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    Derpamix's Avatar
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    Should drugs be legalized?

    Since there is a gun topic, I decided to make this one too as I'm not sure there was one recently. The war on drugs is an obvious failure, economically, pragmatically, and morally. It has clogged the judicial system, swelled prison populations, caused violence, corrupted law enforcement, deteriorated liberty, destroyed financial privacy, propagated illegal searches and seizures, ruined lives, wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, held back legitimate addiction treatment, turned people into criminals, inflated the black market and empowered criminals and cartels; the FDA and pharmaceutical companies are included here.

    Why should one be punished for what they choose to do to their own body? Just because drugs are legalized, doesn't mean everyone is going to suddenly become an addict, just like not everyone is an alcoholic. Alcohol is arguably "worse" and certainly more "addictive" than drugs such as LSD, yet one is illegal, and the other is not.

    No more government intervention. Justice should require that punishment be imposed only on someone who violates rights, not what they do only to themselves. The "fact" that drug use theoretically, might, or is seen only in criminals because the war on drugs promotes criminal activity, could possibly lead to bad social consequences is not grounds for punishment. This thought process fails to provide legitimate reason for punishment. This does not fit the criterion for punishments such as murder. You shouldn't punish an act simply because you believe it might cause someone to do something. This is morally bankrupt, an act of coercion and violence, and a violation of personal liberty and freedom. And we all know how poorly preventative crime actually works, and how wrong those in charge often, if not always are.
    nihil

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    Here's an article you might enjoy that touches deeply on the issue:

    Ishmael.org

    Pertinent section:
    The investment I'd like to propose to you is a simple one and an obvious one,

    though, to the best of my knowledge, no one else in the world has thought of it. Here it is: Legalize drugs temporarily --for three years, let's say. You frame a law that has a self-destruct clause written into it. In other words, you don't end the war on drugs, you just declare a three-year truce and see what happens.

    This strategy would, I believe, offer the best of both sides of the argument. In three years, the international drug trade would have dried up and blown away. The kingpins of the trade would still be there --they're billionaires, after all. But all the hundreds of thousands of low-level links would have been forced to seek other forms of occupation. Similarly, in three years, the growers around the world who currently supply our appetite for drugs would have been forced into other activities.

    So: we have three years to study the effects of legalizing drugs. Does the problem get worse, get better, or stay the same? If the problem seems to be getting better, all we have to do is extend the truce for three more years. If the problem gets worse, we don't have to do anything: at the end of the three years, the truce lapses automatically.

    And note this: the investment made in this plan wouldn't represent a total loss even if we ultimately decided to let the truce lapse. This is because we'd be able to resume the war on drugs on a more favorable footing than we have right now. If we decided to let the truce lapse, then of course drug manufacture in this country would cease . . . but it would take some considerable time to restart it elsewhere in the world. The international drug trade would have to be reinvented almost from scratch --and this time we'd be ready for it.
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    Derpamix's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, excellent points established there.
    nihil

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    There are shades in between (like alcohol). I generally agree that incarceration and fostering black markets is a disaster. At the same time there's a public interest in some regulation since I don't want Wal Mart marketing heroin to my nephews, and I wouldn't feel safe sharing a train seat with someone tripping on meth or coke.
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    Decriminalized perhaps. The war on drugs is mostly a war on poor and brown/black people. The war on drugs is just an excuse to lock them away. It's a proxy for another larger power imbalance that wages war on the vast majority of us in one way or another.
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    Should drugs be legalized? Yes.

    My reason: politicians are elected officials. They don't really have to have any expertise other than the ability to get people to like them. I.e., they are pretty much whores. They make the laws. I don't find it necessary, nor do I feel obligated to follow laws made by whores. I am an adult. No one has the moral right to tell me what to do to my body.
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    I have a few little points to put forth, with a story:

    1) 6 years ago, when I was living in Florida, the woman who lived across from my apartment got broken into. They put a gun in her face and told her nothing would happen if she let them take what they wanted, which they did. They next started on my door with a hacksaw, to which my dog (over 100lbs German Shepherd) went crazy over. They had likely assumed no one was home in the middle of a weekday, so they kept going for a sec. I had to yell across the door that my roommate and I were heavily armed, and would be unloading both guns in their direction if they did not leave the door.....they of course got the hell out, and I realized later that 4 of my neighbors had been robbed. (It was a tightly packed place) Amazingly, one of the guys they broke into had put trackers all over his computer stuff, and the police ended up catching them.

    Turns out there were 6 guys involved. None were over the age of 17.....why were they doing this?

    Because they had drugs that they were charged with selling stolen from them, and were good as dead if they didn't replace the money. Happens ALL the time.....my point is that a lot of people miss that a huge amount of the other crimes, such as burglary or even identity theft, are actually being done to repay drug money or buy a VERY expensive fix.

    2) The reason for the crime is the insanely lucrative business one can make, often in incredibly destitute areas, off of selling drugs on a publicly-funded black market. In the 20's it was alcohol, which led to the Al Capones and Enoch Johnsons in every major city....it is not an accident that this kind of violence, ALA the St Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago, went away with the repeal of prohibition.

    3) Perhaps this is cynical of me, but I believe that it is not a secret that the drug laws are a failure. I believe that it is widely known in powerful circles, but that they see the usefulness of the policy as well. It removes a fairly large portion of the economically unviable, which is the cornerstone value of our "culture". In this sense, it is doing exactly what it is designed to do. Setup a societal strainer, like one uses to wash pasta with, to ensnare those that would otherwise be useless to the machine. That is incredibly sad if true, but the evidence supports it.

    With all this, I am not sure what legalization would really mean? Does that mean that the government now regulates it, like alcohol and tobacco sales? Could one just go into business making it, and if not, is that really legalization? To me, it is inconsistent to make it ILLEGAL to make something that is legal to possess.....I am curious to know what it would mean.

    Coming soon: Laz's LSD shop!! Acid so gnarly you don't just see rainbow gummy bears, you ARE a gummy bear!!
    Last edited by TheyCallMeLazarus; 12-09-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
    There are shades in between (like alcohol). I generally agree that incarceration and fostering black markets is a disaster. At the same time there's a public interest in some regulation since I don't want Wal Mart marketing heroin to my nephews, and I wouldn't feel safe sharing a train seat with someone tripping on meth or coke.
    Regulate and tax it. Have a set age (21) like alcohol. Have dui laws. And educate the public. Nobody "trips" on meth or coke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post

    Because they had drugs that they were charged with selling stolen from them, and were good as dead if they didn't replace the money. Happens ALL the time.....my point is that a lot of people miss that a huge amount of the other crimes, such as burglary or even identity theft, are actually being done to repay drug money or buy a VERY expensive fix.
    Indeed. There was at least 10 percent of the nation addicted to morphine after the civil war, and they functioned and contributed to society, because they could be "addicted" while being law abiding citizens and not be in financial ruin at the same time. I'm "addicted" to the so called most addictive substance on the planet, nicotine, and I am a functioning member of society, while drug addicts are not. The reason is: I can afford my pack of cigarettes a day because it is legal, by comparison, cheap, whereas a drug addict can't live a normal life because all their money(or by doing other nefarious activities) is necessary to acquire their fix.
    nihil

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    Oh. One of my poor addled synapses is firing from Laz's post. Many moons ago there was a man in San Francisco who ran for Supervisor on the "Miracle Ounce" platform - or maybe that was just one of his things. It was right around the time CA had decriminalized the possession of less than an ounce of pot. However, it was still illegal to sell even less than an ounce of pot. Hence the Miracle Ounce. Where did it come from if no one could legally sell it? His name was something like Dennis Peron.

    Conclusion: drug laws are stupid.

    ETA: This post would have probably been more coherent if I'd googled some of the facts. But like wow, man, it's a drug thread.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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