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Finally, we need to embark upon drug legalization, which will starve gangs of their principal oxygen supply and serve to upset the attractive risk-reward proposition that every new gangster now faces.
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There is no contradiction in being pro-drug-reform yet anti-drug use. In its present form, the war on drugs is both bad public policy and a fight we cannot win. All drug users should have the right to harm themselves if they so choose. Recognizing that we cannot eliminate their demand, I would much prefer that drug users purchase their wares in a controlled setting rather than from young gangsters, who effectively control what gets sold, where it gets sold and to whom it gets sold.

Put the gangs out of business: Legalize Drugs - National Post
I agree with many of the points in this article (surprised it's in the National Post, there's usually little of value there).

It seems clear that drug prohibition has been a colossal waste of time, billions of dollars and untold human lives. No significant reduction in the rate of addiction to hard drugs or use of soft drugs has ever occurred.

Besides all of this waste, drug prohibition works to enrich organized crime on many levels, from Colombian cartels to North American Mafia groups, biker gangs and youth gangs.

And besides all this, how does the government have the right to tell me I can't smoke some pot, or even become a heroin addict if I want? Everyone's body belongs to them to do with as they choose. If not, then to be consistent we should not be allowing people to overeat cholesterol-laden foods or do risky things like mountain-climbing or sky-diving for recreation, not to mention allowing cigarette smoking or drinking.
 

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As long as drugs continue to waste human lives, kill humans, injury and disable humans, and tear families and friends apart, they should stay illegal and be cracked down on. Legalizing drugs would give people a legal and justifiable excuse to kill themselves and tear families apart (and cause damage to others) -- and no one would have the legal authority to put an end to it.
 

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As long as drugs continue to waste human lives, kill humans, injury and disable humans, and tear families and friends apart, they should stay illegal and be cracked down on. Legalizing drugs would give people a legal and justifiable excuse to kill themselves and tear families apart (and cause damage to others) -- and no one would have the legal authority to put an end to it.
So Lars, what about alcohol and tobacco?
 

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To me the whole problem with the War On or Prohibition of Drugs what ever you want to call it is the Criminalization of a Medical Issue.

The focus should be on harm reduction and treatment of dependancy both medical issues.

The local CBC this evening news had an interview with two addicts who are first cousins from New Waterford CBRM. Very interesting piece.

If you ever have a chance to watch the excellent documentary "CottonLand" details lives of addicts in Industrial Cape Breton who are addicted to Oxycontin. This Doc reminded me of a real life Train Spotting.

How much money good after bad are we willing to spend to satisfy the Drug Tzar of the Excited States?
 

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So Lars, what about alcohol and tobacco?
That's the other good example of items that should be better controlled (but who knows how). Unfortunately, the only real way out of the messes caused by those two items, along with drugs, is for people to grow up and take better care of themselves and better control of their lives. However, legalizing drugs because cracking down on them doesn't make a big enough dent is not the solution - if anything, it just strongly encourages further abuse of the substances in question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As long as drugs continue to waste human lives, kill humans, injury and disable humans, and tear families and friends apart, they should stay illegal and be cracked down on.
Yes many drugs, especially "hard" drugs, can be harmful. Drug prohibition increases that harm in many ways. The "cracking down" that you speak of does more harm to those you purport to be protecting.

Illegal drugs are produced by underground criminal organizations and people that don't have to meet any standards of quality or purity. Most heroin overdoses happen because the user receives something that is way more potent than they thought, which causes them to overdose.

Illegal drugs are also cut with many toxic chemicals that can kill the users or make them sick. Heroin for instance, can actually be administered safely in measured doses with no harmful side-effects besides the addiction. A person could go through their life taking heroin and still be a part of society. It's what it is cut with that often makes the addicts sick. In some parts of Europe they have experimented with giving clean heroin to addicts in safe doses, which allows them to carry on with and stabilize their lives, getting jobs and apartments, without having to steal for a fix or risk possible death from an impure dose. When their lives start to stabilize, they can work on kicking the addiction.

Much of the tearing apart of families or traumatic results of a person becoming an addict, have to do with the addict having to turn to crime or prostitution to be able to come up with the large amounts of money needed to support a habit. These drugs really don't cost that much to produce, but criminals need a huge markup to pay for their risk of being caught, as well as to be able to buy more guns, pay off other crooks, and corrupt police. Legally produced drugs would be cheap and a person who is an addict could get a prescription that could easily be paid for.

Nothing of what you are saying applies to soft drugs like marijuana, or even some of the hallucinogens like magic mushrooms, LSD or ecstasy. Many people have used these drugs with little or no harm to themselves, their lives or others, except for the risk of contamination or impurities.

Legalizing drugs would give people a legal and justifiable excuse to kill themselves and tear families apart (and cause damage to others) -- and no one would have the legal authority to put an end to it.
And who are you or the state to tell anyone what they can do with bodies, anyway? I can eat cheese pizzas until I'm obese and need a winch to be moved from my bed, perfectly legally and with lots of damage to my family, society and the health care budget. Do you propose that eating cheese pizzas be made illegal too?

And just how does drug prohibition prevent anyone from getting access to these drugs anyway? Those who feel their lives have no value often end up with a drug or alcohol problem, whether there is prohibition or not. It's just that with prohibition they will be in more danger of needlessly dying and will be spending their money with criminals, which helps to put all of us in danger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
That's the other good example of items that should be better controlled (but who knows how). Unfortunately, the only real way out of the messes caused by those two items, along with drugs, is for people to grow up and take better care of themselves and better control of their lives. However, legalizing drugs because cracking down on them doesn't make a big enough dent is not the solution - if anything, it just strongly encourages further abuse of the substances in question.
Yes exactly, "who knows how"? Nobody.

People who have nothing to live for or are inclined for whatever reason to live recklessly, will do things that endanger their lives. They always have and they always will. Addiction and alcoholism will always be a part of society. The fear that if drugs are legal or decriminalized in some way we will all rush out and ruin our lives is nonsense. It's nothing more than outdated "reefer madness" paranoia promoted by the drug enforcement industry.

In the meantime we waste billions and criminalize the victims in a completely fruitless effort to protect them from themselves. And as a side effect we create immense profits for and help sustain organized crime groups and gangs, with their guns and violence. According to the UN, drug addicts comprise .6% of the world's population.

If people have something to live for they will take care of themselves and have better control of their lives. Whether drugs, alcohol or tobacco is legal or illegal has little to do with it.

Edit: fixed punctuation
 

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I'm firmly in the 'legalize' camp.

As we should've learned from history, prohibition of any drug that can be easily manufactured or grown is simply a recipe for funding crime.

And, as we should all be aware, human beings (and other mammals) are strongly disposed to ingest chemicals that alter their neurology, either for self-medication, stress release, or just 'for the fun of it.'

Laws exist to prevent citizens from harming *each other*, not to prevent them from harming *themselves*.

We seem to have found an acceptable compromise with respect to the regulation of some drugs (tobacco and alcohol), and the only things preventing us from reaching the same compromise with other drugs is historical constraint, and the political power of those who profit from the status quo.

We can start by legalizing marijuana, and work our way through the spectrum of illicit drugs as quickly as we can without causing too much disruption.

Cheers
 

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I'm also in the legalize, control, and treat camp.
Take out the profit motive.
Abolition never works and only lines the pockets of the criminal societies.

Almost ANY drug can be and has been abused from aspirin to peyote and heroin and every nasty thing people can get hold of...glue and gasoline being notable.

Profit tho is where the real attraction for hardened criminals lies and their weak point in being disbanded or jailed.

Throughout history hitting crime on the tax and finances end has been most effective. Al Capone and many many others.
 

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As somebody who used to sell drugs (OK, Weed, doesn't really count) I can say that legalization is not going to help. If this happens then the drugs will become regulated and then they will not be as potent. What does that mean? It means that there will still be illegal drugs better than what the government is selling, so it's not going to help anything. Sure there will be some people that switch to the legal way of doing things, but the majority will continue to get 'the good stuff' from the underground people.

And while we are throwing more things into the pot, what about guns!!
 

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There are still moonshiners too but with prices down and "control" financial penalties high I think you'd see a major change. ( instead of criminal only control enforcement can involve punitive fines with a rather low standard of proof compared to a criminal conviction )
There will be people that grow their own....who cares.
Most will want quality controlled product and many including myself don't like the overly potent supply that is often current....and unpredictable.
 

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I just want to say that all you "Let's legalize drugs! The government can't tell me what to do!" I would love to see you deal with a heroin or coke addict on the daily basis.

1) Alcohol is nowhere near as psychoactive or psychotropic as other drugs on the market. But we do have alcohol abuse issues. We are trying to get rid of these problems, not take on more.

2) The acceptability of tobacco use in our society is dropping rapidly. Again, we are trying to get rid of these problems, not take on more. You may have noticed the government is working to ween our society off tobacco.

3) If people can't get the drugs, they can't become addicted to them. Addiction is what leads to all the problems. Legalizing drugs will make it EASIER for people to get drugs, easier to become addicted, easier for the illegal drug traders to ply their wares. What is more wide-spread? Tobacco addiction or heroin addiction? Tobacco addiction or marijuna addiction? Tobaccco addiction or cocaine addiction? Which one is legal? Don't you think legality corrolates with wide-spread addiction?

4) The government tells us daily how we cannot harm ourselves. Wear your seatbelt. If they won't let us kill ourselves in our car, how does it make more sense for them to let us kill ourselves with narcotics?
 

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Our current policy and laws prohibiting drug use are not working. According to Larry Campbell (former BC Coroner, Vancouver Mayor and outspoken critic of our drug policies) in 1914 when the US and Canada made Opiates illegal there was roughly 1.3 to 1.4 percent of the population addicted. Guess what the percentage is today ... 1.3 - 1.4 percent. The population is much larger so the problem seems to have grown but the reality is the current program of prohibition has not changed anything.

Police usually don't arrest and confiscate drugs from hard core users anymore. The addict is processed and let out soon after the arrest and still needs the drugs. This invariably causes the addict to commit a crime. Its become a crime prevention program for our police officers who deal with addicts on a day-to-day basis. Arresting addicts provides no benefit to the addict nor to society nor to the police.

The other side of illegal drug use is the recreational user, the person who plays but isn't a hard core addict. Contrary to what the authorities and the popular wisdom says, many people can and do use illegal drugs on a casual basis and are not classified as addicts. The recreational use of drugs is where most of the profit is for the dealers. Its not necessary to sneak down a back alley to score drugs. Instead a dealer's representative will deliver an order. Cash only! ;)

There is no evidence that relaxing the laws on prohibition will result in an increase in drug use. It hasn't happened in countries like Holland and it didn't happen when alcohol prohibition was repealed here.

Doesn't it make more sense to treat the diseases and symptoms, addiction, mental illness, poverty, homelessness?
 

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The culture of drug prohibition is very deeply ingrained, and I don't expect to see an end to it anytime soon. That goes double, triple or more for drugs other than marijuana. People can build all the nice airtight theoretical cases for complete legalization they want, editorialists can editorialize until the cows come home, but the powers that be in law enforcement and government will absolutely not accept and act on them anytime soon, and quite possibly never. The mentality of interdiction and control is just too deeply seated.
 

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As somebody who used to sell drugs (OK, Weed, doesn't really count) I can say that legalization is not going to help. If this happens then the drugs will become regulated and then they will not be as potent. What does that mean? It means that there will still be illegal drugs better than what the government is selling, so it's not going to help anything. Sure there will be some people that switch to the legal way of doing things, but the majority will continue to get 'the good stuff' from the underground people.
You appear to be assuming that pot smokers just want more buzz for their buck. Let me tell you that there are a lot of people out there who find today's "good stuff" to be anything but. Freakishly manipulated, overpowering garbage is more like it. They'd rather go without than smoke that crap.

It's a (ahem) pipe dream, but it would be nice to have a cannabis culture that was more like wine culture. Different strains, strains bred for finesse instead of brute force, etc. Can't happen if you leave it to the underground, which has no interest in any measure of "quality" beyond raw intoxicating power.
 

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You appear to be assuming that pot smokers just want more buzz for their buck. Let me tell you that there are a lot of people out there who find today's "good stuff" to be anything but. Freakishly manipulated, overpowering garbage is more like it. They'd rather go without than smoke that crap.

It's a (ahem) pipe dream, but it would be nice to have a cannabis culture that was more like wine culture. Different strains, strains bred for finesse instead of brute force, etc. Can't happen if you leave it to the underground, which has no interest in any measure of "quality" beyond raw intoxicating power.
well said, iMatt :) cannabis culture. don't choke, enjoy your smoke
 

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Legalise it, regulate it, tax it. B.C.'s official GDP numbers would skyrocket overnight!

We are doing more harm than good with our current approach, and it is costing us money. It's some sort of weird policy S&M ritual whereby adults are paid to tell other adults what they can do with their bodies. Kinky.
 

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The culture of drug prohibition is very deeply ingrained, and I don't expect to see an end to it anytime soon. That goes double, triple or more for drugs other than marijuana. People can build all the nice airtight theoretical cases for complete legalization they want, editorialists can editorialize until the cows come home, but the powers that be in law enforcement and government will absolutely not accept and act on them anytime soon, and quite possibly never. The mentality of interdiction and control is just too deeply seated.
Canada was actually moving (very slowly) towards de-criminalising. The trend was there and, combined with very lax real-world attitudes, I think that there's a lot more opportunity for change.
 
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