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The Drug War is ongoing because...

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ethics, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    The problem began in the '60s when dope smoking hippies were protesting the Vietnam war. The introduction of marijuana to the middle class college crowd was a success. The hard drug problem began in the '70s with the popularization of snorting cocaine, as glamorized in movies and music. Coke became popular as the "champagne" compared to pot as the "beer." The popularity of cocaine legitimized the "powder" family of drugs. That is when things started to go downhill dramatically.

    Before that time hard drug use was primarily low class and criminal elements. After that time hard drugs became popular with middle class and with the general population. That is when the minor problem of drug use started to become the monster problem it is today.

    I wish I had some good ideas on how to reduce demand, but alas I don't. However I recognize that any inroads on reducing demad would be a great start on reducing the success of drug trafficking.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    70's? Try the 60's. LSD was very popular. Remember Timothy Leary? Opiates have been used for centuries. Hell, the British government traded in opiates back in the 1700s.

    Will we be able to wipe out drug use in its entirety? Nope. But if the government were to get TRULY serious about it, they could make it so expensive that most wouldn't even be able to afford a small dose.
  3. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    You've misunderstood what I said or I've poorly explained it. I intended to say that hard drug use became a serious problem in the '60s and '70s. Before then it was a problem but not a serious one for mainstream society.

    Before the '60s and '70s at least the drug problem was not sapping America like it is today. In the present all the drugs, soft drugs, hard drugs, illicit prescription drugs are omnipresent and freely available practically everywhere in America. Anybody with the will can find them, and anybody with the money can buy them. Those without money can get it by committing crimes (e.g. burglary, auto theft, armed robbery) or can earn it through prostitution. (In some respects drug use causes some of the robberies, auto thefts, robberies, and causes some degree of prostitution.)

    I don't consider LSD to be a hard drug, although IMO it's a dangerous drug particularly for some. The hard drug problems we currently face are IMO cocaine (crack cocaine), heroin and methamphetamine. The dangerousness of the "bath salts" and other designer drugs make them a very close second to the big three. Use of prescription drugs without legitimate medical reasons is also a big problem.

    AFAIK opium has been in use for thousands of years, not just centuries, although heroin much more recently.

    I'd like the federal government to get serious about drug enforcement, particularly if they can do it in a cost effective way. I'd like them to get serious about illegal immigration enforcement too. (That would be relatively cheap, just prosecute employers of illegal aliens and 80% of the problem would dry up.) I'd like the federal government to get serious about sealing the borders instead of our present "catch and release" program.

    Let's start by executing serious drug traffickers. Oops, first we have to get the government serious about executing murderers. Not much luck there either.

    I think what we have is a government that does not want to get serious about solving any of our major problems.
  4. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Oh, I'm for attacking the supply side and even intelligently stepping up the protection and interdiction too. I wasn't knocking it at all. I was just saying emphasizing he demand and choice issue while also countering that what DSL suggests as far as other than interdiction we have been doing and are doing.

    Generally speaking whether you trying to defend against an assault of troops or an assault of drugs into the country you have to do so at a multilevel and or tiered strategy.

    First the drugs should have to face multiple barriers or defenses to get into the country and for those that do make it more barriers to get distributed or sold and so on. Everything we can reasonable and intelligently implement on the supply side should done.

    Then on the demand side any action that is intelligent and reasonable should be done. People need to be held accountable.

    We need to culturally, socially and media wise be unforgiving of drug use. We should never wink at make people that use drugs such as celebrity types or to regard their drug use to be cool or acceptable.

    Treatment is a valuable and excellent part or one component in addition to interdiction as part of the multilevel or tier approach.

    But...and its a big if treatment will fail for all except for those that genuinely want to give up drugs. Also, in treatment lets make sure when talking about the subject we differentiate between the recreational addict that otherwise is living a normal life, the hardcore street person, the homeless, and those that are being prosecuted for a drug offense and are offered diversion instead of jail time. All are different and have to be treated differently. The standards for the treatment and how many bites of the apple in many case one gets for addiction, especially those seeking diversion plans has to have some type of limitations or oversight and flexibility and tailored structure.
  5. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Those beanbags!! I didn't know about them until I was reading something about the slain guard the other day. These people should refuse to do the job with that sort of ridiculous "ammo." We must be the laughingstock of half the world by now!

    When we had a hostage situation at the library I worked in, and a SWAT team had to kill the man holding the hostages, it was decided to get security guards for the library. I thought that was great until they started talking about unarmed guards. Sigh! But not to worry! That company had guts and told the administration that if they wanted guards, they'd only come with guns.

    Is beanbags all they are allowed to use, or can they escalate to a gun or rifle if needed without going through a lot of red tape? This just makes me see red!
  6. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Maybe they can escalate to shouting nasty words... Everything I see indicates that the US is not serious about protecting our borders against contraband (illegal drugs), against illegal immigration or against terrorism. Getting serious about sealing our borders would reduce illegal immigration traffic and make the drug traffickers stand out better in the lesser traffic, and getting tough on the drug traffickers would reduce their numbers and make any terrorist traffic more obvious. US should allow border patrol agents to use whatever force they need to halt unauthorized cross-border traffic. It is completely reasonable that violators who will not desist should face up to and including being shot to death as a possible outcome of illegal border crossing attempts.

    I think closing the border would be a good first step in reducing illegal drug supply. But more serious effort needs to be put into reducing demand too. I can't see any way to win the war on drugs without both reducing supply and reducing demand. I'm not sure if demand can be reduced without conflicting with freedom but I'm damned sure supply can be reduced if US gets serious about it.
  7. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    So are they carrying guns at all, or just beanbags??? Imagine the horror of escalating to shouting nasty words! ;) Oh, yeah, they're definitely not serious. The same thing goes on at the airports, and I am due for another irritating trek through them next month.
  8. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    Here's a good illustration of the problem:

    People who want to get high will do anything to get high.
  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  10. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    From the article:
    Two things:

    (1) A big problem is that the manufacturers can change the recipe in miniscule ways and a previously illegal drug becomes some new drug that is not forbidden. And evidently as the article states the altered formula may be even more psychoactive.

    (2) "bath salts" is a misnomer. None of these products have anything to do with bathing. They're calling them "bath salts" as a code word so that retailers can sell them and profess that they thought it was a bathing product, and users can ask for them without admitting they are looking for drugs.
  11. Arc

    Arc Full Member

  12. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

  13. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I don't. We've been trying to treat our way out of drug use for a quarter century or four decades, and it isn't working. It appears to me that drug use is ever increasing. IMO there is no solution to the drug epidemic that does not involve supply side suppression.

    Drug use IMO is one of the things that is dragging America down. If we cannot curb drug abuse it will contribute to our downfall.
  14. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Yes, I agree with you, Greg.
  15. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    If we tackled the demand side with half the amount of money as we tackled the supply side, you would see a serious difference.

    Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, and it will never work for drugs.
  16. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Treatment didn't work for alcohol either.

    And I'd argue entirely differently as to whether prohibition worked. It DID work, where it was actually implemented. We just didn't really implement it.

    Alcohol kills more people every year in traffic accidents than died during the ENTIRE Vietnam war. Don't tell me we solved anything by repealing prohibition.
  17. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    Then we agree to disagree, as we solved plenty by repealing prohibition.
  18. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    The repeal of the 18th Amendment solved nothing other than bringing tax dollars into government coffers.
  19. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Biker pretty well nails it on prohibition. I mean first of all come on! Drinking alcoholic beverages has been around as long as modern man has existed on the planet. If you want to confine it to the US drinking was socially popular from revolutionary times to today.

    When prohibition was backed and passed the politicians never stopped to think about what systemically and socially would actually happen. One was they didn’t realize that people were going to keep on drinking anyway. Two, they forgot what a genuinely huge amount of tax revenue came from ALL legal alcoholic drinks sold or consumed! It was a huge amount. We’re talking big bucks! A huge amount of all tax revenues!

    It took them about six months to figure this out completely and then it was just the time necessary to pass a repeal. I mean how much of a genius does it take to figure out what a mistake? We now have the same amount of alcohol consumption as before but no more tax dollars from it. What should the government to do? Well, duh.

    Don’t look for prohibition to make a comeback soon.
  20. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Arc your comments seem to play into the hands of "well everybody can get all the major drugs anyway so why not just tax them all?"

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