Legalization & decriminalization of all controlled drugs. A two-pronged libertarian approach.

1) completely legalize all of the currently "controlled substances" for adults

2) allow discrimination against drug users by landlords and employers

Why not legalize and tax all the controlled substances and use the income from that plus the money saved by not sending people to prison for nonviolent drug offenses to set up treatment programs?

At the same time, it's understandable that landlords and employers don't want to be saddled with the inefficiencies and liabilities that come along with drug-abusing employees. Likewise, landlords know that drug abusers disproportionately damage and degrade the properties they live in.

Adults free to use drugs and live with the consequences. Employers and landlords free to protect themselves.

Can I see some potential problems? Sure. So can you, but I'll let you present them and maybe we can see our way through to some solutions.

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Good topic, Unseen.

The main problem I can see is that in part 2, you say "drug users" and then later you are talking about "drug abusers". Why allow discrimination against users if it's only the abusers causing problems?

What drugs are ok to discriminate against? heroin? cocaine? cannabis? amphetamines? caffeine? nicotine? alcohol? I'm guessing the libertarian approach would be "all" but that leaves a disturbing proportion of the population open to this discrimination. i.e. fired because the boss doesnt like you you drank a cup of coffee at work. It may be worth noting that not all drugs have all-negative effects to an employee at work, depending on occupation.

How would a landlord or employee know if a person is a drug abuser? Yet another question on the application form? What's stopping people from lying? And in either case, if someone has been shown to be a drug abuser and is then involved in a property damage dispute, what's going to stop the court ignoring evidence in favour of scapegoating the drug abuser?

I'm definitely in favour of using the tax revenue and savings on providing treatment programs. Far more effective than incarceration.

The main problem I can see is that in part 2, you say "drug users" and then later you are talking about "drug abusers". Why allow discrimination against users if it's only the abusers causing problems?

Good point. Well, one reason might be to maximize the freedom of all involved. While we're removing the burden of illegality, why not give landlords and employers the right to decide whom to take on?

As for the user/abuser distinction, I'm kind of making it ambiguous. Because of 2), the prospective employee or tenant may see himself as merely a user while the employer or landlord may prefer to exercise their freedom by steering entirely clear of drug issues by simply not taking on drug users. In other words, they are free to think of use AS abuse and operate that way.

What drugs are ok to discriminate against? heroin? cocaine? cannabis? amphetamines? caffeine? nicotine? alcohol? I'm guessing the libertarian approach would be "all" but that leaves a disturbing proportion of the population open to this discrimination. i.e. fired because the boss doesnt like you you drank a cup of coffee at work. It may be worth noting that not all drugs have all-negative effects to an employee at work, depending on occupation.

Doesn't stupid hiring and firing hurt the business in the long run? If I'm fired because I like coffee, won't there be an employer down the road who entices employees like me with "all you can drink coffee"? If one believes in market economics at all, one has to believe that there will be a demand for the best employees and that stupid hiring decisions will soon be exposed as ill-advised. Soon, the stupid business is hurting business-wise and the smarter business is hiring the good employees they are firing.

How would a landlord or employee know if a person is a drug abuser? Yet another question on the application form? What's stopping people from lying? And in either case, if someone has been shown to be a drug abuser and is then involved in a property damage dispute, what's going to stop the court ignoring evidence in favour of scapegoating the drug abuser?

Like I said, I'm kind of dismissing the use/abuse distinction, although of course people who cause accidents while impaired, can't take care of their apartment unit because they are always high, etc., would find themselves in a world of hurt. I'm not suggesting we don't punish people who drive impaired and cause accidents or who fail to maintain property they are renting. And, of course, along with the right to discriminate against drug users comes a right to subject applicants to drug tests both at the start and randomly thereafter, though not so often as to become harassment. Also, if the person in question is showing signs of impairment, requiring them to retest would be an employer or landlord's right.

Doesn't stupid hiring and firing hurt the business in the long run? If I'm fired because I like coffee, won't there be an employer down the road who entices employees like me with "all you can drink coffee"? If one believes in market economics at all, one has to believe that there will be a demand for the best employees and that stupid hiring decisions will soon be exposed as ill-advised. Soon, the stupid business is hurting business-wise and the smarter business is hiring the good employees they are firing.

This argument could be, and has been, used to argue for removing "protected classes" in hiring.  The bigoted asswipe who refuses to hire a black will lose potential good employees to the man down the street who doesn't care about skin color.  As an aside, honestly, I don't think the protected classes thing works all that well anyway as far as stopping discriminatory practices; if an employer wants someone gone for whatever petty reason (I know one guy who got fired in part because he refused to bang the boss's secretary!) they can trump up a work-related cause.

Has protecting classes been an unvarnished success? What do we have to compare it with? Is there a control group?

I like the overarching idea....but I'm wondering how you would then Define a "Non-violent drug offense?" where do you draw the line between legal and illegal? Would each state define that?

That could get messy real quick.

A man just got assaulted outside my building last night. The neighbors are and have been involved with dealing drugs. So using this scenario: You wait for the assault to happen before putting them in jail? It's very hard to get a conviction for a violent crime without witnesses. While I heard the assault I didn't see it....with drugs being illegal when stuff like this gets reported, upon arrival the police have an easy in to arrest if drugs are found. if they are legal it becomes harder.

While it would be GREAT for corrections officers, it would quickly become a nightmare for police on the streets. We're seeing this in WA with weed being legal. The police don't like it. It makes their job WAY harder than it already is. I think long term the benefits outweigh the difficulties as long as our idiot government actually thinks about these things before writing policy....that's not likely to happen! Lol!!!

I like the overarching idea....but I'm wondering how you would then Define a "Non-violent drug offense?" where do you draw the line between legal and illegal? Would each state define that?

There would be no more "drug offenses." If a crime is violent, it gets prosecuted as an assault or murder alone. Federal law can be written to trump local law, and it would work best if done that way.

That could get messy real quick.

Not if the law is the same wherever you go.

A man just got assaulted outside my building last night. The neighbors are and have been involved with dealing drugs. So using this scenario: You wait for the assault to happen before putting them in jail? It's very hard to get a conviction for a violent crime without witnesses. While I heard the assault I didn't see it....with drugs being illegal when stuff like this gets reported, upon arrival the police have an easy in to arrest if drugs are found. if they are legal it becomes harder.

I object to the notion of police using reasons other than the ones they'd like to use to arrest people. Isn't that harassment? "There's no basis for this arrest on the surface so let's look around for one." Without a basis for an arrest, the police have nothing to do. It sounds to me like less work rather than more for them. Right now, they spend a ridiculous amount of their time watching for and investigating and making arrests related to nonviolent drug offenses like sales and mere possession. These offenses are burdensome and expensive on the justice system as well when we really need that money for bridges and highways and drug rehabilitation.

While it would be GREAT for corrections officers, it would quickly become a nightmare for police on the streets. We're seeing this in WA with weed being legal. The police don't like it. It makes their job WAY harder than it already is. I think long term the benefits outweigh the difficulties as long as our idiot government actually thinks about these things before writing policy....that's not likely to happen! Lol!!!

I think I've explained how being relieved of drug investigation and enforcement should give the police less to do, not more.

RE: I object to the notion of police using reasons other than the ones they'd like to use to arrest people. Isn't that harassment? "There's no basis for this arrest on the surface so let's look around for one."

Depends on the scenario. Sometimes they NEED to probe further. I've had LOTS of situations working in law enforcement where "looking for something" following my gut was the RIGHT thing to do.

I have this image of people at the table next to me in a restaurant shooting up heroin and quickly getting up and leaving the place. Over-arching legalization of all drugs ... that is extreme to say the least. And then I think about the drug crocodil in Russia (there is a counterpart in North America...I don't remember what it is called). We don't allow people to insulate their houses with asbestos for good reason, we don't allow just anyone to handle corrosive substances and we don't allow people to fill their veins with an acid that eats their body from the inside (warning...these images are nasty to say the least).

In general in open societies we allow a lot of leeway...and the majority of currently banned narcotics could be legalized without pandemonium falling on us..but with everything there are small exceptional limits. What those limits should be...I don't know. I'm not an expert on drugs.

No, public intoxication would still be cause for arrest/removal...it would be legal to partake in a person's home.

If I may be so bold as to say I am an expert on drugs, in particular to how they affect our society, and within the correctional facilities as well as drug trafficking and gang violence etc....

What legalization would to IMO is for the drug addicts on the street, provide a way to get "real" HELP. Right now there is little possibility of that.

I worked in a jail the size of a mini-prison that had a methodone program. I also liked to work in receiving and intake for my OT all the time. It was a revolving door of drug offenses and prostitution. The vast majority of arrest was related to possessing a substance or committing a crime to purchase a substance, or a crime related to being ON a substance. There were overdoses in the jail on almost a DAILY basis because people would get it brought in. THere's more drugs in there than on the streets!!!!! No joke.

The first step to getting people off drugs is to create a society that is open to actually helping them rather than making them criminals and entering the abyss of the criminal justice system. If you can go buy your cocaine like shopping for groceries, you no longer need to "hide" and the store owner has to remain accountable. It would be no different than how we handle alcohol. Suddenly, crimes committed would only be if you do something TO someone else. If you assault a person while on coke you go to jail for the assault, not for being high. So when you get out you can go to your doctor and say, "I use coke, can you help me?" and suddenly the doctor can be more open to really Helping rather than saying, "go to coke addicts anonymous" where you're JUST THAT! - anonymous! Or "Come to this in patient program for a while and THEN go to your 12 step program where your "Higher power" will be shoved down your throat."

If it's legal our society can start having conversations around the pathology of ADDICTION and focus on meaningful solutions because suddenly the average user is not "out of site out of mind" wearing an orange jumpsuit. Suddenly we can talk more openly about responsible use. There are people who use drugs recreationally at their own risk responsibly. As long as you are in your home, NOT driving - go for it. Especially natural drugs that are PLANTS!!!!!

All this being said: Meth is the ONE exception we should NOT make legal EVER!!!!!! But if you have many alternatives......you don't need it.

Meth is a very difficult case. While it should not be legal, it's victims need help getting off AsAp.

Throwing light drug users into jail, in the developed world, is mostly an American problem, in some states.

In most developed countries (Australia, Canada, the states of the EU, New Zealand) ... free detox and addiction support is offered, there are clean needle sharing offices and strong anti-drug use campaigns and education programs. All in all...small drug posession is very unlikely to land you in jail...and fare more likely to land you into getting help. I know this is also the case in some U.S. states.

Per the crocodil epidemic in Russia...they did everything and anything to get it under control including help for victims of the drug use, controlling the ingredients used to make the drug, education campaigns, free health care for those to recover and on and on. They were rather successful. Few of them actually went to jail.

Another example of how utterly backwards the US is compared to the rest of the world.

For the record, I think Australia has only one safe, monitored, injection location, and it's in either Melbourne or Sydney (both a solid days drive from my location so not useful for anyone near me).

South Australia has decriminalised cannabis for recreational use, although confusingly, I think selling it is still criminal and carrying above a certain amount is criminal.

Also recently, Victoria has been moving toward a medical cannabis model for terminal patients.

And finally, on crocodil: crocodil is the result of heroin being difficult to come by. Legalise the drugs we have or people WILL get fucked up worse by new drugs. It's happened with meth, it's happened with crocodil, it's happened with the synthetic "bath salts" things, too.

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