Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero V View Post
    We are maybe 5 years from hell in this country. I mean if your gona legalize crack, you mind as well make it legal for me to shoot people right? All is fair, no?

    I like freedom, yes. But there is so much wrong with what freedom entitles people to today. I think freedom should be as it was in the early days. Most people dont deserve this freedom. Back then they respected themselves, and others for freedom. People had dignity, good hearts(at least a much higher % than today). You could trust people.

    Between the companies that are allowed to exist that do nothing more than scam, but they are legit and allowed by our laws...

    Our courts and jail system are a joke.

    College is becoming a joke anymore.

    Our country is a joke. I mean, poor people in countries not as well off are happier and enjoy their lives more than people in this country do. I have seen it before.

    A few nukes wouldnt hurt this country at all. It would do it some good.
    Actually, no - and if you don't know the difference between right to pursuit of happiness within my OWN body, provided I do not trample on YOUR freedom to do the same, and freaking murder (which is the ultimate trampling on someone else's rights) then you might want to check the mirror to find out why this country has become crap.

    And for someone claiming to be a christian, most of your words could not be more Antichrist, dickish, and violent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    How can it get worse? by going up, the math is easy. Highest rate in the world is a meaningless phrase
    No its actually quantifiable.


    as by definition one country always has to have the highest, one country also has to have the lowest. Does that mean that magically it can't get higher because we're already number one? No.
    Do you have any evidence backed reason to believe it will?

    I don't know that it won't go down if de-criminalized, but there is no evidence that it will either.
    http://alcoholism.about.com/od/sa/a/drug_use.htm

    "Drug use is related to income, but does not appear to be simply related to drug policy, since countries with more stringent policies towards illegal drug use did not have lower levels of such drug use than countries with more liberal policies," said Louisa Degenhardt of the University of New South Wales.

    "The United States, which has been driving much of the world's drug research and drug policy agenda, stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies, as well as (in many U.S. states) a higher minimum legal alcohol drinking age than many comparable developed countries," the authors report.

    "The Netherlands, with a less criminally punitive approach to cannabis use than the United States, has experienced lower levels of use, particularly among younger adults," the report says. "Clearly, by itself, a punitive policy towards possession and use accounts for limited variation in nation-level rates of illegal drug use."
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post

    "Drug use is related to income, but does not appear to be simply related to drug policy, since countries with more stringent policies towards illegal drug use did not have lower levels of such drug use than countries with more liberal policies," said Louisa Degenhardt of the University of New South Wales.

    "The United States, which has been driving much of the world's drug research and drug policy agenda, stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies, as well as (in many U.S. states) a higher minimum legal alcohol drinking age than many comparable developed countries," the authors report.

    "The Netherlands, with a less criminally punitive approach to cannabis use than the United States, has experienced lower levels of use, particularly among younger adults," the report says. "Clearly, by itself, a punitive policy towards possession and use accounts for limited variation in nation-level rates of illegal drug use."
    Which one of those shows lower usage after decriminalization? Ah none, I see. The fact (again as i've previously seen you do) of thinking that wildly different geographic, economic and social groups should somehow have identical statistical distribution of a given activity is mathematically inaccurate as all those factors also figure in to the levels of an activity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Which one of those shows lower usage after decriminalization? Ah none, I see. The fact (again as i've previously seen you do) of thinking that wildly different geographic, economic and social groups should somehow have identical statistical distribution of a given activity is mathematically inaccurate as all those factors also figure in to the levels of an activity.
    From 1972 to 1978, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession (covering one-third of the US population) and 33 other states reduced punishment to probation with record erased after six months to one year. Yet, after 1978 marijuana use steadily declined for over a decade. Decriminalization did not increase marijuana use.

    [National Research Council, "Informing America’s Policy On Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps Hurting Us" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), pp. 192-193.]
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    From 1972 to 1978, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession (covering one-third of the US population) and 33 other states reduced punishment to probation with record erased after six months to one year. Yet, after 1978 marijuana use steadily declined for over a decade. Decriminalization did not increase marijuana use.

    [National Research Council, "Informing America’s Policy On Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps Hurting Us" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), pp. 192-193.]
    At the same time, acceptable vehicular emission standards were set to a lower level of hydrocarbons do you also want to state that lowering the emission standards also drove down marijuana usage? Kill 2 birds with one stone there, make it greener to reduce drug use. Statistics are simple to use and manipulate to prove whatever point you'd like, and often unrelated things occur at the same time. In the decade after 1978 the war on drugs was in effect, so all you are proving there is that it was effective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    At the same time, acceptable vehicular emission standards were set to a lower level of hydrocarbons do you also want to state that lowering the emission standards also drove down marijuana usage? Kill 2 birds with one stone there, make it greener to reduce drug use. Statistics are simple to use and manipulate to prove whatever point you'd like, and often unrelated things occur at the same time. In the decade after 1978 the war on drugs was in effect, so all you are proving there is that it was effective.

    Lets use Marijuana as an example

    Findings from dozens of government-commissioned and academic studies published over the past 25 years overwhelmingly affirm that liberalizing marijuana penalties does not lead to an increase in marijuana consumption or affect adolescent attitudes toward drug use.

    Since 1973, 12 state legislatures -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Oregon -- have enacted versions of marijuana decriminalization. In each of these states http://norml.org/index.cfm?wtm_view=&Group_ID=4516, marijuana users no longer face jail time (nor in most cases, arrest or criminal records) for the possession or use of small amounts of marijuana. Internationally, many states and nations have enacted similar policies.

    The following studies examine these decriminalization policies and their impact on marijuana use. The studies' conclusions are listed chronologically.

    U.S. Studies

    "In sum, there is little evidence that decriminalization of marijuana use necessarily leads to a substantial increase in marijuana use." - National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1999. http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/. National Academy Press: Washington, D.C., 102.


    "The Law Revision Commission has examined laws from other states that have reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana and the impact of those laws in those states. ... Studies of [those] states found (1) expenses for arrest and prosecution of marijuana possession offenses were significantly reduced, (2) any increase in the use of marijuana in those states was less that increased use in those states that did not decrease their penalties and the largest proportionate increase occurred in those states with the most severe penalties, and (3) reducing the penalties for marijuana has virtually no effect on either choice or frequency of the use of alcohol or illegal 'harder' drugs such as cocaine."

    - Connecticut Law Review Commission. 1997. Drug Policy in Connecticut and Strategy Options: Report to the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. State Capitol: Hartford. http://www.cga.state.ct.us/lrc/DrugP...PolicyRpt2.htm


    "There is no strong evidence that decriminalization affects either the choice or frequency of use of drugs, either legal (alcohol) or illegal (marijuana and cocaine)." - C. Thies and C. Register. 1993. Decriminalization of Marijuana and the Demand for Alcohol, Marijuana and Cocaine. The Social Sciences Journal 30: 385-399. http://www.lindesmith.org/library/thies2.html


    "In contrast with marijuana use, rates of other illicit drug use among ER [emergency room] patients were substantially higher in states that did not decriminalize marijuana use. The lack of decriminalization might have encouraged greater use of drugs that are even more dangerous than marijuana."
    - K. Model. 1993. The effect of marijuana decriminalization on hospital emergency room episodes: 1975-1978. Journal of the American Statistical Association 88: 737-747, as cited by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine in Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. [6]http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed/


    "The available evidence indicates that the decriminalization of marijuana possession had little or no impact on rates of use. Although rates of marijuana use increased in those U.S. states [that] reduced maximum penalties for possession to a fine, the prevalence of use increased at similar or higher rates in those states [that] retained more severe penalties. There were also no discernible impacts on the health care systems. On the other hand, the so-called 'decriminalization' measures did result in substantial savings in the criminal justice system."
    - E. Single. 1989. The Impact of Marijuana Decriminalization: An Update. Journal of Public Health 10: 456-466.

    "Overall, the preponderance of the evidence which we have gathered and examined points to the conclusion that decriminalization has had virtually no effect either on the marijuana use or on related attitudes and beliefs about marijuana use among American young people. The data show no evidence of any increase, relative to the control states, in the proportion of the age group who ever tried marijuana. In fact, both groups of experimental states showed a small, cumulative net decline in annual prevalence after decriminalization." - L. Johnson et al. 1981. Marijuana Decriminalization: The Impact on Youth 1975-1980. Monitoring the Future, Occasional Paper Series, paper 13, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor.

    "Consumption appears to be unaffected, or affected only minimally by decriminalization, and most people believe that it has had little impact. Further, decriminalization has proven to be administratively and economically advantageous for state law enforcement efforts."
    - D. Maloff. 1981. Review of the effects of decriminalization of marijuana. Contemporary Drug Problems Fall: 307-322.

    "Levels of use tended to be higher in the decriminalization states both before and after the changes in law. [S]tates which moderated penalties after 1974 (essentially a group of decriminalization states) did indeed experience an increase in rates of marijuana use, among both adolescents (age 12-17) and adults (18 or older). However, the increase in marijuana use was even greater in other states and the largest proportionate increase occurred in those states with the most severe penalties."
    - W. Saveland and D. Bray. 1980. American Trends in Cannabis Use Among States with Different Changing Legal Regimes. Bureau of Tobacco Control and Biometrics, Health and Welfare: Ottawa, as cited by E. Single in The Impact of Marijuana Decriminalization: an Update.

    "The reduction in penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use does not appear to have been a factor in people's decision to use or not use the drug."
    - California State Office of Narcotics and Drug Abuse. 1977. A First Report on the Impact of California's New Marijuana Law. State Capitol: Sacramento.

    "The number of [hospital] admissions directly due to marijuana use decreased from ... 1970 to ... 1975. In the same time, the number of admissions for drug abuse of all types, except alcohol, [also] decreased. ... The following conclusion seem[s] warranted: medically significant problems from the use of marijuana have decreased coincident with decriminalizing marijuana."
    - P. Blachly. 1976. Effects of Decriminalization of Marijuana in Oregon. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 282: 405-415.

    "Data collected at four points in time in Ann Arbor [Michigan] and the control communities (which underwent no change in marijuana penalties) indicated that marijuana use was not affected by the change in law [to decriminalization.]"
    - R. Stuart et al. 1976. Penalty for the Possession of Marijuana: An Analysis of Some of its Concomitants. Contemporary Drug Problems 5: 553, as cited by E. Single in The Impact of Marijuana Decriminalization: an Update.


    International Studies

    "The Dutch experience, together with those of a few other countries with more modest policy changes, provides a moderately good empirical case that removal of criminal prohibitions on cannabis possession (decriminalization) will not increase the prevalence of marijuana or any other illicit drug; the argument for decriminalization is thus strong."
    - R. MacCoun and P. Reuter. 2001. Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes. British Journal of Psychiatry 178: 123-128. http://www.ukcia.org/lib/evalalt%20report/eval.htm

    "Fear of apprehension, fear of being imprisoned, the cost of cannabis or the difficulty in obtaining cannabis do not appear to exert a strong influence on decisions about cannabis consumption. ... Those factors may limit cannabis use among frequent cannabis users, but there is no evidence, as of yet, to support this conjecture."
    - D. Weatherburn and C. Jones. 2001. Does prohibition deter cannabis use? New South Wales (Australia) Bureau of Crime Statistics: Sydney.http://www.cannabislegal.de/studien/nsw/b58.htm


    "The available data indicate that decriminalization measures substantially reduced enforcement costs, yet had little or no impact on rates of use in the United States. In the South Australian community, none of the studies have found an impact in cannabis use which is attributable to the introduction of the Cannabis Expiation Scheme [decriminalization.]"
    - E. Single et al. 2000. The Impact of Cannabis Decriminalisation in Australia and the United States. Journal of Public Health Policy 21: 157-186.

    "There is no evidence to date that the CEN [decriminalization] system ... Has increased levels of regular cannabis use, or rates of experimentation among young adults. These results are broadly in accord with our earlier analysis of trends in cannabis use in Australia. ...They are also consistent with the results of similar analyses in the United States and the Netherlands."
    - N. Donnelly et al. 1999. Effects of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme on Levels and Patterns of Cannabis Use in South Australia: Evidence from the National Drug Strategy Household Surveys 1985-1995 http://www.health.gov.au/pubhlth/pub...ata/mono37.htm (Report commissioned for the National Drug Strategy Committee). Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra, Australia.

    "The different laws which govern the use and sale of marijuana do not appear to have resulted in substantially different outcomes if we view those outcomes solely in terms of consumption patterns."
    - Australian Institute of Criminology, and the New South Wales Department of Politics 1997. Marijuana in Australia, patterns and attitudes. Monograph Series No. 31, Looking Glass Press (Public Affairs): Canberra, Australia.

    "While the Dutch case and other analogies have flaws, they appear to converge in suggesting that reductions in criminal penalties have limited effects on drug use, at least for marijuana." - R. MacCoun and P. Reuter. 1997. Interpreting Dutch cannabis policy: Reasoning by analogy in the legalization debate. Science 278: 47-52.

    "General deterrence, or the impact of the threat of legal sanction on the cannabis use of the population at large, has been assessed in large scale surveys. These studies have compared jurisdictions in the USA and Australia where penalties have been reduced with those where they have not, and rates of use have been unaffected. ... Since no deterrent impact was found, this research illustrates a high-cost, low-benefit policy in action. Therefore, if any penalty is awarded, it should be a consistent minimum one. ... The greatest impact on reducing the harmful individual consequences of criminalization would be achieved by eliminating or greatly reducing the numbers of cannabis criminals processed in the first place." - P. Erickson and B. Fischer. 1997. Canadian cannabis policy: The impact of criminalization, the current reality and future policies http://www.drugtext.org/articles/ericks1.html. In: L. Bollinger (Ed.) Cannabis Science: From Prohibition to Human Right. Peter Lang, Frankfurt, Germany. 227-242.

    "There does not appear to be a consistent pattern between arrest rates and [marijuana] prevalence rates in the [United States] general population. ... Following precipitous increases, marijuana use began decreasing in the late 1970s, during a period of relative stability in arrest rates. The general deterrence effects of the law (i.e., arrest practices), are not apparent based on the intercorrelations of the measures presented here."
    - L. Harrison et al. 1995. Marijuana Policy and Prevalance http://www.cedro-uva.org/lib/harrison.cannabis.06.html. [15] In: P. Cohen and A. Sas (Eds.) Cannabisbeleid in Duitsland, Frankrijk en de Verenigde Staten. University of Amsterdam: Amsterdam. 248-253.

    "The evidence is accumulating ... that liberalization does not increase cannabis use [and] that the total prohibition approach is costly [and] ineffective as a general deterrent."

    - L. Atkinson and D. McDonald. 1995. Cannabis, the Law and Social Impacts in Australia. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice 48.http://www.drugtext.org/articles/aic1.htm

    "It has been demonstrated that the more or less free sale of [marijuana] for personal use in the Netherlands has not given rise to levels of use significantly higher than in countries which pursue a highly repressive policy."

    - Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. 1995. Drugs: Policy in the Netherlands: Continuity and Change. The Hague.

    "It is clear ... that the introduction of the CEN scheme [decriminalization] in South Australia has not produced a major increase in rates of cannabis use in South Australia by comparison with changes occurring elsewhere in Australia. ... It is not possible to attribute the moderate increases in cannabis use rates in South Australia to the removal of criminal penalties for small-scale cannabis offenses in that state."

    - N. Donnelly et al. 1995. The effects of partial decriminalization on cannabis use in South Australia, 1985 to 1993. Australian Journal of Public Health 19: 281-287.

    "The available evidence suggests that those jurisdictions which have decriminalized personal cannabis use have not experienced any dramatic increase in prevalence of use." - National Drug and Alcohol Research Center. 1994. Patterns of cannabis use in Australia. Monograph Series No. 27, Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra, Australia.

    "It appears clear that there is no firm basis for concluding that the introduction of the Cannabis Expiation Notice System in South Australia in 1987 has had any detrimental effect in terms of leading to increased levels of cannabis use in the Southern Australian community. ... In the context of a society which is increasingly well informed about the risks associated with drug use in general, a move toward more lenient laws for small scale cannabis offenses, such as the CEN [decriminalization] system, will not lead to increased cannabis use."

    - Drug and Alcohol Services Council of South Australia, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Unit. 1991. The Effects of Cannabis Legalization in South Australia on Levels of Cannabis Use. DASC Press: Parkside, Australia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    You mean like it keeps steroids out of the hands of kids? "tren" and superdrol and phera?
    No, like it keeps alcohol out of the hands of kids. Sure they can get it but it's way WAY easier to get weed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    I bet I can find more cops saying they shouldn't be legalized... Decminalized, maybe. Just providing a source of opinion doesn't make it right or factual.
    it does if I'm saying it
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    Actually, no - and if you don't know the difference between right to pursuit of happiness within my OWN body, provided I do not trample on YOUR freedom to do the same, and freaking murder (which is the ultimate trampling on someone else's rights) then you might want to check the mirror to find out why this country has become crap.
    so the crackhead who shoots my brother because he needed 20 bucks is ok...and he shouldnt go to jail because he wasnt in his right mind? So could we then sue the government for legalizing it, i mean we are now entitled because they said it was ok for him to be on it, therefore it must accept responsibility for what it deems ok.

    I would say the country is the way it is because of the lack of a faith. Hence I shouldnt be the one looking in the mirror.... as faith in a higher power goes down, the more this country becomes worthless.

    and as for your other comment. I am a realist. Think early america, and western days. Usually a sheriff was a man who believed in God(as americans did then), yet he hung/shot criminals. They would go after them with a posse, etc. I believe thats the way it should be today with criminals. And people had certain choices limited to them. I am a Christian, I am sorry I am not a panzy -.- the world needs the balance that has been stripped away from it, sadly some responsibility belongs to my people(per thos against death penalty, etc) They have molded things in a bad way.

    If you were to come into my house in the middle of the night, I would shoot you until your chance of survival is 0%, or in my redneck kins style, -50%

    I wont find a person guilty of nothing and harm them. But you step over the line, then it needs to be something your willing to die for.

    As the man said to the cops when they arrived to find a man with 30 gunshot wounds "Officer, that is the worst case of suicide I have ever seen"
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Lets use Marijuana as an example

    Findings from dozens of government-commissioned and academic studies published over the past 25 years overwhelmingly affirm that liberalizing marijuana penalties does not lead to an increase in marijuana consumption or affect adolescent attitudes toward drug use.
    Again, you are twisting definitions, and playing semantics. The studies themselves state things like "does not lead to substantial" or "does not lead to significant" not "does not lead to". There also isn't a decrease. So if the point is to stop the drug use again I revert to the problem being with how the criminalization laws are structured, and what the penalties are. Decriminalization is not lowering drug use either. You are also drawing a parallel between decriminalizing marijuana use, where marijuana has a relatively short half/effective life and is not physically addictive, and other substances some of which have significantly longer effective times, and are physiologically addictive.

    The Taliban chopped off your hand if you were caught growing poppies for opium, and what a surprise afghanistan had minimal opium production. We took over and freed them, and opium production is up enormously. Does agreeing with stiff penalties for creation of addictive drugs mean I agree with anything else they do? No. But I can't be supportive of allowing legalization of those addictive drugs unless both the penalties for crimes against person/property have their penalties raised significantly - ie death sentences for felonies, and we drop all the social welfare programs that would cause my tax dollars to house, clothe, feed and provide the drugs to someone who does nothing more than stay in a haze all day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Again, you are twisting definitions, and playing semantics. The studies themselves state things like "does not lead to substantial" or "does not lead to significant" not "does not lead to". There also isn't a decrease. So if the point is to stop the drug use again I revert to the problem being with how the criminalization laws are structured, and what the penalties are. Decriminalization is not lowering drug use either. You are also drawing a parallel between decriminalizing marijuana use, where marijuana has a relatively short half/effective life and is not physically addictive, and other substances some of which have significantly longer effective times, and are physiologically addictive.

    The Taliban chopped off your hand if you were caught growing poppies for opium, and what a surprise afghanistan had minimal opium production. We took over and freed them, and opium production is up enormously. Does agreeing with stiff penalties for creation of addictive drugs mean I agree with anything else they do? No. But I can't be supportive of allowing legalization of those addictive drugs unless both the penalties for crimes against person/property have their penalties raised significantly - ie death sentences for felonies, and we drop all the social welfare programs that would cause my tax dollars to house, clothe, feed and provide the drugs to someone who does nothing more than stay in a haze all day.
    You stated that the drug use would go up if legalized. I pointed out that numerous studies both from the US and abroad have shown that just is not true,how is that "twisting definitions, and playing semantics"?

    "The available evidence suggests that removal of the prohibition against possession itself (decriminalization) does not increase cannabis use. ... This prohibition inflicts harms directly and is costly. Unless it can be shown that the removal of criminal penalties will increase use of other harmful drugs, ... it is difficult to see what society gains."

    - Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes. British Journal of Psychiatry. February 2001.http://www.ukcia.org/lib/evalalt%20report/eval.htm

    Enforcing marijuana prohibition alone costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 872,000 individuals per year -- far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7698

    I support the eventual development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.

    This policy exists on various levels in a handful of European countries like The Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which enjoy lower rates of adolescent marijuana use than the U.S.

    Such a system would reduce many of the problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a "black market."
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    You stated that the drug use would go up if legalized. I pointed out that numerous studies both from the US and abroad have shown that just is not true,how is that "twisting definitions, and playing semantics"?
    I never stated anything of the sort, again, twisting definition, seeing what you want to see, playing with sematics. I stated it COULD get worse. Not would. The same type of argument twisting you've done the entire time, its of course because so little of what you say has actual merit that you have to gain value by distortion, both of what i've said, as well as of the studies you quote. None of the studes are "proof" that it won't. They show where in the isolated circumstances that lead to "little evidence it will get substantially worse". Of course there is little evidence it will get substantially better either.

    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    "The available evidence suggests that removal of the prohibition against possession itself (decriminalization) does not increase cannabis use. ... This prohibition inflicts harms directly and is costly. Unless it can be shown that the removal of criminal penalties will increase use of other harmful drugs, ... it is difficult to see what society gains."

    - Evaluating alternative cannabis regimes. British Journal of Psychiatry. February 2001.http://www.ukcia.org/lib/evalalt%20report/eval.htm
    Suggests, not proves. Also, again, amazingly a broken link to a study you cite.

    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Enforcing marijuana prohibition alone costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 872,000 individuals per year -- far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7698
    irrelevant to the discussion, we can't know the societal cost of legalization until its too late.

    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    I support the eventual development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.

    This policy exists on various levels in a handful of European countries like The Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which enjoy lower rates of adolescent marijuana use than the U.S.

    Such a system would reduce many of the problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a "black market."
    I have to admit, with marijuana it is a bit different than most of the rest of the drugs. the overall damage profile of marijuana use is probably better than with alchohol or tobacco. Most marijuana users manage to keep jobs and aren't obvious users, and with no physical addiction its easier to deal with. Not very often either someone using marijuana hurts another, except thru the operation of vehicles or heavy machinery.

    My problem is that if marijuana were legalized, and it was successful, someone who likes to use statistics that they bend to appear pretty will start to legalize cocaine, herioin, etc and then again with the "see how well it worked for marijuana" and we'll end up with taxpayer dollars supporting 100% (food, shelter and drugs) someone who is shooting up and is no use to society. With cocaine sometimes, and far more frequently with herion it become a downward spiral. With legalization that means the user at that point will be coddled by society, allow to have children, etc and raise them in that sort of environment. Mothers who are addicts will get pregnant and society will get to bear the cost of some losers looking for pleasure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    I never stated anything of the sort, again, twisting definition, seeing what you want to see, playing with sematics. I stated it COULD get worse. Not would.
    from post #21 you wrote:

    "Things can always get significantly worse, and drug use would not go DOWN if it was legalized". You stated definitively it would not go down here,then:

    in post #22 you wrote:

    "With most of the drugs that are illegal now they have never been legal. Once you go that direction, and 1/4 of the population are users, its impossible to go back.

    Now what exactly did you mean when you said " Once you go that direction, and 1/4 of the population are users" ? You were not implying that it would get worse after legalization?




    Suggests, not proves. Also, again, amazingly a broken link to a study you cite.
    In fact, both groups of experimental states showed a small, cumulative net decline in annual prevalence after decriminalization." - L. Johnson et al. 1981. Marijuana Decriminalization: The Impact on Youth 1975-1980. Monitoring the Future, Occasional Paper Series, paper 13, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor.


    Unbroken link to the same study previously cited.

    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/178/2/123



    irrelevant to the discussion, we can't know the societal cost of legalization until its too late.
    Except for the fact that many drugs have been legal in the past in the US.



    My problem is that if marijuana were legalized, and it was successful, someone who likes to use statistics that they bend to appear pretty will start to legalize cocaine, herioin, etc and then again with the "see how well it worked for marijuana" and we'll end up with taxpayer dollars supporting 100% (food, shelter and drugs) someone who is shooting up and is no use to society. With cocaine sometimes, and far more frequently with herion it become a downward spiral. With legalization that means the user at that point will be coddled by society, allow to have children, etc and raise them in that sort of environment. Mothers who are addicts will get pregnant and society will get to bear the cost of some losers looking for pleasure.
    Unfounded wild speculation.
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    so the crackhead who shoots my brother because he needed 20 bucks is ok...and he shouldnt go to jail because he wasnt in his right mind? So could we then sue the government for legalizing it, i mean we are now entitled because they said it was ok for him to be on it, therefore it must accept responsibility for what it deems ok.
    Legalizing drugs has no effect on the consequences of other actions that arte still illegal to commit.

    There's a current and often reported situation that you should of known about that automatically proved your point as being wrong...

    Drinking and driving and killing someone(veh to ped or veh to veh crash). Being in an altered state of mind will actually increase penalties over an accidental crash with nothing other than minor negligence as the proximate cause of the accident.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    from post #21 you wrote:

    "Things can always get significantly worse, and drug use would not go DOWN if it was legalized". You stated definitively it would not go down here,then:

    in post #22 you wrote:

    "With most of the drugs that are illegal now they have never been legal. Once you go that direction, and 1/4 of the population are users, its impossible to go back.

    Now what exactly did you mean when you said " Once you go that direction, and 1/4 of the population are users" ? You were not implying that it would get worse after legalization?
    No, I was stating that once you legalize the drugs and they are legal for any length of time, if it were to get worse recriminalizing them is difficult. Taking away anything people view as a right is difficult.



    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    In fact, both groups of experimental states showed a small, cumulative net decline in annual prevalence after decriminalization." - L. Johnson et al. 1981. Marijuana Decriminalization: The Impact on Youth 1975-1980. Monitoring the Future, Occasional Paper Series, paper 13, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor.


    Unbroken link to the same study previously cited.

    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/178/2/123
    Right, at the same time the war on drugs was going, and there was a larger effort to stop things at the border, and stop dealers inside the US. None of the events are in a vacuum, and a slightly lower usage level could be viewed as a success of the war on drugs, or education of the danger, etc. The "scared straight" tv series from the same time could be responsible as well.

    Also from that study

    "Results The available evidence indicates that depenalisation of the possession of small quantities of cannabis does not increase cannabis prevalence. The Dutch experience suggests that commercial promotion and sales may significantly increase cannabis prevalence."

    And your original statement + video was about them being legalized, not merely decriminalized. So even the study that you yourself put forwards suggest that usage would go up.

    I can state with utmost assurance that marijuana use would go up by at least 1 (myself) if it were legalized
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero V View Post
    if you put a .45 in the skull of every crack dealer, even if only suspected, drugs would be less of an issue. The war on drugs is the right thing to do. Its just they are doing it wrong, execute them on the spot. Or have public executions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero V View Post
    if you put a .45 in the skull of every crack dealer, even if only suspected, drugs would be less of an issue. The war on drugs is the right thing to do. Its just they are doing it wrong, execute them on the spot. Or have public executions.

    As I have said before Mr.religion, you need help. That is a very christian way of dealing with a situation, isn't it. I take it you're recovering hence the extreme nature of your take on this subject. This is not to say that crack dealers shouldn't be punished severely but maybe cigarette makers should be punished the same way since cigarettes kill more than all drugs combined

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    I can state with utmost assurance that marijuana use would go up by at least 1 (myself) if it were legalized
    Can't come up with anything to counter that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Right, at the same time the war on drugs was going, and there was a larger effort to stop things at the border, and stop dealers inside the US. None of the events are in a vacuum, and a slightly lower usage level could be viewed as a success of the war on drugs, or education of the danger, etc. The "scared straight" tv series from the same time could be responsible as well.
    Yes and the Vietnam War could have ended because a guy on 5th avenue in New York meditated on it.

    Also from that study

    "Results The available evidence indicates that depenalisation of the possession of small quantities of cannabis does not increase cannabis prevalence. The Dutch experience suggests that commercial promotion and sales may significantly increase cannabis prevalence."

    And your original statement + video was about them being legalized, not merely decriminalized. So even the study that you yourself put forwards suggest that usage would go up.
    You conveniently failed to mention all the ones I posted that said it would not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    You conveniently failed to mention all the ones I posted that said it would not.
    Honestly any of the studies are too short term to be relevant. A study would need to be in the minimal of a 20-30 year span as you'd need to see the generational difference. Its no different with the adoption of anything, from cellphones to computers to video games. A generation of people that has no easy access to something that suddenly gains access to it will not likely have the same usage rate of that something that a generation who grows up considering it to be "normal"

    And in that 20-30 year span so many other things would change that it would be impossible to have a clean study.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Can't come up with anything to counter that!
    It would only be if it was legalized to sell commercially, or decriminalized to able to be grown in home at personal quantities. Mere decriminalization of possession wouldn't change things for me, as i would still not take the personal risks of going to an illegal dealer and potentially being caught up in anything there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Honestly any of the studies are too short term to be relevant. A study would need to be in the minimal of a 20-30 year span as you'd need to see the generational difference. Its no different with the adoption of anything, from cellphones to computers to video games. A generation of people that has no easy access to something that suddenly gains access to it will not likely have the same usage rate of that something that a generation who grows up considering it to be "normal"

    And in that 20-30 year span so many other things would change that it would be impossible to have a clean study.
    The end of alcohol prohibition in 1933 led to immediate decreases in murders and robberies, legalization of drugs could have similar effects.

    Once those involved in the narcotics trade have a legal method of settling business disputes, the number of murders and violent crime could drop.

    Robert W. Sweet, a federal judge, strongly agrees: "The present policy of trying to prohibit the use of drugs through the use of criminal law is a mistake" .

    When alcohol use was outlawed during prohibition, it gave rise to gang warfare and spurred the formation of some of the most well known criminals of the era, among them the infamous Al Capone. Similarly, drug dealers today resolve their disputes through violence and intimidation, something which legal drug vendors do not do.

    Then there is the fact that police are more likely to be corrupted in a system where bribe money is so available. Police corruption due to drugs is widespread enough that one pro-legalization newsletter has made it a weekly feature. http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/

    Janet Crist of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy mentioned that the anti-drug efforts have had "no direct effect on either the price or the availability of cocaine on our streets"
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    A report sponsored by the New York County Lawyers' Association, one of the largest local bar associations in the United States, argues on the subject of US drug policy:

    “ Notwithstanding the vast public resources expended on the enforcement of penal statutes against users and distributors of controlled substances, contemporary drug policy appears to have failed, even on its own terms, in a number of notable respects.

    These include: minimal reduction in the consumption of controlled substances; failure to reduce violent crime; failure to markedly reduce drug importation, distribution and street-level drug sales; failure to reduce the widespread availability of drugs to potential users; failure to deter individuals from becoming involved in the drug trade; failure to impact upon the huge profits and financial opportunity available to individual "entrepreneurs" and organized underworld organizations through engaging in the illicit drug trade; the expenditure of great amounts of increasingly limited public resources in pursuit of a cost-intensive "penal" or "law-enforcement" based policy; failure to provide meaningful treatment and other assistance to substance abusers and their families; and failure to provide meaningful alternative economic opportunities to those attracted to the drug trade for lack of other available avenues for financial advancement.
    http://www.drugtext.org/library/repo....htm#footnotes

    Moreover, a growing body of evidence and opinion suggests that contemporary drug policy, as pursued in recent decades, may be counterproductive and even harmful to the society whose public safety it seeks to protect. This conclusion becomes more readily apparent when one distinguishes the harms suffered by society and its members directly attributable to the pharmacological effects of drug use upon human behavior, from those harms resulting from policies attempting to eradicate drug use.
    http://www.drugtext.org/library/repo....htm#footnotes

    With aid of these distinctions, we see that present drug policy appears to contribute to the increase of violence in our communities. It does so by permitting and indeed, causing the drug trade to remain a lucrative source of economic opportunity for street dealers, drug kingpins and all those willing to engage in the often violent, illicit, black market trade.

    Meanwhile, the effect of present policy serves to stigmatize and marginalize drug users, thereby inhibiting and undermining the efforts of many such individuals to remain or become productive, gainfully employed members of society. Furthermore, current policy has not only failed to provide adequate access to treatment for substance abuse, it has, in many ways, rendered the obtaining of such treatment, and of other medical services, more difficult and even dangerous to pursue. ”

    New York County Lawyers' Association (October 2006). "Report and Recommendations of the Drug Policy Task Force". NYCLA & Drug Reform Coordination Network. http://www.drugtext.org/library/reports/nycla/nycla.htm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    The end of alcohol prohibition in 1933 led to immediate decreases in murders and robberies, legalization of drugs could have similar effects.
    Could have similar effects? Wheres your crystal ball luther? There is no particular evidence to that. We know that the physiological and psychological effects of cocaine, heroin, etc are wildly different than alchohol, so attempting to guess what will occur if it were legalized is merely guesses. Changing the federal penalty for possession with intent to distribute to a death sentence with no appeals could also have similar effects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Could have similar effects? Wheres your crystal ball luther? There is no particular evidence to that. We know that the physiological and psychological effects of cocaine, heroin, etc are wildly different than alchohol, so attempting to guess what will occur if it were legalized is merely guesses. Changing the federal penalty for possession with intent to distribute to a death sentence with no appeals could also have similar effects.

    It is an unnecessarily harsh sentence for a consensual crime. Why put a death sentence on something that relies on supply and demand?

    I would like to re-post this for emphasis:

    “ Notwithstanding the vast public resources expended on the enforcement of penal statutes against users and distributors of controlled substances, contemporary drug policy appears to have failed, even on its own terms, in a number of notable respects.

    These include: minimal reduction in the consumption of controlled substances; failure to reduce violent crime; failure to markedly reduce drug importation, distribution and street-level drug sales; failure to reduce the widespread availability of drugs to potential users; failure to deter individuals from becoming involved in the drug trade; failure to impact upon the huge profits and financial opportunity available to individual "entrepreneurs" and organized underworld organizations through engaging in the illicit drug trade; the expenditure of great amounts of increasingly limited public resources in pursuit of a cost-intensive "penal" or "law-enforcement" based policy; failure to provide meaningful treatment and other assistance to substance abusers and their families; and failure to provide meaningful alternative economic opportunities to those attracted to the drug trade for lack of other available avenues for financial advancement.
    http://www.drugtext.org/library/repo....htm#footnotes

    Moreover, a growing body of evidence and opinion suggests that contemporary drug policy, as pursued in recent decades, may be counterproductive and even harmful to the society whose public safety it seeks to protect. This conclusion becomes more readily apparent when one distinguishes the harms suffered by society and its members directly attributable to the pharmacological effects of drug use upon human behavior, from those harms resulting from policies attempting to eradicate drug use.
    http://www.drugtext.org/library/repo....htm#footnotes

    With aid of these distinctions, we see that present drug policy appears to contribute to the increase of violence in our communities. It does so by permitting and indeed, causing the drug trade to remain a lucrative source of economic opportunity for street dealers, drug kingpins and all those willing to engage in the often violent, illicit, black market trade.

    Meanwhile, the effect of present policy serves to stigmatize and marginalize drug users, thereby inhibiting and undermining the efforts of many such individuals to remain or become productive, gainfully employed members of society. Furthermore, current policy has not only failed to provide adequate access to treatment for substance abuse, it has, in many ways, rendered the obtaining of such treatment, and of other medical services, more difficult and even dangerous to pursue. ”

    New York County Lawyers' Association (October 2006). "Report and Recommendations of the Drug Policy Task Force". NYCLA & Drug Reform Coordination Network. http://www.drugtext.org/library/reports/nycla/nycla.htm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    It is an unnecessarily harsh sentence for a consensual crime.
    Unnecessarily harsh? No, as nobody is forced to commit any crimes. As far as i'm concerned we need similar sentencing for many more crimes, particularly crimes against persons. I can't recall the %, but something over 75% of people in jail are repeat offenders. With death sentences, that no longer would be the case. The amount of money spent on repeat offenders goes down, prison overcrowding goes down, the cost of the legal system goes down, crime goes down. A win-win situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Why put a death sentence on something that relies on supply and demand?
    I wonder sometimes if your denseness is purposeful. You would put a death sentence on it as the death sentence would be effective at changing usage. Few of the people who currently deal drugs at volume levels would continue to under that change of laws, as the risk vs reward would no longer be there. I'll agree that the war on drugs has not been as effective as it could/should be. However using your own studies your alternative of legalization offers "probably won't significantly increase drug usage other than marijuana which usage will go up with commercialization" and a hope that it would lessen police/legal/social costs. My alternative would significantly reduce usage, definitely reduce police/legal/social costs, and would be environmentally friendly as the globe is overpopulated anyhow.
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    My alternative would significantly reduce usage, definitely reduce police/legal/social costs, and would be environmentally friendly as the globe is overpopulated anyhow.
    Putting overly extreme measures isn't really a solution. You'd get to the point where every law would end up with a disproportionate punishment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Furthermore, current policy has not only failed to provide adequate access to treatment for substance abuse, it has, in many ways, rendered the obtaining of such treatment, and of other medical services, more difficult and even dangerous to pursue. ”
    Why should society provide treatment for substance abuse? Why should my tax dollars go to pay for an addict's bad choices? Nobody becomes an addict by force, its their own crappy decisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    Putting overly extreme measures isn't really a solution. You'd get to the point where every law would end up with a disproportionate punishment.
    Define proportionate in this case? We already have disproportionate punishment in many ways, for the most part in the other direction. A man mugs an 85 year old woman and puts her in the hospital, he gets 6 months? Is that proportionate? A woman drowns her 4 children and gets to go to a psychiatric hospital and that is proportionate? When you try to measure proportionate response, you will rarely get 2 people agreeing.

    When you are trying to discourage a behavior, giving a proportionate response generally means there ISNT any significant discouragement to commit that act. Illegally copying software opens you to a fine of $10,000 and or 10 years in jail per instance, so that there is actually a deterrence factor. If the fine was that you had to pay the price of the software, there would be many many many more software counterfeiting rings.
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    Can't define it in a black and white sense. It will always side with the context of that crime. However, the death penalty for a dealer is a bit much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk View Post
    Can't define it in a black and white sense. It will always side with the context of that crime. However, the death penalty for a dealer is a bit much.
    Isn't $10,000 and 10 years in jail a bit much for copying a "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" dvd? You make the penalties harsher to discourage behavior. I would think death sentences would be pretty discouraging.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Why should society provide treatment for substance abuse? Why should my tax dollars go to pay for an addict's bad choices? Nobody becomes an addict by force, its their own crappy decisions.
    Surely you are not worried about costs and at thesame time supporting the drug war!

    The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars.

    Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/...get/index.html

    State and local governments spent at least another 30 billion.

    Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: "Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets," January, 2001. http://www.casacolumbia.org/pdshoppr....asp?itemid=26

    Source: Jeffrey A. Miron, Department of Economics, Harvard University: "The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition," December 2008
    http://leap.cc/dia/miron-economic-report.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    Surely you are not worried about costs and at thesame time supporting the drug war!

    The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars.

    Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/...get/index.html

    State and local governments spent at least another 30 billion.

    Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: "Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets," January, 2001. http://www.casacolumbia.org/pdshoppr....asp?itemid=26

    Source: Jeffrey A. Miron, Department of Economics, Harvard University: "The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition," December 2008
    http://leap.cc/dia/miron-economic-report.pdf
    Can you state with any level of assurance that the costs to society would be lower (as we creep closer and closer towards socialism) if we were to legalize drugs?

    And would you rather have your dollars go to subsidize someones lifestyle of choice of staying high around the clock than attempting to stop drug abuse? I'd be all for legalizing all of them if at the same time we dropped hospitals having to treat people without insurance, and dropped food stamps, welfare, section 8 housing etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    We know that the physiological and psychological effects of cocaine, heroin, etc are wildly different than alchohol,
    I agree, the dependency issues on these drugs make it hard to deal with. What happens if you make them legal and 3/4 of the people get dependant and hooked? Society will fail to function as we know it.
    That is also why I am against ALL steroids being classified as sched III. They are not addictive like these others.
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    You use them to deter but they have to be readily used if the need is there and I just don't see how taking a life is anywhere near what should be done as a deterrant. If the death penalty could be used on shoplifters you would have less of those too but the constitution sort of gets in the way of doing that sort of thing
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    Crime happens due to drug trade and traffic cause crime because those people, the ones who cant keep jobs or prefer to make a quick buck. The same people wont take a seconds thought to stab or shoot you when a deal goes bad or when they need some money for food....

    So legalizing drugs is going to solve that? Highly doubtful... so you legalize drugs to the point where you buy them openly over the counter? And then what happens... the drug dealers and the people who made a living off of being pieces of shxt find some other criminal activity to make money... maybe liquor store robberies sky rocket resulting in a ton more store shootings... car jacking sky rocket because they need to chop it up and sell it to make money

    Legalizing drugs isnt going to solve anything but make a handful of hippies happy... I think violent crime would indefinitely rise


    (This is just my own opinion)
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    PS - I think we should re introduce the Colosseum, but here in the US. Violent and sexual offenders in a fight to the death... live and on pay per view

    Gets violent criminals who dont learn their lesson off the street... one hell of a deterrent... and we as a nation are sick... think how many people would pay to watch that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Can you state with any level of assurance that the costs to society would be lower (as we creep closer and closer towards socialism) if we were to legalize drugs?

    And would you rather have your dollars go to subsidize someones lifestyle of choice of staying high around the clock than attempting to stop drug abuse? I'd be all for legalizing all of them if at the same time we dropped hospitals having to treat people without insurance, and dropped food stamps, welfare, section 8 housing etc.
    My issue with the drug war is the pigheaded refusal to put results over ideology. Banning drugs and hunting down users and dealers is ideology.

    To me it is simple. We have done the experiment already. Was the US a better place during prohibition or after it? Did prohibition of one of the most deadly, mind altering, and addictive drugs (alcohol) lead to greater or lesser social costs? The evidence is utterly conclusive. Prohibition leads to terrible social costs. Legalization isn’t a bed of roses, but it beats the alternative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lutherblsstt View Post
    My issue with the drug war is the pigheaded refusal to put results over ideology. Banning drugs and hunting down users and dealers is ideology.

    To me it is simple. We have done the experiment already. Was the US a better place during prohibition or after it? Did prohibition of one of the most deadly, mind altering, and addictive drugs (alcohol) lead to greater or lesser social costs? The evidence is utterly conclusive. Prohibition leads to terrible social costs. Legalization isn’t a bed of roses, but it beats the alternative.
    Again tho, you take a partial truth, add embellishment and call it conclusive. Alchohol is by NO means the most deadly, mind altering and addictive drug. I can say that from personal experience. On the drug scale, its pretty well at the weak end. Its negative health effects are largely from high volume usage over the span of years. So it may be more deadly than marijuana yes, but its less mind altering + addictive than it. And its far far far less deadly, addictive or mind altering than cocaine, crystal meth, lsd, pcp, heroin, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Again tho, you take a partial truth, add embellishment and call it conclusive. Alchohol is by NO means the most deadly, mind altering and addictive drug.
    You are doing something you claimed I was doing,twisting words. I said "one of the most deadly, mind altering, and addictive drugs (alcohol)"


    I can say that from personal experience. On the drug scale, its pretty well at the weak end. Its negative health effects are largely from high volume usage over the span of years. So it may be more deadly than marijuana yes, but its less mind altering + addictive than it.
    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/...l-tobacco.html

    "New landmark research concludes that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana or ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems, according to a new British study.

    In research published Friday in The Lancet, Professor David Nutt of Britain's Bristol University and colleagues proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks posed to society. Their ranking listed alcohol and tobacco among the top 10 most dangerous substances.

    Nutt and colleagues used three factors to determine the harm associated with any drug: the physical harm to the user, the drug's potential for addiction, and the impact on society of the drug's use.

    The researchers asked two groups of experts — psychiatrists specializing in addiction and legal or police officials with scientific or medical expertise — to assign scores to 20 different drugs, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD.

    Nutt and his colleagues then calculated the drugs' overall rankings. In the end, the experts agreed with each other, but not with the existing British classification of dangerous substances.

    Heroin and cocaine were ranked most dangerous, followed by barbiturates and street methadone. Alcohol was the fifth-most harmful drug and tobacco the ninth most harmful. Cannabis came in 11th, and near the bottom of the list was ecstasy.

    "The current drug system is ill thought-out and arbitrary," said Nutt, referring to the United Kingdom's practice of assigning drugs to three distinct divisions, ostensibly based on the drugs' potential for harm. "The exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary," write Nutt and his colleagues in The Lancet."
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