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Questions Drug Warriors Avoid

    1. On a percentage basis, The United States has more people in prison than any other country, with 20 times more than Japan, and 11 times more than western European countries.  Are Americans genetically or culturally inferior, is rampant crime going unpunished in Europe and Japan, or is there a problem with American laws?

    2. Current and past prisoners say there is a thriving drug trade within prisons, as guards and civilian employees respond to the same economic incentives as everyone else.  If we cannot keep drugs out of prisons, under the most rigid controls possible, what does this say about prohibition producing a drug-free country?

    3. If the Drug War is successful, what will victory be like and how will the war end?

    4. If we were able to instantaneously jail all people now selling illegal drugs, how long would it be before an equal number of new dealers would be in business?

    5. Some people claim there were more alcoholics during Prohibition than after repeal, and suggest drug addictions would likewise decrease if drug prohibitions were replaced with regulated distribution systems.  If an impeccable scientific study reached that conclusion, would you accept it, or would you reject it as you have rejected studies showing medical value of marijuana and benefits of needle exchange programs?

    6. If tobacco were prohibited, would a smuggling industry arise, would tobacco usage go up or down, and how would that prohibition differ from current marijuana prohibition?

    7. Some State and Federal laws are considered ³drug exceptions to the Bill Of Rights.²  Which do you think is more important, drug prohibition or the Bill of Rights?

    8. Noam Chomsky suggested that blaming drug-related violence on the influence of drugs was like saying Al Capone ordered the Valentines Day Massacre because he was drunk.  How do you respond?

    9. Itıs not clear who the ³enemy² is in this Drug War, but there is special concern about people who advocate repealing drug prohibition.  In Congressional hearings on June 16, 1999, Representative Bob Barr suggested that anyone supporting drug legalization was equivalent to a pedophile or rapist and should be subjected to intense investigation or prosecution.  In general, do you support such proposals to suppress opposition to government policies, and in particular, do you agree with Representative Barr that prohibition opponents are criminally motivated?

    10. Suppose the federal government concluded it was impossible to eradicate all natural and synthetic intoxicants and re-defined our drug policy objective from eradicating drugs themselves to eradicating the black market in drugs.  Further suppose you were put in charge of eliminating, not the substances, but the illegal market.  What would you do to accomplish that goal?

    11. When you say ³legalize,² are you thinking of legalize like morphine, like whiskey, or like aspirin, and what do you think reformers mean when they use the term?

    12. The American economy is built on a theory that profit motives control enterprise, regardless of government actions.  Prohibition theory holds that harsh punishments will cause people to abandon highly profitable activities and be content with low incomes.  These are mutually exclusive theories.  One may be true and the other false, or both may be false, but it is impossible that both are true. Where do you think the error lies, prohibition theory, free enterprise economic theory, or both of them?

    13. Workplace accident statistics are labeled ³Drug or Alcohol Related² instead of being divided into ³Drug Related² and ³Alcohol Related,² because there almost no accidents due solely to the influence of drugs.  How do you respond to those who claim there is no justification for employers drug testing employees and job applicants?

    14. If hard drugs were available with no restrictions at all, I personally would not take them, even if they were free, and I doubt that you would either.  It is widely assumed that usage would jump if drugs were ³legalized,² and sold under a closely regulated distribution system.  It is not clear where these new users would come from, when anyone who wants drugs now can easily get them.  Assuming that you would not become a new user, do you agree there would be a proliferation of new users?
     

    • If you agree, would the new users be people whose intelligence is less than yours, or people whose moral fabric is weaker than yours, and how do you know?
    • If you disagree, what evidence do you offer?


    15. It has been said that we could start at the Rio Grande and scorch every inch of land all the way to the Straits of Magellan, leaving not a person, animal, tree, or blade of grass alive, and the United States would still have a drug problem.
     

    • If you disagree, why would stopping drug imports prevent Americans from turning to artificial drugs that are even more dangerous than those currently imported?
    • If you agree, explain why the USA is spraying herbicides in South American rain forest areas.  Why will temporarily destroying part of a country correct our drug problem when permanently destroying all of it would not?


Anyone uncertain about how to answer the above questions should contact:

The Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Stephen Heath, Public Relations Director at 727 712 0614 or heath@mapinc.org



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