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  • War on drugs is insane

    CNN's Jack Cafferty mentions that he feels that the war on drugs is a pointless cause as people will go to whatever lengths necessary to obtain them. He goes on to mention that the war on drugs costs around $44 billion a year (i.e. law enforcement, education, legal system, etc.) and that if it were legal to tax drugs, the government would make around $33 billion in drug tax revenue, a "net swing" of $77 billion that would put the drug cartels out of business.

    He actually makes some extremely valid arguments, and I highly recommend you read the full article as it is quite interesting. Can't say I buy this though, a complete removal of all deterrents seems like the first step to anarchy. Those that mention alcohol/prohibition, think about it for a second - alright, so it's also considered a drug and in some circumstances can be labelled as harmful and addictive, but drugs like cocaine and heroine are very different animals...and vicious ones at that. For the government to exploit them, even if it were to legalize them for utilitarian reasons, would be to undermine the spirit and nobility of a governmental institution..."advertising on police cars", as someone once put it.

    :icon2: Cafferty's full article here.



  • #2
    Re: War on drugs is insane

    It's not a matter of the gov't exploiting drugs by taxing them, it's a matter of liberty. I'm a grown man and, so long as I'm not hurting other people, it's nobody's business what I do in my own home. If I want to slowly die while injecting myself with toxic substances that cause euphoria, let me.

    The gov't seems to think that we need protection from ourselves. That we're too dumb or irresponsible to make our own decisions about what's right and what's wrong. Let me ask you a question: is there any drug that you couldn't go out and buy tomorrow if you wanted to? No? Well, then, it seems that our drug laws aren't preventing anyone from having access to drugs. People must have simply decided not to take drugs. Hmmm.... Interesting....
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    • #3
      Re: War on drugs is insane

      Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
      It's not a matter of the gov't exploiting drugs by taxing them, it's a matter of liberty. I'm a grown man and, so long as I'm not hurting other people, it's nobody's business what I do in my own home. If I want to slowly die while injecting myself with toxic substances that cause euphoria, let me.

      The gov't seems to think that we need protection from ourselves. That we're too dumb or irresponsible to make our own decisions about what's right and what's wrong. Let me ask you a question: is there any drug that you couldn't go out and buy tomorrow if you wanted to? No? Well, then, it seems that our drug laws aren't preventing anyone from having access to drugs. People must have simply decided not to take drugs. Hmmm.... Interesting....
      I see where you're coming from here. I agree that for the average intelligent man or woman, most of the laws that society has in place are limitations that we never even come close to exceeding, as we have our own common sense to keep things in line (i.e. your example of me not going to buy crack tomorrow even despite the failure of drug laws to prevent them from being available to me). However, there are also others who have no self restraint and really are too dumb and irresponsible to make decisions about what is right or wrong (i.e. the person who robbed a local drug store in my city to get painkillers). These are the people that DO end up harming others because of the irresponsibility of their own actions and failure to 'protect themselves'. So I suppose this begs the question: is the government protecting us from ourselves or just protecting us? Liberty is wonderful, but keep in mind the definition of anarchy is "absolute liberty".

      Anyway, I suppose this whole subject matter is quite vast. Are laws meant to be inherently good, or just utilitarian? Are drugs inherently bad? If they are, how could we keep telling our children to "say no to drugs" if they were legalized? If not, what would we tell our children about drugs, period? There are big uproars here in Canada over things like this, as there are certain places where druggies can shoot up at government funded 'safe locations' (to prevent the spread of HIVs), needle disposal bins in some public locations, etc..


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      • #4
        Re: War on drugs is insane

        Originally posted by RogueTheory View Post
        I see where you're coming from here. I agree that for the average intelligent man or woman, most of the laws that society has in place are limitations that we never even come close to exceeding, as we have our own common sense to keep things in line (i.e. your example of me not going to buy crack tomorrow even despite the failure of drug laws to prevent them from being available to me). However, there are also others who have no self restraint and really are too dumb and irresponsible to make decisions about what is right or wrong (i.e. the person who robbed a local drug store in my city to get painkillers). These are the people that DO end up harming others because of the irresponsibility of their own actions and failure to 'protect themselves'. So I suppose this begs the question: is the government protecting us from ourselves or just protecting us? Liberty is wonderful, but keep in mind the definition of anarchy is "absolute liberty".

        Anyway, I suppose this whole subject matter is quite vast. Are laws meant to be inherently good, or just utilitarian? Are drugs inherently bad? If they are, how could we keep telling our children to "say no to drugs" if they were legalized? If not, what would we tell our children about drugs, period? There are big uproars here in Canada over things like this, as there are certain places where druggies can shoot up at government funded 'safe locations' (to prevent the spread of HIVs), needle disposal bins in some public locations, etc..
        So are you saying that the government make drugs illegal forcing people to resort to crime which in effect harms the people and this is protecting us?

        AS for our kids using them, we don't let them neck a bottle of whiskey so why on earth would we let them take drugs? Once they are adults of course, it's becomes their choice what to do with their lives.

        Man has used drugs for millenia and it's only in the last 100 years or so they have been illegal?
        Jex.

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        • #5
          Re: War on drugs is insane

          De-criminalize and regulate. Tax if you want.

          In the end I think the true number of drug users would only go up a bit. I have known plenty of people that smoked pot regularly and refused to use harder drugs. And it wasn't because they where not available. Meaning that they smoked regardless of the laws and they didn't go hard because they as individuals didn't want to. Not because of any laws.
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          • #6
            Re: War on drugs is insane

            Originally posted by RogueTheory View Post
            However, there are also others who have no self restraint and really are too dumb and irresponsible to make decisions about what is right or wrong (i.e. the person who robbed a local drug store in my city to get painkillers).
            That guy exists whether drugs are legal or not.

            These are the people that DO end up harming others because of the irresponsibility of their own actions and failure to 'protect themselves'.
            Those people exist whether drugs are legal or not. The issue is with stigma and enforcement. Drunk driving is such an issue in America because people don't have a problem with having a few beers and driving home. It's a macho thing. Also, enforcement is getting stricter, but there are people with mutiple DUIs still possessing a license. Then, when their license gets revoked, they still drive (and drunk).

            Is that all a slant against alcohol? Or does it say we need better enforcement of existing laws?

            So I suppose this begs the question: is the government protecting us from ourselves or just protecting us? Liberty is wonderful, but keep in mind the definition of anarchy is "absolute liberty".
            You completely side-stepped Cing's point: people killing themselves while not harming others in of no consequence to the authorities.

            There's a reason liability insurance is required in this country and it has nothing to do with protecting the owner of said policy. Liberty is restricted for a proven good of society (at least it should be).

            If they are, how could we keep telling our children to "say no to drugs" if they were legalized?
            Unprotected sex isn't illegal. What do you tell your kids about that?

            It's not the job of the government to act as a moral compass for your child.

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            • #7
              Re: War on drugs is insane

              Drug policy in America is almost as convoluted, ineffective and mishandled as the tax code. So many harmful drugs (and chemicals) are legal (albiet 'controlled') - including ones like Oxycontin that contribute to crime in the same ways as other blacklisted substances like cocaine and methamphetamines. Why? Because Pfizer has a wealthy lobby and the Colombian and Mexican cartels and the Northern California growers don't. Rest assured - it has absolutely nothing to do with safety or crime.

              Thanks to a foolish Congressional reaction to the American crack cocaine binge in the 80's, we now have mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that accomplish absolutely nothing except cripple the legal and penitentiary systems. More wasted money, more wasted lives, and the drug problems are worse than ever.

              The system needs overhauling, but won't get it from an inept and distracted legislature. Instead, look to state reforms on drug posession, especially with regard to medical marijuana or even posession of small amounts. Eventually it will be these laws (and a president that is not George Bush) that will force change in Washington.

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              • #8
                Re: War on drugs is insane

                Hello guys, first of all, thanks for the responses. No place like the Sandbox to get some intelligent banter going:)

                Now I think first of all, a differentiation needs to be made between soft drugs and hard drugs. I am all for the decriminalization of marijuana. It's for the most part harmless, and police officers for the most part don't even waste their time with someone with a few grams.

                Some hallucinogens, with education and used in moderation, could be used safely by people in their own homes if they chose to do so.

                As far as hard drugs such as heroin, crack, cocaine, etc: there is no gray area here - whether you are a law-abiding, reasonable family man, or someone with nothing to lose, they are just plain and simple dangerous because of how far addiction can take people. In the hands of a criminal, it makes them exponentially dangerous and unpredictable. Does it matter whether or not they obtained it legally or illegally? Not really.

                Violent drug-related crime happens not because the drugs are legal/illegal, it happens like so: a.) An addict needs money to buy more drugs - this implies they are going to come mug you whether or nor they're going to buy their next hit from a dealer, or from the pharmacy down the street. b.) a bank robber who is high on coke and ends up shooting a pregnant woman is going to be equally as high regardless of whether they got their hit from a dealer, or from the government.

                You completely side-stepped Cing's point: people killing themselves while not harming others is of no consequence to the authorities.
                I didn't mention this because I take no issue with it. People killing themselves is their choice - the state should not hold an interest in the human body. My points regard how this negatively affects others, not individuals.

                :icon2: Now assuming all drugs are legalized tomorrow, the true number of drug users will not suddenly skyrocket, as El_Gringro pointed out. Our own moral compasses still serve as the ultimate factor in making our own decisions. My point concerns less about whether or not drugs themselves should be legalized, but more about what the government and its laws, which are supposed to be symbolic of the general population and its morals/beliefs, advocates. The government is not supposed to be "them", it is supposed to be "us". Perhaps it is just the times that have made us lose faith in this institution and view it with such disdain.


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                • #9
                  Re: War on drugs is insane

                  Clinton put more MJ users behind bars than previous Presidents. Just because one is not a Pubbie doesn't mean he'll favor rational drug laws.

                  Why are drugs "immoral" or "wrong"? Isn't that a religious stance? Should other things that bring you pleasure also be criminalized? How about video games? (Many suggest that those should be included in the list of wicked things to ban.)
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                  • #10
                    Re: War on drugs is insane

                    Originally posted by RogueTheory View Post
                    As far as hard drugs such as heroin, crack, cocaine, etc
                    http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/heroin/
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                    • #11
                      Re: War on drugs is insane

                      http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php

                      Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

                      as of this moment a total of $12,853,774,734 has been spent on the war on drugs



                      Fate whispers to the warrior "You will not survive the storm."
                      The warrior whispers back, "I AM the storm."

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                      • #12
                        Re: War on drugs is insane

                        Marijuana Policy Project

                        MPP and DPA provide forms that make it easy to pester your representatives about upcoming drug laws and issues. Sign up for the alerts.

                        DownsizeDC suggests that a Mexican civil war is coming as a result of the drug war:

                        https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/109
                        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: War on drugs is insane

                          Originally posted by RogueTheory View Post
                          Now I think first of all, a differentiation needs to be made between soft drugs and hard drugs. I am all for the decriminalization of marijuana. It's for the most part harmless, and police officers for the most part don't even waste their time with someone with a few grams.
                          Understandable point. However, there are always going to be those who scream bloody murder about not decriminalizing everything. Case in point is the current state of marijuana in Denver, where you are legally allowed to carry a certain amount on your person without legal ramifications (so long as it meets specific criteria). When said legislation was passed, there were advocates for all kinds of other drugs climbing the walls about it.
                          Some hallucinogens, with education and used in moderation, could be used safely by people in their own homes if they chose to do so.
                          One of the points youve made in your arguments is that addicts know no bounds. Hallucinogens are no less addictive than any other "drugs" out there. If someone feels a compulsion to use a substance based on the way it makes them feel strongly enough, they are going to use it. If that compulsion is overly strong, they're going to abuse the substance. Ask anyone who "experimented" with LSD or other halluciongens, especially during the 60s and 70s.
                          As far as hard drugs such as heroin, crack, cocaine, etc: there is no gray area here - whether you are a law-abiding, reasonable family man, or someone with nothing to lose, they are just plain and simple dangerous because of how far addiction can take people. In the hands of a criminal, it makes them exponentially dangerous and unpredictable. Does it matter whether or not they obtained it legally or illegally? Not really.
                          Of course not. Addiction is addiction, plain and simple. The differentiation lies in the fact that with current legislation, the law abiding family man that you speak of is still required to break the law to obtain drugs, and is, by definition, a criminal afterward. So how do you draw the line?

                          Violent drug-related crime happens not because the drugs are legal/illegal, it happens like so: a.) An addict needs money to buy more drugs - this implies they are going to come mug you whether or nor they're going to buy their next hit from a dealer, or from the pharmacy down the street. b.) a bank robber who is high on coke and ends up shooting a pregnant woman is going to be equally as high regardless of whether they got their hit from a dealer, or from the government.
                          Sure, but the same can be said for anything. Not all muggers are looking to buy drugs with their score. But when they do, it becomes "drug-related". You never hear of "hunger-related violent crime" do you? It happens too. People commit crimes for various reasons, and vilifying drugs as the sole motivation behind them is not only illogical, but absolutely false.


                          I didn't mention this because I take no issue with it. People killing themselves is their choice - the state should not hold an interest in the human body. My points regard how this negatively affects others, not individuals.
                          Just thought I'd throw this out there, but in most places, suicide is a criminal offense. Theres just nobody left to prosecute if the offender commits the crime successfully.

                          :icon2: Now assuming all drugs are legalized tomorrow, the true number of drug users will not suddenly skyrocket, as El_Gringro pointed out. Our own moral compasses still serve as the ultimate factor in making our own decisions. My point concerns less about whether or not drugs themselves should be legalized, but more about what the government and its laws, which are supposed to be symbolic of the general population and its morals/beliefs, advocates. The government is not supposed to be "them", it is supposed to be "us". Perhaps it is just the times that have made us lose faith in this institution and view it with such disdain.
                          Now you're flooding into a gray area with reckless abandon. Our drug policy isnt what makes people scorn the government. It's a WIDE varity of things. Ask anyone who has seen an election in the last 40 years. Everyone is going to feel misrepresented on some level over some issue. This is all due to the fact that money greases political wheels, and your average Joe Blow doesnt have the cash to get his congressman's ear. But there are plenty of very very wealthy people and corporations that do have the cash to get the job done, so they do.

                          We live in a society whose government is dictated by a capitalist system, not by the people. Our founding fathers had no way of knowing that we would, one day, be one of the most prosperous nations on earth, so they designed a government that would function for the people, which has little to no hope of safeguard against what it has turned into, save for the right of citizens to change the government at will. Unfortunately, the only way to do that in its current vestige is by coup, which is extremely unlikely.

                          But take a look at any of a number of countries that have decriminalized and regulated certain forms of drugs. Do you think less of the Netherlands? Switzerland? No. It's not an international image they're worried about. Any kind of drastic change doesnt sit well with non-forward thinking people. Hell, look at the fact that they couldnt even decriminalize it in Las Vegas. It's SIN CITY and they couldnt get marijuana laws taken down a peg. You can get hookers all day, but cant smoke a joint. We grew up with laws in place that we didnt understand. As a result, our comfort with those laws is preventative to 90% of the population as to understanding why they should be changed. People just dont want to hear it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: War on drugs is insane

                            Great points Ferris! Just wanted to clarify a few things, if anyone has any further insight on them please chip in.

                            Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                            Just thought I'd throw this out there, but in most places, suicide is a criminal offense. Theres just nobody left to prosecute if the offender commits the crime successfully.
                            To my understanding, this is incorrect. Suicide and attempted suicide is not a criminal offense in either Canada or the United States, regardless of whether you survive or not. Attempted suicide in these places will lead to involuntary psychiatric confinement, however.

                            Originally posted by Ferris Bueller
                            Now you're flooding into a gray area with reckless abandon. Our drug policy isnt what makes people scorn the government. It's a WIDE varity of things. Ask anyone who has seen an election in the last 40 years. Everyone is going to feel misrepresented on some level over some issue. This is all due to the fact that money greases political wheels, and your average Joe Blow doesnt have the cash to get his congressman's ear. But there are plenty of very very wealthy people and corporations that do have the cash to get the job done, so they do.
                            I agree with you on this. I didn't mean to imply that drug policy was or would be the sole reason people scorn the government.


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                            • #15
                              Re: War on drugs is insane

                              We could all take the scientific approach and look at drugs as a way to weed out the weak-minded and decrease the surplus population.

                              In a way, it's an evolutionary thing. So over the long term it'd benefit us to legalize it to make the human race as a whole stronger. :)

                              Businesses will likely keep their drug measures in place also. So even they will reap the benefits of legalized drugs by the simple fact that those who fail their tests are weeded out for the creamier of the crop. As it stands now, you can have a closet phreak in your workplace with nothing but the law keeping him hidden.

                              With drugs legalized, no one can hide and the Truth comes out... just like it does when people drink.

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