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View Diary: End It, Don't Mend It: The War on Drugs Stops Now (87 comments)

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  •  Some drugs are just so addictive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, elkhunter, native

    and so dangerous, like Meth, that we just have to keep a lid on it. Hopefully, prohibition of very dangerous drugs coupled with a saner policy with less harmful drugs will steer people away from them. Crystal meth is a very nasty drug with a pretty gigantic high attached to it. I don't really see any way around that. You cannot have a regulated sale policy for some drugs. But we do need to be thinking of focusing our resources where they do some good.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 01:34:38 PM PDT

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    •  If there is demand... (9+ / 0-)

      ...it will get filled somehow, always.

      The only question is how much destruction you are willing to inflict on your fellow humans trying to stop it.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:06:13 PM PDT

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      •  Does that also go for assault rifles? (0+ / 0-)

        And hand grenades? And rocket launchers?

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 06:34:38 PM PDT

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        •  imo, yes (0+ / 0-)

          "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

          by jlynne on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:02:05 AM PDT

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          •  Then we parted company a long time ago. (0+ / 0-)

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:03:01 AM PDT

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            •  I doubt it. (0+ / 0-)

              His point is only that if there are people who want rocket launchers, there will be people who provide them.  Doesn't mean you can't try to control the exchange.

              "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

              by jlynne on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:59:42 AM PDT

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              •  Control it? (0+ / 0-)

                Is that another way of saying "prohibit"? Or you think there should be a permit process for rocket launchers?

                For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:10:45 AM PDT

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                •  by "prohibit" (0+ / 0-)

                  are you suggesting that no rocket launchers be allowed on the planet?  

                  Much as I might like the idea, it's not feasible.  Any weapon that is produced for any "legitimate" purpose, i.e., military, home defense, etc., is going to be produced for illegitimate purposes, i.e., terrorism, crime, etc., as well.  

                  So "control" is about drawing lines between the legitimate and the illegitimate.  It is effectively a permitting process, yes.  

                  "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

                  by jlynne on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:27:34 PM PDT

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                  •  Talking of planets, what planet are you from? (0+ / 0-)

                    I am, of course, talking about private citizens in the USA. And have been all along. And, like 99.9% of Americans, I don't want any Americans owning rocket launchers. No permits, no conditional use. Nada.

                    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                    by Anne Elk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:03:49 PM PDT

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                    •  No Americans (0+ / 0-)

                      Military?
                      Police?
                      Security forces?

                      Where do you draw the line, because I don't want the local cops having rocket launchers either, but they do.  They are "permitted."

                      "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

                      by jlynne on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:26:56 PM PDT

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    •  "keep a lid on it" (5+ / 0-)

      It just doesn't work that way. You know it. I know it. We all know it. If there's a demand, it will be created. Your choice isn't either to lid it or give it away. The choice is putting people in a cage for selling it or saving that money and putting some of it toward treating those suffering from addiction and other mental illnesses.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:27:12 PM PDT

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      •  It's not a question of keeping a lid on it. (0+ / 0-)

        It's a question of channeling demand into less harmful routes. There is a big difference between "throw them all in jail" and "whatever". I think there is a middle way.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 06:33:47 PM PDT

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      •  Leave moderate users alone. (0+ / 0-)

        I suspect that like alcohol, most would not become addicted.

    •  Disagree - regulated sale makes it a medical issue (6+ / 0-)

      Meth is ripe for abuse and highly addictive, and ingesting it is basically poisoning yourself.  However, you can say the exact same thing about alcohol.  Regulating the sale would remove some of the most harmful parts of meth - the black-market crime and associated violence - and turn  meth addiction mostly into a medical/social issue, much like alcohol.

      During alcohol prohibition, many people were injured or killed by "bathtub gin" created with ethanol and other impurities by people who didn't know or care what they were doing.  Same with meth - we've outsourced meth production to whoever can make it at the lowest cost and not get caught - with no regulation or quality control.  What is sold as "meth" on the street could be cut with anything.  What is already a poison becomes much more potent, or has unknown side effects.  If they end up in a hospital or jail, you have no idea what they actually ingested.

      As a thought experiment, let's say the U.S. government started producing pure methamphetamine and selling it nationwide, through government-run stores, at the going street price to people over 21 with ID.  Limits are:  you have to register with the store, you get one "dose" per person per day, and it's illegal to buy meth and then re-sell or give it to someone else.

      1.  The black market for producing and/or importing meth would collapse overnight.  No incentive to buy possibly adulterated crap from a stranger when you can go get reliable, pure product straight from the government and not get screwed, beaten, or taken advantage of.
      2.  The violence associated with producing and/or importing meth would largely cease overnight, with a corresponding drop in violent deaths, incarceration rates, court cases, etc.
      3.  Any glamour that meth gets for being "counterculture" or "illegal" goes away.  If you have to go stand in line to buy your own meth in broad daylight at the same drab government store as anyone else it kinda takes the shine off.
      4.  You now have a database with most of the people in the country who are buying meth.  You can target them with treatment programs to break addiction every time they come into the store.  If nothing else you actually have reliable statistics on meth usage.
      5.  Most of the previously untrackable money previously going to drug dealers is now going to the government.

      For the first few years you would want to keep prices low (slightly below previous street value) in order to break the crime cycle.  Over time though, you would raise the prices (probably through taxes) to discourage purchases and wean people off it, pretty much exactly like we've done with cigarettes.

      Don't get me wrong, this isn't a perfect solution.  It's still messy and people will still be addicted.  Lots of people would blame the government for promoting drugs and causing addiction.  People living around "distribution centers" would scream bloody murder.  But violent crime would drop, and meth would become a health care issue instead of a criminal justice issue.  If we could start to get a handle on it - if we could start by reducing the meth problem to, say, the same scale of problem with have with prescription drugs like Oxycodone, it would be much better than what we have going now.

      •  No. You can't. You really can't. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        It's really funny in a bitter way that, while activists are demanding that GMO foods be labeled, you want to sell crystal meth right next to the peanut butter. Good luck with that. Most Americans don't want poisone sold just like any other product. Spend some time with addicts, maybe you will change your mind.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 06:31:41 PM PDT

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        •  Not next to the peanut butter but, at the (0+ / 0-)

          pharmacy.  It should be as simple as filling a prescription.  Each person with a script would be monitored by a doctor until such time they are able to quit.  Otherwise, leave moderate users alone even marketing small doses for the obese.

    •  There is a very tight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      "lid on it" as we speak. They call it the drug war. It doesn't work. The stuff is still there, and there is just as much. No matter how dangerous you believe the stuff is, what we are doing is more dangerous. Yes, some beautiful young people will die from drugs like these if you legalize them. Guess what -- many young beautiful people already die even though there is a war on the stuff. Life is dangerous. Some people get hurt. Get over it. Move ahead.

      Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
      Mark Twain

      by phaktor on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:29:59 AM PDT

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