Drug legalization proposed at conference on drug use

By Heretic.Ape. · Feb 6, 2008 · Updated Feb 6, 2008 · ·
  1. Heretic.Ape.
    Drug legalization proposed at conference on drug use
    Last Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 | 12:32 PM ET
    CBC News

    The legalization of drugs, including marijuana and heroin, is among the controversial solutions being offered at an international conference in Vancouver.

    The conference on drug use will give advice to the United Nations and is expected to play a role in forming international policies to deal with addiction.

    Ten years ago, the UN pledged to dramatically curtail drug use around the world. But the goal has not been met and discussions at the forum are designed to find a fresh approach to the problem.

    The 10,000-member organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, among groups attending the conference, is made up of judges and police officers who want drugs legalized.

    "I decided this didn't work three years into my undercover work," said former police lieutenant Jack Cole, executive director of the organization. "I started working undercover in 1970. That was the beginning of the war on drugs.

    "Cops are so concerned about being labelled soft on drugs, soft on crime, and that next promotion, that we don't even talk to our peers about what we believe."

    Former Vancouver mayor Philip Owen said drug use shouldn't be treated as a criminal problem.

    "The war on drugs is coming to an end, hopefully in my lifetime.

    As mayor, Owen lobbied for Vancouver's safe injection site and other measures to reduce harm to drug users. He said the federal government's anti-drug policies put too much emphasis on enforcement.

    "They say, 'It's not an illness, it's a lifestyle choice to use drugs. So just smarten up, get a job, and start paying taxes and be like the rest of us, and we're not going to burden the health-care system with your illness.' That's just stupid."

    But others at the conference argue legalization would lead to more drug use.

    "I don't think liberalizing drug laws is the way to go," said Colin Mangham of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada. "The only person that would benefit is the person who uses drugs who has no desire to stop."

    Kelly Corcoran, director of international affairs for the Drug Free America Foundation, said legalizing drugs will only hurt society.

    "Look at alcohol and tobacco. They're legal and they've had a tremendously negative impact on society," Corcoran said. "Why would we want to legalize other substances that are clearly harmful to individuals?"


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  1. Hyperspaceblastoff
    man its not gonna end...
    they have a good point

    "Look at alcohol and tobacco. They're legal and they've had a tremendously negative impact on society.Why would we want to legalize other substances that are clearly harmful to individuals?"

    thats a pretty good point. but lameeeeeeeeee
  2. AntiAimer

    Valid? Look how much damage has been done WITH Prohibition. It's a lose lose situation. Harm reduction is all that can be done, there will always be idiots and always be certain drugs that will do more harm then others.

    If only it wasn't about, "which plan will make us the most money?":thumbsdown:

    "The only person that would benefit is the person who uses drugs who has no desire to stop."
    Again just prooveing failure of the current system.
  3. Felonious Skunk
    Why don't certain humans understand that the "drug problem" will never go away? People will always ingest and have problems with drugs.

    The best that can be done is to remove the black market and provide state-of-the-art treatment options for people with drug problems.

    Accepting this as the best possible outcome is not "giving up," or "failing," it is recognizing the futility of criminalizing drug use and acknowledging all the collateral damage that such a policy causes.

    To the drug warriors:

    You've had 40 years to try it your way, and you have failed miserably. Step aside and make way for more enlightened approaches before you do any more damage to people and society than drugs could ever cause. Please.
  4. FuBai
    No...it's an appalling point:

    1) It gives the individual no right to choose - in effect "Yes, you can kill yourself, but only the way we tell you to".

    2) Has criminalisation of drugs made them less available? Not when 90% of High Schoolers say they could get Cannabis within a day; truth is drug availability is as high as it's ever been. The argument that we are somehow stopping people from using drugs is invalid - in fact it actually gears the market up to preying on the vulnerable and the self-destructive. I can give a long sociological explanation for this if required.

    3) Why tobacco and alcohol? If you really believe we should have only two major drugs of intoxication and addiction why not Cannabis and MDMA? They are less damaging both physically and to society as a whole. Go find yourself a rave night club where most people are on pills and compare it to a bar - which one are you most likley to be glassed in?

    4) Who the hell are you to tell people what they can do with their own bodies? You've got to make a fundamental choice - is freedom worth fighting for? Politics is a balance, what you give to the right hand you take from the left - it's not about finding perfect solutions it's about finding the least imperfect solutions.

    5) How the hell do you expect people to act responsibly if you never give them a chance to? Prohibition works on the expectation that you are irresponsible and does not give you the right to prove otherwise. The only way to make people responsible is to make them responsible for themselves.

    It's been almost twice that long since prohibition was enacted - Nixon's declaration of a war on drugs was a step up, not the start. They've had a good 80 years here in Britain and they've failed every step of the way.
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