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Beginning of the End of the Drug War?


rb
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With all the Trumpy stuff that's going on I'm not sure if many noticed that Oregon has de-criminalized ALL drugs!

 

I'm wondering whether this may be the beginning the end of that bone-head idea called the drug war. You may say that I'm talking nonsense and it's just those druggies in Oregon. But Marijuana legalization started with those potheads in Oregon and now it's legal in Canada and a lot of the United States.

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Yea it will certainly be an interesting experiment. I find it a little bizarre in terms of behavioral approaches how politicians seem to think that if something doesnt work, its better to try a more extreme version of it, rather than flip the script. Swinging the pendulum full blown the other way is a worthwhile roll of the dice IMO. We've had more than enough time to see what it looks like aggressively playing cops and robbers here.

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At this point I don't think we're rolling the dice here. I think we have a pretty good idea how it looks if we flip it. There's just not a lot of interest in flipping it because there's soooo much money being made from the drug war.

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This could be a huge step to reduce the incarceration rate in the US, which is very high compared to most other countries. It’s very costly for the society and perhaps legalizing drugs has way more benefits than harm.

 

The Netherlands in Europe had mostly good results with this, but I don’t think they legalized all drugs.

 

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In Portugal they've had great results treating drug addiction as a medical problem not a crime.  More states legalizing Marijuana and Oregon decriminalizing all drugs are huge steps in the right direction. There is nothing in the constitution which gives the federal government any say whatsoever on food or drugs.  I'd love to see if the conservatives on the court are really strict constructionists if someone ever has standing to challenge the existence of the FDA and the entire federal drug regulatory code.

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The incarceration rate and it's cost is one aspect of the equation. The other is the income of the Mexican Cartels, the Taliban and other such organizations. I'm no big fan of big pharma but I would much rather they make lots of money than the Sinaloa cartel. Big difference: they don't chop people's heads in the street.

 

Rk I think you'll be disappointed by the conservative Supremes. Portugal did ok, but I think they didn't go far enough as they didn't move to put the criminal element out of business. I think that's insane. It's like tolerating a terrorist organization on your soil because you don't want to admit that there's a terrorist organization operating on your soil.

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As an Oregonian I just wanted to clarify - no drugs are being decriminalized. The possession of very small amounts are still criminal but the legal consequences shift from punishment to treatment. 

 

I hated the concept but I hate even more the revolving door for drug punishment and it simply is not working. We need to try something new.  If this doesn't work we go back.  But if it does, it could be the role model for other places with worse drug problems.  Ironically, it should save money too.

 

My main concern is an influx of druggie who think it is a free for all here.  It isn't. 

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It has always seemed to be a strange situation where people could be sent to jail for years and have their life ruined for sale or possession of marijuana while you can buy addictive alcohol at the corner grocery store.

Let's not forget tobacco. I say this as a smoker.

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It's the lesser evil and consistent with libertarian principles.

 

I agree with dwy in that it's not a cure all. In BC drug use is essentially decriminalized in that its rare for cops to prosecute. They have huge problems with meth and fentanyl.  It's essentially a national crisis.  However putting these people into jail isn't the solution either.

 

I think the solution to drugs is family and community. There were no drug laws at all 100 years ago but yet it wasn't as much of a problem. Perhaps it was just looked down upon or you could be ostracized if you went down that path. No idea how you revive that but government can't do it.

 

Perhaps the only time I side with Dems.

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Rk I think you'll be disappointed by the conservative Supremes. Portugal did ok, but I think they didn't go far enough as they didn't move to put the criminal element out of business. I think that's insane. It's like tolerating a terrorist organization on your soil because you don't want to admit that there's a terrorist organization operating on your soil.

 

Agreed on both points. Decriminalizing isn't enough, it should be full legalization.  It should be as easy to buy cocaine by the pound as it is to buy coffee.

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