War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

LiamHaddock
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War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

Post by LiamHaddock »

For years we have tried to treat drug issues as a criminal issue by prohibiting drugs and attempting to arrest and jail the problem away. Some countries are experimenting with decriminalization or regulation of drugs to some degree, while other countries are punishing drug use with death.

Regardless of approach, drug use is still increasing and harms seem to be going up. More and more drugs are being cut with fentanyl, w18 and other new more harmful drugs being released all the time. The war on drugs is getting continuously more dangerous especially in mexico and other heavy drug cartel controlled areas. In my opinion the war on drugs has been a complete failure and has done little to reduce harms of drugs and only ensures quality, supply and profits of drugs are controlled by Criminal Drug Cartels.

Criminalizing drug use and not treating it as the health issue it is, is not helping. We relentlessly keep trying to arrest users and small time dealers never seriously disrupting the flow of drugs and profits going to Criminal Kingpins, their organizations and criminal associates.

It’s time to regulate drugs, save lives and reduce as much profits from going to criminals as possible. As we don’t have a thread specifically on the war on drugs and I keep seeing lots of good articles being share lately as its being discussed more and more lately it seems, I thought I’d start one to share links and to start the discussion if anyone would like to.

A couple links to start:
http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-solutions-drug-policy/brief-history-drug-war
The Early Stages of Drug Prohibition
Why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It's not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs – but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs.
The first anti-opium laws in the 1870s were directed at Chinese immigrants. The first anti-cocaine laws, in the South in the early 1900s, were directed at black men. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and especially black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.

In June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer. In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.
….
The 1980s and 90s: Drug Hysteria and Skyrocketing Incarceration Rates
The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.
Public concern about illicit drug use built throughout the 1980s, largely due to media portrayals of people addicted to the smokeable form of cocaine dubbed “crack.” Soon after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, his wife, Nancy Reagan, began a highly-publicized anti-drug campaign, coining the slogan "Just Say No."
This set the stage for the zero tolerance policies implemented in the mid-to-late 1980s. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who believed that “casual drug users should be taken out and shot,” founded the DARE drug education program, which was quickly adopted nationwide despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. The increasingly harsh drug policies also blocked the expansion of syringe access programs and other harm reduction policies to reduce the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.
….
Politicians now routinely admit to having used marijuana, and even cocaine, when they were younger. When Michael Bloomberg was questioned during his 2001 mayoral campaign about whether he had ever used marijuana, he said, "You bet I did – and I enjoyed it." Barack Obama also candidly discussed his prior cocaine and marijuana use: "When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently – that was the point."
The assault on American citizens, however, has persisted. Bloomberg oversaw a higher rate of low-level marijuana arrests than any mayor in New York City history. And Obama, despite advocating for reforms – such as reducing the crack/powder sentencing disparity, ending the ban on federal funding for syringe access programs, and supporting state medical marijuana laws – has yet to shift drug control funding to a health-based approach.
Progress is inevitably slow but there is unprecedented momentum behind drug policy reform right now. We look forward to a future where drug policies are shaped by science and compassion rather than political hysteria.


And an article from today:
https://www.opendemocracy.net/drugpolicy/mike-trace/impasse-turning-point-for-war-on-drugs-un-general-assembly-special-session
Several national leaders made it clear to the General Assembly that they are not happy with the inertia represented by the consensus declaration, and will not wait for permission from the UN to proceed with the implementation of the reforms that work best for their citizens (including the legalisation of cannabis). Meanwhile, others expressed equal determination to continue to, in the words of the Russian spokesperson, “intensify the war on drugs”.
This polarisation of approaches means that the United Nations definitely has a real and persistent drug problem. This encompasses an ever-growing and diversifying illegal market that generates hundreds of billions of dollars per year in revenues for organised crime groups; the widespread use of this illicit revenue to corrupt institutions and political processes, and to fund other forms of crime and terrorism; increasing rates of addiction across all societies and cultures; hundreds of thousands of deaths due to drug overdoses, or drug market-related violence, every year; millions of people who use drugs without access to sterile injecting equipment contracting HIV or hepatitis infections every year; millions of people who use drugs arrested every year, and often subjected to harsh and disproportionate punishments, including a rising use of the death penalty.
The global drug control regime was established to bring state control over, and eventually eradicate, illicit drug markets. But it is not going well. The last UN drug summit, in 1998, met under the slogan “A Drug Free World – We Can Do It”. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that, 18 years later, we can’t do it.

Last edited by LiamHaddock on May 15th, 2016, 8:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Even Steven
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

Post by Even Steven »

The fact THAT many people feel the need to do drugs is a failure of people in general.
LiamHaddock
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

Post by LiamHaddock »

The fact is most of us use drugs of some sort we are just able to manage the risks and keep it under control. Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco and soon marijuana are all drugs, just legally socially accepted ones. I do agree the fact so many people feel the need to abuse drugs or alcohol in the first place is sad. Whatever leads one to use heavy, be it past trauma, lack of support for mental illness, homeless, poor, depression, prescription pill to heroin addiction, whatever the reason prohibition isn't preventing them from using and is only stigmatizing users and arresting them, instead of regulating drugs, reducing harms of drugs and reducing profits from going to criminals. If regulated money from legal drug sales and money saved on jailing and arresting small time users and dealers could be used to help people addicted and ensure drugs are clean and as safe as possible. We would be saving lives and reducing the amount of profits from going to criminal organizations.
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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From LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)

http://www.leap.cc/for-law-enforcement/police/

All of us in law enforcement and the criminal justice system are motivated by the goal of protecting public safety. We risk our lives to keep communities safe and secure, bringing to justice those who violate criminal laws. The primary question we should ask ourselves when evaluating any policy is whether it works to keep society safe. Secondary factors include questions of economic efficiency, fairness to groups with historically less money or power, and whether we are allowing people to reach their full potential after rehabilitation.

Ask yourself this simple question: Has it worked? As most of us can answer from experience: No. The war on drugs has never worked. Today, drugs are cheaper, more potent, and easier to get than they were in 1970 when the war on drugs began. On federal surveys, teenagers consistently report that it’s easier to buy marijuana than alcohol, which is legal and age-regulated. And beyond its failure, the war on drugs has had unintended but devastatingly violent consequences. As with alcohol prohibition, drugs are under the control of bloodthirsty cartels fighting over untaxed profits and killing police and innocent civilians in their crossfire.

We enforced the drug laws by arresting users and dealers alike. Though we know that most drug users aren’t violent – usually they just want to be left alone – the illegal drug trade is extraordinarily violent. Whether we’re working undercover or clearing dealers from street corners or responding to gang shootings, we put ourselves in harm’s way because we have been taught that damaging the drug trade will win this war and reduce its associated evils.

But observation and long experience have taught us that this is an unwinnable war. Prohibition is not a deterrent; never has been; never will be. Every time we put a drug kingpin away, a line of people are waiting to take his place. The illicit drug market is far too lucrative to be “arrested” away. It’s time to end this “war” and try another approach.

We remember a time when kids would run toward the police car because they thought the police would help. We are proud of our profession and want to put a stop to the widespread perception that police are an “occupying army” who only care about drug busts in minority neighborhoods. We need to spend our time and resources arresting criminals who truly threaten public safety, such as murderers, rapists, and drunk drivers, instead of chasing after nonviolent drug offenders.
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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Is it successful? Based on what?
Has it gotten rid of drugs, overdoses, criminals etc., no. Did anyone truly think it would?
Will anything we do, do that, no.
Will something we do be more successful? based on what? What proof do we have. There is a pile of information for both sides depending on where you look and who makes it up.

Drugs, criminals, addicts, overdoses are not going to go away no matter what we do. Could we be more successful, probably, but I for one am not totally convinced how. I am not sure that other methods like legalization might not just move the problems around, cure some, make some worse. If, as I have posted on other sites in Colorado related to marijuana increase by over 40% is that a plus. Hospital visits for tourists doubled from 20013 to 2014, is that a plus. There is definitely no simple solution, one size fits all solution to any of the problems related to drugs.
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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I don't know how a war on drugs could ever be successful.

Drugs are thought to have been used since prehistoric times.

In the Victorian era, gentlemen sometimes used hard drugs like cocaine and opiate derivatives and it was not only legal, it was generally not condemned by society. Apparently, you could walk into the chemist's shop and buy some (without prescription.)

It seems to me that drugs have only been illegal and have had the stigma they have now for a relatively short time. I don't mean to suggest that I think taking drugs is just generally good for people, I just don't see it ever stopping. It's more of a social issue, I don't think turning it into a legal issue has helped.
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LiamHaddock
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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Smurf wrote:Is it successful? Based on what?
Has it gotten rid of drugs, overdoses, criminals etc., no. Did anyone truly think it would?
Will anything we do, do that, no.
Will something we do be more successful? based on what? What proof do we have. There is a pile of information for both sides depending on where you look and who makes it up.

Drugs, criminals, addicts, overdoses are not going to go away no matter what we do. Could we be more successful, probably, but I for one am not totally convinced how. I am not sure that other methods like legalization might not just move the problems around, cure some, make some worse. If, as I have posted on other sites in Colorado related to marijuana increase by over 40% is that a plus. Hospital visits for tourists doubled from 20013 to 2014, is that a plus. There is definitely no simple solution, one size fits all solution to any of the problems related to drugs.


Well the goal was a drug free work = 1 failure, drugs are cheaper and easier to get then ever

Will we ever have a drug free world or rid the world of criminals? = we agree no, prohibition has failed.

Will something we do be more successful? = could it be any less successful? right now 100% of profits go to criminals and they are cutting drugs and killing people.. even if some lives are saved and some profits diverted from criminals, its better than situation now. Portugal has had great success in decriminalizing drugs and reducing harms of drugs on users and the community. Yes their export of drugs has increased but thats only due to the rest of the world not getting with the times. In Portugal the health approach to drugs is doing a way better job of reducing harms of drugs than the tried and failed War on Drugs.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/18/colorado-marijuana-law-report-adult-usage-increases-not-kids

Colorado children are not smoking more pot since the drug became legal – but their older siblings and parents certainly are, according to a long-awaited report giving the most comprehensive data yet on the effects of the state’s 2012 recreational marijuana law.

The state released a report on Monday detailing changes in everything from pot arrests to tax collections to calls to Poison Control. Surveys given to middle-schoolers and high-schoolers indicate that youth marijuana use did not rise significantly in the years after the 2012 vote.

Anonymous surveys given to about 40,000 Colorado students before and after legalization showed “no significant change” in marijuana use by children under 18 in the preceding 30 days.


Yep adult marijuana use is up in Colorado, way better than them drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. Looks like adults are making the smart choice and switching to safer marijuana in colorado. Hopefully Canada will see the same. People ditching boose and tobacco for marijauana.

Marijuana legalization is a great example of how the war on drugs had failed to control flow of illegal drugs/marijuana in this case and now the government has decided to step in and try and reduce the harms, like they have with alcohol tobacco and other drugs we consume.

Marijuana isn't deadly though, so why are we starting with one of the most safest amazing plants on earth? shouldn't we be trying to regulate and ensure safety of the more dangerous fatal drugs? They are the ones causing needless deaths and enriching criminals with blood money. The happy hippy selling and smoking marijuana doesn't need to be hassled or over regulated. Criminals selling fentanyl laced crap are nothing short of murderers.. We should be doing our best to reduce harms of drugs, save lives and reduce profits from enriching criminal organizations.
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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LiamHaddock

Yep adult marijuana use is up in Colorado, way better than them drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. Looks like adults are making the smart choice and switching to safer marijuana in colorado. Hopefully Canada will see the same. People ditching boose and tobacco for marijauana.


You seem to be saying people have quit smoking and drinking and turned to marijuana. Please give some proof that anyone has done that and not just added it to their list. Please give some proof that the rise isn't due to new users who are now doing it and continue to use what they used to possibly mixing them. It is the increased use that worries me.

If we legalize all the other drugs as you promote will we have an increase in heroine, meth etc.? Would we call that successful?
From the looks of Colorado and others that seems to be the trend. We also have to realize when we see the increase in export in Portugal that we live next door to probably by far the largest market in the world. More criminal activity in our country and on our borders. How will that work out for us. Just asking.
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LiamHaddock
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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im just saying if adult marijuana use is up its not that big of a deal. Its far less harmful then tobacco or boose. Id rather a nation of potheads than alcoholics.

If we legalized harder drugs I don't feel use would drastically go up, but if it did we would be atleast saving lives and reducing criminal control.

if we had similar success to the success portugal has been having, it would be much better than failed war on drugs.

http://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening#.v60n5u8C3
What's gotten better? In terms of usage rate and health, the data show that Portugal has by no means plunged into a drug crisis.

As this chart from Transform Drug Policy Foundation shows, the proportion of the population that reports having used drugs at some point saw an initial increase after decriminalization, but then a decline:

Image
Source: Transform Drug Policy Foundation
(Lifetime prevalence means the percentage of people who report having used a drug at some point in their life, past-year prevalence indicates having used within the last year, and past-month prevalence means those who've used within the last month. Generally speaking, the shorter the time frame, the more reliable the measure.)

Drug use has declined overall among the 15- to 24-year-old population, those most at risk of initiating drug use, according to Transform.

There has also been a decline in the percentage of the population who have ever used a drug and then continue to do so:
Image

Drug-induced deaths have decreased steeply, as this Transform chart shows:
Image
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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LiamHaddock wrote: I do agree the fact so many people feel the need to abuse drugs or alcohol in the first place is sad. .


The fact that so many people feel the need to abuse hard drugs isn't sad, it's just plain stupid. And horribly selfish. Shame on them.
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LiamHaddock
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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The Green Barbarian wrote:The fact that so many people feel the need to abuse hard drugs isn't sad, it's just plain stupid. And horribly selfish. Shame on them.

Shame them all you want.... they are still human and you don't know there situation, although I doubt you have changed your stance and you still most likely don't care.
If you care about users or not really has nothing to do with the war on drugs though.
Users will use either way.. Right now there is no control and criminals are controlling 100% of global drug trade.

Back to if the War on Drugs is a failure or not though... The war on drugs has clearly failed to reduce harms of drugs and prevent needless deaths do to unpure drugs or the war on drugs trying to stop the flow of drugs.

Arresting our way out of this problem and hoping users stop using has not and will not start to work.
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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LiamHaddock wrote:Shame them all you want.... .


thank you for your permission. If they knew just how much pain and suffering they would cause their families before they decided to go on the needle, would they still go ahead and do it? I'm just curious. What a horrible and selfish decision to make.
Justin Trudeau summed up by Stephen LeDrew:

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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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The Green Barbarian wrote:thank you for your permission. If they knew just how much pain and suffering they would cause their families before they decided to go on the needle, would they still go ahead and do it? I'm just curious. What a horrible and selfish decision to make.


I don't think you understand how addiction and/or escalation to hard drugs works. Hard drug users don't just wake up some random morning and decide they're going to shoot up. Demographically, these people are often without families, raised in abuse or neglect, suffering from untreated mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, etc...
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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icanthearyou wrote:I don't think you understand how addiction and/or escalation to hard drugs works. Hard drug users don't just wake up some random morning and decide they're going to shoot up. Demographically, these people are often without families, raised in abuse or neglect, suffering from untreated mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, etc...

People like The Green Barbarian and other on this forum don't want to try and understand...
To them users are just junkies so why care about them..
Thankfully lots of us have compassion and do want to help all humans even drug users and junkies..
As normal some will come to this thread add little value and try and go off topic.
Regardless the topic isn't weather addicts deserve help, compassion etc.
the topic is if the war on drugs is a failure or not.
of course some will try to go off topic when they can't form an argument on the topic or come up with any measurable way/reason that the war on drugs has been a success in even the smallest of ways.

At end of day it's very hard to argue the war on drugs has been anything but a complete failure.
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The Green Barbarian
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Re: War On Drugs: Failure or Success?

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LiamHaddock wrote:People like The Green Barbarian and other on this forum don't want to try and understand...
.


and people like you don't want to try and listen.
Justin Trudeau summed up by Stephen LeDrew:

Cockwomble: a person prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or inappropriate behaviour while generally having a very high opinion of his own wisdom and importance.

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