Walter Cronkite , War on Drugs

Walter Cronkite , War on Drugs

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    Walter Cronkite , War on Drugs

    Walter Cronkite
    Posted: March 1, 2006 08:42 PM
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    As anchorman of the CBS Evening News, I signed off my nightly broadcasts for nearly two decades with a simple statement: "And that's the way it is."

    To me, that encapsulates the newsman's highest ideal: to report the facts as he sees them, without regard for the consequences or controversy that may ensue.

    Sadly, that is not an ethic to which all politicians aspire - least of all in a time of war.

    I remember. I covered the Vietnam War. I remember the lies that were told, the lives that were lost - and the shock when, twenty years after the war ended, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara admitted he knew it was a mistake all along.

    Today, our nation is fighting two wars: one abroad and one at home. While the war in Iraq is in the headlines, the other war is still being fought on our own streets. Its casualties are the wasted lives of our own citizens.

    I am speaking of the war on drugs.

    And I cannot help but wonder how many more lives, and how much more money, will be wasted before another Robert McNamara admits what is plain for all to see: the war on drugs is a failure.

    While the politicians stutter and stall - while they chase their losses by claiming we could win this war if only we committed more resources, jailed more people and knocked down more doors - the Drug Policy Alliance continues to tell the American people the truth - "the way it is."

    I'm sure that's why you support DPA's mission to end the drug war. And why I strongly urge you to support their work by giving a generous donation today.

    You see, I've learned first hand that the stakes just couldn't be higher.

    When I wanted to understand the truth about the war on drugs, I took the same approach I did to the war in Vietnam: I hit the streets and reported the story myself. I sought out the people whose lives this war has affected.

    Allow me to introduce you to some of them.

    Nicole Richardson was 18-years-old when her boyfriend, Jeff, sold nine grams of LSD to undercover federal agents. She had nothing to do with the sale. There was no reason to believe she was involved in drug dealing in any way.

    But then an agent posing as another dealer called and asked to speak with Jeff. Nicole replied that he wasn't home, but gave the man a number where she thought Jeff could be reached.

    An innocent gesture? It sounds that way to me. But to federal prosecutors, simply giving out a phone number made Nicole Richardson part of a drug dealing conspiracy. Under draconian mandatory minimum sentences, she was sent to federal prison for ten years without possibility of parole.

    To pile irony on top of injustice, her boyfriend - who actually knew something about dealing drugs - was able to trade information for a reduced sentence of five years. Precisely because she knew nothing, Nicole had nothing with which to barter.

    Then there was Jan Warren, a single mother who lived in New Jersey with her teenage daughter. Pregnant, poor and desperate, Jan agreed to transport eight ounces of cocaine to a cousin in upstate New York. Police officers were waiting at the drop-off point, and Jan - five months pregnant and feeling ill - was cuffed and taken in.

    Did she commit a crime? Sure. But what awaited Jan Warren defies common sense and compassion alike. Under New York's infamous Rockefeller Drug Laws, Jan - who miscarried soon after the arrest - was sentenced to 15 years to life. Her teenage daughter was sent away, and Jan was sent to an eight-by-eight cell.

    In Tulia, Texas, an investigator fabricated evidence that sent more than one out of every ten of the town's African American residents to jail on trumped-up drug charges in one of the most despicable travesties of justice this reporter has ever seen.

    The federal government has fought terminally ill patients whose doctors say medical marijuana could provide a modicum of relief from their suffering - as though a cancer patient who uses marijuana to relieve the wrenching nausea caused by chemotherapy is somehow a criminal who threatens the public.

    People who do genuinely have a problem with drugs, meanwhile, are being imprisoned when what they really need is treatment.

    And what is the impact of this policy?

    It surely hasn't made our streets safer. Instead, we have locked up literally millions of people...disproportionately people of color...who have caused little or no harm to others - wasting resources that could be used for counter-terrorism, reducing violent crime, or catching white-collar criminals.

    With police wielding unprecedented powers to invade privacy, tap phones and conduct searches seemingly at random, our civil liberties are in a very precarious condition.

    Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on this effort - with no one held accountable for its failure.

    Amid the clichés of the drug war, our country has lost sight of the scientific facts. Amid the frantic rhetoric of our leaders, we've become blind to reality: The war on drugs, as it is currently fought, is too expensive, and too inhumane.

    But nothing will change until someone has the courage to stand up and say what so many politicians privately know: The war on drugs has failed.

    That's where the Drug Policy Alliance comes in.

    From Capitol Hill to statehouses to the media, DPA counters the hysteria of the drug war with thoughtful, accurate analysis about the true dangers of drugs, and by fighting for desperately needed on-the-ground reforms.

    They are the ones who've played the lead role in making marijuana legally available for medical purposes in states across the country.

    California's Proposition 36, the single biggest piece of sentencing reform in theUnited States since the repeal of Prohibition, is the result of their good work. The initiative is now in its fifth year, having diverted more than 125,000 people from prison and into treatment since its inception.

    They oppose mandatory-minimum laws that force judges to send people like Nicole Richardson and Jan Warren to prison for years, with no regard for their character or the circumstances of their lives. And their work gets results: thanks in large part to DPA, New York has taken the first steps towards reforming the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws under which Jan was sentenced.

    In these and so many other ways, DPA is working to end the war on drugs and replace it with a new drug policy based on science, compassion, health and human rights.

    DPA is a leading, mainstream, respected and effective organization that gets real results.

    But they can't do it alone.

    That's why I urge you to send as generous a contribution as you possibly can to the Drug Policy Alliance.

    Americans are paying too high a price in lives and liberty for a failing war on drugs about which our leaders have lost all sense of proportion. The Drug Policy Alliance is the one organization telling the truth. They need you with them every step of the way.

    And that's the way it is.


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    He makes some good points.

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    I've been saying this for years... marijuana is easier for your kids to get than Marlboros and Budweiser, because those products are regulated...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    Whatever it is we are doing in this area, it certainly doesn't seem to be solving the problem.

    We do employment drug testing when what employers really need to do is impairment testing. That change alone would enhance safety and productivity. Figuring out that someone smoked weed two day before they came to work accomplishes nothing for employment safety and is obviously not working well as a deterrent.

    We put folks in jail who don't belong there, and worse.

    Now we are in a big "panic" over prescription drugs because MJ appears to have
    done himself in with abuse. Not to sound cold, I don't care. If he wanted to take
    Diprovan and risk croaking from it, not my problem. If he had asked me I'd say, D. U. M. B., but since I wasn't asked, it isn't my business. Anyway, what will come from the MJ story is that docs will be too scared to properly prescribe and patients will suffer even more than they already do from inadequate medical care.

    Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies both as a society and as individuals.
    There has to be a smarter approach than the one we have been using.

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Whatever it is we are doing in this area, it certainly doesn't seem to be solving the problem.
    How do you know the drug problem (and make no mistake, it is a huge problem that contributes to the deterioration of our society) wouldn't be much, much worse without the great strides we are making at interdicting drgs at the border and severely prosecuting law breakers?

    By the way, I couldn't tell whether that 2006 rant was from Cronkite. For him to mention the lies of Mcnamara when Cronkite was the biggest liar in all media history is the heoght of hypocrisy.

    We do employment drug testing when what employers really need to do is impairment testing. That change alone would enhance safety and productivity. Figuring out that someone smoked weed two day before they came to work accomplishes nothing for employment safety and is obviously not working well as a deterrent.
    Wrong. Figuring out that someone is of such low character that they choose to break the law is more than sufficient reason for immediate termination. I don't know how often it can be said. Drugs are bad and contribute to the deterioration of society.

    We put folks in jail who don't belong there, and worse.
    Are you claiming that people who break the law should not receive the legislated punishment? Ot just laws you don;t agree with?

    Now we are in a big "panic" over prescription drugs because MJ appears to have
    done himself in with abuse.
    Diprovan is not a 'prescription drug'. It is a hospitla anashetic used in surgery. I am certain Jackson was not smart enough to have any clue as to what the doctor was giving him.

    Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies both as a society and as individuals.

    There has to be a smarter approach than the one we have been using.
    I'm certain that it is yet another topic that you cannot tell the difference between liberals and libertarians.

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    Building the Southern border wall would help.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    SelfDefense sez...

    Drugs are bad and contribute to the deterioration of society.
    Which drugs...? Cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin...? How about alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine...? Steroids and performance enhancers...? Antihistamines and cold medicines that make you stupid and woozy and unsafe to drive...? Psychadelic mushrooms...? Which drugs are bad... just the drugs you don't use or disapprove of?

    I submit you are attributing a moral status to an inanimate object... a lot of people think guns are bad and contribute to the deterioration of society. But we all know that is false; behavior is bad, not an inanimate object.

    All illicit drug laws in this country have roots in racism, much like gun control laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of blacks. And any cop with a shred of honesty can tell you the so-called "war on drugs" is an abject failure. Billions upon billions of dollars spent, and if anything, marijuana is more available today than it was when Nixon started this debacle. It is far easier for your kid to get drugs than it is for him to get beer, because beer is regulated.

    The statistics are clear; alcohol and tobacco kill 500,000 people per year, but there has never been a documented overdose of marijuana. The last I heard, it costs $38,000 a year to lock up a pothead for a year in Florida. Mandatory minimum sentences put non-violent offenders in the prison population for years at a time. Locking up some college kid for 5 years for 5 joints is ridiculous... Beavis and Butthead are costing us way too much money.

    Every time you hear a story about a rapist or child molester getting early release from prison, it's a good bet that he was in the same cellblock as a pot smoker doing a mandatory minimum 10 year sentence because he was busted with less than 1 ounce of marijuana.

    Prohibition has never worked; it only creates black market opportunities... and, for our corporate prison providers, money-making opportunities.
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PointnClick View Post
    Which drugs...? Cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin...? How about alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine...? Steroids and performance enhancers...? Antihistamines and cold medicines that make you stupid and woozy and unsafe to drive...? Psychadelic mushrooms...? Which drugs are bad... just the drugs you don't use or disapprove of?
    This is a weak argument. Society determines which drugs are helpful, cold medicines, aspirin, cough syrup and which drugs are damaging, heroin, marijuana and cocaine.

    It is a fact that illicit narcotics are damaging to society, it ruins families, create state dependent welfare bums, and even inflicts itself on the next generation, crack babies. And yes, marijuana is even more damaging. It negatively effects children, who end up being underachievers, with lower grades and no initiative.

    I submit you are attributing a moral status to an inanimate object... a lot of people think guns are bad and contribute to the deterioration of society. But we all know that is false; behavior is bad, not an inanimate object.
    It is not the inanimate object. It is the behavioral act of consuming that drug. The drug foes not contribute to the deterioration of society. It is the consumption of the drug. To continue your analogy, the gun isn't bad but someone going randomly killing people with it is cause for concern.

    All illicit drug laws in this country have roots in racism, much like gun control laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of blacks.
    This is a really bizarre argument. First, you make the false assumption that drug use is analogous to guns. Then, your argument is that the decidely and proven negative effects of drug use is tied to race as if heroin ruins a black person more than a white person.

    And any cop with a shred of honesty can tell you the so-called "war on drugs" is an abject failure.
    Anecdotal evidence is unconvincing. Moreover, police are only one part of enforcement of drug laws. Living close to the border, we are very aware of the millions of pounds of drugs that are stopped in Arizona. You correctly claim the problem is still bad but it would be MUCH worse of we did nothing.

    Billions upon billions of dollars spent, and if anything, marijuana is more available today than it was when Nixon started this debacle.
    Debaclr? You mean putting criminals in prison?

    Do you have evidence that marijuana is more available today? Personally, I would have no idea how or where to buy it. And what does availability have to do with the fact it is illegal and harmful?

    It is far easier for your kid to get drugs than it is for him to get beer, because beer is regulated.
    Heroin, cocaine and the other illegal drugs ARE regulated. Severely regulated. Perhaps we eed even harsher penalities and more thorough enforcement. If a bank robbery had a penalty of a week in ail, would there be more or less ban robberies?

    The statistics are clear; alcohol and tobacco kill 500,000 people per year, but there has never been a documented overdose of marijuana.
    Why do you think that is relevant? The fact is that marijuana would be a better drug if it killed people instantaneoudly rather than the slow death of a brain dead life.

    The last I heard, it costs $38,000 a year to lock up a pothead for a year in Florida. Mandatory minimum sentences put non-violent offenders in the prison population for years at a time. Locking up some college kid for 5 years for 5 joints is ridiculous... Beavis and Butthead are costing us way too much money.
    The economic cost of drug abuse is incalculable. Drug addicts cannot hold productive jobs. Most companies do drug screening and do not hire drug addicts.

    Every time you hear a story about a rapist or child molester getting early release from prison, it's a good bet that he was in the same cellblock as a pot smoker doing a mandatory minimum 10 year sentence because he was busted with less than 1 ounce of marijuana.
    Do the crime, do the time. Perhaps children should be better educated as to the life changing problems of drug abuse. The idea of sharing a cell with Bubba for a few moments of brain damaging, self centered anesthesia would certainly deter me.

    Prohibition has never worked; it only creates black market opportunities... and, for our corporate prison providers, money-making opportunities.
    Actually, prohibition does work. Murder is prohibited and though widespread is a relatively small number. And thankfully we do have prisons to hold the offenders.

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    Playing cop instead of employer

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post

    Wrong. Figuring out that someone is of such low character that they choose to break the law is more than sufficient reason for immediate termination. I don't know how often it can be said. Drugs are bad and contribute to the deterioration of society.

    .
    Wrong. What you are suggesting is really that you have a role as an employer to play cop. You have no such role. You should be basing your employment decisions on job performance and behavior on the job.

    The rest of your employee's life is none of your business. Just as it is none of their business how you lead your life.

    Anyway, employment drug testing as it is done today, is an expensive and intrusive process which actually keeps non-drug users from applying for jobs they are otherwise qualified for. You lose out on a good pool of applicants. But that is an issue I don't want to discuss further, here.

    I do want to make this suggestion, since you are an employer who thinks drug testing makes sense. Hire a testing company that will test hair (Psychemedics) or saliva. Forget the urine testing. Hair is the true gold standard.

    Also, toward the end of the last President's term there were amendments to the ADA law, signed by Bush. You now run a much greater risk of an ADA suit if as an employer you don't offer hair, saliva, sweat, or blood tests as alternatives to urine testing.

    Since you think it is your business to make sure your employee has not used drugs illegally at any time because you don't want to hire someone who would break the law, then take advantage of the 90 day look back period that hair testing gives. No other test has that
    quality.

    If you think immediacy of results is important, consider saliva testing with point of contact tests. Both hair and saliva testing eliminate cheating options which have plagued the urine testing industry.

    But, if all you are interested in is whether or not your employee has come to work able to do the job, use impairment tests.

    And SD, read what I wrote carefully, because there is nothing there supportive of illegal drug use. So don't hurl that accusation at me in one of your non-responsive argumentative responses.

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    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    I love the OP's initial post, and agree 100%. The "War on Drugs" looks like a waste of money and a complete travesty of justice.

    I have a dear friend who works for DEA and he gets upset with me when I ask him: "can your kids get illegal drugs if they want them?". He knows the answer is "yes", and will virtually always be "yes". We need to be taking a helpful approach to solving this drug problem, not a punitive one. Let's help drug addicts get off the crack and other things, but I don't see any need at all to fill our jails with non-violent drug offenders.

    The numbers are staggering - we have about 1 in 100 of our citizens in jail - more than any other country on this planet. Enough is enough. End the futile war on drugs. Let's help people get over their addictions, and if they can't get over them, well, let's not throw them in jail.

    IMHO, the only way to win the war on drugs is to enact extreme punishment like many Islamic countries have. If we should start cutting off the right hand and left foot of someone caught with crack, I guarantee that would dramatically reduce crack usage. But we don't have the stomach (and I'm not advocating) for those types of punishments. We simply build more jails..........

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    I used to believe this, until...

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Heroin, cocaine and the other illegal drugs ARE regulated.

    The economic cost of drug abuse is incalculable. Drug addicts cannot hold productive jobs.
    I used to believe exactly what you wrote, that addicts can not hold productive jobs, until there was a news magazine story about a highly successful HS Principal who was effective, beloved by students and parents, and a heroin addict on the side.

    Then too, while I personally can't stand the famous Mr. Rush L., he obviously held his job and was productive notwithstanding his addiction.

    And there are plenty of addicts in the entertainment world (don't know why it is such a big problem in that industry) who are successful at what they do even though they are addicts. Even the tapes of MJ rehearsing the evening before his "departure" demonstrate that he was either NOT an addict, or that some folks can still turn in terrific performances regardless.

    Those kind of stories are not uncommon. What they tell me is that there has been considerable exaggeration of the dangers of at least some of the things we label as drugs of abuse.

    As for trafficking from Mexico, we almost have no one to blame but ourselves both for the drug trafficking and the human trafficking. It is our border, and we should have policed it. Instead we waited for decades while a huge migration took place which now distorts our politics.
    Last edited by Hopyard; July 31st, 2009 at 02:56 PM. Reason: to add material

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    The war on drugs is an abject failure. And people will continue to grow or manufacture mind-altering substances, and people will continue to take mind-altering substances, for as long as there are people alive.

    Altering the mind or mood seems to be inherent to human nature. There is evidence of drug-taking in cultures from thousands of years ago.

    Throwing people in jail for doing no harm to others is a travesty. If that was stopped, there would be room in jail for the people who NEED to be there.
    "I pledge allegiance to the war banner of the united states of Totalitaria. And to the Republic, which no longer stands, several bankers, who are now god, indivisible, with Bernanke bucks and credit for all."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    This is a weak argument. Society determines which drugs are helpful, cold medicines, aspirin, cough syrup and which drugs are damaging, heroin, marijuana and cocaine.
    Ahh, so if society says it is ok, then it's ok. I am disappointed to see your tacit endorsement of group think and argumentum ad populum.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    It is a fact that illicit narcotics are damaging to society, it ruins families, create state dependent welfare bums, and even inflicts itself on the next generation, crack babies. And yes, marijuana is even more damaging. It negatively effects children, who end up being underachievers, with lower grades and no initiative.
    Right. So is alcohol, so are cigarettes, so are cars, swimming pools, household cleaning chemicals, even some vaccines. Shall we ban them all? My grandfather died a withering, painful death from lung cancer... he smoked his entire life. Yet banning tobacco is the wrong answer. Alcohol causes unbelievable problems by irresponsible users all over the world - much worse in places like Europe. Shall we ban that - oh wait, we tried that, and ended up with one of the most violent periods in American history... and we also ended up with the National Firearms Act.


    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    It is not the inanimate object. It is the behavioral act of consuming that drug. The drug foes not contribute to the deterioration of society. It is the consumption of the drug. To continue your analogy, the gun isn't bad but someone going randomly killing people with it is cause for concern.
    Ahh, good, you got it here.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Anecdotal evidence is unconvincing. Moreover, police are only one part of enforcement of drug laws. Living close to the border, we are very aware of the millions of pounds of drugs that are stopped in Arizona. You correctly claim the problem is still bad but it would be MUCH worse of we did nothing.
    Would it? Call me silly, but I'd say legalizing (not just decriminalizing) and possibly regulating marijuana would massively drop the amount of drugs coming over the border. There's no more illegal market, so why even try? It could be the same for certain other drugs as well, but I'm not going to go there for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Do you have evidence that marijuana is more available today? Personally, I would have no idea how or where to buy it. And what does availability have to do with the fact it is illegal and harmful?
    You wouldn't because you don't seek it out. Just go to the correct part of the town and it's likely they'll come to you. Any kid in school these days can easily get it, and that's in a "zero tolerance" environment, much more strict than the street.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Heroin, cocaine and the other illegal drugs ARE regulated. Severely regulated. Perhaps we eed even harsher penalities and more thorough enforcement. If a bank robbery had a penalty of a week in ail, would there be more or less ban robberies?
    The trend has been towards decriminalizing drugs, because our prisons are overcrowded as it is. Do you think locking up an addict will really eliminate the drug probem? The problem of addiction and the problem of legality aren't closely related, in all honesty. One is a societal issue, the other an issue of wasted manpower and money.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Why do you think that is relevant? The fact is that marijuana would be a better drug if it killed people instantaneously rather than the slow death of a brain dead life.
    Huh? MJ would be better if it killed and damaged - both of which it does NOT do rightnow? That makes no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    The economic cost of drug abuse is incalculable. Drug addicts cannot hold productive jobs. Most companies do drug screening and do not hire drug addicts.
    Ok... fine. But what about alcoholics? You can't screen for that, since the alcohol passes after a while. But you can bet that they'll be terrible employees. Meanwhile, someone who recreationally uses MJ off the job gets punished and yet would probably be a far better employee.

    Don't forget that many great figures in history have used drugs. Carl Sagan, for example, smoked marijuana... and I'm fairly certain he wasn't exactly sub-par in anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Do the crime, do the time. Perhaps children should be better educated as to the life changing problems of drug abuse. The idea of sharing a cell with Bubba for a few moments of brain damaging, self centered anesthesia would certainly deter me.
    Did you miss the millions of dollar spent on all the anti-drug ads on the 90s? "This is your brain on marijuana"

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    Actually, prohibition does work. Murder is prohibited and though widespread is a relatively small number. And thankfully we do have prisons to hold the offenders.
    No. When you outlaw something, you have to have a logical reason for doing so that does not infringe on the liberties of people. For murder, there is no logical reason to keep it legal, and it is 100% downside. It also directly infringes on the liberty of another. Therefore, outlawing it is logical.

    What does outlawing things like marijuana get you? Massive violence, one of the highest prison populations in the world, and hundreds of thousands of "offenders" who didn't commit a single violent act but are in trouble because they had some random planet in their pocket or car. Who cares? If you want to smoke weed, go ahead. I won't and that's my decision.

    How many billions of dollars have been spent on the "drug war"? Tell me, how is Mexico doing these days with their violence levels? How about the Southwestern border? Must be so peaceful there, I mean, how long have we been fighting the EVIL marijuana... 60 years now? 70?


    However, it is correct that Cronkite really lost a lot of his honor later in his career, probably around the era of Vietnam. But I wasn't alive then so I can't fully comment on it. But at any rate, I will credit someone if it is appropriate to do so, and in this, he is correct.

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    In an uncharacteristic lapse of critical thinking, SelfDefense sez...

    And yes, marijuana is even more damaging. It negatively effects children, who end up being underachievers, with lower grades and no initiative.
    The fact is that marijuana would be a better drug if it killed people instantaneoudly rather than the slow death of a brain dead life.
    Well, ya got me there... everybody that smokes pot is an underachieving brain-dead idiot whose life is being ravaged and consumed by the Devil's weed... people like 8 time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps... such a waste of talent... if only he could get through the bong smoke and make something of himself...

    The toll on society inflicted by these underachievers is staggering... we must strive to never surrender to these brain-dead societal parasites, like William Shakespeare, Salvador Dali, Bob Marley, Oliver Stone, Dizzy Gillespie, Larry Hagman, Janet Jackson, Hunter Thompson, George Washington Carver, Lebron James, Micheal Blumberg, Queen Victoria, Friedrich Nietzche, Prince Charles, John Sinclair, Brad Pitt, Willie Nelson, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Bruce Willis, Pancho Villa, Jack Nicholson, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Robert Mitchum, Stephen King, David Carradine, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ray Charles, Sir Richard Branson, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Norman Mailer, Louis Armstrong, Tom Brokaw, William F Buckley, Johnny Cash, Conan O'Brien, Sir Winston Churchill, John Denver, Francis Ford Coppola, Bob Dylan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sagan, Newt Gingrich, Whitney Houston, Kareem Abddul-Jabbar, Montel Williams, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bing Crosby, Count Basie, Howard Stern, Jackie Gleason, Lewis Carroll, Victor Hugo, John Updike, George Carlin, and the last three Presidents of the United States of America...


    What a bunch of friggin' losers... imagine what they might have made of their lives if they had "just said no"...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul34 View Post
    Ahh, so if society says it is ok, then it's ok. I am disappointed to see your tacit endorsement of group think and argumentum ad populum.
    No, I am endorsing the concept of self governance.

    Right. So is alcohol, so are cigarettes, so are cars, swimming pools, household cleaning chemicals, even some vaccines. Shall we ban them all?
    No, we should ban use of items demonstrably harmful to society with no redeeming benefits.

    My grandfather died a withering, painful death from lung cancer... he smoked his entire life.
    I am sorry to hear that. A great testimonial to the harm cigarettes cause.

    Yet banning tobacco is the wrong answer.
    Why is that. Smoking causes harm to the rest of society, from health care costs, to second hand smoke that has proven to cause disease of others, to infringing on someone's 'right' to live in a smoke free environment.

    Alcohol causes unbelievable problems by irresponsible users all over the world - much worse in places like Europe. Shall we ban that - oh wait, we tried that, and ended up with one of the most violent periods in American history... and we also ended up with the National Firearms Act.
    Is your argument that because we failed to successfully prohibit harmful behavior that affects society at large that we should allow anything? If bank robberies were given the minimal handslaps that illegal drug users receive and bak robberries were widespread, would you endorse legalizing bank robbery? Robbing a bank doesn;t harm anyone, does it? The bank and depositors are insured, after all.

    Would it? Call me silly, but I'd say legalizing (not just decriminalizing) and possibly regulating marijuana would massively drop the amount of drugs coming over the border. There's no more illegal market, so why even try? It could be the same for certain other drugs as well, but I'm not going to go there for now.
    By that we argument we shuld legalize any harmfu substance or activity. Oh, right. That is what liberals and libertarians endorse, no matter the harm, corruption and deterioration of society that occurs.

    You wouldn't because you don't seek it out. Just go to the correct part of the town and it's likely they'll come to you. Any kid in school these days can easily get it, and that's in a "zero tolerance" environment, much more strict than the street.
    So, children choose to break the law. Is that the fault of the parents, perhaps? There are banks on many street corners. I do not entertain the idea of robbing them even though the opportunity is right there. Why is that?

    The trend has been towards decriminalizing drugs, because our prisons are overcrowded as it is. Do you think locking up an addict will really eliminate the drug probem?
    The trend is not to decriminalize drugs. In fact, just the opposite. There is more enforcement and prosecution in my local area. The fact that many people break the law should not in any way determine the law. Our prisons are NOT overcrowded. The truth is we coddle criminals. I suggest you review how Joe Arpaio deals with his prisoners. He is a local, even national, hero.

    [QUOTE]The problem of addiction and the problem of legality aren't closely related, in all honesty. One is a societal issue, the other an issue of wasted manpower and money.[QUOTE]

    Actually, they are closely related. If people obeyed the law they would not become addicted. I understand that meth is highly addictive. I am not addicted to meth. WHy do you think that is?

    Huh? MJ would be better if it killed and damaged - both of which it does NOT do rightnow? That makes no sense.
    Atually, it does irreparable damage to the user. Howwever, similar to alcoholics, the users will deny any suggestion of impairment or long term harm, despite it is well documented.

    Ok... fine. But what about alcoholics? You can't screen for that, since the alcohol passes after a while. But you can bet that they'll be terrible employees. Meanwhile, someone who recreationally uses MJ off the job gets punished and yet would probably be a far better employee.
    I think someone of such low character that they ignore the law would be questionable as to thier integrity in all aspects of their lives. It is one thing to disagree with a law and work within the system to sway your neighbors and change the law, quite another to think you are above the law.

    It is disturbing that so many condone breaking the law as well as advocating the use of harmful drugs like meth, cocaine, marijuana and heroin.

    Don't forget that many great figures in history have used drugs. Carl Sagan, for example, smoked marijuana... and I'm fairly certain he wasn't exactly sub-par in anything.
    How about sub-par in obeying the law?

    The fact that someone can numerate a small set of people that have admitted to illegal drug use does not supprt an argument where millions of children are severely damaged for life by the use of these harmful substances.

    Did you miss the millions of dollar spent on all the anti-drug ads on the 90s? "This is your brain on marijuana"
    I missed that. I remember the 'Just Say No' campaign by Nancy Reagan, which was very effective. If people were sufficiently educated the problem would not be so widespread. But when adults, such as the drug crowd here, think it is no big deal then that teaching is absorbed by those unable to understand the wide ranging effects and the problem continues.

    If we cannot educate the adults we have no chance of educating the children.

    No. When you outlaw something, you have to have a logical reason for doing so that does not infringe on the liberties of people. For murder, there is no logical reason to keep it legal, and it is 100% downside. It also directly infringes on the liberty of another. Therefore, outlawing it is logical.
    Individual liberties do not include infringing on the rights of others or society. You ave a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You have no right to destroy society.

    What does outlawing things like marijuana get you? Massive violence, one of the highest prison populations in the world, and hundreds of thousands of "offenders" who didn't commit a single violent act but are in trouble because they had some random planet in their pocket or car.
    Prisons are fll of 'white collar' criminals. Do you think Madoff should be freed from prison? How about Charles Manson? He never harmed a soul. And marijuana is not a 'random plant.' It is an illegal substance that the criminal KNOWS is illegal.

    Who cares? If you want to smoke weed, go ahead. I won't and that's my decision.
    The People care, which is why there are laws that make that behavior riminal, just as robbing a bank is criminal behavior.

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