Friday, June 15, 2012

It's the 41st Anniversary of Our Shameful, Deadly and Costly War on Drugs. Can We Call a Cease-Fire?

Almost half of all U.S. inmates in federal prisons are serving time in cages for drug offenses.

This Sunday will mark the 41st anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of America's War on Drugs Peaceful Americans Who Voluntarily Choose To Use Intoxicants Not Approved of by the Government, Who Will Put Users in Cages if Caught. On June 17, 1971 Richard Nixon delivered a "Special Message to the Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control," where he appealed to Congress to give the highest priority to provide funding and authority to the federal government to "destroy the market for drugs," with "increased enforcement and vigorous application of the fullest penalties provided by law" and to "render the narcotics trade unprofitable."

Specifically, Nixon asked Congress to "authorize and fund 325 additional positions within the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to increase their capacity for apprehending those engaged in narcotics trafficking here and abroad and to investigate domestic industrial producers of drugs." 

In addition, Nixon asked Congress to provide $45 million in funding for America's new war ($255 million in today's dollars) "to enable the Bureau of Customs to develop the technical capacity to deal with smuggling by air and sea, to increase the investigative staff charged with pursuit and apprehension of smugglers, and to increase inspection personnel who search persons, baggage, and cargo entering the country. Funding of $7.5 million would permit the IRS to intensify investigation of persons involved in large-scale narcotics trafficking."

"These steps would strengthen our efforts to root out the cancerous growth of narcotics addiction in America. It is impossible to say that the enforcement legislation I have asked for here will be conclusive--that we will not need further legislation. We cannot fully know at this time what further steps will be necessary. As those steps define themselves, we will be prepared to seek further legislation to take any action and every action necessary to wipe out the menace of drug addiction in America. But domestic enforcement alone cannot do the job. If we are to stop the flow of narcotics into the lifeblood of this country, I believe we must stop it at the source."

Nixon concluded his special message with this prediction: "The final issue is not whether we will conquer drug abuse, but how soon. Part of this answer lies with the Congress now and the speed with which it moves to support the struggle against drug abuse."

MP: It's been 41 years since Nixon declared a "War on Drugs," and we know now that it has been a failed mission.  We haven't conquered drug abuse with an expensive, 41-year "War on Drugs," just like Prohibition didn't conquer alcohol abuse.  What the War has done is dramatically increase the number of Americans jailed for drug offenses, as the chart above shows.  As of the end of May, almost half (48.2%) of all inmates in federal prisons are serving time for drug offenses.   We've also exported our "War on Drugs" to other countries like Mexico, which has resulted in 55,000 drug-related murders there, almost as many war casualties as the U.S. experienced during the Vietnam War.  

And even though we Americans take great pride in our +200-year history of "economic and political freedom," we should be ashamed of our War on Drugs, and our status as the "World's Number One Jailer," part of which is the result of our drug war.  According to the International Center for Prison Studies, the United States leads the world with an incarceration rate of 730 prisoners per 100,000 population, see table below and full list here. By comparison, Canada's incarceration rate is 117 per 100,000 population,  Germany's rate is 83, and Japan's rate is 53.

Here's one comparison: How does the U.S., which ranks No. 10 in the world for economic freedom, compare to the ten least economically free countries in the world (according to the Heritage Foundation's 2012 Index of Economic Freedom), for incarceration rates?  The table below shows that comparison.  It should be embarrassing that none of the ten most economically repressed countries in the world have incarceration rates anywhere close to the United States, except maybe Cuba with 510 prisoners per 100,000 population.  So as much as we think of America as the "land of the free and the home of the brave," and despite our high ranking for economic freedom, our record of putting people in cages for using intoxicants not approved of by the government tarnishes America's great legacy of freedom.     


Isn't it time to call a truce or cease-fire on our shameful, deadly, expensive and failed War on Drugs?  

CountryEconomic Freedom
Rank
Prison Population
Rank
Prison Population
per 100,000
United States101730
Turkmenistan16859224
Timor Leste16921920
Equatorial Guinea17020639
Iran17129333
Congo17221333
Burma173124120
Venezuela174149149
Libya17519845
Cuba1767510
Zimbabwe177124121

70 Comments:

At 6/15/2012 8:34 AM, Blogger The King said...

The other nine do not incarcerate, they execute.

I disagree with the WOD because it fosters harmful behaviours!

Next to the War of Poverty, it is our second longest running war. And, would expect any assessment would indicate both "Wars" have caused far more death & destruction than our military campaigns, which at least have some ending, however, ignoble!

 
At 6/15/2012 9:02 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

King, "war OF poverty" must be a Freudian slip. It's definitely not a war ON poverty the government is running.

This is an excellent post. One of if not the best Mark Perry has produced on this issue.

I remind my fellow Americans that we can at least try to make some changes through Jury nullification.

You are NOT obligated to follow current legislation - despite the court's attempt during Jury selection to make you promise that you will. Keep in mind that even if you promise to uphold current law, delivering a verdict in conflict with current drug laws is protected by your right to jury nullification.

Hang the jury.

 
At 6/15/2012 9:15 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I remind my fellow Americans that we can at least try to make some changes through Jury nullification.

True. That is one of the designed benefits of a jury system.

 
At 6/15/2012 9:36 AM, Blogger bart said...

Sentencing record, 1996-2010


http://www.nowandfutures.com/download/d4/federal_sentences_jail1996-2010.png

 
At 6/15/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Bart, what are immigration convictions for? Is this the incarceration of people who immigrate illegally or people who hire illegals?

 
At 6/15/2012 10:59 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

There are far too many people who benefit from the "War" on Drugs - in the name of protecting others. Can you imagine the effect it will have on Law Enforcement employment if the US decided that it is not illegal for people to consume/smoke/ whatever if they do not harm others? (yea, if they harm others, we have laws in place for that).

The political ruling class depends on this "War" to amass a "War Chest" - to enrich themselves and continue to hold onto their offices. The drug dealers do not want legalization and so cut into their enormous profits.

I imagine there will be calls for INCREASE in Police/Law enforcement to FURTHER the "War".

The deafening silence on the part of most people to realize what is happening to them in the name of their protection is terrible.

 
At 6/15/2012 11:07 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I understand the argument for the prohibition of hard drugs. I don't agree, but I can understand it.

Here is what I don't understand:

Alcohol is dangerous. If you're not careful, it will rot your liver. Drinking and driving kills. If you drink too much, you can get violently sick, lose control of your body, do really stupid things, and you can black out and get alcohol poisoning. Alcohol is legal.

When you smoke pot, all you want to do is eat and by lazy. Pot makes everything hilarious. Potheads are the best drivers because they go 5 miles per hour. No one has ever died from driving while under the influence of pot. Pot is illegal.

Someone explain that to me.

Disclaimer: all of the above alcohol-related things I have done, with the exception of drunk driving. None of the pot ones I have done; those come from my experience being around potheads.

 
At 6/15/2012 11:27 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Let's (let us) zero in on one drug that incarcerates about 18,000 in fed prison. Marijuana.

According to NORML, marijuana selling, cultivation or sale of associated paraphernalia is a fed felony with mandatory minimum sentences.

Other drugs can have dangerous societal outcomes from abuse, but this does not seem to be the case with marijuana.

Many states have medical marijuana laws that allow its sale.

The time has come for marijuana, and associated "reefer madness", to be decriminalized by Congress.

 
At 6/15/2012 11:36 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Jon,

No one has ever died from driving while under the influence of pot

This is categorically false. Nearly 1% (around 400/year) of all auto fatalities are due to drivers high on marijuana. You don't help the cause by being ignorant of the facts or hyperbolizing. That's how the other side presents its case to win votes.

 
At 6/15/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Thinking Clearly said...

The war on people who use drugs has been shameful. So has the railroading of Americans through the criminal Justice system by use of plea bargaining which established itself in the Judicial system of the United States at about the same time Nixon declared his war on drugs. The statistics speak for themselves, and so has its chilling effect on America's status as the worlds #1 jailer.

 
At 6/15/2012 11:45 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"Nearly 1% (around 400/year) of all auto fatalities are due to drivers high on marijuana."

Ken, what is your source for this?

 
At 6/15/2012 11:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

How about free bath salts for one and all while we're getting rid of the war on drugs?

 
At 6/15/2012 11:58 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

The police are "protected" by a ban on bath salts? How?

If the development of these bath salts teaches us anything, it's that people will stop at nothing to get high. The new concoctions are likely to be much worse than the drug they're replacing.

When the Soviets tried to curb alcohol use, people drank anything they could get their hands on, much of it deadly - rubbing alcohol, perfume, homemade brew, etc.

 
At 6/15/2012 12:06 PM, Blogger Eric H said...

A wise man once said:

"The nattering nabobs of negativism, nit-picking and nay-saying.... No matter how large and significant the silver lining, they'll find a small, insignificant dark cloud there somewhere."

Mark, I think you are failing to see the large and significant silver lining for the "thin blue line" here...

 
At 6/15/2012 12:25 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Eric,

Hopefully, I'm correctly reading facetiousness in "silver lining".
If not, I think you're missing the point and one of the major reasons Mark (and me too) is against the drug war.

 
At 6/15/2012 12:36 PM, Blogger joshua said...

It's inevitable. Opinion polls continue to trend in one direction. Legalizing marijuana is supposed to be over 50% now. California came close a couple years ago, Colorado will try this year. Rhode Island just voted to reduce penalties. As time passes and the generations shift - and as governments look for ways to cut law enforcement costs and increase tax revenues - it's inevitable.

 
At 6/15/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If the development of these bath salts teaches us anything, it's that people will stop at nothing to get high. The new concoctions are likely to be much worse than the drug they're replacing"...

That's right methinks and many of the replacement concoctions ( i.e. meth) seem to have some serious baggage...

Its not that I'm for the drug war such as it is but I don't hear any practical alternatives even though the war on drugs is hardly practical either...

Right now here in Missouri there is now a heroin resurgence but not in the urban areas...

So the now we'll probably see all the problems that are endemic with heroin use but in the rural areas to go with the problems meth has generated...

 
At 6/15/2012 12:43 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

This is categorically false...

You are right, Ken. I probably should not have cheapened my argument using that specific terminology.

Still, I am kind of surprised that many auto accidents are caused by being under the influence of pot. I understood the number to be much lower.

 
At 6/15/2012 12:43 PM, Blogger Eric H said...

Mike,

You are correct. The "quote" is from Mark. I am sure he gets it.

 
At 6/15/2012 12:52 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Thanks, Eric...you had me confused for a second there!

 
At 6/15/2012 1:04 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The statistics speak for themselves, and so has its chilling effect on America's status as the worlds #1 jailer"...

NOT thinking clearly are you?

People in this country get the government they deserve by what they do (or don't do) at the polling booth...

 
At 6/15/2012 1:08 PM, Blogger Regan said...

Still, I am kind of surprised that many auto accidents are caused by being under the influence of pot. I understood the number to be much lower.

Seeing as how THC can stay in your system for weeks, how do they test the driver to see if he is stoned while actually driving? I'm sure there's something better than waving a bag of pretzels in front of them.

 
At 6/15/2012 2:35 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

We should thank the brave efforts of law enforcement, including putting more criminals in jail through the War on Drugs, which also reversed the trend of rising drug use:

US crime rate at lowest point in decades.
January 9, 2012

The last time the crime rate for serious crime – murder, rape, robbery, assault – fell to these levels, gasoline cost 29 cents a gallon and the average income for a working American was $5,807. That was 1963.

In the past 20 years, for instance, the murder rate in the United States has dropped by almost half...Meanwhile, robberies were down 10 percent in 2010 from the year before and 8 percent in 2009.

The declines are not just a blip, say criminologists. Rather, they are the result of a host of changes that have fundamentally reversed the high-crime trends of the 1980s.

James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston. "We are indeed a safer nation than 20 years ago."

He and others give four main reasons for the decline:

*Increased incarceration, including longer sentences, that keeps more criminals off the streets.

*Improved law enforcement strategies, including advances in computer analysis and innovative technology.

*The waning of the crack cocaine epidemic that soared from 1984 to 1990, which made cocaine cheaply available in cities across the US.

*The graying of America characterized by the fastest-growing segment of the US population – baby boomers – passing the age of 50.

 
At 6/15/2012 2:42 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I wonder how many of the 55,000 people in Mexico were killed by illegal drug users in California? 10,000?

 
At 6/15/2012 2:49 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) of 1984

At least three observations about the SRA appear pertinent.

First, the Act was well considered over a period of years, with its final passage in 1984 culminating a decade of hearings, committee mark-ups, and floor consideration.

Second, it enjoyed strong bipartisan support, especially in the Senate where its final passage was endorsed by all but Senator Mathias.

Third...the enacted version represents a unicameral blueprint shaped almost entirely by the Senate. The Senate-passed bill subsequently was passed by the House without amendment.

 
At 6/15/2012 3:37 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"Hempcon is currently scheduled to make multiple stops throughout California in 2012, and we are constantly investigating new markets and demand for our show has reached far beyond the southwest."

California now has marijuana conventions and with any luck the next generation will be known as Generation PH (Pot Head).

 
At 6/15/2012 3:40 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

*Increased incarceration, including longer sentences, that keeps more criminals off the streets.

That one there is my favourite. If we incarcerate everyone, our streets will be 100% safe from crime! All we have to do is criminalize all ordinary human behaviour (I'm looking at you, soda drinkers, twinkie eaters, lemonade pushers) and then we'll be on our way.

 
At 6/15/2012 3:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"twinkie eaters"...

Ahhh methinks, apparently your twinkie problem is being taken care of even as we jot comments here at Carpe Diem...:-)

Hostess faces expiration date

With the clock ticking, creditors of bankrupt Hostess Brands and its unions remain far apart on a deal to save the company from liquidation.

Creditors, led by hedge fund Silver Point, on Tuesday rejected the latest plan from the Teamsters union to reorganize the company, and countered with a new plan that is unlikely to bridge the divide, sources said.

Damn! There goes an American icon...

 
At 6/15/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

I'd recommend not visiting Tennessee, not buying products made in Tennessee, not listening to Nashville music.

 
At 6/15/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

And you have the teamsters to thank for that, Juandos! No wonder American labour hates unions.

 
At 6/15/2012 5:23 PM, Blogger Vince said...

The War on Drugs is nothing more than a jobs program for law enforcement and prison workers. It also allows the law enforcement agency that makes a bust keep all the cash and property they confiscate...which they can then use to buy more hi-tech "toys" to use in order to go out and arrest even more people. A never ending cycle of wasted resources.

 
At 6/15/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger Derby said...

"The other nine do not incarcerate, they execute."

I don't think any of the other nine execute whole tenths of a percent of their population, which is what it would take to put their incarceration+execution rate above the US.

 
At 6/15/2012 11:02 PM, Blogger SteveH said...

I would think that demographic trends have more to do with a falling crime rate than more vigilant law enforcement. As the birth rate has stabilized at about 1.9 live births per fertile female we have a stable youth population born mostly into loving homes. Also, more prosperity in the past 20 years has more to do with it as well as a more educated and informed public.

 
At 6/16/2012 12:54 AM, Blogger Al said...

Peak Trader:

People who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. We are reliving one of the most violent non-war periods in American history...Prohibition...except this time around it is much costlier in both blood and treasure. We desperately need to relearn the lesson of Prohibition.

This isn't about the bravery of law enforcement. It's about a waste of that bravery and a misallocation of that precious resource. Better to spend it on murder, rape, assault, theft, white-collar crime, etc. instead of wasting it on trying to control what people consume. That's something to consider as some would now like to declare countless wars on sodas, salt, sugar, raw milk, supplements, popcorn, coffee, milk shakes, french fries, etc., etc. This is going ever further down a very slippery slope toward totalitarianism.

How much of the crime you list is due to drugs and how much is due to other factors? Not everyone who kills or assaults is some druggie desperate for a fix.

You say crime is down because of the aging population. But the population isn't aging because of the War on Drugs. One of the big mistakes people often make when thinking about political decisions that have been made is not realistically considering what might have happened if different choices had been made. For example, if there never had been a War on Drugs our peopulation would still have aged. In fact there are 55,000 people across the border in Mexico who would have aged a lot more than they did.

Another such consideration as to what might have happened if there never had been a WOD is to look at what happened when Prohibition was repealed. It removed an important profit motive for the likes of Al Capone and others that enabled them to flourish during that era. Now we have given the criminal elements an even larger profit incentive to flourish by replacing the drug alcohol with other drugs. Where would the Mafia be now if there had been no prohibition on alcohol or drugs?

You say crime is down. Are you including the 55,000 men, women, children, reporters, police, and army personnel in Mexico who have been skinned alive, boiled in oil, hanged from bridges, beheaded, etc. just across our border? What about the drug cartels in Mexico for whom busines with the U.S. is so good they are on the verge of overthrowing the Mexican government? What about the massive flow of drugs from Columbia and other areas in South America up through Mexico and into the U.S.? What about the many gangs in the U.S. that benefit from the flow of illegal drugs? What about the graft of some of our politicians and law enforcement personnel who slurp from the trough of massive funds directed toward the WOD? If the War on Alcohol was revived you would probably see much of that happening also with regard to the trafficking of alcohol. What about the failure of the traffickers to pay taxes on their enormous profits?

During Prohibition our law enforecment and courts were severely bogged down with alcohol related crimes. Most of what we used to convict people and throw them in jail for...or even kill them...are no longer crimes. Now what's bogging down our legal system is drug related crimes. It's the same problem and it has the same solution: repeal of prohibition. Let people consume what they want while working on educating them about the dangers of excessive use and treating those who abuse drugs with compassionate programs. And study after study finds that the public's perception of the addictive risk of drugs is way out of proportion with reality.

I can understand why many are scared to even take some tentative steps toward legalization. I'm sure many had the same concerns back during Prohibition. But these people now, and those back in the days of Prohibition, are like a driver who in his panic presses ever harder on the wrong pedal. The faster he goes the harder he presses wonedering why in the world the car is going faster instead of slowing down. The War on Drugs is the wrong pedal.

 
At 6/16/2012 2:35 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Al, Prohibition was about making a very popular legal drug illegal.

We're on our way to making marijuana much more popular and perhaps legal.

I guess, you want to go back to the 1960s and 1970s when drugs and crime were soaring to repeat history.

People like you need to stop reacting emotionally and look at all the facts.

Then you'll understand the benefits to society outweigh the costs.

We need to spend more on the War on Drugs, particularly on prevention and rehabilitation.

Every additional dollar will save much more than one dollar in social costs.

We're heading in the wrong direction decriminalizing and promoting marijuana, particularly for young Americans.

 
At 6/16/2012 6:01 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Peak:

In what ways are the social costs greater than the social benefits? Is it the same for other dangerous yet legal substances such as alcohol or painkillers?

I guess my question is: what makes pot special?

 
At 6/16/2012 9:04 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

why is this a cost benefit question at all?

this is a rights issue.

lots of things are bad for you from twinkies to sleeping on a bad matress. so what?

what you do in your own home or on private property with the consent of the owner is your business so long as you do not harm anyone.

and please, spare me the "you are more likely to harm someone" nonsense. that's the sort of preemptive "minority report" justice that the nanny state likes to hide behind, but no matter how you dress it up, it's still punishing the innocent through a presumption of guilt.

you would not give a guy a speeding ticket just for buying a ferrari. why assume someone will harm themselves just by using alcohol or some other drug?

it seems to me this debate gets perpetually bogged down in weighting costs when that is not really the issue at all. the3 real issue is one of rights and liberty.

you are free to put a bone through you nose if you like. many might call this harmful. you might like it. but it's your nose and your choice. that's what liberty is about.

banning it "for your own good" would seem stupid. yet many take precisely that approach to drugs and try to take away liberty to force what they feel to be good upon others while hypocritically drinking and smoking or eating deep fried food and felling like their vices are ok.

 
At 6/16/2012 9:44 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"You say crime is down. Are you including the 55,000 men, women, children, reporters, police, and army personnel in Mexico who have been skinned alive, boiled in oil, hanged from bridges, beheaded, etc. just across our border? What about the drug cartels in Mexico for whom busines with the U.S. is so good they are on the verge of overthrowing the Mexican government?"...

Well as ugly & factual as this comment is by al its still your basic 'strawman' argument...

No one is forcing these felonious, remorseless, sociopathic bastards to cater to the rampant desires of Americans and their use of recreational drugs...

 
At 6/16/2012 11:17 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"The other nine do not incarcerate, they execute."

that is largely a myth.

the us is one of the top nations in the world terms of number of executions.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_exe-crime-executions

 
At 6/16/2012 3:03 PM, Blogger Al said...

Peak:

Most if not all of these drugs...alcohol, pot, cocaine, LSD, opium, heroin, net bags made from hemp holding apples in the produce section, etc. not to mention 16 oz. sodas...were legal at one time and in many cases were very popular. There is a historical reason why Coke is called Coke.

You say pot would become much more popular if it became legal. It's a little hard to imagine it becoming much more popular than it already is considering the truly enormous amount of it that is flowing across our southern border. But that was one of the arguments against repealing Prohibition. Indeed, alcohol probably is in wider use now than in Prohibition. But the large aajority of people who drink alcohol are not running rampant in the streets committing crimes.

You accuse me of being emotional, but if you take an unemotional look at those who are in favor of legalizeing drugs, like the Libertarian Party, they are mostly people who have carefully considered many aspects of the issue and have focused on actual facts and studies. I assure you none of the drug lords and pushers are arguing for an end to the WOD.

You seem to think the 60's and 70's was a time of rampant, drug crazed crimes. I'm in the first year of the baby boomers. The 60's and 70's were my time. I was there. I can tell you there was much more going on then than drugs. There was the antiwar movement, civil rights, political assassinations, Weather Underground, the Symbionese Liberation Army, Watergate, concerns about the environment, etc. It was also the leading wave of a huge bulge of naturally rebellious youth in the population. Are you telling me that was all because of drugs? To paint all of those with your broad brush of drugs is just not how it really was.

One of the biggest popular arguments for the WOD is a paranoia that in part grew out of such films as "Reefer Madness" in the 50's which were blatantly biased and non factual. One puff turns people into sex crazed criminals? Puleeze! I also know people who are understandably very opposed to drugs because they know someone who had a really bad time with them. You can also find people similarly affected by alcohol or even prescription drugs. Some people have huge health problems from not exercising. So do we start a new War on Sloth? How much of Bob's money do we take to make Tom exercise? Do we throw Tom into prison for not exercising? We would all be a lot better off if we weren't so concerned about making other people do what we want.

I do agree with you we should focus on prevention (in the form of education) and rehabilitation...just like with alcohol and cigarettes. Let us be educated consumers (or non-consumers), not criminals.

 
At 6/16/2012 3:03 PM, Blogger Al said...

morganovich:

You are exactly right. Well said!

 
At 6/16/2012 3:07 PM, Blogger Al said...

juandos:

Americans have many rampant desires, but we don't make laws against most of them...like movies, music, food, gasoline, cars, books, education, toys, alcohol, etc. But what's different about the drug cartels is that their product has been deemed illegal here. If we made gas or food illegal, we would also have ruthless gas and food cartels massing across the border.

There's an old children's fable about the sun and wind competing to see which one was the most powerful. The test was who could remove the coat a man was wearing. No matter how fiercely the wind blew the man clutched the coat ever more tightly. Then it was the sun's turn. He beamed down on the man who quickly took off the coat of his own accord. The drug cartel and crime lords are wrapped around our southern border like a coat. The more money and laws we throw at them and our people the more tightly that coat clings to us. The WOD is the wind, and like the wind it has failed miserably. It's time to see what the sun can do.

 
At 6/16/2012 5:02 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, I stated before:

Social costs include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services.

 
At 6/16/2012 5:16 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich and Al, you two seem to agree if Twinkies were illegal, it's ok to break the law and eat them.

You have a right to break the law and the police have a right to arrest you. So, what's the problem?

You seem to support the drug culture, who entices young people through propaganda and gets them high to vote for legalization (which I think is despicable).

That's how Obama was elected, and you want to make the same mistake.

 
At 6/16/2012 5:25 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Social costs include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services.

I understand and agree with all that. But alcohol has the exact same issues. Should alcohol be banned?

 
At 6/16/2012 5:27 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, alcohol is already legal. Should we legalize all drugs just for the hell of it?

 
At 6/16/2012 5:42 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon, alcohol is already legal. Should we legalize all drugs just for the hell of it?

If the reason why pot being illegal is what you listed, should alcohol be illegal, too? If not, why?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:01 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, should we promote alcohol with lots of propaganda and turn young people to alcohol and into alcoholics?

Why not just legalize all drugs?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:08 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon, should we promote alcohol with lots of propaganda and turn young people to alcohol and into alcoholics?

We do. Have you seen alcohol commercials? What about Animal House? Mad Men? Every teenage movie ever made?

However, that doesn't answer my question: if pot is illegal for the reasons you mentioned, should alcohol be as well?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:18 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

So, you don't view promoting alcohol as a problem?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

If promoting alcohol is not a problem, then why not promote all drugs?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:24 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

So, you don't view promoting alcohol as a problem?

If you oppose legalization of pot because it is glorified, then that is an argument against ads, not pot.

Regardless, you are not answering my question: if the social costs of pot are the same as alcohol, why is pot illegal and not alcohol? Should alcohol be illegal? If not, why?

I will gladly discuss the merits of the glorification question with you, after you have answered my question.

 
At 6/16/2012 6:44 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, I answered your question.

If the social costs are the same, neither should be promoted.

One happens to be legal and the other happens to be illegal.

That's just the reality of it.

 
At 6/16/2012 6:46 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

And what is "the glorification question?"

 
At 6/16/2012 6:46 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

If the social costs are the same, neither should be promoted.

One happens to be legal and the other happens to be illegal.

That's just the reality of it.


So if pot were legalized, but not promoted, you'd be fine with that?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:47 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

And what is "the glorification question?"

Sorry, i meant to write "promotion."

 
At 6/16/2012 6:49 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

A step in promoting pot is legalizing it.

 
At 6/16/2012 6:51 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

A step in promoting pot is legalizing it.

So alcohol is being promoted by it being legal?

If we don;t want to promote alcohol, and it being legal is promoting it, then it too must be banned?

 
At 6/16/2012 6:52 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I am just trying to figure out what, exactly, you are arguing.

 
At 6/16/2012 6:59 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

My final comment is (which I stated before):

If drug users can afford their private costs and external costs were small, I'd be for drug legalization.

 
At 6/16/2012 7:01 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

If drug users can afford their private costs and external costs were small, I'd be for drug legalization.

On that, we agree.

That was good. Thank you for indulging me so politely, Peak.

 
At 6/16/2012 7:25 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Americans seem to be getting the government that they want and deserve. In politics justice takes a back seat to populist sentiment so I do not see why anyone would expect anything better than what you have today.

 
At 6/16/2012 9:00 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Social costs include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services.

That's alcohol, right?

 
At 6/16/2012 9:08 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

If drug users can afford their private costs and external costs were small, I'd be for drug legalization.

Alcohol is one of those drugs, no?

 
At 6/16/2012 11:28 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Yes, two wrongs don't make a right :)

Or, being half wrong is better than being all wrong :)

 
At 6/16/2012 11:37 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Also, a little wine has some health benefits?

I don't know about a little marijuana?

 
At 6/17/2012 7:41 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Yes, two wrongs don't make a right :)

Or, being half wrong is better than being all wrong :)


It certainly is wrong to have the government violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There is nowhere in either where the federal government gets the power to prosecute people who drink or consume drugs voluntarily. It is certainly wrong to violate the right of people to use their own bodies as they see fit as long as they do not initiate force against others. It is certainly wrong to make future generations pay for all of the activities that we took to play nanny because we don't trust individuals to make their own decisions.

 
At 6/19/2012 9:46 AM, Blogger Prince Draxx said...

I'd say it was a rousing success, Customs is the premier organization to turn to for sneaking in whatever contraband you might want. They and the CIA have honed their organisations to cutting edge efficiency.

If it absolutely, positively must be gotten across the border, you have only to drop by your local friendly I.C.E. office and have them hook you up.

 
At 6/19/2012 9:55 AM, Blogger Prince Draxx said...

Problems with distribution? Just contact the friendly fellows at your local chapter of the D.E.A. For a small fee they will be glad to take care of those pesky two-bit dope dealers and give you free reign to ply your trade.

Just remember to grease the wheels of commerce and you will find there really isn't a problem in this country with drugs.

 
At 6/22/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger abbottaric said...

That's a Great topis.. I really appreciate it.. I read your post..
I have got lot of information to read this topic..thanks for share me...
Chicago Wholesale Printing

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home