Originally Posted by caspermike
why is putting hard drug users in prison counter-productive?
im almost 100 percent positive that if we got rid of the murder laws, violent crimes including homocide would drastically rise. why wouldn't it be the same for hard drugs when they become even easier to get a hold of.
and legalizing hard drugs like heroin we are sending more money to the war in afghanistan.
The drug trade works on the same principle as any other market: supply and demand. The only way to effectively stop a market from functioning (other than wartime disruptions in trade or, ironically enough, an autocracy like the Taliban or Communist China, both of which essentially stopped their countries' poppy cultivation when in power. The year after the US toppled the Taliban the estimated amount of land under poppy cultivation increased from 30 square miles to 285 square miles. Afghanistan now supplies an estimated 87% of the world's heroin. An interesting look at how US interventionist policies have affected global heroin trade is here BBC News | UK | War Views: Afghan heroin trade will live on
) is to cut the demand so completely that there is no incentive to create a supply. There's a reason we don't have onion-favored ice cream, or Milli Vanilli plush toys.
The rationale behind criminalizing the drug user is to try and cut down on demand. While this is a great theory, it simply has not worked. The US has some pretty draconian drug laws against the users of hard drugs, and the drug rates in the US are still pretty darn high. It seems to me that legalizing heroin would probably send less money back to Afghanistan if the gov't had strict sourcing regulations. If regulated heroin was safer (guranteed no to be cut with powdered bleach!) and cheaper than the black market stuff, there would be less of an incentive for Afghani farmers to grow it. Hey presto, less money to the Taliban and other nasties!
As for your point about more availability equalling more addiction, well, I'm not sure. The same argument is often used against giving kids access to sex ed and contraceptives, even though the stats show that it is precisely in the areas where there are not
these things that teen pregnancy rates and STD rates go up. People don't give the power of the informed mind much credit. With the right sort of education and strict access controls, things might just be a little better than they are now. But heck, that'd require some "progressive" thinking, and we all know that's the first step in the long, hot road to hell...