Friday, April 28, 2006

Just say no (to the war on drugs)

When I think of progressive government, Mexico is hardly the first place that comes to mind. But our friends south of the border have just moved a step or two ahead of the United States when it comes to sensible drug policy:

Police will not penalize people for possessing up to 5 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of opium, 25 milligrams of heroin or 500 milligrams of cocaine, under a bill passed by senators late on Thursday and earlier approved by the lower house.

People caught with larger quantities of drugs will be treated as narcotics dealers and face increased jail terms under the plan.

The government says the measure allows police to focus on major drug dealers, and President Fox is expected to sign it into law.

Now, the Mexicans are still going to have to live with the consequences of prohibition--namely, violence and corruption. But they no doubt will save money on the prosecution and incarceration of drug users, who will be free to engage in an activity that should be treated no differently than drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.

If only American politicians were so enlightened.

7 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan Barnes said...

Unfortunately, America is not so enlightened as its neighbors to the north and south.
I blame it on a failing educational system that doesn't teach people how to take an analytical perspective. Too many Americans buy whatever pandering load of crap that's fed to them by the politicians.
On top of it all, the entire justice system (cops most of all) has been compromised due to the Drug war. Ever since police agencies have been able to see a huge, unwarranted and evil windfall for busting some schlub with a few plants on his 100-ace farm, things have been so off-kilter in the Drug War that no semblance of objectivity is possible.
As others have said, how many cops would be unemployed if the Drug War ended tomorrow? I think it's obvious that many of them would lose their jobs, because there'd be less "crime" to fight.

10:16 AM

 
Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

Okay, this phrase used to get me in trouble on another blog spot. A drug law like this would make sense in America. But honestly, crack is still a huge inner city drug problem and crystal meth is huge in the boonies. And then once you get past those two, you got college kids with X and acid. And no matter what kind of laws you have, someone's going to come up with another hot new drug that falls outside the law.

anyway, i'm all ready to just say no 6 grams of grass! 5 will do me just fine.

6:20 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

That's the whole point. The reason prohibition fails is because as soon as you crack down on one drug, another one takes it place, and often it is even more dangerous than its predecessor. Crystal meth is a great example. It became popular because of crackdowns on abuse of prescription amphetamines, and other, more illicit forms of meth.

11:04 AM

 
Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

actually, people turn to crack and crystal meth and X and whatever for more reasons than other drugs being harder to get.

Crack dealers and makers were shrewd marketers. They realized they could make more money by turning a certain quantity of cocaine into a even bigger, easier to move stash of crack, which is highly addictive and less expensive to purchase by the end user. They created the demand and had a ready supply.

The crystal meth arena thrives because its users get turned on by the endless energy and sexual drive they enjoy at first — until they start crashing and needing more of it. it's probably no surprise that crystal meth is big in more rural areas where people might be working a job or three to get by and need that energy boost. And, nearly every person who talks about the drug mentions the extreme sexual stamina and desire that comes (sorry, didn't intend the innuendo) with its use.

The prohibition of the 1920s, led mostly to illegal production of alcohol, some of it deadly. but the flappers and their gents weren't looking for a better, bigger high. they just wanted to get drunk. today's extreme aren't just looking for a buzz. they're looking for something that makes them feel special. something that makes them forget their "ordinary" lives. something that takes the edge off while it puts them over the edge of normalcy.

marijuana's been illegal forever, even in my day. when it got harder to get (and extremely expensive), i discovered wine. not quite the same buzz, but affordable and legal. still, the pot market continues to thrive. so any crackdowns on the product haven't stopped its popularity. if anything, maybe the cost of grass lead to the increase of crack purchases for as little as $2 a hit in its heyday.

today's drug users are like today's everyday consumers of ipods, TVs, cars, clothes and you name it. we all need the next big thing.

1:53 PM

 
Blogger Potts said...

I know this post is older but I havent been checking in on your blog lately.
Anyway living 20 minutes from the meth capital of the country, if not the world, it becomes even more obvious why the pot smokers should be allowed their little bit.
And in the defense of college students judging from my observations most seem to prefer to get their buzz from weed and alcohol not 'harder' drugs.

4:05 AM

 
Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

i agree about the college students and pot. as i said, the people who use crack and crystal method are using it for different reasons than a kid looking to mellow out a bit after finals. not to be snooty, but those two drugs seem to sell among people in the lower income and education brackets.

1:01 PM

 
Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

i agree about the college students and pot. as i said, the people who use crack and crystal method are using it for different reasons than a kid looking to mellow out a bit after finals. not to be snooty, but those two drugs seem to sell among people in the lower income and education brackets.

1:02 PM

 

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