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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the making-way-too-much-sense dept.

AlterNet reports

Embracing a harm reduction and public health perspective, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals has released a signed editorial calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of currently illegal drugs.

In an editorial [May 10] entitled Drugs Should Be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed, Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, notes that under drug prohibition, the global trade "fuels organized crime and human misery", and asks, "Why should it not instead fund public services?"

Citing an opinion piece[1] in the same issue of the BMJ from British members of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Jason Reed and Paul Whitehouse, Godlee notes that in the United Kingdom (as in the United States) "vast sums are spent prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities" while that money would be much better "spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection". Under legalization, "revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers", she writes.

Godlee notes that the global drug prohibition consensus is fraying around the edges, and points to the example of Portugal, which decriminalized the possession of all drugs in 2001. There, drug use remains in line with levels in other European countries, but the harms associated with drug use under prohibition have decreased dramatically, particularly in terms of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of injection drug-related infectious disease.

[1] Bad link in TFA; corrected in TFS.

Previous: Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:52PM (4 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:52PM (#680110) Journal

    This appears to be the current Dem thinking on drugs: []


    Reforming our Criminal Justice System
    Enabling Cutting-Edge Medical Research
    Combating Drug and Alcohol Addiction

    Medical research is relevant because that's another reason to deschedule/downschedule drugs. But they only go this far in the platform, under Reforming our Criminal Justice System:

    Because of conflicting federal and state laws concerning marijuana, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of “Schedule 1” federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization. We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize it or provide access to medical marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact in terms of arrest rates for African Americans that far outstrip arrest rates for whites, despite similar usage rates.

    It's reasonable, and should happen, but that's as far as the party is going to go for a long, long time. Cannabis legalization is popular, even among Republicans. It's a safe issue.

    4/20: The Mary Jane Majority []

    Senator Chuck Schumer has promised to pursue about the most serious/mainstream attempt in the party to legalize cannabis at the federal level (contrast with Cory Booker's bill []). But the Dems remain the minority party, and even if they do extremely well in the midterms, more Democratic-controlled seats are up for grabs than Republican in the Senate.

    All 33 seats in Senate Class I will be up for election. 23 of the seats to be contested are presently held by Democrats, and eight by Republicans (three of which are retiring), with two being independents.

    Ideally, both Democrats and Republicans [] could come together [] on the issue, but that seems unlikely.

    The DEA is still being ridiculous as usual: On marijuana and opioids — the DEA has no clue what it’s talking about []

    Other drugs have some limited support for descheduling/decriminalization, but it's still a long road ahead: First, Marijuana. Are Magic Mushrooms Next? []

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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:59PM (2 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:59PM (#680114)

    > On marijuana and opioids — the DEA has no clue what it’s talking about

    On SLS, NASA has no clue what it's talking about.
    When you're taking direct orders from entities with obsessive and bipolar disorders, telling them that they're amazingly wrong is not the best way to keep feeding your kids.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:25PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:25PM (#680130) Journal

      The DEA is worse. They have a rotten culture within that agency, and they have obvious perverse incentives to keep the broken status quo going. If we get across-the-board legalization in this country, many DEA jobs will be lost. A few will probably remain, but the majority of them will become unnecessary. And then we have some DEA agents on the ground who are engaging in criminal activity. Cancelling SLS on the other hand could create jobs within NASA, since more money could be spent on a diverse portfolio of actual scientific pursuits rather than the delayed pork rocket.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16 2018, @03:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16 2018, @03:53PM (#680419)

        it's an agency that shouldn't even exist, along with countless others. they should all be fired, at the very least. what kind of mindless slaves pay pigs to tell them what medicines they can take? it's disgustingly pitiful.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15 2018, @06:06PM (#680120)
    I'll be damned if I start taking orders from the British medical journals
    My forebears fought and died to send the British medical journals packing
    Don't Tread On Me, British medical journals