Brit. Officials Declare War on Drugs a Failure

In Britain, MPs and members of the House of Lords, have formed a new "All-Party Parliamentary Group " on Drug Policy Reform, and requesting new policies for drug issues. They say the policies should be guided by scientific evidence. They argue:

Despite governments worldwide drawing up tough laws against dealers and users over the past 50 years, illegal drugs have become more accessible. Vast amounts of money have been wasted on unsuccessful crackdowns, while criminals have made fortunes importing drugs into this country. The increasing use of the most harmful drugs such as heroin has also led to “enormous health problems”, according to the group.

The current policies have failed. But other countries, such as Portugal, have had success. The difference: [More...]

In the UK the time has come for a review of our 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. I call on our Government to heed the advice of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that drug addiction should be recognised as a health problem and not punished.

We have the example of other countries to follow. The best is Portugal which has decriminalised drug use for 10 years. Portugal still has one of the lowest drug addiction rates in Europe, the trend of Young people's drug addiction is falling in Portugal against an upward trend in the surrounding countries, and the Portuguese prison population has fallen over time.”

They are joined by former heads of MI5 and the Crown Prosecution Service. One possible outcome:

It could lead to calls for the British government to decriminalise drugs, or at least for the police and Crown Prosecution Service not to jail people for possession of small amounts of banned substances.

They also point out:

The peers and MPs say that despite governments “pouring vast resources” into the attempt to control drug markets, availability and use has increased, with up to 250 million people worldwide using narcotics such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin in 2008.

It's a health problem, folks. Prison is an expensive response, and it's contraindicated.

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    Refreshing (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:59:39 AM EST
    A politician with common sense. What a novel concept. He'd never survive here. Our dilusional politicians would swallow him alive.

    Too many of our politicians are so wrapped up in phoney self righteousness, they refuse to look for real solutions.

    Or... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:16:58 AM EST
    here in the USA at least, ten percent of the population in the system may just be the "solution" they are looking for.  It is hard to govern the innocent, the guilty make better sheep...hence the over-criminalization we've witnessed in the 20-21st centuries.

    I can't quite decide if it is self-righteous stupidity or something more nefarious that fuels such crackhead policies...probably a little of both.  


    As propaganda outfits... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:15:18 AM EST
    they can't hold a candle to the DEA, DOJ, ONDCP, etc.

    14 is not of age... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:17:50 AM EST
    to consent...back to the drawing board jb, bullsh&t comparison...there is a victim in your example.

    But I got no problem punishing the statuatory rapist less harshly than the take by force rapist, fwiw.

    When money talks, BS walks (none / 0) (#1)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 07:47:46 AM EST
    It's a health problem, folks. Prison is an expensive response, and it's contraindicated.

    Especially when there's a global economic Meltdown, and the only people benefiting from that Meltdown are the banksters and the cartels.

    Without the cartels providing the dirty money, the big banks couldn't have kept themselves afloat during the crisis they engineered.

    The money is talking, and the BS (drug prohibition) will soon be handed it's marching papers, as it becomes increasingly evident the world's taxpayers can't afford it anymore.

    Sure... (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:19:33 AM EST
    If that was even remotely true, it would have ended years ago.  Plus Cotton and Pharma have a lot fo dollars they have and will continue to use to vilify and ensure their profits aren't tarnished.

    It's not that I disagree, but we can't even figure if state legalized medication should be legal at the federal level.  We spent decades telling the population drugs are the root of all evil and somehow we are going say, 'our bad, like eggs, we got it wrong'.  I'm joking of course about the eggs, but there are zillions of people who will fight decriminalization tooth and nail.

    Nothing beyond weed will ever be legal in my lifetime, which at 40 I am hoping for 40 more.


    I'm not being blindly optimistic (none / 0) (#38)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:06:17 AM EST
    But one thing which the DrugWar has always been heavily dependent upon is Federal funding, and with foreign governments not wanting to lend Uncle Sam any more money, and with the unemployed not being able to contribute tax-wise, very soon we will see instances where desperate, unemployed people are going to ask hard, sharp questions about how much longer we can afford to spend money on drug prohibition when they need the money being wasted on it to survive.

    Given the increasingly angry mood in the country, those questions cannot be fobbed off with the usual platitudes (hysterical, wide-eyed: "What about the children?") and bromides anymore...not if the pols don't want to face recall.


    Our current debt problems are certainly (none / 0) (#30)
    by Buckeye on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:31:24 AM EST
    helping us out in trying to legalize drugs. More tax revenue and less cost.  

    And it will happen.  Majority of Americans already support legalizing pot - the rest will eventually follow.


    Capitalism at it's worst (none / 0) (#74)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 07:22:42 PM EST
    In this new found era of austerity, you would think that states and the federal government would take a fresh look at the prison population and realize that we're spending a lot of money that could be better utilized.

    Maybe privatization has fueled the fires for the drug war. Prisons are now for profit. There's no incentive for redemption now. It would be bad for business.


    When does it become a "health problem"? (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:41:51 AM EST
    or when is just people getting high for pleasure, even though they know they could get busted?

    I agree addiction is a health problem, but not everyone who takes drugs is an addict.  Some people just take drugs.

    You rang? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:52:33 AM EST
    True...some people just like catching a buzz...as they have for millenia.

    Those people, my people...the responsible recreational drug user...we are not a problem and should be left alone to pursue happiness...as is our inalienable right.  Same as the recreational beer drinker, chocolate eater, coffee drinker.

    It is addicts that may cause problems for society, and they should be dealt with medically, not legally via criminalization.


    I have (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:20:12 AM EST
    seen people frantic for coffee.

    Not much difference, it seems to me.

    But prohibition gives us a thriving underworld.
    It is a gift that keeps on giving.


    Like I said (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:22:13 AM EST
    the underworld won't disappear.

    No it won't (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sj on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:34:31 AM EST
    But no one here is saying it will.  That's a straw man, and so I'm not going to try to kill it either.  I'm just going to say that it might help a great deal if we as a society weren't feeding our underworld so avidly.

    weird (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 12:27:08 PM EST
    I don't know how I managed to rate this comment since I think it's a rather bullsh!t statement.  And I strongly disagree with your arguments on certain issues, like this one.

    But on most issues you don't have the same blinders and offer comments worth reading for thought, insight or humor.  

    So, since I can't remove the rating, I'll just leave it and not down rate it.  But said rating was made in error, so don't get any ideas :)


    An interesting scenario: armed robbery to (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:24:06 AM EST
    obtain coffee and/or funds to purchase it.

    If it was prohibited.... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:22:15 PM EST
    cough-BYU-cough...and it ended up costing 50 bucks for 2 grams of grounds...hell yeah people would steal for their fix.

    werd (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:55:22 AM EST
    Just sayin' (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:58:17 AM EST
    That to classify the "War on Drugs" as a "failure" because we are crimalizing a "health / medical" problem is not really accurate.

    Sure make (some) drugs legal - then regulate and tax the hell out of 'em.


    Some ain't gonna work... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:07:50 AM EST
    if you wanna reduce the violence and the profiteering and the chain & cage jackboot two-step...its gotta be the whole shebang.  Legalize just the sweet leaf and the gangsters in the trade, and on the L&O&C side of the racket, double down on cocaine/heroin/meth.

    The more harmful/addictive the drug, the tighter the controls and regs...that is reasonable.  Reefer at the liquor store, hard stuff at the pharmacy.  But they all must be decriminalized at least, if not legalized.  Anything less is the same failed experiment, and a tyrannical one at that.  The word "criminal" should not be in the discussion...period.


    realistically (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:10:42 AM EST
    some is all we can hope for

    I know... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:19:43 AM EST
    but the truth must be spoken, no matter how unlikely.

    Not to mention it is kinda a simple question of taste...I'm a reefer guy but who is anyone to tell the weekend warrior cocaine user he/she can't pursue their happiness too? Imbibing anything one can find on this crazy orb is an inalienable right...what is more basic than opening your mouth/lungs/veins and putting something in there?


    Mmm... (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:41:35 AM EST
    Since things like cocaine and heroin (and other such drugs) have been correlated with increases in violence and other crime, I disagree that a "weekend warrior" is only just "pursuing their own happiness". And let's be honest - we may decrease the crime in cases pursued against people for possession, but it won't decrease crime.  See Spain in the 1980s (when they had a very lax drug policy until crime numbers skyrocketed), or see the Netherlands, which has recently tightened their drug laws because of the increase in crime attributed to the previous lax drug laws.

    It's not a silver bullet, and is a problem to be looked at realistically.  It may free many people from our prisons for possession, but it will open up other problems and increases in crime in other areas.  

    We need to have a frank and honest discussion in this country about drugs and drug policy.  But it is not productive, nor accurate, for those who insist that "legalizing drugs" will solve most of our criminal justice problems.  


    At least in CA state correctional facilities, (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:44:55 AM EST
    the reason a person is sentenced to prison is not for "possession."  

    But it STARTS with possession (none / 0) (#45)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:23:35 AM EST
    Which makes the protestation that 'no one goes to prison for possession' a very bad joke.

    Funny how this country got along just fine without any drug laws for the first century...until anti-Chinese laborers, resenting how the Chinese worked for lower pay, sought to strike back at them through drug laws. As Professor Whitebread said in his 1995 speech,

    "Prohibitions are always enacted by US, to govern the conduct of THEM"...


    And a prohibition is absolutely done for when it does what? Comes back and bothers US. If, at any time, in any way, that prohibition comes back and bothers us, we will get rid of it for sure, every doggone time. Look at the alcohol prohibition if you want a quick example. As long as it is only THEM --- you know, them criminals, them crazy people, them young people, them minority group members --- we are fine. But any prohibition that comes back and bothers US is done for.

    There it is. Bigotry enshrined in policy. And fueled by Federal money...which is badly needed for things that actually help people, not harm them.


    Disagree. Simple possession doesn't (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:28:20 AM EST
    often result in commitment to state prison.  

    The whole process BEGINS with possession (none / 0) (#56)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:17:20 PM EST
    It is possessing the (once legal, now illegal) drug that starts the whole ball rolling.

    And given the prosecution's tendency to  'pile on' the charges after that, the likelihood of winding up in prison from a charge BEGINNING with possession becomes more likely...that is, until the whole ball of wax comes under the same fiscal pressure that is affecting all 50 States and soon the Feds.


    But guess what... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:34:40 PM EST
    if you possess your stash in one more than one bag you're a distributor...if you have a scale in the house you're a distributor...even if that is the furthest thing from the truth.

    If one possesses one's stash in more (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:43:14 PM EST
    than one bag, the customary charge in CA state is possession for sale.

    You're mssing the point... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:53:01 AM EST
    its not a criminal justice problem naturally...we chose to use the criminal law to address it and have paid for that mistake ever since.

    I understand addiction or even intoxication via some drugs (chief among them alcohol) can lead to violent crime...if we legalize the lot of it we have all those extra resources to combat violent crime...stop chasing simple buyers and sellers and clogging the precint and courts and prisons with people who have committed no violence or caused no issue for society.

    Again, "criminal" should not be in this discussion, thats our fundamental error.  "Criminal" only enters the discussion when somebody starts stealing or assaulting or killing.  Whether the reason for the violent crime is drug abuse or anger management deficiency or poor upbringing is irrelevant.


    Then why are countries that decriminalize... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:57:38 AM EST
    ...doing so much better?


    Nope, honesty.  Outlawing drugs is really like outlawing sex.  It really is.  People have been ingesting hallucinogens, they have been part of religious ceremonies, enlightenment experiences, whatever, for millenia.  For heaven's sake, at a wedding, Jesus wanted to party so he turned water into wine.  But I guess that's this puritan nation's rationale for treating its most dangerous drug as a national party symbol, while demonizing everything else like, well, inexcusably moronic puritan hypocrites.


    Are they? (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:09:04 AM EST
    Are they really?  Or are there other factors at play as well? (And you might want to check on those countries that have recently tightened their liberal drug laws because they found their crime rates had gone up for other crimes, especially violent crimes.)  And no - no looking at sources like NORML.

    Sure - by your rationale, why have laws for anything?  People are going to speed, so why have speed limits?  People are going to want to be free to go wherever they want, so why have laws against tresspass?  People are going to covet and steal, so why have laws against theft? People are going to get angry and want revenge, so why have laws against murder?  Because we're so puritanical?  Silly.


    while I hate to (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:50:31 AM EST
    elevate this with a response it deserves one.  everything you list is a crime with a victim.  its amazing to me that even you could not see that.

    lets ask the questions another way.  why not make trans fat illegal?  its more harmful than pot.  why not make cell phones illegal.  they have been tagged as causing brain cancer?  why not make chop sticks illegal.  someone could put an eye out.  of course we all know why.  because its my business if I want to eat burgers use a cell phone and risk injury with chop sticks and none of yours or anyone elses.


    Find some statistics from what (none / 0) (#52)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:42:51 AM EST
    you consider a reliable source would be a start, IMHO.

    Re: (none / 0) (#21)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:59:53 AM EST
    Since things like cocaine and heroin (and other such drugs) have been correlated with increases in violence and other crime

    So has alcohol, but I've yet to read that you're up for banning that as well.

    See Spain in the 1980s (when they had a very lax drug policy until crime numbers skyrocketed), or see the Netherlands, which has recently tightened their drug laws because of the increase in crime attributed to the previous lax drug laws.

    By U.S. standards Spanish drug policy is very permissive.  Spain's drinking age for alcohol ranges from 16 to 18, depending on the autonomous region.  Treatment instead of incarceration initiatives like drug courts are designed to mainstream illicit drug offenders and as such do not preclude social welfare benefits denied to drug offenders in the U.S.  Drug offenders in Spain are eligible for unemployment benefits.  As one of the last countries in Europe to embrace harm reduction, Spanish drug policy continues to evolve.  Public drug consumption that was once common during the post-Franco cultural revolution of the 1980's is now frowned upon.  Administrative fines for public consumption once thought to exist on paper only are now enforced in many autonomous regions.  In response to a growing problem of alcohol intoxication among teenagers at ad hoc street parties, public consumption of alcohol was outlawed in March of 2002.  Outdoor cafes and bars with patios are exempted from "La Ley del Botellon."

    Click or Drug Policy Me

    From the same source, on The Netherlands:

    A key aspect of Dutch drug policy is the notion of market separation. By classifying drugs according to the risks posed and then pursuing policies that serve to isolate each market, it is felt that users of soft drugs are less likely to come into contact with users of hard drugs. Thus, the theory goes, users of soft drugs are less likely to try hard drugs. Possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use has been decriminalized in the Netherlands. The sale of cannabis is technically an offence under the Opium Act, but prosecutorial guidelines provide that proceedings will only be instituted in certain situations. An operator or owner of a coffee shop (which is not permitted to sell alcohol) will avoid prosecution if he/she meets the following criteria:

        no more than 5 grams per person may be sold in any one transaction;
        no hard drugs may be sold;
        drugs may not be advertised;
        the coffee shop must not cause any nuisance;
        no drugs can be sold to minors (under age 18), nor may minors enter the premises; and
        the municipality has not ordered the establishment closed.

    Separating the markets by allowing people to purchase soft drugs in a setting where they are not exposed to the criminal subculture surrounding hard drugs is intended to create a social barrier that prevents people experimenting with drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, drugs deemed an "unacceptable risk." Decriminalization of the possession of soft drugs for personal use and the toleration of sales in controlled circumstances has not resulted in a worryingly high level of consumption among young people. The extent and nature of the use of soft drugs does not differ from the pattern in other Western countries. As for hard drugs, the number of addicts in the Netherlands is low compared with the rest of Europe and considerably lower than that in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Dutch rates of drug use are lower than U.S. rates in every category.

    I believe you need to better inform yourself about drug policies around the world before making any future pronouncements that aren't in accordance with the facts about drug policies here and abroad.


    Yeah, drugpolicy.org (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:18:07 AM EST
    That's where I'd go for stats.



    Okay, you've shown your skepticism (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by sj on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    (Although "some" might call it just sneering)  So how about you show what you consider reliable sources?  

    jbinc (none / 0) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:33:05 AM EST
    how about you move on? You're chattering and you've been warned repeatedly. Four comments a day and please leave my threads. Any further comments will be deleted. You've become a troll.

    Straighter dope there... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:47:35 AM EST
    than your usual sources, imo.

    Portugal is supposedly (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:32:14 PM EST
    doing better with addiction rates after decriminalizing.....

    I'd guess... (none / 0) (#65)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:50:53 PM EST
    Portugal has other over-criminalization problems if their prison population is still booming...there are many besides the prohibition issue.

    Since pharmacists in U.S. may (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:36:46 AM EST
    currently decline to provide prescription morning after pills, . . .

    Also, wonder why the inmate population of Portugal's correctional facilities didn't immediately diminish upon decriminalization.


    Not to Mention (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:39:40 AM EST
    All the criminal activity the drug trade creates as a byproduct, like human trafficking and arms smuggling.  Take the main revenue generator, drugs, and the the offshoots are going to seriously struggle.  

    Like fast food not serving burgers, sure I like some friends, or a fish sandwich, but they can't survive without the burger, just like a lot of these black markets can't survive w/o their cash cow, drugs.

    I do disagree about the whole shebang, make the top four or five legal (X being the 5th), decriminalize them all, and then figure out what to do with the rest.  I would like to think with the legalization of the others, the demand for less used substances would decrease, but who knows, we all love breaking the law.

    No offense kdog, but we can't have Pfizer producing PCP & LSD for sale at Walgreen's.  Even I can't get down with that.


    I fail to see... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:45:20 AM EST
    how it would be all that different than buying LSD or PCP from the guy in the alley...I mean you want I can get it Scott...even PCP which is the one drug I regret ever trying...that stuff is evil.  At least Walgreens asks for ID to try and keep the kids away.

    Except for the huge upside of saving money and all those empty cages...not to mention the increase in personal liberty, which I consider a very good thing.


    Kdog (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:05:23 AM EST
    What I am saying is hopefully the guy in the alley disappears when the popular drugs are legalized.

    I'm not setting hard rules, but there is going to have to be certain drugs that are illegal, and PCP comes to mind.  Then revisit the issue, if the black-market for PCP becomes the infinite hole of wasted funds and violence, then we revisit the issue.

    A good example is moonshine, which at one point was pretty damn popular, now it's hard to get and even if you do, it's god awful.  The market disappeared because the other legal liquors made the alley moonshine undesirable.  It's only real market is nostalgia.

    Absinthe would be another, the black-market was there, but the risk and payout made it virtually invisible and it certainly wasn't a violent market, usually a friend going to Mexico and grabbing a bottle or two.  Now it's legal, somewhat, but I believe the stuff containing wormwood is still illegal to sell, but not to own.

    And yes, whenever we have a family reunion, my hillbilly cousins from Kentucky bring up a couple mason jars and we are all peer pressured into drinking what I can only describe as the worse form of alcohol man has ever created.


    Black markets won't disappear (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:19:18 AM EST
    They'll just shift.

    JB (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:30:37 AM EST
    Disappear may be the wrong terminology.  But essentially after repealing prohibition, the black-market for alcohol disappeared.  Or in reality, shrank to such a minuscule business, that's it's not seriously discussed in any circles.

    Shift, to what, it's easy to say that, but where is this multi-billion dollar drug black-market going to shift to, prescriptions, knockoff gear, where ?

    I don't doubt what you say, but this black-market is easily the worlds largest, so any reduction/shift is good.


    The problem is (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:47:08 AM EST
    As I pointed out above - no one here really wants to have a serious discussion about drug policy. A serious discussion musst absolutely include people talking about pros and cons to an issue.  

    When people want to blindly proclaim that legalizing drugs will be great and solve all these problems we have, without acknowledging the very serious other problems that could and will arise, and who instantly dismiss them ("See how wonderful Europe is doing?" Um, no, they aren't really), or who only want to proclaim things like, "But...but alcohol was illegal and see how that turned out!" then it's time to realize that those people are not prepared to have a serious conversation.


    jb, that is such cr@p (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by sj on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:20:44 AM EST
    When people want to blindly proclaim that legalizing drugs will be great and solve all these problems we have...

    No one is saying that.  What people are saying is that the "war on drugs" causes more problems than it solves.


    from here it looks (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:53:25 AM EST
    you are the only one not willing to have a serious conversation.

    I will leave you with one thought.  every person - EVERY SINGLE PERSON - who wants to do drugs, does drugs.  they do now and they would after they were legalized.  the only difference it would make is it would remove a multi billion dollar underground culture that funds everything from terrorism to police departments.


    The War on Drugs has destabilized Mexico (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:37:43 PM EST
    Legalize drugs, and the Mexico narcotraficantes will have to find a different line of work....

    The tragedy here is that Mexico had reformed itself politically and had entered an era of clean elections.....

    Then the drug trade mushroomed in Mexico.....


    JB (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:50:12 PM EST
    I second the crap comment.

    Serious discussion about legalizing drugs ?  They have been going on for years, if not decades.  Not agreeing with you does not equal un-seriousness.

    I'm not going to rehash the reasons they should be legal and not one person here doesn't understand the consequences.  But the people in your camp seem to think once product A is legal, everyone in their brother is going to go to Costco and buy a kilo.  Legality has almost zero effect on use, if it did, we wouldn't be having this discussion because no one would be using.

    And using the obvious analogy, prohibition doesn't mean we aren't taking this seriously, it means there is no other practical example to use.

    I don't understand this knee jerk reaction to legalization.  You say we don't want to discuss it seriously, but your tired old "possible consequences" mantra is about an un-serious as one can get.

    So what are the consequences, addicts, got them, underage usage, check, medical costs, already there, what consequence could possibly arise that isn't already a serious problem, Mr Serious ?


    Perhaps... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:42:12 AM EST
    I never bought much into the "gateway" theory...but I would cheer if PCP use disappeared.

    What I can never cheer is the guy who just so happens to enjoy PCP is criminalized over it, while causing no problems.  It might be difficult for you or I to imagine smoking PCP in your living room on  Friday night being a good time, there are all kinds my friend and they deserve their inalienable rights too.  Who is anybody to say which drugs are ok and which are too dangerous or addictive...it really is a question of taste and self-control...if you can swing it more power to you I say.  Granted some drug use is easier to swing without become an addict or a problem than others.


    I surely would not like to be in the same (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    place as a person who is a recreational user of PCP.  

    No kidding... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:33:14 AM EST
    like I said...evil.  Hated every minute of it.

    But the neighborhood dusthead who turned me on wasn't a bad guy...never got violent on the stuff or anything...he just really liked dust and zombie-fying...could never understand why, but he did.  

    He didn't belong in chains, that much I can tell ya for sure.


    Kdog (none / 0) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:08:16 PM EST
    What I can never cheer is the guy who just so happens to enjoy PCP is criminalized over it, while causing no problems.

    I said decriminalize all drugs, just don't sanction their sale.  I don't have a problem with him doing whatever he wants, I'm just not comfortable with every drug ever produced available at Walgreen's.

    Because then you start getting into the area of prescription drugs and some of those are far worse than PCP and plenty that will kill you w/o the buzz.

    My point is if we legalize the popular drugs, sell them at specialty shops, not Walgreen's, the black-market for the oddities will fade, not disappear, but become a market that we don't even bother perusing because it's so minuscule.

    I'm sure some clown will cook up PCP, but if you can go get pharmaceutical grade opium, cocaine, speed, or weed, whose going to bother ?  And without the normal distribution chains of dealers and transporters, getting that batch out and sold is going to be a task probably not worth pursuing except for personal use, which doesn't bother me.

    If that isn't the case, then we go from there.  Not being a PCP user, I have no idea what the market is and how badly people will want it.  So if it turns into the mess we have now, then maybe we talk and figure out what to do.


    I see your point... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:58:02 PM EST
    people do take garbage because quality is often hard to find...there is a school of thought that the whole reason meth as we know it exists is because the good stuff, pharma-grade cocaine, was too expensive or too difficult to get...so tweakers sought alternatives.  Interesting theory.

    My main point here is society doesn't really have the right to ban the imbibing of anything...its a deeply personal inalienable rights thing.


    Probably good for the bottom line of (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:45:40 AM EST
    long-suffering physicians.  (snk.)

    Aboce Correction (none / 0) (#18)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:51:08 AM EST
    Fries, not friends.

    Will (none / 0) (#24)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:17:49 AM EST
    we ever be nostalgic about the strange journeys one has to go through to get a little pot?

    The jargon, the subterfuge, the waste of time?
    Identifying with being a criminal?

    Upon reflection, I don't think so.

    maybe sort of (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:36:45 PM EST
    I'm nostalgic about some of the stuff I got into in my younger days.  It doesn't mean I want to repeat it today, but I've got some good stories.

    Likewise, while I don't think people will be nostalgic about the general hassle, I bet there are a lot of good stories :)

    I can think of a few trecks I know I won't forget.


    Pretty much what I was thinking (none / 0) (#67)
    by sj on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:09:55 PM EST
    I don't think nostalgia is the right word, but I tend to think of some of those things as "escapades".  

    Some of them can me laugh out loud remembering them.  I'm glad it isn't happening under the current regime, though.  I think kdog is braver than I.  I wouldn't want my younger self to live in today's climate.


    yea (none / 0) (#69)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:34:43 PM EST
    although it's funny, re-reading my comment talking about my "younger days" makes me sound 60.  I'm in my mid-20s.  But I'm definitely not in college anymore and I haven't been for a few years now, it feels like longer ago than it was.  That's not to say I'm an angel now, but I'm certainly more selective/careful about any shenanigans, so they are by nature less exciting.

    Any real shenanigans happened under the relatively current regimes though.  The thing is, people are people, they do what they do, it's not about being brave, it's just the status quo and you deal with it.

    The tide is turning, so the current regime is less scary than it was.  At least in some states.


    Not arround here... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    still rockin' that "broken windows" aka "bust everybodys chops and see what ya catch".  Though maybe less cops to do it.

    haha for a minute there (none / 0) (#72)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:59:26 PM EST
    I thought you were talking about yourself still rockin' your youthful shenanigans.  I was about to tsk tsk for the broken windows.

    But yea, that's not cool. I think around here it's basically acceptable.  I remember at some point I realized that something like 50% or more of my friend's parents still smoke pot, and that is in no way limited to the liberals.  And about 100% of them did it back in the day.

    When we voted to decriminalize, it won by a bigger margin than everything else on the ballot, including Obama, in a very blue state.


    Ha! Never my style... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:57:11 PM EST
    mighta climbed threw 'em...construction sites and what not, but never broke 'em:)

    I don't know whats up with NYC...its embarrassingly barbaric.  140 arrests a day...chain and cage capitol of the world for this particular noncrime...sometimes via deceptive and illegal enforcement. In 2010...Bloomiani baby.


    I definitely will wax nostalgic... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:24:32 PM EST
    I've made life long friends for this very reason....searching for a connect in a new town.

    The outlaw life has its romantic charms, to be sure...but I'd gladly surrender them to get the chains off my people and build a more just less tyrannical society.


    Although there was an abundance of (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 11:26:49 AM EST
    of private security at recent Clapton concert here, no reaction I could see by private security to the flagrant pot-smokers in the audience.  To enter the venue, females were directed to one line for search of handbags.  Males were directed to a different line which, as I recall, involved a patdown.