We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, November 17. 2013
I agree with Penn and Teller. Prohibition does nothing but create criminals. Fortunately, most people do not want to be druggies because it is a lousy plan for a good, wholesome, dignified, and productive life. If you want to be a druggie, that's your problem, but don't do it on my nickel.
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True. And that is the dilemma. Illegal drugs cause more legal and social problems in our society then anything else. Somehow we need to control it. Do prohibitions work? Well all criminal laws are prohibitions. No one would suggest we turn over the prohibition on rape or murder. Almost all of our violent crime and property crime is the result of illegal drugs (and alcohol). Even our extraordinarily high out of wed-lock birth rate is the result of illegal drugs and alcohol. So we should do what? Look the other way? Make some effort to fix it even though it doesn't yield perfect results? What?
Here's my suggestion:
1. Decriminalize pot and regulate it and control it like alcohol.
2. Everyone caught and convicted as a supplier of illegal drugs (large transactions not the neighborhood kid selling half his stash) gets the death sentence to be carried out on TV.
3. No criminal penalty for using drugs but instead sentence them to treatment.
4. Actually control our borders.
5. Rewards for turning in drug pushers and requiring the law to act immediately on drug crimes (no 2 year long investigations).
6. Drug money that is confiscated to be used to rehabilitate drug users.
I have a different view, though I can appreciate yours. Parts of it remind me of Newt's saying that if we are really in a war on drugs, we ought to take it seriously and impose the death penalty on dealers or importers (I don't remember the details), otherwise legalize them. The middle ground we have now is obviously not working.
My view is that taking drugs and even selling drugs is a victimless crime (I don't mean that nobody is harmed, but that they harm themselves voluntarily) and that sets it apart from violent or property crimes.
I would propose spending money on drug education. What are the effects of drugs? What does it cost you beyond the money? It will have limited success but if someone chooses to waste his life away, I don't think there is a whole lot we are going to be able to do about it. Given that the drug user is at least somewhat educated to the effect of doing drugs, he is voluntarily ruining his life with his eyes open, I would not spend somebody else's money to rehabilitate him. It is my understanding that for the most part, forced drug rehab is very inefficient I would, however, encourage people to contribute to helping those who want it.
With drugs legal and regulated, they would be very inexpensive. If, as I suspect, the number of people who take drugs would not increase much, the profit in making and selling drugs would pretty much vanish and so would most of the crime surrounding the drug trade.
That's not to say that following my suggestions would be easy - even for me. What could go wrong? Everything. With legal drug use, would there be restrictions on where drugs could be used? What about driving? Colorado is already trying to figure out how to quantify how stoned you are and equate that to your ability to drive. What about advertising? Denmark is rethinking it's lenient drug laws. What if there is a large increase in the number of drug users?
There would certainly be a lot of details for legislatures and society to work out, and there are aspects of this that are unsettling to me, but in the end, I agree with Penn who says, that freedom is being free to be stupid.
I am 70 years old and have been using MMJ for about 4 years now and really appreciate living in a state where it has been approved. I had major back surgery in 2009, it left me with severe neuropathy in my left foot/leg. And now my back pain has started again. My special brownie relieves anxiety, makes me relax, makes me sleep well and KILLS my back pain and neropathy. Being on opiates would damage my organs which is why I prefer the MMJ route.
If it were really a victimless crime I would agree with you. I am often conflicted between my conservative beliefs and my libertarian beliefs. I can see your point, I can agree with your point and I have made the same argument myself. But for a certain percentage of the population they are unable to avoid drugs and alcohol to excess. They destroy their lives, their parents and siblings lives and of course their spouse and children's lives. I have 8 grandchildren and three of them live with me and my wife. Their mother is into serious drugs and has abandoned them. Their father was taking care of them but tried to help or get back together with the mom and the state took them from him because of that. Another two of my grandchildren live with their maternal grandmother because their mother and stepfather are hooked on crack. My position on drugs is not a result of these events I have pretty much felt the same all my life but these events kind of bring the problem into focus for me. I have a brother in law in jail on a 23 year sentence (not specifically for drugs) and he doesn't even know what he did because he was high on hard drugs at the time. My situation is really not unusual. I now other grandparents who had to take their grandchildren to prevent them from being wards of the state. Today while driving to the store, all of us in the car, my 3 year old grand daughter said, out of the blue, "mom is mean to daddy". What she meant is the last time the two were together mom tried to knife her ex and the children all witnessed it. The police were called and that is how the state got involved. Clearly the children have been harmed.
Main article: Drug policy of Sweden
Sweden's drug policy has gradually turned from lenient in the 1960s with an emphasis on drug supply towards a policy of zero tolerance against all illicit drug use (including cannabis). The official aim is a drug free society. Drug use itself became a punishable crime in 1988, but drug users have been of priority since the early eighties. Prevention includes wide spread drug testing, and the penalties range from fines for minor drug offenses up to a 10-year prison sentence for aggravated offenses. The condition for suspended sentences could be regular drug tests or submission to rehabilitation treatment. Drug treatment is free of charge and provided through the health care system and the municipal social services. Drug usage that threatens the health and development of minors could force them into mandatory treatment if they don't apply voluntary. If the usage threatens the immediate health or the security of others (such as a child of an addict) the same could apply to adults.
Among 9th year students, drug experimentation was highest in the early 1970s, falling towards a low in the late 1980s, redoubling in the 1990s to stabilize and slowly decline in 2000s. Estimates of heavy drug addicts have risen from 6000 in 1967 to 15000 in 1979, 19000 in 1992 and 26000 in 1998. According to inpatient data, there were 28000 such addicts in 2001 and 26000 in 2004, but these last two figures may represent the recent trend in Sweden towards out-patient treatment of drug addicts rather than an actual decline in drug addictions.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that Sweden has one of the lowest drug usage rates in the Western world, and attributes this to a drug policy that invests heavily in prevention and treatment as well as strict law enforcement. The general drug policy is supported by all political parties and, according to the opinion polls, the restrictive approach receives broad support from the public. The UNODC report, has been criticized for being unscientific and fundamentally biased in favor of repressive drug laws, and that no causal connection has been shown to exist between Sweden's drug use statistics and its drugs policy.
The national drug policy of Switzerland was developed in the early 1990s and comprises the four elements of prevention, therapy, harm reduction and prohibition. In 1994 Switzerland was one of the first countries to try heroin-assisted treatment and other harm reduction measures like supervised injection rooms. In 2008 a popular initiative by the right wing Swiss People's Party aimed at ending the heroin program was rejected by more than two thirds of the voters. A simultaneous initiative aimed at legalizing marijuana was rejected at the same ballot.
Between 1987 and 1992, illegal drug use and sales were permitted in Platzspitz park, Zurich, in an attempt to counter the growing heroin problem. However as the situation grew increasingly out of control, authorities were forced to close the park.
Gone, I have no interest in translating your situation into a political or sociological argument. You have my respect and admiration for taking care of the innocents who, as you say, are victims of their parent's choices. My heart goes out to you and your grandkids.
What to do about the "collateral" damage (i.e. kids) of parent's idiocy is a legitimately difficult issue as I don't have to tell you - you being on the front lines of that situation. There are no perfect answers. I would hope that my proposal would help minimize the suffering of those who do not choose their parent's meltdown, but I can't in honesty say that I expect it will. I hope it would be no worse. We agree that the current execution of the WOD is not the answer.
In the meantime, may God give you strength and may your grandkids thrive in your love.
Sorry for the emotional diversion, that really wasn't my intent. I will say that every night when I read with my 7 year old grandson I am so pleased with his progress, essentially going from a non-reader to 2nd grade level in a few months. If nothing else this situation has brought us all closer and it has been beneficial for the grandchildren. They eat better and they spend quality time each day in some sort of learning activity. My favorite time of the day is bedtime (LOL) but not so much for the obvious reasons. Grandma tells them it's bedtime give grandpa a kiss and a hug. That brings tears to my eyes just to write it but every night I get butterfly kisses from to little darlings and a hug from the boy who is too much of a boy to kiss grandpa goodnight. Money can't buy what I have.
Gone, if you make it back here - well, even if you don't...
Please don't apologize. I (as we all do) have my own challenges and problems but I have no standing to comment on yours.
I am really happy and joyful about the experience you share with your grandkids! It seems that out of what must have been despair and tragedy some very wonderful things are happening and you, your wife - and maybe others - are responsible for them. You should be very happy and proud! I am comforted that they are in such good hands.
By the same foolish logic LAWS only create criminals.
Therefore let's get rid of them! Then there'd be no crime at all!!!
Criminalization keeps grandma and your daughters safe.
Keeps your windows in your house.
Sweden's low drug use might better be attributed to the fact that Sweden is filled with Swedes. If America had the same people we'd have the same rates of use.
If we make drunk driving legal just think of the drop in the crime rate we'd see! No more dui's!!!