Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Young Turks: Cenk Uygur- What Happened When Portugal Decriminalized Drugs?

Source: The Young Turks-
Source: The Young Turks: Cenk Uygur- What Happened When Portugal Decriminalized Drugs?

What the State of New Jersey is looking at is a different approach to fighting the War on Drugs. By decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana that people may possess. In other words, they are caught in possession of fifteen grams or less of marijuana, they would pay a fine for possessing that amount of marijuana. It's a step in the right direction but only a step because it means that people in New Jersey could still be arrested for using or selling marijuana. A narcotic that has similar affects as alcohol, perhaps with less consequences though.

What needs to be done in the War on Drugs, is we stop fighting it. Get the criminals out of the picture in narcotics industry. Whether it's legal or not, it's still an industry. And then  pursue the criminals in the narcotics industry, people who prey on drug addicts, to get every dime they can out of them. Treat drug Addicts like the patients that they are and get them in drug rehab at their expense. Because this is their problem. And it's not other people's problems, until they hurt people with it. And not just decriminalize marijuana but Legalize it, with regulation and taxation like alcohol.

We now have two-million people in prison in America, a country thats supposed to be a liberal democracy. And I'm all for locking up criminals people who represent a threat to society. Drug addicts aren't criminals in the sense that they routinely hurt innocent people. If thats the only felony or felonies they've ever committed. They are patients with essentially a mental condition, who can't control and satisfy their urges for narcotics. And roughly 30% of all American inmates are in prison for a drug related offense and a lot of times, that has to do with possession or usage.

So what we need to do with this war, which is probably the 2nd dumbest war we've ever fought as a country, behind the 2nd Iraq War, is stop fighting it. Treat drug criminals like criminals, people who prey on drug addicts to get every dime out of them they can. Treat drug addicts like mental patients and get them the help they ned, so they can move on and live productive lives.

What we also should be doing besides legalizing with regulation and taxation of marijuana, treat it like alcohol and I've been reluctant to take this position before, is to decriminalize other narcotics. Except for marijuana which would be legalized.

Which is to say instead of arresting people for simple possession of lets say heroin to use as an example instead have them pay a fine, based on the amount of heroin they possess and of course take away their heroin. If they are caught using lets say heroin, cocaine to use as examples, get them in drug rehab at their expense, instead of jail or prison. Until they are ready to return to society. And perhaps in a halfway house as well, again at their expense.

We've spent over a trillion dollars again fighting a war we've never should've started in the first place. And have a paid a heavy price for it, with all the drug addicts we now have locked up. As well as the drug addicts we now have on the street, because they've never gotten the help they should've in the first place.

And we've paid a heavy price for this so-called bogus (to be kind) War on Drugs, because it really isn't a war. You can't go to war with an idea or product. Only with people and groups of people. But enough with the bad English in describing narcotics policy in America and other countries. And the only people who have benefited from it, are the drug dealers themselves.

So we need a new approach in how we deal with narcotics. Take a realistic approach that is around personal freedom short of hurting innocent people and personal responsibility. Not there on heroin and other stronger narcotics, but locking people up for simply possessing those drugs and being addicted to them, hasn't worked. Of course go after the producers of heroin and cocaine, but their victims should be treated as such. Get them the help that they need and hold then responsible for the costs of getting over their addiction. With a safety net for people who simply can't afford their rehab.