reply to post by Sinter Klaas
I compleely agree Sinter!
And, I'll take it a couple of steps further and say drug offenses account for nearly 25% of the U.S. prison population, with the vast majority being
low level, non-violent offenders.
Now I do not use drugs myself, with the exception of alcohol and tobacco, which are drugs and in fact are probably more dangerous than a number of
illegal drugs, so my beliefs aren't about personal gain, but about us dealing with drug use and abuse the wrong way.
Most drug users started, or at least experimented with drugs when they were in their teens. Why, in large part because they were told not to and it
was a way of rebelling. And of course there was also the peer pressure.
Decriminalize drug use and you take away at least a part of the rebellious aspect. Beyond that, if we spent 1/10 the money on education and
rehabilitation that we spend on investigating, prosecuting and incarcerating drug users, the drug epidemic would probably be 1/10 of what it is
If you could walk into a drug store and buy crack coc aine over the counter for a quarter a hit, but it came with a warning that you WOULD become
addicted and that in a very short time your life would deteriorate to a point that you didn't care about your family, friends, career or anything
else that mattered, and your only concern would be getting another hit and staying high, how many people do you think would roll the dice?
Another benefit of decriminalization would be that the crime rate would drop exponentially, as would the cost to maintain our prison system.
The reason drugs are so expensive and so profitable is because they are illegal. Take the criminal aspect out of the equation and you take out the
Pharmaceutical coc aine costs next to nothing, yet because it is illegal the street value is marked up hundreds of times. Here's a link to a
1985 article from the Milwaukee Sentinel stating that pharmaceutical coc aine sold for $50 an ounce at the time. On the street the estimated
worth was placed at $2,500 an ounce. That a markup of 5000%, before a single cut. But, coc aine is probably cut at least 2 or 3 times before
getting to the user, and it's probably cut by over 50%, making the profit rise to TEN THOUSAND PERCENT! That's more lucrative than anything else
that I'm aware of. And we wonder why we have a drug problem!
And coc aine used to be legal as late as the early 1900's and was the ingredient in Coca Cola that gave it it's kick.
Now I'll go a step further and say that this war on drugs is responsible for thousands upon thousands of casualties.
Most first time users do NOT overdose, if anything they under-dose because they fear overdosing. Generally those that die from drug overdosing have
been using for some time, and know their limits. They die because they got a hold of a bad batch, or more accurately, they got a hold of a batch that
had not been cut as many times and was much more potent batch than what they were used to using, They used their usual amount, but because it hadn't
been cut as much as what they were used to and was far more potent, it killed them. Or, someone in the distribution chain cut it with something else
that killed them.
Remove the criminal aspect and even if drug use and abuse didn't decrease they would at least be clean, uncut and safer for those that did use, and
the casualty rate would dramatically decrease.
Provide education and rehabilition instead of incarcaration, and we might even make it possible to more easily reintegrate abusers into society.
As it stands now, we lock them up and when they come out of prison not only have they been out of society for some time, but they also have a criminal
record and are likely to find it rather difficult to find decent employment. As a result they may feel their only option is a life of crime.
And, they just graduated from where? Crime School!
Yeah, what we're doing ain't working!