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  •  Rather than a legalistic approach, we need to take (11+ / 0-)

    a medical/mental health approach.

    Rather than police sweeping up drug addicts and imprisoning them, divert them to treatment facilities where the addictions can be beaten.  Of course, that would require adequate funding for treatment centers, rather than for-profit prisons!

    Rather than filling the legal system with trials over drug dealing, fill the cities with jobs needing to be done while in half-way house treatment programs.

    We CHOOSE to spend our money in brutal punitive ways.  We could choose to spend it in helpful, educational, medical/mental health treatment sorts of ways.

    That choice is ours.  Unfortunately, politicians are continually demonstrating their virility by fist pounding and "War On..." proclamations.   It's time we Stopped this War On non-sense and just took an entirely different approach.

    Decriminalize it all.  Legalize the small time stuff.  Regulate it all so the doses are consistent and treat the addicts.

    It's easier for kids to get pot and coke than alcohol these days.  That's just crazy.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 02:33:11 PM PST

    •  If it's only decriminalized then the cartels (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, Over the Edge

      are still making money off of it.  That doesn't solve the problem.

      •  Not if their client base is falling due to reduced (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Guyer

        additions.  No decriminalization won't defund the cartels instantly.  But could state-owned or regulated pot stores really sell PCP or Meth or whatever?  

        Pot, sure. Regulated sales of heavier drugs to addicts undergoing treatment, sure. But there are some things which just are so addictive and/or dangerous...

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:59:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Been that way for some time (5+ / 0-)
      It's easier for kids to get pot and coke than alcohol these days.
      It's been well over a decade since my high school days in an affluent suburb well-known nationally at the time for its epidemic heroin use.  I never took anything, but I did know one of the dealers who worked my side of the city (the "poor" side, but only by comparison) and knew quite a bit about how the local drug scene worked.

      The runners transporting drugs from Mexico shipped in bulk, and local dealers were expected to purchase "package deals" to pay for the overhead costs.  The idea that Border Patrol might stop the whole system was laughable.  Dealers who worked with heroin sold it on the West side, to the bored rich kids.  Cocaine (and, for a year or so, LSD) were the money movers where I lived.

      But all these dealers wound up with huge volumes of pot, too, because the runners insisted they take it off their hands.  There was so much available that at times it was literally given away free to people who wanted it; the drug dealers considered the pot purchases simply a sunk cost required to move the "better" products.

      As for my dealer acquaintance?  He was a bright young man with a good head for numbers, but from a crushingly poor, shamefully unambitious family.  He dealt drugs because it let him live pretty well.  He always figured that, at some point, he'd spend the rest of his life in jail ... but that having a few good years followed by the loss of his freedom forever still meant that, on average, his life was better than if he hadn't dealt.  At least until I moved and lost contact, he'd been operating for three or four years without any trouble from the local cops.  He refused to sell heroin, and tried to ensure that his customers were educated about the product (to avoid overdoses and so on) and that they weren't spending money they didn't have; he was, if nothing else, a businessman, and a hospitalized (or dead) drug user, or one in jail for stealing drug money stops being a customer.  He and I both believed that the cops knew what he was up to, and simply refused to bust him, figuring that he would inevitably be replaced, and with something worse.

      If you want to know what's wrong with the Drug War, and why it doesn't work, you ought to be able to find at least 3 or 4 reasons in that block of text I've written...

      "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -Douglas Adams

      by Serpents Choice on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:26:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are so few (0+ / 0-)

        dealers with their wits about them, however.  They usually all degenerate into addicts and then its over.  Cops know about my daughter and her boyfriend, too.  My granddaughter is just collateral damage.  They don't give a rats ass about her.  She was born addicted and will probably die that way.  She will be 3 in July and I haven't seen her in a year.  It has destroyed our once happy family.

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