Drug Legalization

I’m curious about people’s strong opinions and loud arguments about this.

Personally I lean towards legalization of most drugs, because of the cost in tax dollars and liberties that the War on Drugs causes. However I’m not particularly well informed on the issue, which is one of the reasons I’d like to get other people’s opinions and see a good ol’ SDMB debate on it.

Well, there have been several. The legalization side is usually the more popular one. I wouldn’t mind another round of the debate, but it gets hard with the sides so lopsided numerically.

My opinion, as a libertarian, is that the government has no moral right to prohibit people from engaging in behaviour that isn’t causing anyone else harm.

Legalization or decriminalization of most drugs–or marijuana at the very least–would be a good (or, at least, not a bad) idea, if you ask me. Ideally, there would be regulations on driving and public intoxication/consumption, the government could tax them and control their quality, and they would be labelled with every single known effect, good and bad, thereby allowing the consumer to make an intelligent decision for himself.

Personally, I doubt that the legalization of drugs would do much in the way of “recruiting” new users, which is the position (conscious or sub-) of some of the opposition–the government can make something legal without endorsing it, just like cigarettes and alcohol. Even if a number of people did start using drugs because they weren’t illegal anymore, I could guarantee at least the same number would never start without that “rebellious” or “dangerous” stigma attached. Of course, a lack of something can’t be measured, so all we would see in the statistics would be an increase.

It is ridiculous to have the government tell us what we can and cannot do recreationally, just because they think it’s “for our own good.” They’re limiting our forms of entertainment because we might “hurt ourselves or others;” in that case, they might as well just strap us all to our beds. I don’t appreciate the fact that some fat balding conservative bigwig gets to decide for me what I can do in the privacy of my living room; it’s like they look at us as just a big herd of sheep and we need someone to hold our hand every step of the way to make sure we don’t walk into a tree. If people can’t figure out their limits and what’s good and bad for them, it’s not like drugs is the only opportunity for them to fuck up; natural selection’ll get 'em one way or another.

My position is incredibly simple: decriminalize everything, with the same sorts of regulations and laws that apply to alcohol with respect to age, driving, etc.

And the government should blow some money on education and rehab.

Pretty simple.


People who need education and rehab should be the ones blowing the money on it, IMO. But then, that’s what I think about health insurance and many other things as well, not exactly a stance I hold only for drugs.

The really interesting question about this is: if decriminalization of these drugs is so popular, and has been popular for at least a generation, why has it not occurred?

This translates to: who benefits from the present situation, and how?

Well I’ve heard it claimed that the prison system gets funding it wouldn’t otherwise get because its locking away druggies. The person I heard the idea from had no cites for it, so I’m suspect of it.

My assumption is that people don’t make a big deal of it, so politicians don’t make a big deal about it. Drugs are a convient scape goat for societal problems. So someone proposing legalizing them is sure to have their opponent use that as an attack. Not many politicians are willing to make the gamble. Now if there was a strong voter base that was supporting the canidate they would do it. That voter base doesn’t exist.

If we legalized drugs, the profit potentail would be so low that the dealers of today would have no more financail motive to buy and sell good drugs. The result would be that a bunch of weak drugs would come around, just like today’s weak cigs compared to the ol’ handrolls of yore, and it probably just would’nt be as fun inhaling/snorting/popping/injecting/whatever as it is with todays high quality bootlegs. If we bring something in from Colombia in very high risk operations, it must be better than something we could get right here in the good ol’ USA! We can’t even make cigars as well as any third world country! IMHO we should keep things as they are, because by keeping drugs illegal and thereby driving up the price/profit margin, we will continue to see that only the best will see it’s way into our darkened shoreline. Let’s keep out the ameteures!

Drugs were illegal the entire time I was using. (except booze) The ‘War on Drugs’ was in full swing for the last 7 years of my using, with the harsh jail terms and zero-tolerance and what not. And it never kept me from using, not even a single day! The risk from the ‘War on Drugs’ just drove the prices up. The higher prices meant a higher profit margin for those willing to take the risk. And there will always be people willing to risk prison and even death for the kind of money drugs were bringing in. And that is a fact. Sadly, most of the individuals who are willing to take that risk are very violent dudes.

My opinion is this. Legalization. Most of the violent crime involved with drugs is from A) junkies who have to raise a lot of cash to support the habit, and B) dealers who use violence to protect their markets (much like the gangsters in the prohibition era). Without the risk of prison and confiscation, the prices will drop. The junkies won’t have to come up with as much cash, and most of the thugs looking for the big score will move on to greener pastures.

Look, everybody that wants to get loaded can score whatever they want already. It’s everywhere. You can drop me any medium size city in the country, and I can get something within hours. Most of the people who don’t use drugs don’t use because they don’t want to, not because it’s illegal. So, I don’t think the number of consumers will really increase.

Less related crime, , fewer thugs involved, less money spent, and the same number of users. And pretty much the same amount of drugs that already on the street.

Just an opinion.

spooje said:
You can drop me any medium size city in the country, and I can get something within hours.

How is this done? Do you go into taco bell and ask to talk to the long haired lettace kid. “Hey man, do you know where I can score a quarter bag?” Is it that easy? I’ve been living in a “medium sized city” for 3 years and still dont know anyone who can get “some”. Most of my friends are military or ex-military(as am I) though. All I really want is some seeds and a supply until mine is ready. I’m asking for a friend, really.
Sorry for the hijack.


crckrrick sez:

While I sympathize with your position of “keeping the good shit good”, I think there are bigger concerns than that (as in the government having no moral right to do what it’s doing), and I also think that your prediction’s accuracy depends on the circumstances. If drugs were to be legalized, most likely the government would take over import/export and perhaps even production of them. Agreed, it would be hard to trust the government on great quality, they’re not exactly qualified to make those decisions, but we do have one piece of evidence in their favor: the government medicinal marijuana is abso-fucking-lutely the best out there. I know people who would kill their mother, roast her over the eternal fire and feed the meat to Jesus to get some of that. (Wish I could remember what it’s called…) Hey, who knows, maybe they know their shit. If not, it appears they at least know their weed, which is all most people would care about legalizing anyway.

In another scenario (a pretty chimerical one, but it’s not impossible), suppose the government says, well, we don’t really want to fuck with it, those drug dealers seem to know what they’re doing already, and they make them government employees. That would conserve at least some of the incentive. It probably wouldn’t be a wise move, though, because you never know who’s honest & who’s not; maybe they should just stick to the big movers, the ones who handle getting it in & out of the country. That way the quality stays the same, and the price is whatever the government makes it. Which would probably be higher, comparatively, if I know Uncle Sam.

This is simply absurd. For example, there is a far wider variety of excellent alcohol available now than there was during prohibition. And, as an added benefit, the risk of going blind is far less as well. Even if your scenario were to pan out, you are advocating what basically amounts to society subsidizing through great cost to arbitrarily chosen individuals. Seems pretty selfish to me to expect the rest of us to go to destructive lengths so that you can keep up your habit in the style you desire.

Really, I think this is the worst argument against legalization I have ever heard.

here’s a link that talks about how politicians [nixon in particular] benefit from perpetuating the war on drugs.


First off, you may not get your first choice, but you’ll get some kind of narcotic. Start with bars near the airport and the 24 hr porno places. Seedy bars always have at least one guy whose got something for sale. If this fails, follow the college or high school kids to their hang-outs. High school kids are generally willing to trade. In your smaller towns, a gas station/liquor store by the main drag will have someone in the know…

But if you’ve been there 3 years and haven’t copped, maybe they think you’re a narc.

Well, this is really shaping up to be quite the debate.

Maybe we need another forum entitloed, “Hop onto the bandwagon.”

Stoidela and I agree again.

This sounds soooooooooo bad. :slight_smile:

C’mon man, what kind of self-respecting pot smoker can’t score some weed?

Just trying to help dead0man.

Does anyone even have a “good” argument as to why the sale and use of drugs is illegal in the first place? And if there is one, why are nicotine and alcohol excluded?

The wreckage in the wake of alcohol abuse certainly warrants prohibition, right? I mean, if that’s a primary argument for the anti-drug crowd…

I think that legalization of drugs is a bad idea. Look at China after the opium wars. Do we really want that for our country.