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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Legalize heroin | Practical Ethics | University of Oxford

I found this piece very interesting, and I'm posting here, comments that followed the article. They were all very thoughtful and serious. No one was flippant or rude. I have really come around on this issue. I have gone from thinking it was immoral and dangerous to consider legalization of drugs, to coming to understand the war on drugs as the bigger threat and assault on the public's safety and health.

Here's an excerpt:

The “war on drugs” is dangerous indeed; it has failed, and failed dramatically. A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy concludes that that “political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.”

Here are a few comments that followed the post:

I, for one, would be happy to put drug dealers out of business and channel money from illegal drug trade to harm reduction, education, and treatment.
Phallusaurus says:
October 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm

> heroin sure is a health risk, even if legalized

Much, much lesser risk. Most health problems come from the fact that it’s cut: sometimes it’s a harmless cut, sometimes you inject yourself with something nasty, and sometimes you die from an overdose since that new stuff you got was undercut.

I actually think, under legalization, heroin users can make a living almost as normally as a tobacco smoker can. Hell, I know people who do, they just abuse diamorphine (synonym for heroin) in prescription form.

TLR says:
September 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I like Dr. Paul’s approach in decriminalizing drugs and treating it as a sickness instead of a legal matter. The $ from the war on drugs could then be spent on rehab. or drug prevention.

Click here to read to the article.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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