Thursday, January 3, 2019

Clarification

In the comments of an earlier post, I expressed the view that the War on Drugs is a total failure. I said I think that recreational drugs should be decriminalized, as they have been in Portugal.

My exact opening words in my first comment: "...My thoughts on pot are similar to my thoughts on guns and liquor. Passing laws and creating an illegal subculture is the problem. Would it be better if people did not smoke pot? Yes. Would it be better if people didn't drink alcohol? Yes. However, prohibition fails. It failed with booze the same way it has failed again. It creates an artificial market, high prices, organized crime, etc. How many murders happened during Prohibition, for money or alcohol? Untaxed alcohol, moonshine, is still a problem where I live. Why? Because high taxes create a market for the homemade stuff. And we all could go on all day about the effects of gun laws." 

 I was met with this reply:
"ASM826 has pegged the meter and will win the 2018 Unintended Irony Award in a walkaway, just about the time he realizes he has made the perfect rational and logical argument for getting rid of laws against murder.
Because prohibition never works.

Well-played, sir!
That's quite a Brave New World for which you've inadvertently advocated.

The crowd will now watch as you extricate yourself from this predicament."


My response, in full: "Laws against murder don't prevent murder. They just provide penalties if you get caught. You, me, anyone, can commit one murder. What stops us isn't any law, what stops us is our personal morality. Our sense of what constitutes decent behavior, based on our upbringing and beliefs, is the check on most of our behavior. It is why we don't commit assaults, robberies, littering, and as you mention, murder.

Anyway, "prohibition" as commonly understood refers to laws on personal behavior usually related to pleasure or entertainment. Drinking alcohol, doing drugs, sexual behavior, for example. Those laws make the goods or services more difficult to acquire. This never results in an elimination of the activity, it just raises the price.

Scarcity of goods or services by any means always has that effect in the marketplace. If heroin was legalized and freely available, the price would plummet. Whether the outcome would good or bad is immaterial to this effect. Current prices are a result of artificial constraints on the market.

Government intervention in the form of law and law enforcement raises prices, make selling more profitable, brings in criminals willing to take the associated risks (Al Capone being one example), but never succeeds in eliminating the activity. This creates a larger law enforcement presence, sometimes higher penalties, and a greater burden on the citizens paying the taxes to support the ongoing efforts.

We are not winning the "War on Drugs". It would make more sense to legalize it and give it away to anyone that wanted it. Property theft and strong arm robbery would drop because most of that is related to drug seekers trying to get money to make purchases. Some people would die from increased use, but most would continue to use at whatever level provided them with the kick they seek. Nothing about the drug use would change except the ongoing cost of police, courts, and jails would be removed.

This isn't even a theoretical argument. Portugal did this 16 years ago and there is statistical data available. They decriminalized everything from pot to heroin. Drug use has dropped, HIV infection rates are way down, and deaths from overdoses are rare. The expected result of skyrocketing drug use and resulting deaths did not occur.

This not an argument that drug use is a good thing. Alcohol when abused has lot of very destructive side effects. Long term sustained drinking will kill. Tobacco still causes the premature death of tens of thousands every year. Pot makes people lethargic and may, as mentioned in the previous comments, may be far worse to smoke than tobacco. Opioids, amphetamines, and barbiturates all can destroy the users lives, ruining their productivity, their relationships, and their health.

My argument is simply that laws against their use have failed to effect usage rates and effectively result in the militarization of the police, increased incarceration rates, additional tax burdens, and higher crime rates.


This went on

The commenter replied, "So, to be absolutely clear, you're against government going after Al Capone or Pablo Escobar for wantonly violating laws enacted by the directly-elected representatives of the people in a republic, including murder, because that militarizes the police, but you're in favor of using the IRS to demand, at gunpoint if necessary, and on pain of prison or death, that I pay taxes to provide unlimited drugs to whomever should wish them, from out of the fruits of my labor?"

He sets up a straw man, something I did not say. Did not mean. DO NOT BELIEVE. Then he knocks it down. I don't know why.

Here, cut and pasted, one more time, is what I said, while talking about why the Volstead act was a failure, "Government intervention in the form of law and law enforcement raises prices, make selling more profitable, brings in criminals willing to take the associated risks (Al Capone being one example), but never succeeds in eliminating the activity. This creates a larger law enforcement presence, sometimes higher penalties, and a greater burden on the citizens paying the taxes to support the ongoing efforts."

I believe that. If you put out bird feeders, you get birds. I believe our efforts to stem the tide of recreational drug use is such a failure that we should do something else. We create the conditions that allow ruthless criminals to make huge profits and accrue power. The cartels in Mexico have made things worse. South America is worse. The U.S. inner cites are worse.

I know my view is a minority among conservatives, I do not expect anyone to agree with me, I do not expect the laws to change, but I do not want to be misquoted and misunderstood. Be polite and fair in the comments, this time I will delete efforts to twist my words.                 

15 comments:

Divemedic said...

I have posted on this myself. There are some I think you may be interested in:

How prohibition corrupted the Constitution:
https://street-pharmacy.blogspot.com/2013/12/93-years-of-corrupting-constitution.html

When heroin was legal:
https://street-pharmacy.blogspot.com/2013/10/drug-history.html

Glen Filthie said...

Both you boys made excellent points. The hell of it isn’t that one of you is wrong; it’s that you are both right - in different ways.

The mistake I see being made is that the whole issue is being framed as a matter of rights and freedoms. It’s an honest mistake; but a mistake none the less. It’s an issue of morality - and morality and ethics are anathema in North America nowadays. Without morals and ethics we have no foundation for a functioning society. Any contentious issue will divide us, our family, our community and ultimately our nation.

If we start from a foundation of morals and ethics it’s a no-brainer. A martial artist I know says it this way - ask yourself, on everything always: is this good for me? Will it make me faster, stronger, or smarter? There - done. Traditional morals and ethics of heritage America closely mimic that mindset. Recreational drugs fail right there as does booze, junk food and pretty much everything else that is destroying our families these days. I used to laugh at those holy rolling bible thumpers that went round saying we were all hell bound sinners that need to repent and reform... but I am not laughing now. Framed as rights and freedoms, all manner of asshattery is on the table right up to and including pedophelia and beastiality. How many “genders”are we up to now? 27? Rest assured, your right to be mentally ill is enshrined in the Constitution! It’s right up there with gun ownership and the right to destroy yourself and your family!!

As a Canadian we’ve been down this road so I’ll tell ya where legalization goes: some bleeding heart is going to see all these zombies and wrecks walking round and see an Opportunity To Do Good. He’ll start virtue signalling his stupid progressive liberal friends and they will organize and start lobbying chit libs in gubbimint to Do Something - and they will! All they need is your money! They’ll decide the best way to solve the problem is through govt run safe injection sites. The turdies and rubbie-dubs will be able to shoot up in a warm, safe environment with ERT guys on stand by in case one of them overdoses. They’ll get free clean needles while your diabetic aunt has to pay for hers. You will foot the bill for that as a taxpayer of course. Interdiction programs will be needed so you will pay for that too, and because some of the zombies are so addicted that they can’t live without the junk you will be expected to pay for free “medicinal” variants for them too. All this is happening in Vancouver right now. Apparently the program has been a raging success - they need more funding! The rank and file Mounties were forbidden to make any statement to the press on the program. The locals can’t let their kids use the local playground for fear of stepping on discarded needles. And all this, while our seniors have to choose between food, rent and their own legitimate medicinals. All this while our veterans are hitting food banks to get by. Don’t think for a second the crime rates will go down - up here in Canada my idiot prime minister is pushing for gun bans. For some reason the gangs are getting more vicious and violent. Wonder if it has something to do with losing part of their income stream?

Drugs have nothing to do with rights and freedoms. It will result in more infringement on your rights and freedoms, not less.



Ken said...

Interesting perspective from Glen Filthie, and not a view one hears often. It bears considering.

Archer said...

Your commenter is completely missing the difference between malum prohibitum and malum in se crimes.

Murder, rape, assault, etc., are malum in se (read: wrong [because] evil). No normal person even thinks about committing these things because they violate every moral construct known to man; even absent social or religious doctrines, normal people have a natural aversion to harming or murdering other people. Enforcement of these crimes is based in the measurable societal harm that results, and punishment serves to protect society from vigilantism.

The "War on Drugs", Prohibition, etc., are based entirely on malum prohibitum (read: wrong [because] prohibited) laws. While there may or may not be a cost to society, most of the damage (if any) is borne by the individuals themselves. The impetus to make these things illegal is couched in phrases like "for their own good" and "for the children," and most enforcement is based on punishing behavior that is undesirable to others, but not necessarily dangerous or harmful.

In short, prohibition and murder are two very different moral and legal concepts. Advocating for ceasing the "War on Drugs" because Prohibition never works and creates a black market and criminal sub-culture worse than the crime is not anywhere near advocating the legalization of murder. It's not hypocritical to say there are too many laws prohibiting too many things "just because" and some or all should be repealed, while ALSO saying that laws against murder should remain. One mostly harms one's self by consent, the other harms someone else without consent.

Al Capone and Pablo Escobar needed to be taken down because while most of their "business" was rooted in the black market caused by malum prohibitum laws, the measures they took to protect and preserve that "business" -- up to and including murder -- violated many, many malum in se laws.

(As an aside, most-if-not-all gun laws are malum prohibitum. What harm to other people or to society does a 16- or 30-round magazine cause by itself? Why should it be prohibited in some states [or my own, since the legislature is considering it for next term], other than someone said it should be prohibited?)

Your view on prohibition might be a minority among "law and order" Republicans, but among right-leaning libertarians -- and to a lesser extent, actual conservatives, at least around here -- it's pretty common, even if most don't like to talk about it publicly. At worst, it's a concept many conservatives haven't really considered but can be reasoned into with sound logical arguments.

Borepatch said...

Well said, Archer

Aesop said...

Let's be fair, ASM:
The second quote was in direct response to something you posted, and failed to note here.

Your quote:

"It would make more sense to legalize it and give it away to anyone that wanted it."

This, after you specifically decried "militarized police".
That's not a straw man, you posted the exact passage noted.

Then I responded to that with the paragraph re: Capone, Escobar, et al.:

"So, to be absolutely clear, you're against government going after Al Capone or Pablo Escobar for wantonly violating laws enacted by the directly-elected representatives of the people in a republic, including murder, because that militarizes the police, but you're in favor of using the IRS to demand, at gunpoint if necessary, and on pain of prison or death, that I pay taxes to provide unlimited drugs to whomever should wish them, from out of the fruits of my labor?"

Because "It would make more sense to legalize it and give it away to anyone that wanted it" than to try and interdict that trade.

My apologies for catching your precise logic in such stark lighting. No one ever looks good on a driver's license or a mugshot.

As for the efforts to stem the flood, we have done a basket of nothing.
Calling our efforts at any point since...ever...a "war" is an offense against the dictionary and English grammar.

In the Revolutionary War, we routed the British on Christmas, at Ticonderoga, at Yorktown. We fought pitched battles in Antietam and at Gettysburg in the Civil War that left acres of countryside covered with the stacks of dead. We besieged Vicksburg, blockaded 2000 miles of coast, and Sherman cut a swath to the Atlantic Ocean across Georgia from Atlanta that still bears the scars. We drove the Germans on their heels to defeat at Meuse-Argonne. We destroyed the entire Japanese garrison at Tarawa in three days, we sank nearly the entire Japanese Fleet, military and civilian, landed 100,000 men at Normandy, drove across France like bulldozers from hell, firebombed Dresden, and nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those are what a war looks like.
(cont.)

Aesop said...

(cont.)
Now, point to anything within a country mile of that in the mislabeled Slap Fight On Drugs, from anytime in the misty past to five minutes ago.

I'll wait.

You cannot point to it, because it never happened.

Thus, no War On Drugs has ever existed.
QED

You have only the bill for one. More's the pity.
You may as well have sent government the money for a Bigfoot Hunt, and a submarine fleet to find the Loch Ness Monster, with enough left over to find aliens in Area 51.
You would receive equal value for your money.

Trying to paint efforts to date as anything but the Keystone Kops, but at prices that would embarrass Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, Jay Gould, and P.T. Barnum, is flatly ridiculous.

The continued efforts to paint the inept, deliberately ineffective, and scandalously exorbitantly priced efforts as anything substantive is as risible as the kid digging through the mountain of horsecrap on Christmas Day, certain that it proves there must be a pony under there, somewhere.

Believe what you want about drug laws creating criminals; but your religious aspirations mean nothing next to logic.
Prohibition didn't create Bonnie & Clyde, John Dillinger, Ma Barker, and Pretty Boy Floyd. It didn't create the James Gang, the Younger Gang, Robber's Roost, the Brink's Robbery, or Tammany Hall. Criminal gangs, as I pointed out, were running numbers and prostitutes, sharking loans, breaking legs, and strong-arming protection entirely without any further assistance from the Volstead Act, and continued to do so before and after. Trying to blame Prohibition for the Mob is like trying to blame the death penalty for creating Charles Manson, the Boston Strangler, or Jack the Ripper.

You want to mollycoddle criminals, because going after them, in your opinion, is too hard. Fair enough.

Leave it at that, and spare yourself the gymnastics of further rationalization.

Ring the bell, DOR, and own it.

And while you're at it, let me know how well the Sixth Commandment has done to stem to the tide of recreational homicide.

Perhaps we've been too hasty in trying to enforce that law as well.

And you still haven't explained how society can enjoin me from killing one man, but in your jurisprudence, should be prevented from doing f**k-all about the guy who kills thousands by importing and distributing dope by the metric f**kton.

This is like telling me shooting my neighbor is bad, but if I get the tax stamp, machinegunning the packed stands at a football game is just nifty. There is no functional difference between the latter, and legalizing drugs. And legal does not equal moral.

Making that which is grossly immoral street-legal isn't just paving the road to Hell with good intentions, it's spray-painting the cobblestones thereon with Crisco and melted butter, and then giving pedestrians on it a healthy push between the shoulderblades.

You want to legalize the most reckless and caustic immorality, and in even this republic, you can do that, with enough votes.

But you can only do it once, because the republic won't be around afterwards, for very long.

But forget all that, and let's just be bare-bones utilitarian: I already noted, anecdotally, that 33-50% of my time, career-long, has been spent dealing with substance abusers, at times when most if not all drugs of abuse are illegal, and public inebriation certainly is as well, at least according to the statute books.

So do the math for me, and tell me what I'll be doing 100% of the time, all shift, every shift, if outright legalization of currently illicit drugs only doubles or triples drug abuse.

Aesop said...

Archer,

That dog won't hunt.
1) Drug abuse is evil in and of itself. (That alone undoes your entire argument, btw, but as Col. Frank Slade noted, "I'm just gettin' started").
2) The idea that most of the cost is born by the users is demonstrably ludicrous, by any and every possible standard:
moral
physical
economic
judicial
or anything else you could imagine.
It takes decades for most abusers toi die (unless fate does society a solid), and they leave in their wake uncountable legions of people they've harmed, and a swath of suffering in that wake that would make Mother Teresa quit.
3) "No normal person even thinks about committing these things because they violate every moral construct known to man; even absent social or religious doctrines, normal people have a natural aversion to harming or murdering other people."
After the laughter dies down, and I pick myself up from the ground after paroxysms of mirth strong enough to crack ribs, I beseech you to explain that load of absolute cobblers in light of Cain, pharaohs beyond numbering, Genghis Khan, Alexander, a few dozen Caesars, Hannibal, Mohammed, Tamerlane, vikings, corsairs, pirates and brigands beyond number, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, armies more numerous than the grains of sand in all the deserts and on all the world's beaches, and mountains of guns, ordnance, explosives, tanks, ships, and planes that would dwarf the Himalayas, were they stacked alongside them.

People killing people has gone on relentlessly throughout all of history, back to the mists before if was even recorded, including the evidence of prehistoric frozen corpses from the Alps, or prehistoric bone piles demonstrating pure cannibalism.

In short, if you think we're not the murdering species, you need to get out more, leave your sheltered neighborhood, or at the very least, read more widely.

All I have in opposition to your statements is all of recorded human history, and my lying eyes, standing utterly opposed to your completely unsupported and unsupportable proclamation of the innate goodness of man.

And in short, murder and prohibition per se beg the same fundamental questions already posed:
Does society have any right to pass any laws?
If so, what (if any) are the limits on what they may pass, and why?
You guys want to play semantic games, while bootstrapping your argument into being because (at root) you like this law, and dislike that one.

You want to claim drug laws are malum prohibitum, as though drugs themselves, and their use, are entirely as morally neutral as inanimate objects like, for instance, rifle magazines.

I'll call your bluff: if they're equally neutral, let's me place rifle magazines in my grandnephew's baby crib, and you do the same with the illicit drug of your choice, to a relative of similar age (<1yr).
Your theory, if it's true, means the results will be identical nothing in both cases.

Do we have a deal?
(Oh, King Solomon says "Hi.")

And neither that level of sophomoric philosophic silliness, nor watery tarts lobbing scimitars from ponds, is any basis for a system of government, mate.

Bring an argument that works in the real world, and pay cash.
$1 of reality trumps $5M dollars of theoretical handwaving.

ASM826 said...

Aesop,

I really do want this to be a conversation, not a internet argument. So if how I put it has caused offense, I apologize as well. Thinking that the laws created the conditions that allowed Capone to flourish is a far cry from thinking he should be free to behave as he did. Same same for the cartels today. All those criminals you mentioned just jumped on the next best high profit opportunity. It didn't make them criminals, but it made them more successful

Legal does not equal moral. We agree. Which what I was trying to say about murder in those early comments. My reason for behaving morally comes out of my upbringing and beliefs, not my fear of legal penalties.

I do not want to mollycoddle criminals. I always agreed with you on that. I've been reading your blog for a long time, I went back and looked, at least since 2014. You don't read along for years with someone you don't mostly appreciate.

What I want to do is something more effective. What we are doing fails and slowly destroys us. If a third to a half of all law enforcement energy is directly related to drug use, drug violence, and drug seeking theft, we are failing. There has to be another answer.

We haven't fought a war since 1945. That we agree. Not a war anywhere by the standard that war is. We aren't fighting a War on Drugs, either. I suspect we aren't going to, either. There is no more chance of the U.S. Congress agreeing to really go to war on drug importation and use than there is of the U.S. Congress legalizing drugs.

Anyway, a thought provoking discussion.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

The law against murder isn't in place to prevent murderer from being murderers. It's to prevent me from murdering murderers. And possibly you.

Our legal system is an agreement between our government and us that we will forgo our natural right to private vengeance in exchange for public justice. If someone kills a member of your family, you have every right to extract revenge upon them. The problem is that private vengeance has a nasty tendency to spiral into blood feuds and public disorder. The government, which is just us acting collectively, says, "if he sin against you, I will revenge."

Instead of mob justice, with the attendant dangers of mistaken identity and superficially sympathetic "victims" lying to get others hurt, we have decided as a group that it's better to build a system that tries as much as possible to offer an objectively fair trial and if convicted, punishment that comes from the group instead of from an individual.

The purpose of the law against murder is to specifically define the act that is forbidden, including the exceptions to the rule. It puts the rest of us on notice that if someone harms us, we risk the full weight of criminal punishment if we forget that we have selected a system of public justice over private vengeance.

In short, it's not to keep murderers from killing people. It's to keep ME (and possibly you) from killing murderers.

Aesop said...

ASM:
Noted.

Prohibition made Capone rich.
That doesn't make Prohibition itself a bad idea, any more than laws against murder are bad because they make hit men rich.
The fundamental problem then, is dealing with Capone, and hit men.
You would try to cut into their cash flow (as if they won't then go on to violate 500 other laws, being lawless criminals; I would simply shoot them in the head, or lock them up, and throw away the prison.

Which one has a 0% recidivism rate?


You're arguing against the consequences, I understand.
And you see the current efforts as futile.

On this we are in complete accord.

You look at the current effort as a waste of everything.
But in your calculus, you ignore the gigantic moral costs of abdication, and the tsunami of unintended consequences to society, in preference to the (relatively) paltry financial and legal costs of enforcement.

That's exactly like a man in Holland complaining that the price of dikes and pumps is too high, and proposing to simply let the sea come back in, because all he sees is the bank balance sheet.

And you correctly, if accidentally, sussed out that inevitably, selling drugs freely will devolve to giving them away, at taxpayer expense, as it must, yet you see this as a lesser evil than the current scheme.

You're focusing on things like the financial bottom line, or unconscionable civil liberties violations like Deming NM serially anally probing an innocent man, but while cheerfully and nigh thoughtlessly condemning the entire society to the horror stories I and others see nightly in the ER, the police station, the courtroom, and the streets, except at ten or twentyfold, 24/7/365/forever.

I beseech you, rethink your mathematics on that. One of these things is not like the other.

I look on the current efforts as what happens when you expect government to solve any problem efficiently.

In fifteen minutes, they establish two competing agencies, one to make it worse, and the other to beg for more funds for more enforcement because its worse. Both with full civil service protection, and lowest-common-denominator affirmative action hiring policies.
That's what government does, left unhindered.

It's like expecting the Agriculture Department to take charge of growing all the crops: we'd starve in a fortnight.

This is why you keep things as simple and un-misunderstandable as possible WRT their range of action.
(They'll still try to screw that pooch every way they can, from stupidity to deliberate evil intent, but that's where Franklin's comment "A republic, if you can keep it" bites down hardest on all of us.)

I could end drugs as a thing with half the money, directed wisely.
Because I can do math.

I did a decade, privately, on the border. I know how many guys it takes to shut down a given stretch. To drugs, illegals, whatever. (It's less than 10/mile, btw. 3 per mile to watch and catch, the other six or seven to arrest, incarcerate, and process what you stop.) That means the Border Patrol could do it with 20,000 guys. Currently, they muddle along poorly with only 30,000, and miss 95% of what crosses, based on daily direct observation. (And btw, we were doing our work two-dimensionally, a la 19th century tech, lacking aircraft, sensors, or an endless budget. Half a dozen of us shut down 4 miles, at will, and tight as a drum, anytime we wanted to, around the clock, with off-the-shelf gear, and Mk I eyeballs. No drug shipments, no crossers either direction, near 100% success rate. It ain't rocket surgery.) And also, btw, about 30% of Border patrol and DEA wants to do that. Another 30% is on the take, and the middle 30% is just punching a clock for a paycheck, led by the 10% most feckless and incompetent. Guess which faction drives the show.
(cont.)

Aesop said...

(cont.)
But staring at miles and miles of miles and miles through binoculars and thermal cameras in your spare time gives one time to think.

We have cameras in space that can resolve down to something the size of a pack of cigarettes. On a good day, they can read you the brand off the pack.
We have drones that can remain aloft for one-to-several days, unseen from the ground, and watch anything we like from continents away.

So if we wanted to, we could watch any group cross the border, by themselves or with backpack-sized bundles of dope. In real time.

And instead of catching them then immediately, follow them to their next safe house. Track the vehicles. Note the license plates. ID the registered owners. Then do the same thing with the safe house's property records. And follow illegals, drugs, or both, to their ultimate US distribution centers.

Then, after a few days, instead of arresting 20 or so 4th grade dropout dishwashers and dope mules, seize cars, houses, arrest owners, and every single minion in the entire distribution chain. And undo a network that'd take months to years to rebuild. wWe could do the same thing in reverse from space and track stuff and people back to where it was made, and who's running that show.

And either coordinate their arrests and seizures with friendly governments, or start raining Hellfires up their collective @$$#$ in failed states, and end drug dealing in about a hour, in a way that would last years to forever.

But we don't do any of that.

WHY NOT?

Because we're too squeamish - partly; because we're too timid - partly; but most of all, because TPTB DON'T WANT TO.

Remember that, and the plague of drug imports, every time Queen Alzheimers-Pelosi, ChuckU Schumer, Marco ScrewYoubio, and Lindsay Grahamnesty start talking about open borders and amnesty, because that's what they're pushing for by dissolving a border.

Importing Columbia and Mexico their drug cartels here, until there's too many of them to stop.

And the solution to that, my friend, isn't to embrace free market drug dealing.

It's to load magazines, and buckle in for a war for civilization.

Legalization is just Neville Chamberlain waving a scrap of paper over his head, and promising the people "Peace in our time."

Will said...

Aesop:

I see nothing much more that a wall of text from you to hide the apparent fact that you whole-heartedly support the status quo in our militarized police forces and the supporting laws that have turned them into the enemy of the people of our nation.

You decry the onslaught of the drug users in your ER, and are aghast that anyone would want to change that.

How's that famous saying go? "Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting things to change, is the definition of insanity". I'd say the nation is well into insanity at this point.

I got a look at the beginnings of the anti-drug police crusade in a very pointed manner, back around '71. Girlfriend was allergic to aspirin. Her idiot mother dropped off some cold capsules, minus the package label, while I was at work. She began having trouble soon after I arrived. My car was not available, and I couldn't reach anyone local, so I called for an ambulance. They had a new regulation that the police had to be notified of any drug related calls. Two cops showed up along with the ambo, and proceeded to grill her about her drug supply and dealer, until she became essentially comatose (Maybe ten minutes?). They didn't know, or care, anything about life-threatening allergies. They did help get the gurney down the stairs and load it into the ambo, as it only had a driver (an on-duty fireman). Very slow drive to the hospital. (I did maintenance on the ambos for the next town over, so I know what those hearse body vehicles were capable of doing. Speed of transport was their major medical function.) Halfway there, she stopped moving around, and seemed to collapse in on herself. I found no pulse in her neck or wrist, and no heartbeat with my ear against her chest. No respiration. She was



Aesop said...

Then I can't help you Will; you're quite simply blind, if you see in anything I've written here or on my blog any enthusiasm whatsoever for "the status quo in our militarized police forces and the supporting laws that have turned them into the enemy of the people of our nation."

You're quite frankly speaking fluent lunacy there. And I mean that gently, but clinically.

You're also wrong about me not wanting anyone to change what goes on in my ER.
The problem with the legalization suggestion is, it's done on the financial and intellectual cheap, in absolute ignorance of human nature and behavior, and utterly neglects to note that the change will be to make that status quo three to twenty times worse.

So gosh, yes, I'll absolutely pass on doing something worse, but stupider, and even faster.
I'm crazy like that.

That's the guy telling me the solution to that fishing hook stuck in my finger is to chop my hand off. Thanks, but no, no matter what he read on the back on a Snapple cap or juice box.

And your anecdotal single data point about archaic procedure somewhere from nearly 50 years ago is touching.
And unfortunately it's also wholly irrelevant to the current discussion. It was last germane in about 1972, when Nixon was the president (Millenials: Google him), however much pain the memory causes you, personally.

What I want requires no police work beyond what was par for the course when Adam-12 and Dragnet 68 were first-run and in color, from that same era:

Douchebag is found in public under the influence? Chain gang. 6 months.
Third offense? LWOP in the Chateau D'If. (Also known as making tours of Alcatraz a one-way ticket. Again. MAGA!)
Douchebag is DUI and hit someone? Or found with a kilo of dope in his trunk? Execution.
Done.

Militarized?
Joe & Bill, and Malloy & Reed, did their best work in four-in-hand neckties, with nothing fiercer than a .38 revolver and the very occasional pump shotgun.

That's the militarization of the US Army from 1898, Will.
I can live with that.

So please, come out of your cave, man.
It's not 1971 out here anymore.
And hasn't been, for about 48 years.

JimR said...

People keep talking past each other.

Yes, drug *abuse* is evil, just as alcohol *abuse* is.
Yes, some drugs are so bad, that use pretty much equals abuse.

Fighting the abuse, however you plan to do it is one thing.
Pretending that the state will stop any and all use, without becoming even *more* tyrannical, is rank foolishness.

The only effective tactic to prevent abuse, is societal, and we don't have a society that will do that any more.