Winning in the War on Drugs

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    The war on drugs provides a good example of the power of ideas. Twenty years ago, it was mostly libertarians who were challenging this war and calling for it to be ended. Today, people from all walks of life, including law enforcement officers and judges, are calling for an end to the horribly immoral and destructive war on drugs. And the people of two states — Colorado and Washington — recently approved the legalization of marijuana.

    In the early 1990s, I would appear on numerous radio talk shows. I knew that the surefire way to light up the phone lines was to call for an end to the drug war. People were shocked at the notion that drugs should be legalized.

    The April 1990 issue of our monthly journal, Freedom Daily (now called Future of Freedom) was devoted to the drug war. It is still worth reading Milton Friedman’s Open Letter to U.S. drug czar Bill Bennett, which had been published in the Wall Street Journal and which we reprinted in that issue of our journal.

    Today, everything has changed. No one is shocked over the drug-legalization position. While many people still cannot accept it, everyone knows that it is a legitimate position that is being discussed and debated all over the world. Mainstream newspapers all across America are unafraid to publish op-eds and editorials calling for an end to the drug war and do, in fact, publish such articles on a regular basis.

    It’s really just a matter of time before the war is abandoned at the federal level. The two groups that are most insistent on the war’s continuation are federal officials and drug lords, which are, not coincidentally, the two groups that benefit most from the war. Both groups know that they would be out of business immediately if drugs were legalized.

    CONTINUE . . .

     
  2. Revmitchell

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    So being against drug use for recreational purposes is immoral?
     
  3. poncho

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    No not at all. But supporting a failed policy that's done more harm than good doesn't show the use of much common sense.

    Do you like having our streets full of drug gangs and violence?
     
    #3 poncho, Dec 13, 2012
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  4. Revmitchell

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    what policy is that and what harm?
     
  5. poncho

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    Are you saying that you can't make the connection between prohibition and the rise of gang violence?
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    I am saying that there is no cause and effect here. Gangs are a result of the break down of the family not the war on drugs. Have you ever lived on the street? Have you ever hung out with gangs? Have you ever bought and sold drugs? Do you really know anything in a personal way about this subject?
     
  7. poncho

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    Have I ever lived on the street?

    Yes I have.

    Have I ever hung out with gangs?

    Spent most of my time on the street trying to avoid them.

    Have I ever bought and sold drugs?


    Yes I have and it was getting caught selling drugs that led me to Jesus. Started buying and selling pot and tobacco in the fifth grade. Pot was a whole lot easier to get my hands on than tobacco because all I needed was cash money and the right connections. And there was no lack of connections. Alcohol was near impossible for a fifth grader to get his hands on unless he stole it or otherwise I would have probably been selling that to.

    Do I really know anything in a personal way about this subject?

    Yes I do. The stories I could tell . . .

    How about you Rev? Have you ever lived on the street? Have you ever hung out with gangs? Have you ever bought or sold drugs? Do you really know anything in a personal way about this subject?

    Well, do you?
     
    #7 poncho, Dec 13, 2012
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  8. poncho

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    Right. Guess the Rev is to busy to respond at the moment so while we're waiting I thought we could read this letter.

    In Oliver Cromwell’s eloquent words, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken” about the course you and President Bush urge us to adopt to fight drugs. The path you propose of more police, more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish.

    You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve.

    Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault.

    Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

    I append excerpts from a column that I wrote in 1972 on “Prohibition and Drugs.” The major problem then was heroin from Marseilles; today, it is cocaine from Latin America. Today, also, the problem is far more serious than it was 17 years ago: more addicts, more innocent victims; more drug pushers, more law enforcement officials; more money spent to enforce prohibition, more money spent to circumvent prohibition.

    Had drugs been decriminalized 17 years ago, “crack” would never have been invented (it was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it profitable to provide a cheaper version) and there would today be far fewer addicts. The lives of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent victims would have been saved, and not only in the U.S. The ghettos of our major cities would not be drug-and-crime-infested no-man’s lands. Fewer people would be in jails, and fewer jails would have been built.


    CONTINUE . . .
     
    #8 poncho, Dec 13, 2012
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  9. Revmitchell

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    Yes to all of the above. I have been homeless four different times and you will not find one of those people who are still out there that will tell you they sell drugs and join gangs because of the war on drugs.
     
  10. poncho

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    Well, I can't argue with that Rev. Gee ya got me.

    You know why I sold pot in grade school? Because it was easy for a grade schooler to get (due to the fact it was illegal) it was plentiful on the street and the profit margin was way better than peddling newspapers. And that's back when possession of one pot seed was a felony! I'm quite sure if you ask anyone out there today why they sell drugs they'll pretty much give you the same story.

    I don't want drugs to be so easily available to grade schoolers anymore. So I say legalize em, regulate em, and tax em just like alcohol and tobacco.

    Nobody sells drugs because there's a "war" on them. Honestly where do you come with this stuff. :laugh:

    Why did you sell drugs?
     
    #10 poncho, Dec 13, 2012
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  11. poncho

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    New Look at Global Policy After “Failure” of War on Drugs

    For decades, an ongoing war has rivaled many of the longest-running conflicts in the world in terms of cost, casualties and time. It is the war on drugs. Here in the United States and worldwide, especially in Latin America, the consequences of the illegal drug trade, a multibillion dollar underground industry, have been severe. It has led to countless deaths, shattered families and neighborhoods, and even destroyed the fabric of entire cities.

    But some world leaders are now calling for a new approach to this war, an approach that focuses less on prohibition and more on regulating and even controlling the drug trade.

    CONTINUE . . .

    VIDEO Breaking The Taboo
     
    #11 poncho, Dec 14, 2012
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