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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Anyway, Slade73, back to my question: do you think the fact that you were born after 1977 affects your view of reality in a different way than if you had been born in 1945?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Coward. Which is the bigger issue of Waco? Guns or the shooting and burning to death of dozens of men, women, and children? Let’s hear you apply your same affinity for mass murder by government guns to Waco, by having you confirm that it was the gun laws that were the real problem in that massacre.

MadisonConservative on July 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

I’d say so, I guess. It was a different country then, but it’s not like kids today aren’t bombarded with gov propaganda on the level of Reefer Madness.

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Anyway, Slade73, back to my question: do you think the fact that you were born after 1977 affects your view of reality in a different way than if you had been born in 1945?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

bummer Cleombrotus! On a good note I just got a schadenfreude boner

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Clearly not one of the “Greatest Generation”

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM

I’d say so, I guess. It was a different country then, but it’s not like kids today aren’t bombarded with gov propaganda on the level of Reefer Madness.

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM

OK, so how do you determine whether what you believe has been inculcated into your consciousness without your permission or knowledge or whether or not it is actually true?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:19 PM

experience my good fellow! experience

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

It did change with prohibition. There were fewer deaths and less misery from alcohol related issues. Society as a whole decided that the increased cost that alcohol incurred was worth paying and legalized it again.

…but society as a whole can’t come to that conclusion on other narcotics?

It can and probably will unfortunately.

Or are you strictly speaking from a moral standpoint, rather than a constitutional one?

I don’t think the constitution or morality had anything to do with it. People wanted to drink and the politicians made it happen.

That is precisely what is going to happen and the other harder drugs will rapidly follow. The cost will be enormous and the criminal gangs will take advantage of it as will local governments desperate for additional revenue and a form of ‘bread and circuses’ for the mob. Needy dependent addicts are a Democrats dream voter. They will just have to find a way to get them to the polls.

For a logical standpoint from your end, one would need to be in favor of outlawing alcohol again, in order to reverse the trend. Are you?

Society doesn’t operate logically. We can have alcohol as a legal product and have drugs illegal. The costs are different with each narcotic in question but the idea that we must legalize all or none is silly. Society can choose to tolerate one and not the other. Our society is getting weaker year by year and there is only so much in the way of costs that it can bear before those costs start showing up like they do in northern Mexico with its slow motion descent into anarchy.

Exactly. In other words the potential cost exceeds any potential benefit. That is all we are talking about. I see little benefit to legalizing drugs and a significant cost to doing so.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 10:53 PM

What benefits have there been to legalizing alcohol? That it is no longer a fertile criminal enterprise? That law enforcement no longer had to spend money on fighting it?

MadisonConservative on July 16, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Not a great deal of benefit IMO, but society is simply unwilling to accept banning it, so they don’t. Society as a whole accepts the costs that alcohol consumption brings. Tens of thousands die from alcohol every year and thats acceptable, yet losing 2,000 dead a year in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be tolerated. Logic need not apply.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM

experience my good fellow! experience

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Well, allow me to ask this then: are you presently “experiencing” any mind altering substances?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

bummer Cleombrotus! On a good note I just got a schadenfreude boner

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Clearly not one of the “Greatest Generation”

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM

lolz

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 10:48 PM

I’ve done more drugs than you. I can tell. I’ve done everything and yo mama

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Dude, I’m a 51 year old retired Rock Star. I was playing arena’s and stadiums when you were in diapers. If you want to make a claim that stupid, then knock yourself out. I lost count of the friends and acquaintances who have died of drug overdoses somewhere around the 30th.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM

No, morality before law. You should do what is moral and often that has little to do with what is legal. If they legalize sex with children which they will probably get around to doing, the legality of such an act does not make it moral.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM

So now smoking a joint is equal to kiddy rape? Please tell me you’re not attempting to strike moral equivalence. That’s just lousy.

MadisonConservative on July 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

I am looking at my post and not seeing a thing about smoking or marijuana. It is simply a point about following morality rather than law.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Well, allow me to ask this then: are you presently “experiencing” any mind altering substances?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

not right now Cleombrotus…you really wouldn’t like me on drugs

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:27 PM

That begs the question: Do you believe that the officer is a criminal for refusing to carry out an unconstitutional order?

I believe that the state decides what is legal and what is not legal. In Hitler’s Germany killing Jews was not a crime and smuggling one out to safety was a criminal act. Morality was something else.

Let me follow that up by asking if you believe that our rights are given to us by God or by men?

iwasbornwithit on July 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

That’s a hard one because I don’t believe in God, but I recognize that God given rights cannot be taken away. Rights granted by men can be alienated by men, and thus I cheerfully embrace hypocrisy and go with God given rights.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM

don’t flatter yourself homey, truly. I could school you, and then leave you under the table.

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

ahahhaha, YOU DAMN KIDS and your WHACKY WEED!! You must be eligible to collect social security to have an informed opinion on this topic hurble durble durrr!!!

Jeddite on July 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM

blurfff durffff back in my day, the federal government stomped all over our civil rights. no shoes. both ways. up hill. in the snow. and gollydarnit – WE LIKED IT!!!

Jeddite on July 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM

not right now Cleombrotus…you really wouldn’t like me on drugs

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:27 PM

No, I wouldn’t, I’m sure. I’m still trying to decide whether or not I like you now. So there’s that.

But back to the dialog.

OK, so how do you determine whether what you believe has been inculcated into your consciousness without your permission or knowledge or whether or not it is actually true?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:19 PM

experience my good fellow! experience

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

The people in 1945 were experiencing things too. Why do you think they had a different view of reality than you?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM

MadCon, you’re a disapointment.

smoothsailing on July 16, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Egypt allowed unrestricted trade of cocaine and heroin in the 1920s. An epidemic of addiction resulted. This started in 1916, cocaine first being sold non-medically and shortly afterwards heroin. The price of the new narcotic was kept low to start with, until the vice had spread and caught large numbers of victims in its grip. There were even instances when contractors were paying their labourers with heroin.[37]

The vice spread to every class of Egyptian society and a new kind of slum was formed as the result of heroin addiction. The hygienic conditions among the addicts were often beyond description and all sorts of sicknesses followed in the wake of heroin. Thus a great epidemic of malignant malaria started among the addicts in 1928, spread by the hypodermic syringe, which was injected into one person to the other without being disinfected after the use.[38]

The total number of addicts in Egypt at the end of the 1920′s has been estimated to half a million. Taking into consideration that the total population of Egypt at that time was about 14 million, the extent of the problem may be realized. Before the first World War, there had been no drastic narcotic regulations in Egypt. The maximum penalty was 7 days’ imprisonment or a fine of LE 1.[39] There had been no need for stronger measures.

When it became evident that the heroin habit had become a serious problem, a new law was enacted which became effective in 1925. This new law made the trafficking in and the possession of narcotics illegal, classifying the offence as a “délit”with a maximum penalty of 1 year’s imprisonment and LE 100 fine. During the first twelve months after the enactment of the new law, 5,600 prosecutions were made under it in Cairo alone. Within the year the maximum penalties were increased to 5 years’ imprisonment and LE 1,000 fine. The new law made the drug traffic much more difficult in Egypt, but wholesale smuggling of the heroin began and increased in intensity until 1929.

It is interesting to compare the number of seized heroin samples with the other narcotics in Egypt after the narcotic law in 1925. The number of seizures is a good indication of the traffic in narcotics. It seems from the table that the addiction to heroin in Egypt reached its peak in 1929 and from then on it dropped rapidly. This drop after 1929 was due to two causes. The 1925 Convention on Narcotic Drugs had just come into effect and international measures quickly cut down the supply from all sources that made any pretense of legality.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Jeddite on July 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM

I seriously just shat

that was a shart inducer

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Please tell me you’re not older than 20.

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:43 PM

As to the Dutch, who are still selling legal cannabis in legal coffee shops…

Hold on a minute, friend. Strictly speaking, the sale of cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands. It remains a prosecutable offence in Haarlem, just as it is in Harlem.

The key difference is that Dutch police (under guidance notes provided by the Dutch courts) are discouraged from arresting people for that offence. The clauses regulating cannabis are, to the best of my increasingly dilapidated legal knowledge, found in the old but updated Opium Law. The Netherlands retains these bans on sale, production, and [heavy] use because the country is signatory to a variety of regional and international laws regulating the same.

Anyway, one of the more amusing inconsistencies of recent Dutch narco-commodities legislation is the ban on tobacco smoke in public places technically extends to the coffee shops. The ostensible solution to this was separate smoking areas for those who wanted a little more Virginia and a little less Jimi in their afternoon aliment, but I am given to understand this measure was not widely observed.

Grunchy Cranola on July 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM

why you all up in my biznazz Cleombrotus?! You want my sixteen year old foot up your stalker @zz?

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Pop quiz: what union is the greatest beneficiary of the so-called war on drugs?

Kenosha Kid on July 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Not surprising.

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Efffh. It’s been fun, but I have to go dance around to Bob Marley and crave Hershey bars. That’s me, Weedy Weedpecker.

MadisonConservative on July 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Slade, we’re on the internet, remember?

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Not surprising.

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM

No it isn’t really, but they keep telling us these things could never happen despite the fact that they have happened several times throughout history.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Coward. Which is the bigger issue of Waco? Guns or the shooting and burning to death of dozens of men, women, and children? Let’s hear you apply your same affinity for mass murder by government guns to Waco, by having you confirm that it was the gun laws that were the real problem in that massacre.

MadisonConservative on July 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Coward?? My my aren’t you the internet ninja. You have already proven that you actually think you are so smart that know know what I think, why should I bother disabusing you of a fantasy you doubtlessly have no intention of releasing anyway.

No let us clear something up right here and now. You obviously have neither an inclination nor any desire to actually know what I think. You have already concluded and concocted a fantasy that allows you to gloat in your supposed moral authority otherwise you wouldn’t be presuming to tell me what I believe was the situation in Waco and Ruby Ridge.

Had the United States Government not been violating the 2nd Amendment rights of those at Waco and of the Weavers at Ruby Ridge then there would be no questions asked about the government burning 80 men women and children alive at Waco and Randy weavers son and wife would still be alive.

I’m guessing perhaps you have a problem grasping the nature of the concept of causality. Causality is that thing that sets chains of events into motion. You know, basic physics stuff, affect never precedes cause, it’s always a liner progression, first their is cause and then affect.

The government can under no circumstances be forgiven or given a pass for what happened at either Waco or Ruby Ridge.

The United States Constitution, 2nd Amendment, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

That is the supreme law of the land. The government has unconstitutionally abused the 2nd amendment. No matter how tragic (and they were indeed tragic) the death’s of those at Waco or Ruby Ridge were, their was another even worse tragedy that preceded them.

In both cases the tragedy that preceded the deaths was the violation of the United States Constitution by individuals within the United States Government.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM

hahahahaha

so you don’t? you’re not into anything risque are you Cleo?

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM

An idealized view of human nature, I think.

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Another example of certain people’s problems becoming other people’s problems. I’m tired of worrying about mine and my family’s safety and our possessions because some idiots want their drugs. Just give them the stuff and let nature take its course. Just sick of it.

Another disgusting abuse is alcoholism.

I get so sick of hearing so many grown men talking about beer all the time…beer beer beer beer beer beer and beer.

I drink beer once in a great while, but I don’t view it as some kind of elixir of the Gods.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM

don’t flatter yourself homey, truly. I could school you, and then leave you under the table.

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

I’m not your homey fool, and you couldn’t school your way out of an empty skittle bag.

SWalker on July 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Slade73 on July 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Slade, just think about the questions a bit when you get a chance. ok?

Time for me to get to bed. I’m not a kid anymore.

Too many experiences.

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM

hahahaha

I’m not your homey fool

hahahahaha, you crack me up old man

Slade73 on July 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Wouldn’t the state’s enactment or enforcement of an unconstitutional law be illegal in and of itself? What is more immoral–Disobeying an unconstitutional law or order or carrying that order out because one is afraid of being imprisoned by a criminal government? Do you admire the officer who disobeyed the unconstitutional order or do you think that it is right for him/her to be punished for disobeying an unlawful order?

iwasbornwithit on July 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

If its an insurrection it is by definition illegal.

sharrukin on July 16, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Just because an insurrection is illegal, doesn’t mean that an illegal act is necessarily insurrection.

All bassets are dogs. Not all dogs are bassets (sad but true).

JohnGalt23 on July 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Wouldn’t the state’s enactment or enforcement of an unconstitutional law be illegal in and of itself?

I honestly don’t know. The state in the form of the Supreme Court determines what is constitutional and what is not. Does that make something that is unconstitutional suddenly constitutional? Does anyone have the right to decide what is and what is not constitutional and if they care to follow any particular law?

What is more immoral–Disobeying an unconstitutional law or order or carrying that order out because one is afraid of being imprisoned by a criminal government?

Obviously following the constitution and your conscience is the moral path.

Do you admire the officer who disobeyed the unconstitutional order or do you think that it is right for him/her to be punished for disobeying an unlawful order?

iwasbornwithit on July 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

I would admire him for what he chose to do.

That said we have a problem with individuals deciding what laws to obey and not obey and I am not sure how to get around that. We can’t all be our own mini-courts and yet I am not at all comfortable with completely ceding that power to the Supremes.

sharrukin on July 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Pop quiz: what union is the greatest beneficiary of the so-called war on drugs?

Kenosha Kid on July 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

you should answer that, I’m lazy

Slade73 on July 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM

He sounds just like Republican Governor Gary Johnson. Who would have thunk it? /s

Gary Johnson: High Time to End War on Drugs
Aug 5, 2011

True leaders are out in front of the rest. The others are mere followers by definition. Now it is clear to see where the actual Conservative leadership in the race for POTUS can be found.

DannoJyd on July 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM

sharrukin on July 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

You have done a good job identifying the crux of the problem. We all do act as “mini-courts” to some extent. We cheer governors that defy the implementation of Obamacare in their states because we know that the law is unconstitutional notwithstanding the fact that the SC said that it is constitutional. I suppose we all have our tipping point to where we can no longer tolerate the blatant exercise of unconstitutional authority. For some, that would be a complete infringement of gun ownership. Others might be okay with that but could not handle having their right to speak freely or be searched without due process. For others, it would be the government telling them what they can smoke even though there is nothing in Congress’ enumerated powers that would allow the Feds to restrict this type of activity.

iwasbornwithit on July 17, 2012 at 12:38 AM

I stay away from drug threads, I have an addictive personality.

Bmore on July 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM

You have done a good job identifying the crux of the problem. We all do act as “mini-courts” to some extent. We cheer governors that defy the implementation of Obamacare in their states because we know that the law is unconstitutional notwithstanding the fact that the SC said that it is constitutional. I suppose we all have our tipping point to where we can no longer tolerate the blatant exercise of unconstitutional authority.

Well they weren’t fools and what they wrote still resonates today…

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

sharrukin on July 17, 2012 at 12:45 AM

The war on drugs Nixon had the right handle on, he spent as much on rehabilitation as law enforcement and he was making progress, when he resigned Ford went from stick and carrot to stick only and the war on Americans hardened and the counter culture bloomed.

Now the culture of drug use, the unbelievably common practice of putting something in your body that’s foreign, of unknown origin, almost certainly cut with the most disgusting and outright dangerous stuff, is now so thoroughly integrated in American society that something more than well managed programs can fix, a real reinstatement of personal morals has to come along with the massive effort necessary to liberate so many of us from drug tyranny.

Speakup on July 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM

thatsafactjack on July 16, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Sorry, but it’s attitudes like that that lead to cops kicking in doors on the wrong houses and pointing deadly weapons at the occupants.

It also leads to,in at least one case, of said cops saying (first thing out of his mouth)…Not, “we’re gonna get some dangerous drugs off the streets’, but…”Hey, we’re gonna get a nice stereo.”

That’s the mind set of a thief. NOT a cop.
Thank you asset forfeiture.

Variations of the above scenario play out thousands of times a year.

And innocent people sometimes die.

You OK with that?

I’ll grant your point that some drugs are a detriment to society. But the War on Drugs poses a greater threat to liberty.

soundingboard on July 17, 2012 at 1:20 AM

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

1972 ” the shaffer report”!!

svs22422 on July 17, 2012 at 1:28 AM

He sounds just like Republican Governor Gary Johnson. Who would have thunk it? /s

Blind Squirrel…Nut.

Doesn’t make either one particularity intelligent, just hitting a note on a special issue.

Gary Johnson: High Time to End War on Drugs
Aug 5, 2011

True leaders are out in front of the rest. The others are mere followers by definition. Now it is clear to see where the actual Conservative leadership in the race for POTUS can be found.

DannoJyd on July 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Oh please….Gary Johnson is not impressive, nor the second coming of Reagan.

Case in point: Cory Booker has greater name recongizition than Johnson….then again, so does this little guy.

BlaxPac on July 17, 2012 at 3:12 AM

Oh please….Gary Johnson is not impressive, nor the second coming of Reagan.

BlaxPac on July 17, 2012 at 3:12 AM

With Romney repeatedly pissing off the republican base [TEA Party members and Ron Paul supporters just in the last 5 days], Two Term Republican Governor Gary Johnson could be the next Reagan, especially since he will be on the ballot, unlike Cory.

Besides, some Americans are looking for a real Conservative to vote for this year.

DannoJyd on July 17, 2012 at 5:28 AM

Dustin Siggins: Another doper who wants his personal drug use normalized and decriminalized. That he dresses it up in flowery language of cost-benefit and rehabilitation changes nothing. Not buying it.

swinia sutki on July 17, 2012 at 6:43 AM

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.”

I love this line of reasoning. By any definition of the word the “war on drugs” has been a spectacular success. Use of illegal drugs has been kept to a minimum. In comparison to legal drugs, like tobacco, alcohol, etc., illegal drug use is minor. Were these drugs legal use would increase manifold. Legalization would do little to help with arrests and violence either. People involved in trafficking illegal drugs are in it for the high profits and relatively little work involved. Legalize pot and they will find and push another drug. They aren’t going to simply go legit, sell pot legally and settle for a 40K a year job at 40 hours a week.

The only real criticism of the “War on drugs”, is it’s cost. But compare that to his 6 points and you realize it’s still a bargain compared to what the support costs would be for all the new addicts you will get with legalization.

Rocks on July 17, 2012 at 7:02 AM

Use of illegal drugs has been kept to a minimum.

Rocks on July 17, 2012 at 7:02 AM

It suure has! I don’t know anyone who smoked pot! /s

DannoJyd on July 17, 2012 at 8:16 AM

True conservatives want marijuana legalized. If you have a different viewpoint, you simply want the government to enforce your moral and religious viewpoints. Phoney conservatives espouse “personal freedom” for everything they agree with, and encourage the government to use force to stop everything they disagree with.

ZippyZ on July 17, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Awful lot of rapes for there being laws against it. We should probably ditch those too.

Don’t do, sell or buy drugs and you won’t get arrested. It’s really that simple.

JohnBrown on July 17, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Phoney conservatives espouse “personal freedom” for everything they agree with, and encourage the government to use force to stop everything they disagree with.

ZippyZ on July 17, 2012 at 8:33 AM

That’s an overly broad statement. I disagree with rape. Should I not want anti-rape laws enforced? You may think drug use is a “victimless” crime. I just don’t agree.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Sorry, JohnBrown. I didn’t even see your post while I was stepping on it.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 9:08 AM

I love this line of reasoning. By any definition of the word the “war on drugs” has been a spectacular success. Use of illegal drugs has been kept to a minimum.

Rocks on July 17, 2012 at 7:02 AM

The use of illegal drugs is higher now than it was in 1970, when Nixon declared the War on Drugs, and much higher than when the Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act was passed in 1914. One would think that the “minimum” you refer to would be the lower rate of usage. By which standard, the WoD is a colossal failure, and you appear to either be spectacularly ignorant, or trying to deceive the readers of this board by deliberately giving them incorrect information.

So, are you ignorant, or a liar?

JohnGalt23 on July 17, 2012 at 9:50 AM

If you think these people will simple go ask for jobs at the Quickie Mart because we legalize pot, you’re kidding yourself.

hawkdriver on July 16, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I stopped reading posts right here, hawkdriver is spot on. Further, us.gov does not get any smaller or less intrusive with the WOD ended. The mass just shifts elsewhere. Expanded IRS, new pot quality compliance under the FDA, homegrown licensing & inspection under the USDA; regulations a-go-go, the hydra just gets more entagled and obese. I have no answers but would surely listen to a 3rd way should one be proposed. Neither of the main 2 themes in the 1st 2 pages hold much appeal. I suspect the solution lies somewhere within the States.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

The truth of the matter is, there is no conservatism without social conservatism, just as there is no progressivism without social progressivism.

Were I a libertarian, I would be in favor of abolishing all moral laws involving consensual adult behavior on the grounds of them being none of my business. Being a conservative, however, I believe that ‘what you tolerate, you promote’.

While I don’t mind a slow (very slow) evolution of what constitutes ‘moral behavior’, I refuse to follow the ‘French Revolution’ pattern libertarians seem so eager to emulate.

Knott Buyinit on July 17, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Everybody is addicted to air. It is only a problem when your air supply is constricted.

Pot if grown in hot houses might cost $20 an lb. Say six lbs a year for the heaviest possible smoker. $120 a year. About 30 cents a day. This is a problem? Say opiates would cost 10X as much. About $3 a day. This is a problem?

Try running the numbers before you imagine disaster.

Everybody is addicted to air. It is only a problem when your air supply is constricted.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Being a conservative, however, I believe that ‘what you tolerate, you promote’.

Good thing you do not tolerate drug cartels. You know. The cartels prohibition promotes.

But I get it. Except for one thing. Why do you tolerate alcohol? If you stopped tolerating it you could be fighting alcohol cartels too.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Conservatives promoting the NWO.

http://www.unodc.org/

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM

That’s an overly broad statement. I disagree with rape. Should I not want anti-rape laws enforced? You may think drug use is a “victimless” crime. I just don’t agree.

It is not a victimless crime. The government uses it to victimize you.

SWAT Teams. They are not just for dopers anymore.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM

By the same logic, should we end the “War On Poverty” programs too?

krome on July 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM

But I get it. Except for one thing. Why do you tolerate alcohol? If you stopped tolerating it you could be fighting alcohol cartels too.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Was there an earlier post where he mentioned that or are you strawmanning?

/just curious

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM

BTW can any “conservative” tell me the last time drugs jumped off the table and attacked some one? When was the last time a bag of pot rapped a girl or assaulted some one. Evidently conservatives are too stupid to understand the difference between vice and crime.

When you make vice a crime, crime becomes merely another vice.

But Drug Prohibition is a good precedent. Next thing you know they will be banning large cokes. For your own good.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Was there an earlier post where he mentioned that or are you strawmanning?

/just curious

I’m just late to the fun.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Phoney conservatives espouse “personal freedom” for everything they agree with, and encourage the government to use force to stop everything they disagree with.

ZippyZ on July 17, 2012 at 8:33 AM

that about sums it up. a good portion of coservatives are authortarian as liberals. they crave a police state,and beleive their people will never be affected. to all you fake conservatives, try reading some dissents from scalia and thomas. hell rush couldnt suck up to scalia enough after the health care vote, but ol rushbo will never utter a word about scalia’s dissent against random drug testing.

svs22422 on July 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I love conservatives who hate the nanny state except when they love it.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

What bothers me is when people who rightly believe that the war on drugs is futile, somehow think the war on guns is going to turn out any better.

Sharke on July 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Don’t do, sell or buy drugs and you won’t get arrested. It’s really that simple.

JohnBrown on July 17, 2012 at 8:34 AM
childish!!!!

svs22422 on July 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM

AS a doc I have seen my share of “addicts”. I find, and economist agree with stats, that there is no such thing as an addict as you may think. If all drugs were gone, then the 10% of people who are “addicted” would begin eating dirt. I have literally seen that happen, as well as ice, frost, lead, or anything they can get. So whild we are unseccessfully trying to treat people with a prevention program that does not in any way work, the rest of us suffer from lack of due care. Consider what you have to do if you pull your back. You have to see a doctor (big money), beg for a prescription, take it to the druggist and hope they don’t think you are a criminal and the whole process can take weeks. Then the cops might decide to break into your home in the middle of the night.
Other countries allow their citizens to buy what they desire without seeing a doctor and have no problems. In fact, they have less than we do. So are we really the home of the free? or the fearful.

davidcaskey on July 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM

that about sums it up. a good portion of coservatives are authortarian as liberals. they crave a police state,and beleive their people will never be affected.

svs22422 on July 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Then they aren’t conservatives, they are statists.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

What people generally focus on is the Devil’s exploitation of desire. But that is one of his least significant tools. If you want people to be evil to the bone exploit their fears.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

What numbers? You just made all those up.

If what you claim would be true, why is legally grown pot sold to legal recipients, still 3-4 hundred dollars an oz?

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

We have two authoritarian parties in America, Democrats and Christian Democrats (Republicans). That explains most of what you see in politics today.

Libertarians used to be a force in American politics from 1776 (earlier actually) until about 1900. Around that time (and even more later) the Progressives split into two Parties giving us what we have today. Democrats and Christian Democrats (Republicans).

The so called “smaller government” mantra of the Republicans is a vestige of an earlier era. Authoritarians have no use for smaller government and it shows.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

So are we really the home of the free?
davidcaskey on July 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM

not by a long shot!!

svs22422 on July 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

What numbers? You just made all those up.

If what you claim would be true, why is legally grown pot sold to legal recipients, still 3-4 hundred dollars an oz?

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

The cost is due to the police protection required. I was thinking hot house tomatoes times ten. And for weed that is certainly true. Weed is easier to grow than tomatoes. If anything I exaggerated. Weed probably comes in at 3 cents a day.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

If what you claim would be true, why is legally grown pot sold to legal recipients, still 3-4 hundred dollars an oz?

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Risk-averse buyers.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

The truth of the matter is, there is no conservatism without social conservatism, just as there is no progressivism without social progressivism.

Were I a libertarian, I would be in favor of abolishing all moral laws involving consensual adult behavior on the grounds of them being none of my business. Being a conservative, however, I believe that ‘what you tolerate, you promote’.

While I don’t mind a slow (very slow) evolution of what constitutes ‘moral behavior’, I refuse to follow the ‘French Revolution’ pattern libertarians seem so eager to emulate.

Knott Buyinit on July 17, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Well, you can still discourage certain types of behavior without having to use the government to ban it outright. Divorce ruins families, yet we don’t have laws banning divorce. We can permit unconventional sex acts yet still have laws against promoting those acts or performing those acts in public. We can allow marijuana usage and prohibit driving while under the influence (and run those PSAs promoting “designated drivers” while we’re at it, like we already do).

I’m a firm believer in “there’s a time and a place for everything”, ALONG with “do what you want as long as no one’s life, liberty or property is harmed”. We have nudist colonies for those who want to be butt naked in the great outdoors, maybe if drug use was permitted only in tightly controlled environments, we could satisfy everyone’s concerns.

TMOverbeck on July 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM

When you make vice a crime, crime becomes merely another vice.

I knew I wasn’t the only fan of The Sphinx and Mystery Men here.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

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

This.

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

When you make vice a crime, crime becomes merely another vice.

I knew I wasn’t the only fan of The Sphinx and Mystery Men here.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I thought I had made that up myself. Google it. I have never heard of “The Sphinx and Mystery Men”.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

maybe if drug use was permitted only in tightly controlled environments, we could satisfy everyone’s concerns.

TMOverbeck on July 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Legalize it only within large cities with adequate public transportation. Say Boston, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and see how it goes?

/heh!

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Risk-averse buyers.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

What do you mean?

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Then they aren’t conservatives, they are statists.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

yep,and they dont even realize it!!

svs22422 on July 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM

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

This.

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

But all the drugs people are complaining about were legal before 1914. Pot didn’t become illegal until 1937. How did the nation survive. Look at opiate use in New England in the early 1800s. It was rampant. Why did it suddenly become a problem in 1914?

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

It’s failed because it has not been implemented and supported by the courts…simple as that.

It’s like saying the war on immigration has failed so let’s just open the border.

right2bright on July 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Mimzey,
Go to the TEACHING COMPANY, look in the economics section, there are a series of lecture on strange economics. The science is out there that addiction is a figament of the governments mind and that doctors that support the concept make money off it.

As to the price of grass, the market dictates that when all factors are considered.

Those that support our system of illegal drugs do not have the numbers, or seen the results. Go to LEAP, these are cops that want repeal of the stupid laws.

davidcaskey on July 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I thought I had made that up myself. Google it. I have never heard of “The Sphinx and Mystery Men”.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

You’d be better served by googling The Sphinx and Mystery Men.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Opiate use in New England Early 1800s.

http://revolution.h-net.msu.edu/threads/crevecoeur.html

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM

What numbers? You just made all those up.

If what you claim would be true, why is legally grown pot sold to legal recipients, still 3-4 hundred dollars an oz?

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM

98.3% of all statistics on blogs are made up, on the spot to support someones claims.

right2bright on July 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

What do you mean?

Mimzey on July 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Some would rather pay more to avoid illegality or danger.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

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

Well, of course we shouldn’t do a blanket legalization… case-by-case basis is the best way to go.

Heroin, cocaine, various pills, they have lethal potential and should be tightly controlled or outlawed. But I feel marijuana got a bum rap, especially since you never hear of any deaths purely from pot overdose. Not to mention that pure politics had a major role in outlawing pot in the first place.

TMOverbeck on July 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I made up my numbers based on the cost of hot house tomatoes times 10.

I wanted to err on the high side.

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Having read through these comments, and having wiki’d the cases of Egypt, Portugal, and Holland, I have come to some conclusions.

1) If we legalize drug use, we are in danger from increased addiction, say, about twice what it currently is.

2) If we criminalize drug use, we must deal with a DEA bureaucracy , no-knock raids, wrong-door police killings, and an empowered federal government.

Given these choices, I choose to legalize drug use. I fear my government far more than I far addicts. The second amendment allows me to defend myself from addicts. A tyrannical government has far greater societal costs and is almost impossible to get rid of.

That shouldn’t simply mean “let everyone use drugs freely”. Holland and Portugal don’t do that either. We should treat it as a state issue and a therapeutic issue.

Save the prisons for people who commit violent crime or are otherwise a danger to themselves or to others. I am not yet persuaded that all addicts to all drugs of all kind fall into this category, prima facie.

I personally have never done illegal drugs, even once (unless you count taking grandma’s antibiotics for a cold when she gave them to me — does that count for ‘abuse of prescription drugs’)? I will continue to be a non-user regardless of what legislation is passed, because I need the money for my book addiction. But I’m sick to death of police acting like storm troopers rather than public servants,and I’m sick of people SWATTING political opponents with phony 911 calls, and I’m sick to death of the fourth amendment being treated like a joke.

You want to talk ‘societal cost’? The Fed is more than $13T in debt! We could pay for the addiction habit of not just every person on the planet for that money, we could probably travel to alien planets and addict them as well!

So … I say make drug use a therapeutic issue and tighten hard down on crimes like driving under the influence or armed robbery or what not. Punish people who actually cause a problem. And if at all possible roll back our government. George Washington shot at Whiskey rebels for fighting a federal tax, I don’t think shooting citizens in their own homes for their own personal desires in the name of the federal government would have ever entered his mind. That’s why we broke away from England in the first place!

pendell2 on July 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

It’s failed because it has not been implemented and supported by the courts…simple as that.

It fails because the CIA funds its Black Budget with drugs. Look up – McCoy “The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia”

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

http://druglibrary.eu/library/books/McCoy/mccoy.pdf

It fails because the CIA funds its Black Budget with drugs. Look up – McCoy “The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia”

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It fails because the CIA funds its Black Budget with drugs. Look up – McCoy “The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia”

MSimon on July 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Thread ended, alternate Godwin’s law applied.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Thread ended, alternate Godwin’s law applied.

roy_batty on July 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Meh, I’m pretty sure the thread ended back on page one:

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

RINO in Name Only on July 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM

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