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The war on drugs should end

JesseCuster

Registered Member
I know there are many people who think they are libertarians (they say they hate the government in their lives) but they're really only economic libertarians. I, on the other hand, am a social libertarian (on the other hand, I believe the government should play a referee-type role for certain economic matters) - my rights to swing my arms ends at your nose, otherwise I can swing them until they fall off.

With that in mind, I'd like to propose a resolution for which I will be pro (anyone else can be pro, of course) and I'd like to read some arguments for why one would be con:

Resolved: The United States federal government should completely decriminalize all drug-related crimes. I.e. manufacturing, trafficking, distribution, selling, purchasing and using any drug should be legal.

Reasoning: This latest bit of prohibition has worked about as disastrously as the previous one in the 20's:

  • It makes certain criminals rich.
  • It creates tons of violence, over territory, that wouldn't exist otherwise.
  • It prevents many people from getting help because of the possible, legal repercussions that might arise when they admit to having a problem.
  • Availability to minors of these substances is high - higher than the legal stuff (ask a 10-year old to buy some pot and they may succeed, ask them to get you a six-pack of beer and you'll likely be out of luck).
  • Incarcerating non-violent offenders for possessing substances that only hurt themselves, is expensive. On top of the expense of housing and guarding them, there's the double-whammy of the wasted economic activity they might have generated and the inevitable taxes that would have been collected.
  • Any government that has laws on the books that make nearly a tenth of their population criminals, sows disrespect for the law in general.

What I'm not defending:

  • Allow people to sell drugs to anyone. As with alcohol, selling it to kids should remain a no-no.
  • People should be free to shoot-up at their day job/in schools/while driving. Again, as with alcohol but with even more restrictions (sort of like the open container laws but actually enforced - brown paper bags shouldn't get you out of hot water). And laws that punish people for putting others in danger by being under the influence while operating machinery should stay on the books.
  • People should be free to shoot-up while taking care of their children. These should be prosecuted in the same way we do for people who get loaded on whiskey and do the same. Perhaps a hit of weed isn't as serious as a hit of crack but that's a detail that will be worked out by people who know the subject better than I.
  • People can just hurt/kill someone and escape prosecution because they can say the LSD made them do it. As with alcohol, people can and do get prosecuted for crimes even if they were under the influence and they should continue to be.

Rule of thumb to apply: If someone on the pro side hasn't advocated it, ask them if they would advocate it before accusing and criticizing them for doing so. Pro side people will do the same, I hope.
 

Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
I'm definitely pro on this. My only worry about decriminalizing it ALL is when it comes to the really hard drugs. However, on that note, that could be another reason to decriminalize it. If the less hardcore drugs were more available and easy to attain, the harder drugs won't be used anywhere near as much.
 

Abrams

Registered Member
I'm not saint. I have... some "practical experience" in the matter. Alcohol is much more destructive than weed. And maybe even speed. They don't have chemical addiction mechanism. Alcohol have...
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I'm pretty much on the same page, but I'm not sure about everybody needing access to everything. I think some drugs should definitely remain illegal but nothing inane like weed. Kind of how I believe in the American right to own a firearm but I do not think the average citizen should be allowed to buy cruise missiles.
 

Abrams

Registered Member
I'm pretty much on the same page, but I'm not sure about everybody needing access to everything. I think some drugs should definitely remain illegal but nothing inane like weed. Kind of how I believe in the American right to own a firearm but I do not think the average citizen should be allowed to buy cruise missiles.
I think cocaine and heroine should remain banned. But sent only dealers to jail. Addicts should get help not punishment. They are victims.
 

JesseCuster

Registered Member
The result of the kind of paranoia that keeps products that actually curb "bad" drug use out of the hands that people who need them. Episode 391: The Anti-Addiction Pill That's Big Business For Drug Dealers : Planet Money : NPR
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I'm pretty much on the same page, but I'm not sure about everybody needing access to everything. I think some drugs should definitely remain illegal but nothing inane like weed. Kind of how I believe in the American right to own a firearm but I do not think the average citizen should be allowed to buy cruise missiles.
That analogy hardly applies: a cruise missile could be used to murder a few hundred people at a time (if they can target a plane with it) and the worst a pound of heroine can do is make someone sleep the next thirty days away.

But, please, Merc and Abrams, we now know your opinions but why do you hold those opinions?

I believe that any drug that stays illegal funnels money to criminals that end up making the streets more dangerous. It also forces the addicts to pay much higher rates for the product, which also means that some of them will have to steal to come up with the money they believe they need to get by.

If cocaine or heroine were legal, they'd be cheap, cheaper than whatever it is they're going for now. They'd also be safer, no additives to that try to provide a high with a cheaper substance. Both of those together would put the criminals (and the cartels that supply them) out of business in short order.

What's the down side? (I have at least one in mind but I don't want to put words under your fingers.)
 
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Abrams

Registered Member
Cocaine and heroine are TOO addictive. I witnessed how much. And they are easy to overdose. I witnessed how they are damaging organism. Heroine and cocaine should not be available for sale as it. Speed, Alcohol, weed and even MDMA are not even close to that.
 

JesseCuster

Registered Member
Cocaine and heroine are "too addictive" already and they're both for sale already...

Are you assuming more people would try it? Or do you think that if we change nothing, fewer people will use it?
 

Abrams

Registered Member
Cocaine and heroine are "too addictive" already and they're both for sale already...

Are you assuming more people would try it? Or do you think that if we change nothing, fewer people will use it?
Their addictive factor and damage that they are doing to organism are too high just to sell it at is. It's like taxing death. "Weaker" substations (Amphetamine, BZDs, Mephedrone, Cannabis). should be advised as less dangerous substitute to them. And used for "dose dropping". But users of heroin/cocaine shouldn't be prosecuted. But offered specialized help (same with other addicts). Only dealers should be punished. I don't know how things are in US but here in Poland heroin/cocaine are very hard to get, almost non present on market. And when it is it's very, very expensive. Too expensive for "street user" or kids. So they are no real danger. So in case of my country I would say no to legalization of them (but small amounts should be decriminalized). Other thing about widely available drugs like Speed and Weed. They are much more safe and less addictive. They should be taxed. And if you would get your stuff form legitimate source you are sure that stuff is not "cut" with some nasty shit.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I have no problem with marijuana being legalized but heroin or meth I think that would be a mistake. The drugs are far too dangerous to be legalized. I wouldn't have a problem if the people that are addicted to these drugs were given them and new needles. I would prefer rehab for them but some are so addicted they will probably never stop and if it were given to them then at least it would take the profit away from the cartels. I would doubly hate it if this Russian synthetic heroin was legalized. It's cheap and deadly, far more deadly than the real thing. There are some drugs that should never be legalized.
 
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