Just Say Yes: Legalization is The Only Way 

Just Say Yes: Legalization is The Only Way 
Posted by CN Staff on June 26, 2002 at 09:00:52 PT
By Adam Schaeffer
Source: National Review
In the war on drugs, the news is almost never good. A Canadian university criminologist recently released a report detailing a striking 222 percent increase in marijuana-growing operations in British Columbia between 1997 and 2000. Needless to say, it has officials on both sides of the border voicing concern. Drug Czar John Walters made known his displeasure with Canadian drug laws at the international meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, but Canadian marijuana should be the least of our worries when it comes to drugs in America.
The Partnership For a Drug-Free America recently reported that teenage use of the drug ecstasy has increased 71 percent since 1999. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse-sponsored report, "Monitoring the Future," in the mid-90s, after 15 years of stability, "there was a sudden uptick in use of heroin by 8-12 graders, with rates jumping in one or two years to two or three times what they had been." These cases are a simple demonstration of market forces — specifically, that children left to the temptation of an unregulated drug market all too often make foolish and deadly decisions. In the first instance, kids learned of a new and seemingly harmless drug, and in the second, a jump in purity made snorting heroin a (literally) less painful alternative to injection. In both cases, the black market made drugs widely available to children and left the final decision in their hands.We claim to care most about protecting children, since they are not able to protect themselves. They are immature, impulsive, and almost impervious to the concept of death. Education, love, and firm guidance may steer them through this phase unharmed, but every parent worries because they know that kids do stupid things. And yet we have created a system of illicit-drug distribution which ultimately relies upon children to make life and death decisions. There is a better way to save our youth from drugs than to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in a futile war — a much better way. The answer is to end prohibition, while simultaneously bringing oversight and regulatory control to what is now a black market wide open to our youngest and most vulnerable.Spending on the drug war has increased from $1.65 billion in 1982 to $17.7 billion in 1999, and drugs are easier to find than they were two decades ago. Even President Bush laments that "despite every effort, however, some individuals will become addicted to drugs." According to a National Institute of Justice report, "despite their segregation from society and continuous close supervision, prison inmates still manage to obtain illicit drugs." We cannot stop everyone from using drugs. We must accept this unfortunate fact. What we are obligated as adults to do, however, is to prevent children from using drugs.Most people begin to experiment with drugs as minors — with marijuana, the age is just 16. The National Institute for Drug Abuse found that "the probability of long-run abstinence depends on age of first drug use," referring to a study which found "[heroin] addicts who first used narcotics on a daily basis at age 25 or older had a 57 percent lower conditional relapse probability." Drug use corrupts the minds and morality of children, introduces them to criminal behavior, and leads them into bad habits and addiction- all during crucial, formative years. Our best strategy against drug addiction is to prevent experimentation for as long as possible and then to discourage use among adults.In a system where currently illegal drugs are manufactured and distributed in a regulated manner (legalized), the vast majority of users (those of legal age) would have access to the legal system. This means that a regulated system would greatly reduce the customer base for black-market drugs, and therefore greatly reduce the monetary incentive for criminals to sustain a black market. The fact that this new, small, illegal customer base would consist mostly of children (as they are the only ones prohibited from drug use) would justify draconian punishment of anyone involved in the black market. The combination of a drastically reduced monetary incentive and a vastly increased threat of punishment would reduce the black market to a manageable level for law enforcement. The tiny remnant of the formerly huge drug market would find itself the focus of what is now a comparatively huge law-enforcement apparatus.By placing the majority of the customer base within a legal, regulated system, we can eliminate the prohibited customer base: children.Many will immediately object to this claim on the basis of alcohol and cigarettes. There is no doubt that children have access to these drugs, but any teenager will also tell you that illicit drugs are even easier to buy. Alcohol and tobacco are normally obtained through the unsecured property of the adults around them, or through older siblings and friends who provide it to them. Society largely turns a blind eye toward under-age drinking and a disapproving frown toward smoking, but is there any doubt that these sources would disappear with the threat of years in jail? There's a lot that parents and communities do to keep children off drugs. But there is only so much that can be done. If a kid decides he wants to do drugs, he can find them. But this is certainly one decision that society should make for him. We can't stop everyone from doing drugs, so why don't we give up the utopian dream of a Drug Free America and at least make sure that our kids have a chance to mature before they face this temptation? There is one thing I'm certain of — our children should never have the chance to "just say no."— Adam Schaeffer is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.Complete Title: Just Say Yes: Legalization is the Only Way To Keep Children Off Drugs Source: National Review (US) Author: Adam Schaeffer, Freelance Writer - Washington, D.C.Published: June 26, 2002Copyright: 2002 National Review Contact: letters Website:  Related Articles:Marijuana Grow-Ops in B.C. Jump 222 Percent Drug Czar Visits Canada Wants Tougher War on Pot 
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Comment #13 posted by john wayne on June 26, 2002 at 20:43:18 PT
drug-war -> prisoners -> jihad fodder
Terrorism and the Drug War:
More Unforeseen Consequencesby William L. Anderson co-conspirator and born again preacher
Chuck Colson quote:"Over 300 Christians filled the seats on one side of a cavernous auditorium; an equal number of Muslims took seats on the opposite side. The tension was palpable. Extra guards were posted at the rear doors. They were right to worry. Every time I mentioned Jesus in my speech, Muslim inmates cranked up their portable radios full blast. Soon there was shaking of fists and taunts hurled back and forth. As angry men moved to the center aisle, I pleaded with the Christians to sit quietly andignore the hecklers. But only by the grace of God was I able to keep order. Several times, I feared
they would lose it – and we’d have a full-scale riot on our hands."
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Comment #12 posted by CorvallisEric on June 26, 2002 at 16:37:20 PT
Drug-test baseball players?
99 percent sure I heard on NPR (or other reliable radio source) that Pro Baseball (wanted to call it National League but don't know if that's correct) does not test, unlike NBA and NFL. Baseball seems to have several other oddities, like exemption from anti-trust laws.
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Comment #11 posted by mayan on June 26, 2002 at 16:34:51 PT
Think of the children...
...& how the CIA makes sure there are plenty of drugs for them. Here's a little interview of Mike Ruppert & his take on CIA drug smuggling: - Judge Rules "Unconstitutional" Key Provisions of PATRIOT Act bill bars blowing whistle: 
Head of Sept. 11 Probe Allegedly Obstructed Danforth's Waco Inquiry:
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on June 26, 2002 at 15:21:30 PT
Gee we're lucky kids don't have any other problems
Aren't we lucky that we live in a country where children have no other problems besides staying off drugs!!No poverty, no abuse, no domestic violence, no alcoholism.No kidnappings. No victimization. No predators. No murders.No sibling rivarly, no death in the family, no job loss by parents.No homelessness, no disease.No depression, no schizophrenia, no ADHD, no nonspecific behavioral problems that defy classification or medication.No mental chellenges, no learning disabilities, no bad teachers, no uninspiring currcicula.American kids are so lucky -- they only challenge they face is not smoking weed.No wonder we spend so many billions of dollars focused on keeping them from smoking weed!!!They have no other problems in life, so if they just don't smoke weed, everything will be absolutely perfect for them forever after.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 26, 2002 at 14:10:09 PT
I agree they are supressing the fact he enjoyed marijuana because that isn't the message they want us to hear. Only when they can demonize marijuana will they use it in a story. Don't they drug test baseball players? 
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Comment #8 posted by SpaceCat on June 26, 2002 at 13:43:14 PT
I think its being supressed. It was first reported in the NYT, but the stories in the past two days from a variety of sources have made no mention of it.Same thing happened her locally with a city council member bounced for corruption. He was also cited on an MJ charge (not really a big deal in MN, $200 fine under 1.5oz)at the same time. It was reported once in a separate story, and never mentioned again as the story unfolded over the next few weeks.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 26, 2002 at 13:37:39 PT
I haven't heard them mention marijuana on the news about the untimely death of the baseball player but maybe they did and I missed it. They can't blame marijuana so they don't want to mentioned it is what I think. They want to blame and if they can't mum's the word in my opinion.
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Comment #6 posted by SpaceCat on June 26, 2002 at 13:31:03 PT
One more thing...
Just to clear up any possible misconception, Kile appears to have died from undetected Atherosclerosis. He had a near-total blockage of three coronary arteries, and was apparently genetically pre-disposed (dad died of heart-attack in early forties), which begs the question of why nobody asked what that smoke was coming out of that thing that looked like a gun.
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Comment #5 posted by SpaceCat on June 26, 2002 at 13:26:00 PT
Interesting stuff from this article about the tragic death of Cardinal's pitcher Darryl Kile (only 33)...
"Sgt. Robert Cargie, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, said Monday that a substance, "possibly marijuana,'' was found in Kile's hotel room the morning he was found dead. He said the substance is being tested.Donoghue said a final autopsy report could take from 4-to-6 weeks because he still wants to study toxicology reports, and he first mentioned the existence of the substance Sunday, but he added, "I want to make it very clear it had nothing to do with his death."Police at first denied a substance was found in Kile's hotel room, with a department spokeswoman saying Monday morning that police "reports show that there is no evidence of narcotics in the room. If there was some contraband, the police would not hold back on that. We'd have to inventory that.""Hypocrisy at work: Lies and obfuscation when it comes to throwing your butt in jail, coverups and vehement, pre-emptive denials when it might embarrass an elite, even after he's dead. 
Darryl Kile Story
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Comment #4 posted by SpaceCat on June 26, 2002 at 13:03:17 PT
The Children
I second Kap's motion. Turn the "think of the children" on its head and we've won. It should be possible, because it's true. The Simpson's continually parodies this tactic: Any time anything at all is being debated at the town meetings, The minister's wife stands up and shrieks hysterically "The children... Won't SOMEBODY think of the children!"There are two whole generations of upcoming voters primed by this parody and ready to accept the truth if it is presented cogently.I think we need to also be aware that logic and reality will not sway the power base. They fully understand what they are doing, they know that legalization would reduce violence in society and better protect children, they care not one whit about anything but maintaining power. Power is all they understand, loss of power is all they fear. That's where we need to hit'em.
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Comment #3 posted by markjc on June 26, 2002 at 12:04:31 PT:
pledge of allegiance
this is off subject but the 9th circuit court of appeals has just ruled the pledge of allegiance unconstitutional because of "under god". This is definately a step in the right direction.
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Comment #2 posted by p4me on June 26, 2002 at 11:32:52 PT
When MJ is legal life will be better
Things I wonder about while high:How great life would be if I could grow legal marijuana and now worry about having it get stolen. Life is so much better with marijuana that it is worth fighting and arguing and pissing people off to get rid of the Congress and political powers that have brought us this 65 years of prohibition. I think August 2nd will be the anniversary.I wonder why Canadian nutritionist do not have some information out on nutritional stdies with hemp products. I wonder why the President did not come out when he was firming up America last did not say to cut down on sugar and then a few days ago the Winston-Salem WXII had a advertising-leader to the 11PM news saying a new study is out saying sugar is not as bad for you as you think. The leading factor in determining longevity is body weight. Exercise can prevent bad health and heart in overweight people and is important to young and old, thin and fat.I wonder about the wrongful death trials in releation to Tom and Rollie and Rainbow Farms. When will any major paper raise the issue of the 50+ FBI agentsat Rainbow Farms. Israel has a big hydraulic jaw on a thing that looks like a little buldozer and looks like a modern steam shovel that could easily go through a house even without using a jaw of death. Israel probably has many of those remotes because they are not going to approach someone that can blow them up. I saw on TV where the robot had the bomber and the bomb went off while the jaw had the bomber and dragging him.I wonder why there are not some motivated dealers that do not sell brownies. Doesn't anyone cook any more and they do have mixes. How about lasagne? How would the police weigh it would one brownie put you in felony range because it is over an ounce?I wonder why it took so long to rechallenge the Schedule 1 status of marijuana? I wonder what the status is of the billion$ Walters wants to piss away on drug propaganda? I wonder why California did not start a debate on a constitutional amendment redefining states rights now that we have a million lawyers in this country wanting to get a word in. The 5000 words that now stand as the Constitution as amendended would have the next amendment be 1000 times that long. I wonder when juries will be several hundred citizens that watch over their integrated television/monitors to the download of todays proceedings and cast their vote of innocence. It will give old people something to do. Let grandma do some judging- she is planning for an exit and not a rise to position or power. I wonder why you do not hear of all the fires everywhere from Panama to Mexico. The big fires are all the talk but why do they not talk of the rest of the continent where they burn fields and forest in preparation of planting like we plow.Where are the first polls by Zolby for MPP regarding marijuana issues taking so long? They are only going to poll about a thousand people. Sounds like bad publicity to take so long to get out one simple poll. 1,2
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on June 26, 2002 at 10:32:24 PT:
The antis' Achilles Heel"
And they know it. Nornally, whenever the debate - on such exceedingly few times the antis deign to stoop so low as to face off with a reformer - the antis rarely ever fare well. We have the facts, they have the bull...and most people recognize that within 5 minutes of the debate starting. If only because their own experiences in life have taught them how jejune the antis' polemics are. But, as soon as the antis cynically begin shrieking "The children, the children, the children!", it's almost as if the higher reasoning functions are disconnected in most people, and they revert to a high tech version of primitive tribesmen being frightened by the equally ignorant shaman waving a fetish around and threatening doom to naysayers. The lights in the eyes go out, the fire in the belly is doused...and the dull staring look of sheepdom slides over their faces. Hypnosis couldn't elicit a better (mentally) cataleptic response.Antis know that, and they count on it, every time.But in this article is a glaring truth which antis are increasingly being faced with: the DrugWar creates the problems the antis rail against. The laws meant to protect their children places them at risk because of the (stunningly obvious) profit to be made in an unregulated market that doesn't 'card' it's prospective clients. All, as I said, quite those who have been dealing with the mess. The problem is, like a dog never properly housebroken and grows to adulthood without the necessary training, the antis leave intellectual messes laying around everywhere they go...and no one makes them clean them up. Except us.Everytime they open their mouths, one more dollup of verbal dung is left on the floor...but they are rarely called on to pick it up. That is, unless a reformer is on hand to give rebuttal.And their greatest weapon has always been "The chil-druuuunnnn!". But now, here's a nationally recognized magazine coming out and saying to antis that if you really want to protect the children - as you so loudly proclaim you do - then here's a means. That is...if you really care. A question that is, especially in light of the article, a legitimate one to ask of antis, given their predilection of 'more of the same same ol', same ol' which has endangered kids in the first place.This is the tack we should take with antis, and pre-empt them at every turn with stealing their thunder. Never mind the high-minded calls to consider what happens when civil liberties are ground under DrugWarrior jackboots; the sheep have already consigned their rights to Ashcroft's tender mercies. Nope, immediately confront the anti with the fact that prohibition = endangered children, and keep hammering away. Do it often enough, on national media, and slanted as it is, the word will get through...and those still capable of thinking will have that seed of doubt planted that the antis so strenuously seek to uproot with intimidation every chance they get.In short, this is one more round of reformer ammo; organizational jiu-jitsu that could hurt the antis big time, right where they live...if we dare to use it.
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