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Saturday, June 16. 2018
My libertarian self is in favor, but my medical self is opposed. However, it remains a fact that more Americans die from overeating than from drug abuse, and food can not be illegalized. I tend to feel that government has little role in peoples' doing self-destructive things as long as we others do not have to pay their bills. Let reality rule. AA and NA cost nothing.
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I'm sure if you could wave a magic wand and get rid of drug abuse you'd do it, but you don't have a magic wand. Saying "drugs are bad and therefore we need to do something" doesn't help if you're not willing to do a cost/benefit analysis on the proposed "something". Focusing on the harms of drug abuse with no regard for the harms of trying to prevent drug abuse as so many of the drug warriors do is only looking at half the problem. How many people's lives are they willing to ruin in the name of trying to prevent them from ruining their lives with drugs? Remember, too, the most popular drug of choice is still alcohol - why do we treat somebody taking a couple of puffs off a joint categorically different than somebody having a couple of martinis? Not all drug users are drug abusers any more than the occasional-glass-of-wine-with-dinner drinker is an alcoholic.
As long as no more taxpayer dollars are spent trying to rehab users, or ask first responders to respond to dangerous calls to help OD users, or respond to dealers’ shoot-em-ups or other transactions - I’ve no problem with legalizing almost anything. But I think the comparison of marijuana to alcohol is simplistic and self serving: alcohol is not inately addictive to almost anyone. Certain drugs - all the fun stuff it seems - are. And marijuana is a gateway drug- if not chemically, hen certainly behaviorally. No one drinks single malt as their first drink, but kids do start using with marijuana.
It may just be “bad choices” to use to excess, but I want my tax money out of trying to help or fix those bad choices.
I'm not sure I can agree. Small amounts of alcohol, social beer and wine, social mixed drinks, so clearly are a "gateway" to heavy drinking in the way we normally use the word "gateway." There's always a gateway, and it's always going to be up to the user not to walk through it, a task it seems to me the government can do very little to help him with. A large fraction of all the people I've ever met were overusing something, whether it was alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, or black-market drugs. So yes, it's a serious problem, but I can't convince myself that prohibition helps deal with it.
I don't think "prohibition" works. That is if you are an alcoholic or like a drink every night and don't consider yourself an alcoholic you will find some way to get it. BUT if you are 13 years old and alcohol is readily available you will get it as you will get harmful drugs that are readily available. If there is some form of prohibition on the illegal drugs it will reduce the chance of 13 year olds getting these drugs and enduring the problems it brings. The alternative to prohibition of harmful drugs is an open market for harmful drugs.
One other point; most people who become addicted to alcohol or drugs are genetically or mentally preordained to become addicted. Let's call it a genetic or mental defect even though that might seem demeaning. If you have that defect(s) you will indeed seek out your addiction regardless of the law or availability. The only known provable way to fight/cure this addiction is through A.A. which generally requires the individual to sink to the very bottom and then discover the emotional strength and will to seek help. Not a great prescription. Do we want people to ruin their lives, their health and their moral beliefs before they can even seek help for this terrible addiction? THAT is the alternative to prohibition for many, not all but for many. If prohibition (making harmful drugs illegal) saves even 10% of these people from destroying their lives I would count it as a win.
If you truly believe this THEN you would also legalize the over the counter purchase of prescription drugs. I doubt that you would agree to that and I'm sure you could make a laundry list of reasons why we shouldn't. But it actually makes more sense than legalizing addictive drugs.
Most property crimes (over 80%) are committed by drug users. Most (probably most, hard to know for sure) automobile accidents and the accompanying death and injuries are committed by people on drugs or alcohol. Most homicide is committed/related to drug and alcohol use. Most violent crimes are committed because of drugs and alcohol.
If you make drugs easier to get these crimes will increase. It's kinda like giving illegal aliens amnesty and then being surprised that following that even more people cross the border illegally. It is also likely that more children will get hooked on illegal drugs if they are more readily available. IMHO this is the worst aspect of illegal drugs. It result in child prostitution, child exploitation and most of the children born outside of marriage. Our culture is and has been on a long downhill slide for generations now and it can mostly be attributed to drugs and alcohol.
So I have a counter offer to your suggestion to "legalize" drugs. That is "decriminalize" the use of drugs (or at most make it merely an infraction) where a person caught publicly high on drugs would get a "ticket". AND criminalize the selling and trafficking of drugs such that bringing illegal drugs into the country or manufacturing them would be a public death penalty and selling them would be punished harshly.
I think I would rather criminalize the impaired behavior, as we do with alcohol: legal to drink, illegal to drive drunk.
I would suggest that you look at the traffic death statistics for those states which have legalized marijuana:
I find it interesting that MADD has not started campaigning against. I wonder why that might be???
If you live somewhere were you see hundreds of dangerous brain-damaged individuals walking around you you would have a totally different opinion.
Here, we deal with the rampant negative effects of drugs every day. Crime, murder, robbery, assault, "homeless," mental illness, a crapped up environment, neighborhoods and parks that are unsafe to walk in. People lying all over the parks and sidewalks, psycho meth tweakers walking up and down threatening people. My wife was physically assaulted by a brain-damaged drug addict last November. My mother's house was broken into twice in one week back in December, no doubt by a "homeless" drug addict looking for money. In both instances the police said they basically could do nothing.
1. Public execution of drug dealers and traffickers.
2. Zero tolerance of drug use.
It works in Asia. It would work here too. Instead, we call drug trafficking and dealing a "victimless crime," and put these murderers back on the street. I have no sympathy for drug use.
Most recent incidents in the last two weeks occurring within blocks of where I am sitting right now (another knifing occurred just last night as well, we generally get about one a week in this area):
I have to agree with Jim. I believe much drug addiction, particularly the ravage of i.v. heroin abuse, is directly related to the collapse of families and the resulting pathologies.
Legalizing drugs is a likely death blow to whatever "American Exceptionalism" remains. Our country is on a serious decline morally and spiritually and drug legalization is a greased slide into the abyss, in my opinion.
We learned nothing from alcohol prohibition. The "drug war" has caused far more harm to our society than the drugs ever could.
Had the 18th Amendment not been repealed we would be living in a militaristic police state 51 years more advanced than what we're living in now.
The horrors of what we're condemning our descendants to if we don't remove our blinders are terrifying to contemplate.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see"
Interesting to see Jim and Bill's posts one after the other.
One reason the draconian Asian laws work is that they are backed up by still-strong family and community ties - and a society that is still willing to inflict real shame upon transgressors, instead of celebrating their "edginess".
Bottom line is that it cannot be demonstrated that the current "war on drugs" is saving anyone. And it has distorted the balance between free citizens and an increasingly paramilitary police force.
In Hebrew there is no word for "irresponsible". One says two words that literally mean "lacking responsibility" - because the only way to become responsible is to be given responsibility (same thing with the word "impatient").
Something like that needs to happen in this area, and in other areas where the family/community has decayed. "It takes a village" has manifestly not worked. Now it is time to roll back the government "village" and let people learn some lessons in self-mastery.
The real problem will be keeping the Lefties from using the pity-mongering arguments that caused this mess to retake the reins when things get painful.
Ben David says Bottom line is that it cannot be demonstrated that the current "war on drugs" is saving anyone. And it has distorted the balance between free citizens and an increasingly paramilitary police force.
That is indeed the nib of the gist of it.
What can we do in the 'war on drugs' that we haven't already tried? Killing all the addicts and users is a non-starter in this country.
So . . . the question is, do we gain more than we lose by legalizing drugs?
Mexico is very nearly a failed state due to drug demand from the USA, and that does indeed figure into the equation for all the illegals streaming over the border.
We have asset forfeiture, which now can be used on everyone but was legalized as a weapon in the war on drugs.
If drugs are legalized, there will be more casualties here, to be sure, but the percentage increase is unknown. At the dawn of the 20th century there weren't any drugs that were classed as illegal and yet we weren't a nation of addicts.
The 'war on drugs has been ongoing for about 50 years. I have yet to see an iota of gain coming from that effort.
The almighty State can't stop people from making bad choices, much as they would like to.
One reason the draconian Asian laws work is that they are backed up by still-strong government. When the Communists came to power in China they just shot the addicts and drug dealers.