JUST SAY NO TO DRUG——-LAWS

             I have frequently espoused the decriminalization of drugs. I believe that the government has no rights to tell you what you can put into your body. 

             Criminal drug laws offend me from a personal freedom point of view. Criminal drug laws offend me from the idea that drug users can be subject to criminal penalties merely from such use, even if no demonstrable harm ensues.Criminal drug laws offend me based on the cost in our tax monies to enforce them. Criminal drug laws offend me in the sense that they create a criminal class that : is easily prone to prey on the weak,  all too often  resorts to violence to protect their illicit trade, and corrupts our law enforcement and  criminal justice systems.

             I am in no way advocating that people use drugs of any nature, other than what are prescribed by doctors. For that matter many non-prescription drugs are available for self-medication which I believe are over-used. But I want no criminal penalties attached to the use of any substance.

              I am not ignorant of the damage that drug users and abusers can do to themselves and their families. But that is certainly no more so the case than it is for alcohol abusers.

               The application of criminal drug laws is a huge drain on our economy. It stigmatizes people with criminal records whose only true offense is possession of an illegal substance for personal use.

               See this recent story in The Morgantown Dominion Post about a young man living in a fraternity house who was caught with 1/2 ounce of pot, but charged with intent to distribute. In my 70’s hey day distribution of 1/2 ounce of grass would be done with several friends seated in a circle passing either a bong or succession of joints.

http://ee.dominionpost.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=RFBvc3QvMjAxMC8wOS8wMyNBcjAwMzAy&Mode=Gif&Locale=english-skin-custom

                Our bloated federal budget includes over $2 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Over $6 billion runs the Bureau of Prisons. Many other billions are expended in the “War on Drugs” through the FBI, prosecution and our court system.

Here is the budget info straight from the horse’s mouth:

DOJ budget info      http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/justice.pdf

                Approximately one-fourth of the nearly 2,000,000 inmates in the federal prison system are there for drug offenses. However, around 82% have convictions for mere possession, non-violent and otherwise not harmful.

              An absolute bounty of information on this issue is available from Drug War Facts.Org.      http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/62

                   It would be easy to become lost in all the colective data at that site, but is organized so that it can be absorbed in small doses (pun intended).

                 California is home to many trends, fads and what not, but in politics is inarguably the leader in ballot initiatives. there is one pending to legalize marijuana. Much of the money spent on opposing the initiative’s passage comes from a source motivated by that most basic of human instincts, greed. The alcohol lobby, apparently worried more pot =less booze are throwing big bucks at this issue.

See this article from Salon

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/feature/2010/09/24/sirota_marijuana_legalization

            I could expend many thousands more words here and perhaps my arguments are oversimplified, but I just fail to see how the nation is better for having such a repressive policy as the criminalization of recreational drugs. In a future post I plan to offer more evidence as to the public health effects of drug use.

               In the meantime, rest assured I won’t be the one dropping a dime on you for toking away.

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