"Using aggression to stop drug abuse kills more people than the drugs themselves! If we honored our neighbor’s choice, the people now enforcing the minimum wage and licensing laws would be available to go after the real criminals. In 1987, drug offenders made up 36% of the federal prison population. As the War on Drugs escalates, more of our law enforcement dollar will be spent on drug-related crimes and less on rapists, murderers, and thieves. Is this the best way to deal with the drug problem? ... People who drink an alcoholic beverage in the privacy of their own homes are not using first-strike force, theft, or fraud against anyone else. Nor is a person smoking a joint or snorting cocaine, under the same conditions, guilty of anything more sinister than trying to feel good. We see no contradiction in arresting the cocaine user while we enjoy our favorite cocktail. Are we once again sanctioning aggression-through-government in an attempt to control the lives of others? In the early 1900s, many people supported aggression through-government to stop the consumption of alcoholic beverages. As we all know, Prohibition was tried, but it just didn’t work. People still drank, but they had to settle for home-brews, which were not always safe. Some people even died from drinking them. Since business people could no longer sell alcohol, organized crime did. Turf battles killed innocent bystanders, and law enforcement officials found they could make more money taking bribes than jailing the bootleggers. Aggression was ineffective—and expensive, both in terms of dollars and lives. When Prohibition was repealed, people bought their alcohol from professional brewers instead of criminals. As a result, they stopped dying from bathtub gin. The turf fighting subsided, since there was no turf to fight about. The murder and assault rate that had skyrocketed during Prohibition fell steadily after its repeal."
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Healing Our World, Ch 15.
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That's not a quote. That's a treatise. A treatise I agree with, but still a treatise.
 -- anonymous     
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    I agree with anonymous. It's not a quote. I worry about decriminalization though. We pay to fund the prisons now, but if that same population is out free to live their life stoned, we'll still be supporting them--and their habit--with welfare dollars. I don't particularly want to end up paying for their drugs.
     -- Robin, Spokane     
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    The War on Drugs is nothing more than a war on people. It increases crime, bribes law enforcement, makes drugs readily available to children, fills our jails to overflowing,costs billions per year, and a host of other problems. To learn more, go to "LEAP.cc. on the web.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, most of it for drugs. Lives and families destroyed. Respect for all law also destroyed. The war on drugs simply isn't working.
     -- MM, NV     
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    Perhaps it is time to cast votes for the candidate who will honor his/her Oath of Office and not betray us and have a campaign promise of rescinding rules laid down by previous administrations.
     -- Abby     
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    How much does it cost to incarcerate one person ? Please !
    And for what, taking an Indian remedy. Legalize the ( herb ).
    When children realize as they get older, what the med cabinet is for, they become aware. I need a BC powder, or ibuprofen to make this pain go away. It would hurt the Big pill companies, if totally legalized. That would be a good thing !
    Instead of a trip to the store, just snip a little off your house plant, much cheaper for the pocket book, you think. Drug abuse on the other hand, of high powered synthesized drugs, should be checked. There is a big difference between the two. One is an herb, the other well, you can see the difference. Remember the burn plant in the widow, hemp is the same, old school remedies. Let experience and common sense be our guide, and not private interest. Hey man want to buy some weed, No, I have my own ! it grows everywhere.
     -- watchman13, USA     
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    How many have worked inside the hospital ? They have been policing themselves, and dealing with abuse for a very long time. You do not hear much, concerning the abuse of morphine, among doctors. Goes way back ! Uneducated minds scare easily. As with the fear created by Big pill companies, to sell their drugs, Over medication in this country is ridiculous . Every one dies ! It is not to be feared, but understood. Bolstering confidence is a greater cure, Doctors know this very well. How many sugar pills have been passed out !! If one new the trends in there communities from the ER, side of things. Then you see more clearly, what is going on. Of course Air quality and ground water, come to mind ! No one would move to the sunny south, to live by the pretty water. Like the movie Jaws, don't tell them there is a shark in the water. Dirty industry has done more harm, than any thing else. Textile mills, chemical plants, paper mills. Pot is the lest of our worries ! Totally legalize it and the trend will go away.
     -- Ron, Yachats     
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     -- Jacky64      
    Government's compelled compliance and licensing are immoral, anti-natural law, contrary to the limited scope authorized by the Constitution and makes the (now occupying statist theocracy's) representative servant greater than the once sovereign master (eliminating freedom, liberty, justice and rights) ! ! !

    To Robin from Spokane, the answer is not move from one form of socialism to another but rather, return to a constitutionally authorized limited scope of government - no ability to create law (only apply codes, statutes, etc. to define the natural law that already exists), no ability to create victimless crimes, or no ability to render a dole (money, insurance, etc.) to anyone for any reason. Any politician or other government paid individual that suggests, supports or votes for a compelled compliance, license, victimless crime, larceny with impunity, or denial of inalienable rights, in anyway, should be tried and found guilty of treason or other applicable crime.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Mary-MI      
    80 to 90% of felony incarcerations were commited during someone being high on something. Almost all rapes,murders,hold-ups ad infinitum are commited under the influence of something mind altering . This is a wholesale endorsement for increased crime,divorce, and various forms of abuse. Pot ain't no big thing for some but many don't stop there.
     -- Hank Engle, Angola IN     
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    Legalized drugs. Now we don't have to fear getting killed by drunk drivers, but now drug induced drivers killing us also. Way to go, America, way to go indeed.
     -- Jim, Crossville     
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    Excellent piece. Although I'm torn about legalizing the junk, I realize prisons are full of people that really aren't a threat to anyone but themselves. The analogy with booze is outstanding but a lot of people die as a result of drunk drivers.
    Maybe we should legalize it, build smoker/snorter rooms (like for smokers) so they wouldn't get out and hurt themselves. :)
     -- Tom, Omaha     
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    Let people take responsibility for themselves. It is a fallacious argument to say that most criminals are on drugs so therefore drugs cause criminal behavior -- the same argument that 100% of people that shoot others have had a gun on them, thus, guns cause crime. Is it the government's job to regulate behavior? NO! Because the government is nothing more than other people with human weaknesses all the same.

    @Robin, the fact that the poorer classes are imprisoned for drug-crimes is not a fair assessment of drug use -- the white and wealthy do not go to jail, they make deals and pay huge fines. The drug war is quite simply a RACKET. Plenty of people smoke pot -- doctors, lawyers, engineers, CEOs, athletes, heck even Bush, Clinton, and Obama have done drugs. I do not condone it, but please wake up -- there are people in your own family who do drugs -- it is the punishment for being caught that destroys lives, not the drug.

    As for driving, there is always an inherent risk, but alcohol intoxication is WAY more debilitating than pot, coke, or speed. Legalize it all, and end the premise for surveilling EVERYONE -- even you Robin who is being 'good' and obedient, in fact MOST everyone being subject to being treated like potential criminals are NOT a danger at all. The point is that giving the government power to wage this kind of war on the people is unjust and a breach of trust, to say the least.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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