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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » 25 years, $25 billion, still losing the "war" on drugs.

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Author Topic: 25 years, $25 billion, still losing the "war" on drugs.
Daruma28
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If the definition of insanity was repeating the same behavior over and over while expecting different results, shouldn't 25 years and $25 billion dollars of failure tell us that continuing the "war on drugs" is INSANE?!?!?!

From the Washington Times, Analysis: Study shows U.S. losing drug war

quote:
After 25 years and $25 billion the United States is further from winning the war on drugs, a study released Tuesday indicates.

The report conducted by the Washington Office on Latin America, a non-governmental organization that has the stated goal of trying to "reorient U.S. drug control policy to the region," concludes that U.S. policy geared toward "reducing drug abuse and availability in the United States" from a "supply-reduction model does not work."


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Ivan
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I'm reminded of a partisain comic I read in 2002. The dialogue went something like this:

"Isn't it great that we have this war on terror? We're going to completely eliminate terrorism in the world!"
"Yeah! Like how we had that war on drugs and that war on poverty, and now there arn't any more drugs or any more poor people? This'll be great!"
"Pass the herione"

[Big Grin]

But I agree that the war on drugs is lunacy. The best way to deal with it is the way we deal with alcohol and cigarettes: regulation and taxation. Regulate it to make sure that people arn't shooting up rat poisin and tax it to deal with all of the negative externalities it causes.

-Ivan

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Zyne
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Totally freaking nuts.

I wish the arts had that kind of funding.

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LoverOfJoy
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200 years and $200 billion dollars later, the war on crime hasn't been won. Let's legalize crime and have done with it. [Wink]
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musket
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Legalize drugs and the majority of crimes associated with it will be history. The War on Drugs has never been anything but a rehash of Prohibition. Didn't work then, won't work now, no matter how much money the government continues to throw at it. The problem is the those who fight the drug cartels and the cartels themselves exist in a symbiotic relationship. Each needs the other to survive, the cartels to continue making stupendous profits and the narcs to continue having jobs.
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Naldiin
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I agree withthe lefties here. Legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. And make a provision stating that anyone on drugs cannot apply for welfare. Use the tax money to operate government run rehabilitation centers and use the leftovers as you see fit. At no time should the rehab centers excede 50% of the drug-based-tax income in funding, like Ivan said, you have to move the other tax dollars to deal with the other negative externalities, like decreased productivity.
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Ivan
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Actually, I was refering to the clinics as the negative externalities. [Wink] If someone is less productive because they're doped up, pay them less or fire them. [Big Grin]
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Snowden
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It only cost 25 billion? Even after enforcement and incarceration costs?

I still can't abide by legalizing drugs. It would turn pushers into near door to door salesmen, but I think that 25 billion is a low figure for 25 years worth of work.

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Lewkowski
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War on Drugs is stupid. Its an issue of freedom. As long as you don't take drugs while driving or doing something else that can bring harm to others why the hell should it be illegal? Makes zero sense.
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Snowden
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I don't like living next heroin addicts. The War on Drugs is a statement about the quality of society we aim to live in, like public education and social security. While I don't agree with the practices, I'm glad people are making the statement.
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Zyne
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The War on Drugs is not stopping heroin, is not stopping any other drug. If it's legal, at least you'd have a fighting chance to know who you lived next door to.

Legalize, regulate, tax, and treat addiction as the medical condition that it is. The first three have worked beautifully with alcohol. We can build on that model, and with hard drugs like heroin, control where they are taken and under what circumstance (i.e., give me your keys, take care of your kids in advance, etc.).

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typeorange
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The current drug policy is fundamentally hypocritical. The people who speak out against drugs always talk about the social and medical costs of drug abuse. If that's really the case, why are alcohol and cigarettes still legal? I think the problem is especially revolting with respect to marijuana which is, in my opinion, most similar to the currently legal recreational drugs.

My favorite is when they say "Marijuana is a gateway drug." I can't imagine there are too many people who went from straight sobriety to hard drugs without stopping at booze and tobacco along the way.

The anti-drug people love to hang their hats on clinically unproven and largely unsubstantiated claims about the health risks of marijuana. Even if those claims are true, most of them assume that the users are smoking it, which isn't at all necessary. And even if they were true for all uses of marijuana, the risks are far greater and more certain for alcohol and cigarettes.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will make the right call in Ashcroft v Raich. If they do, it ought to be the first step towards a sane American drug policy.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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In my opinion, the 'War on Drugs' doesn't make sense for several reasons. The first reason is simply the Constitutional liberties taken to persecute drug users. They're prosecuted (I believe) under the 'Interstate Trade' clause of the Constitution - never intended to be used to this effect.

The second reason is financial. The drug war doesn't make sense. The way I see it, corporations could do a better job policing drugs than the government. It is, after all, in their interest. Many corporations require drug tests - if drug-addicted employees become a problem, more will require drug tests. Drug use that doesn’t have an affect on employee productivity, as with moderate quantities of alcohol, will be allowed through simple market draw. Jobs with fewer restrictions and more perks (not to mention better pay) draw better employees.

If you cannot make a decent living when you're on drugs, you cannot pay for more drugs easily - and so drug prices will be kept low. Government taxes and a stoppage of the war on drugs will result in more (much needed) income. Refusing welfare to those on drugs will do much to curb low-income drug use.

While changes in drug laws could initially result in a crime wave (due to violent crimes in an attempt to get drug money), eventually it will stabilize. Our societal draw to decrying 'addictions' (drugs, porn, this, that, and the other thing), is a serious problem; we are decrying the idea of personal responsibility. Yes, society should help those with problems, in limited circumstances. However, if a person is addicted to drugs, the person who chose to take them is ultimately at fault.

--Firedrake

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Ivan
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Snowden-

Statements are well and good, but just because something is legal doesn't mean the government condones it. Binge drinking is "legal". Eating dirt is "legal". Heck, I could snort my neighbor's dandruff if I wanted to, and the government would do nothing to stop me. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't be a compelte idiot for doing so. It doesn't mean that I couldn't potentially hurt myself doing it. It doesn't mean that the Federal Government condones my actions. It just means that I have a right do to it, and even if I didn't, it would be rediculas for the government to try to stop me.

-Ivan

Edited because its 3 AM

[ December 03, 2004, 02:53 AM: Message edited by: Ivan ]

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Snowden
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quote:
The people who speak out against drugs always talk about the social and medical costs of drug abuse.
I don't care about the money. I care about the fact that drug addicts in society degrade the quality of life. They are like beggars, it pains me to give to them and it pains me not to give to them.

[ December 03, 2004, 03:26 AM: Message edited by: Snowden ]

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Snowden:
quote:
The people who speak out against drugs always talk about the social and medical costs of drug abuse.
I don't care about the money. I care about the fact that drug addicts in society degrade the quality of life. They are like beggars, it pains me to give to them and it pains me not to give to them.
Replace drug addicts with alcoholics and then tell us why alcohol is legal, but marijuana isn't.
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JLMyers
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quote:
It only cost 25 billion? Even after enforcement and incarceration costs?
I bet that doesn't include incarceration.

quote:
I still can't abide by legalizing drugs. It would turn pushers into near door to door salesmen,
Like tobacco salesmaen, and alcohol distirbutors? And as for them living next door to you, if they are really heroin addicts they probably will not be able to afford to live next to a fine upstanding citizen such as yourself.

KE

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LoverOfJoy
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Unless they are kids living in their parents' home.
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musket
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People have funny ideas about heroin addicts. I've known many in my time, including some who were sort of like controlled alcoholics in that they regulated their usage while holding jobs with no problem, and others who were just out and out junkies.

I've never done heroin. But I did smoke opium for a few weeks, around thirty-five years ago. If the two highs are at all alike, it's hard to understand how such passivity could lead even to belligerance, nevermind actual violence.

IMHO booze, speed, and coke and all its variants, are far more likely to render the user dangerous to others, while the user is high, than heroin.

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RickyB
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musket, it's not the high that leads to violence, it's the jones. However, you are of course correct about the various kinds of heroin addicts, and about the other drrugs being more dangerous as well.
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musket
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Right, it's the jones. So let 'em have their junk! Better they should be able to get it legally at low cost than resort to violence in an attempt to get the dough for getting it illegally.

That being said, horse is a lot less expensive than reefer around here these days, from what I understand. This "war" seems to have made the most innocuous of all recreational drugs astronomically expensive, yet the really bad **** is easily affordable to school kids.

This is going on right now, here in the NH/VT boonies, where heroin has become the (current) favored illegal drug of the young.

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RickyB
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Hey, it ain't me you gotta convince, ya know [Smile]

Ganja always was an easy target. a kilo of white powder can fit into a coat pocket and nothing short of a dog will know it's there. A kilo of the good herb, on the other hand, would stuff the biggest hip-hop style overcaot, and would smell down the block. Plus, you need more of it at a time, so the profit margin is lower.

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