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A safer society? Legalize drugs
The Boston Globe ^ | June 6, 2006 | Bill Fried

Posted on 06/06/2006 4:32:38 AM PDT by LowCountryJoe

Meanwhile, politicians puff sanctimoniously about ``cleaning the streets" and ``ridding the projects of drug dealers

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Gardening
KEYWORDS: drugskilledbelushi; govwatch; knowyourleroy; leroyknowshisrights; libertarians; longlivemrleroy; longtokemrleroy; mrleroybait; nokingbutmrleroy; warondrugs; wheresmrleroy; which1ofuismrleroy; wod; woddiecrushonleroy; wodlist
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1 posted on 06/06/2006 4:32:40 AM PDT by LowCountryJoe
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To: LowCountryJoe

This is certainly an option. Prohibition of alcohol didn't work, it created a powerful mafia. How successful was this legalization in the netherlands, or Holland. I don't know.


2 posted on 06/06/2006 4:40:11 AM PDT by Dudoight
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To: LowCountryJoe

Another example of normalizing deviancy


3 posted on 06/06/2006 4:41:22 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: SoftballMominVA
Ma'am, without some of the deviancy in recorded history, most of the good in our society that is experienced today would not exist. Didn't the Founding Fathers deviate so that we could be self-governing and throw off a repressive government.

Now, equating drug usage with experienced good is a stretch, I know, but drug enforcement has created some very nasty consequences as this editorial points out. You should actually read it.

4 posted on 06/06/2006 4:56:43 AM PDT by LowCountryJoe (I'm a Paleo-liberal: I believe in freedom; am socially independent and a borderline fiscal anarchist)
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To: Badray

Common Sense Ping.


5 posted on 06/06/2006 5:00:09 AM PDT by Conservative Goddess (Politiae legibus, non leges politiis, adaptandae)
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To: LowCountryJoe
Bill Fried

Bill is probably fried most of the time.

6 posted on 06/06/2006 5:02:14 AM PDT by verity (The MSM is comprised of useless eaters)
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To: LowCountryJoe

This is where my quasi-libertarian side kicks in. Here in the Pittsburgh area, the media for the past few days has been innudated with stories of a supposed epidemic of heroin overdose deaths (three I believe). All the politicians and do-gooders are wringing their hands. My view? Good and good riddance. This is not some disease where you become ill and die through no fault of your own. This is a behavior choice. These individuals make the choice to take these drugs. They take the risk. Why should I weep and gnash my teeth over them? In my view, these are three fewer lowlifes my tax dollars have to support.

On the other hand, there is money that could be made from legalization. If we have to spend so much money treating the addicts, not to mention feeding, clothing and housing them, then why not legalize the drugs? In doing so, we could regulate and tax the stuff. In taxing the drugs, we could recoup at least some of the money we lose on these lowlifes. And the supply would be a heckuva a lot safer.


7 posted on 06/06/2006 5:03:12 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: LowCountryJoe
But where would the Democrats get their captive voting block? Legalization would mean cohernecy among those who get a free ride everytime they choose Dem in the ballot box. It would mean they would have to look at the captive 'handout' they get due to the compassionate Democrats and wonder why they don't get a hand up in society instead.
/sarcasm
8 posted on 06/06/2006 5:04:34 AM PDT by Pistolshot (Condi 2008.<------added January 2004. Remember you heard it here first)
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To: Pistolshot
Why the sarcasm tag? You're spot on with that reply. Not only that, but every middle-class misguided youth wearing an Interstate 420 t-shirt who also sports a Jamaican beanie hat and flowing dreadlocks would instantly believe that Republicans are were might just be cool.
9 posted on 06/06/2006 5:13:13 AM PDT by LowCountryJoe (I'm a Paleo-liberal: I believe in freedom; am socially independent and a borderline fiscal anarchist)
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To: LowCountryJoe

I don't know if the country would be safer. I do support the decriminalization of marijuana. That's a start. I don't know how effective treatment is. Probably not too effective because many people enjoy getting high and do not want to be treated.


10 posted on 06/06/2006 5:24:02 AM PDT by NotSoFreeStater
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To: LowCountryJoe
I have had this debate many times and certain questions never get answered to my satisfaction. Do we legalize all drugs? Do they get regulated by the feds? Are there going to be strength and purity standards? If there are going to be strength and purity standards, won't another black market open making stronger drugs? You can't make the same argument with booze. There are differing degrees of booze and too much grain alcohol will kill you if you really want the strong stuff. Is it the governments place to stop us from freely doing drugs they have made illegal because of the work of some advocacy groups? Should the government be in the business of medicating society with mood altering drugs(let's leave the pharmaceutical industry out of this for now)? I think these are all heavy questions that do not deserve some knee jerk response. All I ever get is knee jerk responses and slogans from both sides.
11 posted on 06/06/2006 5:41:03 AM PDT by satchmodog9 (Most people stand on the tracks and never even hear the train coming)
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To: LowCountryJoe
There's a thread a little higher called "And Now for Some Good News" from the Washington Post. It contains this:

Violent crime rates remain at the lowest levels in the history of the Bureau of Justice Statistics' survey (which started in 1973). We are experiencing the sharpest decline in teen crime in modern history.

Why the urgent push for a "safer society"? Why the push to legalize drugs? Seems to me that we're pretty safe, and it seems to me that giving the Green Light to rampant drug use might end up hurting a lot of folks.

12 posted on 06/06/2006 5:55:01 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (I face pressure! You face pressure!)
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To: fatnotlazy
"In taxing the drugs, we could recoup at least some of the money we lose on these lowlifes"

I live in Pittsburgh too and felt the same way when I heard the stories, but I'm not sure we would recoup cost. How long before the bleeding heart liberals would demand clinics (Canada has these) where druggies can go and get their fix for free? The social services wouldn't be stopped for these addicts....they would still be considered as having a disease so the welfare would continue to flow. How long before lawyers would step in and the druggies would demand "rights".....rights from transportation to clinics to the right to stronger kick (I'm sure a lawyer could come up with many more "rights")How many lawsuits would result from passing the responsibility via legalization...lawsuits b/c of actions committed by the druggie when your "drug bar" sold him the drug? the list is endless.....

I'm not sure that the social and material costs would be less with legalization.
13 posted on 06/06/2006 5:56:35 AM PDT by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: Dudoight
This is certainly an option.

It will never, ever happen for one simple reason. Trial Lawyers.....

14 posted on 06/06/2006 5:59:25 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
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To: Dudoight
This is certainly an option.

It will never, ever happen for one simple reason. Trial Lawyers.....

15 posted on 06/06/2006 5:59:28 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
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To: LowCountryJoe

I read this opinion piece this morning and disagreed with it entirely. While I fully support the legalization of marijuana, I think legalizing drugs of this nature---heroin or even cocaine---is not the same, and does not offer a solution, because the nature of the drug is different, as is the nature of the user. I have a hard time believing someone who'd resort to violent crime in order to maintain his or her drug-centric lifestyle would suddenly reform himself or herself if their drug of choice were legalized. In fact, I'd wager that the criminal element involved with this lifestyle is as attractive and addictive as the drug itself. Legalize heroin and "Eddie" becomes a legitimate contributor to society? Those are long odds, at best.


16 posted on 06/06/2006 6:09:38 AM PDT by 54-46 Was My Number (Right now, somebody else got that number)
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To: LowCountryJoe

Did anyone else see Nightline night before last about the counterfeit drugs coming from China? Drugs like Crestor, Lipitor, Procrit and others. Some are made from drywall, cement, and the yellow lead-based paint used for highways. I fell asleep and missed the ending telling how drugs get to the drugstore. Dummy me, I thought they came from the manufacturer. I will be looking for a replay. Pfiser is aware. These drugs have reached drugstores such as Rite-Aid and are dispensed unnoticed as they are such good counterfeits. Pretty scarey stuff going on all over.


17 posted on 06/06/2006 6:18:52 AM PDT by Snoopers-868th (Send-a-Brick.com. Send a brick to Washington and cash to Minutemen for a wall.)
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To: LowCountryJoe
"and some of the $69 billion that Law Enforcement Against Prohibition documents we spend on ``enforcement" and ``interdiction" could go to treatment"

Methinks Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) exaggerates just a little. The 2007 Federal ONDCP budget (which includes the DEA) is $12.7 billion, and the states spend about the same. That's excluding incarceration.

Half of the federal money is spent on drug education, anti-drug advertising and treatment. The other half is spent on overseas inderdiction and local border control. Which of these areas the author would eliminate is unknown.

18 posted on 06/06/2006 6:24:32 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: 54-46 Was My Number

Is there a culture around smoking cigarettes? No, they are cheap and plentiful. The violence comes from protecting turf. How many rum runners do you see around today? Damn few. Except for a few moonshine stills out in the sticks, most people are very content to get their booze from the store down the street (its cheaper and safer thanks to gov. regulations). The same store I buy my rum from also sells Everclear (100% alcohol by vol.).
Now, our boy Eddie may never be a contributor to society, but he will be much less a burden and much less of a threat to the kids on the streets.
I have to deal with a lot of gang stuff at my very rural high school here in SC. If pot and cocaine where legalized the Bloods, Crips, FolkNation, MS13, etc would dry up for lack of funds and a lack of a need to protect turf. The people of south central LA would be much safer and the inner cities might see a renewal as the crime gangs melt away.


19 posted on 06/06/2006 6:28:09 AM PDT by SSR1
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To: SoftballMominVA
Another example of normalizing deviancy

In a free society shouldn't one be free to be a deviant provided they aren't infringing on anothers natural rights?

20 posted on 06/06/2006 6:29:45 AM PDT by Live and let live conservative (Capitalism: It works, give it a try America.)
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To: LowCountryJoe
I did read the article--every single word. I strongly believe that drug use is just another symptom of a society looking for a quick and easy fix to what is going on in their lives. People have no strong moral compass and there are no blacks or whites. Everything is in a gray area.

And yes, our founding fathers did throw off the shackles of an oppressive government, but they followed the accepted legal channels. The Declaration of Independence noted one by one all of the grievances the U.S. had towards Great Britain and then declared their intents, pledging life and property. I do not think that in any way the experience of our founding fathers relates to legalizing drugs so that some teenager will not be on the streets dealing illegally.

I do not feel sorry for the young man or his family. He made choices and now this author wants the consequences changed to be less punitive.

Your post makes it sound as if the drug enforcement officers are to blame. They are not. They are carrying out the law of the land. The criminal is always to blame. You and I may cringe at the results, but this young man had opportunities many have never had. He had access to schools, libraries, health care, food, and churches of his choice. He rejected good and chose evil. I do feel sorry for him, but only because he is a wasted life. Legalizing drugs will not and would not have rescued him.

21 posted on 06/06/2006 6:36:22 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: socialismisinsidious

You are probably right. Leave it to the powers that be to louse up a good money-making proposition by spending still more money. I should know better. :)


22 posted on 06/06/2006 6:40:34 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: Live and let live conservative

Yes, if one chooses to be a deviant, they have that right and privilege. But I balk at having the government being the supplier and distributer of hard core drugs.


23 posted on 06/06/2006 6:40:35 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: Dudoight
Prohibition of alcohol didn't work, it created a powerful mafia.

However, we also have about 15,000 people a year killed by drunk drivers and over 100,000 alcohol-related deaths per year. So legalization takes one form of violence and replaces it with another.

IMO there is no good answer here - only bad and worse. Any approach that does not deal with the demand for this stuff is doomed for failure. I think the current drug war is crazy, but I'm not pretending that legalization would be a pancea.

But one thing we can do right away is to get the feds to decriminalize pot. Not legalize, but decriminalize. Pot is of an entire different nature than hard drugs such as meth, and IMO the feds should quit having such an issue with it and let the states try different approaches.

24 posted on 06/06/2006 6:44:38 AM PDT by dirtboy (When Bush is on the same side as Ted the Swimmer on an issue, you know he's up to no good...)
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To: dirtboy

We've all known for quite some time how much you love your pot....


25 posted on 06/06/2006 6:51:19 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (MSM Creed: "Truth has no substance until we give it permission!")
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To: SSR1
Is there a culture around smoking cigarettes? No, they are cheap and plentiful.

Hell yeah there's a culture around smoking cigarettes. My wife smoked for years . . . in many ways, her life revolved around them. She had to smoke first thing every day, she had to smoke whenever she got into a car, she always made sure she had enough cigarettes for the weekend, etc. There's a huge culture around smoking cigarettes---check out any smoking section outside of a place of business or a restaurant if you don't believe me.

I have to deal with a lot of gang stuff at my very rural high school here in SC. If pot and cocaine where legalized the Bloods, Crips, FolkNation, MS13, etc would dry up for lack of funds and a lack of a need to protect turf. The people of south central LA would be much safer and the inner cities might see a renewal as the crime gangs melt away.

That's the only reasonable, yet theoretical, argument you have.

But this piece didn't present that argument---not in my opinion. This piece presented the "let's make Eddie a productive member of society" argument.


26 posted on 06/06/2006 6:51:24 AM PDT by 54-46 Was My Number (Right now, somebody else got that number)
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To: SoftballMominVA
Another example of normalizing deviancy

Deviant means differing from the norm.

In every society since the people found substances that could change their mental state, it has unfortunately been the norm.

27 posted on 06/06/2006 6:55:58 AM PDT by Protagoras ("A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken a new action"... Tony Robbins)
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To: Live and let live conservative
The problem with that theory is, hard working tax payers wind up having to support those drugged out individuals who "aren't infringing on others natural rights".

Denmark is a classic example of that failed ideology. Unemployment there is high double digit, taxes far exceed the average take home pay, and the moral decline is dragging it further into the pit with little hope for recovery.

So the idea that they are only hurting themselves is completely debunked by this stark example of how the Liberal "feel good" philosophy is purely incorrect.
28 posted on 06/06/2006 7:00:12 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (MSM Creed: "Truth has no substance until we give it permission!")
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
We've all known for quite some time how much you love your pot....

Haven't touched the stuff in years, jerk. Don't drink any more, either. However, I can look at the relative impact of alcohol and pot and say that alcohol causes far more social problems and violence than pot.

So tell me, can you come up with a better debating point than to false accuse others of being potheads?

29 posted on 06/06/2006 7:03:22 AM PDT by dirtboy (When Bush is on the same side as Ted the Swimmer on an issue, you know he's up to no good...)
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To: SoftballMominVA
Yes, if one chooses to be a deviant, they have that right and privilege. But I balk at having the government being the supplier and distributer of hard core drugs.

I'm with you on that.

30 posted on 06/06/2006 7:04:18 AM PDT by Live and let live conservative (Capitalism: It works, give it a try America.)
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
The problem with that theory is, hard working tax payers wind up having to support those drugged out individuals who "aren't infringing on others natural rights". Denmark is a classic example of that failed ideology. Unemployment there is high double digit, taxes far exceed the average take home pay, and the moral decline is dragging it further into the pit with little hope for recovery. So the idea that they are only hurting themselves is completely debunked by this stark example of how the Liberal "feel good" philosophy is purely incorrect.

My comment was solely about the right to be a deviant. I also consider income redistribution as a violation of individual rights so we're probably on the same side on this one.

My desire is for a free society where one is free to be a deviant, though preferably not, provided they are willing to face the consequence of their lifestyle without society being forced to support them.

I do find it dangerous to abridge individual rights for the reason that some actions cost society monetarily. The problem to me is not that the actions cost society money, the problem is that society is "forced" to pay for it by government.

31 posted on 06/06/2006 7:10:32 AM PDT by Live and let live conservative (Capitalism: It works, give it a try America.)
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To: SoftballMominVA

Demcriminalizing is not the same as normalizing. There are all kinds of "deviant" activities that are legal. I don't have a lot of respect for drug users, but I wish we wouldn't have to let a muderer, rapist, pedophile etc. out after a too short a sentence because the prisons are overcrowded with drug offenders. Personally, I would rather have a violent criminal in prison for longer than to have someone with a cargo container full of pot.


32 posted on 06/06/2006 7:13:47 AM PDT by Carolina_Thor (It's always better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.)
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To: dirtboy

If you no longer use it, then why do you still support it?

Pot has been proven to lead to harder addictive behavior by those who use it. There is no magical quality to pot that exists, where if it were legal, it would keep users off harder substances. In fact, the opposite is true.


33 posted on 06/06/2006 7:17:56 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (MSM Creed: "Truth has no substance until we give it permission!")
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
If you no longer use it, then why do you still support it?

Because the federal ban is stupid and counterproductive and also is used to justify federal intervention in what should be state affairs.

Pot has been proven to lead to harder addictive behavior by those who use it.

In some cases. In most cases, it doesn't, as reflected in the large gap between the number of people who have tried pot and those who have tried hard drugs.

There is no magical quality to pot that exists, where if it were legal, it would keep users off harder substances. In fact, the opposite is true.

You can say that about cigarettes and booze as well. Doesn't mean they should be banned.

34 posted on 06/06/2006 7:38:45 AM PDT by dirtboy (When Bush is on the same side as Ted the Swimmer on an issue, you know he's up to no good...)
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
The problem with that theory is, hard working tax payers wind up having to support those drugged out individuals who "aren't infringing on others natural rights".

I know a lot of regular users of pot who hold down day jobs just fine.

35 posted on 06/06/2006 7:39:18 AM PDT by dirtboy (When Bush is on the same side as Ted the Swimmer on an issue, you know he's up to no good...)
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To: LowCountryJoe
Forget Legalization, lets start with decriminalization of some of the minor offenses first.
36 posted on 06/06/2006 7:43:21 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero ╗ with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: Carolina_Thor
Not trying to pick a fight, but I am asking an honest question--if a drug dealer and murderer are let out on the same day, which one is more likely to pick up where he/she left off and recommit the same crime and how quickly will this recidivism happen? It seems like that subject would have been looked at by some panel.

My gut tells me the drug dealer will go back to his former life quickly, but I've been wrong before.

37 posted on 06/06/2006 7:45:23 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: LowCountryJoe
Decriminalize? Yes. But first, you need to get rid of the socialist safety net that currently buffers people from their own stupidity. Also, the general public needs to have their full Second Amendment Rights restored to protect themselves from idiots with no self control.

Darwin will be a bit busy for a while. But once all those bent on destroying themselves have done so, the rest of us will be MUCH better off...

38 posted on 06/06/2006 7:46:59 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.- Aeschylus)
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To: Protagoras
Deviant means differing from the norm.

But drug use is not normal now. If hard drugs are made legal and then distributed by the government, it would be a very short hop to the government then providing "safe havens" for the druggie to get his/her fix. This type of situation is already happening in Canada.

Someone shooting up heroin is no where near the "norm" of society, but it would be legal then and then become accepted behavior. At that point a deviant behavior has the potential to become mainstream and "normal."

39 posted on 06/06/2006 7:51:46 AM PDT by SoftballMominVA
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To: SoftballMominVA
But drug use is not normal now.

You can't be serious.

40 posted on 06/06/2006 7:56:11 AM PDT by Protagoras ("A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken a new action"... Tony Robbins)
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To: Dead Corpse
"...you need to get rid of the socialist safety net that currently buffers people from their own stupidity...."

Exactly. The school of hard knocks has a way of regulating behavior.
41 posted on 06/06/2006 8:17:40 AM PDT by Conservative Goddess (Politiae legibus, non leges politiis, adaptandae)
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To: SSR1; 54-46 Was My Number
"If pot and cocaine where legalized the Bloods, Crips, FolkNation, MS13, etc would dry up for lack of funds and a lack of a need to protect turf"

I bet if you were around during Prohibition you'd say, "Legalize alcohol and the gangs will be gone and we'll finally have peace in the neighborhoods".

BWAHAHAHAHA!

42 posted on 06/06/2006 8:19:53 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Carolina_Thor
"Personally, I would rather have a violent criminal in prison for longer than to have someone with a cargo container full of pot."

Personally, I believe a drug dealer destroys hundreds of more lives than a violent criminal can ever hope to.

43 posted on 06/06/2006 8:27:25 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: dirtboy
"Because the federal ban is stupid and counterproductive and also is used to justify federal intervention in what should be state affairs."

Isn't that true for other recreational drugs?

44 posted on 06/06/2006 8:30:51 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Conservative Goddess

Life can be the best teacher. Those failing life's lessons shouldn't get "social promotion".


45 posted on 06/06/2006 8:35:11 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.- Aeschylus)
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To: robertpaulsen

Let's explore these odd beliefs of yours. Do you also believe that if other people are in the same building, but not the same room, you are not "alone"? Do you believe that a man having his schlong sucked is not engaged in "sex"?


46 posted on 06/06/2006 8:36:52 AM PDT by steve-b (Hoover Dam is every bit as "natural" as a beaver dam.)
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To: Protagoras
"But drug use is not normal now."
"You can't be serious."

You're looking at around 5% of the population smoking marijuana and another 1-2% doing hard drugs. That ain't "normal" behavior.

Unless you have a totally different definition of 'normal'.

47 posted on 06/06/2006 8:37:31 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: steve-b

Got a point?


48 posted on 06/06/2006 8:39:15 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
Isn't that true for other recreational drugs?

No, because drugs such as meth and cocaine are much more harmful to individuals, families and society. So is alcohol, for that matter.

I liken it to various driving laws. States don't outlaw eating while driving, even though it can cause a distraction. Some states outlaw using a cell phone, because it is more distracting. And all states outlaw DUI, because of the much higher probability of causing an accident.

I see drug use in a similar manner.

49 posted on 06/06/2006 8:39:55 AM PDT by dirtboy (When Bush is on the same side as Ted the Swimmer on an issue, you know he's up to no good...)
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To: Live and let live conservative; SoftballMominVA
"In a free society shouldn't one be free to be a deviant provided they aren't infringing on anothers natural rights?"

I was about to say something very similar. As long as someone else's life or liberty isn't affected the government shouldn't be in the business of making such judgments. I don't believe that government should legislate morality or stupidity.

50 posted on 06/06/2006 8:43:55 AM PDT by KoRn
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