Saturday, March 31, 2012

Drug Lord Thanks Obama, Both Bushes, and Reagan For War On Drugs: "I Owe My Whole Empire to You"



Top billionaire Mexican drug lord (ranks #701 on Forbes list of the world's richest people) "bitch slaps five American presidents" by saying "I couldn't have gotten so stinking rich without George Bush, George Bush, Jr., Ronald Regan and even El Presidente Obama, none of them have the cojones to stand up to all of the big money that wants to keep this stuff illegal. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say "Gracias Amigos" I owe my whole empire to you."

HT: Mi amigo Jaime Hoyos Fonseca in Bogota, Colombia

Update: The Huffington Post originally reported this story back in 2009, but the Daily Caller is now reporting that the original article was a satire to draw attention to the War on Drugs War on Peaceful People Who Voluntarily Choose To Use Intoxicants Not Currently Approved of By Various Governments, Who Will Put Users in Cages if Caught.  Even if Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera — kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel, the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization — didn't make the statement thanking U.S. presidents for his wealth, it's still true that his billionaire status was made possible only because of U.S. drug policy.   

102 Comments:

At 3/31/2012 9:46 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The War on Drugs, the War on Poverty and the War on Terror--all designed to last forever, and filch money out of the wallets of productive citizens.

Of course, legalize all drugs, with mandated clear warning labels.

Tax recreational drugs, and cut taxes on working people.

Pot has been more or less legalized in Los Angeles, and our crime rates are hitting record lows.

 
At 3/31/2012 10:11 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Not gonna lie, that's kinda a kick in the nuts.

 
At 3/31/2012 10:35 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

How did this clown ever have a TV show? I agree with him about drug legalization, but I could probably get a random guy off the street to be more eloquent on camera. Anytime I've seen clips of this show, a small handful of times going back years, I always cringe at the quality of the discourse, which is saying something compared to the vacuity of what goes on even regular TV. He's not as bad on the issues as most progressives, and even seems conciliatory towards libertarians, but I'm amazed that someone with such a crude style of discourse ever made it on TV. Just goes to show what happens as the mass media grasps at straws on its way to oblivion.

 
At 3/31/2012 10:44 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

How did this clown ever have a TV show?

Ah, the powers of the Internet.

 
At 3/31/2012 11:23 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Unrelated to the issue, but the "Young Turk" is the most obnoxiously retarded human being on any media. I would rather listen to a Keith Olbermann marathon, than listen to 3 minutes of these people.

Please, don't post videos from him again. Please.

 
At 4/01/2012 12:54 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

AIG, I know you're prone to hyperbole, but you take that back about Olbermann. Now, that's the most pompous, insufferable guy on TV, so grating that he's been fired at the last two jobs he's had, despite having multi-million dollar contracts, the latest firing just this week. As bad as this guy is, nobody holds a candle to Olbermann's obnoxiousness: I cannot let this stand. :)

 
At 4/01/2012 2:23 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Some people will believe propaganda by criminals.

What about the criminals who buy illegal drugs?

Of course, we could eliminate crime by legalizing it.

 
At 4/01/2012 3:14 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I suspect, Americans on welfare and in college are more likely to use illegal drugs, while some jobs require drug screening, e.g. random drug tests:

Rates of Illicit Drug Abuse in the U.S.
Marijuana Remains Most Widely Use Illegal Drug
October 30, 2010

NSDUH findings:

•Of unemployed adults, 18.5 are illicit drug users.
•Only 8.8 percent of full time employees are drug users.
•9.4 percent of part-time employees are drug users.

 
At 4/01/2012 3:23 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Illegal drug use up in a recession year (2009):

Illegal Drug Use Up Sharply Last Year
09/16/10

"The rate of illegal drug use rose last year to the highest level in nearly a decade, fueled by a sharp increase in marijuana use and a surge in ecstasy and methamphetamine abuse.

Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the 9 percent increase in drug use disappointing but said he was not surprised given "eroding attitudes" about the perception of harm from illegal drugs and the growing number of states approving medicinal marijuana."

 
At 4/01/2012 3:39 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak,

Do the NSDUH findings indicate that drug use may lead to unemployment?

"Some people will believe propaganda by criminals."

It's hard to know whether El Chapo actually said that, but the premise is unquestionably correct.

 
At 4/01/2012 3:51 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, it seems, there's a positive correlation between recreational drug use and leisure time (or less labor time).

 
At 4/01/2012 4:06 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, here's what the Office of National Drug Control Policy says:

"Drug users are less dependable than other workers and decrease workplace productivity.

They are more likely to have taken an unexcused absence in the past month; 12.1 percent did so compared to 6.1 percent of drug-free workers.

Illegal drug users get fired more frequently (4.6 percent were terminated within the past year compared to 1.4 percent of non-users).

Drug users also switch jobs more frequently; 32.1 percent worked for three or more employers in the past year, compared to 17.9 percent of non-drug-using workers.

One-quarter of drug users left a job voluntarily in the past year.

This high turnover increases training and other productivity-related costs to American businesses."

https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/ii-b.html

 
At 4/01/2012 4:48 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

How did Americans survive without illegal drugs before 1960?

DEA History Book, 1970 - 1975

"Prior to the 1960s, Americans did not see drug use as acceptable behavior, nor did they believe that drug use was an inevitable fact of life. Indeed, tolerance of drug use resulted in terrible increases in crime between the 1960s and the early 1990s, and the landscape of America has been altered forever.

By the early 1970s, drug use had not yet reached its all-time peak, but the problem was sufficiently serious to warrant a serious response. Consequently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was created in 1973 to deal with America's growing drug problem."

 
At 4/01/2012 5:28 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

According to the data, U.S. per capita alcohol consumption rose somewhat steadily after Prohibition (1919-33) and peaked in 1981, a few years after illegal drug use peaked.

Interestingly, in the years after Prohibition, U.S. per capita alcohol consumption was low, until WWII.

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/Resources/DatabaseResources/QuickFacts/AlcoholSales/Pages/consum01.aspx

 
At 4/01/2012 5:59 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I can see Peak's concerns but the reality is that the WAY we deal with illegal drug use is very, very destructive.

We take young people and grind them up in our criminal justice system then spit them out..with a felon, prison record that not only ruins their lives and makes it near impossible to have a good career but we end up picking up the entitlement tab for the ones that never recover from their incarceration.

we have more people in prison as a percent of our population than any other country in the world and it's primarily due to the incarceration of relatively young people who get involved with illegal drugs and just get crushed by the criminal justice system.

 
At 4/01/2012 6:06 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, I've shown data before that the U.S. is much better at catching criminals than other developed countries. So, of course, more Americans are in jail.

However, the U.S. needs to spend more on rehabilitation, like Japan:

Fighting Drugs in Four Countries: Lessons for America?
September 24, 1990

"The Japanese in 1954...inaugurated a system of forced hospitalization for chronic drug users. Under this policy, drug users were rounded up in droves, forced to go through cold-turkey withdrawal and placed in work camps for periods ranging from a few months to several years.

This approach to drug users, still in force today, is seen by the Japanese as a humane policy focussed primarily on rehabilitation. By American standards, however, these rehabilitation programs would be seen as very tough.

The Japanese from the very beginning have opted for a cold-turkey drug withdrawal. Thus, every heroin addict identified in Japan is required to enter a hospital or treatment facility, where they go immediately through withdrawal.

Conviction through the criminal justice system is not necessary for commitment. Any addict identified, either through examination by physicians or through urine testing, is committed through an administrative process.

As a result courts are not burdened with heavy caseloads of drug users, drug users are not saddled with criminal records and punishment for drug users is swift and sure.

These policies dramatically and rapidly cut drug use. Within four years of the 1954 amendments, the number of people arrested for violating the Stimulant Control Law dropped from 55,654 to only 271in 1958.

Japan began experiencing serious problems with heroin. By 1961 it is estimated that there were over 40,000 heroin addicts in Japan...tougher penalties against importation and selling, and by imposing a mandatory rehabilitation regime for addicts.

The results of Japan's tough heroin program mirrored those of its successful fight against stimulants. The number of arrests for heroin sale and possession fell from a high in 1962 of 2,139 to only 33 in 1966 and have never risen above 100 since."

 
At 4/01/2012 6:11 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Sweden’s unsolved violent crime rate at 95 percent
15 November 2008

"Robberies and violent crimes made up 75 percent of all reported crimes in Sweden last year, which added up to around 900,000. Police managed to solve 5.8 percent of them.

Bengt Svenson, the national police chief, defended his department saying: “There is often very little of value to work with. When it comes to theft, there are no witnesses, and victims often don’t know when the crime occurred. There’s really not much to go on and that obviously makes it hard to solve crimes.”

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask feels the figures are an unwelcome truth for a government that ran on a platform on crime reduction. When elected, the government promised to have 20,000 police on Sweden’s streets by 2010.

Ask feels that part of the problem lies with Sweden’s culture. “I think it has to do with the culture, the idea that there is simply nothing that can be done.” At any rate, Ask says she feels the statistics are rather disturbing and that the Swedish police could do more to clear up these cases."

 
At 4/01/2012 6:38 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I think, the drug lord is making a pathetic attempt to prove how "macho" he is against those who killed or captured so many of his comrades, and made his life so miserable.

 
At 4/01/2012 7:01 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Peak - I am in favor of efforts to discourage drug use but not draconian govt efforts.

But drug use is what creates the demand ... and what we do is draw the young and dumb who are involved in petty drug sales... we draw them into the criminal justice system and chew them up.

We do this because it's much, much easier to catch the young and dumb than the core distributors.

Once the young and dumb are sent to jail... they never again can really achieve any kind of a career and often exist at the edge of work and unemployment which drives them back to illegal activities in order to make money.

these folks as they get older end up using Medicaid, SNAPs, and SSI to exist.

they have little or not social security or pensions or health care.

this all starts back when they are young and dumb and make really stupid decisions that then draw them into our criminal justice system which just grinds them up and spits them out to be chronically unemployed.

No amount of "rehabilitation" can "fix" this as most employers given a chose between someone without a criminal record and someone with - have no trouble deciding no matter how good the criminal has been "rehabilitated".

we have a system that chews up young people.

 
At 4/01/2012 8:10 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Here's what the Office of National Drug Control Policy says:

"Drug users are less dependable than other workers and decrease workplace productivity."

I assume that "drug users" either includes regular users of alcohol, or that the same would apply equally to regular alcohol users?

 
At 4/01/2012 8:45 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Many jobs require periodic random drug tests.

I support that - especially for any job that could cause death if performed improperly.

There are employer standards for dependability, reliability and productivity also... regardless of the reason why the person fails to perform as required.

I also wonder... what would happen if random drug tests were required for a driver license... for everyone....

good idea? bad idea?

 
At 4/01/2012 8:53 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

on the driver's license idea.. I suppose it could be set up so that someone could refuse the test but the refusal would be noted on their license.

Then anyone who saw the license would know that you have 1. never been tested, 2. been tested and found clean, 3. refused the test.

the license could be changed at any time someone wanted to change their mind and take the test.

Employers would then require the drivers license as part of the hiring documentation and would know.

When a cop stopped you..they would know.

somehow... I think this idea will be vociferously opposed here.

 
At 4/01/2012 9:25 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"•Of unemployed adults, 18.5 are illicit drug users.
•Only 8.8 percent of full time employees are drug users.
•9.4 percent of part-time employees are drug users."

ooh, a discovery that people with jobs lie when they are asked about things that could cost them their job.

not terribly surprising. a study like that has massive respondent bias.

drunks are also less reliable. shall we ban alcohol?

smokers have vastly higher health care costs. ban smoking?

for someone who i believe uses both of those drugs, you sure have some strong opinions on what others do in their own homes.

fat people cause all manner of additional health costs. shall we ban hostess cupcakes? there is no good nutritional reason to eat them.

this is a rights issue, pure and simple. if you want to consume it and can do so responsibly, then you should be allowed to.

if your own habits cause you problems, well, that's on you. banning cupcakes is not the answer to obesity any more than banning drugs is the answer to drug abuse.

it violates the basic notions of our laws: innocent until proven guilty. it punishes the responsible along with the irresponsible.

if you drink a bottle of scotch and beat your wife, well, that's a crime, but drinking the bottle isn't. the presumption that whiskey leads to crime is simply too broad to apply to an entire society. while undoubtedly statistically true, you cannot punish the innocent to "protect the guilty from themselves". that is not the basis for a reasonable legal structure.

 
At 4/01/2012 9:32 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Drug users are less dependable than other workers and decrease workplace productivity.

They are more likely to have taken an unexcused absence in the past month; 12.1 percent did so compared to 6.1 percent of drug-free workers.

Illegal drug users get fired more frequently (4.6 percent were terminated within the past year compared to 1.4 percent of non-users).

Drug users also switch jobs more frequently; 32.1 percent worked for three or more employers in the past year, compared to 17.9 percent of non-drug-using workers.

One-quarter of drug users left a job voluntarily in the past year."

1. this is a completely BS study as it is based on user responses and many people lie. the stats in it are also ridiculous and literally impossible. 25% of drug uses left a job in the last year? that's not even possible. it's too big a number.

2. i'll bet that if you adjust this for age, most of the difference goes away. drug users tend to be younger. younger people quit more, change jobs more, and get fired more.

this study has so many flaws as to be meaningless. it's just propaganda.

 
At 4/01/2012 9:44 AM, Blogger PFCT said...

Mark

You are SEVERELY misguided on this one ... shame to see you throwing in with this far left MSNBC moron.

 
At 4/01/2012 10:09 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

American College of Pediatricians, June 2010
Marijuana Use: Legalization Not a Good Idea

"The negative physical and mental effects of marijuana use are well documented. It’s associated with lower educational accomplishment, lower work productivity, increased risks of motor vehicle accidents, and heart and lung disease. All forms of cannabis are mind-altering drugs due to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active chemical in marijuana. THC affects nerve cells in the region of the brain where memories are formed. This makes it difficult for the user to recall recent events. Chronic exposure to THC may hasten the age related loss of nerve cells. Marijuana impairs a person’s judgment, coordination, balance, ability to pay attention and reaction time. Cannabis use in adolescence is a predictor of depression in later life. Cannabis induces psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment in some individuals. Numerous mechanisms have been postulated for the link between cannabis use and attention deficits, psychotic symptoms, and neural desynchronization. Studies indicate that it impairs driving performance in the same way alcohol does, with users displaying the same lack of coordination on standard sobriety tests. Marijuana is second only to alcohol as a factor contributing to traffic accidents involving loss of life. Students who regularly use marijuana have lower grade and test scores and are less likely to achieve personal goals. Marijuana smokers often jeopardize their future by engaging in risky sexual practices or committing criminal acts."

 
At 4/01/2012 10:17 AM, Blogger ondra said...

PeakTrader...a somewhat recent study found that about 50% young people in my country tried Marihuana. Who wants it, uses it - who doesn't, doesn't. It's illegal; the illegal status is pretty much ignored. If it was legalized, nothing would change, except a price and prison term for some people.
The article could be renamed to: how marihuana legalization is total non-issue; especially considering that alcohol is probably much worse in many of these regards - and we have been living with alcohol quite happily ever since....

 
At 4/01/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger ondra said...

"Students who regularly use marijuana have lower grade and test scores and are less likely to achieve personal goals"

Could anybody take this seriously?

 
At 4/01/2012 10:23 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS
Marijuana: A Continuing Concern for Pediatricians

"The abuse of marijuana by adolescents is a major health problem with social, academic, developmental, and legal ramifications. Marijuana is an addictive, mind-altering drug capable of inducing dependency.

There is little doubt that marijuana intoxication contributes substantially to accidental deaths and injuries among adolescents, especially those associated with motor vehicle crashes, and is frequently involved in incidents related to driving while intoxicated.

Adolescents who use marijuana are 104 times as likely to use cocaine compared with peers who never smoked marijuana."

 
At 4/01/2012 10:25 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well as to be expected the Young & Naive are quick off the mark for that 'big' story.

Did the fact that this story was sourced

The Young & Naive were supremely uninformed about te depth of El Chapo's sociopathic behavior when I saw one of their previous forrays into journalism and any idea of taking this story at face value is ludicrous...

Didn't anyone else find it more than a bit bizzare regarding the lack of any credible sourcing of this story that apparently originated from David Henry Sterry of the HuffPo?

The HuffPo?!?!

 
At 4/01/2012 10:28 AM, Blogger ondra said...

"Marijuana is second only to alcohol as a factor contributing to traffic accidents involving loss of life"

While it has been illegal for the last 40 years? Seems like a heavy propagandy to me...

 
At 4/01/2012 10:29 AM, Blogger ondra said...

"Adolescents who use marijuana are 104 times as likely to use cocaine compared with peers who never smoked marijuana"

Why are you boldly showing your total ignorance of statistics?

 
At 4/01/2012 10:52 AM, Blogger Best Business Brands said...

The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second.

 
At 4/01/2012 11:08 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States

"The economic cost of drug abuse in 2002 was estimated at $180.9 billion...This report was developed for The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)...does not address costs related to abuse of or dependence on legal substances that may be termed drugs including alcohol and tobacco."

https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/economic_costs.pdf

 
At 4/01/2012 11:27 AM, Blogger ondra said...

"The greatest share of productivity loss is from criminal activities, including losses because
660,000 offenders were incarcerated and others pursued crime careers to pay for their drug use."

Yep...PeakTrader, do I understand correctly that this argument for legalization?

 
At 4/01/2012 11:35 AM, Blogger ondra said...

PeakTrader - even assuming what you just posted was correct (in the sense it is not demagoguery, which it unfortantely mostly is) - could you explain, how does it follow, that such substances should be criminalized?

 
At 4/01/2012 11:49 AM, Blogger AIG said...

If making drugs illegal, could work at reducing their consumption, I'd be all for it.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Everything Peak may have said may be true, but the problem is that making something illegal, doesn't eliminate it.

Lets look for another approach. Unfortunately, in the current welfare system, if jobs don't hire you because of drug use (and they SHOULDN'T!, including alcohol), then all you do is become a burden on the welfare system. If welfare was drug tested too (and it should be), then perhaps we may see some change in behavior.

Overall, the biggest problem I have with the "libertarian" approach to this issue, or rather the people who make these issues their primary interest...is that they actually think drugs are "ok"; ie "libertarians" attract the worst people in society to their side by making this such an important issue.

It really isn't so important, if drugs are available so easily, and so many people are using them. The argument that the gov is so "draconian" can't be justified, if the gov is so incapable of doing anything about it.

Crime statistics are misleading, since in 90% of the cases where there is a "drug conviction", the person is also convicted of other crimes. That's usually how the drug was discovered; ie if one is caught with a stolen car, and drugs are also discovered on them, he will be charged both for theft, and drugs..and the statistics will add him to the list of people supposedly arrested only because of drugs.

I'd bet the actual number of people who end up in JAIL, for any period of time, ONLY for drugs, is tiny. Try calling the police and tell them that there are drug users in front of your house. They'll never come.

On the other hand, it is a waste of money, but one needs to consider that the "budgets" for organisations like the DEA etc are not necessarily reflective of the "war on drugs"; ie their activities, and their money, would likely still be spend for other purposes other than drugs.

So, the only reasonable argument for "libertarians", or "conservatives" to make, is that the current system just doesn't actually work at doing what it promises to do. And it never has worked, and never will.

 
At 4/01/2012 11:56 AM, Blogger AIG said...

As bad as this guy is, nobody holds a candle to Olbermann's obnoxiousness: I cannot let this stand

No, this guy is worst. And as I recall, he was also fired from MSNBC?

He's not as bad on the issues as most progressives, and even seems conciliatory towards libertarians

Yes, do you know when you know that the "libertarian" movement has hit rock bottom? Its when you see Gary Johnson and this creature, talking in front of Occupy Wall Street about how similar they are to the Tea Party. Shameful.

 
At 4/01/2012 11:58 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ondra, one piece of a puzzle doesn't show the true picture.

What's your point?

Illegal drug users either don't care or are ignorant of the damage they create in society.

I guess, that's what drug abuse does to people. They can't help themselves.

DEA - Fact 6:

"Legalization proponents claim, absurdly, that making illegal drugs legal would not cause more of these substances to be consumed, nor would addiction increase.

They claim that many people can use drugs in moderation and that many would choose not to use drugs, just as many abstain from alcohol and tobacco now.

Yet how much misery can already be attributed to alcoholism and smoking?

Is the answer to just add more misery and addiction?

It’s clear from history that periods of lax controls are accompanied by more drug abuse and that periods of tight controls are accompanied by less drug abuse."

 
At 4/01/2012 12:12 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

One way to measure this is [the summation of positive effects to individuals minus the summation of negative effects to individuals] minus [the positive effects to others minus the negative effects to others, or the devastation to society] :)

 
At 4/01/2012 12:19 PM, Blogger AIG said...

One way to measure this is [the summation of positive effects to individuals minus the summation of negative effects to individuals] minus [the positive effects to others minus the negative effects to others, or the devastation to society] :)

And hos do you propose to quantify any of this? Now I already know the answer...the same way global warming proponents calculate their "costs"; lick your finger and stick it up in the air. But that is the danger of doing such "analyses"...you're guaranteed to get it wrong.

 
At 4/01/2012 12:19 PM, Blogger jdt said...

"Adolescents who use marijuana are 104 times as likely to use cocaine compared with peers who never smoked marijuana"

Yes and people who can't change their own oil usually can't overhaul their own engine. Does changing oil lead to overhauling engines?

Of course the type of person who won't even try pot isn't going to try coke.

 
At 4/01/2012 12:21 PM, Blogger jdt said...

"Adolescents who use marijuana are 104 times as likely to use cocaine compared with peers who never smoked marijuana"

Yes and people who can't change their own oil usually can't overhaul their own engine. Does changing oil lead to overhauling engines?

Of course the type of person who won't even try pot isn't going to try coke.

 
At 4/01/2012 1:14 PM, Blogger ondra said...

PeakTrader, my point is that even if you were right, demagoguery is not a right way to argue it. Trumpeting ignorance of statistics isn't going help your cause.

Point regarding damage: the study basically says, that majority of economic damage is caused by the drugs being illegal. Do you care how much damage does criminalization cause to society? It seems to me that you don't.

How much misery can be attributed to alcoholism and smoking? Well, not much; I'd say 90% of people around me drink and they are OK. Significantly lower percentage of the people smoke, and they are quite OK too.

How much misery can be attributed to extreme sports? People are dying doing it, you know? Should we criminalize that - it can be quite addictive (it would could fulfill addiction criteria at least the same as marihuana does).

 
At 4/01/2012 1:19 PM, Blogger ondra said...

"Legalization proponents claim, absurdly, that making illegal drugs legal would not cause more of these substances to be consumed, nor would addiction increase."

I don't know. From the little I know, there seems to be a drive toward high-intensity drugs when prohibition is enacted; and, conversly, to lower-intensity and safer drugs when prohibition ends. I have no idea if making illegal drugs legal would cause aggregately more or less to be demanded. Frankly, I don't care. Even if end of alcohol prohibition caused more alcohol consumed - so what?

"It’s clear from history that periods of lax controls are accompanied by more drug abuse and that periods of tight controls are accompanied by less drug abuse."

Sure, prohibiting me from drinking wine ('drug abuse') would likely make me not drink wine ('less drug abuse'), as I am quite a law abiding person. So what?

 
At 4/01/2012 1:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: few are in prison for ONLY illegal drugs.

are there stats on this?

if this is true - then are we saying that we have more people in prison than any other country in the world because .... we have more criminals or we are better at catching them?

but it's also true no matter - that a person with a prison record is often going to end up using entitlements.

 
At 4/01/2012 1:44 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Why are you boldly showing your total ignorance of statistics?"...

Talk is cheap ondra, do you have something credible to back up your scathing skepticism?

 
At 4/01/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger AIG said...

if this is true - then are we saying that we have more people in prison than any other country in the world because .... we have more criminals or we are better at catching them?

Both these arguments seem reasonably true to me.

few are in prison for ONLY illegal drugs.
are there stats on this?


Well that is the issue with the "statistics" people throw around on crime rates.

1) They look at conviction rates for a particular crime. But when someone is arrested, they are usually charged, or convicted, on multiple violations, and the violation which caused them to be arrested in the first place, may be something different. IE...convicted for drugs doesn't mean the person was actually caught for drugs in isolation.

2) Conviction rates don't tell us anything about punishment. I know people who have been charged multiple times for drugs (because of something else they did, and drugs were also found), and in every case the worst they got was community service. We need to look at...punishment rates and types...in order to make the argument that somehow prisons are "overcrowded" because of drugs.

I'd bet we would be very hard pressed to find a substantial amount of people who get any jail time for possession alone.

3) It makes very little sense, to me, to argue that somehow the gov. is being "draconian" on drugs, when drugs are so easily accessible, so cheap, and if so many people are doing them. The conclusion from that would be that the police are doing a terrible job, not a draconian one.

4) So if people are going to jail primarily for crimes other than drug possession, but are also charged with drug possession in the process, can we really make the argument that the prisons are overcrowded because of drugs, and if we only legalized it, those same people would be model citizens with no criminal record? Really? After all, it is very likely the case that being a criminal and using drugs, is very highly correlated. So the presence of a large number of convicted drug users in prison, isn't evidence that they were put there BECAUSE of drugs, or only for it.

 
At 4/01/2012 2:32 PM, Blogger ondra said...

juandos:jdt already answered one of this. The second one:

"Students who regularly use marijuana have lower grade and test scores and are less likely to achieve personal goals"

The problem is that very likely, the converse is also true: students, how have lower grade and test scores use more marihuana. Therefore you could conclude, that low grades/test scores cause 'bad mood' and make students try marihuana or other anti-social behaviour. Would you find such argument plausible?

There is a rule: correlation is not causation. Both statements that PeakTrader copied here are totally meaningless in this sense, and therefore should not be used as arguments, at least without further very-long explanation and measurement that would rule-out the simplest possible explanation - unproductive, anti-social, low-IQ people are more likely to use drugs.

Using these as an argument means either that you don't understand what could you plausibly infer, or, that you understand it and knowingly use demagoguery.

 
At 4/01/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" A major contributor to the high incarceration rates is the length of the prison sentences in the United States. One of the criticisms of the United States system is that it has much longer sentences than any other part of the world. The typical mandatory sentence for a first-time drug offense in federal court is five or ten years, compared to other developed countries around the world where a first time offense would warrant at most 6 months in jail.[17]"
....
Even though other countries have more prisoners annually, the fact that the United States keeps their prisoners longer causes the total rate to become higher. To give an example, the average burglary sentence in the United States is 16 months, compared to 5 months in Canada and 7 months in England.[6] Looking at reasons for imprisonment will further clarify why the incarceration rate and length of sentences are so high. The practice of imposing longer prison sentences on repeat offenders is common in many countries but the Three strike laws in the U.S. with mandatory 25 year imprisonment — implemented in many states in the 1990s — is very extreme compared to countries in Europe.

One of the biggest contributors to the United States' spike is the war on drugs.[18] Around 1980 the United States had 40,000 people in prison for drug crimes. After the passage of Reagan's Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1986, incarceration for non-violent offenses dramatically increased. Part of the legislation included the implementation of mandatory minimum sentences for "the distribution of cocaine, including far more severe punishment for distribution of crack—associated with blacks—than powder cocaine, associated with whites".[18] Under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, users of powder cocaine can possess up to 100 times more substance than users of crack, while facing the same mandatory sentence.[19] The Anti-Drug Act targeted low-level street dealers, which had a disproportionate effect on poor blacks, Latinos, the young, and women.[20]

Beginning in the 1970s, the War on Drugs has continued. As the War on Drugs proceeds, more and more people are being convicted for nonviolent offenses. When looking at female rates, by 2003, 58% of all women in federal prison were convicted of drug offenses. Women of color are disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. African American women's incarceration rates for all crimes, largely driven by drug convictions, have increased by 800% since 1986, compared to an increase of 400% for women of other races.[21] Convictions have also widened to include women who are not only directly involved in the drug trade but those who are indirectly involved either through their spouses, families, or communities[citation needed].
As of 2006, 49.3% of state prisoners, or 656,000 individuals, were incarcerated for non-violent crimes. As of 2008, 90.7% of federal prisoners, or 165,457 individuals, were incarcerated for non-violent offenses.[22] Drug offenses account for two-thirds of the rise in the federal inmate population since 1985; approximately half a million people are in prison for a drug offense today compared to 40,000 in 1981—an increase of 1,100 percent.[23]"

 
At 4/01/2012 3:24 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Peak, you really need to look into what ondra said, because it blares out from every one of those crap stats you keep repasting: correlation is not causation. You seem to live in this fantasy that if only we kept these people off drugs, they will all of a sudden live happy, productive lives. More likely, they will simply keep using drugs illegally or replace heroin addiction with painkillers. Nobody denies that many drugs have deleterious effects, including alcohol and cigarettes. The question is what is worse: criminalizing drugs, with little effect on drug usage but wasting a ton of money on enforcement and drug crime causing many more deaths, or drug legalization, where drug usage may go up marginally and some small group might harm themselves more? Do that math and anyone who seriously looks at the numbers comes to the conclusion that legalization is the only way to go. The only reason you argue otherwise is that you have an emotional or romantic notion that it is your job to protect drug users from themselves, never mind all the other people who are outright killed in the resulting drug wars.

Finally, I find it amazing that you keep bringing up alcohol and smoking also in your quotes: do you propose banning those also? Where do you draw the line? It's fairly easy for me: I don't think it's the govt's business to determine what people put in their bodies. That means getting rid of both the DEA and the FDA. Your position, on the other hand, seems highly confused, like most drug warriors.

 
At 4/01/2012 4:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

the primary difference between illegal drugs and prescription drugs is money.

There are probably as many people using "legal" prescription drugs - inappropriately as there are folks using illegal drugs.

that's another equity issue for the criminal justice system.

Someone who is buying prescription drugs almost never goes to jail whereas an 18-year old selling crack cocaine on a street corner gets there quite easily.

Peak is correct about the deleterious effects of drugs but we have a totally arbitrary system where some are illegal and others are not - even though the harm from using them is likely equivalent.

Basically, those who have lesser educations and don't have professional earning capacity - who use or sell drugs - get whacked while those who have college and good paying jobs but also abuse drugs... don't.

we already have drug legalization - for those who can afford it.

 
At 4/01/2012 4:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak,

Thanks for the interesting Office of National Drug Control Policy report.

I can't help but notice that every graph: Drug related Deaths, Health Impacts - as measured by emergency room mentions, and Social Costs of Drugs and Alcohol all show increases over the time periods shown.

This raises the obvious question of whether the current extremely costly efforts, in lives and money, to combat illegal drug use are having any real effect.

I believe the answer is no, and the report itself provides additional support for that conclusion.

First, the fact that social costs of drug use and alcohol use appear to be increasing at the same rate, although drugs are illegal and alcohol is not.

One must believe that either the use of illegal drugs is actually increasing at a much faster rate than alcohol use, despite their illegality, or that the efforts to combat drug use are ineffective.

If drug use is a serious social problem, and warrants massive efforts to combat them, wouldn't equally massive efforts be warranted to combat alcohol use, starting with prohibition?

Then, as the report indicates, the fact that Americans are spending $57billion/yr on something that's illegal, indicates a tremendous market in drugs. Wouldn't you expect this amount to decrease each year if enforcement was working as intended?

A possible response might be that drug use, and the problems associated with that use, would skyrocket if drugs were made legal, but I defy you to present any actual support for that notion, other than your intuitive sense that it's so,

 
At 4/01/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Sprewell says: "Do that math and anyone who seriously looks at the numbers comes to the conclusion that legalization is the only way to go."

Do you have a clue what is the math?

Correlation or causation? Yes, it could all just be a coincidence.

 
At 4/01/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It's possible, if the U.S. spends an additional $1 billion on the war on drugs, U.S. social costs may be reduced by much more than $1 billion.

 
At 4/01/2012 5:01 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

sprewell-

"The question is what is worse: criminalizing drugs, with little effect on drug usage but wasting a ton of money on enforcement and drug crime causing many more deaths, or drug legalization, where drug usage may go up marginally and some small group might harm themselves more?"

i think you hit the nail on the head here.

there is a great deal of evidence that decriminalizing drugs improves outcomes. portugal provides an excellent example.

i'd add to your question a bit and say it's really a matter of personal choice. don't want to use drugs? don't. but if you do, it's really no one's business but your own. this notion that we need to ban an activity because some people cannot handle it is a very dangerous and slippery slope.

alcohol is clearly no different and the evidence for what happened with organized crime when it was banned it awfully compelling. folks like peak seem to leave that out of their calculations.

lots of activities are dangerous and can be socially harmful.

but most would never accept majority voting that you cannot have free speech or a gun. i find it interesting that many of the same folks that so zealously (and rightly) protect such rights suddenly change their tune when faced with drugs. it's this weird emotional response. they trust others with a glock, but not a joint? al sharpton can go on TV and spew biased hate, but steve jobs cannot take acid in his own home and dream up the iphone?

these seem odd choices. fat people harm society on a cost basis. smokers may be the worst of all. yet somehow that is OK but taking extacy and going dancing is so dreadfully dangerous? getting drunk regularly is far more harmful and far more likely to lead to violence. my old girlfriend was an ER doc at SF general, which is a war zone. she never once saw anyone admitted for pot or extacy. alcohol, yup, you betcha lots of that. herion as well to be sure, but far less than booze.

these limits seem awfully arbitrary. at the end of the day, we ought to be free to do as we like and also free to accept the consequences of our actions. these nanny state laws seem contrary to what we ought to be striving for as americans.

 
At 4/01/2012 5:08 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, there are many factors that influence illegal drug use.

How do we know illegal drug use wouldn't be higher without drug enforcement?

The data above suggest Prohibition reduced per capita alcohol consumption dramatically.

 
At 4/01/2012 5:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"DEA History Book, 1970 - 1975

"Prior to the 1960s, Americans did not see drug use as acceptable behavior, nor did they believe that drug use was an inevitable fact of life. Indeed, tolerance of drug use resulted in terrible increases in crime between the 1960s and the early 1990s, and the landscape of America has been altered forever.
"

That is complete and utter nonsense.

"By the early 1970s, drug use had not yet reached its all-time peak, but the problem was sufficiently serious to warrant a serious response. Consequently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was created in 1973 to deal with America's growing drug problem."

That all time peak came in 1982, 11 years after Nixon declared a "War on Drugs" Why was the massive effort not working?

In the 41 years Nixons declaration of war, why is it still being fought as hard as ever, why isn't it over?

Could it be that where there's demand, a supply will be provided by the market or a black market despite the best efforts of authorities?

 
At 4/01/2012 5:23 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, how do you know it's not working, and how do you define victory?

U.S. marijuana use was in decline, until decriminalization.

Of course, it could be just a coincidence.

 
At 4/01/2012 5:28 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: marijuana use - by country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_lifetime_cannabis_use_by_country

 
At 4/01/2012 5:38 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Rich countries may have a higher prevalence of illegal drug use. However, there are many factors. The U.S. is not Portugal.

 
At 4/01/2012 5:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak,
"The Japanese in 1954...inaugurated a system of forced hospitalization for chronic drug users. Under this policy, drug users were rounded up in droves, forced to go through cold-turkey withdrawal and placed in work camps for periods ranging from a few months to several years.

Conviction through the criminal justice system is not necessary for commitment. Any addict identified, either through examination by physicians or through urine testing, is committed through an administrative process.

What could it be about Japanese people that encourages tyrannical governments to treat them in this manner?

US citizens of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes and imprisoned by the government in the US during WWII also.

Thank goodness the US Constitution guarantees the right of Habeas Corpus...oh wait.

Well, the 5th Amendment protects us from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process, right?

Hmmm. That didn't help Japanese citizens during WWII. Under the War Powers Act they were found guilty of having Japanese ancestors.

There must be something - how about the Thirteenth Amendment?

How about the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Good news, Peak, It looks like incarceration on mere suspicion would work in the US also.

If it works with drugs, what other uses could be made of this preventive detention idea? Come to think of it, Nixon favored that too.

 
At 4/01/2012 6:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Ialso wonder... what would happen if random drug tests were required for a driver license... for everyone....

good idea? bad idea?
"

Bad idea.

 
At 4/01/2012 6:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Many jobs require periodic random drug tests.

I support that - especially for any job that could cause death if performed improperly
"

May I assume, then, that you also support periodic random breathalyzer or urine tests for alcohol at work?

How about priodic random testing for any number of communicable diseases that could affect productivity at work?

 
At 4/01/2012 6:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think, the drug lord is making a pathetic attempt to prove how "macho" he is against those who killed or captured so many of his comrades, and made his life so miserable."

And I think you are terribly naive.

El Chapo doesn't really need to say anything to appear tough. His actions speak much louder than words. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Satan himself is afraid of this guy.

 
At 4/01/2012 7:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

communicable disease testing - for medical folks - yup.

drug tests for airline pilots transit/subway/drivers, yup.

for folks who have security clearances, yup

for folks who aim MRI's at your brain...yup

for nuke plant operators, yup

for people convicted of hurting others while under the influence, yup.

"reputation" isn't worth a tinkers dam once you're dead.. right?

 
At 4/01/2012 7:19 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The data above suggest Prohibition reduced per capita alcohol consumption dramatically

Correction: reported per capital alcohol consumption dropped dramatically.

 
At 4/01/2012 7:21 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Look, all I know about this war on drugs is billions of dollars have been spent, in the last few years over 30,000 Mexicans have lost their lives, thousands are behind bars for harmless crimes, judicial resources have been tied up for trivial cases, and we are no closer to "winning". After 30 years, isn't it time to admit we were wrong?

 
At 4/01/2012 7:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak,

"It’s clear from history that periods of lax controls are accompanied by more drug abuse and that periods of tight controls are accompanied by less drug abuse."

Reference please:

Please cite credible studies, not nonsense from the DEA or other partisan hacks.

 
At 4/01/2012 7:50 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"uandos:jdt already answered one of this. The second one"...

Actually ondra no jdt really didn't answer the 2nd question...

jdt offered an opinion, his/her opinion...

O.K. ondra trust me when I say that I hate having to agree with PT's statement: "unproductive, anti-social, low-IQ people are more likely to use drugs" but he really isn't lying or trying to jerk you around on this...

It isn't 100% factual but there really are reams and reams of recorded observation on all levels of law enforcement that actually back up PT's statements...

BTW ondra and others who are this decrim/legalize drug bandwagon, which drugs do you all want to apply it to?

Obviously reefer seems to be the one most talked about here but what about the rest of the most popular recreational but presently illicit drugs?

LSD?

Shrooms?

Coke?

Meth?

Ecs?

Horse?

Angel dust?

Where does it stop or should it?

From New Zealand: Tests of causal linkages between cannabis use and
psychotic symptoms


From US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cannabis and neurological soft signs in schizophrenia: absence of relationship and influence on psychopathology

From the same source as above: Cannabis-induced psychosis and subsequent schizophrenia-spectrum disorders: follow-up study of 535 incident cases

 
At 4/01/2012 7:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

AIG: "Overall, the biggest problem I have with the "libertarian" approach to this issue, or rather the people who make these issues their primary interest...is that they actually think drugs are "ok"; ie "libertarians" attract the worst people in society to their side by making this such an important issue."

I think you misunderstand the libertarian position. I don't hear libertarians saying that drugs are OK, but that it's not legitimate to tell others what they can do, or what they can put in their own bodies, if they aren't harming others.

"So, the only reasonable argument for "libertarians", or "conservatives" to make, is that the current system just doesn't actually work at doing what it promises to do. And it never has worked, and never will."

Another perfectly good argument. Why would anyone want keep spending money and lives on a system that doesn't work? It should end.

As Penn Jillette said recently "Libertarians don't think they know what's best for other people."

 
At 4/01/2012 8:26 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

""unproductive, anti-social, low-IQ people are more likely to use drugs" but he really isn't lying or trying to jerk you around on this...

It isn't 100% factual but there really are reams and reams of recorded observation on all levels of law enforcement that actually back up PT's statements..."

i doubt that.

they are just more likely to be arrested.

as someone who went to several of the best school in the world, i can tell you, drugs were readily available and frequently used.

but even if this is true, the same is true of alcohol etc.

punishing the innocent to get at the guilty is no way to govern.

if you start harming someone else, well, then there are lots of laws about that.

 
At 4/01/2012 8:28 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
How do we know illegal drug use wouldn't be higher without drug enforcement?

The data above suggest Prohibition reduced per capita alcohol consumption dramatically."

who cares?

it's a personal choice. why do you get to decide what other people's recreational activities are?

 
At 4/01/2012 8:30 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"The data above suggest Prohibition reduced per capita alcohol consumption dramatically

Correction: reported per capital alcohol consumption dropped dramatically."

bingo.

the drug useage figures are almost entirely nonsense for this exact reason.

if you make drug laws stricter, fewer people will admit to using them when you ask.

that's like saying "making homosexuality illegal in zambia had reduced gayness". no, it didn't, it just caused people to stop admitting it.

 
At 4/01/2012 8:32 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Prior to the 1960s, Americans did not see drug use as acceptable behavior, nor did they believe that drug use was an inevitable fact of life. Indeed, tolerance of drug use resulted in terrible increases in crime between the 1960s and the early 1990s, and the landscape of America has been altered forever."

oh please.

this is the DEA looking for funding.

 
At 4/01/2012 8:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak,

"How do we know illegal drug use wouldn't be higher without drug enforcement?"

We don't of course, the question is how much, and how do we keep other factors from affecting our statistics.

I suspect that most people who want to use drugs are doing so, and those who don't want to use drugs are not. There could be a small increase at the margin.

Do you know anyone, or know of anyone, who says they would start using drugs if they were legal?

What reason do you have to suspect that drug use would explode it it were legal? Don't you think people can make their own informed decisions?

"The data above suggest Prohibition reduced per capita alcohol consumption dramatically."

Well of course it did, Peak, People who continued drinking knew they were doing it illegally, and quit talking about it. Is that a surprise? It sure does skew the statistics, though.

Reporter on the street: "Sir, have you stopped selling alcohol now that it's against the law?"

Bootlegger: "Oh, yes, of course. Otherwise I would be a criminal."

When alcohol was again legal, consumption appeared to rise due to better reporting. Imagine that.

You may be relying too much on statistics without thinking about what else could affect them besides legality.


"Ron, how do you know it's not working, and how do you define victory?"

After forty years, more than $1 trillion, and hundreds of thousands of lives lost worldwide, there appears to be as as much drug use in the US as there was in 1971. How would you define "not working"?

I would define victory as

"U.S. marijuana use was in decline, until decriminalization."

Once again, that naive reliance on numbers. Pointing to the trend in use of one product doesn't tell you much about the sector as a whole.

When medical marijuana use is legal , users no longer keep their use secret.

"Of course, it could be just a coincidence."

No, you just don't see the bigger picture, and understand the numbers you are looking at.

 
At 4/01/2012 11:23 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

As usual, Ron Paul put it best, so much so that Nassim Taleb even went on CNBC to tout him.

 
At 4/02/2012 1:38 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich says: "if you make drug laws stricter, fewer people will admit to using them when you ask."

Then why was per capita alcohol consumption so low between the end of Prohibition and WWII compared to before Prohibition?

You don't see the implication that per capita alcohol consumption fell dramatically during Prohibition?

Or do you want to keep pounding round pegs into square holes to prove you're right and the pegs and holes are wrong?

 
At 4/02/2012 3:03 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "unproductive, anti-social, low-IQ people are more likely to use drugs"

If you are relying on public records for that claim, would you accept notion that those folks are more likely to get caught, and if caught, those folks are more likely to be convicted?

"BTW ondra and others who are this decrim/legalize drug bandwagon, which drugs do you all want to apply it to?"

All of them. How can I tell others what they should take, any more than I can tell them what to eat?

LSD? yes

Shrooms? yes

Coke? yes

Meth? yes

Ecs? yes

Horse? yes

Angel dust? yes

It should be clear by now that banning these drugs doesn't stop them from being supplied and used.

We should stop wasting money and lives on something that can't be stopped.

I don't think anyone is claiming that drugs are good, in fact in my opinion, they are a really bad idea, but I don't think I can decide things like that for other people.

Harm someone, or cause damage, and you will pay for it, and perhaps go to jail, whether drugs are involved or not.

 
At 4/02/2012 4:00 AM, Blogger ondra said...

jdt offered an opinion, his/her opinion...

jdt offered a very obvious explanation of the "correlation" Peak used; the inference PeakTrader is trying to make from this argument is absolutely unsubstantiated.


O.K. ondra trust me when I say that I hate having to agree with PT's statement: "unproductive, anti-social, low-IQ people are more likely to use drugs" but he really isn't lying or trying to jerk you around on this...

That was my statement, not PT's. And if you agree with this statement, you have to agree with me, that most of PT's corelations can explained with this statement alone.

It isn't 100% factual but there really are reams and reams of recorded observation on all levels of law enforcement that actually back up PT's statements...

Only that PT didn't make them.

BTW ondra and others who are this decrim/legalize drug bandwagon, which drugs do you all want to apply it to?

Shouldn't it be you who provides arguments for criminalization? Or are you living in a totalitarian country with the "everthing-is-forbidden-except-when-allowed" rule?

 
At 4/02/2012 4:02 AM, Blogger ondra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/02/2012 4:07 AM, Blogger ondra said...

BTW: http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/alcohol-prohibition-was-failure

Second, consumption of alcohol actually rose steadily after an initial drop. Annual per capita consumption had beendeclining since 1910, reached an all-time low during the depression of 1921, and then began to increase in 1922.

Which data do we use on this?

 
At 4/02/2012 5:27 AM, Blogger ondra said...

To elaborate more on this:

It isn't 100% factual but there really are reams and reams of recorded observation on all levels of law enforcement that actually back up PT's statements

The problem with PT's statement is not the statements; it;s the inferences you make. Yes, poeople taking drugs may well have lower 'producitivty', IQ, social behaviour etc. But PT is making an inference, that drugs cause it; unfortunately, it could as well be that quite many drugs (e.g. marihuana) do not cause these problems. And no statement PT made (however correct) supports this inference.
There were studies done on this (take twins, one of them smokes weed, the other doesn't, compare outcomes). This is the type of arguments that at least make some sense; practically no argument from PT went along these lines (BTW: as far as I know, this type of studies was done and as far as I know the effect of marihuana smoking was close to zero).

 
At 4/02/2012 7:35 AM, Blogger juandos said...

" it could as well be that quite many drugs (e.g. marihuana) do not cause these problems. And no statement PT made (however correct) supports this inference"...

Actually ondra that was the reason for the links in my comment...

Not only was it base material but there other links on the pages that showed further investigations the situation and the results..

"BTW: as far as I know, this type of studies was done and as far as I know the effect of marihuana smoking was close to zero"...

Those supposed studies would negate all the data heretofore already gathered from around the world, do you have links for those studies?

 
At 4/02/2012 7:48 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you are relying on public records for that claim, would you accept notion that those folks are more likely to get caught, and if caught, those folks are more likely to be convicted?"...

Exactly ron h and I for one have NO problems people doing all those drugs in the privacy of their respective domiciles either...

BTW what other records are there that are widely available besides public records?

"It should be clear by now that banning these drugs doesn't stop them from being supplied and used"...

The use in and of itself of these drugs isn't the bothersome part ron h and you're right, just beause there's a law out there doesn't mean much if people are intent on using them anyway...

What I personally find both bothersome and burdonsome is that there seemingly is a fair percentage of users who can't/won't know when enough is enough and take their act out into the public space endangering other people with their drug stupored acts...

Other than that folks can use drugs until hell freezes over as far as I'm concerned...

 
At 4/02/2012 10:15 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

If, for example, society eliminated speed limits, some people will drive just as well at 90 MPH than at 70 MPH.

However, is there any doubt overall deaths and injuries will increase, to the people driving and to others.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:09 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

If, for example, society eliminated speed limits, some people will drive just as well at 90 MPH than at 70 MPH.

However, is there any doubt overall deaths and injuries will increase, to the people driving and to others.


yes. Yes there is.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger Duncan said...

Could we not try a cost benefit approach, costs of enforcement,imprisonment, lost productivity of those imprisoned, collateral crime, violence and deaths caused by prohibiion, enabling a black market, opportunity cost of federal dollars directed here versus other places. On the benefit side marginally fewer users due to the prohibition.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:38 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Some people are really good at driving down one-way streets. However, can we give permits to those individuals fairly? :)

I think, it has to be illegal, and at least a ticket is necessary to see a judge, who may make the determination fairly.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:44 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Duncan says: "Could we not try a cost benefit approach, costs of enforcement,imprisonment, lost productivity of those imprisoned, collateral crime, violence and deaths caused by prohibiion, enabling a black market, opportunity cost of federal dollars directed here versus other places. On the benefit side marginally fewer users due to the prohibition."

Sounds like the cost is $100 for every $1 in benefit.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:44 AM, Blogger Duncan said...

How about a cost/benefit approach. On the cost side; costs of enforcement,imprisonment, lost productivity of those imprisoned, collateral crime,violence and deaths caused by prohibiion, enabling a black market, opportunity cost of federal dollars directed here versus other places. On the benefit side; marginally fewer users due to the prohibition, jobs created for prisons employees, law enforcent and defense, DEA, prison contractors, alcohol suppliers as an alternative legal product. Certainly the black market drug suppliers and smugglers benefit as the satire makes clear.

 
At 4/02/2012 11:49 AM, Blogger ondra said...

PT: taking drugs is not the same as driving a car on a (public) street, right?

juandos: New Zealand study: lifestyle studies Relative Risk should be rounded to whole numbers... 1.6 to 1.8 for heavy cannabis users isn't exactly "much"; actually, why don't you conclude based on this study, that the drug is actually quite safe?

The american study: The study investigated NSS in 25 male cannabis-consuming and 25 male non-consuming schizophrenic patients, using the Neurological Evaluation Scale. Clinical features were studied using SANS and SAPS.

Umm..well... should I say corelation is not causation? Are you serious that you want to conclude anything from such selection?

Are you serious that this should provide a definitive evidence on the extreme danger connected with marihuana that it must be stopped?

 
At 4/02/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger ondra said...

BTW - this should be probably taken with a grain of salt, but I think it just completes the picture that marihuana is simply quite a safe drug (I don't say completely safe; anything you take in excess is dangereous):

http://breakthematrix.com/uncategorized/top-10-cannabis-studies-the-government-wished-it-had-never-funded/

 
At 4/02/2012 12:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "BTW what other records are there that are widely available besides public records?"

Hmmm. Good point. :)

I was thinking specifically of arrest records, which would reflect those most often and easily caught.

"What I personally find both bothersome and burdonsome is that there seemingly is a fair percentage of users who can't/won't know when enough is enough and take their act out into the public space endangering other people with their drug stupored acts..."

I agree, and they should suffer for their stupidity, but not before it manifests itself.

In addition, there's a very high price being paid for prevention of stupidity, and I don't believe it's working, so it should be discontinued. I can't offer a great solution, but I don't like the one currently in place.

 
At 4/02/2012 12:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak: "If, for example, society eliminated speed limits, some people will drive just as well at 90 MPH than at 70 MPH."

That isn't a good analogy for drug use. Forbidding all driving would be.

"However, is there any doubt overall deaths and injuries will increase, to the people driving and to others?"

Are you suggesting that some people *can't* drive as well at 90 as they do at 70? If that's the case, they should be dealt with when they manifest that inability.

Who gets to decide that 70 is a safe speed ? Some people may drive unsafely at any speed.

The war on drugs assumes that no one can drive safely at any speed, therefore no one should be allowed to drive.

Incidentally, there are no speed limits on private property.

 
At 4/02/2012 12:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak: "Some people are really good at driving down one-way streets. However, can we give permits to those individuals fairly? :)"

Only in the movies, Peak, and you may not have noticed all the collateral damage that occurs.

"I think, it has to be illegal, and at least a ticket is necessary to see a judge, who may make the determination fairly."

One way streets facilitate traffic flow, and aren't intended as tests of driving ability.

A ticket results from disobeying a statute, not from showing poor driving skills.

 
At 4/02/2012 12:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak: "Sounds like the cost is $100 for every $1 in benefit."

Then you agree that the war on drugs is wasteful of dollars, if nothing else, and should be discontinued immediately?

 
At 4/02/2012 5:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"juandos: New Zealand study: lifestyle studies Relative Risk should be rounded to whole numbers... 1.6 to 1.8 for heavy cannabis users isn't exactly "much"; actually, why don't you conclude based on this study, that the drug is actually quite safe?"...

No ondra its not quite safe for everyone... That was the point of the study...

And another thing, no those numbers should NOT be rounded off...

"should I say corelation is not causation"...

First of all that's just an excuse to hope that the annoyance the facts brings goes away but in real life believe it or not correlation and causation can be tightly linked...

"Are you serious that this should provide a definitive evidence on the extreme danger connected with marihuana that it must be stopped?"...

Obviously you went through a lot of effort to miss the studies that I linked and the other studies that were shown as links on the right side of each web page...

I also didn't advocate anything in particular but I am saying basically is, "be careful what you wish for"...

Do I think the War on Drugs is a dreadful waste?

We knew that back when Nixon first floated it so its not even a consideration any longer since my fellow constituency keeps voting in the politicos who keep funding the damn thing...

The problem isn't the laws, its the citizens who vote in the politicos that make the laws...

 
At 4/02/2012 5:26 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I was thinking specifically of arrest records, which would reflect those most often and easily caught"...

Well in the three different states that I've lived in those arrest records are normally public record unless a judge or a D.A. specifically make some sort of move to seal a particular record...

"In addition, there's a very high price being paid for prevention of stupidity, and I don't believe it's working, so it should be discontinued"...

Be careful you vote for...:-)

 
At 4/03/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger ondra said...

No ondra its not quite safe for everyone... That was the point of the study...

1.6 Relative risk for heavy users menas it's unsafe? Compared to alcohol, that seems to me extremely safe.

And another thing, no those numbers should NOT be rounded off...
I'm sure the you remember your past 15 years with a decimal point precision....

First of all that's just an excuse to hope that the annoyance the facts brings goes away but in real life believe it or not correlation and causation can be tightly linked...

You would do better if you simply explained, what inferences you can make from measuring 30 schizophrenic pations. But you didn't.

 
At 4/04/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Even if Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera — kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel, the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization — didn't make the statement thanking U.S. presidents for his wealth, it's still true that his billionaire status was made possible only because of U.S. drug policy.

He is not alone. The whole prison-industrial complex and the law-enforcement complex depend on the drug war for continued funding. If you stop prosecuting victimless crimes they would all suffer and we couldn't have that.

 

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