Hillary Clinton, the Drug War and Drug Treatment

Kudos to Hillary Clinton for acknowledging that "our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade."

That's exactly right and it's way past time for the U.S. to make a serious effort to curb that demand instead of spending billions on incarcerating drug offenders.

Pew's recent study--"One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections"--provides a vivid picture of just how little we do to curb demand for drugs. [More...]

For example: in Kansas, the prison population has surged by more than 50 percent over the past eight years to more than 22,000 inmates yet the state has a mere 400 slots in treatment programs.

Hillary's statement yesterday was a big step forward in recognizing the role of demand in the drug business. But we need to radically reshape our drug policy to focus on curbing the very demand that causes so much violence both here in the U.S and in Mexico.

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    legalizing drugs would have (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:37:12 AM EST
    a negligible affect on the number of people using them. for the most part, those who are going to use, are most likely using now, those who aren't using aren't likely to start, merely because it's now legal.

    that argument is simply a poor "justification" for maintaining the current laws; everyone will become a drug addict!

    alcohol is legal in the US, the % of alcoholics is negligible, by comparison to the total population.

    what legalization will do is save billions of dollars, in enforcement and interdiction costs. that's the true fear of those opposing it, loss of revenues.

    People act (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:40:19 AM EST
    as if the legalization of drugs would turn us all into naive 15 year olds.  The beauty of it is that drugs would be legalized...for adults.

    Otherwise known as... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:43:36 AM EST
    freedom:)  It's worth it folks...freedom that is, though it is not without its headaches.

    Two Things (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Claw on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 03:14:48 PM EST
    And these are things I tell my prosecutor-friends over beers (a legal and often abused substance):

    1. We could legalize marijuana and sin-tax the hell out of it.  It would still be cheaper than what our kids are paying and lord knows the economy wouldn't complain.

    2. If anyone is really interested in keeping hard drugs out of little hands, marijuana legalization is a great first step.  I learned in high school, college, and law school that if you know someone who can get you pot, you know someone who can also get you harder drugs...or put you in touch with someone who can.  Breaking the chain connecting people who smoke pot to people who make a living selling cocaine is something that really should be done.  

    Yeah baby! (4.66 / 3) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:49:18 AM EST
    But the Christians would have a heart attack where I live cuz if your kid isn't in jail for smoking weed that means they aren't smoking weed :)

    how can you possibly (none / 0) (#25)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:00:22 PM EST
    claim to know what the effect would be?

      We've got Tracy claiming legalization would reduce demand and you saying it would have little or no effect. that's no more helpful to anyone that some crusader claiming it would triple usage. You'd all be just making up things.


    Tracy (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by CST on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:02:57 PM EST
    is claiming that in Amsterdam they don't have the drug problem we do based on actual statistical data.

    That didn't just come out of no where.  There is data that supports that argument.


    then she is simply wrong (1.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:09:40 PM EST
      unless you redefine "drug problem" to mean something other than rate of drug usage.

      I agree with the proposition that our "War on Drugs" is misguided and that it simultaneously fails to effectively control consumption and creates problems I'll call "collateral damage" that very strong arguments exist are equal to or worse than the problems which would arise from unrestrained drug use.

      I think major reform is needed, i just think the greatest societal good would come from a policy between the extremes.


    Link to your stats ? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:10:39 PM EST
    yea (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by CST on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:50:04 PM EST
    not sure what you're talking about.

    This is what I am talking about.

    You know, data.


    Drug problem... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:51:31 PM EST
    and drug use are very different things Bemused.

    Like alcoholism and drinking are different things..


    Amen, and I'm having a margarita tonight (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:52:56 PM EST
    Maybe two :)

    I agree (none / 0) (#42)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:01:41 PM EST
     many -- maybe most-- people can use drugs even ones with very real dangers attached without the use materially damaging their lives or the lives of those who rely on them.

      People walk away from car crahes too though, and I don't want to purposely do things that are likely to increase the number of car crashes unless the offsetting benefit is extremely large.
    I don't see much of any, let a lone a large benefit to people using dangerous drugs.



    I don't know if I should be offended... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:15:38 PM EST
    Who you callin' a car crash survivor?...:)

    you shouldn't (none / 0) (#66)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:12:06 PM EST
      I admire that you seem to be true to your own principles. I also find a lot of (just not quite enough to advocate outright legalization of all drugs) merit in your belief that personal freedom is such a sacred value all other considerations must be secondary.

    I try... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:33:41 PM EST
    on the pronciples, but like everybody else I don't always suceed.

    I was only kidding about taking offense...just thought I'd make the point that I don't consider my lifestyle choices as a "car crash" I'm lucky to survive.

    Personal freedom is as sacred as it gets in my book...amen.  The sovereignty of the individual is one of the few things I don't have constant doubts about.  We need better cause beforte we even think about violating the sanctity of individual sovereignty.


    I highly value personal freedom (none / 0) (#71)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:43:07 PM EST
     but, I also believe that some point individual freedom must be balanced against the good of the general society.

      I think you agree with that too, but we identify that point at a slightly different location on the spectrum.

      Not to put words in your mouth, but I assume you are of the "my freedom to swing my arm stops at the point of your nose" school.

      I'm at the point where when  "my freedom to swing my arms, considered in conjunction with all the other swinging arms, creates an unreasonably high risk to noses and the swinging of arms is of limited value to society or the individual freedom can be restricted, but not any more than necessary to remove the unreasonably high risk to noses."


    Sounds about right... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:56:16 PM EST
    except I might not put so much in weight in "value to society"...I feel no obligation to do anything of value for society.  I only feel an obligation not to unduly harm society aka my fellow man.

    Too bad society doesn't feel the same obligation not to cause the individual harm.


    drug problem is something other than drug (none / 0) (#81)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 03:09:23 PM EST

    it's drug abuse...

    there is a difference...


    I know no one who wants (none / 0) (#73)
    by lilybart on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:53:41 PM EST
    to smoke pot, who can't find it.

    Some people are not well connected in that way, so they may find it more difficult, but as far as pot goes, the only people who might smoke who didn't before, are people who are officers of the court, and can't because of legal issues.


    Wrong, wrong, wrong (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by bocajeff on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:29:00 PM EST
    I'm trying to wrap my head around the false premise that American consumption for drugs is the reason for the recent escalation of violence in Mexico...

    Is there any evidence that are demand for drugs has risen over the past few years to justify the massive increase in border violence?

    This problem along the Mexican border is not one of American doing - as we always seem to get blamed for other countries problems.

    Mexico is and has been an incredibly corrupt country for many decades. The government there has been neglect for decades in dealing with lawlessness and corruption (i.e. bribery). This border violence is just a manifestation of their own behavior, not ours.

    Having said the above, I'm all for legalizing every drug because we are a free nation.

    BTW, the Amsterdam comparisons are interesting. Why is the capital of the Netherlands so different than Washington D.C.? Hmmm...

    Very true about the accepted (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:43:14 PM EST
    "corruption" in Mexican society.  This disaster could not have grown solely because of my own failings, my focus is on my failings though because that is all I can directly address.  I can't cure accepted corruption in Mexico but I can make drug smuggling a lot less profitable for the corrupt and a lot less costly for myself.  And I can use my money to help my people instead of imprison my people.  Paying off police officers was the norm though for the gentleman that I used to housesit for as he made his yearly trek to Mexico City in his truck. Getting pulled over with his U.S. plates on it was what was going to happen to him, and then he paid bribes to insure he wouldn't have some sort of trumped up charges to deal with.  He used to joke about it and he budgeted for it.

    RIP BushCo (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:30:53 PM EST
    Huh? (none / 0) (#52)
    by bocajeff on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:21:59 PM EST
    Things Change (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:29:14 PM EST
    And it is about time, courtesy Obama, that we started addressing out part in world problems, rather than make believe that we have no blame. It is the first step to solving the problem.

    I agree, (none / 0) (#70)
    by bocajeff on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:40:17 PM EST
    But it's like treating a tumor with morphine. Yeah, it makes you feel good for a moment but it doesn't really solve the problem.

    Mexico is the problem. Always has been. There is no reason, considering their resources, proximity to U.S. and Canada, that they are in the condition they are in except they are incredibly corrupt. If the government there can't contribute to the betterment of their people and have allowed lawlessness to rule the day then there isn't a thing we can do about it.

    You think that by legalizing drugs or reducing demand there problems will go away. I think it will abate, but it won't go away. Criminals will just turn to the next thing to ply their trade.

    Mexico benefits far more greatly in their relationship with the U.S. than the other way around (though it's good for the U.S. too)!


    Well (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:48:46 PM EST
    That was the mantra for the last 8 years and it has only escalated the problem. Time for a different approach, imo.

    No it hasn't (none / 0) (#79)
    by bocajeff on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:58:55 PM EST
    You really think that if we stopped all drug use in this country Mexico would be a healthier nation? How and why?

    I want the Mexicans to succeed on every level. It's a travesty what goes on down there and people are truly suffering. They can control it, they choose not to, and then they come to us to help, and we blame ourselves for their problems.

    Just like ending prohibition was going to get rid of organized crime in this country...


    It Would Help (none / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 03:06:56 PM EST
    And obviously drug use is not going to stop in the US. Illegal drug use can easily stop by decriminalizing all drugs. That would eliminate a lot of death and violence in the US.

    You're missing the bigger point... (none / 0) (#85)
    by bocajeff on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 03:33:56 PM EST
    You and I aren't that far  apart but we are approaching from much  different angles.

    You say that legalization "would eliminate a lot of death and violence in the US." I don't think that for one minute.  What will change is the concept of freedom, and law enforcement activity. I used Prohibition as the example. Crime didn't really go down, it just moved and will continue to move.

    You haven't mentioned the Mexicans which is really what I'm concerned about (in this thread). There are other avenues of drug distribution beside the U.S.  


    "Mexico benefits more" (none / 0) (#88)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 04:46:27 PM EST
    is debateable to put it mildly.

    It is difficult to make meaningful comparisons (1.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:52:42 PM EST
    between DC and Amsterdam for the same reasons so many comparisons are difficult.

      Meaningful studies require controlling variables so you can isolate the influence of the variable you wish to measure. Populations with very different demographics really do not allow for controlling variables.

     We all learned this a long time ago in school and we should all. myself included, bear this in mind-- on all issues.

      That's why gun rights advocates who try to show gun laws don't work by stating the crime rate of large urban areas with strict gun laws to those in more rural states with lax gun laws mislead.

      Amsterdam is a poor choice to use for the argument lax enforcement reduces use. It's also not a good choice to use for the argument-- which I didn't-- that lax enforcement increases use. Amsterdam is Amsterdam and the only meaningful comparison realy would be between Amsterdam as it is and a non-existent amsterdam the same except for different law enforcement.

      But, all that said, it would appear common sense that elimiating prohibitions of activities otherwise attractive to people will increase the rate of such activity. I do believe that there is somethig of a "forbidden fruit" offset in that a small class of people will be more inclined to try something precisely because it is illegal. then you have a large -- but unknown-- grouip for whom legal/illegal is not a factor.

      However, it simply defies belief to suggest that the group that would try the same thing when it is legal bit not if it is illegal is not larger than the "forbidden fruit" group.

       would legalization dramatically increase drug use. I don't know but I suspect it would not be a dramatic increase.

      In terms of policy though I don't really believe that maybe  only a couple of percent more people will develop drug problems which cause them and others hardship is no big deal. In a large population that is a large number of people.


    They are not good choices In Your Opinion (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:54:26 PM EST
    Your Opinions are not fact

    And there is psychologically tested (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:01:29 PM EST
    evidence that "forbidden fruit" leads to acting out and a lack of developing self responsibility.  Has teaching abstinence helped curb teen pregnancy?  NOPE!  Teen pregnancy rates are off the charts right now here in the South.  European countries don't have the same problems with teen pregnancy that we do because first of all, they don't consider sex a BIG NASTY.  It is a bodily function as is pregnancy.  They teach their children facts. They don't shame their children, and their children make healthier choices for themselves than ours do.

    Huge Profit is what fuels this "war" (1.00 / 1) (#76)
    by lilybart on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:56:13 PM EST
    Take away the profit, (grow your own weed for almost nothting) and the violence will be Mexico's problem.

    Wrong bocajeff, our hands are bloody too. (none / 0) (#87)
    by mexboy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 04:32:42 PM EST
    You are right about a lot of things regarding corruption in Mexico. That is undeniable, but you deny the leading role we play in creating the violence taking place there in the first place.

    The vast majority of drugs from the huge U.S. demand has to come across the our neighbor's border.

    The violence you are seeing is a direct result of Mexico's government  going after the cartels. They have driven them out of some states and the Cartels have now invades states like Michoacan where the Mexican government is battling it out with them.

    Mexico is and has been an incredibly corrupt country for many decades. The government there has been neglect for decades in dealing with lawlessness and corruption (i.e. bribery). This border violence is just a manifestation of their own behavior, not ours.

    Are you as harsh and angry about the corruption of our own government, or are you really claiming we are the essence of fairness; which gives us the moral right to point fingers at others?

    The killing in Tijuana and Juarez is a direct result of the fight to stop the control of drugs coming into the U.S. that has been created by us. No demand, no supply, no drug smuggling related violence.

    Hilary Clinton

    "I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility," Clinton told reporters, adding: "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians."

    Marijuana has to be de-coupled (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by lilybart on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:58:30 PM EST
    from coke and meth and heroin when we talk drugs.

    This causes much confusion and makes it impossible to talk about "what to do" since we don't need to "do" anything about pot but make it legal.

    The other drugs can be discussed together, because the chance of becoming a chronic dangerous user are common to those, but NOT common to pot.

    Absolutely. (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by otherlisa on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 03:30:04 PM EST
    The problem with pot is that it's illegal. Legalize pot and tax it.

    Completely agree that other more "hard" drugs be considered a separate issue.


    I really think if we want to curb demand (4.66 / 3) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 10:56:12 AM EST
    it needs to be legalized.  I was watching a documentary about Amsterdam not long ago, and because it is all about choices there and not about being denied something and treated like a child, addiction is seen for what it is.  Citizens interviewed on the streets and asked why they didn't shoot heroine responded by wanting to know why they would do something like that to themselves.

    They should shoot the bad guys, because ... (none / 0) (#82)
    by cymro on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 03:13:32 PM EST
    ... if they shoot the heroine it will spoil the plot :-).

    Drug treatment is unreliable (4.50 / 2) (#27)
    by KoolJeffrey on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:03:29 PM EST
    Although throwing drug users, especially pot smokers, in prison is idiotic, I am not sure treatment alone is going to accomplish much in curbing demand for drugs in the first place.

    Rehab is very unreliable. Relapse is part of the disease. If people don't want to get help, rehab will not work. Addictive behavior of any sort is a lifelong illness that is very difficult to treat.

    More funds should definitely be provided for drug treatment programs, but it shouldn't be counted upon as a panacea.

    Valid point.... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:19:20 PM EST
    It is important for everybody to realize there is no panacea...drug abuse and the problems associated will always be with us....always.  

    We just need not have prohibition and the problems associated with that...these are problems that can go away with the stroke of a few pens.

    Though I guess since I believe using drugs to be a constant in human nature...the desire to prohibit others from "sin" may also be in our nature...I just may be the oddball with no such prohibitionist nature, just as there are oddballs who have never tried an intoxicant in their whole lives.


    AND most pot smokers DON"T NEED IT (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by lilybart on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:54:33 PM EST
    We don't want to waste money sending my brother-in-law, for example, to treatment if he got caught with pot.

    Drug treatment as we now know it (none / 0) (#56)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:30:35 PM EST
     ranges from moderately helpful, to well meaning but ineffectual to pretty much rip offs.

      That doesn't mean it can't be vastly improved. I do agree and said in an earlier thread that any sensible policy has to be based on an understanding some people will relapse no matter what. People can differ as to what to do with them.

      I believe the best policy is one that allows them to maintain their use without turning to blackmarket sources and then selling a portion of their purchases (or committing other crimes) to support the habit. In other word-- in conjunction with therapy practically targeted to the realistic goal of not allowing their drug problem to cause greater damage to them and those who rely on or care about them -- give them controlled doses of their drug. An ideal solution?

      No, but there is no ideal solution.



    stating that reducing demand (3.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:30:44 AM EST
    for drugs would be  a good thing is not "demonizing" drug use when I say it any more than it is demonized when Clinton or the millions of other people who have said it say it.

       Many would argue in fact that you can't "demonize" an activity but only the people who engage in it, and neither Ms Clinton nor I have done that.

    I didn't say anything about Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:32:30 AM EST
    but (2.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:34:44 AM EST
     the comment in my post paraphrased and was identical in meaning to her statement. I merely remarked that it was a pretty mundane statement to herald as a breakthrough.

    I think that's rather presumptive (4.60 / 5) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:36:43 AM EST
    unless you are Hillary Clinton.  You perceived what she said to mean and encompass what you want it to.

    Awww I got a one again from Bemused (4.33 / 3) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:56:59 AM EST
    I'm crushed

    I'm looking for (none / 0) (#91)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:09:41 PM EST
    the "ten" button,

    cost averaging, you know...


    Are you suggesting (2.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:16:31 PM EST
     that she did mean to demonize drug use or that it's possible to ascribe some meaning to her comment different than she thinks reducing demand for drugs would be good?

      Please elaborate.


    Oh and by the way (4.75 / 4) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:35:06 AM EST
    Amsterdam's plan is working, and they aren't dealing with mass murder, a border explosion problem, and failed border state due to and fed by the "illegality" of drugs in their country.

    Yes, but they don't border (2.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Fabian on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 06:27:13 PM EST
    Mexico either.

    Mexico's problems are largely of its own making.  They export their people to import remittances.  They export drugs to import dollars.  They crack down NOT on the crime lords, but on the peasants!  They'd be a bona fide Developing Nation (aka third world nation) if they had no United States as their next door neighbor.

    I want to feel sorry for Mexico, but I don't.  They couldn't even take advantage of NAFTA to improve their economy.


    I'm in favor of increasing and improving (3.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:45:51 AM EST
     treatment, but honest discussion compels us not to pretend it is a potential panacea. From the abstract.

    Research shows that strong community supervision programs for lower-risk, non-violent offenders not only cost significantly less than incarceration but, when appropriately resourced and managed, can cut recidivism by as much as 30 percent. Diverting these offenders to community supervision programs also frees up prison beds needed to house violent offenders, and can offer budget makers additional resources for other pressing public priorities.

      Don't get me wrong 30% is good but a 30% reduction as used here  means that if without supervision and treatment 75% become recidivists, approximately 50% become recidivists with treatment. It's also often the case with these studies (although this one might be different) that they only follow the subjects for a relatively short period following completion of treatment.

      It's further important to note that "recidivism" can only be counted when a person is caught. some might return to usage but not be included as recidivists in these studies.

      That's why we need equal or greater focus on improving treatment not just expanding it.

    Why curb demand? (3.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:48:45 AM EST
    why not just give the people what they want?  

    No encouragement, no discouragement, just the facts....and people making choices for themselves.

    Besides, how do you even begin trying to curb demand? Seems like man has sought a buzz of one sort or another since the dawn of time...its part of who we are as a species. I say roll with it and acknowledge this part of human nature...while working to minimize the negative societal effects of drug abuse.  Responsible drug use, otoh, isn't a societal problem in the slightest.

    that's a valid idea, just not (none / 0) (#21)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:53:31 AM EST
     one with which I agree (although I do with respect to marijuana). I think you've seen elsewhere my reasons, and I undestand your reasons. We can reasnobaly disagree as we sometimes do.

      As a practical matter, dangerous drugs will not be "legalized" in our lifetimes and focusing on lessening the reliance on imprisonment for low-level offendders motivated by the need to sell drugs to support habits is a more attainable goal.

      As Voltaire said, "the better is the enemy of the good." Even if I actually belived legalization would be a good thing, I'd still focus on supporting measures intended only to reduce incarceration rates.


    I'm pretty much resigned to the fact... (4.00 / 2) (#28)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:05:43 PM EST
    that the radical change I desire is a non-starter.  Pigs will fly and AIG will be allowed to fail first.  

    I'll certainly take the bones of reduced sentences and an emphasis on treatement....and keep on livin' the American way...sneaky as sneaky can be.

    And yes, reasonable people can disagree Bemused...it's only "the death penalty for drug dealers" and "John Sinclair got off easy" types I have no patience for...or the TL commenter (sorry I forget who) who advocates for mandatory drug testing of everybody...talk about insane:)


    Thread cleaned (2.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 02:54:00 PM EST
    of insults and discussions about Bemused. S/he is warned again not to rate comments a "1" based on point of view, a "1" is for trolls and no regular commenters here are trolls. Even bigger warning, as I said yesterday, stop making the threads about you.

    As i told you yesterday (none / 0) (#86)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 04:14:07 PM EST
     read the threads. I have not here or before made the threads about me. I simply post comments with nothing personal involved that a handful of other people respond to with false and derogatory comments directed at me. I do respond and feel entitled to respond such comments. If you don't want the threads to "be about me" the obvious thing to do is to tell the people who would rather make them about me to stop.

      As for the 1s, you will need to explain to me why any comment I rated 1 did not abundantly qualify as a trollsish comment making personal attacks. I might also ask why you do not see fit to "warn" the others who rated comments of mine with a 1 when those comments did not even have any connection to them and contained nothing remotely similar to personal attacks.

      I realize this is your site, and you can ban whomever you please, but if you have no intention of showing any objectivity I am going to continue to respond to comments directed at me personally.


    Amsterdam is probably (1.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Bemused on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:21:16 AM EST
      not a good example to cite for the proposition legalization would reduce demand. That not everyone who lives in or travels to Amsterdam purchased and uses drugs is irrelevant. Not everyone in a maximum security prison would commit murder, but chances are high many such  prisons have a higher proportion of murderers than your neighborhood.

     What would be relevant would be how the proportion of people in or visiting Amsterdam who do use drug compares to  otherwise similar cities where laws are more strict.

     On the broader topic, I don't think Clinton is the first person to offer the startling proposition that reducing demand for drugs would be a good thing.

      I'll be somewhat more impressed when I  hear better ideas as to how to do it.

    Once again drug use is demonized (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:25:30 AM EST
    in your post.

    And in the documentary (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:27:57 AM EST
    the general population of Amsterdam has far fewer drug problems than we can even fathom, from who uses to what it costs them to contain "drug wars".  As to who does use, it is obvious and they put their money into treating addiction.....not fighting and wrestling from people the opportunity and right to act like grown ups and making grown up choices for themselves.

    I am open (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:33:11 AM EST
    to legalizing all drugs.  I am curious how the government would gauge demand for a drug though - how would they determine how much cocaine to grow?  How tempting would it be for the government to "create" a market for any particular drug they were regulating?

    The market would determine... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:42:16 AM EST
    how much coca farmers should grow and remain profitable...same way the market determines how much lettuce to grow.

    kdog has this whole thing figured out :) (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:47:26 AM EST
    Put him in the cabinet.

    Secretary of Vice.... (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:56:26 AM EST
    has a nice ring...but I'd have to demand my kickbacks in free product in lieu of cash:)

    I once had a (none / 0) (#93)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:16:41 PM EST
    tremendously productive salesman working for me, but he had a tiny little problem: he was a compulsive sports gambler. He had the kind of personality that you just couldn't help but like him. (Not a bad trait for a salesman) Also, we were close personal friends, having come up the ranks together.

    Anyway, a position opened up in our company that was a natural for "Louie," but, of course, "the problem." So, one day after work, and over a beer or two, I said to "Lou," "Louie, I've got this great position open, and you'd be great for it, but, you know, how am I going to put my boss's mind at ease that if you lost too much money gambling, you wouldn't figure out a way to steal from us?"

    Now you would have had to know "Lou" to understand that, a gambler? yes, but a liar? No. He asked how much the position paid, so I told him, $80,000. He thought for a moment, took a sip of beer, and said, "Got it...., pay me $40,000, and if I need it, I'll steal the other $40,000."  

    Where there's a will, there's a way.

    Ya gotta love it.........lol   


    Sounds like a guy... (none / 0) (#94)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 08:15:21 AM EST
    I'd enjoy having a beer with too.

    And yes gambler doesn't equal lack of morality, not in the slightest, despite the evidence to the contrary at the Wall St. Casino:)

    Some of just enjoy the action....like Doestevsky said "here are 2 joys of gambling, the joy of winning, and the joy of losing".


    thanks, I zapped him (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:15:37 PM EST
    I'm getting about 20 registrations a day from spammers now, it's been going on for 2 weeks or so. They actually take the time to register on the site, get an email with a password and then activate the account. Thanks for letting us know.

    Legalizing drugs (none / 0) (#90)
    by CariSF on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 06:42:37 PM EST
    Not sure of the details, but legalizing drugs is a "no-brainer"...think of it like this:  If illegal drugs were kept in a safe and you were the one with the combination and someone put a gun to your head or to the head of your loved one and demanded that you give them the drugs, I doubt anyone would have a problem handing them over. There would be no moral quandry.  This is the situation that many communities find themselves in and for the rest of us to continue the course of making drugs illegal is untenable.

    On the other hand, having ANY profit in selling drugs whether by the government in the form of taxes or by individuals, maintains the incentive to continue to "push" drugs.  If there is no profit, it is the end of the drug pusher and of drug related activity of street gangs, the terror, the murder and the other crimes resulting from the business ($) money aspect of selling drugs and of the desperate folks addicted who must obtain money for purchase of drugs.

    The answer might be in legalizing drugs but having them available for use only at drug centers where counseling, education and drug programs are available immediately for anyone who is interested, and of course, only available to people who are already addicted.

    I am talking about hard drugs here.  No opinion on marijuana.

    LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!! FINALLY! (none / 0) (#92)
    by rawlsjs on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:24:18 PM EST
    We spend 40 billion dollars a year fighting this. Marijuana was THE LARGEST cash crop in the US in 2008 AGAIN. The profits generated from marijuana more than DOUBLED the second largest cash crop. Guess what that is? It is CORN. Our 40 billion a year only makes those who sell marijuana in the US even stronger. Year AFTER YEAR! It is NOT a gateway drug. My response to that: the type of person who smokes marijuana may be the same kind of personality who might be open to trying other drugs. IT MAKES SENSE! Gateway drug = total bull. STOP wasting 40 billion a year. Tax marijuana sales like cigarette sales (but make even MORE money doing it) so that we can pay off the national debt WITHIN 5 YEARS! We are going to get to the point when we have no other option but to do this. Look at The Netherlands. Seriously. Anyone who has been there knows that it can be done successfully. Many states are already taking steps. I understand that no president wants to be the one to do this and lose support from some ultra conservatives. I see it as something that will be done in the next few years. At the very least, it is something Obama would do in his second term. Not to risk re-election.

    Drug courts are expensive but not as expensive (none / 0) (#95)
    by JSN on Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 09:00:27 AM EST
    as prison. Drug courts are a prison alternative and if they did not exist all of their clients would be in prison. Suppose there are 20 clients the annual incarceration cost for 20 prisoners is $560,000.
    If 30% of the clients are revoked to prison (that seems to be a representative rate) the net saving in incarceration costs is $392,000 more than it costs for drug court.

    The odd thing about this is that because 30% were revoked people will say that drug courts are "unreliable" ignoring the fact that 70% of the clients are in the employed in the community paying their fees, debts and taxes. 70% of a birthday cake is better than no birthday cake in my opinion.