Re: ST7 bonkers bonkers
Ah yes, the old "drugs creates street crime" argument. Quaint as it is, there is some truth in there, but there is also truth in the following: Countries that implement legal drug distribution can change the "drugs create crime" equation considerably by taking control of it.
And although some smiling (and not so smiling) peasants might lose out after legalizing countries move to localized production (it will be VERY interesting to see what happens to US imported marijuana bust statistics in the next few years), the narco-traficantes will be the biggest losers of all.
I invite you to look at a few other reasons why I (and many others) believe the war on drugs will continue to fail miserably until we consider alternatives. There is a lot more to drug enforcement and regulation's impact than simple arrest statistics and moral posturing. For starters, it does not seem to have reduced drug use to any sustainable degree.
So perhaps it is time to look at some alternatives to repression techniques and their noticeable impacts,
1) In a tolerant jurisdiction (Switzerland for example), people with habits can go some place clean, safe and quiet to shoot up (not your kid's playground for example). They also don't have to scrounge or steal large amounts of money to support their habits. They can even get jobs, if capable.
But in America, we seem to prefer crack-houses, lots of street crime, high homicide rates, over-flowing prisons and no-go areas. Honestly, which is worse?
2) In tolerant jurisdictions, people with habits can get medical treatment, use clean needles, get counseling and other things they won't easily find in the local crack house (unlike casual sex, guns and HIV/AIDS) without fear of being arrested or stigmatized. See above.
3) As an extra bonus, non-violent users aren't dumped into already crowded jails, where life quickly goes from bad to worse. In America, it seems the state prefers to spend more money building prisons and producing more criminals. See above.
4) The government could take some (even much) of the money that recreational and medical users are currently spending on illegal drugs. Yes, the trade is estimated at 500 Billion USD worldwide, I can remember when the cocaine trade "only" accounted for 50 Billion in the US, no idea what percentage NA is spending now. Honestly, I'd rather see the government legally siphoning off that money and using it to help people with drug problems, amongst other things. Help Joe Sixpack keep a little more of his paycheck instead of spending his hard-earned money eradicating poppy fields in places like Afghanistan.
5) The massive sums generated by the illegal drug trade means that politicians and policeman are easily corrupted, arms are easily purchased, and many people are killed by lead (almost as many are killed by overdoses, possibly more).
The links between the illegal arms trade, drug trafficking and other harmful activities are clearly demonstrable and well known, but removing the eggs (i.e., an enormous illegal market volume and constant demand) or just managing the henhouse better will surely help reduce the number of chickens.
6) Mexico has become a world-class, criminal narco-state. This is largely thanks to the DEA's quite successful efforts in places like Columbia. The DEA, US and Columbian military have effectively driven the narco-traffickers further North, using your tax dollars. A real win-win for everybody.
The narcos are now closer to a NAFTA trading partner and their biggest source of drug revenue. Near-shoring is the new drug-dealing business model. Yeah, it probably did seem like a good idea at the time (sort of like selling weapons to the Contras and arming militants in Afghanistan).
Unfortunately, prohibition-era strategies have just proven to be cluster fucks of an enormous magnitude. I challenge anyone to demonstrate examples where anything but the harshest repression (such as mass executions) have successfully or significantly countered or reduced drug consumption for any length of time.
You can't wage a successful war on human frailty and some people's desire to escape life's harsher realities.
And it is difficult to justify prohibition methods after an objective comparison with the well-managed, well regulated, medically supervised alternatives practiced in other countries and beginning now in a few American jurisdictions (for soft drugs anyway). Drug dealers and their (un)witting, Puritan allies would probably hate to see that happen on a global scale. Think of the profits!
Prohibition didn't work in the 1930's and it is not working now. These substances have been around for millennia and only become "illegal" after a core of American Puritans decided they were evil in the first half of the 20th century. The experiment continues to fail on every street corner and every school yard because the trade and its associated behavior has been driven underground.
Meanwhile, the law of unintended consequences continues to claim victims, and the crooks just keep getting richer. Despite all policing efforts, people continue to use drugs.
As people still continue to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes (two of the worst legalized drug health hazards in modern society), gamble and have (or sell) sex with other people. It seems these activities offend certain a group's sense of morality. This group then attempts to demonize and punish this activity with disastrous consequences for the rest of us.
So get over it, legalize it and tax it if you must.
Bad habits and unorthodox life choices are not going to disappear any time soon.
For an interesting view on which drugs kill the most people in the US (same period) check here:
For an interesting view on drug-related violence in Mexico (2009 - 2011) check here: