It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"
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  1. #1
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    This, according to the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal, for the uninitiated). I figured this deserved its own thread as we've only discussed the issue in passing in other threads.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6067

    Three United Nations treaties, the oldest from 1961, seek to “advance the health and welfare of mankind” by prohibiting the non-medical use of some drugs. To this end, countries criminalise producers, traffickers, dealers, and users at an annual cost of at least $100bn.7But the effectiveness of prohibition laws, colloquially known as the “war on drugs,” must be judged on outcomes. And too often the war on drugs plays out as a war on the millions of people who use drugs, and disproportionately on people who are poor or from ethnic minorities and on women.1
    Prohibition and stigma encourage less safe drug consumption and push people away from health services.1Sharing of injection equipment has led to huge epidemics of bloodborne infection, including HIV and hepatitis C.1 And just one in every six of the 29 million people worldwide with a drug use disorder received treatment in 2014.3
    The ideological goal of a “drug-free world” encourages ideologically driven medical practice. For example, patients in Crimea died after the Russian invasion because they were forced to stop taking methadone, which is viewed as opioid misuse and illegal in Russia.8 The UK government’s promotion of abstinence at the expense of proved maintenance treatment may have contributed to a doubling in opioid related deaths between 2012 and 2015.9
    Drug control policies effectively deny two thirds of the world’s population—more than five billion people—legitimate access to opioids for pain control.10 And they impede research into medical use of cannabis and other prohibited drugs despite evidence of potential benefit.11
    All wars cause human rights violations, and the war on drugs is no different. Criminally controlled drug supply markets lead to appalling violence—causing an estimated 65 000-80 000 deaths in Mexico in the past decade, for example.12 Mandatory sentencing for even minor drug offences has helped the United States attain the highest rate of incarceration in the world.13 The Philippines has seen 5000 extrajudicial killings since July, after President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for vigilantism against drug dealers.14
    It is no surprise, then, that there have been calls for reform, including from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the UN Development Programme, and the UN human rights agency,15 as well as non-governmental organisations,16 former heads of state,10 UK parliamentarians,17 some law enforcers, and medical journals.
    At a UN general assembly in April, many countries asked for health and human rights to be prioritised over punitive responses.
    This year a thorough review of the international evidence concluded that governments should decriminalise minor drug offences, strengthen health and social sector approaches, move cautiously towards regulated drug markets where possible, and scientifically evaluate the outcomes to build pragmatic and rational policy.1Prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco provide lessons to inform models of regulation.18 Different drugs with different harms in different contexts may need different approaches. And any change must be supported by investment in evidence based education, counselling, and treatment services to deter drug use and increase safety among users.
    Health should be at the centre of this debate and so, therefore, should healthcare professionals. Doctors are trusted and influential and can bring a rational and humane dimension to ideology and populist rhetoric about being tough on crime.
    I agree fully with ending the failed "war on drugs". It's time to get rid of this counterproductive policy which has caused many to die and governments to erode civil rights across the board. Everywhere prohibition has been tried it has failed. Everywhere decriminalization has been tried it has largely succeeded. The facts are clear. It's not even close. But overcoming inertia and outright resistance of old dogma's and perverse incentives (police jobs, civil forfeitures) is going to be difficult. Unlike the "war on drugs", the war to end the war on drugs is going to take facts, figures, science, decency, good sense, and humanity.
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  2. #2
    BamaNation Hall of Fame AUDub's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Sessions is about to be AG. Guy thinks drugs are the devil incarnate. Won't be surprised if we take some steps backward.
    Just a barner.

    There goes Davis!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by AUDub View Post
    Sessions is about to be AG. Guy thinks drugs are the devil incarnate. Won't be surprised if we take some steps backward.
    Me either, but pushback is important as is changing public perception.
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    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/08/04/re...governments-co

    The CDC attributed 18,893 deaths to opioid analgesics in 2014. It attributed 10,574 to heroin, which was used by less than a tenth as many people. By that measure, heroin was more than five time as dangerous.The increased prevalence of fentanyl in black-market heroin has magnified the danger. "Heroin fluctuation in purity is a known overdose risk," write University of British Columbia internist Nadia Fairbairn and her co-authors in an article about naloxone, "and the presence of illicit synthetic opioids contaminating the heroin supply has led to a particularly erratic 'street dope' market that multiplies this risk. People who use heroin are potentially exposed to large variations in drug potency depending on the extent of adulteration with synthetic opioids, thus increasing overdose risk."
    As Beletsky and Davis note, "These increases in harm were as predictable as they are disastrous." In fact, they say, "The iatrogenic risk to the health of people who use drugs was not just foreseeable, but in some cases directly foreseen by policymakers." They quote Carrie DeLone, Pennsylvania's former physician general, who recently confessed that "we knew that this was going to be an issue, that we were going to push addicts in a direction that was going to be more deadly." Her justification: "You have to start somewhere."
    Beletsky and Davis are rightly appalled by DeLone's attitude, saying, "This statement is emblematic of the belief that decisive action is more important than reducing overall societal harm. While seemingly widespread, this sentiment is inimical to...public health, scientific, and ethical norms." But making drug use more dangerous is arguably one of the ways prohibition works as intended, since it helps scare people away from illegal intoxicants. Conversely, making drug use safer defeats the purpose of prohibition by reducing that deterrent, which is why Maine Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill making naloxone more readily available. He complained that "creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction."
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame CajunCrimson's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    To me, for those that want to bail on the "war" for financial reasons......it won't save a dime....it just will be wasted on something else. It still comes back to....society has rules. You break them, you go to prison or pay a fine. If you don't like the laws, change them. When society flips their view, the laws will change. People have been tying for decades to legalize drugs, and that's starting to change the laws.

    The way it's supposed to work....is working.
    Doc Holliday: [to Johnny Ringo, after shooting him in a duel] You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung

  6. #6
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunCrimson View Post
    To me, for those that want to bail on the "war" for financial reasons......it won't save a dime....it just will be wasted on something else. It still comes back to....society has rules. You break them, you go to prison or pay a fine. If you don't like the laws, change them. When society flips their view, the laws will change. People have been tying for decades to legalize drugs, and that's starting to change the laws.

    The way it's supposed to work....is working.
    Look at it this way then: It will free up - at the least - hundreds of millions of dollars a year for your elected overlords to waste on something else that doesn't involve militarizing the police and encouraging them to enter your home at night without first introducing themselves or otherwise harassing you. Oh, they'll still do it, but they'll need another excuse. I'm sure the panic over terror will provide plenty of cover for that.

    The money is only one side of it, though. Police militarization and intrusion on civil liberties are just other facets. So much more goes with this topic, like reduced harm and a better more prosperous society.
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame DzynKingRTR's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    so you guys think we should legalize all drugs? so we can just go to Publix and buy some T-bones, some crab legs, some black tar heroin, some baking potatoes, and some yeast rolls?
    Architects do it with models.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame 2003TIDE's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by DzynKingRTR View Post
    so you guys think we should legalize all drugs? so we can just go to Publix and buy some T-bones, some crab legs, some black tar heroin, some baking potatoes, and some yeast rolls?
    I think pot should be legalized. It's no worse than beer which you can buy at Publix. I don't think schedule 1 drugs should be legal. I also think pot should be reclassified as well. It's not a schedule 1 drug.

  9. #9
    BamaNation Hall of Fame CharminTide's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2003TIDE View Post
    I think pot should be legalized. It's no worse than beer which you can buy at Publix. I don't think schedule 1 drugs should be legal. I also think pot should be reclassified as well. It's not a schedule 1 drug.
    Beer is actually far, far more damaging to one's health (and our communal healthcare resources) than pot is. Same with tobacco. Pot should be legalized nationwide as the reefer madness generation declines. And as more states drink from the sweet, sweet fountain of additional tax revenue, the federal government will soon follow.

    As always, lobbyist money (in this case, the tobacco lobby that somehow managed to get weed classified alongside heroin) protects corporate interests over the interests and freedom of individuals. Find a way to reduce, cap, and publicly monitor public servant campaign contributions, and watch as these types of pro-corporate, anti-individual policies melt away.

  10. #10
    BamaNation Hall of Fame bamachile's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by AUDub View Post
    Sessions is about to be AG. Guy thinks drugs are the devil incarnate. Won't be surprised if we take some steps backward.
    I don't have any better opinion of drugs myself, but yet I am generally against the war on drugs. It is indeed an ideological goal which is not only unobtainable but counterproductive and often tyrannical in its irrationality. I am emphatically not, however, against the war on drug-induced behavior. Driving while impaired, violent psychotic episodes, theft and robbery for habit continuation, etc., can never be accepted as 'just the way it is'. This Scylla and Charybdis requires a pragmatic and methodical approach beyond the pale of the pure ideologies of the left and right. Libertarians such as myself also must do some serious soul-searching to find solutions that produce results and protect the populace without imposing undue restrictions on liberty.

    I don't have the answers. I am open to suggestions, however.
    “Louisiana is a fresh-air mental asylum.”
    ― James Lee Burke, Pegasus Descending

  11. #11
    BamaNation Hall of Fame DzynKingRTR's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2003TIDE View Post
    I think pot should be legalized. It's no worse than beer which you can buy at Publix. I don't think schedule 1 drugs should be legal. I also think pot should be reclassified as well. It's not a schedule 1 drug.
    I agree with this. Most of the pot smokers I know never feel like they need to go for a drive. Almost all alcohol drinkers think the are "fine" after tossing back a few.
    Architects do it with models.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame CajunCrimson's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Booze often leads to domestic violence

    Dope tends to lower it
    Doc Holliday: [to Johnny Ringo, after shooting him in a duel] You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung

  13. #13
    BamaNation Hall of Fame CajunCrimson's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

    Quote Originally Posted by CharminTide View Post
    Beer is actually far, far more damaging to one's health (and our communal healthcare resources) than pot is. Same with tobacco. Pot should be legalized nationwide as the reefer madness generation declines. And as more states drink from the sweet, sweet fountain of additional tax revenue, the federal government will soon follow.

    As always, lobbyist money (in this case, the tobacco lobby that somehow managed to get weed classified alongside heroin) protects corporate interests over the interests and freedom of individuals. Find a way to reduce, cap, and publicly monitor public servant campaign contributions, and watch as these types of pro-corporate, anti-individual policies melt away.
    Are you open to banning booze or tobacco since it's so bad?

    And, no, I'm not suggesting you want that. Just curious, if you think we should....since it would benefit socialized healthcare
    Doc Holliday: [to Johnny Ringo, after shooting him in a duel] You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung

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