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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:43 AM

10 Ways the Drug War Is Causing Massive Collateral Damage to Our Society

http://www.alternet.org/10-ways-drug-war-causing-massive-collateral-damage-our-society

***SNIP

1. Racial Injustice

The war on drugs is built on racial injustice. Despite roughly equal rates of drug use and sales, African-American men are arrested at 13 times the rate of white men on drug charges in the U.S. -- with rates of up to 57 times in some states. African Americans and Latinos together make up 29 percent of the total U.S. population, but more than 75 percent of drug law violators in state and federal prisons.

2. Denied Access to Education, Housing and Benefits

Passed by Congress in 1998, the Higher Education Act delays or denies federal financial aid to anyone ever convicted of a felony or misdemeanor drug offense, including marijuana possession. A drug offense will also get you and your entire family kicked out of public housing. Thirty-two states ban anyone convicted of a drug felony from collecting food stamps.

3. Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

U.S. federal, state, and local governments now spend $50 billion per year trying to make America “drug free.” State prison budgets top spending on public colleges and universities. The prison industrial complex is ever more powerful. Nevertheless, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other illicit drugs are cheaper, purer and easier to get than ever before.

4. Unsafe Neighborhoods

Most “drug-related” violence stems not from drug use, but from drug prohibition. That was true in Chicago under alcohol kingpin Al Capone and it is true now. The mass killings in Mexico and in many U.S. cities are not from marijuana or other drug use, but because the plants are worth more than gold and people are willing to kill each other over the profits to be made.

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply 10 Ways the Drug War Is Causing Massive Collateral Damage to Our Society (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
WhoIsNumberNone Jan 2013 #1
BlueNoteSpecial Jan 2013 #17
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2013 #2
valerief Jan 2013 #3
daleanime Jan 2013 #4
dotymed Jan 2013 #9
dkf Jan 2013 #5
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #7
dkf Jan 2013 #8
dotymed Jan 2013 #10
Ligyron Jan 2013 #13
dkf Jan 2013 #14
dotymed Jan 2013 #19
dkf Jan 2013 #18
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #22
dkf Jan 2013 #23
glowing Jan 2013 #11
dkf Jan 2013 #15
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #12
dkf Jan 2013 #16
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #20
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #21
dkf Jan 2013 #25
leftstreet Jan 2013 #24
dkf Jan 2013 #26
leftstreet Jan 2013 #27
dkf Jan 2013 #28
DeSwiss Jan 2013 #6

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:53 AM

1. I'm not confident any of those consequences are unintended

Also they left off increased crime rates. After someone's done 10 years in the can for an ounce of weed, he's going to have a hard time finding a job when he gets out. (I've actually seen 'Law and Order' type politicians touting the fact that they've supported legislation to make it harder for ex-cons to get work) and that usually leads to recidivism. Again- I doubt that's unintentional.

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Response to WhoIsNumberNone (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:46 AM

17. ^^^THIS^^^

Incarceration is a circular racket, as is the "war" on, or against..............anything. Got Peace?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:13 AM

2. K&R. thanks for posting.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:47 AM

3. Yeah, but rich people are getting richer and that's all that matters in this world.nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:06 AM

4. +1

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Response to valerief (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:48 AM

9. Many of the rich

are rich because of the "drug war."
There are the financiers, money launderers, "king pins", private (for-profit) prison and probation center owners (like CCI), the list goes on.... kind of like Joe Kennedy who made his fortune from prohibition. Of course, these people are very respectable, the pillars of our society.
The profiteers have no qualms about the suffering they cause and/or support. Just like the heath insurers, our suffering is their profit.
The game is so rigged, we need to start over. Just a public admission from the POTUS would be a great start to changing the game.
Instead we get federal enforcement even when states legalize pot....Amerika......

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:18 AM

5. Maybe you should be blaming drug use instead of the war on drugs.

 

I don't know how useful a person hooked on hard drugs can be to society. Once you are addicted you might as well be in an opium den.

Hooked on drugs, can't hold on to a job, need public housing, food, medical services. What's the point? Looks like a person who will land up in jail anyway. Getting caught for drug use is the shortcut to an obvious end.

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:42 AM

7. Yes. But all drugs aren't the same.

The picture you paint is what comes of using narcotics and some other drugs. But a person can use marijuana and still function well.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:46 AM

8. That is why I said hard drugs. Marijuana, not so much.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:59 AM

10. I don't recommend it but many people

hooked on hard drugs function in our society. Some are artists or musicians. Others can hold very responsible positions, they just need their "fix" and viola, they are "back." Most of these people are above suspicion.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:21 AM

13. I was "hooked on narcotics" for years

Pain issues.

Perfectly legit, but there I was. During that period I ran a successful business and functioned just fine once I got "hooked on drugs".

Eventually the pain disappeared and so did the drugs.

Really wasn't that big a deal for me and it shouldn't be for anyone else in our society.

It's when politicians think they know better than the medical community passing laws against drugs, abortions, contraception, etc.-- of which they have no clue, that any of this becomes a real problem.

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Response to Ligyron (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:24 AM

14. Supposedly using narcotics for pain is different from using them for a high.

 

Or so they say.

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Response to dkf (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:06 PM

19. No "supposedly" about it.

If my pain meds made me high, I couldn't tolerate it. Millions of non-high people take pain meds as needed.
That really makes me angry. People who have chronic pain are treated like junkies with these ever increasing drug laws. If you have a diagnosed injury that compels you to seek relief that is well documented, IMO, these new drug laws should not apply to you. They want everyone that has to have pain relief to go to a "pain management Dr."
I went once, he tried to give me a much stronger pain med. If a regular Dr. cannot look at the documentation of your illness and prescribe a medication to help minimize your pain, he is not too swift, especially if you are legally disabled from this condition. The new laws are designed to either scare Dr.'s who are compassionate (common sensed) or to increase pill mills...I haven't decided which because it is having both effects. Many Dr.'s are now using anti-depressants in an off-label way to treat pain because they are afraid of the DEA. If I have herniated disc's and nerve impingement, I really do not need anti-depressants.
Many times, surgery causes more harm than good. I have had 2 Dr.'s that have had spinal surgery and advised me against it. As a carpenter, I knew many (especially older carpenters) whose active lives and careers were ended because of these surgeries.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:20 AM

18. Why would you allow this to be sold legally?

 

METH AND THE BRAIN

Meth releases a surge of dopamine, causing an intense rush of pleasure or prolonged sense of euphoria.

Over time, meth destroys dopamine receptors, making it impossible to feel pleasure.

Although these pleasure centers can heal over time, research suggests that damage to users' cognitive abilities may be permanent.

Chronic abuse can lead to psychotic behavior, including paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, extreme aggression, delusions and hallucinations, and even death.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/

This guy was on meth...

Man throws tot off bridge onto H-1

The baby dies in the road, but witnesses nab a fleeing suspect

A 23-year-old man was in police custody yesterday after he allegedly threw a young neighbor boy from a 25-foot pedestrian overpass and into the path of vehicles on the H-1 freeway.

Matthew M. Higa was arrested shortly after 11:40 a.m., when witnesses reported seeing him throw the child from the Miller Street pedestrian overpass.

The boy, 1, was found dead on the freeway's far right, westbound lane, officials said. He was hit by at least one vehicle, police said.

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/01/18/news/story01.html

The father of a man accused of throwing a toddler off a freeway walkway said his son has a history of drug abuse as well as mental health problems.

Shelton Higa spoke publicly for the first time yesterday after a court hearing in which his son, Matthew M. Higa, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder. He is accused of killing 23-month-old Cyrus Belt.

Asked if his son smokes crystal methamphetamine, Shelton Higa said, "Yeah, he does. Can't hide that. He does."

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2008/Jan/23/ln/hawaii801230410.html

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Response to dkf (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:45 PM

22. For every crazed meth user who did something crazy, I can point to 10 boozers who did the same thing

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:51 PM

23. 10 boozers threw a 1 year old baby off a freeway overpass?

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:16 AM

11. So, why is jail the answer?

Society should invest in treatment programs instead of jails. People make a choice to try drugs or what not and then there aren't too many good ways to get off of the cycle. If you are wealthy, and you are caught, you go to a treatment center. Rarely would you spend too much time in lockdown (unless you are Linsey Lohan and the system wants to look tough and hard on a rich, wealthy person who many know as the "Disney kid" that many called "jail bate").

On the other hand, if life around you sucks ass, I might choose to spend it trying to escape too. It's not exactly like the police are targeting the wealthy socialites or Wall St investors in a drug raid. It is also these people who have the money to waste on drugs, alcohol, and lavish parties.

It's not a simple solution to lock up dealers and drug users. It's only created more problems and costs more money than its worth. BTW, whatever happened to people being able to decide if they want to put something in their body? I have a household cleaners that are dangers to ingest. However, I don't have to take a special card to the pharmacy to get bleach like I would to get sudafed for sinus colds.

It's also not so simple as to make any drug available. However, creating treatment centers and opportunities of hope would be a far more humane manner to treat people. Also, using marijuana as a treatment option could prove successful in helping to transition off of harder drugs. It's not like a patient could overdose from smoking too much and it would help to relax people who are coming off of the harder stuff rather than giving them other chemical cocktails or going cold turkey.

Shoot, using marijuana as an alternative pain medicine would help to keep pills out of grandmas cupboard. If little darling grandchild took that from grandma instead of a bottle of pharmacuetical pain killers for arthritis or glaucoma, they wouldn't be having a bunch of overdose issues like they are now with the kids. As it is now, Drs hand out Vicodin to every little ache and pain. I was handed a scrip for these at 17 after having my wisdom teeth pulled. I was given them the first day of "recovery" by my mom. Second day, I wanted out of the house, which meant not taking pain medicine. I went out, and smoked weed. I lived in VT, it was far more easier.

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Response to glowing (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:39 AM

15. Treatment only works if people want it to work, because there are consequences like jail.

 

Why else would a person get treated if it were perfectly legal? Really it's pretty much an extended happy suicide.

The unfortunate thing is that the addiction can drive behavior that is dangerous to others.

And as I mentioned above, I'm not speaking of marijuana. That should be addressed differently. Maybe not legalizing it, but also not incarcerating for personal use. That might not even need treatment.

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:20 AM

12. Hard drugs like alcohol?



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:42 AM

16. Obviously not.

 

Wine makes food taste better. It would be a sad world without it.

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:26 PM

20. you're kidding right?

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:43 PM

21. Many people hooked on hard drugs have made contributions to society.

This guy, for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stewart_Halsted

Note well that when he was addicted, morphine wasn't illegal. He was a cofounder of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

I would submit that many of the negative consequences you attribute to hard drug use are actually attributable to hard drug use under a drug prohibition regime.

I know several people that take enough opioid pain pills to kill you or me and absolutely fit the definition of addicted, yet are productive, contributing members of society.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:10 PM

25. Apparently it was more of a problem than you may think...

 

And across the channel, a young surgeon named William Halsted, who pioneered many techniques still used in surgery today - for example, he invented the surgical glove - was investigating the white powder and its anesthetic properties, a potential wonder drug for the surgical profession. And many times, his experiments involved injecting it into himself - cocaine right to the vein - to the point where he became totally hooked, leaving screaming patients in the operating room behind, and descending into a month-long cocaine binge.

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/22/138610592/a-tale-of-two-addicts-freud-halsted-and-cocaine

More...

MARKEL: Well, that happened rather quickly after this big push that it was the miracle drug of all time. And that's one of the exciting things about writing about cocaine - is that, you know, you don't have a long period of safe use with that drug. You go downhill pretty quickly if you're abusing it. And within several, you know, a few years, there was a whole cohort of people - and William Halstead was one of them - who were just wrecked men. Many of them were doctors, by the way, but they were wrecked human beings. They were paranoid. They were thin. They were jittery. They couldn't sit still.

And they were true cocaine addicts. And the medical literature beginning in the late 1880s - and certainly by the 1890s - said hey, this is not something we should prescribe willy-nilly. And in fact, by the early 20th century, the United States Congress passed a law controlling things - not just cocaine but also narcotics such as morphine and opium and even marijuana, that you could not simply sell the stuff over the counter, that you had to have a doctor's prescription in order to obtain it.

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Response to dkf (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:55 PM

24. Drug PROHIBITION causes crime, not drug USE

Read the fucking article

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 04:07 PM

26. You don't think there are consequences that come out of abuse of drugs other than arrest for

 

Possession?

I would think that would drive a lot of crime, like petty thefts, and the like and abuse of family members.

And no I am not targeting marijuana use which seems not all that significant in the scheme of things. But the harder drugs like crystal meth and cocaine...those are problems. Bath salts are bad too. Where is the fight to keep them legal?

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Response to dkf (Reply #26)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:14 PM

27. 'I would think.' Jesus

You have no idea what you're talking about, do you

Go do some research instead of just telling us what 'I would think'

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:20 PM

28. Here you go...

 

Interpersonal violence (see Box 1) and illicit drug use are major public health challenges that are strongly linked. Involvement in drug use can increase the risks of being both a victim and/or perpetrator of violence, while experiencing violence can increase the risks of initiating illicit drug use. Debate continues as to whether the relationship between drugs and violence is causal or an association, with the two being linked through shared risk factors (see Table 2). The impacts of drug-related interpersonal violence can be substantial, damaging individuals’ health and the cohesion and development of communities, whilst also shifting resources from other priorities, particularly within health and criminal justice services. Globally, interpersonal violence accounts for around half a million deaths per year (1); for every death there are many more victims affected by violence physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially. Illicit drugs are used by millions of individuals throughout the world, and both their effects and the nature of illicit drug markets place major burdens on health and society (2-4).
This briefing summarises the links between interpersonal violence and illicit drug use, identifies risk factors for involvement in drug-related violence, outlines prevention measures that address drug-related violence, and explores the role of public health in prevention. It discusses links between drugs and violence based on available evidence, focusing primarily on illicit drugs. In general, the illicit use of prescription drugs is not discussed and the links between alcohol and violence have been covered elsewhere (5).

http://www.who.int/violenceprevention/interpersonal_violence_and_illicit_drug_use.pdf

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:21 AM

6. K&R

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