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Old Apr 21, 2012, 03:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
so because they can not stop then make it complete legal?

So by that logic they should give up stopping speeders or murders because they can not bring those to zero.
I just wanted you to know that at least one guy who read your post understood the analogy you were trying to make.
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 04:09 PM   #27
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And given how hard it is to pass a law, least of all a controversial one, this is probably something we can blame on our government.
I dunno. Places with much more complaint parliaments like the UK also ban drugs.

The most important drug that causes political instability and the "war on drugs" is cocaine. There is no popular support to legalise cocaine, people actually die from taking it, and its more dangerous than alcohol.

If you legalise cocaine it will be hard to separate the deaths, which will happen, from being the government's responsibility.
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 06:11 PM   #28
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I dunno. Places with much more complaint parliaments like the UK also ban drugs.

The most important drug that causes political instability and the "war on drugs" is cocaine. There is no popular support to legalise cocaine, people actually die from taking it, and its more dangerous than alcohol.

If you legalise cocaine it will be hard to separate the deaths, which will happen, from being the government's responsibility.
OK, fair enough, but it you abandon the BS that pot is a gateway drug, and legalize it, much of the problem will be resolved.
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 07:25 PM   #29
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I dunno. Places with much more complaint parliaments like the UK also ban drugs.
That's actually tough to say with certainty because of the extensive cooperation that emerged after WWII and Western Europe. The "Special Relationship" has certainly robbed Britons of some of their sovereignty, especially when it comes to victimless crimes.

I'm no expert on public opinion about drugs in the UK, but something tells me that the House of Commons is motivated by something more than kosher democratic values.

Then there's always the curious nature of federalism that the UK doesn't have. Drug liberalization activists can build towards national victories by winning political battles on the state and local level, and that's largely been the force driving the open secret nature of drug politics in the US. Parliament may not want to be take the lead, especially given that there isn't as much room for political experimentation compared to the US with 51 sovereignties.
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The most important drug that causes political instability and the "war on drugs" is cocaine. There is no popular support to legalise cocaine, people actually die from taking it, and its more dangerous than alcohol.

If you legalise cocaine it will be hard to separate the deaths, which will happen, from being the government's responsibility.
Granted governments are supposed to minimize danger for citizens, but usually regulation doesn't criminalize the people it's supposed to protect. Health treatment for a legitimate problem is appropriate, not using the police powers of the state to impose lifestyles on people.
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Old Apr 21, 2012, 09:40 PM   #30
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I just hope the violence we south of the border all along the drug routes see spill over to the US, then you might actually do something about it.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 01:01 AM   #31
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Kind of incredibly tired and just breezed through this thread, but the only thing the US gains from the war on drugs is keeping thousands of citizens employed to carry out the war on drugs. That's about it.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 01:36 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
so because they can not stop then make it complete legal?

So by that logic they should give up stopping speeders or murders because they can not bring those to zero.
Let's take speeding. We have a country of speeders, but we use draconian laws and put thousands of speeders in jail with harsh penalties and the seizure of property (even from innocent people). All the while, the number of speeders remains the same, but we end up with endemic violence from countries that build cars.

So, why would we want to continue a policy that's so ineffectual? We can argue that drugs are problematic for a society, but the "War on Drugs" has failed to mitigate drug use or the drug supply. All while creating a massive trans-national criminal group with immense power.

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I just hope the violence we south of the border all along the drug routes see spill over to the US, then you might actually do something about it.
The doing something about it will be some para-military police action against Mexican drug cartels, which might hurt them, but still won't halt the massive desire for drugs in the U.S. Another supplier will simply step in and the drug of choice may shift *to Afghan opium or back to hillbilly meth.


To answer the OP, fundamentally speaking, the War on Drugs is largely beneficial for local police forces who get Justice Assistance Grants and for the businesses that rely on police equipment requirements. In many ways, the people who are for the drug war are the same corporations who are part of the Military Industrial Complex.

And, the 535 members of Congress are largely conservative in this regard and believe that narcotics are bad for society and are thus willing to wage "war" to rid the country of them. That this is utterly futile doesn't matter because their thought is driven by ideology.

There's just so much inertia for the counter-narcotics that it will take a sea-change in Congress to make any headway.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 02:08 AM   #33
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Let's take speeding. We have a country of speeders, but we use draconian laws and put thousands of speeders in jail with harsh penalties and the seizure of property (even from innocent people). All the while, the number of speeders remains the same, but we end up with endemic violence from countries that build cars.

So, why would we want to continue a policy that's so ineffectual? We can argue that drugs are problematic for a society, but the "War on Drugs" has failed to mitigate drug use or the drug supply. All while creating a massive trans-national criminal group with immense power.
I will point out it does reduce drug use.

We have an example from history that proves it. During probation drinking went down. Domestic violence also went down. Number of fights due to people being drunk went down.

Now it did give rise to some kingpens but the point is it does reduce the consumptions and reduce the crime from people high on the drugs.

If it was made legal to do drugs the number of people using and addicted to the drugs would skyrocket. Now the drug cartels would fall but it would give rise to rather large companies pushing the same crap.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 03:09 AM   #34
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I'm no expert on public opinion about drugs in the UK, but something tells me that the House of Commons is motivated by something more than kosher democratic values.
Well in 1997 there was this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/hu...d-1235351.html

Where 80% were in favour of legalising for medical use, but only 35% were in favour of legalisation for recreational use.

And then the government made Cannabis class C (which basically decriminalises possession) but then they back-tracked after the correlation with mental illness was found.

I don't think the percentage in favour of legalising other drugs is high though.

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OK, fair enough, but it you abandon the BS that pot is a gateway drug, and legalize it, much of the problem will be resolved.
True.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 03:33 AM   #35
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I will point out it does reduce drug use.

We have an example from history that proves it. During probation drinking went down. Domestic violence also went down. Number of fights due to people being drunk went down.
We actually don't have a lot of clear evidence that Prohibition did reduce consumption. We have speculation based on small dips in public drunkenness arrests and such, but it's very hard to discern if that arose from a real drop in consumption or a shift towards home brewing and drinking, which would make it easier to evade detection.

Even so, the dramatic increases in homicide, racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and assault which came about because of organized crime is certainly a high price to pay for a reduction in the occasional bar brawl.

Quote:
Now it did give rise to some kingpens but the point is it does reduce the consumptions and reduce the crime from people high on the drugs.

If it was made legal to do drugs the number of people using and addicted to the drugs would skyrocket. Now the drug cartels would fall but it would give rise to rather large companies pushing the same crap.
I think drug cartels, who will massacre everyone from their own mules to innocent bystanders, are much worse than managing an increase in the addict population. Plus, if drugs were corporatized, the FDA would be able to regulate for quality and safety.

But, I personally don't buy the idea that legalization is going to cause an explosion of addicts. It's not like drugs are hard to come by. I'm sure there would be more experimenters, but that's the whole point of decriminalizing something. For those few drugs that are exceptionally dangerous, educate, advise, and assist, but don't make its users criminals. That's just an asinine approach, as the last 42 years have shown us.

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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
Well in 1997 there was this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/hu...d-1235351.html

Where 80% were in favour of legalising for medical use, but only 35% were in favour of legalisation for recreational use.

And then the government made Cannabis class C (which basically decriminalises possession) but then they back-tracked after the correlation with mental illness was found.

I don't think the percentage in favour of legalising other drugs is high though.
That tends to lend credence to what I'm saying. Public opinion is running in the opposite direction of Parliament's decisions. Given that it is easier to pass a law through Parliament than Congress, there must be some other force acting on it. I'm supposing hesitation to stray too far from American policy, but it could be something else.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 08:32 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
I will point out it does reduce drug use.

We have an example from history that proves it. During probation drinking went down. Domestic violence also went down. Number of fights due to people being drunk went down.

Now it did give rise to some kingpens but the point is it does reduce the consumptions and reduce the crime from people high on the drugs.

If it was made legal to do drugs the number of people using and addicted to the drugs would skyrocket. Now the drug cartels would fall but it would give rise to rather large companies pushing the same crap.
What is more important to look at is what criminal activity increased. A decrease of domestic violence may of been observed, but what are the side effects.

Surely the War on Drugs comes under the law of diminishing returns, as how much does all the money and resources controlling criminal activity really contribute to society as opposed to dealing with health and mental issues at a state level as a side effect from the substance in question.

(Whoop, CalBoy beat me to it)
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 08:44 AM   #37
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Unless they were high....

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OK, fair enough, but it you abandon the BS that pot is a gateway drug, and legalize it, much of the problem will be resolved.
Saying that pot is a gateway drug and leads to the use of the more dangerous drugs is as silly a thought as say, I don't know....saying hand holding is a gateway activity that leads to unprotected sex. And no one in their right mind would ever say that.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 08:46 AM   #38
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Saying that pot is a gateway drug and leads to the use of the more dangerous drugs is as silly a thought as say, I don't know....saying hand holding is a gateway activity that leads to unprotected sex. And no one in their right mind would ever say that.
Apart from Politicians, who would say the blood from your Murder victims is good for your skin if it meant they got votes.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 09:44 AM   #39
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I just hope the violence we south of the border all along the drug routes see spill over to the US, then you might actually do something about it.
Until the 'Illuminati' start getting hurt, they view this as collateral damage in their war to hold onto privilege and power.

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Kind of incredibly tired and just breezed through this thread, but the only thing the US gains from the war on drugs is keeping thousands of citizens employed to carry out the war on drugs. That's about it.
See below.

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And, the 535 members of Congress are largely conservative in this regard and believe that narcotics are bad for society and are thus willing to wage "war" to rid the country of them. That this is utterly futile doesn't matter because their thought is driven by ideology.
Bad for how they wish to view 'society'. You are owned, more and more.

Illegal drugs enhance the controlling nature of government.

Legal drugs hit their bottom line, where it really hurts.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 10:53 AM   #40
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OK - a few things:

First, the drugs that kill most people are the two legal ones - nicotine and ethanol. If WHO projections are correct, we will soon see as many people die per year from these drugs as the rate of causalities in WWII. And yet very few companies seem to be held to account for this carnage....

Second, Prohibition worked... and it didn't. It clearly reduced rates of cirrhosis of the liver, indicating a clear health advantage. However, it was unpopular and fueled the creation for organized crime.

Third, prior to drug control laws (late 1800's and early 1900's), the US was awash with addictive substances which caused huge problem throughout all sectors of the US population. Drug taking is not a uniquely modern problem.

Fourth, human beings spend more on illegal recreational drugs than we spend on development aid.

Fifth, as a researcher who studies the neuroscience of reward and drugs, I'd like to point out that the war on drugs is actually a war on drug prices. Far less has been spent on developing approaches for treating addicting or lessening the impact of drugs (for instance, by the development anti-drug vaccines, which is being pursued largely by the private sector). Also, the idea that simply inflating the price of street drugs through drug interdiction is going to solve the problem is naive. People risk their lives to take some of these drugs, so increasing the price will reduce drug use up to a point but it won't eradicate drug taking. Making a drug more valuable by constraining the supply will simply encourage more crime and violent conflict in the illegal market.

I am not a policy maker, but it seems to me the war on drugs is being lost because people are voting with their wallets and their guns. I wonder if the best solution would be to bring drugs into the legal economy. Tax the resulting drug sales so that the each government breaks even in terms of the costs of treating addicts. Make the drug dealers economically liable for the negative health impacts of their products. The lawsuits would bury them, much like they are burying big pharma. Finally, I wonder if it would be possible to develop recreational drugs that minimize health impacts and the potential for addiction (e.g., something along the lines of methadone), but in order to do this, governments would have to accept this as a legitimate line of research. Frankly I can't see any of this happening....
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:03 AM   #41
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I wonder if the best solution would be to bring drugs into the legal economy. Tax the resulting drug sales so that the each government breaks even in terms of the costs of treating addicts.
The big stumbling block to this happening is the simple marijuana plant.

Anyone can grow pot, so how does law enforcement tell state-controlled MJ from home-grown?

And if people can grow their own pot, without fear of imprisonment, perhaps, just perhaps, they will be satisfied with that and not try to acquire harder drugs.

Or even cigarettes/alcohol?

If I smoked, I know what my answer would be. My liver would take a long holiday.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:10 AM   #42
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OK, fair enough, but it you abandon the BS that pot is a gateway drug, and legalize it, much of the problem will be resolved.
This is something I've always hated. If you're going to attempt to educate kids, lying does not help make your case, especially in an age of phones with access to google.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:13 AM   #43
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The big stumbling block to this happening is the simple marijuana plant.

Anyone can grow pot, so how does law enforcement tell state-controlled MJ from home-grown?

And if people can grow their own pot, without fear of imprisonment, perhaps, just perhaps, they will be satisfied with that and not try to acquire harder drugs.

Or even cigarettes/alcohol?

If I smoked, I know what my answer would be. My liver would take a long holiday.
Frankly I am not convinced cannibinoids are 'soft' (safe), and in a way this highlights another point: Because cannibinoids are not legal there are no controlled trials determining their safety, but instead there is a large uncontrolled experiment in which the genetics of the plant is being systematically manipulated and people exposed in a haphazard way. In any case my answer is that many governments tax food, but accept that people 'grow their own'. Typically individuals cannot grow plants as efficiently as farms, so this would limit somewhat the impact of home-grown crops.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:14 AM   #44
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It's another romanticized field of law enforcement fighting the bad guys bringing 20 tons of Mexican Black Tar Heroin over the border and saving the day. The truth is rarely shown, which is that the 'war on drugs' is a war against our friends, our families, ourselves, and each other. The US consumes over 80% of the world's Oxy Contin (that is an older stat so may be a little more or less now), and consumes a huge amount of other narcotic painkillers. Perhaps traditional crime-fighting ideas have prevented us from seeing the reality in that the war on drugs is billions of dollars wasted that have only hurt our society. We warehouse low level drug offenders in prisons with rapist and murderers, and then question why these low level drug offenders become violent criminals. While drug trafficking may be a law enforcement issue, drug addiction is a health one.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 11:42 AM   #45
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Frankly I am not convinced cannibinoids are 'soft' (safe), and in a way this highlights another point: Because cannibinoids are not legal there are no controlled trials determining their safety, but instead there is a large uncontrolled experiment in which the genetics of the plant is being systematically manipulated and people exposed in a haphazard way.
I hope you aren't aping the tobacco industry with that thought process.

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Typically individuals cannot grow plants as efficiently as farms, so this would limit somewhat the impact of home-grown crops.
I have a friend who, 40 years ago, grew some good **** in the S/E facing corner of his backyard, along a fence. Hung it up-side-down in a dark closet for 2 weeks to dry. His "kiln".

It's a weed, what more is there to say?
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 01:36 PM   #46
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I hope you aren't aping the tobacco industry with that thought process.

It's a weed, what more is there to say?
Well, it's a weed that has been through selective breeding for higher cannabinoid content than the plants smoked by flower children back in the 60's.... so, yes, in that regard it is sort of like the tobacco industry. People do sell the stuff for a profit, which means there is an 'arms race' among suppliers to provide plants that have a bigger bang for the buck.
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Old Apr 22, 2012, 03:31 PM   #47
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Well, it's a weed that has been through selective breeding for higher cannabinoid content than the plants smoked by flower children back in the 60's.... so, yes, in that regard it is sort of like the tobacco industry. People do sell the stuff for a profit, which means there is an 'arms race' among suppliers to provide plants that have a bigger bang for the buck.
Just like the tobacco industry, not individually to boost one's sales, but as a group, and all the while denying they were boosting nicotine to make cigarette smoking even more habit-forming.

It's a wonderful life, eh?
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Old Apr 23, 2012, 12:34 AM   #48
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I will point out it does reduce drug use.

We have an example from history that proves it. During probation drinking went down. Domestic violence also went down. Number of fights due to people being drunk went down.
Source? This seems in doubt.

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Now it did give rise to some kingpens but the point is it does reduce the consumptions and reduce the crime from people high on the drugs.
Calling the huge sea-change in the criminal underworld "some kingpins" is a dramatic understatement. The Chicago mafia was responsible for hundreds of murders a year, but more perniciously, a rise in official corruption. And, while the prohibition era blunted the usage of alcohol, it's hard to argue that prohibition was the only reason that this happened.

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If it was made legal to do drugs the number of people using and addicted to the drugs would skyrocket. Now the drug cartels would fall but it would give rise to rather large companies pushing the same crap.
The number of drug users would certainly rise, but we would also be able to use a social approach to drug treatment rather than the current criminal system. We'd have far fewer people with criminal records and far more people in the treatment programs they obviously need.

Moreover, while drug companies might "push the same crap" they would also be subject to regulations. No more cutting cocaine with battery acid or adding methamphetamine to joints. Even the amount of THC in each "dose" of marijuana could be restricted.

The social implications for the US would be complex, but would also bring to light a drug problem which already exists, but is largely hidden.

For Mexico and Columbia, it would completely disrupt the cartels and the official corruption that keeps both countries in a state of disintegration.
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Old Apr 23, 2012, 01:34 AM   #49
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For Mexico and Columbia, it would completely disrupt the cartels and the official corruption that keeps both countries in a state of disintegration.
But to do that you need to legalise cocaine, which isn't something there is any popularity for at all.
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Old Apr 23, 2012, 01:55 AM   #50
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I'm curious if anyone in this thread would start doing drugs were they legal? If so which ones? What would the social cost be?

I for one wouldn't change my habits in the slightest.

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I dunno. Places with much more complaint parliaments like the UK also ban drugs.

The most important drug that causes political instability and the "war on drugs" is cocaine. There is no popular support to legalise cocaine, people actually die from taking it, and its more dangerous than alcohol.

If you legalise cocaine it will be hard to separate the deaths, which will happen, from being the government's responsibility.
I wouldn't say it's more dangerous than alcohol, certainly fewer people die from it per user.

http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/...cs_info1.shtml

I think it's one of those things where it's addictive nature is blown out of all proportion by the media, were alcohol illegal it would be perceived to be just as addictive if not more so.

We live in a rather populated planet, people die from doing dumb stuff all the time and any perception that the negatives of the drug war are worth it for any potential savings in deaths of end users is pretty much a joke, especially considering how many of those end users have their lives ruined by judicial action.

It's amusing that prohibition was raised as an argument for the drug war, one has to laugh, else one would have to cry.

One would hope that decriminalisation would be one thing we could all be in favour of? It's clearly worked in other countries.

Edit: I think this link is relevant too.

http://aotmr.com/the-top-five-specia...juana-illegal/

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