Wed, 19th Feb '03, 3:00am
The US has been running this war on drugs for a long time now.We spend billions and operate in many countries to try and stop drug traffic.
I think it is time we thought about taking a diffferent tact on this.
I am also interested in hearing how some people from other countries feel about the policy on drugs in thei country.
Here are some tidbits I found on The Drug Policy Alliance site.
These apply to american law.
1.Law enforcement often retains the seized assets without proof of the origins of the assets and without convition of any wrongdoing.
This applys to assests seized in drug raids in the United States.
2.Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Based on type of drug,weight of drug mixture and prior convitons the judge must hand out mandatory sentences.No other factors can be considered when giving these sentences.The only way to reduce your sentence is to turn in anther offender.
3.From 1986-1996 the number of women in prison on drug charges has increased 421%.
4.70% of the war money is spent on police,prisons and military actions.
30% is spent on treatment.
Some things to think about.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 3:25am
It's no secret that the "war" on drugs isn't working and has no prospects of working on the horizon. However, the various powers that be are not willing to part with this little "war" and most politicians believe that it is political suicide to come down on the part of legalizing or decriminalizing drugs of any kind.
Seems to me that making them legal will provide a ready source of taxes, drive down the cost (once the legal risk aspect of the cost is eliminated), and not particularly drive up use, as anyone who wants to try/use drugs can do so here with such a minimal amount of effort that it's laughable to say that the illegal nature of the drugs has some form of deterrent effect.
I tried pot when I was a kid, didn't like it much and never tried anything else. My wife tried a few more things, but also never went anywhere with it. Apparently, Clinton, Gore, Bush, all tried it, and, presumably, it had no long term effects (save the Bush jokes please). How can they all now say that they know better for everyone else? This is not a party issue, it's pretty much across-the-board. It's also a ridiculous and stupid waste of money and resources.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 4:21am
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be viable options. Educate me if there are. :D I don't think any country can just say, "We're losing the war against drugs. Let's forget about it."
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 4:27am
The present system isn't working, no question. But I don't see legalization as being any saner an approach to the problem. In fact, no system that has yet been devised really addresses the problem in a way that leaves anyone feeling comfortable.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 6:02am
The way I see it, there are two things at play here;
economics and what I call the "cookie jar on the top shelf"
Remember when you were a kid, and there was a cookie jar on the top shelf? Your mom or dad told you you could not have any cookies before dinner. So what did you do? When they left the room, you went for the cookie jar. Or something similar to that. Kids are told they can't drink, they can't smoke and they can't do drugs. So what do some of them do? Hey, you can't tell me what I can and can't have. Then they go and do them.
The other aspect is economics. Drugs are illegal. You can't go down to the corner store and buy drugs over the counter. There is less of a supply, which produces more of a demand. As supply diminishes, demand goes up and so does the price.
Take a look at the American Alligator. It was almost hunted to extinction for its skin and meat. Because it was illegal, the price of skins was enormous. So what did the Fish and Wildlife Service do? They supplied the demand for skins. We started seeing alligator farms. Since the supply increased, the price went down. You know longer have people going into the wild and illegally hunting alligators. You can hunt them in limited quantity with a permit. There is no longer an illegal alligator skin trade because it actually costs more to go out and illegally hunt an alligator than it does to raise one on a farm.
I see the same thing working for drugs. You take away the economy for the drug lords, they'll go out of business. If its cheaper to go to the store to buy pot, why would you go see Mr. Hemp in some alley?
Now there is one problem I see if drugs were made legal, and we'd be dealing with this for some time at first. Because of the way drugs are viewed, if they became legal, it could turn into one big "let's get high party" at the 7-11. Unfortunately the drug problem could get worse before it got better.