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View Diary: Can Democrats Really Afford To Forfeit The Votes of 46 Million Smokers? (226 comments)

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  •  I'm generally not against locking up those who (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, allergywoman, ER Doc, skohayes, viral

    engage in the distribution (for profit) of dangerous illegal substances.

    I don't believe in locking up users, though.  The largest problem with out current 'drug war' is that we overpenalize users.  We lock up people who have drugs for personal use, and set limits on 'personal use' so low that people who aren't sellers are treated as if they were.

    So lets have far fewer prisons, and spend more on treating addicts, rather than paying private prisons to house them.

    •  I'm Pretty Sure You Don't Get To Have..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      .....prohibitions without tough enforcement mechanisms.  That's ultimately why all prohibitions fail, because the profit motive of delivering the supply of a given prohibited product to people who demand it is too compelling.  And the only way for government to control the situation at all is to stiffen penalties for those engaged in black market commerce.  That is why we're where we are now with illegal drug policy and the millions of Americans locked up in prisons because of it....and why we'll be in the same place with tobacco if we try to criminalize the usage and distribution of that.

      The prospect of successfully waging a prohibition with "fewer prisons and more spending on treating addicts" is tactically impossible.

      •  So much hypocracy on this issue. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, ER Doc

        For example we (correctly) no longer allow smoking indoors at restaurants, offices, many indoor shopping centers and so on, but at Gambling Casinos smoking is allowed.

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