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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who Benefits From the War On Drugs?

Posted by on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Judge Jim Gray—a Republican appointee—makes the case for repealing our idiotic drug laws:

Thanks to Slog tipper Seth.

 

Comments (50) RSS

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Joe Szilagyi 1
Until you can out-lobby and out-spend on political contributions the entire law enforcement and prison for-profit system, you won't end the war on drugs. I'm beginning to think this is more and more true.

Legalize marijuana, great -- I'm all for it. What percentage of the War is spent on weed, from arrest to incarceration? Let's say 33% to make up a number.

You think the cops, Feds, and prisons will buy into a 33% budget reduction? Sure, it could be spent instead on fighting meth or crack (a good idea) but that's much harder and more dangerous work domestically than fighting weed.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 16, 2010 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Vince 2
Collectively put your fingers in your ears and say "lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalal..."
Posted by Vince on March 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM · Report this
very bad homo 3
If we legalize drugs, then gay people will marry horses!

Or something.
Posted by very bad homo on March 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM · Report this
4
yeah, we could legalize drugs.
or, the whiny bitches could just deal with reality...
Posted by life is Hard. Especially if you're a Whiny Pussy... on March 16, 2010 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Loveschild 5
How would there be effective control and regulations over marijuana if people are allowed to grow it in their homes ? It maybe none of the governments business what some put in their bodies but the effects and actions that come from that certainly affect more than the individual or individuals that consume the drug. He does make some good points tho, but the details still need work for it to be implemented properly.

And also the images of opium poppy being associated with what he says is just. wrong. Not all drugs laws should be even be considered remotely for repeal.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 6
Hey guess what Loveschild you inane idiot.

People are free to grow their own vegetables in this country, but I don't see grocery stores going out of business anytime soon.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on March 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 7
LC, it's legal for you to grow opium poppies at your home right now. Really. I don't see anybody freaking out about that.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Anthony Hecht 8
@5 - Why do you need "effective control and regulations" over what people grow in their homes? There are rules about how mass-produced tomatoes are grown, too, but you can grow them however you like at home. If people use drugs and then commit other crimes, you prosecute the other crimes, and add additional penalties, just like alcohol and driving.

And yes, all the drug laws should be considered for repeal. The whole point is that repealing prohibition doesn't equal an endorsement, it's the (far, far) lesser of two evils, in the case of hard drugs.

I could drink myself to death in a day if I wanted to, and there's nothing illegal about it. People do it everyday, in fact. And somehow our society hasn't crumbled.
Posted by Anthony Hecht on March 16, 2010 at 10:19 AM · Report this
9
Hey Loveschild,

"How would there be effective control and regulations over marijuana if people are allowed to grow it in their homes?"

I can brew beer and distill liquor at home now. What's the difference?
Posted by fbc on March 16, 2010 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 10
BTW, tobacco, a heavily taxed plant, is also legal to grow in your yard.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM · Report this
The Amazing Jim 11
But if people are allowed to do stuff that makes them feel good and it doesn't hurt anyone else, um...Jesus will cry!
Posted by The Amazing Jim http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=100000076496291&ref=profile on March 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Betsy Ross 12
The war on drugs is a war on black people. Stop the racist application of the drug laws. The constitutionality of a law should be measure by its effect, not its intent.
Posted by Betsy Ross on March 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 13
Darn it, @9 beat me to it. I've brewed my own beer at home. Some of it came out tasting pretty good, some came out awful, and I've decided it wasn't worth the trouble so I stick with the store-bought variety.

One seemingly bizarre bit of legislation that I hope my home state maintains is that the county where the Jack Daniel's distillery is located is dry--no alcohol can be sold there, except within a nine-foot square space within the distillery itself. And I object to even that because it's always amused me that, in Lynchburg, Tennessee, they can brew Jack Daniel's but they can't sell it.
Posted by Southern Gentleman http://just-write.contentquake.com on March 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 14
@13 that's an easy court win, if one were so inclined.

@Loveschild Your arguments on this are idiotic.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 15
if they legalize drugs we'll only be fighting two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and the black ops one (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Somalia).

We'll still go broke, but at least we'll have good drugs ..
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on March 16, 2010 at 10:54 AM · Report this
balderdash 16
Listen, I'm at least as opposed to the drug war as anyone else here, but you know Cui bono is a logical fallacy, right?
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on March 16, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
Did you say Cuit bono - why would I want to Cook the Good?
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on March 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 18
@14: I doubt they're so inclined. Within that nine-square-foot box within the distillery they can only "legally" sell a special* bottle of Jack Daniel's. I think this makes it, from the distillery's perspective, more financially rewarding to maintain the status quo.

*Same stuff you can find in any liquor store, but in a fancy overpriced bottle you can't find anywhere else.
Posted by Southern Gentleman http://just-write.contentquake.com on March 16, 2010 at 11:16 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 19
Who the hell drinks Jack Daniel's anyway? That stuff is fucking rotgut.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 16, 2010 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Loveschild 20
Why do you need "effective control and regulations" over what people grow in their homes?

@8 Because there is a greater chance for misuse and for the consumption by minors to take place.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Loveschild 21
@9 Rarely does homebrewing take place these days, most alcohol is purchased from comercial breweries, and states can still restrict or prohibit homebrewing.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM · Report this
22
@21 You don't know what you're talking about. Homebrewing is huge and only growing in popularity. It's actually a perfect example of how this could work out - altho it is legal to homebrew, it is NOT legal to sell. That requires meeting USDA requirements for safety and labeling.
Posted by kersy on March 16, 2010 at 11:36 AM · Report this
samktg 23
@20, You mean the same way that legal home brewing makes alcohol easier for minors to get? Or how the 100% legal Morning Glory flower makes it easy as hell for minors to get their hands on hallucinogens?
Posted by samktg on March 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 24
That's just about the most dumbassed thing LC has ever said.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM · Report this
25
The hemp part is really important! The declaration of independence was printed on it. Our founding fathers wanted everybody to grow it.

He's a bit off on the part about the stalks not containing any THC. That depends on how much THC is in the plant itself. Industrial hemp won't get you high. It grows wild all over the midwest (from when they planted it during WWII), and anyone who has smoked it will attest to the fact that, no matter how much you smoke, it will not get you high. But it might give you a headache.

Donate to MPP if you want to make a difference. They are actually making progress towards changing marijauna laws in the U.S.
Posted by Barbara on March 16, 2010 at 11:49 AM · Report this
26
Dan - i adore you. You so are such a consistently clear thinker, and can be so counted on to post lovely pieces of reason and logic and sanity. (The speech on gay marriage by NY senator Dianne Savino was another great example of this).

In the world at large I find myself often baffled by the way people reason - or rather, fail to reason. (my partner had me watch Zietgiest the other night and i nearly peeled my corneas off). So to wake up in the morning, pour myself a cup of coffee and bailey's, and hear a republican-appointed judge lay out such a clear, obvious and thoughtful argument for legalization... well, it just makes my day.

Thanks, Dan. We need more brains like yours in the world.

P.S. I will take - any day of the week - a great thinker who opposes my ideas over someone with shitty reasoning skills who happens to turn up Liberal.
Posted by PocketMouse on March 16, 2010 at 11:51 AM · Report this
27
@20 That's not the reason at all. Controls are in place for consumer safety so they don't die from the products produced. That's why selling moonshine is illegal - not because it can be "abused" but because it can be TOXIC. This is the reason we have regulations, period!
Posted by kersy on March 16, 2010 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 28
I love how loveschild contradicts herself at 5 and 21.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on March 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM · Report this
very bad homo 29
@28 - She does that on almost every post. I'm starting to think she's a whole bunch of different people, or just one with multiple personalities.
Posted by very bad homo on March 16, 2010 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Loveschild 30
I forgot that in addition to the problem teenage drunk driving what we need more of in this nation are potheads. The alcoholism problem that besets our nation is such a good example to make for the complete legalization of marijuana.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM · Report this
Loveschild 31
@28 And the contradiction is Akbar ?
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 32
@31, Loveschild.

1. In post #5 you state that it would be difficult to control what people produce in their own homes.

2. In post #21 you (incorrectly) state that home brewing is rarely done so that people easily turn to legal stores to purchase their alcohol.

If you can't see the contradiction in what you are saying, then there is no hope for you (something I have learned to accept along time ago.) You might as well go ahead and accuse me of being a Muslim Racist who enslaved your people as you are fond of doing.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on March 16, 2010 at 12:19 PM · Report this
33
Oh Loveschild, you are such a fool. I'm sorry for you. Wanna come over and smoke a joint and discuss?
Posted by rostin79 on March 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Aly 34
@30

Very few people who don't already sit around all day and smoke pot will take up this "activity" (If you even want to call it that; it's more of a non-activity) with it becoming legal.

In reality, it will just mean that more people can smoke it occasionally without any worry. Just like there are people who abuse alcohol, there are also people who don't.

There isn't much point in trying to get this across to you, though. Oh well!
Posted by Aly on March 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Loveschild 35
@32 Akbar,

"In post #5 you state that it would be difficult to control what people produce in their own homes."

Correct.

'In post #21 you (incorrectly) state that home brewing is rarely done so that people easily turn to legal stores to purchase their alcohol."

The inaccuracy there belongs to you Akbar, homebrewing is not something done by the majority of beer consumers. Most consumers purchase the alcohol of well established brand breweries.

PS Now you're a Muslim again ? lol I though you said portuguese or of portuguese ancestry.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 36
35. Which is exactly my point. A majority of pot smokers WOULD buy it from well established farm strands from regulated and taxed locations. A small handful would try their hand at growing it themselves sure, but like home brewing it would be a niche market.

ps. never said I was you ignorant bitch. Merely pointing out that you like to make illogical jumps about people based on their online nickname. One would think that you actually love children but as we all know that is clearly not the case.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on March 16, 2010 at 12:39 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 37
Hey Loveschild, did you actually watch the video?

What are your thoughts on what the Judge reported about today's Denmark situation?

What was the exact phrase he used to describe the CURRENT state of the perception of weed in Amsterdam?

Do you not see a similar end game for the perception of weed in the US if it's legalized? Similar to how alcohol is today with minors (who can freely drink without even trying hard--anyone disputing this is wrong).

But again, what was the exact turn of phrase he used?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on March 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM · Report this
38
@34 Great point. This is exactly what happened with the prohibition - people kept drinking but there was organized crime involved in it. Prohibition ended, organized crime disappeared, and people continued drinking.
Posted by kersy on March 16, 2010 at 12:56 PM · Report this
Loveschild 39
@37 A vast nation like ours should not model or implement laws similar to or based on those of tiny nations like denmark and Holland. The composition ( on many fronts ) of those nations and ours is very different. Likewise the end results may prove to also be quite different. Besides if you want to use holland as an example you should also cite how the dutch have been taking down many of those same 'cafes' that the judge mentions in the video.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on March 16, 2010 at 1:51 PM · Report this
samktg 40
@39, I heard something about that. It's almost been a year that I did, but I recall it having something to do with them being tired of American drug tourists. Americans are awfully fond of their drugs you know.
Posted by samktg on March 16, 2010 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Dingo 41
Loves fucking moron child wrote: Now you're a Muslim again ? lol I though you said portuguese or of portuguese ancestry.

There is apparently no limit to your ignorance. "Muslim" is not an ethnicity.

Posted by Dingo on March 16, 2010 at 2:32 PM · Report this
42
@30 - The difference between a drunk driver and a stoned one: the drunk driver will be doing 65 in a residential neighborhood; the pothead 45 on the interstate.
__________

The most pressing issue, it seems to me, with drug legalization doesn't have anything to do with the drugs or their users. Nothing to do with social policy, health issues, or the impact on our economy. No, the main issue is depriving the underworld of income. As the Judge mentions, that sea of loose cash is funding gangs, terrorists, and god-knows-what. In the Reagan years, under black ops auspices, it funded arms deals for the Contras.

If you want to live in a peaceful, civilized world, it is incumbent upon you to cut the cash off from those who would destabilize it.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on March 16, 2010 at 2:45 PM · Report this
43
I'd go for an even simpler solution.

1. Set up really, really severe penalties for anyone who hurts another person while high, supplies children with drugs, etc.

2. Make drug treatment programs widely available and affordable.

3. Legalize everything.

If some fool wants to drink floor cleaner with alcohol in it in order to get drunk--something one of my family members once did--then that is his problem. If you want to smoke pot, take heroin, chew tobacco, rot your teeth and mind on meth, then that's your trouble. You think Diet Coke is a breakfast food? I'm sorry for you--but it's not really my business.

Perhaps suppliers who test for amounts of active ingredients will turn up, or manufacturers who guarantee that there is no baby powder in your cocaine. You can choose to buy from those folks, or not, just as you can currently drink your own home brew or trot down to the local liquor store.

I say this as someone who does not use street drugs. I don't smoke or chew tobacco, either, and I rarely drink alcohol. I don't eat Twinkies. I think regular use of any of these substances is probably a poor choice. However, I think other adults have the right to decide what they put in their own bodies. And even if I didn't think they had that right, the "war on drugs" has amply demonstrated that there isn't a damn thing I can do to stop people from ingesting the crap of their choice. I don't want to spend money attempting the impossible anymore.

Even after we imprison people who hurt someone else while high or supply children with drugs, even after we pay for drug treatment programs, we are still going to have money--a lot of money--left over. Because people already do pretty much what they're gonna do, I'll bet we won't have many more addicts, either. Let's use the leftover money to fund health care.

More...
Posted by MN on March 16, 2010 at 2:57 PM · Report this
douglas 44
my brain is not capable of understanding the mind of loveschild. if pot was legalized, and you could go buy a pack of joints or whatever, very few people would grow it in their homes. convenience wins most of the time. aside from that, the fact that in anyone's reasoning a tiny little issue like some hippie growing pot in his basement, something that occurs now anyway, would offset the billions of dollars and thousands of lives saved by simply stopping a crappy policy, is, literally, painful.
Posted by douglas on March 16, 2010 at 3:05 PM · Report this
douglas 45
i agree wholeheartedly with whoever made the point that the primary issue here is combating the underworld. supporting the war on drugs is equal to supporting terrorism and organized crime. supporting the war on drugs, and i hate to use this term but it's true, is unpatriotic. drug prohibition is damaging to our country, and is directly funding and thus arming those who are currently trying to kill u.s. soldiers and police officers/government officials worldwide.
Posted by douglas on March 16, 2010 at 3:14 PM · Report this
46
LC, the man in the video advocates treating that we legally marijuana the same way as alcohol. This means that minors couldn't use it, driving while using would be illegal, and producing large quantities for commercial sale without a license would also be illegal. Did you even watch the video?
Posted by tvontheradioisokiguess on March 16, 2010 at 4:12 PM · Report this
47
Wait 15 years for the boomers to finally give up power, then we can fix this shit. Gay marriage, too.

Just gotta wait this one out, I am afraid. Sorry, folks, sometimes it is like that.

--signed, hard-core conservative asshole who would like to smoke a joint again and doesn't give a shit who Dan Savage wants to marry, at least not enough to have laws about it.
Posted by St. Ronnie is da bomb--go Gipper on March 16, 2010 at 8:13 PM · Report this
48
This is the comment on my blog about the video Dan posted.

"As the judge in this video so clearly points out there is a lot of money in drugs and drug law enforcement. Both sides profit so there's little incentive to change the law. When the public and state governments realize they are being screwed and insist on getting in on the action then we'll see change."

http://amcstubbornturtle.blogspot.com/
Posted by alisamc http://amcstubbornturtle.blogspot.com/ on March 17, 2010 at 3:19 PM · Report this
49
seems like theres a whole army of online christian sunday school teachers promoting homophobia,racism ( very spiritual of you) commenting on stuff they have no clue about...DRUGS for example
End Prohibition ..then start taxing religious moneymaking organizations that prey/pray in the gutter for the people theyve helped to break and destroy their souls ... these child molesting christian ass-wipes who have the audacity to say drug use is a sin
Do you get paid for every new convert to JesusPTYLTD???
If it were up to me ...i'd repay the christian kindness by feeding you to the lions( tho eating contaminated meat might be seen as abusive to animals)
Posted by GodHatesChristians on July 8, 2010 at 7:26 PM · Report this
50
seems like theres a whole army of online christian sunday school teachers promoting homophobia,racism ( very spiritual of you) commenting on stuff they have no clue about...DRUGS for example
End Prohibition ..then start taxing religious moneymaking organizations that prey/pray in the gutter for the people theyve helped to break and destroy their souls ... these child molesting christian ass-wipes who have the audacity to say drug use is a sin
Do you get paid for every new convert to JesusPTYLTD???
If it were up to me ...i'd repay the christian kindness by feeding you to the lions( tho eating contaminated meat might be seen as abusive to animals)
Posted by GodHatesChristians on July 8, 2010 at 7:41 PM · Report this

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