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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Should we decriminalize drugs?

August 18th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

Tonight Connect The World looks at the effects of illegal drugs all around the world and we want to know you if you think illegal drugs should be made legal.

Just as he is stepping down as the President of the Royal College of Physicians in England,  Professor Sir Ian Gilmour has declared his country is losing the war on drugs.  Gilmour is calling for the  decriminalization of drugs because he says he's seen more addicts in hospitals because of contaminated drugs and dirty needles.

So do you think illegal drugs should be made legal? Would decriminizaliation better serve the fight against drugs? Do you think only certain types of drugs should be legalized in certain places?

Leave us all your thoughts on this subject in our comments section below and we'll feature some of them on tonight's program.

soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. tiffany

    It should be legalized. Too many people get locked up for using or just having it around. It shouldnt be a crime to use something you enjoy. Make it legal, but tax the hell out of it. People will still buy. Just like cigaarettes. Another busines opportunity..yay..hahha

    August 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  2. Erma Jane Davis

    They most definitely should be decriminalized. They should be legalized and taxable the same as "legal" drugs. This would stop, I believe, the problems the U.S. and Mexico is having along the boarder.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  3. mario andreas

    Why not ban the bomb, after all which is the greater sin, this world is backwards just like the people running it, we are all being controlled like blind sheep.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  4. Lance from VA

    Here may be a new look on an old topic. We've become so stuck on preservation of life that we are preserving the weak now as well as the strong. I know that yes the humanitarians are going to be up in arms with what I'm about to say but isnt it about time we flush the genetic gene pool. I say legalize it let the junkies be junkies.. die off.. tax it just like any other fun items we have and build a better infrastructure and jobs with the tax money. Right now the local drug dealer probably makes more then I do.. and its tax free. So, let people do drugs but dont reward abuse with rehab, hospital treatment for free! People have no accountability for their actions anymore and the people with the bleeding hearts need to focus on something more productive.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  5. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    We Need a Health World,
    because Drugs( LSD, Heroin, Cocaine, Marihuana(Cannabis) and
    Prescription Drugs(medication) Addiction) is Destroying
    Our World and Our Babies Future!
    Decriminizaliation of Drug means, that
    there will be NO TOMORROW for ALL of US!

    Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, the Director-General of
    the World Health Organization (www.who.int) and
    Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of
    the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (www.unodc.org)
    Must Immediately Improve the Health, Safety and Well-being of ALL People!

    Advice:
    Just Think Twice (www.justthinktwice.com)
    OUR HEALTH IS IMPORTANT!
    Let us Now CONNECT to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname
    Latin-American

    August 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  6. jiggs

    Marijuane yes............................NOW!

    August 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  7. alex

    I personally disagree with drugs being legal, well at least cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana. These drugs are merely a escape for people who do not want to face the reality of their life or situation. Of course sometimes in society people feel the need for the escape but is it really worth it if consuming drugs evening recreationally and moderately brings about drug violence?

    I understand the argument that marijuana shouldn't be classified as high as cocaine and heroin but the problem is that it is so they should be treated the same.

    After witnessing drug violence in mexico, I think that if legalizing drugs ends the violence then it is a real possibility but I hope this never as to happen. But if it is an end to the senseless violence then i guess it should be done. But to people who use drugs i ask how do you feel that using these drugs kill people?

    August 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  8. Morten Andersen

    The Stoltenberg commission in Norway just recommended offering drug addicts help instead of punishment. However, help must not be forced. And although more and more politicians, including the U.N. is recommending treatment and help instead of convictions, little is actually being done.

    Police in Oslo have recently started chasing and bothering drug addicts again, and the police chief has said they "need to go all the way and decriminalise drug use" if they do not wish police to chase them. I agree – they need to go all the way. It's not sufficient to ask police to be more lenient and offer more help, as rogue cops will still attack drug users. They are talking, but they need to walk the walt. Full decriminalization of drug use and full legalization of drugs are both far better options than what we have today.

    Marijuana should be legalized and regulated, of course. Perhaps other drugs, too, within some kind of legal system.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  9. Patrick

    legalize and tax them

    August 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  10. J

    Yes they should. The good doctor is correct. We are fighting a losing battle, wasting billions of dollars, while more and more use. We need to decrimilize and take the power out of the hands of the cartels. We need to concentrate on education and rehabilitation.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  11. Henry C Schinaman

    This is a cash cow for police departments.

    Decriminalize!!

    The sales taxes will help cover our over spending government!

    August 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  12. lance

    Legal or not, people will still indulge. It's a huge waste of taxes, prison space and man power.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  13. Andrea Lively

    On July 21, the Government of Oakland, California, approved the industrial cultivation of marijuana, becoming the first U.S. city to do so. Oakland’s measure is a step in the right direction, since drug legalization will force drugs out of the black market where cartels terrorize communities with violence and corruption.
    In November, California voters have the opportunity to legalize the production and sale of marijuana. If California’s measure passes, the price of street marijuana could fall up to eighty percent according to the RAND Corporation. Because marijuana is one of the cheapest drugs to produce, while still accounting for up to fifty percent of profits, its legalization would significantly reduce the power of Mexican drug cartels, and consequent violence along the border.
    While the War on Drugs has a noble goal, it is an expensive process which creates many unintended consequences along the way. Over two million people have been incarcerated since the War on Drugs began, and drugs are still rampant! This year alone, we have already spent $29 billion on the War on Drugs. According to the FBI, someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 17 seconds. By legalizing drugs, we will not only lower costs to taxpayers, but since there will no longer be a need to smuggle across borders, it will also eliminate much of the violence associated with the drug cartels.
    Legalization critics say the government should prohibit people from making bad choices. This runs counter to the American ideal of maximizing individual freedom. Economist Ludwig von Mises had it right sixty years ago, when he wrote, “If one abolishes man's freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms away.” Government has invaded our private lives, and relieved individuals of responsibility.
    Although Americans might be skeptical as to whether legalizing drugs would lower their consumption rate, historical events positively support the claim. The alcohol prohibition is a prime example of the disastrous consequences brought about by a ban on a substance. Although alcohol is widely used and can have severe harmful effects, its prohibition from 1920 to 1933 made alcohol even more dangerous to consume, and led to an increase in organized crime and corruption of public officials.
    In the Netherlands, marijuana use has remained at or below levels in the United States since the 1976 policy decriminalized soft drugs. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, lifetime prevalence of marijuana use of people ages twelve and up in 2001 was 37% in the United States, compared to 17% in the Netherlands. The Netherlands also has a lower heroin and cocaine use rate, as well as a significantly lower homicide rate.
    The country with the most liberal drug policy in Europe, however, is Portugal, and it has the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in the European Union. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Money saved on enforcement was used for increased funding of drug treatment. Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald claims, "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does." Drug use fell significantly after the measure took place, and drug related deaths were cut by more than half.
    By legalizing drugs, dealers would be forced out of the black market, stripping drug cartels of their monopoly power and corruption. While Americans should strive to end violence and substance abuse, the War on Drugs is not the way to do it.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  14. Edwin Kribbs

    Certainly, drug use and possession should not only be decriminalized, but regulated and distributed by the government at cheap prices. That would pull the foundation out from the criminal gangs that currently do it, and would also curtail the secondary crimes and vices like prostitution and theft committed by addicts to raise money to buy the drugs. Lastly, the government would know who is an addict, and could provide help for those who want to break their addiction, get legal jobs, and return to a normal life.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  15. Sabrina

    Illegal drugs are beginning to define the culture in which we live. Most teenagers have tried one form or another, babies are born with addiction, "criminals" reside in prison for prospering from the market. Please, explain to me the difference between tobacco, coffee, alcohol, marijuana. All possess addictive properties and the ability to harm our bodies. At least, if illegal drugs are made legal, governments can provide regulation. Whether legal or illegal, people will continue buying, selling & using drugs; why not do our best to regulate them?

    August 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  16. Pat Hensley

    Decriminization is the only thing that can truly work. It will take all the money fascination and power out of the game. The reduction in crime should be amazing. People who need/ want to use drugs will find a way no matter what.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  17. michael

    The drug war began as a series of cultural wars, first against Chinese immigrants (opium), then against Hispanic immigrants (marijuana). It should be dropped immediately, and the costs to taxpayers and profits for law enforcement and for-profit jails exposed. It is a sham that has led to unconstitutional war, incarceration and death of our own citizens, and global misery. Let people be responsible for their own bodies.

    "If people let the Government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be a sorry state as are the souls of those who live under Tyranny."
    – Thomas Jefferson

    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  18. Pablo

    It is time for the world to quit with hipocricy

    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  19. Shane Roberts

    The war on drugs has been a failure in it's waste of resources (money especially) and taking a toll on our penal system; causing drug cartels and dealers to become very lucrative business models while we continue to consume illegal drugs at alarming rates. Treat the psychological and health problems associated with addiction and learn from prohibition mistakes and legalization. There are better ways to spend our money to help society. Look to Portugal for a better model, it's time to try something different.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  20. aatami

    Personally I don't use drugs but I fully support the decriminalization because the people who want to use drugs will do so whether they are legal or not and decriminalization will at the very least free up millions upon millions that are used to lose the war on drugs for other purposes not to mention cut the prison population by a huge percentage also freeing up money but more importantly avoiding common drug users from becoming criminals in prison. The US prison system does not work, it's a failure and nothing more than a growing private industry.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  21. Lazar Stevanovic

    Why don't we bring pharmaceuticals into question? There are just as many people out there who are addicted whether it be by an affliction or habit to pharmaceuticals as there are "marijuana addicts". Most health care professionals agree that the potential for abuse of pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol far outweigh the benefits of medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  22. Jay Graham

    Decriminalization makes all the sense in the world, legally, morally, economically. But the prison industry and law enforcement groups will never allow it because they would lose vast amounts of taxpayer money now being squandered on entrapping and warehousing suppliers and users. Drug kingpins will not surrender their vastly profitable businesses. The “war” on drugs was lost decades ago, but its legacy of waste and destruction will live on for generations.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  23. Ed Thompson

    All drugs should be decriminalized, with hard drug addicts being able to register and recieive drugs at government clinics. Most addicts would do this rather than prostitution or robbery, but casual users aren't going to want to party there. Continue felony prosecution of controlled substance sellers. Pot should be legal just like cigarettes and alcohol. Our constitution gives us the right to the pursuit of happiness.

    I think this policy would hurt organized crime and result in less drug use overall. Helping registered addicts would be cheaper than prosecuting them and treating their medical emergencies.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  24. Jools UK

    Before coming to a conclusion on this subject it's important to be in possession of some facts.

    Police in Scotland estimate they seize 1% (one percent) of heroine. The UK government (taxpayer) is spending more now on the 'war on drugs' than it ever has yet availability is at its highest and prices at their lowest. Even if some countries are 10 times as effective it's still a damning statistic.

    Synthetic drugs from countries like China are now easily and legally bought over the Internet. In the UK one such drug called GHB was eventually banned and users changed to another legal drug called GBL. GBL is used to clean alloy wheels and is far more dangerous than GHB. The result of the ban was more deaths.

    Because many drugs are illegal there is no quality control and no point of sale control. There are no age limits to buy them – kids are welcome – and you have no idea what's actually in them.

    It's believed than over half of acquisitve crime (theft, burglaries) in the UK is committed by people getting money to feed their drug habbit.

    The Taliban, drugs cartels, organised crime, street gangs and individual dealers all earn their money (or a significant part of it) by selling illegal drugs. If drugs were legal their source of revenue would disappear completely or be greatly reduced.

    Entire countries are on the verge of war because of illegal drugs.

    Although it's completely counter-intuitive for those who have little knowledge of the subject, we need to take the profit out of drugs by taking the drugs out of the hands of criminals. Accepting that we can't do this by prohibition (which has never worked and never will), legalisation, education and support is the only way forward.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  25. AJ

    YES! those who want to use drugs are going to get it anyway...so why not get rid of the gangs and cartels and collect tax on it?

    August 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  26. Silencedogood

    Not all drugs and not decriminalized, full legalization, regulation, and taxation. Decriminalization requires participation in illegal activity and illegal profits without any oversight. Its stupid, particularly for drugs such as marijuana which are easier for young people to get precisely because they are illegal (unlike say beer).

    August 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  27. Briggs

    What people stick in their bodies is none of the governments business. As long as your not putting others in danger you should be allowed to do whatever you want with your body.

    Drugs should be legalized but crimes performed while on drugs should be harsh.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  28. Michael

    Many people I know including myself believe in the decriminalization of illegal narcotics. If iliicit drugs were made legal in small amounts and users could easily purchase them safely there would be a significant drop in various crimes, states would make millions(possibly billions) in taxes (obviously important these days), jails would house only violent offenders and the narco traffic wars seen not only in Mexico but worldwide would suffer substantial blows to it's main customer base and cash intake leaving our local and national forces free to deal with more important issues. It's begining to work in California, a great model for the rest of the US.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  29. Boris

    I think that the only way to fight drugs successfully is to make them legal. It will kill the black market, increase collection of taxes and will easy control over drug distribution. I do not think it will significantly change the consumption, the same as with tobacco and alcohol (which are drugs too, by the way).

    August 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  30. Fred

    This is a healthcare issue. THC (the chemical in Pot that gets people high) is known to have a strong negative impact on protein replication in DNA. Negative impacts on testosterone levels in males (you know...the hormone that makes you behave like a man), and negative impacts on childbirth and birth defects with women.

    It would be very hypocritical of our government to try to force insurance down our throats in one hand and legalize this crap in the other.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  31. Concerned4Fla

    What we're doing now isn't working, and it's very expensive. For the determined buyer, drugs are relatively cheap and easy to get. If you lock one dealer up, another one takes their place. We ought to be rational about our problems:

    Politicians are afraid of looking soft on crime, even through the current approach to our nation's drug problem isn't working. We've been trying the "current approach" for about 50 years! That's just insane.

    Drug addiction is a mental illness, and it's treatable.

    Drug cartels are funded solely through the illegal market. Decriminalize, and you instantly destroy the entire illegal drug market.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  32. Ronald Miller

    Nothing can be controlled by pushing, or legislating, against it. The "war on drugs" has and is a dismal failure world wide and has become an economic and social distaster for all of the worlds governments. This is especially true for those unfortunate enough to become users. Freely available drugs adminstered with treatment, both physical and psychological, would benifit everyone. It would also take money away from radical groups who benifit from their illegeal sale to finance the conditions we see in South America, Mexico and Afganistan. Marijuana is extensively used world wide and should be legally sold world wide. It's much less harmful than alcohol.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  33. Arjun B

    Drugs cause physical addiction. I understand that de-criminalizing would help addicts in avoiding infection and contamination, aren't we going to face additional risks of more addicts on the streets, with little or no way of controlling the inflow of drugs in society?

    August 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  34. RHOD

    everybody should have their own choice wether to do drugs or not to do drugs,no government should have that desition to make. LEGALIZE IT LEGALIZE IT LEGALIZE IT................

    August 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  35. Dallas Reid

    Of course drugs should be decriminalized. Any rationale consideration of the issue comes to this conclusion (The Economist has published very clear detailed arguments why so it is not worth repeating them here). However there are huge vested political and financial interests (notably the drug cartels) who will never permit this, at least in the US. If the NRA can keep machine guns in the hands of private citizens, I have no doubt the financial clout of the drug cartels will ensure political lobbying in America will never allow legalization of drugs there.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  36. Alexia dos Santos

    Decrimilization of drugs is the only way to reduce the extortionate amount of crime, damage to the environment, destroyed lives and blameless victims resulting from illegal drug use. If controlled and taxed properly, governments worldwide would have more control and regulation over usage and the tax generated alone would more than compensate for drug rehabilitation, environmental repairs, etc etc. Drug use will always be around. History has shown this. All the billions of dollars squandered on the so-called drug war is money literally burned..it is meaningless and valueless. Still the crimes persist, the lives are lost and ruined, and the number of addicts quadruple. The desire for illegal drugs has if increased substantially and has no chance of subsiding. We as a modern society need to view this differently and act accordingly. Legalising the use of drugs is the only way to effectively manage, control, educate.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  37. amanda hooke

    if someone had told me in the 60's when so many of us just wanted the war to end and thought smoking pot was part of peaceful future that we would see our future threatened by drug addiction and the accompanying "war on drugs" with so much sadness, violence and destruction of families, and communities, I would have never believed it. The important point now is that this way of fighting the destruction that drugs cause our loved ones, our communities and in a very real sense all of our futures is a total and complete failure! Drugs will not ever go away, nor will the demand for mind altering substances. We know that. That is a fact of history as far back as we can go. Decriminalisation and education is our best chance of saving lives and stopping the carnage and massive control of the drug barons.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  38. Jeddy

    A system which rewards criminals should never exist. Drug dealers are profitting because drugs are illegal. The huge amount of money leads to bribing politicians and corrupting the legal syste. Bootleggers in the USA benefitted from smuggling drugs, as soon as the Prohibition ended the bootleggers became beggars. An additction cannot be stopped by laws. The only way to stop an addiction is to cure the addicts not leave them to die,

    August 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  39. Richard

    I think light drugs should be decriminalized. I believe the police have alot more to do than to chase small criminals. There should be a tax on this of course, but this is the main reason for legalization.. all the world is in a little bit of money trouble, and this would help all the countries a little. But there is an age limit, and control.
    Before I support a terrorist network with a illegal money, lets put this back into our own system.
    I have a medical problem for 7 years, and I see no relieve in sight. I do not want to become a criminal to ease the chronic pain that I suffer each and every day

    August 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  40. Owlslight

    I would like to see us spend the money on education and rehabilitation rather than incarceration. I think incarcerating users is such a waste of our hard-earned tax contributions and does nothing to address the core issues of abuse. WHY are these folks abusing substances, and what needs to change in their lives to help them stop?

    I also firmly believe that adult human beings should have right to choose how to live their lives. Folks will spout on about how drug abuse encourages criminal activity, but the simple fact is that there are already laws in place to deal with the most common drug-related activities – theft, burglary, domestic violence. Adding substance laws is a bit redundant, isn't it? In a way it's double-punishment. How about we try the "teach a man to fish" concept. I think we'd see a much better result from our limited resources.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  41. No Brainer

    Of course we should stop the prohibition of drugs. Prohibition is , was and will always be a failure. Making criminals of fellow humans for poisoning their own bodies only serves to benefit the true criminals. Those who legislate peoples recreational activities should be expelled from humanity. Our prisons are full of people that sought to chemically alter their state of mind in their own way. Meanwhile billions of dollars are collected in the name of medicine on the shoulders of destructive legal pharma drugs. When anti depressants universally cause suicidal thoughts in the victim that it has been prescribed to and xanax and oxycontin are more addictive that heroin, one has to wonder how sick our world really is that a plant that has proven to be harmless over and over again can land you in jail Jail should be reserved for those of us that do harm to others.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  42. jack

    Finally coming to our senses! Think of the enormous potential in tax revenues and relief in the judicial and penal systems ( marajuana alone would make a huge impact ). Harder drugs like cocaine, heroine, opium ect. would need to be heavily regulated, taxed and responsibly distributed.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  43. Marc D

    Drug use is a health issue, not a crime (where are the victims of this supposed crime?)

    Continuing this insane policy of global prohibition...THAT's a crime. Narcotics are far more dangerous because they are illegal, than they ever would be otherwise.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  44. A.

    Legalization or decriminalization of illicit drugs in order to protect people may seem counter-intuitive, but our current system is counter-productive and should be re-thought. When you put illegal drugs in the hands of the government, essentially you are taking away those same drugs from the cartels, dealers, growers, etc, thereby causing the black market for those drugs to evaporate. Also, the federal and state governments can TAX would-be users in the same way that they tax users of cigarettes, instead of spending billions to fight cartels in a war which we cannot win. There are arguments that legalization would lead to more rampant drug use, but the reality in this country is that literally millions of Americans are using marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc on a daily basis, just as they used alcohol illegally during the Prohibition of the 1920's. We need to get smart and manage this country's drug use rather than allow drug cartels to make billions at the expense of our citizens.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  45. Alexander

    I think the prohibition experiment is proof positive that criminalizing drugs only serves to fuel related crimes including copious amounts of bloodshed (see Mexico border towns). The only question will be, is it too late to topple the mega cartels with decriminalization? Decriminalization will save countless lives, aid the fight against judicial (and other types of) corruption, and free up billions of dollars someof which can go into education campaigns and rehabilitation facilities. This is the proverbial "no brainer".

    August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  46. Stephen Cobb

    Drugs should be legalized for at least four reasons: personal liberty, public health, cost, and national security. The first three are well known, so I will comment on the fourth. The US is losing the war in Afghanistan to the Taliban, which is financed primarily by the opium trade (fully 1/3 of the Afghan economy). Marijuana and cocaine black markets are causing massive corruption and disruption (and anti-Americanism) in Mexico and South America, with economic refugees fleeing to the US. All this could be ended at the stroke of a pen.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  47. JWG

    Unfortunately, the decriminalization of drugs would better serve the fight against drugs, because, just as happened with the prohibition of alcohol, the illegal drug trade constitutes a greater evil than illegal drug consumption. Law enforcement can never control the demand for drugs, because a certain percentage of the population will always demand and consume drugs. This fact makes illegal trade in drugs so socially destabilizing and destructive, because criminalizing drugs makes them far more expensive and profitable than merely regulating them. Just as society has become better off regulating alcohol than prohibiting it, society will end up better off regulating drugs than prohibiting them. It's cheaper and easier to get a person to control their intake of any substance if there does not exist an artificial culture and illicit trade raking in huge profits from the substance. Government should either regulate or take over the drug trade. Just as most alcoholics eventually realize the evils of alcohol and adjust their intake or abstain, most drug addicts will eventually realize the evils of drugs and do the same. While we must all regret the human losses of substance abuse, society cannot financially afford to put so much of its resources into a losing battle. Society is better off using the proceeds of legal drug sales to offset the damage done by drugs than to use tax dollars to pay for both a losing battle against the drug trade and still have to pay for the damage done by drugs. Those people who make responsible decisions in life will prosper and those who do not will suffer. Quite simply, it's far cheaper to treat addiction to a regulated substance whose use generates profits for society than to treat the same addiction and fight the illicit trade of an criminalized substance out of pocket.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  48. Ian Kelly

    Sure, legalize drugs by all means! However, dangerous narcotics should only be available on a prescription basis, or made dispensed under medical care in specialized clinics.

    Unlike freely available alcohol, marijuana, is not harmful or addictive. I can testify to that. I am a 73-year-old person who has been the occasional user of recreational weed since my early teens. - I think the Dutch have taken the right approach...

    The benefits of legalization are obvious. In one fell swoop legalization would be the death knell for drug related organized crime, income-wise. It would also reduce the HIV needle related transmission rate if decriminalized and controlled. Lastly, if drugs were subject to taxation, Governments could easily afford to fund the necessary control measures and specialized clinics... and still have plenty left over for humanitarian projects.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  49. Pat Farrell

    As one who fought the war on drugs for 20 years I say legalize it all. You/we/they will never stop it. The only effect the war has is the price. The more we stop the higher the price. Capitalism 101. Legalizing all drugs would not effect the people that don't do drugs. The average Joe is going to do drugs regardless of the price.
    Legalizing would CLEAR our prisons. There would be nobody outside our schools pushing on our children. Prostitution would decrease substantially(another thing we will never stop.) The money saved annually by law enforcement would pay our debt. The income from the tax would be mind boggling. Who would need the DEA.
    But it will never happen, at least not in our children's lifetime. To many lobbyists and too many jobs would be lost. All over what basically a victimless crime.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  50. Diana Toronto

    The "War on Drugs" is over and we lost. American jails are overburdened with simple drug offences – costing the taxpayers, destroying families. Legalize and take the taxes to make a real difference like rehabilitation on demand, access to doctors and personnel trained in drug issues, free injection sites, free maintaince drugs in order for people to work and go to school, education. Don't give the money to the murderers and gangsters put the money back into the social system. Drugs just like tobacco and alcohal is not leaving our North American society. The crimininals will find something else to traffic in – like people, sex slaves etc. they are gangsters that is their life.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  51. Keira

    I'm not sure ALL drugs should be legalized but some should, such as marijuana. Legalize it and tax it. I'm not sure people running around doing cocaine is the logical thing to do either. Let's start small and see how it goes. Build it from there.

    Keira
    NY

    August 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  52. WoodenShoeWindmillTulip

    dont forget to check with the Dutch, have experience for decades in legalised drugs!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  53. Yugo el Terrrible

    Drugs have been used since the beginning of human history. To heal, relax, socialize. The only reasons drugs have been prohibitted is for illegal organizations to make money out of it. Look at the 30's prohibition it actually created gangsterism and Mafia and they used that market to expand their business into other fiels like politics. That is why drugs and politics are sleeping together, parties have been funded by drugs and war on drugs. Logic is of essence, how can you control something that is illegal, how can you inform your kids about something we dont know because we cannot do studies on them because they are illegal. Well some countries tooke the risk, like Holland, and it turned out pretty good, no spike in consumption: people dont consume more because its legal. Less STD epidemic because of safe use of the drugs and better education. More money, because like one said before, you can tax the hell out of it and people are still going to buy it, they are actually buying it and its illegal. Also, you can control quality and process, no more chemically grown pot, viva bio-marijuana!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  54. Sergio Gama (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

    For sure! The drugs should be legal, once anyone can get it in the streets easily... Certainly the criminality will decrease dramatically. On the other hand, the government will increase tax collection.
    By the way, what are drugs?? What about cigarette, alcohol, eat a lot of fat food, fast food, pollution in the cities, leak of oil and garbages in the sea, etc? Let be!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  55. TrustInPeople

    We should legalize drugs. It seems more people get killed drug trafficing than they do from actual use and while it is true that drugs are bad for you, it's a free will issue and we have to trust that the majority of people will make the right decisions.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  56. joelle esther benyayer

    to we need to descriminalize the drugs ? well dpend in south of france some gendarmes 15 in brignoles 3 police judiciaires in frejus no arrestation on motoways for truck with cocaine need to be the SRPJ from marseille do the job and me work 17 newspapers denonce cocaine prostitution cannabis and corruption get for sure no help from the police in this area or mayors normal like mister Barbero work for the mayor Ginesta good friend of international maffia so i ask interrogatoire of a dutch i know make cannabis and also prostitution in vacantie in les issambrezs Hotel les Calanques well no chance why because this gentlman gert protect first by dutch police play music and like cannabis and his friends also in french police make cannabis and for sure need hoockers to deal the drugs;;;;so may be descriminalize so some innocent journalist can work more quietly without any danger ;;;in office du tourisme some girl prostitute them self in nederland now work in communication wery nice europa impossible for me immigred right now or get a call joelle esther benyayer

    August 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  57. Bill

    Yes, legalize ALL drugs, give them free, and educate, educate, educate, Educate.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  58. Drake

    Start by legalizing marijuana, not just for medical purposes, but categorically. Then when the Earth doesn't crack open and the seas don't boil and the wide blue sky doesn't catch fire, as some people apparently want us to expect, we can sit down and have a good think about the harder stuff.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  59. Lynda

    Recreational drugs should NOT be legalized. The mentality of people who want to legalize drugs boggles my mind. Even without legalized drugs, the next generation is destroying themselves! Image all the irresponsible teenagers & 20 somethings that you see on YouTube and Facebook, drunk and stoned at parties, imagine these people in 10 – 20 years, trying to make a decent life for themselves. Imagine these people raising kids and holding public office positions. Mind altering drugs should NOT be used for recreational purposes and people who want them legalized are obviously not thinking clearly, but selfishly. The tax money from legalized drugs would probably not even cover the expenses related to ixing the newly created problems that legalizing drugs would bring!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  60. Tom

    Find out why more and more cops, judges, and prosecutors who have fought on the front lines of the "war on drugs" are standing up and saying we need to legalize and regulate all drugs to help solve our economic, crime, and public health problems: http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  61. mark

    Shame on all governments of the world for allowing this trade to be in the hands of criminals , shame on you all playing for the votes instead of common sense . Legalise /decriminalize .
    Cannabis should be as alcohol 18 /21 as the case may be.
    Hard drugs definately 21/25 start with existing users under strict conditions. First quality checks for all drugs incl. cannabis ( too strong can be illegal as is meth as alcohol ) .
    Tax and use the money saved on this and law enforcement to help those that are weak and cannot help getting addicted .
    Its totally correct Heroin is addictive and gives you constipation
    otherwise the harm comes from the quality and how addicts are forced to live . Give correct information and most people will not go out trying heroin , of course a small % will get into trouble but the policy should be based on harm reduction not this nonesense we have been dished up the last 100 yrs .
    Shame on you world leaders shame on you

    August 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  62. André

    Drugs are already legal: Nicotine, Alcohol, Codeine and hundreds of "prescription drugs".. why discriminate? The result is obviously not a reduction in use, only an increase in price and a lot of power in criminal hands.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  63. mderegil

    I say legalize marihuana. Things in Mexico are real heavy at the moment because all of these cartels are fighting against each other trying to win the area over so they can be the only ones to sell. If you change this law, The ones that currently purchase marihuana will be able to grow their own and will mostly be pure, so there won't be that problem of having to smoke something you're not sure was altered.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  64. Manfred

    The one way to legalise drugs is if they were available on prescription or if the user was registered with the government. The government would sell the drugs in a proper manner, according to safety standards. In order to buy the drug of choice, you would have to product your drug user id then pay the regulated price.

    This method would allow city officials, government officials to keep a track of usage and as with any item available for sale, taxes would be collected on those drugs.

    Society would of course change as well as laws. Make it illegal to ingest drugs and drive, make the penalty severe enough to be a deterrent. Companies would have the right to screen and fire people who use during office hours or refuse some to employ heavy users.

    The result on crime would be drastic. Users would be able to buy safe dosages at an affordable price. They wouldn't have to commit crimes to get the money for the next fix.

    The money that now goes towards funding terrorists' and into the pocket f the narco-crime bosses would end up in the government coffers, if the government produced the drugs, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, meth. The drugs wouldn't be cut or diluted and would be produced under safe conditions not in some jungle or home in a suburb.

    Gangs would have their prime source of money dry up making the areas they "control" in various cities safer because there is no point in fighting/killing over turf.

    There are surely more problems out there that would crop up, but if I look at Holland and some German cities, drug based crime has fallen, use of drugs stabilised then fell, in Holland, and now slowly in the German cities.

    The savings to the local economy and the national economy, in areas of policing, health, insurance etc, would be huge.

    I know that this kind of thinking goes against what most Americans believe, but if you follow your God – "The Almighty Dollar", you will see the upside of this.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  65. Jon Sweeney

    Well, we know what isn't working don't we? We know that in addition to many people losing their lives in the 'war on drugs' our environment suffers too. I read a while back about police burning fields of pot which were planted in the forests of California only to let the burns get out of control and causing some huge fires. Another reason to re-legalize pot is we could tax it and help our communities get some relief from the over whelming debt they are all struggling with. Furthermore, resources could be better used to fight dangerous crimes and terrorism. Look at the violence in Mexico – if we started plantations in our own country, we could lessen the need for so much smuggling across the boarder, hence decreasing the power of these cartels have who kill mercilessly. It's really time to way the pro's and con's. I think with enough education we can trust the population to enjoy soft drugs like dope more responsibly and it could be financially beneficial as well.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  66. Dominic

    Fellow Americans, what makes you think that anyone has the right to tell you what to do with your body? How can you claim that we are a "free" people, yet at the same time allow the government or anyone else to control the one sure thing that you are sovereign of – your own body? This republic is well on its way to ruin if we continue this train of thought.

    Have Americans forgotten that the most sacred principle of our great nation is the preservation of our natural rights as a living creature on this earth. We created our governments and charged them with protecting the individual's rights and at the same time to provide a remedy in the event that a person's right to life, liberty, or the persuit of hapiness is injured.

    My body belongs only to me. I have the right to shoot myself in the foot if I want to – it's my foot. If you are not being directly injured by Johnny Crackhead or Tom the Toker, then you have no business claiming authority over their persons. No one should be a slave because of other's opinions.

    There would be less criminals and prisoners if the people would stand up and demand that big brother remove all laws that create a victimless crime. Natural rights are limited only by one truth – The right to extend my arm ends at the tip of your nose.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  67. Jason

    Most illegal drugs should probably stay that way. The guideline should mainly consist of two questions. Does the drug have a reasonable potential for deadly overdose or injury? Does the drug have a reasonable potential to be destructively addictive? The answer to both of these questions is no for marijuana. Marijuana should be legal. It should have the same availability and the same controls as alcohol and tobacco. It is no more harmful than either. The answer to both of those questions for alcohol is yes. If alcohol remains legal, we are being hypocrites about marijuana.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  68. James H.

    Decriminalization is a good first step but until the manufacture and sale is legitimized criminal elements will continue to control this vast market and continue using violence to maintain that control.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  69. John D Public

    Depends on the drug. Alcohol is a drug and is legal , tobacco is a drug and is legal, Marijuana should be legal or at least decriminalized – better it is legal and taxed. Other hard drugs, cocaine, heroin, meth, etc, that’s a different story these drugs have a much more significant impact on the populous and society. Decriminalizing will just encourage more use and will encourage those that sell on the black market to import that much more. Better we spend tax money from marijuana sales on education for substance abuse concerning soft drugs ( Including alcohol and tobacco) and hard drugs and possible lower the severity of punishment for small quantities of such hard drugs that are still classified as illegal and require extensive counseling and outreach. I do not see the legalization of Marijuana as a significantly detrimental issue to society.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  70. Gary

    Ask any kid in high school, he will says it's harder to buy beer than drugs. Legalize them then tax the hell out of them. Have all the restrictions you want on drugs.
    Money talks,,, my kids cant buy whiskey because the beer store does not want to loose their licence. We can sell drugs the same way, and it will be a lot better than it is now, where you can buy drugs on any street corner.
    Big business will run the drug gangs out of it.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  71. Eddy

    Yes, drugs should be legalized. Yes some drugs are dangerous, but making them illegal, only makes them more dangerous. If they are legal they can be regulated and taxed, and the costs can be driven way down too. If the goal of the war on drugs was to end availability, it is a failure. If the goal is to oppress and enslave the general population, than you could say it's a success. Our society cannot be truly free until the drug wars have ended.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  72. Bob Smith

    Not My Real Name:

    Governments will always need a way to raise secret third party funds to finance things they wish to do without going through the proper legal channels. And no commodity is easier or better than the illegal supply and demand rates for drugs.

    Also, who would be the 'Bad Guys' now with drugs being legal? Isn't there some statistic in U.S. prisons that over half of the inmates are there for drug related non violence crimes? That wouldn't sit well with the powerful prison guard unions taking away good long term clients. And that is what the whole thing is about BUSINESS.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  73. Philip

    Put the gangs out of business. Cut off the Taliban's funding source. Somehow we manage to deal with alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs. Let's legalize the drugs and cut out the bad guys. There will be plenty of challenges, but we can control, channel and tax them more successfully that we can stop the flow of illegal drugs.

    People are not going to suddenly stop what we are doing, quit their jobs and become druggies.

    Now people need to associate with criminals to buy drugs. Pushers are only too happy to advance a user's "opportunities" to try stronger drugs. That won't be an issue when they can be purchased in a store

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  74. José Bonilla

    I don't know about you, but here in my country we see more crime, deaths and corruption because of drugs going illegally to the U.S. than from people using them, cartels used to pay money to their cooperators down here now they don´t even do that but the pay them with drugs so they are forced to either sell them locally or use other means for income.

    If they were legal the picture would change dramatically really fast because no illegal Lab has the throughput of Roche, Abott, Bayer etc. just to mention a few these drugs would be "safe" and the police caould concentrate on defending our people instead of stopping the flow of drugs to another country..

    Sad but true.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  75. Peter

    Yes, decriminalize!
    It will SAVE billions now spent on enforcement, border fences, etc.
    Heavily TAX those who still want to buy.
    Spend the SAVINGS and TAXES on HEALTH CARE !

    August 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  76. Joe Woodard

    Yes, drugs should be decriminalized. Jails and prisons are not the right place for non-violent drug offenders, especially when drugs are so arbitrarily categorized as legal or illegal.

    Alcohol and tobacco – both of which have been proven to cause serious health problems – are legal, while marijuana – a relatively innocuous substance with proven medical applications – is illegal. This makes no sense.

    We need a sensible and rational drug policy, and decriminalization is a good place to start.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  77. Dustan McLean

    Yes, they should be legalized, and the market regulated so cartels and gangs don't see the money.

    The War on Drugs has failed miserably and cost countless lives. Did prohibition in the 30's work? No, it gave us gangs and the mafia.

    People need to start listening to the great men and women of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). They're on the front lines and know more than anyone what needs to be done.

    The private prison industry is to blame as well. Without non-violent drug users, they lose most of their inmates and government money.

    Enough is enough. Legalize and regulate it—then watch the crime rate drastically fall.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  78. Margaret Toigo

    Prohibition was called the "Noble Experiment" that failed, but the experiment itself did not fail, it merely produced unexpected results, such as the rise of gangsterism and a vast black market.

    The war on drugs is Prohibition writ large. Prohibition II is like the bigger budgeted sequel with an updated soundtrack, a far higher body count, and none of the quaint charm of the original.

    There was little difference between Al Capone and Pablo Escobar, both were gangsters, one sold alcohol in the 1920s, the other cocaine in the 1980s.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  79. Rignald Fecunda

    It should be legalized. This should take place however world wide to avoid drug tourism. Use the funds that is being spend now to fight it for education and rehab centers.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  80. Peter

    Yes, decriminalize !
    It will SAVE billions now spent on enforcement, jails, fences, etc.
    Yes, TAX heavily those who still buy!
    Spend SAVINGS and TAXES on health care !

    August 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  81. John Roberts

    This question is a waste of time. It doesn't matter whether people want drugs legalized, or if government wants them legalized. The Mafia will not allow them to be legalized because then the government will get the sales tax and the Mafia will lose their high profits. We will not be allowed to legalize them. Whoever tries will probably end up in some unfortunate accident.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  82. Vincent

    I feel drugs should be decriminalized, it should be treated as a health issue and not a criminal one.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  83. Marc Vose

    Most people commenting here (and indeed the author of the article) don't seem to realize that decriminalize is not the same as legalize.

    I believe we should legalize completely all drugs, but the author of this article, and most of the commenters don't seem to realize that decriminalized could still mean illegal.

    Legalizing would virtually choke the black market overnight, would provide a source of tax revenue, and we could instead divert about 10% of the budget of the "War on Drugs" to treatment programs, and then deal with the real problems in our society.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  84. scott barry

    do people really think that whiskey is better than pot! the only reason whiskey is legal is there is money to be made by the few who profit. you can grow pot in a bucket in your yard. very hard for the few to make money in your backyard.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  85. Bobby of Guam, USA

    Legalizing drugs is a very bad idea!

    It will lead to more murders, more car accidents, more zombie parents who neglect their kids, more rapes, etc.

    So much crime would not of occured had it not been for the criminal high on drugs.

    Legalizing drugs = more crime!

    It's as simple as that.

    Bobby

    (Guam island, USA)

    August 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  86. Andrew

    Drugs should be decriminalized for several reasons:

    Funding gangs and violence:
    Criminal organization thrive on the sale and distribution of drugs. If they do not have a highly profitable illegal substance to deal in there reason for existence decreases. The violence and corruption around prohibition of alcohol followed the same pattern – high crime, violence and corruption, which decreased drastically once alcohol was decriminalized.

    Escalation of usage:
    Because cannabis is illegal (with a few exceptions), by definition, those who are dealing it are criminals. Those who are willing to break the law to sell cannabis are often likely to be willing to sell other, more dangerous illegal drugs. Their buyers are then often exposed to drugs that they may not have sought out themselves. So buyers of drugs can be led to escalate their usage to stronger and more dangerous drugs.

    Prisons:
    We have non-violent offenders spending more time in prison for drug possession than violent offenders and even murderers in some cases. This is morally wrong and causes prison overcrowding and is expensive to the tax payer.

    Taxes:
    Right now, a large amount of tax money goes to enforcing the war on drugs. We could turn that upside down and get billions of tax revenue if we taxed the sale of drugs that is already occurring.

    Freedom:
    As a free country, shouldn't we have the right to take drugs, as long as it isn't hurting others? Certainly, we shouldn't be allowed to drive, operate machinery or care for children while on substances, but as long as we're not responsible for others, why shouldn't we be allowed to do as we please with our bodies?

    August 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  87. Swedish guy

    Marijuana is natural and is a great way to relax, it helped me with my stress/depression problems which by the way other legal prescription drugs didnt. Its also not addicitve, and helped me cut down on alcohol.

    Also, legalizing marijuana will definitely minimize the risks of kids coming in contact with dangerous drugs. Now that marijuana is illegal, criminals are selling all drugs, and beginners may not know the difference between them.

    It is a good move, look at Holland!

    Peace!

    August 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  88. coder

    Define drugs: NO the FDA should decriminalize what major medical companies do to the american public
    Concerning marijuana – its not a drug PERIOD
    Concerning Cocaine, Meth, Heroine and the like – outside of medical use – should be illegal

    August 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  89. drew

    Drugs? No. Marijuana? Yes.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  90. stinky taint

    Legalize marijuana for a start. It's not as dangerous as alcohol or cigarettes. Politicians only want to control (they are power tripping punk-a$$es).

    August 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  91. asacorps

    i must confess that the way you guy(the westen world) are heading, very soon you will not know the diffrence between right and wrong..everything will be grey for you..question who will like to have it that people can have easy acess to HARD DRUGS,..

    August 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  92. WinchLock

    Legalize and tax it. Simple as that.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  93. Kevin Lord

    Yes, we need a better approach. Prohibition is too punitive for people who are sick (and tired). PTSD patients need Hemp. It works. Think about all the wounded (mentally and physically) Heroes we could help with a better policy and medicinal use of Cannabis, which is proven effective on PTSD and many other ailments.

    Please destroy the recipe for Methamphetamine. It kills.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  94. Chris Grau

    People are right about it being harder to buy drugs than alcohol, but it is easier to buy a gun. So we have a bunch of people buying guns, meth, heroin and speed down at Wal-Mart.....winning combo.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  95. Realist

    There is no doubting the fact that the "War on Drugs" is never going to be won in the "Old West" fashion. Perhaps when Nixon dubbed this internal movement its iconic name, there was a REAL need to wage war. Sadly, history has illustrated a picture that paints people of color and those at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder as the enemy in the WOD.

    This issue is so much more complex than cocaine smuggling, dope dealing, and "I want my tax dollars." There exists a behemothic void between the reality of the few who make the legislative decisions, and the rest of us- the majority. Do you think any single person in the White House is truly concerned about what drugs are being used by the "commoners" in middle America? These are the same groups of people that ultimately do not matter to the politicos until it is time to parade their veneers down the campaign trail. People really need to stop taking things so literally.

    Decriminalizing drugs is the only feasible solution at ending the War on Drugs that is never going to be won by "the good guys." No pun intended. Give credit where credit is due: the government has done a tremendous job at breeding stupidity and complacency within our borders by keeping us either entertained or afraid at all times.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  96. Jason Texas

    OF COURSE NOT!. Do you have any idea how many people would die if this really happen?. We all know that drugs are danger not only to users, but also the general society. NEVER!.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  97. a name

    Drugs decriminalized? Absolutely not! Pot should definitely be legalized, but all the hard drugs, like meth, coke, heroine, prescription opiates, only ruin peoples' lives and would make an honest person rob their own mother.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  98. vincenzo cunnilinguini

    the problem with legalizing and taxing is that there will always be "bootleggers" who sell without paying the tax and thus have a lower cost product. i suppose though that the numbers of that occuring will be lower with a legal product.

    and, there would still be many employers would still would fire you if you were found to have drugs in your system. i sense that if drugs were decriminalized, a lot might change, some things might not, but there will definitely be a huge increase in court cases regarding the constitutionality of such matters.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  99. rh

    That's funny, this headline came up right after the "baby bong photos" headline.

    Decriminalize is too vague a word. I and more than a few other people are allergic to marijuana smoke – one friend almost died from her first puff and I have gotten very ill from just being around it.

    Make it legal in the home, but illegal to use in public, or when using a motor vehicle, operating machinery, engaging in a job, etc. What I would want is to let people use it on the weekends or whatever, but not when they're driving around in their police car or operating on my child.

    Marijuana is the first step, but make sure DWI includes marijuana intoxication. There are psychotic effects some people get from using marijuana.

    As for other drugs, most should at least be as regulated as prescription drugs. Cocaine for example remodels nerve cell receptors, so you can't just make it legal and make believe it is "safe".

    Legalizing any of these drugs would just pave the way for lawsuits, minimum ages, etc. issues.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  100. rh

    And, someone mentioned LSD.

    The Son of Sam was on acid, 'nuff said.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  101. yumita yumara

    I think every person who has commented here, bar one would like to see cannabis legalised.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  102. BrunSteve

    Decriminalization is a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough. It still leaves the manufacture, distribution, and sale of drugs in the hands of criminals. We need to bring the whole operation out into the light of day by setting up legal, regulated sale of drugs as we have done for alcohol and tobacco. Prohibition gives the illusion of total control. In reality it is no control at all.

    I think there is a popular delusion that prohibition is keeping people from using drugs. I am extremely skeptical. When teens regularly report that marijuana is easier to obtain than alcohol, I think a more reasonable assessment is that people who want to use drugs do so, those of us who have better things to do with our lives don't, and the legality has little or nothing to do with ti.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  103. Will

    Well, I believe you have your answer. I won't bother repeating all the excellent points that have been made before me. I will simply state that I agree and that the sooner we end prohibition 2.0 the better.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  104. Flavio Adjuto

    Hello Dears,
    I'm from Brasil.
    My country is a producer of marihuana.
    We have serious troubles with this war too. I think that all of you should know about Rio, São Paulo (my city) and others. The violence increases despite of the efforts of the police, army, politicians.
    I believe that issue must be discussed for all nations because if USA legalize it, the others countries will be direct affecteds.
    If Brasil legalize it, my country will became a free way bridge to the dealers.
    Is very import this discussion in all democratic nations which path we should take. Without hipocrisy, with intelligence. Thinking in Future but not forget our past and present with many deads.
    I have not a number, but I believe more people died in the war on drugs than from overdose.
    Best Regards and Congratulations for the courage to discuss this theme.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  105. Brent

    Yes! Pot in particular should be legalized.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  106. Borladin

    We have enough Drug Stores already...they could handle the extra load! )))

    August 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  107. Brian

    Make them all legal, it will not change who takes them, it will end the profits and the voilent crimes

    August 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  108. sean McCarron

    @
    Jurgen R. Brul get a grip dude especially on the cannabis point. Drugs a no good I agree but the system the way it is now just puts money in the hand of criminal's the way tthat drugs are sold now is the worst possible,I dont mess with drug's but I know for a fact there not going anywhere.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  109. cesar sanchez

    the war on drugs is lost already, not in England not in the Us but everywhere.
    The biggest issue is the corrupting power of this trade at political,economical,social and public health levels.
    Countries flooded with drug money where economies are hurt by to much dollars or euros on their economical enviroment.
    Corruption from the neighbor to the judge,families destroyedn Countries that once were examples of development halted on their tracks because of this porblem, mexico, colombia, the caribean countries all over the planet affected by this problem.
    Everybody who wants to have acces to them any of them ( drugs that is) willget them.
    So let'get serious, what we have done all over the planet has not worked so far and will not work.
    So lets take control of them, let'get the taboo out of them, let's take the power out of the dealers and drug lords.And some 'politicians', somewhere...
    Tax them, Industrialized them, regulate them,tcontrol them,tame them...
    Now!

    August 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  110. Adam

    Drugs should, without a doubt, be legalized. Not just because we are losing the war on drugs but also because of all of the violence caused by the narco trafficers and drug lords that control the illegal trade. Look at what has happend in Juarez, Mexico. It´s a war zone. If we legalize drugs the government will be able to cut out the middle man and can control taxes on the drugs. They should be heavily taxed and the money from the taxes can be used to help those that become addicted, people that have problems with usage, and most importantly, to educate people about drugs and their affects. Of course, it sounds easier than it is but let´s face it. Nothing we are doing now is working. Also, people should be able to do what they please with their bodies. It´s no one´s right to tell someone otherwise unless what their doing is affecting others in a negative way. We would be helping the world become a better place by legalizing drugs.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  111. martin saliba

    It would probably be cheaper for goverments to provide illegal drugs for free that fighting a loosing battle with the drug lords. In the end the same drug lorde would have to close down. No demand = no supply.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  112. Rev. Dennis

    It did not work with alcohol. It's not working with drugs. Decriminalize and tax the usage.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  113. Peter

    Of course... in fact, I imagine most of the world would breathe a huge sigh of relief once the United States began passing sensible drug laws... America's War on (Some) Drugs has cost the entire globe too much money and too many lives. We are all looking to you for that hope and change you promised, Americans... stand up and deliver!

    Peter
    Halifax, Canada.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  114. Chris

    Decriminalization/Legalization means Regulation.

    Regulation is how the war on drugs can come to a proper end.

    Regulation means taxes and control.
    Taxes can be used to pay for addictions support.
    Control means the government can decide distribution.

    Take distribution away from criminal organizations. That is how you win the war on drugs.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  115. Weezy

    Ban Guns and leave drugs... Guns kill's faster

    August 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  116. Jamil

    We should only decriminalize Marijuana and put a tax on them like Holland did. They go to sleep and wake up like the rest of the world without major problems just cause Marijuana is legal in their country. The money spend on fighting so called drug-wars are costly and ineffective. Legalizing Marijuana and setting shops to sell them legally not only brings in more tax revenue to the government but it also creates jobs for the people which is important in this world economic crisis.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  117. Rude-ness

    I have always wondered why drugs and money flow North (i.e. the net flow is positive going North) and arms and other goods the druglords use flow South. I will argue many of the developed, consuming nations' industries benefit from the illegal drug trade. For example, the firearm, speedboat, and aircraft manufacturers sell their sophisticated wears to the drug cartels. These industries in turn create jobs and continously improve their products at home. In addition, a good proportion of fancy products like vehicles sold in the South are purchased by drug cartels' "employees". The net economic outcome is beneficial to the North.

    So, from the point of view of the drug market, prohibition and the violence it creates, a libertarian economist is correct in calling for its liberalization, but from the point of view of a country's industrial policy it seems to me the illegal drug trade is beneficial.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  118. Ochuko Toweh london

    I think they should be scraped every last one they cause damage to alot of live i think if they were forgotten the world would be better i say scrap them don't allow them

    August 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  119. George

    Both legal and illegal drugs should be stop.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  120. Robert

    Just legalize it...its just a plant you smoke the dried flower...no harm...nobody dies from it...except the underground drug cartels keeping us supplied.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  121. Matt

    The problem with marijuana is that it is relatively easy to grow, therefore big pharmaceutical companies choose to reject all of the medicinal benefits it provides because they will lose profit. It will make lots of their addictive, unnatural, and destructive products unnecessary and these corporations are happy to give out loads of money to politicians so that that doesn't change.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  122. Hoagy

    Freedom, true freedom, includes the right, to self-destruct. Liberty is not obtained at the business end of an assault rifle, or a helicopter gunship. No, it comes from the behavior and tolerance of one's neighbors. A truly free nation requires people of courage and compassion–not gutless wonders who think there must be a law to prohibit everything that scares them.

    A long time ago, a very wise writer named Aldous Huxley, like so many veterans of two brutal world wars, saw a future society so stressful and awful, that people sought a drug–SOMA, to take them away from the horror and pointlessness of daily life. Never in the history of mankind has there been a world so full of instant immersion in horror, as this one today. Horror coming to everyone through their favorite media source 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are drenched, soaked in horror and human abuse every waking minute; and there's nothing much we can do about it, so the world is slowly going insane.

    Were we able to bring our ancestors forward in time from the 1800's, those poor souls would need medical attention in seconds, so great would be the shock of this world of ours to those delicate sensibilities of long-ago. The noise, the pressure of traffic from smoking machinery on wheels, the anger, the crowded streets, rude, crazy dressed people walking around in their underwear, talking to their hands. Within minutes those time-travelers would be catatonic from the shock of what we call normal life.

    For those of you whose drug of choice–is alcohol, or Jesus–good on you: simple solutions for simple people. For those of you whose balance in life is prosperous and successful, good on you; but always remember that great symbol of America: that all-seeing eye on top of a pyramid. A few lucky ones get all the breaks, and mostly while riding on the backs of millions less fortunate. It's not about conforming to the "established norm" that makes a democracy work. Problem is, in a democracy you get all kinds of people, many of them not that simple, many of them downright bizarre and frightening. Read the constitution, America. It's all about tolerance and liberty, not repression and fear and loathing.

    For those of us who disagree with drug prohibition, there's always the hope we see in the way the world has changed in terms of homo sexual behavior. In my youth it was a serious offense to be gay–punishable by jail, and in some backward lands, by death. It took time but eventually the gays overwhelmed the repressive cowards, and the argument over civil marriage is now just an annoying side-bar, that will pass if we're patient and steady in our pressure for change.

    The same will happen with drugs. When the world is a happy place, and no child goes to bed hungry, or hurt by their parents, and when child abuse of any kind is a thing of the past; and when greed exploitation, bigotry and insane hurtful attitudes are no longer acceptable, then nobody will need any drugs. And that sirs, is about as fantastic as a star ship called Enterprise that can whisk us away to another galaxy faster than we can make a sandwich during a commercial break. And thinking the world will ever be perfect is about as silly as a space elevator, or worse yet, being converted into a beam of light and brought up to the Enterprise by a smiling Scot's engineer.

    For those of you who don't enjoy drugs of any kind, good on you; but some of us enjoy a liberal toke, now and then; and yes, some of us go to far; but check out the jails in most cities after a full-moon weekend. Most of the prisoners will be in jail for alcohol related crimes. Far more than the other drug users. Far more.

    What makes me angrier than any other aspect of the prohibition issue is the hypocrites: the high rollers and public figures who get someone to buy them a quarter ounce of pot now and then and sneak off to the bathroom for a toke and then vote for repressive drug laws. Oh my, but I know far too many people like that. I'm even related to one such as that.

    Yes, some of the alternatives to beer and cigarettes are downright dangerous and very very addictive. You don't need a degree in addictive behavior to appreciate that. But if somehow we managed to get rid of opiates and products of the coca plant–the hurting portion of the public would return to that greatest of all pain relievers–alcohol. Hell some kids these days get off on snorting a horse tranquilizer. As for pot: well, I started smoking it when I was in the military and the offense could cost you seven years in a military jail (not a nice place at all). Now I can smoke a fat one on my balcony or front steps while a cop goes by and they have better things to do that stop and bust me, but they would if I was acting like an a-hole–and deservedly so I say. Neither of my kids smokes pot, but one is an alcoholic and I can curl your hair with the nightmares we went through before he went through the 12 steps. My wife is soon going to retire from her government job, peddling liquor to alcoholics for over a quarter century. Yep, she's a certified legal drug dealer. But my she gets VIP treatment when we visit wineries in France. She's upped the sales of liquor in her store, through good merchandising, and has the letters of commendation to prove it. Now that' s a damn good drug dealer, eh?

    Prohibition doesn't work. Did we learn nothing from that: from Al Capone's incredible winning streak, from the growth of the mafia from a neighborhood nuisance to a conglomerate bigger than General Motors? Prohibition creates black markets when demand is such that even the harshest laws are not sufficient to stop them. They shoot drug dealers in Vietnam, but I know of at least three Canadian Vietnamese immigrant families who've financed luxury homes smuggling heroin in from Vietnam and the Golden Triangle. Even the risk of death, doesn't stop it.

    Prohibition divides society. The smug "legal" drug addicts light up their cigarettes, or swill their beer feeling righteous and superior to the toker who heads out in to the back alley with his friends to light a fat one. They come to hate one another, until the lines blur and the drinkers become tokers, etc, ad nausea. It delineates between those who still believe that hurting people will change the way they think and those who appreciate that it takes guts and immense compassion to tolerate difference in a truly free society.

    We exist in this awful limbo because of fear: the fear of the ignorant who's understanding of drug addiction comes from classical lies like Reefer Madness; and those who think that hurting people is the right way to teach them correct behavior. We exist in this limbo because powerful respectable people who occasionally enjoy an illicit joint, or a line of coke, wink and nod and say that's just life's reality. No.. It's called Hypocrisy and it sucks big time.

    This isn't about murder or thievery caused by crazy drug addicts–those are consequences of a black market driven industry. This is about people choosing what to put in their body. It's about the right to pick your own poison at day's end: be it unhealthy but delicious food, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, coca or opiates. Mega corporations feed us poisonous soft-drinks, unhealthy processed food, deadly trans-fat saturated fast foods, and well meaning right thinking citizens earn tidy incomes from investment in those companies.

    This is about hypocrisy of the worst kind, and the lowest level of cowardice. Not something anyone who believes the hard but necessary fact regarding real freedom, liberty, and democracy should feel very good about.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  123. Billie

    LEGALIZE! All drugs should be decrimalized.Spend the money from Drug Enforcement to Education and Health.Harm Reduction programs already in action around the world are effective and reduce all the negative problems of drug abuse,i.e death or dissability from funtioning normal life,crime,abuse,etc.
    Recreational Use of many drugs have no more negative effects than many other pleasurable experiances.
    Marijuana has many Medical uses the crime of not allowing the development and research of it's multitude of uses is more of a CRIME.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  124. Wasted1

    End marijuana prohibition.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  125. Paul Adams

    The war on drugs is a horrible failure. Millions of lives of otherwise law abiding citizens have been destroyed, tens of billion shave been spent on enforcement, eradication efforts, foreign aid, and prisons. Not to mention the gridlock in the "justice" system.

    It is time to legalize all drugs and use the money on social programs to help people that get addicted. In the long run it will cost much much less and be much less damaging to society.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  126. Joy

    Legalizing these drugs will definitely increase the number of users
    A lot of people who are not using drugs now because it's illegal and society frowns on it but if you legalize it that deterrent is removed

    August 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  127. armando

    legalization is not the answer, but lets remember that the largest drug market is located just across the border of mexico, and with the years they have developed alternative drugs like lsd,extasis, anphetamins, etc. when the times to get drugs in us are though, somebody comes with another option. Question is, who is the most wanted american drug lord in the usa? who is the largest guns,weapons provider to drug gangs ?
    think about it

    August 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  128. dwighthuth

    Should all drugs be decriminalized? The answer is no. Marijuana should be decriminalized however.Decriminalizing marijuana will take away the profit of the gangs, cartels and underground syndicate's
    as well as international crime syndicates that are currently in control of the production and distribution of marijuana as well as taking a sizeable chunk out of their other illegal activities that are funded by the sale of marijuana. Once marijuana has been decriminalized and laws have been established to regulate who can grow marijuana and where marijuana can be grown as well as laws against usage outside of a person's private residence where the laws of marijuana useage would mirror alcohol laws then the revenue for each state would increase dramatically as well as the crimes associated with marijuana use doing down as well. Law enforcement has bigger issues to deal with like being alert for terrorists as well as illegal immigrants along with catching and prosecuting the harder drug rings that produce drugs like Crystal Meth, LSD, Cocaine, Heroine, Xtascy and all of the other manmade drugs that continue to plague American society.

    A good step in the correct direction would be target the middle class sector when looking for the harder drug connections into the lower class population. Do you really think that the lab tech(s) can afford their $1,500,000 home their fancy cars and extravegant lifestyle making $75k to 100k a year. Think again.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  129. Erich

    The only current illegal drug/medicine that should be de-criminalized &/or legalized is Marijuana as it does not have the intense toxicity levels of other drugs such as Cocaine(all forms), Opium, LSD, etc...
    As far as the approach that alcohol has a "social" acceptance does not mean that it is any less dangerous. With Marijuana/Hemp there are potentially 2 sides that can be utilized is female plant(MJ) for medicinal, therapeutic &/or personal use & male plant(Hemp) which can be a raw material for clothes, rope, etc.., which also could be added to a comodities exchange like oranges, wheat, barlery, etc.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  130. jesse ruocco

    this show was one sided

    August 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  131. David E.

    Of course!!! The world will be a better place, it will put some people out of business, but who cares and besides the authorized people to sell legal drugs are more corrupted than the illegal ones.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  132. Bart Mulder

    I think legalization is a confusing term. Illegal drugs should be treated the same as legal drugs. In other words legalization should not mean 'freely available'.

    I see many comments proposing to 'tax the hell out of them'. This suggests that they would be freely available. Given the addictive nature and health threats of these substances I do not agree with this. Medical supervision is key, they should remain controlled substances, but in a legal environment.

    Providing drugs under medical supervision to addicts has many advantages:
    – Better life for addicts, no need for criminal behaviour on their part, they get a better chance at trying to get off the drugs
    – End to the social/criminal problems caused by addicts
    – It will pull the rug from under the enormous illegal economy involved with drug production and trafficing
    – Which in turn will remove the main source of income of many terrorist or otherwise criminal organizations
    – Police and justice department can refocus a lot of attention to other kinds of crime that are currently underserved.

    The disadvantages are small in comparison. Medical supervision will ensure that drugs will not become available to new potential victims, i.e. our youth. Dealing with disadvantaged and unhealthy people is business as usual for our current medical system. Nothing new is required. Keeping it controlled will not make it 'morally acceptable' for people to start taking drugs.

    Sure, let's not be naive: young people will always have an urge to try something 'new and exiting'. But the illegal aspect of it is a significant part of what makes it exciting to them.

    If countries would be governed by economists the illegal status of drugs would already have been changed (I'm trying to avoid the term legalized). But politicians also have to deal with social sensitivities that in many cases are not necessarily rational. In terms of political careers there is a lot to lose. This makes it hard to have factual debate about this topic.

    Northern European countries are having a lot of succes with providing drugs under medical supervision. The Netherlands has just celebrated the succes of a ten year trial program to provide drugs to addicts, and has recently changed the law to extend this program nationwide.

    Criminal and social problems with addicts in these countries have been largely eradicated. Drug addiction in these countries is low compared to others.

    Should tobacco and alcohol be controlled substances? If you ask the Surgeon General or the WHO they would probably say yes. But for historical reasons the aren't. Sure, there are social and medical problems related with tobacco and alcohol, but prohibition has demonstrated that these will not go away by making them illegal. And at least there is no large criminal economy based on these substances. In that sense we have the problem 'under control'.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  133. sirian

    The prohibition in the US did not work, nor does the prohibition currently against drugs. I suspect the major resistance is, too many are making money from its prohibition, traffickers, politicians, lawyers, and even law enforcement itself. Stupidity seems to run the world and we have seen the collapse of all confidence in our leaders – banking, insurance, health care, religion, what's left?

    August 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  134. Diego

    Legalize and tax seems to be the consensus. Politicians (at least those not yet corrupted by the cartels). will do it if they sense the majority of voters agree It is the mothers who fear their children will be more exposed to dangerous drugs if they are legal that need to be convinced.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  135. Alvoris Hood

    This whole debate has turned into a war of it's own. So now we not only have the drug wars, we have the debate wars. There will always be drugs and drug users, So what is it that we are trying to accomplish with all this discussion. Discussion has become as big a problem as drug use and drug wars. So Just keep the discussion going and don't forget to ask the families of the victims just how much all the discussion has helped them . My position on the issue is, legalize and penalize. You can't stop abuse but you can control use.

    BIGHOOD50

    August 18, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  136. Lost in America

    It should be legalized. The spent to enforce current laws could be used else where and get a lot more use out of it too. Honestly, what does this country have to show as progress? Nothing! And if a tax is put on that extra income can be used to educate people on drugs ans I am sure there would be money left over. Eventually after legalization the demand would fall and the thrill would disappear. people only do it because big brother tells you not to and it is so cool to do. Legalize and take the thrill and coolness away. you still can not smoke and drive, and you enforce that to create more income. But fighting decade after decade and have nothing to show in great gain is useless ans endless, it will never change until you take a different approach and legalize.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  137. G-Man

    Ban GUNS instead!! What about ARMS?? Waaay more people die that way. Drugs should definitely be decriminalized. Think of the money one could make from taxes. Plus, cigs are waaay more harmful than stuff like weed. Either ban everything, or ban nothing at all. Banning only certain harmful stuff is just hypocritical. Let those who wish to harm their health, harm themselves, and those who don't wish to, let them just choose not to consume drugs. Rules should not govern other people's actions, it should be their innate, moral rules.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  138. Peter Charles

    I am completely in favor of legalization of all drugs, including the most addictive ones. As we saw with alcohol in the US in the first part of the 20th century, prohibition does not prevent people from using a drug, it only forces it's production to go underground. This in turn raises the price of the drug, which makes it a more attractive business proposition to people who like the risk/reward ration of making and distributing it.
    It is well established that the trade in illegal drugs is the principle "business" that funds criminal and terrorist organizations all over the world. Something like 28,000 people lost their lives in Mexico alone last year because of fighting between cartels and between cartels and the government! That is a stunning figure. Opium and heroin funds the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan etc. The worldwide illegal drug trade is huge, and it is all held in place by the artificially high prices that are only possible because it is illegal.
    I live in California, and all the small-time pot growers I know are not particularly excited about the possibility of marijuana being legalized, and I'm sure that is the case with the big cartels too, simply because the bottom will drop out of the market and they'll be out of business.
    Like alcohol, marijuana and even some hard drugs are relatively harmless when used in moderation. And like vast numbers of otherwise "ordinary middle-class people" I have tried several things at least once and I'm no worse the wear for it. I am still an intelligent, effective and fully functional member of society, and for many years now have essentially been a teetotaller (except for the occasional bash!).
    People can and do become addicted to anything, including money, food and sex. Addiction is a personal and cultural matter, not a legal one. It is simply a universal liability of what we call "being a human being". Lets face it, we are all addicts of one kind or another.
    Instead of pouring money into the "war on drugs" we should pour it into education and other culturally positive things. Making drugs illegal does nothing – it simply criminalizes ordinary people, and funds the extremely negative and antisocial development of "drug delivery" systems and organizations (as well as the privatized prison system in this country which is booming because of it!).

    August 18, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  139. Bakari Tajuddin

    I personally think all Drugs should be Legalized.Not saying that I want "ONE PERSON USING THEM",but there getting them as they did with getting Liquor back in the early 1900´s.Cigarettes,Liquor,Drugs are (ALL THE SAME).They all tend to Change Your Normal Behaviorism for different reasons.Also as a African American seeing Hundreds of thousands be put away to ROT.The sentence Guidelines are a CRIME in itself.You can Rape,Steal,Rob and Murder and even Attempt to Assassinate the Pres.of the United States and get out before a "Neighborhood Drug Dealer".............wow the Laws were really pointed at the Black Community as if they are bringing or ALLOWING DRUGS into Our Ports or Borderlines.........If drugs were Legal many who bought them in the past will find easy access to getting them in some cases leave them alone cause part of the Drug Movement as a User or Seller is to Go Against Those Who Oppose Them there Right To Do So....now that takes all the Fun Out Of It.Plus how can a "NON VIOLENT CRIME",meaning all parties are in AGREEMENT of either BUYING or SELLING without being made to do so be looked at worst than a Crime where someone is at the Mercy of His Aggressor ??? Please Legalize ALL DRUGS and let MY PEOPLE GO !!! Not that I Use or CONDONE,but Two wrong´s Can Never Make It RIGHT...Family´s Need There Mother & Father Home.Not Rotting Away In Some Jail For Life while Our Real Criminals Walk around Everyday Righting New Legislative Laws.You Know Who They Are....Your State & Local GOVERNMENT.........Crooks Who Are Stealing Your Money & Your Freedom..............Legalize Drugs Now and Stop building PRISONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  140. PBD

    I think we should. Legalize them, tax them and let the product liability attorneys make life very, very difficult for them. I guarantee there will be fewer drugs around once the recreational drug companies have been sued a few times. Civil law will drain their profits dry whereas criminal law can't seem to deter them.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  141. David J.

    It should be legal yesterday , thats the only way to stop the violence.
    I just wonder how can we ever repair the loss of lives that are taking place right now and most definetly could be avoided with full legalization. Thats the sad part.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  142. Richard McFarland

    End prohibition. Don't call it legalization. Some people will always abuse drugs, wether it is alcohol, nicotine, or drugs.
    Prohibition was tried and failed.
    Sell it openly, collect the tax and forget about it.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  143. AKINOLA MUIZ .A

    Drugs of any category should be legalize.The state should focus more on control.Mexico,colombia & other latin countries are gradually becoming a failed state because of demand for illegal drugs from U.S.A. and other developed nations...Why do we keep monitoring supply source without watching out for consumers?American is guilty for fueling the demand market (50% of illicit drugs are consumed by Americans)...You can't win the war on supply of hard drugs without prosecuting or by your keeping eyes off consumers...radical laws are neccessary to keep both suppliers and consumers in check.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  144. Baker

    First of all, there is a difference between legalizing and decriminalizing.

    Secondly, there are countries where this has already happened. They are mostly countries that collectively realized that there were drugs inside their borders whether they liked it or not.

    Third, "legalize and tax it" is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. You think that this means people are going to start selling heroin in grocery stores? Get real. What will happen is it will be acceptable for people to carry small amounts of drugs in their pockets strictly for personal use. That's it.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  145. Andrew C.

    The 'war on drugs' has been promoted in our democratic society by the use of a potent rhetorical weapon - mistaking the effects of drug laws with the effects of the 'drugs' themselves (as substances with medical effects). The effects of the drug war are all blamed on the drugs themselves, which leads to a upward spiral of increasingly harsh laws in an attempt to fix the effects of previous laws.

    This was made plain to me a few years ago, watching a ten minute network segment on the "effects of drugs in our society" - not ONE MOMENT of the segment showed the effects of any drug, such as stupor, giddiness etc - but showed nothing but the effects of the drug war, therein rhetorically blamed on the effects of the drugs themselves. How can we have a 'war' on a substance? That is absurd. This is a war on drug suppliers.

    Also, why are we not discussing REPLACING illegal drugs with legal versions that would be safer, pure, and dosage regulated? This is yet another rhetorical error, suggesting that the dangerous substances that the drug-war has created would simply be legal, rather than DISAPPEAR and be REPLACED with legal, safer, and dosage controlled substances.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  146. Nate from Jerusalem

    Because marijuana is illegal- i was FORCED at age 15 by the law to go to a dangerous drug-dealer to get pot,... the same dealer that sold PCP and Heroin and Crack cocaine.

    One day, when he was out of pot- i was offered LSD by this insane gun carrying lunatic.

    THAT SAME DAY, i can go to an air-conditioned pharmacy with nice music, and purchase habit-forming synthetic narcotics that CAN, HAVE and WILL kill people

    August 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  147. Malcolm Gregory Miles

    All drugs should be legalized. No laws ever have kept people from getting something they really want. See America's experiment with prohibition of alcohol. Legal drugs would eliminate the hugely profitable illegal market and take those funds away from organized criminals and corrupt law enforcement officials along with their political cohorts.
    At least two European countries, Holland and Switerland, have legalized drugs with great success. Drug addicts can be productive members of society if they are able to get the drugs they want or need without paying ridiculously inflated prices and dealing with criminals in order to do so.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  148. Leo Matos

    To end with harmful drug (ab)use we need to have an alternative, i.e., something which may give the user a similar or better effect than the drug he uses. In the seventies I made a research in Denmark about drug (ab)users who spontaneously stopped using drugs and produced a book ("Drugs or Meditation") showing the possibility of using various techniques of meditation as an alternative to drug use. I do believe this approach should be more explored so that the drug (ab)user could have a possibility of freeing himself of the use of harmful drugs. I have also produced a paper which was printed in scientific journals in English, which is possible to be send to anyone interested in this topic (to get this paper via Internet you can ask to abpsicologiatranspessoal@gmail.com for a sample).
    I believe this approach would save hundreds of precious human lives and would save billions of euros for different countries around the world.
    Leo Matos, Ph.D.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  149. C. Barry

    Legalization and decriminalization are two very different things. Outright legalization of all drugs is most definitely NOT a good idea. However, the decriminalization of marijuana is a completely different topic, and should be decided upon (in America, anyway) by individual states and not the federal government. States that pass such referendums should then tax this product as heavily as humanly possible. People readily pay $400 an ounce for marijuana. States could grow it at a fraction of the cost, yet still charge the same amount. This tax revenue should then be spent on schools, and more particularly on drug education programs. (REAL educational programs, and not propaganda and scare tactics.)

    If I can buy enough liquor to drink myself to death, or enough tobacco to smoke myself to death, then it makes no sense to have marijuana in a separate category. Kids are well aware of this hypocrisy, and rest assured whether or not it is illegal, decriminalized, or legal, they are going to experiment with it. We owe it to them to provide the resources such that they can make well-informed choices when doing this.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  150. ATwalker

    Without getting too in depth.......Legalize marijuana only. It is the only non-manufactured "drug". Why make something that grows naturally on the planet illegal? There is so much money to be made off this plant through taxation and vacant prison cells that could be used for child molesters.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  151. Strangewalk

    What I've learned is that whatever happens in this world–if you want to know why–just follow the money. The drug cartels, gangs, murders and violence on the street level are the visible side of the story, but there's for certain something going on behind the scenes that's not covered on the six o'clock news. Many of the largest aggregations of wealth in the US were formed during Prohibition, but dope represents a much better opportunity for those with friends in higher places, and smell carefully for a rat whenever you hear a politician spewing out the scripted high-moral arguments against legalization. The only hope of getting the corrupted political class to do the common sense thing, is to convince them of all the money they'll be able to stick their hands into if dope is legalized, controlled and taxed by the state.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  152. Rupert

    Just as spirits were banned years ago and their legal purchase solved many criminal problems, so would the legal selling of drugs.
    Why not dispense them with a high profit by a government outlet.....it might bring down the debt and certainly would stop the present killings in the drug trade.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  153. Carlos Monteiro

    Remove the power of the thugs that control the drugs business by legalizing drugs. As long as demand for drugs exists, supply will be made available to consumers. But as long as the crime world remain in charge of the supply side, the nightmare will keep growing. Key here is the removal of all the drug money power from the criminal elements of our society. As past experiences show (Prohibition era comes to mind) we won't have a generalised public health problem because of this

    August 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  154. Peter Lowber

    YES- Make drugs legal, take the profits out of the drug trade and away from the cartels, release people from jail (mostly young black men) serving mandatory sentences for non violent drug deals, and provide drug treatment. This makes too much sense for ouir politicians but it is the only policy that makes common sense.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  155. JT

    Of course drugs should be decriminalised.

    Especially Marijuana.

    Locking up people for doing nothing worse than drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes is moronic.

    Alcohol and cigarettes kill more people than all the illegal drugs combined.

    The so called war on drugs only perpetuates the problem,causing gang violence,police violence,high prices on the illegal drug market,etc....

    But the police depts of the world dont want drugs legal.They would miss out on massive funding.

    Its all a sad joke really...

    "If a drug is illegal its the user / dealer who is to blame for the problems"

    "If a drug is legal it is the drug who gets blamed,not the dealer, i.e the government.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  156. heddy neil

    yes. should have legalizced those drugs long time ago....

    August 19, 2010 at 12:03 am | Reply
  157. Peter Kuhlman

    Legalize. Period. People are going to use them whether or not they are legal – myself included – so there might as well be some tax revenue gained from their use. Besides, legalizing them would hurt the illegal drug trade by dropping the bottom out of their market. (The greater the criminal penalties imposed, the higher the prices for drugs and the more lucrative the illegal drug trade becomes. Economics 101, people!)

    August 19, 2010 at 12:07 am | Reply
  158. driveduster

    Many are proposing legalization. Is pot better than alcohol? Sure. Most of he world accepts that we humans need an escape, there is no doubt. The problem always lies with those who cannot control it.

    Will those of you who propose legalization accept it when some guy is wacked out on PCP rapes and murders your 14 year old daughter?

    Yes, just like the NRA bumper stickers: "Guns don't kill people, people do.", and "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.", the issue is not the drugs, but the people using them - "When the buying stops, the killing can to." - sound familiar?

    "Everything in moderation." - yet another applicable cliché, fits the lifestyle most people in the world (not everyone, but a significant majority) try to follow. Most religions describe a 'balanced' life.

    Rather than across-the-board legalization, how about a split between those that are physically addictive (No) and mentally addictive (Yes)? The rationale being that physical addiction moves control from the user to the drug whereas control for those mentally addicted remains with the individual. I'm sure some may disagree, and I'll concede there are always exceptions and outliers, but this could be a starting compromise. By the way, I place alcohol in the MA group.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:18 am | Reply
  159. Jason

    Make Marijuana legal, they will be too stoned to care about any other drugs. We need the jail space and the effort of our law enforcement concentrated on the real criminals.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:25 am | Reply
  160. DMA

    Prohibition–yeah, it STILL doesn't work!

    August 19, 2010 at 12:40 am | Reply
  161. nelle howard

    decriminalize, tax and regulate.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:55 am | Reply
  162. Gopaul Chackan

    The use of drugs is here to stay. Vast sums are generated in its trade and distribution at the underground level to create addicts and strain our security, financial, health and social systems and encourage money laundering of ill gotten gains. So legalize it and let it get into the commercial system for taxation, licensing, import taxation and financial control. You will still have the drugs addicts just like we have alcoholics and tobacco smokers' addiction but a whole new level of control will be introduced and governments will have the leverage to take control..

    August 19, 2010 at 12:56 am | Reply
  163. B Noble

    YES like everyone else says tax it

    August 19, 2010 at 1:17 am | Reply
  164. Gilberto De Nucci

    They should be descriminalized and pharmaceutical drug companies should be developing better and safer analogues, as they have done with opium.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:20 am | Reply
  165. Niel

    This is a complex issue, and it has been simplified for political reasons. Substance misuse and abuse has been with us, likely, since the beginning of time. This issue is a struggle over which substances should be allowed in the commercial trade, and those which are not allowed have been demonized as being harmful and/or immoral unequally. For instance, the effects of alcohol addiction and withdrawal are every bit as devastating and physically dangerous as opiates, but it is freely available in most places and even celebrated in song and story. Let's take cannabis as a statistic, how many clinics have been established for the treatment of cannabis withdrawal? And, yet, there is a large contingency of people that stigmatize it's use as immoral and has, thus, been declared illegal. I submit that if it were not criminalized and thrust in the "narcotic" category, there would be many fewer users of cannabis who would move on to "harder" drugs. Indeed, the supposition that cannabis use leads to hard drug use has not been a proven, any more than drinking beer leads to the use of whiskey. There are exceptions but they do not prove the rule. As always, there is and have been people that indulge in
    self-destructive behavior. They are people that will seek out any tool to meet their ends, be it fast automobiles, sleeping pills, or drugs and alcohol. And just as there are many responsible alcohol users, it follows that there will be as many responsible marijuana users. I also think that the debate has to start with rational and real facts – without the demagogic politics of the past, or the economics of the alcohol industry.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:22 am | Reply
  166. Nicholas Tiffin Sharp

    Legalizing the consumption of drugs brings enormous benefits to society. This has been proved in Portugal where the number of addicts and casual users has dropped dramatically since legalization a few years ago. The Portuguese wisely decided to tackle the problem not from a criminal but rather a public health point of view. The resources which were once wasted on ultimately useless methods of repression are now devoted to funding prevention programmes, support for ex-addicts who are looking for work, needle exchanges, school seminars and such like. The result of this shift in tactics is nothing short of astounding. HIV infection rates from contaminated needles have dropped 90%, the number of casual users has dropped by 150.000 and the number of addicts is down by over 300 thousand people! Narcotics-related crime has been reduced by half and the people who previously would have been incarcerated for drug use now attend seminars and therapy programmes, freeing up jail space to accomodate those who really pose a threat to society.

    Understandably, most of us shrink back at the thought of a society in which narcotics can be freely acquired. We have been taught since birth that these substances are harmful and we see both the social and economic destruction wrought by the ruthless criminals who control the narcotics buisness. It is difficult for us to wrestle with the thought of condoning publicly that which we find personally repugnant.

    However, we cannot ignore the statistical evidence showing how the legalization of drugs reduces both consumption and crime. Nor can we forget that the American Mafia grew enormously as a direct result of Prohibition. Legalization awakes in us an understadable internal fear of chaos, but we must learn to put aside these worries and permit everyone to consume the drug of their choice. Our task is to dedicate ourselves to reinforcing educational, therapeutic and health organizations.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:38 am | Reply
  167. William VanderGraaf

    I am a retired police officer from Winnipeg,MB,Canada and I can site many stories on homicide investigations where even little children were shot to death because of the insane WAR on Drugs.
    Legalize drugs with proper control and regulation and you will reduce
    the killings, overdoses, prostitution and disease. You should all check out www. leap.cc (Law Enforcement Against Prohibtion) for the truth about prohibition.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:44 am | Reply
  168. Martin

    Legalize everything and take a huge source of income away from organized crime.

    Also make sure that everyone knows and understand that drugs are no copout pill for everything. Hold everyone fully accountable for everything they do, under influence or not.

    That being said, in legalizing drugs it'll get worse before it gets better. People will go overboard with their newfound freedom and suffer before we learn to socialize responsibly with them at our disposal.

    The alternative have been seen all too clear when pawns are gunned down en masse to line a few pockets Juarez style. That is just the beginning as we grow evermore in numbers, not everyone can be on top and those at the bottom will want to and should have means to still their angst should they want to.

    August 19, 2010 at 1:45 am | Reply
  169. Joop(NL)

    The drugs never should have been criminalized in the first place. It's all done just because Great Brttin was losing the war of fortune with China in the old day's. (Know your facts!)
    People allways have been and allways will be searching for pleasure, including the drugs, smoking and alcohol.
    So why not? Give the user the rules on where to use it, teach them the consuquentes and leave it be.
    The drugsfarming and selling will be good busniss and no more criminal gangs with drugs money, better control of users etc....

    Joop

    August 19, 2010 at 1:53 am | Reply
  170. Random Man

    How much does the govt spend annually (outside the US) fighting the war on drugs?

    How much do the citizenry spend each year (outside the US) buying drugs?

    How many people die each year (in and outside the US) in the war on drugs?

    How much money would STAY in the US if (at least some of it) was legalized, controlled, and taxed?

    What small portion of those taxes would it take to establish treatment and rehabilitation centers?

    It's not rocket science. The answers are obvious.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:09 am | Reply
  171. richard

    the money made[paid out] incarcerating people for these crimes is too great to balance out legalising and taxing. the privatisation of the penal system will not have any of this 'legailse pot' nonsense...
    a sad state of affairs...

    August 19, 2010 at 2:11 am | Reply
  172. Jacob

    You have to think that people that use illicit drugs do them for two reasons. For the thrill of the high, and the thrill of doing something illegal. Even with legal drugs, taxed or not, you will still have people trying to go around the system. Maybe they don't want to pay a tax or have their name on a list somewhere. Don't legalize drugs and let the chase continue. Give police something to do other than pester good people for jaywalking, and give your neighborhood junkie the thrill of getting his high.

    I also have to add (this coming from a recreational marijuana user) that marijuana is a drug. Yes, it is the least harmful drug – yielding minimal negative effects and possibly helping positively, but it is still a drug that affects the mindsets of people.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:14 am | Reply
  173. Brian K.

    The 'war on drugs' is an obvious failure. Users and drug pushers proliferate while innocent victims of the drug war grow in number each day. Heroic, good people are dying while fighting the sociopaths who run the organized crime rings that deliver illegal drugs. However, the status quo benefits many powerful people and organizations and it will not be easy to bring change (decriminalization) that actually reduces drug use and the power of organized crime. My feeling is though that with nearly all countries in the Western Hemisphere south of the Rio Grande having become failed states or 'narco fiefdoms', the cost of 'the war' has become too high and change will happen.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:14 am | Reply
  174. mark

    Part of the problem is the label:

    Drugs!

    Each one is different. Heroin, marijuana, amphetamines, tobacco, alcohol..it is foolish to look for a blanket solution to this complex medical, legal and social problem. Each substance is different and should be treated separately.

    Marijuana should be de-criminalised and eventually completely legalised with an education program to show health risks and benefits.

    Heroin should be treated as a medical problem with registration for addicts, methadone programs and rehabilitation (which is cheaper than a war on drugs and trying to enforce unenforceable laws.

    Amphetamines is another issue. I am not sure how to deal with that one. But I am not going to pretend that the marijuana or heroin solution would work for that substance...

    Another problem is that "illegal drugs" are such big money that banks and governments are getting this money after it has been laundered and it seriously threatens the status quo in societies where poverty is a problem and dealing drugs is the only way out. Look at Mexico.

    There has to be a better answer than the "war on drugs". I mean..how bad can it get..28 000 people killed since 2006 in drug-related violence in Mexico.

    It is ridiculous.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:39 am | Reply
  175. Ricardo

    I really don't get the demonization of drugs. I used almost all of them (ecstasy, LCD, marijuana, cocaine) and it's not at all like what the goverments wants to sell us. I mean using it didn't made me addicted to it at all or caused any other types of problems (college wise etc). I think those who get addicted to it are already predispose to get addicted to anything (video games, food, alcool etc) and that needs to be medically treated. By the way I live in Brazil and here although consumption and possesion is legal (wich is ok) that just doesn't fully work. Production and distribution should also be legal.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:47 am | Reply
  176. Chris

    Absolutely drugs should be leagalized and taxed! Unfortunately we have too many relics in offcie affraid to lead such a campaign. Fact is the war against drugs if over. We brag about these big busts, which are set-ups so the massive shipments can get into the counrty. The voilence and enviromental dammage being done and the costs to fighting a never ending war would be better served on educating our young over the risks of drug abuse.

    this agrument reminds of the out dated argument that we shouldn;t allow minors to purchase birth control or the fact that guns are legal because there are 200 million of them in the country and if we made them illegal the bad people would still have them. Just MOVE FORWARD!

    August 19, 2010 at 2:54 am | Reply
  177. Tamal10

    Yes. Treat addicts as a medical condition, not as criminals. Governments should have clinics, that administer drugs to those who want them for free and offer treatment to those who want it. The drug war would go away with this method and we would save millions of lives and dollars.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:55 am | Reply
  178. Craig

    People seem to forget we are talking about addictive items here. If you make it legal, then in essence there is no control at all, bc people will be legally allowed to have a go.

    People will get addicted, and these addiction will still cost more than someones income. Where will the money come from. Keep the honest honest is an old saying I like. Keep it illegal, so the law abiding citizens will stay away from them out of reverence of the law, or fear of getting caught, compared to the possibility of them trying these drugs if it were legal.

    These are lives you are talking about, I help out at a rehab, so this revenue raising 'opportunity' is blood money really. Families are the ones who get the most screwed over by drug addicts.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:56 am | Reply
  179. Peter UK

    If alcohol or tobacco were 'discovered' today no government in the world would get away with legalizing and taxing them because of their known harmful effects. We do allow the sale of alcohol and tobacco with warnings as to these harmful effects and leave it up to the individual to choose whether to use or not.

    To criminalize any other drugs because of their potential to harm is completely hypocritical. Legalize all drugs, tax them and control their sale in similar ways to alcohol and tobacco. Provide information and education as to their harmful effects and let the individual decide.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:59 am | Reply
  180. Matt

    If people want to waste their lives away on drugs its not my problem. As long as the government healthcare doesn't fund their overdoses etc.

    August 19, 2010 at 3:00 am | Reply
  181. Jason

    It's a twofold problem. The first is a moral problem, and the second is an economic one.

    The moral problem is that we seem to think that banning things to protect an individual from their own behaviour is a good idea. I disagree with this position. A persons body and mind is their own property, and we have a moral obligation to allow them to do with their body as they see fit. Banning drugs, of course, is done on the idea that drugs causes 'addition', and various criminal and self destructive behaviours. Even if it were true (and I think it's doubtful), it smacks of a society obsessed with a lack of personal responsibility. Father government isn't there to shield you from your own stupidity. If you can use drugs responsibility, fine. If not, well, you'll ruin your life soon enough.

    The economic problem is that the war on drugs is profoundly expensive, is of very poor success, and has produced a very large and well funded mafia. Capone, for example, would've been impossible without prohibition. If drugs were legalised and taxed, prison populations would be lower, more tax revenue would be collected, less spent on law enforcement, and police could spend their time on real crimes, like theft, murder, assault and rape.

    August 19, 2010 at 3:36 am | Reply
  182. andy

    well someone needs to address the 10,000+ drunk driving deaths per year, and give us rational justification for why the government spends billions on the "war on drugs," locks up thousands of people for victimless crimes, but allows liquor to be advertised on TV. I would have though we'd learn something from prohibition.

    August 19, 2010 at 3:38 am | Reply
  183. Cheech

    Legalize. At least marijuana, please. Some human beings just need a crutch...it's inherent within us. For many people, it's alcohol, which is more damaging to our bodies than marijuana. Alcohol is also more dangerous to SOCIETY than marijuana. Numerous studies show that effects of marijuana include reclusive and pacifistic behavior compared to alcohol in which people under the influence are extremely violent. What will happen if we legalize weed, you might ask? We'll all be a little bit lazier, happier, carefree, and easygoing. In a country that's currently invested in 2 wars, that's probably something that we need.

    August 19, 2010 at 4:01 am | Reply
  184. Barryc

    Let people do what they want. Each person must be allowed to act responsibly – or not. Let the police work on violent crimes and forget the charade of the drug war.

    August 19, 2010 at 4:04 am | Reply
  185. Cheech

    GOVERNMENT/ANYONE THAT WANTS TO WIN OUR VOTE: LEGALIZE. LOOK AT THESE COMMENTS. IT IS OVERWHELMING. LET'S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

    August 19, 2010 at 4:05 am | Reply
  186. mutaqid

    if we legalize it or not tax or not , the probelms we see today we will see it in future too bc if they tax it high people will still do the buisness of it illigally.better they find antoher way for it

    August 19, 2010 at 4:10 am | Reply
  187. Linda Tang

    it's really a bad idea for decriminalizing drugs. Making drugs legal will lead to a crazy world.While it is still illegal now, we have no idea to forbid from dissiminating to innocent people. I can't imagine the outcome for it being legal. So it's really a ridiculous suggestion in my mind

    August 19, 2010 at 4:35 am | Reply
  188. Joseph

    yes. The "wars on drugs" are more dangerous than the drugs. Treat recreational drugs like alcohol for adults. Make large taxes and profits to pay for the relatively few who will need substance abuse treatment. The human damage will be much less with legalization than with these drug wars. The profits can also be used to promote sobriety and education.

    August 19, 2010 at 4:46 am | Reply
  189. Cockroach

    All drugs should be legal and regulated. Marijuana should regulated like tobacco is; harder drugs should be regulated by doctors, not politicians!

    August 19, 2010 at 4:50 am | Reply
  190. Mother of Addict from Australia

    Yes Drugs like Heroin and Marijuana should be legalised. Marijuana also should be decriminalised. Meth may be problem but pharmacutical grade Meth may be at least less harmful?

    This so called "War on Drugs" cannot be won at least the way it is being done. Governments should listen to eminent people who know, such as Prof. Ian Gilmour and many other Scientists,Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses,Parents,Addicts etc who have all studied, seen & experienced "the Problem". If they are not heard and action is not taken in the way they suggest, the "Drug Problem" is only going to get worse,and taxpayers money will be thrown down the drain trying to fix an unfixable problem.

    August 19, 2010 at 5:49 am | Reply
  191. Lukasz

    I think countries should resolve this separately, different regulations in different countries, as there hardly is a common ground as the yesterday show showed. And I wouldn't say drugs are socially unacceptable in the US. What about all those hip-hop and gangsta celebrities? I should also say alcoholism is more stigmatised there (Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson) and drugs are a part of culture. You HAVE TO be popular, starting at the age of three or younger, HAVE TO be cool. Popular takes cool, cool is a relaxed go-with and many relax just using drugs. QED.

    August 19, 2010 at 8:08 am | Reply
  192. Ben

    The answer is simple, everyone agrees,

    Legalise drugs, put the world at ease

    August 19, 2010 at 8:30 am | Reply
  193. Rob G

    When alcohol was prohibited in the 20's, the government amended the constitution, and then re-amended to end prohibition. I believe the prohibition of all drugs (including alcohol) should be held to the same legal standard. If you want to make it illegal, amend the constitution- lets see how far that gets...

    August 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  194. GABRIEL

    IF YOU ARE NOT THE TRUE OWNER OF YOUR OWN BODY: 
    THEN GET THE OWNERS PREMISSION BEFORE YOU 
    PUT DRUGS INTO IT.

    IF YOU ARE, HOWEVER, THE TRUE OWNER OF YOUR BODY:

    PUT IN IT ANYTHING YOU SEE FIT. 

    IF IT IS YOUR OWN PERSONAL BODY YOU WALK AROUND IN, AND NOT A BODY YOU HAVE BORROWED FROM THE GOVERNMENT,

    HOW ON EARTH DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DENY YOU TO DO WITH IT AS YOU SEE FIT?

    THE USE OF DRUGS IS NOT CRIMINAL. SINCE YOU OWN THE GOVERNMENT, AND THEY DO NOT OWN YOU. OR YOUR BODY.

    August 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  195. McD

    Prohibition is simply and extension of slavery.

    August 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  196. jan

    I think it's telling that those that are against any form of legalisation/decriminalisation can only bring the most simplistic arguments.

    "Drugs are bad, mkay!" is not really debate now is it?

    There is NO EVIDENCE that legalising or decriminalising drugs will lead to more addicts or more deaths.

    In fact the EVIDENCE points to quite the opposite. In Portugal where all drugs have been essentially decriminalised for personal use since 2001, usage has dropped in almost every category and most importantly in use amongst young people. Similar situation in Holland.

    Do a little bit of research, don't just react with the same tired, illogical and frankly hypocritical rubbish the government tells you.

    A few sources for all drugs are bad always crowd to start with:

    How about an open debate on rational, evidence-based policy...? Seems there's enough support for it in debates like this!

    August 20, 2010 at 8:44 am | Reply
  197. el

    Cannabis should not be classified in the same group as cocaine and heroin.

    the reason why cannabis is illegal was due to misinformation in the first place by corporations and in turn governments and the church (and that shouldn't really surprise any of us)

    cannabis itself is NOT addictive. its a person psychology that gets addict to the item. same as someone gets addicted to computer games or gambling or self-masturbation.

    Cannabis does not waste peoples lives. People choose to waste there own lives. its not the drug – this is again misinformation just like the "Reefer Madness" movie produced by non other then the church.

    at the end of the day a person should be able to do what the like with there own bodies and minds as long as it doesn't effect others – same as religion.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  198. ted jones

    The answer is YES! After nearly four decades of fueling the U.S. policy of a war on drugs with over a trillion tax dollars and 37 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses, our confined population has quadrupled making building prisons the fastest growing industry in the United States. More than 2.2 million of our citizens are currently incarcerated and every year we arrest an additional 1.9 million more guaranteeing those prisons will be bursting at their seams. Every year we choose to continue this war will cost U.S. taxpayers another 69 billion dollars. Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier to get than they were 35 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs. Meanwhile, people continue dying in our streets while drug barons and terrorists continue to grow richer than ever before. We would suggest that this scenario must be the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must cease!

    August 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  199. Thomas Tuohy

    True liberty is making decisions for yourself. It is not free to be bound by laws and regulations that indiscriminately impose prohibitions on citizens.

    August 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  200. john martinovich

    YES, LEGALISE DRUGS AND SAVE LOTS OF MILLIONS OF INISENT LIFES, AND SAVE A LOT OF UNESASERY SUFERING OF GODS INISENT CHILDREN......

    August 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  201. john martinovich

    I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND IN THIS DAY AND AGE THAT ONE GRUPE CAN TAKE AWAY FROM ANOTHER GRUPE THAT GOD CREATED OUT OF THIS EARTH FOR ALL HIS CHILDREN TO ENJOY HERBS,AND TO KEEP US IN HEALTH. AT LEAST LEGALIS POT, THAT WAY WE WON'T LOOK LIKE A COMMUNISTIC TYRONIC GOV.....

    August 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Reply
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