Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The Sometimes Usefullness of Drug Laws

Like most former prosecutors, I hate the drug laws. No matter what the cost to society in general for some of our citizens' addiction, on the personal level, one of the least helpful things to the individual addict is to put him or her in jail for a while with a felony conviction. Also I have enough small 'l' libertarian in me to despise the nanny state and the prohibition of self ingestion which harms no one but the user. I have solutions but not the time to go into it now.

On the other hand, sometimes the drug laws are helpful, as in this case.

Robert Chambers, the so-called "Preppie Killer'' who served 15 years in prison for strangling a woman in Central Park during what he said was rough sex, could be back behind bars for the rest of his life following his arrest on charges of selling cocaine out of his 17th floor Manhattan apartment.

Karma, she is a black hearted one, sometimes.


Hello XDA,
One of my commenters, Mike at Praque Twin, suggested that I stop by and check you out after he read my post concerning left leaners (like me)spending too much time posting for and reading and commenting on other left leaning blogs.
I decided to go searching for a few right leaning, yet still intellectually enlightened (tongue firmly in cheek) bloggers and see if that might inspire some meaningful debate. So anyway, I hope you don't mind if I stop by now and then.

On this issue of drugs and drug users...I am an American, former California Bay Area flower child actually, so the subject is dear to my heart.
I now live in Singapore where the laws concerning drug use and possession are just a tiny, teensy bit more strict than they are in the Haight in San Francisco.
Where there, a few grams of coke will get you a fine, here it gets you hung.
How do I feel about that? In a nutshell, I like it. I like that I can walk down the street, any street, at night and be safe. I like that my young girls can do so as well.
Not a very left leaning point of view, I know, but I have my moments.
Cheers, from World Gone Mad
Hey there Expatbrian,

Not quite sure what you feeling secure has to do with whether or not your neighbors decide to inhale some blow.

Granted, crimes committed by individuals that are high, would arguably NOT be committed if they were sober. But the argument could also be made that if drugs were legal, then the crimes committed by users, for the sake of getting more illegal drugs, would indeed lower.

In other words, were drugs not socially taboo, much less legally....the crimes associated with drug users fulfilling their addictive needs, would lower, as the drugs would be readily available, like liquor is.

How many people get robbed because the robber, needs an alcohol fix ?
I dare say......NONE ?
Thanks for dropping by expatbrian. I liked nearly all the Singapore people I have met. I have to say that I would put your feeling of safety to the quality of the citizen there and the legacy of British colonization rather than to strict drug laws, largely for the reasons Mark said.
I too need to read more blogs on the left, as I think Mike is too much a freethinker to be representative (except his recent Central America analysis). Leave your blog's address next time and I'll read you as well.
Thought I had left the addy. its
I quite agree with you, Mark, that in a society like the US, legalizing some drugs could have a positive impact on crime. However, imagine a society where there are very little if any drugs available no matter how much money you have to pay for them. The crime is low because it does not achieve the goal - you can't buy dope if there is none around. Welcome to Singapore.
Also, the drug problem in the US-and it is a huge one-is not because of a few neighbors who smoke a little dope or do a little blow. That trivializes the entire situation. Controlled, moderate drug use is one thing. A completely out of control, open border, corrupt enforcement, society where even grade school kids are using and selling dope is quite another.
I've used just about every kind of drug I can think of between my time in the US, and time in Vietnam. It was very fun back then. I even admit to what I consider some very positive life long lasting effects from psychedelics, but what is going on today is nothing like that era.
I'm a pretty liberal guy as you will see from my blog. But when it comes to drugs - I gave up my sympathies for users and dealers long ago. There's no future in it and someone who is high is basically useless for anything else.
Over here in Chicago Drug Laws aren't so unpopular with prosecutors, as its a chance to put the gang bangers away for a while.

There is a great deal to be said for a safe neighborhood, as in Singapore.

I thought anyone right leaning liked drug laws, no matter what the occupation.
I'll be by in a few days, expatbrian. Thanks for the address. Interesing take on the subject.
Publia, not me, and many of my friends in the office and elsewhere in the state. Many were good Republicans. If they were not selling drugs, because it was safer and cheaper to get them from the government, would the gangbangers be as big a problem? I tend to think not and would be willing to see I'm right with experiments in a few US cities. Never happen.
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