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Obama blunder 2 fail 2 de-escalate Drug War?

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The U.S. economic recovery is lethargic. We've been out of recession for years.

But unemployment is still around 7.7%

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 20 Mar 2013 at 05:50:37 PM GMT is: debtiv.gif

The estimated population of the United States is 314,627,367

so each citizen's share of this debt is $53,216.14.

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Further, the E.U. is teetering on collapse.

The news from Syria is horrifying. ~70K dead?

BUT!

The death toll in Northern Mexico isn't all that much lower, around ~60K at my last check.

Those are deaths from Mexico's Drug War.

Does any of this make sense?

The U.S. has spent roughly a $Trillion on Drug War. And what has it accomplished?

"In 1960 in this country [u.S.] there were only 4,000,000 people in the entire nation who had ever used an illicit drug at any time in their life. By 1990 we had 80,000,000 people in this country who had used illicit drugs at any time in their life, and the numbers who became hard core, frequent users were proportional and commensurate." DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine

According to this top DEA agent, Drug War has only made matters worse, by an order of magnitude!

We've been here before! Our previous Prohibition was a dismal failure! We repealed it, and Capone style drive-by shootings slowed to a trickle.

What are we spending on Drug War? Nearly $20 $Billion?

That's not the whole story! This Harvard economist says we'd save more than double that much, if we dialed down the Drug War.

Costs to taxpayers

A 2008 study by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron has estimated that legalizing drugs would save taxpayers $76.8 billion a year in the United States — $44.1 billion from law enforcement savings, and at least $32.7 billion in tax revenue ($6.7 billion from marijuana, $22.5 billion from cocaine and heroin, remainder from other drugs).[116][117]

http://www.ask.com/wiki/War_on_Drugs

There are perils to spending cuts. If we cut the Pentagon's budget too much, we risk a military invasion, perhaps even a loss of sovereignty to a military aggressor.

If we cut education, we may lose our competitive status in globalized economic competition.

Besides the simple logic, the writing is on the wall.

"Medical marijuana" is legal in over a dozen States.

Recreational marijuana is legal in two States.

Can we not see what the trend is here?

Further:

In the recent CPAC conference, dialing back the Drug War was mentioned.

Conservative standard-bearer William F. Buckley Jr. was on that bandwagon for decades.

In our budget crisis of a $Trillion per year additional debt, is saving only $76.8 $Billion per year deminimus?

Or is our economy so high a priority that nothing should be taken off the economic negotiation table?

And what of Obama's role in this?

Is he resisting doing the sensible thing here, because he doesn't want history to remember him as: "the Black president that legalized drugs"?

In that regard, is Obama putting himself ahead of his country and People? His reputation is more important than the welfare of the nation?

Or shall we think Drug War a good thing, and that we should return to beverage alcohol prohibition as well?

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The reason Prohibition and our so-called "War" on Drugs hasn't worked either, is because you can't tell people what to do with their bodies. The government has NO business telling us what we can and can't do. It's none of the dang business!

Remember the movie "Demolition Man"? Remember this quote:

Edgar Friendly: You see, according to Cocteau's plan, I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener".

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"The government has NO business telling us what we can and can't do." K

It has, but there are limits to it.

"No right is absolute. Conversely, no government authority is absolute." law Professor & former ACLU head Nadine Strossen

Our government can tell us not to murder.

But our government ought not tell us we can't have a Mudweiser while we're watching the Superbowl.

But K, I had in mind the economic & pragmatic question in mind.

Drug War isn't working. In fact, it's falling apart.

And we've got very serious money worries here.

We've taken so many U.S. citizens prisoner of Drug War that the nation we memorialize in song as "the land of the free, and the home of the brave" has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the Western world.

Should we really continue to squander the $76.8 billion a year Drug War is costing us?

Or is it time we got serious about debt, deficit, human rights, and the principles of Liberty our nation was Founded upon?

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The truth is there is much money to be made by private companies and huge budgets to be allocated (from tax payer dollars of course) to government and military institutions, as well as money to be laundered and skimmed off of by banks, that would all dry up and blow away were the war on drugs to end....So they are not going to end. Period.

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It has, but there are limits to it.

Our government can tell us not to murder.

But our government ought not tell us we can't have a Mudweiser while we're watching the Superbowl.

But K, I had in mind the economic & pragmatic question in mind.

Drug War isn't working. In fact, it's falling apart.

And we've got very serious money worries here.

We've taken so many U.S. citizens prisoner of Drug War that the nation we memorialize in song as "the land of the free, and the home of the brave" has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the Western world.

Should we really continue to squander the $76.8 billion a year Drug War is costing us?

Or is it time we got serious about debt, deficit, human rights, and the principles of Liberty our nation was Founded upon?

You're right. I wonder how much it costs us to keep so many people incarcerated? Probably quite a bit of money...

If we can save $76.8 Billion a year, without cutting into Social Security and Medicare than we need to do it.

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Are the incarceration costs even figured into that 76.8B >?

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The reason Prohibition and our so-called "War" on Drugs hasn't worked either, is because you can't tell people what to do with their bodies. The government has NO business telling us what we can and can't do. It's none of the dang business!

Remember the movie "Demolition Man"? Remember this quote:

Awesome lol i used this same quote not long ago on a different topic,really hits home to what we are starting to see in real life. :tu:

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"The truth is there is much money to be made ..." OS

Amen!

Every $dollar of government spending has a constituency.

But guess what.

I don't think the prison industrial complex should trump our children.

"Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket that is fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children ..." President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt." John Adams

K posted:

"If we can save $76.8 Billion a year, without cutting into Social Security and Medicare than we need to do it." K

Short, sweet, logically irrefutable, fiscally responsible, and we might even fit it onto a bumper-sticker!!

"Are the incarceration costs even figured into that 76.8B >?" AX

I believe so.

"Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron has estimated that legalizing drugs would save taxpayers $76.8 billion a year in the United States — $44.1 billion from law enforcement savings"

http://www.ask.com/wiki/War_on_Drugs

I'm guessing the "law enforcement saviings" referred to there is the entire criminal justice element, from police, through jail / prison.

Part of my reason for suspecting so is, last I checked, it said we spend about $20 $B per year on DW. I'm guessing that's only the police (& perhaps court) costs, but not incarceration.

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PS

K & CK,

Please forgive me. I'm not trying to be obtuse. Perhaps it's because I'm not familar with the "Demolition Man" reference. (a movie? didn't see it)

I read the quote but don't get it. Am I just too old? Comprehensionally impaired?

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No, you're not obtuse.

The film tells the story of two men—one, an evil crime lord; the other, a risk-taking police officer—who are cryogenically frozen in the year 1996 and reawakened in 2032. Following a massive earthquake in 2010 that destroyed much of Los Angeles, it merged with San Diego to form a planned city called San Angeles in which all crime has seemingly been eliminated from mainstream society.

Some aspects of the film allude to Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World.

Dr. Raymond Cocteau is in charge of San Angeles and ALL vices are outlawed. No swearing, drinking, sex, unhealthy food and drink, smoking, etc.

Dennis Leary's character, Edgar Friendly, is fighting against Cocteau.

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The republicans would of continued it anyway

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"Dennis Leary's character, Edgar Friendly, is fighting against Cocteau." K

Alright. Now I have to see it. Thanks.

"The republicans would of continued it anyway" TN

So we might have thought. Governor Gary Johnson (a Republican I gather) favors decriminalization of marijuana. And I believe (though I haven't read the transcript) that at the recent CPAC, one of the issues focused upon was rebranding the GOP.

And while they mentioned easing off on immigration, welcoming more diversity, they also mentioned decriminalization of some currently illegal drugs.

CPAC isn't congress. But it's a hopeful sign.

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Alright. Now I have to see it. Thanks.

So we might have thought. Governor Gary Johnson (a Republican I gather) favors decriminalization of marijuana. And I believe (though I haven't read the transcript) that at the recent CPAC, one of the issues focused upon was rebranding the GOP.

And while they mentioned easing off on immigration, welcoming more diversity, they also mentioned decriminalization of some currently illegal drugs.

CPAC isn't congress. But it's a hopeful sign.

Rand Paul, a conservative Republican, is FOR decriminalization of marijuana. So were many others at CPAC.

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Rand Paul, his dad Ron. Gary Johnson.

So far as I understand the definition of the term: it is politically conservative to favor the termination of Drug War.

Political conservatism means favoring smaller, less intrusive, less authoritarian government; also favoring balanced budgets / fiscal responsibility, etc.

K,

I didn't get to CPAC, but what little of it I caught on TV seemed encouraging.

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Rand Paul, his dad Ron. Gary Johnson.

So far as I understand the definition of the term: it is politically conservative to favor the termination of Drug War.

Political conservatism means favoring smaller, less intrusive, less authoritarian government; also favoring balanced budgets / fiscal responsibility, etc.

K,

I didn't get to CPAC, but what little of it I caught on TV seemed encouraging.

Oh, I agree. I does look very promising.

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Republican, is FOR decriminalization of marijuana. So were many others at CPAC.

Easy to say for the camera but it's not happening in Congress.

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Easy to say for the camera but it's not happening in Congress.

So it might have seemed just a few short years ago.

But many Congressional Republicans are over a barrel because of their Norquist pledge.

$75 $Bil isn't chump change. That's an amount of money worth saving.

Over a dozen U.S. States already have medical marijuana, many of them by plebescite, not statute. That means the legislature didn't provide it. The electorate went to the polls and voted for it.

In addition to those dozens, Colorado and Washington State have decriminalized marijuana for recreational use.

They're not leading the charge. Europe has gotten more sensible about Drug War too.

The handwriting is on the wall.

Dire predictions were made about what would happen with medical marijuana, and decriminalized recreational use.

I haven't read any indications any of those dire predictions have come to pass.

Ending the Drug War may be an economic necessity. Shame on any U.S. legislator that thinks martial oppression of U.S. citizens is a higher priority than caring for our children's health and education.

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Like Sear said,trillions have been spent and what is the outcome?

Thousands more dead,Very few busts,and a lot of our money being pocketed in someone elses wallet

None of this drug war spending or Drug war fighting is doing any good except more spending,for what,to make someone get more votes to be placed in office >Then when in office they serve their term only to bring up War on Drugs againg when said term is almost over,And were the stupid people that keep doing it,Dang it.We ALL FAILED when we put Obama in Office,we are destened to faill again the next time too,we just dont learn from our mistakes.

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I think a low-key government attitude about harmful drugs should be policy. For things like tobacco and alcohol and marijuana, probably non-profit government monopolies where there is no advertising and no profit motive but availability to meet demand at cost.

For addictive drugs, prescription availability to known addicts and criminal action against distribution (but not absurd things like executions). More usually just fines big enough to take out the profit.

I think the various anti-drug campaigns ("Just say no") are silly and counterproductive, creating curiosity where there might otherwise be none. Drug education has to be part of the curriuculum, but in a scientifc, not a "scare them" way, and being careful to stick to scientific truth so as to maintain credibility.

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National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33)--the "noble experiment"--was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. The results of that experiment clearly indicate that it was a miserable failure on all counts. The evidence affirms sound economic theory, which predicts that prohibition of mutually beneficial exchanges is doomed to failure

The lessons of Prohibition remain important today. They apply not only to the debate over the war on drugs but also to the mounting efforts to drastically reduce access to alcohol and tobacco and to such issues as censorship and bans on insider trading, abortion, and gambling.[1]

Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became "organized"; the court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point; and corruption of public officials was rampant. No measurable gains were made in productivity or reduced absenteeism. Prohibition removed a significant source of tax revenue and greatly increased government spending. It led many drinkers to switch to opium, marijuana, patent medicines, cocaine, and other dangerous substances that they would have been unlikely to encounter in the absence of Prohibition. Those results are documented from a variety of sources, most of which, ironically, are the work of supporters of Prohibition--most economists and social scientists supported it. Their findings make the case against Prohibition that much stronger.[2]

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-157.html

Cato says the previous one was a failure.

Why would we expect the current one to be any different?

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Posted (edited)

What are they going to do with all those private prisons if they legalize marijuana. Private prisons have their own lobbyists to make sure it isn't legalized.

Plus you have government officials that use it but vote against its legalization even for medical use like this GOP New York Assemblyman.

Anti-marijuana New York assemblyman busted for weed possession

I hope they never legalized drugs like Meth.

Edited by Hilander
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"I hope they never legalized drugs like Meth." Hi

I agree that meth is a hideous drug.

But that's the point. When all recreational drugs are illegal, then using any of them is a crime.

Drugs such as meth and crack seem to be products of prohibition. Prohibition makes matters worse.

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Posted (edited)

So it might have seemed just a few short years ago.

But many Congressional Republicans are over a barrel because of their Norquist pledge.

$75 $Bil isn't chump change. That's an amount of money worth saving.

Over a dozen U.S. States already have medical marijuana, many of them by plebescite, not statute. That means the legislature didn't provide it. The electorate went to the polls and voted for it.

In addition to those dozens, Colorado and Washington State have decriminalized marijuana for recreational use.

They're not leading the charge. Europe has gotten more sensible about Drug War too.

The handwriting is on the wall.

Dire predictions were made about what would happen with medical marijuana, and decriminalized recreational use.

I haven't read any indications any of those dire predictions have come to pass.

Ending the Drug War may be an economic necessity. Shame on any U.S. legislator that thinks martial oppression of U.S. citizens is a higher priority than caring for our children's health and education.

Not to be a nitpicker... but Washington and Colorado didn't decriminalize marijuana.... we legalized it. It's more or less been decriminalized in both places for over a decade. There's actually a significant difference between legalization and decriminalization.

In November of 2012, after it was legalized in Washington, the DA's knocked all pending marijuana charges and cases off the books. Because it's been decriminalized here for a very long time, they only knocked the charges off of less than 100 cases and in those cases, none of them were solitary offences. They were charges appended to other charges. For example, DUI and marijuana possession, or assault and marijuana possession. They didn't release any inmates for marijuana charges because there weren't any.

In December of 2012, it was totally legal to possess and use marijuana, I haven't seen any changes around the city... in fact, I might be seeing LESS overt public usage than I did before.

Come November of 2013, the state of Washington (I don't know about Colorado) will open state run pot stores, just like the state used to operate liquor stores here. They will manage distribution, manage growers and act as quality control. The state will literally become the cartel here. LOL. From the news articles I've been reading, there are many countries VERY upset with that around the world. Mexico, Bolivia, Venezuala, Peru, Honduras etc... imagine that.

So far, the federal government hasn't stepped in to say or do anything about it in either Colorado or Washington... I'm cautiously optimistic they're actually going to let it ride and see what happens. I believe that come 2014, we'll see several more states legalize... in 2014, I'm going to predict it will be Oregon, California, Mass, Nevada, Ohio, and New Mexico.

Edited by MissMelsWell
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It's a point worth making CB.

Bananas are "legal". A citizen needn't be an adult to buy a banana, display valid ID as proof of age; unlike cigarettes, beer, or I'm guessing, marijuana.

And a 12 year old Colorodan can own a truck-load of bananas. As long as s/he isn't blocking traffic with it, no problem.

I gather if an adult citizen got caught in Colorado with a tractor-trailor full of marijuana, there'd be a problem (though I haven't read the statute; I've read anecdotally that the decriminalization is for personal use amounts, an oz. perhaps).

"So far, the federal government hasn't stepped in to say or do anything about it in either Colorado or Washington" CB

I gather President Obama, and Attorney General Erik Holder have already said that was not going to happen. It seems the feds don't have enough resources for that, without dispatching the 82nd Airborne Division.

When any citizen regardless of age can own and possess unlimited quantities of marijuana, I'll embrace your term "legalize".

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Posted (edited)

It's a point worth making CB.

Bananas are "legal". A citizen needn't be an adult to buy a banana, display valid ID as proof of age; unlike cigarettes, beer, or I'm guessing, marijuana.

And a 12 year old Colorodan can own a truck-load of bananas. As long as s/he isn't blocking traffic with it, no problem.

I gather if an adult citizen got caught in Colorado with a tractor-trailor full of marijuana, there'd be a problem (though I haven't read the statute; I've read anecdotally that the decriminalization is for personal use amounts, an oz. perhaps).

I gather President Obama, and Attorney General Erik Holder have already said that was not going to happen. It seems the feds don't have enough resources for that, without dispatching the 82nd Airborne Division.

When any citizen regardless of age can own and possess unlimited quantities of marijuana, I'll embrace your term "legalize".

Then I guess by your definition of legalized, alcohol isn't either.

Washington State's pot laws are going to look a lot like their alcohol laws prior to June 2012. When the state owned, operated and distributed all alcohol. Voters kicked the state OUT of the monopolized alcohol business and put the in the state instead in charge of the new pot monopoly.

It remains to be seen how tight the state will be regarding enforcement or even what all the limitations will be. The fine detail laws regarding pot have not been defined yet. The state is still working that out.

Part of the reason they have limitations on how much you can possess is an attempt to keep people from exporting it to other states. This is a GOOD thing believe it or not. It's giving other states a chance to pass their own legalization laws. I think Washington and Colorado are going to be tough on their possession laws and be very rigid about making sure, to the best of their ability, that it doesn't leak over the state lines in any massive quantities. Not because they think that would be a bad thing, but to show the Feds that it's all manageable and to give other states the opportunity to legalize it too. Baby steps... baby steps.

Frankly, when the state takes over the manufacturing, distribution and sales of a formally illegal substance and turning a profit and collecting taxes on the sales, that's legalization not decriminalization. Decriminalization means that the substance is illegal, but no one is super interested in prosecuting minor offenses, but can if they feel like it. This is what Washington has been doing the prior decade. It worked well. Now, it's hopefully going to be even better.

As a voter in Washington state, one who doesn't use marijuana, but DID vote for the legalization, I would NOT want it to be a free-for-all... just like I don't want alcohol, cigarettes or other substances to be a free-for-all... I'm not an anarchist, I'm a realist.

IF and only IF the Feds decide to come after Washington and Colorado, they better do it FAST (before 2014) and it won't be in the form of raids by the DEA. It'll come in a lot more subtle ways... the Feds will deny federal highway funds and grants, they'll stop funding for education at the federal level, they'll stop insuring banks who deal with the monies associated with the trade... IF they decide to do anything, they'll do it in a backdoor manner and make it really really hard for the states to operate financially. There will be no guns a-blazin' by DHS, DEA, ATF, or FBI.

Edited by MissMelsWell
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