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John Donnelly, writing for the Boston Globe about the 2000 presidential race, suggested that candidates` silence on drug policy may stem from a widespread belief that any position that even alludes to reducing sentences for drug use would be political suicide. [183] Charles R. Schuster, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr., reportedly said in 1997: “Talking about drug policy in today`s climate of opinion can be political suicide.” [184] Not without drugs – only less free. We now have what some constitutional experts call the “Bill of Rights drug exemption.” Random drug testing for no likely reason, militarization of drug enforcement, increased wiretapping and other forms of surveillance, vaguely worded laws and curfews, loss of homes and property, excessive and mandatory prison sentences — these and many other practices have eroded the constitutional rights of all Americans. Drug Free Australia concludes that any democratic society that views the use of a particular drug as an unacceptable harm to the individual user, an unacceptable harm to the surrounding community, or too heavy a burden on the community, seeks to legislate that restricts that particular freedom of the individual. [1] Researchers at the independent Rand Drug Policy Research Center in Santa Monica, California, examined data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse between 1982 and 1994 and concluded that adolescents who took hard drugs did so regardless of whether they had first tried cannabis. [46] As the human brain matures beyond a person`s eighteenth birthday and early twenties, it has been argued that many adult drug users made the decision to use drugs when their brains were not yet fully developed and therefore may not have adequately assessed their risks (since many drug users are under the age of thirty). However, available systematic indicators show that the prevalence of drug use has increased since about 1980, that the decline in drug incidence was particularly pronounced in the 1970s and that some indicators indicate an increase in the 1990s. [22] The first step in any plan to alleviate this terrible suffering should be the establishment of federal control and the distribution – at cost – of addictive drugs. If the pursuit of profit were to disappear, no effort would be made to encourage consumption by private drug donors and the drug trafficker would disappear. New addicts would be discovered quickly, and early treatment could save some of these unfortunate victims from becoming hopelessly incurable. The recent sharp increase in our incarceration rate has made the United States the world`s leading prison guard, with a prison population now exceeding one million, up from about 200,000 in 1970.

Nonviolent offenders make up 58% of the federal prison population, an extremely expensive population to maintain. In 1990, States alone paid $12 billion, or $16,000 per prisoner. While drug incarceration is one of the main causes of the increase in the local tax burden, it has neither stopped the sale and use of drugs nor improved public safety. Detective Commissioner Eva Brännmark of the Swedish National Police Agency said in a speech at Drug Free Australia`s first international conference on illicit drug use: The illegality of injection drugs leads to a shortage of needles, leading to an increase in HIV infection. [68] An easy remedy for this problem, while maintaining the illegality of drugs, is the Dutch policy of free needle distribution. The money spent on both increased health care costs due to HIV infection and drug prohibition itself is a burden on society. [69] [70] Soiled needles. Unsterilized needles are known to transmit HIV to people who inject drugs. But drug users share needles because laws prohibiting the possession of drug paraphernalia have made needles a scarce commodity. So these laws actually promote epidemic diseases and death.

In New York, more than 60 per cent of injecting drug users are HIV-positive. In contrast, in Liverpool, England, where clean needles are readily available, the figure is less than one percent. Not surprisingly, the broader international implications of drug legalization have also gone largely unnoticed. Here, too, there are still long questions that need to be answered. Given the long-standing situation in the United States. How would a decision to legalize drugs as the main sponsor of international drug control measures affect other countries? What will happen to the overall regime of multilateral conventions and bilateral agreements? Will each nation have to comply with a new set of rules? If not, what would happen? Would more permissive countries suddenly be flooded with drugs and addicts, or would drug traffickers focus on countries where stricter restrictions have kept profits higher? This is not an abstract issue. The Netherlands` liberal drug policy has attracted an influx of “drug tourists” from neighboring countries, as has the now-abandoned city of Zurich after the now-abandoned experiment that allowed an open drug market in the so-called “needle park.” And while it is conceivable that rich countries can mitigate the worst consequences of drug legalization through extensive public drug prevention and treatment programs, what about the poorest countries? In addition, a growing body of evidence and opinion suggests that current drug policies, as implemented in recent decades, can be counterproductive and even harmful to the society whose public safety they seek to protect. This conclusion becomes clearer when distinguishing between harms suffered by society and its members, which are directly attributable to the pharmacological effects of drug use on human behaviour, and harms resulting from policies to eradicate drug use. [19] At the turn of the century, many drugs were declared illegal as a temperance climate swept the nation. In 1914, Congress passed the Harrison Act, which banned opiates and cocaine. Alcohol prohibition soon followed, and by 1918 the United States was officially a “dry” nation. However, this did not mean the end of drug use.

This meant that all of a sudden, people were arrested and imprisoned for doing what they had done before without government interference. Prohibition also meant the creation of a criminal-run black market marked by violence. Many people, including some religious groups,[176][177] argue that the war on drugs itself is immoral. [178] Reasons for decriminalizing drug use. Husak`s positive argument for decriminalizing drug use begins with the recognition that drug use is or can be very enjoyable. In addition, some medications promote relaxation, others increase energy, and some promote spiritual enlightenment or literary and artistic creativity. The simple pleasure and euphoria that comes with drug use should count to allow it. Many arguments seem to make legalization a convincing alternative to today`s prohibitionist policies. In addition to undermining black market incentives to produce and sell drugs, legalization could eliminate or at least significantly reduce the very problems that most concern the public: the crime, corruption and violence that accompany the functioning of illicit drug markets. It would also likely reduce the damage caused by the lack of quality controls for illicit drugs and slow the spread of infectious diseases due to needle parts and other unsanitary practices.

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