Thoughts on prohibition?

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by mzmtg, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    What do the members of this forum have to say about our current "War on (some) Drugs?"

    For, against, indifferent?
     
  2. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    It (the "War") is devastating our society. Here are a few of the adverse effects:

    1. Because of a desire to eradicate drugs, the 4th Amendment has been demolished. It is very hard to find a 4th Amendment court opinion written in the last 30 years that isn't about drugs. And, the net result of all those opinions has been to erode the warrant requirement.

    2. Our courts are clogged with drug cases. If you sit in on a criminal court calendar in any courtroom of this country, the overwhelming majority of the cases called will be drug cases. That means we are spending a huge amount of money prosecuting, defending, and judging those cases, and we are making it harder for criminal and civil litigants of all other types of cases to obtain justice.

    3. Our prisons and jails are full of drug defendants. The U.S. prison population is 2 million (1.5% of the total population), the largest in the world. Fulton County Jail's problems would disappear overnight if we called a ceasefire in the War.

    4. While there is no denying that drug abuse is a societal problem, the War also is a societal problem. As a result of drug use and possession that is discovered, regardless of whether that use or possession cause any problems their own, countless people lose jobs, don't get jobs, lose driver's licenses, lose professional licenses, and as a result don't (can't) support their families.

    5. Most gun control legislation passed since GCA '68 is War related. By doing its best to escalate the War, the government also has escalated a war on weaponry. And, in an effort to make the armaments one-sided, the War has resulted in many efforts to disarm the populace as a whole.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't forget, while we are on the subject of constitutional law, what the War on Drugs has done to the Commerce Clause. The defining case is now Raich, which was also a "drug case." I do not really believe Scalia would have signed on to the majority opinion had it been about, in the words of Justice Thomas, "quilting bees, clothes drives and potluck suppers throughout the 50 states," rather than marijuana.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00564.html


    By the way, in case you got lost in all that mess, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, is known as the Commerce Clause, and it empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. oh, and all matters that might affect such Commerce, and even if we have to figure it is on some aggregate scale instead of your individual act, Congress may still legislate and put you in jail, and we really do mean this to allow Congress to regulate your private arms that would be used for the militia and especially any drugs that might be grown and used individually, and even wheat grown on your own land for your own use but never sold even on an intrastate basis."

    I think I quoted it correctly. Somebody might want to check my work.
     
  4. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    Well this thread backfired.

    I was hoping for some kind of debate...

    Oh well.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, ok.

    I think drugs are bad.
     
  6. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

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    I figured I would avoid the conflict and not post that I think that convicted repeat offense drug dealers should be executed. Especially in cases involving distribution to minors.
     
  7. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    My wife went to get some pseudoephedrine the other day while we were at the grocery. They keep it behindn the counter now, and will only sell 1 package at a time.

    The police have reported recently the two largest seizures of meth ever, so I can see that restricting my wife's ability to purchase Sudafed is very effective.
     
  8. Taler

    Taler New Member

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    Our dog is diabetic, and we inject him with insulin twice a day. We have to sign to buy needles, 100 to a box.

    Hmmm... Okay.
     
  9. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

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    That's why I advocate executing drug dealers. If they run the chance of death on conviction they may think twice about dealing and that may actually reduce the problem and let us gain back a bit of our lost freedoms.
     
  10. johnpeace

    johnpeace New Member

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    Americans are poor students of history.

    The illicit alcohol trade of our first experiment with prohibition was less than 100 years ago.

    By maintaining this stupid prohibition on (some) drugs, they are CREATING crime and violence problems that wouldn't otherwise exist. They are creating a hilariously profitable black market that wouldn't otherwise exist, giving smugglers enormous incentive to continue dealing in illicit drugs.

    What would decriminalized marijuana do to the drug market? The stuff can be grown almost anywhere...it would be FREE for crying out loud!

    Worried about what happens when the children get some? Well, what happens to children who binge drink or smoke cigarettes or play with guns? Yep, drugs too are bad for kids. So, teach your kids to avoid drugs like you teach them to avoid cigarettes and vodka (duh!). We already have corrupting a minor laws to prosecute people who try to entice kids with drugs...my guess though, is that without the profits driven by a black market, there's no motivation to give drugs to kids.

    I think the war on drugs is just about the most assinine, misguided domestic policies ever envisioned by our representatives.
     
  11. johnpeace

    johnpeace New Member

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    A non-lethal solution would be to yank the rug out from under them.

    Decriminalize drugs and you remove the profit incentive of dealing in them. As long as the .gov doesn't get too greedy with the taxes and isnt' too draconian with the regulations, there won't be a black market. No black market = no crime & violence.

    When's the last time you heard of a turf war between 2 liquor store or pharmacy owners?

    It would be a sure fire way to put drug dealers out of business.
     
  12. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Yes. The Netherlands, with legalized marijuana, has much less of a drug problem than we do.
     
  13. johnpeace

    johnpeace New Member

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    Whatever...we can address the 'drug problem'.

    Legalizing the drugs automatically solves the 'crime and violence' problem associated with the drug trade.

    How many dangerous criminals can we keep behind bars if we aren't allocating 65% of our criminal justice resources to non-violent offenders who are guilty of nothing more than posession with the intent to distribute?

    How much could we do to address the drug problem (problems people have as a result of their drug use/abuse) with $70 billion we are currently spending on enforcing prohibition laws?

    Would there be an increase of use? Maybe. Is it worth enduring that as a society if it means law enforcement can protect us from legitimately dangerous criminals?

    Early 1900s 1.3% of population drug addicted - introduction of anti-drug laws
    1960s, 1.3% of population drug addicted - Nixon launches 'war on drugs'
    2006, 1.3% of population drug addicted - war on drugs rages on in spite of it's total failure to improve the nation's drug problem.

    The prohibitionists have a track record of failure. We have the same problem we had in the early 1900s...but we're spending $70bil/year to militarize police departments, embolden the government, stretch the constitution thin to the point of breaking, trample America's civil rights...for what?
     
  14. tony218

    tony218 New Member

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    i think the only reason "pot" is not legal is the fact that
    it can grow anywhere and they can't figure how to tax it.
     
  15. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    johnpeace, my point was that, if we were to legalize marijuana, we likely would see a decrease of use (as the Netherlands has).
     
  16. wwomack

    wwomack New Member

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    I think we would see a temporary increase as a bunch of people go all out once it becomes legal. Long term though I think we would see a stable number. I doubt it would increase or decrease in the long term but we would save a lot of money from not persuing this war on drugs. We have spent so much money and put so many people in jail and we haven't put a dent in drug use. It's obvious (to me) that this war on drugs is a failure. We as a country need to rethink the way we're approaching this situation.
     
  17. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    I dont think that would happen. Drugs are cheap and easy to get as it stands. The overall rate of drug use in this country hasn't changed in the last 50 years, or longer.

    I think the number of people whose only reason for not using drugs is the fact that some of them are illegal is very very small.
     
  18. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    The war on drugs is quite obviously a failure. Moreover, it has made a great many fairly bad folks in the world a great deal of money. There are clearly some economies that would collapse if we were to legalize drugs and allow above-board farmers to grow the crops and pharmaceutical companies to manufacture the drugs. The stuff would suddenly become the price of aspirin. I favor the 'Boortzian' approach: legalize it all, but allow the addicts to suffer the predictable consequences. E.g., lose jobs; cause wrecks, go to jail; beat wife, go to jail; have crack baby, go to jail; OD without insurance, don't expect taxpayers to pick up the tab. The reality is, in a free society, there are many things that one can do that one should not do. This could be just another one of those.
     
  19. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    prior restraint

    We have outlawed drugs because we believe that otherwise good people will turn bad, and do bad things, if they ingest drugs. I think this MAY be legitimate IF it's proven to be true (and not just a myth or urban legend) and if the bad things in question are extremely serious, such as murder, starting large-scale criminal enterprises, rape, etc.

    If the harm anticipated from one's use of drugs is simply that the person will become less useful as a worker, less effective as a parent, and more distant from the teachings of his faith, then I think the individual's liberty interest to choose what to consume must outweigh the State's interest in preventing that harm from ever coming to pass.

    If the harm in question is property crime, such as burglary, shoplifting, check forgery, entering automobiles, etc. then we have a choice. We could ban drugs and try to DISCOURAGE people from committing those crimes in the first place, or we could let people take the drugs and then ONLY punish those who are found to have committed a property crime. That way the rest of the people who can handle their intoxicants and who do not steal to support their drug habit will not be punished just because some of their fellow citizens lose control of themselves when they get high.

    If you say that smoking marijuana causes people to rob liquor stores and shoot the clerks of such stores execution-style, I will have to disagree with you. If you say that smoking marijuana causes you to want to give up your job, abandon your education, and sit around in your underwear in your mom's basement and play computer games all day... I would agree with you. And in a libertarian society, you would be forced to deal with the consequences of your own stupid choices, and the more you tried to drop out of society the tougher things would get for you.

    Crack cocaine and other hard drugs may be different, though.

    And I think that while a lot of lazy, useless bums and shiftless criminals do drink, smoke dope, and do harder drugs, that relationship may be more of a CORRELATION than a CAUSATION. It is also true that most criminals have tattoos, but that doesn't mean that an otherwise law-abiding citizen with good morals is more likely to become a criminal if he decorates his skin in that way. In other words, a certain percentage of the general population is simply going to do bad things, with drugs or without drugs. That's simply who they are and all they aspire to be.
     
  20. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Re: prior restraint

    gunsmoker, I think this paragraph hit the nail on the head. While I have had coworkers that were fairly regular users of recreational drugs, and that functioned just fine at work and were good employees, I know more people that are fairly regular users that can't hold a job or a relationship. I think drugs are attractive to people that can't hold a job or a relationship, but the drugs don't ususally cause those inabilities (I'm sure they can, but I think gunsmoker is right that it is more of a correlation than a causation).