Friday, June 09, 2006

This is why the drug "war" is stupid

In the UK, they are proposing that a person be sent to jail for up to 14 years for possessing 5 grams of Marijuana (that's about a fifth of an ounce - for Americans). That's just stupid.

I'm not even going to argue with you on this one. That's just plain stupid.

The drug war itself is bad, extremely costly, undeniably ineffective, probably racist, and a major factor in eroding our civil liberties . . . but at least it's an ethos (sorry just saw the Big Lebowski on cable). Anyway, at least you can argue about certain elements of the Drug "War."

But, getting back to my point above . . . that's just really freakin' stupid*.

Kid H.

Link via: Nobody's Business (though technically I saw this on my own, then later saw it on this awesome site).

*Just so as not to offend our vast British audience (and I do mean vast). The US started this kind of crap and we've had waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy worse ideas that were actually implemented.


Anonymous Mike Smithson said...

Chasing drug possessors is a waste of time and money. It's a waste of resources. What have we done in the US since the beginning of America's modern drug war in 1970? Spent 1 trillion dollars, built the largest prison system in the world--25% of the world's incarcerated population though we only have 5% of the world's total population. What else? Well, drugs are more potent, more available and in most cases, cheaper than ever before. We allow a commodity to be regulated by guess who: international terrorists, organized crime and the drug cartels. Why are these guys the choices we have selected to be the CEOs of our drug manufacturing and distribution network? Beats the heck out of me. But that's why Law Enforcement Against Prohibition was formed. We're an international org of cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens and others in the criminal justice system who call for an end to the Drug War and install some form of regulated and controlled marketplace. http://www.leap.cc

5:47 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

While I don't have all of the facts that Mike has. I have to agree with you both that the war on drugs is pointless. I am sure that somewhere in the government somebody is getting kick-backs for their involement. I have always felt that you should be able to keep a certain amount of marijuana for personal use, if that is your choice. The small amount that has been chosen is crazy. With this being said I don't do drugs, but have enjoyed a few things in the past. Marijuana is not as addictive as other things that are legal.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Chowda said...

Responding to Mike - who seems to be part of an organization that is trying to make their jobs easier... I'm not sure that you can measure the success of the program against drug use soley on dollars spent. Personally, I'd rather pay to have these druggies in prison then have them on the streets.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Kid Handsome said...

"I'm not sure that you can measure the success of the program against drug use soley on dollars spent."

Chowda, I don't normally disagree with you, but even if you take the "dollars spent" aspect out of the equation, what factor could you point to that indicates the Drug War is a success (or, in the alternative, isn't an abject failure)?

In my mind, about all you can say about it is that the Drug War creates a ton of government / law enforcement jobs. I don't really know that that is a good thing, and tend to think it's actually really bad.

Just to forestall any potential argument, drug use statistics show that laws have no discernible impact on the demand and consumption of drugs. For example, use of cocaine and heroin have not changed (statistically based on per capita data) since 1900. This is true even though Heroin (for example) was sold over the counter like aspirin is today.

I just think it's a stupid and costly war and am, unlike you, who states, "I'd rather pay to have these druggies in prison then have them on the streets," I am terribly uncomfortable with the notion of the government punishing anyone for what they are doing to themselves, or for any completely consensual activity.

I have no problem with individuals condemning them or judging these persons harshly, but I do have a problem with jailing them or fining them.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Badger said...

You forget that drug use normally doesn't stop at just the user. The public becomes involved when said user runs out of money and starts to commit crimes in an effort to score the next fix. I'd say over 2/3 of the clients I have are involved in drug use. At least half of those also have a additional crime, normally theft, that was caused because of their use. Baby formula and razors are the shoplifting items of choice. So whats the solution, put all of the drug war money into treatment for our junkies, legalize drugs and tax the hell out of them, or just keep imprisoning those that keep using and selling?

8:21 AM  

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