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Thread: Legalizing Drugs Won't Prevent Abuse

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    LouPhinFan's Avatar
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    Legalizing Drugs Won't Prevent Abuse

    First, we do not know the immediate cause of Houston's death. But we do know that she had a long and public struggle with drugs, both legal and illegal. But legalizing drugs and making them more readily available would not have saved her life, or the life of Michael Jackson, or the thousands of other drug-related deaths each year.

    All these drugs are legal and prescribed by doctors. Contrary to what Tony Bennett and other legalizers would like to think, legalization does not prevent the abuse and misuse of drugs. In fact, it accelerates it.

    According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy,
    prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem. In 2007, there were 28,000 deaths from prescription drug overdoses. This is five times higher than the number in 1990. More people die in America every year from prescription drug abuse (i.e., legal and available drugs) than from heroin and cocaine combined.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of deaths from prescription narcotics increased fourfold over the past 10 years. This coincided with a fourfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for powerful painkillers. Legalization increases supply and when you increase supply, you increase the use and misuse of deadly drugs.

    As for Bennett's envy of Amsterdam, he should realize that its legalization experiment has backfired. With the legalization of marijuana
    came an increase in drug addictions and dependency followed by illegal drug trafficking, human trafficking and crime. After a rapid influx of organized crime, the Netherlands has announced that it will ban foreigners from the country's pot shops starting in 2013.

    Drug decriminalization in Portugal has also been a failure.

    As of 2007, Portugal was still the country with the most cases of injected drug related AIDS, and it was the only European country to show a significant increase in homicides from 2001 to 2006.

    "With 219 deaths by drug 'overdose' a year, Portugal has one of the worst records, reporting more than one death every two days. Along with Greece, Austria and Finland, Portugal is one of the countries that recorded an increase in drug overdose by over 30% in 2005," according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.


    http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/15/opinio...tml?hpt=hp_bn9

    Interesting opinion.
    Insert pithy saying here.

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    If throwing people in jail was the solution to drugs and drug abuse then we would have one of the world's lowest drug problems. In fact it's quite the opposite. Also there are reports to the contrary on what this author said about Portugal.......

    The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to "drug tourists" and exacerbate Portugal's drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.

    The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

    "Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."

    Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.
    The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...#ixzz1mUcTVdO0





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    this is related, but O'Reilly posted an op ed that made me angry

    He pretty much was going on how the media needs to cover Houston's death, how a bright talent got derailed by drugs and to make it be a lesson to kids (which I dont disagree with). But then he went on about legalization efforts for marijuana (how responsible people cant support that), how medical mj s a rouse, and how society needs to protect its children instead of embrace mj

    http://townhall.com/columnists/billo...y_whitney_died

    Okay Bill. I dont disagree with the notion that Whitney's death should be used as an example of addiction and its dangers. To relate it to mj though is sickening. Whitney died from a lethal mixture of alcohol and prescription drugs....both legal..... mj is not legal, yet has never killed anyone. How can a man have this point of view is beyond me. It was probably just his way of partisan politics, which is how Bill always acts though. Use a trajedy to get on those democrats and liberals (though its libertarians also) trying to legalize a dangerous drug above warnings from the great Nancy and Ronald Raegan and their fear tactics.
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    Of course it wont completely stop abuse. But it will greatly reduce abuse as well as crime related to getting drugs. Once you remove the ''taboo'' factor, people might doit , but they wont have the ''damn the torpedoes'' attitude about it. Most will try it a few times , but once the novelty wears off they probably will cease using or only use occasionally. But thats just my opinion.
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    Legalize drugs and weed out the idiots.
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    That article is so filled with misinformation and nonsensical arguments it made my head hurt.

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    This is the only arguement I need for legalization; The war on drugs is sold to us on the basis that it's for our own health and personal protection, now tell me what's worse, using drugs, or being incarcerated?

    If people like O'Reily are so concerned about the children, he ought to know that buying illegal drugs is far, far easier for children than buying legal drugs. My friendly neighborhood dealer ain't checking no i.d's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post
    That article is so filled with misinformation and nonsensical arguments it made my head hurt.


    How so?
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    The goal of prohibition is to reduce the rates of availability and consumption, both measures have been a complete failure. From the time Cannabis was first made illegal in the U.S, consumption rates have risen 100 MILLION percent. In fact the rates of use for all illegal drugs has risen, in fact, more people (per capita) use cocaine here in America, than do smoke weed in Portugal.

    The United States has the stiffest drug penalties, and has the highest rates of consumption. Prohibition doesn't work, nor has it ever worked. Just look back to the alcohol prohibition; there were more 'speakeasies' in NY during the alcohol prohibition, than there are taverns, bars, and liquor stores today. Alcohol related deaths rose 600%, & rates of consumption grew every year during the 13 year prohibition, never returning to pre-prohibition levels. In fact, it even gave rise to some of the most notorious organized crime mobs ever seen in America, like Machine Gun Kelly, and Al Capone, who funded their criminal empires off the tax-free revenue made from selling alcohol. Prohibition is "The Government's gift of revenue to organized crime".

    It's only a matter of time before all drugs are legalized, it's the only sensible policy. We just need the rest of America to either die off, or wise up. If you think prohibition is a working, and sensible policy, than you think the Earth is flat, and I'm Galileo.
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