Originally Posted by 44 AMP
In some ways, its a lot like gun control. The problem isn't the guns, its what some people do with them.
And what is the answer our govt and (some) segments of our society give us? A top down war on things, more than on harmful actions.
Of course, if you don't have a thing, you cannot do bad with it. So we all get forced to live so that stupid people are slightly less likely to be stupid?
As a people, we are kind, caring and considerate (of course individuals can be petty and spiteful). We dislike seeing anyone hurt or suffering, even through their own actions. This is a noble sentiment, but there are limits to which this is practical, or effective. AND those limits must be balanced against our personal liberties and freedoms.
We make compromises to our freedoms all day, everyday. That's how society functions. We have set rules, and generally follow them. About virtually everything. However, where one sets the rules, and how they are enforced is critical to our liberty.
Our history is full of things that are now crimes, that once were not.
We've tried a lot of things, and often the "solution" only made the problem worse, or actually created more problems than it solved. To my eyes, the war on drugs has created more, and worse problems than it has solved.
One way in which this issue differs substantially from that of firearms possession is that it is quite easy to note all sorts of beneficial uses for firearms. On the other hand, I would be hard-pressed to note the benefits of smoking crack.
This issue contains some extremes that can cloak substantial agreement, and that when it ignored or conflated can stoke an illusory disagreement.
I would guess that very few people are enthused about locking up people who smoke marijuana. 30 years ago, Bill Buckley wrote about the injustice of sentencing a young man to 20 years of incarceration over a small amount of marijuana.
On the other hand, crack and methamphetamines are grotesquely addictive and all too often can be the first step on a short and ugly journey to death. I believe it would be difficult to persuasively argue that the prohibition on crack and methamphetamines is worse than the problems we would see from legalizing their use.