the war on drugs


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the war on drugs

Postby gh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:01 am

no, not the sporting kind.

New documentary on the subject may we well worth watching. From the SF Chron's review:

<<What do the Holocaust, discrimination against Chinese laborers in 19th century California and a kindly old housekeeper have to do with America's war on drugs? In "The House I Live In," documentarian Eugene Jarecki takes a highly original approach to create a compelling, thought-provoking look at a highly relevant and controversial topic.

Since President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs" four decades ago, the United States has spent $1 trillion. Where do we stand now: Drugs are as abundant as ever, and prisons are jam-packed. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's imprisoned population....>>


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Th ... z2AE0ev7iC
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:30 am

gh wrote:Where do we stand now: Drugs are as abundant as ever, and prisons are jam-packed. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's imprisoned population.

Even I, a most strident anti-drug crusader, have to admit we've gotten no where on this issue. But on the other hand, even if we were to legalize pot, and other 'soft', 'recreational' drugs, we'd still be in the same mess we are now. Harder drugs would come still be a huge issue and a detriment to us all. That's how I can stay so anti-alcohol for minors. Any time you're trying to 'alter your consciousness', problems abound for yourself and others, despite the FACT that some people can handle it just fine.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:51 am

Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:Where do we stand now: Drugs are as abundant as ever, and prisons are jam-packed. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's imprisoned population.

Even I, a most strident anti-drug crusader, have to admit we've gotten no where on this issue. But on the other hand, even if we were to legalize pot, and other 'soft', 'recreational' drugs, we'd still be in the same mess we are now. Harder drugs would come still be a huge issue and a detriment to us all. That's how I can stay so anti-alcohol for minors. Any time you're trying to 'alter your consciousness', problems abound for yourself and others, despite the FACT that some people can handle it just fine.


Prohibition has been an abysmal failure. Decriminalize all of them and take it from there. Oh yes, don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things. That would remain illegal for other drugs just as it is with alcohol.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:13 am

How is this NOT a political issue that will ultimately lead to the locking of this thread? This has nearly every hot-button bugaboo: United States of America Government involvement - Iran/Contra, Afghanistan (political); race; powder v. rock; rural (meth) v. cities (crack); sentencing disparities; mandatory minimums...
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:56 am

Well, it certainly won't help if you raise the specter from the get-go!

But I don't think it's remotely a political issue. Other than political expediency that is.

Over the last four decades both sides of the aisle have had no problem in continuing to pour funds down the same rathole.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:38 am

gh wrote:Well, it certainly won't help if you raise the specter from the get-go!

But I don't think it's remotely a political issue. Other than political expediency that is.

Over the last four decades both sides of the aisle have had no problem in continuing to pour funds down the same rathole.

I disagree and think you're being naive that this isn't a political issue so I"ll butt out for now and see where it goes. I hope you're right.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:41 am

Pego wrote:don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things.

Oh yes, I will!
And they do them mostly BECAUSE they're on drugs.
I've almost (!) given up on the marijuana thing, but virtually every other drug has much more harmful effects on an individual's ability to harness his id.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:25 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things.

Oh yes, I will!
And they do them mostly BECAUSE they're on drugs.
I've almost (!) given up on the marijuana thing, but virtually every other drug has much more harmful effects on an individual's ability to harness his id.


Ain't that nice to take my statement out of the context, ignoring the other half? This is what I said.

" Oh yes, don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things. That would remain illegal for other drugs just as it is with alcohol."
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:37 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things.

Oh yes, I will!
And they do them mostly BECAUSE they're on drugs.
I've almost (!) given up on the marijuana thing, but virtually every other drug has much more harmful effects on an individual's ability to harness his id.


Having had no end of acquaintences through the years who have done crazy things on drugs, I'd add two qualifiers.

1. most of them were "crazy" to begin with and didn't need drugs to do anything stupid (although it may well have increased the seriousness thereof).

2. virtually all of them are combining drugs with alcohol, and guess which of the two is responsible for the craziness?

(disclaimer: I've been blessed not to have spent much time with meth-heads; I'll guess that No. 2 comes off the table in that regard)
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:12 pm

Pego wrote:Ain't that nice to take my statement out of the context, ignoring the other half? This is what I said.
" Oh yes, don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things. That would remain illegal for other drugs just as it is with alcohol."

I think you missed my point: many of them would NOT be committing the crime unless they were under the uninhibitory influence of the drug.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:13 pm

and I'm saying I think your point goes wide of the mark; as a teetotaler, you just don't get it.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:18 pm

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Ain't that nice to take my statement out of the context, ignoring the other half? This is what I said.
" Oh yes, don't tell me that people on drugs do crazy, bad things. That would remain illegal for other drugs just as it is with alcohol."

I think you missed my point: many of them would NOT be committing the crime unless they were under the uninhibitory influence of the drug.


Fine, prosecute the ones that caused car accidents, injured/killed somebody, raped etc. Prohibition assumes that every user is a potential criminal. How would you like to be considered potential rapist just because you are in a possession of rape equipment.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby kuha » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:42 pm

Pego wrote:Fine, prosecute the ones that caused car accidents, injured/killed somebody, raped etc. Prohibition assumes that every user is a potential criminal. How would you like to be considered potential rapist just because you are in a possession of rape equipment.


Exactly. Actual crime should be punished, period.

The larger problem lies in whether drug abuse ITSELF is seen as a "crime" or as a kind of "disability" or illness. And, thus, whether the proper response is punishment or treatment/rehabilitation. As far as I can see, that's the only "political" facet to this matter: whether users are seen, first and foremost, as criminal or as mentally/physically afflicted in some (often serious) way.
Last edited by kuha on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:59 pm

gh wrote:as a teetotaler, you just don't get it.

As a teetotaler by intellectual choice (not moral), I may have a LESS biased perspective.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:06 pm

Pego wrote:Fine, prosecute the ones that caused car accidents, injured/killed somebody, raped etc. Prohibition assumes that every user is a potential criminal. How would you like to be considered potential rapist just because you are in a possession of rape equipment.

Oh, so we should ignore a contributory (as opposed to a 'potentiality) factor (your rape allusion) and just punish the act that is often preventable?
This is what the NRA says: guns don't kill people; people do. No . . . it IS indeed the guns that kill people, because most murders would not have killed had they not had the facility of the gun doing it for them. One of my best friends died because a coward with a gun killed her in a hail of AK-47 fire. Without the gun, he wouldn't have even dared to try it.
Last edited by Marlow on Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:13 pm

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Fine, prosecute the ones that caused car accidents, injured/killed somebody, raped etc. Prohibition assumes that every user is a potential criminal. How would you like to be considered potential rapist just because you are in a possession of rape equipment.

Oh, so we should ignore a contributory (as opposed to a 'potentiality) factor (your rape allusion) and just punish the act that is often preventable?
This is what the NRA says: guns don't kill people; people do. No . . . it IS indeed the guns that kill people, because most murders would not have killed had they not had the facility of the gun doing it for them. One of my best friends died because a coward with a gun killed her in a hail of AK-47 fire. Without the gun, he wouldn't have even dared to try it.

P.S. I see this is going downhill fast, so I abstain from further debate in anticipation of the reaper's flail.


Your analogy is preposterous and borders on offensive. I am done here.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:15 pm

It's the old "nanny state" debate. Should adults be protected from themselves or should they be free to make bad choices?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:22 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:It's the old "nanny state" debate. Should adults be protected from themselves or should they be free to make bad choices?


Only when those bad choices do not affect anyone else... which is pretty much never.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:31 pm

lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:It's the old "nanny state" debate. Should adults be protected from themselves or should they be free to make bad choices?


Only when those bad choices do not affect anyone else... which is pretty much never.

You seem to be implying that you're a nanny state advocate. I'm surprised. I had you pegged for more of the libertarian type.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:56 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:It's the old "nanny state" debate. Should adults be protected from themselves or should they be free to make bad choices?


Only when those bad choices do not affect anyone else... which is pretty much never.

You seem to be implying that you're a nanny state advocate. I'm surprised. I had you pegged for more of the libertarian type.


You were right in your "libertarian type" assumption, jazz.
I certainly do not advocate a "nanny state", as I perceive one.
I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:04 pm

lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:It's the old "nanny state" debate. Should adults be protected from themselves or should they be free to make bad choices?


Only when those bad choices do not affect anyone else... which is pretty much never.

You seem to be implying that you're a nanny state advocate. I'm surprised. I had you pegged for more of the libertarian type.


You were right in your "libertarian type" assumption, jazz.
I certainly do not advocate a "nanny state", as I perceive one.
I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.


That is what I said, "prosecute those that hurt others." It is totally irrelevant whether they were under influence or not.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:36 pm

lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
lonewolf wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:It's the old "nanny state" debate. Should adults be protected from themselves or should they be free to make bad choices?


Only when those bad choices do not affect anyone else... which is pretty much never.

You seem to be implying that you're a nanny state advocate. I'm surprised. I had you pegged for more of the libertarian type.


You were right in your "libertarian type" assumption, jazz.
I certainly do not advocate a "nanny state", as I perceive one.
I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Okay, I misunderstood.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gm » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:00 pm

Given some of the other personal choices that are perfectly legal in the U.S., I can't fathom why we imprison large numbers of people for simple use of "illicit" substances.

Rehab, address the underlying issues that may have led to use, and then push them on to be more productive citizens. Don't toss them in jail.

Any harm done to others while under the influence of illegal/legal substances should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, disregarding the drug factor.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby kuha » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:23 pm

gm wrote:Given some of the other personal choices that are perfectly legal in the U.S., I can't fathom why we imprison large numbers of people for simple use of "illicit" substances.

Rehab, address the underlying issues that may have led to use, and then push them on to be more productive citizens. Don't toss them in jail.

Any harm done to others while under the influence of illegal/legal substances should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, disregarding the drug factor.


100% yes.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:28 pm

Pego wrote:Your analogy is preposterous and borders on offensive. I am done here.

I am very sorry (I really am), but I hold this 'truth' to be self-evident: I am vehemently against anything that 'enables' people to hurt others - drugs and guns fulfill that notion for me. It grieves me to know that I have offended you, but we all have to stick up for what we believe, and all my experience in the Navy compels me to this judgment. :(
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:38 pm

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Your analogy is preposterous and borders on offensive. I am done here.

I am very sorry (I really am), but I hold this 'truth' to be self-evident: I am vehemently against anything that 'enables' people to hurt others - drugs and guns fulfill that notion for me. It grieves me to know that I have offended you, but we all have to stick up for what we believe, and all my experience in the Navy compels me to this judgment. :(

Do you support the repeal of the Second Amendment?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:41 pm

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Your analogy is preposterous and borders on offensive. I am done here.

I am very sorry (I really am), but I hold this 'truth' to be self-evident: I am vehemently against anything that 'enables' people to hurt others - drugs and guns fulfill that notion for me. It grieves me to know that I have offended you, but we all have to stick up for what we believe, and all my experience in the Navy compels me to this judgment. :(


Accepted. Just one question. Does not give you a pause to see the philosophical/political spectrum above (jc, lw, gh, gm, kuha, me) agreeing in principle?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:43 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Your analogy is preposterous and borders on offensive. I am done here.

I am very sorry (I really am), but I hold this 'truth' to be self-evident: I am vehemently against anything that 'enables' people to hurt others - drugs and guns fulfill that notion for me. It grieves me to know that I have offended you, but we all have to stick up for what we believe, and all my experience in the Navy compels me to this judgment. :(

Do you support the repeal of the Second Amendment?


No, but I support certain restrictions and control.

Edit. I just noticed that the question was posed to Marlow. Oh well, I answered it, too :wink: .
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Daisy » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:50 pm

Pego wrote:Does not give you a pause to see the philosophical/political spectrum above (jc, lw, gh, gm, kuha, me) agreeing in principle?

Did hell freeze over?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:31 pm

In re:

agreement - succinctly state what it is that you think you all agree on and I'll tell you whether I agree or disagree. I very much doubt we do disagree in principle.

2nd Amendment. As a rhetorician, I feel on safe ground to say the 2nd amendment does NOT grant everyone the right to bear arms. It ONLY grants that right to properly authorized militia, which today is called the National Guard and Reserves.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:36 pm

lonewolf wrote:...I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Do you stop at drugs and guns? Why not include money and intelligence in your qualifier for those who hurt "innocent" others by their selfish acts?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby gh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:38 pm

Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:as a teetotaler, you just don't get it.

As a teetotaler by intellectual choice (not moral), I may have a LESS biased perspective.


Nothing grates on me more to hear somebody say, "you can't write about football/whatever because you never played it."

But this is not one of those situations. "Perspective" has nothing to do with it. You've either been there or you haven't.

All the outside observation in the world is worth bupkus if you've never felt the tug of looking for more after your pleasure centers have been stimulated, or knowing what happens when you combine two (or worse, more) disparate substances.

Or, most of all, have done something truly crazy and the next day said, "Oh shit, why did I do that?!"

If you've never been there and heard the siren song, I'm afraid you have absolutely no idea—and I can't stress this enough, no idea—how the thing works, and all the observation in the world won't do anything to change that.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Marlow wrote:In re:

agreement - succinctly state what it is that you think you all agree on and I'll tell you whether I agree or disagree. I very much doubt we do disagree in principle.

Stick to your guns. Your principles are more important than winning a popularity contest.
Marlow wrote:2nd Amendment. As a rhetorician, I feel on safe ground to say the 2nd amendment does NOT grant everyone the right to bear arms. It ONLY grants that right to properly authorized militia, which today is called the National Guard and Reserves.

You're definitely not a libertarian.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Marlow wrote:2nd Amendment. As a rhetorician, I feel on safe ground to say the 2nd amendment does NOT grant everyone the right to bear arms. It ONLY grants that right to properly authorized militia, which today is called the National Guard and Reserves.


Not being a rhetorician ( I don't think, whatever that is. :)) I was prompted to do a little research brushing up on and confirming my fuzzy recollection/understanding of the 2nd Amendment.

Books have been written debating and attempting to define the meaning and intent of a "well regulated militia." The jury is still out.

The right to "keep and bear arms" is rooted in English common law as defense against tyranny and has been well-tested and contested in US history.

The meaning and intent of a "well regulated militia", non-controversial in 1791, has been the subject of numerous state law suits and two US Supreme Court decisions, none of which resulted in decisions as narrow as our friend Marlow's interpretation.

There was no standing "militia" in 1791 equivalent to today's National Guard or Reserve, therefore the people had to be armed before called to militia duty.

While the several states had the authority to call able bodied white males between 18 and 45 to service, they were expected to report armed and supplied.. In fact a 1792 directive stipulated in detail the type firearm and kind and quantity of munitions with which every man over 18 was expected to equip himself prior to reporting for militia duty. It is interesting to note that when reporting for drills, they were not required to bring their knapsacks.

Pre-equipped may no longer be necessary but I cannot find where it was ever discarded as a tenet of preparedness for resistance to tyranny, an armed constituency being the greatest deterrant to government or dictatorial subjugation.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:56 pm

preston wrote:
lonewolf wrote:...I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Do you stop at drugs and guns? Why not include money and intelligence in your qualifier for those who hurt "innocent" others by their selfish acts?


Nope. I don't see where I limited my opinion to drugs and guns. I would drop a heavy hammer on all malfactors whose actions victimized others.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 am

gh wrote:All the outside observation in the world is worth bupkus if you've never felt the tug of looking for more after your pleasure centers have been stimulated, or knowing what happens when you combine two (or worse, more) disparate substances. Or, most of all, have done something truly crazy and the next day said, "Oh shit, why did I do that?!" If you've never been there and heard the siren song, I'm afraid you have absolutely no idea—and I can't stress this enough, no idea—how the thing works, and all the observation in the world won't do anything to change that.

All this makes me think you totally agree with me on the 'problems' with drugs. And I fervently disagree on the 'ya gotta be there to get it aspect' I have first-hand (too many times) witnessed the effects of drugs on people, i.e., ruining their lives, because they sought that little extra rush in their lives. Drugs are an enabler, without which (very often - my opinion) people would NOT make the mistakes they do were they not 'allowed' (by their own desire, peer pressure, the Law) to partake. I would say OK to pot (extremely reluctantly) if I though that would somehow rein in the other drugs, but I feel just the opposite, it would encourage their use. Just my own little (but very informed, by my 20 years in the Navy, where drugs were always a huge problem) perspective on reality. (so much for recusing myself from the discussion - I guess it still hits a raw nerve)
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 am

Marlow wrote:agreement - succinctly state what it is that you think you all agree on and I'll tell you whether I agree or disagree. I very much doubt we do disagree in principle.


Well, let's see. What the above named individuals seem to agree on is that it is nuts to criminalize use of drugs, but acts of malice by those individuals to be prosecuted regardless whether they were committed under the influence or not. Succinct enough?
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:20 am

Pego wrote:What the above named individuals seem to agree on is that it is nuts to criminalize use of drugs, but acts of malice by those individuals to be prosecuted regardless whether they were committed under the influence or not. Succinct enough?

What?! . . . decriminalize drugs . . . heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD . . . and then just deal with the (guaranteed horrific) after-effects later? That's what you all agree on? Yeah, count me out.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby Pego » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:30 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:What the above named individuals seem to agree on is that it is nuts to criminalize use of drugs, but acts of malice by those individuals to be prosecuted regardless whether they were committed under the influence or not. Succinct enough?

What?! . . . decriminalize drugs . . . heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD . . . and then just deal with the (guaranteed horrific) after-effects later? That's what you all agree on? Yeah, count me out.


1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

Your position is entirely emotional with no basis in reality.
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Re: the war on drugs

Postby preston » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:08 am

Pego wrote:1. There is zero evidence that criminalizing use decreases demand.
2. Treatment/prevention is guaranteed to achieve more than imprisonment.

I understand Marlow, and being the mean s.o.b that I am I have no problem with punishment, but I think we've veered off course here. The "problem" with the war on drugs is NOT the criminalization of use, but the criminilization of sale and distribution. Is there a way to address that without running afoul of gh's "no politics" edict for the thread?
lonewolf wrote:
preston wrote:
lonewolf wrote:...I don't think the state should protect adults from themselves but should have draconian penalties for those who hurt/affect/influence innocent others by their selfish actions.

That is about as simple/succinct as I can sum up my instincts.

Do you stop at drugs and guns? Why not include money and intelligence in your qualifier for those who hurt "innocent" others by their selfish acts?


Nope. I don't see where I limited my opinion to drugs and guns. I would drop a heavy hammer on all malfactors whose actions victimized others.

So, let me see if I get your views: you believe that anyone should be able to do whatever they want but only to their "peers". If they take advantage/hurt relative innocents, or "lessers", than they should be punished? I can see some of the libertarianism of your views, but it is very high-minded as well. "lonewolf" has a heart. Who knew? :wink: :lol:
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