Ending The War on Drugs with Decriminalization?

Ending The War on Drugs with Decriminalization?
Posted by CN Staff on June 26, 2003 at 23:37:37 PT
By Bode Olakanmi - The Daily Iowan
Source: Daily Iowan
Before terrorism became our national obsession, illegal drugs were the United States' all-consuming concern. Starting with the end of the counterculture of the '60s, government declared a war on drugs, and stringent legislation was adopted in an attempt to stamp out their use. The country has employed drug czars and DARE to determine the best way to persuade our young people not to use drugs.
Long ago, marijuana was the main concern of parents when it came to drug use. Specialists, mostly law-enforcement officers, called marijuana "the gateway drug," the one most regular users started before graduating into crack, cocaine, or heroin. But soon came methamphetamine, which, unlike cocaine or heroin, is home-grown.Unlike marijuana, you don't have to wait for several months to harvest your product. Anyone desperate and crooked enough could manufacture meth - all you have to be is a gambler willing to risk fire or explosion in exchange for the pleasure of making money. Producing methamphetamine has become popular in all parts of the country, including the Midwest.Initially, drug use was believed to be a fleeting habit rich kids got into when they were young and rebellious, one they could easily kick as they matured into respectable members of society. Like alcohol and smoking, some movies glorified the habit on the screen.By the 1980s, drug distribution took a different turn, as did drug use. Gangs formed in many urban areas for the sole purpose of drug distribution. Such gangs fought to protect their turf in order to gain a monopoly and maximize profits. Inner-city youths waged a war of attrition on each other to gain territory. Pimping and drug distribution became the most profitable businesses in America ghettoes. Crime became widespread nationwide. Something needed to be done.Hard-line drug policy had its advent in the 1990s, when the Republicans took over the Congress. To reduce crime, then-President Clinton proposed and signed into law a significant increase in law-enforcement funding. In addition, tougher sentencing guidelines were adopted both at the federal and state levels, most notably California's three-strikes law. Every state adopted minimum jail terms for drug-related offenses. Within a few years, old prisons nationwide were full and new ones under construction. Such a large proportion of American inmates entered prison for drug-related offenses that some people suggested decriminalizing certain drugs. The question is, how can one disapprove of drug culture without criminalizing drug users?Proponents of the current drug policy argue that it is wrong to condone a habit that injures individuals and disrupts society. Obviously, this policy has not worked and may never work, because it attempts to legislate moral behavior. Consider that alcohol and cigarettes have similar negative effects on individual and society; a lot of money is spent to care for sick smokers and alcoholics. So which of the myriad illegal drugs should be legalized?Arguments in favor of decriminalization vary. Decriminalizing drugs would limit the number of people in prison during the most productive time of their lives. It may also eliminate the mystique of drugs that attracts many young people. After all, both alcohol and tobacco are legal and readily available in the United States, yet not every American drinks alcohol or smokes. It would also free those individuals who professed to be helped by marijuana during chemotherapy for cancer. And Oregonians would be happy.We all know that smoking is bad for us. Yet millions smoke. Cigarette companies in America have agreed to pay several billion dollars to state governments in acknowledgment of the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses. That settlement was possible because the product is legal and its producers are known. By making it a criminal act to distribute and purchase drugs, no benefit comes to society. Neither the producers nor distributors pay tax on a product that is widely consumed. By legalizing drugs, the government could collect excise and sales taxes on the products, use the proceeds to treat drug addicts, and find a better way to convince our young people to just say no.The most dramatic effect of drug legalization would be in law enforcement and crime. No one disputes that a sizable percentage of crime in this country is drug-related. Hundreds of millions of dollars are given to Colombia each year to disrupt cocaine production and smuggling. The expense and the danger faced by undercover agents would be a thing of the past. Gang members no longer would execute each other on our streets for the privilege to trade in drugs. Thousands of police hours spent to arrest sellers and buyers would be saved. And finally, many of our young people would be out of jail. Maybe it is time to start a public debate on drug decriminalization. What do you think?Bode Olakanmi is a DI columnist. Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)Author: Bode Olakanmi - The Daily IowanPublished: June 27, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Daily IowanContact: daily-iowan uiowa.eduWebsite: Articles:Decriminalize Marijuana Marijuana Users New Politics of Pot
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Comment #4 posted by Richard Paul Zuckerm on June 27, 2003 at 07:53:50 PT:
The war against drugs is also used by the Pentagon in their war against dissent. The Council on Foreign Relations is asking Congress for $100 million budget to fund the development of nonlethal weapons, in the spirit of Operation Garden Plot, "to assist local law enforcement."Considering the frequency with which police provoke violence at large protests so they can attack protestors with nonlethal weapons, while military personnel are stationed at the local hospitals to note the deleterious effects of the nonlethal weapons, it appears protestors are being used as a novel medical experiment, like Josef Mengel used people during Adolph Hitler's days!The bottom line is that the Council on Foreign Relations wants us to quietly accept their Corporate agenda, to quash our dissent.Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, N.J., 08840-0159, (Cell telephone number)(908) 403-6990, richardzuckerman2002
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Comment #3 posted by Lehder on June 27, 2003 at 07:24:31 PT
Bix Beiderbecke jazz musician, DavenportNorman Borlaug plant pathologist, geneticist, CrescoDonald L. Campbell inventor, ClintonWallace Hume Carothers inventor, BurlingtonJohnny Carson TV entertainer, CorningWilliam Buffalo Bill Cody scout, Scott CtyGardner Cowles Jr. publisher, AlgonaLee DeForest inventor, Council BluffsSimon Estes bass-baritone, CentervilleWilliam Frawley actor, BurlingtonGeorge H. Gallup poll taker, JeffersonSusan Glaspell writer, DavenportHerbert Hoover U.S. president, West BranchAnn Landers columnist, Sioux CityCloris Leachman actress, Des MoinesWilliam D. Leahy fleet admiral, HamptonJohn L. Lewis labor leader, LucasGlenn L. Martin aviator, manufacturer, MacksburgElsa Maxwell writer, KeokukGlenn Miller bandleader, ClarindaHarriet Nelson actress, Des MoinesNathan M. Pusey educator, Council BluffsDavid Rabe playwright, DubuqueHarry Reasoner TV commentator, Dakota CityDonna Reed actress, DenisonLillian Russell soprano, ClintonWallace Stegner author, critic, Lake MillsBilly Sunday evangelist, AmesJames A. Van Allen space physicist, Mount PleasantAbigail Van Buren columnist, Sioux CityHenry A. Wallace statesman, Adair CtyJohn Wayne actor, WintersetAndy Williams singer, Wall LakeMeredith Willson composer, Mason City"Buffalo Bill" frittered away seventeen months felling 4280 buffalo and it was through nothing more than his own bravado and self-promotion that he undeservedly wrested the  famous nickname from a superior sportsman, William Comstock. He barbarically scalped Chief Yellow Hair of the Cheyenne after an unfair fight that began with a gut shot and knifing, then incorporated a glorified version of the deed into his gimmicky "Wild West Show." So, a corrupt plainsman, a couple of washed out 50's era actresses - you can see for yourself from this list of famous Iowans that Iowa has never contributed anything to the US war on drugs. Lee DeForest was from Alabama, by the way, and attended school in Massachusetts where he was disliked as "the homeliest boy." Only one physicist is claimed by Iowans, and his entire career reeks of burnt insulation, vacuum tubes and all the refuse of a bygone era. Then there's Harry Reasoner who was repeatedly emasculated on television by Barbara Walters, and who could never hold a candle to Jessica Savitch, native of Pennsylvania, anyway. And there's Gardner Coles Jr., a publisher without - see for yourself, - a single mentionable accomplishment. I could go on, but the impoverished record of Iowans is plain enough to everyone involved in this.We are dealing presently with Bode Olakanmi, originally of Nigeria, who chooses to reside in Iowa:>> Maybe it is time to
  start a public debate on drug decriminalization. What do you think?This is a very good article, and I think Iowans should be proud.
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Comment #2 posted by cloud7 on June 27, 2003 at 06:52:10 PT
I think this is a great article, since it is showing up in an Iowa newspaper. You generally dont think of Iowa as being on the cutting edge of civil liberties. Another great thing is that he actually calls for a debate on this issue, something that doesnt even exist right now in the USA. If a democrat is looking to seriously take on Bush, being well versed on the marijuana legalization issue could/should be a significant factor.Also, even though he was saying decriminalization through most of the article, I think he was actually talking about actual legalization and not using decriminalization as a pseudonym for prohibition-lite. This quote in particular:
The most dramatic effect of drug legalization would be in law enforcement and crime.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on June 27, 2003 at 04:54:12 PT
Decriminalization is not mentioned, Biblically.
6:27:3Decriminalization is not truth.Your ability to discern Truth, depends on the promised Holy Spirit of Truth. Your ability to experience freedom, depends on Your ability to discern Truth. For You are being forced into a banishment society, by those who do not know the Truth, which inhibits Your physical freedom, YOU MAY TAKE THOSE PERSECUTIONS TO CHRIST GOD OUR FATHER. Like the cannabis issue and like the killing issue, this concept makes it easy to see how forced lost of physical freedom may help Us toward Our Spiritual eternal freedom and how its seeing it reality helps Us see the physical reality. One is a level of Truth beyond the physical and attaining a bit of it helps understand the lower physical levels of elementary Truth that can escape You through manipulation and deception.And so if You realize ... in case I haven’t said it lately, let the most important message be said again:Being saved is not Your complete goal. Being saved is not enough. There is more, there is something that comes next, after accepting Christianity! I have written about it before in John 14 – 16 etc. Now let Me include this, John 8:31, “If You continue in My word, then You are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”What I am saying is that You can literally direct Yourself toward what I am claiming I have. You can attain and withhold, the promised Holy Spirit of Truth, go to Him, YOURSELF, and ask and receive verification of Truth, and know, not from Me, but Him who sent Me.Christ died for Us to get this communication system.It is already set up.You simply need to call on Him to start Your account, but the service is free.If You are persecuted for using cannabis, take that persecution, to Him, and He will show You the Truth. If You are being persecuted for not, “supporting the troops”, take it to the Lord. When You feel as though You are losing Your freedoms, or notice other persecutions, You have a key to Our Fathers heart.Turn that key, take Your heart and give it to Our Father, and He will lend You His mind.He, will confirm if what I say is Truth or not, within Your own mind.Take It To The Lord.As We are to progress in Truth, We are to expand upon what Our earthly fathers teach, which at some point will allow Us to discontinue, the killings.John 8:44, “You are of Your father the devil,... He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is not truth in him.See the Truth, separate Yourself from sin.Turn that key baby.You gotta Take It To The Lord.John 8:47, “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”BECOME, OF GOD.BECOME, LIKE GOD.When You take it to the Lord, He will return the favor, and give the Lord to You, and You will even then feel like Christ God Our Father, because You will have understood there is the gift of the spirit of truth, for those who are obedient, and will continue to pick that fruit.Oh yea!Perhaps if You are feeling depressed, You should take it to the Lord... but then many in the corporate world would recommend man made drug cocktails, to deal with it... which is sick in some instances and may not lead You to the Lord.Oh! & don’t let anybody deceive You into thinking cannabis use will eliminate Your relationship with Christ God OUr Father and it acquirement: the HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH. Don’t even let someone get a foothold into Your door and deceive You that using cannabis will deminish or subtract from Your potential to be Christian. In fact cannabis may will do good, and not any harm what so ever. In fact, since if You have felt that persecution, You can ask Our Father who is right and who is wrong!It is unreal, how He will expose the Truth!It is time to take cannabis prohibitionists and put the spirit of truth in between You and them and see what He exposes, spiritually, THEN EXPOSE IT PHYSICALLY!There is motion in what I said: pick the truth of what I said and start there, and move toward Me with that elementary truth and the Truth I said; then continue past the elementary truth into deeper truth, to discern the “promised” “new teacher” the holy “spirit of truth”. Pass Me, reaching toward real Truth and its origins... going past Me, going around Me, bypassing Me for even Higher Truth, because You can get there with out Me. You can go beyond Me... and I have it.If, on Your way toward the Origins of Truth, what I say does not sway or leave that perfect path of all truth, then You know I have passed the test, from, testing the spirits.Testing the spirits is the way to go.So “test the spirits” with the Holy “spirit of truth”.The GCW
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