It's Time to End the "War on Drugs"

CajunCrimson

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I'm not fully convinced of this yet, but it's possible. Any evidence?




No thank you. I normally agree with your perspective very strongly, but in this case I feel this is very wrongheaded. Am I the only one who thinks legalizing opioids would be a completely terrible idea? Because I believe legalizing opioids would be a completely terrible idea! I can't even begin to imagine what a wasteland our country would become if we let everyone personally experiment with these drugs.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/25/marijuana-study_n_5711217.html

Past research has indicated that couples who abuse substances are at a greater risk for divorce, in part because substance abuse often leads to an increase in domestic violence.

However, new research has found that when it comes to marijuana use, the opposite might be true: frequent use of marijuana by couples is associated with less partner violence.

Researchers from Yale University, University of Buffalo and Rutgers recruited 634 couples from 1996 to 1999 while they were applying for a marriage license in New York State. After an initial interview, the researchers followed the couples over the course of nine years using mail-in surveys to measure the effects of marijuana use on intimate partner violence (IPV).
 

CajunCrimson

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Look around you and tell me what good has come from the "War on Drugs"...

Then read this on the good legalization has done in Portugal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/05/why-hardly-anyone-dies-from-a-drug-overdose-in-portugal/?utm_term=.1d07d8f21f38

So which is better: Throw people in jail or offer them help? Overdose deaths out the yin yang or hardly any? Evermore encroachments on our liberty or freedom from nighttime raids on the wrong house with innocent people killed by police when they think their home is being invaded by criminals (actually, it is, just under color of law)? Gangs fighting with guns in the streets or business people settling their disputes in court? Loose regulations and a safe product or effectively no regulation and a deadly product? a $500 billion/year industry that pays no taxes or one that pays sales, employment, income, and other taxes? (that number is worldwide, not the US so apologies. In 2010 that number was $100 billion/year according to the Obama White House though I'm sure that has increased significantly since. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2014/03/07/how-much-do-americans-really-spend-drugs-each-year )

And please tell me how many people who don't use hard drugs now are suddenly going to say to themselves: Hey, it'd be great if I became a junky. I think I'll go to Publix and get some crack!

Chances are no one who isn't going to use anyway would use if they were legally available. After all, most of us wouldn't have to get a mile from home to find just about any drug we wanted if we wanted one.

The numbers in Portugal do not support the notion that people will just start using just because - and that includes teenagers.

Bottom line: The "War on Drugs" hasn't just been a failure. It's been a costly and deadly disaster.

It took me a very long time to overcome years and years of what I can only call brainwashing at this point to reach this conclusion. It goes against everything I had ever been taught about drugs (other than that they are bad, mmmk). Looking at the data I could reach no other conclusion, however. But getting past what we've been taught is difficult.
When people try to compare the US to single countries in Europe, it's hard to line up the numbers. The cultures, income imbalances, diversity, and internal subcultures are completely different...

Tha would be like saying "countrywide gun ownership in the US should be desireable because of its success in Switzerland."

Just because "The Process" works in TTown, doesn't mean it can work in Miami.....
 

CharminTide

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When "The greater good" is used as the reason to restrict personal freedoms....should be applied across the board or not at all.
I disagree. If you're going to use the communal good to justify infringing on personal freedom, the evidence and impact need to be heavily weighed on a case by case basis.

Take guns, for example. I do not advocate that guns be taken from lawful citizens -- that may indeed help the communal good by lowering gun violence, but it's an enormous breach of personal liberty that I cannot support. But I do endorse closing the gun show loophole; the communal good is better served by ensuring that no one can sidestep a background check before purchasing firearms, and the personal inconvenience is low. Same with gun storage laws. Toddlers have caused the deaths of more Americans than terrorists in recent years due to parents leaving loaded guns around the house; but that number plummeted to nearly zero when MA mandated that any gun not currently in use be stored in a gun safe. Evidence confirms that this move supports the communal good, and I don't think the level of personal inconvenience is very high.

To your point, I emphatically do not think it should be an all or nothing approach.
 

day-day

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Saying dope reduced the violence and a study that show's there is a decrease in violence among couples who smoke dope are not necessarily the same thing. While it may be true that the lower tendency to violence is caused by the dope, it could be that people in this study who smoke dope are simply less violent people. Get a bunch of hippies together and take away their dope and they would still be non-violent...or would they?:smile:
 

NationalTitles17

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No thank you. I normally agree with your perspective very strongly, but in this case I feel this is very wrongheaded. Am I the only one who thinks legalizing opioids would be a completely terrible idea? Because I believe legalizing opioids would be a completely terrible idea! I can't even begin to imagine what a wasteland our country would become if we let everyone personally experiment with these drugs.
Because outlawing opioids has gone swimmingly well and the recent crackdown on them has improved lives across the board, hasn't it?

I get your visceral reaction here. When I first heard the idea I thought the same thing. I resisted it for a very long time. I honestly thought "those people are whack-jobs!". But the evidence against criminalization is overwhelming and at some point either lore or data win the day. Trust Data, not Lore.
 

bama_wayne1

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I would be willing to let all drugs be legal as long as everyone pays their own costs. If your dope stops you from working and you or your family starve to death, don't expect me to pay higher taxes to feed them or you.
 
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LA4Bama

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Because outlawing opioids has gone swimmingly well and the recent crackdown on them has improved lives across the board, hasn't it?

I get your visceral reaction here. When I first heard the idea I thought the same thing. I resisted it for a very long time. I honestly thought "those people are whack-jobs!". But the evidence against criminalization is overwhelming and at some point either lore or data win the day. Trust Data, not Lore.
You may be equating decriminalization of possession with legalization of unregulated sales. From the article you linked:

"Portugal decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it -- Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program -- not jail time and a criminal record."

Again from that same article: "Drug use and drug deaths are complicated phenomena. They have many underlying causes. Portugal's low death rate can't be attributable solely to decriminalization. As Dr. Joao Goulao, the architect of the country's decriminalization policy, has said, "it's very difficult to identify a causal link between decriminalization by itself and the positive tendencies we have seen.""

Portugal didn't just decriminalize drug possession. It also spent a ton on anti-use campaigns and education. That is more likely the source of the positive effects in Portugal

I do not object to "decriminalizing" the penalty for drug possession (as distinct perhaps from drug trafficking), but your point that any drugs should be available at the grocery store is what I object to. And I doubt there is much data about that to support your position. If there is any data about the effects of deregulating and selling heroine on Walmart shelves, let me know. Maybe Sam's Club will offer a family pack complete with tourniquets and needles! And I can't wait for the Black Friday slogans: "For the holidays, give your loved one's the thing they crave the most!" and "Fentynal for your Festival!." Then there will introduce Coke Original: "We put the coke back in cola!"
 

NationalTitles17

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You may be equating decriminalization of possession with legalization of unregulated sales. From the article you linked:

"Portugal decriminalized the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it -- Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program -- not jail time and a criminal record."

Again from that same article: "Drug use and drug deaths are complicated phenomena. They have many underlying causes. Portugal's low death rate can't be attributable solely to decriminalization. As Dr. Joao Goulao, the architect of the country's decriminalization policy, has said, "it's very difficult to identify a causal link between decriminalization by itself and the positive tendencies we have seen.""

Portugal didn't just decriminalize drug possession. It also spent a ton on anti-use campaigns and education. That is more likely the source of the positive effects in Portugal

I do not object to "decriminalizing" the penalty for drug possession (as distinct perhaps from drug trafficking), but your point that any drugs should be available at the grocery store is what I object to. And I doubt there is much data about that to support your position. If there is any data about the effects of deregulating and selling heroine on Walmart shelves, let me know. Maybe Sam's Club will offer a family pack complete with tourniquets and needles! And I can't wait for the Black Friday slogans: "For the holidays, give your loved one's the thing they crave the most!" and "Fentynal for your Festival!." Then there will introduce Coke Original: "We put the coke back in cola!"
I do recoil at the thought of it being sold at the grocer and don't think it ever would be. Decriminalization of possession of small amounts would be an amazing and positive start. I'd be happy as can be with that. I do think, given the fact you cannot outlaw drug use - it still happens no matter what, that legal sales is both the best way to make using safer and the politically "impossible" solution. I'm fine with restriction on sales to include reasonable restrictions on location and age, etc;....

Bottom line, whatever form the new strategy takes, the war on drugs is a disaster that has costs far too much in money, civil liberties, and lives. It needs to end. We need another approach.

Prohibition did not work for alcohol. It caused Capone and others to rise to power and terrorize citizens. It caused the police to trample on civil liberties and be crooked. It caused many people to die from unsafe product. The same is true now with drug prohibition. So it makes sense that a similar answer to alcohol prohibition should work with drugs.

Nothing will ever be perfect and even full legalization has pitfalls, though not near as many as the current system.
 
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NationalTitles17

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https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/third-staged-baltimore-police-body-cam-surfaces-dozens-more-cases-dropped/

Another staged body cam leads to 43 more dropped Baltimore prosecutions

Latest video “was self-reported as a re-enactment of the seizure of evidence.”

A Baltimore Police Department officer has "self-reported" a staged body cam video. This brings the number of fabricated body cam videos rocking the agency to at least three. In this most recent instance alone, 43 cases are being dropped or not prosecuted, the state's top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said.
In all, more than 100 cases have been dropped or will be. Dozens of additional cases are being investigated because of three body cam videos fabricated by the Baltimore Police Department. The first video was disclosed a month ago. Dozens of closed cases are also being re-examined, state prosecutors said. They said they are examining hundreds of cases involving officers connected to the videos.
Brilliant work there, officer.
 

CharminTide

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WaPo: Teen marijuana use falls to 20-year low, defying legalization opponents’ predictions

In 2016, rates of marijuana use among the nation's 12- to 17-year-olds dropped to their lowest level in more than two decades, according to federal survey data released this week.

Last year, 6.5 percent of adolescents used marijuana on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That represents a statistically significant drop from 2014, when the nation's first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado.

The last time monthly teen marijuana use was this low was 1994, according to the survey.

The marijuana trend defies the warnings of those who oppose its legalization, who have long predicted that loosening restrictions on marijuana would “send the wrong message” to teens and increase teen drug use.
 

cbi1972

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Saying dope reduced the violence and a study that show's there is a decrease in violence among couples who smoke dope are not necessarily the same thing. While it may be true that the lower tendency to violence is caused by the dope, it could be that people in this study who smoke dope are simply less violent people. Get a bunch of hippies together and take away their dope and they would still be non-violent...or would they?:smile:
Researchers got people drunk or high, then made a fascinating discovery about how we respond

The researchers measured aggression, before and after the respondents took the test, by asking them how aggressive they felt on a 100-point scale. For good measure, they had the marijuana and alcohol users go through the whole thing again one week later, this time without getting high or drunk, as a kind of separate control.

They found, first of all, that "alcohol intoxication increased subjective aggression in the alcohol group." The alcohol users, in other words, acted more aggressive when they were drunk than they did when they were sober. By contrast, the smokers became less aggressive when they were high.

These findings held through both the self-assessments — alcohol users rated themselves as more aggressive when drunk — and through the responses to the tests: The drinkers tried harder to undermine their computer opponents when they were drunk. But the smokers actually acted less aggressive toward their computer opponents when they were high.

"The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression," the researchers conclude.

This is in line with other research. A study in 2014, for instance, found that marijuana use among couples was linked to lower rates of domestic violence. In a fun study from the 1980s, researchers gave undergraduates varying doses of marijuana and then asked them to administer electric shocks to people in another room. The more stoned the undergrads were, the less interested they were in zapping other people.
 

NationalTitles17

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http://reason.com/blog/2017/10/07/america-set-an-awful-new-record-in-2016

"Preliminary data for 2016 indicate at least 64,000 drug overdose deaths, the highest number ever recorded in the U.S.," Deborah Houry of the Centers for Disease Control told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday. By the CDC's estimate, more than 300,000 people have died from opioid overdoses since 2000.
That is an extraordinary amount of suffering endured by a relatively small user population. And it's largely a result of bad policy combined with inaction.
I know some on this board have been directly affected by this problem. I hope for everyone's sake we can get our collective head out of the sand on this issue and reduce the carnage taking place every single day in this country.
 

TUSCALOOSAHONOR

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Because outlawing opioids has gone swimmingly well and the recent crackdown on them has improved lives across the board, hasn't it?

I get your visceral reaction here. When I first heard the idea I thought the same thing. I resisted it for a very long time. I honestly thought "those people are whack-jobs!". But the evidence against criminalization is overwhelming and at some point either lore or data win the day. Trust Data, not Lore.
Dude... Because outlawing murder has gone swimmingly well. You got to be kidding me. First of all quit reading articles that are pushing their own agenda and quit thinking back to your college days. If you want to see what drug use has done to this country go work with a local police dept. Go work as a reserve or do ride alongs as a citizen. Don't ride once and think you have everything figured out, ride for a year or two. Make drugs legal. Got to be the most craziest thing I've heard on here. Because dopers don't do stupid stuff or kill people lol
 

cbi1972

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Dude... Because outlawing murder has gone swimmingly well. You got to be kidding me. First of all quit reading articles that are pushing their own agenda and quit thinking back to your college days. If you want to see what drug use has done to this country go work with a local police dept. Go work as a reserve or do ride alongs as a citizen. Don't ride once and think you have everything figured out, ride for a year or two. Make drugs legal. Got to be the most craziest thing I've heard on here. Because dopers don't do stupid stuff or kill people lol
Terrible analogy and even worse argument.
 

TUSCALOOSAHONOR

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Terrible analogy and even worse argument.
In your opinion maybe so. It may be hard to believe but people don't want dope to be legal. The people that it affects, that have had family members murdered, property stolen, etc don't care that someone wrote an article stating that dope should be legal. Of all the break ins and burglary that happens in our community 90% is drug related. Violent crimes, drug related. Has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the fact that dope isn't legal. He threw a blanket statement out there I threw another one. He implied why have laws if people ignore or they aren't stopping the opiod crisis. I took it a step further and asked why have laws for murder if people ignore or they arent stopping murder. Because as a functional society you have to have laws. Just because people ignore them or don't stop doesn't mean you do away with the law. If we used that theory we would do away with all laws.

For those that don't know people are given multiple breaks in court. Drug and dui's offenders are given court ordered referral programs to help them get clean and sober. Multiple chances. Sentenced to drug and alcohol rehab. Not to say that all are, those are the minor offense related cases.

Who in here has actually rode with a police dept?
 

crimsonaudio

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He implied why have laws if people ignore or they aren't stopping the opiod crisis. I took it a step further and asked why have laws for murder if people ignore or they arent stopping murder. Because as a functional society you have to have laws. Just because people ignore them or don't stop doesn't mean you do away with the law. If we used that theory we would do away with all laws.
Many of us are fine with doing away with any and all laws that penalize people for 'crimes' where there is no victim. Murders involved victims, some dude smoking a doobie does not.

We need a government that protects our liberties, not one that arbitrarily decides where our liberties exist and where they do not.
 

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