Following the law 43 replies

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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#1 8 years ago
NiteStryker;5368841Most laws are in place to protect people from others or from themselves. "Stupid" is in the eye of the beholder, but you dont get to pick and choose what laws you follow.

Oh don't be so naive. Of course you get to pick and choose what laws you follow, that's why some people are criminals. There are consequences for not following the law, that's true, what you don't seem to understand is that those consequences go both ways. If you make stupid laws that disproportionately punish relatively harmless events you create a subculture of criminals who can only be themselves around other criminals and who have precious little motivation to follow the more sensible laws when their interests conflict.

Are most laws reasonable? Perhaps. I question how many reasonable laws it's possible to make before you run into protecting the privileged classes and the law becomes a tool of oppression, but perhaps. However there are enough that aren't reasonable to cause significant damage, both in actual physical terms and in how the justice system - including the police - is perceived in society. For most reasonable people the laws that they're likely to encounter are the unreasonable ones, and when the only time you see someone is when they're fucking you in the arse god forbid you call them a rapist.




Supa

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#2 8 years ago
Nemmerle;5368854Oh don't be so naive. Of course you get to pick and choose what laws you follow, that's why some people are criminals.

It's true that you can pick and choose which laws you follow, but those that endanger the livelyhood of others should be followed. Around here there are very few instances where someone has been arrested for smoking pot. While it's illegal, the effects aren't usually lifethreatening, unless someone that's high gets into a car and starts driving. That actually will split off into another set of laws, though, laws that usually have to do with responsibility. Anyways, this would make a great discussion topic, since there are so many opinions here. :O




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#3 8 years ago

NiteStryker;5368913Ok since I have to cross every T and dot every I with you, I will rephrase.

You get to pick and choose what laws you follow. Its just that the ones you choose not to follow can take away your ability to make that choice the next day. (because you could end up being placed in confinement, thus not being able to make any choices except sleep and eat). [/QUOTE]

Yield to force? If that's your argument it's simply pragmatism, the same as if a criminal approaches you on the street and demands your money. But in that world force is the only thing that matters. The only real crime is getting caught. Rape children, murder old women; as long as you act so as to escape the negative consequences you've done nothing wrong.

NiteStryker;5368913What laws are you referring to in this instance?

Again, examples of what laws are a tool of oppression, vs protection for the general public?[/QUOTE]

Well we'll start with the obvious: Drug laws. Drugs provide a vast cash flow for criminals, fund terrorism, destabilise governments (hello Mexico,), gets people killed (In 2008 there were over 6,000 people killed in the Mexican Drug Wars,) and prove a vast burden for the legal system; (the number of people in prison in the US for drug offences is a not insignificant percentage I believe.)

You could legalise narcotics, and within a few decades most of the problems with organised crime would go away, the cash flow for terrorism would diminish, the prison population would plummet, the governments would stabilise since they would be able to bring themselves to bear against increasingly disorganised gangs. And prison would be far more a place for the true nutters.

The decision not to legalise drugs makes no sense therefore unless you frame the decision in terms of economic privilege. Who benefits from drug laws? Those whose business is catching the criminals. Much of the funding for police is a function of going after narcotics, much of the requirement for the prison industrial complex is housing them, much of the political impetuous for elections is fighting the surrounding disorder.

And so the law marches on, providing both the problem, by creating the laws that render the otherwise relatively benign behaviour so, and the solution. Oppressing those who want to enjoy their drug of choice in order that others can continue to enjoy their job of choice. It's not a conspiracy, don't get me wrong; it's just a function of shared interests and too little oversight.

[QUOTE=SupaCrazy;5368856]It's true that you can pick and choose which laws you follow, but those that endanger the livelyhood of others should be followed. Around here there are very few instances where someone has been arrested for smoking pot. While it's illegal, the effects aren't usually lifethreatening, unless someone that's high gets into a car and starts driving. That actually will split off into another set of laws, though, laws that usually have to do with responsibility.

Because some laws should be followed the citizen's responsibility to follow those laws is matched by a responsibility on the behalf of those who create and enforce the more general legislative framework into which those laws fit. For those who create the law, and those who change that theoretical creation into power relationships, a duty exists to create a system in which justice is done rather than injustice.

[QUOTE=SupaCrazy;5368856]Anyways, this would make a great discussion topic, since there are so many opinions here. :O

We are venturing a little off topic. I'll split this off into the pub.

Edit: Done. I've left a couple of Nite's posts in the old thread since they concerned both topics. If anyone wants their posts moved over into this thread PM me.




NiteStryker

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#4 8 years ago

Nemmerle;5368924Yield to force? If that's your argument it's simply pragmatism, the same as if a criminal approaches you on the street and demands your money. [/QUOTE] And, unless I had a shoe-gun, I would give it to him. Dude points a loaded gun at your head, I bet you will do what he says.

Nemmerle;5368924 But in that world force is the only thing that matters. The only real crime is getting caught. Rape children, murder old women; as long as you act so as to escape the negative consequences you've done nothing wrong. [/QUOTE] Well in an uncivilized world / most third world countries, possibly. You have still done something morally wrong however.

Nemmerle;5368924 You could legalise narcotics, and within a few decades most of the problems with organised crime would go away, the cash flow for terrorism would diminish, the prison population would plummet, the governments would stabilise since they would be able to bring themselves to bear against increasingly disorganised gangs. And prison would be far more a place for the true nutters. [/QUOTE] Because there isnt enough trouble with gangs already. So lets make it fine to run rampant. Thats a horrible solution. Instead of stopping the problem, lets just not make it a problem. So then it happens unrestricted. Awesome.

Nemmerle;5368924 The decision not to legalise drugs makes no sense therefore unless you frame the decision in terms of economic privilege. Who benefits from drug laws? Those whose business is catching the criminals. Much of the funding for police is a function of going after narcotics, much of the requirement for the prison industrial complex is housing them, much of the political impetuous for elections is fighting the surrounding disorder.

So you think drugs are illegal simply because someone can acquire money to "get the people who have them?"

[QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368924] And so the law marches on, providing both the problem, by creating the laws that render the otherwise relatively benign behaviour so, and the solution.

Genius. So you believe the illegality (and thus, hopeful deterrent) is ineffective and we should abolish the law just because a few scumbags dont follow the law.

[QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368924] Oppressing those who want to enjoy their drug of choice in order that others can continue to enjoy their job of choice.

Ok, so because people drink and drive, we should abolish the law that forbids that as well? That way, we let people go home after drinking, and we dont have to pay police at DUI checkpoints. So when that just-turned-21 tard speeds home in his Navigator and smashes into a family driving in a smaller car, hey, its ok, what he did was perfectly fine! The family is dead, but the drunk driver is ok.

So what laws are you ok with?

[QUOTE=Red Menace;5368927] Exactly, it is no different than this guy voluntarily posting his video on YouTube. But he is looking at a possible 14 years in prison for doing it.

It is a bit confusing.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#5 8 years ago

NiteStryker;5368943And, unless I had a shoe-gun, I would give it to him. Dude points a loaded gun at your head, I bet you will do what he says.[/QUOTE]

Of course I will, right up to the point he turns his back. Whereas if he gets what he wants by other means maybe he doesn't have to worry about turning his back. Which is what this is all about. Is it better to always bring the hammer down or are there cases where a more progressive response makes sense?...

NiteStryker;5368943Well in an uncivilized world / most third world countries, possibly. You have still done something morally wrong however.[/QUOTE]

Civilisation makes the situation different? How. You've just said yield to force, how does civilisation change the equation?

NiteStryker;5368943Because there isnt enough trouble with gangs already. So lets make it fine to run rampant. Thats a horrible solution. Instead of stopping the problem, lets just not make it a problem. So then it happens unrestricted. Awesome. [/QUOTE]

Illegal and controlled aren't the same thing. Just as legal and unrestricted aren't. The practices of many companies are legal, but it would be a stretch to call them unrestricted.

When you outlaw something entirely it still happens, you've just sacrificed most of the control you had over it.

Drug dealers and users have little fear of law enforcement now. I know where some of them live, there are houses on the street I live in when I'm in Scotland that people go in and out of every day for their drugs and the police are none the wiser. There's no threat about what happens if the police turn up.

So hypothetically you legalise it. Assume they set up shops, supply chains, etc. In short they become visible again. All the time you're trading drugs and people don't know who you are you've little if any motivation to play by the rules. But once they're legal, and you start setting up shop and so on you can say something along the lines of, [INDENT]Oh, by the way, you know we agreed to let you set up shop and pay taxes? We also know where you work every day; what car you drive to get there; where your wife spends her time; where your children go to school. We know where you live. So if you'd see your way to working with us it would be appreciated. [/INDENT]Then you give them a big grin; they'll smile too, well, after a fashion anyway.

You see the thing is drug cartels are made up of people, all social entities are. When you keep them at a social distance from your people; where you can't see the individual people and only see a sea of drug dealers; then you've reduced yourself to fighting with the entity, and you're never really going to win. Legalising allows you to fragment the issue, swallow it a bit at a time; one person here, another person there. It lets you take the whole bunch of them and separate them out so you don't have to deal with the problem all at once, so you can make them, if not civilised, at least civil.

And if you do feel a need to come for one or two of them in the night no-one really notices, no-one really cares; because to an extent you've also abstracted the entity away from the people. As is the effect with all large companies. When you're working with your mates, hunted by the police; it's easy to form strong bonds of kinship. When the most intimate moment with a co-worker is cleanup on aisle five it's somewhat less likely you'll risk your neck for them. And your vast drug empire? That's another faceless entity to the new drugstore worker, due to certain limitations in the human neocortex it can't really be anything else. See how much loyalty he feels when his boss is just another faceless Man - possibly to stick it to.

When you're working at Walmart and someone comes to arrest you the company doesn't really care, your fellow workers don't do anything about it. Because you've broken those bonds of kinship.

Of course I hold no illusions that all the drug runners would want a piece of the new order, but just as with the ending of prohibition a lot of them are in it for the money – and even among those who aren’t they need the money; once you’ve broken up the social mechanism that supported them it doesn’t really matter that much whether they want to go along or not.

You're saying let them run rampant? That's exactly what we're doing right now. You've got to be flexible in your efforts to control situations, sometimes issues need some actual understanding and not just a bunch of thugs with guns and ignorance.

NiteStryker;5368943So you think drugs are illegal simply because someone can acquire money to "get the people who have them?"

It's tempting to reduce complex psycho-social phenomena to single causes. I think that's one of the main reasons they continue to be illegal, yes. If I'm honest I think there are other reasons too, the public perception of drugs, which countries produce them and their relationships to countries that don't, the economic condition of those who generally indulge in their consumption and production. If it wasn't politically pragmatic through way of economics I don't think those reasons would suffice to keep them illegal however, no.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5368943]Genius. So you believe the illegality (and thus, hopeful deterrent) is ineffective and we should abolish the law just because a few scumbags dont follow the law.

I think you should abolish the law because it doesn't work well and replace it with something that works better.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5368943]Ok, so because people drink and drive, we should abolish the law that forbids that as well? That way, we let people go home after drinking, and we dont have to pay police at DUI checkpoints. So when that just-turned-21 tard speeds home in his Navigator and smashes into a family driving in a smaller car, hey, its ok, what he did was perfectly fine! The family is dead, but the drunk driver is ok.

Nice strawman. If you have a superior alternative then yes, abolish the laws against it. If you don't then leave the laws in place. The question is one of counterfactuals. If you abolish the laws currently in place around drugs then there will be less harm. If you abolish those concerned with drink driving then there'll be more.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5368943]So what laws are you ok with?

Well how many laws do you really need? Don't recklessly endanger others, don't kill or assault folks without reasonable cause, don't steal from others, don't bring shit that's going to fuck the eco-system up into the country, don't be a willing accomplice to any of the above.

Doubtless there are a few I'm missing out, and the exact definitions involved in those laws such as what's reckless and what's reasonable would need some fleshing out, but I really don't think you need very many just to tell people not to be pricks.




Supa

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#6 8 years ago
Nemmerle;5368948Well how many laws do you really need? Don't recklessly endanger others, don't kill or assault folks without reasonable cause, don't steal from others, don't bring shit that's going to fuck the eco-system up into the country, don't be a willing accomplice to any of the above.

It isn't the issue of how many laws do you need, it's how many laws do you want. One of the classes we were required to take in college here was a class relating to government and politics. The professor wasn't into explaining what the laws meant, but how those laws could possibly breach your freedom. How much freedom do you want? How much freedom do you need? Those are two rudamentary questions you need to ask of yourself. Being completely free is magical, but how many people can really take care of themselves with that freedom?




Schofield VIP Member

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#7 8 years ago

Nemmerle, you should seriously consider taking a course in the field of law. I just completed a law course and I have to say Nite said everything I was going to say, basically.

Nemmerle;5368948Drug dealers and users have little fear of law enforcement now. I know where some of them live, there are houses on the street I live in when I'm in Scotland that people go in and out of every day for their drugs and the police are none the wiser. There's no threat about what happens if the police turn up.[/QUOTE] You seriously think the police don't know? Please. The police cannot simply walk in and arrest if they cannot see any law being broken, they can lose their jobs for taking down a criminal because they had a 'feeling', I've seen it happen. The police can ask for a warrant, and if they have enough evidence, the judge will give them one. Also, the police do know about drug distributors, they aren't the main problem. If the police arrest a salesman, another one will simply pop up the next day. There is a drug dealer on my street, the police know about him. They need to find the people who produce the drugs, and the people who smuggle them in. It's like weeding, you have to take out the root, not the plant above ground.
Nemmerle;5368948When you're working at Walmart and someone comes to arrest you the company doesn't really care, your fellow workers don't do anything about it. Because you've broken those bonds of kinship.
Ok so I didn't really read much, but are you comparing Walmart to organized crime? [QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368948]Well how many laws do you really need? Don't recklessly endanger others, don't kill or assault folks without reasonable cause, don't steal from others, don't bring shit that's going to fuck the eco-system up into the country, don't be a willing accomplice to any of the above.

:facepalm:




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#8 8 years ago

Schofield;5368982Nemmerle, you should seriously consider taking a course in the field of law. I just completed a law course and I have to say Nite said everything I was going to say, basically.[/QUOTE]

I've taken some law courses, I'd sooner blow my brains out than memorise another of those god-awful dictionaries thanks. =p

Schofield;5368982You seriously think the police don't know? Please. The police cannot simply walk in and arrest if they cannot see any law being broken, they can lose their jobs for taking down a criminal because they had a 'feeling', I've seen it happen. The police can ask for a warrant, and if they have enough evidence, the judge will give them one.[/QUOTE]

There are a surprising number of drug dealers raided for the police to just be weeding out the producers. Heck this is England, getting a warrant is not a complex process; even your inspector can issue one.

In any case, that's not the problem. On the one hand you have Nite arguing that the law must remain this absolute standard and transgressions/negative social trends it produces simply indicate a lack of sufficient enforcement. On the other hand you have the reality of the issue, where the level of force to make fundamentally flawed approaches to justice work is neither practical nor acceptable.

Schofield;5368982Also, the police do know about drug distributors, they aren't the main problem. If the police arrest a salesman, another one will simply pop up the next day. There is a drug dealer on my street, the police know about him. They need to find the people who produce the drugs, and the people who smuggle them in. It's like weeding, you have to take out the root, not the plant above ground.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, that's been working out well for them. I don't know about where you are but the people who produce the drugs here are generally relatively disposable immigrants and the people who move them around tend to be teenagers and young adults. They're a dime a dozen.

Oh no someone who watched the drugs grow is gone, what a pity. Next group.

[QUOTE=Schofield;5368982]Ok so I didn't really read much, but are you comparing Walmart to organized crime?

... No.

[QUOTE=Schofield;5368982]:facepalm:

Yeah because I obviously intended to make an exhaustive list. :rolleyes:

[QUOTE=SupaCrazy;5368981]It isn't the issue of how many laws do you need, it's how many laws do you want. One of the classes we were required to take in college here was a class relating to government and politics. The professor wasn't into explaining what the laws meant, but how those laws could possibly breach your freedom. How much freedom do you want? How much freedom do you need? Those are two rudamentary questions you need to ask of yourself. Being completely free is magical, but how many people can really take care of themselves with that freedom?

You're just phrasing the same thing I said in a different way. Needs only make sense in light of wants. If you're to get what you want then you need the things to enable it. If you don't want anything then you don't need anything.




NiteStryker

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#9 8 years ago

Nemmerle;5368948Of course I will, right up to the point he turns his back. [/QUOTE] Im going to go along with your response, but I seriously doubt anyone would do anything. Because the second the guy notices you acting, hes going to shoot you. This isnt a movie.

Nemmerle;5368948 Civilisation makes the situation different? How. You've just said yield to force, how does civilisation change the equation? [/QUOTE] Because the level of society goes hand in hand with law enforcement. Little structure, as is prevelent in third world countries, is where more "crime" can occur. Altho I am sure it is not called "crime" there, but instead "the way things are".

Nemmerle;5368948 When you outlaw something entirely it still happens, you've just sacrificed most of the control you had over it. [/QUOTE] How is outlawing something not having extreme control over it? So you cant regulate it now....whats the problem? Instead of creating a hundred laws of regulation of marijuana, you simply create one law - its illegal. End of story.

If you were to allow it legally and then spent the manhours creating regulations on how much one can carry, what you can and cannot do under the influence of said drug, what you are charged with when you commit a crime under the influence of the drug, etc.

There are enough problems with alcohol. We dont need another problem introduced into society. Now you would open a new pandora's box of bullshit.

Nemmerle;5368948 So hypothetically you legalise it. Assume they set up shops, supply chains, etc. In short they become visible again. All the time you're trading drugs and people don't know who you are you've little if any motivation to play by the rules. But once they're legal, and you start setting up shop and so on...[/QUOTE] So instead of an easy and simple "no", you want to say "yes, with conditions". When our legal system is clogged up already with stupid crap, you now want to clog it up further because someone carried a quarter-ounce over the legal limit of x.

If you give a mouse a cookie, hes going to ask for a glass of milk.

Nemmerle;5368948 Legalising allows you to fragment the issue, swallow it a bit at a time; one person here, another person there. It lets you take the whole bunch of them and separate them out so you don't have to deal with the problem all at once, so you can make them, if not civilised, at least civil. [/QUOTE] But then you deal with the ramifications of legalizing the substance within society. Marijuana? Probably not too many bad things would happen. Anything else? Dont know if the same can be said.

Nemmerle;5368948 You're saying let them run rampant? That's exactly what we're doing right now.

Perhaps in your neck of the woods. Some areas are more controlled than others.

[QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368948] You've got to be flexible in your efforts to control situations, sometimes issues need some actual understanding and not just a bunch of thugs with guns and ignorance.

I understand your point I just dont agree. We already have enough problems with alcohol in society, and thats a legal substance. I believe if we open marijuana up, we will have the same problems, just with something new.

[QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368948] I think you should abolish the law because it doesn't work well and replace it with something that works better.

It works to an extent, just as much as any other law does.

[QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368948] If you abolish the laws currently in place around drugs then there will be less harm.

I dont see how you can reach that conclusion.

[QUOTE=Nemmerle;5368948] Well how many laws do you really need? Don't recklessly endanger others, don't kill or assault folks without reasonable cause, don't steal from others, don't bring shit that's going to fuck the eco-system up into the country, don't be a willing accomplice to any of the above.

But your views of what constitute the above can differ from mine.

[QUOTE=SupaCrazy;5368981]It isn't the issue of how many laws do you need, it's how many laws do you want. How much freedom do you want? How much freedom do you need? Those are two rudamentary questions you need to ask of yourself. Being completely free is magical, but how many people can really take care of themselves with that freedom?

Very very good point.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#10 8 years ago

NiteStryker;5369454Im going to go along with your response, but I seriously doubt anyone would do anything. Because the second the guy notices you acting, hes going to shoot you. This isnt a movie.

Because the level of society goes hand in hand with law enforcement. Little structure, as is prevelent in third world countries, is where more "crime" can occur. Altho I am sure it is not called "crime" there, but instead "the way things are".[/QUOTE]

The point is that force only applies until I can counteract it or go around it. In the movie he turns his back and gets shot in turn. In reality you just try not to get caught when you break the law, civilisation notwithstanding.

NiteStryker;5369454How is outlawing something not having extreme control over it? So you cant regulate it now....whats the problem? Instead of creating a hundred laws of regulation of marijuana, you simply create one law - its illegal. End of story. [/QUOTE]

Control is dependent upon your ability to enforce what you've decided, you can make the law whatever you want but that doesn't necessarily give you the ability to do something about it. It's possible in some cases to get more control over a thing by regulating it than by outlawing it simply because of the social dynamics involved in allowing increased competition. Drug gangs are not a good business model compared to farming or pharmaceutical companies.

NiteStryker;5369454If you were to allow it legally and then spent the manhours creating regulations on how much one can carry, what you can and cannot do under the influence of said drug, what you are charged with when you commit a crime under the influence of the drug, etc. [/QUOTE]

Don't put limits on the amount someone's allowed to carry, that's a silly way to go about it. We don't have limits on the amount of alcohol you can have in the boot of your car. What you'd do would be to unify most of the legislation, make all the drugs qualify as 'under the influence' with a common set of things you were allowed to do; much the same rules as alcohol currently has; then have specific definitions for how much of each thing qualified as under the influence. That'd be the majority of your legislation.

As it stands at the moment drug laws are incredibly complex, they used to be far simpler. Why do you have it, how much do you have, what's it for – if we're legalising we fit it into an existing legal framework and reduce the number of laws, cut the overhead down.

NiteStryker;5369454There are enough problems with alcohol. We dont need another problem introduced into society. Now you would open a new pandora's box of bullshit. [/QUOTE]

I'm sticking these together since they're essentially the same disagreement about an empirical issue.

NiteStryker;5369454But then you deal with the ramifications of legalizing the substance within society. Marijuana? Probably not too many bad things would happen. Anything else? Dont know if the same can be said.[/QUOTE]

NiteStryker;5369454I understand your point I just dont agree. We already have enough problems with alcohol in society, and thats a legal substance. I believe if we open marijuana up, we will have the same problems, just with something new.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5369454][Refering to the idea that if you abolish the laws around drugs there will be less harm] I dont see how you can reach that conclusion.

You say that like its never been tested. A century ago drugs were legal in America; marijuana, heroin, morphine, cocaine; and more people used them but there weren't the big drug related social issues present. If you look at the studies in Europe and Canada (actually, you can't because universities and journals own the papers and they don't give all that information out for free. but some of them anyway) when addicts can get their fix of opiates, for example, easily and without fear of the police they start holding down jobs again, younger users start passing their exams; in short they reintegrate with society. I remember Glasgow Caledonian University published a study a while ago to that effect. It's published in the British Journal of Health Psychology so you'll have to look at the news' second hand discussion sadly BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Heated debate over heroin report Ah, here's a similar study that's not restricted: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/prescribing-heroin-what-evidence

You look at the history for homicides and plot them again prohibitive drug laws and it's not like legal drugs were causing massive problems.

68075444.gif

I'm not saying that all people would respond positively to drug legalisation. But when historically drugs were legal and didn't seem to cause too many problems; when studies say, hang on a minute here – while the drugs are harmful it's possible for people to use them without exacerbating a harmful addiction provided they're not ostracised from the community.... When drugs provide billions of dollars to organised crime. And when the cost of funding the war on drugs (let alone the money lost in the resulting strain on the system) is around $600 every second from the federal government ($19 billion dollars a year based on data from Office of National Drug Control Policy -- Publications -- Budget FY 2009 ) with the state and local governments spending another $30 billion ( http://proxychi.baremetal.com/leap.cc/dia/miron-economic-report.pdf ) ( War On Drugs Clock if you want those in counter form ) … When in 2008 there were more people arrested for Drug offences than all the property crimes put together (1,702,537 for drugs as compared to 1,687,345 for property crime. Crime | Drug War Facts )

When you plot the violent crime rates from the 60's. (Remember you're looking at 1970 for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act which replaced previous drug legislation and placed a massive emphasis on law enforcement. )

usviolentcrimerate.jpg

Well, when those things are around, it sounds like criminalising drugs is a fairly bad idea.

I mean there were some good things in regulating drug use. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 which required you to label the contents of food and drugs – pretty much killing off the patent narcotics industry – resulted in a massive drop in addictions. But the big hammer approach doesn't seem to correlate with anything good happening in society.

More people are going to jail, more money's being spent, more people's lives are getting fucked up – and for what? The main correlates with negative psychosocial phenomena such as violent crime seems to be relative poverty, political stability and so on, rather than drugs.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5369454]So instead of an easy and simple "no", you want to say "yes, with conditions". When our legal system is clogged up already with stupid crap, you now want to clog it up further because someone carried a quarter-ounce over the legal limit of x.

If you give a mouse a cookie, hes going to ask for a glass of milk.

It's not a simple no. There have been more laws made about drugs in America since they mostly became illegal in the early half of 20th century than there were concerning the subject in the previous four hundred years. ( Drug Law Timeline not all dates refer to laws )

And in all honesty who cares how much someone's got on them? If they walk down the street with a hundred cigs of whatever what's it to you? I can't find the more recent figures; however, as previously mentioned, in 2008 almost two million people were arrested for drug offences. (Crime | Drug War Facts). Legalise it and you're going to lose a significant number of those people, thus freeing up the system for the nutters.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5369454]Perhaps in your neck of the woods. Some areas are more controlled than others.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5369454]It works to an extent, just as much as any other law does.

The first quote doesn't really mean anything. If the law was against picking your nose it would work more in some areas than others. The second quote is simply false, not all laws work to the same extent.

[QUOTE=NiteStryker;5369454]But your views of what constitute the above can differ from mine.

Of course we might disagree about what constituted reasonable cause to kill someone, or what consisted of assault and so on; but I think if you take the aggregate of how juries choose to interpret it we can come up with something we'd all be more or less happy with. As it stands at the moment:

[INDENT]It has been reported that the Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes.

And these laws are scattered over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages. Worse yet, the statutory code sections often incorporate, by reference, the provisions and sanctions of adminstrative regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies.

[That's a fancy way of saying the law gives such agencies a limited power to decide what's illegal and what's not without reference to statute.]

Estimates of how many such regulations exist are even less well settled but the ABA thinks there are nearly 10,000

[SIZE="1"]Paul Rosenzweig (2003) The Over-Criminalization of Social and Economic Conduct.[/SIZE] [/INDENT]

It's one of the reasons why if your smart the only things you'll say in an interview are 'I want my lawyer' and 'no comment' because you honestly have no idea what's legal and what's not.

I'm not saying all of the laws are shit, I'm not even saying we have to agree on everything or that what I've mentioned should be the form of the law. (I'd tend to take the view that those definitions should be filled via case law to keep them current with the trends of society.) But really: let's trim the crap here.