Originally posted by GavintzuNo no no no no. That is the difference between "legalization" and "decriminalization". Hard drugs wouldn't be legal, in that the government would still charge smugglers or dealers who are caught with large amounts. They wouldn't imprison people for simple possession for personal use, but fine them. This is the way it currently works in Holland and Germany I believe.
Think of the driving laws. It is illegal to do 60 in a 50 zone. But you won't get a criminal record for getting a speeding ticket. Simple speeding is illegal but decriminalized.
Edit: "You can say drug addiction is a medical problem, but it many cases, it is one that people acquire more or less voluntarily." The number one drain on the health care system in North America is obesity and poor diet. People voluntarily eat Wendy's Triple Burger and Supersize Fries, and they end up in the cardiac care unit. Shall we shut down the fast-food joints because of their cost to society?
(edited by Gavintzu on 6.3.02 0801)
What then would be the penalty for repeated decriminalized drug offenses? Repeat traffic violators accumulate points on their license (in some states), garner larger fines, and then suspension and revocation of licenses. What would repeat cocaine users receive? Larger fines? How will that deter behavior any way? Going back to my original argument, users are paying upwards of 17,000% OVER actual market value for street drugs. What is a $100, or $1,000 fine going to do, if they pay the fine at all? Absolutely nothing. Unless repeat offenses lead to jail time--which then makes it a penal code violation, anyway--decriminalizing drugs would be an exercise in utter futility. It's as effective as a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. If you're for decriminalization, you might as well take the plunge and go for the legalization of the whole shebang.
"Hitler had pieces of flair that he made the Jews wear."
decriminalizing drugs would be an exercise in utter futility
Sorta like the "War on Drugs".
In my younger and wilder days, I did all sorts of drugs. None habitually or even regularly. I was of the mind that I wanted to try everything. Most I didn't particularly care for and never tried a second time. A lot of my friends were right there with me, but a lot also stayed away from these drugs. Of all the reasons why they abstained(I don't like the way ir makes me feel, I don't wanna get hooked, I don't wanna fuck up my body, I don't wanna DIE.), I very rarely, if ever, heard the reason, "Because it's illegal". I think the tons of money that the government is spending trying to stop the drug trade could be used more effectively elsewhere. I heard a stat that less then 1 out of every ten big drug shipments get discovered. If that is true(I don't know 1 way or the other), then the entire budget spent on stopping incoming drugs is wasted. Any program that fails 90% of the time is truly "futile".
Barbwire, Hillary (and Bill) have to be furious about what Gore did. IMO, the reality is that the Dem's stand a better chance of winning using a more Deanlike approach. They must come across as progressive, caring, and for the little guy.