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April 27, 2009

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sylvia

Well the point of drug legalization is not so much to decrease drug usage but to decrease the power of drug gangs. Also of drug exporting countries. We legalized alcohol and that sure didn't decrease drinking rates. But it curtailed the bootlegging activity. Drug legalization might marginally increase usage because it will increase easy access. So we should couple that with a tax on drug sales going towards prevention and rehab.

Also one angle on prevention that is sorely underreported is more education on how easily you can get hooked. That includes cigarettes. Most people don't realize it takes only once for some drugs. They think they can keep experimenting and experimenting and they will magically not get addicted. So that angle needs to be pushed more.

liontooth

After admitting that some Police Officers weren't issuing citations because they saw it as pointless, Greenwald argues that the increasing number of citations 'suggests' that those doubting Thomas' have become believers. He doesn't cite data showing this, which should be available (% who issue citation over last 7 years). The same data 'suggests' that none of the doubting Thomas' have issued more, but the increase is from the program adherents, who are witnessing more drug usage.
----
From the Cato study:
Pg.4
Even in the decriminalization framework,
police officers who observe drug use or possession
are required to issue citations to the
offender, but they are not permitted to make
an arrest. The citation is sent to the commission,
and the administrative process will then
commence. The cited offender appears before
the commission within 72 hours of the citation’s
issuance. If the commission finds compelling
evidence of drug trafficking, it will
refer the case to criminal court.
The effect that the decriminalization regime
has had on police conduct with regard to drug
users is unclear and is the source of some debate
among Portuguese drug policy experts. There
are, to be sure, some police officers who largely
refrain from issuing citations to drug users on
the grounds of perceived futility, as they often
observe the cited user on the street once again
using drugs, leading such officers to conclude
that the issuance of citations, without arrests or
the threat of criminal prosecution, is worthless.
Pg.5
What is clear is that the number of cases
referred to the administrative process has increased
slowly and more or less steadily since
the enactment of decriminalization in 2001,
suggesting (without proving) that officers
are issuing citations at least at the same rates,
if not more enthusiastically, than when the
law was first enacted

r wisher

Honestly. If anyone wanted to know about the drug use and its effects, they should talk to the street cop working the beat in that area. He or she will tell you the truth, because they SEE it every day.

Never trust doctors, or newpapers or professors trying to advance an agenda. I"ll bet the above comment post is the most accurate. There are less violations because the cops in charge of issuing them aren't stupid enough to believe it is worth their effort. It would be like asking the officers to stop issuing speeding tickets then cite the drop in tickets are proof that people aren't speeding. Guys, that is just dumb. I should know. I spent twenty years in the street watching a city go south while the stats pushed by the bosses said something different. The only people who knew the truth were the victims and the cops who picked up the pieces. You want the truth, ask them...

RW/Fla

verner

Should pot be legalized? Yeah, probably, although it is 20 times worse than smoking cigarettes.

As far as the other stuff, I guess we just need to look into our own history to see what it will look like.

Some historians estimate that 25% of all middle class housewives were hooked on laudanum in the 19th century. Opium dens, or Chinese Laundries were common place, you could buy syringes in the Sears wish book, and cocaine was a common way for laborers to keep the ole energy level up.

It's a free country, and if people want to become addicts in the privacy of their own homes, that's their business. Unfortunately, it rarely stays in the privacy of one's own home.

I've heard people say that drug use rates would not go up significantly if they were legal. I think they've got to be kidding themselves. And if you've ever worked with addicts, and seen the effect on their kids, you'll understand what a disaster this could mean for society in general.

Maybe the solution is for the pharmaceutical companies to come up with a non-addictive SOMA type drug, like Huxley mentions in Brave New World, that we could all take and forget our troubles as we float into lala land.....yeah, that's the ticket. If Obama keeps it up, we'll need it.

narciso

Glenn Greenwald friend of Nazi preachers and would be Salafi 'man made disasters', now counseling on drug policy. Yeah we need more of that. I know the story of how heroin
was used in various products due toEpstein's
Agency of Fear, but one doesn't really recall much use of marijuana, prior to 1937,
in the wider population. Jill Jonnes had a better cultural sketch on the topic, in one of her books, that was a source for that sociology class I wrote the paper for.

PeterUK

"Well the point of drug legalization is not so much to decrease drug usage but to decrease the power of drug gangs. Also of drug exporting countries. "

Giving that power to whom exactly,the State?
The producing countries would then have to sell on the open market,the only buyer would be the state.
From the cradle to the grave and your drug habit.

Old Lurker

Good Morning!

OT Again, but I must express my heart felt thanks to my JOM friends for the best wishes you expressed for my daughter's wedding Saturday.

IT WAS WONDERFUL!

D.C. popped into a stunningly beautiful spring day for the event, as Clarice described on Saturday. The National Cathedral created a magical setting for us. Porch & Cap'n will appreciate that I imported a rarity - a conservative Episcopal priest - who happily conducted an old-school service cementing the covenant, and no, the Cathedral did not collapse into a pile of limestone ruble when the old fashioned words were used!

We then adjourned to a downtown musuem for a storybook classical reception, and there I pulled off what the fathers of several soon to be married daughters claimed was the dirtiest of tricks on them since they will soon have to make toasts at their own daughters' weddings...

All you dads who have preceeded me in giving away daughters appreciate that the greatest stress on us is what to say in the Father of the Bride Toast. At the appointed moment I warned the group that I wanted to go OT (see, I seem to do that...) to talk about how in our nation's history, when we are threatened by evil forces outside our borders, the best and brightest of our young people rise to the challenge of defending us all. Seeing the movie set beauty of the uniformed Navy and Marine officers in our group, I asked our guests to salute their service. Say what you will about the hardboiled DC crowd...there was not a dry eye in the hall as our guests jumped to their feet to honor those young men.

Oh yes...my daughter was movie set beautiful too!

Thank you again for sending your regards to us Saturday.

Old Lurker

clarice

Ron Radosh is reporting that the evidence is irrefutable that my old neighbor and friend Izzy Stone was a Soviet agent from 1936-1939. Interestingly, Glenn Greenwald is a judge for the "Izzy" rewards given out at Harvard every year.

Jane

OT: Would you guys go over and vote in Fr. Peter's poll about whether Waterboarding is torture.

Thanks LUN

Fresh Air

You, know what? This was an "unknown unknown" for me until this post. Now, it's a sort of a "known unknown." Or something.

At any rate, whilst drug use in Portugal is somewhere on my list of concerns near whether midnight basketball will start back up in Chicago, I will say this, TM: Thank you! The torture of torture has ended. At least for now...

Rick Ballard

r wisher,

Thank you for your comment. It is a pleasure to see an accurate assessment based upon observation over a long period. I would note that "blind eye" enforcement in the Blue Hells runs all the way up to murders committed upon pharmaceutical representatives in predominantly black neighborhoods. The fact that black males kill each other at a rate eight times higher than white males of the same age is due in large part to the relaxed attitude of the communities' in which they exist coupled with a very high tolerance of criminal activity. The police on the street understand the level of tolerance and conduct themselves accordingly. They justifiably place no higher value on order than does the community in which they work.

There isn't any reason that I can see why such tolerance will not ineluctably lead to the same result outside the Blue Hells that it does within them. One big happy, stinking, unsupervised barnyard where the animals may frolic without supervision until hunger drives those with sharp teeth to reduce the population slightly (and without consequence).

What a lovely prospect.

GMax

Which sock puppet wrote the study, Tom? That is the question, penetrating minds want to know.

centralcal

I voted Jane. Thanks for the link.

sbw

We have a propensity to ask the wrong questions. Legalizing drugs is not the issue. Better questions:

1) How do we take the money out of illegal drug traffic?

2) How do we treat those who feel the pressure to escape from their reality?

3) As we learn more about brain chemistry, what guidelines should there be to assure safe recreation.

Most everything else is fuzzy thinking and political blather.

Charlie (Colorado)

Should pot be legalized? Yeah, probably, although it is 20 times worse than smoking cigarettes.

Yeah, but you hardly ever see a two pack a day dope smoker.

anduril

Huh. Weird. When I saw the title of this post I was sure that it would be a link to this NYT article: Geithner, as Member and Overseer, Forged Ties to Finance Club.

anduril

Or this article in today's WSJ: The Idiot's Bible

Just days after Hugo Chávez gave President Barack Obama a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America" in Trinidad last week, the English-language version of the book shot to the No. 2 slot on Amazon.com.

[image = Hugo Chávez hands Barack Obama a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America."]

Americans seemed to be curious about Mr. Chávez's reading tastes. But in Latin America, "Open Veins" is a well-known rant by Uruguayan Marxist Eduardo Galeano. And it also has another distinction that Mr. Chávez may be less inclined to publicize: It is widely regarded in free-market circles as "the idiot's bible."

The book was tagged with that moniker in the 1996 best seller, "The Manual of the Perfect Latin American Idiot." Penned by three Latin American journalists -- Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Carlos Alberto Montaner and Alvaro Vargas Llosa -- the "manual" is a witty assault on the populist, militarist, caudillo mentality that has dominated the region for hundreds of years.

Chapter three is dedicated to explaining the importance of Mr. Galeano's book for the idiot: "For the past quarter century the Latin American idiot has had the notable advantage of having at his disposal a kind of sacred text, a bible filled with all the nonsense that circulates in the cultural atmosphere that the Brazilians call the 'festive left.' Naturally we refer to Open Veins of Latin America."

clarice

"The Manual of the Perfect Latin American Idiot" is an outstanding book--so good that I have said that were I very wealthy, I'd give it to every high school student in South America. It is a brilliant and readable piece of work which shows the persistence of stupid Latam beliefs and how they impede economic and social progess.

Jane

Thanks for voting CC!

verner

Yeah charlie, but from what I've read, one joint is as bad as a pack of ciggies.

verner

Ron Radosh is reporting that the evidence is irrefutable that my old neighbor and friend Izzy Stone was a Soviet agent from 1936-1939.

I think most people now would be shocked to discover how pro Stalin most of the intelligentsia, and many members of the Roosevelt administration were.

Hell, the Nation was cheering on the Show Trials.

But that goes down the memory hole.

narciso

Plinio Mendoza, used to be published along with Vargas Llosa and Carlos Alberto Montaner, in our local paper, now not so much. His comments of left lunacy are too samizdat, for the land, in the time of what will likely be the unveiling of "The New North American Idiot" a few guesses who would be on the cover of that one.

Charlie (Colorado)

SBW, here's my thoughts

1) reduce the risk of selling drugs. High street prices are a rational response to make the risk-reward tolerable to the seller. Or remove the reward, but see below.

2) that question is probably too broad to answer meaningfully, since it includes pretty much everyone. Would you treat everyone who has wine with dinner or who reads the next Dan Brown book? How about people who feel they must run every day to deal with life stress?

3) Define "safe."

I'm serious on all three questions, btw. the risk/reward thing is a law of nature. "escape their reality" has a hidden subclause "except in approved ways". And given that people exhibit addiction-like behavior to things as varied as playing World of Warcraft and throwing up, it seems unlikely that anything that can be "recreation" can be safe. (Cf the flying squirrel base-jumpers, too. That's certainly not "safe recreation.")

Charlie (Colorado)

Yeah charlie, but from what I've read, one joint is as bad as a pack of ciggies.

That's my point, Verner. Hardly anyone spends every day as baked as would result from smoking a whole joint. Hell, I haven't ingested MJ in probably 30 yearsand I didn't know anyone who did that then; modern dope is apparently quite a lot stronger.

anduril

Here's another item I thought might be covered by this thread's title: TARP: The Looming Debacle

verner

Charlie, I was never a doper either. My point is, if the health nannies are going after ciggies because they're bad for you, why aren't we hearing similar concerns over the other weed?

I'm not, are you?

clarice

One good thing about the Dems--they are reminding voters what kind of economy they prefer (Rasmussen):
"Seventy-seven percent (77%) of U.S. voters say that they prefer a free market economy over a government-managed economy. That’s up seven points since December. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey also found that just 11% now prefer a government-run economy, down from 15% four months ago. Free markets are preferred by 94% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats and 78% of those not affiliated with either major party. Adults under 30 favor free markets by a 79% to eight percent (8%) margin"

sbw

Charlie, my questions show I am not Socrates. They were a poor intellect's attempt to avoid pontificating yet herd people towards constructive reasoning. Not terribly successfully. Recapitulating a different way:

1) Drug illegality has created more problems than it has solved. What's next?

2) If some drug use indicates mental instability, how should that drug use to trigger assistance?

3) Part of living is play. As we learn more about brain chemistry, what path can play follow that does not ruin a life?

Fresh Air

Clarice--

That 64 percent number was 58 last time, IIRC. All of the rise in prefrence for the free market is from Mediacrats. I imagine it's mostly Hillary voters. Zero is making even his own supporters queasy.

Porchlight

1) Drug illegality has created more problems than it has solved.

I think the above is unknowable or at least unprovable. I've known a lot of addicts and that existence is not pretty. My belief is that drug use and subsequent addiction would increase substantially among all populations if drugs were legalized, and that we'd soon be wishing for the "good old days" when usage and its attendant crime and violence were comparatively isolated.

Of course, I can't substantiate this either. But I can say that when you decrease cost, increase access, and remove the social stigma attached to an activity, you are going to get more of that activity. All of history bears this out. If you don't believe me, ask yourself what happened to abortion rates after Roe.

anduril

My last nomination for alternate link before heading out: US promotes Iran in energy market. Longish. The title is somewhat misleading. It's really all about what's going on in Central Asia, energy wise. It occurs to me that the blood-for-oil people couldn't see the forest for the trees.

Extraneus

Thanks for posting the Powerline link, anduril.

Porchlight

Porch & Cap'n will appreciate that I imported a rarity - a conservative Episcopal priest

Good show, OL! And I love your toast as father of the bride, too. Congratulations and felcitations to all - what a wonderful day for your family!

Jane

Okay, Where is the toast? I'm too busy to find it and I've been waiting 2 days to hear about this wedding.

verner

Just a little something to note:

If Bob Beckle is any indication, the dems are quickly stepping back fro the "torture" witch hunt. I would guess that their internal polling doesn't look good on this issue.

Beckle is now saying that Obama didn't want to release the memos, that it was all the ACLU and Robert Gates' fault. Well, as we all know SOros is the link between the ACLU and Obama--the idea that the O administration is not working hand in glove with them is silly.

Also, Beckle is now saying that the release of Cheney's memos will open a Pandora's box. Ha Ha.

And that He, Beckle, joins Obama in not wanting prosecutions.

So Obama is just the passive innocent victim in all of this. mean ole Cheney is trying to draw it out.

Expect all of this stuff to just go away sooner than later.

clarice

FA--It could hardly come from Republicans who almost unanimously prefer free markets.

clarice

verner--sure they'd like to step back:They get to have the charge made and not give Cheney and others a record from which to refute it fully and just get the "cheap grace" TM has described.

Rick Ballard

Porchlight,

The reported degradation (perhaps overstated) in the UK in the early 1800's due to very cheap gin and the degradation in China due to cheap opium (perhaps understated) support your argument. Doping for profit really does have a rather long and sordid history.

Fresh Air

Clarice--

Yep, I think it's 11-to-1 or something like that. I guess we can assume the "1" are people who voted for Arlen Specter or Olympia Snowe. Who knew there were so many Republicans in Maine?

RichatUF

Isn't Soros the big money backer pushing for various drug legalization schemes?

Wonder why that is-maybe narcotics as an incendiary attack to gain more control over people's lives (a drug addicted population is an easily controlled population)?

lurking

Don't forget that it is careerists at the Justice Department who resented Obama initially saying there would be no prosecutions. They viewed it as stepping on their prerogatives.

We viewed the war on Bush by the Justice Department and the CIA as infiltration by leftists. Maybe there is an element of Big Government grown too big for its britches here. Wouldn't it be amusing to watch the CIA and the DoJ turn on Obama?

Well, yes, but, and a very big but, the Founders made those roles part of the Executive Branch for a reason. They are supposed to be amenable to political control. How are we to throw out the bureaucracy at those two places if the polity has no impact on them?

verner

Isn't Soros the big money backer pushing for various drug legalization schemes?

Yep, for decades. My guess, he's bought up Afghan poppy fields and is poised to make a profit.

lurking

Heh, opium is opiate of the masses.

Porchlight

Jane, not sure if this direct link will work, but OL described the wedding and toast in his 8:29 AM comment above.

PeterUK

Mr Ballard.
A foul calumny, "Gin Lane" courtesy William Hogarth.Things have gone downhill since then.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

The Superman (Nietzsche) progressives' preference is that the low tercile be drugged to the point where they cannot recognize the progressives aim in destroying first, their families (War on Poverty) then their lives (abortion). It's worked pretty well for the last hundred years or so.

sbw

Porch, if legalization is as untenable as illegality, care to suggest an alternative?

Part two of the issue is that, if, say, a measurable percent of working age, and otherwise job-unready, individuals are "gainfully" employed in the illegal drug market, if drug illegality changes, how does one transition them to the legal economy?

Porchlight

sbw, I don't hold that illegality is untenable. I believe that the "devil we know" status quo is, while not ideal, still preferable to any legalization scenarios.

Jane

Awwwwwwwwwwwww - How spectacular OL. Simply spectacular! And thanks Porchlight for pointing me to it.

Old Lurker

Jane...when you come for that promised drink in Nantucket, we'll have pics for you! Thanks for asking Porch about it.

RichatUF

lurking-

Yep. My incendiary attack bit comes from Sun-Tzu. Fire is the obvious, chemical weapons less so, but propaganda and narcotics work just as well. North Korea (although I think they have been dropped from the narcotics traffickers list) is particularly bad and use narcotics trafficking as foreign policy.

I can understand the economic argument that making them legal may reduce the price and may reduce the violence but I'm doubtful (and believe legalization or "decrimalization" would make them more expensive and violence worse). The Reagan iteration of the "drug war" and minimum mandatories were a result of the uncontrolled violence of drug gangs (and pushed for by the CBC) not the previous years of prohibition (because the prison sentences were so minor they didn't act as a deterrent).

anduril

Extraneous, you're very welcome. I think it's already clear that, as predicted all this Tarping and Bailing will lead--is already leading--to corruption and waste on a scale that Dems have hitherto only dreamed of.

MayBee

I completely agree with Porchlight.

It's interesting these studies are always done to compare to European countries that relax drug laws, yet I rarely see a comparison to Asian countries with very strenuous drug laws. In Japan you get thrown in jail for buying a joint, yet I don't think anyone is going to make a case they have more crime or drug users than we do. In Indonesia and Singapore, bringing drugs into the country is a capital offense.

The drug laws aren't the cause of our social problems and changing them won't solve them.
We have social problems in this country that come to light in the drug war arguments as well as the education system arguments.
Someday we will actually address them.

Jane

when you come for that promised drink in Nantucket, we'll have pics for you!

Now that is incentive!

I can't wait

jorod

As I understand it, the worst that can happen to a drunk driver in Portugal is he will fall off his mule. That is not the case in the US where cars go in excess of 100 MPH.

Tully

My experience with his blogging is that he will bend any quote and stretch any statistic to fit whatever agenda he is promoting that day.

Krugman's long-lost soul twin.

Porchlight

Thanks, MayBee - good point about social problems being the underlying cause.

You're welcome, Jane! I'm just glad I saw OL's post this morning b/c I've been gone all weekend and am hopelessly trying to catch up with comments.

clarice

OL, I missed that wedding toast--it all sounds so lovely. Smooches to the father of the bride, that old darling.

Mel wrote to wish us all the best. He misses us but conflicting obligations have made it impossible for him to post.

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