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We know marijuana is "the most widely used illicit substance in the world" (which may be why "arrests are at a near-record high"). We know drug decriminalization works. Yet we still allow the government to legislate and legitimize initiating violence against victims who have committed no moral crime (10 years in prison for selling $31 of marijuana?). The collectivist notion that "society" is the victim is ludicrous as only an individual can be a victim. Here's an article from a politician who resigned in 2007 while facing drug charges. According to the article, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison. Should he have gone to prison for his "crime?" Does the War on Drugs make us safer or put us in more danger? What is the goal of prohibiting drugs, and are we accomplishing that goal?

FTA:

No matter how bad you might think illegal drugs are, drug prohibition (the War on Drugs) makes it infinitely worse. We must, again, repeal prohibition, not for drug users but for all Americans who are forced to endure the violence, street crime, erosion of civil liberties, corruption and social and economic decay caused by prohibition.

Drug abuse is a medical, health care and spiritual problem, not a problem to be solved within a criminal justice model. What historical precedent is there to recommend our current prohibitionist policy? Isn't history abundantly clear about such foolishness?

During the 1800s, drugs were legal and could be bought in grocery stores and pharmacies. The temperance movement was started to stop what was considered a menace to society -- alcohol, not drugs. Americans learned in the 1920s that prohibition was far worse than alcohol as it created crime, corruption, drive-by shootings and organized crime. Isn't it time we relearn that lesson and end the madness?

Before alcohol prohibition passed, its sponsors predicted jails would empty. Yet after passage, crime exploded and prisons overflowed. Before passage, the homicide rate was declining, and after, it exploded. During prohibition, alcohol use went up, not down, especially among teens.

We know, not from intuition but from history, that when we end drug prohibition, crime, murder, inner city decay, corruption, and waste of lives and national treasure will all dramatically decline as it all mercifully did after the repeal of alcohol prohibition...

Ask yourself, what was the original goal of prohibiting drugs. Was it to reduce use, protect the kids or reduce crime? By every metric, it has failed spectacularly. Prohibition doesn't protect our youth. Three national surveys reveal it's far easier for teenagers to buy illegal drugs than alcohol. Liquor stores check IDs, drug dealers don't. Recently, when drugs were decriminalized in Portugal, teen drug use went down.

Also, when the government bans one substance, many just substitute with drugs that are far worse. In the 1600s, China banned cigarettes and people switched to opium. In 1914, the Harrison Act banned cocaine, opium and morphine so many switched to heroin. Now, for example, in substitution of safer, plant-based drugs, users manufacture deadlier drugs like crystal meth with ingredients bought at Walgreens...

If drug prohibition were strictly enforced, 85 percent of the population over 47, including three presidents, would do prison time. But that kind of enforcement would lead to repeal. So what is done to keep the gravy train rolling? Target the poor and the voiceless, mostly young minorities. America incarcerates blacks at a rate five times that of South Africa during apartheid!

Drug prohibition violates logic -- and civil rights

DISCUSS!

Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Feb 23, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=480

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