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Proud90sKid Offline
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Drug/sentencing policy reform? - January 15th 2017, 05:54 AM

Do you think that drug policy in the US needs to be reformed?

I think that there could be a lot of changes to the way we regulate them. A lot of people think that a drug is illegal or scheduled because addiction is going to be an inevitable result of its (non-medical) use. But this is not necessarily the case. Why are steroids illegal? Because people will want to use them- not because they are addictive (you can get physically dependent on them, but not addicted as they do not produce a high or psychological reinforcement)--why is it a felony if I purchase testosterone injections without a prescription (test is a schedule III controlled drug- a steroid) or some synthetic test. like substance like dianabol to help change my physique or improve athletic strength performance? The government makes drugs illegal simply because there is a demand for them. That is all the justification that the government needs to say that a drug has a "high abuse potential"---simply because people want to do them. Not everyone agrees that this is good policy.

You could argue that these drugs have negative effects that could burden the health care system and that people may not be well aware of the risks--ok then why do we give felony charges to people who are simply in possession of a few xanax pills without prescription or something- in most states , possessing any amount of an illegal drug besides marijuana is a felony. I think this is ridiculous. The designation of "felony" should be reserved for significant crimes- grand theft, homicide, dealing large quantities of drugs,etc.. I don't see why we are in a universe where having someone else's medicine rises to that level of severity. Even if you want to say that people who are hard core addicts often contribute significantly to crime- it still seems a bit presumptuous to say that a person is necessarily going to be dangerous because they are in possession of a drug- espescially in view of the fact that most people who use drugs do not become addicted to them.

We are basically just ruining people's lives in the name of "protecting them from themselves"--when we know that most people who use these drugs do not become addicted and that the law is causing worse problems without serving as much of a deterrent.
   
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Re: Drug/sentencing policy reform? - January 15th 2017, 08:12 AM

I think like a lot of things, the legal regulation of drugs started with good intentions, and spiraled. Plus we know more about things like addiction now than we did before. Even drugs that are not addictive are still dangerous if you use them and either abuse them because you want to, or because you have no idea what you're doing. They want you to be supervised by a medical professional so you don't harm yourself. There are conditions where they're medically necessary and they don't want you using them if you don't need them because it's not good for you.

Why charges for a few of something, because this is where it's gone too far. Some drugs are absolutely addictive, and they want people who sell them illegally off the street because the drugs need to be regulated and people need to be monitored. If you don't have a prescription, they assume that you either bought them illegally (why when you could just go to a doctor and get them), that you're selling them, or that you may have stolen them (which theft would be illegal anyway) from someone who actually needs them.

I think it needs to be seriously reformed, we're punishing people who need help, they aren't criminals, they're sick. (or they commit crimes under the influence or to get drugs,) but still need help. Punish for crime, not drug use, unless you commit the crime while on drugs.


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Re: Drug/sentencing policy reform? - January 15th 2017, 06:04 PM

Oh, great topic. In my opinion, we should make all drugs legal. All of them. And here's 10 reasons why.
1. The reason the mafia gained power in the 1930s was because they controlled the market on alcohol. They lost the market and their power after prohibition was repealed. This would happen to the cartels for drugs.
2. We could spend our tax money helping people (drug treatment) as opposed to fighting a nonsensical war on drugs that cost over a trillion dollars and put millions in prison, destroying families.
3. Many people try to buy drugs from dealers, and either its laced (to give the impression that they have the best drug) or its a weird derivative of the drug that is more harmful than the original. A notable case is happening in Russia- instead of getting heroin, people get Krokodil, which eats the user's flesh. With the government regulating and selling the usual drugs people get, stuff like Krokodil and Flakka would be removed from the market.
4. Alcohol is significantly more harmful than most drugs, especially weed.
5. There are a ton of harmful drugs that are legal, like Xanax and sleeping pills. And alcohol.
6. In the U.S., drugs are super expensive. There's a reason Big Pharma fights to keep it illegal. They can't corner the market on a plant. If weed is an option (and there are many medicinal benefits to it) it will drive the price down for other drugs.
7. If you don't want kids getting it, make it legal at 21 like alcohol. They did this in Colorado. Personally, I'd lower it to 19; it keeps it away from high schoolers but doesn't infringe on an adult's life.
8. Tax money can be used for education, including drug education. Nobody would ever try Krokodil or Flakka if they knew that Krokodil has a one year mortality rate and Flakka makes people insane.
9. The government shouldn't be telling people what they can put into their bodies. In a free country where "small government" is supposed to be a common principal, the government shouldnt arrest you for smoking weed in your house. Nonviolent actions that don't hurt anyone else shouldnt be a crime anyway. Obviously, if someone snorts some coke and hurts somebody, yeah, throw them in jail, thats a violent crime.
10. PROHIBITION DOESNT WORK. I already touched on the mafia and cartels; when they own the market, they set the prices, they do the violence. Also, drug use has actually gone UP since the drug war started. Drug-related violent crimes went up. There is an ACTUAL war on drugs, you got cartels with all their machine guns fighting each other as well as the police, who have military-grade weapons and equipment. So what do we have? We've blown a trillion dollars on a massive failure and accomplished nothing.
Bonus 11. One of Richard Nixon's aids came out and said that the reason for the drug war was to target blacks and liberals, both of whom were political opponents. He said roughly, "We couldn't make it illegal to be black or liberal, but we knew we could attach a stigma to them and we knew we could disrupt their communities and leadership by criminalizing drugs." That's why drug use is equal for blacks and whites, yet black people are arrested at four times the rate.
I am NOT endorsing drugs of course, but I'm just saying, our drug laws are an unmitigated disaster. Decriminalization would be nice, but the government wouldn't be able to tax and regulate it. I didn't even touch on the apparent positive health effects of some of the illegal drugs like weed and others. The way those drugs are classified (schedule 1) you aren't even allowed to RESEARCH them, and then they turn around and say, "No research says these drugs can be used to help people". Yeah, you banned the research on it.


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