I have read a lot of people who advocate for recreational drug legalization but I suppose it is possible that I have missed the voices who have said that first we must fix the lack of accountability that already curses our Nation when those who use legal and illegal substances do so irresponsibly and in so doing harm the innocent.
Are there any links you can offer from anyone but myself that has articulated this position?
> In many states you are looking at losing thousands in fines and future insurance increases. Not to mention the cost if you choose to hire an attorney. Also, possible jail time, loss of license or months, and some other requirements. Many people lose their jobs. Or they can’t get a job because of a background check. Their entire life is turned upside down… and these are often otherwise good normal people. Not alcoholics, just regular folks who may not even drink alcohol often… just made one poor choice to drive after drinking.
Also, A Dui Can Ruin a Poor Person’s Life
**“A DUI is a slap on the wrist for more affluent citizens, but for the poor it’s a financial and legal nightmare that can take decades to recover from.”
Destroys lives. Limit cases exist, it doesn’t change the vast majority of experiences.
The political class will go to any and all lengths to rake in additional tax revenue from citizens - including playing to people’s most base and destructive activities - the legalization of “recreational” drug sales/use.
Politicians of all strips seem to never have enough of your money to spend. Government, its size/scope, is limited only by the creative taxation schemes promoted by political representatives and the amount of political BS justifying those schemes the citizenry are willing to accept.
If a commodity is desired by people, legal or not, there will always be people willing to supply it and “customers” seeking to procure it - think prohibition.
That said, it doesn’t mean that it is moral or desirable for our government to become a complicit partner in the supply chain. I don’t recall authorizing my elected officials to “pimp” mind altering drugs in order for the growing beast of government to reap additional revenue,
Praxeology decided this issue, long before law had anything to say about it. Government does not have full control here; it never did, it at best shares that power with human action.
Countries which acknowledge that they can’t simply ban away drugs, and instead engaged in harm reduction, have gotten a far better result than we have, at far less cost.
The legal system simply is the wrong tool, for the wrong job. Conservatives already know this; we saw Prohibition fail, and we know banning guns doesn’t work. You can’t make problems with contraband disappear like that.
> Government, its size/scope,
And this is also tone deaf.
A police state enforcing the war on drugs, is a far larger client of Government largess than anything taxes on drugs produce. The existence of our long alphabet soup of drug agencies and task forces is a strike against limited Government; even if you want it, you have no choice but to admit that, just the same way the Military Industrial complex is.
AS - I guess you are OK with your elected officials and your government to be complicit in the supply chain of mind altering drugs. I’m not.
I am not laboring under the illusion that government is in control, or will ever be, in control of people’s use of mind altering drugs. I am, however, opposed to our government involvment in state-run and/or state licensed drug retail outlets.
Check out the new law in Nevada. I’m not recommending the government round up pot smokers, I’m just not in line with the state being complicit in virtually operating through licensure pot farms, warehouses and retail outlets. Yes, I get your argument on alcohol, but how many reality, acutely debilitating drugs are you willing to have the state give their approval to? When does crack hit your radar screen? Heroin? When do we become so accustomed to crack-heads that the state decides, what the hell, might as well go retail so we can collect taxes? 50 years? 75 years?
My point: States (see Nevada) need not get involved in granting licenses (essentially area franchising) the growing, harvesting, warehousing and retail selling of cognition altering substances outside of the medical system in order to enhance tax revenues.
You don’t agree. That’s OK. Perhaps if you had been a young emergency room doc at White Memorial in East LA you would have a different opinion.
Outlawing them just makes them more dangerous and unregulated. States can have a say in how dangerous drugs are in a legal regime; they won’t in prohibition.
Further: technology, you don’t seem to be aware that people can already make a slew of “grey area” drugs that persistently sit outside prohibition. They can just slightly alter the molecular composition, and keep selling it each time the Government makes them illegal.
There’s no way lawmakers can keep up with that, and they shouldn’t try to.
The Democratization of tech that has made 3D printing guns a reality, is also making prohibition of other things useless.
For prohibition to work, certain realities have to hold, and they don’t hold for most drugs, so its foolish for the Government to pursue it.
> When does crack hit your radar screen?
When does the reality of efficacy, the issue you’ve avoided here, mean we don’t write laws we can’t enforce? This is the reality conservatives have to consider: There are evils we wish to prevent, but there is also practical limits to state power.
And I do mean practical limits, not just legal or moral ones. There are certain things the state just can’t police effectively: the biggest example of that being the piracy of music and digital IP. It’s already illegal, and the Government can try to enforce it on everyone, but we all know this would only create misery and dysfunction. Alcohol is no different. Guns are no different. There is no practical model for enforcement for any of these things.
And if there was any doubt before, technology has completely taken it away for drugs. The internet proliferates recipes, 3d printers proliferates the method of manufacture, global supply proliferates the ingredients and even the product.
Where does practical enforcement exist Mike, in a world where this much is at the individual’s fingertips?
Simply harping on the evils of drugs, doesn’t suddenly make enforcement effective.
> But you will never hear any of the “Constitution says it is a Right” crowd advocate for the Rights of the victims who bear the burdens of the scumbag lifestyle.
I don’t need a link to prove it. I oppose this idiotic War on Drugs. I also defend the rights of victims, and you ought to know it by now I’m not that unusual.
As for your second comment? We already have laws and prosecute thieves and people who hurt others due to their substance abuse and a number of other reasons. End the War on Drugs, we’d probably have more resources to investigate and enforce them. Right now, the drug culture has a lifestyle that incorporates skipping court dates, occasional trips to jail for failure to appear or comply and cited and release encounters with law enforcement.
I’m not sure what AS is going on about with drunk drivers. Haven’t read past your comment.
This is a silly argument, AS. There have ALWAYS been laws against murder–often with severe penalty for committing it–yet murders STILL happen. What you are saying is that we can “solve” the murder problem by de-criminalizing it. BS on a shingle!
We “already have laws” that force the victims to bear ALL of the consequences that result from those who use mind altering substances irresponsibly and victimize the innocent; you have made my point.
The current system screws the victims and provides zero motivation for the most irresponsible recreational substance users to self govern their behavior; saying that “we already have laws” is saying you are okay dramatically increasing the usage and availability of more substances with the current system of accountability in place.
As long as the “drug addiction is a medical problem, not a criminal problem” crowd are still dominant in the Judicial system, as long as the only people who have to bear the consequences are the innocent victims, as long as scumbags can rest assured that they will never have to make right the destruction that they cause; it is utterly ludicrous to increase their numbers.
Really? How so? It’s the drug warriors who are in charge today. They’ve managed to fill up our prisons, and we still have a cite and release culture for the behavior that bothers average folks on a regular basis. Any failure here is on the part of the drug warriors. They have the floor right now, and they are at the controls. They’re doing it wrong.
The thing I was discussing specifically with you is this though: “*But you will never hear any of the “Constitution says it is a Right” crowd advocate for the Rights of the victims who bear the burdens of the scumbag lifestyle.”
*I do and will continue to “advocate for the rights of the victims who bear the burdens of the scumbag lifestyle.”
The rest of your post is not relevant to the point I was making. Your conclusion is false. This isn’t an argument really anyway. It’s just a dismissal in place of discussion.
But I’ll address those for the sake of additional discussion.
That isn’t what I’m saying. If I were saying that, I would have written, “I am okay dramatically increasing the usage and availability of more substances with the current system of accountability in place.”
Legalizing drugs doesn’t increase the usage – and I would argue it doesn’t increase availability either. Profit motive is powerful. Drugs of all kinds have been and are readily available as a result of the black market profits they offer. Marijuana is legal now. It is available through one storefront in my town. I’m sure they exist, but I have yet to meet someone who is buying it who did not use it before. I haven’t started smoking marijuana. I have no interest in it. I didn’t when it was readily available to me in high school. It does not follow that it will be more widely used except among statistical edges of the population.
Sad thing about legalization here is that apparently retail marijuana is more expensive than black market marijuana as a result of taxes and regulatory burdens. So we cannot even begin to discuss whether legalizing black market products suck the black market profits out of the business. It’s also readily available on the black market too, but that’s the way things have been.
Also readily available in my community are meth and heroin, lots and lots of both. And they’re illegal.
In any case, you have your Drug War in place. What’s going on that it isn’t working as you would intend? We’ve somehow managed to imprison record numbers of people and still not solved the problem. Perhaps if we didn’t have this War on Drugs (a full employment policy for drug dealers, cops and lawyers), we might have the resources to focus on the ones who actually commit real offenses against victims.
I don’t think addiction of any kind is a medical problem. And I think scumsuckers should have to make right the destruction they cause whether they’re on drugs or sober. How do we make that happen?
People want murder to be illegal, so that their own life won’t become someone else’s target.
This altruism does not exist for drug use. Most people will watch others light up, and just avoid them. They don’t care if someone else is ruining their own lives; they won’t report them.
Many drugs equally have a sticking point for being medicinal. Many folks will not only fail to report, but support it for reasons that play into human compassion.
Finally, technology has the opposite effect on enforcing murder charges; better forensics, better detection, better reporting. So long as the consensus on murder stays, law enforcement will only get better at catching it.
There is no such expectation for drugs, or other contraband. All prohibition on materials that are not rare or hard to produce, will come to an end, thanks to 3d printing and the internet.
AS posted: “Legalizing drugs doesn’t increase the usage – and I would argue it doesn’t increase availability either.” You can “argue” all you want, but the reality belies that comment. If you REALLY believe your statement, we have little left to discuss. Colorado “legalized” pot and pot usage has skyrocketed in Colorado. Nevada did the same thing and Las Vegas sold OUT of pot in a matter of a couple of days. Drug usage went from about 5% to 25% in the Netherlands almost immediately after they “decriminalized” it.