Why not legalize drugs?

Drug war:
Purpose: Prevent Drugs from getting to Citizens
Cost: Exponential
Chance of success: None. Drugs are everywhere. If you want em, you can get em easy.
Actual Accomplishment: Inflates the price of drugs enough to make the illegal drug trade very profitable. We are basically funding organized crime.
So if we legalize drugs and put a fraction of drug war money into education and rehabilitation…we will have:

  1. A whole country full of drug addicts?! No. We will have the same situation we have now. People who want drugs will buy em. People who don’t won’t.
  2. No drug trade. As with prohibition, legalize the product say goodbye to the illegal industry.
  3. Far more credibility with young people and anyone we are trying to educate and help lead a healthy life. Drugs, like alcohol can lead to a nasty pathetic existence. And, casual restrained drug use, as with alcohol, is not that big a deal.
  4. Saved all that money from the pointless drug war.
  5. Have a regulated drug industry that will generate increased tax revenue.
  6. Tons and tons of money to spend on quality rehabilitation clinics and programs.

So besides irrational fear…why not legalize drugs?

Forgot to mention:

  1. Lots and lots of sudden free rooms in our prisons for real bad guys. Murderers and rapists and child molestors. Let the dead heads go!

Well, where I live, the health service is paid for by taxes; I don’t particularly want to see an increase in the number of people who will need that service to help them overcome addiction and all of the associated negative health implications.
To which somebody will argue “Oh yeah? - by that logic, we should ban alcohol and smoking too, plus unhealthy eating etc”
Well, we already have those things, we must deal with them in as practical way as possible; I don’t think a ban on smoking or drinkiing alcohol would be possible.

Also, I think we have quite enough intoxicated abusive assholes, enough drunk driving and mindless (alcohol related) vandalism and littering already thank you; I don’t think that providing new and interesting ways for people to get stoned is going to have a positive effect on that.

Trouble is, it’s not a black and white, all or nothing scenario; on the one end of the scale*, there is caffeine and nicotine, on the other, there is heroin and crack, we just have to decide where we will place the dividing line between ‘OK’ and ‘not worth the trouble it would cause’ - I’m quite happy with the line right where it is now, but thanks for asking.

*[sup]Important: I’m not saying that there is a progression from one drug to another, just that there is pretty much a continuum of seriousness in the range of substances available[/sup]

While the justice system is privately owned?

Um, I don’t understand your point…

Mangetout, I think pizzabrat is questioning why your concern for the costs of the healthcare system outweighs your concern for all the money the justice system wastes prosecuting and incarcerating people for nonviolent drug offenses.

Well, a ban on alcohol was tried back in the 1930s, and it did prove to be expensive in lives and resources, and ultimately futile. The current ban on some drugs is also proving expensive in lives and resources while failing to reduce drug use.

I’m undecided on my stance on the war on drugs. But one thing that always bothers me is, what will happen to the people for whom drugs is the major source of income. At the moment their violence is largely contained to other dealers. Without that, what are they gonna do? Seems likely they might turn to even more violent crimes, and broaded their scope of victims.

This is an actual question. I’m not trying to prove a point.

Why not legalize drugs?

Because the War On Some Drug Users is big business. It makes money for everyone from the DEA and the Coast Guard down to small town cops and the companies that make police equipment.

It also gives the govt. an excuse for destroying our cicl liberties, invading our privacy, confiscating our money, militarizing the police, etc.

And accusing someone of dug use, or planting drugs on them, is a very convenient way of getting rid of someone they want to harm for other reasons.

Exactly. Sorry for being unclear.

Yeah, I’d rather spend, say, $1 million in health fees for the people who use drugs to the point where it negatively impacts their health than spend the same $1 million putting people behind bars to prevent them from doing drugs in the first place. Prohibition is expensive. According to the Economist (7/28&endash;8/3, 2001), the War on Drugs costs the US $35&endash$40 billion per year in taxpayer money.

The people I know who sell marijuana don’t seem particularly interested in violence. Mostly, they seem interested in making money. They don’t seem any more likely to turn to violence than the average person.

Well, are the people you know who deal depending on drug sales to put food on the table, with no other practical means of income that they’d be willing to pursue? I think there are a lot of people who would rather sell drugs, or rob people, then work at McDonalds.

Here is what the DEA has to say about it. The full statement they gave to Congress is available online at this website:

Blah blah blah. It is an interesting read for those of us who support legalization.

I believe in the legalization of drugs (and the communion of saints and the that for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows), but not willie-nillie. I can’t see buying a 50 pack of hypodermic needles and Crackorette patches at SAMS CLUB, but rather a government controlled distribution of drugs by prescription only to addicts. I think the wholesale legalization would be an unparalleled disaster.
On a related note, I’ve read that Amsterdam is a near utopia of personal freedom and prosperity due to the legality of drugs and prostitution, and I’ve read that it’s a near hellhole where expended hypoderms and addicts litter the streets. Does anybody know of any reliable and well documented studies that will give the true story?

Snopes, I’ve been looking off and on for info an Amsterdam and everything I’ve read seems terribly biased. This website seems to look at both sides of the issue somewhat fairly, though it does seem to be strongly pro-legalization.

I’ve been to Amsterdam and I’ve been where the pot places are and where the prostitutes are, and it’s not anywhere near a hellhole. Why would it be?

At the very least they should legalize marijuana, which is a drug that is no where near as harmful as alcohol, but yet remains illegal. I also thing that if the government can distrubute methadone, it can also control and distribute heroine and cocaine.

I don’t buy the argument that because you legalize the drug that consumption will go up, though it may at first seem that way sinced usage is currently undercover.

Prostitution is de facto legal there, too?

Yes it is. The women hang out in the windows of what look like storefronts, yeah, like window dressing, others are standing in the doorway of these same establishments negotiating price or soliciting in a subtle kind of way. I believe there are some restrictions on how much they can solicit i.e. I don’t think they can pass out flyers.

Yes it is. The women hang out in the windows of what look like storefronts, yeah, like window dressing, others are standing in the doorway of these same establishments negotiating price or soliciting in a subtle kind of way. I believe there are some restrictions on how much they can solicit i.e. I don’t think they can pass out flyers.

Sounds more like window undressing to me (cough cough).