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What do you think of America's "war on drugs" ?
Old 03-22-2008, 09:35 PM   #1
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What do you think of America's "war on drugs" ?

I watched a documentary film on ShoTime this morning, "American Drug War: The Last White Hope" (2007).

I have to say it was rather an eye opener for me. I would need to watch it at least a second time in order to comprehend it all,,,, it was just so shocking for me to hear many of the thngs said. The people interviewed seemed to have been quite credible with unique inside views in many instances.

I'm not really good at synopses, but some of the salient points for me:

A huge number of people are incarcerated in the USA, the vast majority of whom are non violent offenders. Privately owned/run prisons are a huge cash cows. Huge amounts of money are being spent on our "war" on drugs, and the criminalization of addiction is supplying an endless "resource" for these prisons. The CIA itself is/was involved in the actual transport of illegal drugs into the USA (Iran-Contra/Oliver North Scandal). This is related to the use of heroin, e.g., as an agent of genocide for black Americans, as well as supporting the extreme need for prisons. Even tho' we are engaged on a war on terror, with supposedly more secure borders, etc. more drugs then ever make it into the USA. Before we invaded Afghanistan, there was no heroin being imported from there as Al Qaeda had clamped down on poppy farmers. Now, 80% of our illegal heroin originates from Afghanistan.

The film made a very reasoned & convincing case for legalizing marijuana, particularly for medicinal purposes. But also that other drugs could be "tolerated" and the $ spent on the "war on drugs" would be better put to use treating addicts & education.

Here's the ShoTime schedule for when it is shown again. Showtime - Movies - American Drug War - Main
I might watch it again....... or just pull my head back under the covers.....
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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There's a lot more to it than what that show covers...but the sheeple of america aren't ready. a few more generations though...and we'll be on the better track
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:03 PM   #3
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:08 PM   #4
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Ahhhh. That explains it....
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:42 PM   #5
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:42 AM   #6
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I have a post in the health forum along the same vein as this. In Canada we nearly had possession of marijuana decriminalized (would be like getting a traffic ticket, no criminal record) a couple of years ago. It's still technically illegal but generally the police seem to be disinterested in prosecuting unless you grow more than an average personal amount or sell it.

I know 2 people using it medicinally, but neither has a prescription. I have no doubts about the very real positive results on one of them. The second fellow left the military with PTSD and I can tell that it calms him, but I still wish he'd give the docs a second chance.

I bet if a big pharma company had the only marijuana plants on the planet that it would not only be legal but marketed as a miracle drug.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:59 AM   #7
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It is expensive and is ineffective. Time for a change on the stance against marijuana... no need to put people in jail for it. The prisons are overcrowding.

However, I think we will need to continue to fight hard drugs. Even though it is an uphill battle because of organized crime and the profits they get from hard drugs.
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:06 AM   #8
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This drug war has been going on for many decades yet my 12yr old daughter says that people at her school sell every kind of drug you could imagine,so i guess the government is loosing this war big time and wasting a lot of money in the process,maybe its time to try another method,how about legalizing drugs.
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:49 AM   #9
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From an employer point of view (and all of us on this board should consider ourselves employers - we own the companies!), we need to be very careful what we make legal! This is serious. Drugs can potentially cause the same types of damage and destruction, only usually worse, than alcohol, and the effects of many drugs linger much longer than alcohol. Do we all understand the liability issues that raise their ugly heads when someone who has drugs in his/her system injures or kills someone? Do we understand how much this liability costs American business? Legalizing certain drugs will mean that companies can't legally test for them or disqualify candidates for employment because of those drugs in their systems...even though it will mean untold millions in losses for the companies. Do you want the companies you own to falter because of drug related liability losses?

Are you aware that in certain areas, 30% or more of applicants for manufacturing and logistics jobs test positive for drugs and cannot be employed? BTW, would you want someone on drugs making your (legal) pharmaceuticals? inspecting your new home's construction and missing a critical flaw? how about designing our bridges? Would you like a nuke sub pilot with drugs in his system piloting his sub in Pearl Harbor? How about your airplane pilot? Not me, thank you very much!!!

I realize we are losing the war at the moment, but that doesn't mean we quit! C'mon people, don't give in, or we'll all pay the price and the dual concepts of FI and RE will become nothing more than distant dreams. BTW, those of you who are already FIREd may theoretically find yourselves having to climb back in the saddle due to lost profits, reduced diividends, and falling (worse than now) share values OF YOUR COMPANIES! Is that what we really want?

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Old 03-23-2008, 06:26 AM   #10
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After doing extensive research a few years ago, I discovered marijuana actually is not any more dangerous than smoking and alcohol together. With that said I also discovered that as long as you test positive for marijuana it is effecting your abilities. So, yes I do believe marijuana should be legalized, with similar restrictions as alcohol. The biggest problem I see with this is you are not allowed to go to work intoxicated and aren't allowed to operate a car while intoxicated, so you shouldn't be allowed to do either while under the influence of marijuana, which can be several days after you actually smoked it.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:04 AM   #11
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RE: legalizing drugs, abortion, etc -

When in doubt - vote for "freedom" - it's the American thing to do
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lets-retire View Post
After doing extensive research a few years ago...
Quite a number of people probably did "extensive research" a number of years ago.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rambler View Post

Are you aware that in certain areas, 30% or more of applicants for manufacturing and logistics jobs test positive for drugs and cannot be employed? BTW, would you want someone on drugs making your (legal) pharmaceuticals? inspecting your new home's construction and missing a critical flaw? how about designing our bridges? Would you like a nuke sub pilot with drugs in his system piloting his sub in Pearl Harbor? How about your airplane pilot? Not me, thank you very much!!!

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Couldn't agree more - that's why I'm in favor of legalized drug use only for Retirees! You think the number of Early Retirees would spike then?
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:15 AM   #14
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As long as it causes no harm or cost to others, OK. But don't expect me to pay the bills, medical, liability or otherwise. In other words, stay off the roads, out of the workforce, etc where your habit could cause harm...and pay for your habit without harming others (you can't take my property and sell it to pay for your habit nor your subsistence, and you can't tax me - place me in indenture - to support you or your habit, either). THAT is the American thing to do.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
As long as it causes no harm or cost to others, OK. But don't expect me to pay the bills, medical, liability or otherwise. In other words, stay off the roads, out of the workforce, etc where your habit could cause harm...and pay for your habit without harming others (you can't take my property and sell it to pay for your habit nor your subsistence, and you can't tax me - place me in indenture - to support you or your habit, either). THAT is the American thing to do.
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That WAS the American thing to do. Today the American thing to do is to let you live your life the way you want - regardless of the consequences - and then to come to your rescue when you screw up - regardless of the cost - so that you don't have low self esteem.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:27 AM   #16
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That WAS the American thing to do. Today the American thing to do is to let you live your life the way you want - regardless of the consequences - and then to come to your rescue when you screw up - regardless of the cost - so that you don't low self esteem.
Yeah, I know that's the so called "new" American way...but I don't agree with or like it. Glad there are still a few who agree with the "old" American way.

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Old 03-23-2008, 09:58 AM   #17
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you shouldn't be allowed to do either while under the influence of marijuana, which can be several days after you actually smoked it.
Back in "high" school, I used it several times. I also drank a number of times. Driving the day after was not affected by either. If it was affected on some level, then it wasn't noticeable, and certainly nothing like someone who has just consumed 3 or 4 drinks.

Ideally I'll take an abstainer as a pilot, but I wouldn't be any more nervous if the day before my flight, my pilot smoked a doobie than if he downed 6 beers. Come to think of it, I'll take the pot smoker because he won't have a hangover to deal with.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
As long as it causes no harm or cost to others, OK. But don't expect me to pay the bills, medical, liability or otherwise. In other words, stay off the roads, out of the workforce, etc where your habit could cause harm...and pay for your habit without harming others (you can't take my property and sell it to pay for your habit nor your subsistence, and you can't tax me - place me in indenture - to support you or your habit, either). THAT is the American thing to do.
R
I think you are correct. It is very easy to point out what is wrong with the current system and imply that it should be stopped.

It is much more difficult to present a alternative and explain it.

For example, what are the drugs to be decrimalized or leaglized, how are they to be sold; how will proper use be administered - think alcohol.

So those who favor decriminalization or legalization please address the above. Only saying the current policy is wrong is valueless.

PS the people I know who have been the most vehement against illegal drug use are ex drug addicts.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:56 AM   #19
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I don't use marijuana, but after this many years it seems unlikely it's going away.

The most interesting argument I heard was in the late 80's from then Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. I'm paraphrasing, but the war on drugs was then about 75 years old. We were spending about $50B/yr with a 10% success rate (seem like a good investment to you?), and it doesn't seem that it's gotten any better. Making marijuana illegal basically creates two industries, the buying-selling itself and the criminal activities that surround it. No question, the industry is big and very dangerous not only to users-dealers but the public at large.

By decriminalizing marijuana, the criminal activities evaporate (like the rumrunners et al did when prohibition was lifted) along with the associated dangers to society at large. Obviously the quality, availability and price would go down (the criminal activity introduce a lot of overhead, gangs and others making a living, incarceration, DEA personnel and on and on...) --- and he and others have argued that it's not clear usage would increase. I think he used alcohol before/after prohibition to argue the usage question.

Something to think about. At any rate, my only interest is as a taxpayer...
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:12 AM   #20
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I don't use marijuana, but after this many years it seems unlikely it's going away.

The most interesting argument I heard was in the late 80's from then Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. I'm paraphrasing, but the war on drugs was then about 75 years old. We were spending about $50B/yr with a 10% success rate (seem like a good investment to you?), and it doesn't seem that it's gotten any better. Making marijuana illegal basically creates two industries, the buying-selling itself and the criminal activities that surround it. No question, the industry is big and very dangerous not only to users-dealers but the public at large.

By decriminalizing marijuana, the criminal activities evaporate (like the rumrunners et al did when prohibition was lifted) along with the associated dangers to society at large. Obviously the quality, availability and price would go down (the criminal activity introduce a lot of overhead, gangs and others making a living, incarceration, DEA personnel and on and on...) --- and he and others have argued that it's not clear usage would increase. I think he used alcohol before/after prohibition to argue the usage question.

Something to think about. At any rate, my only interest is as a taxpayer...
My guess is that the criminal activity does not evaporate but would find a substitue that just may be scarier than pot. Criminals got to make a living too!
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