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I think the majority of people who think for themselves agree with you, Rikki. I think you make a very valid point.
It so funny (sad really) how black and white this issue is. If you don't agree with how drugs should be regulated, you're automatically labeled a proponent of letting kids use drugs recreationally, and you like to make homeless addicts suffer.
I'm sincerely sorry for some of you who posted here. It's quite obvious that you've been hurt (either directly or indirectly) by the very hypocrisy Rikki is condemning. No amount of overcriminalization is going to bring back what you've lost however.
Most American's have completely bought into gestapo-esque hysteria federal and local officials have been force feeding the American people primarily since the 1980's and Nancy Reagan's "Just say no" campaigns.
The prohibition of Marijuana and industrial hemp is a result of the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and his smear campaigns in the 1930's to protect his timber interests and his monopoly on newspaper print.
He associated marijuana use with being poor, and created propaganda posters (much like the Nazis) portraying marijuana users as vile baby killers.
The over-criminalization of narcotics is feeding the black market profit margins. As long as local and federal authorities have the opportunity to seize the profits from these lucrative sales, and as long as the federal governement incentivizes drug prosecutions, they will take precidence over other violent crimes. This is why Henry's case was not thoroughly investigated. If the perp who beat him was a drug kingpin they could have prosecuted in the courts and in the media, they would have been all over it. They would have prosecuted him or her for the drug crimes, and tacked on manslaughter since the prosecution was already being paid for by the U.S. attorney general (he would have no doubt gotten a plea deal on the attack). But as it was, the prosecution of violent offenses cost the state and local authorities money. Drug prosecutions get them money. Add to that Henry was an addict, and well you get the point.
When you make anything illegal and profitable to smuggle and sell, you create not only increased profit opportunities, but you also add a mystique to kids who want to know what all the fuss is about.
I'm not a proponent of illicit drug use, nor have I ever been a user (before the bashing begins on me). But I have known many friends and family members with addictions.
It seems to me this area is having more issues with so-called "legal" narcotics like oxycodone and oxycontin.
If we took a fraction of the money we're spending on drug "enforcement" and put that towards drug treatment facilities for the addicts, and for prevention for our children a lot of these issues would be a moot points.
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