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I'm over 50 years old, and live in stodgy ol' New England, Land of Steady Habits. I'm a professional substance abuse counselor, and I work in that capacity in a prison system. I think drugs of abuse - so called "recreational drugs" - especially marihuana, should be legalized.

I used to belong to an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, I joined it so long ago that it was a secret organization. So secret that they lost my email address. Just as well. It was secret because any Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) who espoused legalization could and would be persecuted and ostracized. I'm ready to join again.

Why would I want drugs legalized? Especially when it might threaten my job security? Well, I'm not worried about job security, I'll talk about that in a minute. Here are my reasons: 1- As with "The Great Experiment", the current war on drugs is not working. Not working! Nay, the war is lost. Locking up addicts is not the answer, not to mention being very expensive. And the dealers and those higher up in the manufacturing and distribution system are rarely locked up. 2- Treating drug addicts would be much easier if they weren't de-facto criminals. The 2nd step in giving addicts their lives back is to restore their places in society (the 1st is getting them to admit to a problem...). This is difficult at best, near impossible for ex-cons. And 3- it would save Mexico as a viable 1st world country.

The US Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for those intending to visit Mexico. This is because the violence in Mexico has gotten to the point that no one is really safe. Many US Colleges and Universities are also discouraging their students from taking their spring breaks in Mexico. There's a nice article on the blog Down With Tyranny that has more details.

I have a correspondent in Torreon, he is very like me. He is middle aged, has a family, lives in a nice neighborhood. He tells of gun battles on his street. A house down the street was apparently a drug cartel 'safe house' that was stormed by the police. Many were killed. I can't imagine that happening in my neighborhood. And Torreon is not really a border town. Mexico has suffered 7000 killings last year related to drug trafficking. Recently, I saw a diary pleading with Obama and the Dems to not attempt to ban assault weapons. Perhaps political suicide... but consider this: there are about 6600 gun dealers along the US-Mexico border, most dealing out their homes. Guns are not easy to get in Mexico, a permit has to be approved by the military, and even so, no assault weapons or large caliber pistols. No, they are much easier to get by buying them in the US and smuggling them back.

But I want to say, I think marihuana is a dangerous drug, more dangerous that is generally recognized, and I'm not advocating its unabated (ab)use. It needs to be legalized and socialized, controlled, taxed, and those who succumb to its dangers should be treated - but not in prisons. Earlier I said I'm not worried about job security. I'm not. Legal or not, there are and will continue to be plenty of addicts and alcoholics needing treatment. With drugs legal, there will be more money to pay for that treatment.

Originally posted to JohnMac on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:05 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    So, should marihuana be legalized? Will YOU take your spring break in Mexico?

    picking off right-wingnuts at the ballot box, one vote at a time

    by JohnMac on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:07:42 PM PST

  •  As I said in an (6+ / 0-)

    earlier post, legalization is no longer about tax revenues, prison overcrowding or laughing at patently stupid shit.  It's a matter of our national security and possibly the survival of our neighbor's, and our own sovereignty.

    There are a lot of thorny issues to iron out (e.g. How do you do a Driving Under Influence test for a substance whose metaboloids last a month?), but we must cut off the cartels' major income stream now.

    By major, I mean 61%.

    Legal weed now, for our survival.

    grumble grumble mutter mutter

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:14:05 PM PST

    •  Yes, you are right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, Rick Winrod

      and thanks for bringing it up. But those things would all benefit from legalization.

      picking off right-wingnuts at the ballot box, one vote at a time

      by JohnMac on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:16:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we need to bring back performance testing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This tests coordination and visual perception that relates directly to the ability to operate a vehicle safely and which is interfered with by impairment regardless of why the driver (or pilot or heavy equipment operator) is impaired.

      If you get killed by a driver running on 2 hours sleep, you're just as dead as you are if you are killed by someone who's just smoked a couple of ounces of pot.

      From what I remember of the technology, this can be packaged in a form that could be sold for <$100 and wired to lock the ignition when the driver tests impaired.</p>

      This came out a few years ago, it died due to lack of interest because drug tests work better if the goal is lifestyle control. . . did you really think drug tests are about public safety?

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 08:20:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A suburban Seattle officer who'd offduty (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, mango, JohnMac, Rick Winrod

    publicly opposed prohibition and was fired 4 years ago recently won reinstatement and an $800,000 settlement, citing 1st Amendment. Sorry, my efforts to dig up the link are falling short.

    This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

    by ben masel on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:25:00 PM PST

  •  I have lived in Mexico (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christopher Day, Utahrd

    for the past six years and am totally unaware of these problems.  We visit and laugh about the lies the media are feeding you.
    Yes there are problems at the border.  Gee I wonder why?
    We have no drug problems or crime problems here in southern Jalisco where I live.  I will never leave my adopted country where I am safe and secure.
    I am sure this is true throughout Mexico.  We are a pretty big country.

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This State Department warning should be treated with the same skepticism that we learned to treat changes in those color-coded Homeland Security "threat levels." Its all part of a general culture of fear that has gripped the US, the main effect of which seems to be to coop up kids indoors where they play video games and grow fat.

    •  I don't think were being lied to (0+ / 0-)

      regarding the violence in Mexico. I live near the Tijuana border and at least here it is clear in the media that the violence is concentrated on the borders. In fact it was reported just this morning on the radio that major tourist areas like Cancun are very safe still.

      We hope your rules and wisdom choke you / Now we are one in everlasting peace
      -6.63, -6.97

      by amRadioHed on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:49:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mexico is dangerous, but not because of drugs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christopher Day, mango

    Mexico's lax enforcement of drunk driving laws and other car accidents kill far more American tourists than drug wars do.

    Issuing alerts about drug wars will get State Department bureaucrats' names in the paper.

    Issuing alerts about bad traffic and drunk drivers will get State Department bureaucrats ignored.

  •  Now would be a great time to go to Baja (0+ / 0-)

    No serious drug war worries and if the Americanos are staying away so much the better. But i hope they don't stay away -- a lot of good people in Baja and they need the tourista dollars

    Obama: America's best hope to resurrect our Declining Snivelization

    by frankzappatista on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:54:15 PM PST

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