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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LEGALIZE DRUGS ?

Time to jump back into the fray courtesy of our new blogger: The Barrister of Ballentrae.



AN ARGUMENT BASED ON LIBERTY AND UTILITY FOR THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF DRUGS
 
I was asked by H. Rumpole to write a piece further explaining my belief that personal use and possession of drugs Should Not Be Illegal. I know that the first question is who is Rumpole; and I can only say he looks like Gary Cooper.
Many may suspect that this article will argue primarily for decriminalization of Cannabis. That a comparison of risk versus benefits and the relatively lack of harm of the herb justify its legalization. For those interested in Cannabis legalization, that please go to the NORML link,

For those Nay-sayers on Cannabis, please go to this link, Cannabis and Cannabinoids. 
This is a link to The National Cancer Institute at the the National Institutes of Health, document clearly the lack of danger and high level of benefits of Cannabis.
I need to start with a proposition that to use intoxicants , is Natural, Universal , even Archetypical, of Humans. Our Species historically has ingested substances to intox, impair and alter their/our perceptions. In every culture across the world , across recorded history, our species had used nature. Rum to British seamen. rice wine or rice beer to the builders of the Great Wall. The German Beer Law comes from the need to stop the use of wheat in beer production, causing the price of bread to dramatically increase , so the limited beer to barley.. In cultures that shun alcohol, cannabis as leaf, kif or hash is smoked, as is the poppy [ opium].  In North America Tobacco, mushrooms, and in our South West the indigenous peoples had peyote and mushrooms. In the Andes other organics, like Ayahuasca and coca leaf are used. Four -Thousand ( 4,000 ) years ago , at the beginning of Human recorded History, Egyptologist tell us that, there`are records detailing how much beer a day was supplied to the labor who built the pyramids. Ten-Thousand years ago, Those that dig in the Neander Valley tell us that they have found evidence of ritual use of drugs and consumption of beer like beverages, dating back about Ten to Twelve Thousand ( 10,000 - 12, 000 ) years ago. It is hard not to believe the anthropological evidence. Likely we Humans did not start ingesting for intoxication then, Ten - Thousand ( 10, 000 ) years ago, but we were ingesting to intox, impair and alter our perceptions FIFTY THOUSAND ( 50, 000 ) Years Ago .
Given our historical archetypical use , it can be said that use / possession is not in and of itself morally, spiritually or physically harmful nor evil. Instead it is Natural, Universal , even Archetypical, of Humans to ingest substances to intox, impair and alter their/our perceptions.

 BUT , Let me be clear, Let me scream it:
I AM NOT SUGGESTING LEGALIZING DUI / DWI. THOSE THAT DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OR WHILE IMPAIRED ENDANGER US ALL AND THAT BEHAVIOR SHOULD BE ILLEGAL ! DRINK BUT DON'T DRIVE ; SMOKE BUT NOT BEHIND THE WHEEL ; BOAT or FLY STRAIGHT

Now we must ask : What Power Does Our Government Have to Tell US, as Free Adult Citizens , What Our Intoxicating Substance Can Be. We are free willed and responsible for ourselves. Remembering the above, that DUI / DWI is and should be illegal , what right does Government have to tell me what I can use for my buzz? The Crime associated with Drugs arises from drug laws, just as crime arose from Prohibition. In Fact Alcohol Prohibition is the perfect example. By Outlawing something that people were going to do , it made criminals out of ordinary men and women, who only wanted a drink. It bred disrespect for the law, for a law that people do not like and will not follow is ignored and creates a atmosphere that all laws can be disrespected. Worse, real criminals organized to supply the forbidden but thirsted for substances. Was Capone that different from today's Mexican drug gangs or the ones us old timers remember from the Mutiny, those of Medillen and Cali .
Removing the prohibition removes most of the criminal element, does not breed disrespect of the law and most importantly does not turn everyday people into criminals by use or possession of the malum prohibitum. Liquor Stores have ads not turf wars. The States where Marijuana is not criminal have shown no increase in crime, nor are California medical marijuana stores hell-holes.
Now borrowing a page from Ron Paul. Where does the constitution authorize the Government to tell be what I can use to intox or impair myself? Seriously , the personal use of substances does not justify federal nor State action. I do recognize the right of the Federal Government to prohibit Importation. But under what stretch of the commerce clause can the Government say I cannot get high? Tell me how that is justified. Its clear` that the WAR ON DRUGS began as a policy to get those who are against President Nixon's political action and not over societal decay due to drugs. Richard Nixon and his cronies need to clamp down on the long haired anti-war hippies and the uppity civil righters, who were rioting and burning the citys and worse voting against Republicans. They all smoked dope , so going after dopers seemed hard on crime and got rid of the 'ememies'. Listen to the Nixon tapes and you will learn how manipulative and anti-citizen Our President could be. Nixon's Federal War on Drugs was created in truth to get the Young anti-war movementers and young black activists out of the voting rolls.
Let us now turn to the Utility or Efficiency of The War on Drugs. Drug use over the last Forty (40 ) years has stayed at relatively the same rate. Some will, Some will not. Some like this, Some like that. The all out effort of the feds and the state governments have not stamped out the desire. But as I have` advanced at the beginning of this article , it is Natural, Universal , even Archetypical, of Humans to ingest substances to intox, impair and alter their/our perceptions. In every culture across the world , across recorded history, our species had used nature this way and laws will not stop that.
I know some will advance the argument that we are protecting society from the harm of abuse. The desire to intox is natural and not evil and that the bad results of drugs flow from its illegality. Considering that we can not or have not cut the desire, who and how are we protecting society by creating crime and disrespect for the law. Others will suggest that we need to protect the user from Themselves { yes I change tense. I like 3rd person plural instead of He/She Her/Him, etc}. So we make convicted felons out of users to protect then from the 2 or 3/10s of a gram [ 2 or 3 /280 of an oz. } of powder or rock. Broward sends them to prison. They can not get work as convicts, can not drive, can not vote. This is To Protect Them?

Last week I reviewed Two ( 2 ) days calendars of Four ( 4 ) Felony / Circuit Court Divisions in the Justice Building. I counted the possession, possession w/ intent, delivery & sales and tampering . I Did NOT count any grow houses or trafficking type cases. It is also important to remember that it cost almost One Hundred ( $ 100 ) dollars a day to imprison someone. Booking costs at least that. In TWO Days ( 2 ) THIRTY - FOUR ( 34 ) people had arraignments for felony drug arrests .Seven (7 ) were No Actioned,Fourteen set for Trial. ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE (165 ) extra days Beyond CTS in DCJ was given , remember at 100 / day { that's $16500 tax dollars} , the rest were Bound-Down to County or CTS. What a waste of Time, Money and Effort.
Div 7 8
Div 10 10
Div 16 8
Div 21 8
 
The War on Drugs is FORTY ( 40 ) Years Old. I have been practicing a quarter century. I have not seen a change in the flow of arrests for drug possession at the Justice Building. To continue a policy that does not work, is repressive , wastes resources and tax dollars is Bad Policy, if not stupid. Legalize it. Or admit its a money maker in court costs . That is unlikely since it seems it costs more to arrest , process and lock-up that comes back in court costs, especially from the indigent. Perhaps we can make it a civil infraction and give a ticket. THAT, at least would raise revenue and make sense.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

well said... probation benefits seller of alcohol and tabacco too...

Anonymous said...

Drug laws create criminals

Anonymous said...

Wow, cops caught on tape making up all kinds of stuff again. Will they ever learn?http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/27/2717756/broward-driver-busted-by-cops.html

Anonymous said...

who cares about this stuff- its election season. Lets talk about that!!

CAPTAIN said...

Great job today BB.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Disbarred attorney Roger Besu who got caught stealing $2mm from his trust account pleads guilty and receives two years CC and eight years probation.

Anonymous said...

There was research in the early 1970's that a cannabis compound could actually cure cancer. Conveniently buried by BIG PHARMA

Anonymous said...

BB, good post, I'll comment more on actual substance later.

But please next time use some paragraph breaks. Reading your whole length of text doesn't allow time to comprehend. Difficult reading means you don't want to stick with it.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with your position. It would hurt the defense bar in that we could not charge high fees for grow house cases. I say make the laws more strict and my fees will go even higher.

Anonymous said...

Of course legalizing pot and cocaine, even opium wouldn't kill the cartels outright, but it would cut off their single biggest cash supply. Like the Italian mafia after prohibition, they will continue to exist but they will simply not be nearly as lucrative as before. Sure, they will go into other trades, but the reason that they are in the drug trade now is because costs are low and profits are huge.

Community policing would, as the article suggests, help too, but the problem is also economic. More opportunities for the poor and working classes must exist in Mexico-this would not only lure them away from the drug trade, but make the American working class happy by reducing the incentive to immigrate. And these opportunities cannot be low-wage mass assembly plants for the US market, they need to be good jobs.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Nicely done BB!

Anonymous said...

BB has some good ideas but does not do a very good job articulating them. Perhaps the blog is not for you???

Anonymous said...

11:10 is correct-- we should make more things illegal and have more min/mans laws. -- and let judge hand out SAPD cases, like it use to be... I need more money. times are tight..

Anonymous said...

I always thought that ancient civilizations didn't use alcohol to intox/impair or alter perceptions.
It was a way to keep the drinking water safe.
So drinking was a safety issue.
Now that we have ways to keep water pure, one could argue against alcohol under the same reasoning as keeping drugs illegal.
Or, we could also argue that like alcohol being legal, even though it's original purpose is no longer necessary, because we allow it for the purpose of intox/impair or altering perceptions, we should allow other drugs that do the same.

Anonymous said...

yawn...the biz of law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. Regardless of the content, the length and style of the writing of the post made for very difficult reading.

What is with all the parenthesis and brackets?

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

OK, now I am confused: were earlier report erroneous?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/28/2719000/miami-dade-judge-accused-of-bias.html

old guy said...

Great work.

Almost as good a bit of writing as your average 8th grader could have produced.

How about an original thought. Or you could just go back to telling me what is in the local papers before I get to read it.

BB -- you, sir, add nothing to one's fund of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

@3:26--

Harsh review.

Ex Blackjack Dealer said...

Putting people in cages (jail) for smoking or possesing weed is one of the dumbest things our legal system does. It is a huge waste of money and law enforcement time.

Anonymous said...

I'm just not sure that legalization is the way to go.

Unfortunately, the threat of incarceration if often the only thing that forces people into rehab to treat the addiction.

Besides, it would make police work very difficult without the smell of marijuana serving as PC for searches.

DS sez: said...

Hey man its Dave
Dave aint here
No No Its Dave
DS
Ps
Nat. Cancer Inst. sez pot shrinks tumors

"American Minority" said...

To Barrister Thanks for Info and view point on your Post.Don't mind pessimistic "anonymous" nay sayers that always have something negative to say. I guess that's why my friend Alex Michaels told me he doesn't care to read the blog. I'm sure they're interesting people.
Ponder this prohibition was legal at one time.I agree with your point I don't condone personal use that endangers others. Let's think about the Judges who like marijuana like say Broweird Judge Lawrence L. Korda who got caught smoking weed in the park one Sat. afternoon. The numerous Asa's that I knew smoked marijuana.
My point is this if you have a shot of Pinch Whiskey and someone has a joint; if the conservatives that say "hey I don't want the government telling me what to do" hold that view.
Why allow the government to tell you what mild intoxicant you can consume ? Is alcohol less harmful than marijuana ? Truth be told if I even smoke a La Gloria at Havana Lounge I'm dizzy. So I dont smoke a

"American Minority" said...

Breaking Info
ABC has released video of George Zimmerman at the Sanford police department the night of the Treyvon Martin Murder.
No signs of injury. btw his father is Robert J. Zimmerman former orange county magistrate who is friends with the former SA Norman Wolfinger the SA who refused to file charges. These are the facts whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Would the fake Alex Michaels care to comment on his friendship with American Minority?

"American Minority" said...

I don't have a friendship with the fake Al Michael's neither do I want one.

Kissimmee Kid said...

We live in a police state. There is no liberty. Martin Luther King's dream of equality was reached when we all became slaves. Give it up. Stop tilting at windmills. Obey.