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The Forum > General Discussion > Legal control of illicit drugs

Legal control of illicit drugs

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The control of supply and distribution of illicit drugs through international and domestic law enforcement has largely been ineffective. The drugs are still available on our streets.

I propose that legal control of currently illicit drugs would provide a mechanism to manage the quality, supply and support to users, which the current enforcement practices can not.

1. Quality.

Any "back yard chemist" can manufacture their own concoctions and supply to the unwary. There is no quality control, no testing as to the efficacy or adverse effects. Buyer beware, oh and by the way it's illegal, so we're not going to assist you with anything related to your purchase.
With govenment control there can be checks and measures to ensure that the informed user is getting what they pay for. It is their personal choice to use, they should be protected by consumer legistlation that they get a quality product. Governments do it for currently legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, why not other drugs?

2. Supply

This is currently controlled by the "underworld" or "black market". Crime supports illegal trade. With governments controlling legal products, the crime connections are severed - along with the impact to society of all the drug related crime.

3. Support

I understand that use of illict drugs can cause significant detriment to the user, their family and the community. Why don't we assist the potential and current users to understand what they could/are doing to their bodies and their relationships? Proper government and community support would assist to reduce the drug problem far more successfully than any law enforcement solution.

I'm interested in your views.
Am I naive, misinformed, and just plainly wrong?
Or is this a solution no government in the world would support anyway so why discuss it?.
Posted by considerthis, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 12:15:52 PM
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"Am I naive, misinformed, and just plainly wrong?"

Yes.
Posted by Mr. Right, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 1:47:05 PM
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There's only one effective solution to the drug problem, provide medical assistance only once.
If a repeat treatment is needed make the user pay, take it or leave it. I'm sick & tired of not getting compensation as a victim of crime yet Government sees it fit to use up much needed medical resources & manpower to help voluntary addicts. To the civil libertarians I say, where's my value for my tax Dollars wasted on these useless morons.
Of course to an innocent victim who has been deliberately drugged we must render assistance.
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 6:06:15 PM
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Considerthis,

You're on the bally money far as I reckon. You're only naive if you think it's going to happen.

Drugs are easy to get in jail many state government have promised a drug-free prison, none has been forthcoming. So everyone wants harsh sentences for people who break in to their cars, but those people's addictions solidfy in prison, and they come out and break in to more cars. Drug-users are seldom willingly violent heroin turns you in to a peacenik, if anything but they need money. Decriminalise drugs and the whole bottom would fall out of the a very vicious circle (to mix a metaphor).

There is, of course, a difference between decriminalising drugs and legalising them. Neither are particularly likely to happen maybe for grass, but that's it. Even if the government provided legal alternatives, it would probably only do so to addicts. The illegal trade would still exist.

Either way, to jail people for personal use is a mad waste of money and police and judicial time.
Posted by Vanilla, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 6:24:18 PM
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Prohibition of alcohol was an abysmal failure. Now it's sale is controlled and earning tax dollars.

At present alcohol causes much greater societal problems, costing the taxpayers much more, than all the illicit drugs combined. So the question must be posed, would legalizing illicit drugs increase their cost to society? Or would the enormous tax excise accrued from legal selling benefit all tax payers and result in a lowering of our taxes?

Alcohol and 'recreational' drugs act differently on the human brain. Alcohol is a CNS depressant, which is why it is prone to making a drunk angry and violent.

Thinking on a practical and rational level legalizing and supplying illicit drugs makes sense. Taxes earned from the sale would help toward dealing with health issues and crime would be drastically cut. Drugs use is a fact.

Drug addicts are irrelevant to this debate. There are alcoholics in our communities and alcohol is still legal.
Posted by yvonne, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 8:27:56 PM
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Considerthis

I tend to lean towards not legalising or decriminalising illicit drugs. The arguments against that resonate well with me include:

1. There are too many 'new' drugs coming on the market and unfortunately the criminals will only replace any newly 'legalised' drugs with a different drug that can be sold and still turn a tidy profit on the black market.

2. The impact of legalising drugs contradicts drug education and sends an ambiguous and a hypocritical message.(eg. as with tobacco and alcohol)

3. In the 80s, after the Drug and Alcohol Summit, the argument for legalisation only covered "current" drug users who would register and have access to (in this case) heroin under the care and supervision of a doctor. Potential or experimental drug users would not be able to access (rightly so) which would still ensure a 'career' in the drug trade possible and lucrative. In fact, the risk is that career drug criminals would build a concerted effort to lure 'new users' (usually younger people) into drug use to build up demand after any initial loss created via legalisation.

4. While it is clear the criminal justice system has failed to some extent to curb the drug trade there are better and newer measures implemented by Customs and Police and these are paying off with more and more drugs being found before they hit the market. A better inquiry might be to look at why the drug trade has been so successful and really spend some money on hitting it where it hurts. This would have to include research into why more and more people are turning to illicit drug use ie. root causes and possible solutions rather than a short term bandaid approach.

5. Legalisation does nothing to change the 'culture' inherent in the drug use community. Often this is a habit just as hard to kick as the drug itself.
Posted by pelican, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 9:09:30 PM
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