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Thread: Legalizing Drugs to Win The War on Drugs

  1. #1 Legalizing Drugs to Win The War on Drugs 
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    The following article posted on The New Republic states my position on this subject very closely. If the drug problem in the USA is a concern of yours please read this article and then offer your opinion about it.

    Getting Darnell Off the Corners: Why America Should Ride the Anti-Drug-War Wave

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/80669/gettin...-drug-war-wave


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  3. #2  
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    This concept is starting to become more and more plausible to me. The whole idea behind capitalism is that a small incentive (like profit) can motivate people to do things more than a large threat.

    We could use small means to deter our nation's children from taking drugs. We don't need the heavy handed force of the law coming down on them to do that. It's probably not even slightly more effective.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    This concept is starting to become more and more plausible to me. The whole idea behind capitalism is that a small incentive (like profit) can motivate people to do things more than a large threat.

    We could use small means to deter our nation's children from taking drugs. We don't need the heavy handed force of the law coming down on them to do that. It's probably not even slightly more effective.
    I only know what we are doing now isn't working. Once a kid joins a gang or gets busted the first time, it's almost a forgone conclusion that his or her life took a very bad wrong turn and won't be recovered, and if it is somehow saved it will still be damaged. The legal system makes criminals out of young people. Once in the system that young person will only become a better criminal. When it comes to drugs we need to do a whole lot than we have been.

    But our legal system supports a lot of jobs that are dedicated to putting drug offenders away. Nation wide that number could be over a million. Anyway, it's a lot of jobs that have nowhere to go if a legalization policy were implemented. Looks like a national catch 22 to me. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    But our legal system supports a lot of jobs that are dedicated to putting drug offenders away. Nation wide that number could be over a million. Anyway, it's a lot of jobs that have nowhere to go if a legalization policy were implemented. Looks like a national catch 22 to me. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.
    That's like spreading a disease just to keep the doctors employed, or blowing up buildings just to keep construction workers occupied. But the political problem is that, in a democracy, decisions are made on the basis of the number of people who want something, and the group of people who want to continue this nonsense are clearly numerous.

    In a sense, both the criminals and the police, while appearing outwardly to be enemies who hate each others' guts, are really a single unified group working together to extort the rest of us. We pay criminals an excessive markup to get our drugs, and pay an excessive number of police salaries to limit them, but really we shouldn't be paying either of them. We could save our money and spend it elsewhere. - Perhaps on the national debt?
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    But our legal system supports a lot of jobs that are dedicated to putting drug offenders away. Nation wide that number could be over a million. Anyway, it's a lot of jobs that have nowhere to go if a legalization policy were implemented. Looks like a national catch 22 to me. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.
    That's like spreading a disease just to keep the doctors employed, or blowing up buildings just to keep construction workers occupied. But the political problem is that, in a democracy, decisions are made on the basis of the number of people who want something, and the group of people who want to continue this nonsense are clearly numerous.

    In a sense, both the criminals and the police, while appearing outwardly to be enemies who hate each others' guts, are really a single unified group working together to extort the rest of us. We pay criminals an excessive markup to get our drugs, and pay an excessive number of police salaries to limit them, but really we shouldn't be paying either of them. We could save our money and spend it elsewhere. - Perhaps on the national debt?
    Yes I think you hit the nail on the head. But that could easily be over come with some well advertised TV educational programs. I would say on par at least with the world greenhouse climate change awareness. After a year or two of that and maybe some foreign success, people in the U.S. will be receptive to giving it a try.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    Yes I think you hit the nail on the head. But that could easily be over come with some well advertised TV educational programs. I would say on par at least with the world greenhouse climate change awareness. After a year or two of that and maybe some foreign success, people in the U.S. will be receptive to giving it a try.
    Lance is the world really ready for another Al Bore DVD ?
    Yes, I do agree with you, we can not win the war on drugs. We have tried, and so we should have, but it is not working. The money that we currently spend on the war on drugs ,would be better spent on making drugs freely available, to those that want them, and at the same time, educating people about the effects of street drugs. After all Bill Clinton was educated, coz he did not " Inhale "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    Yes I think you hit the nail on the head. But that could easily be over come with some well advertised TV educational programs. I would say on par at least with the world greenhouse climate change awareness. After a year or two of that and maybe some foreign success, people in the U.S. will be receptive to giving it a try.
    Lance is the world really ready for another Al Bore DVD ?
    Yes, I do agree with you, we can not win the war on drugs. We have tried, and so we should have, but it is not working. The money that we currently spend on the war on drugs ,would be better spent on making drugs freely available, to those that want them, and at the same time, educating people about the effects of street drugs. After all Bill Clinton was educated, coz he did not " Inhale "
    If a very visible Republican such as yourself is willing to concede as much as you just did, then I'd say we are making some progress in the right direction. The OP article stated that the problem could be fixed in one generation if the right legalization laws and educational choices could be implemented. I support this view 100% and I know success in something as important as this issue is would be anything but boring.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    Yes I think you hit the nail on the head. But that could easily be over come with some well advertised TV educational programs. I would say on par at least with the world greenhouse climate change awareness. After a year or two of that and maybe some foreign success, people in the U.S. will be receptive to giving it a try.
    Lance is the world really ready for another Al Bore DVD ?
    Anything but that! Al Gore could make the NFL Super Bowl event seem boring.


    Yes, I do agree with you, we can not win the war on drugs. We have tried, and so we should have, but it is not working. The money that we currently spend on the war on drugs ,would be better spent on making drugs freely available, to those that want them, and at the same time, educating people about the effects of street drugs. After all Bill Clinton was educated, coz he did not " Inhale "
    I would say the best form for that to take would be an advertisement campaign not unlike the anti-dandruff shampoo commercials. Depict some really attractive women coldly mocking some guy because they think his habit just makes him too much of a loser to matter to them.

    How to make hot women become attracted to you is the most sought after form of "education" for adolescent males everywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax



    How to make hot women become attracted to you is the most sought after form of "education" for adolescent males everywhere.
    A very interesting angle, and there is no reason why it should not work.
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  11. #10  
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    I think some of the approached tried in Europe are working out pretty well.

    Decriminalize users but keep it as a minor offense so they still get into court and placed into treatment programs.

    Continue to treat manufacturers and distributors as criminals.

    Make the entire penalty system proportional to the objective facts surrounding a drugs effect on society and the dangers to its consumers. Someone growing a few pot plants would be relatively free to do so while someone producing meth would do years of hard labor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I would say the best form for that to take would be an advertisement campaign not unlike the anti-dandruff shampoo commercials. Depict some really attractive women coldly mocking some guy because they think his habit just makes him too much of a loser to matter to them.

    How to make hot women become attracted to you is the most sought after form of "education" for adolescent males everywhere.
    I like it as one approach, but lets not stop there. We also need to keep the educational pressure on the adult users and make them see themselves as the bad role models they are. Also what about hot guys letting the girls know they don't want losers either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I think some of the approached tried in Europe are working out pretty well.

    Decriminalize users but keep it as a minor offense so they still get into court and placed into treatment programs.

    Continue to treat manufacturers and distributors as criminals.

    Make the entire penalty system proportional to the objective facts surrounding a drugs effect on society and the dangers to its consumers. Someone growing a few pot plants would be relatively free to do so while someone producing meth would do years of hard labor.
    I sense you are almost there, but not quite yet. If you set up the legal distribution correctly, you would not need to bother the courts anymore. As a condition for getting free drugs you would have to be in a program to receive health care and health education services. As far as keeping big penalties for manufactures and smugglers, well when the moneys not there anymore neither will they be there anymore.
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    But I won't ever get there. I don't see it as the role of the Federal government to run meth labs.

    Call me crazy.
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    I have argued this approach before.

    Soft drugs like marijuana should be regulated, standardised, and sold in the same outlets that sell tobacco. At least some taxes will flow in off them.

    Hard drugs like heroine and methamphetamine should remain illegal, with stiff penalties for supply, if sold by illicit interests. However, addicts should be able to get registered as such and have their fix prescribed to them and supplied free under controlled conditions.

    That would mean the illegal drug dealers would have their market whipped out from under them. When the money stops flowing in, so does the drug trade stop.

    It also means that addicts will not have to turn to criminal means to supply their habit, and this will drop crime rates a lot.

    It also means that addicts are in contact with the medical facilities that can help them kick the habit.

    It also means that such things as clean needles and education in how to use them safely will be available.

    It would not cost terribly much either. Drugs like heroine and methamphetamine cost $$$$ because they are illegal. If they were made in government controlled factories, using legally imported raw materials, the cost would drop to minimal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    But I won't ever get there. I don't see it as the role of the Federal government to run meth labs.

    Call me crazy.
    Believe me I do hear where you are coming from. But the object is to stop the money from going to the bad guys. If the bad guys are not selling the drugs then you won't be making new drug users. The people who are already users would then be getting medical help and education, plus they don't have to do armed robbery or murder to make money to score drugs anymore. Gangs won't be big business anymore. I just don't see any downside to a well planed distribution of free or nearly free drugs. No matter how hard this idea is to swallow, can you show me a single downside. One that can't be compensated for.

    We are talking about completely taking care of the problem in only one generation.

    It's hard for me to imagine free government meth too. But I see the governments roll as being able to solve the problem in the quickest least damaging way possible, and letting things continue as they are now is a very bad idea. If you can't allow all drugs to be free and available, then you keep the bad guys in business.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I think some of the approached tried in Europe are working out pretty well.

    Decriminalize users but keep it as a minor offense so they still get into court and placed into treatment programs.
    I this part is really good. Make it a crime, but a slap on the wrist.

    The reason drug dealers are such dangerous people, is because the threat of long prison sentences makes them dangerous. People will kill you to avoid a long sentence. All you have to do is be in the wrong place at the wrong time and see something illegal happening. But, it's far less likely that they would kill over it if the prison term were only 6 months.

    Also the long prison terms mean that there are few criminals charging a bigger price per unit. If you are a brutal enough person to "do what needs to be done" to run your drug operation, then the current system will reward you for it quite a lot. Do we really want to be offering up such a large bounty as a reward for such horrible behavior?



    Continue to treat manufacturers and distributors as criminals.

    Make the entire penalty system proportional to the objective facts surrounding a drugs effect on society and the dangers to its consumers. Someone growing a few pot plants would be relatively free to do so while someone producing meth would do years of hard labor.
    I dearly wish we would bring hard labor back to the prison system. It makes the prisoners easier to manage (they're too tired at the end of the day to really cause mischief) , and that makes the prison a much, much safer environment for light felons who aren't really brutal enough people to defend themselves from the other inmates.
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    Although there were not a lot of responses to this topic, I do get a sense that the responses it did receive are starting to reflect the feelings of a greater number of our citizens and that maybe the law makers will start changing the way they are dealing with the drug problem sooner rather than later.

    Like most problems of this type nature, where a great deal of money and emotions are involved, whoever has the media will be able to call the shots and I fear the politicians will use the emotional aspect of the problem to try and get elected on the get tougher on crime ticket. This can only happen if most of the people are kept in ignorance about how to really fix the drug problem.

    I personally do not like criminals and think we are to easy on them. I define criminal as anyone whose actions cause harm to others. Physical, financial and mental and double the penalty if children are involved. If a drug user commits a crime, he/she get arrested charged and tried for that crime and not because of any drug use. I do consider being drug impaired while operating any machinery that can cause harm to others to be a crime. The drugged driver is a menace and should be treated as such.
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    I think this all just goes to the heart of what drives organized crime. It's not about taking down the "big fish" mob bosses, etc. The heart of all organized crime is the money. Take that away and they can't keep their organization running.

    Legalize drugs and all that money gets redistributed to upstanding citizens. My "why stop there?" issue is, why not legalize the rest of their income sources too, like gambling and prostitution? Then all they'd be left with is robbery, and that's not really very profitable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think this all just goes to the heart of what drives organized crime. It's not about taking down the "big fish" mob bosses, etc. The heart of all organized crime is the money. Take that away and they can't keep their organization running.

    Legalize drugs and all that money gets redistributed to upstanding citizens. My "why stop there?" issue is, why not legalize the rest of their income sources too, like gambling and prostitution? Then all they'd be left with is robbery, and that's not really very profitable.
    That's a thought, gambling has been characterized as addicting for some people. Unfortunately gambling couldn't be regulated and monitored in the same way drugs can be. The gambler doesn't have to buy anything and peeing in a cup won't ID him as a gambler. I haven't given this problem much thought because it doesn't support gang growth the same way drugs do. Most serious gamblers are losers from the get go, not somethings kids aspire to be when they grow up. But drug dealers have lots of money, women and gangsters get respect through the fear they generate.

    Prostitution has it's own set of complications that make it a tough sell for legalization. First it's primarily a female problem. Those women that are not prostitutes don't want their men having easy access to sex with other women. However, many women became prostitutes while they were underage, so something should be done to regulate it, and I am very open to ideas on this subject.
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    Mostly I was just thinking where the gangs would go after the drug trade is gone. If things like gambling and prostitution are not viable options, then I imagine they would have to simply die out. The lead competitor for gang membership being a "day job" to make money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Mostly I was just thinking where the gangs would go after the drug trade is gone. If things like gambling and prostitution are not viable options, then I imagine they would have to simply die out. The lead competitor for gang membership being a "day job" to make money.
    Yes they probably won't survive, but I don't imagine they will go away easy at their current level of uneducated membership. Protection services will probably increase for awhile and smugglers will be able to shift to other product and ID theft is still on the upswing. Also, there is going to be a very oversized police force that won't want to go away very easy either. But I'm sure equilibrium will swing back into balance sooner or later.
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    Lots of countries, including mine (NZ), have legalised prostitution. It certainly makes the job of the police easier and does not seem to increase the number of prostitutes.

    I think that strong regulation should also be a part of it. Only regularly inspected brothels should be legal, and they would have a legal requirement to provide good health care, free condoms, and pay taxes. That is a big step forward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Lots of countries, including mine (NZ), have legalised prostitution. It certainly makes the job of the police easier and does not seem to increase the number of prostitutes.

    I think that strong regulation should also be a part of it. Only regularly inspected brothels should be legal, and they would have a legal requirement to provide good health care, free condoms, and pay taxes. That is a big step forward.
    I like it, sounds like a good plan to me.
    Please visit the link below, for a very interesting article and comments.

    When is a prostitute not a prostitute

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/26716
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Lots of countries, including mine (NZ), have legalised prostitution. It certainly makes the job of the police easier and does not seem to increase the number of prostitutes.

    I think that strong regulation should also be a part of it. Only regularly inspected brothels should be legal, and they would have a legal requirement to provide good health care, free condoms, and pay taxes. That is a big step forward.
    I like it, sounds like a good plan to me.
    This seems to match the drug issue on a lot of levels.

    Regularly inspected drug manufacture facilities that pay taxes and conform to FDA standards would definitely put the common dealer out of business. (Why would anyone risk taking something that isn't FDA approved if they have the choice?)

    The main problem getting it to happen in the USA is American police don't want their job to be easier. They want it to be so hard that we'll maintain a huge police force and pay lots of specialists.

    Please visit the link below, for a very interesting article and comments.

    When is a prostitute not a prostitute

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/26716
    I'll admit "gold diggers" do kind of blur the line between prostitution and love, ...
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  25. #24  
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    That blurred line comes from the fact that these distinctions are based on emotional criteria rather than objective matters.

    We all know of people who get married and then divorce 6 months (or earlier) afterwards. And there are couples who live together for life, and have children, who never go through the formality of marriage. So which ones are married?

    The true definition is based on emotions and feelings, which means in all these matters there are continua rather than lines drawn betreen distinctions.
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    Both of you Kojax & skeptic make very good points. But that article I posted talks about the fine line between what constitutes prostitution and not prostitution. I think any woman that marries primarily for money is a prostitute hiding what she is. However men and women that marry within their social status are not, because they have a right and a better chance of a successful marriage by doing so.

    However it's also hard to say a beautiful woman shouldn't try and better her position by marrying into money to give her children a better life. But then it's hard to measure the damage to children when the marriage fails. I think a better chance for success comes more from similar educations, but that's my opinion.
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    LW

    I agree with your points.

    I read an item in New Scientist magazine some years ago, which said that anthropologists researching some central American tribes, had found that the women of the tribe would, as a matter of preference, both marry or have affairs with, the best hunters.

    I suspect that women are 'hard wired' to fall in love with the guy who is best able to look after them and any future children.
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  28. #27  
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    Getting back more on topic, the following post was made in the Bad Cultures topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Mexico is complex for sure. As one bit of that some estimate that more than $100 billion dollars of money cross the Mexican/American border in the form of drugs, guns etc.
    That kind of money could sure be put to better use. Which is the whole point to this topic, besides all the ruined lives and the wasted time and resources, the only way to beat them is to take that income away from the criminals.
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