Legalization of Drugs Urged

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by SiN-Drome, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Legalize drugs. It sounds radical. Even more so when it comes from a former narcotics cop.
    But Jack Cole, a retired detective lieutenant with the New Jersey State Police, says the nation's 33-year "war on drugs" is a failure and the only way to really save lives, reduce addiction and lessen crime is to make drugs legal.

    "Legalization allows you to regulate and control something," Cole said Saturday.

    Control is needed

    "Right now the people who regulate and control drugs are the murderers and terrorists and people who want to sell drugs on the streets. We have absolutely no control."

    Cole is executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international group of officers, judges and lawyers who support alternative policies of drug regulation and control. He arrived in the Valley on Saturday to speak to the Military Officers Association of America in Scottsdale and will speak to community groups all week.

    "We have to legalize drugs so we can control them and regulate them and keep them out of the hands of our children," Cole said. "We're not doing that now."

    Cole likens his ideas to alcohol prohibition and says when that ended in 1933, officials gained control of the quality of alcohol and placed restrictions on buyers and sellers.

    "Drugs may be every bit as bad as most of the people say they are," Cole said. "But there's never been a drug known to human beings that becomes better because it was prohibited."

    Nine states have legalized medical marijuana. In 2002, Arizona voters rejected a proposition that would have decriminalized possession of 2 ounces of pot or less and required the state to distribute free pot for medical reasons. Prohibiting drugs creates an underground market, complete with a network of sellers who will kill to protect their profits, Cole said.

    Meanwhile, the number of people arrested for non-violent drug crimes rose to nearly 1.6 million in 2000, Cole said. Every year, $400 billion is spent on the international trade in illicit drugs. And the nation's prisons are jammed full with 2.2 million people.

    Cole advocates the federal government producing drugs, controlling quality and potency, distributing free "maintenance doses" and restricting sales to adults. Money saved from the drug war could go to rehabilitation and education.

    Works in other nations

    Similar approaches in Switzerland and the Netherlands cut crime, reduced homelessness and decreased the rates of AIDS and hepatitis. Cole said 22 percent of heroin addicts given free drugs stopped using them.

    "I was pretty impressed," retired Army Col. Chuck Schluter of Cave Creek said of Cole's presentation. "I cannot help but think that alcohol prohibition was incorrect. There certainly is a correlation."

    Still others listening said Cole was an idealist and were leery about jumping on his bandwagon.

    "It makes you think," said Bette Green of Cave Creek. "What they've been doing hasn't worked. But I don't know what the answer is."

    Note: Ex-police officer says 33-year-old 'war' is a failure.
  2. The part that struck me is this:

    "Right now the people who regulate and control drugs are the murderers and terrorists and people who want to sell drugs on the streets. We have absolutely no control."

    It's so true. Good article!!!
  3. Okay, first off complete legalization wouldn't be as great as your mind makes it out to be. Even if it was only cannabis that was legalized this would cause an uproar with other drug users. Ecstasy users would want their drug legalized, and maybe LSD users would jump on the bandwagon as well. In this sense, it would in fact be a gateway drug. It would literally open up the flood gates for drugs to be available to the public at large, and that is where I believe the problem lies.

    People, to put in frankly, are stupid. Individuals can be smart, but put them in large numbers and they can floor you with their negative integer IQ's. The first thing that anyone should do before taking a drug is research. Find out what exactly you are putting into your body, and what effects this can have in the long run. There may be some people who say that if cannabis is legalized, there will be more educational materials on it. Well let's look at alcohol; it is a legalized drug, readily available to the public, and extremely dangerous. Certain individuals can use alcohol in safe situations for harmless purposes, but there will always be those incompetent morons who don't know how to act responsibly. Education doesn't always work.

    So tie those two thoughts together and voila, you'll see that things are better off the way they are now. It may have sounded like a good idea to start, but some simple reasoning sends in straight down the shitter.

    Better luck next time.

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