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Legalizing drugs not that easy. . . . for politicians

In response to a member of LEAP calling for an end to prohibition to make the streets of Chicago safer, the Chicago Sun Times ran this follow up letter to the editor on Monday, “Legalizing drugs not that easy.”  What I found interesting about the letter is that it is not directly opposed to legalizing drugs, the writer simply has some questions about how the drugs would be regulated in a legal setting.   Here is the letter:

James E. Gierach’s proposal to end the war on drugs poses many questions. Decriminalization and legalization of drugs would be a lot more complicated than it seems. Questions such as who would manufacture the drugs, which drugs would be legalized and who would distribute them. Would Walgreens and CVS dispense said drugs? Would they be open to legal liability in cases of overdose? Would U.S. companies partner with Colombian and Mexican drug lords for supply and demand purposes?

And finally, what would the current drug dealers, particularly ones without any marketable skills, do for income? Would the government, in a time of tight budgetary restraints, be willing to treat and train them to be accepted back into society? There are a combination of causes for Chicago’s street violence connected with corruption, dysfunction, disinvestment and sheer rebellion at authority to name a few. But if the answer is for people to call for an end to the drug war, then that means there has to be a call for a start to reinvesting and retraining the participants in the drug trade so that they won’t look for other illegal means to survive.

Steven Majors,

Auburn Gresham

So, Steven is not necessarily against legalizing drugs, he just wants the government to “reinvest and retrain” drug dealers and drug consumers.   I think that we should do a better job of reinvesting and retraining those who have been unjustly imprisoned for drug offenses and that would prevent those released from jail and/or prison from returning to a life of crime.  However, while there are problems with education in Chicago, the fact that these Americans are incarcerated for putting a substance into their own body or selling or producing a substance for others to willfully consume is the problem.  Any felon can attest to the lack of jobs out there for those branded by the criminal justice system and the drug war is to blame for many felonies in Chicago and across the country. Nevertheless, Steven’s questions can be answered and in no way should be reason to oppose a logical solution like legalizing drugs.

The only people that find legalizing drugs difficult are politicians, which is sort of strange because they are in the regulatory business by making, and in very few circumstances, repealing laws.  One would imagine they could conjure up a set of rules for the production, distribution and consumption of these substances just like they do with everything else.  I suppose those with a vested financial interest in maintaining prohibition might find it difficult to legalize drugs but America needs a new replacement economy because the prison industrial complex is simply costing too much life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness among the supposedly free.  When the factory jobs went overseas, the prison building boom took off, now it is time to reinvest and retrain America to find some other economy that does not feed off caging illegal drug producers, traders, and consumers.

In case folks were wondering about the violence in Chicago there were “at least” 27 people shot over Memorial Day Weekend and that was not in celebration of Obama coming back to the city for the holiday weekend.  Chicago and Iraq have an ongoing race of where more people are shot and killed each summer and year, but legalizing drugs and pulling the financial rug out from the gangs is still too absurd for consideration.  In Illinois we cannot even allow people to consume cannabis with a recommendation from their doctor, as evident by our medical cannabis legislation once again stalling and being put on the back burner for consideration after the November election.  And for those interested in exploring different regulatory models for different drugs, I suggest turning to Transform’s Blueprint for Regulation

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48 comments to Legalizing drugs not that easy. . . . for politicians

  • strayan

    “What would the current drug dealers, particularly ones without any marketable skills, do for income?”

    I’m quite sure they’d figure that out for themselves; it’s not as they’ve let anything get in their way before.

  • Shap

    Mainstream media coverage of violence in Chicago is not surprisingly superficial and pathetic. Not much different than coverage about drug war violence in Mexico. Of course they don’t ask the big questions like “why are drugs illegal” and “is this perhaps the root cause” but then again they don’t want to get bogged down in too many details…

  • “And finally, what would the current drug dealers, particularly ones without any marketable skills, do for income?”

    He’s kidding, yes?

    Send them to Wall Street…they’ve already proven to be more savvy thinkers that the current denizens of the casino.

  • Ned

    The ending of Prohibition would be done over a couple of years. Something this comprehensive wouldn’t happen overnight. Generally speaking cannabis could be produced and regulated in ways very similar to beer and wine. Harder drugs would need specially designed programs.

    For the most addictive and potentially lethal drugs, the government would contract production to appropriate producers like pharmaceutical companies. Foreign governments would set up and oversee raw material production. I would expect that coke, heroin, and meth would be sold in standard strength measured doses at special clinics where counseling and treatment was also available and at prices that affordable and low enough to completely undercut any black market possibility.

    The same liability structure that covers manufacturers of morphine etc could apply here. This isn’t that difficult to actually do, it’s all the politics that make it hard. I think that done right, over a period of 20 years use of hard drugs would be greatly reduced. The world would be a very different place.

  • Just me.

    Talk like this gives me hope the world could become a different place than the ruin of millions it is now. Over coming greed and corruption is vital.

  • Bruce

    ..overcoming greed and corruption….Is vital or the kids of today shall be slapping us around when we are old.

    “What would the current drug dealers, particularly ones without any marketable skills, do for income?”

    HAhahaha

    Hard to believe, Insert the voice of the cowardly lion.

  • dudeman

    Sorry for the threadjack, but I am dying for someone to discuss what the mutual effects of the California governor’s race and the Tax Cannabis proposition will be. Will Brown flip to gain the cannabis vote?

  • This is why I posted the SB1381 talking points on my blog. While the politicians like to ask a lot of questions, they have not even read the documents that supply them with the answers.
    Opening up industries happens all the time. It is the whole point of international development aid.
    Politicians need to wake up and realize that they legislate increasingly to a sophisticated bureaucracy. This are bureaucratic questions which can be worked up.
    Wake up and think about the purpose of state experimentation which is going on right now. The whole point is to find best practices. No one can come up with definitive right answers to economic questions in a liberal society. Small business owners have to work with politicians at every level of government. I think its time for politicians to stop acting like its too hard for them to understand the bureaucracy they represent and get to work.

  • a win out of Michigan…

    “The Michigan Supreme Court in a 4-3 vote overturned the infamous ‘Derror’ decision where anyone having any trace of mj metabolites in their system is automatically guilty of a DUID.”

    no link yet…

  • ezrydn

    “Would they be open to legal liability in cases of overdose?”

    Let’s look at the “overdose” question. People don’t go out of their way to intentionally overdose. It happens due to the unknown quality of the product.

    Once said drugs are legal and regulated, there should be no “overdose” capability available. People would know the strength and contents of what they’re taking. Commercil suppliers would be no more open to lawsuits than a drug store that sold aspirin that someone OD’d on. It would be found to be intentional on the part of the user.

    So, legalization, regulation and control would cover the “what about overdoses” question.

  • Shap

    Is Jack Daniels legally culpable for a guy who dies of alcohol poisoning from too much whisky?nope, nuff said

  • i love it when people try to make things unnecessarily complicated.

    there is no reason in the world for our government to contract with manufacturers of the drugs. the government should not be selling the drugs, thus have no need of contracting to have them produced.

    as to where and how to sell them, it seems most logical that people would buy their “dangerous drugs” at the same places they do now — cvs, walgreens etc

    after all those very same stores currently dispense stuff like oxycontin without overburdening anyone.

    as to liability issues for “overdosing” EZ hits it on the head: the vast majority of overdoses are accidental — because an unregulated market like the current one has no controls over purity and “recommended” dosing.

    in a regulated market, an overdose boils down to “tough shit on you” — just like with alcohol or aspirin and everything else that you can take too much of at one time.

    the fact that the herring farmers are spewing ever more ridiculous “concerns” is the best evidence available that they really have no ammo left.

  • Duncan

    @ezrydn:”Let’s look at the “overdose” question. People don’t go out of their way to intentionally overdose. It happens due to the unknown quality of the product.”

    Unpredictable dosage and being spiked with other substances such as Fentanyl is definitely a factor that results in fatal overdoses. But one of the dirty little secrets of the drug rehab industry is that most overdoses follow an extended period of forced sobriety where the addicts tolerance falls. But the addict is unaware of this and doses himself with precisely the dose he was used to before being forced into rehab or jail, and still ends up dead. This is very demonstrable with pharmaceuticals. An oxycodone pill is produced in a measured setting and the pills don’t vary in dosage or purity. Seriously, let’s see the stats on how many who have died of ODs had actually used their drug of choice the day or even the week before the fatal incident. You might be shocked to learn that a significant majority had been sober for weeks beforehand. Most fatal overdoses aren’t because of unknown quality or purity. But letting that cat out of the bag might change people’s attitudes, and propagandists aren’t interested in facts if they don’t support their fantasies.

  • Duncan

    The recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling….it’s about par for the course that this ruling involved a victim who was very drunk on alcohol and a driver that was borderline drunk. Yet the entire object of the court case is the presence of non-psychoactive materials in the driver’s body. Everyone does know that in about 1/3 to 1/2 of pedestrian fatalities it’s the pedestrian that is stinking drunk and at fault, and that the fatalities are included in with the ones caused by drunken drivers, right? January 1 is the peak day of the year for pedestrians to die in car wrecks, what a shock that’s the day most people who drink end up drunk.

    The ruling is a good thing regardless but who are these assholes that are prosecuting bullshit cases like this in the first place? How do these assholes sleep at night? Are there really people that think promoting bullshit as public policy is good for society?

  • Duncan: Do you have any data to support your theory?

  • Bruce

    One time I glued carpet on an 4 story stairwell with contact cement. I had a good buzz coming out of there. y’all should try it. Apart from the blood clots out my nose the next day,,, Fun.

  • Shap

    I got a friend who is a state attorney and the sick thing is this guy was always for marijuana legalization and drug legalization. However, now he tells me he’s glad marijuana is illegal because he can now catch all the criminals like domestic batterers whose wives/girlfriends don’t want to prosecute and other cases where there is not enough evidence to convict because in so many of those cases the arrestees always have marijuana on them. Anyway, that’s my response to the above question as to who prosecutes these cases. The people (state/district attorneys) prosecute bullshit marijuana cases because they are too incapable or incompetent to win their cases in any other way simply because marijuana cases are so easy to prosecute and win (requiring only possession or in the case of the driver in the Michigan case, evidence of use that comes from drug testing). It’s an absolutely horrible explanation as to why someone would want to continue marijuana prohibition but it allows for lazy and incapable state and district attorneys to win cases they normally would not win.

  • Bruce

    Ahem…’Distract’ attourneys.
    An honest mistake.

  • Duncan

    Daniel, if your talking about fatal overdose deaths that comes from observation over the years I was forced to attend 12 step reeducation. It doesn’t please me but I’ve got over 500 meetings under my belt. Feel free to prove me wrong if you can, but I knew several people that died from ODs whom I met in NA, and never was aware of anyone suffering a fatal overdose when I was involved directly in the scene. It just isn’t rare for a recovery group to be mourning a fatal overdose.

    If you were asking about the drunk pedestrians that figure comes from the NHTSA.

  • Duncan

    Shap, the case in front of the Michigan Supremes there was cut and dried evidence of the driver’s and the pedestrian’s drunkeness. There was no one who was going to ‘get way with it’ if there wasn’t a bogus cannabis charge tacked on. It’s very unlikely that the bogus cannabis charge increased the penalty by even a day, yet the prosecutors still felt compelled to take it to the Supreme Court. They had the option of dismissing, but instead chose to waste the taxpayers money and resources to no good end whatever.

    I won’t even comment on the concept of whether the end justifies the means.

  • Shap

    Hey I’m just giving it to you straight from the horse’s mouth as to why many of the bullshit marijuana charges are thrown in and hoped for by state/district attorneys. Whether it was the case in the Michigan situation, I can’t say. But regardless of how cut and dry a case may seem, as long as a case is a jury trial, there is no such thing as an open and shut case. You are dealing with 12 people who have no other qualification besides a driver’s license. Anything can happen. It would not suprise me if the state/district attorney was just trying to increase his chances in front of a jury. If I were in his shoes and I wanted to win, I absolutely would have thrown that charge in in order to up my chances of conviction (jury trial strategy, plain and simple).

  • i did a complete exploitation of the CDC’s 2003 public use mortality files and extracted excruciating levels of details concerning what drugs are present in the various deaths attributed to drug induced causes.

    details of drugs involved in accidental deaths attributed to narcotics

    and here are all of the various types of drug induced deaths — links are provided to get to all of the demographic info and specifics for all drugs named on the death certs. click the links in the two right hand columns.

    lastly, here are the various other ways i’ve sliced and diced the drug induced death stats from that year

    the vast majority of drug induced deaths involve more than one drug.

    and, as usual, there’s a boatload of stuff there, so click around.

  • Duncan: I’ve no desire to prove you wrong – just a desire for data proving you’re correct.

  • denmark

    You call the state attorney that supports keeping marijuana illegal your friend Shap?

    I’ve got a nephew who’s an assistant district attorney in a very large city on the west coast and he can go fly a kite and stay away from me. He is ego personified, it’s repulsive.

    Personally, I would have a conversation of importance with that “friend” and if they still don’t see the light I’d tell them I hope they burn in hell for being a turncoat for financial and egotistical reasons.

    And I mean no disrespect to you Shap.

  • Shap

    None taken. I found his reasoning pretty sickening.

  • Norman Quimby

    The goverment putting its competent, efficient, midas touch on drugs that will work out great. (Sarcasm)

  • Servetus

    Steven Major’s argument sounds like many I’ve heard where someone essentially says that because they themselves can’t come up with the answers to questions, then no one else possibly can either. They don’t phrase it that way, of course, since it would kill their dispute with whatever they might not like.

    Americans are often quite good at coming up with ideas and answers, although not necessarily in a timely manner (e.g. oil spills, global warming, etc.). The real problem with attitudes like that of Steven Major is that certain individuals don’t seem to want any answers to cannabis legalization, so they never try proposing any.

  • darkcycle

    Well, these concerns sound absurd….Walgreens, if they sold Pot, would NEVER be subject to liability for overdose…can’t be done. As for other drugs they may dispense, like Heroin, I would assume they would carry the same ammount of liability as they do for, say, Oxycontin, or morphine sulfate contin. They have NO liabilty for these and they cause far more ER admissions for overdose than Heroin.
    As for the US partnering with DRUG LORDS? More likely partnering with the governments of Colombia and Mexico to put these murderous thugs out of business FOR GOOD. I won’t mention that here in the US, Alcohol prohibitions ‘drug lords’ went on to become Presidents and Senators. Remember how Joe Kennedy got rich? AND THESE PEOPLE YOU SEEM TO THINK ARE CRIMINALS IN NEED OF REHABILITATION ARE ONLY CRIMINALS BECAUSE YOU MADE A NATURAL HUMAN DRIVE ILLEGAL. These all sound like contrived, constructed non-problems, tossed in there to confuse the weak of intellect. Because you’d have to be pretty slow not to see right through this transparant attempt to blow smoke.

  • Ned

    “there is no reason in the world for our government to contract with manufacturers of the drugs”

    Sure in a sane and functional world. I didn’t say that because that’s what truly think should happen, I said it because I think that is the most likely approach to legalization
    of heroin, meth and cocaine. Anyone expecting that a majority of Americans will send the message to politicians and policy makes that those drugs should be availble over the counter at Corporate Pharma retailers like CVS, and Walgreens is not thinking clearly about what is politically possible in America in our lifetimes.

    In my world all drugs would be available in pure form with clear dosage recommendations and strong advisories about overdose. My world ain’t ever gonna happen. So if those drugs with horrible reputations and actual lethality are ever going to be not prohibited at zero tolerance something average people can cautiously endorse is going to be the way it happens. I envision that to be registered user clinics or something of that kind. Pure heroin sold like Tylenol is never going to happen. Heroin by triple script won’t end the black market. Something that makes it available but under some appearance of supervision might be achievable, barely.

  • ezrydn

    @Duncan – You base your criteria on a Prohibition model. Of course there have been past ODs from these drugs. However, what you fail to grasp within this discussion is we’re basing our comments on a “post-Prohibition model.”

    Our model suggests that today’s bad drugs are formulated and produced completely differently than today. How many of your OD cases used “known potency and contents” to OD? Not one! Why? Because that model doesn’t exist today.

    Once the “L-R-C” model steps in, all your past data will turn to dust. Why do you want to keep the “crap shoot” in drugs?

  • Just me.

    Humm, the war on drugs is over huh? Ok but the war on people isnt? Someone forgot to tell the border patrol. Better do it fast before we not only have to fight cartels but Mexican boder patrol and military too.

    My Link

  • from: http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/pedestrians.html

    Q: To what extent does alcohol contribute to pedestrian deaths?

    A: Alcohol is a major factor in pedestrian deaths. In 2008, 38 percent of fatally injured pedestrians 16 and older had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent; the percentage rose to 53 percent for crashes occurring during 9 p.m.-6 a.m. Fourteen percent of pedestrian deaths involved drivers with BACs at or above 0.08 percent.

  • also, from: http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/fatalped.pdf

    The typical pedestrian involved is a male, 25-34 years old, wearing dark clothing. More than 40 percent of fatal Interstate pedestrian crashes nationwide involve pedestrians with positive blood alcohol levels. Of those, 4 out of 5 have blood alcohol levels greater than .10, more than the legal limit for driving a car in every state.

    97% of the fatalities in the sample involving a drinking pedestrian occurred after dark and in the roadway (as opposed to on the shoulder). Only 75% of sober pedestrians were struck in these circumstances. In Texas, the average blood alcohol content of a drunk pedestrian was .20.

    – – –

    Legalizing drugs is not easy, it’s true.

    Long before the Tea Bag Party, an activist and publisher, Marc Emery of Canada stood up for his and all of our rights and sold cannabis seeds in political protest of US marijuana laws.

    Today he is in solitary confinement for asking his wife to record their phone call and podcast it, imprisoned for five years for using the funds from his activism to promote legalization.

    Think of it. Five years, extradited from his home country despite laws that prohibit political persecutions; certainly the total fine had he been charged north of the border would have been a minor fine and no jail time.

    For seeds.

    Don’t just blog. Free Marc Emery.

    Correspondence to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to:
    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20530-0001

    Or, call the Department of Justice Main Switchboard – 202-514-2000

    Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line – 202-353-1555

    E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

    Here is the White House contact page:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

    Contact them respectfully and challenge their false claims directly.

    Better yet, get your lawyers to file suit. Drug War IS crime.

    The law falsely claims: “Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, §812(c), based on its high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and no accepted safety for use in medically supervised treatment, §812(b)(1). This classification renders the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana a criminal offense. §§841(a)(1), 844(a). Pp. 6—11.”
    source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZS.html

    Millions have been arrested since DHHS applied for 2003 US Patent No. 6630507 in 1999, despite the title* of that federal document . . .

    Wait, what’s DHHS? At the top of this page:
    http://supersoberme.com has a direct link to the feedback page of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency that was issued 2003 US Patent No. 6630507, “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”, linked here:
    * source: http://tinyurl.com/classactionlawsuit

    DHHS should remove raw cannabis from scheduling, it’s healthy food regardless of THC content and belongs untaxed as such. Artificial and manufactured cannabinoids may be appropriately listed in Schedule V.

    They threaten us with the law, then cover up where the law shows we are in the right.

    If it takes the threat of many lawsuits, bills, boycotts and peaceful protests, we need to fight them on all fronts wherever we are in the right.

    Free Marc Emery. Drug War IS crime.

  • ned: your “imaginary” world is what exists in pharmacies today. methamphetamine, oxycontin and shitloads of other “dangerous” drugs may be obtained by prescription. they even already give you the complete instructions about dosing information, dangers and warnings about side effects that you call for. the only real change required is that we stop arresting people for buying and using the drugs.

    the requirement for a prescription should go away almost completely. in a “treat people as equal adult citizens capable of making decisions” model, it makes more sense to treat a prescription as advice from your physician rather than as a permission slip, as is the case now.

    as to availability of recreational substances in a legal market, the market will supply milder forms of opiates, stimulants, and whatever else for recreational use than for medical purposes.

    most people will not use extremely dangerous drugs even if they are legal, but more people probably will use less “dangerous,” milder forms of many of them. as an example, opium for smoking would be a recreational drug of choice for many people — but crushing and snorting oxycontin for a high would still be drug abuse

    too many people want to believe that things can’t be done — i suggest that we need to figure out how to get it done rather than describing why it can’t be done.

    like the long laundry list of past human achievements that “couldn’t be done” this one is entirely possible. we can learn how to not persecute, prosecute and even kill each other over what we do to ourselves. and we need to.

  • claygooding

    Just in time for the next round of budget hearings?

    Colombia’s war on drugs fails in Cordoba, Guaviare, and Cauca
    http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/10143-cordoba-guaviare-and-cauca-departments-biggest-losers-in-coca-war.html

  • chris

    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n433/a02.html

    When this person (who is against marijauna legalization) statws that they are a registered libertarian, I lost it. Clearly a complete idiot, with bunk science, few sources or facts, and tired misinformation.

  • Duncan

    “How many of your OD cases used “known potency and contents” to OD? Not one! Why? Because that model doesn’t exist today.”

    When a entrenched user finds a connection there is at least a period of time where the product is consistent. Dealers brand their product and do attempt to make it as consistent as possible. In my former world people were careful when establishing a connect with people they didn’t know, and the first consumption of new product is eased into. I submit that the ods I encountered were from known sources. No, one may not specifically ‘know’ that there are 10 milligrams of heroin in a particular dime bag but you know the dime bag you buy from a regular connect is right, and there isn’t going to be and significant fluctuation from dime bag to dime bag in a particular dealer’s stock. It just isn’t a total crapshoot every time you show up to buy, and it isn’t like everyone that gets high just doesn’t care about being alive. A little bit of education could eliminate almost all the ods I was talking about, but it would require a harm reduction attitude. If you go for a while without getting high on powder drugs you’re in danger of dying if you take the same dose you were used to before you quit. But prohibitionists prefer to just try to scare people into abstinence, and overdose deaths are great fodder to that end. People are still going to quit and relapse in a legal model. They’ll die at the same rate if they’re as ignorant as they are today.

    The polydrug overdoses are relatively new and I hadn’t encountered those in my day. That’s ignorance of the multiplier effect and another harm that could be minimized through education.

    I’m sure I agree with the thought that if things were different that they wouldn’t be the same.

  • Ned

    Brian you aren’t getting that my personal position is the same as yours. We differ on the chances of it happening. What I put forward is something that seems like it would be a “good enough” form of total legalization to be a true end of prohibition AND actually have a chance of happening in our lifetimes. I’ve been waiting 40 years for cannabis legalization. Recently we’ve come a long way and but there’s still a long way to go. When it comes the more powerful drugs I just don’t think what you are talking about has any real chance of happening. Yes I understand the idea that one must strive to avoid the “can’t be done” trap, but come on, the FDA, prescriptions, etc aren’t going to go away.
    Besides you misunderstand me anyway. I don’t envision a world where coke and heroin etc are available by prescription, I envision that one would walk in and purchase them in a special clinic sort of place where no question are asked but help with abuse issues is available. That’s as far as I think our politics could possibly get us. And that is even a long way from happening.

  • Legalizing drugs not that hard

    Steven Majors poses several thorny questions about legalizing drugs to stop Chicago’s violence (“Legalizing drugs not that easy,” Chicago Sun-Times, 6/7/10). Who would manufacture the drugs, which drugs would be legalized, and who would distribute them? What about vendor legal liability?
    These questions are best answered by state legislatures and not the federal government, just as the states answered them after the end of Prohibition. Some states continued to ban alcohol entirely. Other states concluded that alcohol was just too dangerous for private ownership so ABC stores, “alcohol beverage control” stores, were created where only the government could own and control liquor sales. There are currently still 19 control and monopoly liquor states in the U.S. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_beverage_control_state )
    Steve Majors also asks, “What would the current drug dealers, particularly ones without marketable skills, do for income?” The same question can be asked of the drug-war law-enforcement officers and a veritable army of drug-war jobholders.
    The answer is that with an end to the drug war at least $60 billion a year of federal spending would become available for job-training, economic development and America’s return as a country that makes goods and products for domestic consumption and export. America does not need to import goods from around the world. And prospectively, fewer kids would be dropping out of Chicago’s most challenged high schools, if they knew the easy drug-money option was off the table.

    James E. Gierach

  • ned i understand perfectly well that we are on the same page. i started doing my work because i got tired of waiting — it took me about 25 years (1995) to finally get pissed off enough to act.

    100 years of spinning in circles with this bullshit is more than enough, so forgive me if i insist on not compromising with the enemy.

  • i m for legalized!!!

  • But this would never work!!!!!11oneone

    Who would brew the beer? Who would ferment the wine and tobacco? Who would distill the vodka and whisky? And who would distribute and sell it?

    OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG it’s impossible. Won’t work.

  • im with you alex!

  • DNA

    A MODEST PROPOSAL

    A drug policy respectful of democratic values would aim to educate people to make informed
    choices based on their own needs and ideals. Such a simple prescription is necessary and sadly
    overdue.

    A master plan for seriously seeking to come to terms with America’s drug problems might
    explore a number of options, including the following.

    1. A 200 percent federal tax should be imposed on tobacco and alcohol. All government
    subsidies for tobacco production should be ended. Warnings on packaging should be
    strengthened. A 20 percent federal sales tax should be levied on sugar and sugar substitutes,
    and all supports for sugar production should be ended. Sugar packages should also carry
    warnings, and sugar should be a mandatory topic in school nutrition curricula.

    2. All forms of cannabis should be legalized and a 200 percent federal sales tax imposed on
    cannabis products. Information as to the THC content of the product and current conclusions
    regarding its impact on health should be printed on the packaging.

    3. International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending should be withdrawn from countries
    that produce hard drugs. Only international inspection and certification that a country is in
    compliance would restore loan eligibility.

    4. Strict gun control must apply to both manufacture and possession. It is the unrestricted
    availability of firearms that has made violent crime and the drug abuse problem so intertwined.

    5. The legality of nature must be recognized, so that all plants are legal to grow and possess.

    6. Psychedelic therapy should be made legal and insurance coverage extended to include it.

    7. Currency and banking regulations need to be strengthened. Presently bank collusion with
    criminal cartels allows large-scale money laundering to take place.

    8. There is an immediate need for massive support for scientific research into all aspects of
    substance use and abuse and an equally massive commitment to public education.

    9. One year after implementation of the above, all drugs still illegal in the United States
    should be decrimi-

    nalized. The middleman is eliminated, the government can sell drugs at cost plus 200 percent,
    and those monies can be placed in a special fund to pay the social, medical, and educational
    costs of the legalization program. Money from taxes on alcohol, tobacco, sugar, and can-nabis
    can also be placed in this fund. Also following this one-year period, pardons should be given
    to all offenders in drug cases that did not involve firearms or felonious assault.

    If these proposals seem radical, it is only because we have drifted so far from the ideals that
    were originally most American. At the foundation of the American theory of social polity is
    the notion that our inalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To
    pretend that the right to the pursuit of happiness does not include the right to experiment with
    psychoactive plants and substances is to make an argument that is at best narrow and at worst
    ignorant and primitive. The only religions that are anything more than the traditionally
    sanctioned moral codes are religions of trance, dance ecstasy, and intoxication by
    hallucinogens. The living fact of the mystery of being is there, and it is an inalienable religious
    right to be able to approach it on one’s own terms. A civilized society would enshrine that
    principle in law.

    Terence McKenna in “Food of The Gods”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3166145/Terence-McKenna-Food-of-the-Gods-
    Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna – Thom Hartmann’s “Independent Thinker” Book of the Month Review http://blog.buzzflash.com/hartmann/013

  • oil spills should be controlled as soon as possible to prevent environmental damage`’*

  • Looks like a smartly written post and supporting comments that you have here. I would like to point out that other people have proposed a varying viewpoint, particularly in terms of natural health. Have you seen supplemental related ideas on the Internet, and could you let me know where?

  • We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have performed a formidable task and our entire group shall be thankful to you.