Tag Archives: drugs

Attacking Those Who Don’t Use Drugs

This one always gives me a chuckle.  Whenever the subject of drug legalization comes up and I say I am not in favor of it, the nutty drug advocates desperately try to find something that I do that they can point at and say “aha!  You’re guilty too!”  They never can, of course, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, and I’ve even started saying I don’t do religion because that’s an addiction as well.  I am about the least addictive person around and that just frustrates the hell out of them.  They really want to find something that they can point to and feel smugly superior about.  Too bad they always fail.

Mostly this is because they can’t actually argue their point.  They can’t defend drug usage rationally.  They can’t show that drug usage is actually a net positive for society.  In fact, they really only have three arguments.

First, “I want to!”  Well who the hell cares?  That’s the most immature argument of them all, it’s throwing a temper tantrum, holding your breath because you don’t get your way.  Rational adults don’t operate like that.

Second, “you can’t stop people from taking drugs to stop trying!”  That’s equally idiotic.  We can’t stop people from killing each other either, does that mean we ought to stop trying?  This is one of those lowest common denominator arguments that I’ve talked about before.  “Stupid people are stupid so don’t try to stop them from being stupid!”  Rational adults don’t act like that either.

Finally, as I’ve already pointed out, is the “gotcha!” argument.  The “see, you’re just as guilty so shut the hell up!” argument. And as I already said, that doesn’t work either but they sure do try.  They go to extreme lengths in fact, I’ve even seen some of them say “do you drink coffee?” or “do you take aspirin?”  Well, no, I don’t drink coffee, can’t stand the stuff, and while you might have been able to make the case for caffeine not too long ago, my doctor has me on a strict water regimen now, so nope, no caffeine for me.  And aspirin?  Seriously, that’s a legal OTC medication that cannot, no matter how hard you try, make you high.  It is a pain killer.  And they’ve even tried that one, saying that the purpose of pain killers is to “make you feel good”, therefore there’s no difference between aspirin and cocaine.  Give me a break!  By that “logic”, eating a good mean is the same thing as injecting heroin into your veins because both can make you feel good.

But these people say stupid things because they are desperate.  They have no credible arguments.  They are immature hedonistic idiots who care only about themselves and not at all about society as a whole.  They want no responsibility to others, they only want to take care of themselves and screw everyone else.  And the more that you point out how stupid their arguments are, the more upset they get.  The harder they try to use one of these ridiculous arguments to regain some semblance of credibility.  It doesn’t work though.  It doesn’t convince anyone.  It just makes them look more and more pathetic.

And that’s what drug users are.  Pathetic.

Are You Addicted to Religion?

jesus-shot-03It’s no surprise that there is such an overlap between drug addiction and extreme religious adherence, there are a lot of elements that are similar between the two. People who go to get clean of drugs or alcohol often exchange one addiction for another, either a religion or a religious 12-step program and sometimes, the cure is much worse than the disease.

So are you addicted to religion?  The following are symptoms, taken from The Two Faces of Religion: A Psychiatrist’s View, written by N. S. Xavier, M.D. in 1987.  How many do you see in yourself?

*Inability to doubt, think, or question information or authority. This cuts  directly to the core of any irrational belief, especially when you plug in fanatical attachment to the belief as well. If you cannot doubt your conclusions, if you cannot question your position and critically examine your belief, then you are lost.

*Avoidance of personal responsibility. You really can’t be personally responsible for yourself and your actions if you’re counting on a book of mythology to do it for you.  Religion tells you what to think and what to do, it is all too common for people to admit that without religion, they’d be totally amoral animals.

*Black and white, right or wrong, simplistic thinking. I think this is a hallmark of religious thinking, where something is good or bad, based on one’s beliefs, not on one’s critical thinking skills.  Believers think gods declare things sins and people embrace that idea without ever bothering to think about it intellectually.  The whole of religious thinking is very simplistic, by-the-book faith-based nonsense.

*Obsessive adherence to rules, regulations, routines, rituals; scrupulosity. Lots of theists simply adopt a life of ritual, going to church at a certain time, bowing for prayer at a certain time, they aren’t thinking about what they’re doing, religion encourages a life of habit, not thought.

*Bibliolatry – a worship of spiritual texts often to the point of manipulation or distortion. How many times have you heard “The Bible said it, I believe it, that settles it”?  There are tons of theists who have no thoughts of their own, they can only throw around Bible or Qur’an verses to answer any question.  They’ve been brainwashed by these books.

*Unwillingness to accept ideas that may present conflicts or challenges to beliefs. How many theists simply reject anything that disagrees with their beliefs out of hand, not because they’ve carefully considered the points, but because it makes them uncomfortable to think they might possibly be real?

*Miraculous (magical) thinking that God will make it right (or fix the problem). Theists expect God to come along and solve all their problems, how many do you know that are on their knees constantly, praying for everything from winning lottery tickets to finding their missing car keys?  God becomes a solution to all problems and if the problems aren’t solved, they will rationalize some reason why God doesn’t want it solved.

*Unrealistic financial contributions. Theists give absurd amounts of money to their churches, the more fundamentalist that you are, the more likely you are to give money above and beyond your financial means.  Televangelists are famous for taking advantage of people, encouraging them to send in as much money as they can, all the while living the life of luxury off of the gullible.

*Progressive detachment from the “real” world. I’m sure you’ve seen those stupid “Not of this world” bumper stickers, there are people who seriously think that they don’t belong here, they’re just biding their time until they die and can get on with “real life”.  This is a completely delusional position, yet it is incredibly common among the religious.

*Rejection of individuals on the basis of differing beliefs, gender, race, and performance of rituals. Religions, by and large, are xenophobic.  They hate those that are different than them and belittle anyone who doesn’t fall into their little clique.  Racism, sexism and other forms of irrational hatred and distrust are very commonplace among the religious, not because they have any rational reason to think so, but because they’ve rationalized their way around it by declaring God’s stamp of approval.

*Inability to laugh at religious (or sexual) humor. Shooting cartoonists, burning down abortion clinics, the religious really have no sense of humor when it comes to their religious beliefs.  They lack the ability to step back and evaluate things from an outsider’s perspective.

*Believing that physical pleasure is evil and that sex is dirty. The religious are, by and large, afraid of sex, they have wrapped a large portion of their religious beliefs around sex and turned it into a means for control.  Some of this comes from the church leadership, people who make a living being a spokesman for God.  Some of it comes from a primitive understanding of the world around us.  Either way, if  your religion tells you sex is horrible and puts a ton of rules on it, you’re probably believing something ridiculous.

If three or more of those apply to you, you are addicted to your religious beliefs in an unhealthy way and probably need to seek professional help.

What is “Adult”?

adults_only_logoSeriously, when I hear people discussing “adult” entertainment and things they do as “adults”, I have no clue what they’re talking about because virtually everything they’re discussion sounds extremely childish to me.  When I hear people saying they’re going to go out and get drunk and get high and watch porn and sleep around and do all of this crap, I think it sounds utterly idiotic.  I grew up, when are they planning on doing so?

See, all of those ideas are things I left in the past a long, long, long time ago.  To me, being adult is about responsibility and maturity and raising a family and being a good citizen and all of that stuff.  Smoking something or drinking something to make yourself lose control is the polar opposite of being an adult as far as I’m concerned.  Sitting around masturbating to midget porn, that’s something an oversexed adolescent does.  By the time you get into your mid-20s, you should have outgrown that stuff and should be serious about life.

Hell, the last time I had a beer was right after I turned 21.  I will freely admit that I used to drink before I was legal, I partied a little, I never used drugs, nor had any interest, but I wasn’t totally out of control either.  The last time I drank, I went to a bar with my friend Tony to celebrate my 21st birthday.  We had a couple of beers.  We oggled a couple of scantily clad dancing girls.  We got in our cars and went home.  We weren’t drunk, we weren’t impaired, we left and that was the last time I ever had the slightest interest in having alcohol.  Why?  Because I realized that the only thing I really cared about was the “thrill” of doing something wrong.  I didn’t want to drink.  I didn’t particularly like the taste of alcohol.  It was the “forbidden fruit” and the second I was legal to walk into any store and buy beer, I no longer wanted beer.  It’s been more than 25 years since then and I haven’t had a drop since.  Why would I?  Most of my friends don’t drink either.  My wife’s parents don’t drink, although granted, a lot of that has to do with her father’s medical condition which makes alcohol restricted.  My mother, sister and her husband drink on rare occasions, they might order a glass of wine with dinner, but that’s it.  They’re not sitting around in their underwear, watching NASCAR and swilling cheap booze out of a box.  I would never surround myself with people like that.

The same goes for smoking.  My parents both smoked when I was growing up, in fact, I suspect it had a lot to do with my father’s cancer that killed him.  They both realized that it was a stupid habit and they both quit pretty early on.  It is dumb.  None of my friends smoke and I don’t surround myself with smokers.  I do know some people who smoke, the co-host of my podcast being one, but since he’s half-way across the country from me, his habits don’t personally affect me and I don’t say anything and he knows that it’s a filthy, unhealthy addiction that he ought to quit and it’s his life.  However, we do know that it is dangerous.  We do know that it is addictive.  We do know that it significantly contributes to cancer.  People who actually have responsibilities in life who are smoking are idiots in my opinion.

The same goes for drugs.  Now I have a huge personal problem with drugs, I fundamentally dislike anyone who uses them and I have zero respect for any of the supposed “reasons” why they think it’s okay.  I think they are harmful to society as a whole.  I’ve written about it before and I’ve yet to receive a credible argument for what  good drugs can do for society.  But let’s look at all three of these things because I think that they all fill the same kind of irresponsible, childish niche.  All of them exist to make people feel good.  They’re artificial mood enhancers.  That’s exactly how people describe them.  That’s stupid.  As I’ve said before, if you have to inject, ingest, smoke or snort any illicit substance, purely for the purpose of making yourself feel good, you’ve got some serious personal issues.  Now I’m not doing this “natural high” bullshit, but seriously, if your life is so awful that you have to pop some pills or gulp some vodka to feel better, you’re doing something wrong and need some professional help.  Adults, real adults, people with mature and intelligent outlooks on the world, realize that every day isn’t the best day of your life.  There are ups and downs.  There are peaks and valleys.  There are good days and bad days and shooting something into your arm isn’t going to make that change, in fact, it’s only going to make things worse.  Illicit substances don’t actually solve problems, they just make you forget that they exist for a little bit.  When you come down, when you sober up, the problems are still there, plus probably new problems that came about because of your inebriated state.  People need to learn to deal with reality as reality stands, period.

And then there’s porn.  Okay, I’ve got no problem with porn per se, but honestly, once you’re an adult, once you’ve found someone to commit your life to, once you’re married and have kids and a life and a career, once you can generally have sex with your partner any time you want, you still have to go look at fetish videos?  Seriously? What’s wrong with you?  This is someone that you found, that you were willing to spend the rest of your life with, someone that you supposedly carefully and rationally considered the future with and now, you want to watch other people screw on the Internet?  Give me a break.  Now okay, to spice up a relationship, that’s fine, but for one side or the other to use as a replacement for a relationship?  Grow up.  And that goes for affairs too.  The marriage vows don’t say “until I’m no longer sexually interested”.  It says death.  Take it seriously.  If you weren’t willing to make that commitment, you never should have done it in the first place.  And yes, as much as I think divorce is way overused in our society, if you just can’t help yourself, if your partner cheated on you or if things have changed to such a degree that you can’t possibly live together, get a divorce. Have some balls and be responsible. But I still think you’re a dick for doing it, except for cause.

I really get sick of idiots who think that they’re an adult so they can do anything they want to do, screw what anyone else thinks.  No, that’s childish.  It’s one thing when you’re a kid and you have no responsibilities, you can go out and play with your friends and have a good time. Once you get to be 25 years of age though, you have to put aside those childish things and be an adult.  That means taking responsibility for yourself and your family.  That means accepting your responsibilities to society, to your employer, to your community and those around you. You are not a mountain, accountable to no one.  As an adult, you are accountable to everyone.  That’s not negotiable.  You have no choice. Stop being an asshole, grow a pair and man (or woman) up.

That’s what an adult actually is.

The Forgotten Aspect of Responsibility

spiderman-responsibilityRecently, Mike and I were on Jim Goebel’s Side Project Live podcast and we talked mostly about conservatism vs. libertarianism and found few real disagreements, although mostly that’s because we ran out of time.  When we were talking about drug policy, one of the other hosts, I don’t remember which one, said something about people taking responsibility for their actions and having to pay the consequences.  While in general terms I agree with that, people should bear the responsibility of their actions, that misses one of the key elements of responsibility that I think most people overlook. The responsibility to make good decisions in the first place.

Of course, what constitutes a good decision is purely subjective, some people might think jumping off a bridge attached to a rubber band is a good idea.  I disagree, but it’s their life if things go horribly wrong, not mine, although let’s be honest, my insurance money or my tax money is going to go toward the resolution to this bad medical episode and therefore, it does affect me in some way.  Granted, there’s some poetic justice in the idea that everyone who does something stupid will be responsible for the full and complete cost of their stupidity, but we have to have realistic expectations and in the United States, no matter what the libertarians wish were true, we’ll never just leave people out in the cold to pick up costs they cannot afford, there will always be some kind of social safety net, even if many of us wish there wasn’t.

Yet I would argue that the best decisions are ones that leave us in the least amount of danger and at the least amount of risk of injury, be it financial, physical or emotional.  That doesn’t mean not to take risks, it means don’t take stupid risks.  It means weigh the risks against the rewards and act appropriately.  It also means that just being willing to be accountable for your actions isn’t enough,  you have to make the right decisions to begin with, such that there are no bad consequences for your actions, or at the very least, they are minimal.

That means you don’t just inject heroin into your arm because you’re willing to be addicted to the drug, to lose your job and to ruin your health.  Just because you want to isn’t sufficient reason to be able to do it.  Why? Because not only do you have a responsibility to yourself, you have one to society as a whole.  Yeah, I know, people don’t like being responsible to others, but like it or not, that’s the way it is.  You are responsible to those within your community and they are responsible to you.  It’s the old “your right to swing your fist ends at someone else’s nose” thing.  You are free, up until you interfere with someone else.  The same goes for everyone else, they are free right up until they interfere with you.  There are limits on what you can do where it comes into conflict with others.  Your home is your property, but you can’t stuff the front yard with broken down cars and paint it purple polka-dots as this harms the property values of your neighbors.  Your rights are limited, like it or not.  So are theirs, they can’t do the same to you.  Going back to my heroin example, you might really, really want to shove a needle into your arm but this harms not only yourself, but society as a whole.  When something happens, and it almost certainly will, it will be the publically-funded ambulance and fire department responding, taking you to a hospital where, chances are, you have no insurance coverage, or insufficient coverage for the treatment required.  Your impact goes beyond you, even if you can afford to pay for the services yourself, you’re keeping those paramedics and firefighters from doing something more important than saving your drugged-up ass.  Your decision to take drugs is not a good decision to make, no matter how much you want to do it.  It is irresponsible and stupid, regardless of your desire.

A long time ago, I made my feelings about drugs and drug legalization quite clear.  I specifically asked how legalizing drugs is good for society.  Not how is it good for individuals, how is it good for society as a whole? What net benefits does it bring?  Not freer because freedom, just for the sake of freedom, isn’t necessarily a good thing, but what makes society a better place for all by introducing legal drugs to the population?  So far, and it’s been about a year and a half since I posted that, I haven’t received a single credible answer.  All of it has been “but I want to”, not “here’s why it makes society a better place for everyone.”

Sad, isn’t it?

The Immigration System Failure Blues

stop-illegal-immigration-sign-apA couple of weeks ago, we had Jim Goebel on the podcast to take us to task about some of the things that we’d said about libertarians.  Jim is host of The Side Project Live podcast and, in episode 125 of that podcast, he talked about being on the show.  He and his co-hosts also talked about his vacation to Arizona and his encounter with the border patrol.

I have to admit, I spent most of the 75 minutes of the show yelling at my computer.

For those who don’t want to go listen, and I encourage you to do so because it was a fun show, Jim went on vacation in Arizona to a national park and while there, he had to go through at least two border checkpoints.  At one, the agent was an asshole.  At the other, it sounds like there were no issues.  It sounded like he was surprised that the checkpoints were that far inland but, living in California, the 25 or so miles that he described is nothing.  The checkpoint that I’ve been through most often is in Temecula and it’s 75-80 miles to the Mexican border.  I’ve probably been through it 20-30 times and I think I’ve only been stopped once or twice, most of the time it’s not even open and the few times it is, you just slow down a little and they wave you through.  I don’t think I’ve even had to roll my window down.  I can’t speak for how it is in Arizona, but that seems to be a state-specific thing, not a border control thing.

And yes, I’ll agree that there are probably a lot of assholes in the border patrol, just like there are in the TSA.  Those kinds of jobs tend to attract shitheads who want power over others.  I absolutely think that the government ought to rethink their hiring policies and qualifications and even have “secret shoppers”, independent people who go through the lines several times a year to see how they’re treating people and write back to the government for correction, but that’s not really here nor there with regard to this story.

They said that illegal immigration would be less of an issue if we didn’t have a welfare state or if drugs were not illegal and while I agree on the former, I entirely disagree on the latter.  But let’s take these one at a time.  Yes, to some degree, I think that if we didn’t have such a big welfare state, where people can come and get “food stamps” and a free education for their kids and all of that, you would diminish the flow to some degree.  I’ll be the first one to say that we ought to do that, not just for the sake of illegal immigration, but to get away from the liberal stupidity that’s overwhelmed our nation.  However, it wouldn’t stop them from coming entirely.  The fact is, the United States, even in a recession, has a stronger economy than Mexico and the Central American states.  Coming here, even if you take a less-than-minimum-wage job, you’re going to make more money than if you stayed in your home country and worked a similar job there, if you could even find a job to do there.  There are many illegals who come here for a season or two and go back to their homeland with enough money to live on for several years, then they come back and do it again.  Western Union does a brisk business sending money from the U.S. to Mexico, primarily from illegals sending their paychecks home.  Then those workers get assistance from the government, such as Section 8 housing and food subsidies, to live here on the American taxpayer dime.  Very little of the money they make is taxed, a lot of them work under the table, so the idea that they are good for the economy is entirely nonsense.  Even if we got rid of the welfare state, they’d still come, they just wouldn’t be able to send as much money home, they’d probably just stay with friends, in overcrowded hovels, than pay for apartments.  So while I agree with the concept for other reasons, I don’t think it would stop the flood of illegals into this country.

The other, and I’ve talked about my opinions on drugs before, I don’t think would change anything.  The drug cartels in Mexico wouldn’t just dry up if we legalized pot, they’d just switch to harder drugs that are still illegal, or they’d smuggle in cheaper drugs that don’t have to go through the U.S. regulatory machine and don’t have taxes paid on them.  I’m honestly more worried about the former than the latter, there is no rational way we would ever legalize every single drug out there, from LSD to heroin to crack cocaine to Ecstasy.  The cartels would just adapt to the new paradigm and start smuggling harder drugs into the country.  Even if we did legalize all drugs, the cartels would branch out into other crimes.  These groups are not Boy Scouts, they are not going to give up their life of crime and get real jobs because the U.S. decides to change drug policy.  They’ll find something else to do and they’ll keep sending their couriers across the border to do it.  I really don’t want to get into my views on drugs, except to say that I find the typical libertarian views on drugs entirely stupid.

So what else?  There is the language issue, and while they talked about Spanish-speaking workers (and this goes for people who speak all foreign languages) being unable to communicate in English, apparently these people haven’t lived in a state where illegals are the norm.  It’s not just a matter of them not speaking English, it’s a matter of the touchy-feely liberals demanding that these non-English speakers be catered to.  There are many places where, at taxpayer expense, it is mandated by law that signs, forms, documents, etc. are printed, both in English, Spanish and a whole shit-ton of other languages, just because some people here don’t speak the language.   There is a reason why, to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you have to demonstrate a functional understanding and usage of the English language.  I’m not going to argue that we need to enforce that for national cohesion or anything like that, but purely for practical reasons.  I don’t care what you speak in the privacy of your own home or among your friends, but when it comes to communicating with the general public, you must speak English and speak it well enough to be understood.  The idea that we have to make an extra effort and go to an extra expense because some people who shouldn’t even be here at all can’t learn the local dialect is absurd.  And for the podcasters, Illinois does provide required employment posters in English, Spanish and Polish.  That’s 200% more work and more expense than they should have to go to.

No, you’re not. If you were, you’d be making more.

And now the minimum wage.  They were convinced that if we just dropped the minimum wage, that suddenly Americans would start doing all these low-wage jobs that illegals usually get stuck with and therefore, many industries wouldn’t need illegal workers at all.  I find that to be rather absurd, even though I don’t really buy into the concept of jobs Americans won’t do, let’s be honest, there are some that Americans are far less likely to do, jobs that require heavy physical labor for very little money.  The agriculture industry is one that, like it or not, doesn’t pay well and that uses a high percentage of migrant workers in their fields.  Now there are studies that show that if the agriculture industry simply paid American workers minimum wage to work in the fields, the net effect on the cost of vegetables is negligible, but I honestly don’t think you’d get many Americans willing to go work in the fields under the hot sun for minimum wage.  Maybe I’m wrong, that’s just my feeling.  I look at the minimum wage as a safety net, it stops people from being taken advantage of if they are in a desperate situation. While in a perfect world, business transactions ought to be between the employer and the employee, we just don’t live in a perfect world.

My biggest reason we shouldn’t legalize the illegals, shouldn’t open up the borders is pragmatic.  We have a right, as citizens of this nation, to decide who gets to come in and who does not.  A majority of Americans want illegal immigrants deported.  We don’t want to throw open the floodgates and let any Tomas, Ricardo and Geraldo who show up with their hands out.  That’s not racist, it applies to anyone, from any country, of any ethnicity.  I’d be just as adamant about the British showing up on our shores illegally.  Or the Chinese.  Or Nigerian princes.  We just so happen to have a major problem with people coming up from Central and South America.  The reality is that these people are breaking some of our most basic laws and if they can’t be bothered to even attempt to do it the right way, and let’s be honest, the overwhelming majority don’t even make an effort to come legally, how can we think that they’re going to follow the rest of the rules?  This is a nation of laws, that’s how it was founded and that’s how it remains to this day.  So why are we giving anyone a pass who is proving to us that they don’t give a damn about our nation?  If they’re going to break the law to come here illegally in the first place, how can we think they won’t steal or rape or murder if they think they need to?

I’m not going to disagree that our current immigration laws are flawed, any more than I’ll disagree that our current drug policies are flawed.  That doesn’t mean we just throw them out entirely and start over from scratch, it means that we evaluate what we’re doing wrong and make corrections to the current system.  We have a lot of problems in the U.S. and changing course in mid-stream, just because a small group of people don’t respect the law and don’t have any expectations that people follow and respect the law, want things to be different.

Sorry, I just can’t respect this plank in the Libertarian platform, it is one of several that guarantee that I will never, ever, ever be a part of, or even truly respect, the libertarian position.  They might have some good conservative ideas here and there, but so many of their ideas are just absurd and self-destructive.  I can’t give any assent to that.

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #57

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This week, we have special guest Brandi Mattison of the Irreverent Skeptics on to talk about exorcism, Saudi Arabia outlawing names, creationists demanding equal time on Cosmos for their irrational nonsense and Brandi challenges Cephus on drugs and school shootings.  It was a show so fun we had to do it twice!  So get moving, you’re missing the show!

Six More Reasons (Not) To Legalize Pot

You are so long as it continues to be against the law.
You are so long as it continues to be against the law.

A long time ago, I wrote a post on 10 reasons not to legalize drugs and for some reason, it got a tremendous number of hits, it is still one of the most popular articles on the blog most days, even though it’s more than 9 months old. I recently suggested on a forum that if people want to actually defend the legalization of marijuana, they need to come up with some specific positives that can be demonstrated to be true.  Several people made an attempt., but this individual’s attempt stood out by way of organization and effort.  However, they’re still problematic from where I stand, here’s why all of them fail critical evaluation.

1. Jobs: You will need jobs that range from growing to retail. You will employ more farmers, more distribution people, more people at retail outlets, and create new businesses in every part of those sectors. There is also the new industries of making smoking devices and other pot merchandise and selling it. Then you have an increase in any regulatory areas which would be needed to control the sale and quality of the product.

Jobs really aren’t a good reason, there are jobs to be had no matter what you do, if you legalized murder, you’d be able to employ a near endless supply of  coroners and undertakers, not to mention people to make and sell weapons, ammunition, etc.  There are plenty of other ways to create jobs that don’t entail putting legal drugs into the hands of consumers.  This may be a logical extension of legalizing drugs, it isn’t a good reason to do it in the first place.

2. Taxes. Your have direct tax revenue from taxing the sale of the product. Plus you have the indirect taxes which come from the newly employed people and commercial revenue that allows people to purchase other products and services across society.

I honestly don’t think that the tax base here is as large as people seem to think.  The second that the government starts taxing pot, and we know that they will, you’ll also have a lot of moral crusaders adding tons of sin taxes, like they already do with tobacco.  It will end up that the cost of illegal pot will be cheaper than the cost of the legal stuff and I see no reason to think that many consumers are going to go with the more expensive legal stuff when there’s already a clear distribution network for the illegal stuff.  It’s also not that difficult to grow pot yourself and once it’s legal, there’s no way to stop people from doing so.  Yes, you can make your own beer and theoretically grow your own tobacco, but those are much more difficult than growing your small patch of pot in a window box.  There’s a thriving hydroponic industry today that caters to the home grower and those people pay no taxes, nor would they if pot was legal across the board.  I don’t think this is the tax panacea some people think it is.

3. Lower use of unsafe pain relievers. Pot can be used in much healthier ways to reduce pain from many conditions. The liver damaging effects of many modern pain relievers would be reduced through a much safer and better method of controling mild to moderate pain.

This is something I’m relatively okay with, but only with a prescription.  I’d be better with it if they could find a way to package the pain-killing elements of pot while eliminating the non-essential side effects.  If they could do that, stop pot from getting you high, then I’d be more than happy to put it in every store in the country, but not until.  But of course, if pot didn’t get people high, they wouldn’t care about it, would they?

4. Reduction in crime. The sales of pot presently are a huge contributor to the revenue of criminal organizations. Those organizations use that revenue to do violence on the street, to corrupt the government, and to destroy people’s lives. By taking their revenue we can use it for more police and better abilities to drive things like gangs out of our neighborhoods while reducing the criminal’s ability to fight. There is also the reality that our present pot laws contribute to ongoing poverty by putting regular people who may not want to be a part of crime into the criminal system. once you are arrested and convicted of sale or possession you are placed in the same category as any other violent person for the purposes of getting a job. This gives the criminal organizations a large group of poor soldiers to chose from because they become the only area many of those people can get employed, and it is a profitable area to be employed in.

I don’t buy that there will be a significant reduction in crime.  Even if the entire illegal drug marketplace dried up tomorrow, the criminal underworld wouldn’t go get legitimate jobs, they’d just move on to another form of crime. Especially when you’re looking at the street level pushers, they are involved in crime, not because they want to be, but because they have to be.  They have no other skills or education required to get a decent paying job in the real world, they’re just going to move to some other criminal enterprise, be it other, harder drugs, or theft, prostitution, etc.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never thought that we should be putting drug users in prison, they should go into treatment programs, not the criminal justice system.  Likewise, I think we ought to put all drug dealers to death, without exception.  Doing that will empty the prisons rapidly and I’m all in support of that.  I just don’t think that declaring a criminal act to be legal, just because you don’t like the number of people in jail makes any sense whatsoever.

5. Improved health care. Pot does actually have medicinal qualities and is not just a pain reducer as many pain reducers are. It actually helps with certain illnesses and has been found to reduce cancer risks. It is an all natural sleep aid and nausea reducer. It helps promote apatite for people who need that because of other medical procedures. It doesn’t conflict with many other drugs. It is cheap also.

Well, it has pain reduction qualities, it hasn’t actually been shown to help cure any disease, so once again, I’m fine with it being available to the public with a prescription.  We don’t put out Vicodin over the counter, I see no reason we ought to do so with pot.

6. Happy people. Pot is not alcohol. It makes most people who take it happy instead of being a mood amplifier. People smoke it because it is fun to do. Being high is an interesting and fun experience on pot. The worst that seems to come from it would be adam sandler’s movie career. I hate him as much as the next guy, but if something excuses the massive sales of his crap I do not care. Saturday night live might become good again.

But this just brings me back to my original statement, that I think anyone who injects or imbibes, snorts or smokes any illicit substance, particularly for the sole purpose of mood alteration, has some serious issues to begin with and I see no reason to encourage such people.

Wait, some people say, aren’t you a conservative?  Don’t you think that people ought to be responsible for themselves and have the freedom to do as they wish?  Yes, to a certain degree.  But people are also responsible to society as a whole and that’s something that most liberals and libertarians forget.  This is something they just  don’t like, that they have an obligation to those around them, as much as they do to themselves. Liberals don’t think anyone should ever have to give back to society and libertarians hate the idea that they are responsible to anyone but themselves, but there you go.  There is a balance between being free and being irresponsible.  You have an inherent social contract in which you agree, whether you like it or not, that you will follow society’s laws, that you will act on society’s behalf as necessary and that you will be a responsible individual and a civilized and productive citizen.

It is to that last option that I speak here.  If our goal is to advance society, to improve society, then we all rise or fall together.  It does society no good to wear an anchor around it’s collective neck.  It is the expectation that each and every person make at least a good faith effort to be productive, to work hard, to get educated, to pay back to society that which has been invested in them.  It’s fine to be an individual to a certain extent, it is not fine to ignore your responsibilities to those around you.

That means that if you breed, you are personally responsible for paying for and raising responsible citizens.  If you smoke, the cost of any illness associated with  your actions is  yours and yours alone.  If you screw around and fail to get an education, the responsibility for your failure is  yours.  You shouldn’t expect people to come and help you when you’re the one who messed up your life in the first place.  It’s one thing to have a social safety net that catches you when you fall and puts you back on your feet, it’s another to never try in the first place and be unprepared and unwilling to work at all.

That’s going to piss off our liberal friends, who think that breathing is enough to get one a free pass in life, but it’s not.  This is neither a totalitarian nor authoritarian position, it’s one of responsibility, not emotion, one of expectation, not wishful thinking.  You’re not special.  You do not have special dispensation to be a lazy, selfish git.  Everyone who has the ability to get up and work has the expectation to get up and work, bar none.  People do not have the right to pollute themselves, to the point where they are useless to the rest of us.  We all sink or swim together.  I choose swim.

How about you?

Alcoholism: Better Late Than Never

smoking alcohol drugsI have a passing acquaintance who has spent a lifetime smoking and drinking and, I think although I don’t know for sure, doing drugs.  Years ago, I told him flat out I thought he was an idiot for  doing any of it and I suspect that, more than anything else, stopped us from being actual friends, I have no respect for anyone who has to inject, ingest, snort or smoke any substance in order to feel better about themselves, as I have said before.

However, I recently got an e-mail from him, explaining that a close family member has been diagnosed with terminal alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver and an aunt made him promise to give up drinking as a result, they were afraid he’s going to be the next one in the family to drop dead.  He’s decided to go one step further though and also give up smoking “and everything else”, as he said in his e-mail.  He’s already joined AA, got a sponsor and the whole rigamarole and just wanted to let me know that I was right all along.  He’s spent many years of his life, wasting his time on things that ultimately brought nothing positive to his life.  Between all the money he’s wasted on alcohol and tobacco and “other things”, all he has to show for it are a couple DUI convictions, some smashed fenders and lots of good people he’s driven away by being drunk.

Yet I do wonder how committed someone can be when they are only taking an action at the behest of someone else.  In this case, I think he’s sat down and thought about it enough that he’s adopted the desire internally, but for others who don’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing, they’re just trying to stop because someone asked them to, I question their commitment to the cause.  True change really has to come from within, people have to be convinced that a change is needed, that they’re the ones in the wrong and they’re the only ones that can bring about that change.  In fact, if these people were rational to begin with, if they were committed to sitting down and thinking about everything that they do, why they do it and if they should be doing it in the first place, then I feel certain that most people wouldn’t be drinking or smoking or doing “other things” in the first place.  I’ve never had a good reason why someone should want to drink excessively or smoke or do drugs that aren’t entirely emotionally-based, there is no rational reason to do any of these things, thus rational people ought not do them.

This individual has never been terribly religious, but he has joined AA because it was the only game he knew about in town.  One of the things he asked me is how to deal with all of the religious nonsense inherent in AA.  I sent him some secular alcoholic links in hopes that he might find something he can use, but so far, he says he likes his sponsor so who knows what he will decide to do.  In any case, I wish him the best, he said he’ll keep in contact and let me know how things are going.  He’s just started, but he says that he’s been clean and sober for 3 days now, as of this writing, and while it’s hard, he’s going to make it no matter what.  That, at least, gains him my respect and hopefully, he can better respect himself now.  He’s making his life better and hopefully can mend fences with all those around him.

Some People Don’t Get It

I wrote a while back about drugs and that post has quickly become one of my most read posts, yet one of the least commented by percentage.  I guess people just have no rational reason why drug legalization is a good thing, beyond “because I want it!”  I did have an e-mail exchange though, telling me I must be a hypocrite because, clearly, even if I didn’t do drugs, there must be some other substance that I used recreationally so I’d feel good about myself.

Unfortunately, he(?) was wrong.  I just don’t.  I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I don’t eat the wrong foods (I’m diabetic, I can’t), I don’t drink coffee or tea or many caffeinated drinks… so what is it I’m supposedly doing wrong?  Oh wait, I must sleep around!  Nope, been faithful to my wife for more than 20 years now, no interest in anyone else.  This guy(?) went on for a while, accusing me of random things that prove I’m a hypocrite, that I have no room to criticize drug use because clearly, no one on the planet can possibly not do something dangerous or hazardous or socially unacceptable.  If you leave out my atheism, which clearly is still generally socially unacceptable but improving every day, I’m just your typical boring conservative happily-married guy.

And I still think using drugs is stupid.

Anyone else want to accuse me of anything while we’re on the subject?

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.

Drugs and Responsibility

I rarely respond in threads regarding drug legalization.  It’s a sticky subject and I, who vehemently oppose drug legalization, usually find no support from those around me.  This is especially true on one particular forum which is comprised largely of wingnut libertarians.  That said though, I recently opened my mouth and said I considered most drug users to be pathetic losers and, as such, legalizing drugs was simply a means to give pathetic losers a way to continue being pathetic losers legitimately. Continue reading Drugs and Responsibility