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The biggest threat to our rights is not al Qaeda
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It seems absurd to have to write about something which you feel should be obvious to everyone. The War on Drugs is a war on liberty and that simple truth is demonstrated almost daily on the streets and in homes around our nation.

This isn't an attempt to say drugs are good or that drugs should be sold to children or that we should happily give over our lives to getting high, anymore than I'd claim alcohol is good, should be sold to children and we should spend our lives getting drunk. Obviously I don't endorse any of that.

And I'm not interested in the usual and prosaic "so you want our children to have access to drugs?" response. Wake up, will you ... they already have access to drugs in quantities and types you can't imagine. The War on Drugs hasn't stopped that in the least, nor will it ever. All it has done is drive up the price.

It is the recent shooting of an 88 year-old woman in Atlanta which has again inflamed my resistance to the liberty destroying abomination that is the War on Drugs. In every way, shape and form that incident demonstrates everything which is wrong with the benighted effort.

Especially egregious and anti-liberty is the "no knock" warrant which places the value of potential evidence above the value of human life. Now you may wish to argue that point, but in rebuttal I'd ask what the purpose of issuing such a warrant might be, besides limiting the threat to police officers? It is to help ensure evidence is preserved. Has there ever been a "no knock" warrant served without overwhelming force and drawn weapons? Of course not. Then tell me how the potential for someone's death doesn't rise exponentially when weapons are drawn and split-second decisions are demanded of those invading (or defending) a house? Given that, what has the priority here - the lives of those involved who are not police officers or preserving the evidence? Go back to the purpose of the raid for the answer.

What is never mentioned in any of this is the complete and total dismissal of and violation of the rights of the person living in the house. Oh they've sprinkled some legal mumbo-jumbo over the whole affair, but in all honesty, the homeowner's rights simply cease to exist in such a scenario. It's all about the safety of police officers and the preservation of evidence, and frankly that is simply backwards.

And there is so much more about this "War" that just burns me up, for instance, don't get me started on civil forfeiture.

Milton Friedman once wrote to Drug Czar Bill Bennett and said:
"Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore ...Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault."
Presently an estimated $40 billion is spent on the War on Drugs annually and the result is dead grandmothers and prisons bursting with non-violent drug users, while the obscene profits Friedman notes continue of flow virtually unabated to the drug lords. If there are those among us who judge Iraq a debacle and a failure, what in the world is the War on Drugs if not infinitely worse in that regard?

Isn't it about time we seriously reconsidered this abject failure of a policy and gross violation of our civil rights and come up with a sane policy to address drugs within our society? My guess is if we'd honestly and forthrightly address the problem as we have with alcohol, we'd find a way to ameliorate the problem, tremendously cut the crime related to drugs and again free our police to "protect and serve" against real crime instead of increasingly engaging in activities which end up violating citizen's rights.
 
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"All it has done is drive up the price."

Surely any libertarian knows that means that demand will decrease.
 
Written By: Jonathan
URL: http://
And I’m not interested in the usual and prosaic "so you want our children to have access to drugs?" response. Wake up, will you ... they already have access to drugs in quantities and types you can’t imagine. The War on Drugs hasn’t stopped that in the least, nor will it ever. All it has done is drive up the price.
If we want to get serious about this, we need to change the rhetoric. For decades, anyone that advocated for decriminalization or legalization was tagged effectively and permanently as pro-drugs. I’m sick of this because the reality is that anyone who supports the status quo is de facto supporting criminal drug empires. Drug laws empower drug dealers. If we were to legalize and regulate drugs, it would no longer be criminals, who think nothing of specifically targetting children, who would be profiting from drug use.

Drug use is not pretty, nor is the cost society bears for the damage that drug use causes, but we should have the users paying, in the form of sin taxes, for the damage they will cause.

And put the pushers out of business.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
And that won’t be seen as an infringment on THEIR liberty, Cap?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Surely any libertarian knows that means that demand will decrease.
Not if there is an alternative or a substitute.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I support the War on Drugs, but I AM mindful of its costs AND its excesses. But Captin:
Drug use is not pretty, nor is the cost society bears for the damage that drug use causes, but we should have the users paying, in the form of sin taxes, for the damage they will cause.


This seems to assume that the sin taxes will be paid and that they will cover the "costs" of the drug use. Uh heroin addicts and crack addicts really aren’t productive members of society and their tax "contributions" will be just a TITHE of their costs. You can argue cost v. benefit NOW, I agree, but let’s not think that taxation is going to cover the costs.
And put the pushers out of business.
I guess by definition as they become wholesalers and retailers, but you don’t put them out of business. You just MADE IT INTO A BUSINESS, they just can have a store front now, legally. Or so it seems.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And I’m not interested in the usual and prosaic "so you want our children to have access to drugs?" response. Wake up, will you ... they already have access to drugs in quantities and types you can’t imagine. The War on Drugs hasn’t stopped that in the least, nor will it ever. All it has done is drive up the price.
No, McQ, you’re the one who needs to wake up, namely to the most basic principles of economics. There’s a reason why illegal drugs are so expensive: they’re scarce. To argue that making illegal drugs more plentiful will result in less use by kids, or even in the same amount they do now, defies reason.

Argue to your heart’s content that drugs should be legal because everyone has a right to screw up his own body. Or argue that the crime associated with the illicit trade outweighs any textbook estimates of how much abuse will go up if drugs are legalized. But spare us this nonsense about how drug abuse won’t go up if drugs are legalized. Economics 101 says it will, the only question is, how much.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
When the 18th Amendment was enacted it was considered a women’s issue. There weren’t that many jobs for women, families were dependent on the salary that the male head of household brought in, and when that paycheck didn’t come in because the male head of household was a hopeless drunk (or drank the paycheck up) things were very tough. When it was repealed, that wasn’t in a vacuum, either. AFDC and the beginnings of the “safety net” of social services were passed, as well.

Those who genuinely believe that the War on Drugs is counterproductive should consider getting behind a package of added social services and drug rehab as part of their program. IMO that’s the only context in which we’ll legalize recreational drugs. It’s fine to talk about personal responsibility, consequences, and so on but that doesn’t mean much to a hungry 6 year old. That we already have this problem despite the War on Drugs is irrelevant. We’re talking symbols as much as actuality.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
It depends on what rights are valuable to you. If you consider your right to live and exist a valuable right, then your analysis is all wrong. One nuclear explosion in a major city would deprive 1-2 million people of their right to live. Millions more would be assalted and recieve physical damage to their selves and property, as well as massive psychological and emotional loss. This is the calculus of rights in today’s world.
 
Written By: J
URL: http://
Prohibition is your example.

Liquor still causes problems, but one of them is NOT the creation and inflation of massive organized crime syndicates who use murder, not marketing, and murder, not lobbying, to try and improve their bottom line and influence policy.

Taxes on liquor do not cover the cost of the damage that liquor does to our society, nor would I expect that taxes on drugs would, but my point is that the dual benefits of taxing drugs along with eliminating the $50B+ in annual spending on the WoD would be better than the current criminal empowering laws we have in place.

Drug war = Organized Crime

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Considering cocaine was once sold in a soft drink -
or that opium was available at the corner ’druggist’ in one form or another.

yet not everyone was on opiates, nor was cocaine addiction rampant to the point of halting productivity.
We built a country from sea to sea, railroads, cities, a canal that bridged two oceans - all pretty much while a lot of the drugs we’re talking about were quite readily available to the common man, no criminal record attached.
Sounds like that shouldn’t have happened though, right? I mean, our ancestors should have all been too high all the time to have managed all that.
QED.

But, by all means, let’s assume people carrying large amounts of cash can only be drug dealers. Let’s put kids who smoke pot into the same jails we’re putting the armed robbers, rapists & murders, that’ll do em good won’t it?
and by all means, let’s continue to ramp up the arsenal for the local police departments, make the use of SWAT teams more common, and watch while the no-knock search methodology polishes off a few more innocent citizens, the tax payers will fund it all.


How much more do we pour down the hole? - talk about wars we’re not winning, we’ve been fighting this one my entire life time, no sign of victory.

Would it cost us less to deal with the social issues of the percentage of the population who ARE going to do drugs (some of which we pay now anyway....) than it does to continue to fight it the way we’re doing?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Xrlq,

Question for you. What, in your opinion, happened to the rates of consumption of and addiction to alcohol before, during and after prohibition?

If you’re done giving us the eighth grade economics lecture,
go here for the grown-up version.
 
Written By: CTD
URL: http://
There’s a reason why illegal drugs are so expensive: they’re scarce.
This is a two way equation. Take out the false profit that currently exists and their scarcity will change somewhat, but you seem to assume that if they become legal, EVERYONE will do them. Is every child drinking? Some are, but not all. Same with smoking.

I do not think McQ is saying there will be NO problems, but rather less problems and of the variety the average person can deal with.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
My last comment on this topic is that it is my opinion that anyone that supports the current drug criminalization is the greatest asset to organized crime. People who think adule Americans should be able to make their own decisions are not pro-drug, but people who support a continuation of our current policy, are, defacto pro-crime.

Are any of you aware that there are over 30 millions convicted FELONS in the United States today? Are you aware that we incarcerate more people than all of Europe combined?

Sweet Land of Liberty?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Is is the answer to stopping crime, to stop calling it crime and call it something else, Cap? Seems to be what you’re promoting.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Is is the answer to stopping crime, to stop calling it crime and call it something else, Cap?
Did you use the same logic to support the ban on assult weapons, and concealed handguns?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
1. To the extent that the WOD deflates supply, prices rise.
2. If despite rising prices demand increases, supply will increase dramatically.
3. Dramatic increase in non-monopoly supply will deflate prices, which will increase demand.

If our neolibertarian arguments on the WOD are to be grounded upon economics, our argument loses. Economics is the study of scarcity, not morality, and it is moral arguments that drive the support for the WOD.

To the extent that being ’neolibertarian’ means being ’pragmatic,’ not doctrinaire, then because the WOD is framed as a moral, government regulation in some form is going to have to be part of a neolibertarian counter argument.

Suggestions? How about our DOD purchasing the entire Afghanistan poppy crop at a premium price over what al-Qeada and the Taliban pay, and then burning the entire son-of-a-bitch? Definite national security argument there. Or, how about removing all taxpayer assistance to health and liability problems incurred by drug use? Or, best of all, educate users that our drug use, obesity, chronic adultery, cigarette use and alcoholism are all physical manifestations of our inner mental health, and are obvious physical signs of self-destruction which are grounded in emotionl and mental "craving for apprectiation" (William James, MD, psychologist, and premier pragmatic philosopher) for the lost approval of others?

Drugs is not about economics (Marx’s argument), or morality (conservative argument), or liberty (libertarian argument). Drugs is about our very human propensity to self-destruct, and how to get some rational handle on an entirely irrational but very real, problem: our craving for the approval of others.

’Be free.’

 
Written By: a Duoist
URL: http://www.duoism.org
Did you use the same logic to support the ban on assult weapons, and concealed handguns?
And of course, it a capital offense to practice, say, the B’hai fiath in Iran. Just criminalizing something in violation of the individual’s liberty interest is no answer to to the MORALITY of doing so.

Great post, McQ.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
Is is the answer to stopping crime, to stop calling it crime and call it something else, Cap? Seems to be what you’re promoting.
A crime, in my estimation, is depriving someone of their rights or property in some fashion.

If a person using drugs commits a crime, prosecute them, otherwise, what exactly is the crime?

You can make being a Republican a crime, and then when someone says that it is a bad idea, you can argue that they are advocates to stop calling it a crime.

Yours is a specious argument.

My argument is that drug use in and of itself does not qualify to be called a crime in the first place.

You can make driving while using drugs a crime, you can make a number of things done under the influence of drugs a crime, but the simple act of using drugs while not depriving others of their rights or property simply does not meet any rational definition of a crime.
Drugs is not about...
I could not care less about what it’s about, and I don’t particularly care to "cure" anyone from bad behaviors, I am just sick of spending $50B a year to keep criminals in business and rich and put relatively typical Americans behind bars.

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
How many of you people were smoking pot in the late 70’s?

Let me explain something to you.
"Surely any libertarian knows that means that demand will decrease."
There was once a time when people could buy splendid golds, browns, and reds from Caribbean/Central American countries here in America. (I can get misty-eyed just thinking about this.) It was about ’78 that I, personally, started seeing the emerald "sensimilla" strains in northeast markets. At the time, they were very exotic, with a taste that I’d never known before. Really: to this day, I would smoke these varieties for their taste, alone, without the high.

However, a curious thing was happening and it took about six months before it fully dawned on people I knew that the southern imports were actually disappearing. I remember a single quarter-ounce bud that turned up about late-’79; about a foot long and brilliant gold, and it already looked like a throwback. It had been quite a while since we’d seen anything like it, and the price was remarkable: that single bud went for sixty dollars. That was a lot, back in the day. It was the anomaly of it that made the point.

What happened was that interdiction and Paraquat (how old are you people?) were taking their toll on the import market. What do you think comes next?

The first serious emeralds that I saw came from Hawaii. It wasn’t long before we were getting West Coast reefer: extended Bay Area (I knew a teacher in Mill Valley who sent terrific care packages), and then up the coast to Oregon and Washington. By 1980 or so, that’s all it was. Just about the whole American market — that I knew of — was domestic greens.

Do you understand? It was your government that turned marijuana into the largest cash crop in American agriculture. Imports stopped, and so people starting growing their own. By the mid-80’s, "homegrown" was no longer a pejorative. It was a positive selling point.

Look: there is nothing that anyone can do about this. I don’t know why some of you will not grasp the reality, but it is the fact, whether you like it or not.

Eric: you would have had them ruin my life, friend. Take a good look at me. I’m very good at my work, I don’t bother a soul in the world — when I’m not haranguing peoples’ politics on the ’net — and, like I’ve told you, every single thing you know about drugs is nothing but wrong in my case. And there are millions like me. None of us would do anything like this to you, nor have anyone do it to you in our names.

Why would you have done that to me, mate?

Why can’t you see this? I’m talking about facts and the truth, and all you’ve got is nothing but attitude.

I can’t tell you how rotten that is.

When I think about it seriously, I come a hair’s breath from letting you know that I don’t ever want to know anything about or from you, ever again.

Is that the way you would have it?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Last act of Congress before the elections was to make operating a gambling site illegal.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Presumably to protect against those deranged texas hold’em.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
...deranged by texas hold’em.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
We all know this, we are all of us here some type or form of a libertarian. But how to get the message out to others? They seem so closed minded. You might have a horde of facts from several well researched books to back you up, but they ignore the evidence completely and go with the emotional response. It is the single, most frustrating issue, and both people on the left an right seem oblivious to the truth.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
CTD:
Question for you. What, in your opinion, happened to the rates of consumption of and addiction to alcohol before, during and after prohibition?
They dropped slightly, but not nearly enough to make up for all the problems associated with prohibition. The same is likely true of drug prohibition today, but that’s another matter.
If you’re done giving us the eighth grade economics lecture,
go here for the grown-up version.
They’re nothing "grown-up" about wishing away the law of supply and demand, or refusing to acknowledge that anytime you increase/decrease the perceived cost of doing anything, someone is going to stop/start doing it. Look long enough and hard enough, and eventually you’ll find a grown-up willing to tell you with a straight face that 2 + 2 = 5. That doesn’t make it so, and the fact that any reasonably educated eighth grader knows better really doesn’t make it so.

meagain:
This is a two way equation. Take out the false profit that currently exists and their scarcity will change somewhat,
There is no such thing as a "false profit." Profit is profit. Illegal drugs are very scarce, due in no small part to the high risks associated with their trade. Make them legal, and they will be cheap and plentiful, with all the good and bad that entails.
but you seem to assume that if they become legal, EVERYONE will do them.
Go back and re-read my comment. I said no such thing. My only point is that legalization would inevitably result in some increase in use and abuse.
Is every child drinking? Some are, but not all. Same with smoking.
No, but a hell of a lot more children are drinking and smoking than would be if alcohol and tobacco were illegal for everyone, rather than just for the kids themselves. That doesn’t mean we should prohibit alcohol and tobacco, but it does mean we should be intellectually honest about what the trade-off is, or for that matter, about the very fact that there is a trade-off.
I do not think McQ is saying there will be NO problems, but rather less problems and of the variety the average person can deal with.
McQ flatly denied that drug prohibition prevents any kids from abusing drugs. That, and not his pro-legalization conclusion, is what I was responding to. The only question is which statement is more retarded than the other: (1) denying that making X scarce and expensive will result in fewer people using X than would if X were plentiful and cheap, or (2) arguing that a botched raid that tragically killed a few innocents here and there is a bigger threat to our rights than a group that intentionally murdered 3,000 of us in one fell swoop.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Oh my God, Billy and I agree on something.

Is this the sign of the apocalypse?

The biggest difference betweek Billy and I on this is that I barely dabbled in drugs when I was a kid, and haven’t come near any in nearly two decades, so these laws theoretically don’t affect me personally, but the reality is that if you give up someone else’s rights, you ARE giving up your own.

30 million convicted felons walking the streets of America, 10% of the population, and far, far too many lives ruined as they were caught in the indiscriminate net of the drug war.

Cap

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Kyle, there actually was some healthy movment toward common sense re: drug policy in the 90s, from left and right, and the early "closed" Internet systems like Compu-Serve were ushering the momentum nicely. Then 9/11 wiped all domestic policy off the table.

Buckley’s NR ran a great special edition in the mid-90s dedicated to legalizing pot and thinking about decriminalizing all the rest. Amusingly, when McNeil-Lehrer had him appear to discuss the issue, he was opposed by Chharles "let’s reinstitute slavery" Rangel, who claimed Buckely wanted to unleash genocide in the black community. Yeah, like 1 in 4 black males becoming convicted felons due to drug laws isn’t sevrely harming that community.

But left-of-center enclaves like The Nation and Village Voice have also been reasonable.

Somehow, we have to recapture the momentum for reform that 9/11 and Bush-era politics all but destroyed.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
XRL: I don’t deny that legalization will cause more people to try the illicit substances. But addiction rates will not skyrocket, as many studies have shown those with a propensity toward addiction are already using the illicit drugs as well as becoming alcoholics with a legal drug.Addictive proclivities tend to come bundled.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
"Amusingly, when McNeil-Lehrer had him appear to discuss the issue, he was opposed by Chharles ’let’s reinstitute slavery’ Rangel, who claimed Buckely wanted to unleash genocide in the black community."
That bloody dolt. He should work up some history. The earliest drug laws in this country made huge propaganda-hay on the spectre of the black boogie-man come to rape our white daughters with The Fire in his eyes and veins.

And Louis Armstrong smoked pot all his life, was one of the sweetest souls that anyone ever knew, and enhanced the culture with art that will live forever.

There are few things more senseless in all American history than this travesty.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
McQ flatly denied that drug prohibition prevents any kids from abusing drugs.
Overall, prohibition does not prevent anymore children from using drugs than legalized drugs sold by regulated business entities would prevent by mandated business practices.

This is a tricky point, but a drug dealer is a defacto criminal, whether he sells to grown-ups or children, and the best new business market is the underage crowd, so there really is no reason, other than some rare criminal moral code, to prevent him from marketing specifically to children. A legal business entity would be allowed to legally sell drugs to adults, but it would be a business closing, jail facing, profit ending crime to market to children.

Just as it is easier today for kids to buy illegal drugs than it is to buy alcohol, it would be with drugs.

So there would be a corresponding upturn and downturn in usage among teens, but I suspect a net downturn among children, and a net upturn among adults (you know, the people who are supposed to be able to make their own decisions)

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Billy Beck, yes you really have to read some of the racist drivel that ushered in drug prohibition to believe it.

NEGRO COCAINE "FIENDS" NEW SOUTHERN MENACE
New York Times, Sunday February 8, 1914

Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower Class Because They Have Taken to "Sniffing" Since Being Deprived of Whisky by Prohibition...

A recent experience of Chief of Police Byerly of Asheville, N.C., illustrates this particular phase of cocainism. The Chief was informed that a hitherto inoffensive negro, with whom he was well acquainted, was "running amuck" in a cocaine frenzy, had attempted to stab a storekeeper, and was at the moment engaged in "beating up" various members of his own household. Being fully aware of the respect that the negro has for brass buttons, (and, incidentally, having a record for courage,) the officer went single-handed to the negro’s house for the purpose of arresting him.

But when he arrived there the negro had completed the beatings and left the place. A few moments later, however, the man returned, and entered the room where the Chief was waiting for him, concealed behind a door. When the unsuspecting negro reached the middle of the room, the chief closed the door to prevent his escape and informed him quietly that he was under arrest, and asked him to come to the station. In reply the crazed negro drew a long knife, grappled with the officer, and slashed him viciously across the shoulder.

Knowing that he must kill this man or be killed himself, the Chief drew his revolver, placed the muzzle over the negro’s heart, and fired-"Intending to kill him right quick," as the officer tells it but the shot did not even stagger the man. And a second shot that pierced the arm and entered the chest had as little effect in stopping his charge or checking his attack.

Meanwhile, the chief, out of the corner of his eye, saw infuriated negroes rushing toward the cabin from all directions. He had only three cartridges remaining in his gun, and he might need these in a minute to stop the mob. So he saved his ammunition and "finished the man with his club."

The following day, the Chief exchanged his revolver for one of heavier calibre. Yet, the one with which he shot the negro was a heavy, army model, using a cartridge that Lieutenant Townsend Whelen who is an authority on such matters, recently declared was large enough to "kill any game in America." And many other officers in the South; who appreciate the increased vitality of the cocaine-crazed negroes, have made a similar exchange for guns of greater shocking power for the express purpose of combating the "fiend" when he runs amok.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
"Oh my God, Billy and I agree on something."

I wonder.

I know of a US Navy F-18 driver who loved shooting carrier-traps on LSD. I only met him once, but I knew his sister fairly well. It was a while before she let me in on this.

He wouldn’t go full-blast: just quarters of a blotter hit, enough to put a glow on. He loved that drug, and it was something that nobody was testing for. (I knew an wrestler at Syracuse University who did it for the same reason: it was the only thing that NCAA didn’t test for.)

Personally, I was always convinced that, if my Harley had been wired for data acquisition, there is absolutely no question at all that it would have been objectively proven that I was a far better rider On The Beam, than otherwise. This is something that requires grown-up attention: there is always a point of diminishing returns, and one simply cannot walk around burning all the time. People who know what they’re doing will understand this. On the other hand, there are people out there just murdering themselves as I write this, with whiskey.

Back when I was a young whipper-snapper on rock tours, I was a far better climber on acid. Taking my own life in my hands on lights trusses (typically 22-26 feet high or so) or while rigging high steel: there were people I worked with who could tell at a glance when I was Up, just by the way I moved.

I don’t slam hardware like that so much anymore (although at fifty years old now, I can still beat most kids up a ladder and I do it every now & then), and I certainly don’t trip anymore. That’s because the market’s gone to hell and there is no telling what anybody is cooking anymore. If I could still get it, though, I’d keep a half-dozen hits or so in the freezer, and break out a quarter-tab now & then.

Someone very wise once pointed out at humanities.philosophy.objectivism: "The law doesn’t leave any room for people who know what they’re doing." In the current context here, he was talking about the state gouging enormously important chunks out of the only life I’ll ever have.

When I think about it, my contempt and hatred is just savage, and I have figured, sometimes, that I might just as well act like what some of you people imagine behind your bloody imperious nonsense.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Surely any libertarian knows that means that demand will decrease.
Price changes can move the quantity demanded, but the demand curve will stay the same. It’s a small distinction, but it’s important.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Well done, McQ.

I know you hate this… but… [cough]I agree[cough].

Yesterday, as I was doing some carpentry around the house, I was listening to Randi Rhodes on the XM. (I know, I know… it’s just that I find listening to her liberal content coupled with her New York accent agreeable as it guides my hammer hard and true.)
And you may find this either shocking or disturbing, but she hammered your very points almost verbatim.
Now either you listened to the same show, or you and her found some common ground just by happenstance.

She found herself shocked as she reluctantly cited Radley Balko of the [gasp] Cato Institute,
In the real world, the exigent-circumstances exceptions have been so broadly interpreted since Wilson, they’ve overwhelmed the rule. No-knock raids have been justified on the flimsiest of reasons, including that the suspect was a licensed, registered gun owner (NRA, take note!), or that the mere presence of indoor plumbing could be enough to trigger the "destruction of evidence" exception.
She also took phone calls from several policemen from around the country trying to defend the “no-knock warrants”. And although she did it with her usual crass, she knocked down their reasoning with the very same arguments that you make.

Nauseous yet?

Hope you have Pepto on hand, my friend.
Me? My stomach rests easy and round as I righteously agree. My bladder on the other hand, thanks to the legal stuff, is quite busy.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
How about a compromise?

Legalize marijuana but not the rest.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Legalizing or legitimizing illicit drugs will never happen if the alcohol and prescription drug cartels have any say in it.
 
Written By: Enlightened
URL: http://
There is no such thing as a "false profit." Profit is profit. Illegal drugs are very scarce, due in no small part to the high risks associated with their trade. Make them legal, and they will be cheap and plentiful, with all the good and bad that entails.
It doesn’t have to be that way. All one has to do is look to alcohol. Relatively, alcohol is expensive thanks to regulation and taxation. Beer is inexpensive to produce, but thanks to taxation, it is expensive to purchase. It reminds me of a passage I once read in a travel book about Scotland,
”Where is the cheapest place to buy scotch?”
Answer: France
If regulation and high taxation were to be applied to a vice that is not socially acceptable like certain drugs, Xlrq’s proclamation would not come about.

Marijuana would no doubt be inexpensive to produce, but if however it received a large tariff, it would be costly to purchase.

Problem solved.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
This is something that requires grown-up attention: there is always a point of diminishing returns, and one simply cannot walk around burning all the time. People who know what they’re doing will understand this. On the other hand, there are people out there just murdering themselves as I write this, with whiskey.

I don’t slam hardware like that so much anymore (although at fifty years old now, I can still beat most kids up a ladder and I do it every now & then), and I certainly don’t trip anymore. That’s because the market’s gone to hell and there is no telling what anybody is cooking anymore. If I could still get it, though, I’d keep a half-dozen hits or so in the freezer, and break out a quarter-tab now & then.

When I think about it, my contempt and hatred is just savage, and I have figured, sometimes, that I might just as well act like what some of you people imagine behind your bloody imperious nonsense.
I like Billy Beck’s comments. Always have.
And I can’t help but think that as/if he reads this, he’s thinking…

[shrug], I don’t give a f*ck what you think, junior.

Which only endears him to me, more.

I’m going to paraphrase Bill Murray’s character in the film Stripes,
Billy Beck, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it.
Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
I’m happy to help when I can, PM, but you know what? At the very bottom line, I’m the only one who counts.

Very few have sense to understand what this means. For instance, it means that there are people in the world for whom I would lay down my life in an instant. This is not a contradicton, and it doesn’t have anything to do with "sacrifice", which is the dirt-common connotation taken from ideas like this.

You know what I long for?

People as generally good as I am. All I want is the very best of everything, and there is so little of that.

"The world began when I was born." (Badger Clark — "The Westerner")

What tears me up is that there is simply no good reason on earth for most people to be such stupid and rotten little chislers. Not at this point in human history.

I’m slowly resigning myself to it, though, and it is not doing wonders for my attitude.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Whoa.

Maybe I need to rethink this.

Mona, Cap and Pogue all agreeing with me? At the same time?

I need more whiskey.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
A few observations...

Sure seems like the death of the cop-shooting old lady has brought out those who use this case to argue that the whole war on drugs is a stupid idea. Yeah, that logic works for me... just like every (supposedly) innocent Iraqi who gets killed by our troops proves it was a bad idea to go into Iraq, right? There are goals and there are tactics, and claiming that a particular tactic is wrongheaded doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to pursue the larger goal. If the tactic is ineffective or counterproductive, change the tactic.

In the last week, we had one old lady who got shot by police conducting a no-knock raid. In the same week, I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that a whole lot more people died from the overdoses and the other ill effects of having used drugs. And while the old lady’s family is distraught over what happened, I’d again be willing to bet that there’s more than one family distraught over a loved one succumbing to the effects of drug use.

While Friedman is right, the war on drugs has done much of what he says, I’ve always thought the tougher something is, the more readily we should give up. Fighting communism was tough and expensive, we should have never bothered. Trying to raise kids to turn out to be good people is darn hard work, so I guess I ought not to bother. And I particularly like Friedman’s suggestion that the police should focus their efforts on the easy-to-deal with crimes like robbery, theft and assault. Murder is too tough, let’s not bother trying to prevent and solve them? Actually, if robbery, theft and assault were so simple, they ought not to take a whole lot of resources, should they?

I would think that those opposed to no-knock raids would actually offer up some real numbers to back up their unsubstantiated claims that these raids pose great threats to our lives and liberty. It’s easy to grab some headlines and argue that a single case proves the system is broken... just like the poor groom-to-be who got shot in NYC proves that all the cops in NY (as well as everywhere else in the country) are racist gun nuts who can’t wait to use unarmed civilians as targets, right? I don’t about you readers, and maybe I’m pulling a Pauline Kael, but I haven’t had my house invaded by rogue cops, nor do I know anyone who has.

Has anybody who opposes these raids actually calculated the percentage of these raids which have ’gone bad’? Has anybody compared the number of those killed in such raids to the number of police killed when they went and knocked nicely on a door, only to be answered with a shotgun blast?

Notwithstanding XRLQ’s economic lesson for those who skipped that class, I would think high prices for drugs would certainly keep a whole lot of kids from doing drugs... more than would be the case if drugs were not only legally available but a whole lot cheaper.

Don’t know about you all, but with way too many kids thinking that if something were bad, the village of government would have banned it, I’m glad I can tell my girls that they shouldn’t do drugs, not just because of the effects but also because it is illegal.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
Oh, and Pogue:
Now either you listened to the same show, or you and her found some common ground just by happenstance.
I can completely and totally promise you the proper comparison involves nothing more than happenstance.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
In the last week, we had one old lady who got shot by police conducting a no-knock raid. In the same week, I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that a whole lot more people died from the overdoses and the other ill effects of having used drugs.
You can’t go there Steve - one is a victim of another’s actions and one is a victim of their own.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Notwithstanding XRLQ’s economic lesson for those who skipped that class, I would think high prices for drugs would certainly keep a whole lot of kids from doing drugs... more than would be the case if drugs were not only legally available but a whole lot cheaper.
But see what XRLQ and the boys completely skip is the evolution of drugs to cheaper and more readily available drugs when a certain type or class of drug gets scarce. I.e. as I noted, a substitute or alternative is sought.

Crack, crank, ecstasy, crystal meth ... you name it, all evolved to service a very healthy market for plentiful drugs at a lower price. So while it may be fun to pretend that making a particular drug scarce drives up the price enough to actually keep "a whole lot of kids from doing drugs", in reality it doesn’t. It simply sees those kids seek a lower cost alternative or substitute ... speaking of basic economics.

It is the demand for the high which drives this, not the price of a particular drug. And if drug A is driven out of their price range, but drug B isn’t, guess which they’ll buy?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And while the old lady’s family is distraught over what happened, I’d again be willing to bet that there’s more than one family distraught over a loved one succumbing to the effects of drug use.
And, of course, that completely justifies the violation of our civil rights by police, eh Steve?

Let’s also not forget that had these families been able to deal openly with the drug problem instead of worrying about attracting the police due to the illicit habits of one of their members, they might not at all be distraught over a loved one succumbing to the effects of drug use and instead have handled the problem successfully, in the open, like free human beings.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
But see what XRLQ and the boys completely skip is the evolution of drugs to cheaper and more readily available drugs when a certain type or class of drug gets scarce. I.e. as I noted, a substitute or alternative is sought.
wouldn’t the price of ALL illegal drugs be higher than they would be if they were legal? and if drug B is cheaper than drug A, wouldn’t it be because either B was cheaper to produce or there was less demand? your argument makes me think of the yogi berra line that ’no one goes there, it’s too crowded’... if enough users turned to drug B because drug A was too expensive, wouldn’t the price of drug B go up... and wouldn’t the price of drug A start to come down? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the drugs you cite came around out of a combination of (1) domestic production, not requiring shipments from abroad, (2) relatively easier to manufacture, and (3) user demand for something new.... and not because previously used drugs became too expensive. As for the price of meth staying low, perhaps it has something to do with the ease of entry for competitors? Everybody in WVA has a shack and access to sudafed, right?
And, of course, that completely justifies the violation of our civil rights by police, eh Steve?
. That wasn’t my argument, was it?
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
"I’m glad I can tell my girls that they shouldn’t do drugs, not just because of the effects but also because it is illegal."
So without something being illegal you’re feeling powerless to prevent them from engaging in (what you see as) harmful activities? Is that an admission that you’re a weak influence in their lives? It sounds that way.

Here’s the other thing about your comments Steve. Where’s the evidence that the cost of the War on Drugs is worth the benefits? What ARE the benefits? I’m not seeing them. The death of innocents is a terribly high price to pay so that others can exercise their smug paternalism on people they don’t even know.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
wouldn’t the price of ALL illegal drugs be higher than they would be if they were legal?
Heh ... what price point are you talking about, Steve? How much cheaper can they get than they are now?

For instance, crystal meth is cheaper in some areas by half than ecstacy: $10 for a "point" or about one-tenth of a gram vs. $20 a hit, or tablet for ecstacy.

You have $20. Two points of crystal meth or a hit of ecstasy? Either way, both are eminently affordable and certainly not going to wreck your bank account ... at least initially.

Would you rather deal with this problem in the open or are you satisfied with the way we’re dealing with it now?
and if drug B is cheaper than drug A, wouldn’t it be because either B was cheaper to produce or there was less demand?
Yes and no. A $150 to $200 investment yields about a $10,000 ROI when we’re talking crystal meth. But it doesn’t lack for demand which is why you see meth labs popping up all over the place.
your argument makes me think of the yogi berra line that ’no one goes there, it’s too crowded’... if enough users turned to drug B because drug A was too expensive, wouldn’t the price of drug B go up... and wouldn’t the price of drug A start to come down?
Yeah, it’s called supply and demand. And no, drug B wouldn’t necessarily go up because, like in the case of crystal meth, the bar to entry is so cheap other producers would emerge to meet the rising demand. But drug A, as it’s availability gradually increased, would indeed see it’s price begin to drop.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the drugs you cite came around out of a combination of (1) domestic production, not requiring shipments from abroad, (2) relatively easier to manufacture, and (3) user demand for something new.... and not because previously used drugs became too expensive.
It is a price driven market. And when the price of a particular drug gets too high, and an acceptable substitute or alternative is available, users will turn to them. It is a fairly simple and observable dynamic.

It’s like if the wine market became too expensive for most who liked to drink wine to get a buzz, they might go to whiskey or beer as an alternative or substitute since both feed the need for an alcohol buzz at a lower price. However when wine prices again go lower and become affordable, drinkers who prefer wine will buy it instead of the alternative. But the point to note is they don’t stop drinking because wine is expensive.
As for the price of meth staying low, perhaps it has something to do with the ease of entry for competitors? Everybody in WVA has a shack and access to sudafed, right?
See above ... that’s precisely the point. And there are plenty willing to take the risk for the reward. And that’s not going to change.
That wasn’t my argument, was it?
Seemed like the comparison you were making to me.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I’m going to be counterintuitive for a moment here and suggest that decriminalization (thus, decreasing the price) of drugs might not necessarily increase consumption. Sure, all else equal, any decrease in price would increase quantity demanded. But all else is not equal. (for example, since some of the harder drugs make people irrational, I’m guessing a lot of heroin addicts are not very price sensitive)

We ought to consider what the alternative to criminalization is and it’s not a perfect free market. Were we ever to decriminalize and/or legalize drugs, we’d throw so much regulation at its sale and use that, while the price may go down, the cost may not.

I won’t pretend to know how that market would shake out, but it’s entirely possible that it would shift the demand curve to the left. Paying X dollars for something might be more tolerable to many users than paying less but dealing with a strict regulatory regime that takes a lot of the ’fun’ (if that’s the word) out of it.

From an economic perspective, if there were a significant market of people who would pay X dollars rather than deal with the regulatory regime, they’d still have that option — suppliers would spring up — and there would be no demand shift. But it’s possible that (a) enforcement of this smaller trade would be easier, reducing its utility, and (b) the legal, regulated market would make such an impact on profits and availability that it would crowd out much of the criminal market.

My point is that the normalization and bureaucratization of the drug trade might actually reduce demand in some ways. Or it might not. But I don’t think it’s entirely implausible.

The decriminalization in the Netherlands didn’t really increase usage.
The initial decriminalization phase had no detectable impact on levels of cannabis use, consistent with evidence from the U.S. and Australia. Survey data showed literally no increase in youth or adult use from 1976 to about 1984, and Dutch rates were well below those in the U.S.
However, their legalization actually made marijuana use more common, though that trend didn’t extend to other, harder drugs. It seems marijuana was readily marketable as a trendy "coffee shop" drug, but other drugs elicited different economic behavior.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
1. To the extent that the WOD deflates supply, prices rise.
2. If despite rising prices demand increases, supply will increase dramatically.
3. Dramatic increase in non-monopoly supply will deflate prices, which will increase demand.
Number 1 is only true if you treat ’drugs’ as a single, monolithic entity and believe the WOD can deflate supply for all drugs. It can’t.

The market is a fragmented market with many alternatives and substitutes. Thus deflation in the supply of one drug will only drive users to another drug (the acceptable alternative or substitute drug) which is readily available at a reasonable price.

Obviously drugs are a renewable commodity, hence any "deflation" of a particular drug is strictly temporary and eventually the supply will again rise and as availability is increased so is competition and the price will come down again.

2 & 3 then follow.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Seemed like the comparison you were making to me.
and you (ought to) know me better than that.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: www.thoughtsonline.blogspot.com
and you (ought to) know me better than that.
I certainly think I do ... maybe it was the way you phrased your argument (or maybe I misread it).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
A few observations...

Sure seems like...stupid idea. Yeah, that logic works for me... just like every (supposedly) ... right? There are goals and there are tactics...change the tactic.
If there were any reason to think the Iraqis being killed by our troops as a matter of policy were innocent, you might begin to have a point—except the Constitution explictly authorizes war and a military as a procedure and institution, and there is no authorization there for the war on drugs.

The police institutions have claimed they need "no knock raids" to fight the war on drugs. If they weren’t lying, we keep or quit both.
In the last week, we had one old lady who got shot by police conducting a no-knock raid. In the same week, I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that a whole lot more people died from the overdoses and the other ill effects of having used drugs. And while the old lady’s family is distraught over what happened, I’d again be willing to bet that there’s more than one family distraught over a loved one succumbing to the effects of drug use.
And those people choose those fates for themselves. Everything Kathryn Johnson did was reasonable, the police did the unreasonable—and likely criminal—thing which led to her death. If you can’t tell the difference between choosing something for yourself and having someone else make the choices for you, you are a degenerate.
While Friedman is right, the war on drugs has done much of what he says, I’ve always thought the tougher something is, the more readily we should give up. Fighting communism was tough and expensive, we should have never bothered. Trying to raise kids to turn out to be good people is darn hard work, so I guess I ought not to bother. And I particularly like Friedman’s suggestion that the police should focus their efforts on the easy-to-deal with crimes like robbery, theft and assault. Murder is too tough, let’s not bother trying to prevent and solve them? Actually, if robbery, theft and assault were so simple, they ought not to take a whole lot of resources, should they?
Fighting communism tended to preserve freedom, fighting recreational drug use tends to destroy it. The difficulty and expense of one fight made liberty more likely to survive, and the war on drugs makes it less likely to survive. That it survives and its expression by the american citizen flourishes is the point of the american govermnent and nation existing.
I would think that those opposed to no-knock raids would actually offer up some real numbers to back up their unsubstantiated claims that these raids pose great threats to our lives and liberty. It’s easy to grab some headlines and argue that a single case proves the system is broken... just like the poor groom-to-be who got shot in NYC proves that all the cops in NY (as well as everywhere else in the country) are racist gun nuts who can’t wait to use unarmed civilians as targets, right? I don’t about you readers, and maybe I’m pulling a Pauline Kael, but I haven’t had my house invaded by rogue cops, nor do I know anyone who has.
One is too many. The goal is unconstitutional, so one is too many.
Has anybody who opposes these raids actually calculated the percentage of these raids which have ’gone bad’? Has anybody compared the number of those killed in such raids to the number of police killed when they went and knocked nicely on a door, only to be answered with a shotgun blast?
And since the point of having a police force is so they will take those chances and NOT ventilate the innocent, your point is what? If I recall fishing for crabs and logging are both more dangerous jobs than police work. Heat. Kitchen.
Notwithstanding XRLQ’s economic lesson for those who skipped that class, I would think high prices for drugs would certainly keep a whole lot of kids from doing drugs... more than would be the case if drugs were not only legally available but a whole lot cheaper.
XRLQ needs to look up the significance of the demand for drugs being quite inelastic. I know of no one who wants them being unable to get them, neither is what is called the "addictive" personality going to become more common if drugs are legal.
Don’t know about you all, but with way too many kids thinking that if something were bad, the village of government would have banned it, I’m glad I can tell my girls that they shouldn’t do drugs, not just because of the effects but also because it is illegal.
I regret you have any reason to think your children are stupid or morally defective, and they need the threat of the government jailing them to prevent them from doing a stupid thing or self-damaging thing.

But if they do, quit making it my problem.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Mona,

You and others like you are a big obstacle to reform. Your comment below illustrates it.
Somehow, we have to recapture the momentum for reform that 9/11 and Bush-era politics all but destroyed.
People ignore the fact that the democrats support the drug war just as much as the republicans do. Bill Clinton started the policy of using federal agents to raid medical marijuana providers in california.

If people would step up and condemn democrats and republican chances of getting meaningful policy change would be much better.
 
Written By: TJIT
URL: http://
Here is an important question to those who favor the so called "War on Drug." Let say, if Congress pass legislation legalizing drugs in the the next 24 hours; are you going buy them? If you are not going to buy drugs even if they are legal; what make you thinks other would?

There is delicacy in the Southeast Asia call balut; which is duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. I can already hear some say: "Disgusting!" Also in Southeast Asia is a fruit call durian, it nickname is stinking fruit because of its extreme pungent odor. Trust me, it smells foul. What do those things have to do with drug? Like drugs, the number of people consuming them are fixed - because most people consider them to be disgusting.

Let say you make those two items illegal; people who love them will continue to consume them. If you allow them to remain legal, the same people who love them will continue to consume them, but no other people will consume them.
 
Written By: Minh-Duc
URL: http://
Especially egregious and anti-liberty is the "no knock" warrant which places the value of potential evidence above the value of human life.
This is an important point. The "no-knock" warrant is a police tactic that has proved to be extremely risky to the lives of everyone involved. It is just common sense that the benefits should be commensurate with this risk.

These warrants should only be used in cases where lives or great bodily injury are at stake, and where a compelling case can be made that the lives of police officers will be placed at unusual risk by announcing their presence before serving the warrant.

No matter where one stands on the drug war (for the record, I oppose it), collecting evidence of illegal drug use or manufacture does not meet this test.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://

Written By: TJIT
Oh get off it. I made it clear that Bill Buckley led the good fight against Charlie Rangel on PBS. But fact is, Ronald Reagan stepped up and escalated the "drug war." No getting around that. And Nixon before him.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://inactivist.org/
"I’m glad I can tell my girls that they shouldn’t do drugs, not just because of the effects but also because it is illegal."
Steve: You could still tell that to your children. No one is arguing that drugs should be made legal for minors, merely for adults, who are presumably responsible enough to decide for themselves whether they should take them or not. The mere fact that it is easier for kids to get marijuana than beer should show you that legalizing drugs would actually HELP you keep your kids off of them.
 
Written By: Mirabeau
URL: http://
Back when I was a young whipper-snapper on rock tours, I was a far better climber on acid.

Yea... and I recall that last full moon (acid)trip down Independence Pass on precursors to today’s street-luge skateboards. And that massive (mushroom) powder day later the same year where I just knew I could launch a full layout flip off that 50 ft cliff. While drugs (any drug) may have a positive affect upon ones ability to do something, I’ve yet to see one that simultaneously heightens ones awareness of the risks of doing it. In fact, they tend to supplant natural, and self-preservational caution with the false euphoria that ones heightened senses will allow one to miraculously sidestep not only the anticipated pitfalls, but the unforseen ones as well.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Minh Duc,

Durian does not smell "foul" - it smells like a sort of rasperry chocolate torte. Rich and strong but not foul. (It also helps if you have this in your mind when you first smell one...I think half the people are convinced it smells foul before they actually smell one.)

Bains,

I was also a little discomforted about the LSD stories...I couldn’t imagine that being a drug people would want to be on for anything more than the occasional trip...
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Does anybody realize that without prohibition we would not still be putting up with a kennedy anywhere near the law making capacity?

Joe made his fortune on smuggling rum, then bought a president.

What enabled old Joe Kennedy to do this?

Why has his leg drippings been allowed to be in the positions they have been?

I say get all federal $ out of local PD’s. If a city town county or what have you can’t afford to buy a Bradley then they won’t have one will they? If the locals do not approve of their police force becoming the equivalent of a "standing army", then they will not be allowed the $ to do so. That means a tax break for all of us, we can buy more PS3’s and such, or even recreational items for our own use without the fear of our doors being broken down in the middle of the night.

It’s time to stop the madness!

Besides I live on three acres, I could make a fortune growing a really desired high quality crop! Well much less at legalized prices, but still enough I would not be desiring to collect from the public coffers.

 
Written By: TC
URL: http://
"People ignore the fact that the democrats support the drug war just as much as the republicans do. Bill Clinton started the policy of using federal agents to raid medical marijuana providers in california."

Yeah Bill clinton made a fortune by allowing the US govt to use AR airfields during his stay in the AR field house, err cat house, no... the Gov’s house! Yeah that’s it.

Drugs landed, and arms shipped out! The op ran non stop until some crashes and then of course congress and the media decided to out the Regans for the Iran Contra deal. Seems the contras had no other currency sans weed and cocaine. Oh well take what you can get I suppose.

 
Written By: TC
URL: http://

The decriminalization in the Netherlands didn’t really increase usage.
Two points:

First, that the raid only one up marginally is perhaps indicative that it would have gone down substantially without legalization.

secondly the Netherlands was relatively isolated in terms of legalizing the stuff. Rather like the Soviet Union of the drug trade. That kind of isolation cannot be without price and therefore consumption consequence.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
"I’ve yet to see..."

Then, I would suggest that make the best possible use of your own experience at making your own way through the world, and I’ll do the same.

See how easy it can be?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The subject of what an American culture or society might look like without the fiscal, regulatory and law enforcement burdens imposed by the federal Drug War are tackled, sometimes comically, sometimes seriously, in my latest novel, Middle America. Those passionate about the subject would, I’m sure, find the portrayal both amusing AND realistic...
 
Written By: Anthony F. Lewis
URL: http://www.anthonylewisbooks.com
Xrlq,
They dropped slightly, but not nearly enough to make up for all the problems associated with prohibition. The same is likely true of drug prohibition today, but that’s another matter.
Now, now, let’s tell the whole truth, shall we? Per capita consumption of alcohol had been declining before prohibition. It briefly continued to do so until 1922, then rose rapidly as the supply adapted itself to the new (black) market conditions. Indeed, by the time prohibition was repealed, consumption was higher than it was in 1919, in part due to the Iron Law of Prohibition

It is not "another matter" to point out that your simplistic conclusions about price and supply vis a vis prohibited substances are not borne out by history or reality.
 
Written By: CTD
URL: http://
Excellent post McQ. If I can add a couple of points here, I don’t why anyone thinks illegal drugs are scarce. They aren’t and in fact decades later, the price of white powder drugs have dropped.

Legalizing drugs will not increase drug usage except, perhaps, for an initial spike by the curious. You either like to get high or you don’t. Alcohol is legal. Do you take that as a license to go to work drunk? If heroin was legalized would you immediately run out to the drug store and buy some? I think most would not. The only thing the War On some Drugs has accomplished is to create a lucrative black market run by organized criminals, while filling our prison system with mostly non-violent, low level users and dealers. And every time you bust one dealer, you may disrupt the supply temporarily, and even raise the prices temporarily, but the siren call of obscene, untaxed profits will induce two more to take their place. The WOsD is a jobs creation program for criminals.

As for the contention that more people are harmed by illegal drug use, the fact is that more people die from complications of legal prescription drugs than they do by use of illegal ones. Aspirin kills more people than heroin. Should we make that illegal too? The problem is too many non-consumers can’t differentiate between drug USE and drug ABUSE. Addiction and overdose is a problem, but the ODs are the direct result of an unregulated market with no quality control and addiction is a public health problem, that can’t be solved with incarceration.

And whoever said this outcry over one dead woman in Atlanta is over-reacting, the fact is she is only one of hundreds of innocent victims of SWAT raids gone bad. Not to mention the thousands of people who don’t get killed but are victimized by these overzealous, jackboot tactics. There are over 100 SWAT teams raids every day, simply to serve warrants on non-violent offenders for low level offenses. This directly contributes to the breakdown of social order by fostering a disrespect for the rule of law.

The solution is simple. When the enforcement of the law causes more harm than the breaking of the law — it’s time to change the laws.
 
Written By: Libby Spencer
URL: http://lastonespeaks.blogspot.com
One thing I’m surprised no one has mentioned: the WOD has made a cheap, affordable, effective treatment for people battling diseases like cancer illegal.

Think about it. G-d forbid, your friend, relative, co-worker has cancer and is dealing with the assault of chemo and radiation on their body. What do they need to do? Keep up their strength. What’s one of the best ways to do that? Nutrition. What are typical chemo and radiation side effects? Nausea, vomiting.

Don’t tell me that there are drugs out there on the market that prevent nausea. From what I’ve seen and heard, very few are anywhere near as effective as good old Mary Jane.

And if you’ve watched someone you love take a hit and eat a waffle after they haven’t been able to keep anything down for weeks, well, you know another moral argument for legalization.

That said, yes on high taxes and regulation and prohibitions on marketing to children.
 
Written By: Amy
URL: http://
The average citizen recognizes the futility of the Drug War, recognizes the change of the police from being those who "protect and serve" to those who make war upon us. They may not be able to clearly articulate it, but they recognize it. And they have lost respect for the police and for the government. Respect for the law is an important requisite for a law based society. If we continue on as we are, we are looking at a situation where the only means to provide for domestic tranquility will be a police state because the citizens will no longer respect the law. The Drug War is a massive contributor to this situation.

To those who wish to be partisan about this, I point you to the 1990’s, to the expansion of the BATF and DEA that occurred then and to the adoption of no knock raids as a norm that occurred in the 90’s. This isn’t a partisan issue, both GOP and Democrats are to blame.
 
Written By: Adam Selene
URL: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/
...many kids thinking that if something were bad, the village of government would have banned it
My goodness. Of all the naive comments I’ve read so far, this one takes the cake.

First of all, "kids" do not have some given-at-birth reverence for the "village of government", nor can they be taught same. Or perhaps you forget that the failing public education system is just about the only example of "the village of government" that kids interact with ? Oh yeah, that’s going to really impress them.

No sir, the very act of "banning" kids from something exponentially INCREASES it’s appeal, it’s "cool-factor". The more taboo a topic, the more appealing. That is the very nature of being a teenager.

Sadly, this attitude is exactly what continues to empower the War on Drugs, a complete disconnect from reality.

I also have to comment on Steve’s emotional appeal to the families of those that died at the hands of drugs. Apparently, again, it is lost on Steve that those drugs are {ahem} already illegal. Maybe he would like them to be double secret illegal, or something.
 
Written By: Sherard
URL: http://
When did personal sovereignty over one’s own mind become such an offensive idea?

I’m not a libertarian, but think that if I want to adjust my perception and attitude through medication or meditation — t’ain’t nobody’s business if I do.

The WOD has done more to make America a Police State than any other moral panic imaginable. If the truth were told, the WOD is a way to delegitimize those hippy freaks and blacks that should just be (and in alarming numbers are) locked up.
 
Written By: Randomizer
URL: http://
The militarization of the police, overflowing dockets and prisons, racial profiling, civil forfeiture, the end of banking privacy, no-knock raids, a third of all young black men being entangled in the criminal justice system, political pressures imposed by crime on the system, such as pressures on our protections against search and seizure, on our financial privacy, and our right to bear arms—all of these are merely fleas on the back of the dogs of the drug war. And none of it will really end until we end the war.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
I appreciate the arguments which McQ makes and agree with them in abstract, but I am troubled whenever I read an article calling for an end of drug prohibition without defining what drugs we are talking about, or making any effort to differentiate between them.

The basic point is correct, we would be better to have a legal and regulated market than a black market and police state. More people are killed by the war on drugs than would otherwise, but this comparison becomes insensible unless we get specific.

I can’t make the same arguments for ending coca prohibition that I would for ending cannabis prohibition, because while the latter is benign, the former, at least in its processed drug form of cocaine, can kill. Likewise poppies and their derivative heroin. And then there are all the synthetics which people abuse, and worse the household cleaning products which can’t be good to sniff.

We don’t need to end prohibition in a single act, this is a process which we have to follow, and it starts by ending cannabis prohibition. Make the safest, most useful herb, the legal alternative to all of these dangerous drugs. A lot of people will switch, including and especially from tobacco, which of course explains why the tobacco companies want cannabis to stay illegal.

The result of this single, transformative act, making it legal for people to possess and consume a food that provides the only vegetable source of essential fatty acids like EPA, a pain reliever that does not have withdrawal or tolerance, a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease superior to all other known medications, this one herb can save the world.
 
Written By: whig
URL: http://cannablog.org/
...it starts by ending cannabis prohibition. Make the safest, most useful herb, the legal alternative to all of these dangerous drugs. A lot of people will switch, including and especially from tobacco.
While I appreciate your position, and it is helpful when someone is on the side of legalizing some substances, your supposition is wrong. The high one gets from cocaine, heroine, or any number of substances is not comparable, or more accurate replaceable by marijuana. Many of them are uppers while marijuana is a downer. Not to mention that the body develops physical addictions to the substances and the highs. A person who abuses cocaine, or is addicted to heroine is not going to give up either of them for marijuana.

The worst of these suppositions is that anyone would give up cigarettes for marijuana. Cigarettes, while also being a physical addiction, is a nervous habit that has minimal effects on consciousness. You certainly could not take a smoke break at work, walk to the designated smoking area and spark up a joint. Martini lunches went out of style more than 20 years ago, and a midday joint would be worse for productivity and safety in the workplace.

I personally would have to see some evidence that "big tobacco" opposes legalization of marijuana in any meaningful way. They are flush with money, so spending some on just the possibility that it could hurt their bottom line makes sense. But from a practical standpoint, their business should not be affected at all. If anything, it might HELP their bottom line.
 
Written By: Sherard
URL: http://
I personally would have to see some evidence that "big tobacco" opposes legalization of marijuana in any meaningful way. They are flush with money, so spending some on just the possibility that it could hurt their bottom line makes sense. But from a practical standpoint, their business should not be affected at all. If anything, it might HELP their bottom line.
I tend to think that Big Pharm would stand more to lose when easy to grow, easy to refine, natural products were to be legalized. They are much better off with these things remaining illegal requiring people to resort to their synthetic and patentable alternatives.

I submit that if one of the Big Pharm companies were granted a patent on cannabis or coca, it would quickly become a legal, highly recommended pharmaceutical.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
The mere fact that it is easier for kids to get marijuana than beer should show you that legalizing drugs would actually HELP you keep your kids off of them.
The mere fact that anyone can make such a ludicrous claim should show you that some people’s reasoning capabilities are so far gone that legalizing drugs couldn’t possibly make matters any worse. Does anyone seriously doubt that the average drug dealer would jump at the chance to sell alcohol at the same exhorbitant markup he applies to drugs - but for the inconvenient fact that no one would buy? The only reason kids won’t pay the same horrific prices for alcohol that they do pay for drugs is because they don’t have to.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
I appreciate the arguments which McQ makes and agree with them in abstract, but I am troubled whenever I read an article calling for an end of drug prohibition without defining what drugs we are talking about, or making any effort to differentiate between them.
I’d appreciate you pointing out where in the article I called for an end to drug prohibition. I called for an end to the "War on Drugs". I said it was time to completely rethink our policy approach to drugs.

I certainly think that decriminalization is appropriate for some drugs and legalization for others may be called for. But in this article I never once discussed that or called for a blanket end to drug prohibition.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I won’t lie, I like drugs. I didn’t use anything beyond pot until I was 34 years old. I don’t really like pot but it should be legal, today! I have had a DUI, wrecked two cars....actually I can’t think of one single thing that I have done that I ashamed of that didn’t involve alcohol. I can’t think of one thing I have done on pot that caused me any shame. Well that’s a lie, I have eaten too much junk food.

In fact with drugs other than alcohol I can’t think of any lapses in judgement. Cocaine is scary, it makes you want more cocaine, and there are other safer ways to feel a very similar high. So not all drugs should be legal by any means.

For those of you that bring up the dangers of drugs use and overdose, I bring up this. Nearly every single case of OD or other dangers involved "dirty" drugs. Drugs created by the WOD. Back room labs make dirty X for instance. We didn’t hear all the stories of kids falling down from MDMA when it was legal 20 years ago, but you do now. Now it is cut with speed or made by amateurs in garage labs. That is where the majority of dangers come from. I am certainly not so naive as too think that drugs are safe and not addictive, but alcohol is among the worst and is very legal.

My experinces on mushrooms range from giddy fun to the most spiritual I have ever had. I am a better person having done them. Dispute that all you like, I don’t care. Read Wasson’s account from the 20’s as one of the first white men to partake.

http://www.imaginaria.org/wasson/life.htm


This is a re-print from when Life magazine did an article on his experiences. It opened up a new field of science involving the mind. Of course this science was quickly shut down and the chemicals and plants (?????) made illegal when people started having fun and feeling good. The fact the a plant that occurs naturally on this planet, can open my mind in ways I can’t describe, is a felony to poses even a stem of makes me very very sad. Home of the free? Not so much really.
 
Written By: No W NOW
URL: http://
McQ, I am sorry for misunderstanding and your point is well taken. We do need an end to the War mentality.

To consider it a public health matter is also problematic, being that the treatment industry can be just as abusive as a prison.

Fundamentally there is a first amendment concern, a right to freedom of consciousness.

My point, which is simply different from yours, is that an emphasis needs to be placed on what we do to get first downs, not what we do to get touchdowns.
 
Written By: whig
URL: http://cannablog.org/
Sherard,
While I appreciate your position, and it is helpful when someone is on the side of legalizing some substances, your supposition is wrong. The high one gets from cocaine, heroine, or any number of substances is not comparable, or more accurate replaceable by marijuana. Many of them are uppers while marijuana is a downer. Not to mention that the body develops physical addictions to the substances and the highs. A person who abuses cocaine, or is addicted to heroine is not going to give up either of them for marijuana.
Interestingly enough, there is a study out today that indeed, cannabis does help break cocaine addiction. So my position is not just a supposition, it is an increasingly proven fact.
 
Written By: whig
URL: http://cannablog.org/
"I can’t make the same arguments for ending coca prohibition that I would for ending cannabis prohibition, because while the latter is benign, the former, at least in its processed drug form of cocaine, can kill."

I keep a photograph of the crew who worked for a major Nashville touring act from about 1988 to 1992. (A couple of guys came and went, but the core of the team ran together about that long.) Twelve guys, and three of them were dead by about five or six years ago.

One of them is one of my Most Memorable characters, ever. He changed my life by standing up for me to get that gig, against powers that I couldn’t manage at that point in my career. He was a great guy, I loved him dearly and I’ll never forget him.

He dropped dead on a treadmill one Monday, first thing in the morning, at the age of forty-eight. Some of us had pointedly told him that he needed to get his nose out of that baggie, but it was his call and there was nothing anyone could do about it. He was a full-blast grown-up and he always made his own calls. (Note well: this means that it wasn’t about "addiction". He was generally one of the most squared-away people I ever knew. He just liked cocaine. I know that a lot of people won’t draw the distinction, but there are untold millions who are disqualified from a discussion like this because they simply don’t know what they’re talking about.)

You think that you could have done something about that, and you could not be more wrong.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
...there are untold millions who are disqualified from a discussion like this because they simply don’t know what they’re talking about
Truer words have never been spoken.

While there may be an argument for opposing the legalization of drugs, 90% of the ones people use are based on false assumptions, bad information, or worse yet, opinions based on those fals assumptions and bad information. There is nothing more difficult than debating a topic where the opposing side is simple wrong about their facts.
 
Written By: Sherard
URL: http://
I’ll ask this again... as I do most times the topic comes up... and as usual, I expect no real answers, only brush-offs or getting ignored.

As we all SHOULD know, the Law of Unintended Consequences exists and is active. Statistically, at least 50% of those Unintended Consequences are negative consequences, and a fair number of those will be non-trivial. Would one of the -supporters- of legalization please sit back and figure out those negative unforseen consequences of legalization (and not just the trivial ones they can blow off as meaningless) then list them in this comment thread?

Dollars to donuts, I don’t get a response that answers the question as asked (supporter, not dismissal, negative consequences, non-trivial).
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://www.thepatriette.com/dangerous
Dave, it’s an invalid question, so you will consider this a dismissal.

Unintended consequences do not have a bell-shaped distribution curve with a neutral center, positive and negative consequences to the right and left respectively.

An unintended consequence of being nice to people might be that people are nice to you, for instance. What’s the "negative" unintended consequence? Well, there really isn’t one.
 
Written By: whig
URL: http://cannablog.org/
As we all SHOULD know, the Law of Unintended Consequences exists and is active. Statistically, at least 50% of those Unintended Consequences are negative consequences, and a fair number of those will be non-trivial. Would one of the -supporters- of legalization please sit back and figure out those negative unforseen consequences of legalization (and not just the trivial ones they can blow off as meaningless) then list them in this comment thread?
The law of unintended consequences is not only alive and well, it is the engine that has made the mommy government idea of protecting us from ourselves into the murdering drug kingpin enabling act.

No illegal drugs, no illegal drug cartels, no local drug gangs, no drive by shooting turf wars for drug distribution territories, and no 9 year old little girls being shot in the head because they were on the sidewalk while one of the turf negotiations was being conducted (read driveby shooting).

If someone wants to kill themselves with drugs, or just wants to enjoy drugs and accidentally kills themselves, that’s a shame, but when the prohibition creates the engone of murder, every innocent death is a victim of the law of unintended consequences.

Yes, there will also be people killed, accidentally or on purpose, by people under the influence, but being that these instances will not likely be professional murderers, they will be caught and will face the consequnces.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://

 
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