Political Discussions

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, May 12, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    As much as those on the Authoritarian Right may not like it, debating the "war on drugs" is a legitimate political issue.

    Also, advocating the end of the waste and abuse of the "war on drugs" is by no means an endorsement of the use of any drug.

    Part of being an adult is learning how to engage other folks in discussion who do not hold to one's own particular viewpoint.
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    Ken, you are hereby awarded the 2006 Magnetic Poles Award for Excellence in Critical Thinking! Congratulations.
     
  3. tragic_pizza

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    I wonder if, rather than legalizing drugs, a process of decriminalizing users and concentrating on catching and convicting suppliers is a better use of funds. That way, the supply is cut off, so the demand is not a factor.

    In any case, I don't think Nall has the answer. A glance at her website gives the strong impression that she's, well, a bit flaky. Plus the fact that BB rules prohibit nonChristians from posting on this board.
     
  4. tragic_pizza

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    This is, by the way, exactly similar to being the best pinochle player in Tallahassee, Alabama...
     
  5. Magnetic Poles

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    This is, by the way, exactly similar to being the best pinochle player in Tallahassee, Alabama... </font>[/QUOTE]Except the best pinochle player in Tallahasse might win a larger prize purse! ;)
     
  6. Phillip

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    I have to agree with your reasoning.

    As an example only and not a debate point in itself: look at alcohol consumption today with legalized alcohol. It certainly has not slowed down.

    Kill the snake's head and the rest will die.

    Plus, it is easier to focus on the supply rather than the user. There are many users for every supplier. Catch one supplier and the users will either have to find another supplier or go without. Catch enough suppliers and the supply line dries up. Simple reasoning.

    Thank you, tragic_pizza!
     
  7. tragic_pizza

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    I have to agree with your reasoning.

    As an example only and not a debate point in itself: look at alcohol consumption today with legalized alcohol. It certainly has not slowed down.</font>[/QUOTE]I think, though, that compared to Prohibition, the consumption per person has decreased. I think there are striking similarities, by the way, and some cautionary differences between Prohibition and the current war on drugs.

    Thank you.
     
  8. KenH

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    Attempting to dry up supply has never been successful in the history of mankind, certainly not in any society which cherishes individual liberty. Taking one supplier simply increases the profit of other suppliers. As long as there is demand for a product there will be those who are willing to take the risks to supply that product. Just look at the failed policy of alcohol prohibition in the U.S. Just look at the failed policy toward prostitution.

    Therefore, since we have limited resources for law enforcement, do we want to waste them on activities among consenting adults or do we want to use them on activities where force is involved such as rape, murder, fraud, etc.? I think we should choose the latter.
     
  9. tragic_pizza

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    Attempting to dry up supply has never been successful in the history of mankind, certainly not in any society which cherishes individual liberty. Taking one supplier simply increases the profit of other suppliers. As long as there is demand for a product there will be those who are willing to take the risks to supply that product. Just look at the failed policy of alcohol prohibition in the U.S. Just look at the failed policy toward prostitution.

    Therefore, since we have limited resources for law enforcement, do we want to waste them on activities among consenting adults or do we want to use them on activities where force is involved such as rape, murder, fraud, etc.? I think we should choose the latter.
    </font>[/QUOTE]At first glance, your point has merit.

    However, one has only to look at the mechanics of the drug trade to find that rape, murder, forced labor, kidnapping, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, and more typify any drug operation's workings -- that in addition to things like smuggling and bribery.

    Attacking -- and I mean really going after -- the supply side of the equation may or may not completely dry up the supply. It will, however, certainly impact many other areas where people are suffering injustice in a variety of countries just so rich Americans can get some blow.
     
  10. KenH

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    Then law enforcement should use its scarce resources going after the rapists, the murderers, the enslavers, the kidnappers, the extortionists, those perpetrating fraud, the embezzlers - those that are using force on others.
     
  11. tragic_pizza

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    Then law enforcement should use its scarce resources going after the rapists, the murderers, the enslavers, the kidnappers, the extortionists, those perpetrating fraud, the embezzlers - those that are using force on others. </font>[/QUOTE]In intentionally targeting the supply side of the drug trade, they accomplish this and more.
     
  12. KenH

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    Without affecting the amount of drug use. Thus it is wasted time and money attempting to stop the activities of consenting adults if the idea is to stop such consenting activities.
     
  13. tragic_pizza

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    Yet it is most decidedly not choosing simply to punish the users without affecting supply.

    Simple legalization does nothing to help the situation, imho. It's saying, "Oh, forget it, if ya cain't beat 'em, join 'em," and that isn't ever good policy.
     
  14. KenH

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    It is isn't a matter of giving up, TP. It's a matter that the government should not have the power to interfere with the activities of consenting adults who are not using force against another person.
     
  15. StefanM

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    Your line of thought would be correct if one shares this presupposition.

    Personally, I believe that non-interference should be the norm, but I make no claim of absolute government non-interference.
     
  16. tragic_pizza

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    Define "using force."

    If two people had to die in order for me to smoke some marijuana, is that forced? What if only one dies, and another is enslaved by a drug gang as a mule? Is that OK?
     
  17. Magnetic Poles

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    Let me preface this by saying I have never in my over half-century of life, used an illegal drug.

    That stated, I also fail to see why the government cares what a person puts into his or her own body in the privacy of his or her domicile. Most of the negatives from drugs come from their illegal status. Legalize, and the supply chain is free from criminal activity, gangs, killings, and instead can be monitored and regulated. The war on drugs has been a dismal failure and waste of precious resources.

    I guess I'd be a pretty good Libertarian, with the exception of their lack of social safety nets.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    It is a false notion that drug use, alcohol use, prostitution, or anything else that is illegal only affects those who agree to do it.

    It affects the families, the communities, and the country as a whole. Having these activities illegal says that the community finds the harmful and repulsive as well as immoral.
     
  19. Magnetic Poles

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    I understand that argument Revmitchell, however governments are not there to legislate anyone's view of morality, as that is a relative standard. It is there to establish the rule of law based upon statute and judicial precedent.

    For example, you could argue that someone under the influence of marijuana could potentially impact someone else if they drive and have a wreck.

    But note: This already falls under DUI/DWI laws, so even if it were legal for home use, one would not be able to legally drive under the influence. The standard I gave was in one's own home.

    How many prisons do we have to build and maintain, how much to imprison people, simply because we clog the jails, prisons and court dockets with non-violent people who's only crime was ingesting, injecting, snorting or smoking a substance that made them feel different?
     
  20. Scott J

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    I agree and have been attacked by my normal allies for taking this libertarian position.

    OTOH, while it is not the business of gov't what a person puts into their body, it IS the business of someone who extends the privilege of employment to that person or who is going to enter into an implicit or explicit contract (ie. working in a Little League Association). An employer should have the right to a) ensure that someone receiving the privilege of employment does not do things that could harm the business or property and b) to ensure that employees do not engage in activities that raise costs for that business (ie. health care costs, absenteeism, etc)... and yes, I would extend that to smoking, drinking, obesity, lack of exercise, etc.

    A person certainly has a RIGHT to do/be those things... but they don't have a right to do those things and demand that an employer continue to lend them the privilege of employment. If the employer has a policy given to the employee then that constitutes a contract between them. If the employee doesn't agree with the terms then they can attempt to negotiate or move on... they do not have a right to diminish the employer's property, association, and enterprise rights by forcing them to change their rules through the power of gov't.
    I have been in industry long enough to see statistics on the costs of drug use in health care, absenteeism, equipment damage, injuries, and lost productivity... these are all greater negatives than just the fact that it is illegal.
    Time out!!! I thought you said the gov't had no business dictating what people put into their own body. You object when they say they can't do it... but then want the rest of us to pay to relieve them of the risks of doing it. Sorry but no thanks. If we legalize drugs then the users should take full responsibility for their actions and bear the full costs.
    Your proposal will work no better. In fact, legalization as you prescribe it with gov't doing all it can to bail people out for making a very bad judgment will without any doubt lead to more usage.

    No. A libertarian would recognize that not only does gov't not have a legitimate role in the decision of whether to use recreational drugs... they also have no role in protecting users from their own bad choices.
     

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