Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
- 03-24-2009, 10:10 AM
There are some amazingly powerful interests who are intent at keeping even cannabis illegal: the drug cartels (keep the price high), the law enforcement establishment(much less money for enforcement - that's their job), and the prison industry (obvious interests) to name three, and there are more.
Interesting piece in The Economist:
Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution
- 03-24-2009, 10:37 AM
Rates of past year heroin use were 0.4% for persons 12-17 years of age, 0.6% for persons 18-25 years of age, 0.2% for persons 26-34 years of age, and 0.1% for persons 35 years and older. The rate of heroin use was 0.4% for blacks, 0.2% for whites, and 0.2% for Hispanics. Male use was 0.3%: three times that of female use. Use was reasonably constant by region: 0.2% for persons living in the Northeast, 0.2% for persons living in the North Central, 0.3% for persons living in the South, and 0.1% for persons living in the West. Use was also similar by population density: 0.2% for persons living in a large metropolitan area, 0.2% for persons living in a small metropolitan area and 0.2% for persons living outside a metropolitan area.
I do agree that given normal patterns of current use marijuana is among the least damaging. However even as a study you posted showed, the legalization including commercial production of marijuana raises usage significantly, at which point its social costs also begin to rise, and its damage profile would change.
Subtract out social welfare services like section 8 housing and food stamps and universal health care, add in death penalties for what is currently felony crimes against person, and i'm all for drug legalization of all the drugs as part of the bargain.Animis Rep
- 03-24-2009, 10:53 AM
03-24-2009, 11:58 AM
That site is again using statistics that are irrelevant. You can't just pick 2 physical areas - states - and compare their murder rates based solely on whether their state has a death penalty or not and expect it to be relevant. City size, income levels, education levels, etc all relate.
You can see there is such a big difference on the specifics of the state. Take Rhode Island and New Hampshire, Rhode Island with no death penalty has double the murder rate of New Hampshire, a nearby state with the death penalty. Alaska with no death penalty has more than 3x the rate of South Dakota, a state with a death penalty. Obvious there are a lot more factors that go into the murder rate than just the death penalty, so just comparing the average has little value.
03-24-2009, 03:17 PM
Article today on CNN about it...
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/...ugs/index.htmlCAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Over the past two years, drug violence in Mexico has become a fixture of the daily news. Some of this violence pits drug cartels against one another; some involves confrontations between law enforcement and traffickers.
Recent estimates suggest thousands have lost their lives in this "war on drugs."
The U.S. and Mexican responses to this violence have been predictable: more troops and police, greater border controls and expanded enforcement of every kind. Escalation is the wrong response, however; drug prohibition is the cause of the violence.
Prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead.
Violence was common in the alcohol industry when it was banned during Prohibition, but not before or after.
Violence is the norm in illicit gambling markets but not in legal ones. Violence is routine when prostitution is banned but not when it's permitted. Violence results from policies that create black markets, not from the characteristics of the good or activity in question.
The only way to reduce violence, therefore, is to legalize drugs. Fortuitously, legalization is the right policy for a slew of other reasons.
Prohibition of drugs corrupts politicians and law enforcement by putting police, prosecutors, judges and politicians in the position to threaten the profits of an illicit trade. This is why bribery, threats and kidnapping are common for prohibited industries but rare otherwise. Mexico's recent history illustrates this dramatically.
Prohibition erodes protections against unreasonable search and seizure because neither party to a drug transaction has an incentive to report the activity to the police. Thus, enforcement requires intrusive tactics such as warrantless searches or undercover buys. The victimless nature of this so-called crime also encourages police to engage in racial profiling.
Prohibition has disastrous implications for national security. By eradicating coca plants in Colombia or poppy fields in Afghanistan, prohibition breeds resentment of the United States. By enriching those who produce and supply drugs, prohibition supports terrorists who sell protection services to drug traffickers.
Prohibition harms the public health. Patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma and other conditions cannot use marijuana under the laws of most states or the federal government despite abundant evidence of its efficacy. Terminally ill patients cannot always get adequate pain medication because doctors may fear prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Drug users face restrictions on clean syringes that cause them to share contaminated needles, thereby spreading HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.
Prohibitions breed disrespect for the law because despite draconian penalties and extensive enforcement, huge numbers of people still violate prohibition. This means those who break the law, and those who do not, learn that obeying laws is for suckers.
Prohibition is a drain on the public purse. Federal, state and local governments spend roughly $44 billion per year to enforce drug prohibition. These same governments forego roughly $33 billion per year in tax revenue they could collect from legalized drugs, assuming these were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco. Under prohibition, these revenues accrue to traffickers as increased profits.
The right policy, therefore, is to legalize drugs while using regulation and taxation to dampen irresponsible behavior related to drug use, such as driving under the influence. This makes more sense than prohibition because it avoids creation of a black market. This approach also allows those who believe they benefit from drug use to do so, as long as they do not harm others.
Legalization is desirable for all drugs, not just marijuana. The health risks of marijuana are lower than those of many other drugs, but that is not the crucial issue. Much of the traffic from Mexico or Colombia is for cocaine, heroin and other drugs, while marijuana production is increasingly domestic. Legalizing only marijuana would therefore fail to achieve many benefits of broader legalization.
It is impossible to reconcile respect for individual liberty with drug prohibition. The U.S. has been at the forefront of this puritanical policy for almost a century, with disastrous consequences at home and abroad.
The U.S. repealed Prohibition of alcohol at the height of the Great Depression, in part because of increasing violence and in part because of diminishing tax revenues. Similar concerns apply today, and Attorney General Eric Holder's recent announcement that the Drug Enforcement Administration will not raid medical marijuana distributors in California suggests an openness in the Obama administration to rethinking current practice.
Perhaps history will repeat itself, and the U.S. will abandon one of its most disastrous policy experiments.
03-24-2009, 03:24 PM
Umm, not an article, a commentary, by Jeffrey A. Miron a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University. Not what I would call an expert on law enforcement.
Of course, bad logic is easy to come up with. The ONLY way. great evidence of that being the only way, actually he shows no evidence at all.The only way to reduce violence, therefore, is to legalize drugs.
That is not true in the case of most of the drugs. Drugs that you take to alter your perceptions ALTER YOUR PERCEPTIONS. People DO cause violence in other ways. And legalizing the drugs is not the only way, again no evidence that higher penalties won't work. Saudi Arabia has a lot lower incidence of drug violence than we do don't they? And its because they actually punish a criminal, rather than upgrade his lifestyle while he is in prision.Violence results from policies that create black markets, not from the characteristics of the good or activity in question.
03-24-2009, 07:54 PM
Saudi Arabia also forbids alcohol and porn,lets not pick and choose lets impose sharia law and cover the women as well.Saudi Arabia has a lot lower incidence of drug violence than we do don't they? And its because they actually punish a criminal, rather than upgrade his lifestyle while he is in prision.
03-25-2009, 11:28 AM
03-25-2009, 11:41 AM
03-27-2009, 10:37 PM
Or maybe just killing all the 7-year-olds who trade their extra Ritalin for Hostess Twinkies at lunchtime?
Do you believe that all illegal activities are automatically immoral?
Are all legal activities automatically moral?
Please define your terms.
03-27-2009, 10:42 PM
If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. - Solzhenitsyn
TO EVERYONE WHO EQUATES DRUG USE WITH CRIMES AGAINST OTHER PERSONS: YOU'RE LIVING IN A COMIC BOOK.
The truth is that very few people develop addictions to ANY drug, and of the few that do, the vast majority have the presence of mind to recognize the problem as such and adjust accordingly.
ARE there people out there whose crimes are fueled by addiction? YES. So what's a better solution? Start offing the bastards? Or perhaps we ought to consider that a fraction of the population has ALWAYS taken mind altering substances, WILL ALWAYS take mind altering substances, and that the COMPASSIONATE and RIGHTEOUS thing to do is seek a solution that can accommodate ALL people.
Put all the drug war money towards developing NONADDICTIVE ALTERNATIVES to the primitive garbage that we have now - namely heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
Heard of LSD? It'll get you at an order of magnitude higher than coke. And yet, the next day, there is absolutely no desire to repeat yesterdays experience. And LSD is kind of a fluke, it was discovered at least somewhat accidentally. 70 years ago.
We could likely do some really wonderfully balanced things with modern technology, and make things like coke and heroin effectively OBSOLETE, and for VIRTUALLY NO COST (LSD costs about 20 to 30 CENTS per hit to produce clandestinely. In a proper lab, even less)
So there you go, authoritarians- No addiction, no (significant) financial burden, no brain damage, nothing. Even if this weren't simply a matter of personal freedom, all your arguments could be negated by decent science within only a few years.
But you wouldn't want people doing drugs even if all your arguments went away. You'd stick to your position as if it were a principle. And that's what makes you unqualified to start any sentence with the phrase, "I think..." - Most don't think. They feel, and try and rationalize those feelings by grasping at straws and inciting panic among the gullible population (Legalization! OH NOES! Crack Dealers will give our kids drugs and we'll be helpless to stop them!)
Get your nose out of other peoples business, stop stifling progress, and stop advocating violence towards human beings who are simply DOING WHAT THEY'VE BEEN DOING SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME.
03-28-2009, 12:36 AM
03-28-2009, 12:37 AM
Here is my crazy point of few that the United States has been involved with illegal drug trade through the CIA.
Proven time and time again and then ignored by the mainstream media.
03-28-2009, 01:51 AM
03-28-2009, 10:26 AM
Stating that not all people associated with drugs use are violent criminals isn't the same as saying legalizing them will make it all better.
There are plenty of legal items out there that people still find ways to violently obtain them and they aren't addictive where the mind and body is telling them they have to have them.
Just like I said in the other thread. legalizing does not make them free or obtainable by all which means there will still be crime associated with them.
03-28-2009, 10:47 AM
03-28-2009, 11:46 AM
03-28-2009, 07:12 PM
Comparing death sentences affecting murder is pointless, as murder is generally a crime based on psychosis, or a "crime of passion" of one sort or another. Whether its a planned murder or not, the element of strong feelings is there.
Drug sales however is a crime based on profitability, so there is a good risk : reward profile for it if you can make enough money in a span of time (as then that money can also be used to pay for attorneys to avoid or lower sentences). If the risk is risk of death, either reward has to go up significantly or less people will do it. keep in mind that the lower run dealers have at this point a positive risk : reward profile as the "risk" of them going to jail still generally leaves them living better than they live without dealing drugs anyhow. So its win win for them.
03-30-2009, 07:34 AM
03-30-2009, 11:53 AM
it seems to me the war on drugs is a never-ending battle due to the immense amount of corruption in every sector of society. money talks, b/s walks and you'll be surprised how many people's knees will buckle at the sight of millions, sometimes billions of dollars in bribery. who do people think is bringing in the large shipments of marijuana and cocaine, as examples? it's not the black boys or latinos living in section 8 housing and low-income neighborhoods. the majority don't have the intelligence to engage in such business and those that do, don't have the resources so they slang until they save up enough money to make an investment that moves them out of the slums and ghettos. (it seems this is the extreme minority) sadly, most remain in the same environment their whole lives because it's all they've been conditioned to.
it seems we're fight off the offspring of the dragon as opposed to attacking the problem at the source. do people really think there isn't someone being paid large amounts of money to look the other way and keep their mouth shut about the drug trafficking that goes in and out of the US. back to my original point, it's not the small-time dealers moving an ounce here and there we need to be jumping on. this is treating the symptoms of the disease and not curing the problem at the root. efforts should be increased in going after the guys moving 50 metric tons a week. the main guys, the untouchables, the behind the scene people. things like bribery, corruption and money are the fueling factor for the drug business. all these things flood our society and drive the drugs home.
i tip my hat off to all members of our law enforcement organizations out there pushing ahead with the anti-drug movement and keep the war on drugs popping off. i mean no disrespect my words and my heart goes out to all who have affected by the drug war (both sides). i, personally, am looking to become a police officer. as a matter of fact, I'm in the process of taking the CJBAT and actively applying for the force. one of the main reasons I'm involved in nutrition and weight lifting as hobbies are so i can learn to benefit myself and train my body to excel on the field when the time comes and I'm wearing the badge with the 25 lb. equipment belt and Vest.
i suppose the main point I'm attempting to establish is i feel we need to go for the head(s) of the dragon, not the offspring perpetuating the drug industry. sincerely, it is in our best interest to evaluate our successes and failures up to this point, redesign our strategies and continue pushing forward. however, this is simply scratching the surface.
03-31-2009, 03:16 AM
The drug war has caused many ironies. Take the high price. It’s due to the fact that the drugs are illegal and, therefore, suppliers, to be willing to supply, charge a risk premium. In an unpublished article I wrote a few years ago, "The U.S. Drug War on Latin America," I compared two exports from Colombia, both of which are drugs or contain drugs, and both of which begin with the letter "c." I refer to cocaine and coffee. I estimated that if the same markups applied to cocaine as to coffee, which would occur with cocaine legalization, then cocaine’s price in the United States would fall by about 97 percent. No one would need to steal to support a cocaine habit. That would not mean, of course, that no one would steal to support a habit. People steal to get the wherewithal to buy even items that are cheap and legal. But virtually no one would need to steal to afford cocaine.
Consider the legitimate concern many people have that drug users would die from overdoses or from foreign substances used to "cut" the drugs. Even this problem is due to the fact that drugs are illegal. Because the drugs are illegal, no one in the business can use advertising to establish a reputation and brand name. You can’t have a brand name for, say, cocaine, that is at all comparable to the brand name for Coca-Cola. Therefore, there is much less incentive to provide a known-quality product.
It may be a hard pill to swallow, so to speak, but it is true, nevertheless, that the vast majority of harm attributed to drugs is, in fact, due to the drug war. End the drug war, and it’s true that some people will consume things that others don’t want them to; but it’s also true that the amount of violence in that market would decline to the amount seen in the legal alcohol market. That is, there would be almost no violence. Keep that in mind when you see politicians advocating stemming the violence by escalating violence against sellers of illegal drugs.
03-31-2009, 09:33 AM
03-31-2009, 09:58 AM
i respectfully disagree: i wouldn't end the war on evil just because evil finds new ways and loopholes to exist and wreak havoc. evil is a necessary part of this imperfect world.
we're only passing through this life so while we're here why not do our part and fight the evil. generally speaking, if everyone "did their part", things would be much different. then again, I'm talking about a perfect world. we don't live there, yet. until then, i feel we need to do what's right and quitting isn't one of them b/c to me quitting exemplifies lack/loss of faith. I'm not having that hence, why i want to join the police force.
04-01-2009, 11:08 PM
Here is another major blind spot in the pro-War on Drugs ideology.
The money spent in the drug war is spent almost exclusively on curbing illegal drugs,a curious policy given that the abuse of legal drugs is a huge problem. More Americans use legal drugs for nonmedical reasons than use cocaine or heroine;hundreds of millions of prescription pills are used illicitly each year. More than half of those who die of drug related medical problems or seek treatment for those problems are abusing prescription drugs. By the AMAs own estimates one in twenty doctors is grossly negligent in prescribing drugs,and according to the DEA,at least 15,000 doctors sell prescriptions to addicts and pushers.
Yet,less than 1 percent of the nation's antidrug budget goes to stopping prescrption drug abuse.
The gargantuan disparity in spending reflects-and is perpetuated by-what the nation's media and political leaders have chosen to focus on.
Prescription Drug Abuse and Dependence by Daniel Greenfield
Prescription Fraud LA Times
Prescriptions supplanting illegal substances as drugs of choice
04-01-2009, 11:23 PM
My take on this "war" on drugs is as follows:
it's just like the "war" on terrorism. It doesn't have any actual end in sight and is used only to divert funds. The "war" on terror just causes people to lose their civil liberties when there is no actual threat knocking on our door.
The United States knows where drugs come from. We know where they are manufactured, we know how they are distributed, we know the routes they take across continents. The CIA has been and is still involved with the drug trade because that is how they pay for their black ops.
We could easily wipe out the opium in Afghanistan, we could easily target cocoa fields across South America and other drug manufacturing facilities. We have all the resources, and plenty of well trained pilots and special forces to handle it. Are these drugs lords really evading the world's most technologically advanced intelligence force? No, we just don't want them to stop poisoning our country.
On further analysis many of these drugs lords can be tied to prominent families around the world. Charities such as the Wildlife Fund are used for money laundering. Plus we won't **** with anything if the elitist are involved.
The US Government does only enough to portray it has an anti-drug policy. But then again we are a society of drugs, we are bombarded by ads and PHARMA companies lobby Washington all day and sell drugs that even worse than street drugs.(ritalin, SSRI's, heart meds)
04-02-2009, 09:56 AM
04-02-2009, 09:58 AM
04-02-2009, 10:22 PM
"Nationally, the federal government spends $13 billion to $14 billion on the war on drugs, but only $70 million goes to the DEA to investigate prescription drug offenses. "There are two kinds of justice in this system, one for doctors, and one for everybody else," said Paul K. King, a former California narcotics agent who investigated prescription fraud in Los Angeles County"
Math lesson- 1 percent of 14 billion = 140 000 000
Since millions of prescription pills enter the illicit drug market every year, some see a double standard in drug enforcement because of grants of leniency towards the doctors and their rich clientele who abuse the drugs (Dan Weikel, "Prescription Fraud: Abusing the System," Los Angeles Times, August 18, 1996, p. A1; Dan Weikel, "Prescription Fraud: Abusing the System," Los Angeles Times (Washington Edition), August 19, 1996, p. A1).
The DEA estimated that prescription drugs were sold for about $25 billion in 1993 in the illegal drug market, compared to an estimate of $31 billion spent that year on cocaine, including crack.
04-03-2009, 06:43 AM
04-04-2009, 01:16 AM
I provided a link that showed that less than 1 percent of the antidrug budget goes to stopping prescrption drug abuse and all you can do is introduce "If" followed by a red herring http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...d-herring.html?Which one of these (although the 2nd and 3rd are the same article) shows that
Yet,less than 1 percent of the nation's antidrug budget goes to stopping prescrption drug abuse. or is that more makebelieve numbers from you?
About 2.6 million people in the U.S. use prescription drugs for "nonmedical reasons" -- more than the estimated number of users of heroin, crack and cocaine, according to surveys by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, prescription painkillers, sedatives, stimulants and tranquilizers are about 75% of the top 20 drugs mentioned in emergency room episodes each year.Right and me just doing eyeball math at least 2x more for marijuana, i'm not sure about other drugs. california alone grows more than $14 billion in marijuana.
From 2008:And do you have anything more recent? since the quotes about how much is being spent is current, comparing volumes from 16 years ago is pointless.
04-04-2009, 01:25 AM
2004 National Institute on Drug Abuse's (NIDA's) Monitoring the Future survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th-graders found that 9.3 percent of 12th-graders reported using Vicodin without a prescription in the past year, and 5.0 percent reported using OxyContin-making these medications among the most commonly abused prescription drugs by adolescents.
The abuse of certain prescription drugs-opioids, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and stimulants- can alter the brain's activity and lead to addiction.
So EasyEJL,when these 8th, 10th, and 12th-graders sell or buy Vicodin should they be executed?
04-04-2009, 01:30 AM
hey ive got a great idea. why don't we ask my brother about this. Oh wait thats right, hes dead. Why? because he was invovled in a gang war and was shot to death because of traficking drugs(weed). If you make the damn thing legal you put the gangs out of buisness. They will lose most of their income and be destroyed. Gangs will be ousted. Do what they do in amsterdamn. Make it legal BUT PUT A LIMIT ON THE STUFF. only a certain amount per day. You don't see horrible gang fighting in holland or swiss or anywhere that makes it legal.
04-04-2009, 04:48 PM
I'm sorry your brother died but that's a risk you take when you involve yourself in those types of lifestyles. His choice to get money a certain way put his life in danger and unfortunately he paid the highest price. There are always going to be illegal activities and get rich quick schemes. I grew up in a broken home surrounded by drug users and dealers. I had options and some were harder than others. I was involved in gang activity when I was a teen and made wrong decisions but those decisions were mine. At no point did i not know what I was doing was wrong and i knew the dangers associated with it. Again, i'm sorry about your brother but his death wasn't the result of drugs being illegal. It was a result in him putting himself in a dangerous situation.
04-05-2009, 11:08 AM
04-05-2009, 11:09 AM
04-05-2009, 05:25 PM
on another note, its important to have discussions like this, not to see who can argue better, but rather, to explore all possible scenarios and outcomes if such a large decision as legalizing presently illegal drugs is made. this would be a monumental turn-key decision in the event it were ever made. we're not talking about something that has a clear cut solution or a significantly obvious "better" answer.
in order to contend effectively, it's beneficial to learn how to argue your side, but also the other person's, better than they can.
either way, i tip my hat off to you all for such an intriguing debate.
04-05-2009, 10:19 PM
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqWaf9DMFOc"]YouTube - Eye To Eye With Katie Couric: Rx Drug Abuse (CBS News)[/ame]
04-06-2009, 09:59 PM
04-08-2009, 08:24 AM
04-09-2009, 07:46 AM
"The Attorney General of Arizona, citing evidence that Mexican drug trafficking organizations get 60% to 80% of their revenue from marijuana, has suggested that national policymakers debate legalizing marijuana as a way to cripple both Mexican and U.S. gangs.
Although he was careful to say he wasnít advocating legalization, he nevertheless asked the right question: Should marijuana be taxed and regulated like alcohol?
Critics will say legalization might increase drug use.
But then again, studies around the world have found that the relative harshness of drug laws matters surprisingly little.
After all, rates of illegal drug use in the United States are the same as, or higher than, Europe, despite our more punitive policies.
And thirteen U.S. states have already decriminalized marijuana, but marijuana use rates in those states go up and down at roughly the same rates as in other states."
"What matters most, of course, is not how many people use marijuana, alcohol or other drugs, but how best to reduce both the harms of drug misuse and the harms of drug control policies.
Seventy five years ago Americans recognized that the harms of alcohol misuse had been exceeded by the harms of alcohol Prohibition; they responded by repealing a national amendment for the one and only time in our nationís history. Hundreds of thousands of Americans die prematurely each year because of cigarette smoking but weíre still wise enough to understand that tough public health strategies produce better overall results than criminal prohibition.
Marijuana is dramatically less dangerous than either alcohol or cigarettes. Itís far less addictive than the latter, and typically consumed in much smaller amounts. It lacks alcoholís powerful association with violence, accidents and reckless sexual behavior. Itís impossible to die of a marijuana overdose. And the consequences of marijuana addiction, for the small proportion of marijuana consumers who do become addicted, are dramatically less than the consequences of alcohol addiction.
With Mexico in crisis, U.S. prisons packed beyond capacity, and state and federal deficits soaring, the time has come to at least consider taxing and regulating marijuana. "
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