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Added By: Jeremy
Added on: 03/25/2009 @ 10:37:07 AM
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The drug war is officially an actual war

We've kind of had this conversation before but, especially in light of what is going on in Mexico, and already spilling over into the US, and our economic issues, doesn't keeping many of these drugs illegal seem insane?

To me the drug war has always seemed a little misguided. The cons have outweighed the pros for a long time now, and it's had noticeable side effects. I'm not saying it wouldn't exist, but I have a hard time believing the crystal meths of the world would be anywhere near as rampant if you could buy weed, and maybe other drugs, at Walmart.

The "drug war" had some upside, back when it was generally a euphemism for "try and scare kids with 'reefer madness' B.S. and bust the occasional meth house." Now that bodies are, literally, piling up it seems insane, almost to the point of being criminal, to continue with what is really a fairly arbitrary policy, given that we live in a country where it seems 90% of our advertisements are alcohol.

I don't know if I'm in favor of an across the board legalization, but I also wonder if that's even necessary. Legalizing marijuana is an absolute no brainier, to the point that it baffles me it hasn't already happened. I assume the different drugs would have different effects, but at the same time if a pack of Marlboro Greens is $2.99 at the gas station on the corner, would people even care about the cocaines of the world? Seems like a lot of the drugs would be an unnecessary headache, given the alternative.

Many people say Marijuana is a gateway drug, but most people who look at these situations have concluded that if it's a gateway, which isn't clear anyway, it is for a few reasons. 1) You've already broken the law. You've crossed that moral line, and gotten away with it. 2) Drug dealers are salesmen too, and just like the Kirby guy wants you to buy their most expensive model, they want you to buy their most expensive items. (Both to make more money, and because the penalties are more for having those drugs on them if caught.)

Most times however it's just misapplied cause/effect logic. Yeah, most coke heads tried marijuana first, that really doesn't mean anything. It can also be, and probably is, true that most marijuana smokers don't "move on."

Before it was just pretty stupid to invest so much time, money, and energy in keeping these items, especially marijuana, out of the hands of people who want it. (And even some who need it.) Today, given our financial woes, and the fact that many innocent people are losing their lives over this, it just seems downright illogical.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - Since 1980!
03/25/2009 @ 11:00:59 AM
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spoken like a true drug virgin, Jeremy.

Do you really think that if pot was legal people wouldn't do hard drugs or even less???
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
03/25/2009 @ 11:20:40 AM
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Well, people who were already addicted to them would obviously continue, but maybe yes*, for a couple reasons.

1) Because marajuna use "only" is already the dominant form of "drug usage." People are going to continue to do what they do, which brings me to..
2) Because people are lazy. Newcomers to drugs, or people who are just curious, would be faced with driving to some inner city at night, or going to the corner gas station. Convenience reigns in America. People will almost always buy convenient crap, rather than go out of their way for something "better." So fewer marajuana users would "upgrade," and it's even possible a person that is a recreational "take whatever is available" user just decides he's fine with pot.

*To be fair, I wasn't stating any sort of fact, I was just openly wondering.
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Jeremy perfected this at 03/25/2009 11:22:32 am
reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.
03/25/2009 @ 11:43:30 AM
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Finally a topic I can get into.

Your overarching point is correct, but your logic in getting there is pretty flawed, probably due to being a true drug virgin :)

It's hard to debunk the gateway drug argument but then use the reverse to support legalization. If pot doesn't lead to other drugs, then its probably not going to prevent many people from doing harder drugs that they are already using. In addition, it's already way easier to get pot then it is other drugs. I've known heavy coke, heroin and meth users, and none of them ever say "Gee if only I had an easy way to get some weed, I wouldn't be doing these other drugs." It's not about getting high no matter how you can, or else everyone would just be huffing gas because its easy to purchase. It's about what drugs you like and what you're addicted to, in some cases.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:20:40 PM
2) Drug dealers are salesmen too, and just like the Kirby guy wants you to buy their most expensive model, they want you to buy their most expensive items. (Both to make more money, and because the penalties are more for having those drugs on them if caught.)


The vast majority of pot dealers don't also deal in hardcore drugs. Pot dealers aren't trying to up sell you to coke, heroin or more expensive drugs. They might try to get you to buy more expensive weed, but that's a marginal price difference anyway, and pot penalties aren't assessed by quality.

To be honest, for someone who completely supports legalization, I pretty much buy the gateway drug theory, but in very much the same sense that drinking a few bears in high school can be a gateway to pounding vodka in order to sleep at night when you're 30. It has to be combined with personality, genetics, lifestyle factors, and hundreds of other outside influences to the point where it just doesn't make sense to legislate it because of that cause. I really don't see there being a correlation between legalizing pot and an increase/decrease in other drug use. They're not in a vacuum, but they're not feeding off each other either.

But your general argument is spot on. If we allow people to grow this stuff in their homes, we're going to be importing a lot less from Mexico, which is where the vast majority of the US supply comes from (although we contribute a lot from the US as well.) In addition, there are the obvious tax ramifications that everyone agrees on, but I think there would still be a thriving black market for the stuff to avoid said taxes.

In effect, I see us moving towards an don't ask/don't tell decriminalization pattern. The Obama administration has already said it will end DEA raids completely on medical marijuana clubs in California, effectively letting the state laws regarding medicinal use apply. It's incredibly easy to get a medical marijuana card in California, with physicians advertising in the newspaper who will write you a script for any malady (back pain, headaches, depression, etc). I can see other states moving to this model, or at least joining the 13 that already allow it for medicinal use.

EDIT: See, I support limited federal government. Viva state's rights.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:20:40 PM
if a pack of Marlboro Greens is $2.99 at the gas station on the corner

A pack of joints for $2.99? What is this 1953?


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Micah messed with this 2 times, last at 03/25/2009 11:54:31 am
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
03/25/2009 @ 11:44:47 AM
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By the way, how do I quote your original article?
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
03/25/2009 @ 12:03:05 PM
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For once, I think I agree with pretty much everything Micah said on a topic. emoticon

I say let states that want to loosen drug laws loosen them. If it works then others can as well, if not then they won't. Federalism will work when you let it.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
03/25/2009 @ 12:08:45 PM
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Micah Wrote - Today @ 11:44:47 AM
By the way, how do I quote your original article?

You don't really, tough you could just quote a comment and make me say whatever you want.

Again, I wasn't saying that if pot was legal no one would do other drugs, I just think the general notion that pot leads to cocaine is somewhat flawed, in that it's assuming a cause and effect relationship that, potentially, isn't there. For starters, some people just want to try everything, and MJ is more readily available, so it makes sense that it would come first. I don't know, and like I said, I wasn't saying we should/shouldn't do anything, I was just openly wondering if legalizing only Marijuana would increase, decrease, or have no effect on cocaine usage. Since people have been playing the "If we legalize marijuana it will be two weeks before everyone in America is high 24/7 and half the country moves on to cocaine and PCP" for 50 years I thought I'd list some potential reasons why it wouldn't effect it, or could possibly even decrease it.

I know most dealers don't sell other drugs, which is sort of the point of why even a marijuana only policy change might go a long way toward fixing things. I guess the point is that either way you've already "stepped over the line" and have the connections/know-how necessary. Your dealer would still "know a guy." Obviously someone who wanted coke could get it, someone who was just curious would be less likely to bother.

Edit: Also, I think I'll need some sort of flow chart on how "drinking bears" leads to vodka usage.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 03/25/2009 12:19:59 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
03/25/2009 @ 12:18:40 PM
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Micah Wrote - Today @ 11:43:30 AM
To be honest, for someone who completely supports legalization, I pretty much buy the gateway drug theory, but in very much the same sense that drinking a few bears in high school can be a gateway to pounding vodka in order to sleep at night when you're 30.


See, I stuck with drinking smaller mammals in high school. I guess that's why I don't have a drinking problem now.
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Matt messed with this at 03/25/2009 12:19:05 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
03/25/2009 @ 12:18:57 PM
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Also, for the record, I don't approve of doctors abusing medical marijuana. Two wrongs don't make a right.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
03/25/2009 @ 12:24:39 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 12:18:40 PM
Micah Wrote - Today @ 11:43:30 AM
To be honest, for someone who completely supports legalization, I pretty much buy the gateway drug theory, but in very much the same sense that drinking a few bears in high school can be a gateway to pounding vodka in order to sleep at night when you're 30.


See, I stuck with drinking smaller mammals in high school. I guess that's why I don't have a drinking problem now.


Ha. Though to address this point. I think it's important to point out that we're talking about two different things, and there's not going to be a "one size fits all" solution.

Does teenage drinking lead to alcoholism, or is it simply that alcoholics drink period? One doesn't "lead" to the other so much as they are symptoms of the same "disease." Correlation does not always equal causation.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
03/25/2009 @ 12:25:47 PM
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To quote Sergeant Joe Friday:

"Marajuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb. So don't you try to equate liquor to marajuana, Mister, not with me. You may be able to sell that jazz to another pothead, but not to somebody who holds some sick kid's head while he vomits and wretches on a curbstone at 4:00 in the morning. And when his legs get enough starch into them so he can stand up and empty his pockets, you can bet he'll have a stick or two of marajuana. And you can double your money he'll turn up a sugar cube or a cap or two. So don't you con me with your mind expansion slop. I deal with kids every day. I try to clean up the mess that people like you make out of 'em. I'm the expert here, you're not."
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Matt screwed with this at 03/25/2009 12:26:15 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
03/25/2009 @ 12:28:51 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:24:39 PM
Correlation does not always equal causation.


http://www.xkcd.com/552/
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
03/25/2009 @ 12:41:03 PM
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What would be the ramifications of an all out lift on declaring any substances illegal? I don't think that the "it would be pandemonium" alarmists are correct. I've never tried smoking cigarettes, and there are lots of people who don't/rarely drink. The notion that people everywhere would flock to the nearest drugstore, try one of everything, then attempt to drive home is ridiculous. There would probably be an increase in reported drug use, but most of that would probably be from people who always did use, but didn't want to say.

That said, it would be a bit naive to think that there wouldn't be people who never wanted to break the law, or get into all that that would entail, that want to try some of it out. There would also almost certainly be an initial "explosion" as all these people try something.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
03/25/2009 @ 05:07:14 PM
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While we're on the subject of people on drugs, and the things they might think is a good idea, while others may disagree.

http://www.variety.com/VR1118001643.html
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - "The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut by the lawnmower."
03/25/2009 @ 05:31:13 PM
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good god i love it when Micah comes in and says everything I wish I could but can't- either because I don't have the experiences or because he has the words, and I don't. word^3
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
03/25/2009 @ 09:45:00 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 05:07:14 PM
While we're on the subject of people on drugs, and the things they might think is a good idea, while others may disagree.

http://www.variety.com/VR1118001643.html


We need to stop this.
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images.jpgcraig - is going to test the free agent market.
03/25/2009 @ 10:06:33 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 09:45:00 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 05:07:14 PM
While we're on the subject of people on drugs, and the things they might think is a good idea, while others may disagree.

http://www.variety.com/VR1118001643.html


We need to stop this.


Stop it? That's madness. This has all the indications of being a high-profile hollywood flop. James Cameron should direct! Now what could possibly go wrong?
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - "Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else."
03/26/2009 @ 07:40:01 AM
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It makes me want to do bodily harm to myself. And not the innocent "cutter" kind either.
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