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  • Drugs in the USA

    The purpose of this thread is to share your personal opinions or experiances that pertain to the "war on drugs" in the USA. I'd also like to invite any members of the law enforcement community chime in with their thoughs or perhaps share some of your stories on the front lines.

    I definitely don’t hate cops, in fact I probably would have liked to become one. Unfortunately for me though when I was 18 (im 32 now) I got myself busted and received a felony over $30 worth of pot because someone I knew asked me to sell his "friend" some of my personal dope. Turned out, this "friend" was a female undercover cop that had actually enrolled in my High School and was UC for like3 months. The entire thing was a TOTAL joke. 3 months of undercover work and for what? To bust 24 teenagers for minor amounts of pot? No meth, no crack or other hard drugs…they found pot at a northern California High School. SURPRISE!!! Not exactly what I call "taking hard core criminals" off the street but if all you knew about my arrest was what the local news channel said in their 2 day coverage...that’s right, the story made Bay Area TV news 2 nights in a row when we all got arrested...and that was the same day OJ had his slow speed chase down in LA. Think about that one for a minute....OJ....followed by us? WTF??? I totally laugh about it now but when the media crew showed up at our arraignment the next day and the Sheriff brought the four of us that were 18 into the courtroom separate from all the other arrestees just so the news crews could get some good footage of us going to court in our orange jump suits I wasn’t laughing then. The media made us out to be "high school pot kingpins" or some crap like that….we were friggin crucified!

    I don’t "hate" anyone, especially cops but I do think its absolutely ridiculous how cops practically prey on citizens by stopping them for lame reasons like a window tint or broken plate bulb and end up throwing them in prison for small amounts of drugs...I’ve heard of people getting YEARS for possession here in Nevada. I’m not saying that crap isn’t dangerous or that there shouldn’t be consequences for possessing drugs but Prison? In 1994 I got 3 months house arrest for my lil pot experience which I thought was fair but I dont know how cops can rationalize locking people up for years when all they did wrong was get pulled over and have some **** in the car. Maybe its good I could never be a cop because id probably have to let too many people go so I wouldn’t have to lock em up and throw away the key. Now if they have drugs and a loaded 9mm under the seat…that’s a different story but possession of any drug shouldn’t be a felony.
    Warcriminal
    chillin n' killin wit authoritaaaaa!!

  • #2
    Re: Drugs in the USA

    I don't have any personal experience in the war on drugs other than having had to keep certain activities discrete on occasion. I think it's bizarre that you got a felony conviction for selling $30 of weed to someone but if I sold $100 of everclear to a 12 year old there is little chance I'd be charged with anything worse that a misdemeanor unless they could prove I was trying to pull a Jackson on the kid's hiney.

    Personally, I believe that the war on drugs is a ginormous waste of money and lives and is inconsistent with my belief that the founding fathers cranking this whole nation up with the basic desire to be left alone. I don't particularly wish to see a drum circle on every corner but if my lady and I want to spark up while watching the Thorn Birds mini-series on O... well, I stopped asking my momma permission for much when I hit 35 so I don't see why I need to ask anyone else's permission for what my wife and I do in my house.

    The government has a right to concern itself with commerce and what happens on the streets, and I think there's plenty of meat in the drug trade with which legislators and LEOs may concern themselves without getting up in my grill or cracking down on $30 bags between teenagers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Drugs in the USA

      I havent yet been convinced that legalized Marijuana would be a good thing, but I have been convinced that our enforcement efforts against it are a remarkably ineffecient use of resources. The minor amount of harm it causes in comparison to other harder drugs just doesn't justify the expense of throwing millions of people in jail for using weed.

      If I had any say in it (which I don't), I'd come down somewhere around either reclassifying all Marijuana-related offenses to Misdemeanors, or even using the same plan as we use for Tobacco and Alcohol and just restricting sale to minors (which has the side benefit of letting us tax it).

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      • #4
        Re: Drugs in the USA

        Canada is trying to decriminalize marijuana (or has, I'm preaty sure the bill didn't pass) which makes possession of under 15 grams of pot result in only a fine, with no addition to your criminal record.

        Seems like a good overall policy for drugs, since Marijuana is preaty harmless compared to the other drugs (maybe cocaine as well, but that usually leads to more problems due to its addictiveness...).

        I think Americans were blitzing the amount of arrest on small drug possession just to give numbers to the "war on drugs" campaign so it didn't lose its funding. Arresting 3 high school drug dealers who operate in school looks good to the American society.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Drugs in the USA

          The burden of proof ought to be on the government to show why making something illegal is necessary, not on the citizens to show why they ought to be able to make their own decisions about things. Tie goes to the runner in baseball, and it goes to the private citizen in our constitution, although in practice neither is always true.

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          • #6
            Re: Drugs in the USA

            http://www.tacticalgamer.com/sandbox...ohibition.html :D



            heh.. coincidentally I found this earlier this morning when mining for a new desktop wallpaper:




            clever :D

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Drugs in the USA

              Originally posted by warcriminal2 View Post
              I donít "hate" anyone, especially cops but I do think its absolutely ridiculous how cops practically prey on citizens by stopping them for lame reasons like a window tint or broken plate bulb and end up throwing them in prison for small amounts of drugs...Iíve heard of people getting YEARS for possession here in Nevada. Iím not saying that crap isnít dangerous or that there shouldnít be consequences for possessing drugs but Prison?
              Cops don't get to make the laws that they enforce, thank goodness. Police have some discretion, but do you really think that UC officer in your high school thought she was striking a blow against drug dealers everywhere? More likely, she was doing her job because her boss and her boss's boss told her to do it.

              The solution to this problem lies not with the police, but with your legislators. How many letters have you written to them?

              Oh, and FYI, when I go out with the local PD's gang unit, you would not believe how many people we let go for personal amounts of dried green leafy substance. Selling it, however, crosses a line in most cops' eyes, I think. Using is one thing, dealing is quite another.

              Originally posted by leejo View Post
              The burden of proof ought to be on the government to show why making something illegal is necessary, not on the citizens to show why they ought to be able to make their own decisions about things. Tie goes to the runner in baseball, and it goes to the private citizen in our constitution, although in practice neither is always true.
              Precisely.
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              • #8
                Re: Drugs in the USA

                Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                I havent yet been convinced that legalized Marijuana would be a good thing, but I have been convinced that our enforcement efforts against it are a remarkably ineffecient use of resources. The minor amount of harm it causes in comparison to other harder drugs just doesn't justify the expense of throwing millions of people in jail for using weed.
                Agreed. Some much of the money in the War on drugs is focused on the cost of housing "mandatory minimum" sentences for small-time dealers and users. I think I've seen graphs showing as much as 60%. Whereas less than 20% is used for treatment.

                The whole ordeal seems to be based off "3,000 pounds of crack taken off the street by heroic police-men!" kind of reports based around the concept of appealing to the "soccer mom" demographic.

                The war on drugs will continue to be a complete failure and waste of taxpayer money because the people who actually go out and vote seem to believe it's working.

                I've said this before a while back but setting up a system to enforce restrictions (not bans) on recreational drugs is already present in the legal system. Take away the social influence of tobacco and alcohol, and you realize that there are on the exact same level as most other illicit substances. I've seen SOOO many people argue the "You want people to be able to smoke weed and drive" stance, yet completely ignoring the ridiculousness of "legal automatically = unrestricted."

                DUIs and Public Intoxication laws even now are not solely directed at alcohol. It's a small step to start working in new drugs into restricted status, rather than illegal.

                I don't know if legalizing certain drugs will help or hurt the situation, but the current solution of locking up non-violent offenders damn sure isn't helping.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Drugs in the USA

                  Most of my thoughts on the issue are in the thread whiskey linked to, but the crux of it is that its absolutely ridiculous that I'm not allowed to do something that only harms (and i use that word loosely) myself.

                  As others have mentioned, the cases where it does hurt someone else can be controlled by DUIs and such.

                  Dealing such drugs should also be legal. If dealing marijuana is illegal, then everyone that sells tobacco and alcohol are equally horrible people.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Drugs in the USA

                    Society unfortunately will never be "perfect" in anyones eyes, so we have to deal with it's absurdities at times.

                    Do I believe weed should be legalized in the US? No. I do not have much problem with a casual user. However, I don't associate myself with a lot of people who do it, simply because I don't want to be a part of it. There are personal reasons for this, yes, but I also see alot of burnt out kids in my high school who went from smart to braindead in the past few years. Their parents stopped trying to get them off of it, and now they hardly even show up to school.

                    Busting a kid for an ounce or 2 really doesn't get them in much trouble around here. They get some community service, and sometimes clean up their habit, but it doesn't affect society really. Should dealers be prosecuted? Yes. They are illegally distributing a known harmful agent. Especially if they're selling A LOT.

                    Should any other drugs be legal? No. Cocaine, Heroin, Meth, LSD, and others are at least 10 times worse for you than weed.
                    Skud


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                    • #11
                      Re: Drugs in the USA

                      Holy hell this thread took off.

                      I've never used any illicit recreational drugs in my life. I still don't think they should be illegal. If every single one was legalized over night, I still don't think I would try any. Drug use is a matter of personal responsibility and the government has been openly hypocritical about how they deal with drugs in the US. Alcohol and tobacco have been extremely detrimental on many levels, far more so than weed, for example. These are still legal, at a huge profit margin through taxes. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors have been keeping the rich legally high for a very long time. People with money in the pocket can always get their fix with a little piece of paper saying its ok for them. They also don't deal with any risks associated with street drugs.

                      I haven't read most of the thread as its been growing at bean-stalk speed, but I'm sure someone whos an has gone through the effort to explain in detail the problems with the laws and drug enforcement system.

                      Bottom line, no one is having any trouble finding a market for illegal drugs. This shows the drug problem is an internal one, not something being forced upon us from outside markets. Improve the economy, reduce poverty, equalize opportunity, and the problem drug users will diminish significantly.
                      |TG|Switch

                      Better known as:
                      That noob who crashed the chopper.
                      That noob who ran over the mine.
                      That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
                      That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Drugs in the USA

                        Removing the prohibition on illegal drugs removes any profit from criminal elements. That in and of itself is ample justification for at least the decriminalization of at least the softer (i.e. non-powder/refined) drugs. The "red-light" model seems to work best in the cities I've visited - Amtsterdam for example is an immaculate city outside of the red light district, and still far above the average Bad Neighborhood you'd see in say Baltimore, Chicago, NY, etc. inside the red light district.

                        If anyone disagrees, I'd recommend watching Season 3 of HBO's The Wire. It's the best season of the best show ever made, and it deals with this issue in particular throughout the season.
                        Beatnik

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                        • #13
                          Re: Drugs in the USA

                          I retract the growing to fast to read it all, for some reason my browser was acting funny and this thread had 11 pages.... anywho, the war on drugs is almost as silly as the war on terror.
                          |TG|Switch

                          Better known as:
                          That noob who crashed the chopper.
                          That noob who ran over the mine.
                          That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
                          That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Drugs in the USA (Serious post, as this is serious to me)

                            Let me preface this by saying that I've never done any illegal drugs myself. I also happen to have never smoked anything myself, though I do enjoy different beers.

                            When I was 6 years old, my mom met a new man, named Tony. My dad had taken off when I was 4 (so unexpectedly that his family, whom we knew and loved, disowned him), and this new guy seemed very solid. Smart, in shape, and responsible.

                            When I was 11, he hurt his neck on the job- had to get surgery on his spinal cord, etc., and went on Percocet. He was soon addicted thereafter.

                            He managed to kick the habit, but that wasn't the end. Soon, he started smoking pot all the time. I had no problem with it myself, being 12 and thinking it sounded cool (but didn't want to try it myself, thank goodness).

                            I noticed the man who had been my dad for years slowly getting more and more lazy. The guy who always used to go fishing, etc. with me would now stay inside and smoke pot. On the job (construction, at this point), he would meet up with the floaters of the scum bowl and buy more from them.

                            I raised my concerns once- and got thrown into and a few inches through a sheetrock wall. I suppose that once he started it, it got easier- both me and my brother- it would happen on a constant basis. This 'just happened' to coincide with his new 'secret' crack habit.

                            Once, when my mom finally saw it happening, she made him leave. Unfortunately, it was a bit late- it had been happening for over a year- and I was still a skinny 14 year old. Thankfully, shortly after my dad had left, I got a lot stronger and a lot more confident; I was able to step in and defend myself (and others) where I hadn't before.

                            Further experiences in college showed me that while the drugs themselves may not be harmful, the people who partake in them often can be.

                            I'm sure there are some people out there who smoke pot- I know a few (very few)- but I really don't care. My only problem with this 'War on Drugs' is that it's not efficient enough. These people need to be disposed with as soon as possible. They are responsible for the pain and anguish of too many people out there who don't deserve it. If the very few who are responsible enough about it really cared, they, too, would be out there trying to help remove these people, and help clean up their names/reputations.

                            Unfortunately, they're raving for NORML.
                            ---------------
                            Doc-in-training

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Drugs in the USA (Serious post, as this is serious to me)

                              Originally posted by Doktor Goku View Post
                              ::snip story::
                              Replace "weed, percocet, and crack" with "alcohol" and you just explained what a good number of people go through in life with a completely legal substance. I'm not down playing the effects of what substance abuse can do to a family as a whole, but the problem wasn't the drugs, it was the person abusing them.

                              People seem to be arguing "recreational use" and "substance abuse" as the same thing. Just because someone has a few drinks, smokes a joint or two, does a line a cocaine, doesn't make them a substance abuser.

                              The Government has done a pretty good job of making the distinction that Alcohol has the ability to be recreational AND abusive, while giving people the idea that all users of illicit substances are degenerate abusers of the drug. This is not true.

                              Just as I've seen a few kids live their entire lives working a minimum wage job in order to do nothing but sit at home and spend all their money on weed, I've seen a LOT more just decide to "hit a joint" for kicks at a party.

                              Substance abuse is almost always indicative of another issue in that person's life. Drugs like cocaine do have an uncanny addiction rate, but then again so do cigarettes, caffeine, and sugar.

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