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Ending drug prohibition in the US: How it can work

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In the 1920s, alcohol prohibition, in a dark time for the United States, was actually ratified as part of the Constitution. It accomplished a lot, namely making the production and consumption of liquor more dangerous, created organized crime, and proved for the hundredth time that theocracy has no place in any civilized nation. For probably the first and only time, the US government saw the error of their ways and repealed alcohol prohibition over a decade later.

Fast forward nearly 4 decades to 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act was signed into law by the crook himself, Richard Nixon, in an effort to bust up radical minority groups. This led to the creation of the DEA, an unelected government body that has the power to ban any substance, even plants and food products that it deems a "danger to public health." In reality, this organization does nothing but ban any substance that has a chance at creating a euphoric feeling, as this may have a chance to cause addiction in a minority of people.

Now this may seem like a noble cause to many people, but despite the claims that this act serves to "to provide for treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers and drug dependent persons" the truth of the matter is that it makes the possession of any of the controlled substances a federal crime. This overzealous enforcement of so-called drug abuse really does nothing but break up families and ruin lives. The American prison system does anything but rehabilitate anyone. In fact, it turns petty criminals into hardened criminals. This is the very heart of my argument: prohibition creates crime. In the words of Penn Jillette: "When you criminalize things that aren't real crimes, you still create real criminals."

I could go on all night, but I'll lay out the basic framework of my plan that would end the "war on drugs" that should make everyone happy. Well, most people anyway:
1. Repeal the Controlled Substances Act and abolish the DEA. DEA agents can be assigned to investigating real crimes that actually detriment society, such as child abuse and child pornography.
2. Use the drug schedules to establish age limits and other restrictions. Some exemptions can be made in this area, but all Schedule I and II substances can require buyers to be at least the age of 21 to buy from a licensed vendor. For instance, you could visit any pharmacy in the US and request an opiate like hydrocodone or codeine and they would be able to sell it to you from behind the counter as long as you show proper identification. Some of the more addictive drugs like oxycodone could be subject to monthly or yearly limits as well.
2. Licensing. Create a licensing system to regulate the manufacture and sale of the more risky substances. This may cost a bit in the short-term, but will save billions in the long run. Drugs like amphetamines, heroin, and other drugs that require potentially hazardous synthesis may only be manufactured at licensed facilities. This is to ensure quality, purity, and safety of the product; as well as to prevent things like children being exposed to things like makeshift meth labs.
3. No regulation on any plant-based drug; such as khat, marijuana, papaver somniferum (the opium poppy), kratom, etc. unless it has a proven direct ecological effect on human life. Potentially toxic plants like the opium poppy and the ephedra plant may require fencing or some other device to keep children from accidentally ingesting the plant.

At the very least, some sort of personal use exemption should be added to the existing drug laws. Allow a person to carry maybe 10 grams of amphetamines or coke, a half ounce of weed, or to grow a certain number of marijuana plants or opium poppies without any legal action including confiscation taking place.
 
Last edited by Subtle Demise, , Reason: Removed video that was no longer available.

SG854

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Look at the date for Alcohol prohibition. 1920's. The same year women got the vote.
The first thing they did was push for prohibition. The Temperance Leagues had great political power and so prohibition happened.
Many didn't want their husbands to drink since they were financially dependent on them.

I do think we need better rehabilitation centers. And instead of treating them as criminals, treat them as people that need help.
When people get drunk and become stupid, causing problems for everyone, I don't treat them as a criminal. I just see them as an idiot.
Same should be for drug use.
 

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I'm all for drug legalization even though I don't use it and I understand that, by legalizing it, they are going to cut a lot of crime related to it.

However, and I'm asking this to all the people who do drugs: do you care about who's selling it? The person selling it might've gotten it from their own plants or from one of those cartels that are responsible for a lot of blood. In some parts of the world the drug cartels are 100% controlled by criminal organizations and all the profits go to them. I understand that, according to you, it should be legalized. But are you really feeling OK to give your money to the same people that are ruining the world in the meantime? And if you can't stop, maybe you have an addiction problem?

I just don't understand why people who want to legalize drugs won't be extremely vocal about it instead of financing criminal organizations. They make about 26 billion dollars per MONTH with drugs alone. I see a problem with drugs being illegal but also with people that keep doing it despite where all the money go to. Imagine if all that money went to other goods and services that are legally taxed.

There is also the problem of light drugs, like weed, being considered as 100% harmless by many people, even though it can still lead to cancer (you ARE smoking something) and, if smoked by teens, can lead to brain problems and addiction that's very difficult to get away from. And many people try to get you hooked with this stuff! Remember when your parents always told you to never accept candies from strangers? That was part of the reason. Drugs are as cool as tobacco without the social stigma that now has.
 
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brickmii82

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It just isn’t feasible on so many levels at this point. Too much old stigmata, too many hands in pockets, too much money/power racketeering, and American society can’t handle this kind of responsibility.

While it’s a noble notion and potentially a great idea, it just won’t happen. Nor should it at this point in time.
 
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gamesquest1

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why not make a test state, see what happens with completely unregulated drugs and see what happens, personally I don't see it ending well, I think too many people are falling into the hippy dippy trap, we are all responsible, we will all be adults about it, people wont start pushing drugs onto kids.........one snowball later....ooops that wasn't true liberation of drugs, if only people wouldn't have had the drug use stigma it would defiantly work out....lets try it again

why not just accept humans are idiots and in some cases we need someone to just say....no, you guys don't know how to control yourselves

that said I'm open to having my mind changed, but every drug addict I know have ruined their lives and I would prefer we don't just give them all free reign to fuck themselves up for life just to see if maybe we will act responsibly this time

this applies to even "casual" users who only use on weekends/social occasion, one of the most level headed guys I knew ended up pretty much homeless and dropping out of uni because he got too hooked, it can be a slippery slope, especially when someone runs into a bad situation and suddenly drugs are there to make it all feel better
 
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Piebe

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I am all for ending drug prohibition and look at the whole issue with eyes full of jealousy.
 
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y not make a test state, see what happens with completely unregulated drugs and see what happens, personally I don't see it ending well, I think too many people are falling into the hippy dippy trap, we are all responsible, we will all be adults about it, people wont start pushing drugs onto kids.........one snowball later....ooops that wasn't true liberation of drugs, if only people wouldn't have had the drug use stigma it would defiantly work out....lets try it again
I don't want complete deregulation. That would be a mess like you say. There would be penalties for buying or furnishing drugs to minors. I also don't know where this illusion of drug dealers on the street corner offering drugs to kids comes from. Kids don't have much, if any, disposable income. It just wouldn't be a very lucrative market to tap into. Same goes for lacing random shit with drugs. It just doesn't make good business sense.
 

gamesquest1

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I don't want complete deregulation. That would be a mess like you say. There would be penalties for buying or furnishing drugs to minors. I also don't know where this illusion of drug dealers on the street corner offering drugs to kids comes from. Kids don't have much, if any, disposable income. It just wouldn't be a very lucrative market to tap into. Same goes for lacing random shit with drugs. It just doesn't make good business sense.
yeah I'm thinking if they are legal and easy to access they would then become the new cigarettes, and idk about in the US but pushing smoking in schools is fairly common in schools in the UK,and as we know some people appear to be biologically/psychologically inclined to drug addiction and kids are kinda more likely to try stuff like that and give into peer pressure

also making it easier for people to reach for drugs in their time of need I can see becoming a problem, so if someone looses a loved one its possible they may get hooked and go into the downward spiral of dependency

again I'm willing to see if there is a way to do it, but I don't like the idea of gambling with people lives
 
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the_randomizer

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I'm sorry, but drugs, I absolutely hate any and all narcotics (illegal or otherwise), now, hear me out. I've seen firsthand what they are capable of, I've seen firsthand ruining peoples' lives. My older sister for example, whether or not drugs are regulated, decriminalized, criminalized, people can and will find ways to abuse them. My sister has tried everything in the book, and it completely f*cked up her physically and mentally and irreversibly. Say what you will about how they should or shouldn't be taxed, regulated, I simply wish all illicit drugs, or easily-abused prescription drugs, were completely eradicated. Prohibition isn't the solution IMO, but then again, there is no proper solution to this worldwide issue.
 

brickmii82

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I don't want complete deregulation. That would be a mess like you say. There would be penalties for buying or furnishing drugs to minors. I also don't know where this illusion of drug dealers on the street corner offering drugs to kids comes from. Kids don't have much, if any, disposable income. It just wouldn't be a very lucrative market to tap into. Same goes for lacing random shit with drugs. It just doesn't make good business sense.
The lucrative market when it comes to kids isn’t from the kids themselves, it’s from the fact that they get around the neighborhood and are looking to be involved in something. Ages 13-17 mostly. If they know you got dope, they spread the word. And you know they’re not cops and cops typically don’t fuck with kids walking around. It’s an easy way to advertise.
 
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SG854

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yeah I'm thinking if they are legal and easy to access they would then become the new cigarettes, and idk about in the US but pushing smoking in schools is fairly common in schools in the UK,and as we know some people appear to be biologically/psychologically inclined to drug addiction and kids are kinda more likely to try stuff like that and give into peer pressure

also making it easier for people to reach for drugs in their time of need I can see becoming a problem, so if someone looses a loved one its possible they may get hooked and go into the downward spiral of dependency

again I'm willing to see if there is a way to do it, but I don't like the idea of gambling with people lives
Smoking has greatly decreased due to marketing campaigns to explain the dangers of it. People joke about ads, but they work.
People overall cares about what goes into their body. They don't want cancer.

I'm all for drug legalization even though I don't use it and I understand that, by legalizing it, they are going to cut a lot of crime related to it.

However, and I'm asking this to all the people who do drugs: do you care about who's selling it? The person selling it might've gotten it from their own plants or from one of those cartels that are responsible for a lot of blood. In some parts of the world the drug cartels are 100% controlled by criminal organizations and all the profits go to them. I understand that, according to you, it should be legalized. But are you really feeling OK to give your money to the same people that are ruining the world in the meantime? And if you can't stop, maybe you have an addiction problem?

I just don't understand why people who want to legalize drugs won't be extremely vocal about it instead of financing criminal organizations. They make about 26 billion dollars per MONTH with drugs alone. I see a problem with drugs being illegal but also with people that keep doing it despite where all the money go to. Imagine if all that money went to other goods and services that are legally taxed.

There is also the problem of light drugs, like weed, being considered as 100% harmless by many people, even though it can still lead to cancer (you ARE smoking something) and, if smoked by teens, can lead to brain problems and addiction that's very difficult to get away from. And many people try to get you hooked with this stuff! Remember when your parents always told you to never accept candies from strangers? That was part of the reason. Drugs are as cool as tobacco without the social stigma that now has.
You can eat pot brownies. There are other ways to consume weed without smoking.
 

SG854

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One of the most abused drug is alcohol and its legal.
Prescription drugs are also most abused and legal.
Over the counter drugs are also top abused and legal.
Tobacco despite big decreases is still high use.
Marijuana was illegal and was one of the top used.

The majority of drugs commonly abused are legal ones. This is something to consider.
Regulation has not stopped their high abuse.

The sad thing is that when it comes to illegal drugs cartels form to sell these drugs.
People want their drugs so bad that they'd even kill just to sell it. Controlling territory to maximize money is in their top priority.
They cut penises off, heads, brutally beat people. I've seen a video where they cut a guys head off with a chainsaw. They mostly target other cartels that are a threat to them. Every time someone buys drugs that comes from cartels is supporting this.

The effect isn't exactly what most people look for when smoking weed though.
Most people I know smoke it rather than eat it.
 
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will meth and crack be legal?
Both meth and cocaine (crack is just cocaine converted into a smokable form) were at one point widely used medicines. Hell, you could get meth today provided you have a prescription for Vyvanse. Cocaine I believe is still used as a topical anesthetic as well in some cases.

Anyway, yes they would be legal under my imaginary system, but they would still be regulated. First, you'd have to be at least 21 to purchase, use or possess them. They would also be part of the set of substances that can only be manufactured in licensed facilities to ensure quality and safety (safety as in absence of foreign materials like cutting agents or unreacted precursors, not necessarily safety of the drug itself).
 
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dAVID_

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With prohibition: Drugs in the black market, and a constant war between the manuacturers and the police.
Without prohibition: Teens turning to 18 and consuming drugs, nothing to do about because "they're responsible because they're 18": bullshit. Addiction can always beat reason if it's strong enough. The only way that this would possibly work is to have parents educate their kids on why drugs are addictive and consuming them
fucks you up.
Here's another thing: Drugman offers kid drug. Kid is smart and doesn't accept drug. Drugman offers drug to other kid. Other kid accepts. Other kid offers drug to friends. Friends trust other kid. Other kid keeps giving them and then he becomes a seller. Next thing you know, the cycle is repeating itself. And we can't arrest these dealers, well because, that would "cause even more problems".
 

Noctosphere

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well, here in quebec, most of what we have here is monopolised by government
alcool is rules by SAQ (Alcool society of Quebec)
lotery is ruled by Loto-Quebec
Electricity is ruled by Hydro-Quebec
Maryjuanna (which will be legalised on july 2018) will be ruled by a branch of SAQ
And all those company I just listed are ruled by governement
Theres also a debate I haven'T heard about for a while, about monopolizing Internet and be offered by government
Honnestly, I think monopolizing Internet would be a good idea, because it will be fast internet over all the Quebec
 

Whole lotta love

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Look at the date for Alcohol prohibition. 1920's. The same year women got the vote.
The first thing they did was push for prohibition. The Temperance Leagues had great political power and so prohibition happened.
Many didn't want their husbands to drink since they were financially dependent on them.

Why do you bring this up?

will meth and crack be legal?

Meth is already legal. It's called Ritalin.
 

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