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Washington Post discusses economic case for heroin legalization

This is basic economics that we’ve been aware of, well, forever, but it’s rarely discussed in mainstream media regarding the drug war.

The economic case for decriminalizing heroin

Here’s the kicker: if drugs sold for that price after taxes in an environment where drugs are legalized, they’d still be cheaper than drugs sold on the black market. So the legal market would drive illegal producers out of business, there wouldn’t be any of the enforcement costs — including huge social costs like mass incarceration — that come with drug prohibition, the government would gain considerable new tax revenue, and because the price is the same, consumption of drugs wouldn’t be any different than under prohibition. In short, the best form of prohibition is still worse than legalize-and-tax.

The wording needs some minor tweaks, but the principle is absolutely on track.

Nice to see something like this in the Washington Post.

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38 comments to Washington Post discusses economic case for heroin legalization

  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    Holy moly!

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  • darkcycle

    I read that and then had to wake up and read it again. Damn! Unreal!

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  • n.t. greene

    Man, they’re jumping the prohibition ship pretty damn quick. queue up the arguments over whose idea it was first…

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  • darkcycle

    BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA! I bet Kevin Sabet’s head exploded…twice! (and he thought that marijuana legalization was his biggest problem!)

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    • claygooding

      I don’t think the ONDCP or DEA would fight against any other drugs legalization as the continue to fight against marijuana,,,which s what convinced me that the war on drugs is just a cover-up for continuing hemp prohibition.
      They removed cocaine and meth from schedule 1 without so much as a whimper,,tmk,,anyone with different info please post.

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      • darkcycle

        They never put those drugs INTO schedule one.

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        • claygooding

          I will have to research it but I read where they removed meth from schedule 1,,we need an original CSA to check that I guess.

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        • n.t. greene

          Schedule I consists mostly of the 1960-70s hippie favorites. I’m sensing a pattern here guys. I’m still waiting for the studies that prove, in any way, shape or form, that LSD is addictive.

          See, the scale of tolerance almost prohibits anything that could be construed as dependency… since successive trips would require greater and greater doses. Maybe back in the day you could afford that “addiction” or something.

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        • n.t. greene

          I am fairly certain they never were. It is, however, a common misconception. Cocaine is often considered a hard drug by comparison to pot, but the schedules do not reflect that. Hell, I am sure more than one person has uttered something like “pot use leads to the use of more dangerous drugs, like cocaine…” without even thinking about their legal status.

          Hell, isn’t Marinol schedule III? I thought THC was specifically mentioned in schedule I. Maybe it is “different enough” to somehow escape the analogue inclusion.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          LSD addictive? That’s a laughably absurd concept. I used to really enjoy dropping acid and did so frequently for more than a decade. It’s been about 20 years give or take since I had that pleasure but I never consciously quit doing it like I did cocaine and nicotine. It’s just that a good acid trip (by my definition of good) requires a 72 hour commitment and when I decided to chase the almighty dollar I just didn’t have the time to spare. I don’t think that happens to an addict.

          ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

          Marinol is in schedule III but it spent about 15 years in schedule II. The prohibasites call it synthetic dronabinol. Dronabinal is tetrahydrocannabinol all squished together. Well kinda sorta.

          I’d like to remind everyone that every State and D.C. has adopted the Uniform Controlled Substances act at the State level and like the word uniform indicates they all use the same 5 naughty lists. The State’s aren’t required to match the Federal list. For example Oregon has made pseudoephedrine a schedule III drug, cannabis is schedule II and methamphetamine is schedule I on their State’s naughty lists. So there’s no Desoxyn for the school children in Oregon. It’s very possible that the confusion is caused by a drug being on a different naughty list at the State level. I suspect that the reason that nobody squawks about PCP being a schedule II substance at the Federal level is because it’s schedule I on all 51 sets of the States naughty lists.

          I used to believe that meth was on both schedule I and II at the Federal level until some other poster pointed out that was a mistake. It never struck me as possible that it had been so and was removed from schedule I without my noticing the event. Regardless it isn’t on the Fed’s schedule I now.

          It’s merrywanna (7360) and tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) that’s on the Fed’s schedule I and synthetic dronabinol (7369) on the Fed’s schedule 3. The numbers in parenthesis are DEA designations. Don’t forget that the government spells merrywanna with an H instead of a J. I wonder, could an argument that CBD isn’t a scheduled substance prevail?

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  • n.t. greene

    I know. He thought marijuana was the only problem. Nay sir! When troubles come, they come in battalions!

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  • claygooding

    This should make CJ happier than an antelope with a nightvision scope

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  • claygooding

    NASA neutron star video looks like ‘God smoking a joint’

    http://tinyurl.com/aa87bfm

    Video released by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory on Monday showed a “fast moving jet of particles produced by a rapidly rotating neutron star,” but to some the image appear to more resemble the mask from Phantom of the Opera or “God smoking a joint.”

    Just in case any prohibs were waiting for a sign from the heavens.

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    • darkcycle

      THAT’S NOT GOD!!! THAT’S JACK HERER! I tell you, he’s up there, and he’s looking out for us ALL!

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      • Duncan20903

        You know, that’s the best explanation I’ve heard so far for why the sudden 180 in public opinion. ;)

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    • n.t. greene

      If you believe that God created everything… you, by extension, believe he created weed for humans to cultivate and use.

      …but don’t worry, no one will call attention to the glaring inconsistencies in your arguments.

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      • claygooding

        I am afraid you are preaching at the choir here with that shit n.t. cause I have several responses to religious zealots that ignore the bible.

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        • N.T. Greene

          I’ve read/heard pretty much the entire Bible once or twice (I was raised Roman Catholic, attended a Catholic school, and went to church every Sunday and major holiday until I was about 15… I likely reread/reheard popular selections) and it always bugs me how much people on all sides really debase it and take things out of context.

          See, I kind of laugh when born-again Christians quote from the Old Testament like it is set in stone law when their personal religion is derived far more from the New Testament. Catholic resistance to some social changes I understand — these people never quite got over the Council of Nicaea, which was in ~325A.D.. But when the new kids bust out their fancy verses from the latest NIV, I can’t help but tune it out — because in many cases it is best described as “religious zealotry”.

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  • Francis

    But if we legalize heroin, how will David Frum convince his kids not to use it?!

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    • n.t. greene

      Aw shit. He’ll have to have an honest discussion with his kids about a sensitive issue.

      People that whine about this whine about having the sex talk with their kids, and prefer the schools do it for them. Parenting is something of a lost art, it seems. What a chore to explain life to a kid, especially the aspects of life that led to them existing.

      Or, in the case of drugs, the aspects of life that are unclear and have pros and cons to be balanced. My take: don’t do hard stuff in the house, and for the love of god be safe about what you do. Get a DD and don’t run around like an idiot.

      I am sure the prohibs are already plotting to take my kids away. I’m not encouraging use, no no. I would just prefer my kids to be safe over being indoctrinated and hence doomed to making serious mistakes when drugs are added to the mix.

      Thoughts on me as a parent? I am sure I will tell them stories both good and bad, rife with information.

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    • strayan

      Hi my name is David Frum and I can’t think of single good reason to stear clear of injecting heroin into my groin other than “it’s illegal”.

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  • Dante

    I can see it now:

    Prohibition R bad, mmmm-k?

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  • so I’m curious… what is the affliction causing obviously intelligent writers like this piece’s author, Dylan Matthews, to not be able to utter the “L” word, or even the “R” word? His piece is about legalization/regulation but he uses decriminalization.

    I also must add that damn! watch out for those hammers, they’re swinging everywhere. Everyone’s got their hardhats on yah? And to all you fellow scandihoovians, a hard head is no substitute for a hardhat…

    (and thanks for returning the edit function Pete!)

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    • n.t. greene

      three words:
      perceived political correctness.

      I hate those last two words together. Never before has a single phrase captured the inadequacies and spinelessness of politicians. They’d rather appear right than have good ideas or make brave and bold moves.

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  • more raids occurring in Oregon today… no specifics yet

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    • n.t. greene

      I guess they have to do -something- with their time and money. Let’s go terrorize some law abiding citizens, amirite DEA?

      I just have to inject bad humor here. In an RPG, me and my friends often do dungeon crawls colloquially called “raids” where we pillage treasure and slay beasts. The DEA must have one hell of a DM, I’m tellin ya.

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  • n.t. greene

    stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2013/jan/08/drug_czar_sees_serious_national

    …why, I think hell is freezing over. I don’t think this response from Gil is indicative of an impending fed nuke. I know some will want to jump on him, but I think that it is clear to the feds that a crackdown on the legalization laws could have dire consequences. I mean, talk about two important states that wouldn’t vote blue next time if you trampled on them.

    I am suspicious of that states rights act. I think that it is the solution they will play into, ultimately. All this talk of Congress makes me think there are already cards in play on this. They can’t outright kill it, nor do they want to actively support it… why I think there is a legislative solution that with a little rustling could garner the needed bipartisan support. Dems get liberalized laws, Repubs get states rights and no one gets their hands too dirty with the reefer.

    Seeing that picture of “God smoking a joint” was no mistake.

    …and this ends my late night rant. see you in the suntime.

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    • n.t. greene

      …one more. Obama’s “congress has not yet changed the laws” bit? Talk about tipping your hand, man. He must have a crystal ball in the oval office… or pay attention to the polls.

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      • claygooding

        I think they are going to derail or attempt to derail any state that try for outdoor grows because if they can keep production costs at the maximum it will underwrite a green market. As long as we are not allowed to grow outdoors,,hemp will remain banned.

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        • n.t. greene

          We’re snatching all their marbles but dammit if they can keep a few of their stolen cat eyes in their pocket for next round they wholly intend to.

          Don’t worry though. The laws basically dictate that they have to put them in harms way from time to time. And they’re just terrible with their shooters. Someday they’ll run home to their parents, empty handed, complaining about the kids at school who squarely and fairly beat them in a game they’d been cheating to win at for decades.

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  • strayan

    OT (apologies).

    Speaking at a gathering of law enforcement officers at the University of San Francisco, Kerlikowske also said that calling cannabis medicine “sends a terrible message” to the nation’s teens. High school students are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco due to the growing “perception” that marijuana is less harmful, he said. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2013/01/us-drug-czar-slams-medical-marijuana-during-sf-event#ixzz2HRynJRhW

    Medical methamphetamine (Desoxyn) and GHB (Xyrem) are both FDA approved. I wish we could seek comment from Gil on what kind of ‘message’ he think that sends.

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    • n.t. greene

      If I had a nickel for every inconsistency in their arguments, I could probably afford to have a drug undergo clinical trials and then market that drug aggressively to the populace regardless of risk or function.

      Someone has to have figured out how to make money off of this. Seriously. It’s one hell of a scheme.

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    • Servetus

      The terrible medical marijuana message that Kerlikowske is terrified the children will hear is ‘It’s possible to grow your own medicine’. That’s death to Big Pharma.

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  • YES!!!!! IT WAS F’N EXCELLENT!!! LEGALIZE HEROIN!!!!!!

    Ok, now that I got that out of my system the authors make a serious mistake using the word decriminalization instead of legalization/regulation. Despite the headline the authors obviously mean the L and R words, prices will not go down under decriminalization alone.

    Ah legal heroin, it’s gonna be sweet. No more prohibition-induced crime, disease, homelessness or bullshit methadone/suboxone/rehabs that make a fortune off the misery of junkies. No more cops beating up junkies because they know the junkie can’t do anything about it (even if they do complain no one will believe them). No more will my sister junkies (and more than a few men) have to sell their bodies to pay prohibition-inflated prices for a plant-based medicine that has long gone off patent.

    Sure use may go up, but heroin is less toxic that alcohol and tobacco. If this country were to become a nation of opiate users instead of alcohol drinkers the savings in health care alone would be in the billions.

    And fuck you Mark Kleinman and your “coerced rehab.” Maybe kleinman should be institutionalized where he will be made to chant mindless slogans and be confronted with his “denial” (if you have a perspective on drug use that differs from the staff you are apparently in denial, no matter how articulately or rationally you make your case). Anyone who advocates more drug treatment should first know just how pathetic the treatment field is. Indeed the counselors’ main qualification is being an ex-addict (I wonder if we would allow cancer survivors to become oncologists by virtue of having survived cancer).

    Most health professionals* are not sufficiently trained to educate patients about risky use and addiction, conduct screening and interventions for risky use or diagnose and treat addiction;

    Most of those who currently are providing addiction treatment are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to prove the full range of evidence-based services to address addiction effectively;† 1 and Addiction treatment facilities and programs are not adequately regulated or held accountable for providing treatment consistent with medical standards and proven treatment practices.2

    Further complicating the education, training and accountability gap in addiction treatment is the fact that there are no national standards; instead, there is considerable inconsistency among states in the regulation of individual treatment providers and of the programs and facilities that provide addiction treatment services.*
    For just about all known diseases other than addiction, treatment is provided within a highly regulated health care system. In contrast, patients with the disease of addiction are referred to a broad range of providers largely exempt from medical training and standards (for many of whom the main qualification may be that they themselves have a history of addiction) who work within a fragmented system of care with inconsistent regulatory oversight.

    Indeed the only category of providers specifically required to be licensed to provide addiction treatment in most states is addiction counselors. Yet the requirements in some states for becoming an addiction counselor include only a high school diploma and some practical training–typically involving a focus on the 12-step model.25 Training approximates an apprenticeship model which may fail to promote systematic adoption of evidence-based practices.26 Historically, personal experience with addiction (i.e., being “in recovery”) was the primary qualification necessary to become an addiction counselor.27

    Unlike providers of medical care who are trained in evidence-based medical practices, few among the broad range of providers who may treat patients with addiction are trained in or knowledgeable about evidence-based practices in addiction prevention and treatment.28 While medical professionals and some mental health professionals may have the training and skills needed to implement research-based treatments- -and regularly come into contact with patients in the target population of risky substance users and those with addiction–most are unprepared to address these conditions. And while addiction counselors, who constitute the largest proportion of the workforce in specialty treatment facilities, 29 specifically address addiction, most lack an education grounded in the science of addiction and are not equipped to deliver evidence-based treatments including appropriate medical care and treatment of cooccurring health conditions.30


    Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice (pp 176-178)

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  • O/T

    Has the US Lost the WoD? Online WSJ Poll [link]

    as of this moment:
    91% (1523 votes including mine)
    3.6% In between (60)
    5.4% No (90)

    This is encouraging considering its the right-leaning WSJ. My vote for most ignorant comment:

    So when someone says, “I fail to see the substantive difference between having a scotch on the rocks and smoking a joint,” they are betraying an undeveloped sense of taste.

    For men and women of cultivated taste, the term “scotch” opens entire worlds of culture, history, science and art.

    There is a huge difference between people who have developed their tastes (a virtue) enough to enjoy fine wines and spirits, and druggies who simply want to get stoned (a vice).

    It’s the difference between civilization and barbarism, in fact.

    Actually I would say turning the land of the free into the land of the most incarcerated is the difference between civilization and barbarism.

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    • claygooding

      We feel the same way about alcoholics that think all marijuana is the same. One change in basic growing materials can give you different flavors and buzz characteristics from the same seeds.

      Alcoholics have no idea the diversity marijuana can have and as far as I am concerned,,they can stay in the dark.

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  • Here is a nice article on SALON by By David Sirota:

    With non-response, Obama continues war on weed

    http://tinyurl.com/ascw7h9

    “However, even as that “serious national conversation” intensifies, there is bad news about where the president seems to be positioning himself in the discussion. That’s because of what Kerlikowske had to say — or not say — about the specific question in the petition.

    Rather than answer the petition’s request that President Obama support the congressional legislation at hand, Kerlikowske only said “the Justice Department is reviewing the legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington.”

    “…. Basically, this would be Washington’s latest way of proudly — almost cheerily — giving Americans the big middle finger, expecting us to somehow not notice that we just got flipped off.”

    “…. The war on marijuana is not merely about your right to smoke a joint — it is about everything from wasteful deficit-expanding spending on prisons and police to inhumane incarceration policies to racist drug enforcement policies to a culture that effectively encourages law-abiding citizens to choose more toxic drugs (alcohol) over safer ones (marijuana).

    The president — who was once a serious marijuana user — needs to better enunciate where he stands not just on the issue of legalization in general, but on the issue of whether states should have the right to make their own decisions about marijuana policy. Here’s hoping he stands on the right side of that fight — or at least clarifies where he stands so that an honest “national conversation” can continue.”

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  • CJ

    my god. mark kleiman i’d like to coerce you into shutting the F up.

    its real simple man, junkies are people. that’s the bottom line.

    im sorry but for those of you who don’t know me I am a junkie. im sorry upfront. not really. but yeah i am a dope shooting, blank check writing, money grubbing, disease riddled, subhuman junkie. if youre looking for glamorous gorgeous cubicle working weekend warrior pot smoking alcohol consuming faux hawk having college graduated member of the human race i cannot help you. however if youre looking for filthy, right arm is essentially impotent due to vericose veins, nerve damage, abscesses etc. and convicted criminal then yes i can help you. that is me. i hit the proverbial check in bell. i am here.

    at the end of the day there is 1 kind of heroin/opiate user. all apologies to the middle class anglo-saxons of the world who would like to think the oxycontin they used to crush up and snort or smoke on aluminum foil or just good ole fashioned red blooded American swallowed with water (or if youre a real tough guy, chewed or swallowed raw with a dry throat) somehow makes them different from the homeless dope shooter. sorry man. same thing different package. No theres just 1 kind of opiate user. Its an opiate user. I do think, however, there are 2 phases of it. There’s people like me who, after years of being so guilt ridden and so full of self loathing, they suddenly realize after scoring and prep, when they’re about to get off, they realize this familiar thought process “damn it man, damn it, this is the last time. the LAST time. I swear it. Tomorrow im kicking. I dont care about withdrawals. I dont care. This is bad. This is wrong. No more. This is the last time. I’m gonna kick tomorrow.” But suddenly that monologue stops and you’re posed with a simple one word question from a foreign, unfamiliar voice in your head. “Why?”

    Then the floodgates open. If youre lucky, you’ll find out everything people like myself and Opiophile have found out. Then you’ll attempt to figure out a way to make this thing somehow WORK in spite of their prohibition. Lots of fun things you can try. You can try, if youve the means, growing poppies off poppy seeds and do it that way. You can try securing citizenship in a foreign land with harm reduction mechanisms. The usual deal is homeless criminal behavior and the daily struggle.

    The other phase is the unfortunate phase. I’ve discussed this idea with Opiophile and he agrees. I call it Jane Say’s Syndrome. I generally try not to engage in arguments with the marijuana majority. I understand my culture is almost completely different. I dig man. But I think, or, maybe I’d like to think with good drugs comes good taste in music. I am not sure but I would certainly like to think Jane Says is a song even the pot populist can get into. Janes Addiction – not the worst band ever, in my opinion. Anyway man, I will admit to being the sort of fellow who grew up in Thompkins Square Park and in the nearby area. I’m still there actually. Anyway, even the most crusted gutter punk junkie can respect Jane Says. “Hardcore”(punk music) leanings aside, I think Jane Says has a special place in every junkies heart.

    There’s alot of truth in that song. I call the heroin majority sufferers of JSS. Jane Says Syndrome. This “gonna kick tomorrow” nonsense. Why do they say that? It’s the guilt. It is the guilt bound to their souls thanks to growing up in a D.A.R.E “Just Say No” “No Hope In Dope” world. Where parents disown kids cause they take a pill. Where parents, loving affectionate, suddenly prove their parental love IS conditional. Conditional on YOU not doing something. An action. I get that it’s simplifying the matter by calling the use of drugs an action but at the end of the day, smoking, injecting, sniffing, its an action. I feel bad for all junkies suffering JSS. In so many ways JSS is far worse than withdrawals. Liberate yourself friend.

    I feel real bad though for anybody who thinks weed is going to be legal worldwide and nothing else. I apologize to you for yourself. It’s not gonna be that way. But I’m not sold that the pot populists would just turn on everybody else after they get their way. I do hope they get their way. ABSOLUTELY. I am beyond happy for all weed lovers with the profound results of Washington and Colorado. Just like I am not happy paying 100 dollars a bundle and 3 bundles a day 300$ a day everyday for the forseeable rest of my life, I am not happy that anybody is subjugated to prohibition. I think I sound heroin bias and I am but make no mistake about it man I want weed smokers to be able to buy a nugget for 50 cents legally. I want crack smokers to get a dime for a dime. Crystal meth smokers to be able to go into business for themselves, opening up a meth factory in some town in somewhere USA “Charlie’s Meth Lab” and put signs in the store windows “50% off Crystal Myth! BUY NOW!” For sure.

    Naturally i’ve done tons of research (and that doesnt mean just google searching. i think someday the word research will be defined in Websters as [research {ree-sir-ch): the act of googling for information] ) on heroin and opiate history and legislation, legalization, prohibition. With that being said, it’s rather sad to me. I hate to sound like an ingrate, I of course am happy to see heroin in the news and not have it about someone getting busted. But if I may continue my thought, it is just really sad to me. In my research I’ve seen that, pretty infrequently, out of nowhere seemingly, there is an article in the mainstream press/media discussing the merits of heroin/opiate legalization. But thats it. The article goes away. The thoughts go away. Nothing happens. Someone essentially philosophically farts in the form of written word, and like a fart in the wind, its brief stench flutters about the air only to dissipate.

    What im talking about goes back to the 1980′s even before. The periods have gotten closer in time with the advent of the new millenium. It was almost 1 pro-heroin legalization piece in the mainstream media per decade. It has been almost bi-yearly since 2000.

    But this is how I see it – like Deep Throat (and im not talking porn, remember, i do tons of opiates so while I possess model-esque good looks thanks in large part to being rail thin due to opiate use and starvation, my sex drive is non-existant.) and those two reporters who gave Nixon his karma back, a heroin legalization article needs to be like those rolling avalanches in the old roadrunner cartoons. That’s right.

    Write about heroin legalization. Light a spark. Kill JSS in junkies. Piss off the general, non-dope shooting public. Infuriate junkies. Infuriate the family members of junkies. The article takes a life of it’s own. It’s discussed in the mainstream media. Momentum grows. Public gatherings occur. Occupy Prohibition begins. That’s enough. We’re done. WERE SICK AND TIRED OF BEING FORCED TO BELIEVE WE’RE SICK AND TIRED.

    Light the spark. Junkies and druggies unite with alcoholics and or otherwise totally sober persons, simply impassioned by the suffrage of a fellow human being guilty of nothing more than self medication for physical or psychological and all too often both forms of pain.

    The opposition gets desperate but the proverbial avalanche becomes unstoppable. For the first time in over a century junkies no longer have to hide. For a moment we may give them the once over we all too often are given by condemning friends and family. Instead of them looking us over to see if we’re high, we hear the rally cry of help and look over them to see if THEY are high. And perhaps some would be. But the passion would be real. The help would be real. The end would be near.

    But I digress. Thanks for the article. I really appreciated it. I think Mark Kleiman is a war criminal and I don’t hesitate to say he’s no better than a nazi. I say that while completely aware of his last name and the fact that I have known Jewish people with that last name. I am not a racist. Stop right there. I am a junkie, give me a g’d dam break. If you think I’m racist consider how many nights Ive spent in rat, roach and asbestos infested condemned houses and buildings with the lowest of the lowest level of the poverty ridden, racially persecuted. Consider as well I am Native American enough to buy cigarettes tax free. If anybody knows about racial tolerance and persecution, its a Native American Junkie. So no, I’m not racist and I do maintain that Mark Kleiman and people who say what he says and truly believe and mean it are sick bastards and war criminals. THIS IS A DRUG WAR. THIS IS THE WAR ON DRUGS. SORRY GIL KIRLIKOWSKE BUT THERE IS NO THIRD WAY AND NO THE DRUG WAR ISNT OVER BECAUSE YOU SAID SO. I AM ON THE F’N FRONT LINE EVERY DAY WHEN I PUT MY FREEDOM, WHAT LITTLE IS LEFT OF MY DIGNITY AND ABSOULTELY MY VERY LIFE ON THE LINE. EVERY SINGLE DAY. EVERY SINGLE MORNING COULD BE MY LAST. IS IT BAD STUFF? IS IT A HOT SHOT? AM I GOING TO GET ROBBED AND KILLED? WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN TODAY? EVERY SINGLE MOTHERFN DAY A JUNKIE PUTS HIS VERY LIFE ON THE LINE. EVERY DAY. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT. YOU GET SO USED TO IT ITS NOT EVEN A GAMBLE ANYMORE. IT DOESNT MATTER. SO YEAH, GIL, YOU COME DOWN TO THOMPKINS SQUARE PARK AND LOOK THE JUNKIES IN THE EYE AND TRY TELLING US THIS DRUG WAR IS OVER. YOU COME FIND ME ON THE 1 TRAIN EVERY SINGLE MORNING. THATS RIGHT. EVERY SINGLE MORNING. YOU COME FIND ME, IM THE GUY WITH THE LIMP VERICOSE RIGHT ARM, BLEACH BLONDE HAIR NOSE RING, INDUSTRIAL PIERCING, TATOOS WHO RESEMBLES (unintentionally) BILLY IDOL. YOU COME FIND ME AND YOU TELL ME THIS WAR ON DRUGS IS OVER.

    BETTER YET. Go to St. Lukes. Beth Israel. Greenwich House. You go find any other AIDS or Hep C ridden, dying junkie on methadone and tell them this war on drugs is finished. its history. we’re doing the third way. I’d say you’d be lucky to leave with your life, pal.

    I feel real bad for anybody that thinks this war on drugs is going to last forever. as far as I’m concerned all people like me, or just fellow reformers, have to do is live long enough to see it end. And when you’re on this side of the drug war, in this corner of the drug user spectrum, that may be a challenge enough.

    I know that, despite disagreements, nobody here is a bad person really. Nobody here is evil. I do think some of us lose sight of the fact that all too often that’s what they try to say about us. Wether your thing is vaporizing weed or attempting to liquify the hell out of 10 pounds of china white with the intent of chugging it out of a fire hose. They call us evil. They say what we do is evil. More evil words or a more evil purpose I have never heard or seen myself. Evil? It’s so simple isn’t it. Good guys versus bad guys. God it really shows you how pathetic we are as a race, doesn’t it? You start off as a little kid playing with G.I. Joe’s and there’s a good side and a bad side. It’s clear cut. Very simple. You get told all this bullsh!t about being a grown up and growing up and maturity and all this so called crap. But when you grow up it’s all the same except instead of playing puppeteer with your GI Joes youre the GI Joe. Look no further than national TV any and every night. See the pitiful writing they do and watch it materialize in the form of actor A romancing actress B. Watch the romantic drama unfold on the TV screen. Then be ignorant to the fact that you yourself perform the same or similar romance based drama with your own paramour. Indeed youre always on the big screen in the picture called “Your Life” playing exclusively at the theatre of “Your Mind.” Sorry but I’ve not been convinced that despite time, all we become is taller, older versions of simplistic children. Still playing Good vs Bad. Still convinced that at the end of the day what our parents say is right and unquestionable. Except when you get to a certain age your parents die so the parental voice becomes the moral compass perpetuated by society and I use the word society very loosely. Indeed Superman never died and Superman always wins. Hulk Hogan always kicks out at the end and rallies home a strong victory and another successful title defense. Muhammad Ali, paragon of all that is good, his last fight was the Rumble in the Jungle – Leon Spinks and The Easton Assassin never humbled and humiliated him. The American Flag can’t burn. It’s some kind of magical artifact.

    Well fine. Then I don’t think he’ll mind if I include him in this but allow me to take a moment to admit that I, myself, must be a very bad and evil person. My good friend Opiophile must be a very bad, evil person as well indeed. You know friends, I can’t tell you wether or not I’ll be alive to see any kind of substantial change for opiate users in the United States, but I can tell you whole heartedly that I would really, really, REALLY like to be.

    I hope everybody here had a very nice holiday and New Year. I truthfully hope that anybody here inclined to do so had a hell of a time with their many christmas Trees if you will. I myself was raised in a Roman Catholic family but I refused to receive confirmation and am a poor excuse for a Buddhist and have been for the past few years. Nevertheless my Holiday did include “chanukah” candles if you will, underneath spoons of course for just a little bit.

    Listen I think that something unbelievable happened for us all at the end of last year. Let’s really capitalize on it in 2013. 13 has always been my favorite number and the 13th Ashikaga Shogun is my favorite historical person (modern history aside.) so let’s soldier on in 2013. We are, after all, at war, incase anyone forgot.

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