Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Poll: Fragmented voter attitudes on drug war solutions, consensus about its failures

While partisan politics can make the electorate appear deeply divided, regarding the war on drugs there appears to be a remarkable consensus among voters, according to the results of a Zogby interactive poll released last week:
Three in four likely voters (76%) believe the U.S. war on drugs is failing, a sentiment that cuts across the political spectrum – including the vast majority of Democrats (86%), political independents (81%), and most Republicans (61%). There is also a strong belief that the anti-drug effort is failing among those who intend to vote for Barack Obama (89%) for president, as well as most supporters of John McCain (61%).
But the nation remains sharply divided over what to do about it:
When asked what they believe is the single best way to combat international drug trafficking and illicit use, 27% of likely voters said legalizing some drugs would be the best approach -- 34% of Obama supporters and 20% of McCain backers agreed.
  • One in four likely voters (25%) believe stopping the drugs at the border is the best tactic to battle drugs -- 39% of McCain supporters, but just 12% of Obama backers agree.
  • Overall, 19% of likely voters said reducing demand through treatment and education should be the top focus of the war on drugs.
  • 13% believe that the best way to fight the war on drugs is to prevent production of narcotics in the country of origin.
It's a shocking result that voters who favor legalizing drugs outnumber those who think "stopping drugs at the border is the best tactic." Coupled with the 13% who favor foreign interventionism, that's 38% who chose essentially an "enforcement first" tactic. By comparison, combining those who favored outright legalization with those who favor "reducing demand through treatment and education," we find 46% of the public are looking for demand-side alternatives to combating drug abuse besides criminal enforcement.

These numbers represent a fragmented public, but I guess it's at least comforting to know that most voters in both parties strongly believe the current approach has failed. The question then becomes, "what to do instead?"

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only way to curtail the violence and death of the War on Drugs is legalization and regulation of the prohibited substances.

Anything else is Santa Clausian.

A lot of Americans apparently want these products. To stop them at the border completely would give birth to more bathtub concoctions and God knows what, just like it did in alcohol prohibition.

The only way to do this is to face the facts and realities and legalize and control... instead of bloody, cruel, and outrageously expensive "war" and no control whatsoever.

Hope

JSN said...

I suspect that drug crime like politics is local. If you are fortunate to live in an area with little drug crime you might believe that the WOD is working. OTOH if you live in an area with a serious drug crime problem you know it is not working.

Congress seems to be in the "We have to destroy the city to save it" mode with respect to the WOD. I have been asking my members of congress what their plan is to end the WOD and so far all I get are astonished looks.

I suppose that some day marijuana laws might be rationalized by converting it to a prescription drug but I do not think marijuana will be treated the same as tobacco and alcohol during my lifetime.

Anonymous said...

I would say that the War on Drugs is the perfect example of "Good intentions paving the pathway to Hell"... but I can't. Because it wasn't started with good intentions at all.

It was started because of a particularly unsavory and idiotic form of racism (all of racism is unsavory and idiotic, though, of course) and cruel greed among the already wealthy.

Soronel Haetir said...

I won't be surprised if tobacco gets outlawed in my lifetime, won't that be fun. Marijauna is already pretty bulky, but tobacco would be orders of magnitude worse.

I wonder if the users would simply switch to synthetic nicotine in order to get around that problem.

kaptinemo said...

Soronel, somebody's already thought of that: The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School. A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference

An excerpt:

You know the Federal Government has been spending a lot of money since 1968 trying to persuade us not to smoke. And, indeed, the absolute numbers on smoking have declined very little. But, you know who has quit smoking, don't you? In gigantic numbers? The college-educated, that's who. The college-educated, that's who doesn't smoke. Who are they? Tomorrow's what? Movers and kickers, that's who. Tomorrow's movers and kickers don't smoke. Who does smoke? Oh, you know who smokes out of all proportion to their numbers in the society -- it is the people standing in your criminal courtrooms, that's who. Who are they? Tomorrow's moved and kicked, that's who.

And, there it is friends, once it divides between the movers and kickers and the moved and kicked it is all over and it will be all over very shortly.

It starts with "You know, they shouldn't smoke, they are killing themselves." Then it turns, as it has -- you see the ads out here -- "They shouldn't smoke, they are killing us." And pretty soon, that class division will happen, we will have the legislatures full of tomorrow's movers and kickers and they are going to say just what they are going to say any time now. "You know, this has just gotta stop, and we got an answer for it." We are going to have a criminal statute that forbids the manufacture, sale, or possession of tobacco cigarettes, or tobacco products period.


Like I said, somebody's already been thinking about this...in the same way somebody thought about the inevitable result of any substance prohibition. The problem is that such people are never listened to; the passionate scream and shout down the thoughtful whisperers. Nobody hears the latter until after the mess the passionate make becomes painfully obvious...and then the whisperers get the blame for not speaking up loud enough.

Anonymous said...

KAPTINEMO:

You are right on your comments, however I would like to add a few of my own as to why the WAR ON DRUGS is failing and will never work.

First of all, what you readers will read comes from a former Adult Probation Officer (20 yrs) who witnessed first hand the CORRUPTION that exist in the Criminal Justice system in Texas.
In those twenty years, I have built many relationships with Judges, Lawyers, Asst D.A.'s and Law enforcement personnel on both a State and Federal Level. My credentials & experience speak for themselves.

This country lost the Vietman War because both the Politicians and the Brass (Generals) in the Pentagon never spoke to the commanders and infantry men on the front lines in the field of Battle as to what they needed to win the war. Those same Politicians and the Brass made enormious amounts of money on Government contracts. Scratch my back and I will scratch yours. The GREED of money was worth more than the lives of our American men and women who lost their lives in that war.

The same can be said today about the current WARS going on in both Iraq and Afganistan. Politicians and retired Brass who now work for those same companies that built our WEAPONS of mass destruction are making BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars while Americans continue to LOSE their love ones everyday on front lines in the field of Battle.

My above analogy is compared to the WAR ON DRUGS. You see my fellow Americans/Texans there is money to be made in Illegal DRUGS. One only has to look across Texas as to the many new State and Federal Courts that have developed over the last 20 years. Even now, there is talk to increase both the State and Federal Courts to handle the ever ending over-crowed COURTS with many new drug offenses occurring everyday. Look at what is and has happened just across the border of MEXICO yesterday, today and tomorrow. Corrupt State and Federal Officials, Politicians and Law Enforcement personnel are taking one Bribe after another. They are killing one another to fight for the DRUG ROUTES which lead to AMERICA.

Our own Criminal Justice system with it's CORRUPT Politicians, Judges, Lawyers and Law Enforcement take many Bribes to turn a deaf hear or to look the other way. I had witnessed many times, certain probationers involved in drugs be continually allowed to stay on probation after violating their conditions of probation even when they picked up new drug charges.

Certain Judges always show preferential treatment towards certain Lawyers. Those same Lawyers help finance a Judges RE-ELECTION campaign time and time again to get those same Judges re-elected. Scratch my back and I'll scratch your.

Treatment is not always the answer. Why? The programs that many Probation departments use have shady contracts. Certain individuals on both sides of the fence make money off of every client. Sure, there may be some legitimate programs out there, but most of them are just as Corrupt as the individuals who got those contracts.

If the WAR ON DRUGS did work, our numbers in the following occupations would decrease drastically: Law Enforcement, Judicial, Lawyers, Asst D.A.'s, Probation/Parole/Corrections officers, Treatment providers, etc. Look at all those JOBS that would be lost. The GREED of money is worth more that all the GOOD that would come out of a Win-able WAR ON DRUGS.

Politicians when they propose new Laws to curtail the War on Drugs, never talk to the officers on the front lines on the War on Drugs. They are influenced by LOBBYIST with pockets deeper than the Grand Canyon.

On a SAD note, MADD has done wonderful things in changing the Laws for D.W.I. They have helped in making laws tougher and the penalties more stiffer. What is aways talked about is the individual who DRINKS and DRIVES. What is hardly ever mentioned is the INDIVIDUAL WHO DRIVES WHILE STONED ON ILLEGAL DRUGS.

Throughout all my years in having probationers drug tested, many came up positive for illegal drug use. Those same probationers drove to the department to report. I only had one probationer ever report wit alcohol on their breath. I had hundreds report with an illegal drug in their system. How do I know, because they probationer testified in court to using illegal drugs.

I CURRENTLY read hundreds of police reports which involve drug offenses. In those reports, the Police officers obtained their PROBABLE cause after smelling and or seeing NARCOTCS in plain view after they pull over a motorist for erractic DRIVIG behavior. REMEMBER, those individuals were DRIVING not WALKING or riding a bicycle.

DRUNK DRIVERS are out there on our streets mainly at night or in the early morning hours driving to work. NARCOTICS DRIVERS are out on the streets 24 hours a day and their numbers are far greater that what the Public can imagine.

There are breathalizers Police officers use to detect alcohol levels in suspected Drunk Drivers and those results can be produced with in seconds or minutes.

However, there are no quick and or affordable devices to check for illegal drugs at least non that any Law Enforcement Dept can afford to give to every Police officer on PATROL.

The next time you drive anywhere where there is some traffic, leave your window down.
You would surprised how much MARIHUANA you could smell coming from the driver both in front, in back and next to you. Drive your vehicle to any public High School just as the students are getting out of school. You will not only smell the odor of MARIHUANA, but you can even see them smoking it.

Anonymous said...

Very enlightening post, Kapitino.

I would just comment that I am highly suspicious every time our government starts some abstract war.
War on poverty
War on cancer
War on illiteracy
War on drugs
War on terror

Those are never ending wars "fought" not to be won, just like the war in Viet Nam was fought not to be won. Every time we have one of these evil abstract "wars", we get more of the thing warred against and that is the way it is meant to be.

Wars are the way our ruling elites consolidate their power and take control of the whole world for their desired death and slavery system. Our ruling elites are Luciferians. They worship Satan and love blood and mass killing and maiming.

Lastly, no dicussion of the "war on drugs" or the drug problem has any meaning whatsoever unless it is plainly stated that the U.S. CIA and high up people in the U.S. government are the ones bringing the illegal substances in to the U.S. It is why San Jose Mercuty Pullitzer prize winning journalist was suicided.

The United States of America is a failed nation. Things are very dangerous right now as we are full in to the crumbling process.

The corruption in the criminal justice system in Texas is beyond what the average person can understand, and these phony polls that receive their pay so as to arrange polls to come out the way the payors want them to is just insult to injury.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the number of people that feel legalization is the answer, for pot maybe, the remainder never. Apparently these well meaning, uninformed folks have never seen what crack or heroin does to the user and the people around them. These are lifelong addictions that take productive people and turn them into waste.
The only way the "War on Drugs" can ever be won is making the sale and possession a capitol offense. If you are caught, there is no get out of jail card, no appeal, only swift punishment.
Yes some of you will say police corruption, well the same punishment for corruption should be on the books.
I have lived in Asia for many years and seen firsthand that this program does work. You can walk the streets at 3 AM and not worry about being robbed.
Drugs lead to a large majority of the criminal activity in this country, not to mention the lives that are wasted with addiction. It will never be stopped because the harsh reality is that there is a select few who make a very good living from this fake war.
This solution is not palatable to most people because legalization is easy and guilt free. We The People have created the mess we are in today through complacency and "it's not my problem" and only We The People can fix it. but we won't because the choices are just to tough.

Anonymous said...

To blog 6:30:

I appreciate your POSITIVE comments. You touched on a couple of things I would like to address.

First: The never ending WARS from Poverty to Terror. You are right about the average citizen being scared on false information. Do you remember how this nation came to a mental state of FEAR based on an invasion of aliens when the radio show THE WAR OF THE WORLDS was broadcast by Orsen Wells. People panicked believing we were invaded by martians. Now, multiple that by 10 to 20 to 100 times how this country felt when 9-11 hit. This country was placed in a LOCK-DOWN MODE. For days, no one could fly in an airplane. We were all scared believing it was'nt over or was it? Look how many new Federal Laws were passed based on NATIONAL SECURITY. We as Americans lost so many fundamental rights. Even today with the finanical economic problems that are going on right now. No one knows for sure how this financial mess will end up or do a few of us!!. Do you believe there is a Government within a Government. Things just don't happen. Things that happen out of the ordinary are planned out strategically to benefit a few. I for-one believe 9-11 was orchestrated by our own Govt.

Second: Pertaining to your SATANIC remarks. I am a Christian.
I believe there are those within our SOCIETY who are full of hate and who do not have any feelings for human kind. Do you remember the movie called THE BELIEVERS staring Martin Sheen. Satanic worship and sacrfices (babies) was touched upon. I remember a training session I had attended as an Adult Probation officer. The training covered the history of gangs which included satanic groups and the accult. All the graffiti you see on buildings or fences is not always gang communicating with one another. It's also how SATANIC people communicate to each other. Pretty scary is'nt it. But it's true. The training was put on by a RETIRED F.B.I. agent.

Third: As to believing if the Govt is responsible for bringing illegal drugs into this country. This Govt does not have to bring in illegal drugs into this country. They simply allow others to do it for them. Remember all the BATTLE front line are controlled by individuals that are employed by the Federal Govt. I also served in the Military. I know first hand about the CHAIN OF COMMAND. Keep your mouth shut with what you SEE, HEAR OR HEARD or you risk being discharged losing all you benefits. Illegal drugs are grown and made all over this country.
With all the food scares going on. What makes you thing the GOVT is not behind it. Maybe, it's a way to test a less sever BIOLOGICAL weapon. How fast will rotten tomatoes or spinach spread fear within our people?

and Lastly, the continued failure of this country. Remember how this country was born. It was born after the MASSACURE of MILLIONS of the True Americans-THE NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS. This country will for ever be cursed until this Government comes clean with how the NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN was treated in the Past, Yestereday, Today and Tomorrow. This country was stolen from it true inhabitants. Look where they live to this date. On a RESERVATION. It is SAD that Federal Laws are passed to protect indangered species of plants and animals. Yet it was O.K. to have Indian Tribes KILLED of to extinction.
I have driven all over this Coutry and I have yet to see any RESERVATIONS for BLACKS, WHITES, HISPANICS, ASIANS, EUROPEANS OR ANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP other than
Native American Indians.

kaptinemo said...

Anon 7:44, I am always amazed when someone points to a totalitarian regime, as many Asian governments are, and naively, publicly desire to emulate such systems here.

For example, in Thailand, thousands of people have been murdered by 'person or persons unknown' - in a country where few people other than the police and drug gangs are armed. All done 'extra-judicially' without the slightest pretense of 'due process'.

Needless to say, a great many of the victims were innocent of any wrongdoing, but because they were on someone's 'hit list', they were slaughtered on a whim. And who would have such a reason to create such a 'hit list', hmmm?

Perhaps those wearing badges and sidearms during normal duty hours, and wearing masks, ride motorcycles and carry out those 'extra-judicial' killings at night? As a great many civil libertarians in Thailand are suspecting?

After all, who else would have sufficient motivation to declare someone a 'drug dealer', and thus make them a target for assassination...other than the police, themselves? (And let us not forget the rival leaders of drug gangs who seek to use the police to eliminate their competition and the threat that legal reformers represent.)

In short, if you like the idea of someone being able to execute you summarily for the suspicion of being a drug dealer, may I recommend that you emigrate to Thailand? I'm sure they would appreciate your attitude whole-heartedly...until you wind up on one of those lists.

Anonymous said...

KAPTINEMO, don't know where you get your "facts" about Thailand. I lived there for two years and plan on moving back. If you have not lived there, don't believe everything you hear from those "great many civil libertarians", they have an agenda also and it is money.

kaptinemo said...

Oh, yes, Anon we're supposed to ignore all those dead people, nothing to see, move along. Right. Sure. Uh-huh.

They died in the main because of drug prohibition making what used to be dirt cheap is now enormously artificially profitable. A prohibition which you obviously support.

And I notice that you do not attempt to refute the obvious damage that these extra-judicial killings do to the legitimacy of the government - that has not done very much in order to stem those murders.

So, yes, please do return there, and I hope for your sake that you might not become someone's target, for the fact remains that when those charged with prosecuting the law become lawless themselves, no one is safe...no one. Even the police who serve a police state can find themselves on the wrong end of weapons they once held, as just about every tyranny in history has demonstrated.

But don't try to peddle that version of a 'final solution' here, if you please; this old veteran hasn't forgotten the Oath he took to preserve and protect the Constitution. And such a 'final solution' is basically inimical to the protections it is supposed to afford our citizens, and everything I was willing to lay down my life to protect...and still am.

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 7:44:00 AM

You said, "Apparently these well meaning, uninformed folks have never seen what crack or heroin does to the user and the people around them. These are lifelong addictions that take productive people and turn them into waste. The only way the "War on Drugs" can ever be won is making the sale and possession a capitol offense. If you are caught, there is no get out of jail card, no appeal, only swift punishment."

Yes, I've seen what crack and heroin CAN do to people and I've seen what alcoholism CAN to people.

They're both bad... but we've been brainwashed into believing one is hideously worse than the other.

Alcoholism kills. Even a one time binge can kill. So should we ban alcohol, and jail and "Punish" those people "Swiftly", in the manner you suggest for the sale, production, possession or consumption of alcohol? Have you got the stomach for that? You probably do.

Do you have the money to carry out your pseudo-moralistic plan, or do you want to tax me to do it?

Do you have the money to help the families you harm by "taking out" and "punishing" their family member to the max?

You also said, "Drugs lead to a large majority of the criminal activity in this country, not to mention the lives that are wasted with addiction." I disagree with your statement. It looks to me like the Prohibition of drugs is actually the cause of the "Criminal activity" you speak of. Remember all the "Criminal activity" connected to the prohibition of alcohol?

How are you "saving" people from being "wasted" and not productive enough to suit you, by "punishing" them in the ways you suggest?

Becoming addicted to substances is not a good thing. Becoming addicted to "Punishing" people who are addicted to or use substances is a vicious and deadly addiction in itself. You would kill them, even, to keep them from using or possessing drugs, or being unlikable and unproductive enough?

It looks to me like a person with a "blood lust" problem is more dangerous to everyone than the person with a "drug lust" problem, any day.

Hope

Anonymous said...

To blog 11:01:

What inspired me to get involved in the Criminal Justice Field, was a story I read and saw about a couragious New York police officer who almost lost his life saying "NO" to corruption.

FRANK SERPICO is a true American HERO. It it sad how many Whistleblowers have been branded as trouble makers or disgruntled employees only because they treid to expose CORRUPTION for the right things. You are so RIGHT: DEATH can come to anyone at anytime 24/7.

Anonymous said...

I think my comments are important since I am a retired DEA Agent and even DEA Agents believe the war as it's being fought is a failure.

First of all many synthetic drugs are legal. They're effects are the same and they're acceptable substitutes for other harder to get substances. Judge for yourself if the prescription program was successful.

As for cocaine, heroin, meth, and marijuana think about this.

Right now there the task force concept rules and what that means is that federal, state, and local agencies team up; even though they were created to target different levels. Based on the number of individuals locked up; I'd say they're targeting the wrong levels.

Combine that with asset forfeiture and what you have is more and more enforcement that produces more arrests at the wrong level. More arrests lead to more convictions and convictions lead to incarceration. The public pays for the prosecution; probation and the incarceration while the profits from the traffickers pays for more cops; more overtime and hence more arrests.

In essence the motive for police to arrest more is the same motive as the trafficker - drug proceeds.

Before you legalize drugs; try changing the enforcement model that currently exists. Use the proceeds from the trafficker for education; treatment; and incarceration. Untangle the task force concept and let the state and locals work the level of cases they work best.

Finally, DEA needs a big enima. They're seriously broken and you're not getting nearly what you're paying for. There are over 70 foreign offices with DEA and most of the Agents in those offices go there to live abroad and send their kids to expensive international schools. There's no day to day link between them and the domestic enforcement and if they say there is; that's a big lie.

Before you legalize; remove the sharing mechanism from asset forfeiture an see where that goes.

Anonymous said...

To blogger 2:56:

I respect the comments you have made especially knowing you are a retired DEA agent.
You are right about the synthetic drug situation. I earlier stated treatment does work, but most of the time it does'nt. I will tell you a story I heard over and over about drug addicts. Many have said they had education-first proceeded to out-patient-second and entered in-patient treatment-third: sometime more than once. Most of them said the progrmas did not work for them. What they said worked the best, was WAKING up one day and saying enough is enough. Some of those probationers were free living in society (off probation) and others were locked up either in jail or in prison when they decided to quit using drugs. When asked how they just decided to quit using drugs they said it came from within their heart. Remember, as an Adult Probation Officer, we or I spent alot of my time getting to know my probationers. What I mean is, I never talked down to a probationer, I treated them as human beings who made a mistake in life. When I spoke to those probationers, it was always either in my office in person or over the phone. As a professional, I was their probation officer and not their friend or buddy. They were told that the day I would first meet with them. Anyways, I would talk to them longer than the average Probation Officer. I gave out alot of advise and many of them took it and became successful model probationers. Now, don't get me wrong, I could'nt help everyone change their ways, but I can say it was way better than most. Sometimes we are all touched differently by the ANGELS that watch over us. Some would call it a MIRACLE. My point is this-I believe it has to come from the HEART WITHIN EACH OF US of knowing when to quit even if was with the assistance of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF.

The Task Force Concept Rules you talked about pertaining to teaming up with other agencies in order to get the little guys as oppossed to the BIG FISH is correct.

Sometimes we who are on the front lineS on the battle field on the WAR ON DRUGS have a difficult time to get our superiors to think OUTSIDE THE DAMN BOX. Having been a D.E.A. AGENT I know you know the true story of the DANNY BRASCO story, an F.B.I. agent who infiltrated the New York Mafia. Why does'nt the Federal Government take one step further. This is what I mean. Have Federal AGENTS whether it be F.B.I., D.E.A. OR C.I.A. infiltrate all levels of the Criminal Justice System of a top ten city in the United States. The operation would be for those AGENTS to become police officers, Politicians, Lawyers, Asst D.A.'s, Judges, Probation, Parole and Corrections officers. The operation of course would have to last several years. The Danny Brasco operation was 6 years long. Look how many people were arrested and convicted by AGENT Brasco. It does,nt take a rocket scientist to catch the BIG FISH

kaptinemo said...

One of the things which I have found so interesting about the War on drugs since I first began to do personal research (as opposed to uncritically swallowing anti-drug propaganda) was that it had an interesting history.

Once again I would like to refer the curious tom Professor Whitebread's speech. Please read all of it; it's eminently well written and free of academic gobbleygook.

Once you do, you realize something: the drug 'problem' wasn't a problem until drug laws were formulated. And as Professor Whitebread makes abundantly clear, those who formulated those laws (the "US" he refers to) did so wholly cognizant that they were meant to be used against an identifiable "THEM".

"Those people." Those Black people. Those Hispanic people. Those "po' White trash" people. Those "Furrin" people. Those who were insufficiently White and wealthy. Such were seen as little more than sub-humans who needed to be kept in line, lest the 'barbarians in the gates' bring down civilization. And, no I am not exaggerating; they actually put their thoughts into writing and published them without a single trace of shame.

This Republic did quite well for the first 125 years of its existence without drug laws, and not because there were no drugs available then; on the contrary, mentions of 'black drop' (opium) and 'Indian hemp' (cannabis) were made repeatedly by such Founders as Franklin, Jefferson and Washington. All were well aware of these substances, and used them as needed. They were able to do so partly because it was understood by those same Founders that a line must exist between government power and individual liberties (and the flip side of the coin, personal responsibility), one that if crossed by government, would inevitably lead to tyranny.

It was not until the so-called "Progressive Era" of the first two decades of the last century that that line was crossed, ostensibly for the best of reasons, but in reality beginning the slide of government accruing more power unto itself (as the Founders had feared it would) at the expense of that individual liberty. And a large part of that came from the drug laws enacted then. We've been paying an increasingly steep price ever since then...and have nothing to show for it but dead innocents, narco groups with the resources of small nations, prisons sprouting up like toadstools, a corrupted law enforcement apparatus, and widespread disrespect for the lawful functions of government.

My point? No amount of tweaking can turn a lump of mud into an apple pie. In this case, the mud is the DrugWar. If we are truly serious about destroying the cartels, we'll have to do what Grandpa did to Al Capone in his day, and cut organized crime off at the knees by eliminating it's source of revenue...in this case, by returning what amounts to flowers and weeds back to their true market value courtesy of legalization. Anything else just leaves a bolt-hole for the slime to ooze back into.

Anonymous said...

On pot and driving....didn't get much further.......

After a drugged cup of coffee, or after finishing a nicotine filled cigarette, or for that matter a line of coke or puff of meth, who is REALLY impaired???

All drugs have different effects.

Yeah, I'd worry about someone forgetting they're stoned and trying to get the cheetos bag from the back seat, or tune in some moving jams on the radio, but the driving UI laws don't consider facts relative to the specific drug. A drunk driver really is dangerous, as is someone on barbituates or psychedelics. Someone on a cell phone is more dangerous than someone who's stoned. NOT THAT IT"S OKAY.

And I agree with Anonymous on Thailand... My unit ( 31st Special Ops Squadron - the Black Knights )deployed there from Korea several times. They are NOT a model to be looked to for drug policy. There is an American Human Rights statement about crime and punishment that should be International.....The Punishment Fits the Crime. It's an easy no-brainer for any humane justice system.

Thanks Hope and Kaptinemo !!!

Anonymous said...

From someone in the medical field, there is no way you are going to stop drugs and keep them out of the hands of those who have addictive habits.

I have worked in many areas of the medicalfield and one of those areas was drug rehab in a hospital in my town and those who want help seek it.

A young man came in and said he was hooked on meth and had a family and he did not want to lose his family. It took a lot of begging but I finally got this young man, without insurance, into a State Hospital for three months and he kicked the habit.

I was shopping one day and this handsome clean looking young man walked up to me with a wife and two children and asked if I remembered him. I am sorry to say, or glad to say, the option is still up in the air but I did not recognize him. He then proceeded to tell me he was the young man who came in and I had helped him get his life back. I have seen him since and I do recognize him and the treatment worked. You see, he also has depression and the drugs relieved the anxiety and depression which both are symptoms of this disease and should be treated as a physical illness and not as most people label them, "crazy or druggies", they are people who are seeking help. We need to give it to them and not continue to kick them down.

Legislators, if you read this, please take this as a true story as it is very true and help not hurt those who cry out for help. You have the power to get this done if you so chose and for the sake of our young, please begin this now. Put State Hospital money back and set up drug programs there where those who seek help can obtain it without insurance, as you all know no job and no insurance, but unfortunately that is no longer true either. Jobs don't automatically come with insurance and that too must stop!

nursejane_08

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nurse Jane.

There's another issue you brought up that has strings tied to my heart.

We just can't afford rehab ( while beloved people ARE DYING see "Why We Couldn't Save Nicole -
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n924/a05.html?1042
) because money is going to enforce/fight the drug war, because even though addiction is a DISEASE many people don't see it as such - it's "just a choice", and because so many drug "warriors" I call them mercenaries are fighting change even on an International level to keep their paychecks/the status quo. There are other reasons, tied to political interests and ignorance, but I'll stop there.

Rehab as practiced is lacking. Unless it has changed, it doesn't consider the myriad reasons for substance use/abuse. Until rehabs EVALUATE EVERY PATIENT and find out WHY they're using it will have limited value and commensurate effectiveness.

Like someone - Tony Newman ? said at Drug Policy Alliance, some people [ like simple pot smokers ] need to be left in peace. Others need to a chance at rehab, but it needs to be revamped to include evaluation and counseling. Identify those self-medicating and steer them to prescribed meds. BUT.....what if they have a dopamine, endorphin, or cannabinoid problem? Only cutting edge research even addresses such. There is no treatment for some of them except opiates or pot. Additional counseling for many is needed, and AA or Narcanon isn't going to get it. Some need to move away and some need something meaningful in life. Some need it all. How can they get all that?

Then there's spiritual help. Commentary suicide or not, God exists and can heal ANYTHING. Can't have that in rehab though.. Or can we ??

Anyway.

Thanks for your humane angle Nurse Jane.

Anonymous said...

Write or call legislators about this if you're brave enough. They'll ignore you, but you could do it anyway.

Oops. Guess not. Best to be mum and let it continue as is. Don't want to get involved in something as unpleasant as this is.

As a society, we need to just keep moving "forward", with our eyes closed.

Anonymous said...

07:44 said: "The only way the "War on Drugs" can ever be won is making the sale and possession a capitol offense. If you are caught, there is no get out of jail card, no appeal, only swift punishment."

I guess your saying we can not only legislate morality but enforce it as well. China leads the world in organ transplants, I guess thats ok if you don't ask where they get the donors. I need a new liver and had to send a DNA sample (semen) to China. My new liver is scheduled for harvest in January. Sick isn't it.

The problems with the WOD is the War itself, not the substances, otherwise it would be easy to just say exterminate 20 to 60 million Americans and be done with it. Don't forget confiscation of all the family property. Lets make some money while were at it.
The cure in this case is worst than the disease.

For more information please go to the Common sence for drug policy web site.

ham2mtr

Anonymous said...

The difference between those that want to legalize and those that don't exists because it's not a choice; it's an alternative and once the jeanie is out of the bottle; it won't go back in. Drug users and for that matters those that sell to use are not sympathetic victims. The combination is toxic so try something that takes the finger off the trigger of more enforcement.

Remove the asset forfeiture sharing provisions and the tide will recede back to where it should be. The incentive to stop cars for traffic violations hoping to find cash; make arrests hoping there's cash; and search homes for cash with weak probable cause will be too much work; cost too much; and take incentive out of the equation. I know this subject and it will drastically change the current drug enforcement model.

Then legalize if a couple of attempts at fixes dont' work