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Conservatism is a con job!
10:09 PM on 11/10/2009
The author is so right it hurts.

I don't like to be a downer, but having watched the inanity of the "war on drugs" for a long long time, I just cannot imagine it ever ending. I remember 40 years ago sitting around with my pals predicting how when our generation ran the country, we'd be able to buy weed in a store, just like you can liquor and tobacco. Well, the now aging white guys are running Congress, and ain't jack changing.

One can only conclude that people who are very powerful want things exactly as they are.

El Presidente can light up the killer weed tobacco..... but he's opposed to legalizing the drug that other people enjoy. The harmless drug that other people enjoy. And that he used to enjoy.

Replace the Congress in 2012 and vote in pro-legalization candidates.
John Horner
10:02 PM on 11/10/2009
A few years ago I got tossed out of a jury pool for stating the obvious: The war on drugs has been a complete and dismal failure and it is long past time we change course. I'm no drug user and I sure don't want my teenager to get into them, but that doesn't change the facts. We should make important policy decisions based on the best available data and evidence, not on pseudo-religious feelings.
09:18 PM on 11/10/2009
If drugs were legalized, a heck of a lot of corrupt police officers, DEA agents and other officials would need pay raises pronto.
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It's a Wall Street government
10:52 PM on 11/10/2009
And, the drug cops would have to be laid off or reassigned to patrol. Neither choice is as sexy as "scruffing it up" and being a tough guy prohibition officer.
burned out attorney, flaming liberal
12:56 AM on 11/11/2009
If they are on the take, I oppose giving them a raise. They can sell their BMWs.
03:35 AM on 11/11/2009
Yes, I'm afraid they are on the take, due to laws allowing confiscation of anything connected with drug dealing. There have been cases where law enforcement has actually picked out property ahead of time and then planted drugs so they could confiscate it. This big money operation is not going to end for exactly the same reason that "too bog to fail" banks are not going to end.
09:14 PM on 11/10/2009
Thank you for yet another honest, realistic solution to make the world a better place.
09:13 PM on 11/10/2009
Very Good Article. I have read many articles against the drug war and this was very convincing in it's argument. Very nice.
09:02 PM on 11/10/2009
It's totally unacceptable to provide employment to prohibitionists at the expense of criminalizing some people.

That the prohibitionists are willing to cause all types of devastation to the lives of people who grow or use cannabis, a beneficial plant, does not speak well for their good will towards others or their desire to help anyone. If their genuine desire was to help people they would have long ago turned their interest toward more damage control approaches to issues of genuine substance abuse which would have been far more likely to have involved alcohol than anything else.
I love you Thomas and I miss you like crazy RIP
08:35 PM on 11/10/2009
When are we going to learn that we can't legislate human behavior?
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10:47 PM on 11/10/2009
we do not live on a planet of facts
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11:10 PM on 11/10/2009
Sure we can - burglary, rape, murder, embezzlement, fraud, speeding, etc. are all human behaviors - and all appropriately addressed by legislation...
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
08:35 PM on 11/10/2009
"The proponents of the ‘war on drugs’ are well-intentioned people who believe they are saving people from the nightmare of drug addiction and making the world safer."

Some of them, to some degree. But a lot of them, to a large degree, are mediocre-intentioned people who care more about their vision of a command-and-control society than they do about what's actually right or wrong, beneficial or harmful.
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King of Doobiestan
08:28 PM on 11/10/2009
without prohibition, how would our gubmint fund their covert ops around the world...,?For what we spend on the war on drugs, we could fund universal healthcare...,
08:17 PM on 11/10/2009
The problem is that our prisons are privatized, so we need to have as many criminals in jail as possible so those corporations can continue to make money...

Also, decriminalizing drugs for personsal use would hurt Big Pharma.

There's a lot more going on than the surface issue of drug legality/decriminalization. It's a tangled, horrible web that I don't think is ever going to get unraveled in this country in our lifetimes (I am 28).
11:32 PM on 11/10/2009
I disagree.

The fight against prohibition of alcohol was infinately more difficult than prohibition of drugs.

After all, there was a Constitution amendment that had to be repealed. And it was!
08:10 PM on 11/10/2009
Although the author is well intentioned, the fact remains that legalizing drugs would immediately send about a million Americans to the unemployment lines. In 1970 (circa), there were two agencies enforcing drug and contraband violations: the DEA and the Dept. of A.T.& Firearms. Now at the number of enforcing agencies number over 50.
Add to this the number of legitimate businesses and subsequent jobs springing out of the narcotic trade
and legalizing drugs becomes a no-win situation on both sides.
There is the problem of enforcement agency complicity and corruption as well.
burned out attorney, flaming liberal
01:00 AM on 11/11/2009
They can join the military, be regular cops, Homeland Security cops, FBI cops or pot farmers.

It is immoral to criminalize conduct just to give law enforcement types jobs.

Plus, the folks already in the business can get income tax numbers and go legit and hire people to water and tend the crops.
01:22 AM on 11/11/2009
I don't recall the DEA agents being all that concerned about the future employment prospects* of those who ended up in prison on simple possession charges. I find it to be rather an apt case of poetic justice that finally getting a sane drug policy in this country would put the mindless proppers up of the untenable War On Some Drugs in the unemployment line. I won't be spending a minute of my time or shedding a single tear for those who've ruined countless lives and said nothing--because they liked the fat paycheck. Times change, and they can suck it up like the rest of us have had to do.

*The employment prospects of a former felon, especially one convicted of drug charges, is somewhere betweed Diddly and Squat.
I love you Thomas and I miss you like crazy RIP
08:09 PM on 11/10/2009
If we ended the war on drugs we could use the money from that and savings on prisons to fund health care for every single American.
07:56 PM on 11/10/2009
"So, to give a small example, the ONDP spent $14 billion on anti-cannabis ads aimed at teenagers, and $43 million to find out if the ads worked. They discovered that kids who saw the ads were more likely afterwards to get stoned, ..."

Say, was that the one where the pot smoker thinks his dog is talking? And his dog patronizes him? I guess some kids figured that guy had scored some righteous weed such that he tripped out.

Will someone please pay me $43 million for that observation?
Trans & Proud
07:47 PM on 11/10/2009
We need to legalize and tax cannibis and use the funds gained from that to fund care for addicts with other addictions. No one should ever be imprisoned for having a medical problem. Give (confiscated) heroin free to addicts in (and only in) the context of supervised social programs. The rule is Behave Nice and stick with the program (or we might not be so nice with your free fix.). People will find out that addicts are ever so co-operative when their joneses are leashed. Import whole coca leaf, so that people can use the plant for what it was intended for. We need to reopen reasearch into psycedelics. The way that was hasn't worked, but has failed utterly. Why must we continue to flog dead horses when the times are a-changen and we need to reshuffle the deck and call for frsh cards. If we look we'll see that the whole game is changing and we need to do some things differently now.
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Civilization is for weaklings.
07:44 PM on 11/10/2009
Write your congressman. In my case, the Right Horrible Eric Cantor.
I live outside of a teabubble
08:15 PM on 11/10/2009
I feel sorry for you.