Questions for Drug Warriors

Cato's Jerry Taylor asks supporters of the drug war:

Exactly what would it take to convince you that the drug war was causing more harm than good? Is there any bit of data, any hypothetical fact, or anything at all that would cause you to give up the policy ghost? Because if there is not, then we are in the realm of religious belief...

In my experience, steadfast drug warriors fall into one of three categories: Law and order types who see the drug war as culture war (think the silent majority versus the liberal hippies); religious types who think the prohibition of intoxicants is a moral imperative; and people who confuse the consequences of prohibition with the effects of illicit drugs themselves. The third group might be susceptible to persuasion. Not so much with the other two.

Still, as Taylor suggests, it would be fun to ask the Bennets, Walterses, and Tandys of the world if there's any evidence they could see that would convince them it's time to end this continuing tragedy.  Given that Tandy and Bennet still defend the merits (and ignore the costs) of alcohol prohibition, I suspect not. 

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  • ||

    Jerry proposes a good question. I will spring that on my Dad next discussion.

    I agree the moralists are unapproachable, but I think the first group (Law and order types) are susceptible to persuasion as well. Perhaps I'm too optimistic.

  • ||

    I always like to start this conversation off with, "What if drug legalization gave us more resources for fighting terrorist groups, while reducing their resources they get from drug money?"

    Alternatively, you can use illegal immigration rather than terrorism for a hot button issue. I find while this doesn't necessarily force an acceptance that it might be good to legalize drugs, it forces some into a corner where they have to pick which devil is worse. Often they'll go with denial, but if you push a little and use the right phrasing, you can often get that moment of clarity.

  • thoreau||

    My guess is that most people will dodge the question by rejecting the premise, and insist that the drug war is worthwhile, that we must do it "for the children", and so forth. And they won't see themselves as dogmatic, they'll see themselves as grounded in reality and the legalizers as pursuing unrealistic hypotheticals.

  • Ray G||

    Most people simply will not listen to reason. "Drugs" in their minds are so bad, that they block out everything else that is said after they hear the word.

    I was once a acid dropping pot-smoking youth, now I'm a church going libertarian-kind-of-conservative, the drug-war types have no reason not to believe me.

    I ask them "Why do you think it was so easy for me to get a bag of pot as a teenager, but getting alcohol was like pulling teeth?" Not that we didn't get plenty of alcohol, but it was definitely more work.

    "Umm, uhh, . . well, uhh" is the usual response. And even the fact that the acid was more difficult to get than the pot proves the point of market forces, demand, and price. The harder drug wasn't as popular for that very reason, and so relative to the market it was in, it was thus harder to get.

  • Harry J Anslinger||

    Drug restriction/prohibition is a moralistic "progressive" notion accepted by nearly everyone.You have to go after the underpinning idea.The greatest damage was done not in the initial prohibition of narcotics \-that could be rolled back-but with the introduction of prescription and physician as gateway for medicines.People accept Authority to give permission for what and when drugs may be used.
    As for illicit drugs ,too many think the flipside to prohibition is promtion-hey it is legal go ahead and use it.

    How many of your doper sports fan friends want legal weed while supporting a government "war on steroids"- for one example.

  • ||

    I'm going with thoreau on this, with the following extension. Those who support the WoD don't suffer from cognitive dissonance because they believe that some authority (experts if secular, God if religious) should always be telling people how to behave. The libertarian notion that people should decide for themselves is horrifying anarchy to that mindset. Reason, evidence, etc just don't enter into that kind of equation.

  • ||

    The libertarian notion that people should decide for themselves is horrifying anarchy to that mindset. Reason, evidence, etc just don't enter into that kind of equation.

    The most terrifying idea many people face is the prospect of having to think for themselves.

  • ||

    Harry J Anslinger, I wholeheartedly disagree but to prove my point I will use cited sources and documented facts to support my point of view rather than fear-mongering propaganda.
    The constitution is on my side, god I love America.


    "Drug restriction/prohibition is a moralistic "progressive" notion accepted by nearly everyone."

    If by progressive you mean progressively taking away our rights, liberties and freedoms then you and I are on the same page. BTW, the referendums in the states that had them showed that there is a serious and growing number of people opposing the drug war, far from your notion of "accepted by nearly everyone".

    "The greatest damage was done not in the initial prohibition of narcotics -that could be rolled back-but with the introduction of prescription and physician as gateway for medicines."

    Deaths in the US every year from illicit drug use - 17,000 (Journal of
    the American Medical Association, Jan. 19, 2005, Vol. 293, No. 3,
    p. 298.)
    Deaths in the US every year from medicine prescribed by a doctor: 32,000 (Journal of
    the American Medical Association, March 10, 2004, Vol. 291,
    No. 10, pp. 1238, 1241.)

    "People accept Authority to give permission for what and when drugs may be used."

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. (9th Amendment)
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    (10th Amendment)

    "As for illicit drugs ,too many think the flipside to prohibition is promtion-hey it is legal go ahead and use it."

    Lifetime prevalence of marijuana use (2001)
    USA (illegal) : 36.9%
    Netherlands (legal) : 17.0%
    (US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume I. Summary of National Findings (Washington, DC: HHS, August 2002), p. 109, Table H.1.
    ,Trimbos Institute, "Report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point, The Netherlands Drug Situation 2002" (Lisboa, Portugal: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Nov. 2002), p. 28, Table 2.1)

    You lose.

  • ||

    From what I've read, meth production has given the drug cartels an extra set of legs down in Mexico. They've gotten bigger and stronger and better than ever. Corruption in government has always been a problem down there, but it sounds like it's gone to whole new levels in recent history. And they aren't stopping at the border anymore (though I'm not sure they ever really did).

    I have always said that the WoD is a major contributor to the lack of law and order in Mexico, and other third world countries. It contributes to making them hell holes. It helps make people there want to come here. Isn't this just a neat little ball of yarn? :)

    But don't bother trying to argue that this should be at least a moral counter point to those who back the WoD, it just goes right over their heads. They don't want the world to work this way.

    Kind of sounds like the theories our leaders had about Iraq, doesn't it? And Afghanistan, where drug production is how lots of people make money.

    There seems to be no end in sight....

  • ||

    The war on drugs *enables* the corruption in the trenches of politics and law enforcement.

    In many ways, that corruption *is* the means unto the ends. Those in the anti drug venue that profit from the war on drugs (most of them) have no interest in acknowledging the failure of that war, because it would rob them of their power (and profit). The war on drugs isn't about drugs (that's a facile story for the kids).

  • unhyphenatedconservative||

    "I always like to start this conversation off with, "What if drug legalization gave us more resources for fighting terrorist groups, while reducing their resources they get from drug money?"

    Alternatively, you can use illegal immigration rather than terrorism for a hot button issue."

    That's great logic. LEt's just legalize everything. Without having to investigate anything else, the authorities could easily stamp out terror.

  • Bruce M||

    Why would they ever endorse a view that would cause them to lose power, prestige, and money?

  • ||

    Bruce M | January 4, 2007, 1:20am | #
    Why would they ever endorse a view that would cause them to lose power, prestige, and money?
    ===============================================

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

  • ||

    Now that's a great quote!

  • ||

    The drug war is but just another attempt to further roll back individual rights, just as the war on terror is being implemented today as an instrument of oppression ( Patriot Act )...the final and ultimate goal of these "wars" is not to achieve a victory over the assumed enemy, but to further limit the people's freedom and expand the elite power structure. ( War on DRUGS(?!): has ANYONE ever seen a bag of marijuana thrown to the ground, surrounded by law enforcement officers, and getting kicked and beaten with clubs? No, but I have seen a CITIZEN get this treatment for simply possessing such substance.) JUST SAY NO to the encroachment upon our civil liberties.

  • Garth||

    Another explanation is that the Drug Worriers really believe that all illegal drugs are addictive in the extreme, take away a person's free will, lead them to a life of crime and depravity, and will lead to the ruin of society.

    It's really no different than the irrational belief in demonic possession and the attitude of these people is similar to that of the prosecutors in the Salem Witch Trials. There's no reaonsing with them.

  • ||

    I disagree with the sentiment that the moralists are unapproachable. To the contrary, it is those that should be questioned the most. How many murders of innocents is it worth to justify one person not getting high? How many people have to be tortured by brown-shirt cops to justify one person not getting high? They need to be asked point blank whether a police state is justified. If they are going to throw out the "for the children" canard, they need to be asked, how my murders justify the saving of one child from weed.
    If they are going to justify their position on moral grounds, what is the justification? God tell you? Is it utilitarianism? Is it Kant?
    If they can't justify their position, then it our job to call them out as the immoral hypocritical fucktards that they are in big black letters: 10 MURDERS OF INNOCENTS WORTH ONE CHILD NOT GETTING HIGH ACCORDING TO BENNENT WHO COULDN'T BE REACHED FOR COMMENT AT THE MGM GRAND BLACKJACK TABLE.

  • ||

    Troy - good point

  • ||

    Paul Conover - you realize Henry is on the same side as you, right? He's not arguing in favor of drug prohibition, he's explaining why the average man in the street won't listen to the libertarian point of view. He's also 100% right.

  • ||

    Can anyone counter the argument by drug-warriors that a disproportiante amount of crime in this country is committed by people while on drugs? Thus, if we legalized drugs, we would have even more crime since drugs make people violent. Thanks. Looking for thoughtful responses.

  • ||

    Can anyone counter the argument by drug-warriors that a disproportiante amount of crime in this country is committed by people while on drugs?

    Well, for starters - how the hell do they know that?!? Most drug testing, if it is done at all, will only indicate use in the moderately recent past.

    You could just as well say most domestic abuse is committed by people who have had a beer to drink in the 4 weeks prior to the crime.

  • ||

    It is a nonstarter among most people to say that drug use is anything but an unqualified bad. I am not sure that is really true, but I will be the first to admit I am in the minority on that one. Certainly, you will never get anywhere with 90% of society if you start out by saying drug use may not be such a bad thing. So, if you take the assumption that yes drugs are a bad thing, where does that lead you? It leads you to the question "how many people would use drugs that otherwise wouldn't if drugs were legalized?" To me that is the key question about the drug war. If legalizing drugs really would create millions of raging addicts, then perhaps prohibition is worth it. I do not, however, think that is the case. Most people who don't use drugs now would not use drugs even if they were legal.

  • ||

    The most terrifying idea many people face is the prospect of having to think for themselves.

    I think they'd argue that the most obnoxious thing about Libertarians is that they only think about themselves.

    Can anyone counter the argument by drug-warriors that a disproportiante amount of crime in this country is committed by people while on drugs?

    Perhaps there's data supporting the drug warriors in terms of crack heads with needles hanging out the eyeballs but am willing to assume that weed heads don't commit any more crime then the next man. In fact, they probably do less (in terms of fiscal amount).

    Happy New Year everyone.

  • ||

    a disproportiante amount of crime in this country is committed by people while on drugs? Thus, if we legalized drugs, we would have even more crime since drugs make people violent.

    If you are sincere in your question, I'll give it a go.

    First, the vast majority of those crime are committed precisely because the drugs are illegal. Nobody would have to rob someone at gunpoint to get money to buy high priced drugs if they could legally go to the ABC store and buy them at the new, non- black market, market equilibrium price.

    Also, there may be a correlation/causation problem in the statistics. In other words, it is not the drugs that are causing the skew in the statistics, but something more general, say, youth. A disproportionate amount of youths do drugs. A disproportionate amount of youths commit crimes. Hence youth is the biggest factor in crime rates, not drug use.

    Finally, I'm not convinced certain drug use would go up all that much. Especially the types of drugs that may make people "violent." I wouldn't start doing meth just because it was legal. Those same people would commit the same crimes, crimes they could be prosecuted for regardless of the legality of the drugs they used at the time.

  • ||

    John, while you have a point, I think it can help to re-frame the issue for some people, since I've found that there are very few people who use absolutely no drugs at all. They just don't think Xanax, or Valium, or Caffeine (and on, and on...) are drugs. All drugs are not the same, but I think it would help to remove the false dichotomy between the legal and the illegal drugs.

  • ||

    A disproportionate amount of youths do drugs. A disproportionate amount of youths commit crimes. Hence youth is the biggest factor in crime rates, not drug use.

    That's not a logical conclusion.

    You have to separate the non drug related youth crime with it's drug related cousin.

    If the disproportion reflected in youth crime when drugs are an issue is mirrored in drug related adult crime figures then it's just as much of an issue.



  • ||

    "First, the vast majority of those crime are committed precisely because the drugs are illegal."

    I don't think that is true. There are millions of drug users who never get arrested. Illegal drugs are a multi billion dollar industry. All that money doesn't just come from crackheads living on the street. A lot that money comes from ordinary Americans who have no brush with the law. I think if you look closely at drug offenders, you will find that most of them are criminals to begin with and that how they got caught with drugs. Either they were arrested for something else and came up hot while they were on probation, or they did things to put them on the police radar screen that got them busted or they are just professional drug dealers. Even if you legalized drugs, many of the drug offenders we have today will still end up in trouble with the police and in jail, it just won't be for drug offenses. I think the idea that otherwise law abiding people are out commiting crimes to support their drug habbits is a myth. There are millions and millions of drug users who never commit any crimes. The people who do commit crimes are just criminals and legalizing drugs isn't going to change that.

  • ||

    Those in the anti drug venue that profit from the war on drugs (most of them) have no interest in acknowledging the failure of that war, because it would rob them of their power (and profit).

    To that point, they also have no interest in the war actually succeeding and people ridding themselves of demand for drugs.

    It is a nonstarter among most people to say that drug use is anything but an unqualified bad.

    For such an unqualified bad a lot of people sure do like to do it.

  • ||

    or they did things to put them on the police radar screen

    For example - being black

  • ||

    "or they did things to put them on the police radar screen

    For example - being black"

    True enough. I am not arguing for prohibition. I just think our societal problems that give us such a large prison population run a lot deeper than drug prohibition.

  • ||

    I reckon everyone would be fine if they legalised pot. That's all the Libertarians really care about.

    They'd stop arguing for the rights of heroin addicts to shoot up in department stores if they were allowed to smoke weed anytime, anywhere.

  • Robert||

    I concluded a while ago that behind all the well-meaning people and the cynically profiting people is a tiny group of sadists who are effectively manipulating the well-meaning disingenuously. It's not a matter of their wanting power, because they had to have it already to exert this influence, and they don't gain any more by it; rather, it's their will to deliberately use that power to inflict pain.

  • Warren||

    John,
    But don't you see how prohibition exacerbates the problem? I'm sure you aren't arguing that criminals are genetically predisposed to commit crimes. You aren't are you!? So given the prevalence and scope of the drug trade, don't you think it is a significant factor in promoting crime?

  • Warren||

    Radley,
    The biggest, most immovable group I encounter, are parents. Parents don't want their kids to do drugs. Not ever, not for any reason. Not in their house, not when they go to college, not when they have their own career, house, family, not ever no no no. And it doesn't matter what the facts are, nobody should ever say a positive word about drugs, if anybody ever says anything other than "drugs are bad mmmkay" and even one puff on a marijuana joint will make you a crack whore by the end of the week, then every teenager in America will be on smack by the end of the week. So we must keep them illegal and say horrible things about them and make them more illegal and say even more horrible things every year "for the children".

  • ||

    "John,
    But don't you see how prohibition exacerbates the problem? I'm sure you aren't arguing that criminals are genetically predisposed to commit crimes. You aren't are you!? So given the prevalence and scope of the drug trade, don't you think it is a significant factor in promoting crime?"

    I don't know if it is genetic. I just think some people are criminals. My experience with the criminal justice system is that some people are just cut out differently than the rest of us. Some people will get caught up in the drug war and get a minor offense, do their probation and never go in the system again. Ending probation will certainly keep those people out of the system. They are the minority though. You rarely see someone up on just a drug crime or if you do they are right back in court on some other issue soon after. I am not talking about addicts here. I am talking about people who just have no interest in living by the laws of society. If they are not beating their wives, they are writing bad checks, or driving drunk, or beating someone up in a bar fight or breaking to houses or whatever. A lot of those folks are in jail for drug crimes. Even if you get rid of the drug crimes, they will still be out commiting other crimes that warrent them being in jail.

  • ||

    They are the minority though.

    Last I read, 1 out of every 136 American Adults are currently locked up. Do you really think the majority of them are truly criminals, once drugs are taken out of the equation?

  • Warren||

    My experience with the criminal justice system is that some people are just cut out differently than the rest of us.

    Jesus christ dude!

  • wingnutx||

    My experience with the criminal justice system is that some people are just cut out differently than the rest of us.

    Some poeple have poor impulse control. Some poeple have low intelligence. Some are blessed with both.

    Such a person is likely to do lots of things that are not really in his own interest, including a variety of crimes as well as inappropriate drug use. This doesn't mean the drug use caused the criminal activity.

    I'm going on my observations of as an EMT in Phoenix, and from watching my jailbird brother in law.

    Some poeple are simply hell-bent to fuck up.

  • wingnutx||

    Some of use can't seem to spell "people" correctly, either.

  • ||

    "They are the minority though.

    Last I read, 1 out of every 136 American Adults are currently locked up. Do you really think the majority of them are truly criminals, once drugs are taken out of the equation?"


    Honestly yes. If you don't believe me, take a couple of days off from work and go down to your local district court and watch the criminal docket. You won't find a lot of innocent hard working people who got caught with a joint or two. You will find a lot of people who cause you to think "Thank God we Have Jails." I am serious. What do you say about a defendent who after avoiding a 10 year prison sentence and getting probation doesn't bother to show up to his first probation appoinment even though he knows that if he doesn't show up the judge can immmediately sentence him to 10 years in the slammer? What do you say about someone while out on bond for a DUI gets into a bar fight and knifes someone, only to get out on bond, to be arrested in a raid on a meth dealers house. Yeah, that guy is a statistic in the drug war, but he has more issues than doing meth. Talk to any PD and they can tell you a hundred stories just like that.

  • Warren||

    John,
    I'm not sure you're getting my point. Taking your hypothesis at face value, that people arrested for drugs are likely to have committed other crimes. I'm suggesting that prohibition is a significant factor in promoting a 'culture of crime'. That if it wasn't for the prevalence and allure of the drug trade, with it's inherent disregard for the law, that a significant portion of those other crimes would also be avoided. That societies ability to promote good citizenship is undermined by prohibition.

    Beyond that, you last post stinks of racism. I suspect your arguments are just pretext for your prejudice.

  • wingnutx||

    I see that John has met my brother in law.

  • ||

    Warren,

    Every story in that post is true and the people were white. Seeing the reality of life is not being a racist.

    I am not sure what your point is. Do you honestly think that becuase someone breaks the law by using drugs they are more likly to break other laws? At some level I can see that, but not with most criminals. Make drugs illegal and some people still have no desire to work for a living, still think it is okay to steal what they want, still see no problem in using violence against others. I wish I could explain them. I really can't. But, you cannot deny they exist.

  • ||

    Beyond that, you last post stinks of racism.

    are warren and ann althouse the same person?

    -cab

  • ||

    'Beyond that, you last post stinks of racism. I suspect your arguments are just pretext for your prejudice.'

    Wow Warren. Talk about zero to nuclear. I heard John also drowns babies, steals old womens' shopping and, even worse, once voted Republican! Holy Shit!! Someone email Jon Stewart - he'll take John to task....

  • Warren||

    Oh mia culpa for zogs sake. Sorry I said John might be a racist.

    But, you cannot deny they exist.
    Reread what I wrote. I'm not denying they exist, I'm suggesting that to some extent they exist because of prohibition. You seem to think lazy people that think others should provide for them are dyed in the wool. I think they came to those attitudes from the culture they exist in. A culture dominated by an illicit drug trade.

    Furthermore, even if I grant that criminals would remain criminals. I insist that the profits from the drug trade finance more crime. That is criminal types are able to commit more crimes because of their involvement with the drug trade.

  • ||

    "That is criminal types are able to commit more crimes because of their involvement with the drug trade."

    In South America maybe. No question the big drug gangs are pretty much destroying the society down there. Here, I am not so sure. It certainly wouldn't hurt. I would like to think that the street gangs, deprived of their main source of income would become considerably less attractive to teenagers and perhaps cause fewer of them to start shooting each other. That alone would justify legalization. But, I still think our prisons would be full.

  • ||

    You seem to think lazy people that think others should provide for them are dyed in the wool.

    Not to mention, didn't they talk about this in "Freakonomics", about how low level drug dealers work hard, and for roughly minimum wage?

    They might not be working *legally*, but many of them are still hard-working.

  • ||

    I am not sure what your point is. Do you honestly think that becuase someone breaks the law by using drugs they are more likly to break other laws?

    Actually, I do, particularly if your hypothetical person is put in jail for their drug crimes. First, I don't assume that every person tossed into the slammer for a drug crime is a generally bad and irredeemable person. I've worked for guys who were caught for 'turn signal violations' and then tossed in the slammer because they had pot or crack in their cars or in their jackets. Yeah, it happens, and these guys might not have been superstars before their arrests, but they're certainly much worse after being locked in a room with other criminals for a year or two (or more).

    You're right that some people are just bad apples, but some people are on the fence, and jail pushes them onto the wrong side of that fence. That doesn't redeem them when they're caught burglarizing a house five years later, but we ought to think twice about enrolling people in criminal school (jail) because they like to occasionally get high.

  • ||

    "Not to mention, didn't they talk about this in "Freakonomics", about how low level drug dealers work hard, and for roughly minimum wage?"

    I hate that book. What it ignores is that yeah those guys work hard, but they chose to do it in drugs because they have no interest in being a part of lawful society. Make drugs legal and you would have to go work for the man to sell drugs. Low level drug dealers probably wouldn't find that too interesting.

  • ||

    Oh, and with respect to this:

    What do you say about a defendent who after avoiding a 10 year prison sentence and getting probation doesn't bother to show up to his first probation appoinment even though he knows that if he doesn't show up the judge can immmediately sentence him to 10 years in the slammer?

    I guess I'd say the guy is lazy and shortsighted. But who cares?

  • ||

    "I guess I'd say the guy is lazy and shortsighted. But who cares?"

    The point is that legalizing drugs isn't going to keep that guy and the millions like him out of prison.

  • Warren||

    What it ignores is that yeah those guys work hard, but they chose to do it in drugs because they have no interest in being a part of lawful society.

    Maybe not now. But it's just false to say they could not have done otherwise.

    I wonder why you think we have to have ten times as many people locked up today as we did thirty years ago, or as most other democracies do today.

    BTW the statistical analysis in Freakonomics is first rate.

  • ||

    The point is that legalizing drugs isn't going to keep that guy and the millions like him out of prison.

    John, even if that were true (and I doubt it), it doesn't justify locking that guy in jail for something he chooses to do with his own body, like taking drugs. If he commits another crime that clearly harms third parties, put him in jail for that crime.

    Finally, I can't agree that these people are destined for jail. I've smoked dope. Many or most of use have, and just because we break one ridiculous law doesn't mean we'll break other laws. You've set up a false dichotomy between complete law-abiders and anti-social rogues. And no, just because someone is on a cop's radar doesn't mean they deserve it. I can't believe you're even pursuing that ludicrous line of logic: that the state thinks he's guilty is self-justifying evidence of his guilt.

  • ||

    "I wonder why you think we have to have ten times as many people locked up today as we did thirty years ago, or as most other democracies do today.

    BTW the statistical analysis in Freakonomics is first rate."

    Because we have had a huge outbreak in criminality indpendent of the drug war. Society is just more violent and devient than it was 50 years ago. Legalizing drugs may help that but it won't solve it.

    As far as Freakonomics goes, yes the analysis is good, but too many times he fails to see the forest for the trees and look at the psychological reasons why people do things. Man is more than homoeconomicus.

  • ||

    Chris S,.

    You don't understand what I am saying. I am not saying that these people are criminals because they use drugs. I am saying just the opposite, their criminality has nothing to do with their drug use. Your point about how you smoked pot is precisly my point. Most drug users are like you, they use drugs and never have any issues with the law. That is the point. The people that do have issues with the law ussually have them for reasons in addition to or independent of their drug use. My point is that legalizing drugs isn't going to reduce the crime rate. You are right that just because a guy is a criminal we shouldn't throw him in jail for a bogus crime like drug use. My point is that legalizing drugs isn't going to make that guy less of a criminal.

  • Warren||

    Because we have had a huge outbreak in criminality indpendent of the drug war. Society is just more violent and devient than it was 50 years ago.

    And this is the end of our debate. I lay at least 50% of the blame directly at the feet of the WOD. I'm amazed that you think it's 0%

  • ||

    Can anyone counter the argument by drug-warriors that a disproportiante amount of crime in this country is committed by people while on drugs? Thus, if we legalized drugs, we would have even more crime since drugs make people violent. Thanks. Looking for thoughtful responses.

    First response: Are you serious? Has the cult of personality so infected our population that someone actually believes this nonsense?

    Second response: Define drugs. I agree that drugs make people more prone to violence, but that drug is already legal. For whatever statistics may support your claim that drugs (illicit) make people violent, the statistics are flawed because they conveniently omit the FACTS that the drugs were used in concert with alcohol.

  • ||

    No, I understand your point, and I disagree. I think that many people are imprisoned for bogus reasons (mostly drugs), and that some of these people come out of prison more likely to commit other crimes.

    I'm not talking about people like me -- you're right about that. I wouldn't go to prison because I have the means to defend myself, and if I did go to prison, I wouldn't come out of prison any more likely to rob a liquor store. I'm also not talking about a sociopath who would commit violent crimes without any environmental influences. I'm talking about people occupying a middle ground -- people who become more criminally inclined after associating with violent criminals. Those associations might be formed in jail, or they might be formed among people in the drug trade. Like I said in my first post, I don't think these environmental influences ever morally justify violent crimes, but we as a society ought to take notice of laws that probably foster criminal associations.

  • ||

    Chris S

    I think there is something to that, espcicially with regards to street gangs. Take away their big drug money and they are not as attractive to young people and fewer young people become criminals. Certainly, prohibition has created a culture of criminality in some places. What percentage of people who are criminals now would not be criminals if drugs were legal? I say it is like maybe 10% of crimnals, Warren thinks it is 50%. Who knows who is right.

  • ||

    Is there any evidence that would convince libertarians that individuals don't own themselves, and have the right to do with their property as they wish so long as they don't hurt others?

    If not, then you fine people are also in the realm of "religious belief".

  • ||

    If not, then you fine people are also in the realm of "religious belief".

    Yeah, yeah, don't change the subject. The point is that the drug warriors are legislating and prosecuting based on "religious beliefs" that result in conclusions that are clearly contrary to fact. Do you have no problem with that, or are you just trying to make this yet another HnR religion thread?

  • Robert||

    Warren, the parents are among the well-meaning types who are kept convinced by a few influential sadists who whisper lies about drugs into their ears. Plus, the parents also think -- and not entirely wrongly -- that arguments against prohibition must include, or will be taken as, arguments in favor of drug use, which will lead their children into trouble with the existing laws.

    Meanwhile, on your other point, most crime needs little or no financing. The drug trade can't stoke criminality by providing a revenue stream. I too think that ending prohibitions will have little effect on the amount of serious crime.

  • Douglas||

    You cant argue with a drug warre they are freks

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