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It's high time for Obama...

Yes we cannabis? There's a buzz that President Obama may move to decriminalize marijuana. As a generally libertarian sort, I think our continuing War on (People Who Use) Drugs is an abomination. As a conservative, it has been a colossal and expensive failure - to the tune of $50 billion annually. Legalization or decriminalization won't affect me personally, beyond the money saved enforcing drug prohibition, but is something I would definitely like to see pursued.

Of course, it won't be long before the "Won't somebody please think of the children!?!" crowd decries any decriminalization efforts. But considering it's more difficult for teens to obtain alcohol than reefer - drug dealers don't have to worry about checking ID's lest they lose their state-given license to peddle their wares - regulating, taxing, and controlling marijuana sales makes sense.

In July, Obama told Rolling Stone that he believed in "shifting the paradigm" to a public-health approach: "I would start with nonviolent, first-time drug offenders. The notion that we are imposing felonies on them or sending them to prison, where they are getting advanced degrees in criminality, instead of thinking about ways like drug courts that can get them back on track in their lives -- it's expensive, it's counterproductive, and it doesn't make sense."
I would go even further to say that drug courts and forced drug rehab are a folly as well. Marijuana has a far less detrimental impact on society than alcohol. We no longer force people to alter their lifestyle because they've been apprehended in possession of booze. It's none of the government's business how Americans choose to alter their consciousness as long as they're not endangering others.
Meanwhile, in 2007, the last year for which statistics are available, 782,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes (90 percent of them for possession), with approximately 60,000 to 85,000 of them serving sentences in jail or prison. It's the continuation of an unnecessary stream of suffering that now has taught generations of Americans just how capricious their government can be. The irony is that the preference for "decriminalization" over legalization actually supports the continued existence of criminal drug mafias.
That's equivalent to the entire population of Indianapolis, IN arrested each year for marijuana. Considering the number of violent and property crimes committed each year that seems like a pointless diversion of law enforcement resources. Putting more cops on the beat serves the citizens better than devoting time, effort, and training towards enforcing prohibition.

That fact should be self-evident based on the experience of alcohol prohibition. The very same issues that arose then - violent criminal activity, police corruption, illness and death from impure substances obtained on the black market, and turning otherwise innocent users into criminals - are endemic to drug prohibition today.

Of course, decriminalization at the federal level would leave laws against marijuana possession intact at the state level. States that have passed referendums on decriminalization and medical use would see an end to federal intrusions upon the will of the voters; states that still have marijuana laws on the books would continue with business as usual. Hopefully without the enormous federal grants, though.

The article stresses that any change would like come in a second Obama term. He's not going to spend political capital on a hot button issue like marijuana anytime soon. That's a shame, although not surprising. There will be howls from the Helen Lovejoys of the world, the law enforcement community (they would lose a lot of their cool toys and exciting undercover gigs), and those who don't want Americans to self-medicate like the AMA and pharma industry.

In short, no one with a stake in the $50 billion-a-year drug war pie is going to see that trough dry up without a whole lot of squealing.

I doubt libertarian leaning folks will find a lot to get excited about from an Obama administration, but restoring some sanity to the drug war debate would be a start.


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Comments (32)

IAGREEWITH<br... (Below threshold)
JimK:

I
AGREE
WITH
THIS
BLOG
POST.

Is IAWTBP an internet thing yet, like IAWTC? Because it should be.

ME-2.... (Below threshold)
martyredcars:

ME-2.

Have you ever considered th... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Have you ever considered that he is in favor of decriminalizing pot because that way it can be taxed by the government? Cigarette taxes are bringing in less and less; but what better than taxing an addiction that the left have fought long and hard to legalize?


Interesting timing since IB... (Below threshold)

Interesting timing since IBD just ran an editorial the other day about how things have been looking up the WOD now that Mexico is helping us and Colombia.

"Cocaine prices have risen 89% over 21 months. Purity is down to 46% from 67%, signaling drug-supply shortages."

A 'win' is there if 'we' want it. The question is who wants it and how badly.

(note that nothing I'm saying reflects on whether sentencing needs to be reformed)

The FDA doesn't test whethe... (Below threshold)
End the Prohibition:

The FDA doesn't test whether new drugs are better than existing ones on the market, it only tests whether they meet the manufacturers' claims and they're within specified levels of safety.

So why does EVERY prohibitionist say "there's better drugs out there"??? That isn't what the FDA tests!

If the FDA doesn't test other drugs to see if they're better than what's currently available then why should marijuana be forced to meet this standard?

Marijuana is a GREAT drug for some things, and as safe as hell! That'd be enough to allow other drugs to pass the FDA's testing, so why isn't enough to allow marijuana to pass???

The Government needs to send marijuana back to the FDA, and get them to test it right this time!

First post, on wizbang I've... (Below threshold)
jmc:

First post, on wizbang I've agreed with in a while.

hermie, taxing recreational... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

hermie, taxing recreational drugs like alcohol and nicotine is perfectly fine, and so too would this be.

Hell, if we did it here in Canada it would completely close the funding gap in our public health care system. And we won't really legalize it until it's at least decriminalized in the U.S..

You guys are probably a decade away from being able to smoke a joint at your cousin's gay wedding. Progress!

It would be nice to see an ... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

It would be nice to see an argument that wasn't so filled with holes. Let's point some of them out.

But considering it's more difficult for teens to obtain alcohol than reefer - drug dealers don't have to worry about checking ID's lest they lose their state-given license to peddle their wares - regulating, taxing, and controlling marijuana sales makes sense.

This isn't an argument at all, but an excuse. Along the lines of, "We can't stop it, so why do we try?"

Let's try applying that same excuse to all other crimes. Have we managed to stop murderers yet? Hey, maybe if we take away all the guns!

Marijuana has a far less detrimental impact on society than alcohol.

So does speeding, why oh why do we keep speeding illegal!

Of course, some believe that making speeding legal would cause more harm to society, as, legalizing something will cause more of it.

Perhaps if alcohol were made illegal it would be on par with Marijuana on the harm it causes society? We can't know though, until we make alcohol illegal or make marijuana legal.

Meanwhile, in 2007, the last year for which statistics are available, 782,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes (90 percent of them for possession), with approximately 60,000 to 85,000 of them serving sentences in jail or prison.

Read carefully folks. 782 thousand were arrested for "marijuana-related crimes", 10% of those were for something other than possession. What? We don't know because we're not told.

What's 10% of 782,000? Oh wait, I got it! 78,000. Also notice that the high end for serving jail and/or prison time is 85k. But they allow for mistakes by giving a range.

So basically, no one is serving time for possession. Although the author would have us believe that they are.

That fact should be self-evident based on the experience of alcohol prohibition. The very same issues that arose then - violent criminal activity, police corruption, illness and death from impure substances obtained on the black market, and turning otherwise innocent users into criminals - are endemic to drug prohibition today.

It's amazing how things work. If we make something legal, no one gets arrested for it.

We can apply the same arguments all the way up the chain. Cocaine, Meth, Crack, Acid, you name it. Decriminalize it and no one will need to get violent over obtaining it. No police will be bribed, no violent criminal activity, no impure substances killing poor unsuspecting users, etc.

Notice though that our author isn't arguing for the decriminalization of harder drugs.

There will be howls from the Helen Lovejoys of the world, the law enforcement community (they would lose a lot of their cool toys and exciting undercover gigs), and those who don't want Americans to self-medicate like the AMA and pharma industry.

As always, when you are unable to forumulate a possitive argument in favor of something, in this case, decriminalization of Marijuana, you have to make the other side look bad.

It's all you've got if you want to decriminalize drug use. It's the same with those who want to decriminalize prostitution. Or those who want to decriminalize any number of things.

Life would be so much better if we just didn't have laws. Laws are expensive to enforce and those darned officers enforcing those laws! Why, they're just stopping us from getting rid of the laws because in so doing, they'd lose their jobs!

Let's decriminalize illegal immigration next. We can apply the exact same arguments to making illegals, legal.

"Let's decriminalize ill... (Below threshold)

"Let's decriminalize illegal immigration next. We can apply the exact same arguments to making illegals, legal."

Nailed it. Right. On. The. Head.

Baggi,1) Murder is... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Baggi,

1) Murder is not an act between two consenting parties like a drug transaction or prostitution. I don't believe consensual acts between two adults are the business of the government.

How much impact would $50 billion annually make if it were diverted from the drug war to capturing, trying, and jailing violent criminals? We'll never know.

2) The laws of physics come into play when an automobile is speeding - greater velocity means longer stopping distances and more energy in an impact. Speed is often cited as a factor in fatal accidents. Ergo, speed limits are a reasonable attempt to manage drivers of varying ability on public roads.

Alcohol has been illegal, and alcohol prohibition was the same disastrous failure drug prohibition has been. We tolerate the excess deaths, violence, and family strife caused by alcohol abuse while even responsible use of marijuana is a crime. Why?

3) All of the 782,000 arrested for marijuana offenses consume police and court resources to adjudicate their cases. Resources better used reducing violent crimes.

The 10% not arrested solely for possession are most likely busted for manufacture and sale/delivery. Again, a non-violent crime involving one (growing) or two (sale) consenting parties. Seventy-eight thousand times $35,000 (average cost per inmate/year) equals $2.73 billion to lock up people for growing or selling pot. A squirt of piss in these days of $750 billion bailout plans but still too much.

4) The author is in favor of legalizing any and all drug use by adults. For the reasons mentioned in the OP and because what people do in the privacy of their own homes is none of the government's goddamn business.

5) So then, what's your positive argument for continuing drug prohibition?

As I've made clear, the fundamental argument against is the damage executing the drug war has done to civil liberties. It has eroded 4th Amendment rights. It has militarized police forces. It turns non-violent drug users into criminals and diverts resources from property/violent crimes. Like alcohol prohibition, artificially high prices induced by drug prohibition have led to violent organized criminal activity.

Alcohol prohibition proved to be a failure. In what ways has drug prohibition succeeded where alcohol prohibition failed?

I cannot square limited-government conservative beliefs with government intrusion into the personal decisions of Americans. I'd be interested to hear how any true conservative can justify trampling on the Constitution so the government has power - even inspecting their pee - to protect people from themselves.

USA 5% of the worlds popula... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

USA 5% of the worlds population, 25% of the incarcerated.

Baron, you stated: " I'd be... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Baron, you stated: " I'd be interested to hear how any true conservative can justify trampling on the Constitution so the government has power - even inspecting their pee - to protect people from themselves."

Our present President has sure as hell done it for the last 8 (almost) years. And yes, Congress went along with it, 6 years all GOP control, then the last 2 years with the Demo's in control, but hampered by doing anything by the GOP. (That means the Demo's lost their backbones, balls, whatever.)

But with the wealth care for the CEO's, what do you expect. Follow the money in the drug war, our tax money, where does it go?

A few points:Marij... (Below threshold)
epador:

A few points:

Marijuana is no safer than tobacco or alcohol.

It is NOT safer than tobacco or alcohol. A fair proportion of automobile accidents are suspected of being associated with illegal drug use including marijuana. Effects on emotional well being, as well as memory, reaction time and performance of fine motor skill are affected by acute and chronic marijuana use.

Criminalization has not worked to control its use.

Criminalization has choked our criminal justice system, enriched and encouraged organized criminal behavior, and enriched our enemies who profit from its distribution.

Spending on illegal drugs drains a significant fraction of our economy.

How to control the use of dangerous substances that have detrimental effects on our society is not a perfected art or science. The current state of alcohol use, abuse and addiction, and the huge death rate that dwarfs US deaths from war, famine and infectious disease, is a sobering example of what kinds of effects a legalized and dangerous drug can have on our society. Its prevalence and incidence remains a symptom, however, of the underlying moth-eaten fabric of our society. A fabric that can not be woven by any one entity (government, industry, church, etc.), yet so easily unraveled by the lack of cohesiveness of the entities that control our society.

IAGREEWITH<br... (Below threshold)
SillyPuddy:

I
AGREE
WITH
THIS
BLOG
POST.

- me3

Go ahead and use the drug o... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Go ahead and use the drug of your choice. You fuck with me or mine while expanding your consciousness, I'll just blow your ass away. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Interesting response. Let's... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

Interesting response. Let's continue the fisking.

Baron wrote:

1) Murder is not an act between two consenting parties like a drug transaction or prostitution. I don't believe consensual acts between two adults are the business of the government.

Who was making a consent argument? Not I, nor you. You wrote previously:

But considering it's more difficult for teens to obtain alcohol than reefer - drug dealers don't have to worry about checking ID's lest they lose their state-given license to peddle their wares - regulating, taxing, and controlling marijuana sales makes sense.

This is not an argument along the lines of, "two consenting adults" but instead of, "We can't stop it, so why try?"

Hence my response of, you can't stop murder so why try?

I'm glad to see you've backed off that line of reasoning.

Baron wrote:

2) The laws of physics come into play when an automobile is speeding - greater velocity means longer stopping distances and more energy in an impact. Speed is often cited as a factor in fatal accidents. Ergo, speed limits are a reasonable attempt to manage drivers of varying ability on public roads.

Here you are again avoiding the counter point. You wrote that Alcohol has more of a negative effect on society than Marijuana, therefore, Marijuana ought to be legal, because Alcohol is legal.

I pointed out the absurdity of your argument by showing that just because a thing has less detrement on society doesn't mean it ought to be legal. IE: Speeding.

Your justification of speeding laws has nothing to do with my larger point.

3) All of the 782,000 arrested for marijuana offenses consume police and court resources to adjudicate their cases. Resources better used reducing violent crimes.

This is the kind of nonesense they tried to tell Rudy when he became Mayor of New York. Ignore the small stuff! Our resources could do much better focusing on the larger issues like murder.

Rudy went after loiterers and cleaned up the city of New York. Surely you think loiterers are a step below Marijuana users. How dare he waste New York resources like that!

I've been an officer for going on 13 years. What experience do you have to make the statement;

Resources better used reducing violent crimes.??

4) The author is in favor of legalizing any and all drug use by adults. For the reasons mentioned in the OP and because what people do in the privacy of their own homes is none of the government's goddamn business.

Let's put that statement to the test.

So I can beat my wife in my own home?

Let me guess, you're going to say that beating my wife is different than drug use. But wait! You wrote;

what people do in the privacy of their own homes is none of the government's goddamn business

I'm guessing you're going to have to seriously back off of that statement now and modify it a little, yeah?

Finally....

As I've made clear, the fundamental argument against is the damage executing the drug war has done to civil liberties. It has eroded 4th Amendment rights. It has militarized police forces. It turns non-violent drug users into criminals and diverts resources from property/violent crimes. Like alcohol prohibition, artificially high prices induced by drug prohibition have led to violent organized criminal activity.

I guess we're supposed to take your word for it. Not that you should have to provide any examples of how any of those things are true.

I'd be interested to hear how any true conservative can justify trampling on the Constitution so the government has power

Have you ever heard of something called a fallacy?

Look up the No True Scottsman fallacy. Your 'arguments' if they can be fairly called that, are riddled with fallacies. This last is called the No True Scottsman fallacy.

I'm just going to say maybe... (Below threshold)
Aaron:

I'm just going to say maybe the people are idiots. Don't blame your problems on gonja or it's undeniable positive effects. It's all about accountability and no one wants to own up to the fact that they were being an idiot and they were wrong. Say what you will but to the person who said marijuana is no safer than alcohol or cigarettes you are "dead" wrong. That's coming from a person who obviously doesn't or will never "change" their one sided view on anything. Quit trying to brainwash into beleiving that you care when in fact the only reason you are posting is to diminish the spirit and I can tell you, you will never succeed in doing that. Heck the FDA has no problem in handing out meds that kill people or can possibly be more addictive than any gonja you will ever smoke. I used to smoke and I'll tell you it was easy to quit you just have to be accountable and when you say you're going to quit you do it. So it's easy to hate something that you don't understand, it's ok. You might not be ignorant but I don't see how your false accounts of what it is and isn't has any relivance. If you've never done it then you don't know, I don't care how many people have told you that it ruins lives. You've been brainwashed and bringing up Bush doesn't get you any browny points with me. Get it brownies, (:P) Anyway's like I said before it comes down to accountability and is th goverment ready and willing to admit they are wrong about cannabis. No, not yet and it may take awhile but that's why you stand up and fight and prove to others that you can be somebody and to quit blaming the fact your and idiot cause you decided to blame all of your problems on gonja. You are a cop-out. Get it. (:P) go preach to someone else cause I as well as these others don't believe any of your bull.

Might I just add that this ... (Below threshold)
Aaron H.:

Might I just add that this is about marijuana. Not about your belief that the government is right about everything and everyone who stands against it is wrong. Are you serious? How can you even call yourself and officer when you have such a one-sided mind? Are you the judge, jury and executioner? Even though you judge everyday without knowing it apparently.You sure act like it. That's why we have the problems that we do, we have these power hungry officials and they don't want the American public to liberate itself and stand up to the bias and propaganda. I see, so if you are the law you're above it. I see where you are going. "A true patriot stands up in the face of the government when he sees the liberties of the people being stripped from their grasp". I thought a government was suppose to protect the people but all I see are officials taking advantage of their position and swindling everything from us and putting it straight into their pockets. Corruption at it's worst. As long as it works for you, you'll always have an arguement. Don't even get me started on other laws cause I assure you sir you don't want to go there. I bet you don't even know all of the laws, go ahead break out your cop book cause I know you have no crystalized intelligence to speak on your on behalf. So keep taking peoples words and twist them all you want, the govt. is good at that to. Brainwashed bully.

Excuse me? Their have been ... (Below threshold)
Aaron H.:

Excuse me? Their have been more deaths in the War on Drugs than the war in Iraq. Where do you get your info? Is that success? All we've been able to do is make it worse for the children in Mexico that can't even go to school because their parents are worried about them being abducted, over what? Not allowing them to make money off of gonja? Are you all alright? I'm not saying all drugs are correct but the fact that I have to sit her and listen to a bunch of misinformed people really gets my ire going. By opening this option it will reduce violence from happening. Not all violence because as long as their is man their will be evil. You'll just have to use your brainiac methods to find them and prosecute them to the fullest extent. No more bs ideology I want facts and the only way you get that is from science. So, until I hear otherwise I will continue to stick my neck out for people who don't know the truth and to tell you the truth I don't care if it gets cut off. I would give my own life for the liberation of this great nation and for the truth to finally come out. You don't have to join the military or become an officer to feel liberated. You need to understand one thing, when you try to kill someone's lively-hood they will do anything and everything to keep it going. That goes for everyone. Even you...yeah you! Try it, if it doesn't work then abolish it and go back to the normal draconian laws. It's at least worth a shot maybe you could cut a deal and give them their gonja and in turn they will stop everything else and if they don't then back to the drawing board.

It would be nice to see som... (Below threshold)

It would be nice to see some kind of rational drug policy, but there hasn't been any kind of rational discussion about this issue.
http://www.rightklik.net

The Baron did a great job o... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

The Baron did a great job on this piece.
Baggi also did a great job in rebuttal.
I'm so confused!
Seriously, I tend to agree with the Baron on this, but I know from personal anecdotal experience (I smoked a shitload of pot from 15-22 years old) that marijuana can kill ambition and contribute to depression. Thirty odd years later I regret ever smoking that stuff.

Bruce--so too can watching ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Bruce--so too can watching television. You're allowed to do that, though.

Baggi's examples of domestic abuse and murder are totally disanalogous with recreational drug use, unless he wanted to address the crime of making someone else smoke a joint in your home. That ought to be illegal, but then making someone drink a beer in your home is illegal too. The issue is what people do with themselves. Do stay on topic.

Baggi,There's obvi... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Baggi,

There's obviously a difference between violent crimes (murder, spousal abuse) and victimless, consensual transactions between parties. I will concede it would have been more appropriate to say: as long as one is not committing a tort against another party it's none of the government's business what goes on in the privacy of a person's home.

But enough about the red herrings.

Regarding fallacy, I didn't make a statement of fact I made a request for justification. You know, expressing my opinion and asking for clarification from those who disagree. I'm interested to hear how you would square the drug war with limited-government conservatism, please explain.

So far you've been long on fisk and short on justifying the drug war. Why is that? Too difficult to formulate a positive argument in favor of drug prohibition so you have to make the other side look bad?

Indulge me and answer these questions:

We tolerate the excess deaths, violence, and family strife caused by alcohol abuse while even responsible use of marijuana is a crime. Why?

In what ways has drug prohibition succeeded where alcohol prohibition failed?

1) Baggi, the argument you ... (Below threshold)
Adrian:

1) Baggi, the argument you made compared murder to drugs and prostitution for no apparent reason other than a poor bastardization of the original point, that, 'If we cannot stop it, why try?'

However, the quote you engaged a response to was essentially saying that putting marijuana on par with alcohol would actually make it "easier" to keep out of the hands of younger people.

We can't stop all murders, but we can stop some. Just as well, we can't stop all people from using marijuana, but we can stop some. The question should be, "Is it even worth it?" And I would say no. But, again, the specific quote you decided to use to compare giving up on marijuana prohibition to giving up on "stop[ping]" murder seemed to deal more with the fact that we could do a better job of keeping marijuana away from young people if it were legal like alcohol.


2) Actually, the justification of speeding laws did have to do with the point. Perhaps you could cite some specific evidence that shows speeding is less detrimental. Otherwise, you appear to be speculating just as well as you claim happened in the case of the harmfulness of marijuana or alcohol.

Moreover, alcohol is toxic. I can die from drinking too much alcohol. I cannot die from smoking too much marijuana. Although I suppose I could do something extremely stupid like go to a zoo and climb down into some tiger's space. Nevertheless, I cannot actually overdose on marijuana. There are undoubtedly more deaths related to alcohol-use than marijuana-use. Unless you want to count deaths in the war on drugs, which seems illogical in the case of a point on use itself.

3) You never really made a point here. Is there a specific reason using marijuana is worse than loitering? Because you suggest I am supposed to agree that loitering is not worse, but I don't, really. I consider the illegality of marijuana baseless, so you're not really going to appeal to my argument by bitching about how your livelihood is made on arresting people for petty crap like using marijuana, loitering, or jay-walking.

It just sounds like you're too afraid to face the violent criminals.

4) You win the argument of semantics! Congratulations!

A-MEN!... (Below threshold)
Sindarian:

A-MEN!

Baggi wrote:<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Baggi wrote:

Marijuana has a far less detrimental impact on society than alcohol.
So does speeding, why oh why do we keep speeding illegal!
Of course, some believe that making speeding legal would cause more harm to society, as, legalizing something will cause more of it.

Aha! You have opened my eyes to the truth.

Since speeding is directly involved in far more deaths (something like 15,000 per year, IIRC) than marijuana use, and in far more deaths of innocent third parties (including children!), then obviously it is a far more serious crime and ought to be punished more severely. I think a mandatory three to five years for first conviction ought to do it as a deterrent, don't you? And life imprisonment for the third strike, of course.

But worse than the speeders are the dealers! The evil profiteers who facilitate the killers on our nation's highways! It seems right that any automobile dealer whose customer speeds and kills someone in a traffic accident ought to be charged as an accessory to second-degree murder.

Something has to be done. This is something. Therefore we have to do this.
e

Fact: The so called war on ... (Below threshold)
sirsurfalot:

Fact: The so called war on drugs has been an epic failure. I do not agree with locking someone up for smoking a joint. Period. By the way, I do not smoke weed. I did when I was a teenager. Then I grew up and stopped. Some people have an Addictive Personality and will not stop. Does not matter if it is cigarettes, booze or weed. They are just gonna do it. There are too many stupid laws, cops, judges and government bureaucrats. Before anybody gets their panties in a bunch, I did not say ALL of them are stupid. But any reasonable person would have to agree that government at local, state, and federal levels are going to have to implement fiscal responsibility procedures soon, because there IS a limit to taxpayer money. Cannot keep raising taxes forever. The government is a parasite. It does not "create" anything. Only the private sector does. So I agree with Baron who posted the article. As for Baggi, not so much.

Im tired of hearing and see... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Im tired of hearing and seeing about OBAMA they act like he is some kind of god they treat him like some pharoh and i,ll never ever grovel at or kiss his feet

People who use illegal drug... (Below threshold)
tyree:

People who use illegal drugs know their habit gets many people killed and incarcerated every day, and they don't care. The don't care. Let the drug users stop using drugs for five years and drive the drug dealers out of business. Then everyone will see what fine, upstanding citizens they are and drug legalization will pass overwhelmingly.

how about the politicians f... (Below threshold)
Rubblebeam:

how about the politicians follow the Constitutution and undo the unconstitutional law that makes a criminal out of 10% or so of the entire population. Then the world will see that our Constitution is stronger than the sick motives of war profiteers.

It cracks me up when people... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

It cracks me up when people who want to legalized drugs make lame argumental points such as "we can't' stop it why try" then try to pretend that was not what they say when someone like Baggie point out the obvious flaws.

The proper cost analyses would be comparing what it cost society to enforce the law compare to what it would cost not to. Places that have legalize drugs spend a larger part of their GNP to treating it side affects not to mention lower worker productivity than places that have stricter laws on drugs. I'm sure there are those that dispute this but at least cost comparison is a proper argument instead of it cost us money so the alternative has to be better.

The argument that if it was legal it would be less available to kids is ridiculous. How are you going to prevent kids from getting something that is sold at the local store? Pass a "law" against it? Please.

The "what someone does in their own home" argument is a bit disingenuous as well. Drug use and its side affects usually don't stay in the home. I do agree with what consenting adults do in their home is their business even if I don't agree with it. This includes spouse beatings. If they don't want to press charges and are not willing to leave then as much as I dislike it is their business.

There is a great deal of things people do that I don't agree with but I believe there are way too many laws as it is and believe people should have a great deal of freedom even if it hurts them as long as it doesn't' directly hurt someone else. The cost of a law should be compare to the cost of not having that law while keeping in mind personal freedom. If I was convince that drug use was for the most part was limited to that individual making that choice, I would be for legalizing them but I don't believe they are limited to that individual. I also recognize that society must have relief valves or it will explode. Alcohol is not enough for some. My problem with marijuana is that it can genetically change a person offspring which is quite different than developmental inhibit that alcohol can do. Most people are so emotionally charge on this issue that you can't really discuss reasonably this subject with them.

CNBC will be premiering Mar... (Below threshold)

CNBC will be premiering Marijuana Inc. Inside America's Pot Industry on Thursday, January 22nd at 9p ET / 10p PT. The marijuana trade has long been one of the country's leading black market industries. What factors continue to help this taboo business thrive and how is the government profiting as a result? Join Trish Regan as she explores this growing industry and how it has expanded into a major business with its own sophisticated network of growers, workers, and quasi-legal retail outlets, in the form of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Web extras are coming soon to http://originals.cnbc.com.

Sneak preview on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/51204/cnbc-originals-marijuana-inc-inside-americas-pot-industry#s-p1-so-i1

Thanks
Kevin




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