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The War on Drugs - and the results of it A war against drugs, or against families?

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  #26  
Old 05-21-2017, 10:01 PM
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Here are some thoughts by someone who's handled hundreds, maybe thousands of drug cases. She was a gung-ho prosecutor. She thought she was protecting the community.

I prosecuted drug offenders in the ’80s. It was a disaster. Why is Sessions taking us back?

“Drugs are bad. People who sell or use drugs are bad people,” I thought. “Prosecute them.”

It was the mid-1980s, I was only a few years out of law school, and the war on drugs was in full swing. I took a job as assistant state’s attorney and was assigned to handle drug cases in Chicago. I was drawn to the prosecutor’s office thinking I could use my legal training to help my community by getting justice for victims and locking up those that preyed on them. My attitude toward drug users was that it was their faultand they deserved to be punished.

Nearly four decades later, my views have changed completely. I see the war on drugs for what it is — a total failure. I’m on the board of directors for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a group of current and former police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice professionals devoted to ending the war on drugs. We want to legalize all drugs — in order to manage and regulate them.

https://www.vox.com/first-person/201...l-war-on-drugs

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Old 05-22-2017, 06:29 AM
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Mandatory death sentences for anyone convicted of dealing drugs a second time would save lives.
Are you even familiar with how the Death Penalty works? What are you going to do - skip the appeals and just begin the slaughter? Dealing drugs is not the issue, because as long as you have a willing buyer, you will have a willing dealer. If 1000 people are sentenced to death for dealing drugs, 1000 people will take their place simply because, there is a demand, and none expect to get caught.

Has the death penalty for Murder, deterred murder? No. So why should it deter drug dealing, sex crimes, Fraud?

I dont agree with drugs, I have drug issues at my home, its a terrible thing, but why stop there... why not kill people for sex crimes, or fraud, why not just put everyone to death that has crossed the line. They have harmed someone in some way otherwise they would not be there.

You may ask how the above can be put in the same category... Well for every fraudster locked up there is a replacement, they steal from the innocent and ruin their lives most of the time.

Then the sex crimes, how many innocent people are in prison for sex crimes, where they really did not know she/he was underage. It was consensual, but underage, cause she looked 21 or even 25, and said she was, and what guy in the heat of the moment is gonna ask for ID? But yeah lets just kill them off too.

Your statement makes no sense, and would bankrupt the American economy. How much do you really think an appeals process costs, and some people get around 10 of them... oh sorry I forgot you are not going to have an appeals process, and please remember America is currently not a third World Country, and also not Asia. People in America still had a right to decent justice, last time i heard.

Like I said - your statement makes no sense, and even children who you say are being poisoned have a thing called free will. The right to say NO. Its not the dealers that grab the kids and force the drugs down them... No its peer pressure and wanting to be cool, and fitting in. The drug dealer supplies, but only because there is a demand.

I will now get off my soapbox.
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  #28  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:52 AM
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Some folks would benefit from a course in history. The Brits made an enormous amount of money promoting and controlling the opium trade in China until the Chinese decided they'd had enough of being poisoned. They evicted the Brit opium dealers, rounded up pushers and executed them. Opium problem solved for the cost of some ammunition.
I don't think China's legal system is one ANY country should be envying, let alone adopting. Where you are presumed guilty from the start, given a quick show trial, then promptly executed via pistol to the back of the head in a dark secluded room, after which they bill the cost of the bullet to your surviving family. What a deal.

You must be a fan of Duterte in the Phillipines as well? I mean, why even bother with a show trial, when you can just extrajudicially execute and murder suspected drug dealers en masse to try to fight crime that way? Just gun them down in cold blood, right there on the city streets?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodrig...icial_killings

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Duterte, who has been dubbed "The Punisher" by Time magazine,[50] has been linked by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to extrajudicial killings of over 1,400 alleged criminals and street children by vigilante death squads.[11][51] In the April 2009 UN General Assembly of the Human Rights Council, the UN report (Eleventh Session Agenda item 3, par 21) said, "The Mayor of Davao City has done nothing to prevent these killings, and his public comments suggest that he is, in fact, supportive."[52] Human Rights Watch reported that in 2001–2002, Duterte appeared on local television and radio and announced the names of "criminals", some of whom were later executed.[53] In July 2005 at a crime summit at the Manila Hotel, Duterte said, "Summary execution of criminals remains the most effective way to crush kidnapping and illegal drugs".[54]
Not here, buster.
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  #29  
Old 05-22-2017, 09:24 AM
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We don't have to guess. We don't have to wonder. We have hard real-world information about what happens when you treat drugs as a public health problem.

Switzerland and Portugal have both moved their drug system mostly outside their criminal system. It's been years now. The results are in and the results are clear. They've got fewer people dying now.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Minor activist View Post
Here are some thoughts by someone who's handled hundreds, maybe thousands of drug cases. She was a gung-ho prosecutor. She thought she was protecting the community.

I prosecuted drug offenders in the ’80s. It was a disaster. Why is Sessions taking us back?

“Drugs are bad. People who sell or use drugs are bad people,” I thought. “Prosecute them.”

It was the mid-1980s, I was only a few years out of law school, and the war on drugs was in full swing. I took a job as assistant state’s attorney and was assigned to handle drug cases in Chicago. I was drawn to the prosecutor’s office thinking I could use my legal training to help my community by getting justice for victims and locking up those that preyed on them. My attitude toward drug users was that it was their faultand they deserved to be punished.

Nearly four decades later, my views have changed completely. I see the war on drugs for what it is — a total failure. I’m on the board of directors for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a group of current and former police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice professionals devoted to ending the war on drugs. We want to legalize all drugs — in order to manage and regulate them.

https://www.vox.com/first-person/201...l-war-on-drugs

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From the article linked above:
"We cannot settle for illusory solutions such as not enforcing bad laws. Let’s address the fundamental problem — repeal the drug laws and replace them with a sensible system of regulations."


Maybe we should decriminalize drug pushing! Oops! My insensitive, politically incorrect bad! Perhaps the entrepreneurial activities of unlicensed recreational pharmaceutical product distributors should be legalized.
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  #31  
Old 05-22-2017, 09:46 AM
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Maybe we should decriminalize drug pushing! Oops! My insensitive, politically incorrect bad! Perhaps the entrepreneurial activities of unlicensed recreational pharmaceutical product distributors should be legalized.
And some states (and outside of this country, nations...) have when it comes to marijuana. But isn't entirely about legalizing and removing the laws, it's about addressing the "why" of rampant drug use. As Keltria pointed out, drugs aren't there because there are dealers, there are dealers because the demand is there. Yes, it is a choice but until we address why people continue to make that choice at such a high rate, we're going to just keep spinning our wheels. I don't understand why that's not something you're willing to address in these conversations.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:52 AM
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[quote=Keltria;7630988] ... Has the death penalty for Murder, deterred murder? No.

An exhaustive search for instances of an executed murderer committing a subsequent murder hasn't disclosed any. Reincarnation thankfully doesn't work.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:57 AM
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An exhaustive search for instances of an executed murderer committing a subsequent murder hasn't disclosed any. Reincarnation thankfully doesn't work.
You know full-well when we talk about deterrent to crime that the punitive example isn't for the one being punished but rather the example to others of what could happen "if":

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Mandatory minimum 20-year sentences for first distributing convictions might convince pushers that the reward isn't worth the risk.
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  #34  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:02 AM
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And some states (and outside of this country, nations...) have when it comes to marijuana. But isn't entirely about legalizing and removing the laws, it's about addressing the "why" of rampant drug use. As Keltria pointed out, drugs aren't there because there are dealers, there are dealers because the demand is there. Yes, it is a choice but until we address why people continue to make that choice at such a high rate, we're going to just keep spinning our wheels. I don't understand why that's not something you're willing to address in these conversations.


A portion of the population is predisposed to take unnecessary risks in search of fleeting rewards (e.g., drug use). Changing human nature is beyond the power of legislatures, psychologists or religious institutions. I'm educated to deal with problems from a scientific perspective. I see no way to change some people's desire to sell drugs to people who want to use them. Only modifying the risk/reward model will change that equation.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:05 AM
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You know full-well when we talk about deterrent to crime that the punitive example isn't for the one being punished but rather the example to others of what could happen "if":
Deterrence is designed to reduce crime by example and immobilization.
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  #36  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:11 AM
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A portion of the population is predisposed to take unnecessary risks in search of fleeting rewards (e.g., drug use). Changing human nature is beyond the power of legislatures, psychologists or religious institutions. I'm educated to deal with problems from a scientific perspective. I see no way to change some people's desire to sell drugs to people who want to use them. Only modifying the risk/reward model will change that equation.
Now we're getting somewhere! Yes, I wholly agree. There will always be human bodies that have a propensity toward addiction. But it's a portion...so do we damn all of them for the biology of some?

Science is awesome. It's a part of this dialogue. But so is sociology, economics, history (as you pointed out)...they all matter. The cycle of drug use isn't limited to simple availability + addiction qualities = epidemic. You're actually making some statements that seem to support that we must move beyond solely punitive measures-- when you say we can't change people's desire, therefore we will force it with risk/reward models...you're saying, ultimately, we can change their desire to do something different. It's just that our approach to the risk/reward has been (a lot) off. We can't beat a complex issue with single-minded solutions. We've tried and failed. It's time to up our game.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:11 AM
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Deterrence is designed to reduce crime by example and immobilization.
But in that model we're settling for a 50% success rate. :/
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:12 AM
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Perhaps we should start with Big Pharma, the lobbyists, the doctors and the politicians that "pushed" pain meds on an unsuspecting public. That big push, at all costs, IMHO is what eventually led to the heroin epidemic.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:15 AM
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Perhaps we should start with Big Pharma, the lobbyists, the doctors and the politicians that "pushed" pain meds on an unsuspecting public. That big push, at all costs, IMHO is what eventually led to the heroin epidemic.
Ahh, but Patch, if we go after Big Pharma, then who would fund our government officials who promote harsher drug sentencing?
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  #40  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:46 AM
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Now we're getting somewhere! Yes, I wholly agree. There will always be human bodies that have a propensity toward addiction. But it's a portion...so do we damn all of them for the biology of some? ...

We can't beat a complex issue with single-minded solutions. We've tried and failed. It's time to up our game.
I'm for anything that works. Legalizing hasn't worked well in countries like Portugal.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:10 AM
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Now we're getting somewhere! Yes, I wholly agree. There will always be human bodies that have a propensity toward addiction. But it's a portion...so do we damn all of them for the biology of some?

Science is awesome. It's a part of this dialogue. But so is sociology, economics, history (as you pointed out)...they all matter. The cycle of drug use isn't limited to simple availability + addiction qualities = epidemic. You're actually making some statements that seem to support that we must move beyond solely punitive measures-- when you say we can't change people's desire, therefore we will force it with risk/reward models...you're saying, ultimately, we can change their desire to do something different. It's just that our approach to the risk/reward has been (a lot) off. We can't beat a complex issue with single-minded solutions. We've tried and failed. It's time to up our game.
We are doing a poor job with treatment "science". That is where we need to up our game. This is a long 3 part read that I've followed in the local paper.

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/21...oit-addiction/

I can walk to several of these treatment centers in a few minutes living more or less in ground zero. I was struck by a photo about 1/4 way down captioned "Exhausted and coming down off crystal meth, Timmy waits for a bed at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach which has a detox unit". I sat in that exact chair for a couple hours summer 2014 while they inpatient interviewed my son. They told us a bed would be available in days. Next day they phoned and said board rejected his application. I know it was for insurance / money reasons albeit they never admitted that.

Exactly one month later he was arrested.

During adjudication we saw first hand much of problems this article documents in detox and rehab treatment. A long hard year. Admittedly treatment helped. But the system needs serious change.

I do believe addicts can be successfully treated and cured. I think this article makes it clear what the administration should be focusing their efforts on. Fix this broken system and don't waste resources upping the war and drugs.
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  #42  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:33 PM
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Perhaps we should start with Big Pharma, the lobbyists, the doctors and the politicians that "pushed" pain meds on an unsuspecting public. That big push, at all costs, IMHO is what eventually led to the heroin epidemic.
Heroin existed LONG before oxy became known as Hillbilly Heroin.

For some of us, pharmacological management with oxy-based medications is the only thing that allows daily functioning without pain. Properly managed, one can indeed take oxycodone without becoming addicted and engaging in illegal activities.

It is the choice of people who get the prescriptions to abuse legally prescribed drugs, which makes it infinitely more difficult for those of us who need some of those Schedule II drugs to get them from legitimate providers. It is not a difficult task to tell if something is too strong for you or not...
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:31 AM
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It is the choice of people who get the prescriptions to abuse legally prescribed drugs, which makes it infinitely more difficult for those of us who need some of those Schedule II drugs to get them from legitimate providers.
I agree. Pain control has its place and we've swung that control pendulum a few times in this country. Dr. Feelgood is a documentary that exposes one physician's conviction for over-prescribing pain medication and the mixed responses from his patients. My take away (as a 31 year pain control patient) was that it is the patient, and not the drug, that is the bigger variable. For some, his heavy hand made their life livable. For others, it created devastation. So how do we regulate that? Or should we?

I am a person who should not have full access to opioids. My tolerance for them builds quickly and coupled with my general anxiety, pain medication is a very slippery slope for me. There have been stretches in my life where this has been a problem. Other times, I've been aware enough to refuse the meds and find another, even if less effective, route. But the factors that make that possible are unique to me and that stage of my life. Now, I have a terrific network of people I can lean on who don't condemn me but rather support me through it. I have stable housing and income. I'm in a "good place" to deal with my health. But that hasn't always been the case.

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It is not a difficult task to tell if something is too strong for you or not...
This assumes a lot about the person accessing the medication. The me that had a problem could not tell. It quelled my constant pain and I felt less anxious. Then my tolerance grew and it grew quickly. It wasn't like I was sitting around popping them at parties.It isn't a snap decision to become an addict. Coming off was what told me it was too much.

I don't want to make it harder for people with severe and chronic pain to get the care they need. My issues with Big Pharma lie elsewhere. But I am willing to put myself up as an example of someone who had a legitimate reason to be on opioids but found themselves unable to stop the momentum that pain medication created.

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Old 05-23-2017, 09:45 AM
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For science, surprising science, and eye opening history check out the book Chasing The Scream.

Here is one teaser. Addicted rats ignored freely available morphine even as they went through withdrawal in one experiment testing a treatment program.
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:54 AM
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For science, surprising science, and eye opening history check out the book Chasing The Scream.

Here is one teaser. Addicted rats ignored freely available morphine even as they went through withdrawal in one experiment testing a treatment program.
The author has a TED Talk on the same subject.

The book homepage, here.

Will check it out. Thanks.

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Old 05-23-2017, 10:14 AM
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For science, surprising science, and eye opening history check out the book Chasing The Scream.
Watched the TED Talk: Holy crap. Yes. Everything he's saying. At least in my own experience, this is absolutely true.

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I'm for anything that works. Legalizing hasn't worked well in countries like Portugal.
Apparently it has. But the article also highlights, as does Hari in the TT, that it isn't decriminalization alone. It's a social problem. You have to be willing to address both.

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Old 05-23-2017, 11:47 AM
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For science, surprising science, and eye opening history check out the book Chasing The Scream.

Here is one teaser. Addicted rats ignored freely available morphine even as they went through withdrawal in one experiment testing a treatment program.
Watching that TED talk by the author is a great use of 14 minutes. Different than some science I've heard - not that other science is wrong - just a lot more to learn.

His ideas provide research based reasons why "harsh enforcement" will not solve addiction problems.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:48 PM
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Can anyone think of an example of a serious social problem that was solved by harsher punishment?
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:08 AM
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I look at the whole thing this way. The drug epidemic is a wide social problem that we are facing and don't know how to deal with. I don't feel harsher sentences are helping the social problem that needs treatment.
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