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Legalization over Decriminalization

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9/29/2016 10:50:46 PM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
The other trending Drug-issue thread was dominated by the anti-drug-war crowd, so in order to increase the discussion I will make a bolder argument: instead of decriminalization, we should legalize fully all mind-altering substances.

1. The scary part about legalization is that more people will use. But it is illogical that more people will use hard drugs if they are legal, because anybody who is willing to subject themselves to the health issues, addiction, stigma, and cost of these drugs has long stopped caring about the consequences in a normal, reasonable way.

As presented in the other thread, Portugal decriminalized and, while there was an immediate rise in drug use afterwards, it levelled-out and dropped afterwards (which is logically the way one would expect usage levels to work if prohibition is in place and then removed).

Now this is not legalization, but it is close enough to show the trend we would expect to see.

2. Drug cartels will continue to function if we don't start producing the drugs here. If we decriminalize, then we can't produce our own drugs. It is unjust that the buying power of American drug-users flows south across the border and empowers organized crime. And these problems are returned to us in the form of immigration problems. We MUST do what we can to eliminate drug cartels, which by themselves cause more strife than the drugs themselves.

3. Our current cultural trends are not doing enough to stop drug-use in our children. Decriminalization will follow the same old methodology of D.A.R.E., laughablly-corny advertising campaigns, and an overall culture of hiding the problem as opposed to hitting it head-on. D.A.R.E. doesn't work. The DEA doesn't work. Let's get kids more information about drugs than just some photos and statistics. Bring the kids to where the drugs are made and show them how they are produced. Introduce them to the people who deal with the drugs. That includes those who produce it, sell it, use it, and treat addiction. Our kids are introduced to drugs these days by drug dealers and the cool kids in school, behind closed doors. Kids never realize what's at the end of that path until they find themselves there already. Let's actually EDUCATE them instead of "just say no." Some dipshit cop with a briefcase of imitation drugs isn't going to give kids the education they need to stay safe when they hit the party scene and all their idols are pushing it in their faces.

4. It is a victimless crime, and therefore should not be punished. Doing drugs is its own punishment. Sure, somebody can always get behind the wheel high. But that isn't a problem with drugs, it is a problem with cars. Drugs don't propel 3,000 pounds of steel down the highway at 70 mph and kill somebody, cars do. Traffic law should not be considered a factor in drug law. We choose, because we all want to be high-tech and luxurious, to build our culture around the automobile. There's no reason why hundreds of millions of us need to be constantly driving every day, we could easily set up our cities to minimize travel with sustainable. design. People could save lots of money if our cities had actual centers instead of being sprawled out everywhere. Increase in public transportation and carpooling would become easier, and we could use some of the money we are saving from the drug war to provide more rides to people. Drug and alcohol policy keeps more cars on the road, resulting in more deaths because we are attacking the problem from the wrong angle. Drunk driving isn't a problem with alcohol, it is a problem with too many people needing to be on the road constantly. It's nearly impossible to even go out and have a drink anymore, because the way our cities are designed we will have to be in the car to do it in the first place. Sustainable communities also save the environment, the economy, our health, and our culture by the way.

And even if we kept our acutely unsustainable communal designs, the fact is that we cannot stop inebriated driving from occurring. Alcohol is already legal, and if you think that alcohol is not as bad as even the worst hard drug, you are probably ignorant of what drugs and alcohol are. Alcohol continues to compromise your judgment the more you drink, so its effects are limitless. .00 you are sober, .01 you are buzzed, .02 you are wasted, .03 you are half dead and .04 you are comatose (subject to change based on tolerance.). Unless you plan on bringing 1920s prohibition back, you cannot successfully argue that hard drugs need to be restricted. And even if you did, people can still get high off of legal things. I had an alcoholic friend who drank listerine when he needed a fix. You can sniff spraypaint, whip-its, glue, or whatever you can find if you are so disposed.

5. Anti-drug culture is just that: culture. It's not based on common sense and reason, it is based on a culture of disdain for those who choose to get high. If a guy wants to smoke a joint and play video games, it is completely nonsensical that anybody would stop him - unless there was a cultural impetus. The fact that cannabis has been illegal for a century, despite it being absolutely harmless (and benign compared to alcohol), proves my point. Anti-drug culture is based on hatred. We are a nation of laws, and some of those laws are based on hatred instead of sensibility. If we can't make decent laws, then we can't expect the laws will be respected.
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9/29/2016 10:59:45 PM
Posted: 4 weeks ago
You knew I'd be first and I would support legalization as well.

There is one correction on the alcohol portion:

It's not .01, .02, .03 etc...

It's .1, .2, .3 and so forth with most states adopting .08 as the legal threshold for driving.