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How do you feel about legalizing some drugs? If you are for it, which drugs do you think should be legalized and which ones shouldn't be?

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The consequences of legalizing drugs would make an already large problem completely out of control. If one examines the arguments behind drug legalization, it becomes apparent that legalizing drugs won't solve any of the countries drug problems. I agree that some tactics used in the drug war are ineffectual and misplaced. What I believe is that we need to focus more on educating children on the dangers of drugs and keeping drug dealers from bringing drugs into the country in the first place. I am more concerned about people who are under the influence of drugs such as PCP than those who are smoking pot in the privacy of their home. In the end just because some of the efforts may be misplaced, that that does not mean we should throw in the towel and make all currently illegal drugs legal.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Now if you think about Marijuana, careful. Yes, the consumption of Marijuana does not cause any direct deaths, and all the studies trying to link mental health development and consumption of Marijuana have not brought forth any decisive evidence, but many people smoke Marijuana together with Tobacco, kinda making the point of a "healthier" drug useless.

If drugs are legalized, I feel that only soft drugs should be. Nothing you have to inject or something. And the same rules that apply to alcohol should apply. Not under 18 (or 20 or 21 depending on where you live), no driving under the influence and no using in public places.

I find that much better than treating people like evil criminals for having a little Marijuana on them, which literally does not hurt anybody not even themselves.

Unfortunately we live in times where laws are in place to force a certain morality on us instead of protecting the people and their rights.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Readers, alcohol and tobacco are not not relevant to this discussion since they are already legal. Please keep your comments focused on those drugs that are currently illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am opposed to any drugs being legalized. I'm not convinced pot is harmless, despite what its supporters claim. But if it were legalized, how would it be sold? In convenience stores? Pharmacies (without a prescription)? Vending machines? How would we prevent young children from getting it?

And if you legalize pot, then you'll get people saying a little cocaine is harmless, and heroin isn't bad either.

I'd like to know what recovering drug addicts think on this issue.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

I think any conversation about legalizing or criminalizing "drugs" collectively, as if every substance was equally dangerous and addictive, is a conversation so simplistic and childish that it isn't worth having.

What we need is a re-alignment of our approach to addiction. Research shows that addiction is much less likely among people who have strong social connections. So naturally, we socially ostracize and isolate addicts to punish them and make them stop. Gee, I wonder why the war on drugs has failed.

What we need is to ostracize, isolate, and penalize the people who profit from other people's addiction. The addicts themselves need rehabilitation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

legalize marijuana

gov regulates and collects tax

use tax money to help pay for pension for elderly and more help for single mothers/childcare

everyone wins.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

All illegal drugs were once legal. Some of them were legal for thousands/millions of years. The question should really be which illegal drugs should be relegalized?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I visited friends in the US state of Washington this spring. Washington recently legalised the sale of marijuana for recreational use after having legalised the sale of marijuana for medical use several years before. From what I’ve read, there have been some problems with people driving under the influence of the drug, but overall it’s been beneficial to the state because of increases in tax revenues and decreases in costs to government for policing.

The fact that through an initiative the people of the state voted for approving the sale says that for those in that state legalisation was the right thing to do. Long-term medical effects remain in question, but at the same time it has been reported that many people who use marijuana find that it’s an effective pain reliever which is cheaper and not as harmful as some prescribed medications.

Another benefit of legalisation was that a number of Washington’s marginal citizens were able to find employment making products from marijuana to be sold in stores as well as working in the stores. One downside has been that as is typical in all industries, oligopolies are buying out and replacing many of the independent growers and sellers.

As long as a majority of people in a jurisdiction approve, I think marijuana is a drug that should be allowed.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

If people are putting drugs into their own bodies and not forcing them into the bodies of others, is it not then an obvious personal liberty? Its amazing to me that anybody thinks they have a solid basis to tell ME what I can and cannot put in MY own body.

If regulations are needed to ensure that people do not destroy their families or harm others, okay. I am okay with that. If facilities are made where people stay to enjoy their heroin, cocaine or whatever high, okay. But simply telling people they cannot do the drug of their choice is a complete and obvious affront to liberty. And it only gets more ridiculous when we are talking about soft drugs like MDMA and marijuana.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At least legalize marijuana immediately. If you don't like it, don't smoke it. If you are incapable of making that decision yourself without direct government bans and limitations on freedoms, then move to China or North Korea.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

All drugs should be legalized. That's right all of them.

First, let's look at a couple of the arguments against it in this thread:

1) "How would we prevent young children from getting it?"

Young children are getting drugs already. Now. So the question isn't 'how would we prevent them', the question is 'how can we prevent them'. Right now we are relying on the morality of the neighborhood drug dealer to not sell drugs to kids. This is a person who has already shown they are ready to flout the law, which is not really the type of person you want to rely on to not sell to kids. If drugs are regulated, ID will be required to buy them. This makes it harder for kids to buy drugs than it is when they are unregulated.

2) "The consequences of legalizing drugs would make an already large problem completely out of control."

The problem already is out of control. There is no 'would' about it. The governments have decided not to control the drugs, and as a result drugs have gotten out of control.

All drugs were legalized in Portugal in 2001. Since then, they have seen a decrease in drugs use. That's right, less people are doing less drugs now than when drugs were illegal there: http://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening

And the idea that legalizing drugs will lead to more people doing drugs ignores the fact that most people aren't going to suddenly start doing drugs if they are legalized. How many of you would do heroin if it were legalized tomorrow? I know I sure wouldn't.

Other things to consider. Right now the manufacturing of drugs is unregulated, meaning that any time someone does drugs, they are gambling that the drug is what the dealer says/thinks/hopes it is. There has been a problem with fentanyl (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl) in recent years. It's an extremely powerful drug sometimes sold as heroin, but extremely more powerful, and it kills. Right now there is no government oversight to ensure that the drugs are clean, no required labeling/packaging, nothing. Just a bunch of criminals putting something together and selling it as whatever they want to say it is.

And on the criminal note, the prohibition of drugs has led to an industry worth trillions and trillions of dollars being run by organized crime. These people are not paying taxes, and they are not benefiting society. Rather the criminal underworld is having to 'police' themselves since they can't/don't go to the police, and this leads to shoot outs, beatings, and other things that bring society down as a whole. These groups do not want drugs legalized. Why would we want to play into their hands by keeping them illegal? Recently in Canada, the Hell's Angels were protesting the legalization of marijuana, which the new government is intending to do in the near future. If the Hell's Angels don't want it to happen, then we most definitely should.

And finally having the police deal with drugs is an overburden on the police and the courts. If the police arrest a rapist, there are less rapes with that person off the street. If the police arrest a drug dealer, someone else steps in and fills in the gap. There is always someone willing to take the risk for the money. And if the police arrest a drug doer, having this person in jail does not protect us at all, and it doesn't protect them from themselves either. All it usually does is harden the person, and make them more of a risk to society than less. And instead of getting mental health support for their addiction, they get stuck in the punitive system. And after getting out, getting a job can be near impossible, often driving them to the criminal underworld that has been built up by the prohibition of drugs.

Some final points. Anyone who hasn't heard of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - http://www.leap.cc/) should take a read of their stance. These are police, judges, DEA members, and others in the law enforcement industry who are saying all drugs should be legalized. These aren't fringe members of society, they are the ones who have been dealing with this issue first-hand, and are taking a direct stance against our current methods. Drugs shouldn't be a criminal issue, they should be a mental health issue. This is their primary statement:

We believe that drug prohibition is the true cause of much of the social and personal damage that has historically been attributed to drug use. It is prohibition that makes these drugs so valuable – while giving criminals a monopoly over their supply. Driven by the huge profits from this monopoly, criminal gangs bribe and kill each other, law enforcers, and children. Their trade is unregulated and they are, therefore, beyond our control.

History has shown that drug prohibition reduces neither use nor abuse. After a rapist is arrested, there are fewer rapes. After a drug dealer is arrested, however, neither the supply nor the demand for drugs is seriously changed. The arrest merely creates a job opening for an endless stream of drug entrepreneurs who will take huge risks for the sake of the enormous profits created by prohibition. Prohibition costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year, yet 40 years and some 40 million arrests later, drugs are cheaper, more potent and far more widely used than at the beginning of this futile crusade.

We believe that by eliminating prohibition of all drugs for adults and establishing appropriate regulation and standards for distribution and use, law enforcement could focus more on crimes of violence, such as rape, aggravated assault, child abuse and murder, making our communities much safer. We believe that sending parents to prison for non-violent personal drug use destroys families. We believe that in a regulated and controlled environment, drugs will be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children. And we believe that by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce rates of addiction and overdose deaths.

If that doesn't convince you, spend some time reading about Portugal, whose legalization has been an overwhelming success by all accounts, including some people who were very strong opponents at the start.

And lastly, see this speech by Russel Jones, a former narcotics detective who lays it out very well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEipEPru8dk

All drugs need to be legalized and regulated now. Let's stop playing into the criminal's hands. Let's stop prosecuting/persecuting the sick. Let's stop wasting resource on policing a problem that cannot be fixed, and let the police focus on finding actual criminals. Let's stop doubling down on stupidity.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I think Mary Jane is fine for legalization with regulations about when, where, what age etc in place like cigs & booze.

Harder drugs like coke & heroin I think should stay illegal, but I think users shouldn't not be so quick to end up in jail, go after dealers & the importers etc, help the addicts.

That said I likely wouldn't bother with pot if legalized but is blatantly obvious it should be & the govt can make a lot in taxes etc

The wars on drugs have been colossal failures except for the US prison INDUSTRY!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Legalize (or decriminalize) marijuana, and for Christ's sake, stop trying to wreck people's lives for indulging in this largely harmless pleasure.

LSD, psilocybin, and similar hallucinogens should also be at least decriminalized. Can't see a huge problem with outright legalization.

For other substances, decriminalization is probably the way to go. If the Netherlands can have this policy in place for forty years without going down the toilet, other countries can too. They at least seem able to talk honestly and openly about drug use rather than trying to cram lying and counterproductive propaganda down people's throats.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I am such a cynic, but as on the money as Strangerland's post is, I have to believe that its positive count is simply because there is a certain class of people who cannot be bothered to read something so long. And those are the same people who firmly believe banning a thing makes it disappear and/or makes people stop doing it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If its just for personal use, I can't see why I shouldn't be able to grow it myself, just as I am now growing peppers and tomatoes.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Against -all- drugs that are for recreational use. I would only approve marijuana for Medical Use as prescribed by a certified M.D.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Strangerand

I agree with you 100% and have said all those same things before myself in the popular struggle to end the War on Drugs and change the current paradigm of worldwide drug policy. Thank you, as you said many things that need to be said, but that I wouldn't have had the patience to type out so thoroughly. One small point of note, Portugal decriminalized everything, but they didn't fully legalize.

One thing that could still be pointed out, I think though, is that most drug users are not "addicts" as a few people here have referred to them. The vast majority of drug users are very infrequent recreational users and only a small percent become addicts. Of course, treating this small percentage as a health problem instead of a criminal problem is less damaging to society overall and that's what we should do.

Legalization/Decriminalization and a shift from prohibition and incarceration to regulation, education and treatment when needed is the more sensible and more humane policy and more and more people are waking up to this reality. I think we will see great changes in the next decade or two in drug policy worldwide, including in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Rather than broadly legalizing, I support a complete review of the penalties for drug use. The inmate population in some countries for drug use with no violence seems totally out of control.

Marijuana may be legalized but driving while high will probably become a big problem. Maybe Google self-driving cars are the answer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm with Strangerland- legalize everything.

...but regulate it to make sure quality is good, produce it domestically and tax the hell out of it. People are doing these drugs anyway. If you control it within your borders you ensure less people die because of stupidity/quality and keep money away from whatever drug cartels are out there.

Moreover, as we can see with tobacco and alcohol, people will get addicted, but the vast majority are completely functional individuals.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/24/why-punish-drug-users-at-all/ A recent cogent summation of the issue. I have yet to find anyone that can argue the "war on drugs" has been a thoughtful, successful policy. It has multiplied the misery involved in a complex problem. Bloated bureaucracies and associated makers of other distractions (like the legal substances) are the only ones benefiting. Since they are entrenched and powerful, change is slow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Marijuana may be legalized but driving while high will probably become a big problem.

Yeah. I really hate it when people drive slow and carefully.

I think the biggest problem we are likely to have is people not noticing the light turned green. But just as with DUI and oh, yeah, the entire war on drugs, the point seems to be for the state and others to fleece the taxpayer. Meanwhile so many in the populace scream about how dangerous the streets are, because some guy had one beer or half a joint and got in his car. That said, I am all for cracking down on the truly impaired, including the sleepy. But everyone seems to edging toward zero tolerance of everything, in a vain hope of creating a boring and miserable utopia. Well, we won't get the utopia bit, I promise you that much.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not only should a little grass once in a while be decriminalised because it mostly does us good (a few who are prone to schizophrenia perhaps notwithstanding) it should be mandatory for everyone over a certain age so they learn not to take themselves seriously and to realise there is more to life. Then again, saying that, you know why it is not decriminalised in a society where everything must be taken seriously and life is what is determined for you by others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JT moderators seem to have a weird tic about bringing tobacco and alcohol into discussions even by way of comparison. I've been around a lot of stoned people but never saw any of them fall down or lay down in the street. It is relevant since the question of drugs is quite relative. Tobacco is the biggest killer. I knew someone suffering from cancer in Japan and the lack medical marijuana might have shortened their life. Might have. I don't want to make claims beyond my pay grade but, from what I've read, as someone with no medical expertise, it's my takeaway that it's possible their life could have been extended and the quality improved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is absolutely insane that marijuana is illegal. Marijuana cured me of a lifetime of crippling headaches and migraines and improved several other conditions; nobody can tell me it should be illegal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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