All drugs should be legal, and why

Deep Dish

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#1
It really pains me to write the title of the thread. Drugs have dangers and nobody wants to encourage anyone to try heroin or crack cocaine, but the unintended consequences of criminal prohibition inflict far greater costs to society than the costs inflicted by the very drugs. Drugs should be legal exactly because they do have dangers and should therefore be regulated, but criminal prohibition is a total absence of regulation. 75% of Americans think the Drug War is an utter failure, but only 10% support legalizing all drugs. Cognitive dissonance is an Amazonian femme fatale. It’s a very cold dark truth but the legalization of even heroin, crack cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, along with some kind of regulatory framework, is the inevitable logical conclusion towards a safer and healthier functioning society. It’s not a perfect solution but we live in a perpetually imperfect world.

Frame the issue right!

http://guide.cred.columbia.edu/images/illo_framing.gif
Legalization isn’t the question
Unfortunately, most drug policy discussions today revolve around imagined potential gains or problems resulting from legalization of certain drugs. And because of the politics involved, we often really have no choice but to play these ridiculous games. But, in fact, it’s very much the wrong question.

The actual question is criminalization. And the answer is “no.”

When you look at the issue properly, you see that what we need to discuss is correcting the massive wrongness of criminalization.

Those who support prohibition have never been required to actually put forth coherent and defendable justifications for criminalization. Instead, they get to claim criminalization as the status quo and merely object to minor details or uncertainties regarding “legalization.” They actually act as if prohibition is the default in our country, which is far from the truth.

And so we get caught up in completely bizarre and meaningless disputes. I was struck, for example, by the utter glee with which Mark Kleiman gloats over his group’s dismantling of the claim that marijuana is the number one cash crop in the U.S. Turns out, according to their calculations, that it’s merely in the top 15.

Other than from a purely academic perspective, who the hell cares? It’s presented as if that is somehow some kind of big blow to legalization, which makes very little sense, but fits within the “gotcha” approach to protecting the status quo, where unless the absolute furthest value of each and every argument mentioned by some legalization activist somewhere is 100% verifiable, then legalization must be flawed.

http://www.drugwarrant.com/2012/08/legalization-isnt-the-question/
Public health has no authority in criminal laws. There is the libertarian harm principle by John Stuart Mill that “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.” But as Tucker Carlson once told libertarian Reason magazine, “Libertarianism cuts against human nature pretty dramatically. Half of it is appealing, the half that says ‘I can do pretty much whatever I want.’ But the other half, that other people can be allowed to pretty much do whatever they want, even if they’re annoying to me and on the wrong course as far as I’m concerned, that’s deeply unappealing to people. People innately intrinsically want to control other people’s behavior. They figure all sorts of justifications why ‘Oh I know best,’ ‘Don’t do that, you’ll get hurt,’ ‘I’ve done that before, that’s a bad idea,’ or ‘If you were only smart enough or as smart as I am, you would see this.’ Whatever justification they offer, they have a natural desire, almost all of them, to control other people, and that’s contrary to the basic tenant of libertarianism. So it’s very easy for people to say ‘Oh I’m a libertarian,’ ‘Oh yeah I think everybody should do what they want,’ meaning me.” Thus, we get paternalism (or parentalism), the opposite of libertarianism, the “policy or practice on the part of people in positions of authority of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of those subordinate to them in the subordinates’ supposed best interest.” To quote Albert Einstein, “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”

Drug laws for mere consumption, possession, and paraphernalia violate the rule of law.
Marijuana Legalization: Sometimes Violations of International Law Are Cause for Celebration
There are some things that are wrong in themselves (malum in se) and things that are wrong because they are prohibited (malum prohibitum). But when it comes to drug laws, fighting something that is prohibited has resulted in widespread acts that are wrong in themselves and that breach basic legal principles - the rule of law.

The racially discriminatory nature of drug laws is common knowledge. Some governments rely on the international regime to justify executions of people convicted of drug offences (in violation of international law, in fact). Police violence, mass incarceration, denial of due process are routine in States’ pursuit of the general obligation the US now breaches.

The international legal arguments about the Colorado and Washington results will certainly arise. They must, though it will likely be in the rather closed and stale environment of UN drugs diplomacy. When that happens [what] must emerge is that these ballots are a victory for the rule of law even as they bring the US into conflict with the drugs conventions. Fundamental legal principles of proportionality, fairness and justice, not to mention democracy, have won out over arbitrary and unreasonable controls on human behaviour.

Ending the war on drugs, moreover, will be a victory for international human rights law. It will be a victory for international law itself - for environmental law, anti-corruption agreements, international security, for the achievement of international development agreements and improved health - all of which have been damaged by decades of prohibition. Colorado and Washington have taken us one step closer. For that we should all celebrate.

http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2012/11/marijuana-legalisation-sometimes.html
Harvard University economics professor and Cato Institute senior fellow Jeffrey Miron authored a comprehensive report published in the Journal of Economics Perspectives called “The Economic Case Against Drug Prohibition” (1995) which concluded, “The existing evidence relevant to drug policy is far from complete. Given the evidence, however, our conclusion is that a free market in drugs is likely to be a far superior policy to current policies of drug prohibition. A free market might lead to a substantial increase in the number of persons who use drugs and possibly to a significant increase in the total amount of drugs consumed. But that policy would also produce substantial reductions in the harmful effects of drug use on third parties through reduced violence, reduced property crime and a number of other channels. On net, the existing evidence suggests the social costs of drug prohibition are vastly greater than its benefits.” In this video clip he argues:
In that black market, a bunch of really unfortunate things happen. In a black market, we see far more violence then we would see if drugs were legal and transacted in a legal market. Why, because black market suppliers and consumers for any good can’t resolve their differences in opinion and disputes with lawyers, they do so with guns, because they are not allowed access to the legal dispute system. Prohibition generates corruption and is especially obvious in developing countries that are suppliers of drugs because, again, the people in the drug industry can’t have ballot initiatives or lobby Congress in the standard way most businesses do. So they engage in bribes to jurors, police, judges, and so on.

Prohibition generates income-generating crime. Theft, prostitution, and so on, by forcing the price of drugs to be much higher. Prohibition lowers quality control, so the people who continue to use drugs, despite prohibition, are clearly worse off. They don’t know what doses they are getting, they don’t know what adulterants might be in the drugs, and of course they face the risk of going to jail, which is one of the worst things which can happen to you, far worse than most kinds of simple use of even the strong illegal drugs.

We get greater spread of HIV because of prohibition. Under prohibition, we don’t give people easy access to clean needles, we force the price of drugs to be much higher, so people have a strong incentive to inject a bigger bang for the buck. Much of the spread of HIV in the last 20 years in the US has been the result of intravenous drug use of sharing dirty needles that is directly the result of prohibition.

Because of prohibition, we have limitations on medical research, we have limitations on civil liberties. All sorts of extremely aggressive policies such as knocking down doors and no-knock warrants that sometimes put innocent people at great risk and, more generally, infringe on reasonable notions of civil liberties. We’ve created havoc in many supplier countries because we have pushed them to try to enforce the drug prohibition that we think is the good policy.​
 

Deep Dish

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#2
And the list goes on. When you listen to that list, you think, ‘Gee, even if I don’t like drugs, even if I wish everybody did not use drugs, there’s got to be a better approach.’ The current approach is just incredibly insane.​
It is because of prohibition that marijuana is easier for teenagers to get than beer, because drug dealers don’t check their ID. It is because of prohibition the potency and toxic adulterants of drugs has risen. It is because of prohibition that drug cartels have been fueled to move into Central America and kill 60,000 people in Mexico. It is because of prohibition that people smoke ‘synthetic’ marijuana which is more dangerous than the real thing. It is mostly because of prohibition that black men are hassled and arrested at disproportionate rates; it is the new Jim Crow law; the NYPD has stopped and frisked more black men than live in the entire city. It is because of prohibition that the police are as corrupted by bribes. It is because of prohibition that the Supreme Court ruled it’s okay for the police to search your house without a warrant if they hear your toilet flush. Even though alcohol is proven to cause violence and there are drunk driver fatalities, alcohol is legal because people decided that the social costs of prohibition were far worse than the social costs of alcohol itself. Early on, Noble Prize economist Milton Friedman successfully predicted all of the consequences of drug prohibition by studying our experiment with alcohol prohibition. History doesn’t repeat it, but it rhymes.

If someone punches you, charge them with battery. If someone mugs you, charge them with armed robbery. If someone sneaks into your home, charge them with burglary. If someone crashes into your car because they were too impaired, charge them with DUID. But pre-crime paternalism violates personal liberties and doesn’t work unless we’re living in the movie Minority Report. You have all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

Greater society needs to figure out legal regulatory frameworks so that people have legal access to any drug they want but to control the dispense of the drugs in such a way as to not actively endorse or encourage use. That will be the great experiment in Louis Brandeis’s metaphorical laboratories of democracy.
 

Quiksilver

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#4
It's easy to see many humans have not reached the next stage of enlightenment.

Specifically:

The question is not:

"Should _____ be legal?"

The enlightened question is:

"Should I have the right to force a non-violent individual to live the way I want them to live?"



That answers many questions.
 

synergy1

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#5
Ron paul has a good take on this - legalize it on the federal level but ultimately put states in control of it. Abolish free healthcare which would assist in saving money from druggies who need medical help. they want to take the heavy stuff, let them perish as nature intended.

On the state level, municipalities would have control. However, I just don't see any self respecting governance to allow this crap into their areas. So the real question becomes, if it became legal, what would we do with all the worthless people in society? let them die off?

I am talking about the hard substances. Not MJ.
 

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Who Dares Win

Master Don Juan
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#6
I agree qith quicksilvers in the principle.

Regarding the application well, just let some outer zone of big cities to distribute the substances to the clients.
The substance will be checked and taxed and the client will be forced to remain within that zone untill the effect goes away.

Regarding drug addicts who burn themselves? well they have the freedom to choose and the right to be respected as much as they dont even any right toward other people and their money.

The church and their families can take care of them, it has been like that for centuries way before the "welfare state" forced everyone to take care of anyone.

The only thing which I consider necessary is to make some discreet list of the consumers available to deny consumers to join professions which require responsibility on others, like being a teacher or a cop.
 
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#7
u can't tax it, or people will break the law to get it cheaper. Ultimately, it comes down to the FACT that it's NOBODY ELSE'S BUSINESS what an adult puts into(or takes out of) his or her own body, dammit! If you give Big Bro the power to do such things, you have no rights left at all. He'll just say that he has to take your guns, your money,etc, to fight drug crime, etc.
 

Who Dares Win

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#8
goundra said:
u can't tax it, or people will break the law to get it cheaper. Ultimately, it comes down to the FACT that it's NOBODY ELSE'S BUSINESS what an adult puts into(or takes out of) his or her own body, dammit! If you give Big Bro the power to do such things, you have no rights left at all. He'll just say that he has to take your guns, your money,etc, to fight drug crime, etc.
Wrong, illegal distributors would have to pay more to hide their shipments and corrupt officers, the cost of production if local(the more u do the less it cost) and transport if outern would make their supplies uneconomical.

They would lose part of their goods through checks and police operations therefore they would be forced to raise the price to compensate.

There is an other point about quality, if its the government to produce it through controls and quality labs the product will be much more pure and efficient.

So yeah you can tax it, and even taxed would cost much less than you considered what previously said.
 

Bible_Belt

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#9
I agree drugs should be legal, but I do think people would cheat a taxation system if there was money to gain by doing so, kind of like that 'Moonshiners' show on Discovery.

The great boxer Hector 'Macho' Camacho died this morning. His mother took him off life support. He was shot while sitting in a car with a coke dealer who was also shot and died at the scene. Apparently the guy pissed off somebody. Camacho caught a bullet in the neck that was meant for him. It's just more senseless deaths in the war on drugs.
 

Deep Dish

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#10
One intrinsic difficulty with the legalization debate is that almost nobody is alive to remember the time before prohibition. Alcohol was rapidly repealed because people could easily remember how life was before alcohol’s ‘Great Experiment.’ But now, it’s hard for people to see tangible connections with how their lives are objectively worse with prohibition which is now the status quo.

There are supervised heroin injection sites in Canada and Switzerland which give very small controlled doses to addicts. The surrounding communities to which these injection sites are located have witnessed people living longer. In the Vancouver area, the average lifespan of heroin addicts has increased by four years. Coincidence?
Located in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside—often called Canada’s poorest postal code—the supervised injection site opened as a 3-year experiment back in 2003 to curb the neighborhood’s high levels of disease spread through shared needles and death from overdose. Now, after nearly a decade of academic research, political debate, public scrutiny and a Canadian Supreme Court ruling last September that stated InSite should remain open indefinitely. Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and other cities across the nation are contemplating opening their own injection facilities. According to InSite’s own records, between 2004 and 2010 they had 1418 overdoses without a single one resulting in death. No one has ever died there.

http://www.theawl.com/2012/04/vancouver-supervised-drug-injection-center
Just this year, Florida and Illinois have joined a small handful of states in passing 9-1-1 good samaritan laws so that when someone is overdosing, a friend (who is often a ‘drug buddy’) can call 9-1-1 and both the addict and the friend have complete legal immunity from arrest and prosecution. People are coming around to the idea it’s better to encourage people to seek medical treatment than to scare people to death, literally. 9-1-1 good samaritan laws didn’t even exist until a couple of years ago.

The Berlin Wall of prohibition is gradually being chiseled and crumbling away. One chunk at a time.
Malice:
I don't really agree with other drugs being legal, just marijuana.
The cognitive dissonance is challenging, I know. It’s very uncomfortable but sometime’s the devil’s advocate is right. Marijuana is pushing the issue, since it’s the easier and more popular argument, but the logical conclusion is inescapable. When people think ‘legalization’ they imagine the Wild Wild West of Adam Smith’s free market, but some kind of regulatory framework in harm reduction is the best goal and we cannot achieve the maximum potential of protecting society under criminal prohibition of these other drugs, especially in the perspective of a global commodities market.
 
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backbreaker

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#11
i've just seen the effects first hand way too much to ever get behind fully legalization of it. H, crack, Meth, it's no joke.


There should never be a situation where people think it's okay to smoke crack. there just isn't. people who have never done anything like that before, can never understand the hook. you'll never hear a drug addict tell you that they should legalize crack/H/Meth.

The only way that i could half ass get behind it, si if they could commercialize it and make it 1. at the very least, a lot less addicting 2. take away the physical dependance that comes with Herion.. but they haven't been able to do that with alcohol so good luck, and it's worse with Herion 3. cut the potency by 70-80%. crack is that potent. if a person is allowed to go get the **** I can go get right now off the street at the gas station it's a wrap lol. not only that, beucse you have compaines making it and there is less middle man it's not going to cost as much so you woudl be getting 8 balls for like 39.99 lol. shiiiit it's a done deal then.


coke is probably the only hard core drug i could get behind legalizing, beucase you can cut it to obviation and deaden the potency of it. but the thing about crack even if you did deaden it, any person hwo smokes crack anc just re cook it out the package andm ake it as potent as they want.


and the thing about it is, all you would erally have to do is legalize one hard core durg, the most controllable. you don't have to do all of them. if i can go and get coke at wal mart lol there is no need to go get meth on the street corner.

so MJ: definatly
coke; under the right circumstances yes.
crack: hell no
meth: no.. maybe ice.. maybe.. if it can be regulated and dummed down a little
herion: no
pcp/angel dust: lol no.
pills: no



on second thought you can't legalize coke. i can take some coke and with a spoon, some baking soda, a lighter and a peice of ice i can make some extremely potent crack in about 2-3 minutes. so you would basically be back dooring legalizing crack. now this would put crack dealers out of business, but you would have a lot more crack addicts.
 

Sir Psycho Sexy

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#12
Deep Dish said:
All drugs should be legal...logical conclusion to a safer and healthier functioning society
No lol. Don't be naive. You have obviously never been around some of the more horrible drugs and the people who use them. People need protected from themselves. You cant truly believe all drugs should be legal and available....or at least I hope not. I know your passionate about your pot but sit down and think logically about what you are saying.
 

Sir Psycho Sexy

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#13
backbreaker said:
people who have never done anything like that before, can never understand the hook.
+1

Its easy for people to spew their opinions for legalizing drugs backed with "logic." They stay nice and safe in their little bubbles away from reality.

Go for a ride-along with some paramedics at your local FD and see the real world of drugs.
 

Deep Dish

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#15
bradd80:
It’s nice to see a few lives have been saved, but the justice system should be focused on preventing people from becoming drug addicts, not helping them slide further into the abyss of drug addiction.
backbreaker:
i’ve just seen the effects first hand way too much to ever get behind fully legalization of it. H, crack, Meth, it’s no joke.
Resources are better invested by shifting it away from law enforcement and towards drug education, public health campaigns, treatment, and regulating a legal market with harm reduction strategies.

Convicted felons are largely unable to once again be a successful productive member of society, permanently hindering their economic potential. Consequently, stripped of their ability to turn their lives around, people with felony convictions are often compelled to turn to crime because they are unable to bring home the bacon through conventional employment. This is principally unfair and, again, causes more crime. Prisons are also colleges for how to learn to be a criminal—the diploma comes in handy once they graduate, because again, they are compelled to turn towards more crime.

Once again, public health has no authority in criminal laws towards how people choose to do with the sovereignty of their own body. It violates a fundamental human right. Whatever is the total social and economic costs of all drugs, the social and economic costs of criminal prohibition is worse.

Harm reduction is a success in Portugal, as the article by Perseverance points out.
Sir Psycho Sexy:
No lol. Don't be naive. You have obviously never been around some of the more horrible drugs and the people who use them. People need protected from themselves. You cant truly believe all drugs should be legal and available....or at least I hope not. I know your passionate about your pot but sit down and think logically about what you are saying.
Why don’t you go back and read my entire post again. Reading comprehension, people. I feel like Roissy, exposing a pretty lie.
 
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#16
let the fools DIE. Why care about a bunch of losers? Don't give them any free care, they KNOW what they risk, let them suffer the FULL penalty of their stupidity, that's all. There is nothing to be done for or with such stupid, weak minded people. If they harm others, especially kids, string them up for THAT. Portugal has no dope laws,and the result is NOT what you fools claim it will be. Vermont has ALWAYS let anyone carry concealed guns there, and there's no problems with that, either.
 

Deep Dish

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#17
Brad, I’m not going to engage you any further on this topic. I have tightly framed the issue properly and you have done nothing to actually refute my argument. You’re making the Perfect Solution fallacy which I framed against. Do yourself a favor and click on the link in the first quote. You will see a series of five questions. If you can successfully argue your way through all five questions, convincingly, persuasively, I will mail you a brownie. It will be of average potency, it won’t have any toxic adulterants, and it will be tasty.
 

Danger

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#18
Taxing drugs won't cause all sorts of illegal activity any more than taxing cigarettes.

Marijuana should definitely be legal, as well as some other forms of drugs. But the lines get blurred around the addiction and the results that can occur.

The highly addictive drugs can cause serious problems on society. Others, not so much at all. But as Deep Dish and Quicksilver say, it comes down to people imposing their will on others. I agree with both of them that it is ultimately the wrong thing to do.
 

Deep Dish

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#19
See, Brad, you can’t even follow simple instructions. You are a troll.
 

Deep Dish

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#20
Brad, no, you didn’t follow the instructions. The questions were in the link. You must answer all five questions, in sequence. You never even answered the final question. You didn’t show your homework of how you arrived at your conclusions or provided any analysis, which is critical for convincing and persuasive arguments. It wasn’t for you to flap your gums and ‘try’ to answer the questions, and you have done nothing to refute the researched arguments of Jeffrey Miron.

You are now on my ignore list. I suggest you do the same.
 
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