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Thread: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    Ask and you shall receive.

    The Netherlands Compared With The United States | Drug War Facts

    Pay attention the the hard drug usage rates. Technically, ALL drug use(including)cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands. As the locals say, its "tolerated." Although there are warning signs everywhere that say, "hard drugs not allowed", or both hard and soft drugs.

    Here is the kicker: Dutch cops are not allowed to use DEA style sting operations, and rarely if ever arrest people for hard drug possession. Well, unless you happen to be snorting coke, or shooting up in public and flaunting it. Ill be spending 10 days there from the second week of May, and i travel there 2-5 times per year, so my anecdote is top notch
    That's great for the Dutch. But unless there was once a time where such drug use wasn't so tolerated, to be compared with now, that's a null point. Things like culture, availability, and other outside forces play into these statistics; there are other countries, for example, less tolerant of drug use than the Netherlands but still have a lower drug use rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    What exactly is so "criminal" about drug use? It currently is a victimless crime. I am interested to hear your view on sleeping pills.
    Irrelevant. This is about practical implications. If banning drug use decreases drug use (which is only logical; banning anything discourages it), it makes sense to do so.
    Sleeping pills have a positive effect they are working towards among all of their negative effects. The same cannot be said of cocaine or heroin.

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    That's great for the Dutch. But unless there was once a time where such drug use wasn't so tolerated, to be compared with now, that's a null point. Things like culture, availability, and other outside forces play into these statistics; there are other countries, for example, less tolerant of drug use than the Netherlands but still have a lower drug use rate.
    Drug use was treated as criminality before 1961 in Netherlands. Regardless, we are arguing profit motive that incentives drug pedaling.

    Irrelevant. This is about practical implications. If banning drug use decreases drug use (which is only logical; banning anything discourages it), it makes sense to do so.
    Sleeping pills have a positive effect they are working towards among all of their negative effects. The same cannot be said of cocaine or heroin.
    Your operating under the premise that drug use is worse than the crime associated with prohibiting it. I happen to disagree. It has been proven that the most effective way of preventing drug use is through honest education, not that mindless bull**** the DARE program spews.

    Prohibition is highly inefficient....
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    Drug use was treated as criminality before 1961 in Netherlands. Regardless, we are arguing profit motive that incentives drug pedaling.
    Those profit motives can only exist with 1. a low supply and/or 2. a high demand. The former is a good thing.

    Your operating under the premise that drug use is worse than the crime associated with prohibiting it. I happen to disagree.
    OK, but it's not a matter of disagreeing, it's a matter of facts. And I have yet to see facts stating that a drug black market is worse than getting rid of a discouragement of drug use.

    It has been proven that the most effective way of preventing drug use is through honest education, not that mindless bull**** the DARE program spews.
    This, I will agree with.

    Prohibition is highly inefficient....
    I can't find a poll for Americans, but less than 10% of Canadians agree. And they are much more liberal towards drugs than we are.

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Those profit motives can only exist with 1. a low supply and/or 2. a high demand. The former is a good thing.
    You seem not to understand black markets. These extremely high profits have very little to do with supply, and all to do with risks associated with doing business. While fluctuation's in supply due to drug busts have short run impact on prices, the very nature of the beast is attributed to stiff punishments that lead to total loss. The total amount of cannabis grown underground exceeds the nominative value both corn and wheat combined. Coming from someone who partakes in cannabis activities, lack of supply rarely comes to mind.

    OK, but it's not a matter of disagreeing, it's a matter of facts. And I have yet to see facts stating that a drug black market is worse than getting rid of a discouragement of drug use.
    Do you know cost of efficiency lost due to drug use? I know the cost of the war on drugs sponsored by tax payers money. Combine that with the growing size of the prison populations there is two possible conclusions: A.) Americans are the most inherently unlawful citizens in the world. Our prison to population ratio exceeds all! B.) The system is a complete failure, that has ruined the lives of millions of people who have never harmed anyone.

    This, I will agree with.
    You agree with an anti criminality response to drug addiction, and state that drug deterrence via criminalization is optimal?

    I can't find a poll for Americans, but less than 10% of Canadians agree. And they are much more liberal towards drugs than we are.
    Did you ever think that maybe, people associate the violence and (due to high prices) addictive behavior (again due to high prices) with the drugs themselves, rather than what causes those two very negative externalities?

    Without such high prices, drug pedaling gangsters would all but evaporate, and addicts would not have to resort to as much theft and prostitution. Yes it would probably still exist, but not at these levels.

    I challenge you to locate a credible source that states stiffer penalties and greater allocation of law enforcement directed to drug activities decreases drug abuse in the long run.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    If banning drug use decreases drug use (which is only logical; banning anything discourages it), it makes sense to do so.
    Killing drug users would also decrease drug use. So at what point does the end stop justifying the means for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Those profit motives can only exist with 1. a low supply and/or 2. a high demand. The former is a good thing.
    The former (low supply) is what leads to a black market. We should stop worrying about the supply and focus on lowering the demand - with education instead of coercion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    OK, but it's not a matter of disagreeing, it's a matter of facts.
    No, an assertion that the punishment fits (or doesn't fit) the crime is an opinion, not a fact.

    Here's another opinion: My right to swing my fist ends at your nose. Drug use alone doesn't harm anyone but the person who is voluntarily using it. Therefore, the law has no business prohibiting people from using drugs. The law should protect us from each other and from the government, but it should not be used to try and protect us from our own decisions and actions that affect no one but ourselves. The government does not own us, therefore it should have no authority over what we decide to do to our own bodies, whether it's eating fast food, getting tattoos, or using drugs. They're all in the same category as far as I'm concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    And I have yet to see facts stating that a drug black market is worse than getting rid of a discouragement of drug use.
    That's a strawman because nobody said we should stop discouraging the use of drugs. It's also a false dilemma because there are more options than just black market/discouragement or no black market/no discouragement. I think we should continue to discourage the use of drugs after legalization, and in fact I think it would be irresponsible not to. But we shouldn't use the law to accomplish that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    I can't find a poll for Americans, but less than 10% of Canadians agree. And they are much more liberal towards drugs than we are.
    1. I've known a lot of people who think marijuana should be legalized, but heroine, for example, should not. For some reason, whenever I ask them why, they are never able to give an answer that doesn't apply just as equally to marijuana or alcohol. People aren't always consistent.

    2. This is an appeal to authority fallacy as well as [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum"]ad populum[/ame]. If we're going to consider outside opinions, why don't we look to someone who is more qualified on the subject than John Q. Public, shall we? Have you considered the American Medical Association?

    A report commissioned by an influential American Medical Association committee was tabled after some medical experts reviewed a draft copy. The report recommended legalizing marijuana and decriminalization of other illegal drugs

    (snip)

    The draft report was commissioned to look at ways for reducing the harm of drugs. It declared that "overall, abstinence-based treatment has a high failure rate," arguing that "under all circumstances, participation in drug treatment should be voluntary." It also recommended that "moderate steps toward drug decriminalization be taken" in order to reverse "the clearly negative consequences of the present prohibition status." John Morgan, M.D., a professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School and author of the report, said "it struck most of us that the biggest harm reduction we could see would be to stop putting people in jail."

    In addition, the draft report suggested that marijuana "should be decriminalized, and a mechanism created for retail sales to those 18 years of age or older" and that the "use, possession and low-level sales of all psychoactive drugs should be a subject of police action only when these activities are associated with a disruption of public order." It also recommended that "all 'buy-and-bust' police actions should cease."

    A.M.A. Tables Controversial Draft Report on Harm Reduction
    Or how about the World Health Organization?

    “The U.S., which has been driving much of the world’s drug research and drug policy agenda, stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies. … The Netherlands, with a less criminally punitive approach to cannabis use than the US, has experienced lower levels of use, particularly among younger adults. Clearly, by itself, a punitive policy towards possession and use accounts for limited variation in nation level rates of illegal drug use.

    The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Policies
    Or maybe we should ask the people on the ground who have actually been fighting the war on drugs for almost three decades?

    Founded on March 16, 2002, LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies. Those policies have failed, and continue to fail, to effectively address the problems of drug abuse, especially the problems of juvenile drug use, the problems of addiction, and the problems of crime caused by the existence of a criminal black market in drugs.

    LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - Cops Say Legalize Drugs

    “So we want to end drug prohibition just like we ended alcohol prohibition in 1933,” he says. “Because as law enforcers we understand that the day after we ended that terrible law, Al Capone and all his smuggling buddies were out of business. They were no longer killing each other, they were no longer killing us cops fighting that useless war, and they were no longer killing our children caught in the crossfire.”

    (LEAP Founder Jack) Cole says that in 1914, when the first federal drug law was enacted, the government estimated 1.3 percent of us were addicted to illegal drugs. In 1970, when the War on Drugs began, the government estimated 1.3 percent of us were addicted to illegal drugs. Thirty-nine million arrests later, he says, the government says 1.3 percent of us are addicted to illegal drugs.

    “That,” says Cole, “is the only statistic that’s never changed at all.”
    Legalized drugs may do less harm / LJWorld.com
    I believe these opinions carry far more weight than the popular opinion polls of Canada or any other country. I hope you agree, and that you can provide some authoritative sources as I have to support your opinions. I believe you claimed that a "lot more people" would try marijuana if it were legalized, but you haven't supported that with any evidence or authority opinion. You were also shown how a policy of decriminalization in the Netherlands has had fewer negative effects in than prohibition, which is exactly what you asked for, but then you moved the goal posts by claiming specific cultural differences that weren't different after all. You're on the right track by finding support from Canadian citizens, but I'd be interested in seeing better sources so I can rip them apart too. Now I'm off to pack another bowl.

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    You seem not to understand black markets. These extremely high profits have very little to do with supply, and all to do with risks associated with doing business. While fluctuation's in supply due to drug busts have short run impact on prices, the very nature of the beast is attributed to stiff punishments that lead to total loss. The total amount of cannabis grown underground exceeds the nominative value both corn and wheat combined. Coming from someone who partakes in cannabis activities, lack of supply rarely comes to mind.
    What does it matter what it has to do with? When prices go up, demand goes down. It's basic economics.

    Do you know cost of efficiency lost due to drug use? I know the cost of the war on drugs sponsored by tax payers money.
    I do believe we can continue prohibiting drugs and end the drug war at the same time.
    Combine that with the growing size of the prison populations there is two possible conclusions: A.) Americans are the most inherently unlawful citizens in the world. Our prison to population ratio exceeds all! B.) The system is a complete failure, that has ruined the lives of millions of people who have never harmed anyone.
    Or we just enforce our laws better than anyone else.

    You agree with an anti criminality response to drug addiction, and state that drug deterrence via criminalization is optimal?
    All I meant was that we need better drug education, but we can do that and keep drugs illegal at the same time.
    Did you ever think that maybe, people associate the violence and (due to high prices) addictive behavior (again due to high prices) with the drugs themselves, rather than what causes those two very negative externalities?

    Without such high prices, drug pedaling gangsters would all but evaporate, and addicts would not have to resort to as much theft and prostitution. Yes it would probably still exist, but not at these levels.
    Again, ignoring basic economics. Even if illegal drug selling became more profitable as it became more dangerous, the high prices can only lead to a decrease in demand. If that's true with everything else ever, why isn't it true with drugs?
    I challenge you to locate a credible source that states stiffer penalties and greater allocation of law enforcement directed to drug activities decreases drug abuse in the long run.
    EH.Net Encyclopedia: Alcohol Prohibition


    I can't seem to find statistics on heroin or cocaine though....

    Quote Originally Posted by Binary_Digit View Post
    Killing drug users would also decrease drug use. So at what point does the end stop justifying the means for you?
    I do believe that rather than punishment, drug users should be forced into rehabilitation programs. It's the sellers I want imprisoned.
    The former (low supply) is what leads to a black market. We should stop worrying about the supply and focus on lowering the demand - with education instead of coercion.
    Or both.
    No, an assertion that the punishment fits (or doesn't fit) the crime is an opinion, not a fact.

    Here's another opinion: My right to swing my fist ends at your nose. Drug use alone doesn't harm anyone but the person who is voluntarily using it. Therefore, the law has no business prohibiting people from using drugs. The law should protect us from each other and from the government, but it should not be used to try and protect us from our own decisions and actions that affect no one but ourselves. The government does not own us, therefore it should have no authority over what we decide to do to our own bodies, whether it's eating fast food, getting tattoos, or using drugs. They're all in the same category as far as I'm concerned.
    A good example of ideology trumping reason, something I have seen a lot of lately.

    That's a strawman because nobody said we should stop discouraging the use of drugs. It's also a false dilemma because there are more options than just black market/discouragement or no black market/no discouragement. I think we should continue to discourage the use of drugs after legalization, and in fact I think it would be irresponsible not to. But we shouldn't use the law to accomplish that.
    Let's say, for argument's sake, that you bought the idea that criminalization discourages drug use. Then would it be acceptable?

    1. I've known a lot of people who think marijuana should be legalized, but heroine, for example, should not. For some reason, whenever I ask them why, they are never able to give an answer that doesn't apply just as equally to marijuana or alcohol. People aren't always consistent.
    Two good reasons: 1. MJ is much less dangerous than other illegal drugs; 2. It is much more commonly used than other illegal drugs and therefore the problems with criminalization are exaggerated.

    2. This is an appeal to authority fallacy as well as ad populum. If we're going to consider outside opinions, why don't we look to someone who is more qualified on the subject than John Q. Public, shall we? Have you considered the American Medical Association?

    Or how about the World Health Organization?
    The UN has also credited Swedish prohibition of drugs as a success:
    Looking at the UN, smelling a rat

    What? Experts contradicting each other? Maybe these "experts" have their own opinions, are all only human, and can't help but push their opinions into their research.
    Or maybe we should ask the people on the ground who have actually been fighting the war on drugs for almost three decades?
    Why would we want to do that? They have an agenda to push.
    I believe these opinions carry far more weight than the popular opinion polls of Canada or any other country. I hope you agree, and that you can provide some authoritative sources as I have to support your opinions. I believe you claimed that a "lot more people" would try marijuana if it were legalized, but you haven't supported that with any evidence or authority opinion. You were also shown how a policy of decriminalization in the Netherlands has had fewer negative effects in than prohibition, which is exactly what you asked for, but then you moved the goal posts by claiming specific cultural differences that weren't different after all. You're on the right track by finding support from Canadian citizens, but I'd be interested in seeing better sources so I can rip them apart too. Now I'm off to pack another bowl.
    I was looking pretty hard for statistics on how criminalization affected heroin and cocaine use, but to no prevail. So I'll post more facts as I find them.

    The thing is, I realize that things other than criminalization affect drug use and it will increase and decrease regardless of it. I just don't see why every law of incentives would somehow reverse itself for this one issue.

    And when 90% of an educated population believes in something, I have reserves about claiming that every single one of them is wrong. They could be, so I keep the thought open, but it's still a tricky claim.

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    What does it matter what it has to do with? When prices go up, demand goes down. It's basic economics.


    Your operating under the assumption of demand for drugs is elastic which is your error. On top of that , supply is also inelastic (changes in supply have very little change in price). Reason be, due to the inflated price of contraband, suppliers will constantly fill the void for lost supply.

    Think of it this way. When gold is valued over $1500/oz, more and more firms will enter the marketplace to mine gold. Similiarly, when the border police stop a huge shipment of of weed from entering the US, the very short term effect is an increase in price. But since the price is already high, even small increases in price will entice (not meant to rhyme)producers of the drug to produce more. I mean, they are not going to produce less during times of high prices.

    I do believe we can continue prohibiting drugs and end the drug war at the same time.
    Through education, not law enforcement.


    Or we just enforce our laws better than anyone else.
    A bit ethnocentric wouldn't you say? The majority of prison populations are drug related, by way of criminal activity to obtain drugs due to high prices, attempting to profit by way of selling them (again high prices), and violence associated to protect those profits (drug wars).

    All I meant was that we need better drug education, but we can do that and keep drugs illegal at the same time.
    Man, why haven't they thought of that already?

    Again, ignoring basic economics. Even if illegal drug selling became more profitable as it became more dangerous, the high prices can only lead to a decrease in demand. If that's true with everything else ever, why isn't it true with drugs?
    No, you are confused about demand, and quantity demanded. Two different things.

    I can't seem to find statistics on heroin or cocaine though....
    From your source:
    The fact that cirrhosis was substantially lower on average during Prohibition than before or after might suggest that Prohibition played a substantial role in reducing cirrhosis, but further examination suggests this conclusion is premature. First, there have been substantial fluctuations in cirrhosis outside the Prohibition period, indicating that other factors are important determinants and must be accounted for in analyzing whether Prohibition caused the low level of cirrhosis during Prohibition. Second, there is no obvious jump in cirrhosis upon repeal. This fact does not prove that Prohibition had no effect, since the lags between consumption and cirrhosis mean the effect of increased consumption might not have shown up immediately. Nevertheless, the behavior of cirrhosis after repeal fails to suggest a large effect of Prohibition. Third, cirrhosis began declining from its pre-1920 peak by as early as 1908, and it had already attained its lowest level over the sample in 1920, the year in which constitutional prohibition took effect.

    This last fact is the most problematic for the claim that Prohibition reduced alcohol consumption. One possible explanation for the large pre-1920 decline in cirrhosis is that state prohibition laws were becoming increasingly widespread during the 1910-1920 period. Dills and Miron (2001) use state-level data, however, to show the declines in cirrhosis during this period were typically as large or larger in wet states as in states that adopted prohibition laws. More formally, they estimate a fixed-effects regression using state-level cirrhosis data to show that, once aggregate effects are accounted for, there is little effect of state prohibitions on cirrhosis.

    I do believe that rather than punishment, drug users should be forced into rehabilitation programs. It's the sellers I want imprisoned.
    The more law enforcement there is to enforcing drug laws, the less there will be protecting against and/or arresting/prosecuting sex offenders, murderers (which are drug related in area's of poverty), thieves, etc....

    And when we take into consideration that those who are impoverished have a greater propensity to get into the drug trade, along with the sheer demographics associated, you might have well said, "It's the blacks and mexicans i want imprisoned." Lets be honest
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    I do believe we can continue prohibiting drugs and end the drug war at the same time.
    Now I'm confused...prohibition IS the war on drugs, so continuing one necessarily means continuing the other. How can you end the war on drugs but still legally prohibit their use? Can you please explain the difference?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    All I meant was that we need better drug education, but we can do that and keep drugs illegal at the same time.
    Of course we can. But the discussion at hand is whether it makes sense to keep them illegal, not whether we can keep them illegal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Again, ignoring basic economics. Even if illegal drug selling became more profitable as it became more dangerous, the high prices can only lead to a decrease in demand. If that's true with everything else ever, why isn't it true with drugs?
    High prices do typically reduce demand, and drugs are no different. But again you're refusing to acknowledge that this causes more problems than it solves, and that there are better alternatives than prohibition for reducing demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    EH.Net Encyclopedia: Alcohol Prohibition


    I can't seem to find statistics on heroin or cocaine though....
    I think you didn't read that source very carefully. Allow me to highlight a few of the caveats from your own source:

    "There are a number of reasons to doubt that these policies were major factors in causing the pre-1920 declines in cirrhosis. First, cirrhosis had been declining since 1908, well before any of these policies took effect. Second, all these policies except war-time prohibition (which did not take effect until July, 1919) were weak; they did not restrict production until August 1917, and none outlawed importation or consumption of existing stocks. Moreover, Congress made no appropriation for the enforcement of any of these laws. In addition, there are other factors that potentially explain a decline in alcohol consumption or cirrhosis. Patriotism might have encouraged temperance, since food was considered vital to the War effort and beer production was associated with Germany. And the high morality rate in Word War I combined with the flu epidemic of 1918 might have removed many persons from the population at risk who would otherwise have died from cirrhosis.

    Beyond the results presented here, additional results in Dills and Miron (2001)—which account for the effects of state prohibitions, pre-1920 federal anti-alcohol policies, alcoholic beverage taxes, income and other factors—demonstrate consistently that Prohibition had a small, statistically insignificant, and possibly even a positive effect on cirrhosis. Given the evidence that cirrhosis is a reasonable proxy for alcohol consumption, this implies Prohibition had little impact on the path of alcohol consumption."


    Then there's this graph, immediately below the ones you referred to:




    "Roughly speaking, therefore, there have been two periods with high homicide rates in U.S. history, the 1920-1934 period and the 1970-1990 period (Friedman 1991). Both before the first episode and between these two episodes, homicide rates were relatively low or clearly declining. Prima facie, this pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that alcohol prohibition increased violent crime: homicide rates are high in the 1920-1933 period, when constitutional prohibition of alcohol was in effect; the homicide rate drops quickly after 1933, when Prohibition was repealed; and the homicide rate remains low for a substantial period thereafter. Further, the homicide rate is low during the 1950s and early 1960s, when drug prohibition was in existence but not vigorously enforced, but high in the 1970-1990 period, when drug prohibition was enforced to a relatively stringent degree (Miron 1999)."

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    I do believe that rather than punishment, drug users should be forced into rehabilitation programs.
    Then you don't understand addiction very well. Anyone with any experience with addiction can tell you the most important thing is that the person has to want to quit. If that essential ingredient is missing, all other efforts are futile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    It's the sellers I want imprisoned.
    Why? And please don't think that's a stupid question. I really can't understand what it is about selling drugs to willing consumers that gets everyone's panties in a bunch. It's a mutual exchange between consenting adults. It's not like dealers are out there shoving narcotics down people's throats against their will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Or both.
    When you focus on lowering the supply, you cause more problems than you solve. We've been over this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    A good example of ideology trumping reason, something I have seen a lot of lately.
    Then perhaps you'd be kind enough to explain this "reason" that supposedly trumps the role that the Founders intended for our government's influence over our private lives. I'm dying to hear this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Let's say, for argument's sake, that you bought the idea that criminalization discourages drug use. Then would it be acceptable?
    I agree that prohibition might discourage drug use, with the possible exception of the "forbidden fruit" effect that many experts speculate about. It makes sense because in general the law reflects and reinforces our social norms.

    But no, I don't think prohibition is an acceptable means of discouraging drug use for a variety of reasons. First, social norms exist even without laws to enforce those norms, so laws aren't required to discourage drug use and legalization doesn't automatically encourage drug use. Second, drug addiction is not a legal problem, it's a medical problem. Prohibition is the wrong tool for the job because it fails to identify the true nature of the problem. It's like using a screwdriver to turn a bolt. Third, I don't think the government should have the authority to dictate what we can and cannot knowingly and willingly put into our own bodies. Forth, it's been shown time and again that prohibition actually causes more problems than it solves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Two good reasons: 1. MJ is much less dangerous than other illegal drugs; 2. It is much more commonly used than other illegal drugs and therefore the problems with criminalization are exaggerated.
    1. The health hazards of drug use are good reasons why drugs should not be used. They are not and have never been good reasons why their use should be illegal. If you prohibit a substance because it's a health hazard, the you're going to have to prohibit a lot more substances to be consistent. Otherwise it's hypocritical. Could you please explain this slippery slope?

    2. Yes, marijuana is more widely used, so the problems associated with its prohibition are more visible. But just because the problems caused by prohibiting other drugs are less visible doesn't justify continuing to prohibit them. You're actually supporting my argument here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    The UN has also credited Swedish prohibition of drugs as a success:
    Looking at the UN, smelling a rat

    What? Experts contradicting each other? Maybe these "experts" have their own opinions, are all only human, and can't help but push their opinions into their research.
    Again you didn't read your own source very well. Note the title, it's essentially debunking that UN report on Sweden. Sweden has a relatively low rate of *legal* drug use, and Greece spends less on prohibition enforcement than any other EU country, but still has fewer drug users. Given these facts, a correlation between Sweden's strict drug policy and the low rate of drug use cannot reasonably be drawn. The UN needs to reassess the effectiveness of Sweden's drug policy in light of these glaringly problematic variables. From your link:

    "Sweden is also lauded because of the vast resources it spends on drug use prevention and drug policy in general. But Greece, (a culture profoundly different from those of the Netherlands or Sweden) spending almost nothing, the least of all EU countries on drug policies, has even LOWER drug use figures than Sweden (if one chooses to believe the Greek data).

    Looking at other figures from Sweden, ones that are not mentioned in the UNODC report, one sees that Sweden has relatively low levels of alcohol use, and low levels of tobacco use. (Liters of consumed pure alcohol per year in Sweden is 7, versus 10 in Holland and Greece, 14 in France. The percentage of daily smokers in Sweden is 16, versus 30 in the Netherlands and almost 40 in Greece) And the Swedes use relatively few pharmaceutical drugs as well, spending on them less than most countries in the EU (7% of health expenditures - the only country spending less than that is Norway, with 6%. The Dutch spend 12%!! The champion pharma client is Spain, with 23%)"


    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Why would we want to do that? They have an agenda to push.
    That's a copout. Of course they have an agenda. That's what it means to have an opinion. The arguments they have made and the conclusions they have drawn in no way negate the authoritative scope of their opinions. The opinions of over 10,000 judges, lawyers, and police officers on legal and criminal matters are relevant and substantial because they are legal and criminal experts. Perhaps you'd rather acknowledge what Joe the Plummer has to say, and dismiss out of hand any credible expert opinion to the contrary because of some hidden and devious agenda you think they might have, but surely you can see how problematic that is.

    (Continued)

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars

    (Continued from above)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    I was looking pretty hard for statistics on how criminalization affected heroin and cocaine use, but to no prevail. So I'll post more facts as I find them.
    I just gave you two links (WHO and LEAP) which show there is little or no noticible correlation between drug laws and the rate of drug use.

    How about another one from the CATO Institute?

    "Some supporters of drug prohibition claim that its benefits are undeniable and self-evident. Their main assumption is that without prohibition drug use would skyrocket, with disastrous results. But there is little evidence for this commonly held belief. In fact, in the few cases where empirical evidence does exist it lends little support to the prediction of soaring drug use. For example, in two places in the Western world where use of small amounts of marijuana is legal--the Netherlands and Alaska--the rate of marijuana consumption is arguably lower than in the continental United States, where marijuana is banned. In 1982, 6.3 percent of American high school seniors smoked marijuana daily, but only 4 percent did so in Alaska. In 1985, 5.5 percent of American high school seniors used marijuana daily, but in the Netherlands the rate was only 0.5 percent.[6] These are hardly controlled comparisons--no such comparisons exist--but the numbers that are available do not bear out the drastic scenario portrayed by supporters of continued prohibition."

    "Thinking about Drug Legalization" by James Ostrowski (Cato Institute: Policy Analysis)

    Let me save you some time. You cannot support what you're trying to claim. There is no data to suggest that drug laws have a significant or even noticible affect on the rate of drug use. You won't find it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    The thing is, I realize that things other than criminalization affect drug use and it will increase and decrease regardless of it. I just don't see why every law of incentives would somehow reverse itself for this one issue.
    I'm totally confused by the bold part, can you please explain what you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    And when 90% of an educated population believes in something, I have reserves about claiming that every single one of them is wrong. They could be, so I keep the thought open, but it's still a tricky claim.
    That's perfectly fair and you're right that 90% is significant and shouldn't be ignored. But since there are a notable number of experts who disagree with them, and give valid and logical reasons that make perfect sense to me, I'm not at all hesitant to say that those 90% are simply wrong. In the absence of legitimate and well-reasoned counter arguments from experts on the other side, nothing else makes sense.

    You have to remember that most people's education about drugs came from extremely dubious drug-war programs like DARE. These are programs that flat-out lied to kids about the effects of marijuana use (highly addictive, causes schitzophrenia, leads users to want harder drugs, etc.), and have led people to automatically associate drug use with crime without asking questions or following the logic through to see all the gaping holes and fallacies. In particular, the whole "drugs...unhealthy...therefore...must...be...illega l" leap of logic is the one I encounter most often. It's no coincidence that this is the same argument the DEA uses to justify its continued existance. Same structure, same talking points, same fallicious reasoning.

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    Re: Clinton: US shares blame for Mexican drug wars



    I was going to attempt an actual response to the three giant posts above but... forget it. Two against one is a tough break and it's not like we'll ever agree anyways. Sorry guys.

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