Monday, February 16, 2009

Apparently getting arrested for a first time wasn't disincentive enough for one South African flight crew to stop drug smuggling. But twice in one month? That's just not getting it.

(h/t The Huffington Post)


Darren Staley said...

Decriminalize, regulate, and tax production. Advoctae treatment over incarceration for users. That is how you win the war on drugs. As we all know, however, at this point that possibility is not even on the table.

Supply/Demand and Risk/Reward. We lose billions upon billions of dollars annually because we refuse to admit that if people want to get high they will find their drug of choice. If they can't find it, they will make something similar in their basement (see Meth).

Kent H said...

Darren, I am constantly amazed at how you think that more government intervention is the answer to everything -- even in the face of the 200 year history of how much stuff the government can get involved with and screw up.
Criminals aren't bad guys they just need more counseling?
Supply goes up - accessibility goes up and you can't see a negative to that. And we are just interested in another revenue stream for the government. Well, as a minister for people who have been utterly devastated by drugs and alcohol, I hope your plan stays off the table. WOW!?!

The fact that criminals will do criminal things with or without sanction is never justification for the government to do stupid things.

Darren Staley said...

Oh Kent...Kent, Kent, Kent..

First, I never said that criminals just need more counselling. I said that in the case of drug users that treatment should be preferred to incarceration.

Second, the government is already spending billions in the war on drugs with no positive results. I am not asking for more government intervention, but equal or less intervention.

Third, it's not all about revenue, but it is about revenue to some extent. There is a reason that alcohol and tobacco aren't banned. The people want it, will get it anyway (see prohibition), and the government (state and federal) loses billions in "sin taxes."

Fourth, I never said that as supply became more accessible that use would not rise. Matter of fact, it probably would as abstaining users may dabble with the loss of stigma. I do believe that this number would be small and these people would not become "problem users" (aka users that become addicted or commit crime).

Let me go through a couple of other points:

-Anyone who deals on the black market would be severely punished. The current drug laws for them should be made even more severe.

-Like with booze and cigarettes, any location caught selling to minors would lose their license.

-There would be limits. When you go to the ABC store, you can only purchase certain amounts.

-Like today, any location who sells to an obviously intoxicated person would lose their license.

-A large percentage of the revenue would go to treatment and prevention programs.

Is this plan great, of course not. I do not use drugs and wouldn't of they were legal. I would also love to discuss reasonable alterations or alternatives to this plan.

The "more bars more guards" method has not worked and, imo, will not work. My point is that if something is not working, ALL options should be on the table.