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aircooled
aircooled SuperDork
10/6/11 11:48 a.m.

I would like to see some stats on that also. I know there has been a trend towards the reduction in drug related crimes, but I believe that is mostly a Crack related thing.

As far as reduction in the youth. I would suspect that would have more to do with the Just Say No type programs, which have really nothing to do with the "War" on drugs (as in fear of prosecution) and should be in place whether the drugs are legal or not (I would hope those programs would cover alcohol tobacco related issues also)

This report seems to be at odds to what you are saying (this is from the government BTW):

http://drugabuse.gov/infofacts/HSYouthtrends.html

Daily Marijuana use increased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2009 to 2010. Among 12th graders it was at its highest point since the early 1980s at 6.1%. This year, perceived risk of regular marijuana use also declined among 10th and 12th graders suggesting future trends in use may continue upward. In addition, most measures of marijuana use increased among 8th graders between 2009 and 2010 (past year, past month, and daily), paralleling softening attitudes for the last 2 years about the risk of using marijuana. Marijuana use is now ahead of cigarette smoking on some measures (due to decreases in smoking and recent increases in marijuana use). In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes. Steady declines in cigarette smoking appear to have stalled in all three grades after several years of improvement on most measures. After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. Among 12th graders, past year nonmedical use of Vicodin decreased from 9.7% to 8%. However, past year nonmedical use of OxyContin remains unchanged across the three grades and has increased in 10th graders over the past 5 years. Moreover, past-year nonmedical use of Adderall and over-the-counter cough and cold medicines among 12th graders remains high at 6.5% and 6.6%, respectively. After several years of decline, current and past year use of Ecstasy has risen among 8th and 10th graders. From 2009 to 2010, lifetime use of ecstasy among 8th graders increased from 2.2% to 3.3%, past year use from 1.3% to 2.4%, and current use 0.6% to 1.1%. This follows declines in perceived risk associated with MDMA use seen over the past several years. Alcohol use has continued to decline among high school seniors with past-month use falling from 43.5% to 41.2% and alcohol binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks) declining from 25.2% to 23.2%. Declines were also observed for all measures among 12th graders reporting the use of flavored alcoholic beverages. Past-year use fell from 53.4% to 47.9%.

Do I think legalizing Marijuana would increase these numbers? No I am pretty sure it wouldn't. It would still be in the same area as alcohol, the parents / guardians / sellers would be responsible keeping it from them.

MG_Bryan
MG_Bryan Reader
10/6/11 12:03 p.m.

Still a downward trend. Personally I think we should be stricter in our drug laws.

A particular problem with Marijuana is that even though it's potency continues to increase at drastic rates, the perception among many seems to be that it poses no danger.

ransom
ransom GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/6/11 12:43 p.m.
MG_Bryan wrote: A particular problem with Marijuana is that even though it's potency continues to increase at drastic rates, the perception among many seems to be that it poses no danger.

It makes sense to me that there would tend to be greater variation in product consistency in unregulated industries.

With a ban rather than regulation, there can be no labeling or control of product strength, and no consistent education about the effects of ingesting differing amounts.

ransom
ransom GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/6/11 12:44 p.m.

With respect to that chart, what obvious event am I missing from '92 or '93 that shot both tobacco and marijuana usage upward?

MG_Bryan
MG_Bryan Reader
10/6/11 12:58 p.m.
The consequences of legalization became evident when the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that the state could not interfere with an adult’s possession of marijuana for personal consumption in the home. The court’s ruling became a green light for marijuana use. Although the ruling was limited to persons 19 and over, teens were among those increasingly using marijuana. According to a 1988 University of Alaska study, the state’s 12 to 17-year-olds used marijuana at more than twice the national javerage for their age group. Alaska’s residents voted in 1990 to recriminalize possession of marijuana, demonstrating their belief that increased use was too high a price to pay.

There is evidence to show that legalization would increase use. The question seems to be whether or not that is in anyway a positive course of action for our society. I say not.

Ransom, I'm not sure what correlates with that rise in usage. So I can't really say.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
10/6/11 1:17 p.m.

In reply to MG_Bryan:

Assuming use has decreased, has the drug war been worth the huge body count?

MG_Bryan
MG_Bryan Reader
10/6/11 1:28 p.m.
Otto Maddox wrote: In reply to MG_Bryan: Assuming use has decreased, has the drug war been worth the huge body count?

I'll bite since the conversation has been civil so far. In my opinion, yes the body count, as you put it, has been worthwhile. However, I can see how someone who feel opposed to the use of force could feel differently.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
10/6/11 1:39 p.m.

In reply to MG_Bryan:

I am not so sure. We've lost plenty of law enforcement here but the head count of people in Mexico, including innocents, is probably pretty large.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
10/6/11 1:40 p.m.

And when I say I am not so sure, I really mean absolutely not.

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
10/6/11 1:48 p.m.
ransom wrote: In reply to bravenrace: The government also manages the drug war. I think there's no avoiding government involvement on this one.

Yeah, it was kind of a joke. A joke that the government would institute a new program that would cost "less" than anything preceding it.

ransom
ransom GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/6/11 1:56 p.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

It seemed clearly intended to be at least partly humorous... But it's both a good point on its own, and also raises the question of just how much money is being made and by whom with the current approach.

So, my response was intended to be... wryly earnest?

MG_Bryan
MG_Bryan Reader
10/6/11 1:58 p.m.

I can't imagine a person who wouldn't prefer a zero collateral damage scenario, but, sadly, that's unrealistic. Whether or not the loss of life is justified is a purely ideological question. I would argue that a policy reversal would make it such that the loss of life was in vain. But we're really just getting in to opinion and belief systems now.

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
10/6/11 2:00 p.m.

In reply to ransom:

You know, I'm almost always in favor of a smaller government, but there are certain things that when looked at in a general sense, must be controlled by the government. The problem with this idea is that there needs to be a government in place that is competent to carry out that control in an effective and efficient way. That's not our government unfortunately.

ransom
ransom GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/6/11 2:02 p.m.
MG_Bryan wrote: I would argue that a policy reversal would make it such that the loss of life was in vain.

If we determined that a reversal was the best course, and that our current course was a mistake, I believe it would be a much larger mistake to continue in the wrong in an attempt to deny that we'd made a mistake (or simply that our best guess based on the knowledge at hand had changed).

But we're really just getting in to opinion and belief systems now.

Good point.

ransom
ransom GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/6/11 2:09 p.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

I guess that's why we all keep having these muddy, protracted conversations: Our government is not who I would want to have handling a lot of things. And yet there are things which effectively must be handled by government.

Unless and until we switch governments or alter the current one, that means this is the government which will end up handling those things.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
10/6/11 2:17 p.m.

I just have to say I'm extremely pleased with the tone, and varying opinions that have been voiced here. Everyone is playing nicely, and there have been several good points brought up on both sides.

It is fantastic to have a rational discussion of immigration and drug legalization without people screaming and calling each other idiots. Now if only our news media would act so intelligently and rationally!

Who knows, maybe if we had more folks discussing things rationally something positive might actually get accomplished............I know ......fat chance!

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
10/6/11 2:19 p.m.
ransom wrote: Unless and until we switch governments or alter the current one, that means this is the government which will end up handling those things.

Figure out how to do that, my friend, and I'll vote for you for president!

HiTempguy
HiTempguy Dork
10/6/11 2:26 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: ............I know ......fat chance!

Denmark has made fat chances illegal, only skinny chances are now allowed.

GlennS
GlennS Dork
10/6/11 10:35 p.m.

I contend that:

The governments attempt at control of substances it deems to be bad for society should focus on rehabilitation clinics. The clinics should offer the drug at a price that would remove all profit incentives for distributing said drug. Remove any chance at profiting from a substance and over night you would dismantle the entire black market infrastructure for supplying the drug along with 9/10s of your problem.

If america is gonna consume metric ass tons of cocaine and heroin then shouldn't it be grown by american farmers?

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
10/6/11 10:55 p.m.
GlennS wrote: I contend that: If america is gonna consume metric ass tons of cocaine and heroin then shouldn't it be grown by american farmers?

...and if demand goes down we should just subsidize it and put it in our gasoline!

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