Cory Booker: The War on Drugs has failed

posted at 6:41 pm on July 16, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker is making news again — this time for commentary regarding the War on Drugs. Via Huffington Post:

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker took to Reddit Sunday to criticize the war on drugs, saying it was ineffective and “represents big overgrown government at its worst.”

“The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence,” the Democrat wrote during the Reddit “ask me anything” chat. “We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unnecessarily undermining human potential.”

Over at Reddit, Booker wrote the following:

Blacks make up less than 15% of our New Jersey’s population but make up more than 60% of our prison population. I can’t accept that facts like this one do anything but demonstrate the historic and current biases in our criminal justice system…People should not see these facts and this discussion as an indictment of any one race, sector, or occupation, it should be seen as a call to all of us to do the difficult things to make a change because this isn’t a “black” problem this is an American problem.

The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence. We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unnecessarily undermining human potential. I see the BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars being poured into the criminal justice system here in New Jersey and it represents big overgrown government at its worst. We should be investing dollars in programs and strategies that work not just to lower crime but work to empower lives.

It anguishes me how we seem to be so content with national and state recidivism rates of around 60% and how a staggering number of young black men are involved in the criminal justice system.

My police in Newark are involved in an almost ridiculous game of arresting the same people over and over again and when you talk to these men they have little belief that there is help or hope for them to break out of this cycle.

And it is a dangerous world for people caught up in the drug trade for it is so associated with violence. Data from Rutgers University is chilling: Over 80% of Newark’s murder VICTIMS have been arrested before an average of 10 times.

There are few public policy areas where Democrats are right, but the legalization of marijuana is one of them. Last month I made a case for why social conservatives should consider supporting the legalization of marijuana, and Booker’s data above backs a lot of what I wrote about. The editors of National Review are also in agreement with Booker on both marijuana legalization and the failure of the War on Drugs.

Booker doesn’t just complain, however. He also offers solutions for those people currently on drugs, who have been arrested, and otherwise have been impacted by both their own poor life decisions and the War on Drugs:

  1. Reentry. We developed the state’s first office of reentry, raised philanthropy and other grant dollars to support it and have some impressive data. Our office has connected well over 1,000 men and women with work and a number of our programs are producing some great results. One I will mention here is our Fatherhood program. The recidivism rate for this program has dropped among participants from over 60% for nonparticipants to 7% for participants…Instead of condemning men for not being good fathers and preaching to them about how they should take care of their kids, this program looks to empower them in their fatherhood mission. The men are partnered with mentor dads, there are parenting classes, group activities with their kids and a partnership is created with the mother of the children. The men are helped with finding jobs and even with suits and more for interviews and work. All of this is so much cheaper than continued incarceration and it empowers participants (mostly black and latino) breaking the cycle of imprisonment…
  2. Court reform . . . I discussed this in another answer but by having youth courts, veterans courts, drug courts and more, we are finding that we can empower people to stay out of jail and turn their lives around as opposed to get chewed up in the system. Court innovation is critical and Newark is leading the way in New Jersey thanks to great partners like The Center For Court Innovation in NYC.
  3. Jobs. It is so critical that we find ways to rapidly attach people to work when they come out of prison even if they are minimum wage transition jobs. Newark has done a lot in this area. I’m particularly proud of our Clean and Green program taking men and women right from returning from prison and giving them jobs helping to clean and green our city.
  4. Treatment. This is critical. Our state is just recently stepping up to expand treatment and make it a mandatory alternative to incarceration. In Newark we have some great treatment options but they too need more funding. Treatment saves taxpayer dollars, empowers individuals, stops recidivism, heals families and helps us all.
  5. Legal Help. Our nation’s legal service and advocacy organizations are starving and so many people are getting chewed up by the criminal justice system just because they are poor and lack legal support. Newark New Jersey started our nations first ever pro bono legal service practice to support people coming home from prison. You would be amazed at the number of people who come out of prison, want to get a job and try to do the right thing but then their lives are entangled by countless legal problems and barriers that could be overcome with with some administrative legal support…
  6. There is much more I can list in terms of things happening in Newark that point to solutions…But for my final point…So much of this problem could be solved by strong education systems and other systems of support for our children before they get in trouble. So let me offer this as a final action item to heal our nation, end many insidious racial divisions and exalt our country’s highest ideals. Mentoring. It takes 4 hours a month to mentor a child, the amount of time most watch TV in a day. There are hundreds of kids in Newark on waiting lists for a mentor: a positive adult in their lives who cares. Mentoring has demonstrated a profound ability to dramatically lower incarceration for youth and even lower early unsafe sex practices. And it has shown to boost youth outcomes from self-esteem to dramatically increasing school performance. EVERYONE who is qualified should be mentoring a child who is not their own OR encouraging others to do so OR supporting mentoring organizations. If every so-called “at risk” kid in Newark had a mentor we could dramatically end future crime in our city.

Now, I’m just a lowly blogger with more opinions than he ought to voice, but even if Booker’s solutions aren’t right for every community they make a lot of sense. Rather than incentivize failure, encourage success. Preventive measures through mentoring. The value of employment, local solutions and citizen involvement. These are conservative principles to help improve society, and Booker seems to believe they are working.


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I agree. It’s a waste of time. And I’m a cop.

RedNewEnglander on July 16, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Use drones on the druggies.

J.E. Dyer on July 16, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Cory Booker: The War on Drugs has failed

the legalization of marijuana is one of them.

So which is it?

All drugs (meth, crack, heroin, cocaine) or just marijuana?

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I’ll vote to legalize pot on the same day that all the entitlements are completely dismantled. And set on fire.

TexasDan on July 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM

There are few public policy areas where Democrats are right, but the legalization of marijuana is one of them. Last month I made a case for why social conservatives should consider supporting the legalization of marijuana,

Dusty, as a former “Rock Star”. I’m telling, you are out of your eff’ing mind. What we should do, is execute anyone caught transporting over 1 pound of any illegal narcotic, and do it right then and there.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

All drugs (meth, crack, heroin, cocaine) or just marijuana?

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I vote for marijuana and shrooms.

taternuggets on July 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM

But we don’t address the one big government program that makes it better for the mothers to keep the fathers out of the picture, the war on poverty. In addition a number of those Ideas swap one big government solution (war on drugs) for a different big government solution.

chemman on July 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

As proven by our coke snorting prez.

vityas on July 16, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Well then that’s it. Legalize all drugs. You think health care is expensive now? Wait until millions more become addicted to drugs and need treatment. So we have more people than ever on welfare, food stamps and disability so why not completely push the country over the edge and get more people addicted to drugs?

There is a large majority of the population who don’t use drugs simply because they are illegal. Making drugs legal will introduce a whole new slice of the population to addiction. Then, you have even more problems. You have twice the amount of people hooked on drugs.

Crime will not drop if you legalize drugs. It very well could rise. Just think, now millions more are casually doing drugs and getting addicted. These addicts need money, after they lose their jobs for being wasted they will have to get their money somehow. So now you have millions more potential criminals out there running around.

Anyone who says drugs should be legal hasn’t thought it through fully.

The Notorious G.O.P on July 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

It has failed because it was never taken seriously to begin with.

Ukiah on July 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

All drugs (meth, crack, heroin, cocaine) or just marijuana?

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I vote for marijuana and shrooms.

taternuggets on July 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM

And keep fighting that war on drugs (meth, crack, heroin, cocaine)?

The pushers will sell whatever brings in the highest price, legal or illegal to whomever will buy. They push legal prescription drugs today so how does legalizing some other drugs they are pushing as well, alter the dynamic in any significant way?

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM

This particular issue is not a Democrat issue anymore. A lot of Don’t Tread on Me types oppose what is a failed drug war. Costly on every level, it not only nearly $100 billion in prison costs, but the cost to local law enforcement is huge, when local budgets are busting.
One thing is clear: the war is nonsensical. The Portugal evidence supports that contention that legalized drugs actually reduces addition. At best, we expend a huge amount of $ and go to extreme trouble for a marginal, minimal cut in drug usage. Insane. And what about how our drug war is destroying Mexico, and neighborhoods throughout this country?
And it’s a moral issue. How can we let violent criminals that assault us in our homes go free because of overcrowding, why non-violent victimless drug “criminals” are kept for years in horrible prison? And those that say that the real villains are the drug sellers, the sellers only satisfy a demand, like the sellers of tobacco, or soft drinks. Why don’t we, then, put tobacco execs in prison for the same ~ life sentences some drug sellers get?

anotherJoe on July 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM

legalize it, tax it, and shut the heck up SoCons

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Applying conservative principles to victims of the drugs and the failed War on Drugs.

Let’s start with “victims of the drugs”. There are no “victims of the drugs” any more than there are “victims of the guns” or “victims of the Stolichnaya”.

No one forces anyone to take drugs, and the drugs certainly do not. No one forces anyone to keep taking drugs, and the drugs certainly do not. No one forces anyone to buy drugs, and the drugs certainly do not. No one forces anyone to keep buying drugs, and the drugs certainly do not.

Applying conservative principles, people who take drugs and cause problems to themselves are responsible for their problems and their consequences. People who take drugs and cause problems for other people are responsible for those problems and their consequences.

If someone wishes to stop taking drugs and has trouble doing it there are innumerable sources for help, many of them free.

Also, about 99.99+% of people who take drugs cause problems neither for themselves or anyone else, other than very indirectly by making some very bad people very rich, tax free. Which is one of the primary reasons why the War on Drugs is a failure.

If the concern is “The Children”, that is an entirely different matter. For the most part we do not restrict adult behavior that does not affect others because of “The Children”. What we do do is impose severe penalties for engaging in behavior that can harm children, such as giving them booze or loaded guns to play with or both at the same time.

farsighted on July 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM

There are few public policy areas where Democrats are right, but the legalization of marijuana is one of them.

Wrong.

The war on rape, murder, theft, fraud, insider trading, illegal immigration, and jaywalking have all failed. Why? Because they’re still done! That’s basically the criteria that’s being applied to drugs, and is a poor argument for the legalization not just of drugs, but of anything, be it from voyeurism to traffic lights to public nudity to keeping library books past their due dates.

Drug-use impairs motor function and cognitive abilities. That means that people in effect no longer become responsible for their actions. If you want to have a civil society, you must have people sufficiently aware of themselves to act in a responsible manner. There is no right to eliminate one’s own capacity for self-control, and there are easily foreseeable disasters from doing so.

Stoic Patriot on July 16, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Blacks make up less than 15% of our New Jersey’s population but make up more than 60% of our prison population. I can’t accept that facts like this one do anything but demonstrate the historic and current biases in our criminal justice system

The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence.

What a load of horse crap! So Booker, just WHO put a gun to their heads and said ‘get involved in drugs’? Wouldn’t be the culture would it? All that wonderful music about guns, drugs and bitches? As for the war hasn’t succeeded in making “significant” reductions. Huh? Only way we’d know would be to allow everything to be legal.

Did you read today about the 78 year old woman who was murdered in her home by a deranged naked guy on drugs?

Go ahead Booker, legalize drugs. All of them. Only I get to put down anyone who poses an immediate threat to my life or my family’s while they’re expanding their minds – no questions asked.

And since drug users are known for being independently wealthy – they don’t qualify for welfare or food stamps.

GarandFan on July 16, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I think they should all be legalized but obviously it’s going to happen in baby steps if it ever happens. Pot would be the first to be legalized. The current “war on drugs” is a farce. It’s never worked. It’s never even shown progress.

Legalize it. Tax it. Profit.

Benaiah on July 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM

wow, as soon as Marijuana comes up the Straw Men come out to play

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Drug-use impairs motor function and cognitive abilities. That means that people in effect no longer become responsible for their actions. If you want to have a civil society, you must have people sufficiently aware of themselves to act in a responsible manner. There is no right to eliminate one’s own capacity for self-control, and there are easily foreseeable disasters from doing so.

Stoic Patriot

So you’re for the return of prohibition? It worked out so well the first time and all.

Benaiah on July 16, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I would be for legalizing certain drugs IF there were no welfare state or those using drugs were denied benefits of the welfare state. We cannot afford both.

Also,if some drugs are legalized then why do I have to get a prescription for many mundane and relatively harmless medical drugs?

Rick9911 on July 16, 2012 at 7:02 PM

What we should do, is execute anyone caught transporting over 1 pound of any illegal narcotic, and do it right then and there.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

The Taliban is always hiring, incase you’re ever in need of work. You’d fit right in.

Go RBNY on July 16, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Edit: to running traffic lights.

Challenge for those making the case on the “victimless” crime argument: who is the “victim” of illegal immigration (not any other abuse mind you of taking welfare or anything else, just illegally crossing), and if there is no victim, do you or do you not favor amnesty for illegals?

Stoic Patriot on July 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

The Portugal evidence supports that contention that legalized drugs actually reduces addition.

anotherJoe on July 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I thought it was the English heroin experiment that provided that evidence? Wait that turned into a nightmare. Then it was the Dutch experiment…oh wait, that kinda went south as well. Yeah, the Portuguese experiment is the newest bandwagon that will finally prove what a great idea it is.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

legalize it, tax it, and shut the heck up SoCons

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Why tax it? Can’t anything be free from taxes these days or is that just our default mindset now

Go RBNY on July 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

If you legalize drugs, you have to give up on all regulation of any drugs at all. Banned drugs are banned because any attempt to sell them is inherently fraudulent in the same way that selling defective medicine is.

Count to 10 on July 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I have a feeling the drug crusaders don’t know a darn thing about drugs…weird, I know

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Release the prisoners, and give them Democratic voter IDs

faraway on July 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

yeah, that’s sorta default

get the FiCons on my side stuff :)

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Accept for Chicago!!
(sarc).

canopfor on July 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

The Taliban is always hiring, incase you’re ever in need of work. You’d fit right in.

Go RBNY on July 16, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Scared of dying or loosing your only source of income???

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

What we should do, is execute anyone caught transporting over 1 pound of any illegal narcotic, and do it right then and there.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Hmmm… summary executions, or the War on Drugs will never work?

Gee, guess I’ll have to vote for the end of the WoD then. Because summary executions are, you know… un-American.

But, then again, SWalker, you are rather comfortable with facsism, aren’t you?

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

So you’re for the return of prohibition? It worked out so well the first time and all.

Benaiah on July 16, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I never said I was or wasn’t, but I think the “common wisdom” that it was a “failure” is a farce. What defines success or failure? What’s the criteria? Why do these criteria matter? Do we judge the worthiness of laws based on how frequently they’re violated? Are there no greater principles?

Putting one’s foot down and simply declaring something to be a failure conveniently dodges all of those questions.

Stoic Patriot on July 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM

What about the people that are hooked on HopenChange?

faraway on July 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Yeah, that reddit AMA Booker just did was interesting. I hadn’t so much as heard of him before that fire rescue was being first reported. After having seen how he speaks and governs, he’s one of the few Democrats I actually respect. I’m thinking the Dem establishment won’t go for it, but he would be one to watch as a potential rising star.

JetBoy on July 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I agree, legalize hopenchange and tax it

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:07 PM

If you legalize drugs, you have to give up on all regulation of any drugs at all. Banned drugs are banned because any attempt to sell them is inherently fraudulent in the same way that selling defective medicine is.

Count to 10 on July 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

So, when we gave up prohibition of alcohol, we had to give up on regulation of alcohol completely?

Really?

Something tells me you haven’t thought this argument through. Something also tells me that is a rather common occurrence in your life.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

The Portugal evidence supports that contention that legalized drugs actually reduces addition.

anotherJoe on July 16, 2012 at 6:57 PM

What a complete and total load of bullshit, the first nation to try that was the Netherlands, and they just repealed the whole thing because after 40 years they finally realized they couldn’t hide the death count from their citizens anymore.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM

The War on Drugs is insane, and so is anyone who supports it. It’s a personal litmus test of mine to determine if a person is deserving of any position of authority or leadership. Anyone who believes that forty years of squandering jaw-dropping amounts of public money and utterly destroying most our inner cities with absolutely nothing to show for it is good public policy belongs in Bedlam, not politics.

The drug warriors’ only discernible accomplishment has been consigning the Fourth Amendment to the dustbin of history.

Thanks, drug warriors!

CTD on July 16, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Then it was the Dutch experiment…oh wait, that kinda went south as well.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

The Dutch have retailed cannabis through coffee shops for going on 4 decades now. How, exactly, has that program been a failure?

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

How many rehabs are the taxpayers supposed to fund? Are we to fund perpetual, revolving door, treatment and rehab, rewarding the drug abusers with being picked up, dusted off, handed benefits… like a job… and ‘re-entry’. WHO is going to pay for the endless family and personal counseling?

The fact is that these same ‘tactics’ have been tried before and they end up costing ENORMOUS amounts of money for very little return.

We should double stop cutting deals with drug traffickers and manufacturers. All of them, whether they are domestic or international. We should tell countries like Mexico that we will no longer tolerate their citizens manufacturing drugs, smuggling them into our country, and poisoning our citizenry. No more aid or trade to those who don’t make every effort to stop drug trafficking. I don’t care what they do in their own country…. as long as it, and its effects, STAYS in their country.

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Legalize anything you can grow in your own windowbox.

Which leaves out heroin, cocaine, meth, amphetamines, barbituates, “bath salts”, etc.

profitsbeard on July 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

What a complete and total load of bullshit, the first nation to try that was the Netherlands, and they just repealed the whole thing because after 40 years they finally realized they couldn’t hide the death count from their citizens anymore.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM

You’re a liar. The Dutch still sell legal cannabis.

So, again, in case you missed it the first time, you are a lying sack of Leftist.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Well then that’s it. Legalize all drugs. You think health care is expensive now? Wait until millions more become addicted to drugs and need treatment…
Anyone who says drugs should be legal hasn’t thought it through fully.
The Notorious G.O.P on July 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

As I mentioned, the evidence from Portugal is that legalized drugs reduces addiction. So, what’s the point of illegal drugs? Is it just to make a statement, a statement that the established powers don’t approve of it, an authoritarian statement no less? The point is that the costs of imprisonment, and law enforcement, are going to be perhaps 100 times higher than (hopefully private) medical treatment for addiction. Don’t use Obamacare’s public insurance as justification for the war on drugs.
And your point about people not thinking it through, no, we’ve thought it through. But the same argument could be made like: “anybody who opposes a ban of soft drinks hasn’t thought it through; soft drinks are bad for everyone.” No, there’s a thing called freedom and choice. Freedom counts for something. The drug war was started by the progressives in the FDR era. There’s no reason that conservatives should now champion this idiotic prohibition. One of these days, and it won’t be long, a conservative, like Ron Paul but more moderate on key issues and foreign policy, that embraces ending the failed drug war will rise up to win it all. Youth and the Don’t Tread on Me faction will unite.

anotherJoe on July 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

The fact is that these same ‘tactics’ have been tried before and they end up costing ENORMOUS amounts of money for very little return.

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

You mean like the drug war?

CTD on July 16, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Legalize it, and fund treatment with tax from it’s sale. Also,any criminal activity done under influence should be held on it’s own. No “I was addicted” excuses.

SMACKRUNNER on July 16, 2012 at 7:14 PM

We should tell countries like Mexico that we will no longer tolerate their citizens manufacturing drugs, smuggling them into our country, and poisoning our citizenry. No more aid or trade to those who don’t make every effort to stop drug trafficking. I don’t care what they do in their own country…. as long as it, and its effects, STAYS in their country.

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Planning on violating WTO treaties, are you? That would make you as lawless as the drug traffickers you are trying to stop.

Not that that surprises me, that a drug warrior would have absolute disregard for the law…

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM

OT: Vivian Schiller to run MSNBC.com. She has a BS in Soviet Studies, no less.

faraway on July 16, 2012 at 7:16 PM

What we should do, is execute anyone caught transporting over 1 pound of any illegal narcotic, and do it right then and there.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Hmmm… summary executions, or the War on Drugs will never work?

Gee, guess I’ll have to vote for the end of the WoD then. Because summary executions are, you know… un-American.

But, then again, SWalker, you are rather comfortable with facsism, aren’t you?

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Are they really un-American? I contend that they are not, that the idea of executing people caught red-handed in the act of committing a crime did not become un-American until Marx’s disciples watched Ethel and Julius fry for treason.

Ask Jessie James or Billy the Kid how un-American summery executions are, oh wait, you can’t because that’s how they died, just like Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, just like John Dillinger and Ma Barker.

In fact, I’m forced to believe that you are either painfully ignorant of American History, or are a damned Marxist stooge like Obama yourself.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

JohnGalt23:

Holland, and in particular, Amsterdam, has been closing those ‘coffee shops’ for some time now. They are phasing them out and they’ve also moved to make it necessary to be a resident of Holland to buy marijuana in them. They want to end the drug tourism trade and with it … the accompanying crime. Less than half of the ‘shops’ who sold marijuana are still in business and the stated goal is to completely phase them out of that particular business.

They are also moving to close down the infamous red light district and brothels and are forcing those who would ply that trade outside the cities… again to alleviate the associated high crime rates.

Give them credit. They were open minded and they tried it in hopes that turning a blind eye to those activities would lower the associated crime rates in those neighborhoods. It didn’t work. So, being reasonable people, they are moving to end the experiment.

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Wrong.

The war on rape, murder, theft, fraud, insider trading, illegal immigration, and jaywalking have all failed. Why? Because they’re still done! That’s basically the criteria that’s being applied to drugs

Stoic Patriot on July 16, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Uhhhh, no. It’s being called a failure because unlike instances of rape and murder, drug use has been going up, not down. Plus, marijuana is cheaper and more potent than it’s ever been. All this despite the billions of dollars being spent and the thousands of lives lost.

SDnocoen on July 16, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than pot. I don’t know anyone that has died from smoking pot. I do however know quite a few people that have died because of alcohol.

iceman1960 on July 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

How many rehabs are the taxpayers supposed to fund? Are we to fund perpetual, revolving door, treatment and rehab, rewarding the drug abusers with being picked up, dusted off, handed benefits… like a job… and ‘re-entry’. WHO is going to pay for the endless family and personal counseling?

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

The problem is taxpayer funding of rehab, treatment, family and personal counseling, etc.

Another problem is the medical profession and our socialist government have declared that drug addiction is an illness and that the addict is not responsible for their “addiction”. Also, their definitions of “addict” and “addiction” have become fairly broad.

farsighted on July 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

There is a large majority of the population who don’t use drugs simply because they are illegal.

The Notorious G.O.P on July 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Really? Your evidence that the American people don’t use heroin because it is illegal, as opposed to because it is a bad idea? Put up, or STFU.

Now, we know that half-wits like yourself need people making good decisions for them. But please don’t apply your inability to take care of your own affairs to the rest of the American people. We’re not all incompetent wards of the State.

Like you.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Legalize, no … decriminalize, yes.

Lost in Jersey on July 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

We are all in danger from drug users, on the road, in the streets, as well as anywhere, anytime they choose for whatever irrational reason to attack for lust or greed or kicks. The people who are told, (children, mostly) that drugs are harmless are victims. Victims of liar drug pushers and sexual predators.
We have not lost the drug war. We have saved many people, even by incarcerating them.
If you ever talk to an illegal immigrant you may find they leave Mexico to run from drugs, not to find work.

Marijuana is still illegal because most young people quit and distance themselves from the criminal element that still promotes an intoxicated life style.

All it takes is a phone call to your representative and people do it all the time. ‘Do not legalize Marijuana’! I do not want my child to grow up high on dope.

Observation on July 16, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Cory Booker: The War on Drugs has failed

…JugEars REJOICES!
…welcomes Cory Booker…back into the fold!

KOOLAID2 on July 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Holland, and in particular, Amsterdam, has been closing those ‘coffee shops’ for some time now. They are phasing them out and they’ve also moved to make it necessary to be a resident of Holland to buy marijuana in them. They want to end the drug tourism trade and with it … the accompanying crime. Less than half of the ‘shops’ who sold marijuana are still in business and the stated goal is to completely phase them out of that particular business.

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

That does not equal “The Dutch decided it was a failure”. They do, in fact, still sell cannabis legally, and still do so through the regime put in place nearly 40 years ago.

So, to say that the Dutch have decried legalization as a failure is, quite simply, a bald faced lie.

Not that I expect anything else from the Drug Warriors. They are liars, and they are incompetents.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Some of you could use a little pot…

taternuggets on July 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM

You’re a liar. The Dutch still sell legal cannabis.

So, again, in case you missed it the first time, you are a lying sack of Leftist.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

You are an complete absolute imbecile, 1) they have made it illegal for any None Dutch Citizen to purchase anything at those shoppes 2) they have quit issuing licenses for those shoppes 3) they are closing those shoppes. That program was a complete and total failure and the Dutch have admitted so.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:24 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM

No, the Portugal evidence supports legalization (or at least: give it to the states to figure out; keep the feds out of it.) From http://drugpolicy.ca/2011/12/sir-richard-branson-time-to-end-the-war-on-drugs/, we have:

The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%. Drug use in older teens also declined. Life time heroin use among 16-18 year olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%.

This study concentrated on youth use, but I heard similar numbers for adults. From The Economist:

Yet after all the furore, the drug law was largely forgotten by the international and Portuguese press—until earlier this year, when the Cato Institute, a libertarian American think-tank, published a study of the new policy by a lawyer, Glenn Greenwald. In contrast to the dire consequences that critics predicted, he concluded that “none of the nightmare scenarios” initially painted, “from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for ‘drug tourists’, has occurred.”

anotherJoe on July 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Legalize drugs and harshly punish drug related aberrant behavior. No victims then and those that end up in prison deserve it for the non-drug crimes they committed. No more vicitms.

Mason on July 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

…JugEars REJOICES!
…welcomes Cory Booker…back into the fold!

KOOLAID2 on July 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Obama has made his stance clear on pot, Cory Booker finds himself on the opposite side again

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Legalize anything you can grow in your own windowbox.

Which leaves out heroin, cocaine, meth, amphetamines, barbituates, “bath salts”, etc.

profitsbeard on July 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

profitsbeard:I think,we have found the model that just might
work,until,the window box’s gain in size,and then
its REGULATION time,baby,haha!:)

canopfor on July 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Are they really un-American? I contend that they are not, that the idea of executing people caught red-handed in the act of committing a crime did not become un-American until Marx’s disciples watched Ethel and Julius fry for treason.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

What part of “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” do you not understand?

Oh yeah, you don’t understand any of it, because you’ve never ead the Constitution.

Fascists rarely do… ask your boy Barack about that one. I’m sure you are quite comfortable with him. He believes in summary executions also.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

The Dutch have retailed cannabis through coffee shops for going on 4 decades now. How, exactly, has that program been a failure?

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

http://weekendlibertarian.blogspot.ca/2011/06/dutch-admission-marijuana-isnt-so-soft.html

As the coffee shops boomed between 1984 and 1996, marijuana use among Dutch youths aged 18 to 25 leapt by well over 200 percent. In 1997, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of registered cannabis addicts receiving treatment for their habit, as compared to a mere 3 percent rise in cases of alcohol abuse. In 1995, public Ministry of Justice studies estimated that 700,000 to 750,000 of Holland’s 15 million people – about 5 percent of the population – were regular cannabis users. A much more recent study just completed by Professor Pieter Cohen of the University of Amsterdam disputes those figures, claiming that only [!!!] 325,000 to 350,000 Dutch men and women are regular cannabis users. Unfortunately, however, his survey discovered that those smokers are particularly concentrated among the young in densely populated areas of Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. In the last three to four years, these same areas have witnessed a skyrocketing growth in juvenile crime and number of youths involved in acts of violence associated by many Dutch law-enforcement officers with the abuse of “soft” drugs.

And…

Britain’s Customs and Excise Department figures that 80 percent of the heroin seized in the United Kingdom either passed through or was temporarily warehoused in Holland. The Paris police estimate that 80 percent of the heroin consumed in the French capital comes from Holland. The forthcoming 1998 figures for France’s Central Office for the Repression of the Illegal Traffic in Drugs will, one of the organizations senior officers says, show “an explosion” of drugs coming into France from the Netherlands.

British customs states that virtually all the pills seized in the United Kingdom last year were manufactured in Holland or Belgium. Ninety-eight percent of the amphetamines seized in France in 1997 came from Holland, as did 73.6 percent of the ecstasy tablets. During an official briefing last summer, a senior Dutch police officer admitted to former General Barry McCaffrey, the U.S. drug-policy czar, that “Holland is to synthetic drugs what Colombia is to cocaine.”

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Make alcohol illegal. It’s a drug.

iceman1960 on July 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

chill out broheims…it’s just a little weed

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Choom Gang OBOZO – definitive proof that excessive pot use (mixed with an occasional blow) severely diminishes mental agility and mental ability and causes long-tern brain damage.

…and yet, the leftist pot-heads that managed to turn Arizona and many other states into pot dispensary are working hard to further reduce the criteria to get their “medical” pot. Oh, Oh – I’ve got a hangnail – I need some “medical” pot and for $10 bucks (of my BIG GOVERNMENT welfare payments) I’ll get a quack to write me a prescription for it. (Gee, can I use my Food Stamp card to “pay” for my “medical” pot?)

If (GOD-forbid) OBOZO manages to steal another election in Nov, when he’ll have more “flexibility”, look for him to allow food stamp recipients to buy pot (“medical” pot ONLY) with their ebt cards…

Actually, this is all part of the grand plan of the lunatic-left. First create an idle society by eliminating jobs and having those that want to work be forced to join the slugs, slackers, deadbeats, liars, freeloaders, losers, taxpayer-leeches, cheats, and potheads that make-up the “core” of the d-cRAT socialist party. Then put all of them into a state of permanent stupor with endless amounts of “medical” pot, so they won’t worry about the $16 TRILLION national debt that is increasing every day, and the economic, the loss of freedoms formerly guaranteed by the US Constitution and the complete economic, fiscal and societal collapse of America. Just light up a doobie and join OBOZO’s Choom Gang!

Nobody can say that the future of American defined by the lunatic left isn’t well defined.

TeaPartyNation on July 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than pot.

iceman1960 on July 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Alcohol is much more dangerous than most illegal drugs.

Methamphetamine and similar stimulants may be exceptions, but even with them the loss of self control and judgement when under heavy influence may not as great as is typical with alcohol.

Alcohol is at least as physically addicting and physically destructive as the most powerful illegal drugs.

farsighted on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

You are an complete absolute imbecile, 1)they have made it illegal for any None Dutch Citizen to purchase anything at those shoppes 2) they have quit issuing licenses for those shoppes 3) they are closing those shoppes. That program was a complete and total failure and the Dutch have admitted so.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:24 PM

So, they still sell legal cannabis in Holland. So, they didn’t decide legal cannabis was a failure.

Which, once again, proves you are an ignorant liar.

Thanks for proving that to the board.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

What part of “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” do you not understand?

Oh yeah, you don’t understand any of it, because you’ve never ead the Constitution.

Fascists rarely do… ask your boy Barack about that one. I’m sure you are quite comfortable with him. He believes in summary executions also.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Yea, that’s what I thought, nothing but a god damned Marxist pretending to be a Libertarian. FOAD ya Marxist bastard.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

TeaPartyNation on July 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM

people like you co opted the Tea Party and turned it into a joke

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

How surprising to see so many here (not really) supporting big government at its worst. The drug war has wasted billions to a negative effect. State by state MJ is slowly being recognized for its medical benefits, to the annoyance of the feds. Let the states keep doing their thing. Soon the feds will be forced to behave.

mythicknight on July 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

It has failed because it was never taken seriously to begin with.

Ukiah on July 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

+10

But You prob wont agree but focusing on weed has been and always will be stupid.
Now..we have new and better designer drugs. Cooking meth in a neighborhood near you. Its not even totally about foreign goodies anymore. Pain pills and Meth are the new big thang.
Get off the pot smokers, I say. Not a BFD, everyone makes it out to be. Our resources are wasted on that.
As a person from a family of alcs, I will take a weed smoker any day.
My 2 cents.

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

people like you co opted the Tea Party and turned it into a joke

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Fancy meeting you here..lol

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

As a person from a family of alcs, I will take a weed smoker any day.
My 2 cents.

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I’ll buy that for a dollar ;) told you I couldn’t stay off these threads

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I do not know where to start with this one. Legalize drugs? Okay Heroin on demand? For Free? How about to an 18 year old?…a twelve year old? Marijuana is apparently one of the less dangerous and you should see what chronic use (3-5 times per week does to kids brains during the developmental brain stage. Do we want a nation of Spicolli’s (sp). It destroys your short term memory and makes you unemployabe. Do not worry, I am sure there will be Social Security Disability Insurance for Pot Heads and Burnouts.

I say we should just poll parents and tax payers on this issue as they will be the one’s most affected. Sometimes things are hard to do (fighting drug abuse/addiction and trafficking) This does not mean you give up.

Natebo on July 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Cut down on BIG Gov’t – Legalize all drugs and vice crimes. Costs to maintain such laws is beyond ridiculous. If it’s not the Communists trying to grow Gov’t, it’s the Christians…scheeesh!

Karmi on July 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM

I’ll buy that for a dollar ;) told you I couldn’t stay off these threads

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:34 PM

LOL- for some reason..me either.
I dont even smoke the hog leg.
But I have. No biggie. My Rx drugs are worse..or the times I drank a weeee bit to much. ;)
Miss you Bro.

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Yea, that’s what I thought, nothing but a god damned Marxist pretending to be a Libertarian. FOAD ya Marxist bastard.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I’d like to say I expected better from ya. I’d like to say it, but I can’t, because I really didn’t. I expected you to act like a punk, and you didn’t disappoint.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Would you want your twelve year old to drink?

iceman1960 on July 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Miss you Bro.

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM

miss ya too! I’ll write you tonight, I’m gonna get good and baked first

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 7:40 PM

CTD on July 16, 2012 at 7:14 PM

A cheap and predictable response. If we extrapolate your favored hypothesis to other violent crime, you would be positing that if we legalized murder there wouldn’t be any more murders, either.

THERE IS A REASON THAT DRUG USE IS ILLEGAL. It harms innocent bystanders and society at large. IT creates more, and increasingly violent, crime, and it does so exponentially. Every drug trafficker or abuser has a family. Every one of their victims, whether its murder or robber just to get money for drugs, has a family. Those families are part of a community and that community in turn is part of society. The logical conclusion, if we still observe that hypothesis of yours, is that to prevent them harming people that they are robbing for drug money, we should just PROVIDE the drugs.. free of charge to them at tax payer expense.

That is called ENABLING. Its also promoting continued dependence.

Personally I don’t care what you do… as long as it doesn’t cause problems for the rest of society. The problem with drug use is that it DOES cause problems for the rest of society.

The fact is that there will always be people who choose to pursue self destructive behavior and aren’t aware enough to realize that their pleasure, or making a living the ‘easy way’, isn’t worth the life or pain of others.

We can’t save most of them. All we can do is try to prevent them from harming others as they self destruct.

Do what you want. As for me, if it ever comes to a referendum, I will vote to preserve the rights of the innocent, the law abiding and productive people… not ENABLE those bent on self destruction.

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Marijuana is apparently one of the less dangerous and you should see what chronic use (3-5 times per week does to kids brains during the developmental brain stage. Do we want a nation of Spicolli’s (sp). It destroys your short term memory and makes you unemployabe. Do not worry, I am sure there will be Social Security Disability Insurance for Pot Heads and Burnouts.

I say we should just poll parents and tax payers on this issue as they will be the one’s most affected. Sometimes things are hard to do (fighting drug abuse/addiction and trafficking) This does not mean you give up.

Natebo on July 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM

See fetal alcohol syndrome in a baby? I have…it will rip your guts out. Legal though and celebrated to drink.
Btw..I am not for legalizing narcotics..weed though is not the same.
Alcohol is much worse-from my personal experience.
You ever smoke any?
I find it amusing how people discuss things that they have never even tried. Just listening to the propaganda. WEED-omg! so bad!
Dude..rather sit with someone that smoked a little then downed a half pint of Jack. And thats a fact. ;)

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

And yet, Holland (And Portugal, where drugs are actually quasi-legal) has lower addiction rates than the US, and that is across the board

The Dutch per capita rates of drug use are lower than US rates in every category

Imagine that.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Stellar post!

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:44 PM

I say we should just poll parents and tax payers on this issue

Natebo on July 16, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Hmmmm… only concerned about the opinion of one segment of the population. How wonderfully authoritarian of you..

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:44 PM

SoCons will fight the drug war because Jesus told them to – personally. Pretty much sums it up. I, of course, do not imbibe. No real desire. Don’t drink that much either. I prefer coffee.

antisense on July 16, 2012 at 7:45 PM

I see a lot of posts about not wanting your youngster to get high on weed. Would it be easier for your child to get high if it was regulated like alcohol? Sure they could have someone get it for them just like they could with alcohol. But how many people that could purchase pot legally would take the chance of getting busted just to buy it for someone under age? I can go buy a 12 pack of beer legally. Why would I buy it for some kids? No.

iceman1960 on July 16, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Which, once again, proves you are an ignorant liar.

Thanks for proving that to the board.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Damn son, you sure are uptight. Smoke a bowl or something.
You might not agree with Walker but he is neither ignorant or a liar.

bazil9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Yea, that’s what I thought, nothing but a god damned Marxist pretending to be a Libertarian. FOAD ya Marxist bastard.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I’d like to say I expected better from ya. I’d like to say it, but I can’t, because I really didn’t. I expected you to act like a punk, and you didn’t disappoint.

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM

What part of FOAD you Marxist bastard did you not understand? Do you honestly think for one second that I give a $hit about your condescending pretentious prevaricating allusions to moral or ethical or even intellectual superiority? Who the Phuck do you think you are. Save your pathetic little theatrical asides and playing for the gallery for someone stupid like yourself.

You want to know what a punk acts like, go look in the mirror you worthless Ronulan loser. Go crawl off into a hole with
Herr Doktor somewhere and die.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Yea, that’s what I thought, nothing but a god damned Marxist pretending to be a Libertarian. FOAD ya Marxist bastard.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

You’re like a parody of a parody.

Go RBNY on July 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

SoCons will fight the drug war because Jesus told them to – personally. Pretty much sums it up.

antisense on July 16, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Sinjce I don’t believe in God, I can say you really don’t know what you are talking about.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 7:48 PM

There are few public policy areas where Democrats are right, but the legalization of marijuana is one of them.

Kind of sad how common the useful idiot argument for drugs has become here at HA… Will we next see blog posts for amnesty? Cuz half-azzed, undermined, and capricious enforcement has like, been failing and stuff… WE SHOULD ALL JUST GIVE UP!

Once users are all prohibited from receiving medical care (and driving up my insurance premiums), prohibited from receiving any form of public assistance, and are required to lock themselves away like a freaking werewolf, lest they be met by a hail of silver bullets ON SIGHT, then and only then will I entertain legalizing a freedom to use mind altering and addictive substances which rob people of the freedom to disuse them.

CapnObvious on July 16, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Smoking weed in and of itself shouldn’t be grounds for going to jail and possibly losing your employment.

Did we not learn anything from the prohibition of Alcohol?

mazer9 on July 16, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Who the Phuck do you think you are.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

I’d say your Daddy, but I stay away from those type of women…

JohnGalt23 on July 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Yea, that’s what I thought, nothing but a god damned Marxist pretending to be a Libertarian. FOAD ya Marxist bastard.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

You’re like a parody of a parody.

Go RBNY on July 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Funny, here I was thinking that you’re just like an imbecile studying to be a moron and failing miserably.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM

The problem is not Libertarians… the problem is Libertines who have mistaken themselves for Libertarians. Too much pot makes it hard for them to understand the difference.

CapnObvious on July 16, 2012 at 7:52 PM

You want to know what a punk acts like, go look in the mirror you worthless Ronulan loser. Go crawl off into a hole with
Herr Doktor somewhere and die.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

You’re very angry and agitated. You could use a joint right about now.

Go RBNY on July 16, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Blacks make up less than 15% of our New Jersey’s population but make up more than 60% of our prison population….

Red herring. Legalize marijuana, legalize whatever drug you like, you won’t change the fact that blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than others, except perhaps illegal alien hispanics.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2012 at 7:53 PM

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