The war on drugs, give it up  

AstirRelicLatah 64M
1288 posts
8/6/2006 6:50 am

Last Read:
8/8/2006 1:47 pm

The war on drugs, give it up


Well, this post may start a real firestorm. I was reading some posts about how we warehouse prisoners and don’t give them a chance to be successful in life. How true, we just don’t care about that whole segment of our population.

BTW, anyone who thinks prison life is a walk in the park needs to take a tour through a maximum security prison one day….It was on of the scariest places I ever saw. One of my businesses used to deal with serving the prison guards who are in many ways way worst than any of the inmates…..I had the experience of being inside regularly and got observe the poor job we do first hand….

But, on to the purpose of my post….In responding to the post [post 456532] I made a comment about the legalization of all drugs. The comment I received is one I often get and thought that I should expand on my reasoning….

I am and have been an advocate of all drugs, including all prescription drugs being regulated, but legal….This means we don’t have to get a prescription, we just have to go to a legal distribution point for purchase…

For my entire adult life, we have been waging a “war on drugs.” From where I sit, the drug situation hasn’t changed one single bit….I’ve known junkies who have held down jobs. I know alcoholics who hold down jobs….I also know lots of abusers who don’t….Between what we spend on incarceration and enforcement actions for illegal drugs, we could have for probably 20% of the money, the finest education and rehab programs in the world. This doesn’t even start to talk about the human cost of throwing people in jail for drug related issues.

Many years ago I was having a conversation with a purchasing agent in one of the prisons we served. He told me that over 85% of the inmates in that institution were there because of drug issues of one sort or another….He then went on to say that was true in the entire prison system in New York….What a waste…it cost over $50,000 per year for inmate to be incarcerated….Couldn’t that money be used in a better manner…

It’s rational for the inner city gangs to sell drugs…Great profit margins and the formal educational requirements are minimal….If we take the profit margin out and bring the price down, maybe those folks will find a different line of work…

More importantly from my point of view, when my children were in high school it was easier for them to buy heroin than a pack of cigarettes….Isn’t that sort of proof that we’ve lost the drug war….There’s no secret drugs are bad for you….There also is no secret that drugs make you feel better for a short time…..

When making social decisions about what’s good and bad for each other there is always a trade off. For me, I believe in everyone’s right to make their own decisions about their life. I’ve done more than my fair share of drugs……I almost got killed as a result of my involvement in drugs……..I also believe I came through the entire experience stronger and a better person. If I had gone to jail as a result of my actions, nothing positive would have been accomplished….In fact, while in the lifestyle, the thought never or rarely crossed my mind that I could end up in jail….

Isn’t it time we started asking all of us to be responsible for ourselves….Really, isn’t the decision to take drugs or not a personal decision……What right does our government have in regulating that decision? If you force me to take drugs, then that’s a crime…Just like if you force me to do anything…..Coercion is a crime, not free will…..

So, what’s your feeling about saying we just lost and move on as it relates to drugs? In the long run, do you feel society would be better off? If not, why?


JuicyBBW1001 54F

8/6/2006 7:10 am

Being a former addict, getting clean was a very difficult thing for me to do, however; I did it on my own with no help but my will.
Yes you have a valid point in that we could use the money for better rehab centers and treatment for those who wish to get off drugs.
However my comment to you was simply based on my own experiences with those particular drugs. Not to say that no drugs should ever be legalized.

Juicy


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/6/2006 7:13 am:
I understand....I don't know about you, but my involvement in drugs happened when they were illegal...I might have been different had they been legal, and then again maybe it wouldn't have. Like you, I also got clean on my own, one day I just stopped....My point is that government intervention doesn't help here....Thanks for writing your post which started me thinking about writing my own.

JuicyBBW1001 54F

8/6/2006 7:30 am

Here is my story in this link. I was fortunate that I was never arrested or sent to prison for my involvement with drugs. [post 435788]

Juicy


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/6/2006 12:12 pm:
I also was very lucky to not be arrested. I certainly was dumb enough back in those days....I guess it was the invulnerability of youth. *grin*

rm_aWench4U 61M/61F
741 posts
8/6/2006 12:00 pm

Skier,

I have very mixed feelings about legalizing or deregulating drugs of all classes. I agree we have lost the war on drugs and the money we're spending now may as well be flushed down the head or burned, for all the good it's doing. When my ex was in prison, he learned how other inmates got their stuff smuggled in, how to beat the drug tests (UAs), and a host of other useful skills. And yes, although the crime he was charged with was not an actual drug charge, he was there as a result of financing his coke habit.

I have several health issues that require prescriptions. The scripts can cause side effects, so I have to have blood drawn and monitored every 6 weeks, and adjust the doses if necessary. In addition, I have several drug allergies with varying reactions, the most severe being anaphalactic shock. One final concern is the potential for interactions between the drugs, as well foods and beverages in my diet. If I was free to buy whatever drugs I wanted, and use them at whatever dose I decided, I'd probably end up in the morgue within 72 hours. Not exactly the outcome I had in mind with the goals I still have for my life.

But, as far as pot goes--legalize it already, and not just in minuscule amounts! Everyone gets their knickers in a knot about it being a gateway drug, but I disagree. That's the only drug I did as a youth for various reasons. I believe that whether you move on to "bigger and better" drugs has far more to do with your inherent personality than whatever drug you tried first.

Just my 2 cents worth. Good thought provoking post.

Anj


Remember the past but do not dwell there.
Face the future where all our hopes stand.


~Angela


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/6/2006 12:49 pm:
You have a good point on prescription drugs....Illegal ones, I'll still stay with my opinion, but that's what horse races are about. Although even with the supposed pros prescribing drugs, they often screw it up....If we had our responsibility for looking at side affects, we would find a pharmacist who understood our issues and could work with on safe and effective dosages..... Doctors don't always understand and often mis-prescribe. Thanks for stopping by.

catkit13 66F

8/6/2006 11:43 pm

i agree with you completely! well said, logical thoughts - for those reasons alone, drugs (from pot to heroin) will never be legalized, and our "justice" system will remain on overload, and our prisons will remain overcrowded . . . despite the pleas of such experts as nancy reagan, "just say no" ain't gonna work!


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/7/2006 4:53 am:
By the way, the Police Chief of Baltimore has the same stance as I do on illegal drugs....As long as our government is in the business of being the morality police, then we'll have the system we have. Thanks for your comment.

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