Friday, May 14, 2010

Drugs Are Bad, Mm'K

Crazy stuff;

I had a chance to meet with drug czar Gil Kerlikowske and his top aides last year, as part of a series of outreach meetings as the new team planned its strategy. It doesn’t look like my advice was taken. Of course, I probably didn’t help my case by noting that our last three presidents have acknowledged using illegal drugs, and it is just incomprehensible to me how they can morally justify arresting other people for doing the same thing they did. Do they think that they would have been better off if they had been arrested and incarcerated for their youthful drug use? Do they think the country would have been better off if they had been arrested and incarcerated? If not, how do they justify punishing others?

The forces of insanity are arrayed against common sense for a reason. Money.

It really is absurd that the US incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation on the planet. I want to say that the majority of that is due to drug prosecutions, but I'm too lazy to look it up today. I'm pretty sure it's a high percentage.

Imagine the judge that smoked some pot in college sentencing somebody to jail for a drug arrest. Imagine a felony drug conviction being the "third strike" for a person in California, who then is sentenced to life in prison.

It seems really absurd to a rational mind, doesn't it? I can't even see this being a left-right issue. If you showed a conservative the amount of money, tax money, that it costs, think you might be able to convince them that it's a serious problem? I'd imagine it would be really easy to convince a Liberal that we need a major change in approach.

So why doesn't it ever get done? Big government.

The idea of "big government" being bad is.. shocking I know, sometimes true. The budgets for all of this, from cops on the street, feds, lawyers, courts, is astounding, but they all get paid. They all want to continue to get paid.. and so when trying to fix the problem, you have to get the people that benefit from the status quo to change to a situation where they might be out of a job.. or at least assigned to some new duties.

The politicians are afraid of being labeled "soft on crime". It's easier to get them to change sentencing laws so that shoplifters get their hands chopped off, then it is to stop prosecuting drug offenses.

Despite what they're trying to do in California, to decriminalize pot, I doubt it's going to go anywhere. And imagine trying to get them to decriminalize "hard" drugs. I don't think any drugs should be criminalized. It should be treated exactly like alcohol.

A person that can't control themselves and self-destruct on crack is not affected by whether or not the drug use is legal. That's the least consideration. They're going to do it regardless, so might as well just stop putting them in prison and having to pay for everything associated with it.

It makes perfect sense to decriminalize all drugs, and I really can't think of a counter-argument that makes sense. I've tried to play devil's advocate with it, and I come up empty.

Politics is really frustrating. You can imagine something that will be really helpful, and makes all kinds of sense, and it just can't happen. It's not even remotely possible... even if old ladies are sent to the hospital in complete shock because the DEA raided the wrong house with guns drawn.

Which is why I understand when Chimpy said "it would easier if this were a dictatorship, so long as I'm the dictator". Bush as dictator would be rather.. bad. Me as dictator.. well.. I think we'd have a pretty awesome nation after a couple decades.

It makes for a fun day dream on a lazy Friday afternoon.

No comments: