A ceasefire in the war on drugs

posted at 5:01 pm on January 6, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

It’s a conversation which seem to keep coming up year after year. Has the “war on drugs” been a complete bust? (If you’ll pardon the pun.) After more than forty years it seems like an increasing chorus of voices are calling for a new approach to a problem where we just don’t seem to be making much progress. But now the Wall Street Journal is getting in on the act, asking, “Have we lost the war on drugs?”

President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs” in 1971. The expectation then was that drug trafficking in the United States could be greatly reduced in a short time through federal policing—and yet the war on drugs continues to this day. The cost has been large in terms of lives, money and the well-being of many Americans, especially the poor and less educated. By most accounts, the gains from the war have been modest at best…

The decriminalization of both drug use and the drug market won’t be attained easily, as there is powerful opposition to each of them. The disastrous effects of the American war on drugs are becoming more apparent, however, not only in the U.S. but beyond its borders. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon has suggested “market solutions” as one alternative to the problem. Perhaps the combined efforts of leaders in different countries can succeed in making a big enough push toward finally ending this long, enormously destructive policy experiment.

It’s a rather clinical, emotionless analysis if you read the entire thing, but perhaps that’s the best approach if we’re to have a serious discussion about it. The entire concept of drug legalization – or, at a minimum, decriminalization – seems to be a study in mixed emotions for conservatives. And that may explain, at least in part, why there doesn’t seem to be much movement in either direction on this. On the one hand, the normal libertarian, “keep the government out of my business” tendencies of many Republicans seem like they should find the concept of decriminalization appealing. Further, the idea of the individual accepting personal responsibility for the consequences of their choices rather than having the nanny state dictate their actions certainly sounds like a natural fit for conservatives. And finally, the cost to federal and state budgets for fighting this war – well described in the WSJ editorial – looks like an appetizing potential target for cost cutters.

But there are obviously factors which make this a difficult proposal to sell on the starboard side of the aisle, and perhaps the first – and biggest – is purely ideological. For too many conservatives, it seems as if one of the chief arguments against decriminalization is that it’s something that liberals want, and thus it must, by definition, be a bad idea. Further, there’s that whole “pot smoking hippie” thing. The idea of doing anything to make them happier will drive away Republicans in droves, unfortunately.

And are the arguments I laid out above all that salable among 21st century conservatives? Not all Republicans are small “L” libertarian by nature, particularly those who self identify as social or national defense conservatives. And when it comes to personal responsibility, the counter-argument can quickly be made that those who choose to engage in drug abuse never really face those consequences because societal safety nets not only catch them when they fall, but spread the cost of their rescue out among the rest of us. As to the cost savings, well… that one would be pretty hard to argue with, at least in terms of the raw bills for enforcement and incarceration.

Still, it seems to me that this war has been a losing proposition for some time now and has long since passed the point of being unaffordable. If the regular readers of the Wall Street Journal begin absorbing and considering this message, maybe we can find a way to start climbing out of this hole we’ve dug for ourselves. But in the end, I agree with the basic premise… the war on drugs has been a bust.


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Has the “war on drugs” been a complete bust? (If you’ll pardon the pun.)

What war? They haven’t even secured the border with Mexico so how serious are they? It’s a great revenue tool for police departments and government bureaucrats, but I don’t see that they were ever serious about the actual drugs.

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Make drug-testing a requirement for the granting of welfare benefits.
Have people make a choice: Their Drugs, or Welfare? You get one, not both.

Another Drew on January 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Follow your tax dollars,er the money.

docflash on January 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

But in the end, I agree with the basic premise… the war on drugs has been a bust.

Perhaps.

But you could also look at it as the war on drugs has been a huge success.

All you need do is look at crime rates that are going down for the most part. Why? Well criminals are criminals. Now it is easiest for them to make money dealing drugs. They get caught and go to prison making the country safer.

Legalize drugs and they will still be criminals they will have to find a different way to make money that is far more likely to effect innocent people. Now much of the violence is on others dealing drugs. If they instead make their money in other crimes the crime rate will soar.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Meth labs next door. Good times.

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

If someone wants to fry their brain I could care less.

Why should my tax dollars be wasted investigating, prosecuting, and incarcerating these morons?

Imagine if law enforcement could spend their time focused on theft and violence instead of pathetic junkies.

commodore on January 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Make drug-testing a requirement for the granting of welfare benefits.
Have people make a choice: Their Drugs, or Welfare? You get one, not both.

Another Drew on January 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I agree. But think the whole welfare state should be dropped.

Market priced plus a moderate tax for your drugs, but do not come looking for a hand out from the tax payers.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Meth labs next door. Good times.

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

They already are. The only difference is that the meth lab will be a business that is regulated, the price low enough not to require someone to steal your belongings to obtain the product.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Make drug-testing a requirement for the granting of welfare benefits.
Have people make a choice: Their Drugs, or Welfare? You get one, not both.

Another Drew on January 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Rick Scott tried that in Florida and it cost more to test for drugs than it did in saved benefits payments. Regardless, it was shut down by the Supreme Court.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I should have added.

Much of the violence associated with drugs is not recorded because after all a drug dealer is not going to call the cops when his dope is stolen. Most of the violence is only reported when a body is found.

But you are delusional if you thing making drugs legal would somehow make things better.

First of all these drugs are very dangerous and should be illegal. Though pot should possibly be legal for very narrowly defined cancer treatment care during radiation treatment.

Pot Driving is just as dangerous as DUI but far harder to test for. Legalize it and millions will die in DUI accidents. There is no way to test if you used pot in the last few hours and besides it effects you driving far longer than that sometimes. It would have to be zero tolerance but doubt any would support that that want pot legal.

Criminals now mostly deal drugs to make money. Take away that and they will just do something else. But it is very hard to think of something they might do that would be less harmful to society as a whole than dealing drugs is now. Most likely every category of crime would skyrocket. Unless of course the tax was high enough on the newly “legal” drugs that little changed as it was cheaper to just buy illegally. Well that would protect the rich.

Maybe that is what this is all about. Making drugs legal for the rich. Make the tax so high that the rich can do drugs legally while nothing changes for the rest of us. Well we go to prison for not having a tax stamp instead of possession but how is that different?

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM

We are not talking a few buds of weed here.
We are talking about cocaine,heroin,and meth.
People die from that and they murder people over it.

NeoKong on January 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Meth labs next door. Good times.

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Prescription amphetamines are quite safe. No one is worried that the Shire plant down the street is going to blow up for example.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM

First of all these drugs are very dangerous and should be illegal. Though pot should possibly be legal for very narrowly defined cancer treatment care during radiation treatment.

Pot Driving is just as dangerous as DUI but far harder to test for. Legalize it and millions will die in DUI accidents. There is no way to test if you used pot in the last few hours and besides it effects you driving far longer than that sometimes. It would have to be zero tolerance but doubt any would support that that want pot legal.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Millions will die because weed changes legal status? I’d like some of what you’re smoking. Not only have studies shown that weed is not nearly as dangerous behind the wheel as alcohol (weed may slower reaction time, but also lowers risk taking and speed in general), usage after de-criminalization does not skyrocket. If millions are not dying now, millions will not die later.

Another way to think about it, there simply aren’t enough people who don’t smoke weed in the US to suddenly start after legalization that would result in such a sudden shift in safety.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Rick Scott tried that in Florida and it cost more to test for drugs than it did in saved benefits payments. Regardless, it was shut down by the Supreme Court.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Come on you can buy drug testing kits by mail.

That is mismanagement. You have to apply for benefits. Require the test when you apply in the office where you apply during the hours where the nurse is there to collect the sample. Then randomly require testing the same way.

Most likely they hired an outside lab that overcharged them.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

They already are. The only difference is that the meth lab will be a business that is regulated, the price low enough not to require someone to steal your belongings to obtain the product.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

ROFL

Meth-heads sell all they own to get the stuff after quitting everything else in their life to pursue the high, price won’t matter eventually.

A regulated meth lab next door…well I feel better already.

*BOOOOOOM!!!!!*

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

We are not talking a few buds of weed here.
We are talking about cocaine,heroin,and meth.
People die from that and they murder people over it.

NeoKong on January 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

They only murder because it’s illegal and requires criminals to distribute. Legalize it – and the violence goes away.

But whatever, you could just about cripple the drug cartels simply by legalizing marijuana and cocaine – that’s most of their business right there and you’d make the cartels virtually extinct.

But … you don’t even want to try that – admit it.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Why should my tax dollars be wasted investigating, prosecuting, and incarcerating these morons?

Imagine if law enforcement could spend their time focused on theft and violence instead of pathetic junkies.

commodore on January 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Because a lot of those activities are perpetrated drug users.
Take them off the street any way possible. It’s harder and more expensive to prosecute for petty theft or acts of violence than it is for drug position or sales that are found as a result of direct police/perp contact.

It worked for Al Capone.

(Please spare me the “if it wasn’t illegal, blah blah” schtick)

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

ROFL

A regulated meth lab next door…well I feel better already.

*BOOOOOOM!!!!!*

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Yeah it’s much better to have an UNREGULATED meth lab next door – as you do now.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

And, then, when they wake up and realize what they’ve done to themselves and the ones who love them, they kill themselves, as a friend of mine did.

Harmless, my hindquarters.

kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Well, if you’d prefer to continue living in an ever-expanding police state just so stoners don’t have access to their weed, let’s continue on with that there status quo.

Oh wait, the stoners will have access to their weed anyway… … … … … … YAY BIG GOVERNMENT!

Jeddite on January 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol. Didn’t work for abortion … hasn’t worked for drugs.

What is the definition of insanity again?

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Another way to think about it, there simply aren’t enough people who don’t smoke weed in the US to suddenly start after legalization that would result in such a sudden shift in safety.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Right have you ever been to a bar? Make it legal every one at the bar will smoke pot because you can get buzzed and drive.

Millions will die it will take years but millions will die. DUI statistics had us losing 20k per year. So Fifty years for a million.

But pot is far harder to test for. If legal the rate would shoot back up most likely even higher than 20k per year.

But yes to an extent millions is an exaggeration. Fact is hundreads of thousands would die.

Even now many accidents of DUI are because of Pot. So I do not want to hear about a pro pot study that said it was safe. That is no better than all the old tobacco studies that said that was safe.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Not only have studies shown that weed is not nearly as dangerous behind the wheel as alcohol (weed may slower reaction time, but also lowers risk taking and speed in general), usage after de-criminalization does not skyrocket.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

What studies are these?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:49 PM

And, then, when they wake up and realize what they’ve done to themselves and the ones who love them, they kill themselves, as a friend of mine did.

Harmless, my hindquarters.

kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Who Cares?

Seriously. Let them kill themselves – I’m not killing them. Brian Terry is dead due to murderous cartels – he was a law abiding citizen. THOUSANDS of innocents are killed every year by the cartels yet we somehow think it’s all worth it just to save a few weak minds from themselves?

That’s crazy.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:50 PM

They already are. The only difference is that the meth lab will be a business that is regulated, the price low enough not to require someone to steal your belongings to obtain the product.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Why would a business want to make less money from their meth line? Wouldn’t they charge whatever the market will bear?

Are you suggesting subsidized meth?

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Come on you can buy drug testing kits by mail.

That is mismanagement. You have to apply for benefits. Require the test when you apply in the office where you apply during the hours where the nurse is there to collect the sample. Then randomly require testing the same way.

Most likely they hired an outside lab that overcharged them.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Rick Scott owns a chain of walk in clinics in FL, if anyone should know how to do it efficiently it’s him…

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Even now many accidents of DUI are because of Pot. So I do not want to hear about a pro pot study that said it was safe. That is no better than all the old tobacco studies that said that was safe.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Exactly.
Its not like people use either alcohol or pot.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:50 PM

I care. He was my friend. He left behind 3 children who called him Daddy.

kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Why would a business want to make less money from their meth line? Wouldn’t they charge whatever the market will bear?

Are you suggesting subsidized meth?

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Quite obviously there will be more supply for a legal good than an illegal good. More supply = lower prices.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Even now many accidents of DUI are because of Pot.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Prove it.

In any case – hardly supports keeping MJ illegal when alcohol is perfectly legal.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Rick Scott owns a chain of walk in clinics in FL, if anyone should know how to do it efficiently it’s him…

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

The high costs may have been a result of legal haggling and “rights” lawyers.
Don’t know that…just sayin’.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol. Didn’t work for abortion … hasn’t worked for drugs.

What is the definition of insanity again?

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Prohibition took a legal substance and made it illegal. Totally different. It also only remained sort of illegal for a few years. I say sort of because it was always widely available and widely used.

Abortion worked quite well. It was illegal and very few abortions were performed. It was made legal and now half of black babies conceived in many cities are aborted. So making it legal greatly increased its availability. Is that what we want to greatly increase the number of pot heads in America?

Do not get either example.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

They only murder because it’s illegal and requires criminals to distribute. Legalize it – and the violence goes away.

They use violence to smuggle cigarettes, electronics and prescription drugs so why would they stop if drugs became legal?

But whatever, you could just about cripple the drug cartels simply by legalizing marijuana and cocaine – that’s most of their business right there and you’d make the cartels virtually extinct.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

You mean like the mafia were crippled when prohibition ended?

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

hardly supports keeping MJ illegal when alcohol is perfectly legal.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

What drugs should not be legal, and why?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Even now many accidents of DUI are because of Pot. So I do not want to hear about a pro pot study that said it was safe. That is no better than all the old tobacco studies that said that was safe.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

How can there be DUI cases with Pot? It’s ILLEGAL… therefore nobody has any. The drug laws work, right?

Oh, you’re saying the drug laws don’t work; but we need to keep them not working because… we need to spend time, money, and effort things that don’t work?

Do you usually pay for things that don’t work and have no expectation of working in the future?

gekkobear on January 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

The high costs may have been a result of legal haggling and “rights” lawyers.
Don’t know that…just sayin’.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

The high costs were the result of the vast majority of people not being on drugs. That meant little savings despite lots of medical expenses. The legal expenses of the law not being constitutional were not factored in.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

I care. He was my friend. He left behind 3 children who called him Daddy.

kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Who’s fault was it that he chose to put drugs into his body? Did someone hold a gun to his head and make him take them repeatedly?

It’s HIS fault. His family is broken up now due to HIS weak mind.

And by the way – 40 years of drug war didn’t save your friend … and neither would 100 more years have saved him. People want drugs they get them bro.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

A regulated meth lab next door…well I feel better already.

*BOOOOOOM!!!!!*

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Yeah exactly. The people who think the drug makers will do anything besides laugh, flip the finger to the cops, and continue using their hideously-unsafe, polluting ‘labs’ are stupider than liberals.

And all the while, George Soros and company are laughing up their sleeves as so-called conservatives make ready to drug themselves into a state where they can’t even blog coherently, much less revolt.

It really looks like we’re going to have to learn this lesson the hard way.

MelonCollie on January 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Yeah it’s much better to have an UNREGULATED meth lab next door – as you do now.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

ROFL

Ok.

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Quite obviously there will be more supply for a legal good than an illegal good. More supply = lower prices.

jonknee on January 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

That assumes it would be totally unregulated. Is that likely? Would it be required to go through the FDA or not? Could you sell it to anyone at all? If you place restrictions on it, then you create a market that can be exploited.

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

What drugs should not be legal, and why?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

I was addressing his arguement – which he says that MJ is responsible for “DUIs” just the same as alcohol was. Well, if that is the case – then why isn’t he advocating a prohibition on alcohol also?

Which drugs should be legal? I believe all of them. Let idiots do with their own bodies what they will. If they die then they relieve the population problem – and improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from it.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Had Nixon not been forced to resign likely we would either have a very small drug problem or at least it would be well within manageable.

He hit the drug war hard from both ends with as much rehabilitation as enforcement, and was making real headway, the drug issue was on its way out, when Ford came on the scene enforcement was the by word and under Carter not even that.

The war is not lost, like all failings the war on drugs lacks real motivation and a certain pragmatism.

Speakup on January 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Still, it seems to me that this war has been a losing proposition for some time now and has long since passed the point of being unaffordable.

When has that ever been a factor in public policy? /

As for me, I fall into the anti-narcotics social conservative camp. Although I would admit that it would be nice to have the hippies spend the next election eating doritos in their parents’ basements rather than scurrying about campaigning on behalf of their next Chosen One.

Mr. Prodigy on January 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

But whatever, you could just about cripple the drug cartels simply by legalizing marijuana and cocaine – that’s most of their business right there and you’d make the cartels virtually extinct.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Most money made by cartels comes from hard drugs, arms smuggling, human smuggling, extortion, money laundering etc.
Estimates for just pot income is about 20%.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

In any case – hardly supports keeping MJ illegal when alcohol is perfectly legal.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

You prove it if you want.

Blow into your breath analyzer or car won’t start. You can not do that with Pot. That is the problem.

Now come on everyone knows the purpose of Pot is to get high just like alcohol. We all know we do stupid things when high on Pot or Alcohol. So of course it is not safe to smoke pot and drive high. But how do you test for that?

That is the real problem with legal pot.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

WWhat I didn’t mention was that he had stopped the meth, and had been active in the church, but the residual effects of eating away his brain until he himself joked that he “had two brain cells left and they were fighting to the death”, and his financial situation, finally caught up to him.

It was still drug-induced and it was still very wrong.

And, I thought better of you than that.

kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

That assumes it would be totally unregulated. Is that likely? Would it be required to go through the FDA or not? Could you sell it to anyone at all? If you place restrictions on it, then you create a market that can be exploited.

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Alcohol is HIGHLY regulated and yet we no longer have murderous alcohol cartels running around trying to distribute it any longer. Those cartels saw their business evaporate overnight when prohibition was overturned.

Same thing would happen with the war on drugs but Conservatives seem to like murderous Mexican drug cartels.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

WWhat I didn’t mention was that he had stopped the meth, and had been active in the church, but the residual effects of eating away his brain until he himself joked that he “had two brain cells left and they were fighting to the death”, and his financial situation, finally caught up to him.

It was still drug-induced and it was still very wrong.

And, I thought better of you than that.

kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

I’m sorry – but he chose to take the drug. Government can’t run around trying to protect people from themselves. It wasn’t the drug that killed him – it was his DECISION to take them that killed him.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Make drug-testing a requirement for the granting of welfare benefits.
Have people make a choice: Their Drugs, or Welfare? You get one, not both.

Another Drew on January 6, 2013 at 5:14 PM

^Acceptable to this social conservative. My only concern is that the left would eventually push to scrap that system and make people eligible for welfare regardless of drug use: “hey, drug use is legalized, so why penalize people for it?”

Mr. Prodigy on January 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

I was addressing his arguement – which he says that MJ is responsible for “DUIs” just the same as alcohol was. Well, if that is the case – then why isn’t he advocating a prohibition on alcohol also?

Which drugs should be legal? I believe all of them. Let idiots do with their own bodies what they will. If they die then they relieve the population problem – and improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from it.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Because alcohol is not the argument being addressed.

Your second paragraph is only true if you live in a bubble imo.
If what you say were true, there should be no people’s lives affected or lost because of alcohol.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

You prove it if you want.

Blow into your breath analyzer or car won’t start. You can not do that with Pot. That is the problem.

Now come on everyone knows the purpose of Pot is to get high just like alcohol. We all know we do stupid things when high on Pot or Alcohol. So of course it is not safe to smoke pot and drive high. But how do you test for that?

That is the real problem with legal pot.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I think you are ALREADY on drugs.

Most cars don’t have breathalyzers so why are you picking a technical problem like that to justify marijuana laws?

Look dude – if you think MJ is responsible for death on the highway and you want it banned – then at least be consistent in your though process and insist the same thing be done with ALCOHOL – which kills FAR MORE people.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

it was his DECISION to take them that killed him.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Did his decision affect anyone else, or cost society anything?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:05 PM

I was addressing his arguement – which he says that MJ is responsible for “DUIs” just the same as alcohol was. Well, if that is the case – then why isn’t he advocating a prohibition on alcohol also?

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I answered that in original post.

Testing.

Do you support making drinking and driving legal?

Of course not.

Then you should not support pot smoking pot and driving but unlike alcohol there is no test for whether you are buzzed with pot or not. Only one that test whether you used it in the last week or so.

Would you support a legal pot law that required you turn in your DL in order to use pot? If so you do not drive.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Because alcohol is not the argument being addressed.

Your second paragraph is only true if you live in a bubble imo.
If what you say were true, there should be no people’s lives affected or lost because of alcohol.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

That’s a shallow view. Of course alcohol is being addressed because what we’re talking about here is the effects of PROHIBITION (and the prohibition against drugs has given us the same experience that alcohol prohibition did).

I”m also free to insert into any arguement – your hypocrisy in tauting the legality of one substance (alcohol) over Marijuana.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Alcohol is HIGHLY regulated and yet we no longer have murderous alcohol cartels running around trying to distribute it any longer. Those cartels saw their business evaporate overnight when prohibition was overturned.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

So the mafia no longer exists? I mean you tell us that these murderous cartels are no longer running around, and yet I do recall something about organized crime following prohibition.

The mafia existed before prohibition and they existed after prohibition.

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

You also said that a car breathalyzer wouldn’t work on Marijuana.

And that’s just a stupid statement since 99.99 percent of the cars sold in America don’t have breathalyzers so who gives a sh1t?

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Its really not that hard of a decision to make anymore, and my generation is making their choice very vocal.

64 passed in my state and Marijuana is now legal for everyone.

There were a lot of people who voted like myself, we voted for Romney while also voting to legalize Marijuana.

As any state that has Medical Marijuana knows, the tax revenue is huge.

From a pure economic standpoint having Marijuana remain illegal is simply idiotic. Not only are we losing out on millions, or more, in tax dollars that are flowing to Mexican drug lords; but we also have to pay our law enforcement every time they prosecute a Marijuana offense. From a purely economic sense this makes no sense. There also is the fact that having law enforcement continue to prosecute Marijuana offenses takes away valuable resources that could be going to fighting actual harmful drugs, such as Meth.

You can point to Marijuana being a bad thing until your face turns blue, but in a time when we have no money to spare it doesn’t make sense to have a plant continue to be illegal.

Blu3Yeti on January 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

So the mafia no longer exists? I mean you tell us that these murderous cartels are no longer running around, and yet I do recall something about organized crime following prohibition.

The mafia existed before prohibition and they existed after prohibition.

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Hi sharrukin the idiot I see.

Name me a mafia in the US that is large and problematic which deals with the distribution of alcohol?

There isn’t. The mobs survived after prohibition by switching their distribution efforts to drugs.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I think you are ALREADY on drugs.

Most cars don’t have breathalyzers so why are you picking a technical problem like that to justify marijuana laws?

Look dude – if you think MJ is responsible for death on the highway and you want it banned – then at least be consistent in your though process and insist the same thing be done with ALCOHOL – which kills FAR MORE people.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

See you say most because you know some are because of a DUI conviction.

But that was the entire point. There is no such device for pot.

Comparing deaths caused by an illegal substance to a legal one is meaningless of course. But if you did you would have to count drug shootings as well. Do that and most likely drugs kill more anyway. But again meaningless.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Prohibition took a legal substance and made it illegal. Totally different. It also only remained sort of illegal for a few years. I say sort of because it was always widely available and widely used.

Abortion worked quite well. It was illegal and very few abortions were performed. It was made legal and now half of black babies conceived in many cities are aborted. So making it legal greatly increased its availability. Is that what we want to greatly increase the number of pot heads in America?

Do not get either example.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Excuse me, Narcotics were legal, and taxed, up until the 1930′s. The nation did not cease functioning. The government actually made some revenue.

Narcotic Tax Stamp

trigon on January 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Then you should not support pot smoking pot and driving but unlike alcohol there is no test for whether you are buzzed with pot or not.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

You are exactly right.
I’ve pointed this out over and over with pot advocates to no avail.
It will be ignored.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Pot Driving is just as dangerous as DUI but far harder to test for. Legalize it and millions will die in DUI accidents.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM

This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. Congratulations!

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Hi sharrukin the idiot I see.

Name me a mafia in the US that is large and problematic which deals with the distribution of alcohol?

There isn’t. The mobs survived after prohibition by switching their distribution efforts to drugs.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Talk about a strawman argument.

MI5 That deals with what you want legal.

MI5 will not cease to exist if drugs were made legal. They would most likely find something else to do to make money that was far more dangerous than the drugs they now deal. The old Mafia did which is the point he was making. They were more dangerous after alcohol was made legal again.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM

A few days ago, four south Texas PD were arrested for being involved with drug trafficking. I would hope that they’re innocent, but given how much it takes to actually arrest LEOs, it doesn’t sound good.

If Serpico and the Iran-Contra were not enough to convince us how corrupt so many of our LE and political officials have been involved with this all the way along the line, then I don’t know what will.

The “War on Drugs” has been nothing but another government boondoggle and corruption scheme from the word go.

The cost has been large in terms of lives, money and the well-being of many Americans, especially the poor and less educated.

And those of us who have been victimized by these idiots trying to get money for their next fix, largely because of the market forces driving prices up due to having to smuggle the stuff, the cost of bribery, the cost of defense and appeals lawyers, the cost of money laundering, and actually losing valuable shipments from time to time.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM

See you say most because you know some are because of a DUI conviction.

But that was the entire point. There is no such device for pot.

Comparing deaths caused by an illegal substance to a legal one is meaningless of course. But if you did you would have to count drug shootings as well. Do that and most likely drugs kill more anyway. But again meaningless.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

First of all – you’re all over the place. DUI’s are caused by ALCOHOL. Driving under the influence of marijuana (at least in my state) is DRIVING DRUGGED.

You cannot take large amounts of legally obtained valium either and get behind the wheel of a car. And a valium HIGH isn’t detectable on a breathalyzer. Who gives a carp about a breathalyzer?

When a drunk is killed – they test his blood and find he was drunk. When a marijuana user is killed they test his blood and find THC.

A DEAD MAN CAN’T USE A BREATHALYZER DUDE.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM

This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. Congratulations!

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2013 at 6:14 PM

He’s actually on a roll today and eat up wid de dum arse.

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM

trigon on January 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Its not the 1930′s.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

WWhat I didn’t mention was that he had stopped the meth, and had been active in the church, but the residual effects of eating away his brain until he himself joked that he “had two brain cells left and they were fighting to the death”, and his financial situation, finally caught up to him.
It was still drug-induced and it was still very wrong.
And, I thought better of you than that.
kingsjester on January 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

You could always join Jim and Sarah Brady’s campaign.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Legalize it and millions will die in DUI accidents.

Nope. Millions have been driving high on pot for decades. It’s not like all of a sudden millions are going to hit the road high for a drive because it’s suddenly legal to smoke pot.

Dack Thrombosis on January 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

But in the end, I agree with the basic premise… the war on drugs has been a bust.

Questions:

1.) What is the standard / criteria you are using to assess whether the war on drugs has been a success or bust?

2.) What is the relevance of continued drug-use regarding the legalization / criminalization of drugs? Do we base our legalization / criminalization of other activities, be it murder, rape, theft, bribery, insider-trading, jaywalking, disturbing the peace, etc, on recurring incidence? If not, why should this be treated differently?

3.) How do you address the real issue on drugs — that it renders one incapable of self-control, and thus no longer a morally responsible entity? Drug-use impairs both motor and cognitive functions. One of the things that we require is that people control their actions so that it conforms to a certain set of standards. If they lose that capacity for control, then they cannot be reasonably expected to abide by those standards. Thus, prohibiting drugs is necessary to ensure that one’s will conforms to morality, and that the only incidents where divergences occur is where a deliberate (immoral) act is chosen.

Stoic Patriot on January 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

They already are. The only difference is that the meth lab will be a business that is regulated, the price low enough not to require someone to steal your belongings to obtain the product.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Why would a business want to make less money from their meth line? Wouldn’t they charge whatever the market will bear?

Are you suggesting subsidized meth?

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

You are usually a somewhat intelligent poster on these forums, and here you come out stupid as you possibly could.

Because the value of the product now is driven by the risk of prison. Once it is legal, anyone can join the business of producing. So the price will have to lower to a reasonable level based on the new risk of doing business.

The actual consumables and energy and time put into producing most drugs is very minimal. Most of the price today comes from the risks to those producing and selling it. Remove those risks and replace them instead with similar risks that say the tobacco companies or alcohol companies and the price will come down.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

-Hey Dad, there’s a naked, blood-smeared dude with a machete pounding on the front door.

“Don’t worry, son, it’s just the PCP addict from across the street, he’s harmless as long as he doesn’t see you.”

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

There isn’t. The mobs survived after prohibition by switching their distribution efforts to drugs.
HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Legalizing drugs won’t get rid of crime, but it might minimize crime.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. Congratulations!

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Boy that pot sure has gone to your head.

You smoke to get high but then forget you do stupid things when high.

Guess you love living high and ignoring reality that pot kills. Because after all sometimes that stupid thing high people do is drive and when high see things that are not real or do not see things that are real. That causes accidents and deaths.

The millions part was an overstatement to make people think. But world wide it has killed millions. Just in dealing it most likely.

Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. Congratulations!

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Which part is absurd?
Is it the number “millions” that you disagree with? If so, what would you estimate the number to be?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Legalizing drugs won’t get rid of crime, but it might minimize crime.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Then legalize murder. It might minimize that crime.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

HondaV65 on January 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM

“How To Win Friends and Influence People” not first on your reading list?

Bishop on January 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Its not the 1930′s.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

And, you are obviously far too emotionally invested in this to deal with the subject rationally.

Get help. Leave policy to those who can formulate it realistically.

trigon on January 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Because after all sometimes that stupid thing high people do is drive and when high see things that are not real or do not see things that are real.

You don’t know a thing about marijuana, do you? Best just to remain silent when suffering under such an enormous burden of ignorance.

Dack Thrombosis on January 6, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Pot Driving is just as dangerous as DUI but far harder to test for. Legalize it and millions will die in DUI accidents.
Steveangell on January 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Is there any real evidence that legalizing drugs leads to a long term massive increase in drug abuse? This claims seems absurd. Regarding these car breathalyzers, do you also support federal regulations limiting the engine performance of cars? We wouldn’t want cars to go over 55 on the highway, right? Why not just make it so no car can go over 5mph?

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Then legalize murder. It might minimize that crime.
Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Using drugs is not an act of aggression on another individual.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Using drugs is not an act of aggression on another individual.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Neither is bribing a public official, yet that’s still illegal.

Stoic Patriot on January 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

I would maybe agree to legalizing pot as long as drug testing was instituted for any kind of government benefits, attendance at schools, work. Kind of a libertarian approach! But the hard drugs? NO. As a veteran of the 70s, I have seen what coke, heroin, PCP, acid, do to people, and it’s dangerous.

It won’t stop organized crime. Look at the mafia, which is still going strong, stealing and reselling cigarettes, DVDs, watches, etc.

PattyJ on January 6, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Most of the price today comes from the risks to those producing and selling it. Remove those risks and replace them instead with similar risks that say the tobacco companies or alcohol companies and the price will come down.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Here we go again.
If that were true, why is the price of legal medical pot so high?
There is no risk of smuggling and losing the value of shipments. There is no fear of imprisonment for growing the supply.
There is no multilevel incremental price increases every time the product changes hands etc, yet the price is the same as the street drug.
Why do you suppose that is?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Neither is bribing a public official, yet that’s still illegal.
Stoic Patriot on January 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Are we going around about what is illegal or what should be illegal?

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Using drugs is not an act of aggression on another individual.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

You’re trying to move the goalposts.
Aggression was not part of your post.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Are we going around about what is illegal or what should be illegal?

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Are you saying that bribing a public official should be legal? How about insider-trading? How about voyeurism?

I’d contend that there’s plenty of actions that we ban and prohibit that don’t involve any act of aggression.

Stoic Patriot on January 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

If I want to use heroin, meth, pot, crack, etc…I can go out and buy it tonight. The war on drugs does not stop anyone who wants to use. I don’t use because I don’t WANT to. Just as you don’t want to. The idea that we would all become drug addicts because of legalization is laughable.

Who makes money off of the war on drugs? How many federal agencies get money to fight the war? How many millions do police agencies get handed to arm up and fight the war? How many politicians gain power because of the war? That is why there is a war on drugs.

tdarrington on January 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Are we going around about what is illegal or what should be illegal?

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

They are both illegal.
The decision has been made by society that both should be illegal.

What drugs do you think should remain illegal and why?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:32 PM

The idea that we would all become drug addicts because of legalization is laughable.

tdarrington on January 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Thats a strawman argument that no one has made.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Here we go again.
If that were true, why is the price of legal medical pot so high?

Supply and demand? The cost of complying with regulations, licensing, insurance…

tdarrington on January 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

The actual consumables and energy and time put into producing most drugs is very minimal. Most of the price today comes from the risks to those producing and selling it. Remove those risks and replace them instead with similar risks that say the tobacco companies or alcohol companies and the price will come down.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

THEY SMUGGLE CIGARETTES.

They smuggle legal products all the time, and the price markup on drugs is not what you imagine.

Cocaine, sold for around £44 a gram, is one of the less profitable drugs, with a profit margin of around 95 per cent.

Virtually all of Pro-zac’s sales gains this year ”go to the pretax earnings line” because the gross profit margin ”will be close to 95 percent,” Mr. Kaye said.

They are businessmen and will sell what makes a profit and use violence as a tool to enforce market share, and reduce competition. They aren’t going to become burger-boys at McDonald’s.

sharrukin on January 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Decriminalization did not lead to a massive increase in use of drugs in this country,,,

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Thats a strawman argument that no one has made.

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Maybe “we would all be addicts” was a bit hyperbolic, but the argument of an explosive increase in use following legalization certainly gets made.

tdarrington on January 6, 2013 at 6:37 PM

There is no multilevel incremental price increases every time the product changes hands etc, yet the price is the same as the street drug.
Why do you suppose that is?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Growing the stuff over here is automatically going to be more expensive than growing it in a Third World country…been to China-Mart lately? Why’s that stuff cheaper? Why do American businesses send their operations overseas?

There’s also climate and photoperiod factors which would necessitate the expenditure of grow lights and the power to run them, and quite possibly the expense of hydroponics set-ups.

One would also have to factor in taxation, licensing, insurance, and probably the overhead costs of managing and maintaining a storefront (rent, water, electricity, payroll, etc.).

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 6, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Don’t worry folks.
The ceasefire will be over as soon as Holder & Co can ship the cartels some more guns.

LegendHasIt on January 6, 2013 at 6:38 PM

What drugs do you think should remain illegal and why?
Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Abortion drugs (even though you said “Remain”) Obviously the child’s life is ended because of the consumption of the mother. That is the only outcome of such a consumption.

aryeung on January 6, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Here we go again.
If that were true, why is the price of legal medical pot so high?
There is no risk of smuggling and losing the value of shipments. There is no fear of imprisonment for growing the supply.
There is no multilevel incremental price increases every time the product changes hands etc, yet the price is the same as the street drug.
Why do you suppose that is?

Mimzey on January 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM

You are extraordinarily stupid, aren’t you?
Obama is still arresting people for “legal” pot use and distribution. Why? Because it is not legal, the state has just taken a position that it would not assist the federal government in catching and prosecuting drug crimes. Also note, what part of medical costs are extremely high for everything in this nation have you missed? Take away the doctor and the cost would be somewhat lower. But their suppliers are still at risk, as is the license of the doctor.

astonerii on January 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM

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