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Old 11-30-2018, 07:58 AM
7,029 posts, read 1,706,378 times
Reputation: 4999


Originally Posted by DeanGuitarist View Post
I could disobey the drug laws. But are YOU willing to pay my mortgage, make sure the electricity stays on and my family gets fed because I wouldn't be able to pass a drug screen or arrested, losing my career job?

Some drug laws are there for reasons. The only drug law that should be abolished is marijuana. There's many people that are willing and able to work but can't get a job due to marijuana on drug screens.

Although most states that allow medical and/or recreational are dropping it from the testing. Also clearing the names and releasing offenders. Which I applaud with a standing ovation. Companies and people are hurt because of the test and are trying to alleviate that problem.

I'm one of those people that are looking to move out of this state to where that is happening. I shouldn't have to worry about being punished for doing something while off. Not just "to get high", but mainly medicinal due to PTSD and chronic pain that I endure. I've had surgeries and chiropractic visits. Nothing seems to help and I'm tired of hurting. My Dr won't prescribe opiods, which can be a good thing, and OTC meds like Tylenol and Ibuprofen takes the edge off. Only for a little while.
I disagree with that, if you look at the very first drug laws, against opium, meth, harder drugs, the purpose was racially motivated, it was a way to control certain races using health and safety as a disguise.

The same is true today for ALL drugs, but they have also learned how much money they can make too with these laws, so its that much better for them, but the 'health and safety' reasons are still a disguise, tobacco proves this...over 500K people die from cigarettes each year, compared to under 10K that die from opioid overdose per year...and yet they aggressively target opioids?

Old 11-30-2018, 08:54 AM
9,430 posts, read 16,029,845 times
Reputation: 17419
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
Drug laws are unconstitutional, this is different from say, sex crimes, or traffic crimes.
Drug laws are unconstitutional based on what?
Old 11-30-2018, 10:08 AM
1,112 posts, read 932,176 times
Reputation: 1755
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Drug laws are unconstitutional based on what?
Based on logic, reason and the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Supreme court does not agree. They have agreed with the Feds. In order to do so they have agreed to a convoluted interpretation of the Commerce Clause that makes no sense, but it does give the justification for the FEDS usurping what is arguably a state right.

For example, it was argued that any use or transfers of cannabis by or between individuals or parties, whether money changed hands or not, would affect the interstate market for cannabis (apparently not a problem that it would be an illegal transaction, and an illegal market) so the federal Commerce Clause applies.

Once the Supreme's agreed to this, the Feds had the power to create the Drug War. However, this is clearly over-reach to anyone with a brain. Simply transferring a quantity of cannabis between a grower and a user, entirely within one state, in reality has no affect on the inter state commerce in cannabis, or any other drug example you care to use.

So in that sense the current interpretation of the Commerce Clause is unconstitutional and should be over turned by a more rational Supreme Court. This would be Just like what happened with alcohol, where a constitutional amendment was required to outlaw it, so too should it be required that a constitutional amendment should have been sought to outlaw cannabis, the other drugs and create the Drug War.

Last edited by Beaconowner; 11-30-2018 at 10:35 AM..
Old 11-30-2018, 10:11 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
19,391 posts, read 9,138,002 times
Reputation: 18702
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
Drug laws are unconstitutional, this is different from say, sex crimes, or traffic crimes.
That's your opinion, it's apparently not something that the Supreme Court agrees with.

And again, stop equating civil rights with I wanna do drugs. Civil rights issues were about wanting to be treated the same as everyone else in the same aspects of life.
Old 11-30-2018, 11:54 AM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,242 posts, read 11,646,574 times
Reputation: 17520
Drug laws will only change if many people practice civil disobedience. Recreational pot only became legal after a couple generations of illicit users showed the law was worse than the drug.

Many drugs could be regulated. Most of the opioid overdoses are due to lack of standardized, pure doses. Add a little fentanyl to the heroin to give it a kick, and it's lights out for the poor user, one more fatality in the War on Drugs. Opium derivatives like morphine or heroin have no adverse health effects other than dependence. Methadone is considered more virtuous just because it lacks the beneficial effects. Users should be able to get the drug of their choice at a local dispensary. The drug laws kill people.

The really destructive drugs, like amphetamines and alcohol, are in a separate class. I'm conflicted about whether they should be legal and freely available, or restricted.
Old 11-30-2018, 11:56 AM
Location: Colorado
10,169 posts, read 6,454,796 times
Reputation: 18224
I strongly agree with those like Raddo and RichCapeCod who have pointed out the facts that the "War on Drugs" has nothing at all to do, really, truly, with protecting human beings as individuals or society, from the harms of drugs.

Not at the level of making law or policy it doesn't.

I have little doubt that the international black market drug trade is such a large and lucrative business that world leaders profit from it and negotiate back room dealings out of the public eye to keep these drugs illicit so that their profits aren't harmed.

I have no doubt at all, that it is used as a tool to control and manipulate and oppress racial and class groups in our country and in other countries.

I know for fact that many police departments experience gross corruption and profit greatly from asset forfeiture, and selectively enforce drug laws based on criteria such as race and class when it comes to prison time.

I am well aware of how for-profit prisons reap profits in labor and fines from those incarcerated. And every time a low level offender is put into prison, it is entirely likely or possible that you are taking a person who also has a regular job, and also is trying to raise a family, and that person is losing their job and the family deprived of their presence and support, and in many cases, that person isn't necessarily some "scumbag" that their family or society is better off without. They're a regular person, perhaps with an addiction.

And that brings me to something, I would look to phetaroi's points in this statement (I also live in Colorado Springs, hi!)... I don't believe, that changing the way we handle drugs, is a matter of saying "drugs are bad" or "drugs are ok." I have a very negative opinion about drug use. I do think that drugs (and alcohol as well) are problematic and harmful to individuals and to society. But sometimes it's more a matter of asking, "is prohibition and prosecution, the most effective way to handle this problem?" I do not believe that it is. I strongly support decriminalization, not because I want to get high or I want it to be OK for people to get high, but because despite the War on Drugs, people always did, and I think that there are better ways to solve the problem that are less destructive and promoting of corruption, than what we're doing right now.

I do think it's a civil rights issue. Not in the sense of protecting any addict's right to use. But in the sense of stopping the other effects as mentioned by Raddo and RichCapeCod. Which, frankly, includes the race/class part of the selective enforcement situation, as an ongoing part of a civil rights battle that is not yet won for people of color in America.

And speaking of Colorado. Do you recall the ballot initiatives (assuming you voted) in the midterms, Amendment A to the state Constitution? I mean this is less than a month ago, in the year of 2018, we had an amendment we needed to pass, to prohibit SLAVERY. Because we had a loophole, that allowed incarcerated prisoners, to be used as slave labor.


But I agree with you, phetaroi, that there is a right way and a wrong way to make change. I do think that the sheer number of states at least willing to now look at legalizing marijuana in various ways, points to governments first at local and state levels, and hopefully one day at the federal level, hearing the voices and heeding the will of the people.

It should be very obvious that some leaders at some levels won't like the idea of taking drug problems out of the criminal justice system, and into the health/welfare/treatment sphere. The first thing can be very profitable. The second, not only unprofitable but also a burden and a cost on society to some degree. But I think, probably more effective.

Interestingly here in Colorado, I've heard rumors about Denver considering supervised injection sites, and also considerations of maybe legalizing psilocybin mushrooms. I think that there is more change to come in how America handles drugs.
Old 11-30-2018, 12:05 PM
9,584 posts, read 7,509,315 times
Reputation: 23440
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
Drug laws are unconstitutional, this is different from say, sex crimes, or traffic crimes.
How are drug laws unconstitutional in plain sight of every lawyer, judge, legislator, etc? Just because you don't agree doesn't make the laws unconstitutional.

By the way, civil disobedience for drugs is easy. Go to a major public event that has a lot of police presence like a music festival. Then, you and your buddies smoke some meth, weed, and pass around some molly, all in plain sight of the public and police. Have a sign that reads "drug laws are unconstitutional. " After you get arrested, plead your case in the court of public opinion. Get on tv shows, the news, etc.
Old 11-30-2018, 02:06 PM
2,234 posts, read 847,087 times
Reputation: 4308
If it is against the law then it's the job of police to investigate and make arrests.
Police are not the law-makers, they are the law-enforcers.
If you break the law then be prepared to pay for it.

Anti-establishment activists learned long ago that you can get more accomplished by using the system (establishment) to get changes made. You can write your government officials, get a petition going, there are so many ways you can reach your goal. We claim our society is democratic so use the system to get it legalized. Find out from other states who have decriminalized it and what they did to get new laws passed.

Civil disobedience on drug related arrests are just so not the same as Rosa Parks'.
You need a more mature way of looking at this.
Old 12-01-2018, 12:57 AM
Location: the Permian Basin
4,116 posts, read 2,873,208 times
Reputation: 5712
Moderator cut: off topic

Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
I think we need to start holding police responsible for 'just doing their jobs' in relation to drug crimes.
If you want the laws changed in your jurisdiction (which has already been happening in many places), write/call your elected representatives, start a petition drive, stage a protest, etc. - but don't hassle the cops. Cops didn't write the laws and many cops don't agree with the possession laws, but they have to enforce the laws that are on the books. They don't deserve to be on the receiving end of protest actions, and you don't want to catch a case for obstruction of justice or interfering with the duties of an officer, and you certainly don't want to be charged as an accessory to possession/distribution/manufacture of a controlled substance.

Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
We can all start doing our part, by NOT calling police if we see drug activity/ dealing/ using, etc. calling police on drug activity is pretty similar to those people in the south, that would call police if they saw black people doing something they were not supposed to be doing or being somewhere they shouldnt.
Wrong. Drug laws are ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like Jim Crow laws and the Black Codes. Black people couldn't change the fact that they were black, it was an immutable characteristic. By contrast, drug use is a voluntary behavior, one than can be abstained from or concealed.

mod note - above snippet and below snippet have related messages. Above snippet is inappropriate for great debates. That bolded “wrong” and the all caps are not ok here. Please everyone - stay respectful, calm, and not snarky. Below snippet is right on target in terms of style and on topic content - regardless of whether others agree or disagree with that content.

Using your post as an example for others to learn from - and my sense is you can handle that whereas others might not.

If anyone has comments about my mod notes, do not post them in this thread. Instead, DM me. Stay on topic of the OP in this thread.

Look, I'm all for the repeal of certain drug laws, but let's be intellectually honest when discussing the issue. Trying to compare drug offenders to innocent black civilians from the pre-civil rights era is a really bad excuse for not proffering a better argument on the merits.

Last edited by toosie; 12-01-2018 at 07:34 AM..
Old 12-01-2018, 01:02 AM
Location: the Permian Basin
4,116 posts, read 2,873,208 times
Reputation: 5712
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Drug laws are unconstitutional based on what?

The Constitution does not explicitly grant authority to the federal government to regulate the production, distribution, possession, or consumption of drugs, thus the 10th Amendment makes it a state issue.
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