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  • What if...

    I thought of this while reading the Mexican Army smuggling thread and thought it would be a good topic.

    What if drug use was decriminalized in the US? What do you think the outcome would be?

    Would there be an over-abundance of new addicts or would we have a lot more money to use for other purposes?

    My personal belief is that Americans have the right to put anything in their bodies they wish. I am not a big supporter of victimless crime laws.

    I know some people believe that marijuana does not belong in the same class as heroin/cocaine/etc and that pot should be legalized while these other, harsher drugs should remain illegal. I believe that all drugs should be legalized. I believe that a large portion of criminal activities are funded by illegal drug sales and that legalizing them would severely cripple some crime families/gangs. You can't kill anyone if you can't afford the bullets.

    I have heard the argument that along with increased availability would come increased usage. I have never tried heroin and would not, even if it was legal. I'm wondering if I'm alone in this or do you feel that you would be too tempted to try it at least once if it was easy to get? Also, to me, the possibility of an increased number of addicts is acceptable considering the fact that the price of the drugs they would be addicted to would be so low that stealing and killing to get the drug would be unnecessary. This would decrease severely the number of innocents victimized by drug addicts. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, but, even at $5/pack, I have yet to hear of anyone being killed over a cigarette deal gone sour.

    By some estimates I've read, the US spends more that $80 billion/year on the drug war with less than 4% being used for treatment. This estimate does not take into account foreign aid given to countries that fight drugs at our insistence or the number of police/prison/court personnel that would become unnecessary if we could eliminate laws that are responsible for up to 25% incarcerations.

  • #2
    Re: What if...

    This is something ive thougth about too, im glad you brought this up. That 80 billion a year is nuts. Dint denver just legalize a dime of weed. I havent heard anything bad about that. So if we legalize drugs do we tax it, with another sin tax.

    Although i dont share those same beliefs i would like to see more on this topic, if drugs where legal how much would the economy suffer or gain. As in any large change in a policy it would take some time to smooth out and be normal again
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

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    • #3
      Re: What if...

      I fully agree with pretty much everything Buck Fush said. I might add something later after I've done some thinking.

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      • #4
        Re: What if...

        If drugs were totally legal, some company would sell it. Which means you'd have a huge profit motive to encourage people to smoke crack. On national TV. During the Superbowl. That's probably not good.
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        • #5
          Re: What if...

          Agreed, all drugs should be legalized. The war on drugs is a political tool for surpressing freedom and is actually making the problem worse.

          If we're talking about the US, and it was regulated in a similar manner to alcohol, it would probably be heavily taxed and limited depending on what your taking. Every citizen of a responsible age should have the liberty to have control of their mind, and put what they want in their body as long as its not violating the liberties of other people. But again, this is the US, corporatism would take over and be pushing it everwhere for more profits.
          Last edited by aeroripper; 01-26-2006, 08:31 PM.
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          • #6
            Re: What if...

            As others have said, this is the US - which means all change comes at a slow, molassas pace. Practically speaking, that probably means that marijuana would be legalized first - and be heavily regulated. It could be sold out of licensed retailers and many advertising routes could be banned. This is similar to the model used in the Netherlands, and it seems to work great for them.

            After whatever amount of time, the country could choose to legalize more drugs, to send pot back to the drug dealers, or to maintain the status quo.
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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            • #7
              Re: What if...

              I'm not sure I support legalizing all drugs. Crystal meth seems astonishingly destructive, and I've never known anyone who got involved with cocaine who didn't have it completely wreck their lives. But I think current federal drug policies create crime and fund-raising opportunities for our domestic and foreign enemies.

              I consider myself a full-grown man who works, pays his taxes, supports his family, goes to church, gives to charity, votes, volunteers, and lectures ad nauseum in internet forums, so if my lady and I want to burn one on a Saturday night, that is none of the government's damn business. Dig it.

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              • #8
                Re: What if...

                Well yah i mean some drugs are just not ment for public knowledge or use, and meth is one of them.
                And yah considering alot of the prisoners in our prison system are convicted for less then a lb of pot and they get 5 years. How much money does it cost to keep that person in the cell, when that person could be out back farming weed and making a profit to support our economy, now thats extreme but it makes sence considering my tax dollars pay for his enprisonment.

                im with leejo, its not the governments business what i do with my free time. and what are we digging?
                that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                -Vulcan

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                • #9
                  Re: What if...

                  Originally posted by leejo
                  I'm not sure I support legalizing all drugs. Crystal meth seems astonishingly destructive, and I've never known anyone who got involved with cocaine who didn't have it completely wreck their lives. But I think current federal drug policies create crime and fund-raising opportunities for our domestic and foreign enemies.

                  I consider myself a full-grown man who works, pays his taxes, supports his family, goes to church, gives to charity, votes, volunteers, and lectures ad nauseum in internet forums, so if my lady and I want to burn one on a Saturday night, that is none of the government's damn business. Dig it.
                  Good points, although I would still like to see some independent and worldwide respected scientific work done on all the commonly used drugs before legalizing them, so people know what their getting into and not having to rely on "research" done by a church group. These kids and their reefer madness!
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                  • #10
                    Re: What if...

                    Originally posted by aeroripper
                    rely on "research" done by a church group. These kids and their reefer madness!

                    could you explain what that actaully means...im not sure how to responde
                    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                    -Vulcan

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                    • #11
                      Re: What if...

                      Something to think about: Holland has less drug usage per capita than the united states.

                      Something to think about: If weed were legalized today and taxed - the war in Iraq and all of the national debt present during the bush administration would pay for itself in less than six months.
                      This includes freeing everyone in jail and/or probation that is currently charged with ganja related crimes. Bringing 'justice' on a person can cost quite a few pennies.

                      I believe in the legalization of weed and less harsher drugs like shrooms or acid. But I don't think it will help any legalizing highly addictive drugs like heroin, coke, or meth. People are going to use those legal or not, legalizing extremely addictive drugs will just increase the availability and usage of said mentioned extremely addictive drugs.

                      When it comes to those highs I think the best thing to do is pump a lot of money into drug treatment facilities, atleast if the drug user is going to do it let them be functional. Europe is far ahead of us (and behind in some ways) with hard drug usage. There's centers over there where they give heroin addicts clean needles and overall just make sure they don't die while providing them with opiods instead of random dealers.

                      One thing that is quickly becoming a big problem in the u.s. is physician prescribed drugs. These are just as bad for you as street drugs and yet they're far more acceptable and used by a wider range of people. ****, my mom takes a valium every single day. Take into the fact that she's old, but she still is a socially acceptable drug addict.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What if...

                        Originally posted by Trooper[SNPR]
                        could you explain what that actaully means...im not sure how to responde
                        This is really only a subject for weed, but what he means is that for most, if not all of it's history government "scientific research" for marijuana has started with the results before the actual testing.

                        Marijuana was original criminilized in the 20's (maybe 30's) because mexican farmers were using it and KILLING everyone because they were high on the evil weed drug. This also applied to african americans who were also on white-man killing sprees whenever they lit up.

                        And let's not forget that if you use weed you'll become a heroin addict.

                        That type of research still continues today with government funded projects, although it fits with the times so it doesn't sound as crazy. Eventually, it gets dated once more actuall knowledge is gained on the subject and it becomes more apparent how ridiculous these things are.

                        Grass is a pretty informative documentary on the subject, you should check it out.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What if...

                          did you just watch the history channel.....


                          yah i agree we dont have enough public knowledge on these drugs especially weed, alls we are told in school is it will leed to other drugs, and thats about it. but now many goth highschool kids still do it, well its not just that group its everyone
                          that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                          -Vulcan

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                          • #14
                            Re: What if...

                            Originally posted by Trooper[SNPR]
                            could you explain what that actaully means...im not sure how to responde
                            This is in reference to the 1936 exploitation anti-marijuana film called "Reefer Madness!". It was made by a moralist church group with a warning to parents to "Tell Your Children". It is filled with such false assertions that "marijuana makes you dance uncontrollably to jazz music" and "it makes you go insane and commit suicide". It's pretty funny to watch the original movie although it is a bit dry by todays standards but some parts are pretty funny like jimmy hitting the old man crossing the street with 3 clear-cut shots before it shows him on the ground. Funny these methods are still used today for anti-drug commercials (the one where there's the 2 guys in the car smoking it up in a drive thru and they start driving and hit a little girl on a bike). What's that? $80b of our money a year and kids are just laughing at them, including me.

                            I would recommend renting the musical made in 2005 for showtime, as it is of high production values and pretty funny with great songs.
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                            • #15
                              Re: What if...

                              Originally posted by Trooper[SNPR]
                              did you just watch the history channel.....


                              yah i agree we dont have enough public knowledge on these drugs especially weed, alls we are told in school is it will leed to other drugs, and thats about it. but now many goth highschool kids still do it, well its not just that group its everyone
                              I don't think the problem is lack of public knowledge. Public knowlege is plentiful it's just that a lot of it isn't true and misleading. So once kids actually use weed they think, "oh this isn't as bad as they were telling me it was". And this also kind of leads to the gateway drug "phenominon" They think if they were lied to about weed they must of been lied to about all those other drugs.

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