The Drug War Is A Catastrophic Failure

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Banjo, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Banjo


  2. Lucrum


  3. fhl


    Not nearly as big a failure as the war on poverty we've run since lbj.
  4. Humpy


    Let the really stupid people have their drugs from over the counter imho
    1.It would cut out the criminal elements
    2.Give the masses of losers a release like a valve
    3. Pay off the national debt.

    what more could you want.

    Prohibition didn't stop alchoholic drinks, it just enriched the criminals. Politicians can't seem to grasp this point at all.

    Try and elect people with a bit of common sense not the tossers in power at present.
  5. wartrace


    Too many people on both sides of the law are earning a good living off of the "war on drugs". The government spends over 24 billion dollars a year on the drug war. Ending the drug war would cost thousands of unionized government workers their jobs. The corporations that profit from the drug war would lobby (aka bribe) congress to continue this phony war.

    Making drugs legal and regulated would cost at least 1/3 of all law enforcement their jobs. There would be a drop in the murder rate by 1/3, there would be little need for "drug task forces" , "Interstate interdiction teams", "Swat teams" and other drug related enforcement employees. These people vote and they will vote to keep their jobs.

    All these podunk police departments and Sheriffs offices would lose their "drug slush funds" from confiscated property.

    We would have to close prisons and lose our status as the country with the most prisoners per capita in the world. Corrections Corporation of America would not like that at all.

    On the other side of the law the providers of illicit drugs do not want to see the party end. They are getting rich filling the demand and charging a 3 to 400% premium due to the illegality of the product.

    Look at marijuana. Purchasing it from a "dealer" costs X amount per ounce. (I have no idea) The same product could be grown in your back yard next to the tomato plant for the cost of the seeds.
  6. Eight


    In the 19th century opium and cocaine were sold via the Sears Catalog. I don't recall reading that drugs seemed to be a big problem in that era.
  7. Lucrum


    Actually they were something of a "problem" then.

    BUT I'm a big believer in an individual's right to choose what they do with or ingest into their bodies. So long as they're not causing harm to someone else in the process. As already mentioned the war on drugs is no more effective than Prohibition and never will be.
    Continuing this ruse expecting different results is insanity. not to mention extremely expensive. At a time we can ill afford the expense.
  8. LEAPup


    Agreed. I'd say 70+% of America would support ending this mess called the war on drugs. It's purely a scam, nothing else. The US gubment will never acknowledge the fact that when Portugal legalized all drugs, their crime rates fell.

    Id also love to see these street dealers out of a "job." Guess then, they could actually work at McDonald's vs eating there. Lol
  9. Humpy


    The State would save a lot of money if criminals were allowed out when they were cured. The incurable could be terminally assisted.

    Life sentences that truly mean a lifetime in prison are rare in the UK but common in the US. Why is this punishment so prevalent in the US?

    Last week, an English court handed a whole-life sentence to Dale Cregan for murdering four people, including two policewomen.

    That penalty means he will never be eligible for release, and it puts him in rare company, making him one of about 50 people in the UK serving such a sentence.

    Had he been in the US, he would have been less of an anomaly.

    In the US, at least 40,000 people are imprisoned without hope for parole, including 2,500 under the age of 18.

    That is just a fraction of those who have been given a life sentence but yet may one day win release. The Sentencing Project, a non-profit organisation that studies sentencing and criminal justice in America, estimated in 2009 that at least 140,000 prisoners in the US now serve a life sentence.

    This does not include convicts given extremely long sentences with a fixed term, like the Alabama man sentenced to 200 years for kidnapping and armed robbery.

    Most of them will have the opportunity for parole - though Sentencing Project Director Marc Mauer says few will receive it.

    Continue reading the main story
    Start Quote
    Criminals are always less popular than victims”
    End Quote
    Franklin Zimring

    University of California, Berkeley

    David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, says several factors underlie the high number of American convicts imprisoned for life.

    "In large part it reflects the overly punitive nature of the American criminal justice system," says Mauer.

    "Not only do we use life sentences much more extensively than other industrial nations, but even in the lower level of event severity, the average burglar or car thief will do more time than they will in Canada or Wales."

    The harsh sentences reveal a type of "sentencing inflation" that began in the 1980s and 1990s.

    "It was almost a competition among legislatures of both parties to show how tough they could be on crime," says Mauer.

    At the same time, the sentence is thought to send a message.

    "In states like Michigan where they don't have a death penalty, this is what they have as its moral equivalent," says Franklin Zimring, professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.

    In states that do have the death penalty, long sentences underscore distaste for crimes that do not meet the threshold for capital punishment.

    California's overcrowded prisons have prisoners sleeping in stacked bedding in the gymnasium
    "This is a way of putting a denunciatory exclamation point in the punishment," he says.

    Politicians and other state officials are loathe to be seen as soft on crime, let alone to release an offender on parole only to have him commit another crime.

    The 1993 death of Polly Klaas, a young girl killed by a recently paroled man with a long criminal history, led California to pass a "three strikes" rule mandating a sentence of 25 years to life for anyone found guilty of three felonies.

    Continue reading the main story
    Life in jail: Safer streets?
    Does locking away criminals for life make society safer for everyone else?

    "At some level the answer is obviously yes," says Dan Bernhardt. "There's no threat to safety if the prisoner is not at risk of re-offending, and a clear benefit if he is."

    But Bernhardt's research shows that long prison sentences may impede rehabilitation.

    "It can be grossly counterproductive," he says. "It can discourage someone from trying to rehabilitate themselves."

    In the UK, "it is rare but not unheard of for someone on a life licence to commit serious offenses," says David Wilson, who says checks are in place to keep tabs on those who are released.

    California lawmakers cite the three strikes policy as the reason for the state's declining crime rate. But University of California, Riverside sociologist Robert Nash Parker says other factors are responsible, like the national decline in alcohol consumption.

    "The drop in crime occurred all over the country, in every state. It dropped at the same time, magnitude, direction," he says. "It can't possibly be due to a policy in just one state."

    But now, in both the US and the UK the sentence of life without parole is coming into question.

    In England, these sentences are currently being challenged in the European Court of Human Rights, after a lawsuit brought by three men serving whole life sentences - "a double murderer, a man who wiped out his entire family to inherit money, and a serial killer," says Wilson.

    These men, at least one of whom proclaims his innocence, argue that the denial of a parole option does not allow them to claim they have changed. They further argue that the assignment of these sentences is arbitrary - some convicted killers get them, others do not.

    In the US, budget cuts have forced states to reconsider whether the practice of locking criminals up for long periods of time is cost-effective.

    "Lawmakers in Illinois have made the decision to shut down a few prisons and let people out early in order to save money," says Dan Bernhardt, professor of economics at the University of Illinois.

    "There's nothing like state budget problems to get people to see what the costs are."

    In 2012, the US Supreme Court also established that for minors, a sentence of life without parole violates the Constitution's safeguards against "cruel and unusual" punishment.

    The court also ruled that prison overcrowding in California - due in part to severe sentencing and the three strikes programme - violates the same safeguards. It ordered the state to release tens of thousands of prisoners.

    But action after these verdicts has been slow, as state officials continue to fight in court.

    In the US, once someone has been sent to prison on a life sentence, it's hard for him or her to get out.
  10. Max E.

    Max E.

    well said.
    #10     Jun 16, 2013