Arizona's Talking About ... Drug War 

Arizona's Talking About ... Drug War 
Posted by FoM on January 25, 2000 at 07:19:54 PT
What Do You Think?
Source: Arizona Central
Should the United States admit defeat in the war on drugs? What's the most compelling argument for laws against substances like marijuana, crack, heroin and cocaine illegal? Do you favor legalization of drugs? If so, which ones, and how would you regulate sales? 
Would heightened education about the dangers of drugs and easy access to treatment help decease demand? For the past week, Republic reporters Dennis Wagner, Pat Flannery and Maureen West have brought you depressing news from the front lines. After extensive research, ("Arizona's border war") they found strong evidence for what a lot of people are saying: The United States is losing the war on drugs. Their stories show that the cost of trying to keep illegal drugs out of the country goes beyond the staggering $18 billion a year in hard cash. The war on drugs exacts a penalty when border towns become war zones. Or when neighbors lose their back yards to criss-crossing drug trafficking trails. Meanwhile, families on both sides of the border have been broken apart because Dad's in jail. Law enforcement agents - for whom the job offers both a constant temptation to corruption and a recurring reason for cynicism - know that most of those Dads in jail are low-level operatives whose loss doesn't phase the big drug cartels. They also know that for every shipment they catch, plenty of others get through. The cost of the war on drugs is also counted in lost civil rights. Racketeering laws designed to take the profit out of drug dealing allow property to be seized without much regard for due process. Drug profiling can lead to people being stopped and searched based solely on appearance. Meanwhile, mandatory sentencing laws threaten to put people in jail for what many see as the individual choice to indulge in drugs. So what's the point of this costly war? Some say there is no point. New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, for example calls for legalization: "Control it, tax it, regulate it, get control of the product that is black-market." Arizona voters have approved an initiative allowing marijuana to be used medicinally. In November, they may have a chance to decriminalize the use of small amounts of the weed. But where do you stop? Should heroin, crack and methamphetamines also be decriminalized? Or legalized? If so, where and how do you allow the sales of these products? And what about liability? Cigarette manufacturers are facing large claims for selling a product that, when used as directed, can cause cancer. Will drug sellers be given immunity from such lawsuits? Those who oppose legalization of drugs don't buy the argument that drug use is an individual choice, a victimless crime. They say it ruins families, contributes to child and spousal abuse, and costs employers while it degrades the body and soul of the user. They say government sanction of these harmful - often deadly - substances would be immoral. The nation's drug czar, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, says the drug problem is "a cancer affecting our community life." He insists that federal drug laws have reduced drug abuse rates by half since 1979. He sees increased prevention and treatment as the way to continue to reduce demand. What do you think? Published: January 22, 2000Copyright 2000, Arizona CentralCannabis News Articles In The Series:DrugSense FOCUS Alert #156 January 24, 2000 - 1/24/2000 Years of Drug Use Behind, With Help - 1/23/2000 Rebuilding Broken Families - 1/23/2000 Money Targets Certain Demographic Groups - 1/21/2000's Different Overdose Changes Family - 1/22/2000 Phoenix Sting Paid Off for Cops - Part 6 - 1/21/2000 Led To Side Job as Arizona Drug Runner - 1/20/2000 Methods Have Place in Fight - 1/19/2000 Contest of Wits at U.S. Border - 1/18/2000 is Pipeline for Illegal Drugs - 1/17/2000 Losing Drug War - 1/16/2000 
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Comment #3 posted by Horizon on March 29, 2001 at 12:47:36 PT:
Arizona Drug Laws
My 17-year-old son got arrested while in school for having a small amount of marijuana and a pipe. In Arizona, possession of an illegal substance and drug paraphernalia are felonies for minors, but are misdemeanors for adults. If something is deemed illegal in a state, how can it be more illegal for some people than for others? Is discrimination based on age allowed when it comes to drugs?
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on January 25, 2000 at 15:42:24 PT
It all comes down to being responsible.
As a long-time Libber, I am of course, biased in favor of people being personally responsible in their everyday actions. So long as what they do harms no one (and no games here: punch someone and you harm them; call them an epithet and all you've done is show how much of a lout you are) then you should be left alone by the State. If you knowingly use an addictive drug (like alcohol or nicotine!) then so long as your addiction is harming no one (punch=ouch!, addiction=harmlessly stupid)then you should be left alone. The late philosopher and sci-fi author Philip Wylie identified a trend that we still have today: he called it 'Mom-ism'. What he meant by that was that people were not standing up and being individuals, they were relying on a State that increasingly became a surrogate mother. The effect on individual freedoms is stultifying at best, and corrosive at its' worst. And the WoSD is a perfect example: Big Mommy instead of Big Daddy, trying to treat each citizen as a child who is incapable of rational decisions.And we wonnder why the government acts the way it does?
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Comment #1 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on January 25, 2000 at 10:04:38 PT:
Legalize it!
  The libertarians have a good reason for legalizing every drug on the books. Legal drugs are safer! When's the last time you heard of someone getting a bad bottle of gin? Probably in the 1930s...
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