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The "War on Drugs" has failed - time to consider legalisation?
The Sun (UK) ^ | NIGEL INKSTER, Ex-Assistant Chief of MI6

Posted on 04/18/2012 1:18:55 PM PDT by sussex

A FORMER British MI6 chief has joined growing calls to end the “war on drugs” and consider legalising them. The battle has left tens of thousands dead in Latin America but failed to reduce drug-use around the world. Here Nigel Inkster, of the International Institute For Strategic Studies, argues that we need to rethink our approach to narcotics.

(Excerpt) Read more at thesun.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: courts; criminals; drugs; drugwar; police; warondrugs; wod; wodlist; wosd
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1 posted on 04/18/2012 1:19:05 PM PDT by sussex
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To: sussex

The War on Burglary has failed even worse in the UK. They might as well take that off the books too while they’re at it.


2 posted on 04/18/2012 1:21:39 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: sussex
Are you kidding?

Give up the most valuable authoritarian tool of all when we are finally on the verge of implementing the totalitarian Utopia we have striven for for so long?

3 posted on 04/18/2012 1:22:10 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (For every black person murdered by a white, thirty-nine white people are murdered by blacks.)
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To: Meet the New Boss

So what do you think of the use of the expansive Commerce
Clause to impose national prohibition in the US?


4 posted on 04/18/2012 1:25:25 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Meet the New Boss

Also, we have a failure on the War on Murder. People are getting killed, every day. And our jails are full of those doing the killing, at a terrible cost to taxpayers.

Why not just tax contract hits? Our economy would improve, and we’d save so much money not prosecuting and jailing murderers.


5 posted on 04/18/2012 1:26:24 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: sussex

There was never a war on drugs. It’s ‘fought’ like the war on terror and war on poverty - spend lots of blood and treasure while not really trying to win.

Methinks those who advocate legalization should find another excuse to do it, like inceasing tax revenue, get corruption out of gov’t, or something.


6 posted on 04/18/2012 1:32:00 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Stop feeding the beast; spend money only with those who support traditional American values.)
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To: sussex
The war on rape has failed. Every day there are thousands of women getting raped. I guess we should just legalize it.
7 posted on 04/18/2012 1:34:16 PM PDT by fish hawk (Religion: Man's attempt to gain salvation or the approbation of God by his own works)
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To: sussex

The war on murder and rape are so old and useless


8 posted on 04/18/2012 1:34:48 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Ken H

Justice Thomas had it right in his dissent to the Gonzalez case in 2005.


9 posted on 04/18/2012 1:37:11 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: sussex
People who don't do recreational drugs can't handle unreality.

10 posted on 04/18/2012 1:37:26 PM PDT by I see my hands (If you say what you think then no one will like you.)
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To: Meet the New Boss
Burglary by definition always harms others. Drugs usually harm the user, except when the user commits crime to afford his drugs. Laws still need to be in place to guard against users harming others, but if the user wants to destroy themselves, its better than them robbing or killing me to be able to afford their illegal drugs.

Legalization, while enabling regulation of sales, would crash the high profits of drug dealing. Think of all the smugglers, dealers, and gangs that would defunded.

11 posted on 04/18/2012 1:38:39 PM PDT by dmet
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To: sussex

Amsterdam generally had a handle on local drug use. Their problem was “drug tourists” who would go there to party and be obnoxious. But the drug use of local residents was quite tame, especially with the “soft” drug, marijuana and hashish. Those that used it only used small amounts.

Importantly, their overriding attitude was one of “public safety”, which set their priorities. Though “hard” drugs were illegal, the government had set up testing centers, so if someone purchased, say, heroin, they could provide a small amount to be tested to determine purity and concentration of the drug, without being hassled about it.

BUT, if the sample provided was cut with something harmful, they would demand to know who provided it, so they could prevent them from harming others. And they were very serious about that.

Importantly, were the government of the UK to try a similar approach, it would need some modification. Mostly against the British government’s obsession with surveillance and compiling dossiers on everyone. If they tried stunts like that, the public would continue to deal in black market drugs and shun legalized sales. And they cannot be blamed for that.

That is, government intrusion is even more harmful than drugs. Which of course brings up the government of the US.

Since alcohol prohibition, these prohibitions have resulted in the loss of many civil rights—directly because of government control of these substances. If they are ever to be legalized or decriminalized, there must be a detailed analysis and effort to reverse these resultant civil rights intrusions.


12 posted on 04/18/2012 1:40:04 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
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To: Meet the New Boss

“The War on Burglary has failed even worse in the UK. They might as well take that off the books too while they’re at it.”

Here’s the difference: burglaries have victims. If justice doesn’t demand drug laws and the only point is social engineering, you expect at least for it to work. If everyone who wants to can get high despite the law, what is the point?


13 posted on 04/18/2012 1:43:39 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: MichaelCorleone

“There was never a war on drugs. It’s ‘fought’ like the war on terror and war on poverty - spend lots of blood and treasure while not really trying to win.

Methinks those who advocate legalization should find another excuse to do it, like inceasing tax revenue, get corruption out of gov’t, or something.”

I can’t follow your reasoning here. The War on Terror and the War on Poverty not working are good reasons to get rid of them, too.


14 posted on 04/18/2012 1:47:16 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: fish hawk
The war on rape has failed.

There is no federal war on rape. Do you want to use the Commerce Clause to federalize the crime of rape, like we do with drugs... YES or NO?

15 posted on 04/18/2012 1:47:29 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: dmet

“except when the user commits crime to afford his drugs”

Yes, and the thing about those crimes is that they are crimes. They will still be crimes when drugs are legal.


16 posted on 04/18/2012 1:49:21 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: GeronL; fish hawk

What’s driving the direction of this issue is the fact that a significant number of people don’t equate drug use (particularly pot) with rape and murder...they equate it with alcohol use.


17 posted on 04/18/2012 1:49:32 PM PDT by Magic Fingers (Political correctness mutates in order to remain virulent.)
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To: sussex

Narcotics consumption is, as it’s always been, a supply and demand issue.

Thus far, we’ve focused on eliminating the supply, or rather, attempting to. I really don’t see a lot of success in that endeavor.

So we must then address demand, and what we must ask ourselves is the simplest of all questions; “Why do people want to get high?”

Is it because they feel their life is intolerable, or depressing, or whatever, and they utilize narcotics as a means of escape from the drudgery of their daily grind?

Or is it, as I believe personally, that altering one’s state of consciousness and perception is intrinsic to human nature? Arguably, people choose to alter their perceptions of the day-to-day realities of life through methods such as contemplation of philosophical abstractions, religious rites, meditation, the list goes on and on. Some alter their perception of reality on a smaller scale, through a beer after work to relieve the stresses of the day, or as I do, by smoking a Marlboro when I get stressed out.

If, as I believe, the desire to alter our perceptions of reality are fundamentally basic to our being human, then the logical answer is to legalize narcotics. Personally, I’d rather see possession and consumption decriminalized at the Federal level, and let the states do as they please. When all is said and done, I do not believe that any government, any man has the right in any way whatsoever to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body; the job of government is not to save people from themselves.

I am well aware of the arguments against it; what if some hophead kills someone while they’re high? You put them in jail, same as you would with anyone else. For me, intoxication is no excuse to commit crimes. I’ve been drunk, and yes, I’ll admit, high, and never once on those rare occasions have I felt the irresistible urge to out and rob a 7-11 at gunpoint.

The “War on Drugs” has become little more than a catch-all excuse for various forms of petty tyranny. Put an end to it, and reclaim some measure of freedom.


18 posted on 04/18/2012 1:49:54 PM PDT by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: Persevero

Agreed-The war on murder is a failure. Besides, its just a way for the government to get involved in our personal lives. They should just tax it.


19 posted on 04/18/2012 1:55:06 PM PDT by icwhatudo (Tax codes and spending don't get 14 year olds pregnant and on welfare. Morality Matters.)
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To: Magic Fingers

I know potheads.

That is why I am opposed to legalization.


20 posted on 04/18/2012 1:57:59 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Ken H
So what do you think of the use of the expansive Commerce Clause to impose national prohibition in the US?

Many FReepers love it. They would rather support complete restriction of light bulbs and low flow toilets than recognize individual liberty.

Many folks here love to use the commerce clause to prohibit activities that their own state laws could prohibit. I will bet you that your state anti-drug laws are borne from a concern of the individual, and not a command from the federal government which you chartered with your own blessing.
21 posted on 04/18/2012 1:58:13 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: icwhatudo

So you want to federalize the crime of murder?


22 posted on 04/18/2012 1:58:31 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: AnAmericanAbroad

Catching a buzz of some kind or another is deeply engrained in the human brain, part of our relaxation instinct I think. Notice 2 of the things you find in every culture is some sort of mind altering substance, and a form of group entertainment (mind altering activity). Trying to keep a society from doing drugs is like trying to keep a society from performing comedy, you can make a lot of laws and a lot of money enforcing those laws, but in the end people are going to do what their core instinct tells them to.


23 posted on 04/18/2012 2:01:11 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: Meet the New Boss
Justice Thomas had it right in his dissent to the Gonzalez case in 2005.

That's correct. Scalia screwed up.
24 posted on 04/18/2012 2:01:52 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: sussex

I agree. The US has 750 per 100,000 in prisons, half of those due to drug crimes. The US has become a police state.


25 posted on 04/18/2012 2:03:38 PM PDT by Sam Gamgee (May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. - Patton)
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To: dmet

bookmark


26 posted on 04/18/2012 2:05:00 PM PDT by corlorde
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To: Magic Fingers

That and the fact that we’ve had 3 generations grow up during the modern era of the drug war grow up largely ignoring it in their teens and mostly come out OK. The lies of the drug war have become pretty obvious, at least to anybody who ever actually did some drugs and didn’t get hooked or OD, which at this point is a really large percentage of the populace. Probably isn’t helping the WOD that the first generation to grow up under it have now hit senior citizen land and are regularly being prescribed stuff that makes the drugs they did for fun seem like soda.


27 posted on 04/18/2012 2:06:55 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: GeronL

I know potheads.

Sure, but a fair number of non-potheads agree with them. It’s not unusual.


28 posted on 04/18/2012 2:08:07 PM PDT by Magic Fingers (Political correctness mutates in order to remain virulent.)
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To: discostu

“Probably isn’t helping the WOD that the first generation to grow up under it have now hit senior citizen land and are regularly being prescribed stuff that makes the drugs they did for fun seem like soda.”

LOL - I think you’re on to something.


29 posted on 04/18/2012 2:10:33 PM PDT by Magic Fingers (Political correctness mutates in order to remain virulent.)
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To: GeronL
That is why I am opposed to legalization.

It's not about legalization. It's about what the federal government can and cannot do. What your state decides to do is your own issue.
30 posted on 04/18/2012 2:10:41 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: Persevero

Do you think states should decide issues like medical marijuana under authority of the Tenth Amendment, or do you think fedgov should have that authority under the Commerce Clause?


31 posted on 04/18/2012 2:14:58 PM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: AnAmericanAbroad
The government thinks that it owns us like draft animals. Like any good farmer, it wants to protect its investment by controlling what we eat, where we can go, and how long we live. When the government is paying good money for welfare it wants to protect its investment. When we can no longer work and pay taxes we are just dead weight that needs to be culled. The war on drugs is not about morality, it is about asset protection. The bigger the government, the smaller the person.
32 posted on 04/18/2012 2:23:57 PM PDT by WMarshal (Bitter Clinger)
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To: MichaelCorleone

You can’t wage a war on terror while keeping the border open at the same time.


33 posted on 04/18/2012 2:34:51 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: cradle of freedom

Oops, I meant war on drugs.


34 posted on 04/18/2012 2:36:52 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: Ken H
The main problem is  economic.  The drugs one of these idiots would use in a day under rational circumstances would cost a dollar;  that would simply present no scope for crime or criminals.  Under present circumstances that dollar's worth of drugs is costing the user $300 a day and since that guy is dealing with a 10% fence, he's having to commit $3000 worth of crime to buy that dollar's worth of drugs.  In other words, a dollar's worth of chemicals has been converted into $3000 worth of crime, times the number of those idiots out there, times 365 days per year, all through the magic of stupid laws.  No nation on Earth  could afford that forever.

A rational set of drug laws would:


Do all of that, and the drug problem and 70% of all urban crime will vanish within two years.

That would be a theoretical ideal solution of course, which might or might not be possible.  But we'd be better off simply legalizing it all than doing what we are now.  150 Years ago, there were no drug laws in America and there were no overwhelming drug problems.  How bright do you really need to be to figure that one out??

35 posted on 04/18/2012 2:46:00 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: andyk

fed or state, I am still opposed.


36 posted on 04/18/2012 2:54:16 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Meet the New Boss; Persevero; GeronL
The War on Burglary has failed even worse in the UK. They might as well take that off the books too while they’re at it.

Also, we have a failure on the War on Murder. People are getting killed, every day. And our jails are full of those doing the killing, at a terrible cost to taxpayers.

The war on murder and rape are so old and useless.


Lucky for you guys there is no war on ignorance and illogic. At least not yet.
37 posted on 04/18/2012 3:08:09 PM PDT by microgood
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To: microgood
Lucky for you guys there is no war on ignorance and illogic.

LOL. One can make various arguments for or against the regulation of certain substances, but the particular argument that because passing a law has not eliminated the outlawed activity, therefore the law should be removed from the books is practically the definition of illogic.

38 posted on 04/18/2012 3:13:02 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: Tublecane

Agreed.

Remember Carrie Nation and the WCTU?

Remember the 18th Amendment? Roaring 20s? 21st Amendment to repeal it?

Ever read the Federal Racketeering Statutes? Because the Prohibition of Alcohol was what Created the Crime Syndicates which Created the Racketeering Laws, AND the Expansion of the unholy Commerce Clause fits Everything rule.

Read Sec 1958. Interstate Commerce Facilities.
http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C95.txt

I’ve known potheads, and while I wouldn’t lend them money, as a class they rarely commit armed robbery to keep them in dope.


39 posted on 04/18/2012 3:53:49 PM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit? (It is Error alone which needs the support of Government. The Truth can stand by itself.)
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To: AnAmericanAbroad

“Why do people want to get high?”

Duh. It makes you high.

“what if some hophead kills someone while they’re high? You put them in jail, same as you would with anyone else.”

Yes, exactly. Why drug warriors can’t see this is beyond me. The idea, I guess, is that with everyone doing drugs as often as they want they’ll be a lot more crimes: too many to handle. Except anyone can use as much as they want now, and that’s with the Drug War.


40 posted on 04/18/2012 3:54:11 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: icwhatudo

“Besides, its just a way for the government to get involved in our personal lives. They should just tax it.”

As if taxing it isn’t a way for them to get involved in personal lives.


41 posted on 04/18/2012 3:56:17 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: To-Whose-Benefit?

“Because the Prohibition of Alcohol was what Created the Crime Syndicates”

No, organized crime predates prohibition. Without it they’d still have had plenty of government interference to exploit: prostitution, gambling, labor laws, etc. Banning booze made for boom times, is all.

“AND the Expansion of the unholy Commerce Clause fits Everything rule.”

Actually, that was caused by the New Deal. Drug Warriors used Wickard to fuel their mothering.


42 posted on 04/18/2012 4:03:29 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: AnAmericanAbroad

There is nothing moral or Christian about putting people in jail for marijuana, it is oppression..most likely driven by the federal “G” gangsta for the business..folks are much better off not involved with drugs, but to judge others on such an issue is to invite judgement,,there has been a lot of pain issued on decent folks in the name of mistaken morality..
the ten commandments are the rules for our lives, it displays God’s desire for our moral centers..and allows for people to live many different styles of lives while keeping their lives between the ditches of life’s road..any other morally based issues are man made and oppressive..

seek God, all else will pass into obscurity, too bad folks feel the need to imprison others to make themselves feel justified..


43 posted on 04/18/2012 4:12:22 PM PDT by aces
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To: Meet the New Boss
One can make various arguments for or against the regulation of certain substances, but the particular argument that because passing a law has not eliminated the outlawed activity, therefore the law should be removed from the books is practically the definition of illogic.

No, that is the strawman argument that people like yourself put into the mouths of those who want to end the drug war. The real argument is that the prosecution of the "War on Drugs" has resulted in militarized local police forces, no-knock warrants, pre-trial asset seizures and forfeitures, an explosion in the prison population, and an extremely lucrative black market which funds and perpetuates mafias, gangs, drug cartels, not to mention corrupts entire governments into becoming narco-states.

In other words, the "War on Drugs" shreds our Constitution and is far, far worse than the problem of drug use. Get it now, or are you too busy watching "Reefer Madness"?

Also, all of you keyboard drug warriors should remember that you are not having this discussion with some zombied-out, body-pierced, lowlife named "Meatpipe" at an Occupy Berkley rally. You are discussing this with fellow conservatives on a conservative board (and the occasional troll). So your petty assumptions and snarky remarks about how druggies will say anything to get high don't apply here. Try making reasonable arguments that follow the rule of law.
44 posted on 04/18/2012 4:13:43 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: MichaelCorleone

If you believe in the scientific method of research them we have gone through the theory phase and the experimental phase of the research with the 18th and 21st amendments to the Constitution and Richard Milhous Nixon’s war on drugs. Based on what happened during prohibition. Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, John Dillinger and others shooting up the nation to control illegal liquor and now every drug dealer in sight or out of sight shooting each other I think we have pretty good experimental evidence of the illegal side of drugs.

Now since most of you obviously don’t approve of the scientific method I think we should reintroduce prohibition.

The comparison of drugs to murder is poor logic IMHO. Make a better argument.


45 posted on 04/18/2012 4:14:06 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We're an Oligrachy...Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Meet the New Boss
The War on Burglary has failed even worse in the UK. They might as well take that off the books too while they’re at it.

Your burglary affects me. You're stealing my property.

The drugs affect you. I don't give a damn.

If you steal my property to buy drugs, then the burglary laws are sufficient to punish you.

46 posted on 04/18/2012 4:23:02 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: fr_freak
No, that is the strawman argument that people like yourself put into the mouths of those who want to end the drug war.

Um, it's from the headline, dude:

"The "War on Drugs" has failed - time to consider legalisation?"

Actually I didn't say whether I wanted to end the drug war or not (talk about putting words into mouths!).

The argument that because outlawing something doesn't eliminate the outlawed activity, therefore we should get rid of the law, is absurd as a matter of logic.

47 posted on 04/18/2012 4:23:33 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: GeronL

I know nanny staters.

That’s why I’m in favor of shipping them to Canada.


48 posted on 04/18/2012 4:34:51 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Meet the New Boss
Um, it's from the headline, dude:

The headline only says that is has failed. It doesn't say a thing about the manner in which it has failed, so pointing to the headline as some kind of response is a failure of logic in itself. I consider the War on Drugs in the US a failure precisely because it has resulted in a degradation of the rule of law, not necessarily because it has failed to stop drug use.

Also, though the article is about the UK, the discussion on this thread (as with all drug discussions) has gone into general terms to include the experience with the War on Drugs in the US, and that includes your post. So, if you make an expansive statement about the War on Drugs, expect expansive responses. But feel free to repeat your easily-disputed straw man argument over and over as many times as you need to.


49 posted on 04/18/2012 4:36:11 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: fr_freak
The headline only says that is has failed. It doesn't say a thing about the manner in which it has failed

It's not just the headline, the point is made in the VERY FIRST sentences of the article:

A FORMER British MI6 chief has joined growing calls to end the “war on drugs” and consider legalising them. The battle has left tens of thousands dead in Latin America but failed to reduce drug-use around the world.

Again, the mere fact that outlawed activity does not go away is NOT in and of itself a logical argument for getting rid of the law.

50 posted on 04/18/2012 4:42:57 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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