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The Conservative War on Drug Prohibition
American Conservative ^ | 2011-05-12 | Jack Hunter

Posted on 05/16/2011 8:25:10 PM PDT by rabscuttle385

Most people can’t imagine an America without a minimum wage. Without such wage regulation many believe poverty would run rampant, families would become homeless and children would be starving in the streets. Yet conservatives have rightly recognized that these are moralistic and emotional responses to what is essentially an economic problem. Pointing out the policy’s failure, National Review founder William F. Buckley wrote: “The minimum wage is about as discredited as the Flat Earth Society…” Yet the very notion of getting rid of it remains something most Americans simply cannot fathom.

Most people can’t imagine an America without the War on Drugs. Without federal drug laws many believe substance abuse would be rampant, families would be destroyed and the nation’s youth would be strung out across our streets. Yet opponents of federal drug laws have rightly recognized that these are moralistic and emotional responses to what is essentially an economic, political, and due to our approach, criminal problem.

In 1995, National Review declared “The War on Drugs is Lost.” Leading this charge, Buckley broke down the troublesome cost of prohibition: “We are speaking of a plague that consumes an estimated $75 billion per year of public money, exacts an estimated $70 billion a year from consumers, is responsible for nearly 50 per cent of the million Americans who are today in jail, occupies an estimated 50 per cent of the trial time of our judiciary, and takes the time of 400,000 policemen—yet a plague for which no cure is at hand, nor in prospect.”

Much like the minimum wage, virtually all data available on drug prohibition points to the utter ineffectiveness of our policies. The primary difference is that prohibition of drugs has been far more damaging to this country than prohibition of market determined base wage levels. Whether measured in dollars or lives—the War on Drugs continues to be a great and unnecessary tragedy.

It should not be surprising that those most comfortable with the damage caused by the War on Drugs have often belonged to administrations that have wrought the most damage on this country. Denouncing Congressman Ron Paul’s opposition to federal drug prohibition, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson wrote this week in the Washington Post: “Welcome to Paulsville, where people are free to take soul-destroying substances and debase their bodies to support their ‘personal habits.” Added Gerson: “In determining who is a ‘major’ candidate for president, let’s begin here… It is difficult to be a first-tier candidate while holding second-rate values.”

Gerson was addressing the first Republican presidential debate last week, in which the moderators seemed intent on belittling Paul’s position on federal drug laws by using the most extreme example of heroin use, similar to how leftwing defenders of the minimum wage might invoke visions of homeless mothers and starving children. Paul’s simple yet controversial position is that drugs should be regulated at the state and local level as the Constitution demands, just like alcohol. But Gerson’s review of Paul’s debate performance specifically focused on what the Bush speechwriter found to be a cold and dismissive libertarian attitude toward the very real problem of drug abuse. Gerson is not completely wrong in his criticism. Neither was Buckley, when he highlighted the larger question by addressing the same aspect of this issue as Gerson: “Those who suffer from the abuse of drugs have themselves to blame for it. This does not mean that society is absolved from active concern for their plight. It does mean that their plight is subordinate to the plight of those citizens who do not experiment with drugs but whose life, liberty, and property are substantially affected by the illegalization of the drugs sought after by the minority.”

Gerson believes Paul’s “second-rate values” on drugs makes him a “second-tier” candidate despite any polling data or fundraising achievements to the contrary. Gerson should know, as the speechwriter once worked for an electorally successful “first-tier” candidate. And for the next eight years, through his spending and big government agenda, the once top-tier George W. Bush would proceed to take the GOP brand to unprecedented lows.

If “Paulsville” is the place for supposedly second-tier ideas like drug legalization, “Bushville” was the land of consistent discredited status quo insanity—in domestic policy, foreign policy, drug policy—all served up and made rhetorically palatable to conservative audiences by speechwriters like Gerson. In his later years, Buckley would call the Iraq War a mistake, denounce Bush and support an end to the federal drug war—all parts of Paul’s unconventional Republican platform. Would a candidate Buckley today be considered “second-tier” for his views? Would supposedly first-tier candidates like Tim Pawlenty or Rick Santorum be preferable or somehow more genuinely conservative not only in their support for Bush and Obama’s policies but in their disagreements with Buckley on those same policies?

Buckley wrote: “The minimum wage is an accretion of the New Deal that is not defended by any serious economist.” The same is now true of the thoroughly discredited War on Drugs, a disastrous policy that given its evident failure should now belong to a distant era. That the more traditionally conservative yet unconventionally Republican Ron Paul now leads on this issue, is as symbolically appropriate as the fact that so many of his fellow Republicans still lazily and reflexively oppose him on it.

Or as the late William F. Buckley once described rightwing resistance on revisiting the War on Drugs: “Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.”


TOPICS: Issues
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; bongbrigade; drugs; jackhunter; libertarians; medicalmarijuana; paultards; southernavenger; wod

1 posted on 05/16/2011 8:25:13 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
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To: bamahead; Bokababe; dcwusmc

ping!


2 posted on 05/16/2011 8:25:54 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385

The “War on Drugs” fits the classic description of insanity - IT’S NOT WORKING.


3 posted on 05/16/2011 8:29:30 PM PDT by alicewonders
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To: alicewonders
The “War on Drugs” fits the classic description of insanity - IT’S NOT WORKING.

100% agreement. But what do you think would happen to a Republican presidential candidate who advocated drug legalization? He'd be toast and we all know it.
4 posted on 05/16/2011 8:32:41 PM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
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To: alicewonders
I am open to a libertarian position that all drugs should be legalized and let the chips fall where they may, however I am firmly convinced that not all the wondrous benefits of doing so will come to pass.
5 posted on 05/16/2011 8:34:16 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: rabscuttle385
Much like the minimum wage, virtually all data available on drug prohibition points to the utter ineffectiveness of our policies. The primary difference is that prohibition of drugs has been far more damaging to this country than prohibition of market determined base wage levels. Whether measured in dollars or lives—the War on Drugs continues to be a great and unnecessary tragedy.

I absolutely agree. But I still won't vote for Paul the Elder.
6 posted on 05/16/2011 8:36:26 PM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: rabscuttle385
I agree that drug laws should reside only at the state level with the exception that the Feds can enforce a federal law at the international borders and ports of entry.

And, at some point we have to pass state laws that forbid no-knock home entry unless there is reason to believe there is imminent danger to someone in the house...besides from the local $.10 SWAT team with a b*ner to shoot somebody.

7 posted on 05/16/2011 8:39:45 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: rabscuttle385

(Reaching for the popcorn)


8 posted on 05/16/2011 8:40:02 PM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: truthguy; SoCal Pubbie

There’s too much money to be made by sticking to the status quo - organized crime, law enforcement and politicians - all profit from keeping things the way they are.

Today, even more than usual, I don’t have much hope that things will get better here in America. I think the fix is in, both parties seem to be comfortably ensconced in Washington - they don’t want to change anything. They’ve got a good thing going and us stupid rube Tea Party types are trying to mess it up for them.

Maybe it’s the weather, but today I feel bad vibes.


9 posted on 05/16/2011 8:46:22 PM PDT by alicewonders
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To: alicewonders

So tell me, how would things be better if all drugs were legalized?


10 posted on 05/16/2011 8:53:12 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: SoCal Pubbie

I think there’s a lot of people in jail on drug charges that are not bad people, that don’t pose a risk to society. I think there’s a lot of money spent to do this that, frankly, we can’t afford to spend anymore. I think that the HUGE profit motive and lack of regulation causes very bad people to prey on young and vulnerable people.

I don’t really see anything good that comes out of the current approach - do you?


11 posted on 05/16/2011 8:59:01 PM PDT by alicewonders
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To: rabscuttle385

I can’t think of anybody who abstains from drugs because they are illegal. And, if they legalize them tomorrow, I won’t become a drug crazed addict.


12 posted on 05/16/2011 9:00:00 PM PDT by umgud
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To: alicewonders
First of all, I believe it's a canard that loads of people are in jail for simple possession.

But let me ask you. Do you think there would be NO negative effects if cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc were legal?

13 posted on 05/16/2011 9:04:35 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: SoCal Pubbie
But let me ask you. Do you think there would be NO negative effects if cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc were legal?

Of course I don't. But there comes a point when we are losing more & more of our freedoms every day, it seems - with the reason being that the government has to "protect us from ourselves". Now, they want to tell us how much salt we can eat, what kind of light bulbs we can use, etc.

Where does it stop? I think that people that do things that cause harm to others, should be punished. But I don't think that that it's anyone's business what responsible people do - responsibly. Do you ever watch COPS? There are always going to be stupid, irresponsible people - no matter if their activities are legal or illegal - it doesn't stop the idiots.

I'm tired of living in this nanny state, it's not a Utopia, and it never will be.

14 posted on 05/16/2011 9:17:09 PM PDT by alicewonders
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To: rabscuttle385

The War on Drugs is just another example of a permanent problem: Delusions and follies.

Soscurity.
Government schooling.
Minimum wage.
Obama is a citizen.

People cling to these irrational beliefs, despite the absence of any supporting data, out of nothing more than lack of intellectual curiosity or fear of ridicule.


15 posted on 05/16/2011 9:17:55 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Do you think there would be NO negative effects if cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc were legal?

We cannot live in an idealized world, and the question you ask is a silly question a liberal would ask. Implicit in "Leave Afghanistan Now," (for example) is a pretense that the world would simply return to the status quo ante. But of course, it would not. We are in Afghanistan, so now we must compare what's likely to happen with our leaving with what's likely to happen if we stay.

The question asked by actual adults is: "Do you believe the effects of legalizing some or all of these drugs would involve trade-offs more or less beneficial than the current strategy?" We can debate that question. But we cannot debate a question that compares a fantasy world to the real one.

16 posted on 05/16/2011 9:20:28 PM PDT by FredZarguna (It looks just like a Telefunken U-47. In leather.)
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To: alicewonders
It seems to me your issue, as it is with many, is not the War on Drugs per se but it's implementation. I'm not sure legalization would be doing more than trading one set of problems for another. Since it's highly unlikely that any politician would ever be in favor of legalization for minors, I think you'd see the same acts you abhor still happen with all the added issues of wider drug use on top of them.
17 posted on 05/16/2011 9:23:02 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: rabscuttle385
Most of the funding for Nixon's “War on Drugs” was allocated for addiction treatment and public education—aimed primarily at elementary school students. About 25 percent of the funding went to enforcement and interdiction. Today that ratio is reversed with the U.S. funding military style “eradication wars” around the world. The “War” provides a large amount of funding for local, state and federal police forces whose interests are served by perpetuating the “emergency.”
18 posted on 05/16/2011 9:23:07 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: FredZarguna
You misunderstand the nature of the question, which was directed to another poster. Since that person had not addressed the essence of my post in the reply, I asked directly whether or not that person felt there would be no ill effects of legalization. I was hoping to get that person to list such downsides as he or she may project them. I did not mean to imply that only with no ill effects should legalization be adopted.

Of course the issue is whether “the effects of legalizing some or all of these drugs would involve trade-offs more or less beneficial than the current strategy?” I did not want to put words into another poster's mouth, or in this case mouse.

I agree totally with the question above. My original post addressed my opinion that those in favor of legalization misjudge the benefits of that idea while dismissing the downside.

19 posted on 05/16/2011 9:30:34 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: SoCal Pubbie
In that case we agree completely. There are experts who study the hard-science of addiction, and the epidemiology is clear-cut: there will be more drug addicts, and we know roughly how many at least over the long term, and assuming society does not drastically change. There will be fewer non-violent offenders in prison, and we know that number, too. We will do less violence to our Constitution, and I like that. But we will also have more dead pedestrians and motorists, and many of them will be innocent victims, and I'm not so sanguine about those. But again... trade-offs.

I agree with you that many Libertarians are kooks, stoners, or utopians (having, many years ago been one -- Libertarian, that is -- I'll take an oath on the number of crazies in the Party) who seem to have very childish beliefs about the benefits.

If Paul sticks to the Constitutionalists' position that this is not a Federal matter any more than wife-beating (which is now also a Federal Beef) I would have no problem with the position.

20 posted on 05/16/2011 9:45:13 PM PDT by FredZarguna (It looks just like a Telefunken U-47. In leather.)
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To: FredZarguna
I also believe that other benefits of legalization may not come to pass. Lowering the cost of drugs and less drug related violence likely will not happen.

Taxation and regulation will take care of any cost savings. Drug gangs will move to even greater marketing efforts to youths, since they will never allow minors to shoot up heroin, etc.

I also fear a whole new class of welfare for the poor souls who cannot be allowed to “fall through the net” if they get addicted. There are always unintended consequences.

21 posted on 05/16/2011 10:11:42 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: FredZarguna
[. . . there will be more drug addicts, and we know roughly how many at least over the long term. . .]

I agree. The most widely accepted theory of narcotics addiction and alcoholism is the “disease model” in which the patient has a genetic predisposition to chronic drug or alcohol abuse. The percentage of true drunks and junkies in the general population remains static. The disease is not confined to any ethnic, economic or social class. Though the damage caused by chemical dependency has a social, legal and economic impact it originates from a medical, physiological cause.

The multi-billion-dollar illicit drug industry begins and ends with the American junkie and with millions of recreational users, not the other way around. “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

22 posted on 05/16/2011 11:05:43 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: SoCal Pubbie

I really think that until our society gets away from the idea that we must always provide a “safety net” for those who make a mess of their lives (usually continually) - and until we get back to teaching that ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES - we will continue our downward spiral.

I don’t think legalizing drugs will get rid of the problem, but I think we need to approach it differently than we are now. It’s illegal NOW and we still have a huge problem with it. I don’t have a solution, but I know that what we are doing now is not working.


23 posted on 05/16/2011 11:09:41 PM PDT by alicewonders
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Taxation and regulation will take care of any cost savings.

I agree that unwise taxation & regulation would cancel out many benefits. It would simply become "prohibition light".

Do you agree that if marijuana, for example, were taxed and regulated in a similar manner to alcohol, that the violence associated with the marijuana trade would be reduced? Would the cartels have any incentive grow pot in our national forests?

Drug gangs will move to even greater marketing efforts to youths, since they will never allow minors to shoot up heroin, etc.

Kids don't get their alcohol from drug gangs. They get it from older brother or Uncle Ted who got it from the liquor store, which got it from Annheiser-Busch.

Why would the same not be true for marijuana if it were taxed & regulated like alcohol?

I also fear a whole new class of welfare for the poor souls who cannot be allowed to "fall through the net" if they get addicted.

Drugs are cheap and plentiful today, and I understood you to say that the law goes pretty easy on simple users. Anyone who wants to abuse an illegal drug can do so at a reasonable cost and in relative safety. What is your evidence that addiction would increase if drugs were taxed and regulated like alcohol?

24 posted on 05/17/2011 12:11:02 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: Ken H
“Do you agree that if marijuana, for example, were taxed and regulated in a similar manner to alcohol, that the violence associated with the marijuana trade would be reduced? Would the cartels have any incentive grow pot in our national forests?”

Many advocates use the American experience of Prohibition to predict behavior should hard drugs be legalized. I believe there is a flaw here in this methodology. There has never been a widespread culture of consumption of drugs in the United States as there has been with alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol can be used for purposes other than mind altering effects, hence the existence of non alcoholic beer and the like. Also, the possession and consumption of alcohol was never illegal during Prohibition. The production and distribution was banned, so to one degree or another people kept drinking throughout whether it was from a private stash bought before 1919 or at a local speakeasy.

I am not sure what will happen. I saw an article recently that stated that the Mafia made MORE money from alcohol after prohibition, than during. They just muscled in on legal producers. Will the Mexican gangs melt away? I doubt it. Maybe they will supply at a lower cost, or a more powerful product than the regulators will allow. I don't think they'll all get jobs at Walmart.

“Kids don't get their alcohol from drug gangs. They get it from older brother or Uncle Ted who got it from the liquor store, which got it from Annheiser-Busch.

Why would the same not be true for marijuana if it were taxed & regulated like alcohol? “

I think it's unlikely that family members or retail outlets will be able to supply demand. You already see politicians pushing to outlaw fast food joints and liquor stores in the inner city. Can you imagine how Louis Farrakhan would rail against the “white devils” who brought the scourge of addiction to the ghetto out in the open?

What if the gangs offered drugs at a lower price, that they could more easily afford? What if it was more potent? What if they hired chemists to develop new types that the legal stores didn't even have? Remember that a conservative knows, unlike his misguided “progressive” brother, that people react to new laws, and not always in the way the government wants.

“What is your evidence that addiction would increase if drugs were taxed and regulated like alcohol?”

Just about every study I've heard of, and common sense, tells me there would be more addicts. Let me ask you, if speed limits were eliminated would the number of people speeding increase or stay the same?

Regardless, my argument is political, not medical. Whole groups of leftists are dedicated to the proposition that the failings of an individual are the responsibility of someone else. Right now drug addicts are law breakers, but they would not be if drugs are legal. Now, how can you be so heartless as to allow Big Pharma to destroy the lives of the underclass like that? After all, women and minorities are the hardest hit! If the cold, uncaring hypocritical so called “Christian Right” is going to throw them to the wolves, then the least we can do is provide a modest safety net. And of course the families of those who OD’d can file suit for wrongful death.

Do you see what I mean? I believe prostitution should be legalized, but I will admit that doing so would not eliminate streetwalkers, nor end sexual slavery, nor stop child trafficking for that purpose. As for drugs, am I am open, but people must think through all aspects of legalization and look beyond the obvious.

25 posted on 05/17/2011 8:31:33 AM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: rabscuttle385

It’s all about the money folks, just follow the money trail. There is just too much of it at stake, all of it free, clear and un-taxable. No one or no nation in the Western Hemisphere wants to give up on that.


26 posted on 05/17/2011 9:28:15 AM PDT by jmacusa (Two wrongs don't make a right. But they can make it interesting.)
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To: rabscuttle385
Most people can’t imagine an America without the War on Drugs. Without federal drug laws many believe substance abuse would be rampant, families would be destroyed and the nation’s youth would be strung out across our streets.

Swap "drugs" for "guns" and you get the VPC/Brady Bunch arguments in a nutshell.

Both are equally wrong.

27 posted on 05/17/2011 9:35:57 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (explosive bolts, ten thousand volts at a million miles an hour)
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To: truthguy

Then don’t argue for “legalization”. Just end the Federal “war” that isn’t working and hand the issue back to the States where it belongs.


28 posted on 05/17/2011 9:40:01 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (explosive bolts, ten thousand volts at a million miles an hour)
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To: rabscuttle385; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; ..




Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
View past Libertarian pings here
29 posted on 05/17/2011 4:06:11 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: rabscuttle385
I don't have anything to do with drugs and recommend everybody on the planet do the same; every drug problem in the world would vanish within five days if the whole world were to do that...

Nonetheless that's never going to happen, hence the "War on Drugs(TM)", instituted under Richard Nixon. This is the single biggest issue I have with Republicans and there is little if anything to choose between demmy and pubby pols on the issue. The "war on drugs" leads to

It is that final item which some would use as a pretext to eviscerate the second amendment, which is the link pin of the entire bill of rights. Consider the following from the former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection under the Bush administration no less:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/17/weapons-ban-urged-to-rein-in-mexican-drug-war/

The former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Monday for the U.S. to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons and take other measures to rein in the war between Mexico and its drug cartels, saying the violence has the potential to bring down legitimate rule in that country.

Former CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner also called for the United States to more aggressively investigate U.S. gun sellers and tighten security along its side of the border, describing the situation as "critical" to the safety of people in both countries, whether they live near the border or not.

Mexico, for its part, needs to reduce official corruption and organize its forces along the lines the U.S. does, such as a specialized border patrol and a customs agency with a broader mandate than monitoring trade, Mr. Bonner said in an exchange of e-mails.

"Border security is especially important to breaking the power and influence of the Mexican-based trafficking organizations," Mr. Bonner said. "Despite vigorous efforts by both governments, huge volumes of illegal drugs still cross from Mexico..."

The problem here clearly is not guns and it is clearly a problem of economics. The drugs one of these idiots would use in a day under rational circumstances would cost a dollar; that would simply present no scope for crime or criminals. Under present circumstances that dollar's worth of drugs is costing the user $300 a day and since that guy is dealing with a 10% fence, he's having to commit $3000 worth of crime to buy that dollar's worth of drugs. In other words, a dollar's worth of chemicals has been converted into $3000 worth of crime, times the number of those idiots out there, times 365 days per year, all through the magic of stupid laws. No nation on Earth could afford that forever.

A rational set of drug laws would:

Do all of that, and the drug problem and 70% of all urban crime will vanish within two years. That would be an optimal solution; but you could simply legalize it all and still be vastly better off than we are now. 150 Years ago, there were no drug laws in America and there were no overwhelming drug problems. How bright do you really need to be to figure that one out?

30 posted on 05/17/2011 4:24:31 PM PDT by wendy1946
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To: SoCal Pubbie
I am open to a libertarian position that all drugs should be legalized and let the chips fall where they may, however I am firmly convinced that not all the wondrous benefits of doing so will come to pass.

I tend to agree that the effects on society would be mixed, but the government end up with less power to intrude into your life and mine; that's enough reason. If I could trade that for having to live with the addicted in society, I'd do it, especially since the WOD doesn't give the payoff it promises anyway.

31 posted on 05/17/2011 4:59:04 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Do you think there would be NO negative effects if cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc were legal?

Who cares? "No negative effects" isn't the standard when what's being justified is sweeping encroachments on EVERYONE's Constitutional rights, wasting of EVERYONE's tax dollars whether they're involved or not. That wouldn't be a good trade if the war was winnable; it CERTAINLY isn't a good trade for the war we get.

32 posted on 05/17/2011 5:03:44 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: SoCal Pubbie
You misunderstand the nature of the question, which was directed to another poster. Since that person had not addressed the essence of my post in the reply, I asked directly whether or not that person felt there would be no ill effects of legalization. I was hoping to get that person to list such downsides as he or she may project them. I did not mean to imply that only with no ill effects should legalization be adopted.

You may feel that I misunderstood the question as well, so I'll restate my reply.

I can't imagine how severe the downside of an alternative would have to be before I'd be willing to have my Constitutional rights, the proper balance of power between me and the state, abridged to avoid it.

OTOH, I also have no problem with leaving drugs illegal and simply repealing the laws and court decisions that have granted government new powers to fight it, or kiddie porn, or terrorism, or whatever the bogeyman du jour is. I have no problem with them fighting it to whatever extent they can under the traditional understanding of the BOR and without spending much of my money on it.

33 posted on 05/17/2011 5:11:53 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Still Thinking

“Who cares? “No negative effects” isn’t the standard when what’s being justified is sweeping encroachments on EVERYONE’s Constitutional rights,..”

I tried to explain that was not my argument.


34 posted on 05/17/2011 5:35:33 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Still Thinking
I think we are largely on the same page here. As I see it, there are three basic possibilities going forward in regards to drugs.

One, keep things as is.

Two, legalize drugs. (Details may vary depending on which drug, etc.)

Three, make policy changes while keeping the production and distribution of drugs illegal. This would include changing punishment, abolishing asset seizures, etc.

My main point is that whatever is done the costs must be weighed against the benefits of nay given policy. I'm not sure a strict libertarian approach is honest in doing that.

35 posted on 05/17/2011 5:41:20 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: truthguy

How do you know he would be toast? Are you saying that an intelligent candidate cannot make a case for drug laws being a state matter, and that the WOD’s is a complete failure?


36 posted on 05/17/2011 9:37:34 PM PDT by runninglips (Republicans = 99 lb weaklings of politics.)
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To: SoCal Pubbie

Of course there would be negative effects, but they would be small and not significantly different than they are now. The police could concentrate of minor using, and HAMMERING those selling or distributing to minors. Why would anyone have a reason to sell dope themselves, if it is legal for adults to buy. Once upon a time, people had stills in the hills, making moonshine. When prohibition ended, the stills went the way of the dinosaur, except for those making “shine” for themselves or friends. There was no profit in it, and the store products were superior.


37 posted on 05/17/2011 9:42:09 PM PDT by runninglips (Republicans = 99 lb weaklings of politics.)
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To: runninglips; SoCal Pubbie

Can the costs be compared at a societal level? And at a personal level?
I grossed $155,000 last year. $72,000 went to government at all levels on my behalf in 2010. I then got almost a $5G refund for a net of $67G, leaving me with $88G.

Now of that $67,000 which went to the government, how much went for the war on drugs? Police, courts, prisons, etc? I don’t know. But suppose it was 5,000 of the 67,000. (Certainly it was less than went to Entitlements, defense, education and ???).

The question is, would my life be better off If I had 88+5=93G to spend or invest rather than 88G? And would I be allowed to see that extra 5G or would it be swallowed up by some other government program leaving me with no more than before?

And on the other side, would my life and property be more at risk if druggies could now get their drugs legally? Would they be more or less likely to burglarize my house and car? Would they be more or less likely to endanger me driving under the influence?

And on the 3rd side, what would we do with all those extra police officers? Social Workers? Prison Guards? Would they have to find other jobs?


38 posted on 05/18/2011 11:16:07 AM PDT by spintreebob
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Do you think there would be NO negative effects if cocaine, heroin, LSD, etc were legal?

Of course there would be. But those negative effects are outweighed by the even more negative effects of Federal prohibition. That was Buckley's point.

39 posted on 05/18/2011 11:21:44 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: runninglips
How do you know he would be toast?

Because I have a good understanding of American culture. I have my finger on the pulse of the country. Nothing special on my part. Anyone paying attention would come to the same conclusion.
40 posted on 05/18/2011 12:24:43 PM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
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To: Lurker

Lots of people have misunderstood the nature of the post I wrote asking the question you quoted. You are one of those people.

I was NOT arguing that drugs should only be legalized if there were no negative effects in doing so. I was simply trying to solicit the poster’s views on what those negative effects would be without me “leading the witness,” so to speak.


41 posted on 05/18/2011 1:34:49 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: SoCal Pubbie

Sorry I misunderstood you. Please accept my apologies.


42 posted on 05/18/2011 1:44:24 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: SoCal Pubbie; Lurker; rabscuttle385

I was reading or listening to something where the writer/ speaker was saying that drugs had been legalized somewhere and that after a short time the usage levels dropped significantly. Portugal, perhaps? Do any of you know?


43 posted on 05/18/2011 2:15:25 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
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To: SoCal Pubbie

For one thing we wouldn’t have this kind of banana republic BS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJVyGKVYi1I&feature=player_embedded

or crap like this http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2722884/posts


44 posted on 05/23/2011 8:22:47 AM PDT by Charlespg (I)
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