How many of you that argue for legalization on the basis that it would destroy the drug cartels would support the re-enactment of prohibition once the cartels are destroyed?
Fair enough.Hurkyl said:All I had meant to say in the post to which you responded was that the existence of drug use did not mean the war on drugs is failing -- that's why I just stated the point I meant to make and abandoned what I actually said.
I don't know that there is really any way to verify this, but my guess is that the primary reason for the large drop in the late 80's was the extensive education efforts during the Reagan administration. I was in elementary school at the time and we were constantly bombarded with "Just Say No" slogans and DARE officials coming to our school to talk about the evils of drug usage. Red Ribbon Week and pledges to never use were big events. Granted, this is all anecdotal evidence, but from what I could tell as a child, the effort was largely successful.Hurkyl said:On another note, you keep talking about how ineffective the war on drugs is... but when I've looked at the numbers, they show a huge drop in hard drug use (in the 80s, I think), and the numbers stayed down.
Well I, for one, would not be supporting that idea. Whenever you prohibit a very addictive substance you create a niche for exploiters of the addiction.Hurkyl said:How many of you that argue for legalization on the basis that it would destroy the drug cartels would support the re-enactment of prohibition once the cartels are destroyed?
The biggest problem I see with this is that there isn't just one organized drug cartel. You take one down, you just improve life for other groups, often from completely different regions of the world (for example, heroin can come from Latin America or from Asia or Eastern Europe).russ_watters said:The best way to win any war is to first go after the command and control infrastructure, leaving the troops disorganized and uncoordinated, then go after the supply-chain, leaving them unable to fight. Then you don't have to kill the foot-soldiers, they'll surrender en masse (see Iraq, 1991).
Applied to the war on drugs, that means go after the organizational structure of the cartels. They are like large corporations and killing the leaders would severely affect their ability to operate. Going after their supply-chain is a two-fold problem: First and toughest is their money. Banks need to be made to be accountable for the money they have in their banks. I don't know why the Swiss think secrecy is a virtue - it isn't. The money needs to be siezed. Next is their infrastructure - specifically, the transportation networks. The Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard need to take the gloves off and go after the planes and ships that transport most of the drugs.
The way to fight to win is Tom Clancy style. But I know it isn't politically feasible - politicians are wusses.
Well, I actually don't view usage alone as a problem. The problem is addiction. There are casual users out there who have never had any more of a problem that the average guy that has a couple of beers when he watches Monday Night Football. In fact, there are even a few examples of addicts who remained perfectly functioning members of society and never caused any trouble for anyone. The most notable example I can think of was a former dean of the Yale Medical School who spent all of his working life addicted to morphine. The key, of course, was that he had a steady, reliable, and regulated supply.russ_watters said:loseyourname, we just have two fundamentally different views of the problem. Your view is that the problem is drug use, my view is that the problem is drug crime. Ironically, your view is shared by the drug-legalization types (or, perhaps, they mix the two). If drugs should be legalized, that implies usage isn't a problem - just the crime associated with its trade. Its contradictory.
You apparently just do not believe that legalizing drugs could bring down drug related crime and drug use.russ_watters said:loseyourname, we just have two fundamentally different views of the problem. Your view is that the problem is drug use, my view is that the problem is drug crime. Ironically, your view is shared by the drug-legalization types (or, perhaps, they mix the two). If drugs should be legalized, that implies usage isn't a problem - just the crime associated with its trade. Its contradictory.
I thought you implied earlier that your view was that drug use was immoral. Perhaps I misunderstood. To take the position that the problem is drug crime, then to oppose legalization would require an argument that legalization would increase drug crime, which I'm not sure is empirically supportable. (And, yes, of course, the argument only makes sense when restricted to drug related violence and theft, as the overall level of drug related crime would instantly go down if possession were no longer a crime.)russ_watters said:my view is that the problem is drug crime.
Generally the end result of trying to make a product more scarce through force is to drive up the price of that product, so that its not profitable. A decrease in price means that there is no trouble with supply, so it's ok to drop prices and allow demand to go up; and the purity increase shows that it's not artificially creating more product by diluting it.Hurkyl said:You say this a lot, but what does it really mean? It's certainly nonobvious that this is a bad thing, nor that it's an indicator that the war on drugs is failing.
That's the point actually, you're going to have alot of pissed off violent criminals; but this doesn't mean user supply will drop, because seizures are anticipated enough to have it make little impact, and the seizure rate is generally constant so it wouldn't really lead to more availability either.And you make juxtapositions like this as if it meant something. Even if improving purity and decreasing price is shown to be a bad thing, you've made absolutely no effort to show that things would not have been worse had this seizure not taken place.
Less "drug use" is not the only measure of success. I believe I've stated that use would indeed go up, but addiction and ruined lives because of it would go down. The primary problem with drug use is the violence the illicit market creates, this is responsible for a majority of drug related deaths. The goal of a war on drugs should be to minimize the deaths related to drugs, and in that respect the wars punitive approach is a failure.It would be silly to expect 100% victory, but your criticisms of the war on drugs seem to be based primarily on the fact that 100% victory hasn't been accomplished. The war on drugs is successful if drug usage is less than if there was no war on drugs, which you admit is the case:
Actually, since overall drug use has been found, by government study, to have a constant rate across all socioeconomic brackets, this is pretty much true. And furthermore, recreational occaisonal use has even less of an impact, and these users make up such a substantial majority of all users, that they can be considered typical.Furthermore, you use selective sampling as if it's representative:
You are obviously trying to imply that this is your "typical" drug user.
However, you've given no reason to think that these people aren't simply the exceptional cases that are better able than to keep their habit from spilling over into other parts of their life... and that might not even be permament.
And you haven't even attempted to say that the druggies are as productive and successful as the others.
(a) The decision to misuse alcohol, i.e. alone, in class, because of depression or wanting to escape, must inherently preceed addiction... going straight from social use to addiction without taking the step of misuse does not happen, and does not happen with any other substance.(a) It is already known that social use and addiction are not mutually exclusive, at least with alcohol.
(b) Since one can become addicted to some drugs from a single use, moderation won't prevent addiction.