The United States is really fucked up... let me explain. Okay, let’s say you’re resolved to standing in a given spot because you think it’s the right place to be standing. While standing there, something bad continually happens to you. Let’s say bricks keep falling, repeatedly, on your head. (THUMP!) Do you just continue to stand there and keep letting the bricks hit you in the head (THUMP!) or, do you decide that maybe choosing to stand in that spot wasn’t the best idea? As apparent as the answer is to that somewhat strange scenario, the answer to the failed war on drugs is as apparent, although not as simple. Unfortunately, as soon as people start talking about the legalization of drugs, something extraordinary seems to happen. Reasonably intelligent people instantaneously become unenlightened and ignorant. (THUMP!)
Just when you thought the first Republican controlled Congress in decades couldn’t get any more alien, the “guardians” of family values passed the Anti-Drug Legalization Act. This incredible piece of shit legislation states that, “No Department or Agency of the United States Government shall conduct or finance, in whole or part, any study or research involving the legalization of drugs.” What this means to those of us with IQs higher than that of Barney the Dinosaur, is that if there was ever any proof that legalizing drugs would be beneficial to our society, our government doesn’t want to know, regardless! (THUMP!)
Remember math class? Remember stuff like the pythagoreon theory, Euclidean Geometry and how to add and subtract? Well there's another mathematical equation the voices of anti-legalization have familiarized the nation with.
“X = Y” when X is drugs, and Y is crime,
therefore, Drugs = Crime.
Maybe you’ve heard it, once, or twice, a million times. Well, there’s another equation you may not be as familiar with.
“X = Y” when X is the laws that prohibit drug use, and Y is crime,
therefore, Anti-Drug Laws = Crime
Drugs have consistently been blamed for criminal activity, negative effects on the nation’s levels of productivity (GDP), gang violence, etc... There is a new school of thought, though, that states that the laws and law enforcement efforts to combat drug use may actually increase crime. A government study (you know, like the ones now outlawed) was conducted in Detroit, and what they found shocked the nation. When drug enforcement laws/efforts were stringently enforced, the price of street drugs rose. Now imagine you are addicted to a drug, that means if you don’t get it, you get really sick. With the rise in price of street drugs, addicts needed more money to purchase their drugs and therefore had to commit more crime to get more money, to buy the same amount of drugs. Those using recreational drugs, including many young people who may have never committed crimes in the past, may have committed crimes to simply 'buy a bag.' Furthermore, with a slower flow of drugs and a higher price, there’s more of a chance for increased violence due to rip offs and individuals now left feeling they have no alternative but to steal or kill the dealer because they need the drugs and don’t have the cash. (THUMP!)
The anti-drug lobby will say “violence might increase initially” once the screws are tightened on these desperate people, but “once we got rid of all the drugs, then there would be no drug crime!” The main fallacy with this argument is simply the unbelievable stupidity to think we can ever get rid of drugs. In 1984, the government of Columbia seized 13 1/2 tons of cocaine, which was more cocaine seized than in the whole history of the drug war up to that point! Nothing changed in the US. Someone else filled that gap and the cycle continued. (THUMP!)
It is impossible to get rid of drugs when there are developing nations who publicly condemn cocaine production, and yet privately acknowledge that their economies would be in ruins without the capital from the drug trade. Also, with the collapse of Communism, it’s safe to say capitalism has won! Somehow all of these politicians and law enforcement officials have forgotten the simple premise of supply and demand. They supply it because we demand it! These people need to wake up! If we didn’t want the drugs the cartels wouldn’t bother producing them. After all, in a capitalist society, what good is making a product that no one wants? (THUMP!)
Mandatory sentencing was introduced by the anti-drug lobby to get rid of crime. You see, they believe that if you make the punishment for the drug so ridiculous, people will stop using them. Obviously with the continued rise in drug use something is wrong. Not only is mandatory sentencing not working, but consider its extraordinary byproducts. Individuals who were once functional members of society are left to rot in prison for years, making them less functional when they are released. Families are broken up, causing an increase in the number of dysfunctional families and children without both parents. Ask yourself if it's worth destroying the life of an individual, his/her significant other, children, etc., just because the person got caught smoking pot? (THUMP!) Real proponents of family values would say no! But the insanity doesn’t stop there! With all of the extra jail cells needed for all of those dangerous, middle-aged yuppies, flower-children, skateboarders and ravers, they have to let other criminals out! Violent criminals are being released onto our streets while these non-hazardous members of society sit unjustly punished. The drug offenders sit in jails thinking about their families, their children, skateboarding and dancing at an all night rave, while the guy thinking about robbing a 7-11 or shooting all of the old people at the local Arby's is now on line behind you at Taco Bell. (THUMP!) (SOUND OF GUN CLICKING BEHIND YOU!)
The health of our citizens is also at increased risk with the continued legislation of drugs. HIV is devastating the ranks of IV drug users (IVDUs) and it is the tax payers who wind up picking up the tab for almost all of their medical costs. We have become so obsessed with the war on drugs that we have even made it illegal to hand out free clean needles to IVDUs. Instead, we indirectly allow them to become infected and then pass it on to other users, their loved ones and their children. (THUMP, THUMP!) Since street drugs are not properly labeled, because they are illegal, drug users never know how potent a drug is going to be. You Someone you know may have purchased pot repeatedly from a dealer that looked the same as previous pot, but it was way more potent than previous pot. Other hard core drug users may take the same dose as they have before, but this time, it may have been cut differently resulting in an underdose, overdose and/or death. (THUMP!) If these drugs were monitored similarly to other drugs and labeled properly and consistently, individuals could make more informed and responsible decisions about their drug use, similar to smokers and drinkers.
The latest statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement state that 12.1% of all of the arrests made in 1995 were related to the manufacturing, possession, selling, use and trafficking of drugs. Over 16% of the inmate population on 12/31/96 were incarcerated for drug offenses. Neither of these two numbers includes the number of people who have committed violent crimes, robberies, property damage, assaults, murders and other crimes relating to drugs. Consider all of the resources and staff needed to take care of these inmates, as well as clothing, food, health care and building utilities. If that weren’t enough, consider all of the costs to taxpayers for extra police that were needed, along with their resources, supplies and all of the attorneys, judges and legal system support-people. (THUMP!)
If we took all of the money we are currently throwing away in the failed war against drugs and put it into a “Department of Legalization Services,” factual drug education (not scare tactics and lies), treatment and counseling, we would be able to better handle the problem as well as honestly educate a whole new generation of Americans. In time, the number of users would drop.
With marijuana, alone, there would be a huge savings. First of all, consider all of the felony arrests made each year at a cost of billions of dollars. Revenue used in eradication programs could be saved. Americans consume billions of dollars worth of marijuana each year which could become taxable.
We need to remove the profit associated with drugs because it is from here that the criminal activity rises, and as long as they are illegal, this will continue. Recreational drugs, such as marijuana, could be made available as it is in the Netherlands and hard core drugs could be available to those addicted, as well as intensive treatment programs. We would still have DUI laws on the books, and if you drive a car stoned, you still go to jail. We do not support giving those who choose to use drugs the right to harm others, as many opponents to drug legalization believe. There would be age laws for marijuana similar to tobacco cigarettes. In time, the majority of corruption and violence associated with these drugs would disappear. It is time for America to decriminalize drugs.
If doing the right thing was any clearer it would not only bite us in the ass, but we would know it was going to bite us in the ass. By legalizing drugs, we not only remove ourselves from standing in that spot where the bricks continually hit us, we would also remove the guy who kept throwing them. (SILENCE!)
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