Friday, May 22, 2015

Glenn Beck Supports Legalization of Drugs

Glenn Beck has finally come around, it appears.

I changed over to supporting the legalization of all drugs a few years back. My rationale is this: first, how would American life be different from the pervasive use of illegal drugs currently? It very likely would improve. Second, the drug war is both a lost cause and an incredibly expensive, deadly, and discriminatory abuse of power. Third, if there are to be drug laws they should be focused on crimes committed during drug use, and distribution to minors, and further, the punishment for both should be severe and removal from society should be for long durations. Fourth, the national wealth now squandered on the drug war should be refocused onto addiction research, prevention and, of course, treatment.

I believe that jails and prisons should be emptied of convicted drug abusers. Even drug pushers should be released if they committed no other crimes.

Ending the drug war by legalizing the drugs would also reduce other crimes which are currently associated with drug use and distribution. It would likely create a new industry similar to the alcohol manufacturing and distribution industry, which is regulated and prohibits abuse under the influence (although not severely enough).

Users will always use. That is a fact which, while sad, is incorrigible and intractable no matter how much national wealth is squandered trying to counter it.

I also changed my mind on capital punishment long ago, primarily due to the inadequacy of the justice system to provide actual justice. However, I'm close to thinking that capital punishment would be deserved for corrupting children by providing them with drugs. Even so, due to the flaws in the prosecutorial and judicial systems in the USA, I still would not support capital punishment for any reason, given that severe terms of removal from society would suffice to remove the threat to society.


Robert Coble said...

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

– John Adams

We are now engaged in a great social experiment: can the USA continue to exist as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, absent the broad moral and religious sentiments embodied (perhaps indirectly and implicitly) in the original (uninterpreted by the Supreme oligarchs) U.S. Constitution?

My answer is, simply, NO.

We are long past the tipping point. The canary in the coal mine died long ago, and no one paid attention to its demise.

As much as I detest the drug culture, having had to deal with its effects directly on several occasions, I have long maintained that more laws with ever increasing draconian punishments will never inculcate the moral dimension into society that is required to counter the popular culture "If it feels good, DO IT!" mentality. Nor will it counter the entitlement mindset: "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine."

The same could be said for the ever-popular "wars" on just about everything. (This terminology always puzzles me, especially when used by those who terminally anti-war.)

Consider the vast fortune (spent using credit) on the "war" on poverty. We have spent $22 TRILLION since 1964, and yet there are more than 45 million Americans (14.5 percent of all Americans) living below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau.

Some casual math:

Assuming it is the same 45 million people (obviously, not true), we could have provided each of them $440,000 over their lifetime (50 years of it, anyway), or provided $8,800 per year every year to each of them.

Would this have changed the "root cause(s)" of poverty? NO.

At least the war on drugs has only cost about $1 TRILLION over the last four decades.

Dropping the drug war would increase the amount per person to $511,111 for 50 years or $10,222 per year.

Given the ever-increasing voraciousness of government, perhaps there are other areas of government that, if reduced, MIGHT result in eradicating poverty (or at least ameliorating it somewhat better than is currently done).

Yet, the question nags: why is it that these well-intended programs do NOT succeed? Is it possible that the problem exists within the people (ALL of the people, not just the poor or the drug-addicted)?

Is it possible that John Adams was right, that the ideals of a Constitutional form of government is fit only for a "moral and religious people"?

If so, then we have no hope of survival given the current cultural climate.

Robert Coble said...

A second (or third) thought:

I have proposed a possible solution to the drug scourge.

First, legalize ALL drugs, including all prescription drugs.

Second, provide free housing, food and clothing for any person desiring to use or abuse any drug. This includes alcohol, cigarettes, food, crack, whatever.

Third, require the person wishing to indulge his appetite to live in this government-controlled housing. The person is free to exit the housing only when he is willing to forgo the drug(s) of choice.

Fourth, provide an unlimited supply of the drug(s) of choice to each participant.

The problem will solve itself in time.

Rikalonius said...

I've tried to duly consider the legalization of "drugs". I put it in quotes because it is such a broad umbrella. Do we legalize all drugs? Are we going to draw the line at "some drugs" that we deem the most dangerous? Is there an age restriction on these drugs? Some drugs like alcohol are much slower to cause a state of addiction than some of the more illicit drugs?

Even if you put the age restriction on it, that just means there is a higher percentage of household were the substance is accessible to the underaged. I firmly believe that a cart blanch legalization of all drugs, even given an age restriction, will result in a boom in curious first timers. Don't we have enough problems with drinking and driving, do we want to throw illicit drugs on there too?

I'm much more for a decriminalization of marijuana than I am the legalization of heroine. I do agree there are many people in jail and prison who have no business being there, and I do understand the sentiment that the state involvement in the war on drugs has been a money sink with little to show for it, but I'm not sure I can get behind a full legalization of drugs.

Stan said...

It can't get any worse than it is now. Children are all exposed to illegal drugs of unknown composition manufactured in the slums of third world countries and cut with who knows what. And tempted by the excitement of being a rebellious renegade, just like their pusher.

I would insist on maximally stringent punishment for providing drugs or alcohol to minors. And for DUI and other abuses. No slack. You can fry your brain and ruin your chances for employment, but do it at home, and without welfare.

There is no chance that such a scheme would be implemented, because the Left would take the programs and modify them to get votes for themselves.

JBsptfn said...

I agree with you on strict penalties on people who sell drugs and alcohol to minors.

However, I think that the drinking age should be lowered to 20, and the limit for DUI/DWI should be raised to .12 or .15 or something.

There are a lot of people who get DUI's who aren't a threat to society or themselves. It is just a money maker for the police, who are way too present and nosey than they have been in the past.

Stan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan said...

This gets into a difficult area, considering that on many individuals the frontal lobe does not fully develop until the age of 28. So there are several variables here, the individual's developmental stage for those under age 28, and the individual tolerance level for any given adult.

What seems to be needed is an objective impairment test for reaction time, visual and cognitive impairment, etc.

Until then, one should not drive with more than 0.1% blood alcohol.

The entire point of drinking and recreational drugs is to change the perception of reality, to modify the functioning of the brain for whatever reason. That's fine, but it should be an accepted corollary that reality is needed for driving, operating machinery, etc.

Statistically, let's assume a normal distribution of impairment vs. blood alcohol content, with the center at 0.1. That would mean that half the population of humans would not be impaired at 0.1 - but half the population would be.

Now assume that we shift the specification higher, to 0.15; there more of the population who are not impaired are protected, as you wish. But a substantial portion of the population which is impaired is allowed to drive and operate machinery.

However, regardless of the law's specification, the fact that there is, in fact, a distribution indicates that some of the population exists in the distribution tails, and the tail of the distribution which extends through 0.05 to 0.001 contains people who are impaired on less alcohol content and are just as dangerous to other drivers as are those over 0.1.

This argument counters the use of a blood alcohol limit at all, and indicates a possible need for total abstinence when driving... despite the fact that some people are more tolerant than others. The only solution to this would be the availability of an objective "reality impairment" test of some sort which is not now available.

The same argument goes for certain classes of drugs as well. Driving is not an "unalienable right", it is a privilege conferred by the state with conditions. That point can be argued too, however.

I, for one, do not care to engage substance impaired drivers when I'm on the road.

JBsptfn said...

You may have a point about the .1 BAC, but I have been doing some reading, and I wonder if breathalyzers are really all that reliable: DUI