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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] International Debate
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RedCedar
Mexico is admitting that jamming their jails with drug addicts is not a very productive thing. So they're going to legalize drugs in small amounts.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/...xico-drugs.html

ermm.gif My question:


How does this affect the US and is this a progressive move or insanity?
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CruisingRam
One of the good things about being broke is the inability to spend money on nonsense that you don't need. Mexico is not the US, and doesn't have the ability to put a million citizens behind bars and keep them there. It is a darn smart move.

I heard a columbian coca farmer say once in one of those dateline thingies "Why should I care if US citizens become drug addicts from my plants? I can barely afford to feed my family, and they have enough time to play with drugs" (paraphrase)

If I were Mexico- I would make it a legit industry, like gambling in Nevada. Legalize, tax it, make it legal for banks to lend against it. You want regulation? Try getting a bank loan for a business- they will make you prove you have a product, a good product, one that isn't going to get you and them sued for bad product.

A left Handed person
You know an officer came to the Nuero-phychology class i'm in a while ago, and he told us among other things, about an incident involving a huge black women in the bronx. She was taking some sort of drug, and ended up going mad. She beat up her 13 year old daughter, and the neighbors called the cops. She came outside with a huge knife, and the police had her surrounded. The daughter had been snuck out the back door and was watching the whole thing. She began advancing towards one of the surrounding police men, and after telling her repeatedly to stop and put the knife down, he shot her in the chest. She kept advancing, and after a moment he shot her again. The daughter was wailing madly and fighting officers who were holding her down, as she tried to run to her mother's aid. As the mother continued to advance, she was shot straight in the heart. She then collapsed and died.

Drugs are bad, and whether libertarians will admit it or not, enforcement does make a difference. Legal drugs are much more commonly used then illegal ones.
psyclist
QUOTE(A left Handed person @ Apr 30 2006, 04:24 PM)
You know an officer came to the Nuero-phychology class i'm in a while ago, and he told us among other things, about an incident involving a huge black women in the bronx.  She was taking some sort of drug, and ended up going mad.  She beat up her 13 year old daughter, and the neighbors called the cops.  She came outside with a huge knife, and the police had her surrounded.  The daughter had been snuck out the back door and was watching the whole thing.  She began advancing towards one of the surrounding police men, and after telling her repeatedly to stop and put the knife down, he shot her in the chest.  She kept advancing, and after a moment he shot her again.  The daughter was wailing madly and fighting officers who were holding her down, as she tried to run to her mother's aid.  As the mother continued to advance, she was shot straight in the heart.  She then collapsed and died. 

Drugs are bad, and whether libertarians will admit it or not, enforcement does make a difference.  Legal drugs are much more commonly used then illegal ones.
*



Yes, but that happened in America. This is in Mexico. Last I checked we couldn't dictate to them any of their policies/laws.

As far as I'm concerned, this is none of our buisness. We don't seem to care what goes on in Amersterdam, why should Mexico be any different? If we have a problem with it, maybe we should take measures to secure our boarders. (But I don't think that'll do any good either.)
A left Handed person
Part of the debate question asks us to critique Mexicos decision.

Thinking more comprehensively I also think Mexico is making practical error.

In the end, if they allow small amounts but continue to ban large amounts, their jails are just going to get more packed, because legalization of small amounts will create new addicts, and addicts (pushed passed a certain degree) cannot exercise restraint.
Vermillion
QUOTE(A left Handed person @ May 1 2006, 12:34 AM)
Thinking more comprehensively I also think Mexico is making practical error. 

In the end, if they allow small amounts but continue to ban large amounts, their jails are just going to get more packed, because legalization of small amounts will create new addicts, and addicts (pushed passed a certain degree) cannot exercise restraint.


Actually the action Mexico is considering taking is hardly novel. A whole plethora of countries have taken steps to reduce the penalties for small posession, espacially of lesser threat drugs, in an effort to ease the massive burden on the criminal justice system. France, Britain and Canada have all decriminalised posession of small doses of marijuana (decriminalisation is not legalisation, but it means perpetrators now face fines as opposed to jail time and a criminal record), and the effect has been generally positive.

Where I do take issue with Mexico's decision is to extend this new policy to some of the far harder drugs. While there is some debate on the actual practical harm of marijuana, heroin can kill you stone dead. Legalising small amounts of that seems... unwise...
CruisingRam
QUOTE(A left Handed person @ Apr 30 2006, 11:24 AM)


Drugs are bad, and whether libertarians will admit it or not, enforcement does make a difference.  Legal drugs are much more commonly used then illegal ones.
*



Yes, I would say drugs are bad as well. But so is alcohol, and it is, in fact, far worse than any other drug in our society. So, along the lines of your nicely anecdotal officer Stedanko (drug reference to cheech and chong thumbsup.gif w00t.gif whistling.gif )

If this is your reasoning, I have to ask you to clarify, are you thinking that Alcohol should be illegal as well.
A left Handed person
If this is your reasoning, I have to ask you to clarify, are you thinking that Alcohol should be illegal as well.

Its impossible to get rid of drugs that are already in widespread use (as proven by prohibition), but it is possible to squelch the spread of drugs that are currently uncommon. The general libertarian/green/whoever argument, is that illegalization has no effect, but if that were true, then why is it that legal drugs are used so much more commonly then illegal ones?

ConservPat
QUOTE
The general libertarian/green/whoever argument, is that illegalization has no effect, but if that were true, then why is it that legal drugs are used so much more commonly then illegal ones?
No, the general libertarian/green/whoever argument is that drug laws are a violation of Constitutional as well as natural rights. The government of this country does not have the authority to criminalize drugs and, in addition, no government should ever have the right to tell its citizens what to put in their body.

To answer the question for debate, I agree with Mexico's new policy for the reasons mentioned above, however, we don't shape our policy based on what our neighbors do...Having said that, I really hope that this makes our elected representatives think twice about our ridiculous drug policy.

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RedCedar
QUOTE(A left Handed person @ May 1 2006, 01:13 PM)
If this is your reasoning, I have to ask you to clarify, are you thinking that Alcohol should be illegal as well.

Its impossible to get rid of drugs that are already in widespread use (as proven by prohibition), but it is possible to squelch the spread of drugs that are currently uncommon.  The general libertarian/green/whoever argument, is that illegalization has no effect, but if that were true, then why is it that legal drugs are used so much more commonly then illegal ones?
*



I don't think Libertarians would argue that illegalization has no effect. In fact, you can find many police officials who would love to legalize drugs.

There are MANY effects from illegalization. There are many problems caused because of illegal drugs. There is a lot of crime simply because drugs are illegal. If you made drugs legal and someone could get heroin for 10 cents instead of $1000, they wouldn't be breaking into your home to steal your cameras and computers.

Look at prohibition. Not only did you still have drinkers, you had mobsters and rampant crime just for illegal liquor.

I say we legalize it all. Make the burden on individuals to avoid taking drugs and stop being a mommy state. Let companies weed out the drug users so they can't get jobs. Weed out people who get drivers licenses with drug tests. Let people do drugs, but don't let them buy a gun.

I agree the drug policy in this country is ridiculous. We treat drug use as a crime, it's not. Some drugs are fine where others are abused. People should be educated and assisted if they abuse drugs....not incarcerated.


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Amlord
QUOTE(RedCedar @ May 1 2006, 03:42 PM)
I say we legalize it all. Make the burden on individuals to avoid taking drugs and stop being a mommy state.


QUOTE(RedCedar @ May 1 2006, 03:42 PM)
People should be educated and assisted if they abuse drugs....not incarcerated.


So which is it, mommy state or no mommy state? Who's going to "assist" those that abuse drugs? Who takes care of those who can't get jobs because all employers are giving drug tests?

I am personally against decriminalization. Although I agree that the illegal nature of drugs leads to some crimes via its black market nature, I also would be against widespread use of even such "recreational" drugs as marijuana as I have seen first hand the demotivating effect it has on people's minds.

How does this affect the US and is this a progressive move or insanity?

I don't think this affects US policy one iota. I guess we can call it progressive, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.
nighttimer
QUOTE(A left Handed person @ Apr 30 2006, 04:24 PM)
You know an officer came to the Nuero-phychology class i'm in a while ago, and he told us among other things, about an incident involving a huge black women in the bronx.  She was taking some sort of drug, and ended up going mad.  She beat up her 13 year old daughter, and the neighbors called the cops.  She came outside with a huge knife, and the police had her surrounded.  The daughter had been snuck out the back door and was watching the whole thing.  She began advancing towards one of the surrounding police men, and after telling her repeatedly to stop and put the knife down, he shot her in the chest.  She kept advancing, and after a moment he shot her again.  The daughter was wailing madly and fighting officers who were holding her down, as she tried to run to her mother's aid.  As the mother continued to advance, she was shot straight in the heart.  She then collapsed and died. 
*




I'm wondering about this story this police officer told you, A left-Handed person and what I'm wondering is does your instructor provide the class with cookies and a warm glass of milk to go along with the fairytale?

The name of that "huge black woman" was Eleanor Bumpurs and the case regarding her death is far more complicated than the one you were told.

On October 29, 1984, Eleanor Bumpurs, a black woman who weighed 275 pounds and walked with difficulty, was shot dead by police officer Stephen Sullivan as she was being evicted from her apartment at 1551 University Avenue.

It was soon after Mrs. Bumpurs refused to comply with the orders of the housing police that the city police were called in. As is standard, the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) responded to the call for assistance with a "violent EDP" (emotionally disturbed person). When 2 ESU officers arrived on the scene, they were informed that Mrs. Bumpurs "possibly could be cooking some lye" and that she might be armed with a knife. After they, too, failed to get Mrs. Bumpurs to open the door, the ESU officers punched out the lock. As they peered through the hole, they said, they saw a hazy cloud or mist in the living room and smelled a strong, acrid odor. They also saw Mrs. Bumpurs holding a knife. Within a few minutes they were calling for back-up and additional equipment.

Shortly before 10 a.m., 3 more ESU cops and a supervising sergeant arrived at the apartment. One of the cops was Stephen Sullivan, who'd distinguished himself with a long record of saving lives. He had earned 18 commendations in his 14-year career in ESU. That morning, through sheer circumstance, he wound up with the 12-gauge shotgun that every team of ESU officers is required to bring when dealing with a "violent EDP". Sullivan had started out carrying other equipment up to the apartment. In the elevator he noticed that Richard Tedeschi, the ESU officer who'd unloaded the shotgun from the truck, had a shoe untied. Sullivan pointed it out to Tedeschi, and Tedeschi handed the shotgun to Sullivan while he crouched down and tied his shoes. Tedeschi never took the shotgun back, and Sullivan carried it into Mrs. Bumpurs's apartment.

The way the officers in the room later told it, Sullivan's first shot missed Mrs. Bumpurs. They said she kept coming, and 2 officers - Sullivan and Leonard Paulson - later testified that she was still holding the knife. That's when Sullivan fired his second shot. It was that shot, everyone agreed, that killed Eleanor Bumpers.

Hitting her squarely in the chest, the second shotgun blast caused Mrs. Bumpurs to look up, cross her arms over the wound, and fall to the floor. She was immediately given emergency medical treatment. She was then taken to Lincoln Hospital, but went into cardiac arrest as she entered the emergency room. All attempts to resuscitate her failed. Eleanor Bumpers was pronounced dead two and a half hours after the eviction.


http://bronxblotter.home.mindspring.com/merola/p009.html

I'm not surprised that the officer sexed up the story to throw in an angle about drugs that never existed. Lots of obese, mentally ill, 60 plus years old grandmothers wielding a knife get hopped up on drugs, go on rampages and take on heavily armed police officers.

Then again, maybe not. But it sure makes a better story when the facts aren't allowed to get in the way.

dry.gif

Jaime
We are getting quite off topic.

Let's focus:

How does this affect the US and is this a progressive move or insanity?
A left Handed person
No, the general libertarian/green/whoever argument is that drug laws are a violation of Constitutional as well as natural rights.

And it is a violation of ethics to allow companies to sell their customers, substances which essentially use mind control to force continued purchase. It is a violation of ethics to allow companies to sell substances intended for consumption, that are essentially highly lethal, which can severely hurt the user, and those around him. It is a violation of pragmatism to allow the creation of a society motivated by a desire to get high rather then a desire to achieve.

Also, i'd like to see you go talk to some ecstasy addicts, and ask them how much "freedom" they feel they have over what they do. Easy access won't solve their woes, as they will just be forced by their addictions to die of overdoses.

As for going off topic, a portion of the question does ask us to critique Mexicos decision to partially legalize drugs. An argument about the merits and detriments of drug legalization is thereby made inevitable.
RedCedar
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 1 2006, 03:03 PM)
So which is it, mommy state or no mommy state?  Who's going to "assist" those that abuse drugs?  Who takes care of those who can't get jobs because all employers are giving drug tests?


Well if you're treated like an adult, not a child to be reprimanded for your decisions, then maybe you would make better choices.

I'm talking assistance and EDUCATION. That's not a mommy state, that's a state that respects it's citizens to be smart enough and responsible enough to take care of themselves. Get the picture? wink.gif

If we took all the money from the DEA and drug enforcement projects, and poured it into graphic and horrific education about drug abuse, geared toward children and prospective drug users, I'm willing to bet all I have that it would decrease drug use and drug crime much, much, faster.

Along with assistance for people who have drug problems, I think you could eliminate all the drug enforcement, let people out of jail, and in the end save money.

Not only would this help the US, it would help all the other North/south American countries with their problems. After all, it's our drug money that's funding all the crime else where. Make drugs ridiculously cheap and the crime part of the equation goes away.

So you have to drug test people for everything under the sun, so be it. If you can't be responsible and stay off smack, then you either need help or you can rot. It's your choice. THis is America of course, don't you believe in FREEDOM? Or is it the freedom to be able to tow-the-christian-right-wing line?

QUOTE(Amlord @ May 1 2006, 03:03 PM)
I also would be against widespread use of even such "recreational" drugs as marijuana as I have seen first hand the demotivating effect it has on people's minds.

How does this affect the US and is this a progressive move or insanity?

I don't think this affects US policy one iota.  I guess we can call it progressive, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.


Then you can be part of an education program. If kids knew how harmful drugs are, and it were re-inforced over and over again, maybe they wouldn't do them.

And a more liberal drug policy in Mexico will only make it easier for drugs to come into this country. I think it could affect the US, to what extent I'm not sure.
Artemise
I would think the Mexican government has much more to deal with than small amounts of drugs. The very blatant and contrary nature of this legislation begs need for oversight on OUR PART.

On a personal and profound level I was shocked by the legislation. It is a slap in the face to the U.S. which is dealing with an illegal immigration issue. Not only is it controversial for both countries it is hugely detrimental to the US being in close quarters.

Mexico does not need legalization of small drug quantities. Mexico needs total governmental reform. Mexico is not poor, its government is corrupt. They support 100% illegal immigration to the US and US dollars supporting vast amounts of poor in Mexico. Drug trafficking is a big part of this.

This is NOT a freedom to use issue, it IS a political issue.
While the Mexican government cannot claim in any way to support its people it legalizes drugs, hard drugs, and also supports exporting its people to the US , a large economic support of its country. SO poor people reciveing money from the US may now buy and use drugs legally!

Mexico needs economic reform, not drug reform. Drugs are already seen as a cultural negative in Mexico, while not in the U.S. This is just ONE more DEPENDANCY motive, a way towards more mexican corruption and further US dependancy.

We are NOT talking about marijuana users being jailed in the US, we are talking apples and oranges in MEXICO.

Not a single person here has truly adressed the issue. Mexico is exporting hundreds of thousands of people to the US illegally, but now wants to legalize hard narcotics within its own borders. Not worker reform, not economic reform, but a lenient DRUG policy. THE LEAST of CONCERNS and hard on the US and extremely detrimental to mexican people.

It is much like selling alchohol to indiginous cultures instead of giving them health care, keeping them down through their weakness. Much like too frequent liquor stores in poor neighborhoods.
Its utterly transparent.
The Mexican legislation IS NOT about freedom, its about usage! Its about enslaving people. Its about making the US a welfare state to Mexico.
Wake UP! Mexico is not the US! The people are poor, so what could possibly be the motive of the Mexican government? Personal Freedom? Hardly.
An easy trafficking rail..ya think? Hmmn.
ConservPat
QUOTE
And it is a violation of ethics to allow companies to sell their customers, substances which essentially use mind control to force continued purchase. It is a violation of ethics to allow companies to sell substances intended for consumption, that are essentially highly lethal, which can severely hurt the user, and those around him. It is a violation of pragmatism to allow the creation of a society motivated by a desire to get high rather then a desire to achieve.
You've completely ignored the point I made. My point was that this government is breaking the law when they prevent adults from doing what they want with their body. You can debate the ethics all you want, but it's still illegal...and there is an extremely easy way to be moral and ethical in a free-drug society...not doing any.

QUOTE
Also, i'd like to see you go talk to some ecstasy addicts, and ask them how much "freedom" they feel they have over what they do. Easy access won't solve their woes, as they will just be forced by their addictions to die of overdoses.
I don't believe I ever said anything about "easing" anybody's "woes". My only point was [and you have said nothing to prove me wrong] that drug prohibition is illegal, and therefore the ending of it would be progressive, to answer the debate question.

CP us.gif
Artemise
QUOTE
I don't believe I ever said anything about "easing" anybody's "woes". My only point was [and you have said nothing to prove me wrong] that drug prohibition is illegal, and therefore the ending of it would be progressive, to answer the debate question.


Drug prohibition may be 'illegal' as you say in this country, however the law here does not accept that point of view, especially when it comes to 'illegal search and seizure' for drug crimes whether it be for one joint-lose your car-to one gram- lose your house and bank account.

I would agree that some drug crimes and jail time equivalent are ludicrous here right now, but we are not talking about the US, we are talking about Mexico.

Culturally mexicans are anti-drug, except in a few mafia type organizations. Mexico is not the Netherlands. We are not talking about people desiring a public form of use in order to gain equalibrium in society contrary to use of alchohol or simply a freedom issue.
Even the use of marijuana is looked down upon in mexican society, so this legislation is NOT by public demand. There is no public demand for decriminalization as there might be here.

That leads us to wonder by what need or desire the legislation was brought. Perhaps to end police corruption? to some extent, whatever!

From today, it was of no concern, a call from the Whitehouse to President Fox threw that no-good policy under the bus, immediately.

Conservpat, while I understand your take, not all cultures (if any) can truly deal with an open legislation on addictive and harmful drugs in their societies.
Some do (Holland), a first world nation of low population and highly educated people. However drug addiction is spreading in Europe, problematic even in Switzerland, amongst the richest most entitled youth on earth.
For example native americans and native alaskans have chosen for themselves self protection in disallowing a known detriment, alchohol, to be distributed anywhere inside or near their villages. This hasnt been completely effective but noone knows the statistics if it were otherwise. They believe 100% that prohibition is right for them, and they have seen the darker side. What IS known is that people who have access WILL partake, and people suffer.
Poor and desperate people suffer the most. IE: The poor in Mexico.
But I would even argue that legalizing A-1 drugs in the US would be a big problem because we have so many disillusioned and disheartened youth here. Decriminalization of marijuana is different

One cannot ignore cultural and economic differences when it comes to legalizing drugs and drug use. If we legalize opium in Afghanistan we have a serious issue worldwide. Perhaps 'drugs dont kill people, people kill themselves with drugs' but I dont want to find out if its true, because its the youth that dies, not you and I, our kids are the ones that pay the price. Think about it. Drugs kill kids mostly, and if they dont they take years off their lives.

Poor nations, especially U.S dependant poor nations, do not need lax drug legislation. They need governmental reform in order to become viable nations that take care of their people-so we dont have to. One viewpoint, an american viewpoint, a Dutch viewpoint, is not applicable to every situation. IF it were we'd have health care, the US would be liberators in Iraq, Mexicans would be happy to stay home, everyone would have a pension plan and medical marijuana at least would be legal, Worldwide.
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