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Re: “Police chief: Time to trade the war on drugs for a war on guns

Prohibition has diverted police resources away from other law enforcement activities with the result that violent crime and crime against property is driven far higher than it would have been otherwise. To the extent that communities divert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses the risk of punishment for engaging in violent crime is reduced.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 was actually a direct response to the acute rise in prohibition (1919-33) engendered gun violence.

PROHIBITION EQUATES TO MORE VIOLENT CRIME WHICH LEADS TO MORE CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada reviewed 15 studies that evaluated the association between violence and drug law enforcement. "Our findings suggest that increasing drug law enforcement is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, the existing evidence base suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates may be an inevitable consequence of drug prohibition and that disrupting drug markets can paradoxically increase violence."

During alcohol prohibition all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A vast fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed! Sound familiar?

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 09/04/2014 at 11:13 AM

Re: “The economic argument against drug prohibition

ALCOHOL PROHIBITION INCREASED ALCOHOL USAGE:

The claim that prohibition lowered alcohol consumption is totally false!

Not only did alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s increase usage http://i.imgur.com/Ga1Gs.png it also exacerbated all other related problems while bootleggers, just like many of our present day drug lords, became rich and powerful folk heroes as a result.

“It has made potential drunkards of the youth of the land, not because intoxicating liquor appeals to their taste or disposition, but because it is a forbidden thing, and because it is forbidden makes an irresistible appeal to the unformed and immature."

-- That was part of the testimony of Judge Alfred J Talley, given before the Senate Hearings on Alcohol Prohibition in 1926:

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/HISTOR…

And the following paragraphs are from WALTER E. EDGE’s testimony, a Senator from New Jersey:

“Any law that brings in its wake such wide corruption in the public service, increased alcoholic insanity, and deaths, increased arrests for drunkenness, home barrooms, and development among young boys and young women of the use of the flask never heard of before prohibition can not be successfully defended.”.

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/HISTOR…

And here is Julien Codman’s testimony, who was a member of the Massachusetts bar.

”..it has been a pitiable failure; that it has failed to prevent drinking; that it has failed to decrease crime; that, as a matter of fact, it has increased both; that it has promoted bootlegging and smuggling to an extent never known before”.

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/HISTOR…

Here are the main paragraphs from the address of His Eminence, Cardinal Dougherty, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, to the Catholic societies of the Archdiocese on New Year's Day 1931:

"Having heard the report on behalf of the members of the Total Abstinence Society, it occurs to me to say that when the law prohibiting alcoholic drink was passed, many thought that there would be no further need for our temperance or total-abstinence societies. Hence the practice of giving a pledge against intoxicating liquors to boys and girls at Confirmation was discontinued. There seemed to be no need of it."

"But, unfortunately. Prohibition has not performed the miracles that were expected. According to experts, such as judges, public officials, social service workers, and others, there is as much, perhaps even more, drunkenness and intemperance today than before the passage of the Volstead Act."

"When in the past did we see young men and women of respectable families carrying a flask of liquor when going to social events? When did we see young girls, not yet of age, drinking in public, perhaps to excess, cocktails and the strongest kind of intoxicating liquors, and perhaps being overcome by them? That, today, is not an uncommon sight."

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 03/09/2013 at 4:50 AM

Re: “The economic argument against drug prohibition

The assertion that drug legalization/regulation would bring higher usage rates ignores what has occurred since the early 1970s. The percentage of Americans who have used an illegal drug has gone from less than 5% to about 40%. The cost of one dose of street heroin has gone from $6 to 80 cents while average purity has also increased. The only drug that has decreased in use during this time is tobacco, which has plummeted from about 65% during World War II to about 20% today. Tobacco, one of the most addictive substances known to man, has never been illegal but many Americans have quit using it for personal reasons that clearly have not been influenced by it's legal availability. They will decide whether or not to use other drugs for the same reasons.

Prohibition continues unabated for shameful political reasons. It cannot, and never will, reduce drug use or addiction.

Transform’s outstanding book titled, After the War on Drugs: Blueprints for Regulation, provides specific proposals for how drugs could be regulated in the real world. The book is available for free online. If you would like to read it then here it is: http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20downloa….

And here’s some info on Swiss Heroin-assisted treatment (HAT).

http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/drogen/0004…

At the end of 2009, 1356 patients were undergoing HAT at 21 outpatient centers and in 2 prisons.

HAT is now being carried out at centres in Basle, Bern, Biel, Brugg, Burgdorf, Chur, Geneva, Horgen, Lucerne, Olten, Reinach, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Wetzikon, Zug, Zürich and in two prisons Oberschöngrün (canton Solthurn) and Realtà (canton Graubünden).

Results

In many cases, patients’ physical and mental health has improved, their housing situation has become considerably more stable, and they have gradually managed to find employment. Numerous participants have managed to reduce their debts. In most cases, contacts with addicts and the drug scene have decreased. Consumption of non-prescribed substances declined significantly in the course of treatment.

Dramatic changes have been seen in the situation regarding crime. While the proportion of patients who obtained their income from illegal or borderline activities at the time of enrollment was 70%, the figure after 18 months of HAT was only 10%.

Each year, between 180 and 200 patients discontinue HAT. Of these patients, 35-45% are transferred to methadone maintenance, and 23-27% to abstinence-based treatment.

The average costs per patient-day at outpatient treatment centers in 1998 came to CHF 51. The overall economic benefit – based on savings in criminal investigations and prison terms and on improvements in health – was calculated to be CHF 96. After deduction of costs, the net benefit is CHF 45 per patient-day.

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 03/09/2013 at 4:49 AM

Re: “The economic argument against drug prohibition

Prohibition has finally run its course: Our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted. What was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency.

Accordingly, it is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain untainted and untouched from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow citizens. They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets. We will provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity.

If you're a bottom-dwelling, prohibitionist parasite who's career has entailed subjecting the rest of us to off-the-scale corruption and lawlessness, then maybe you should consider moving to somewhere that won't extradite you to a future national or international drug-war tribunal for your crimes against humanity.

Prohibition has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources.

Those responsible for the shameful policy of prohibition shall not go unpunished!

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 03/09/2013 at 4:45 AM

Re: “Did you read about the war on drugs, watering down Budweiser, and Dennis Rodman in North Korea?

Prohibition is not regulation; prohibition is a dangerous "free-for-all" where all the profits go to the most dangerous elements in society —politicians and terrorists.

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 02/27/2013 at 11:53 AM

Re: “The year in review: film

Legally regulated (manufacture, distribution and consumption) of marijuana is coming to a state near you in 2013:

CALIFORNIA

“These laws just don't make sense anymore. It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users… these are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people.”
—Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (preparing the way for Governor Jerry Brown to initiate proceedings to legalize and regulate marijuana through the state legislature)

MAINE

Maine's legislature is moving on a legalization-and-regulation bill that could bring the state $8 million a year in new revenue.

''The people are far ahead of the politicians on this. Just in the past few weeks we've seen the culture shift dramatically.''
—Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, District 120 (Occupation: Public Relations Consultant)

NEVADA

"Thinking we're not going to have it is unrealistic. It's just a question of how and when"
—Assemblyman Richard (Tick) Segerblom of Las Vegas, elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2012

OREGON

"We have decades of evidence that says prohibition does not work and it's counterproductive. it's a matter of dollars and common sense. There's a source of revenue that's reasonable that is rational that is the right policy choice for our state. We are going to get there on legalization."
—Peter Buckley, co-chair of the Oregon state legislature's budget committee.

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island is also expected to legally regulate marijuana through the state legislature instead of a popular referendum.

''Our prohibition has failed, Legalizing and taxing it, just as we did to alcohol, is the way to do it.''
—Rep. Edith Ajello, chairs the House Committee on Judiciary and is a member of the House Oversight Committee.

VERMONT

In November 2012, the state's Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, cruised to re-election while strongly backing marijuana decriminalization. And the city of Burlington passed a resolution in November 2012 calling for an end to prohibition – with 70 percent support.

ALASKA

Most Alaskans already have a clear view of things from their own back garden. Personal use and possession of Marijuana in Alaskan homes has been effectively legal since 1975

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 12/26/2012 at 6:18 AM

Re: “The deeper drug war

Justin Bragg, the damage done by prohibition is far worse than the damage caused by all of the illegal drugs combined.

The U.S. comprises 5 percent of the world's population yet uses 60 percent of the world's drugs. The prohibition on these drugs has been waged for 70 years and has cost $1.5 trillion.

The drug war encompasses everyone of us. The prohibited Drugs kill far less people than the drug war.

Mass Incarceration worsens both the drug epidemic and the AIDS epidemic.

A potential tax payer is turned into a tax burden every time prison is used to enforce prohibition.

87 percent of drug users are white yet 74 percent of people sentenced for drug possession are black. Whites do most of the 'crime' but blacks do most of the time.

Teachers with a college degree start at around $32,000 annually and a university professor with a Ph.D. starts at around $47,000 annually but prison guards, with a GED or high school diploma earn $50,000 plus overtime pay annually to guard non-violent pot smokers and drug offenders.

Everything we have been told by the government about drugs is a lie; the two proven gateway drugs are already legal: alcohol and nicotine.

The only thing that has proven to reduce use and demand is legalized regulation combined with treatment and education.

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Posted by Malcolm Kyle on 08/01/2012 at 12:30 PM

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