Seek Remedy for Disastrous Drug War 

Seek Remedy for Disastrous Drug War 
Posted by FoM on November 02, 2001 at 10:52:39 PT
By Brad Cohen, Viewpoint Writer
Source: Cavalier Daily
After years of an ineffective war on drugs, it is time to reconsider the nation's handling of the critical issue. Banning this vice has not done a single positive thing for this country. Instead, it has started a costly and interminable war against an elusive enemy. The attempts to curb drug-related deaths only have created crime and societal problems. Drugs and alcohol are similar in most respects, yet the government is years behind in its regulation of drugs. 
Prohibition, the war on alcohol in the 1920s, failed in every major objective and has been replicated decades later with drugs taking the place of alcohol. However, the inevitable failure of the drug war does not cast an ominous shadow of doubt on America's future. With careful regulation and proper education, drugs can be controlled and will not create widespread societal problems as feared. The restrictions on drugs during the last half of the 20th century created a new and lucrative industry in which supply is limited to specific dealers, prices are exorbitant, and business is conducted with force and violent crime. The police dedicate their limited resources and manpower to fight the supply side of this lawless industry to no avail. The problem is that the drug industry is like the multi-headed Hydra that cannot be defeated. Dealers always find a way to supply the insatiable public demand. Eradication of dangerous activities isn't possible, so the focus should shift to adjusting to account for them. Drug use is a personal choice, albeit one made by weak and stupid people. Everybody has their vices, but not all are allowed. Common reasons for why drugs should be illegal are that they are addictive and pose a threat to personal and public safety. However, alcohol, gambling and smoking share these same qualities. The big difference is that moderation is not as easy with drugs, consequently drugs are more dangerous. If the degree of danger is the only substantive difference between these activities, it is arbitrary to allow some and ban others because they are less publicly acceptable. People that eat fatty foods and live sedentary lives are making a choice that will kill them eventually, yet nobody restricts their eating. Telling people they can't use heroin is to demand that obese people put down the bucket of chicken from KFC. Separating the bad vices from the really bad vices is a slippery slope and makes little sense. Drugs are more dangerous than other vices and should be subject to intense scrutiny, but regulation is better than restriction. If proper criminal law is enacted, society would be much safer than it is under prohibition of drugs. Opponents of legalization suggest that it would allow people to walk around and drive while under the influence, resulting in accidents, death and public disorder. A minimum drinking age, restrictions on sales, limited marketing, banning public drunkenness and harsh penalties for breaking these rules have kept alcohol from being a truly disruptive element in society. Narcotics are more potent versions of alcohol, and regulations can be tailored to have the same minimizing effect. If a man wants to snort some coke and enjoy the football game on television with friends, the only thing that he is doing wrong is harming his own body. The most crucial aspect of drug legalization is that using drugs is not an inherently bad activity that endangers public safety. It can be a victimless crime and should be entitled to protection as a civil liberty. America will still have problems if drug legalization is realized, but the end of a legal war on drugs would decrease fatalities and crime. The underground world of drugs is littered with corpses who have overdosed on unregulated or impure drugs, were killed in theft of drugs or money, or died in gangland rivalries and altercations with the police. Creating regulations would enable supply to reach users without dangerous smuggling operations, high prices, coercion and violent crime. The overextended police, court and prison systems could focus on violent crime, federal purity control could reduce deaths related to bad product, and a new industry would grow that provides tax revenue. Opponents of legalization will strike at these benefits as utilitarian manipulations that give no regard to the innocent victims. It would be ideal to eliminate all crime in society, but it would also be naive to believe such a thing is possible. Though it is hard to measure the exact impact of drugs on crime and society, the FBI reports that from 1994-1998, 5.6 percent of homicides were attributed to felonious narcotic offenses while only 1.0 percent of homicides were caused by narcotic induced brawls. concern that legalization will result in people carelessly using drugs and starting fights or committing crimes is unfounded. It is true that there will be death related to careless drug users, but there are deaths caused by careless socially acceptable practices. To outlaw anything with a potential danger is to banish everything. This nation is great, as well as hated, precisely because of the enormous freedom of choice allowed to its citizens. Drug use may be physically and psychologically damaging, but it is not any more inherently dangerous than watching Pauly Shore movies, eating at O-Hill, and taking ENGL 381. Though the choice to use drugs can threaten public safety, regulating drugs can be done in the same way as alcohol so that drugs do not become a pervasive and dangerous societal element. To end the futile war on drugs, reassessment is inevitable. Brad Cohen is a Cavalier Daily viewpoint writer.Related Links: Facts About The Drug War Source: Cavalier Daily (VA)Author: Brad Cohen, Viewpoint EditorPublished: November 1, 2001Copyright 1995-2001 The Cavalier DailyContact: cavdaily cavalierdaily.comWebsite: Articles:Time To Repeal Drug Prohibition on Drug War Could Be Put to Better Use
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Comment #16 posted by dddd on November 06, 2001 at 00:53:56 PT
..I salute you!....your approaching the issue with remaining true to your oath of office,to uphold the constitution is remarkable,in that;if all politicians were held to their oath,to uphold the Constitution,,this would be America again.................I've often thought,that what we really need ,is a new branch of "Constitution cops",,and severe mandatory minimums for those who break their oath of office....If we had a "zero tolerance" law,,we would be able to fill several large prisons,with most of capitol hill...dddd
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Comment #15 posted by shrox on November 06, 2001 at 00:31:08 PT:
The spice must flow
Thank you for the reception! I have decided to step forward and demonstrate the effectiveness that one individual can have in bringing about change. The DEA has been raiding medical cannabis outlets and clubs in California. I hold an office as a commissioner in a city outside San Francisco. It is a volunteer position with no payment, but I did sign a document that stated I would defend the constitution of the State of California, and I swore an oath to this effect. Prop. 215 made medical cannabis an option for persons in California fitting a definition of need and medical necessity that I find quite reasonable. The actions of the DEA are unacceptable in a constitutional republic such as our own.
I carry an ID card that proclaims my membership with the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative. Shall I wear it on my lapel as the Nazi's made Jews wear a yellow Star of David?
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Comment #14 posted by Doug on November 03, 2001 at 10:20:07 PT
The big difference is that moderation is not as easy with drugs, consequently drugs are more dangerous. Now we find out why some drugs are illegal -- it's because they are harder to use in moderation.  That's why there are so many moderate users of cigarettes and coffee and Coca Cola.According to widely-available statistics, non-moderate use of heroin and cocaine is about the same (10%) as that of alcohol. I guess we just define moderate use differently for legal and illegal drugs.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on November 03, 2001 at 08:55:57 PT
Thank You Shrox 
Welcome to Cannabis News. I bookmarked your page. I believe that Cannabis has many medicinal properties and it works for so many people and it needs to be legal.
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Comment #12 posted by dddd on November 03, 2001 at 08:55:56 PT
From Sam Smith
*** WHILE THE MEDIA TALKS quite a bit about the importance of drug money in funding the guerilla actions of
                                                          bin Laden and others, there is no mention of the obvious corollary: one easy way to defund these organization is
                                                          to collapse the price of drugs through decriminalization. Drug prohibition is keeping the guerillas in business . . .
                                                          All we have to do is get over is myth that something awful will happen if drugs are a regulated industry like
                                                          alcohol and tobacco rather than a deregulated global conspiracy. This myth was nicely tackled by Redford
                                                          Givens in a letter to Washington's City Paper: "No one was robbing, whoring, or murdering over drugs when
                                                          addicts could buy all the heroin, cocaine morphine, opium and anything else they wanted cheaply and legally at
                                                          the corner pharmacy. When drugs were legal, addicts held regular employment, raised decent families, and were
                                                          indistinguishable from their teetotal ling neighbors. Overdoses were virtually unheard-of when addicts used
                                                          cheap, pure Bayer heroin instead of the expensive toxic potions prohibition puts on the streets. Where drug
                                                          crime was once unheard-of, we now have prisons overflowing with drug users. Where addicts once lived normal
                                                          lives, we have hundred of thousands of shattered families. Where overdoses were once extremely rare, we now
                                                          have tens of thousands of drug deaths every year. The addiction rate is now three times greater than when we
                                                          had no laws at all." So save a plane, a nuclear plant, or a skyscraper and decriminalize drugs.
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Comment #11 posted by Lehder on November 03, 2001 at 08:50:12 PT
likely you've already seen it, shrox. but if not, take a look at the comments and links on this cannabisnews article from a few days ago:
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on November 03, 2001 at 07:14:59 PT
Be sure to tell eveyone. 
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Comment #9 posted by dddd on November 03, 2001 at 02:26:48 PT
Thank you Shrox
..I think the declaration on your webpage is excellent,and outstandingly wishes...dddd
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Comment #8 posted by shrox on November 03, 2001 at 02:08:17 PT:
Parkinson's and Medical use of Cannabis
Hello,I have Parkinson's disease, and I have a webpage that I have posted at my site that some might find of interest. you.Shrox
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on November 02, 2001 at 18:26:31 PT
Amnesty International / DRCnet
THIS LOOKS LIKE A VERY GOOD MOVE. Those U.K. stories of late, along with all else, are going to create a snowball.weekly online news, Issue #209New Jersey Amnesty International Chapter Puts US Drug Policy on
  International Human Rights Group's Agenda
Many well written letters describing various human rights implications are being loaded. The wall is coming down.
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Comment #6 posted by Dan B on November 02, 2001 at 15:16:28 PT:
Here's A Good Free Speech Article
This one is worth a read if you want a good overview of why freedom of speech does not compute in American culture. Many here will have already arrived at these conclusions, but I think even these people will enjoy finally reading what they've been thinking all along.Dan B
Nov. 2 article: Against Dissent
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on November 02, 2001 at 12:46:37 PT
this is great
When all the people that hate (illegal) drug users come around and call for legalization, the battle will be won.It's OK, I hate drunks as much as this guy hates me. And I'm sure his campus is full of people puking all over the place every night of the week.........
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 02, 2001 at 12:22:13 PT
Have a safe and fun trip! Drop in when you get there and say hi!
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Comment #3 posted by Duzt on November 02, 2001 at 12:16:01 PT
Amsterdam (greenfox)
I'm planning on going there (and around the Netherlands) from the middle of November till the beginning of December, let me know if you'll be there then, I'll smoke a few with you.
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Comment #2 posted by greenfox on November 02, 2001 at 12:04:31 PT
Not to mention...
Peter Lewis (progressive,), me, and of course... green foxes EVERYWHERE!~F**k amerikkka. I'm tired of reading it. Guess what guys? Time for ANOTHER vacation to amsterdam (that makes 4 in the last year...)sig,fik,
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on November 02, 2001 at 11:18:09 PT:
The obligatory put-down
The author may be looking in the right direction, but like too many of his peers, he makes the same old tired assumptions:"Drug use is a personal choice, albeit one made by weak and stupid people. Yes, those demonstrably 'weak and stupid' Carl Sagan. Peter McWilliams. Carey Mullins (the guy who developed DNA testing). And all the good people who indulge (not 'experimented', but inhaled quite often) who developed the technology that enables even you benighted and rabid antis to read this. 'Weak and stupid'? I leave you to judge...
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