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View Diary: Inaugural DK Elections Policy Weekly Open Thread: What Issues Are You Interested In? (73 comments)

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  •  First of all, I absolutely reserve the right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf, jncca

    to change my mind about anything at all.

    I use wikipedia to try to learn things quickly about something I don't know about, but I don't count on it being completely accurate or cite it like it is.

    Do I disagree? Frankly I don't care. Other than protecting our basic rights, I don't like using the government's coercive power to regulate private behavior. Not that I'm a libertarian, far from it, but I prefer my state government use the money for public education, health and social services, and keeping us safe from real criminals, not potheads. Even if smoking pot is pretty bad for someone's health, we just don't have the resources to keep it criminalized, enforce it, and still provide excellent public education and services for mental health.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I see where we differ (0+ / 0-)

      I don't consider using marijuana (or any recreational drug, for that matter) to be "private behavior". This is mainly because it has effects far beyond just the person who uses it.

      As for your point about not having the resources, I guess I think that there are always resources. If we don't have enough money, raise taxes on the rich. I think it's possible to both provide excellent public education and good mental health services, and keep everyone drug-free.

      That being said, I think a lot of the resources that we are using to enforce drug laws are wasted. It seems to me that we need to start using different tactics to enforce drug laws, since what we're doing now isn't working. I think that the DEA needs to focus on supply much more than demand with regard to drugs. Because after all, no one will smoke marijuana if there's no marijuana to smoke.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:19:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's impossible (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, jncca, R30A

        to eliminate drugs.  The government has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars over the decades to no results.  Every single drug is available in every single major American city.  We've dumped pesticides on coca crops in South America, arrested or killed countless drug lords and kingpins, waged endless public service campaigns, attacked every step of the drug trade from production to transport to sale to consumption, and nothing has worked.  It's simply impossible to eliminate drugs and our policy must recognize that as step 1.  Once we acknowledge that drugs will always be around, and people will always use them, we can formulate a more sensible policy.

        •  I disagree, (0+ / 0-)

          and it seems to me that you have a very defeatist attitude with regard to drugs. Just because something is difficult does not mean we should give up on it. After all, couldn't someone just as easily say that since there will always be stupid people, we shouldn't bother with public education?

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:30:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That analogy fails though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stephen Wolf, jncca

            Two points:

            1) Public education is still worthwhile because at least most people are helped, even if not everyone is.

            2) What benefits have 40 years of serious, national-level drug prohibition given us?  Public education is not perfect, but at least it has some results.  Drugs however are incredibly easy to find, even in the most secure prisons in this country.  Marijuana can be grown in the privacy of one's own home.  There's simply nothing to show for all the money and SWAT Teams and arrests.

            I am a defeatist on drug/alcohol prohibition because it has never ever worked.  The government keeps showing larger and larger seizures, but all that means is that supply continues to increase unabated (falling prices and increasing purity backs this up).  Tell me honestly that you believe that by the end of this century, with trillions of dollars for the DEA, that any one drug could be effectively eliminated from America.  Do you really think that's a possibility?  If you admit it to even be unlikely, then let us consider alternatives.

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