Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Debating Drug Decriminalization

Over at Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of  Healthiness Liv posits that you are not a conservative if you oppose the legalization of marijuana.  

What I won’t take are the myriad ear-bleed inducing arguments made by the other candidates. At a certain point I just got up and walked out of the banquet room. No respectable human being should have to listen politely to such stupidity spewing from another’s mouth. At least, that’s what I felt at the time. I also felt like if I didn’t walk out, I was going to throw something. In hindsight, I should have recorded it on my phone so we could all have a good laugh at it now. Ah, well, hindsight is 20/20.
“Sometimes the government has to protect us from ourselves.”
That’s what did it. I walked out.Dear, candidate, you may as well have said “I actually have no understanding of what it means to be a conservative, I merely base my stances on whims and emotions but never principles!”I wonder if she knows Ronald Reagan is famously quoted countering that exact Marxist sentiment:“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”

Much of her argument resonates with me, though rather than legalize I prefer decriminalize.  In 2001, Portugal decriminalized every imaginable drug changing its philosophy from regarding drug users as criminals to labeling them as people affected by a disease.

 The data show, among other things, that the number of adults in Portugal who have at some point taken illegal drugs is rising. At the same time, though, the number of teenagers who have at some point taken illegal drugs is falling. The number of drug addicts who have undergone rehab has also increased dramatically, while the number of drug addicts who have become infected with HIV has fallen significantly. What, though, do these numbers mean? With what exactly can they be compared? There isn't a great deal of data from before the experiment began. And, for example, the number of adults who have tried illegal drugs at some point in their lives is increasing in most other countries throughout Europe as well."We haven't found some miracle cure," Goul√£o says. Still, taking stock after nearly 12 years, his conclusion is, "Decriminalization hasn't made the problem worse."

It won't make things worse, saves mucho dinero (let's not even talk about asset forfeiture which will hopefully be reigned in by the current proposed legislation), points the cops at the dealers and importers rather than the addicts, frees up prison space and maybe, just maybe, will save lives and help people get back on track to productive living. So what are the reasons for opposing decriminalization?  Real reasons that don't involve protecting people from themselves? Or prevention of things that might not happen anyway?

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