they desire to engage in.

But that would require some people(purist hypocrites for the most part) to mind thier own DAMN business, while the guy/people next door do(insert hot button issue of choice). As long as it does not become and industry/business or criminal enterprise in the sense of hurting an innocent(physically or finacncially), why should anyone care? I say get a hobby(preferably shooting:evil: ) to all the busy bodies...

White Horseradish
August 15, 2005, 11:26 PM
If the war on drugs were actually won then where do all the "warriors" go and what do they do? You know, we do have a border or two that could use guarding. Oh, and Osama Bin Laden hasn't been found yet.

Would those two things not be a much better use of the drug warriors?

Zundfolge
August 15, 2005, 11:32 PM
If the war on drugs were actually won then where do all the "warriors" go and what do they do?
That was exactly the problem at the end of prohibition ... the answer was the NFA and the ATF.

oldfart
August 15, 2005, 11:34 PM
I guess most of us think the WOD should be ended one way or another.

But it ain't gonna happen!

As others have pointed out, our government has grown too fat on a rich diet of dollars to allow such a thing to happen. How many police officers would be out of work? How many prison guards would suffer the same fate? How many judges and court employees have been hired because of the WOD? How many towns (I can think of three in California alone) would dry up and blow away if their local prison were to close down?
No, the WOD is here to stay. In time though, it will have to branch out to cover other pesky little things like the freedom to speak or to assemble or worship... or own a gun. No politician in his right mind would admit he was aiming at such an end, and in fact, he may not be consciously thinking along those lines, "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design...."
Haven't we seen this before?

DMF
August 15, 2005, 11:34 PM
That was exactly the problem at the end of prohibition ... the answer was the NFA and the ATF. NFA passed in 1934. The ATF was created in 1972. 38 years apart. I don't see a direct connection.

Flyboy
August 16, 2005, 12:10 AM
I understand your frustration with the thought of making drugs legal. I share it too. This problem remains, however, nothing more than an economic one. Taxing the dealers and making it more painful for the users, either financially, physically, or both. Would be far more effective.
No, no, NO! You're missing the point.

The crime--and there's a lot of it--is a result of the artificially-inflated price. Legalization will decrease the risks, so the price will fall. Taxing it enough to "make it more painful for the users" is putting that artificial price inflation right back on it. Sure, it'll be cheap for Pfizer, Merck, etc. to make the stuff, but there will still be an incentive for Joe Crackhead to rob little old ladies to get the $100 for his fix, and there will be a new incentive for Carlos Dealer to break into and rob Merck to steal the stuff, then sell it on the street for $90.

The only solution is to drive the costs down enough that there's no need to commit crimes to support a habit. That, and making the cost of crime high enough to deter people from commiting one--this means keeping people locked up, instead of "$50 and time served."

Art Eatman
August 16, 2005, 12:40 AM
If what's now a $100 or $200 per day habit changes to a $1 or $2 per day habit, why would a crook take a bunch of risk? It's too easy to panhandle a couple of bucks.

At the very least, the RATE of muggings or burglaries would drop. Those people are not noted for ambition. They take the easiest possible way to get money. Once they have enough for a short period of time, they pretty much quit "working" until they need more.

If there is no profit in "owning" a particular block or street corner in order to sell drugs, why would there be any use of force to control an area? Why would there be fights or drive-by shootings in turf wars over drug-sale locations? Pointless endeavor--and again I bring up the ambition motivation.

When there is no profit, activity ceases. That's why when Florida passed its CHL laws, car-jackings of local Floridians ended. No profit in trying to steal a car from somebody who might have a gun and fight back.

If somebody can legally grow Mary Jane in his windowbox, why would he mess with crack cocaine? And if he does, what happens to those who once hauled burro loads of MJ across the Rio Grande? I'll tell ya what: They go to eating burroburgers.

Art

beerslurpy
August 16, 2005, 01:14 AM
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design...."

This little bit bothers me the most and has for a while. If you view liberty as the sole competitor to the uncontested exercise of power, attacks on it seem to have a very simple and straightforward goal in mind.

I hate it when occam's razor shows us how bad the truth is. There doesnt have to be a conspiracy theory when the desired goal is so obvious. The hunger for power has motivated tyrants for untold eons. The ones we have now only tread lightly because they cannot yet compel us with raw and undisguised force.

CARRY'IN
August 16, 2005, 01:28 AM
It is all a matter of dosage and frequency. Primitive people were big into drugs but the drugs were not refined and they only did it on certain occasions. Nothing like a glass of red, a lungful of green, and a japanese sport bike on a full moon California night (or so I have heard).

Justin
August 16, 2005, 02:41 AM
You know, one argument against legalization that continues to be brought up is that if drugs are legalized then anyone and their pet monkey would be free to synthesize pot, heroin, crack, cocaine, meth or any of these other drugs in their basement or living room.

Just like how it was in the days before strong narcotics were banned, right?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=27737
Image taken from the Wikipedia entry for heroin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin)

gulogulo1970
August 16, 2005, 02:46 AM
No, its a waste of lives, money, time and jail space that could go to violent criminals. It's also hypocritical how many tens of thousands are killed because of alcohol? Where's the war on beer? How many drug overdoses lead to death?

Prohibition of items people really want never works unless the government enforcing the laws is downright ruthless, example: China. I only want my government to be ruthless when they are fighting a real war.

Liberty means you can exercise your freedom as long as you actions don't hurt or infringe on anyone else's rights and/or life.

CARRY'IN
August 16, 2005, 02:53 AM
Justin, they are doing it now, what's your point? Is ome degree of difficulty in making a stronger dose going to save the world? That's what this whole thread is about- a multi decade, multi billion dollar "war" that has turned into an instrument of oppression and ushered in a police state. I hear alot about the swiss model, where everyone has an assault rifle, how about the dutch model, where people do what they want. We will gravitate to the gutter or to a decent existence by choice. If people spent more time raising their kids right instead of watching football, playing golf, or working overtime to pay for a new pick-up truck, drugs would not be a big problem.

Firethorn
August 16, 2005, 03:02 AM
I also say that the drug war is a waste. Though I have libertarian tendencies, in many ways I'm a moderate.

So, rather than just say 'all drugs should be legalized',

I say 'Let's legalize, regulate and tax them'. Why? It's still a step forward, we can work on deregulating it later. Meanwhile, we're turning a negative into a positive(spending money fighting to gaining money taxing), making the supply safer for the addicts, and defunding the organized criminal networks.

beerslurpy
August 16, 2005, 03:13 AM
There would be 2 million jail spaces available for rapists and murderers to serve some long-ass sentences if we let all the WoD offenders out tomorrow.

Imagine if someone committed a murder and actually served life in prison instead of the usual 8 years with good behavior.

gulogulo1970
August 16, 2005, 03:14 AM
Quote:
I say 'Let's legalize, regulate and tax them'. Why? It's still a step forward, we can work on deregulating it later. Meanwhile, we're turning a negative into a positive(spending money fighting to gaining money taxing), making the supply safer for the addicts, and defunding the organized criminal networks.

AMEN, Firethorn.

Justin
August 16, 2005, 10:57 AM
If people spent more time raising their kids right instead of watching football, playing golf, or working overtime to pay for a new pick-up truck an exorbitant tax rate, drugs would not be a big problem.

I fixed it for you. ;)

The Real Hawkeye
August 16, 2005, 11:24 AM
DMF said: NFA passed in 1934. The BATF was created in 1972. 38 years apart. I don't see a direct connection. Prohibition was repealed less than one year before the passage of NFA. You don't see a connection there? What were all those agents going to do if they couldn't tell people what they could drink? They had to find something else.

Yeah, the BATF was instituted in '72, but those "new" BATF Agents were formerly agents of the FBI (and other agencies) who were already doing BATF type work under the "authority" of NFA since '34. Your statement is misleading.

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 11:31 AM
I guess I still don't get it. Many of you seem to believe that legalization will drive drug prices down. Do you really believe recreational pharmaceuticals would then be cheaper than prescription pharmaceuticals? Do you truly believe that if drug prices were lower, and drugs were more readily available, the addiction rates would not increase?

Legalize drugs, make 'em cheaper ... watch the rate of people on welfare, unemployment and other forms of public assistance skyrocket. Watch the rates of illegitimate births, STDs, overdoses, domestic violence, children requiring foster care, workplace absenteeism, emergency room visits, hospital costs, etc., etc., all skyrocket. The demand on public services would offset any savings established by discontinuing the "war on drugs." All tax rates would almost certainly go up ...

The only solution is to drive the costs down enough that there's no need to commit crimes to support a habit. And you think there aren't people who commit crimes to obtain alcohol or cigarettes? What do you think the most commonly shoplifted articles from grocery and convenience stores are? How about domestic violence -- most of which stems from consumption of alcohol? Ever talk to a member of your local PD?

Look at what's going on in our culture right now. Huge numbers of single-parent families where no one is guiding, supervising, molding or monitoring our youth. Public schools that are basically just glorified day-care providers where no real learning is taking place. Crap on television, in the movies, put forth in the popular music. Politicians who take but don't don't improve our systems. Our kids are growing up with no guiding vision and their only motivation is to chase the dollar and the lifestyle they see portrayed through popular media.

And y'all think our society is strong enough to tolerate widespread availability of cheap drugs? I just can't agree.

The Real Hawkeye
August 16, 2005, 12:20 PM
Old Dog, you don't seem to understand the dynamics involved here. The way kids get hooked to start with on most recreational drugs is because someone is financially motivated to encourage the addiction and to provide a supply for them. Take the huge profits out, and the whole underground industry dries up.

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 12:22 PM
Do not forget the whole "forbidden fruit" aspect of illegal drugs and becoming addicted or dependent apon them.

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 12:25 PM
TRH -- Oh no, I understand the dynamics all too well.

And while your statement may be somewhat applicable in certain settings, it definitely doesn't apply across the board. I would suggest that there's a lot of research out there that digs into the heart of why people choose to begin using drugs.

The "huge profit," if drugs are legalized, will simply revert to the commercial sector. My gosh, just take a look at the ads for the drugs for ED (Cialis, Levitra, etc.) -- these drugs are not cheap, either. You don't think that moving the market aboveground won't create some form of marketing designed to attract more users?

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 12:32 PM
My gosh, just take a look at the ads for the drugs for ED (Cialis, Levitra, etc.) -- these drugs are not cheap, either. Those drugs are not cheap because they are protected by patent law, so that the developer can recoup the cost of development and make a profit for future research. The majority of our illegal drugs are either natural plant products (MJ, shrooms, peyote), or long known derivatives of such like morphine and cocaine.

Of course they would be marketing efforts, just like there is for America's favorite legal drugs. Ethyl alcohol, nicotine and caffiene. The funds spent on useless enforcment activities could be diverted to public education programs like we have to smoking tobacco, and we can elimiate the erosion of our liberties from the WoSD.

The Real Hawkeye
August 16, 2005, 12:39 PM
The "huge profit," if drugs are legalized, will simply revert to the commercial sector. My gosh, just take a look at the ads for the drugs for ED (Cialis, Levitra, etc.) -- these drugs are not cheap, either. You don't think that moving the market aboveground won't create some form of marketing designed to attract more users?Again, Old Dog, you don't get it. Those prescription drugs are expensive because their patents are still valid. The patent for heroin, etc., ran out a long time ago. They are as cheap to make as kitchen cleaning fluids. Hell, you can grow pot in your window sill.

publius
August 16, 2005, 12:51 PM
NFA passed in 1934. The ATF was created in 1972. 38 years apart. I don't see a direct connection.
Odd that the bureau's own history page (http://www.atf.treas.gov/about/atfhistory.htm) makes mention of the NFA...

National dismay over the weaponry wielded so conspicuously by organized crime during Prohibition led to passage in 1934 of the National Firearms Act, followed in four years by the Federal Firearms Act.

Of course, that was back when the power to tax was widely used as the basis for federal regulatory authority. Nowadays, the commerce clause serves that function in the futile wars on guns (http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/04-617.htm) and drugs (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZD1.html).

Zundfolge
August 16, 2005, 12:53 PM
Again, Old Dog, you don't get it. Those prescription drugs are expensive because their patents are still valid.
Thats part of it, but the bigger reason that prescription drugs are expensive is because they require a prescription.

There are many over the counter drugs that used to be "prescription only" and they cost significantly less then they did when you had to get a script from a doctor to buy them. Prilosec is one example.


The "huge profit," if drugs are legalized, will simply revert to the commercial sector.
True ... but even if the price of drugs didn't change one cent, Wallgreens employees don't spray Rite Aid employees with bullets over "turf wars"...Wallgreens employees wouldn't hang out behind your kid's school to sell him pot (just like liquor store owners don't hang out behind your kid's school trying to sell him Jim Beam)...If a stupid drug user got a hold of some bad pot there would be a recall (and maybe some sort of law suit) instead of the druggie just getting sick and maybe if he's real motivated he (or his friends) wouldn't gun down the Wallgreens clerk who sold it to him.


Eliminate the black market in drugs and you eliminate 90% of the negative impact that drugs have on our society ... it will take a LOT less resources to deal with the remaining 10% negative impact with police and rehab councilors.

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 01:01 PM
Again, Old Dog, you don't get it. Those prescription drugs are expensive because their patents are still valid. The patent for heroin, etc., ran out a long time ago. They are as cheap to make as kitchen cleaning fluids. Hell, you can grow pot in your window sill.
Drugs are not inexpensive, be they over the counter or generics based on formulas for which the patents have expired. And if there's a significant demand, there's no way the costs will stay down. Particularly if the product must be regulated -- which it has to be -- and taxed. And using alcohol as an example? While there are types that are relatively affordable, most are actually comparatively expensive -- particularly for those on welfare, those without stable incomes or those who are addicted and do not/can not work.

I still have yet to see anyone describe a model for legalization that would work in this country.

Eliminate the black market in drugs and you eliminate 90% of the negative impact that drugs have on our society No, you simply shift the impact of drug use to other areas. I say again, you'll simply increase in other areas the demand for public services.

The Real Hawkeye
August 16, 2005, 01:14 PM
I still have yet to see anyone describe a model for legalization that would work in this country.I could be mistaken, but I believe that in Mexico, for example, you can just walk into a drug store and purchase just about whatever drugs you would like at very low cost. No prescription is needed.

longrifleman
August 16, 2005, 01:16 PM
No, you simply shift the impact of drug use to other areas. I say again, you'll simply increase in other areas the demand for public services.

The solution to this potential problem is drug testing for all welfare type services. Test positive:no money. This should include alcohol and nicotine as well as currently illegal stuff.

This is just as likely to happen as legalizing drugs is. I would like to see this implemented for welfare stuff now.

I've been behind people in the grocery store check-out line who bought some small item with food stamps and took the change to buy beer. The cashiers rang it up as a separate transaction without being told what to do. I kinda think it is a common practice. /end welfare rant

Justin
August 16, 2005, 01:26 PM
You don't think that moving the market aboveground won't create some form of marketing designed to attract more users? You must have a mighty dim view of your fellow humans if you think that all it takes is a slick advert campaign to get someone to purchase a product without forethought.

I have no desire to dabble in recreational drugs, regardless of whether they're being hawked by the shady guy down on the street corner or Pamela Anderson during the Superbowl.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=21329&stc=1

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 01:38 PM
I could be mistaken, but I believe that in Mexico, for example, you can just walk into a drug store and purchase just about whatever drugs you would like at very low cost. No prescription is needed.

No, presuming that the previously illicit substances would be regulated and sold in a manner resembling the retail alcohol industry, using Mexico's no-prescription necessary pharmacy program is not even close to being a model for legalizing drugs.

Drugs with the sole purpose of making one hallucinate, high, euphoric, stimulated, et al don't compare to drugs used as analgesics, anti-inflammatories, beta blockers, vaccines, antihistamines, antihypertensives, antiasthmatics or antibiotics.

By the way, this must be the first time in THR history a post has used something that happens in Mexico as an example for us to possibly emulate ...

You must have a mighty dim view of your fellow humans if you think that all it takes is a slick advert campaign to get someone to purchase a product without forethought. Huh. And we really, really can't live without many of the devices or consumables we buy now?

Witness the beer market, for example. Given the billions of dollars spent in the ad industry every day, I don't think my view of my fellow humans matters.

Z_Infidel
August 16, 2005, 01:48 PM
I think that the "war on drugs" is a failed effort and should be dropped. Drugs should be legalized, but that move should happen along with other reforms -- like getting rid of the welfare system and no longer spending money on drug rehab. I'm of the camp that thinks addiction is a choice (in most cases) and not a disease, therefore no public money should be spent on digging people out of the holes they dig for themselves with drug abuse. Furthermore, people who commit crimes -- especially violent ones -- while under the influence of drugs should be prosecuted and treated as criminals. People must be held accountable for their actions, including drug use and its effects.

The Real Hawkeye
August 16, 2005, 02:01 PM
By the way, this must be the first time in THR history a post has used something that happens in Mexico as an example for us to possibly emulate ...Ok, Old Dog, instead let's use the United States as an example. How about we adopt the system used by the United States before the Federal Government usurped authority to regulate drugs?

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 02:35 PM
Ok, Old Dog, instead let's use the United States as an example. How about we adopt the system used by the United States before the Federal Government usurped authority to regulate drugs? Such as, say, circa 1880, when we had more than 400,000 opium addicts in this country (more than twice as many addicts, per capita, as we have now)? Does anyone remember why the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was passed? A little historical research will show you that there was a huge problem with opium, morphine and cocaine addiction (again, on a per capita basis) -- by some accounts, 1 in 200 citizens -- that led to laws such as this, and the Harrison Act.

No, the so-called "war on drugs" isn't working well, and it certainly appears to be leading to further erosion of some of our most precious Constitutional rights. I'm not arguing that.

What I do find absurd, though, is the notion that legalization would cure so many of the problems we have now, along with these fanciful ideas that don't even begin to consider that possible consequences of legalization might have far more savage effects on our country, our youth and our economy than the status quo.

Art Eatman
August 16, 2005, 02:51 PM
Old Dog, I've said before (In two or three of the multitudinous threads on this subject) that I'm more for CHANGE in HOW we're being anti-drug than I am for full legalization.

However, did you read my arguments, above? Is there any merit to my views as to behavior?

More importantly, which is better: Legalization with whatever problems might arise or increase, or the continuing erosion of the Bill of Rights as has been the case over the last forty years? That is, should we, by and large, ignore this erosion as we concern ourselves about what MIGHT happen with legalization?

Art

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 02:55 PM
Such as, say, circa 1880, when we had more than 400,000 opium addicts in this country (more than twice as many addicts, per capita, as we have now)? I trust you have citations for those numbers, right? Never mind, I found your source. Brought to you by the letters D, E, & A http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/demand/speakout/06so.htm Does anyone remember why the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was passed?Does the name Upton Sinclair (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jupton.htm) ring a bell? The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 DID NOT create the current prohibition we have today. What it DID do was...1) It created the Food and Drug Administration in Washington that must approve all foods and drugs meant for human consumption. The very first impact of that was that the patent medicines were not approved for human consumption once they were tested.

2) The Pure Food and Drug Act said that certain drugs could only be sold on prescription.

3) The Pure Food and Drug Act, (and you know, this is still true today, go look in your medicine chest) requires that any drug that can be potentially habit-forming say so on it's label. "Warning -- May be habit forming."

Source: http://www.louisville.edu/a-s/english/haymarket/jasona/alvepurefood.html This is FAR better than the mess we have now, where physicians are being prosecuted and jailed for treating their patients pain, chemicals that have utiltiy on some spheres of treatment are totally banned, can't even research on em.What I do find absurd, though, is the notion that legalization would cure so many of the problems we have now, along with these fanciful ideas that don't even begin to consider that possible consequences of legalization might have far more savage effects on our country, our youth and our economy than the status quo. So in your view, the effects of smoking too much weed (couch lock), dropping too much acid or ODing on an opate are worse than:

1: Being 12 y/o and shot in the back and killed due to ND from a "Drug Warrior".

2. Increasing militirzation of local peace officers into black mask wearing SWAT teams.

3. Erosion of protections against unreasonable searches.

4. Seizure of money and property w/o conviction, since the money and property are tainted, and money and property have no rights.

Old Dog, what the frell have you been smoking, and why are you not sharing it with the rest of us?

wingnutx
August 16, 2005, 02:58 PM
No, keeping people off of drugs in not in any way worth eroding the constitution.

CAS700850
August 16, 2005, 03:07 PM
And welcome back to L&P on THR! I've been on vacation for the last 10 days, and it's like I never even left. On one hand, we have "the WOD has done nothing but erode our constitutional rights, so it should be abandonned." On the other hand, we have "all drugs should be illegal, including alcohol, nicotine, etc." Same as every other time this topic has been raised around here, with little change along the way.

What I can tell you is this. I've been personally involved in the WOD from two perspectives. Six years prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases, where we spent far too much time (though entirely worth while) removing kids from homes where drug addicts neglected the needs of the children in favor of the drug of choice (usually crack or meth). The last four years, I've been prosecuting felony drug cases. And, with that in mind, I don't think the war on drugs should be adandonned as a concept. We just need to change the way we're doing it. If I knew a better way, I'd share it here...Sorry, no such luck.

Yowza
August 16, 2005, 03:12 PM
is the notion that legalization would cure so many of the problems we have nowSo how many black market drug dealers and smugglers would still be in operation if drugs were legal? How much money would organized crime instantly be out if drugs were legal? How many people would be employed by the legal industries that would move in to fill the demand? Think about how big the tobacco and alchohol companies are. Are they ruining our country? Aren't there a whole slew of people out there that enjoy a beer after work? Or a cigar now and then?

these fanciful ideas that don't even begin to consider that possible consequences of legalization might have far more savage effects on our country, our youth and our economy than the status quo. So, exactly how sure are you of your position?

usually crack or meth If there had never been a war on drugs, no one in this country would have ever done either one of these drugs. These poster children for the WOD were CREATED by the WOD!

Rick

Zundfolge
August 16, 2005, 03:18 PM
No, you simply shift the impact of drug use to other areas.
No, you don't "shift" any impact.

Most of the damage done to our society by the drug scene is NOT in the usage of the drugs, but instead in the criminal enterprise that has grown around the importing, manufacture, distribution and sale of illegal drugs.

If you eliminate the criminal element from the drug distribution network you eliminate the violence and other crimes surrounding drugs and are left only with the negative impact that drug use has on the users which you have either way ... whether drugs are legal or not.

I say again, you'll simply increase in other areas the demand for public services.
No you don't. If people want "help" to get over their "addictions" then let them pay for it dammit. Welfare and the nanny state are problems that need to be eliminated as well (and legalizing drugs would get rid of part of the nanny state right there).

You require me to believe two myths in order to support your position.
1) the vast majority of drug users are hopeless addicts who's drug use renders them useless and unable to contribute to society.
2) "its against the law" is what keeps large numbers of people in our society from using drugs., so if you legalize then thousands (if not millions) of Americans who wouldn't touch the stuff would become addicts (which didn't happen with alcohol after prohibition)


Legalize drugs and two of your fears will NOT happen ... 1) we won't become a nation of addicts (any more then we already are) and 2) you won't have to pay for it (which you're already doing).


On a related note, if the left ever gets their way and we get strict gun control ... if you think the black market in drugs is violent then you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 03:18 PM
Art, yes, I've read your posts and yours are more reasoned than most. I do not agree, though, that violence associated with drugs would totally diminish, as much crime and violence is committed by persons on drugs, not just those interested in protecting their own drug trade.

As far as the argument of erosions of our rights vs. the possible consequences of legalization, I would never in any way advocate prevention of legalization at the expense of any abrogation of our rights. I'd like to believe that I'm as concerned about protecting our Constitutional rights as any member of this forum. I'll say again, there are so many things about the way the WOD is being run that greatly disturb me, but my main issue is that I don't believe legalization is the answer.

Sindawe -- where to begin?
Yes, I know how the Pure Food and Drug Act came about ... and much of the original hysteria goes back to consumer products with opiates or cocaine in them. The DEA is using my numbers? I'm shocked.
So in your view, the effects of smoking too much weed (couch lock), dropping too much acid or ODing on an opate are worse than:
1: Being 12 y/o and shot in the back and killed due to ND from a "Drug Warrior". (etc.)
Did I ever say this? Did you read my previous posts? I was not talking about the effects of drugs on the individual users, I was speaking to the eventual overall cost to the society when the number of drug users skyrockets.

So how many black market drug dealers and smugglers would still be in operation if drugs were legal? How much money would organized crime instantly be out if drugs were legal?
I was waiting for someone to say that criminals would stop being criminals once one of their enterprises became legal. Yes, the end of Prohibition put all of organized crime out of business, didn't it? And sure, there's absolutely no black market on any product that is currently legally sold by retail, is there?

CAS700850
August 16, 2005, 03:18 PM
I'm sorry, could you explain to me how the WOD resulted in the creation of crack cocaine and methamphetamine? I may be missing a little something here...

Justin
August 16, 2005, 03:23 PM
CAS- Simple economic theory. As interdiction efforts were ratcheted up, the cost of making and importing some drugs were driven up. As such, those who wanted a regularly available, inexpensive high had a harder time getting a decent supply.

The so-called meth "epidemic" is nothing more than the result of someone walking into Wal-Mart, looking around and asking himself "What stuff can I use here to get high?"

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 03:24 PM
No you don't. If people want "help" to get over their "addictions" then let them pay for it dammit. Welfare and the nanny state are problems that need to be eliminated as well (and legalizing drugs would get rid of part of the nanny state right there). Gee, I hadn't even addressed treatment ... Of course welfare and the nanny state are problems that need to be eliminated! However, both are the current reality in our society. You all want to preach legalization? Show us a plan that might be workable.
Legalize drugs and two of your fears will NOT happen ... 1) we won't become a nation of addicts (any more then we already are) and 2) you won't have to pay for it (which you're already doing). Oh really? We'll pay more for it ... If there had never been a war on drugs, no one in this country would have ever done either one of these drugs. These poster children for the WOD were CREATED by the WOD! What?!!

Zundfolge
August 16, 2005, 03:27 PM
I've been personally involved in the WOD from two perspectives. Six years prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases, where we spent far too much time (though entirely worth while) removing kids from homes where drug addicts neglected the needs of the children in favor of the drug of choice (usually crack or meth).

1. How is this possible since drugs are illegal? I thought if something was illegal it was impossible to get your hands on.
2. We're talking about legalizing drugs, not legalizing child abuse and neglect, which will exist whether the drugs are legal or not (and be illegal whether the drugs are legal or not).

I'm sorry, could you explain to me how the WOD resulted in the creation of crack cocaine and methamphetamine? I may be missing a little something here...
Crack cocaine and meth where created because cocaine is expensive ... cocaine is expensive because the risks involved with its growth, manufacture, distribution and sale are much greater then say Coca-Cola. Crack is a good way to stretch your inventory farther and Meth doesn't require the cooperation of armed crazy Colombians. If the cocaine market wasn't artificialy inflated by the fact that its illegal then nobody would have gone looking for these two "solutions" to their distribution problems.

I was waiting for someone to say that criminals would stop being criminals once one of their enterprises became legal. Yes, the end of Prohibition put all of organized crime out of business, didn't it? And sure, there's absolutely no black market on any product that is currently legally sold by retail, is there?
The mafia was made much larger by prohibition ... it wouldn't have grown to the size it got without it ... and while it wasn't completely killed by the end of prohibition, they did have serious layoffs and downsizing because of it (until they branched off into the illigal drug trade).


Oh really? We'll pay more for it ...
Explain how we'll pay more with less of our population in jail (being supported by the state instead of out there working and paying taxes) and with less of Law Enforcement's resources being used to fight the WOD?

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 03:29 PM
I was speaking to the eventual overall cost to the society when the number of drug users skyrockets. And you are basing this on what? Tea leaves? Procognition? Are YOU gonna run out and start shooting meth the instant it becomes legal? (if it ever does for recreational use) You all want to preach legalization? Show us a plan that might be workable We have one already. It same plan as we use for EtOH, and to a lesser extent tobacco. Restrict legal sale to adults only, prosecute those who sell to minors. If the user frells up their life, well life is harsh sometimes, and stupidity is supposed to hurt. If the user injures another, we already have laws dealing with that.

Yowza
August 16, 2005, 03:31 PM
Why on earth would a pharmaceutical company create crystal meth or crack cocaine? Meth is a problem because people can make it with widely available ingredients. If those so inclined could buy a safer drug with similar effects, why would they bother making it at considerable risk and expense to themselves. I'm not sure why this is hard to understand.

Rick

Zundfolge
August 16, 2005, 03:33 PM
I was speaking to the eventual overall cost to the society when the number of drug users skyrockets.

Again that's a myth that's not supported by any facts.


After prohibition, alcoholism rates did NOT skyrocket ... alcohol use jumped slightly as everyone got all excited that they could drink, but then the use (and abuse) rates dropped back down to what they where BEFORE prohibition.

You all want to preach legalization? Show us a plan that might be workable

A plan? Its not rocket science ... it doesn't require a "plan" ... just repeal the stupid laws against the use, manufacture, possession and sale of the damn drugs, reclassify the drugs as being pretty much the same as alcohol and you're done!

Justin
August 16, 2005, 03:44 PM
Huh. And we really, really can't live without many of the devices or consumables we buy now?

Witness the beer market, for example. Given the billions of dollars spent in the ad industry every day, I don't think my view of my fellow humans matters.

Um, what's your point? That the free market should be regulated so that people don't spend their money on stuff that isn't an absolute necessity?

Or are you arguing that Budweiser, Coors, etc. shouldn't spend multiple millions of dollars on ads to try and sway me to purchase their product, all while employing an army of talented designers, videographers, ad writers, special effects artists, 3d animators, and smokin' hot babes?

I appreciate that they entertain me with probably the greatest ads ever created, but that has never caused me to purchase their swill over the fantastic assortment of libations brewed by a dizzying array of local microbrews that don't even have a tenth of promotional budget of the big guys.

Show us a plan that might be workable. You have been reading this thread, right? :scrutiny:

Zundfolge
August 16, 2005, 03:56 PM
Bottom line is that those who support the WOD are elitists who are offended at the idea that us proles DARE to live our lives without their intervention because by God (or by Gaia depending on whether they are left or right) YOU are too stupid to make decisions for yourselves and need the firm hand of Father Government (or Mother Government for the leftists) to guide you to the shining police state on the hill.

mercedesrules
August 16, 2005, 04:04 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it?

To whom? :scrutiny:

To me, no. I am forced to pay for a service I don't want.

To drug dealers, yes. It is a job security and price subsidy windfall for them.

To police forces, yes. They get to seize money and property, buy lots of soldier gadgets and increase their pay and numbers.

To soldiers, yes. They get to have something exciting to do in between real wars.

To the federal govenrment, yes. They get increased power and decreased limitations.

To taxpayers, no. They get decreased police service at increased cost - just like with any other monopoly.

To drug users, no. They get inferior products at increased prices.

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 04:19 PM
And you are basing this on what? Tea leaves? Procognition? Uh yeah, tea leaves, that's right. But c'mon, now ... Don't make the mistake of equating drug use with alcohol use. The significant differences between the substances, the effects, the typical doses required to achieve the desired results, the mode of delivery, the amounts need for overdose are quite varying. It's the transition period that would be most difficult, and you have to consider the fact that there's rampant drug abuse already among those who would not be of legal age to use upon legalization.
A plan? Its not rocket science ... it doesn't require a "plan" ... just repeal the stupid laws against the use, manufacture, possession and sale of the damn drugs, reclassify the drugs as being pretty much the same as alcohol and you're done! You think it would be that easy? You want to use the model of retail alcohol sales for legal drug distribution? Then quit stating that drug prices would go down, for one thing.
but then the use (and abuse) rates dropped back down to what they where BEFORE prohibition.
And yes, since Prohibition ended, while the alcoholism rates have fluctuated and not always displayed major growth, the alcohol abuse rate in this country has dramatically increased, as has the rate of alcohol use by teenagers.

What's up, by the way, with all the little insulting comments?
You have been reading this thread, right?
Are YOU gonna run out and start shooting meth the instant it becomes legal?
And to whom was this one directed? I haven't seen a lot of support for the WOD in this thread, not even from me ...
YOU are too stupid to make decisions for yourselves and need the firm hand of Father Government (or Mother Government for the leftists) to guide you to the shining police state on the hill.

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 04:56 PM
Clue for ya Old Dog. Alcohol IS a drug. Of course there are differences in modes of action, means of delivery and LD-50 values for each chemical compound. Just as there are different modes of action, means of delivery and LD-50s for medicines. Which are also drugs. I don't doubt that there would be issues as people learn which chemicals they can handle, and at what doses. The blackhearted among us would refer to that as "culling the herd". And yes, since Prohibition ended, while the alcoholism rates have fluctuated and not always displayed major growth, the alcohol abuse rate in this country has dramatically increased, as has the rate of alcohol use by teenagers. Citation for those numbers?

My question was not phrased as an insult, my apologies if you took it that way. But the question is still there. You have asserted that drug use will skyrocket if the chemicals are legalized. What do you base this on?

gezzer
August 16, 2005, 05:05 PM
NO :banghead:

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 05:13 PM
Clue for ya Old Dog. Alcohol IS a drug. Gee, thanks.
And I still think you're missing my whole point. The point I've been trying to make is regarding the overall cost to the society, not the individual impact. You want to call it "culling the herd," fine, but if you want to ignore the pragmatic reality as far as the impact of legalization on all of the rest of the citizenry -- those of us who pay taxes and must support the government -- perhaps you need some clues. Our current system of thinly-disguised socialism is going away no time soon, so face the facts that, if drugs are in any way, shape or form legalized, YOU will be supporting the addictions of others, in much the same way you presently support treatment programs, the criminal justice system and welfare in this country now.

Citation for those numbers? I realize you probably don't want to see any government studies (although, guess who sponsors most of the studies on this kind of stuff?), and this one isn't as specific or have as much as others out there:

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/press/2004/NESARCNews.htm

oldfart
August 16, 2005, 05:25 PM
I'm impressed. Seven pages and very little venom. See, we can do it if we have to.

Old Dog, even if there were a huge upswing of addicts attributed to the legalization of drugs, and even if there were a correspondingly huge increase of deaths due to ovedsoses.... So what? The world is full of weak people who will become dependent on something or someone. A good proportion of them will die because of their weakness... regardless of whether or not drugs are legal!

What makes diamonds valuable? Or gold? Scarcity. If you had to toss the diamonds out of the garden so you could plant tomatoes (or pot), you probably wouldn't be buying them for jewelry. So what is the single most pervasive, least valuable (in terms of scarcity) thing on this planet? What single thing do we throw away in huge quantities?

Human life.

So a bunch of weak humans cook their brains and kill themselves. Sounds to me like Darwin in action. Sounds to me like a vacancy in the parking garage has opened up. We here in the west have beaten ourselves over the head for years with the idea that "life is sacred," and "a life is a terrible thing to waste." But a quick look around at some of those you've seen wasted will probably uncover a bunch that probably should never have been born. Sure, there is always colatteral dammage, where someone gets killed that isn't a hop-head, but the WOD is doing that too.

I don't know what's going to happen, but legalization isn't going to happen until every vestige of the present government is gone, and I don't think that will be a good thing either. It will happen, of course, but not in our lifetimes.

Before someone jumps up and throws the old "what if it were your kid that got killed" argument at me: It's already happened. Four of mine were killed quite legally in a program sponsored by the warm and fuzzy U.S. government. And as for experiences with druggies and gang-bangers... I've been there too. There aren't many benefits from getting old but experience is one of them. Sometimes in isn't a benefit either.

captain obvious
August 16, 2005, 05:25 PM
And yes, since Prohibition ended, while the alcoholism rates have fluctuated and not always displayed major growth, the alcohol abuse rate in this country has dramatically increased, as has the rate of alcohol use by teenagers.
:banghead:
Holy smokes! Someone dig up Carry Nation, and let's ban that horrible stuff!
Who else sees that we obviously need to return to prohibition?


No one? Damn, me neither.

longrifleman
August 16, 2005, 05:29 PM
The point I've been trying to make is regarding the overall cost to the society, not the individual impact.

Here is a good place to define the real cost of end the War on (some) Drugs.

Most of the social costs that you rightly point out we would pay under some form of legalization we already pay. The true cost of legalization is the costs of any increase in usage compared to the costs of fighting the war as it's currently structured. Not the total social costs.

I'm sure that the costs of arresting, trying and imprisoning thousands is quite a bit higher than the increased treatment costs would be. As for the increased number of people hurting themselves, I would trade those stupid people for the return of the Bill of Rights in a heartbeat. Am I your typical heartless libertarian? You betcha.

Justin
August 16, 2005, 05:30 PM
What's up, by the way, with all the little insulting comments? I didn't insult you. I asked a question. One which, under the circumstances, strikes me as completely legitimate.

Perhaps the question to ask is this:

Under what circumstances would you consider ending the drug war?

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 05:41 PM
I realize you probably don't want to see any government studies (although, guess who sponsors most of the studies on this kind of stuff?), and this one isn't as specific or have as much as others out there: I don't trust data published by agencies that have a vested interest making a possible problem look really really bad, no.

Addressing the numbers in the link you provided (thank you), alcohol abuse and/or dependence rose from 7.4% in 1991/1992 to 8.5% in 2001/2002, a rise of 1.1%.* Interesting that for a similar period (1990-2000), the overall population of the U.S. rose from 248.7 million in 1990, to 281.4 million in 2000. An increase of 13.1%. It would appear that while the shear numbers of EtOH abuse/depence rose, the overall like situation declined. That does not look like a dramatic increase to my eyes. Granted my formal training is NOT in statistics. Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004997.html

On Edit: I was looking at the change in percentages, should have calulated the numbers instead. Based on the figures in the link supplied by Old Dog, EtOH dependence and/or abuse rose by 3.8 million, in increase of ~27.5% over the decade. That IS a dramatic increase. Old Dog is correct in this instance.

YOU will be supporting the addictions of others The issue of public support (aka welfare) has been addressed by others. Test posative = no $$$. Personally, I have no issue with a portion of the taxes I pay being used to assist those who DO have a problem and want help. Far better that than being used to erode our liberties.

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 05:43 PM
Holy smokes! Someone dig up Carry Nation, and let's ban that horrible stuff! Captain Obvious? Apparently you also are more concerned with making clever remarks than attempting to see someone's point ... For the last time, I'm merely trying to point out that, with legalization of drugs, we would possibly be trading in one set of overwhelming expenses for another, and at the same time, simply creating new bureaucracies ...
I'm sure that the costs of arresting, trying and imprisoning thousands is quite a bit higher than the increased treatment costs would be. Not so sure about that, and I'm not talking about simply increased treatment costs vs. the present costs of legal ramifications of drug use. It goes way beyond that. Picture the huge numbers of inmates currently incarcerated for drug-related offenses now out on the streets, many of whom will still be living in a drug culture, legal or otherwise, and mostly supported by some form of public assistance.
Old Dog, even if there were a huge upswing of addicts attributed to the legalization of drugs, and even if there were a correspondingly huge increase of deaths due to ovedsoses.... So what? The world is full of weak people who will become dependent on something or someone. A good proportion of them will die because of their weakness... regardless of whether or not drugs are legal! Yes, but I do NOT want to support their habits and their lifestyles, as I'm sure you do not either ...

Art Eatman
August 16, 2005, 05:44 PM
Kids, young people in general--are always--repeat, always--drawn to whatever is exciting or somehow a "no-no". There is always the lure of the unknown and the thrill of the illicit.

Witness young boys and guns. If you take the mystique away, and teach the kid that guns are no big deal, you're well on your way to gun-proofing your kid.

If there is some change in how we deal with drugs such that drugs aren't so exciting and "big deal", there's less interest. A probably-good start would be a PR campaign along the lines of "Drugs are stoooooopid!" Let teenagers use some variant of that line in TV ads, for instance--or in TV programming. Heck, give a tax break to producers who put that into the plot/dialogue. Why not? Look how much tax money we're now piddling away on stuff that doesn't work...

If it were not criminal to grow marijuana at home for your own use, I could see a TV spot with a guy in a cop uniform saying something like, "What you do at home is YOUR business; what you do in public is MY business." That focuses on behavior in public, which is where the majority of the drug problem is. Don't drive stoned.

And I still believe that if marijuana were legal, the use of crack cocaine would decline. People would rather get high on something that doesn't necessitate running from the cops. And marijuana is a tranquilizer, which thus has benefit in contrast to crack.

No matter what we do, there will always be a certain number of Bad People. And Bad Things. Better to reduce the incentive program we now have for this BPBT deal...

Art

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 05:44 PM
I'm impressed. Seven pages and very little venom. See, we can do it if we have to. True, our historical venom spitters are no longer with us, having gotten themselves banned. :rolleyes:

miko
August 16, 2005, 05:51 PM
Our current system of thinly-disguised socialism is going away no time soon...
You may be surprised...


Our current system of thinly-disguised socialism is going away no time soon, so face the facts that, if drugs are in any way, shape or form legalized, YOU will be supporting the addictions of others, in much the same way you presently support treatment programs, the criminal justice system and welfare in this country now.
Setting aside your failure to count the current cost of drug-related crime, incarceration of millions of non-agressing individuals, health effects of drugs of questionable purity and dosage, law-enforcement dedicated to drug war, setting all that aside for the moment, along with distinctions between tax-payers and tax-eaters....

If the choice is between the government taxing you some more versus the governent directly dictating what you can and cannot do with your body and your property and how you can interact with consenting adults, you would prefer more direct chattel slavery to imaginary increase in fiscal burden?
Hmm...

miko

Old Dog
August 16, 2005, 06:08 PM
Perhaps the question to ask is this:
Under what circumstances would you consider ending the drug war?

Clearly, as I stated at least twice previously, the drug war is not working; I also stated that I am aware of the significant danger to our Constitutional rights, and our rights that have already suffered with the WOD being run as it is ...

Obviously, funds should be diverted from some of the current, more esoteric law enforcement efforts (that have shown no benefits or long-term results) into education, treatment and diversion programs.

Anything that could be construed by a reasonable person (not in government or federal law enforcement) as an abrogation of the Bill of Rights or any article of the Constitution should not be used as a tool to fight the drug war. "Sneak'n'peek" warrants, surveillance efforts toward all citizens, militarized PD units invading houses to snag one baggie of bud, etc., etc. ... We've already gone there in this thread and others.

Distinguishing between hard drugs (heroin, methamphetamine, etc.) and soft (cannabis) and perhaps testing the Netherlands model (legalization of mj) while still enforcing legal sanctions for traffickers of hard drugs might be a start.

And I still believe that if marijuana were legal, the use of crack cocaine would decline. You know, this could certainly be true. However, looking at the period during which Alaska had allowed possession of marijuana (what was it, about 15 years, starting in the '70s?), I believe several studies by medical and education studies showed that the rate of cannabis use by teenage males was over twice as high as in the rest of the country -- and we're talking about kids who weren't of legal age to use. Just something to ponder. I'm sure most of us would rather have a kid who was a pothead rather than a tweaker, but ... (watch everyone jumps out of the woodwork to expound on all of their hugely successful pot-smoking friends) ... but I don't want a pothead kid, either.

If the choice is between the government taxing you some more versus the governent directly dictating what you can and cannot do with your body and your property and how you can interact with consenting adults, you would prefer more direct chattel slavery to imaginary increase in fiscal burden? Where did I say there had to be a choice made? Most of us on this forum, I'd think, don't give a rat's behind about the government dictating what we can and can't do with our bodies and other consenting adults ... If you believe in a principle (with respect to how you maintain your own body and what you do with it), do you really worry about what the law might say?

DMF
August 16, 2005, 06:48 PM
Prohibition was repealed less than one year before the passage of NFA. You don't see a connection there? What were all those agents going to do if they couldn't tell people what they could drink? They had to find something else.

Yeah, the BATF was instituted in '72, but those "new" BATF Agents were formerly agents of the FBI (and other agencies) who were already doing BATF type work under the "authority" of NFA since '34. Your statement is misleading. Gee Hawkeye for someone who hates the feds in general, and ATF specifically, could you at least get some of the history correct. ATF came out of the Alcohol Tax Unit of the IRS-CID, not the FBI. Also, due to various court decisions the NFA didn't really have any teeth until the GCA corrected some flaws in the language of the statute. Congress decided IRS-CID, was not giving the GCA crimes enough attention after the GCA was passed, and created ATF in 1972, because IRS-CID still had the ATU spending the vast majority of it's time busting illegal stills. Stills were still really big crime/money until the price of sugar and a few other factors caused the illegal booze business to taper of in the 80s. Funny prohibition didn't end the mobs big money trade in illegal booze in the decades following.

So the claims the end of prohibition, and the passage of the NFA in 1934, led directly to the ATF is bogus. The GCA and Congress' wish to see the GCA enforced in the late 60s and early 70s are what led to the ATF.

If you're going to hate, and rant about that hate, please learn the facts.

------------------

For the main argument here, anyone who thinks simply decriminalizing/legalizing drugs will solve crime problems please think again. Criminals who are committing crimes of violence in conjunction with the drug trade, will not suddenly become the neighborhood hesher who watches cartoons and eats twinkies after hitting the bong, if drugs are legalized. Just like the end of prohibition, they will find other crimes to commit. Why? Because they have no desire to make money legitimately, but rather want a quick buck.

In addition prices will not plummet with legalization. For the same reason illegal stills were turning huge profits into the 80s, and untaxed booze and cigarettes are still big crime today, drugs will continue to be a problem. Safety regulation for the industry, and taxation will all drive the pricing of the product. In the end there will still be a "black market" trade in drugs, because it will still be much cheaper to produce/procure XTC, coke, meth, etc, illegally.

Further, even if legalization caused a slight decrease in prices, your addicts will still be committing crimes to pay for their habits. They won't be capable of holding real jobs, as the typical addict can only stay motivated to work long enough to pay for the next fix. That attitude is not compatible with a legit job, but very compatible with a life of crime.

publius
August 16, 2005, 07:22 PM
Scalia (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZC.html) or Thomas (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZD1.html)?

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 07:48 PM
Here is another cost of the WoSD:

Venezuelan President Threatens U.S. With an Oil Embargo

August 15, 2005 8:05 p.m. EST

Matthew Borghese - All Headline News Contributor

Caracas, Venezuela (AHN) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatens to cut off oil exports to the United States, after tensions between the two countries mount.

During a recent speech in Caracas, President Chavez denounced the "aggressive" actions of the U.S. government against the South American country, threatening that Venezuelan oil "instead of going to the United States, could go elsewhere."

Tensions between the two countries have risen after Venezuela stopped assisting the U.S. in their War against Drugs.

In response, the U.S. canceled the military visas of Venezuelan military personnel, working with U.S. anti-drug agencies. Venezuela then deported U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials.

Currently, Venezuela controls the largest oil reserves in South America, making it the world's fifth largest oil producer.

Current estimates say Venezuela exports almost 1.3 million barrels a day to the United States.

Source:http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/2248301410

Venezuela is #4 is supplier of oil. http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html

The Real Hawkeye
August 16, 2005, 08:11 PM
DMF Said: Gee Hawkeye for someone who hates the feds in general, and ATF specifically, could you at least get some of the history correct. ATF came out of the Alcohol Tax Unit of the IRS-CID, not the FBI.That's not significant. The point is that there were federal agents doing BATF type work before there was a BATF.

Why do you keep dropping the B off of BATF, by the way? Are they no longer a Bureau?

As for hating, I hate any organization which works to deny Americans their rightful liberties. As for the individuals involved with the organization, I'm sure that most believe they are doing something good for the country. That confidence, however, is not very reassuring. Lots of people with good intentions brought about some of the worst tyrannies in history.

DMF
August 16, 2005, 08:46 PM
Hawkeye, they always have and probably always will abbreviate simply as ATF, not BATF, or BATFE. Kind of like ICE doesn't use the B their abbreviation. I did notice you completely ignored the rest of the history lesson.

Sindawe, there is no such entity as the Drug Enforcement Agency, in the US Government.

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 08:54 PM
DMF: You are correct. It is the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration. I was quoting the article as a whole. Not making editorial corrections. :D

ksnecktieman
August 16, 2005, 09:17 PM
This war can be won...... It has to be won in our schools with our children. It can not be won if there is massive profit in drugs. If there is massive profit in drugs we will have dealers on our street corners giving samples to our ten and twelve year olds that do not have the experience to say no.
Have the federal government produce it, or contract out the production of it, and sell it at cost, or a very minor profit. The drugs on the street now at 100$ will be selling for 10$ or less. No one will blow up a house and kill themselves trying to cook meth unless they can make money. No one will farm marijuana all year to sell for less than they can get for wheat, or corn. The government can break even, or even make a small profit, and save the billions we are using to try to stop the manufacture and importation of drugs. No one will have a profit motive to get johnny or suzy hooked on their product. No one will have to shoot it out with other dealers to protect their selling area. With the cost of a daily fix reduced from 100$ to 10$, the ones that support their habit with crime will not have to steal so much, or so often.
As far as the medical costs related to drugs,,, we are already paying them,,, so that is not an increase.

My opinion remains,,,, Legalize them all, sell them cheap, or even provide them to anyone that is addicted..... REPEAT AFTER ME, EVERYONE,,, "It is for the children." We have to fight this war where we can win it, and with the weapons we have. Our streets are where it HAS to be won. And our weapon is the "almighty dollar".

Sindawe
August 16, 2005, 09:31 PM
ksnecktieman: So, should we also nationalize the beer, wine and distilled spirits industry? How about the tobacco industry? Nationalize that as well? And in light of the growing problem of childhood obesity, lets nationalize all food production. And if we do the same with the pharmaceutical industry, think of all the money we can save for those who have to certain medications to live.

ksnecktieman
August 16, 2005, 11:27 PM
No, sindawe,,,, I do not advocate nationalizing anything,,, if the drug producers want to produce and sell drugs at a 100% profit, I am all in favor of it. If they will not, then I think we need to subsidize it, and put drugs on the street at a price any hamburger flipper at mcdonalds can afford. I do not think it is needed,,, offer the major drug producers the option, and shield them from liability,,, drugs will kill,,, the same as firearms, if misused. The key here is that anyone can produce them, no patent protection, no government regulation (except for purity, and excessive profits). We are making it legal for every citizen to produce drugs, and sell them. If I can buy ten bucks worth of sudafed, and ten bucks worth of ammonia, and a few other chemicals, and produce meth for a cash outlay of 50 bucks, and a few hours labor,,, my product should not be worth 500$, as it is now,,,... IF IT WAS legal, do you think Merck, or Bayer, or any major drug manufacturer would not make it, and sell it cheaper than I could in a home lab?

When someone asks the question why do we, or why do we not? Ninety percent of the time the answer is money. Remove the profit from drugs, and they will go away.


The beer, wine and distilled spirits is a war that we already lost, the same type of war, a different target...... AND does this apple taste as good as your orange?

dustind
August 17, 2005, 12:04 AM
Funny prohibition didn't end the mobs big money trade in illegal booze in the decades following. Wasn't booze still banned by a few states after prohibition? Many states had counties that banned it as well. Plus the regulations and taxes worked to make booze profitable by organized crime.

DMF
August 17, 2005, 12:49 AM
Plus the regulations and taxes worked to make booze profitable by organized crime. Well maybe you missed this portion of the post you quoted:

"In addition prices will not plummet with legalization. For the same reason illegal stills were turning huge profits into the 80s, and untaxed booze and cigarettes are still big crime today, drugs will continue to be a problem. Safety regulation for the industry, and taxation will all drive the pricing of the product. In the end there will still be a "black market" trade in drugs, because it will still be much cheaper to produce/procure XTC, coke, meth, etc, illegally."

Sindawe
August 17, 2005, 12:59 AM
I do not advocate nationalizing anything,,, if the drug producers want to produce and sell drugs at a 100% profit, I am all in favor of it. If they will not, then I think we need to subsidize it, and put drugs on the street at a price any hamburger flipper at mcdonalds can afford. If there is no profit, why should society at large subsidize it? If there is a profit motive, and those who manufacture/market the product have access to redress in the courts, away goes the majority of the crime and "collateral damage" associated with the drug trades. But I do have to ask, what are " excessive profits"? If all can produce under guidelines/liabilty of purity, why not let the market set the price? IF IT WAS legal, do you think Merck, or Bayer, or any major drug manufacturer would not make it, and sell it cheaper than I could in a home lab? Of course, except for those who like to tinker and experiment, as I've been known to do with extracts of barley and dilutions of honey.When someone asks the question why do we, or why do we not? Ninety percent of the time the answer is money. Remove the profit from drugs, and they will go away. Not entirely I think. Humans as a group have a desire and drive to altered states of awareness. For some its is based in external chemicals(drugs), for others it is internal(as a group, numinousity (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=Numinous), or those who are adrenaline junkies ). Then there are those such as myself who would love to experiment with some of the natural plant drug sources. Years back I saw of photo of a Cannabis species sport in which the leaves where half green, half white (lacking in chlorophyll) that would would make a striking and lovely annual shrubbery.

publius
August 17, 2005, 06:10 AM
For the same reason illegal stills were turning huge profits into the 80s, and untaxed booze and cigarettes are still big crime today, drugs will continue to be a problem.

I've been drinking and smoking for 20 plus years now, and I've never seen any black market booze or black market smokes anywhere. Not even once.

Something tells me that if they were ONLY available in the black market, I'd have come across them, as I have come across quite a bit of contraband.

Why, with all the taxes and regulation, has the black market still not managed to compete for my dollar?

Because black markets suck. If I found black market hooch, I'd wonder what was in it. I know what's in Bacardi. If I found black market hooch, I'd wonder if the dealer was about to shoot me or rip me off. I've never wondered that when walking into a liquor store. Even with their lower costs and lack of taxes and regulation, black markets have no shot at real competition with the folks who are REALLY "turning huge profits" in those industries: the legal, regulated businesses. Has any illegal still done as well as Jack Daniels Distillery? Turning huge profits indeed.

publius
August 17, 2005, 06:17 AM
Hawkeye, they always have and probably always will abbreviate simply as ATF, not BATF, or BATFE. Kind of like ICE doesn't use the B their abbreviation. I did notice you completely ignored the rest of the history lesson.

Sindawe, there is no such entity as the Drug Enforcement Agency, in the US Government.

Now that we've got them all named and categorized properly, what do you think of the actual Constitutional (?) source of their power (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZC.html)?

Some call me hindered by dogma, but I don't believe the commerce clause was put there to create a federal regulatory state. How about you?

Byron Quick
August 17, 2005, 08:35 AM
I've been drinking and smoking for 20 plus years now, and I've never seen any black market booze or black market smokes anywhere. Not even once.


Have you ever looked? I live a dry county in Georgia. No liquor. Beer and wine only. I've cousins who were raised on the sale of Jack Daniels and their dad didn't have a license. (Gentleman in question is dead now)

Check into the racket of smuggling cigarettes from a low tax state to a high tax state. I haven't looked at it since the huge increase in prices following the tobacco settlement...don't know if it's still as lucrative as it once was. But they've caught container loads of smuggled cigarettes in the past.

Many years ago, my mother and I were having a similar discussion on marijuana. I told her that she could search me thoroughly and then put me out at the front door of any church in town on a Sunday. I'd give her some marijuana when I came out.

If there is a demand for it then there will be a supply for it. Simple as that.

longrifleman
August 17, 2005, 08:37 AM
and taxation will all drive the pricing of the product

Methinks a govt employee is a bit addicted to taxes! :neener:

I've noticed that the only places in the country with any serious amount of black market in otherwise legal products are places where the "sin" taxes are ridiculosy high. I have a simple solution to that problem.

The Real Hawkeye
August 17, 2005, 08:44 AM
I did notice you completely ignored the rest of the history lesson.I said that it had little if any significance in regard to my point, which was that Federal Agents, under one name or another, have been doing BATF type work since the passage of the NFA. Whether it was under the Department of the Treasury or the FBI is not relevant to that point. I believe, however, that in my original post (to which you are referring) on this I did say "FBI (and/or other Federal Agencies)," or something to that effect.

The Real Hawkeye
August 17, 2005, 08:47 AM
Some call me hindered by dogma, but I don't believe the commerce clause was put there to create a federal regulatory state. How about you?As for me, naturally, you are preaching to the choir.

miko
August 17, 2005, 08:53 AM
Where did I say there had to be a choice made?

“Choice” was not a good word to use – we are certainly not faced with any, as our masters have long relieved us from that burdensome responsibility. I am questioning your apparent preference of ban on production/sale/consumption of narcotics to increase in taxes.


If you believe in a principle (with respect to how you maintain your own body and what you do with it), do you really worry about what the law might say?

Not “law” - legislation. And yes – I do really worry about. First, it does not just say what I can do – it enforces what it says. Second, the whole problem of drugs being pushed on our children has been solely created by the legislation. The Drug War is really Drug Price Support program.



For the main argument here, anyone who thinks simply decriminalizing/legalizing drugs will solve crime problems please think again. Criminals who are committing crimes of violence…

Good old straw man tactics… When you attribute total idiocy to your imaginary opponents, sure you argument makes sense.
Of course nobody claims that legalizing drugs would solve “crime problems”, whatever you mean by that. It would drastically reduce some crime and social ills (prostitution, infection, etc.), organized crime and corruption.
When a person can support his cocaine habit by working at McDonalds, he/she would have no motivation to rob old ladies, break into houses, sell their bodies on the street or push same drug to school-children.


Further, even if legalization caused a slight decrease in prices, your addicts will still be committing crimes to pay for their habits. They won't be capable of holding real jobs, as the typical addict can only stay motivated to work long enough to pay for the next fix.

Both history and technology refutes you. The cost of narcotics sold in pharmacies will be less than the cost of their packaging – so cheap they are to produce.
Before the ban in the beginning of 20th century, opium, cocaine and other substances were sold in pharmacies for pennies without prescription and tens of thousands of people used them while leading normal productive lives.
Besides, the prohibition always causes the use of more potent substances to increase compared to mild ones – so called “Rhett Butler” effect known to any economist.
Smuggling whisky or heroine is much more economical than smuggling beer, wine and marijuana – more bulk, more risk, less profit.

miko

miko
August 17, 2005, 09:00 AM
Some call me hindered by dogma, but I don't believe the commerce clause was put there to create a federal regulatory state. How about you?

Actually it was. Of course the meaning of the words “regulate commerce” in those times was “make commerce regular, remove obstacles”, not “totally control and/or ban and create obstacles to production, distribution and sale”.

That’s quite common occurrence in languages. For example “control” used to mean “direct” and now often means “exterminate” (pest control?!).
“free” used to mean “not a subject to coercion by other human” while now it means “vacant” (bathroom stall) or “incurring no cost”.

miko

publius
August 17, 2005, 09:41 AM
Have you ever looked?
No, I can't say I have. And I'm aware that some smuggling, etc goes on in an effort to thwart taxation. But the black market for alcohol and tobacco is dwarfed by the legal market. Even with ridiculously high taxes, many people stick with the legal market.

The existence of the legal market has made the size of the black market, and the problems it causes, negligible. Yeah, it's still there. Somewhere. Maybe one day I'll see evidence of it in my own life, not just read about it in a book.

publius
August 17, 2005, 09:44 AM
Actually it was.Not by the modern meaning of "federal regulatory state." ;)

spartacus2002
August 17, 2005, 10:23 AM
For the main argument here, anyone who thinks simply decriminalizing/legalizing drugs will solve crime problems please think again.

This illustrates the confusion between drug USE, drug ABUSE, and drug trade violence. These are 3 totally separate issues. The drug-trade violence is a government-created animal, just like Al Capone, because criminals will fill the void. Given that they cannot rely on the courts to settle business disputes, they utilize violence.

Drug use and drug abuse are not the same thing at all. Not all alcohol-drinkers become alcoholics. Do I think meth has any good uses? No. However, to use that as a justification for banning marijuana is ridiculous. In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that legalizing marijuana will lead to a reduction in trafficking/use of harder drugs -- if all drugs are illegal, traffickers will push the drugs that are smallest to transport and pack the most wallop for the size.

Keaner
August 17, 2005, 10:49 AM
You guys are all missing the #1 reason why we should NEVER legalize and tax drugs.

The BATFE would be entirely too unmemorizable! :D
Honestly, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, Amphetamines, Narcotics, Methamphetamines, Opiates, Halucinogens, and Depressives?
(And thats only off the top of my head! Give some .gov guy with too much time something, and Ill bet it'll be worse than the BATFEANMOHD!)


:evil:

What can I say, if people want to kill themselves by drinking/smoking/injecting whatever they want, or by not wearing a seatbelt, or helmet, god bless em. Have a ball.

It is VERY hypocritical to advocate having drugs illegal, when drugs like Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and asprin are legal.

Old Dog
August 17, 2005, 10:51 AM
The drug-trade violence is a government-created animal, just like Al Capone, because criminals will fill the void. Given that they cannot rely on the courts to settle business disputes, they utilize violence. While there still exists drug trade violence (in the U.S.), it's now primarily smaller scale in nature (one dealer taking out another) and not nearly as frequent as, for example, the days of the coke wars in South Florida with the Cubans, Columbians, Haiitians and Jamaicans engaged in high-profile public shootouts or the crack wars in other various urban areas later on ... But, get past the concept of drug-trade violence for a moment and understand that the real crime problem is caused by those people using drugs

If you look at countries that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization, I think you'll find that in the areas drug use was concentrated, crime actually rose. Most street cops will probably tell you that they're not as concerned about dealing with the dealers as they are with their everyday dealings with those who are using ... which is where most of your criminal activity comes from -- shoplifting, burglaries, prostitution, armed robberies, muggings, mail theft, identity theft, vandalism, assault, even rape and welfare fraud. No matter how inexpensive drugs are, regular users and addicts will still need a way to pay for them.

Bottom line: legalization is not a panacea for eliminating drug-related crime.

Drug use and drug abuse are not the same thing at all. Not all alcohol-drinkers become alcoholics. Do I think meth has any good uses? No. However, to use that as a justification for banning marijuana is ridiculous. In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that legalizing marijuana will lead to a reduction in trafficking/use of harder drugs -- if all drugs are illegal, traffickers will push the drugs that are smallest to transport and pack the most wallop for the size. Now, I can agree with your first couple of sentences here, and your further statements may also be supportable, based on recent research and experiences in other countries.

longeyes
August 17, 2005, 10:55 AM
Yes, it's worth it. Weren't the Opium Wars in the 19th century "worth it?" Definitely worth it. For some people. A lot of great American fortunes sprang from drugs and got laundered through newly founded, to-be-great American banks. The more things change the more they remain the same. :fire:

publius
August 17, 2005, 11:02 AM
Do I think meth has any good uses? No.Don't we give some kind of methamphetamines to our pilots when they have to fly long missions?

spartacus2002
August 17, 2005, 11:02 AM
If you look at countries that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization, I think you'll find that in the areas drug use was concentrated, crime actually rose. Most street cops will probably tell you that they're not as concerned about dealing with the dealers as they are with their everyday dealings with those who are using ... which is where most of your criminal activity comes from -- shoplifting, burglaries, prostitution, armed robberies, muggings, mail theft, identity theft, vandalism, assault, even rape and welfare fraud. No matter how inexpensive drugs are, regular users and addicts will still need a way to pay for them.

Bottom line: legalization is not a panacea for eliminating drug-related crime.

I'd rather have that slightly increased level of street crime than have no-knock raids, asset forfeitures, and all the other 4th-amendment-wrecking government behavior we have now.

Henry Bowman
August 17, 2005, 11:08 AM
I'd rather have that slightly increased level of street crime than have no-knock raids, asset forfeitures, and all the other 4th-amendment-wrecking government behavior we have now. Yes, freedom has its price. And though the price of freedom is as high as ever, its value seems to be atan all time low.

Michigander
August 17, 2005, 11:20 AM
If you look at countries that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization, I think you'll find that in the areas drug use was concentrated, crime actually rose.

Hmm. I looked and found:

According to the available research, little or no increase in marijuana or other drug use has been shown under decriminalization, nor have adolescent attitudes changed as a result. It was noted that the Netherlands saw a significant increase in marijuana use among 18 to 20 year-olds between 1984 and 1992, a time in which the number of coffeeshops selling cannabis in Amsterdam increased tenfold. However, Dutch heroin and cocaine use have not increased, and crime rates have not increased because of the policy. In fact, it appears that fewer Dutch cannabis users go on to use cocaine, possibly because the quasi-legal cannabis market is separated from the illicit hard drug market.(emphasis added)
source: http://www.november.org/razorwire/rzold/14/1412.html

Here's more interesting reading: http://www.cedro-uva.org/lib/reinarman.dutch.html

Old Dog
August 17, 2005, 12:22 PM
Well, Michigander ... I'll stand by that statement. If you like to use Google, you can find any number of articles, studies and reports of hearings with factoids to support almost any argument. At any rate, your basic pothead is certainly part of the more benign drug scene and typically isn't the cause of most drug crime. I think what most of us are concerned about are the drugs methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, the mileau in which they're used and the problems associated with their abuse and addiction ... However, let's look at the concept of "harm reduction" and legalization or government management of the hard drug scene. No one should argue, for example, that Switzerland's "Needle Park" was a miserable failure. In fact, it pretty much convinced the Swiss that legalization of hard drugs was not the answer. Those who've been there remember well that Amsterdam and Zurich in the mid-90s had a lot of areas you didn't want to visit with your children ...

I find it interesting that all the countries that experiment with, or propose widespread decriminalization or outright legalization of drugs are countries that already provide addicts with a wide array of government benefits, in which their welfare programs not only enable addiction by shielding addicts from the consequences of their actions, but also pay for and provide their drugs, further encouraging dependency on public largesse.

I'd rather have that slightly increased level of street crime than have no-knock raids, asset forfeitures, and all the other 4th-amendment-wrecking government behavior we have now. Well, everyone must do their own cost-benefit analysis ... For many of us, the increase in crime (though I personally doubt that it'd be only "slightly increased") would be worth it to see the full restoration of rights that should be unquestioned. For society overall, the cost might be steep. Frankly, I puzzle at those of you who rant daily about taxes, welfare, illegal immigration, the federal bureaucracy, increased government intervention in your lives, yet espouse things such as drug legalization which will lead only to more taxes, more folks on the welfare rolls (is it more expensive to house someone in the state penitentiary or pay them welfare benefits?), doubtless more illegal residents, more bureacracy and more nanny-statism ...

DeseoUnTaco
August 17, 2005, 12:33 PM
Tensions between the two countries have risen after Venezuela stopped assisting the U.S. in their War against Drugs.
Go Venezuela! It's sad to see that we have to rely on foreigners to defend our freedom, but so be it. Maybe my next vacation will be there so I can support them with my tourist dollars.

I'm glad that they deported their resident DEA agents. All the rest of South America should follow their example. I wouldn't want Venezuelan cops coming to the US to enforce Venezuelan laws on me. They shouldn't put up with that kind of thing either.

Henry Bowman
August 17, 2005, 12:39 PM
Frankly, I puzzle at those of you who rant daily about taxes, welfare, illegal immigration, the federal bureaucracy, increased government intervention in your lives, yet espouse things such as drug legalization which will lead only to more taxes, more folks on the welfare rolls (is it more expensive to house someone in the state penitentiary or pay them welfare benefits?), doubtless more illegal residents, more bureacracy and more nanny-statism ... :confused: :confused: It seems logical that those who rant daily about taxes, welfare, etc. would also say that drug addicts should not be allowed on the welfare roles (if anyone should). In today's world, one cannot be addressed without the other. That is, part of the exit plan for the War on Drugs has to include defenses for our welfare system (or a concurrent exit strategy there, as well).

NHBB
August 17, 2005, 12:47 PM
I am not for all out drug legalization. I am however for the motion of making marijuana legal or at least a compromise... as a ticketable offense like a parking ticket if partaking in public and such. the ramifications for something as innocent as a little weed are just ridiculous. try getting federal loans for college with a simple posession charge, my brother ruined his college future like that, but was able to get the charge expunged and can now afford higher learning.

I smoked when I was a kid, and today I am a self employed white collar professional. On the flip side, I don't believe heroin, coke etc. should be legalized, I have seen it destroy many lives and be the influence for a large amount of violent crime. Rarely have I ever seen violence play into a marijuana transaction in my experiences growing up.

GunGoBoom
August 17, 2005, 01:03 PM
Is the war on drugs really worth it?

Thank you for asking. That's the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. Of course, clearly it's not worth it. (A) It hasn't worked. It's an absolute dismal failure - drug use is still rampant, (B) it increases crime because it makes selling drugs quite profitable, and the merchants of the contraband must use violence (crime) as their tool of enforcement, since they don't have access to the courts for enforcement of their contracts, (C) The monetary / taxation cost and burden on us as taxpayers to prosecute this war is ENORMOUS. (D) The cost to us as citizens of lost or eroded civil rights is ENORMOUS. So it's a lose-lose. Not a win-win. Not a win-lose or lose-win. It's a lose-lose.

I hate drugs (including alcohol and tobacco). I despise them. I don't use them, think anyone who does is young and ignorant of their longterm effects, or a moron, and I avoid even prescription narcotics like the plague. I have personally seen the devastating effects of drug use (including alcohol). It's a scourge on society, without a doubt. But it's an absolute non-sequitor to conclude that because drugs are bad (they really are), that the war on (some) drugs makes sense. Because it doesn't REDUCE drug use. It targets the wrong drugs (alcohol is by far the most dangerous and costs society the most money, lives, and misery).

The solution is something like this...this would actually reduce drug use. Take the entire federal budget of homeland security, FBI, Customs, DEA, younameit - any and all federal and state alphabet soup budget portions that are allocated in whole or part to fighting the war on some drugs. Cut that budget by THREE-FOURTHS. Slash and cut the vast majority of alphabet soup LEOs, their offices and toys. Let them run on the remaining 1/4ths of the budget, for enforcing other crimes. Take this 3/4ths of budgets, give half of that back to the people via a tax cut. Take the other half and spend it on EDUCATING our youth on how bad drugs can screw up their lives, and subsidizing/providing TREATMENT centers for the general public, for people who are hooked on drugs, and want desperately to get off of them and run a productive life. Then, we'd have much more money in our pockets, less crime on the streets, much more civil liberties, true to the Constitution, and much less drug use. We should also de-criminalize pot.

javafiend
August 17, 2005, 01:06 PM
For many of us, the increase in crime ...

Actually there is reason to believe that we would see a strong decrease in crime, just as we did after we ended alcohol prohibition. Do you notice how the Budweiser distributor and Coors distributor never fight it out over turf? Drug dealers cannot take their business disputes to court for adjudication, hence the violence associated with the black market distribution of drugs.

Almost all "drug-related crime" is a product of the black market. Eliminate the black market through decriminalization, and the concomitant crime with also disappear.

See Drug Library (http://www.druglibrary.org/default.htm).
No one should argue, for example, that Switzerland's "Needle Park" was a miserable failure. In fact, it pretty much convinced the Swiss that legalization of hard drugs was not the answer.

I think you mean that no one would argue that it was NOT a failure. That's what you mean, right?

While the Swiss Government admits that "Needle Park" was not the best approach to the problem, they have since instituted heroin maintenance programs for addicts which are quite successful. See this article about Switzerland (http://www.drugpolicy.org/global/drugpolicyby/westerneurop/switzerland/). Once again, the Swiss are quite sensible.

If you look at countries that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization, I think you'll find that in the areas drug use was concentrated, crime actually rose.

A hundred years ago one could buy extract of cannabis and opium over the counter. There were no drug cartels, no shoot-outs over turf, no gangs of young homies with huge wads of cash holding entire neighborhoods in thrall.

And then the "progressives" gave us the war on drugs through passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. Nevermind that our country had gotten along just fine without a drug war for the previous 138 years of its history.

The same "progressive" spirit later gave us alcohol prohibition in 1919 and the National Firearms Act of 1934.

And it really is the same spirit that thinks "my neighbor cannot be trusted with a bong, he'll just go crazy and destroy the neighborhood" as "my neighbor cannot be trusted with a gun, he'll just go crazy and shoot up the neighborhood."

Old Dog
August 17, 2005, 01:27 PM
Actually there is reason to believe that we would see a strong decrease in crime, just as we did after we ended alcohol prohibition. Do you notice how the Budweiser distributor and Coors distributor never fight it out over turf? Drug dealers cannot take their business disputes to court for adjudication, hence the violence associated with the black market distribution of drugs.
Did you happen to read my previous post? You're reiterating an idea already brought up, to which I said:
But, get past the concept of drug-trade violence for a moment and understand that the real crime problem is caused by those people using drugs
I think you mean that no one would argue that it was NOT a failure. That's what you mean, right? Thank you, yes.
While the Swiss Government admits that "Needle Park" was not the best approach to the problem, they have since instituted heroin maintenance programs for addicts which are quite successful. See this article about Switzerland. Once again, the Swiss are quite sensible. Old news, and applies mainly to the marijuana issue -- the "harm reduction" measures for heroin maintenance is also old news; the real issue is that the Swiss rejected legalization of the hard drugs.
And it really is the same spirit that thinks "my neighbor cannot be trusted with a bong, he'll just go crazy and destroy the neighborhood" as "my neighbor cannot be trusted with a gun, he'll just go crazy and shoot up the neighborhood." And that, my friend, is an entirely fallacious argument. Owning a gun is the same as owning a tool -- the gun, or the tool does not influence or control your behavior, nor does it diminish your capacity to think or kill brain cells. Drugs do.

javafiend
August 17, 2005, 04:15 PM
Old Dog wrote:
Old news, and applies mainly to the marijuana issue -- the "harm reduction" measures for heroin maintenance is also old news; the real issue is that the Swiss rejected legalization of the hard drugs.

Did you know that in Switzerland, addicts can get heroin by prescription? (http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=2251&sid=4351187)

"Legalization" doesn't necessarily mean that heroin is sold in vending machines, or given away by the government. It means disconnecting the link between addict and the criminal drug cartel. There are any number of ways to decriminalize drugs, and just about any way would be better than the current war on (some) drugs.

But, get past the concept of drug-trade violence for a moment and understand that the real crime problem is caused by those people using drugs

What are you basing this statement on?

"The drug war is responsible for at least half of our serious crime." Steven B. Duke, Law of Science and Technology Professor at Yale Law School. He is co-author, with Albert C. Gross, of America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade against Drugs (Tarcher/Putnam, 1993).

Owning a gun is the same as owning a tool -- the gun, or the tool does not influence or control your behavior, nor does it diminish your capacity to think or kill brain cells. Drugs do.

I think it's a valid comparison. In both cases, advocates of the war on drugs and the war on drugs demonize an entire class of people based on the misbehaviour of a small number of people within that class. Therefore, *all* members of the class - even the ones who responsibly and peacefully engage in their hobby - must be persecuted, indicted, dispossessed, etc.

As illustration, let's rewrite your sentence. "Understand that the real crime problem is caused by those people owning guns." Guns - especially scary-looking EBGs - make people do bad things. Drugs - especially exotic drugs associated with foreigners - make people do bad things. It's reefer madness all over again. Compare hemp, coca, opiates, PCP, LSD with alcohol. Only one of these drugs is criminogenic.

In Switzerland, cannabis can be purchased over the counter in pharmacies and health food stores throughout the country. No prescription is required, it's right there on the shelf with the shampoo and the vitamin C. Heroin is available by prescription. Compare that to the endless war on drugs in the US.

Guess which country is safer? Which country has a lower crime rate?

Glock Glockler
August 17, 2005, 04:15 PM
Old Dog,

You're banning something based on it's potential value regarding crime, and that is why the previous analogy is appropriate.

By your logic we should ban alcohol (that didnt work out so well either) and any prescription meds that have potential side effects (just about all of them).

Old Dog
August 17, 2005, 04:58 PM
What are you basing this statement on?
Let's go back to my previous post, again ...
Most street cops will probably tell you that they're not as concerned about dealing with the dealers as they are with their everyday dealings with those who are using ... which is where most of your criminal activity comes from -- shoplifting, burglaries, prostitution, armed robberies, muggings, mail theft, identity theft, vandalism, assault, even rape and welfare fraud. No matter how inexpensive drugs are, regular users and addicts will still need a way to pay for them. to which you responded:
"The drug war is responsible for at least half of our serious crime." Steven B. Duke, Law of Science and Technology Professor at Yale Law School. He is co-author, with Albert C. Gross, of America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade against Drugs (Tarcher/Putnam, 1993). Of course it is. But let's not continue confusing:
Economic-Related Drug Crime:
Those crime committed by drug users in order to support additional drug use. According to Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997, nineteen percent (19%) of State prisoners and sixteen percent (16%) of Federal inmates reported that they committed their most current offense to obtain money for drugs (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997). The percent of jail inmates who committed their offense to get money for drugs totaled about thirteen (13%). Among those inmates who committed their offense to obtain money for drugs, almost twelve percent (12%) committed violent offenses and nearly twenty-five percent (25%) committed property offenses (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997)
and Victim/Offender Use-Related: These crimes include those that are consequential to the ingestion of a drug by the victim or offender, causing irrational or violent behavior. This includes perpetration of a crime against a victim by the offender, as well as self-victimization due to mood changes initiated by substance abuse. Such crimes also include crimes committed by individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms--such as high levels of anxiety and irritability--and intentional ingestion of a drug to "relieve anxieties and stimulate courage" in preparation for acts of violence (Goldstein, Brownstein, & Ryan, 1992).
with
System-Related Drug Crimes: These crimes include those that directly or indirectly related to the system of drug trafficking and distribution, which frequently tend to be associated with the commission of violent crimes. Therefore, these include not only violations such as drug possession and/or manufacturing, but also crimes of violence resulting from dealings between drug dealers, competition for drug markets and customers, disputes and rip-offs among individuals involved in the illegal drug market, drug deals gone bad, identification of informers or undercover law enforcement officials, etc. Murder as a means of enforcing systemic codes, killing of informants, injury or death resulting from disputes over drug possession, territory, etc., are all included in this definition (Goldstein, Brownstein, & Ryan, 1992).

Perhaps legalization will work to reduce the drug-trade crime, but drug-related crime that we see now, we shall still see should drugs be legalized ...
Some random facts:
- The percentage of state prison inmates who reported being under the influence of drugs at the time of their offense was almost thirty-three percent (33%) (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997).
- In Albuquerque, New Mexico and Chicago, Illinois, close to thirty percent (30%) of males arrested and forty percent (40%) of females arrested in 1999 tested positive for more than one drug at the time of arrest (National Institute of Justice, 2000).
- An estimated 61,000 (16%) of convicted jail inmates committed their offense to get money for drugs (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000).
- 24.5 percent (24.5%) of Federal and 29 percent (29%) of State prison inmates reported being under the influence of drugs when committing violent offenses.
- 10.8 percent (10.8%) of Federal and 36.6 percent (36.6%) of State inmates reported being under the influence of drugs while committing property offenses.
- 25 percent (25%) of Federal and 41.9 percent (41.9%) of inmates reported being under the influence of drugs when committing drug offenses.
- 24.4 percent (24.4%) of Federal and 22.4 percent (22.4%) of State prison inmates reported being under the influence of drugs when committing weapon offenses.
- The 1999 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile Arrestees reported that the median rate of any drug use among adult male arrestees for both 1998 and 1999 was sixty-four percent (64%). For adult female arrestees, the median rate of any drug use in 1999 was sixty-seven percent (67%)
(National Institute of Justice, 2000).

Now -- As illustration, let's rewrite your sentence. "Understand that the real crime problem is caused by those people owning guns." Guns - especially scary-looking EBGs - make people do bad things. Drugs - especially exotic drugs associated with foreigners - make people do bad things. It's reefer madness all over again. Compare hemp, coca, opiates, PCP, LSD with alcohol. Only one of these drugs is criminogenic. No -- your comparison does not pass a simple logic test. While you may compare peoples' attitudes toward drugs with peoples' attitudes toward guns, and there may be similar feelings toward each, they are not the same. Again, ownership of a weapon does not presume criminal intent to use the weapon, nor does it presuppose that the owner will criminally use the weapon. Whereas, drug abuse is statistically shown to be an underlying factor in commission of crimes (not even including the fact that in most cases, the possession and use of the drug itself is a crime, whereas gun ownership is, for the most part, perfectly legal). I'm not sure why so many gun-owners are so willing to compare gun ownership with drug abuse ... simply because there exist movements against both ...

Glock Glockler
August 17, 2005, 05:26 PM
I'm not sure why so many gun-owners are so willing to compare gun ownership with drug abuse ... simply because there exist movements against both

They don't, no one here advocates drug misuse or abuse in the slightest, we have a problem when people want to ban things based on potential. If I commit a crime using a gun or using drugs I should be prosecuted to the fullest possible extent, but don't send the men in black balaclavas after me because I might misuse my gun or stash of X drug.

Gordon Fink
August 17, 2005, 09:37 PM
Criminals who are committing crimes of violence in conjunction with the drug trade, will not suddenly become the neighborhood hesher … if drugs are legalized. … [T]hey will find other crimes to commit. Why? Because they have no desire to make money legitimately, but rather want a quick buck.

What would criminals do in a society where the citizens were armed and the police were free to investigate actual crimes against people and property? I mean the ones that weren’t dead or incarcerated, that is.…

~G. Fink

Firethorn
August 17, 2005, 11:59 PM
For those who were talking about the failure of 'deregulated zones', 'needleparks', etc.

It's a ghettoization. The illegal cartels still get their money as providers. Drug users(abusers) are associated with higher crime rates. If you stuff all of them in one place, it'd be just like sticking all the low income one parent families in one spot. Crime is going to increase in that area.

As for welfare, petty crime, none of us calling for legalization believe that using should be possible for those on welfare, in prison, etc. Our best scenario is the same as cigarettes and alchohol. After work, on the weekend, whatever, the adult partakes of his chosen substance in a responsable manner. Those who don't, well, we'll nail for their illegal behavior, not the mere possesion.

Remember, most of us calling for legalization are libertarians, and if you check out our political beliefs, you'll see that ending the welfare state is right up there in the issues.

zahc
August 18, 2005, 12:30 AM
Whereas, drug abuse is statistically shown to be an underlying factor in commission of crimes

I'm going to assume you mean crimes other than doing drugs. Think about it...

I'm not afraid to say that I have many aquaintances that partake in illegal drugs, and the only crimes they commit are--doing the drugs. Your statement strikes me as bigoted and ignorant.

Just because YOU don't want to do drugs, or perhaps can't handle them in moderation or responsibly, doesn't mean there aren't others that can do both.

I'm an advocate of drug legalization because I believe in freedom. Not just for me.

mnrivrat
August 18, 2005, 12:52 AM
Wow ! Too many posts to read so I'll just chime in .


NO


In the first place , we are loosing it on every level I can think of. There is more drugs available now than ever before ,from what I see.

We are wasting billions of dollars on a problem that would likely have not gotten nearly as out of control if we had done nothing. We learned absolutely nothing from dealing with the war on alcohol that took place earlier.

publius
August 18, 2005, 06:19 AM
While you may compare peoples' attitudes toward drugs with peoples' attitudes toward guns, and there may be similar feelings toward each, they are not the same.
It's not just attitudes and feelings. It's laws. Drug precedents are applied to guns again and again. First it was the power to tax, later it was the commerce clause, and that one just happened again in the drug war (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZD1.html), and was again applied in the gun war (http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/04-617.htm).

I'll quit my bitching when drug warriors quit stretching the Constitution in ways that wind up being applied to my guns, so take it up with them.
Again, ownership of a weapon does not presume criminal intent to use the weapon, nor does it presuppose that the owner will criminally use the weapon. Whereas, drug abuse is statistically shown to be an underlying factor in commission of crimes
For which illegal drug do we arrest the most people? Let's ask the FBI:
In 2003, 45 percent of the 1,678,192 total arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana -- a total of 755,186. Of those, 662,886 people were arrested for marijuana possession alone. This is an increase from 2000, when a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 were for possession alone.
Source (http://drugwarfacts.org/marijuan.htm).

So we would be overrun with crime if we decriminalized and regulated cannabis? That would cause more crime than keeping a thriving black market around has caused? I don't share your assessment.

GunGoBoom
August 18, 2005, 09:44 AM
Forgot to mention....the only harebrained scheme our gov't has cooked up which will fail even more spectacularly than the war on some drugs is this farce known as the war on terror - how does one win a war on a concept, for starters? But it does accomplish the politicians' objective of restricting the people's rights. So it certainly makes sense from their point of view.

Old Dog
August 18, 2005, 12:37 PM
It's not just attitudes and feelings. It's laws. Drug precedents are applied to guns again and again. First it was the power to tax, later it was the commerce clause, and that one just happened again in the drug war, and was again applied in the gun war. Simply because the courts have applied the Commerce Clause to both drug and firearms cases does not make make the cause of drug legalization and the RKBA movement analogous. Drugs and guns are not similar in function. Has Congress passed laws that are unlawful extensions of its commerce power? Most definitely. The fact that the same precedents are often used is due to the widespread misapplication of the Commerce Clause, but drug cases are not being ruled on by the courts simply to set up subsequent government action to take away your guns.
So we would be overrun with crime if we decriminalized and regulated cannabis? That would cause more crime than keeping a thriving black market around has caused? I don't share your assessment. Please review my previous posts. I addressed cannabis.
I'm not afraid to say that I have many aquaintances that partake in illegal drugs, and the only crimes they commit are--doing the drugs. Sorry to hear that.
Your statement strikes me as bigoted and ignorant. If I'm bigoted because I have no respect for those who use drugs, so be it. Ignorant? No -- but you may be. I strongly suspect you've no experience taking neglected children out of the homes of addicts or the ruins of clandestine meth labs, getting them medical treatment and arranging foster care. I strongly suspect you've never had to repeatedly arrest a 16-year-old crackhead prostitute who resembles your own teenage daughter, nor ever found an 18-year-old heroin addict lying dead (found after three days) in his own vomit. I strongly suspect you've never had to visit your brother in prison after his last conviction for burglaries committed to support his meth habit. I strongly suspect you've never been the victim of any crime committed by someone trying to get something to sell for money to support an addiction ... No -- I'm not ignorant, simply more experienced than you may be.
Just because YOU don't want to do drugs, or perhaps can't handle them in moderation or responsibly, doesn't mean there aren't others that can do both. I was going to leave this silly statement alone ... but upon further review ... No, I don't want to do drugs, don't need to do drugs, and I simply don't care who out there is doing drugs ... As long as they're not teaching my children, driving a schoolbus, driving on the same public road with me or my family, working in a public safety position or building my house. Frankly, if you believe there are those who can "handle" drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine responsibly, get back to me in 20 years and tell me if you're still thinking that way ...

Glock Glockler
August 18, 2005, 02:41 PM
Old Dog,

I have addressed several points you made, feel free to respond.

I'm bigoted because I have no respect for those who use drugs, so be it. Ignorant? No -- but you may be. I strongly suspect you've no experience taking neglected children out of the homes of addicts or the ruins of clandestine meth labs, getting them medical treatment and arranging foster care. I strongly suspect you've never had to repeatedly arrest a 16-year-old crackhead prostitute who resembles your own teenage daughter, nor ever found an 18-year-old heroin addict lying dead (found after three days) in his own vomit

Oh, I get it, it's for the children. Well, I could simply point out that this is pure emotional spew and show the bodies of children killed as a result of "gun violence" and try to ban guns but I'd rather point out that 1) all of the above happen as a result of alcohol addiction, which I don't hear you railing against, and 2) that that prostitute could support her habit on a Burger King job were the price not artificially inflated due to the black market.

No, I don't want to do drugs, don't need to do drugs, and I simply don't care who out there is doing drugs ... As long as they're not teaching my children, driving a schoolbus, driving on the same public road with me or my family, working in a public safety position or building my house

Sounds good, but perhaps we can realize that putting drug users in jail is not productive. if you knew someone ho abused/misused alcohol would it be right to throw them in jail against their will, will they be better off for it?

danhei
August 18, 2005, 02:52 PM
Anyone who supports alcohol being legal while having other drugs illegal is, at best, inconsistent. Alcohol is a drug like any other and it is by far the most destructive to society.

longrifleman
August 18, 2005, 03:22 PM
I'm not ignorant, simply more experienced than you may be.

You have my sympathy for all the heartache and problems that drugs may have caused you, and this does help explain your perspective. I understand how these experiences can make it difficult to look objectively at the issue.

Unfortunately, facts aren't much affected by anyone's emotions. Drugs are a part of our society. No matter how much any of us would like to eliminate them, we are going to have to deal with them. The approach taken to this point hasn't worked very well, as the stories you told illustrate. The question is; are we going to continue doing the same, only harder, or are we going to try something else.

Gordon Fink
August 18, 2005, 04:11 PM
I’m an advocate of drug legalization because I believe in freedom.…

Well, that’s really the bottom line. I am for freedom, even if more freedom leads to an increase in crime. However, with the advent of modern firearms, I think this is much less likely than ever before in human history.

Think about why governments were instituted in the first place.

~G. Fink

afasano
August 18, 2005, 04:31 PM
No, the war or drugs isn't worth it, pregnat girls will have to learn that "just say no" wasn't a joke invented to spoil thier good time. Someone else has to deal with the results.

publius
August 18, 2005, 08:05 PM
Old Dog,

Precedents can't be applied if they are never set in the first place, and the drug war seems to be an excuse which makes otherwise reasonable people such as Scalia (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZC.html) think that a giant federal nanny state is Constitutional.

You say you've addressed cannabis, but I found only this:

Distinguishing between hard drugs (heroin, methamphetamine, etc.) and soft (cannabis) and perhaps testing the Netherlands model (legalization of mj) while still enforcing legal sanctions for traffickers of hard drugs might be a start.


And I still believe that if marijuana were legal, the use of crack cocaine would decline.
You know, this could certainly be true. However, looking at the period during which Alaska had allowed possession of marijuana (what was it, about 15 years, starting in the '70s?), I believe several studies by medical and education studies showed that the rate of cannabis use by teenage males was over twice as high as in the rest of the country -- and we're talking about kids who weren't of legal age to use. Just something to ponder.

That's IT? In all these posts?

As I've just shown, the war on cannabis is nearly half of the drug war. 45% of arrests in 2003. Well, yeah, distinguishing between the relatively benign and widely used cannabis and the extremely addictive heroin "might be a start." To say the least!

As for your statistics, since you brought up the Netherlands (http://drugwarfacts.org/thenethe.htm), you may be interested in how things have gone over there. They have about half the percentage of people who have tried pot that we have. Just something else to ponder.

miko
August 18, 2005, 08:33 PM
The government does not grow because it mistakenly perceives some public need. It invents needs in order to grow.

In 19th century US government believed that the right to consume and traffic drugs was so important that it joined other european powers in war on china - to force chinese government to repeal the prohibition on the import of opium (US was a party to the treaties of Tianjin in 1858).

miko

Too Many Choices!?
August 18, 2005, 09:23 PM
HOME BY HOME BASIS, duh! My family is not like yours. Some have two moms. Some have one parent. Some want kids. Some don't. People are different,so why should(and why do) we use the,"One size fits all", method that is Federal Law, on objecs, things, and substances, when we are all not the same"'Size"... Because government knows only one tool, and it's a sledge hammer, meaning the answer to delicate problems is to smash them :uhoh:

Because by using Federal regs. you can get around a whole lot of that hard stuff that we here call,"Real Police Work", or investigating. With the Fed. law, all you have to prove is possession, which is 9/10 of the Law. Which now gives us all the great things that we have today :uhoh: ...

If the WOSD had not been so successful at stirring up the soccer mom's and neo-puritans(Damn Hypocrites), then I doubt the government would have kept using these so-called ,"Wars", on Concepts/Objects, as excuses to prune and soon CHOP DOWN, our LIBERTY TREE... :uhoh:

PS: Poeple I know we are smarter than this(well some of us anyway). If all drugs were legal tomorrow, most here would not go out and ,'start using and become addicted". As hard as that is to belive, it is true. If a person drinks and drives over and over again, what happens? Oh yeah, they lose the Freedom to Drive on the Roads. If drugs were legal ,and a person using drugs is commiting crimes for the drugs ,or while on the drugs(let's say 3 strikes or 1 death); they lose the freedom to use THAT particular substance(if they kill someone ,or it's their 3rd strike they become a Felon and get 25years. Which oughtta sober up anyone).

Gordon Fink
August 18, 2005, 09:44 PM
If a person drinks and drives over and over again, what happens? Oh yeah, they lose the Freedom to Drive on the Roads.

Not once they are out of prison.

~G. Fink

Old Dog
August 18, 2005, 10:37 PM
Publius, in your point-by-point dissection of my posts, I think you've somehow missed the main thrust of my thesis, which is simply that, with legalization of drugs, we would be trading in one set of massive bureaucracies and huge costs for another. Additionally, as I noted, the drug crime of concern was not those arrested or incarcerated for use of marijuana, but those crimes committed by drug users, not to include the "crime" of using. Interestingly, you did miss my post where I noted that cannabis was relatively benign on the harm scale, but please also note that the Netherlands statistics regarding pot use are open for misinterpretation by both sides of the legalization issue. You will no doubt notice, if you check the recent studies, that there are those who've found that rate of marijuana use among Dutch youth is close to what it is in the U.S. Finally, using drug use statistics of any country where drug use is open and legal, thus easily monitored and quantified by researchers, and comparing the statistics to drug use in a country where use is primarily underground, is simply not a valid statistical comparison.

I'm also surprised that it took so many posts for someone to mention alcohol. Yes, Alcohol is a drug like any other and it is by far the most destructive to society. Sure can't argue that, but this thread is on the War on Drugs, not the War on Alcohol ...

Kjervin
August 18, 2005, 11:53 PM
I would trade the WOD for equal expenditures on welfare. Why? becuase without the WOD, .gov loses the rationale for infringing on so many of our rights. End the WOD not to save money, but to save liberty. Even if crimes created by addicts do not decrease, the removal of crimes from suppliers removes a lot of the need for the tactics created to combat drug suppliers, which sometimes have negative externalities for law abiding citizens. I would rather see drugs addressed as a public health issue (like alcohol abuse) then as a law enforcement issue. After all we already have rehab clinics, we might at worse need more of them. I also suspect that it would decrease the amount of animosity towards LE, as they would not have to be put in the position of having to do a job that many citizens (drug using or not) resent, and even many of those who agree with the policies do not appreciate.
Kj

Art Eatman
August 19, 2005, 12:03 AM
"with legalization of drugs, we would be trading in one set of massive bureaucracies and huge costs for another."

How?

We have a guestimated $90 billion in direct costs of buying drugs, now. That would dramatically decline. Then there is the cost of all the DEA folks as well as the anti-drug task forces at the local and state levels. We have the court costs plus the prison costs of some $30K per year per prisoner. These latter two costs should be much, much less. The official anti-drug effort is some $46 billion, last time I paid attention, and that was a few years back. And insurance premiums would drop for automobile comprehensive, burglary and health insurance.

Why would there be another huge bureaucracy? Consider how many fewer people would be needed for the DEA. How many fewer hours would be used by Border Patrol and local police in dealing with drug crimes of various sorts. And a helluva lot less clerical paper-shuffling--which ain't freebies, either.

If we spent the needed monies on anti-drug education, on such things as drug-rehab and halfway houses, we'd have better success in getting folks off the habit; that's well-established by many studies--but we don't spend our money there.

Folks laughed, but Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" was effective, as were the fried-egg TV ads. Much more is available for us, at no notable cost when looking at the way money is now spent.

Graystar
August 19, 2005, 03:14 AM
We learned absolutely nothing from dealing with the war on alcohol that took place earlier.Comparing drugs to alcohol is comparing apples to oranges.

When booze was prohibited the only crimes to come of it were running it and drinking it. Not so with drugs. As Arizona, Idaho, and other states are experiencing, drug use causes an explosion of property crime, as well as increases in robbery.

That is the primary difference between drugs and alcohol. You don’t see alcoholics committing violent crimes to get money to buy booze. Sure, they lie and cheat and steal from family to get money to buy a drink, but it’s a rare, otherwise law abiding citizen-turn-alcoholic that is pushed to commit felonies to support the habit. Highly addictive drugs are far more controlling than alcohol, and make people go far, far past the line they would otherwise have never crossed...much further than alcohol would. And *that* is why such drugs must remain banned

publius
August 19, 2005, 07:20 AM
I think you've somehow missed the main thrust of my thesis, which is simply that, with legalization of drugs, we would be trading in one set of massive bureaucracies and huge costs for another.

Attempting to prohibit cannabis costs a great deal without accomplishing the desired result. I believe it could be regulated like alcohol at much lower cost, and we could virtually eliminate the black market, which is a major source of crime and corruption.
the drug crime of concern was not those arrested or incarcerated for use of marijuana, but those crimes committed by drug users, not to include the "crime" of using.Marijuana causes people to sit on the couch eating Doritos. It does not cause them to go out and rob people. I've known many users, all of whom kept steady jobs, none of whom were criminals in any other way that I detected. Keeping it illegal, and keeping the black market around, in an effort to reduce crime is counterproductive. The main source of cannabis related crime is the black market for cannabis.

Interestingly, you did miss my post where I noted that cannabis was relatively benign on the harm scale
Yes, I did. So why is it a Schedule 1 drug, and why does it occupy almost half of our drug war resources?

but please also note that the Netherlands statistics regarding pot use are open for misinterpretation by both sides of the legalization issue. As are statistics regarding pot use in Alaska. At least mine came with a link.
You will no doubt notice, if you check the recent studies, that there are those who've found that rate of marijuana use among Dutch youth is close to what it is in the U.S.
I did check recent studies. I even linked to one, with data from as recently as 2001. They showed me that we have twice the drug users that the Netherlands has. Got any other studies, this time with links to supporting research?
Finally, using drug use statistics of any country where drug use is open and legal, thus easily monitored and quantified by researchers, and comparing the statistics to drug use in a country where use is primarily underground, is simply not a valid statistical comparison.

That's true. We probably underestimate the number of users, so if we knew the actual numbers, they would look even worse for the drug warriors. ;)

nextjoe
August 19, 2005, 08:07 AM
This essay, (http://www.richardhell.com/onheroin.html) written by the musician, author, poet, and former junkie Richard Hell might be of interest...

I'll quote one relevant passage, emphasis mine:
There are quite a few cultures where opium use is tolerated and addiction does not present a problem. The moment its use is obstructed, as happened in Pakistan in 1979, a market is created for the far more easily concealable and powerful and dangerous heroin (physical addiction to which occurs within two weeks daily use, while it's likely to take months of opium use). Pakistan, which had virtually no heroin addicts in 1979, now has over 200,000. All indications are that prohibition of a drug for which a demand exists leads only to crime and the chanelling of funds to criminals. Opiates aren't magically irresistible. It is ignorance and the fear created by ignorant and self-serving propaganda that fosters that idea.

Here's a guy who knows all too well the toll drugs can take, arguing against prohibition for the same reason as many on this thread.

Check out his bibliography, too. He went all the way back to De Quincey's Confessions, published in 1821. He's done his homework.

Graystar
August 19, 2005, 11:02 AM
Essay I found informativeIn this country alcohol and nicotine are legal. So why do people use illegal drugs?

I think that author’s view is a bit simplistic.

Byron Quick
August 19, 2005, 11:37 AM
Bottom line: legalization is not a panacea for eliminating drug-related crime.

Can you add and subtract? Consider: 1) An ounce of illegal and adulterated cocaine costs around $2,000. 2) An ounce of pharmaceutically pure cocaine is less than $200.

Now bring in the criminal user who is injecting an ounce of the adulterated crap each and every week and wacking little old ladies up side the head for the money. Say he averages a hundred bucks a wack. That's twenty little old ladies wacked up side the head for the illegal cocaine. Every week.

Ok, say the legal price is $150.00 (it's been years since I've seen a pharmaceutical catalog). The same lowlife only has to wack one little old lady up side the head each week. He doesn't need to wack the 0.5 little old lady for the cocaine is pure not adulterated. He's getting more bang for the buck

So even with the same drug crazed criminals runnig the street, you've just prevented his need to wack 19 little old ladies up side the head each week.

Oh, just for the sake of cogitation. The prices of pharmaceutical cocaine are inflated by government regulations designed to prevent diversion into the black market. Get rid of those and the druggie would only need to wack a little old lady up side the head every two weeks.

Personally, I think we ought to subsidize the idiots. Give them as much pure heroin and cocaine as they want...sayonara, sucker. Improve the gene pool.
The problem with the scenarios that you mentioned is that even with decriminalization the governments involved still try to minimize drug use. I'm for maximization to get rid of the leeches.

The Real Hawkeye
August 19, 2005, 11:49 AM
Yes!

Too Many Choices!?
August 19, 2005, 11:51 AM
I want the maximim liberty for EVERYBODY. Make your own choices, be it drug use, or gun possession; and nobody should be able to deny you these rights or choices :scrutiny: :banghead: ... AGAIN, you can NOT Regulate or Codify your own version of Morality into law without upsettiing a large portion of the populace. Drugs are illegal, a large portion of us ar upset our Liberties get trampled. Drugs are legal, the neo-puritans get upset because they actually have to talk to their kids and wathch them, instead of letting the government just ban all the evil things:fire:.

zahc
August 19, 2005, 12:24 PM
I strongly suspect you've no experience taking neglected children out of the homes of addicts or the ruins of clandestine meth labs, getting them medical treatment and arranging foster care. I strongly suspect you've never had to repeatedly arrest a 16-year-old crackhead prostitute who resembles your own teenage daughter, nor ever found an 18-year-old heroin addict lying dead (found after three days) in his own vomit. I strongly suspect you've never had to visit your brother in prison after his last conviction for burglaries committed to support his meth habit. I strongly suspect you've never been the victim of any crime committed by someone trying to get something to sell for money to support an addiction

All your suspicions are correct. I never mentioned hard drugs, because to me, here, the WOSD means the war on weed. I don't even drink caffiene or alcohol, but it seems everyone smokes weed. It doesn't bother me. I don't know anyone that is addicted to weed to the extent that people are commonly addicted to tobacco. I'm not afraid of people that toke up. I'd rather they did that than drink. They are harmless high, dangerous drunk in general. And the WOSD isn't working anyway. You know how far I have to go right now to buy weed? About 50 steps. You know how hard it is for me (being 20) to buy alcohol? Not impossible, but at least challenging. And you're right, I haven't experienced any of those things you mentioned, but I have experienced users getting their (productive, as if it should matter) lives ruined by getting caught with the herb, and I'm familiar with farmers having to worry about getting their property siezed because someone decided to start a pot farm in their woods, and having to worry about a dog twitching funny while sniffing my car, and lamenting over the rights I've lost, and the taxes I want back for that helicopter fuel as the drug chopper flies over looking for that evil hemp, as if there wasn't real crime to be working on. All this over a drug that to me seems more harmless than many legal drugs, makes the drug war a completely tragic and inexcusable misapplication of force and rescources, even if it was morally or constitutionally acceptable.

lose-lose

CAS700850
August 19, 2005, 02:43 PM
And now I finally see it at its most basic. This debate isn't about the War on Drugs. This debate is about the two issues which clash in this argument. On one hand, we have the people who dislike the War on Drugs due to the loss of freedoms/Constitutional intrusions that seem to have paralleled the WOD. On the other hand, we have the people who dislike the many issues associated with drug use, such as drug-related crime, children in foster care, etc. ANd that is why the fight will never be solved.

Why? Those against the WOD see the loss of freedom, heck, any loss of freedom, as being a greater price to pay than any increase in drug use and some of the concurrent issues. Freedom is the concern for this side.

On the other side, we have people's who are genuinely concerned about the tragic consequences of drug use, who would view any increase in drug use and the concurrent issues are being a greater price than the costs of the WOD, be it monitary or liberty.

Yet, if you get these two sides talking seperately, and not in a debate, both sides will tell you this: loss of freedoms is a bad thing. No one on this board would argue to the contrary (esp. on 2A issues). The tragedies associated with drug use are bad things. No one would argue that increasing the number of children in foster care due to parental neglect associated with drug use is good.

So, the question becomes which bad thing do you see as worse? And that's why this issue will never be resolved. This debate is not about drugs. It's about loss of freedoms versus the damage of drug use/addiction. Neither side is right or wrong. Both of these consequences are bad. Which you feel is worse is a personal decision, and should not be faulted.

oh blanky
August 19, 2005, 02:51 PM
Are you kidding? Of course it was worth it.

My city has a shiny new crown vic for every cop to take home equipped with big buck computers, kick ass new weapons, SWAT vehicles, and even some APCs.

My neighbor was attached to the DEA from a local pd and he has all sorts of cool vehicles and toys to play with.

SWEET!!

White Horseradish
August 19, 2005, 03:04 PM
When booze was prohibited the only crimes to come of it were running it and drinking it. Not so with drugs. As Arizona, Idaho, and other states are experiencing, drug use causes an explosion of property crime, as well as increases in robbery.Oh really? You mean to tell me there were not turf wars? No murder? Geez, Al Capone probably did only screw up on his taxes...

miko
August 19, 2005, 03:57 PM
This debate is about the two issues which clash in this argument. On one hand, we have the people who dislike the War on Drugs due to the loss of freedoms/Constitutional intrusions that seem to have paralleled the WOD. On the other hand, we have the people who dislike the many issues associated with drug use, such as drug-related crime, children in foster care, etc. ANd that is why the fight will never be solved.

You are wrong. The second is the direct consequence of the first.
It is an economic law that the government intrusion and violation of rights always makes worse the problems it purports to fix.

Regulation of rents cause less affordable housing and under-utilisation of that which is available. Attempts to raise the wages of workers cause lower wages or no wages.

Attempts to help family cause destruction of families.
Attempts to help children cause children not to be born.
Attempts to restrict drugs cause drugs of ever-increasing potency to become more widespread.
Attempts to create more perfect society leads to ongoing physical extinction of the population afflicted.

So you can talk about the symptoms or you can look for the cause.

miko

Old Dog
August 19, 2005, 04:03 PM
CAS70085 pretty much summed it up. Except -- it seems to me that there are also those who (and I may be reading something into some of the posts) for one reason or another, don't want to acknowledge even the possibility that, with legalization, costs to society will be steep. I believe this is an important consideration. Another thing that concerns me is the number of folks who simply don't care what the costs of legalization may entail, they are concerned only with possible further erosion of of rights. Better to live in urban chaos, surrounded by addicts, fourth generation welfare families, high crime, pay even higher taxes but not have to be concerned about the possibility of some SWAT unit accidentally coming through your front door, right? (Frankly, I believe we can protect -- and restore - our Constitutional rights without legalizing drugs.)

I like this question, coming from a moderator (really sticking to the high road):
Can you add and subtract?
Why, yes I can. Which is why I find your model a little simplistic. Let's try this if we’re going to talk about the link between spending on drugs and income generating crime:
The extent of such crime will be likely roughly proportional to drug spending, and is measured by the term - 3(pLQL + pIQI ) in the social welfare function, where pI and pL are prices in the illegal and legal markets respectively.
The social welfare function is thus:
W = CSI + CSL + QL - 1(QI + QL) - 2QI - 3(cLQL + pIQI).
One unit of drugs purchased legally thus costs society 1+3cL dollars in externalities, whereas the same unit of drugs purchased illegally costs society 1 dollars (because any unit of drug use, whether legal or illegal, causes this amount of harm) plus 2 dollars (because of the additional harms associated with illegal drugs) plus 3pI (the income-generating crime resulting from purchases in the legal market).

Seriously, though, Byron's example doesn't even begin to account for any other costs of chronic use or addiction. If one wants to deny that drug abuse drives some of America’s most costly social problems (domestic violence, child abuse, chronic mental illness, the spread of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitus C, homelessness), fine. But the fact remains that drug treatment costs, hospitalization for long-term drug-related disease, family issues such as children displaced as a result of addiction, incarceration, dangerous home situations such as living in meth labs, domestic violence, etc. all burden our social services system, the incredibly overwhelmed health care system, and will continue to overwhelm law enforcement even after legalization. How about the homelessness issue? Drug abuse among the homeless has been conservatively estimated at better than 50 percent. Chronic mental illness is inextricably linked with drug abuse (a growing problem among young people with the meth and ecstasy scene exploding).

Graystar
August 19, 2005, 04:23 PM
Oh really? You mean to tell me there were not turf wars? No murder? Geez, Al Capone probably did only screw up on his taxes... Yes that is exactly what I'm saying. Normal, everyday, law-abiding folk did NOT break out into turf wars and start killing people because they couldn't get a drink.

What you're referring to is organized crime, which already existed. I'm sure there were turf wars and murders committed over alcohol, but this was in *addition* to criminal activity already being committed by these groups.

CAS700850
August 19, 2005, 04:38 PM
Miko,

I'm sorry, but are you saying that the war on drugs is the cause of drug related crime or child neglect? I can understand the argument with respect to drug related crime (though I cannot agree with some of it), but I cannot fathom how the war on drugs is the cause of child neglect and the need for the foster care system.

Quote: Attempts to help family cause destruction of families.
Attempts to help children cause children not to be born

A long time ago, as a young attorney, I adjudicated abuse/neglect/dependency cases. In short, I took parents to court to (1) prove that the children should not be in the home and (2) get the parents ordered to work a plan towards reunification. If they didn't follow the plan, or correct the problems, then I took the cases to court to terminate their parental rights and place the child either with appropriate family members or an adoptive home. While I did permanently sever the rights of more parents than I care to admit, I also saw many families reunited, including drug involved parents. Those that did not reunite either never desevred the chance (incestuous parents, sever physical abuse, etc.), or did not cooperate with the plan and eliminate the problem. So, sir, you are wrong. While the government does destroy families on occassion, it also helps many other families.

But, of course, you might expect me to say that. After all, I am a government employee. :p

Old Dog
August 19, 2005, 04:40 PM
You are wrong. The second is the direct consequence of the first. So you're saying that
the many issues associated with drug use, such as drug-related crime, children in foster care, etc is a direct consequence of the loss of freedoms/Constitutional intrusions that seem to have paralleled the WOD. ? Hmm.
It is an economic law that the government intrusion and violation of rights always makes worse the problems it purports to fix. An "economic law?" Did you learn this at Wharton or Tuck?

Henry Bowman
August 19, 2005, 04:48 PM
Old Dog -- [Chevy Chase voice] I was told that there would be no math in this debate. [/Chevy Chase voice] :neener:

So, the question becomes which bad thing do you see as worse? Though the price of freedom is as high as ever, its [perceived] value seems to be at an all time low.

The problem is that elected officials see it as the provence of government to at least try to solve all ills. This gets them elected and re-elected, so they have a [false] positive reinforcement of this myth. If our society had not already accepted that the government is supposed to solve all ills, we would not have seen freedom so erroded. But we have.

As miko said, since government caused [at least some] of the problem, we are faily content to let or require them (read: us) to pay for the consequences. If we are to restore certain rights, we must simultaniously restore individual responsibility. If you fire the nanny, you have to change your own diapers. In reality, faith-based (and other) charities would step in to help. We are not heartless. But the current culture is suspect of charities, especially faith-based ones, and the eyes of the masses turn to the government.


What a shame.

CAS700850
August 19, 2005, 04:51 PM
Yeah, Old Dog, I wondered about that, too. But since I took two quarters of Econ, hated every minute of it, and ran away, not looking back, I figured I'd missed something along the way.

And, Old Dog, I don't think you were reading something into other people's posts. I think that there are some posters who find any intrusion on liberty too costly, even compared with the costs you refer to. These people are of the belief in the quote (my best attempt) "those who give up liberty for security have neither."

That is what makes it such an emotional issue...

Gordon Fink
August 19, 2005, 05:15 PM
[T]he fact remains that drug treatment costs, hospitalization for long-term drug-related disease, family issues such as children displaced as a result of addiction, incarceration, dangerous home situations such as living in meth labs, domestic violence, etc. all burden our social services system, the incredibly overwhelmed health care system, and will continue to overwhelm law enforcement even after legalization.…

Drug-treatment costs will exist with or without decriminalization. In fact, funds currently spent on fruitless interdiction efforts would probably be more effectively utilized for treatment programs.

Children will continue to be displaced by addiction whether drugs are legal or illegal. With decriminalization, though, fewer would be displaced by the incarceration of parents on petty possession charges.

Dangerous methamphetamine labs are a direct result of drug-control laws. These labs would all but disappear after decriminalization.

Domestic violence is a problem that has existed throughout human history and is merely co-symptomatic with drug/alcohol abuse. Its frequency will decrease only when its victims stop tolerating it.

Drugs can indeed have powerful effects. This is why their use defies prohibition so overwhelmingly. Accordingly, if drugs are decriminalized or even legalized, their rate of abuse will not change significantly. For the most part, those who would abuse drugs are already doing so.

~G. Fink

CAS700850
August 19, 2005, 05:24 PM
Gordon,

I only want to make one point. You say that legalization/decriminalization will eliminate dangerous meth labs. Wouldn't the end of prohibition also have eliminated backyard stills? Yet, from time to time, we see one of those cases crop up...

;)

Guess some people prefer drinking from a mason jar. And, probably, some will still want the homemade meth.

Gordon Fink
August 19, 2005, 05:39 PM
We see stills mostly in “dry” counties, but there will always be a few hobbyists. That’s why I said meth labs would all but disappear.

~G. Fink

Old Dog
August 19, 2005, 05:40 PM
Accordingly, if drugs are decriminalized or even legalized, their rate of abuse will not change significantly. For the most part, those who would abuse drugs are already doing so. While we see this statement often, it simply does not bear serious scrutiny. There is available data that shows legalization would increase the use of currently prohibited drugs, and could even lead to a massive increase in substance abuse and addiction rates.
Drug-treatment costs will exist with or without decriminalization. In fact, funds currently spent on fruitless interdiction efforts would probably be more effectively utilized for treatment programs. Yes, absolutely.
Children will continue to be displaced by addiction whether drugs are legal or illegal. With decriminalization, though, fewer would be displaced by the incarceration of parents on petty possession charges. Not if addiction rates increase, and we'd also see a corresponding rise in the number of welfare families among those who'd have been incarcerated previously.Dangerous methamphetamine labs are a direct result of drug-control laws. These labs would all but disappear after decriminalization. Not necessarily. If legal drugs are priced too high, through excise taxes, for example, illegal traffickers will be able to undercut it. Additionally, one must presume that there will still be a market for this drug among young people, who would go to a black market when unable to procure the drug legally.
Though the price of freedom is as high as ever, its [perceived] value seems to be at an all time low. HB, you are absolutely correct. What I've been talking about however, are the hidden costs, unintended consequences and sheer magnitude of the impact on society as a whole should drugs become legalized. Have I stated anywhere that I thought the war on drugs is really worth it? No. IF the WOD must be fought at the cost of our precious rights, obviously, no. Are we there yet? No, but the trends are indeed disturbing.

oldfart
August 19, 2005, 05:49 PM
I only want to make one point. You say that legalization/decriminalization will eliminate dangerous meth labs. Wouldn't the end of prohibition also have eliminated backyard stills? Yet, from time to time, we see one of those cases crop up...

Yeah, even I remember a few of those. My dad kept his working until he couldn't make it pay anymore. I'm sure there will be a few die-hard meth-chemists too, but certainly no where near the number we have now.
If we could just give up on the marijuana issue I really believe most people would settle for that and the meth dealers would eventually die out for lack of profit. Those that didn't give it up could and should be sent away for a long time. After all, there's be plenty of room in the prisons for them with the mj users out on the streets again.

Brett Bellmore
August 19, 2005, 05:54 PM
Nah, to really be effective, you'd have to cover the spectrum: You'd need a legal mellow, a legal upper, and a legal halucinagen. I think pot could handle the first, Modafinil or something like it ("Don't have to sleep" in a pill. :D ) the second, and... I've never been interested enough in halucinating to have an opinion about the third! :evil:

Gordon Fink
August 19, 2005, 05:55 PM
There is available data that shows legalization would increase the use of currently prohibited drugs, and could even lead to a massive increase in substance abuse and addiction rates.
And data to the contrary has also been cited. Other evidence suggests that many users wouldn’t continue on to the “hard” drugs.


[W]e’d also see a corresponding rise in the number of welfare families among those who’d have been incarcerated previously.
Though I also oppose the dole, I have no doubt that it is less expensive than incarceration.


If legal drugs are priced too high, through excise taxes, for example, illegal traffickers will be able to undercut it.
In this case, taxes would obviously be too high, but trafficking would still be less when compared to total prohibition. Is not a little problem better than a big problem?


Additionally, one must presume that there will still be a market for this drug among young people, who would go to a black market when unable to procure the drug legally.
Perhaps, but it is also well known that minors can currently procure illegal drugs more easily than legal alcohol, so usage rates might well be reduced.

Old Dog, if you don’t think the “war on drugs” is worth the effort, why do you keep arguing in its favor?

~G. Fink

miko
August 19, 2005, 06:04 PM
I'm sorry, but are you saying that the war on drugs is the cause of drug related crime or child neglect? I can understand the argument with respect to drug related crime (though I cannot agree with some of it), but I cannot fathom how the war on drugs is the cause of child neglect and the need for the foster care system.

No. Sorry I was not clear. I meant that any government intervention cause the opposite effect – and interventions intended to help children (labor laws, mandatory schooling, etc.) end up hurting them.

That aside, the drug war has a very specific effect on children. A lot of parents are jailed for possession. A lot of parents cannot get jobs due to prior drug-related convictions. A lot of parents turn to the life of crime of prostitution because low-wage job cannot support their expensive habit, that would not affect them otherwise.

Imagine Prozac and Effexor becoming outlawed – what havoc would it play with the lives and families of millions of people that are currently taking it?


So, sir, you are wrong. While the government does destroy families on occassion, it also helps many other families.

Half the children living in broken homes is not “many” for you? Policies causing the population to fail to reproduce at replacement is not big deal?

miko

Old Dog
August 19, 2005, 06:14 PM
Old Dog, if you don’t think the “war on drugs” is worth the effort, why do you keep arguing in its favor? I'm not. But for some reason, most folks here seem to think that the only alternative to carrying on the "war on drugs" (as we know it now) is legalization of drugs.

Sindawe
August 19, 2005, 06:17 PM
I'm not. But for some reason, most folks here seem to think that the only alternative to carrying on the "war on drugs" (as we know it now) is legalization of drugs. OK, your suggestings for not carrying on the WoSD as we know it?

Maybe stop enforcing the laws involved with such?

Simple confiscation of contraband when found, but no other penalties?

Gordon Fink
August 19, 2005, 07:01 PM
[F]or some reason, most folks here seem to think that the only alternative to carrying on the “war on drugs” (as we know it now) is legalization of drugs.

Any number of suggestions have been offered in addition to decriminalization or legalization of drugs. Just one example would be the diversion of some interdiction funds toward treatment programs and traditional law enforcement.

What alternatives would you suggest? Bombing the coca fields? Capital punishment for “dealers”? Even more propaganda?

~G. Fink

mercedesrules
August 19, 2005, 07:09 PM
You say that legalization/decriminalization will eliminate dangerous meth labs. Wouldn't the end of prohibition also have eliminated backyard stills? Yet, from time to time, we see one of those cases crop up...

"Moonshining" was/is to evade taxation - "revenuers".

That's why when drugs are re-legalized they shouldn't be taxed either. If they were to be, critics would still point to private producers and whine, "See, we told you there would still be backyard meth labs." :barf:

All drugs should be sold over-the-counter and not taxed - a completely free market.

Side note: "Drug lords" are vilified but NASCAR drivers (former moonshiners) are worshipped. :D

publius
August 19, 2005, 07:11 PM
Graystar: When booze was prohibited the only crimes to come of it were running it and drinking it.

Perhaps you missed the post in which I quoted the ATF's own history page as saying that gangland violence caused by alcohol prohibition led to the passage of the 1934 National Firearms Act. I actually agree with them on that.

Old Dog: If one wants to deny that drug abuse drives some of America’s most costly social problems (domestic violence, child abuse, chronic mental illness, the spread of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitus C, homelessness), fine. Yes, I want to deny that cannabis abuse drives those things, or did you get tired of talking about that half of the drug war already? Because I was still kind of hoping you had more than talk when it came to studies about cannabis use in the Netherlands. You said that their levels are not half of ours, but more equal to ours, which would imply that instead of being harmful, cannabis prohibition is merely worthless. I doubt it. I still believe the stats I posted, which show it to be harmful.

Glock Glockler
August 19, 2005, 07:21 PM
Old Dog,

Ok, if you're not in favor of the WoD but you don't think legalization is good then what do you recommend? We had far more problems under prohibition than we had after we repealed it, which was essentially legalization. Alcohol abuse was a problem before prohibition, still one during it, and it remains one to this day, so what is the best way to approach it?

People will always have problems with booze so long as it's available, legal or not, and we woul be foolish to view them in a terminating manner (victory as a result of "war"), so how can we mitigate the damage that will certainly result?

I don't think throwing alcoholics in jail is productive for them or society, the same hol true with drug addicts.

Old Dog
August 19, 2005, 09:35 PM
OK, your suggestings for not carrying on the WoSD as we know it? Good question. And many more questions need to be answered, or at least put in order of priority before we can logically alter how we're waging the war on drugs. Because, as displayed wonderfully by this very thread, it's virtually impossible to achieve consensus as to how to best deal with drug issues. First of all, any movement toward legalization of drugs cannot possibly start without a complete overhaul of the welfare and public assistance programs in this country. This would take years, and be something guaranteed to exacerbate already gridlocked legislation in ineffective state and national legislative bodies.
- Is it hypocritical to even begin dealing with drug issues without changing how we educate our youngsters about alcohol, and perhaps looking to change how we deal with alcohol abuse? It is common knowledge that alcohol (100,000 annual deaths) and tobacco (360,000 annual deaths) far exceed the illegal drugs as sources of death, disease, and dysfunction in the U.S... Prohibition of these is impossible, as we've already learned.
- What's our top priority? Drug use by children?
- What do we do about marijuana? As it may well be a benign enough substance to consider at the least decriminalization, should be simply concentrate first on the harder drugs?
- Is the best plan high taxes and high prices on legal drugs in order to limit availability and use, or does that foster competition by a black market (already well in place)?
- What about public use of drugs versus private use of drugs at home?
- What measures distinguish between drug consumption and drug impairment? When does it become a law enforcement issue (i.e., impaired driving, public intoxication)? Should we treat it the same as alcohol?
- Do we even worry about occasional use, i.e., the weekend or social potsmoker or cokesnorter?
Any number of suggestions have been offered in addition to decriminalization or legalization of drugs. Just one example would be the diversion of some interdiction funds toward treatment programs and traditional law enforcement Yes, and I mentioned that in post #148:
Obviously, funds should be diverted from some of the current, more esoteric law enforcement efforts (that have shown no benefits or long-term results) into education, treatment and diversion programs.
What it boils down to is, can the government continue to prohibit use of certain illicit substances and, at the same time, respect the value of individual liberty and responsibility? Most of you say no.
Ok, if you're not in favor of the WoD but you don't think legalization is good then what do you recommend? We had far more problems under prohibition than we had after we repealed it, which was essentially legalization. Alcohol abuse was a problem before prohibition, still one during it, and it remains one to this day, so what is the best way to approach it? I'd bet my next several paychecks that no member of this forum is in favor of additional restrictions on sale and use of alcoholic beverages in this country. But, as I asked: is it hypocritical to even begin dealing with drug issues without changing how we educate our youngsters about alcohol, and perhaps looking to change how we deal with alcohol abuse? There are essayists out there who claim that our society spends more, on an annual basis, regulating alcohol sales and dealing with the overall effects of alcohol abuse and addiction, than we do fighting the war on drugs.
Yes, I want to deny that cannabis abuse drives those things, or did you get tired of talking about that half of the drug war already? Publius, let's get past your fixation on the cannabis aspect of the drug scene.
Because I was still kind of hoping you had more than talk when it came to studies about cannabis use in the Netherlands. You said that their levels are not half of ours, but more equal to ours, which would imply that instead of being harmful, cannabis prohibition is merely worthless. I doubt it. I still believe the stats I posted, which show it to be harmful. First, have you seen Robert MacCoun's article on "American Distortion of Dutch Drug Statistics?" (I'm sure you have.) He points out that (1) comparisons are easy to make in support of either side, even using his own data from his 1997 research paper and (2) comparisons are really pretty useless to try and prove a case either way (due to the way the data can be interpreted). But you really need to refer to MacCoun's 2001 article
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/178/2/123 which is "Evaluating Current Cannabis Regimes" (British Journal of Psychiatry, RCP, 2001, 178:123-128; he and Peter Reuter draw some interesting conclusions. Finally, most independent researchers point out that it's virtually impossible to compare one nation's legalized market, hence easily measurable usage rates, with another nation's underground, illegal market, thus impossible to accurately determine usage rates.

javafiend
August 19, 2005, 09:54 PM
Publius, in your point-by-point dissection of my posts, I think you've somehow missed the main thrust of my thesis, which is simply that, with legalization of drugs, we would be trading in one set of massive bureaucracies and huge costs for another.

That's merely your conjecture. Let's look at the real world. Examine our own history and you will see that the most effective drug law we ever passed was the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1905. Simply requiring that the ingredients be listed on the label correlates with derivatives of hemp, coca and opium.

Let's look at how other countries have enacted decriminalization. Has decriminalization led to a nation of zombies, explosive crime rates, or "massive bureacracies and huge costs" in in Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands? I've been to the Netherlands and Switzerland, and let me tell you that the streets are far safer than here in Houston. It's completely obvious the moment you step off the train.

You will no doubt notice, if you check the recent studies, that there are those who've found that rate of marijuana use among Dutch youth is close to what it is in the U.S.

And your evidence for this is...?

Sure can't argue that, but this thread is on the War on Drugs, not the War on Alcohol ...

Prohibition didn't work with alcohol, and it is not working with the other drugs.

You don’t see alcoholics committing violent crimes to get money to buy booze.

That's because a dose of alcohol or tobacco in the free market is so much less than a dose of coca or opium in the current blackmarket. See this article on black market economics. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_market )

If you analyse the economics of drug prohibition, you will see how drug prohibition functions more or less as a sort of price-support system for drug traffickers.

If tobacco were banned, you'd see the creation of a black market in cigarettes, and a tremendous rise in price. Legitimate businessmen would leave the market, but organized crime would enter to supply the demand and reap the incredible profits. You'd see tobacco cartels and street gangs organized around growing, transporting and selling it. You'd see turf wars. You'd see addicts commit property crimes in order to obtain money for a fix. Female addicts (and some male addicts) would engage in prostitution to get money to buy tobacco. Systematic corruption of law enforcement would be widespread and immeasureable. And you'd see all the tobacco warriors point to the ensuing chaos created by *their* own policy as proof that the war on the demon tobacco is justified. "See all this tobacco-related crime! We told you tobacco was evil!" And the F-troop would rejoice at the prospects of a greater budget, more power, etc. Mutatis mutandis, it would likewise be a massive and immoral failure a la the current drug war.

Yes, I did. So why is it a Schedule 1 drug, and why does it occupy almost half of our drug war resources?

Excellent point. Smoke too much hemp and you will go to sleep. Drink too much booze and you will die. But which one is legal? And by the way, where's the sense in banning something that grows wild? What are you saying? That God made a mistake?

America's decades-long "war on drugs" essentially benefits only two classes of people: professional anti-drug advocates and drug lords.

Further reading: Smoke and Mirrors : The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure by Dan Baum, reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

Drug Crazy : How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out by Mike Gray.

Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs by Judge James P. Gray.

Crosshair
August 19, 2005, 10:35 PM
Gordon Fink

Perhaps, but it is also well known that minors can currently procure illegal drugs more easily than legal alcohol, so usage rates might well be reduced.

I can agree with you there. In my High School one could get anything. The school pot head sold burned CD's for $5 a pop. The guy who was alway's in detention sold alcohol DURING detention, $10 got you a 7-Up or Mountain Dew bottle of watered down booze and a pack of tic tacks. The pot dealer was the guy who was alway's sleeping in the library, he had some Magic Mushrooms a few times though I never tried them. Never looked for the hard stuff, though there was soposed to be a guy that sold Coke and Angel Dust in the locker rooms.

White Horseradish
August 19, 2005, 10:38 PM
Funny. Pages and pages of posts, yet nobody has come up with an answer to a simple question I asked.

What good has come from the WoD?

publius
August 19, 2005, 10:45 PM
What do we do about marijuana? As it may well be a benign enough substance to consider at the least decriminalization, should be simply concentrate first on the harder drugs?

Gee, if learning to fly, should I try a single engine plane with fixed landing gear, or go straight for the 4 engine jet?

You asked earlier for a plan which would work. My plan would be: treat cannabis like alcohol. People can homebrew beer. Let them homegrow cannabis. If they want to open a brewery and sell to the public, make them get a license, operate from an approved location, carry insurance, not sell to minors, etc. If they want to sell cannabis to the public, similar rules apply.

I think by trying this idea out on a safer and more widely accepted substance, and one for which even you don't seem willing to argue in support of your points about abusive relationships, addiction, etc., we could learn valuable lessons about whether law enforcement costs go up or down, whether welfare dependency, abuse, addiction, or any of the other indicators go up or down, whether asset forfeiture proceeds go up or down, etc.

By the way, regarding your assertion that drugs drive all kinds of evils in society, I called you on it, and you simply said:
Publius, let's get past your fixation on the cannabis aspect of the drug scene.

Well, it's not the cannabis aspect of the drug scene I can't get past. It's the cannabis HALF of the drug WAR I can't get past. We spend almost half our prohibition resources on ONE drug, and it's the one that it clearly makes the most sense to legalize. I'll get past it when the drug warriors do. I don't want to talk about the other half of the drug war until then.

Gordon Fink
August 19, 2005, 11:44 PM
What good has come from the WoD?

I think beerslurpy answered your question back on the first page.

From a statist’s perspective, it keeps a lot of “undesirables” in prison and lends “good” reasons for dismantling that inconvenient Bill of Rights.

~G. Fink

rhubarb
August 20, 2005, 12:33 AM
Five charged in connection with shooting
August 19,2005
Cari Hammerstrom
The Monitor

McALLEN — Five men were charged Thursday in connection with the Monday shooting that left at least one person injured and many residents shocked in a quiet North McAllen neighborhood after loads of alcoholic beverages were pulled from one of the homes.

Alcohol officers removed approximately 1,200 bottles of beer and liquor from the residence at 6513 N. 17th St., which police believe was used as a stash house. The bottles of booze filled two heavy-duty truck beds.

Search warrants executed Tuesday at a residence just outside of Alamo led investigators to the five suspects charged Thursday.

They are Luis Fernando Reyes, 17; Nery Gonzalez Jr., 17; Victor Gomez, 20; Juan Rodriguez Martinez Jr., 30; and Mario Alberto Mendoza Chacon, 27.

Each man was charged with one count of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony, and with one count of burglary of habitation with intent to commit a felony, also a first-degree felony. Each of the charges could be punishable by five years to life in prison, in combination with a fine of up to $10,000. The men’s bonds were set at $1 million each.

Martinez was additionally charged with the misdemeanors of tampering with government records and failure to identify. These two charges carry a $6,000 bond.

At approximately 4:20 p.m. Monday, police believe the five suspects were part of a group that forcibly entered the house by taking a sledgehammer to the front door. Inside, gunfire may have been exchanged. Juan Carlos Real, who was staying at the house — at least on the day of the shooting — was wounded.

Police say one of the burglary suspects, Ramon Mendez, may have been wounded as well. He escaped on foot, police say. Police are still looking for Mendez, who was not charged Thursday, and the investigation is still ongoing, said Sgt. Joel Morales, spokesman for the McAllen Police Department.
http://www.themonitor.com/SiteProcessor.cfm?Template=/GlobalTemplates/Details.cfm&StoryID=8707&Section=Valley

I don't know about y'all, but I'm sick and tired of these booze smugglers running wild in our streets. We need to put our foot down and declare a War on Alcohol.

There are those that suggest that by legalizing it, we would avoid all the associated crime and police jackbootery, but that's just the opposite of what's right. We need to come down hard on these criminals who traffic in the evil sauce.

This is a satirical post. I intentionally amended the article to make the point that this kind of crime is not associated with those who deal in alcohol. That is because it is legal. If marijuana were legal, there would not be armed gangs having shootouts over pot in otherwise quiet neighborhoods. I feel that a disclaimer is necessary when making a satirical post. Some people just don't get it.:rolleyes:

As an aside, go to the article and look at those sad sacks. Think about what will happen when your THRer who is well trained and practices regularly responds with his concealed weapon to an attack by one of these fellows.

White Horseradish
August 20, 2005, 04:46 AM
I was rereading some of the stuff here and something occurred to me.

While we see this statement often, it simply does not bear serious scrutiny. There is available data that shows legalization would increase the use of currently prohibited drugs, and could even lead to a massive increase in substance abuse and addiction rates.

Finally, using drug use statistics of any country where drug use is open and legal, thus easily monitored and quantified by researchers, and comparing the statistics to drug use in a country where use is primarily underground, is simply not a valid statistical comparison.

How can you say that use will increase if you can't get data on what it is now?

publius
August 20, 2005, 08:53 AM
First, have you seen Robert MacCoun's article on "American Distortion of Dutch Drug Statistics?" (I'm sure you have.)
No, I haven't.But you really need to refer to MacCoun's 2001 article
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/178/2/123 which is "Evaluating Current Cannabis Regimes" (British Journal of Psychiatry, RCP, 2001, 178:123-128; he and Peter Reuter draw some interesting conclusions.
Yes, they do. Thanks for the reference.
I partially agree with their conclusions.
* The elimination or steep reduction in penalties for cannabis possession does not appear to influence cannabis prevalence.
* Legal or quasi-legal commercial sales of cannabis may produce significant increases in cannabis prevalence.

Graystar
August 20, 2005, 12:00 PM
Perhaps you missed the post in which I quoted the ATF's own history page as saying that gangland violence caused by alcohol prohibition led to the passage of the 1934 National Firearms Act. I actually agree with them on that.This is common knowledge among forum members. But you’ve missed *my* point...that the violence was caused by criminal organizations that already existed. Your typical honest hard-working citizen did go get an automatic weapon and start killing cops simply because he couldn’t get a drink.

But addicting drugs *do* cause honest hard-working citizens to do things they wouldn’t have done otherwise. This is the primary difference between alcohol and drugs like heroin and meth. Even if these drugs were legal, the crime associated with drug use would still exist and would expand.

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