Drug Policy

Mayor Lauzon's Lament

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The mayor of Barre, Vermont is frustrated that we're losing the drug war. So far, so good. So his solution is to legalize marijuana. So far, even better.

Oh, and he also wants to execute anyone caught dealing cocaine or heroin.

So close! When a journalist asked a spokesman for Vermont Gov. James Douglas about Lauzon's proposals, he replied that the governor is dead-set against legalizing marijuana. But he'd have to give the other idea some thought.

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  1. You know, only Nixon could go to China, and it may be that only Lauzon can legalize pot.

    But I’m not prepared to give him enough power to run that experiment.

  2. Vermont? Isn’t that where they give child molesters probation?

  3. is it too early to start drinking?

  4. is it too early to start drinking?

    Corn syrup all around!

  5. Lately I’ve been mooting about calling all people charged or imprisoned for drug offences or other “vice” crimes “political prisoners”.

    If there’s no “victim”* who wishes to swear out a charge, then the law is merely an attempt at coercive social engineering. Such engineering should be condemned wether it is executing people for converting to another religion, refusing to serve in the army, or desiring to sell something without government permission.

    *Murder victims are a special case. We can safely assume that they did not consent to being killed.

  6. The Supreme Court has held that it’s unconstitutional to execute anyone for any crime less than murder. I don’t think that even 9 Clarence Thomases would overrule that precedent so that Vermont could execute coke dealers.

  7. Abdul

    9 Clarence Thomases might legalize drugs.

    Read his dissent in the Raich descision.

  8. so will this mayor be joining Bob Barr on the Libertarian Party leadership committee?

  9. This does raise an interesting point.

    I think the way to legalize drugs is with a bit of disingenuousness:

    “Legalize marijuana! Keep those harder drugs that are actually addictive, life-destroying, and used only by criminals illegal, though. But pot? Everyone’s tried pot! No, this slope isn’t slippery at all.”

    Couple years later, when pot is legal and society hasn’t collapsed, start trying for the other drugs, or at least an end to the War aspect of the Drug War.

  10. jb,

    You are on to something. The best way to get liberty back is the same way it was stolen. One piece at a time. It really is the only practical option at our disposal.

  11. I know it’s not popular to be a libertarian and support any drug prohibitions at all, but having (once upon a time) lived with two crack addicts in employee housing in a resort town, I must stress that crack cannot ever be made legal.

    Even with full-time employment and “free” housing, crack addicts will break into houses and cars, rob people and eat out of garbage cans (150% of Friday’s paycheck goes directly to the habit, so they must do so to 1. eat and 2. make up the other 50%). I’ve met many, and none care about anything but the next fix and each will stab anyone in their way or walk through the sharp end of a knife, if necessary.

    If someone goes to jail for crack posession, it’s virtually guaranteed that they’ve committed a property crime of some sort to get that money (unless they are independently wealthy, which very, very few are).

    If you want your property and personage to be safe, these people must, must be off the street one way or another.

    It’s a shame that the result of crack use is, in actual practice, a bulletproof counter-example to the mostly-true argument that drug use is a victimless crime and what one adult does in the confines of his or her own home is her business.

    On the plus side, crack addicts tend to be very weak and can easily be physically manipulated, if necessary.

    I would agree that in Marijuana, LSD, E, mushrooms, painkillers, even vanilla coke (not Vanilla Coke) etc. the state has no legitimate interest or right to prohibition, but trust me when I say that a society that allows recreational crack use would turn into Dawn of the Dead or Blade 2 in short order.

    I know the drug warriors say that about weed.

    They’re wrong.

    But they would be right if they said it about crack.

  12. Mr. A,
    If what you say is true then crack addicts should be arrested and put in jail for the violent and/or property crimes they commit. If ALL crack addicts are commiting other (real) crimes, the legal status of the drug is pretty much a moot point anyway.

  13. Dogzilla,

    I’m saying crack dependence is so overwhelming to reason, responsibility, civility and self-control that crack addicts will and will need to, without fail, commit property and/or violent crimes.

    The legal status of the drug is not, in my experience, moot because of the low likelihood of being caught for these petty property crimes. How often do the police “get the guy” who breaks a car window to steal a pair of $100 sunglasses and a digital camera? Or the one who swipes your laptop when you use the restroom at (insert trendy business featuring wireless and food)? Or the one who clubs you from behind at 2:10 AM and takes runs off with your wallet before you can figure out what just hit you?

    Sure, they’ll eventually be caught taking something, but these sorts of crimes don’t exactly get you removed from society, nor is it as if the perpetrators are in a position to make financial redress.

    Also, I didn’t mean to suggest that criminals steal and crack addicts steal, so crack addicts are criminals and, therefore, must be bad.

    I just meant to give my firsthand (secondhand? I never touched that shit) opinion that frequent crack use reduces humans to emaciated, feral apes that are threats to the freedom and property of anyone they (even tangentially-no, especially tangentially) come in contact with.

    I’m suggesting direct causality based on my observations of anyone I’ve ever met who was a crack user.

    Admittedly, I’ve seen only one “before and after case.”

    But the change, and quickness of the change was amazing.

    And, like I said, I know the Drug Warriors will say the same thing about all drugs.

    They’re wrong.

    They’re demonstrably wrong.

    But if they limited their arguments to crack, they’d basically be correct.

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