Thursday, July 05, 2012

Economics 101 Tells Us That the War on Drugs is a Complete Failure: Prices Are Going Down, Not Up

From the New York Times article, "Numbers Tell of Failure in Drug War the War on Peaceful Americans Who Voluntary Choose to Use Intoxicants Not Currently Approved of By U.S. Politicians and Government Officials":

"When policy makers in Washington worry about Mexico these days, they think in terms of a handful of numbers: Mexico’s 19,500 hectares devoted to poppy cultivation for heroin; its 17,500 hectares growing cannabis; the 95 percent of American cocaine imports brought by Mexican cartels through Mexico and Central America.

They are thinking about the wrong numbers. If there is one number that embodies the seemingly intractable challenge imposed by the illegal drug trade on the relationship between the United States and Mexico, it is $177.26. That is the retail price, according to Drug Enforcement Administration data, of one gram of pure cocaine from your typical local pusher. That is 74 percent cheaper than it was 30 years ago. 

Prices match supply with demand. If the supply of an illicit drug were to fall, say because the Drug Enforcement Administration stopped it from reaching the nation’s shores, we should expect its price to go up.

That is not what happened with cocaine. Despite billions spent on measures from spraying coca fields high in the Andes to jailing local dealers in Miami or Washington, a gram of cocaine cost about 16 percent less last year than it did in 2001. The drop is similar for heroin and methamphetamine.

These numbers contain pretty much all you need to evaluate the Mexican and American governments’ “war” to eradicate illegal drugs from the streets of the United States. They would do well to heed its message. What it says is that the struggle on which they have spent billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of lives over the last four decades has failed

Most important, conceived to eradicate the illegal drug market, the war on drugs cannot be won. Once they understand this, the Mexican and American governments may consider refocusing their strategies to take aim at what really matters: the health and security of their citizens, communities and nations."

119 Comments:

At 7/05/2012 10:20 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I agree with you on this one 100%.

 
At 7/05/2012 10:48 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

Same here Mark. Time to throw in the towel on this colossal failure.

The money behind defeating legalization efforts speaks volumes: police unions and correctional employee unions.

The war on drugs is big business.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:12 AM, Blogger Steve said...

"The money behind defeating legalization efforts speaks volumes: police unions and correctional employee unions.

Please back up the above statement with some facts.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:22 AM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

"war on drugs" an abysmal failure...

Pretty much "preachin' to the choir" on this one.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:28 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I think we should outlaw alcohol and cigarettes.

Several members of my extended family have died as alcoholics, while other have smoked themselves into early graves, often both.

Both activities tend to impoverish their adherents.

Why these scourges are allowed is beyond me.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:29 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The War on Drugs, like the War on Poverty or the Global War on Terrorism, is intended by federal agencies to last forever. And they will.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:08 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Prices of many illegal drugs are falling, because demand has been falling faster than supply.

U.S. Illegal Drug Use Down Substantially from 1970s
17 April 2012

"The Obama administration is working to reduce the demand for illegal drugs inside the United States.

Drug use in the United States “has dropped substantially over the past thirty years,” thanks to local, state and federal government efforts, as well as international cooperation.

“The rate of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly one-third the rate it was in the late '70s.

More recently, there has been a 40 percent drop in current cocaine use and meth use has dropped by half.”"

My comment: Without the War on Drugs, the U.S. would be in a drug "bubble" rather than a drug depression, with millions of more drug addicts.

Also, I may add, someone said drugs made Steve Jobs a billionaire. If Steve Jobs didn't use drugs, he may have been worth more than Bill Gates. Who knows?

 
At 7/06/2012 2:47 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The U.S. should spend more money on drug prevention and treatment, like in Japan and Portugal.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:00 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Also, I may add, someone said drugs made Steve Jobs a billionaire. If Steve Jobs didn't use drugs, he may have been worth more than Bill Gates. Who knows?"

Or he may not have. Who knows?

That's a silly argument.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:38 AM, Blogger Steve in Pennsylvania said...

Drug use appears to be fairly flat since 2002 although pot use is up, according to this link. Can't speak to data from earlier years.
http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2012/06/elevated-rates-drug-abuse-continue-second-year

 
At 7/06/2012 5:52 AM, Blogger The Hobbyist said...

While I think most drugs should be legalized and taxed, I came here to post what PeakTrader posted. Kind of disappointed only one half of the s/d curve was looked at in this post.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:18 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

The U.S. should spend more money on drug prevention and treatment, like in Japan and Portugal.

Stop flushing money down one toilet so you can flush it down the other.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:19 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

it's the slippery slope that interferes with what some think is a no-brainer.

People are afraid that we'll end up seeing 10 year olds in ERs from eating LSD or similar or worse.

There is a cost to society for drug use (as well as alcohol and smoking).

Probably a good bit of health care costs are due to people's bad habits and that's true even in countries with UHC.

but as long as there is demand for drugs - the suppliers will find a way to service that demand.

If that was the only issue - we'd just be talking about the money wasted on Law enforcement but to me the bigger cost is taking a kid, putting him in prison with hardened criminals - and then paroling him expecting him to then get a job and be a taxpayer instead of receiving entitlements for the rest of his life.

Once someone is drawn into our criminal justice system - their lifetime productivity is reduced, often to the point where they and their families end up relying on public assistance, MedicAid, subsidized lunches, SNAP for the rest of their lives.

You cannot even get a college loan if you have been convicted of drug use.

Basically if someone gets convicted of drug use - we throw them away as productive citizens and turn them into welfare recipients.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:38 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

The article does address the demand side:

"And it’s not as if we’ve lost our taste for the stuff, either. About 40 percent of high school seniors admit to having taken some illegal drug in the last year — up from 30 percent two decades ago, according to the Monitoring the Future survey, financed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The use of hard drugs, meanwhile, has remained roughly stable over the last two decades, rising by a few percentage points in the 1990s and declining by a few percentage points over the last decade, with consumption patterns moving from one drug to another according to fashion and ease of purchase."

 
At 7/06/2012 6:44 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" About 40 percent of high school seniors admit to having taken some illegal drug in the last year "

the problem is there is a huge diversity of illegal drugs.

It's one thing to admit smoking weed.

What about LSD or Meth?

do we want it to be "legal" for kids to be turning themselves into brain dead zombies from some kinds of "illegal" drugs?

Here's my question.

Are we talking about legalizing any/all drugs or are we actually talking about moving the bar but just having a total ban still on illegal drugs?

i.e. we're just changing the designation from illegal to legal for SOME drugs - not any/all drugs?

I don't think but a very small percentage of people would sign up for have any/all drugs legal.

and that is the fatal flaw in the argument IMHO.

 
At 7/06/2012 7:30 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

Prohibition's underlying ideology is based wholly on fear, hate, envy, and greed - leading universally and invariably to abject failure, economic collapse, sickness and war.

Ending prohibition would greatly reduce, even almost eliminate, the market in illegal narcotics, cause a reduction in the number of users and addicts, greatly curtail drug related illness and deaths, reduce societal harm from problematic abusers, and bring about an enormous reduction in the presence and influence of organized crime. The people who use drugs are our own children, our brothers, our sisters, our parents and our neighbors. By allowing all adults safe and controlled legal access to psychoactive substances, we will not only greatly reduce the dangers for both them and ourselves but also greatly minimize the possibility of 'peer-initiation' and sales to minors.

Never have so many been harmed and impoverished by so few, so quickly. Prohibition is not just an extremely expensive accident. Like any harmful and completely ineffective policy, it was connived and implemented by immoral, malicious, fools. It cannot be ended soon enough.

After many decades of drug-war-dystopia, don't we all deserve a healthy, safe and prosperous future?

Just say no to prohibition-insanity, prohibition-corruption, prohibition-violence and prohibition-terrorism!

"You saved the very foundation of our Government. No man can tell where we would have gone, or to what we would have fallen, had not this repeal been brought about."
- Letter to the VCL (Voluntary Committee of Lawyers), 1933

 
At 7/06/2012 7:31 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

If you support prohibition then you are a member of a rapidly shrinking unconscionable and misguided minority!

Prohibition insures Job Security for the sheer incompetent, vast corporate profits for the greedy and unconscionable, and absolute power for the despicable authoritarians that now pervade the corridors of both our main political parties, happily promoting a bipartisan Police State while providing unlimited funding for millions of ruthless criminals and terrorists.

Every single Prohibitionist is a willing servant of tyranny and hate, having but one sole purpose - to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction. Hand in hand with a Corporate controlled, propaganda-spewing mass-media machine, they continually connive to ensure that the inevitable consequences of their 'not fit for purpose' policy (the vast increase in corruption, mayhem, economic and moral decay) are all attributed to the prohibited substances themselves rather than the actual obvious and historically proven cause: the very prohibition of these substances.

Prohibition is not simply just a 'War on Reason' it is a dire threat to the very fabric of our nation, a slow but relentless degradation (death by a zillion cuts) of all our cherished national institutions, inclusive the nightmare of new and far more deadlier substitute-concoctions (bathtub-meth, crack-cocaine, crocodile-heroin-ersatz, and synthetic marijuana) that will leave us crippled for numerous generations.

We are collectively choosing to pretend that the hard lessons of alcohol prohibition - the sudden increase in organized crime, corruption, moral decay, the nightmare of poisonous-bathtub-concoctions, economic collapse, mass unemployment, and the only time a Constitutional Amendment has ever needed repealing - never happened. What is wrong with us?

Imagine if we were to chop down every single tree on the planet as a response to our failure to prevent tree-climbing accidents. That's exactly what our misguided drug policy looks like. Neurotics build castles in the sky, psychotics live in them; the concept of a "Drug-Free Society" is a neurotic fantasy and Prohibition's ills are a product of this psychotic delusion.

 
At 7/06/2012 7:33 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide.

2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana. As Republic Report’s Matt Stoller noted last year, Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies, revealed in a regulatory filing that continuing the drug war is part in parcel to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions bankrolling pro-drug war politicians and have used secretive front groups, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to pass harsh sentencing requirements for drug crimes.

3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For instance, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed.

4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax marijuana prohibition laws, told Republic Report that next to police unions, the “second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA” because marijuana can replace “everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.”

5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 million to defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.”

 
At 7/06/2012 9:57 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The use of hard drugs, meanwhile, has remained roughly stable over the last two decades..."...

Well for what its worth Prof Mark there is from the: Elements of Behavioral Health: Meth is a Growing Problem

The rush from meth is more than three times as strong as cocaine and 4-5 times as long. Statistically, the numbers are staggering. Worldwide meth addicts number 25 million. That’s more than the total number of cocaine and heroin users combined. One-fifth of all meth users are in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Three percent of students in the U.S. have experimented with meth before they leave high school. In the U.S. alone, 5 million people of all backgrounds are impacted by meth.

From 20 to 50 percent of the jail population is incarcerated due to meth-related crimes: burglaries, thefts, assaults, and domestic violence.

The economic costs of meth use in the U.S. is over 20 billion dollars a year. This includes loss of productivity, medical costs, foster care, treatment, and incarceration...

 
At 7/06/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I don't know very much about cooking drugs, but it's possible the meth problem is worse because other drugs are artificially hard to come by.

People will find creative ways to get high. BTW, I don't know about those productivity numbers. People who have nothing better to do than shoot up all day usually aren't that productive in the first place. People bent on destroying themselves will find a way.

Vee have vays!

 
At 7/06/2012 10:08 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

meth.... and Oxycontin.

Imagine a country where Oxycontin was regulated and sold like cigarettes.

" About 1 in 20 high school seniors now acknowledges taking OxyContin, a prescription drug for managing severe pain that, when abused, can be powerfully addictive.

OxyContin and Addiction
Doctors say opiates like OxyContin are highly effective for treating pain. And patients are much less likely to get addicted if they use these drugs in just the dosage necessary to treat their pain.

But when a person starts taking opiates when they are not in pain, or in doses beyond what is required to treat their pain, doctors say the drugs have a different metabolic impact on the brain. In those situations, addiction is highly likely.

Many teens crush up OxyContin pills and snort them to get high, getting a hefty dose of opiate all at once when they are not in any pain to begin with. This form of taking in the drug is much more likely to lead to addiction.

In its annual survey of teen drug use, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that OxyContin use by 12th graders is up 40 percent nationwide in just three years. Five times as many 12th graders report using OxyContin than report using methamphetamine."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5061674

 
At 7/06/2012 10:59 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You do not limit the liberty of all just because some are incapable of controlling themselves and wind up abusing their own bodies. The drug war is a clear failure in practical terms but that is not the real problem. The problem is that the war violates the rights of individuals and expands the power of the police state. Neither should be permitted.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The problem is that the war violates the rights of individuals and expands the power of the police state. Neither should be permitted"...

Well vangeIV what about the rights of people who are robbed, assaulted, hurt, or killed by people who can't/won't control themselves on drugs?

Mind you I'm NOT disagreeing with you or others who say the war on drugs is a failure and ludicrously expensive but is there another alternative?

 
At 7/06/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

yup - the justification is that people high on drugs cause harm to others.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:31 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from jaundos: "From 20 to 50 percent of the jail population is incarcerated due to meth-related crimes: burglaries, thefts, assaults, and domestic violence."

What's your point? That if meth wasn't illegal, to make or use, then none of these crimes would happen? Maybe you're highlighting the utter faliure of the drug war point pointing out the 20-50% increase in crime?

Quote from juandos: "The economic costs of meth use in the U.S. is over 20 billion dollars a year. This includes loss of productivity, medical costs, foster care, treatment, and incarceration..."

What a wonderfully collectivist analysis. Again, what's your point?

 
At 7/06/2012 1:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

yup - the justification is that people high on drugs cause harm to others.

that's guilty until proven innocent thinking.

so do people who drive cars or own chinsaws or kitchen knives to say nothing of people who drink alcohol.

punishing people for what they might do is minority report type thinking and deeply totalitarian in nature.

do you support banning beer because you might get drink and drive or get drink and pick a fight?

if not, then why treat other drugs differently?

if you violate other's rights, who cares if you were drunk or high? you should get punished for it.

but until you do actually harm another, what you do is your own business.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:05 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
I don't think but a very small percentage of people would sign up for have any/all drugs legal.

and that is the fatal flaw in the argument IMHO."

actually, this is the flaw in your argument.

this is an issue of rights, not popularity.

few people would chose to preach dianetics either, but we defend their right to do so even if 90% of the country wishes they would not say such things.

this is why rights are the underpinnings of liberty, not democracy, an idea you seem unable to absorb larry.

you have repeatedly refused to accept democratic censorship of your views and speech, yet seek to do just that to others with their recreational activities.

that's hypocrisy, pure and simple.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:06 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You do not limit the liberty of all just because some are incapable of controlling themselves and wind up abusing their own bodies....

...instead of letting Obamacare do it for them!

 
At 7/06/2012 1:08 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well vangeIV what about the rights of people who are robbed, assaulted, hurt, or killed by people who can't/won't control themselves on drugs?

The same thing you do about the people who do all of those things while not high on drugs. Crime is not unique to druggies.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:12 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the justification

well I did not say I bought it.

and you are correct about the cart before the donkey.

but isn't that why a state makes you buy auto insurance even if you've never had a wreck?

re: "liberty" and "
this is why rights are the underpinnings of liberty, not democracy, an idea you seem unable to absorb larry."

again... I'm not an advocate of these laws. I'm especially opposed to the idea of law enforcement going after the young and dumb and ruining their lives with a prison term.

by your reasoning, the requirement that a Doctor approve a prescription instead of you buying what you want is also a restriction on liberty.

correct?

If this is the standard isn't countries like Yemen and Somolia more "free" than the USA at least on drugs?

 
At 7/06/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

so do people who drive cars or own chinsaws or kitchen knives to say nothing of people who drink alcohol.....

Or drop their cigarettes in their laps while driving, or choke on their big mac while driving, or check their cell phone, change the radio station, don't get enough sleep, try to break up a fight between their kids in the back seat, drive like ^#$* lunatics for fun, throw things off highway overpasses....etc.

Since when has getting high become a pre-requisite for becoming a menace?

 
At 7/06/2012 1:22 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"but isn't that why a state makes you buy auto insurance even if you've never had a wreck"

1. this is bad logic. using one bad idea to defend another is not justification.

2. they don't. you do not need insurance or a license to drive, only to drive on public roads. on private property, you can do as you like.

"by your reasoning, the requirement that a Doctor approve a prescription instead of you buying what you want is also a restriction on liberty.

correct?

If this is the standard isn't countries like Yemen and Somolia more "free" than the USA at least on drugs?"

this is the same bad circular logic.

and yes, drug approval ought to be voluntary. you can get "fda approved" if you like, just like a good housekeeping seal of approval, but yes, telling a cancer patient that they cannot try a drug because it is not approved and has not been prescribed is a limit on liberty. such policies are nanny statism masquerading as "public interest".

we've had this discussion about 5 times larry. why do you ask the same questions over and over?

 
At 7/06/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"but isn't that why a state makes you buy auto insurance even if you've never had a wreck"

1. this is bad logic. using one bad idea to defend another is not justification.

2. they don't. you do not need insurance or a license to drive, only to drive on public roads. on private property, you can do as you like.

where you cannot harm others?


"by your reasoning, the requirement that a Doctor approve a prescription instead of you buying what you want is also a restriction on liberty.

correct?

If this is the standard isn't countries like Yemen and Somolia more "free" than the USA at least on drugs?"

this is the same bad circular logic.

sorry.

and yes, drug approval ought to be voluntary. you can get "fda approved" if you like, just like a good housekeeping seal of approval, but yes, telling a cancer patient that they cannot try a drug because it is not approved and has not been prescribed is a limit on liberty. such policies are nanny statism masquerading as "public interest".

so we actually need a stinking FDA to protect us? weird!


we've had this discussion about 5 times larry. why do you ask the same questions over and over?

just trying to learn Morg. and hoping to avoid "prattling"...know what I mean dude?

 
At 7/06/2012 1:38 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"where you cannot harm others?"

come on larry. now you are being absurd. you cannot harm others on private property? really? when did that start?

"so we actually need a stinking FDA to protect us? weird!"

and this is even worse. no, we do not. i said exactly the opposite. if some people feel it is of benefit, they can decide they care just like buying a product with the good housekeeping seal, those that do not care should not be made to.

if you are trying to avoid prattling, you are failing terribly.

those last comments were completely off the mark and underpinned by zero logic or sense.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Oh shit.. convicted of "prattling" a second time.. a habitual offender!

re: harming others and the prevention of.

auto insurance basically is a requirement for you to be financially responsible for damage you MIGHT cause not damage that you WILL cause.

that's my understanding of why states require you to buy car insurance.

it's also the reason why mortgage companies require you to buy homeowner insurance to protect THEIR investment even though they have no proof that you will harm their investment - they're not taking any chances.

re: FDA

I was tweaking you Morg.

you said FDA.. I thought you were opposed to the mere existence of FDA not it's "optional" use by citizens.

I thought you'd get rid of the FDA all together.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:00 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"auto insurance basically is a requirement for you to be financially responsible for damage you MIGHT cause not damage that you WILL cause.

that's my understanding of why states require you to buy car insurance."

only to use public roads.

i can require you to have insurance to come in my house too.

but i can drive on private property unlicensed and uninsured.

but again, who cares? your argument's logic is like my saying "larry beats his dog so i can beat mine too". you are begging the question. providing an example of a similar activity does not justify either one.

insurance for a home is the same thing. they offer you a deal: we will loan you money IF you get insurance. it's a free transaction. no one makes you do it. you are free not to have home insurance. you'll just find it difficult to borrow money (though you can if you put up collateral).

and not everyone on the road buys insurance. many firms self insure.

the FDA is fine so long as it cannot tell me what to do. i think it should be private and not public and i don't want to pay for it, so, in a perfect world, it would be self or user funded like consumer reports.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:04 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" but again, who cares?"

if you drive on public roads, the premise is that you MIGHT harm someone.

That becomes the justification to require to to buy insurance.

re: self insure... how do they take care of liability if others get harmed?

re: FDA .. that's what I thought that you'd get rid of it as a taxpayer agency.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:10 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"What's your point? That if meth wasn't illegal, to make or use, then none of these crimes would happen?"...

Not even remotely close geoih...

"Quote from juandos"...

geoih is it your goal in life to be as wrong as it is humanly possible or is it your naivete being expressed?

 
At 7/06/2012 2:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"that's guilty until proven innocent thinking"...

morganovich did you and geoih flunk out of the same high school?

 
At 7/06/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"if you drive on public roads, the premise is that you MIGHT harm someone.

That becomes the justification to require to to buy insurance."

you keep missing this larry. so what? that does not prove or justify anything.

that's like saying larry stole my car so i can steal yours.

pointing to somehting similar does not justify either one.

if we took you logic further, we'd all need beer insurance in case we got drunk and punched someone and banana insurance in case we dropped the peel etc.

you seem to be missing the thrust of the issue here.

"how do they take care of liability if others get harmed?"

they pay it.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:20 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

"that's guilty until proven innocent thinking"...

morganovich did you and geoih flunk out of the same high school?"

oh please.

what would you call preventing those that are responsible from doing somehting because of a few who are not based on what they MIGHT do?

do you favor a return to prohibition? what about all the bad things drunks do?

people get killed by drivers all the time. shall we ban cars?

you have no valid argument here and you know it.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:24 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

also:

i note you have stopped trying to make actual arguments here and retreated to ad hominem and unsupported ejaculations.

may we take that as evidence that you have realized that your point of view here is a total loser on the merits and that you have given up trying to actually defend your prejudices?

 
At 7/06/2012 2:33 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"oh please.

what would you call preventing those that are responsible from doing somehting because of a few who are not based on what they MIGHT do?
"...

Are you making this stuff up as you go along or what?

I asked what would be the alternative to the war on drugs but somehow that stumps you...

"i note you have stopped trying to make actual arguments here and retreated to ad hominem and unsupported ejaculations"...

Well morganovich I note that you go out of your way to purposefully misread what you don't agree with (although I was posting a link and not my own thoughts) and then whine when you're called on it...

Why is that?

 
At 7/06/2012 2:36 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"may we take that as evidence that you have realized that your point of view here is a total loser..."...

Only to self-centered, narcissistic liberals without a real world clue is asking the pertinent question a 'total loser"...

 
At 7/06/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"About 40 percent of high school seniors admit to having taken some illegal drug in the last year."

More teens smoke pot than cigarettes, says CDC survey
June 8, 2012

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 23 percent of high school students said they recently smoked marijuana, while 18 percent said they had puffed cigarettes.

For decades, the number of teens who smoke has been on the decline. Marijuana use has fluctuated, and recently rose.

An earlier survey by the University of Michigan also found that pot smoking was higher. A Michigan expert said teens today apparently see marijuana as less dangerous than cigarettes."

The wonders of decriminalization.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"Well vangeIV what about the rights of people who are robbed, assaulted, hurt, or killed by people who can't/won't control themselves on drugs?"

The number of crimes committed due to greed/envy/anger, in which the object of desire is a premium good, outnumber the crimes committed by those who are 'out of control on drugs'. I suppose if we just outlaw material goods we will have solved all of our problems...so, have a great weekend!

 
At 7/06/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-


"Only to self-centered, narcissistic liberals without a real world clue is asking the pertinent question a 'total loser"..."

that sure sounds like a yes. at least you're being honest that you have no actual argument.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:50 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

PeakTrader: "The U.S. should spend more money on drug prevention and treatment, like in Japan and Portugal."

Methinks: "Stop flushing money down one toilet so you can flush it down the other."

What happened to "compassionate conservatism?"

 
At 7/06/2012 2:53 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"i asked what would be the alternative to the war on drugs but somehow that stumps you..."

legalize them and stop punishing the innocent for personal choices.

i (and many others here including mark) have only said that 100 times.

if you think that is "stumped" then you may need some english lessons.

and this is pure BS.

"
Well morganovich I note that you go out of your way to purposefully misread what you don't agree with (although I was posting a link and not my own thoughts) and then whine when you're called on it..."

called on what? what misreading?

your last 3 comments were:

"
Not even remotely close geoih..."

"
geoih is it your goal in life to be as wrong as it is humanly possible or is it your naivete being expressed?"

"
morganovich did you and geoih flunk out of the same high school?"

looks like 2 ad hominem and one unsupported claim to me.

i nailed you dead on. you are the one misreading and then trying to back away when called on it"

you post on meth is irrlevant. that does not address the issue about punishing the innocent to get a a few that are guilty. you could make the exact same argument about fetal alcohol syndrome, yet you do not support banning booze.

your argument is inconsistent and badly framed.

this is a rights issue.

if people harm themselves, that's their issue. you can harm yourself with speech or a vote too. that's no reason to take them away.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:53 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Compassionate conservatism:

No minimum wage, but cheap drugs, until taxes are raised and your teeth rot with no health insurance.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:59 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Peak's alternative?

High minimum wage forcing out hiring potential for those who can't afford the expensive drugs while not paying taxes....but at least they have nice teeth.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:10 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Mike, how about workers earning $5 an hour and relaxing with a bag of marijuana or cocaine, after a tough day, instead of seeing a dentist, which they can't afford anyway.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

why is that any business of yours?

let them and enjoy short lines at the dentist.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:21 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, you may believe you have the liberty to jump out of a window during rush hour. However, I don't, because you might squash someone I know.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"that sure sounds like a yes. at least you're being honest that you have no actual argument"....

Well to the delusional morganovich I guess anything can sound like anything the deluded want it to sound like...

 
At 7/06/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

What happened to "compassionate conservatism?"

I never understood WTF that was and I sure as hell don't understand how the Patriot Act fit into it.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:26 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"Morganovich, you may believe you have the liberty to jump out of a window during rush hour. However, I don't, because you might squash someone I know."

that's a nonsense answer.

do you want to ban all products that COULD cause harm?

hey, let's ban windows! that'll stop the problem.

let's ban cars too so we don't get rush hours.

then we'd be really safe.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

"Well to the delusional morganovich I guess anything can sound like anything the deluded want it to sound like..."

QED.

you cannot respond to the substance, so you grandstand and try to hide the in-defensibility of your position behind bluster.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:30 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, what do windows or cars have to do with your liberty?

 
At 7/06/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"called on what? what misreading?"...

Oh dear, now morganovich is really reaching now...

Partial memory loss on you part or something else at work?

"looks like 2 ad hominem and one unsupported claim to me"...

Well of course they do morganovich since pointing how unrealistic (in the real world that is) your 'decrim/legalize it all' agenda is you've been running like hell away from the facts and whining while you run...

Go ahead now and see if you can fish around for another red herring to bolster your shaky position...

 
At 7/06/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

"What happened to "compassionate conservatism?"

I never understood WTF that was and I sure as hell don't understand how the Patriot Act fit into it."

if you substitute "dictatorial" for "compassionate" and "totalitarianism" for conservatism, it might start to make sense.

somehow the lexicon there got tangled.

other people's liberty is simply terrifying to political reactionaries. they see it as a thing to be suppressed, not the end goal of a society.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:34 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

you are the one fearing people jumping out of windows during rush hour just as you fear them using drugs.

if we take your answer to drugs and apply it to your other proposed threat, then the answer is ban windows and cars so no one can jump out of a window during rush hour and squash someone.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

ooh, more unsupported, substance-less bluster.

you just keep proving my point for me.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:38 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

drugs were legal for most of human (and american) history juandos. legalizing them is anyhting but "unrealistic".

it's already been done.

you never answer the key question:

if i am not violating the rights of others, what business is it of yours what i do?

you have no actual underpinning for your stance but assumptive bigotry. you can try to dress it up like "the common good" by that's really all it is: you trying to force your morals and choices on others that are not harming anyone (save maybe themselves).

you can harm yourself by eating too many donuts. shall we ban those too?

 
At 7/06/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"you cannot respond to the substance, so you grandstand and try to hide the in-defensibility of your position behind bluster"...

morganovich are you a liar or are your reading skills degrading?

I have responded but apparently the reality of your seriously naive position on drug legalization makes you rather cranky and forcefully forgetful when others don't buy into lala stance it seems...

 
At 7/06/2012 3:40 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, I'm not worried about a window or a car falling on me. I'm worried about a guy jumping out the window, who doesn't care how much damage he causes.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:51 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"how about workers earning $5 an hour and relaxing with a bag of marijuana or cocaine, after a tough day, instead of seeing a dentist, which they can't afford anyway."

Are you serious? When I made $5 an hour I didn't ever relax. I spent all of my free time trying to do better so I could relax later. Forgive me if I have no pity for the fictional loser you've created.

Secondly, a quarter of decent weed is $120. You can see a dentist for less than that...so, again, forgive me if I have no pity for the poor choices of others. You prefer to eliminate the ability to make poor choices and that makes you a very scary individual with a superiority complex.

This may come as a shock to you but, very often, the consequences of really bad decisions make better people out of potential garbage. Your method eliminates important steps in the lives of the hard-headed.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

junaos-

"
I have responded but apparently the reality of your seriously naive position on drug legalization makes you rather cranky and forcefully forgetful when others don't buy into lala stance it seems..."

oh really, point out the response.

you are just flat out lying now.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:04 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Mike, no wonder you never relaxed, "$5 an hour" for "$120 decent weed" is 24 hours of work. Also, you don't need to do drugs to become a better person.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:06 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Wow...it's amazing how divisive this topic is.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:07 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Let's be honest, how many drug users would rather buy $120 decent weed than see a dentist?

 
At 7/06/2012 4:07 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"Morganovich, I'm not worried about a window or a car falling on me. I'm worried about a guy jumping out the window, who doesn't care how much damage he causes.'

yeah, i get it.

my point is that you are worried about what people MIGHT do on drugs and that you feel they should be banned as a result.

this is what people might do with windows. the only way to be 100% sure to stop it is to ban windows so no one can jump out of them.

you seem to feel that taking somehting away from responsible users to prevent a few irresponsible ones (and most drug users manage to get high and not knock over a liquor store) from doing bad things in the case of drugs so why not windows?

it's the same logic.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:17 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, it may be easier to ban drugs instead of windows.

It's not what drug users might do, it's what they already do.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:18 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"drugs were legal for most of human (and american) history juandos. legalizing them is anyhting but "unrealistic""...

That's right morganovich the pyramid builders and the founding fathers sat around doing bath salts and meth when the mood struck them...

Its in every history book!!

"if i am not violating the rights of others, what business is it of yours what i do?"...

There we again, reality takes a furlough...

"you have no actual underpinning for your stance but assumptive bigotry..."...

Other than the real world, why you're absolutely right morganovich...

"you trying to force your morals and choices on others that are not harming anyone"...

From the AZ Central 2007: "It's not just the drug. It's the lifestyle," said Anthony Parrish, a licensed substance-abuse counselor and clinical specialist at Adobe Mountain. "It's cash and sex and drugs. It's guns and cars. The lifestyle is incredibly powerful, especially for an adolescent. I'm not surprised at all that they do it."...

From Washington state 2008: Even though the use of methamphetamine is itself a crime, there are other crimes that have increased significantly as a result of the abuse of this drug. Washington State respondents to the NACo survey reported that robbery/burglary (100%), identity theft (100%), domestic violence (82%), and assault (73%) have increased in their counties as a direct result of methamphetamine....

From Missouri 2012: A crude new method of making methamphetamine poses a risk even to Americans who never get anywhere near the drug: It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment — a burden so costly that it’s contributing to the closure of some burn units...

"you can try to dress it up like "the common good" by that's really all it is"...

Yeah, good one morganovich...

 
At 7/06/2012 4:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"oh really, point out the response.

you are just flat out lying now
"...

Again morganovich's conviently faulty memory comes to his rescue (he thinks)...

 
At 7/06/2012 4:23 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Peak,
The point of this whole thing isn't about how much weed or a dentist costs, it's that some people choose to do some things and others choose differently. Some people work hard to succeed and some don't. Some people can control themselves while others seem incapable. You want to eliminate choices to some sort of anti-Darwinian end.

I never once said that anybody needs to do drugs to be a better person. I said that consequences due to poor decisions can and do help many. You really didn't understand that? Not shocking, I guess.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:32 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Mike, do you really believe more drug users will help people make better decisions, or everyone should use drugs to learn from their mistakes?

Yes, I've learned from my mistakes. However, I don't have to crash my car on purpose to learn it's a mistake.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:38 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

high for high, weed is much cheaper than beer as are many drugs.

trying to make the argument that it would be ruinously expensive seems like a real stretch in the face of that.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:41 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anyway, we know people need to see dentists more than their neighborhood drug dealers :)

 
At 7/06/2012 4:52 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Peak,

"do you really believe more drug users will help people make better decisions, or everyone should use drugs to learn from their mistakes?"

Neither. But I thought I was clear enough. What I'm saying is, as long as you don't harm me or expect me to clean up your mess, I'm all for you making your own good and bad decisions. I am not of the belief that I (or anyone else) should be self-appointed as decision maker for someone else.

Nor am I saying that drug use is good or bad, only that I don't really believe in the 'evil drug' overtaking the pure, innocent being who didn't already have some demon that would have come out in one way or another.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:52 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Morganovich-

if you substitute "dictatorial" for "compassionate" and "totalitarianism" for conservatism, it might start to make sense.


Ooooh! That makes much more sense. Politicaanese is different. Like when Obama says Obamacare will "bend the cost curve" he means it'll make it look like a %&@*# hockey stick.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:58 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"we know people need to see dentists more than their neighborhood drug dealers..."

What? I don't see any reason to see my dentist more than once every 6 months! Working with that kind of schedule would make Robot Chicken nearly unwatchable.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:59 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Let's be honest, how many drug users would rather buy $120 decent weed than see a dentist?

Who cares?


It's not what drug users might do, it's what they already do.

Right. In the presence of bans on drugs. When do we declare a Pyrrhic victory and stop wasting time, money and human beings?

 
At 7/06/2012 5:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

do you even try to get facts before you opine or do you just make things up wholesale and try and mask your ignorance behind bluster.

in 1914 the us passed the harrison act. it required dealers of cocaine and opiods to get a license to do so. before that, they were fully legal on a federal level. even after, you could sell, posses and use them legally.

it was not until the 1950's the drugs really became illegal in the us.

look it up. maybe then you will stop embarrassing yourself.

oh, and the Pharaohs? they used lotus, cocaine, opium, cannibis, and other drugs.

http://www.talkingpyramids.com/ancient-egyptians-use-of-intoxicants/

your arguments are no augments at all, just more bad logic.

gangsta culture is caused by the money from drugs being illegal. it's what funds the whole thing and introduces so much violence over drug turn and protecting supplies etc.

you see many beer gangs? we use to have them during prohibition. mobsters were rich and cool. then they went away when liquor was legalized. gee, i wonder why?

lots of things increase crime and health costs. alcohol causes more crime. yet you do not seek to ban that. you apply your standards selectively. that is bigoted and hypocritical.

lot's of things do harm too. fat people cost billions in healthcare. shall we jail them at workout farms and seize their cars to make them walk? ban donuts?

your standards here are a morass of illogic and lies. you seek to punish for "might" instead of "did", but then, only for drugs you do not use.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:03 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Juandos,

I know what Morganovich's position on decriminalizing drugs is because he's made himself clear on that. For all the flaming back and forth, I can't make out your position.

Care to clarify?

 
At 7/06/2012 5:03 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

"Again morganovich's conviently faulty memory comes to his rescue (he thinks)..."

and once more you are all bluster and no answer.

i could not prove my point about you better than you are doing yourself. keep it up.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"
It's not what drug users might do, it's what they already do."

no. it's not. it's what SOME do. some car owners drive recklessly and kill people. they already do it. time to ban cars?

some gun owners rob liquor stores with them. shall we tell the 99% that do use them responsibly that they cannot have a gun because of what 1% do?

some people eat too many donuts and get diabetes or drink too much beer and beat their wife.

if you try applying your standard to other things, you may start to see how absurd it is.

you punish 99% to get at 1%. that is no basis for law.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:21 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

juanod's position is that drugs should be illegal.

precisely why is unclear as his arguments do not appear to make sense.

he seems to want to use some sort of harm standard though refuses to apply it to other things (like booze).

he will not address the rights issue in any meaningful way.

if you can get somehting coherent out of him, power to you.

mostly he just makes outrageous statements leavened generously with ad hominem and then declares victory.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:40 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Morganovich,

Like most who oppose drug legalization, Juandos sees no good and only bad when it comes to the topic. It's pretty hard for some to wrap their head around the fact that the very act of eradicating something of little perceived societal value could be the actual cause of many (or most) of the problems related.
The frustration of not being able to explain the whys and hows of something that one simply "just knows to be correct" leads to his temperance with a temper.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:14 PM, Blogger juandos said...

morganovich whines: "precisely why is unclear as his arguments do not appear to make sense.

he seems to want to use some sort of harm standard though refuses to apply it to other things (like booze)
"...

Look obama-boy, there is nothing unclear about what I've noted regarding recreational drug use and of course you have absolutely no idea about what my stance is regarding alcohol since I've never stated any...

So now that you've been caught in a lie again let me see if I can school you in the basic facts other than the victimization problem that I've already shown (and not for the first time either)...

Economics 101 - health care costs

medicare/medicaid and the camel's nose is in the tent for cost shifting

EMTALA and cost shifting

recreational drug use and emergency room costs

So whiner M add it up...

You can do that simple chore, right?

 
At 7/06/2012 6:18 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Juandos sees no good and only bad when it comes to the topic"...

Well mike hang around an inner city ER for a couple days with an adding machine and just look at what its costing you via taxes and health insurance premiums...

Just a thought...

 
At 7/06/2012 7:17 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Mike says: "...as long as you don't harm me or expect me to clean up your mess..."

I agree. However, we already have an alcohol problem. So, why create more or bigger problems?:

The Impact of Alcohol Abuse on American Society

Alcohol related accidents are the leading cause of deaths among young people. Dallas Times - Sat., 6/9/90

In 1988, 25,000 Americans were killed in auto accidents involving alcohol. Over one half million were injured. AFA journal - 1/90

One half of all traffic accidents are alcohol related. U.S.A. Today - 1/24/90

Of all murders, alcohol was involved in at least 34% of cases.

Rape - More than 1/2 of rapists had been drinking.

Child abuse - mothers convicted are 3 times more likely to be alcoholics - fathers 10 times more likely.

Suicide - Up to 36% of victims were drinking just before. Prodigy Services Co. - 3/3/92

Heavy drinking is involved in 60% of violent crimes, 30% of suicides, and 80% of fire and drowning accidents.

The suicide rate of alcoholics is 30 times that of the general population. AFA journal - 1/90

Among men arrested for serious crime in 12 major cities, 53% (in Phoenix) to 79% (New York) tested positive for illicit drugs in voluntary urine analysis at time of arrest. Insight - 2/29/89

About 2/3 of people arrested in larger cities for felonies. . .test positive for illegal drugs. Economist - 1/21/89

More than half of all confirmed abuse reports and 75% of child deaths involve drug or alcohol abuse on the part of the parents. Time - 1/27/92

The economic cost of alcohol abuse is projected to be $150 billion in 1995. Alcohol & Health - U.S. dept. of H.H.S. 1/90

The economic cost of America’s drug habit is somewhere between $50 billion and $100 billion a year. (Does not include alcohol) Economist - 1/21/89

It is estimated that 375,000 babies born each year are exposed to one or more illicit drugs prenatally.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy uses an estimate of 100,000 drug exposed babies per year. Maternal Drug Abuse and Drug Exposed children - U.S. Dept. of H.H. S. - 9/92

The cost of government to prepare drug babies to enter kindergarten will soon reach $15 billion per year. Reader’s Digest - 2/91

More than 1,000 babies a day are being born drug damaged. More than 100,000 per year are "crack babies." CBS Nightly News - 4/5/90
Aids related to drug use.

One baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome will cost $405,000 in direct special services from birth to 65 years. San Diego County Dept. of Health Services

 
At 7/06/2012 7:49 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

obama boy? really? that's the most foolish argument you have made yet and the most dishonest. you know full well i dislike him intensely.

your pointing to ill effects of drug use misses the whole argument.

cars kill far more people than drugs. do you oppose cars?

you argue like a 4 year old.

this is a rights issue.

you seek to punish ALL users because of the actions of a few.

a few gun owners commit robberies with them. shall we take them all away? it would stop crimes.

most of the crime from drugs comes from their being illegal.

to punish people for what they might do is unjust, but, as you seem to try and levy attacks on people based on things you know to be untrue, perhaps justice is not somehting you have any interest in.

your policies are fascist and have totally failed. the war on drugs has been lost.

the harm and cost of running it so far exceeds that of having legal drugs it's absurd. just the people in jail and the effects on the rest of their lives is greater than all costs in ER etc by a massive margin.

and your argument is self defeating. those are the costs with drugs being illegal. so there is no savings. you act like it will go away. it won't.

and hey, if you do not want to pay for drug users habits, then you should support legalization and taxation. make it user pays.

why is it social reactionaries like you always assume that anyone with libertarian beliefs must play for team blue?

you are just the flip side of their fascist coin. you want economic freedom and social control.

i want freedom on both sides. unlike your, my view is internally consistent. yours is just reactionary morality dressing up totalitarian moral leanings as "common good".

i'll bet you drink. do you go to the ER and run up med bills? then why do you assume that all drug users will?

you live in a fantasy world.

 
At 7/06/2012 8:06 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"I agree. However, we already have an alcohol problem. So, why create more or bigger problems?"

1. because it would solve huge problems and eliminate costs around interdiction and incarceration.

2. because it would move legal and taxed drugs to a user pays system for such issues. i don't want to pay for the bad choices of others either. let the taxes on drugs do it.

3. because it promotes a free society and protects personal liberty.

4. because, as we saw from decriminalization in Portugal, it has little effect on use.

so, the savings are real and provable. the additional costs you postulate are unlikely and in any case easily covered by the savings. and, most important, it brings us back toward the society of personal liberty that our founders intended and that intrusive government has been diminishing at an ever increasing pace.

drugs were legal in the us for most of its history. it did not destroy the nation nor stop us from becoming the richest and most powerful country in the world.

this is not some outlandish, untried idea. we did it for centuries both before and after the US was founded.

the experiment with alcohol prohibition failed and created violent crime that then went away when the 22nd amendment passed.

it's time to do the same with drugs and end this debacle.

 
At 7/07/2012 2:25 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, you're confusing prevention and treatment with decriminalization, which increases drug use, as we see with marijuana.

There's a positive correlation between drug use and crime. So, legalization would increase costs of criminal activity.

I don't recall marijuana and other illegal drugs being sold at drug stores or liquor stores. So, it's not the same as prohibition.

Yes, the government can collect taxes from legalization. However, it won't be able to collect enough taxes to cover the increased devastation caused by drug use.

You're not losing a right, because illegal drugs have never been legal while you've been alive.

Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has likely saved over $1 trillion in social costs, which include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services.

Also, I may add, there are private benefits and private costs. However, drug addicts face rising private costs, over time, just to maintain private benefits.

We need to spend more on prevention and treatment, like Japan and Portugal, because it makes economic sense to spend $1 to reduce and prevent $5 of social costs.

 
At 7/07/2012 8:10 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Morganovich, you're confusing prevention and treatment with decriminalization, which increases drug use, as we see with marijuana.

A.) You don't see anything. Drug use has not increased anywhere where drugs have been decriminalized. B.) Prevention and treatment programs, on the other hand, have an abysmal record. They don't work but cost a lot.


There's a positive correlation between drug use and crime. So, legalization would increase costs of criminal activity.

Duh. There is a positive correlation between forcing all valuable goods into the black market and crime. Your criminalization of drugs is what drives the crime rate, not the drugs themselves.

Yes, the government can collect taxes from legalization. However, it won't be able to collect enough taxes to cover the increased devastation caused by drug use.

And yet, Portugal, Switzerland and the Netherlands have had completely the opposite experience.


You're not losing a right, because illegal drugs have never been legal while you've been alive.

Iron-clad logic, that. Let's see if it sticks: Slaves born into slavery were not losing a right to self-determination because slavery has been a legal fixture since they were born. Huh. You do have a right to health care because it has been a right the entire time you have been alive. No? That's because rights are not something gifted to us by an all-powerful state. And especially our state which at birth recognized (but merely recognized - came to terms with reality) that certain rights are "unalienable".

Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has likely saved over $1 trillion in social costs, which include lost productivity, traffic & work accidents, health problems & drug treatment, mental illness, unemployment, crime, domestic violence, child abuse, and other social services.

Imagine how much we would have saved euthanizing the unproductive and the sick and aborting babies with defects. Imagine how much more productive we'd be without that drag. If you're going to engineer good drones for the state, why single out drug use?


Also, I may add, there are private benefits and private costs.

All of which are none of your business and you're totally incompetent at calculating seeing as you are a subject to the knowledge problem as any central planner.

Peak, you regularly produce a litany of poor arguments in order to avoid dealing with reality. You cannot prevent drug use any more than the Soviet state could dampen alcohol use in Russia. Instead, you drive people into deeper and more dangerous holes. Here we have dangerous inventions like "bath salts" and meth. In Russia, people died drinking all kinds of concoctions. The problems you blame on the use of intoxicants are problems created by criminalization of drugs.

I get the distaste. I've never tried drugs. I always knew they were a bad idea and my best friend from high school became a tattooed heroin addict. I'm not even sure she's still alive. But, of course, drugs were illegal and Nancy Reagan was just saying "no" the entire time I sat at parties and watched people drop acid, snort coke and smoke pot. I was all for keeping it illegal because I was repulsed by what people were doing to themselves. Then, I grew up and faced reality. It's time you did the same.

 
At 7/07/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"
You're not losing a right, because illegal drugs have never been legal while you've been alive. "

this is not a valid argument.

i am having a right suppressed. you might as well argue that africans born into slavery in the US were not losing a right because they never had freedom or that before they got the vote, women were not deprived of suffrage.

there is no evidence that decriminalization increases use. it did not happen in portugal. the dutch, who have long had legal pot use it less than the US does.

self reporting studies are also really suspect because harsher law up fear and make people lie. why admit to a crime?

i have no idea where your $1 trillion number came from, but if saving money is your goal, legalization is the way to go.

the us has over a million people in jail for drugs.

they cost $24k a year each. that alone is $24 billion a year.

addin the costs to run the dea, drug squads, courts, etc, and you more than double that. the federal drug control budget alone is $26bn/year.


all in, you are likely at $75bn/yr easily. this exceeds your trillion dollar figure (which, i suspect, is a massive overstatement) by multiples.

add in a tax on the estimated value of US drugs would yield $40bn+ a year.

that alone pays for more than your estimate.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/DrugProhibitionWP.pdf

the swing over 30 years would be roughly $2.5tn to the positive EVEN if your trillion dollar number is true.

the economic argument for our drug laws does not work. legalization would be far, far cheaper and far more fair as a tax on drugs would shift the costs to a user pays system that would make drug users self fund the service they might need.

but at its core, this is a rights issue. why take away the rights of those that do not harm anyone because of what some others did?

if i rob a liquor store with a gun, you would not think it fair for your gun to be taken away as a consequence because of what you might do with it.

your standards here seem inconsistent.

 
At 7/07/2012 11:29 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

also:

consider the health costs caused by drugs being illegal.

quality is suspect and highly variable. who knows what you are buying? surely you must admit that pharmaceutical heroin (dilaudid) is far safer than a baggie of god knows what you bought in an alley.

ODs and ER trips get caused by bad drugs far more than good ones.

pharmaceutical heroin and cocaine are actually very safe. it's the impurities and the cutting agents/intensifies used that make it so harmful.

for any given user, being able to buy their drugs from pfiser and merck instead of callie in the alley would result in enormous harm reduction.

legalizing drugs would also keep them away from kids.

when you're 14 it's really hard to buy beer. you get carded. it's easy to buy drugs. dealers do not check ID.

 
At 7/07/2012 11:55 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

you might as well argue that africans born into slavery in the US were not losing a right because they never had freedom or that before they got the vote, women were not deprived of suffrage.

LOL! Morganovich, you might have read my response to Peak first! :)

 
At 7/07/2012 12:08 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

alas, i read it right after posting that.

i guess that's why one should read all the responses before jumping back in.

we seem to be thinking along the same lines there.

like you, i get really nervous around people who seem to think that rights are privileges granted by government as opposed to something you are entitled to by birth and that cannot be taken away.

the real genius of the US constitution was recognizing such rights and explicitly acknowledging that such rights are inalienable.

it pains me that so few people seem to realize this and act like subjects not citizens.

 
At 7/07/2012 12:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"but as long as there is demand for drugs - the suppliers will find a way to service that demand."

Larry! That's absolutely correct.

You really DO understand the law of supply and demand. You trickster. You've been kidding all along, haven't you.

Now, what happens to price when that supply is constrained?

 
At 7/07/2012 12:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"People are afraid that we'll end up seeing 10 year olds in ERs from eating LSD or similar or worse."

There are reasons why most 10 year olds have parents. This is one of them.

 
At 7/07/2012 1:06 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Agreed, Morganovich. Totally.

 
At 7/07/2012 1:10 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"re: self insure... how do they take care of liability if others get harmed?"

Oh Lord, save us.

 
At 7/07/2012 1:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"what would you call preventing those that are responsible from doing somehting because of a few who are not based on what they MIGHT do?"

I'd call that the TSA experience.

 
At 7/07/2012 1:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

"Mike, how about workers earning $5 an hour and relaxing with a bag of marijuana or cocaine, after a tough day, instead of seeing a dentist, which they can't afford anyway."

If those their choices I'm fine with that. Aren't you? Would you force peaceful people to do things against their will?

Worse yet would you force me to pay for it?

 
At 7/07/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

"Morganovich, you may believe you have the liberty to jump out of a window during rush hour. However, I don't, because you might squash someone I know."

And you would prevent this how? By prohibiting jumping from windows?

 
At 7/07/2012 1:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos

".From Missouri 2012: A crude new method of making methamphetamine poses a risk even to Americans who never get anywhere near the drug: It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment — a burden so costly that it’s contributing to the closure of some burn units..."

On this point only - if I remember correctly your take on uninsured injuries is that the rest of us shouldn't be robbed to pay for treatment. So, it's not clear why you would use this argument of cost to society now.

 
At 7/07/2012 1:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

"Yes, I've learned from my mistakes. However, I don't have to crash my car on purpose to learn it's a mistake."

But if you did it accidentally you would likely spend some amount of time and effort figuring out how to prevent such a thing in the future. Some of us are good at learning from others' mistakes, and some of us must experience some things ourselves.

 
At 7/07/2012 2:10 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich and Methinks, your statements are full of illogic and ignorance, while you two just make things up.

Slavery isn't the same as illegal drugs. There's a difference between a law that applies to some people and a law that applies to everyone.

If speed limits, for example, aren't enforced, drivers will drive faster. That's why marijuana use has increased.

My statement of social costs of over $1 trillion in 30 years is conservative. Most studies show social costs of illegal drug use is between $100 billion and $200 billion a year, and that was years ago. It's likely higher, because of decriminalization of marijuana.

It's amazing how you ignore actual data and just make up data to show legalization makes economic sense.

 
At 7/07/2012 3:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Slavery isn't the same as illegal drugs. There's a difference between a law that applies to some people and a law that applies to everyone.

So, the problem with slavery is that it didn't apply to everyone.

It's amazing how you ignore actual data and just make up data to show legalization makes economic sense.

That's because your data is crap, doesn't show what you claim it shows and isn't justification for denying people the liberty.

 
At 7/07/2012 3:57 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

"Slavery isn't the same as illegal drugs. There's a difference between a law that applies to some people and a law that applies to everyone."

you are missing the whole argument here because you are looking at it from the wrong side.

we all have inalienable rights. this fact is affirmed in our constitution. these rights do not derive from our government's forbearance, they derive from our person-hood.

thus, saying that a law applies equally to all is not a valid standard.

we could pass a law that said that all americans must provide 10 unpaid hours of labor to the government every week. that would apply equally to all, but, i hope, you would find that to be a violation of your rights. by your logic, slavery is OK so long as it apples to all of us.

the drugs laws are precisely the same.

you do not seem to be establishing any consistent standard here.

you seek to take away liberty from those who have harmed no one to get at the small percentage that do.

we could use that logic to take away guns, cars, and potato chips.

 
At 7/07/2012 3:57 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

your costs argument is also internally inconsistent and misses a key fact.

first off, presented with actual numbers, you now change your tune. you have never established any of the numbers you keep raising. best i can tell, you are making them up. to accuse me of not substantiating my figures when i have given you the math and a detailed cato report full of them seems disingenuous when you are just tossing figures out with no support for them.

second, the costs you allege are already happening. thus, you cannot count them as savings. we have the war on drugs and all its costs and we have those costs. they already exist. the war on drugs does NOT eliminate them. it just adds to them. if you want costs to drop, stop paying for jail and DEA etc and start taxing the drugs. that's $100bn/year in proven savings you can point to, not estimates based on god knows what. we know what jail costs. we know what drug policing costs. we can get a pretty good figure on what taxes would raise and could simply increase them until they pay for what is needed.

nothing you have said seems to lead to anyhting like savings. it's not fair to pretend that drug costs we face no are somehow going to go away as though you have a magic wand. they are not. you are making believe that we can "win" the drug war and those costs will disappear. they won't. they are already here ad they are here to stay.

and decriminaliztion lowers costs. this has been shown in portugal.

deaths from od dropped over 25% in 5 years. aids cases from needles dropped 75%. drug use actually dropped as treatment instead of prison turned out to work better.

"For students in the 7th–9th grades (13–15
years old), the rate decreased from 14.1 percent
in 2001 to 10.6 percent in 2006.30 For
those in the 10th–12th grades (16–18 years
old), the lifetime prevalence rate, which
increased from 14.1 percent in 1995 to 27.6
percent in 2001, the year of decriminalization, has decreased subsequent to decriminalization,
to 21.6 percent in 2006.31 For the same
groups, prevalence rates for psychoactive substances
have also decreased subsequent to
decriminalization."

http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/greenwald_whitepaper.pdf

this makes your speed limit analogy look wrong. treatment works better than jail to reduce use.

"In almost every
category of drug,
and for drug
usage overall,
the lifetime
prevalence rates
in the predecriminalization
era
of the 1990s
were higher
than the postdecriminalization
rates."

it seems to me that you are the one "ignoring actual data" and "making stuff up".

i keep giving you data, you keep giving me unsupported numbers and missing the thrust of the rights argument.

so, do you think prohibition worked?

did it eliminate drinking, the costs of drinking, and lessen violence and crime? no. it exacerbated all those things and created violence around a black market.

so why is this time supposed to be different?

 
At 7/07/2012 4:04 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

oh, and if you want likely the greatest cost of the bunch, look at the damage done to the lives of those arrested for a recreational choice.

they get jail time and become a felon. being a felon demolishes your lifetime earnings potential and productivity.

to do that to someone who has harmed no one else is unconscionable and socially disastrous to boot.

if we have 3 million people on parole for drug crimes and it costs them $25k a year in earnings and production potential, you're talking about 3/4 of a trillion dollars a year dwarfing anyhting else in this equation.

 
At 7/07/2012 7:03 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, the data show more drug users increase crime, not reduce it. So, that component of social costs will rise.

Also, you seem to believe if crack cocaine was legal, there would be fewer crack babies, etc..

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 7/07/2012 7:43 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Morganovich, also, you keep citing Portugal as a success:

Legalizing drugs won't prevent abuse
February 15, 2012

"Drug decriminalization in Portugal has also been a failure.

As of 2007, Portugal was still the country with the most cases of injected drug related AIDS, and it was the only European country to show a significant increase in homicides from 2001 to 2006.

"With 219 deaths by drug 'overdose' a year, Portugal has one of the worst records, reporting more than one death every two days. Along with Greece, Austria and Finland, Portugal is one of the countries that recorded an increase in drug overdose by over 30% in 2005," according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction."

 
At 7/08/2012 10:23 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

that's pathetically weak. aids cases from drugs dropped 75% and you want to call that failure?

no way.

 
At 7/08/2012 10:24 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Morganovich, the data show more drug users increase crime, not reduce it. So, that component of social costs will rise."

so do more car owners. so do more adolescents. so does alcohol, and violent TV.

so what?

what gives you the right to punish the innocent BEFORE they do antyhting?

 
At 7/08/2012 11:29 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

peak-

so drug use drops and homicides go up and you want to blame them on drugs?

how does that work?

i though more drugs=more crime.

now you seem to be claiming that less drugs = more crime.

you sound like the "climate change" crowd.

warming and cooling are both caused by burning fossil fuels, both bad, and both require more central control.

come on man. you are trying to stand on both sides of the fence here.

your argument is wildly internally inconsistent.

 

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