Ten Reasons (Not) to Legalize Drugs

If you need drugs, you’re a loser. Stop being a loser.

In light of my recent article, where I touched on responsibility, which included some information on drug use, I came across this list from a pro-drug website that gives 10 reasons they think we should legalize all drugs.  I’d like to address their claims, if I could.  Keep in mind, this is a UK site, presumably aimed at a UK audience, so some of their points may not be as applicable as they could be but I’ll try to muddle through.

Just as a reminder, my basic position is that if you have to smoke, snort, ingest or inject any illicit substance into your body to feel good about yourself, you’ve got serious issues and should probably see a professional.

And please, do not come back with the “people are going to do drugs anyhow” nonsense, that just doesn’t fly with me.  Stupid people are going to be stupid, that doesn’t mean we should embrace stupidity as the norm and not try to educate the brainless idiots.  Society has every right to make determinations of what is acceptable within that society and what is not acceptable.  The fact that many people within the society are going to act in a manner contrary to the rules only means that many people are going to get punished for violating the social contract to which they inherently agree and submit.

So let’s get started, shall we?

1 Address the real issues
For too long policy makers have used prohibition as a smoke screen to avoid addressing the social and economic factors that lead people to use drugs. Most illegal and legal drug use is recreational. Poverty and despair are at the root of most problematic drug use and it is only by addressing these underlying causes that we can hope to significantly decrease the number of problematic users.

The problem, of course, is that drug use doesn’t solve any of these underlying causes.  When you get sober or  come down again, your problems are still there and probably worse than when you started.  Even if we did legalize drugs, it wouldn’t solve any of those supposed “underlying causes”, it would just give those people who use drugs license to keep using them and avoiding the problems that put them in that situation.  You can’t look to the politicians to solve the problems either, they know that doing what needs to be done to solve poverty would put them straight out of office for life.  The problem isn’t really poverty, it isn’t really despair, the underlying cause for most of America’s problems, including drug use, is a lack of individual and personal responsibility for the lives of each and every American.  These are things we just don’t talk about and certainly, our politicians will never try to do anything about because doing so would be political suicide.

2 Eliminate the criminal market place
The market for drugs is demand-led and millions of people demand illegal drugs. Making the production, supply and use of some drugs illegal creates a vacuum into which organised crime moves. The profits are worth billions of pounds. Legalisation forces organised crime from the drugs trade, starves them of income and enables us to regulate and control the market (i.e. prescription, licensing, laws on sales to minors, advertising regulations etc.)

About all legalization will do is allow the government to regulate and tax drugs, thus keeping them expensive and many forced to remain underground in order to find drugs cheap enough to use.  Just look at tobacco taxes, they make up the majority of the cost per pack.  Are we supposed to think the government won’t take an equally large chunk out of drug revenues?  Further, in point 4, he says that roughly 50% of minors use drugs, yet here he wants to control drug sales to minors?  If 50% are using drugs now when they are illegal for anyone to use, how are we supposed to think that 50% won’t be using drugs when it’s only illegal for minors to use?  Or maybe he’s suggesting that we make it legal for minors to use drugs too?  Might as well throw in alcohol and tobacco too, prohibitions against minors using those products hasn’t stopped anyone who wanted to acquire them either.  In fact, it will likely make the problem worse.  If we legalize all drugs, as this website wants, then what’s to stop minors from getting not only pot, but cocaine or heroin?  We have plenty of liquor stores now that will sell booze to kids to make a buck, are we really supposed to think that drug dispensaries wouldn’t do the exact same thing for the exact same reason?  All of the regulation and control that would be placed on legalized drugs would only drive people underground, most drugs can be grown, cultivated or manufactured relatively cheaply, people can grow their own pot rather than pay $8 a pack or whatever unit of measure joints would legally be sold in.  Doesn’t declaring “this is legal, but only in government-approved stores and packaging, otherwise you’re breaking the law” go against the whole legalization sentiment anyhow?

Besides, he says he wants prescriptions for drugs?  That’s absolutely nonsensical, why pay money, go to a doctor, get a prescription to go to a pharmacy to get drugs when you can just go down to the guy on the street corner and get it right now, without all the associated cost?  Besides, a prescription means there’s something wrong with you, something that requires a drug to correct.  What “disease” or what condition does someone need to have in order to qualify for a drug prescription?  If anyone can get it, why have it prescribed in the first place?

3 Massively reduce crime
The price of illegal drugs is determined by a demand-led, unregulated market. Using illegal drugs is very expensive. This means that some dependent users resort to stealing to raise funds (accounting for 50% of UK property crime – estimated at £2 billion a year). Most of the violence associated with illegal drug dealing is caused by its illegality

Legalisation would enable us to regulate the market, determine a much lower price and remove users need to raise funds through crime. Our legal system would be freed up and our prison population dramatically reduced, saving billions. Because of the low price, cigarette smokers do not have to steal to support their habits. There is also no violence associated with the legal tobacco market.

The problem is, it wouldn’t reduce crime.  People in the U.S. talk about legalizing marijuana having a massive impact on the Mexican drug cartels, as if that one single act will shut the majority of their criminal enterprises down.  That’s ridiculous.  These people aren’t criminals because they deal drugs, they deal drugs because they’re criminals.  If we legalize marijuana and take the profit out of it, they’ll just shift to harder drugs, or other crimes, to keep their criminal organization going.  It’s not like the drug kingpins are going to wake up one morning and go “oh, they legalized pot, I guess I’ll go get a legitimate job!”  We already know that the cartels are involved in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities, legalizing drugs won’t stop the cartels, it’ll just shift their focus.  We refuse to actually deal with the cartels, with or without Mexico’s help, the only thing legalizing drugs would do is make their criminal activities less visible here in the U.S., it wouldn’t stop the crime one bit.

4 Drug users are a majority
Recent research shows that nearly half of all 15-16 year olds have used an illegal drug. Up to one and a half million people use ecstasy every weekend. Amongst young people, illegal drug use is seen as normal. Intensifying the ‘war on drugs’ is not reducing demand. In Holland, where cannabis laws are far less harsh, drug usage is amongst the lowest in Europe.

Legalisation accepts that drug use is normal and that it is a social issue, not a criminal justice one. How we deal with it is up to all of us to decide.

In 1970 there were 9000 convictions or cautions for drug offences and 15% of young people had used an illegal drug. In 1995 the figures were 94 000 and 45%. Prohibition doesn’t work.

This is a clear logical fallacy, argumentum ad populum.  The number of people who commit a crime doesn’t change the fact that it is, indeed, illegal.  Most people speed too, that doesn’t mean we should eliminate speed limits.  I am of the mind that people should not be jailed for drug use offenses, people who use drugs need treatment, not punishment.  I will handle this more in my final thoughts at the bottom.

5 Provide access to truthful information and education
A wealth of disinformation about drugs and drug use is given to us by ignorant and prejudiced policy-makers and media who peddle myths upon lies for their own ends. This creates many of the risks and dangers associated with drug use.

Legalisation would help us to disseminate open, honest and truthful information to users and non-users to help them to make decisions about whether and how to use. We could begin research again on presently illicit drugs to discover all their uses and effects – both positive and negative.

No it wouldn’t.  You’d get the same people making the same statements that you get today being posted on the side of cigarette packages.  If you think the FDA wouldn’t be posting the same kinds of claims on the packaging of formerly illegal drugs that they do on every other drug that has never been illegal, you’re high.  The fact remains that most drugs simply have no credible positive benefits.  Yes, marijuana can help control nausea associated with chemotherapy, and I entirely support chemo patients with legitimate prescriptions having legal access to medical marijuana, but only so long as they go through the legal process and proper channels.  The idea that we should have street corner pot dispensaries that anyone can walk into and come out with a dime bag is absurd.

6 Make all drug use safer
Prohibition has led to the stigmatisation and marginalisation of drug users. Countries that operate ultra-prohibitionist policies have very high rates of HIV infection amongst injecting users. Hepatitis C rates amongst users in the UK are increasing substantially.

In the UK in the ’80’s clean needles for injecting users and safer sex education for young people were made available in response to fears of HIV. Harm reduction policies are in direct opposition to prohibitionist laws.

Unless you’re going to give away all of these things free of charge, it will still be a problem as people who cannot afford a clean needle for every injection will share.  Poor people who cannot afford condoms simply do not use them.  So who pays for all of this stuff?  Do you just add a tax to the drugs themselves, making them more expensive and driving users to cheaper, unregulated drugs?  We again are faced with this problem, it’s not that drug users are stigmatized or marginalized, it’s that we have people who are pathetic enough to think they need to shoot something into their veins to make themselves feel good.

7 Restore our rights and responsibilities
Prohibition unnecessarily criminalises millions of otherwise law-abiding people. It removes the responsibility for distribution of drugs from policy makers and hands it over to unregulated, sometimes violent dealers.

Legalisation restores our right to use drugs responsibly to change the way we think and feel. It enables controls and regulations to be put in place to protect the vulnerable.

You’d have to demonstrate that there is actually a responsible way to use drugs.  I just don’t think you can do it, any more than I think you can come up with any way to responsibly smoke.  Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it responsible.  There may be some small health benefits to drinking in moderation and I really have no problem with that, but try  arguing a responsible method of  getting drunk off your ass, I don’t think it can be done.

Add to that the absurd first sentence, it shows that this individual really doesn’t get it.  A person is only law-abiding so long as they follow the law.  That’s like saying laws against murder unnecessarily criminalize otherwise law-abiding murderers.  This is someone entirely unclear on the concept.

8 Race and Drugs
Black people are over ten times more likely to be imprisoned for drug offences than whites. Arrests for drug offences are notoriously discretionary allowing enforcement to easily target a particular ethnic group. Prohibition has fostered this stereotyping of black people.

Legalisation removes a whole set of laws that are used to disproportionately bring black people into contact with the criminal justice system. It would help to redress the over representation of black drug offenders in prison.

The solution to this, of course, is to stop treating blacks and whites differently.  It’s not prohibition that has done this, but a criminal justice system that punishes different grades of drugs differently.  Someone caught with an ounce of cocaine is treated differently than someone caught with an ounce of crack.  Same drug, different presentation.  Since crack is cheaper to produce, it is more prevalent in the poorer communities, and since blacks tend to be poorer, do the math.  That’s just basic equality, it has nothing to do with prohibition.

9 Global Implications
The illegal drugs market makes up 8% of all world trade (around £300 billion a year). Whole countries are run under the corrupting influence of drug cartels. Prohibition also enables developed countries to wield vast political power over producer nations under the auspices of drug control programmes.

Legalisation returns lost revenue to the legitimate taxed economy and removes some of the high-level corruption. It also removes a tool of political interference by foreign countries against producer nations.

Whole countries are run that way because the people allow it.  If countries had the will and the guts to demand it stop, to summarily toss any official that colludes with the drug cartels in prison, to enforce drug laws, etc., it wouldn’t be a problem.  And so what if the illegal drug market makes up 8% of world trade?  The illegal slave market makes up a certain percentage of trade too, should we just legalize that?  And who cares if the powerful nations can stomp on the less powerful nations with regard to their drug-production?  It’s not like the powerful nations don’t stomp on less powerful nations with regard to terrorism, to nuclear weapon programs, to human rights abuses, etc.  It’s not about interference so much as it is about power and no one has made a case yet that says more credible, powerful and advanced nations shouldn’t interfere in the affairs of nations that are doing things that are harmful to the international community.

10 Prohibition doesn’t work
There is no evidence to show that prohibition is succeeding. The question we must ask ourselves is, “What are the benefits of criminalising any drug?” If, after examining all the available evidence, we find that the costs outweigh the benefits, then we must seek an alternative policy.

Legalisation is not a cure-all but it does allow us to address many of the problems associated with drug use, and those created by prohibition. The time has come for an effective and pragmatic drug policy.

I will agree, prohibition as we have previously used it hasn’t worked well.  However, this isn’t for the reasons that one might think.  We have declared a “war on drugs”, but here in America, we like to declare war on things.  We have the “war on drugs”, the “war on crime” and the “war on poverty”.  We’ve even declared war on cancer.  George Carlin once said something to the effect of “you give me a disease, we’ll declare war on it!”  Yet none of these are wars, they are simply political positions, it gives the politicians something to talk about and rally the troops around.  The war on drugs is all talk and very little action, mostly because America lacks the will to take the action that needs to be taken if we are serious about ending drugs and their associated problems.

In fact, our current system doesn’t work.  It doesn’t stop anyone from taking drugs, it doesn’t stop drugs from being openly and freely available, it doesn’t stop the crime involved in drug use, so why keep doing it?  Well, like it or not, the same thing can be said for murder.  Our current laws haven’t stopped murders from taking place, they haven’t eliminated contract killers, nor done away with the weapons that can be used to commit murders.  Therefore, as seems to be the rationalization by drug-advocates, should we simply legalize murder?  Because the people who support drug use assert that drug use can be a positive thing.  I don’t think you can make that case at all.

I do not acknowledge that permitting pathetic people to act in a pathetic manner, to dodge responsibility and live in a drug-induced fantasy world, is doing anyone any favors.  We live in an unfortunately increasingly-liberalized world, where personal responsibility is a thing of the past and we can point to that lack of responsibility as a contributing factor, if not a direct cause of most of the world’s problems.  When people choose not to be responsible, either individually or collectively, you have problems that only worsen with time.

So how do I think we ought to fix the drug problem?  Certainly not with legalization, although as I said, I have no problem with drugs that have a legitimate medical use being accessible to those with a legitimate medical need.  In fact, I go 100% the other way.  I think that if we’re serious about eliminating the drug problem, we not only need to claim that we have a war on drugs, we need to actually start one.  The first order of business is that all convicted drug dealers, without exception, are put to death.  Not after 40 years when they’re old and sick and have spent a lifetime in prison, I mean right after their mandatory appeal.  Take them out back and shoot them.  I do mean all drug dealers, by the way, from the drug kingpin who makes billions off of drugs to the guy on the streetcorner selling baggies of pot.  If you make money from drugs, if you exchange goods for drugs, be you black or white, rich or poor, old or young, you have forfeited your life.

Then we exercise actual zero tolerance.  The original zero tolerance thing wasn’t serious.  It confiscated property and money made on illegal drugs and sold things off for pennies on the dollar and the money just vanished into government programs.  I’m serious about it.  If you are convicted and executed of dealing drugs, the government, with a civilian oversight group, confiscates *EVERYTHING* you own.  Everything.  If you tried to hide some of your ill-gotten gain in the names of others, call in the IRS auditors to climb all over their books and confiscate any money deemed to be illegally present.  If you’re married and your wife and/or minor children legitimately were unaware of your activities, treat it as a divorce, the wife can have half of whatever non-drug-money related properties exist and if there are none such, give her a one-time payout so she can get on her feet, none of this “lots of money so she can maintain the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed” crap.  All properties are sold on the open market for market value, not at tiny auctions for a fraction of their actual worth.  All proceeds get split between drug enforcement activities and licensed drug treatment facilities.  Yes, I understand the problems inherent in letting police capture “drug dealers” and getting big paychecks out of it, there is a chance of trying to railroad wealthy people through the system so they can get a gigantic windfall.  Like I said, there will be a civilian oversight committee, and the details can be hashed out at a later date.  The point is, we take as much impetus for that away from the authorities as we can.

We also confiscate all of the drugs that currently are simply destroyed.  It is graded and the best of it is given to treatment programs that need it.  There are many drugs that are so addictive, they simply cannot be stopped cold turkey, they must be gradually decreased over time.  The best of the marijuana confiscations get sent to legitimate, licensed medical marijuana facilities.  Anything that we can legitimately use out of these confiscations, we should use.  Anything we cannot, we destroy.

And for the users, we do not sent them to prison.  Prison is not the proper place for a drug user.  We could cut 50% of our prison populations tomorrow if we’d just let the people who were smoking a joint go.  Anyone found guilty of using drugs would be consigned to a drug treatment facility.  Depending on the individual case, this can be in-patient or out-patient.  You do not get out of the program until you are both 100% off of drugs, have had psychological counseling and, preferably, can demonstrate that you have a job.  You can, and will, be randomly tested for drugs for a period of 3-5 years after your conviction.  Your drug conviction will be sealed once you have left the program, in other words, employers will not be able to see that you’ve had a drug conviction, and after the 3-5 years of probation, assuming no drugs ever turn up in your system, the conviction will be totally expunged from your record.

Put this system in place for a few years and you’d almost totally eradicate the drug problem.  Once dealers know that they have a better than average chance of ending up dead, most of them will stop out of self-preservation and the ones that don’t, well, they end up dead and that problem solves itself.  Most of those that remain are going to drive up the prices dramatically, they’re going to want significant compensation for risking their lives every day, thus pricing a large percentage of drug users out of the market.  If a joint costs you $100 or $1000, pretty soon you learn to do without or you get into a treatment program and get clean.  This should all go for foreign nationals in the country as well.  I don’t think we should recognize diplomatic immunity with regard to drug crimes either.  Yeah, you’re a diplomat but you’re dealing drugs in our country, you’re subject to our drug laws, kiss your ass goodbye.

The laws of supply and demand will take over and, if supply is virtually wiped out, demand will eventually wane.  I don’t care how much you want to buy an alien saucer, there aren’t any, so your demand is irrelevant.  Of course, this will never happen because America doesn’t have the will or the guts to take a stand like that. The world is getting more and more liberalized and I would honestly not be surprised one day to see people start arguing for legalized murder.  And yes, all of this is entirely authoritarian, but you say it like that’s a bad thing.  Authoritarianism is not a bad thing, it is the flip side of freedom.  If you are free, you are responsible for your freedom, you are responsible for your actions, you are responsible to society and society has a right to hold you accountable to it’s laws and rules.

Welcome to reality.  I wish more people lived in it.

68 thoughts on “Ten Reasons (Not) to Legalize Drugs

  1. This will be long, can't do it any other way or at least can't. Also bar one particular notion which I unapologetically find incredibly erroneous I'm not trying to be abusive, apologies if anything comes off that way.

    1) I don’t know what lies at the heart of problematic drug use, undoubtedly many factors some of which might very well be solved by attending to other causal factors. Some people may steal basics to survive; having more money either through welfare or an enforced liveable minimum wage would probably halt further theft by them. However, as was initially pointed out, most drug use is recreational and non-problematic, just like most people who drink are not alcoholics with drink problems. I agree that there is a degree of personal responsibility but it is not the sole determining factor. But if it is all a matter of responsibility then it implies that those who consider themselves responsible should have the choice to use or not use be it tobacco, alcohol or any other narcotic.

    2) Do you know one reason why there is so much tax on tobacco products? It’s to provide strong encouragement to give up the habit in the service of national health, and if you insist well then you can pay the price. Yes this high price has provided an opening for the sale of contraband tobacco products but most people still seem to purchase their tobacco products from the legal avenues and not the shady ones. Just like most people buy from a store and not hot goods or counterfeit.

    Unfortunately you appear to be conflating this point with four to extrapolate out this intent to sell to minors angle and make that the bulk of your argument saying little about the actual point. It is a trivial observation to note that prohibitions against the sale to minors hasn’t prevented access to alcohol and tobacco, and? So they’ll still access the currently illegal narcotics they are prohibited from accessing which they are accessing anyway; doesn’t look like much of a change.

    If we legalised and regulated sensibly the sale of narcotics it would obliterate the criminal market, one that is so very lucrative precisely because they are the only source. The Mob gained power precisely because the government handed to them a lucrative market in illegal alcohol production and sale.

    That said, I don’t agree with prescription access, as you say that is nonsensical as that will still leave most without access and whose only recourse will be the illegal market which would hardly notice the loss of a few medical users.

    3) It would reduce crime, for the simple reason that if drugs are legal to obtain and legal to use then neither will land you in prison as they currently can. A large segment of the US prison population is there over drug related charges, if there were never any narcotic prohibition this population would be significantly reduced. It should go without saying that no one suggests that legalising drugs would make all crime vanish.

    The cartels largely exist to operate their narcotic operations, much of the violence is related to this as they fight for territory, to enforce their will and silence problems if they cannot buy them. If they have no business then the investment of violence is no longer worth the return. There is a gulf of difference between legalising one and legalising all, obviously just legalising one drug would just shift the cartels to another, just like cracking down just moves them to another place or allows another cartel to take prominence. Legalise them all, however, and their other options dry up along with the bulk of their revenue from which they derive their power. Won’t eliminate them but it will likely make the problem significantly smaller.

    4) It is not an argumentum ad populum for it is the simple observation that prohibition does not work because instead of going down after enforcement the numbers went up.

    5) Yes it would, the same way proper dissemination of information allows people to make informed choices with any product including tobacco and its FDA mandated warnings. Whether the fact remains that many narcotics have no credible health positive is neither here nor there regards the provision of information, and the final sentence on corner shops and dime bags is wholly irrelevant to the point being answered.

  2. 6) Yes, FOC as any proper national health service should do. Who pays? Ultimately the taxpayer, the same source paying the inordinately greater cost to keep all those “criminals” in chokey, and the large anti-narcotics regimen in operation. You could provide harm reduction initiatives where required and still have plenty left over without ever adding a small tax on the product. Btw declaring users as pathetic is stigmatising.

    7) There is a responsible way to use drugs, just as most people responsibly use tobacco and alcohol without harm to anyone else. Yes there are those who cannot but I fail to see why the inability of the few translates to the majority being denied. We also have laws to handle the abuse of substances such as DUI laws that work, we simply don’t need to punish everyone.

    As for their point on law, there is no absurdity here, a very valid criticism of people being made criminals merely by judicial whimsy. No, no sorry, that’s now illegal largely because we ahhh, said so, you’re a criminal now. It’s like declaring the lack of a beard illegal, blasphemy or the wearing of a burkha illegal. Yes those who fail to observe the new law are technically criminals but that’s the real absurdity, just because something is declared illegal does not mean it is a wrongful act.

    8) Well without the prohibition, the details of which product brings more opprobrium would have never arisen.

    9) The point on the worth of the trade is to indicate why it is pursued and why it will not be disappearing, it’s worth far too much and way more than slavery. The allusions to the slave trade are a false equivalency given that narcotic’s production, shipping and sale do not intrinsically require human beings to be mistreated and bandied about as mere commodities. The violence of the drug trade only exists because they have been made illegal.
    The fact is that the narcotics trade is, in and of itself not harmful to the international community, it is an imagined harm created by the arbitrary declaration of narcotics as illegal as though the mere act of doing so magically renders it to be objectively so. If that invention did not exist, they would be traded as any other product is and no one would care. But due to the arbitrary declaration of some, others are expected to comply with foreign dictates or be punished for not moulding their laws in accordance with the bigger folks. If the US decided that to do business with it other nations must declare to be Christian nations would it be reasonable to punish those that did not comply?

    10) Prohibition has been and continues to be a complete failure, despite the ever increasing budgets thrown into the “war” there has been no significant retardation of usage, in fact the opposite tends to be the result. I have no idea what “lacks the will” is to mean other than a suggestion that the thing should be wholly militarised, but given that terrorists can no more be easily found than cartels I don’t see much interdiction happening never mind the wholesale violations of sovereign territories all justified by the imaginary harm of an invention. Besides, they’ve been getting tougher for years since the whole thing started and what’s the result? Failure, abject failure because someone failed to account for supply and demand.

    “Therefore, as seems to be the rationalization by drug-advocates, should we simply legalize murder?”

    Hyperbole. Only by the most uncharitable reading could that conclusion be reached, it is an absurdity. If I murder you I rob you of your life, I directly harm another human being. If I smoke pot or partake of some other substance in my own home, you are not only unharmed but completely oblivious to it. It should never have been made illegal in the first place and as the whole effort to eradicate a relatively harmless activity has been an utter and costly failure, the numbers are a clear indication that prohibition does not work and it should be jettisoned. That’s pragmatism, not more pushing on getting tough.

    As for your views on pathetic people living in fantasy worlds. Well I honestly couldn’t care less, you’re certainly entitled to view people any way you wish, you just don’t get to translate those views into prescriptions others must live by.

  3. “Put this system in place for a few years and you’d almost totally eradicate the drug problem.”

    Or we could stop seeing people choosing to use a substance whether drugs or alcohol as a problem to be eradicated and only view poor behaviour as an issue worth tackling. Most people drink without issue, most use drugs without issue, there is no problem save the one prohibitionist leaning folks invent by the circular argument of drugs are a problem because they are illegal and they’re illegal because they’re a problem. Seriously, where is this terrible harm that must be expunged? If we could jettison this fantasy that merely because it has been declared against the law it must therefore be wrong, well we’d be a lot better off.

    Oh and no, you wouldn’t eradicate it, the method of delivery would amend to get around the proscriptions same as it always does. Violence may actually increase against law enforcement as one may as well shoot the arresting officer as go quietly; it’s hardly going to get any worse for the dealer. Might have a chance if we monitored and tracked everyone 24/7 but I think I’ll pass on living in that kind of dystopian land.

    “The laws of supply and demand will take over and, if supply is virtually wiped out, […] society has a right to hold you accountable to it’s laws and rules.”

    Yeah, it’s the law of supply and demand which has resulted in the complete failure of prohibition; people want it so other people will provide it because unlike alien spaceships narcotics actually exist. It’s been the complete failure to appreciate this simple fact which leads people to think that if they just get tougher then they’ll crush the problem. They’ve been trying to no avail to eradicate the supply, it’s not working.

    It will never happen because executing people for non-violent acts is insanity, not a lack of guts, it’s bald regressive authoritarian nonsense. Authoritarianism which is a bad thing, it sets up people who for some reason confuse their personal life choices as the ones the entirety of society should live by and when they have religion we call the place a theocracy. It’s the flip side of freedom alright, as in you no longer have any save what the state grants.

    As for being accountable to the law, does being on the books alone confer some quality of inviolable truth? Homosexual acts were against the law and still are in less evolved legal systems, are these laws just merely because the law sits on the statute books? Being stoned, hell even put to death for adultery is the law in some places, is that also kosher because it sits on the statute books? Society to be liveable may expect the participants to adhere to some basic rules but those should not extend to what people choose to imbibe, or read, or act so long as it is not harming others directly. But as you remark above it’s not just about societies rules it’s also about which society thinks it’s rules are best and other societies should emulate or else so long as the exporter of the better way has the power to do so.

    So in the end you don’t really propose anything new, more of the same just tougher that’s never shown any utility in the last four decades. We could spend a few more decades throwing large sums of money at getting tougher failure or we could see the reality of our failures, and see if legalisation could produce a better result. It might not but it has more promise than killing people for trivial infractions and aping oppressive regimes.

    That's what I think anyways and sorry for the multiple posts.

    Cheers

  4. "The fact remains that most drugs simply have no credible positive benefits."

    Neither do tobacco and alcohol (not to mention a lot of the junk food on the market today). Should we take all the big company CEOs and workers around back and shoot them too? Or does that only apply to substances with no positive benefits that corps and govs don't control and profit from?

    Anyway, Darthcynic pretty much said it all. I thought Cephus was more rational than this. For shame.

  5. I am finding it hard to believe, that an opinon blog post on illegal drugs, and why they should not be legalized, has anything to do with any of the other comments about alcohol, tobacco, death penalty, etc.

  6. What an oasis for rational atheists- thank you.
    I would counter a bit where you talk about blacks being overrepresented in drug arrests. Inhaled crack is shorter acting and more potent than snorted cocaine. I place crack in the same class as heroin; not so for cocaine. There is a decent reason for giving crack users harsher sentences – drug use sentences should not be 'one fits all'.
    For your records, the number one (by orders of magnitude) reason for a prescription for medical marijuana is……drum roll………….low back pain! What a joke.

  7. Society to be liveable may expect the participants to adhere to some basic rules but those should not extend to what people choose to imbibe, or read, or act so long as it is not harming others directly., it’s hardly going to get any worse for the dealer. Might have a chance if we monitored and tracked everyone 24/7 but I think I’ll pass on living in that kind of dystopian land. http://www.nonfaithbased-drugrehab.org/biophysica

  8. I'm not going to lie, I find this article quite ignorant indeed. The majority of the points you listed are plain wrong. I'll try to address them in as short a response as possible.
    1)You completely missed the entire premise upon which this point is based. It's not that legalizing drugs will abolish problems, but that we should be addressing the root of the problem, that being poverty, and not a "boogeyman" of sorts.
    2)There's a fundamental flaw with your argument in this situation. You're implying that there WILL be an underground market to provide these people a cheaper alternative. What you're forgetting is the fact that many many people will simply follow the law, and thus, it will no longer be profitable for large crime organizations to produce, traffick, and sell drugs on a massive scale. The heroin, crack, and cocaine is all imported into the country, and it costs a hella lot to do it.
    3)Yes, they are criminals, but they are criminals for profit, not for the title of being a criminal. Take away their market and they no longer have a reason to be a criminal. You're also forgetting that the drug trade would be abolished, and thus, the extreme amount of violence that goes with it will too be removed.
    4) Of course the amount of people who commit the crime doesn't negate the fact that it's illegal, but it does increase the profits of ruthless, violent international crime organizations, as well as creates a greater possibility of deaths due to irresponsible drug use
    5) How can you even claim this? Of course there would be more, unbiased and truthful information about drugs. Are you high?
    6) Yes, you do tax the drugs. That's one of the main factors of legalization: more money in our economy.
    7)There is such thing as responsible drug use. Legalizing drugs would make it astronomically easier to promote safe and responsible drug use. The majority of deaths attributed to drugs are due to irresponsible use (Overdose, negative setting, generally being unprepared (ie: Not drinking enough water at raves etc)
    8) You're right, we do have to start treating people equally. It doesn't negate the fact that it does happen, and legalizing drugs would effectively abolish this prejudice, whereas just saying "Stop doing it" will do shit all.
    9) I'm not even going to address this. I don't know how you can honestly call yourself a rational thinker and be able to type that out.
    10) Prohibition doesn't work. Simple. Use has been increasing year by year. If that's what you call "working" then I guess it's working damned good.

  9. cigarettes are insanely expensive but I cannot remember the last time I went to my corner drug dealer to buy a pack. Although I should because I LOVE taking the risk of not knowing what he rolled in with my tobacco. When was the last time you bought some brandy off of the guy that steady sits out front of McDonald's? never.

  10. People who use drugs are losers? You sir are a judgmental fuck. You don't know what people go through; just because someone may smoke weed doesn't make them a bad person.

  11. Your outdated idiotic views on drugs and the drug war are JUST WRONG!!! THE ONLY SOLUTION PERIOD IS TO LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS!!! Apart from that there will never be a solution that works if you are in this slim very slim hardheaded idiot group of people that is against what should be a fundemental freedom for all of mankind to do what they what with their own bodies you are the loser I suspect your carreer would be affected by drug legalization Right?. Maybe we should create a law against the consumption of hamburger meat? tomatoes? Rice? how would you feel if i had never eaten rice in my life yet created a law against rice consumption for you? what we choose to put in our bodies is our own business do not make it yours to tell me what I can and Cannot put into mine. And in fact if you hate drug users and feel this way then why against legalization? How would it affect you in any way and why the hell do you care do you just like to impose your will and outdated views against others? Or are you one of the sick people making money off the mass incarceration of inocent people?People like you are really sick in the head and luckily your arguments have all been proven false and are coming to light you are a brainwashed dinasaur and your times coming to end. Legalization of all drugs will be the biggest positive move forward for the human race and the countries that choose to do it in terms of new tax revenue, jobs,business opportunitys, race relations, drops in crime and violence, improved relashionships between countries,less tax spending, less incarcerated people,less murder the list goes so far on im not even going to get into it the biggest game changer for the human race and i hope im around to see it. People who think like you are truly dangerous or just truly stupid i'm not sure which I would love to see you in a debate with an anti prohibitionist that would be funny as hell just away guy go away…….

  12. most of middle east does exactly what you propose doing; killing all those involved in the illegal drug trade. Every year they gather up the offenders and execute them in a big spectacle. Do you know what they do this every year oh great master of humanity and how they behave? IT'S BECAUSE EVEN DEATH DOESN'T WORK AS A VIABLE DETERRENT. One last thing, there are other reasons for using drugs than feeling good about yourself. Meth provides a very euphoric (Good feeling) experience while giving the user shit tons of energy to BE PRODUCTIVE AND SHIT. do all meth users do this? of course not but your whole argument views all drug USERS as drug ABUSERS. Your mom or dad ever drink with friends? Or what about any one in your family, a friend maybe? Know anyone whose smoked a cigar or a cigg? Or drank a fucking coffee filled with the drug known as CAFFEINE? I guess by your logic we're taking them in the back and shooting them. The key is in the hypocrisy, why are these drugs legal and not these? The government restricts the freedom of consenting adults to control their consciousness.

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