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Roadmap for America


The Drug War part VI, The Hypocrisy We Can’t answer




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David P. Price, PhD is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

February 10, 2010 | 2,371 views | 2 comments

As we have discussed for several weeks, the Drug War has gone on for 40 yrs., and the only legacy is the largest prison population in the world. We have had zero effect on drug use.

Last week we discussed the hypocrisy we can correct. Because of an executive order, police agencies are allowed to keep any cash or property seized in drug raids. This is an incentive to give priority to drug investigations. As we have discussed, as soon as one trafficker is arrested, several more step forward to take his place. But beyond that, drug traffickers do not force their victim to comply.

Those who sexually attack our wives and children, break into our homes and steal out prize possessions, etc., represent a much greater threat to law abiding citizens. Yet their crimes receive less investigation and particularly in the case of burglars, they receive lesser sentences. This is wrong and can be corrected.

What we cannot correct is that one drug causes more harm to society than all the others combined, yet it is legal. The drug, of course, is alcohol. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) alcohol causes more overdose deaths, and more chronic deaths (cirrhosis, etc.), than all the other drugs combined. This, of course, is the toxicity.

More telling is the effect of the drug on the emotions of the user. This is the threat to society. According to CDC, 60% of all the homicides in this country are committed under the influence of alcohol!

This does not mean that other drugs are not dangerous. Marijuana, for example, has the street reputation of being a relatively benign drug. This is not necessarily true. Long term use of marijuana will cause memory loss, incoordination and psychological dependency. Then there are the health effects of inhaling smoke.

What is apparently true is marijuana modifies the emotions making the user giddy and infatuated with everyone around them. Alcohol, on the other hand accentuates emotions. In a party atmosphere, alcohol will make ordinary events and activities more amusing and festive, but if there is any latent hostility or violence, alcohol will bring them out. This is the threat to society.

How do we deal with what clearly is a problem? The truth is, I don’t know? What we have done collectively is deemed that alcohol use is a matter of character. Alcohol is socially acceptable and that concept works until someone becomes high on it and commits a homicide or gets in a car and kills someone at random. Putting them in prison does not bring back the innocent victim nor does it deter the use of alcohol.

At the very least, we need to recognize that making one drug a felony (marijuana) while deeming that the other is totally legal is hypocrisy. Some believe drugs such as marijuana should be legalized. While I am not comfortable recommending the legalization of any drug, I will be the first to admit that would pull the rug out from under the cartels.

Legislating against immorality carries more risks than benefits. Making something illegal creates an avenue for criminal activity.

At the very least, we need to de-criminalize drugs. This means instead of sending users to prison; they pay civil fines. These fines go to pay for counseling and treatment. This deals with drugs objectively and acknowledges that drug use is self-destructive behavior; not criminal activity. This doesn’t correct the hypocrisy, but it greatly reduces the magnitude.
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Freedom_First  
Over Taxed, MA  
February 11, 2010 12:57pm
 
"The cartels would adapt to an expanded, less risky market, and would enjoy greater profits due to higher demand of the legal drugs. Anyone who thinks they would simply vanish if drugs were legal is a little naive." Nonsense. ... More ›

 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
February 10, 2010 6:00pm
 
"While I am not comfortable recommending the legalization of any drug, I will be the first to admit that would pull the rug out from under the cartels." I doubt it. The cartels would adapt to an expanded, less ... More ›

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