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Why not legalize Drugs? (BBC)

Eye_of_the_Needle
Posts: 52
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6/23/2018 5:42:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is my rebuttal to an article from 2013 by the BBC on why legalization of drugs is a bad idea:

https://www.bbc.com...

The best evidence we have shows that legalisation would make a bad drug problem much worse - by increasing addiction, normalising use among kids, and relegating its sale to profit-hungry corporations or governments with every incentive to increase addiction to advance their bottom line. Legalisation is a very sloppy way to address the unintended consequences of current policy.

I'm not quite sure what the evidence he is referring to is, but I strongly disagree. Addiction is not a commodity, it is a personality trait. By increasing the supply of addictive drugs, you aren't going to significantly increase addiction because people who aren't predisposed to being addicted to drugs won't suddenly become addicted simply because it is more available (and those who are addicted typically don't have a problem getting it anyway). And how would legalization "normalize" use with children? Just because we stop ruining drug-users lives doesn't mean we are promoting drug-use. We can still teach kids the dangers of drugs and set appropriate expectations; the social norms surrounding drug use wouldn't change. As far as corporate interests, that's why we have regulations. Don't let them advertise, sell to minors, etc. Cigarette usage went down significantly when we tightened regulations...

First, we know that legalisation would significantly cheapen the price of cocaine, cannabis, and heroin, making them more accessible and therefore increasing addiction. Additionally, allowing drugs to be sold on the open market implies we would allow the sale of highly dangerous drugs such as crack and methamphetamine by multinational conglomerates.

Big Tobacco would have nothing on Big Meth.

Accessibility doesn't equate with addiction. Gambling, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are all legal ways to become addicted to something, but nobody would ever consider prohibiting these things or limiting their access by raising their costs. And According to neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart, 90% of drug-users aren't addicts. That's right, for every ten people that use crack, heroine, and other hard drugs, nine of them aren't addicted to the substance and lead normal lives, pay their bills, work full time, and take care of their responsibilities: http://drcarlhart.com...

"Big Meth" would almost certainly be reigned in with regulations and education just like big tobacco.

Second, it is unclear that a major attraction of legalisation - the supposed reduction of the violent, underground market - would materialise. As governments put restrictions like age limits on legal drugs, the illicit economy will be happy to step in to fill the gap. We know now that at least 22% of the UK domestic tobacco market consists of black market illegal cigarettes.

Drug cartels are destroying Mexico, and it is fair to assume that this crisis we are currently undergoing with Mexican immigration might be solved if we simply stopped giving untold $billions to Mexican drug cartels who terrorize and extort the innocent people South of the border. These cartels thrive almost exclusively on American drug money. I'm not sure what possibly could be "unclear" about the results of stopping this massive flow of money to the worst people on Earth. And as I will describe later, price-gouging isn't a good idea anyway so there wouldn't be an illicit market selling cheaper drugs.

Yes, mass incarceration is a bad thing. And the developing world is being torn apart by the UK's appetite for drugs. But rather than legalise - which would increase crime and potentially increase incarceration rates - we should invest more in strategies such as drug treatment, specialised drug treatment courts, better drug prevention, smart enforcement, and international partnerships that promote alternative development.

The assumption that crime and incarceration would increase along with legalization is completely backwards. Drug crime has three facets

1. Arrests of drug producers, distributors, and users for drug crimes. These crimes would disappear overnight after legalization simply because drugs would no longer be illegal. An absolutely HUGE side-effect of this would be the elimination of police harassment of blacks based on drug suspicions. One would expect the black community to thrive along with Mexicans if drug laws were removed.

2. Theft and violence surrounding drug money. Because drugs are expensive, there is a major motive for drug-users to steal in order to procure drugs. When one is addicted, the urge to use quickly consumes the responsibilities in one's life and they will do anything for a fix. I knew a man who became addicted to cocaine and it ruined his career because he stole things from work to procure the drug, and it ruined his marriage when he went to prison for it. Theoretically, if drugs were legal, he would still have suffered from addiction but it could have occurred in a way that wouldn't have destroyed his career and marriage - he would have had a chance to move through the stages of addiction without falling off a cliff. Sure, Addiction might still have cost him everything, but at least it would have been his own doing and not the legal system imposing it from above. His employer would not have lost out on their property and his family would not have lost out on him being in prison. In effect, we are turning a victimless crime into the opposite and then using that as justification for victimhood. Drugs should be priced similar to alcohol, that is, with a slight bump up to account for the regulatory cost burden (and to make them slightly less attractive) but not so high as to create a vacuum for the illicit market to fill.

3. Crimes by individuals who are high on drugs. This is presumably what the author is referring to, as the other types of crimes would obviously disappear. He assumes that more availability leads to more addiction, and more addiction leads to more crimes of inebriation. I have already discussed the first assumption, and I think the second is also flawed. As I previously stated, inebriated people will no longer need to steal in order to use of the price isn't ridiculous, and they will have a legitimate path to using responsibly. As it is now, there is no responsible option; if you use, you are already breaking the law and already subject to arrest. So does it really matter if you even try to be responsible ? Does it matter if you drive a vehicle while you are high, since you can get arrested even for staying home or walking to your destination? If people who would use are presented with a path that doesn't lead them to being arrested and violated, logically they would make preparations to take that option. We could continue to arrest those who drive under the influence, which would incentivize them to stay off the roads. And to the rebuttal that drunk driving is a problem as it is today, I would suggest we kill two birds with one stone and use some of the $billions per year we would save in ending the drug war on increasing public transportation so people have viable options to travel when they are having fun. As it is now, it's tough to go out for a drink, because as soon as you get to the bar and have one you are in jeopardy. Taxis are very expensive and buses don't run late. If we subsidized public transportation for the city night-life, one would expect traffic fatalities to plummet. Before the user partakes, they would have a path of legal freedom and fulfillment of their social responsibilities clear to them so they could plan accordingly. If somebody doesn't use responsibly, then throw the book at them.
Rob1billion
Greyparrot
Posts: 21,953
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6/23/2018 3:20:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Banning things leads to abuse.
The extinction of the species is worse than the extinction of the nation, which is worse than the extinction of the tribe, which is worse than the extinction of the family, which is worse than the extinction of the individual. The second he reverses that list of priorities, he becomes a coward, and would be summarily disposed of by any civilized society that values its own survival.
FungusOfHam
Posts: 2,360
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6/23/2018 8:02:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/23/2018 3:20:43 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Banning things leads to abuse.::

I say we ask the founding fathers what they say.

https://otway.files.wordpress.com...
Manginski
Posts: 22
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8/18/2018 1:44:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Drugs aren't legalized because they have been being demonized too long and governments now have no stones to recognize the findings of current research. Some drugs are safer than beer. But still, you have to hide, use, and rely on drug tests. http://drugtestmax.com... here you can read more about them

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