Cross Post: John Adams – Time to consider the death penalty for drug dealers

Australia requires a radically new approach in waging the war on drugs. Despite the government’s best efforts, Australia is currently awash with illegal narcotics and Australians have globally the highest or close to the highest per capita illicit drug usage across several categories including cannabis, opioids, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy.

The Australian Crime Commission’s recent illicit drugs report stated that in 2013-14 Australia recorded the highest number of illicit drug-related arrests, the highest number of drug seizures and the largest amount of drugs seized. According to the ACC, sophisticated organised criminals are at the centre of the Australian illicit drug market.

Moreover, according to the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 42 per cent of Australians have used illicit drugs during their lives, demonstrating Australia has an entrenched illicit drug culture.

Disturbingly, the toxicity of the current supply of illicit substances across several categories has never been stronger. Long-term cognitive, psychological and physical damage, the deterioration of social capital and the lost labour productivity resulting from illicit drug use is both real and undeniable.

The current ice epidemic sweeping the nation has devastated the lives of many Australians including in rural and remote communities.

On any possible objective measure, Australia’s current approach to the war on drugs is an example of gross public policy failure.

Billions are being consumed in law enforcement, tens of thousands of traffickers and users are languishing in jails, violent crime is being waged on the streets and precious healthcare resources are being consumed.

Australia’s current policy posture projects weakness to international criminal narcotics syndicates in Asia and South America. We are seen as a soft target and therefore illegal drugs flood the country.

Despite the issue not dominating the national conversation, it is incumbent on policy makers to investigate alternative policy solutions.

The collective harm that currently arises from illicit drug use discredits the drug legalisation community’s argument that an individual’s personal use should not be the concern of the government as it does not cause harm to others.

Developments in neuroscience and psychology demonstrate that, as social animals, an individual’s consumption can significantly influence the behaviour of others.

The alternative is to consider radically different policy frameworks such as Singapore’s, which has an openly stated policy objective of a “drug-free” nation.

Singapore uses a multi-pronged strategy consisting of strong preventive education in schools, mandatory drug rehabilitation for first- and second-time caught users as well as the mandatory use of the death penalty with a reverse onus of proof for individuals caught with a prohibited substance above a legislatively prescribed weight.

Singapore’s policy approach is brutal, but it works. Singapore enjoys one of the lowest per capita rates of ­illicit drug use in the world. Its streets are safe, organised drug crime syndicates do not have a stronghold and, because of its projection of resolute strength, Singapore’s use of the death penalty is sparing.

The effectiveness of Singapore’s policy approach over two decades has resulted in the halving of arrest rates from approximately 6000 to 3000 annually as well as the rate of recidivism from 60 per cent to 30 per cent.

Given the seriousness of Australia’s drug crisis, examination and potential adoption of the Singapore model should be considered by policy makers, including the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Australians must be willing to acknowledge the seriousness of the current crisis and be accepting of tough unconventional measures coupled with determined and unwavering leadership. The scale of policy change required is immense.

John Adams is a former Coalition adviser.

This op-ed was first published in The Daily Telegraph.

This entry was posted in Cross Post, Tough on Crime, tough on criminals. Bookmark the permalink.

190 Responses to Cross Post: John Adams – Time to consider the death penalty for drug dealers

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    I think we all agree the war on drugs hasn’t proceeded as well as the authorities had hoped. Yet it isn’t clear that doubling down on punishment will reverse the failure. Isn’t this an object of the limits of government?

    Drugs could be legalised and the vast state resources devoted to the war on drugs could be returned to citizens as tax cuts.

  2. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Sinc if you want clickbait just link to buzz feed or post some pictures of naked chicks.

    Anything but this rubbish.

  3. Bela Bartok

    Is this what passes for informed intelligent articles in the Cat now?
    Shut.it.down and move the The Drum.

  4. harrys on the boat

    Fuck me dead. I struggle with the Cat after Sincs public fellating of that cnut Turnbull. And now this? This is just pure fucking shit.

  5. I’m all in favour of having a death penalty, but it’s kind of odd to utilise drug dealing as a mule for its re-introduction.

  6. harrys on the boat

    Fuck me dead. I struggle with the Cat after Sincs public fellating of Turnbull. And now this? This is just pure fucking shit.

  7. Tel

    Just give up on trying to legislate morally upright lifestyles. It isn’t the government’s job to own people’s bodies for them, and anyway governments are bad at it.

    Anyone who starts down the track of telling you whether you can smoke, or how big your milkshake should be or anything even remotely lifestyle related is automatically and perpetually unfit for governance. Don’t take it personally, it’s just a necessary precaution.

  8. Alex Kennedy

    Could not agree more. My biggest concern would be the Judges going soft on crime and sending them off to jail for 6 months because of their poor upbringing. Another suggestion would be to name and shame users caught which would ruin some careers but so be it.

  9. john malpas

    There can’t be any drug problem as is ‘wunnerful’ and the lucky country.
    Just ask anybody.

  10. Rabz

    the mandatory use of the death penalty with a reverse onus of proof for individuals caught with a prohibited substance above a legislatively prescribed weight

    Gee, what a top idea and so not open to abuse by our beloved cops.

  11. Simon/other

    They don’t need to be legalized as drugs, just as products safe for sale and inclusion in other forms of manufacturing. By all means control sale of the pure product but like codeine allow for chemists and pharmacologists to produce less damaging preparations for sale and use. We already have a group of dedicated professionals who specialise in doing this under very strict controls. It would also provide a very solid independent income stream for urban pharmacists who are currently being led by the nose by medicine.
    Pharmacy and chemistry are more than just “healthcare”. Society is telling you so.

  12. candy

    Long-term cognitive, psychological and physical damage, the deterioration of social capital and the lost labour productivity resulting from illicit drug use is both real and undeniable.

    And the worst thing is that drug addicts etc have had children now continuing the cycle of sheer dysfunction and lost lives. It can only get worse.

  13. Sinclair Davidson

    Weren’t you all bitching just last week that John was a commie?

  14. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Yeah. A fascist commie.

  15. Brett

    If the proposed strategy is truly effective, I imagine it might work just as well with a mandatory life sentence in place of the death penalty. Although the truly scary part of this proposal is the reverse onus. If the problem is so significant that society is prepared to execute people, then why shouldn’t the state be prepared and able to prove the matter to the same standard we apply to, say, pissing on somebodies front fence.

  16. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Sinc there is enough detritus and filth on the open forum without sullying the rest of your blog.

    If I want to read morons talking about the death penalty for drugs I’ll read the Herald Sun.

  17. feelthebern

    Legalise pot & coke.
    Expunge all pot & coke convictions.
    Commute all sentences.
    Crime will drop.
    There will be a “peace dividend”.

  18. A H

    This is highly non-libertarian.

  19. Diogenes

    Singapore is at one end of the scale, Portugal is at the other.

    Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it — Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record.

    Among Portuguese adults, there are 3 drug overdose deaths for every 1,000,000 citizens. Comparable numbers in other countries range from 10.2 per million in the Netherlands to 44.6 per million in the UK, all the way up to 126.8 per million in Estonia. The EU average is 17.3 per million.

    Perhaps more significantly, the report notes that the use of “legal highs” – like so-called “synthetic” marijuana, “bath salts” and the like – is lower in Portugal than in any of the other countries for which reliable data exists. This makes a lot of intuitive sense: why bother with fake weed or dangerous designer drugs when you can get the real stuff? This is arguably a positive development for public health in the sense that many of the designer drugs that people develop to skirt existing drug laws have terrible and often deadly side effects.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-decriminalised-drugs-14-years-ago-and-now-hardly-anyone-dies-from-overdosing-10301780.html

  20. John Constantine

    Their government issued ration of Soma isn’t just a brave new world thing.

    Imagine their frightfilth designing the recipe for Australia’s soma.

    Organic vitamins, soothing feelings, tummy friendly–their ABC are self medicating themselves as a class, it is just the proles getting pinged now anyway.

    I am close to saying just let the proles have what their ABC have.

    (Birth control as an ingredient, and a sweat marker that registers on the cars ignition to prevent drug driving?. The possibilities for government control through drug rations of soma go far beyond just a sedated and compliant society.)

  21. A Lurker

    Coffee and tea could be considered a drug since many people crave it, so could sugar, chocolate etc., be likewise labelled. Alcohol is already considered a mild drug. There are already moves to limit/regulate/impose higher taxes on sugar. How far down the autocratic highway must we travel before those who sell coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar, chocolate etc., might also be considered dealers and thus must be punished.

    As for those who sell illicit drugs? As others have stated – legalise and regulate it to the nth degree.

    Australians must be willing to acknowledge the seriousness of the current crisis and be accepting of tough unconventional measures coupled with determined and unwavering leadership. The scale of policy change required is immense.

    There is another threat to Western society that the political, legal, media and academic elites seem unwilling to name let alone deal with – I’ll give you a hint, adherents of it enjoy lopping people’s heads off. This threat will require tough and unconventional measures coupled with determined and unwavering leadership, yet people like you would rather talk about drugs instead.

  22. Roger

    Weren’t you all bitching just last week that John was a commie?

    Er…China & Vietnam both have the death penalty for drug dealers, Sinc.

    There’s nothing intrinsically conservative about it. And the reverse onus of proof is almost Kafkaesque. Just imagine what morally corrupt police could do under such a regime.

  23. I Like Mike

    Can we have the death penalty for jihadis instead? Some of these guys are currently in prison for very long terms and there is new legislation being discussed about keeping them in longer – more taxpayer expense and the possibility of converting others while in prison. And they want to die anyway, why not help them out?

  24. Mr Skeletor

    “war on drugs” – what war? Pretty fucking half assed war if you ask me.
    I think you either need to:
    a) Have a REAL war on drugs, which means no going soft. I’d include the death penalty (but I support it for other things as well.)
    or b) Legalize it but anything you do while high is totally on you (ie it can’t be used as an excuse when committing crime as it is now) and any damage you do to yourself is totally on you, and you are disqualified from any public health funding for any drug damage.

  25. RobK

    I see the abuse of drugs more as a symptom of some malaise of society generally. Simply trying to impose discipline by force without addressing the malaise is futile in the long run, potentially exacerbating a downward spiral in both the individual and society. People will self harm and self medicate, in many forms, whether legal or not. I certainly don’t profess to have the answers but I can’t see the solutions being either state sanctioned discipline (especially by lethal force, even if it’s against criminal traders), or the current prohibition on illegal drugs. Perhaps we need to face the fact that a free and open society can trust it’s citizens to look after themselves to a much larger extent. Studies suggest correlation between drug abuse and mental illness but it’s unclear to me if societal stresses such as excessive state imposed restrictions on self determination and property etc aren’t major contributors to some individuals’ propensity to self harm.
    Whilst I’m sure we can do better, we will always have those who make poor choices.

  26. Capital punishment is justifiable in particularly grievous forms of murder, but drug crimes? No.

  27. rich

    Not drug crimes. In fact, decriminilize drug crimes and roll back the state. Let the free market take care of it, and police prosecute actual crimes (robbery, murder).

  28. Diogenes

    When a 10 or 11 yo kid can get weed/ice more readily than tobacco we have lost

  29. Roger

    Capital punishment is justifiable in particularly grievous forms of murder, but drug crimes? No.

    The public would never accept the death penalty for drug dealers without it first being applied to child killers, rapists who kill their victims and terrorists. The death penalty is only morally justified when it satisfies the call for justice; the public, unlike politicians, have an innate sense of when it can be applied appropriately. I doubt its use as a deterrent to drug trafficking would pass this test, since the drug users (the reason the illicit trade exists) who die from overdoses bear some responsibility for their own deaths.

  30. Entropy

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2102096, posted on July 27, 2016 at 8:34 am
    Weren’t you all bitching just last week that John was a commie

    Anyone that constantly asserts a central role for government, and always seeking to grow that role, sure. If the shoe fits. Etc.

    Actually former artiste known as IT has it: a fascist commie.

  31. Tim Neilson

    Roger
    #2102140, posted on July 27, 2016 at 9:26 am
    Agreed, and that’s a huge problem for this proposal (apart from the repugnancy of the reverse onus). One of the things we were taught in law school was that if juries think that the penalty for a crime is too high they simply refuse to convict. So this could lead to more drug dealers getting off.

  32. rich

    Problem with the “war on drugs” is its excuse for militarisation and funding of a police state. It’s a funding vehicle and the state has every interest at the problem being dealt with ineffectually, hence becoming worse and more heavily funded. On top of this expansion of the police state it adds the Streisand effect and glamourises / incentivises drug dealing with profit.

    Skeletor is right in terms of intoxication is not a defence, and insurance doesn’t pay out when you’re high.

  33. Slade Wilson

    Sinc
    Why not make Infidel Tiger a writer? I’d read his stuff any day of the week over this drooling idiot

  34. Tel

    Weren’t you all bitching just last week that John was a commie?

    So he wants to be in control of the economic activity of other people, as well as their private lives. Full spectrum dominance as the saying goes.

  35. I am the Walras, Equilibrate, and Price-Take

    The alternative is to consider radically different policy frameworks such as Singapore’s, which has an openly stated policy objective of a “drug-free” nation.

    Singapore uses a multi-pronged strategy consisting of strong preventive education in schools, mandatory drug rehabilitation for first- and second-time caught users as well as the mandatory use of the death penalty with a reverse onus of proof for individuals caught with a prohibited substance above a legislatively prescribed weight.

    Yes, giving the state the power to murder its own citizens for possessing cannabis is one of the great libertarian ideals.

    Sinclair, here’s an idea for a blog piece by Sheikh Shady:

    The alternative is to consider radically different policy frameworks such as Iran’s, which has an openly stated policy objective of a “homosexual-free” nation.

    Iran uses a multi-pronged strategy consisting of strong preventive education in schools, mandatory sex-change operations for first- and second-time caught offenders as well as the mandatory use of the death penalty with a reverse onus of proof for individuals caught making love to a person of the same sex.

    Also, grateful if you could tell us whether Barking Betty Farrelly will be contributing an essay to ‘The New, Improved Catallaxy’ this week or next. Or is her piece being held back in anticipation that Gillian Triggs or Sheikh Hilaly will be writing something for us?

    Long-time readers (I’ve been here since inception, in 2002) want to know.

    Thanks,

    The Artist Formerly Known As:

    Jeremy
    Dandy Warhol
    I am the Walrus, Koo-Koo-K’choo
    I am the Walras, Equilibrate, and Price-Take

  36. H B Bear

    Has Snic taken the Cat tabloid?

  37. incoherent rambler

    Great idea, only if we can extend its coverage at a later date to LNP voters.

    Meanwhile, let’s check out the actual time spent in gaol for murders, rapists, terrorists, ALP fraudsters and daughters of NSW premiers.

    Judicial sentencing in VIC/NSW is a joke. This suggestion makes it even weirder.

    On the other hand, I am sure most of the Victoristan judges would just love to don the black cap for an 18C violation.

  38. I am the Walras, Equilibrate and Price Take

    John Adams is a former Coalition adviser.

    Well, bugger me.

    Who’da thunk it??

    Why not go the whole way, and tell us that he is a former Coalition adviser to ARFUR SINODINOS?

  39. Stunt.

    And we still say Turnbull sucks.

  40. Shy Ted

    Much simpler answer. Revoke welfare entitlements. There are countless substance abusers on disability pensions who aren’t disabled in any meaningful sense. Same with unemployment benefits and training schemes. I work in an Emergency Department. There is a never ending stream of drunks and druggies who come in to sleep it off. And the poor old cops are obliged to bring in these characters when they are “suddenly suicidal after arrest”. Governments (read taxpayers) should not fund people’ self-destructive lifestyles.

  41. Roger

    Has Snic taken the Cat tabloid?

    Note the change to the masthead…”to educate, inform and entertain“.

  42. Eddystone

    I think it’s great to float these ideas for discussion.

    We don’t want to be a “Festival of Dangerous Ideas”, where only approved ideas are allowed.

    Personally, having seen at close quarters the effects of ice etc, I have a hard time believing our current system is doing anything to reduce drug use. But it does cost a lot by trying to minimise the consequences of drug use.

    If it’s legalised, then we have to be prepared to cut loose those who have wrecked their lives, and voters will never allow that to happen.

  43. Eddystone

    Shy Ted
    #2102176, posted on July 27, 2016 at 9:55 am

    And aren’t they just so polite and cooperative when we try to help them?

    And the poor old cops are obliged to bring in these characters when they are “suddenly suicidal after arrest”

    As are the Ambos. It’s great being stuck in the back of the ambulance with some young thug who’s off his head on ice and has no impulse control and a hair trigger temper disturbed kiddy.

  44. stackja

    Legalise all harmful activities with the proviso, no responsiblity accepted on the part of society.
    But, of course, the bleeding hearts want society to be responsible.

  45. Leigh Lowe

    Uh-huh.
    What size tits are on page 3?
    I would like to see what crimes would also carry the death penalty ahead of drug dealing.
    Where does terrorism fit? Mass murder? Child murder?
    I’ve got a few in the queue ahead of drug dealing, odious as it is.

  46. incoherent rambler

    At a rough guess we have more drug dealers than we have law enforcement officers.
    I wonder what the response of the drug dealer would be, knowing that arrest means death.
    NSW police would first need to demonstrate that they can shoot a murderous hostage taker before unleashing a few thousand “nothing to lose” drug dealers upon the precious petals.

  47. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Inability to merge – death penalty.
    Giving change at a bar on a plate – death penalty.
    Talking about banning anything – death penalty.
    Taking photo of food at restaurant – death penalty.
    Fat girl wearing mid riff top or shorts – death penalty.

  48. incoherent rambler

    Adding to IT’s list –
    Stealing a loaf of bread
    Calling the King (Mal) a FINK
    Appearing on Q&A

  49. I am the Walras, Equilibrate, and Price-Take

    IT, what about the ‘minimum chips’ scam?

  50. incoherent rambler

    CAGW fraudsters – death penalty

  51. Leigh Lowe

    Inability to merge – death penalty.
    Giving change at a bar on a plate – death penalty.
    Talking about banning anything – death penalty.
    Taking photo of food at restaurant – death penalty.
    Fat girl wearing mid riff top or shorts – death penalty.

    The Felony of Aggravated Delay (To wit, paying for coffee or petrol with a credit card) – death penalty by immolation

  52. Katterlaxy Files: Festival of Stupid Ideas.

    No. Next!

  53. Eddystone

    Driving in right hand lane on freeway at 90 kph – death penalty.

    Texting a person next to you instead of talking to them – death penalty.

    Breaking off a conversation to look at your stupid fucking smart phone SMS without a word of apology, leaving your interlocutor to continue talking to himself, while you suddenly begin a conversation with some numpty on the other end of your stupid fucking smart phone – torture, followed by flaying alive, then hanging.

  54. Okay, kill drug dealers. That should be at least as easy to implement as ultra-high-tech mini-cities, Very Fast Trains and New Federalism. (We’ll see who’s really right-wing around here!)

    Now, O/T, about that goose Turnbull…

  55. incoherent rambler

    Sorry, that is a redundancy, climate fraudsters are probably also murderous, ice dealing, bread stealing, food photographers and fat girls wearing midriff tops.

  56. Leigh Lowe

    IT, what about the ‘minimum chips’ scam?

    I always ask the cashier at the fish and chip shop for maximum chips.
    They always have to talk to the Grik out the back about that.

  57. incoherent rambler

    Using twitter – death penalty

  58. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Getting back into your car at the servo and sitting there for an eternity while a queue of frustrated people wait behind you – you better believe that’s the death penalty.

  59. Perplexed of Brisbane

    I don’t care what idiots snort, swallow, smoke or shoot into their veins. I do care if the effects of that hurt innocent people, such as some drugged up scum getting behind the wheel of a car or grabbing a weapon because of the voices in their heads.

    Who pays for their hits when they can’t work anymore because they are so dysfunctional? Legalise robbery and burglary?

    Who takes responsibility for validating their actions by legalising drugs? How will we bring back a dead relative or friend who has been killed by some dope head?

    It seems to be a losing battle but I don’t want to ever legitimise something that is bad for all society. If drugs just kept the populace numb and mindless and unable to harm anyone else, the politicians would make them compulsory.

    At least while drugs are illegal, the fear of getting caught keeps users out of the public eye and hopefully away from the rest of us.

    The death penalty for dealers I’m not sure about but certainly jail terms long enough that we forget who they are by the time they get out. If they reoffend after that, then maybe consider it.

    It is all well and good making people responsible for their own actions but if their judgement is so bad that they will take drugs, then I don’t have much faith in their responsibility.

    Is there a simple solution? If there was, I think we would have already found it.

    I’m only a sometimes poster but always a reader of The Cat. I really enjoy the discussions. Keep it up.

  60. iampeter

    It’s another good example of how completely ideology-free the Liberals are. They have no idea what the proper function of a government in a free country is and are constantly trying to push their own collectivist crap down our throats.

    Oh, incidentally we now have cap and trade in Australia as of the start of this financial year, thanks to the Coalition. Can’t wait to see what actions they take if the great bubble of central banks inflating since 2008 bursts on their watch.

    Sinclair summed the correct answer up in his first post: we need to legalize drugs, get rid of all government agencies involved with policing them and return the savings to Australian citizens as tax cuts.

    If only we had a party that supported limited government in this country…

  61. Leigh Lowe

    Getting back into your car at the servo after having read a lad’s mag in the shop and carefully selected confectionary before taking a leisurely stroll to the counter to pay and then sitting there for an eternity while a queue of frustrated people wait behind you – you better believe that’s the death penalty.

    … for you, your children, your pets and all of your extended family. And your ute will be crushed.

  62. Leigh Lowe

    Conducting job interviews and employee counselling in a crowded coffee shop – death by spit-roasting (the one over an open fire – not the other one)

  63. Combine Dave

    If only we had a party that supported limited government in this country…

    We do have one.

    It’s called the LDP.

    You can balance their quirky immigration policy by granting your preferences to the ALA and PHON.

  64. incoherent rambler

    Bill Posters* – death penalty

    *he has been threatened with prosecution for over 70 years

  65. incoherent rambler

    Anne Boleyn – death penalty
    Mary, Queen of Scots – death penalty
    Charles I of England – death penalty

  66. Australian taxpayers who don’t even watch the bloody ABC – Royal Commission penalty.

  67. incoherent rambler

    Mr. Adams, some further details are required.
    Method of execution –
    Guillotine
    Axe
    Firing Squad
    Lethal injection
    The Rope
    Scimitar
    Electric chair (viability depends on availability of wind power)

    And whichever method you choose, should it be televised on the public broadcaster or just youtube?

  68. littledozer

    How can the war on drugs ever be won when the price point for illegal substances other than cocaine is far below that of alcohol and tobacco?

    Its actually government prohibition policies that has led to the Ice epidemic as Friedman pointed out long ago.

  69. rich

    Who takes responsibility for validating their actions by legalising drugs? How will we bring back a dead relative or friend who has been killed by some dope head?

    It seems to be a losing battle but I don’t want to ever legitimise something that is bad for all society. If drugs just kept the populace numb and mindless and unable to harm anyone else, the politicians would make them compulsory.

    At least while drugs are illegal, the fear of getting caught keeps users out of the public eye and hopefully away from the rest of us.

    Why don’t we punish them for actual crimes, such as robbery and murder? Not everyone who does drugs does those two items. You’ve decided that something someone might do unnoticed in private is “bad for all society.” At one point the Democrats in the United States put up prohibitition… see how that turned out. And making drugs illegal actually increases their desirability and profitability.

  70. Tim Neilson

    Perplexed of Brisbane
    #2102227, posted on July 27, 2016 at 10:35 am
    Thanks. It’s important to keep spelling out that when some ice/crystal meth head runs up unexpectedly behind a total stranger and king hits them into death, vegetable status or permanent quadriplegia, libertarian principles about the druggo’s “personal responsibility” are of zero use to the victim and their family and friends.
    Sure that can happen with drunk drivers, or even without chemical assistance by emotionally incontinent thugs, but the difference is that with ice and crystal meth, totally losing the capacity to exert any sort of “responsibility” is a design feature, not a bug.
    Different issue entirely about sedative drugs like marijuana, of course.

  71. I am the Walras, Equilibrate, and Price-Take

    incoherent rambler
    #2102254, posted on July 27, 2016 at 11:04 am
    Mr. Adams, some further details are required.
    Method of execution –
    Guillotine
    Axe
    Firing Squad
    Lethal injection
    The Rope
    Scimitar
    Electric chair (viability depends on availability of wind power)

    Being tied to a chair, eyelids forced open, and exposed to repeats of Q&A, Insiders, and the Collected Speeches of Julia Gillard, interspersed with election advertisements for the ‘Turnbull Coalition Team’, until expiration.

  72. Gavin R Putland

    I am about to post a long reply. It may be need to be rescued from the spaminator.

  73. rich

    It is all well and good making people responsible for their own actions but if their judgement is so bad that they will take drugs, then I don’t have much faith in their responsibility.

    It comes down to this- no amount of moralising on your part will stop people from making detrimental decisions. Freedom also includes freedom to fail, and the responsibility thereof.

    As long as such people who fail don’t hurt strangers with robbery or murder, then they should be free to fail themselves. Throwing resources into militarising the state doesn’t solve the problem.

  74. candy

    At a guess I would think many Australians might support the death penalty for the worst of the drug importers. So many families have been destroyed by ice, heroin, etc, and people feel powerless to stop this. We are supporting a culture of addiction and all the physical, social and emotional damage. Also, it has go to cost a lot of money.

    Death penalty is tempting but not moral, on religious grounds, is my opinion.

  75. Gavin R Putland

    The reverse onus of proof for drug possession is contrary to the rule of law and therefore unconstitutional in all jurisdictions

    The existence of a constitution, written or unwritten, presupposes the rule of law and therefore renders unconstitutional any attempt, by any means, to subvert the rule of law. The existence of a court presupposes the rule of law and therefore precludes the court from entertaining any proposition incompatible with the rule of law. No legislative body can suspend the rule of law, because the legislative power is merely the power to make law, which by definition must be compatible with the rule of law. Thus the rule of law is binding at all times in all jurisdictions (indeed, the very word jurisdiction implies the rule of law), and its implications are enforceable in court.

    And what are its implications?

    As a minimum, the rule of law requires certainty and rationality. Certainty is the ability to know what we must do, and what we must refrain from doing, in order to stay out of trouble with the authorities. Rationality means, at least, logic and consistency in application. Certainty and rationality require that, in the words of A.V. Dicey, “no man is punishable or can be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary Courts of the land.” Dicey’s dictum is partly expressed in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which declares that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. The Fourteenth Amendment imposes the same constraint on State law.

    As the arbitrary decisions of men are neither certain or necessarily rational, the rule of law further implies that, in the words of the Constitution of Massachusetts, we are under “a government of laws and not of men.”

    Of course, knowing what we must do or refrain from doing is useless if the required action or omission is impossible. In practice, therefore, the rule of law implies that the law cannot demand the impossible. This is independently obvious; a law that demands the impossible cannot be obeyed and therefore cannot be said to rule.

    The defining tactic of the global war on drugs is the reverse burden of proof: if prohibited drugs are found on your premises or among your belongings, and if you had no knowledge of the drugs, legislation requires you to prove your innocence. Whether the reversed burden of proof is a “legal burden” (proof on the “balance of probabilities” or the “preponderance of evidence”), or merely an “evidential” or “evidentiary” burden, there is no guarantee that an innocent person will be able to satisfy it. Thus the power to convict is effectively given to those who are willing and able to plant sufficient evidence — or would be, except that the arrangement is unconstitutional in all jurisdictions, being a breach of the rule of law.

    The reversal of the onus of proof breaches the rule of law by

    * depriving us of certainty, as we cannot be sure that we will not be victims of planted evidence (see below),

    * defying rationality, in that one person can be held responsible for the unwanted and unpredictable actions of another,

    * placing us under a “government of men” — in particular, a government of those who are willing and able to plant evidence — and

    * demanding the impossible, namely that we control what other people do to us, when in fact we can only control what we ourselves do.

    The breach is most egregious when the evidence is planted by officers of the executive branch. In October 2011, a New York detective was convicted of planting drugs on an innocent couple. At his trial, another former detective who had been caught planting evidence testified that such behavior was common and was motivated by arrest quotas. In December 2011, in Haskell, TX, a former police officer pleaded no contest to planting drugs in a car. In April 2012, the State of New Jersey was busy settling lawsuits after four Camden police officers were convicted of planting evidence. In February 2014, a former Philadelphia narcotics officer pleaded guilty to stealing $15,000 in drug money and planting drugs in a suspect’s car. He later testified that his unit stole money and planted evidence “too many times to count”, and that he had committed thousands of crimes while on duty.

    Proving that drugs were planted needs a stroke of luck for the victims, or exceptional incompetence from the perpetrators. We must therefore presume that most cases of planting evidence go unproven, with the result that the victims are wrongly convicted. The purported reversal of the burden of proof not only facilitates framing, but also motivates drug traffickers to arrange for the drugs to be in the possession of some unsuspecting person, who will take the rap if anything goes wrong.

    That said, the unconstitutionality of the reverse onus of proof does not depend on the premise that anyone would actually plant evidence, just as the prohibition on a judge deciding a case in which he/she has an interest does not depend on the premise that any judge would actually succumb to bias. The mere feasibility of an accuser obtaining a false conviction by performing certain acts, like the mere feasibility of an interested party deciding a case in his/her favour, is a violation of the rule of law.

    Those whose jobs depend on the war-on-drugs industry will claim that the reversed onus of proof is an essential weapon. That is nonsense. If it were impossible to obtain convictions for mere possession of drugs, law enforcers would be obliged to focus on sales, which is precisely what they should be doing anyway. In particular, they should be focusing on retail (“street”) sales, because that is where all drug profits ultimately come from. Furthermore, it would be much easier to get evidence on retail sales if the most numerous witnesses, namely the customers, were not at risk of being prosecuted for buying or possessing.

    Consider the economics of the problem. To discourage use of drugs, we want retail prices to be high. To discourage production and trafficking, we want upstream prices to be low, so that concealable quantities are not valuable enough to be worth producing or trafficking. If law enforcement puts a bottleneck in the supply chain, it raises prices downstream of the bottleneck, and lowers prices upstream. If we put the bottleneck at the retail level, we get the price signals that we want. Further upstream, law enforcement should be just strong enough to maintain the need for concealment: if possession of any quantity of prohibited drugs were a summary offense punishable solely by confiscation, with no conviction recorded, that would be enough — and would also remove any risk of wrongful convictions based on possession alone.

    Stronger action upstream sends the wrong price signals. Breaking up a drug syndicate raises prices for the benefit of downstream dealers and competing syndicates. Taking out a wholesaler raises prices for the benefit of retailers and other wholesalers. Eliminating an importer raises prices within the country for the benefit of domestic producers, retailers, and other importers. Eliminating an exporter raises prices in the rest of the world for the benefit of all suppliers to that market. Obviously the benefits of price rises are greatest for dealers who hold stockpiles, but all dealers gain when a given value of contraband becomes smaller and easier to conceal. Deterring exports reduces domestic prices; but if this is not compensated by disrupting retail sales, the price reductions reach all the way to the streets, encouraging drug use in one’s own country. These futile actions become too easy and too common if they can be occasioned by mere possession.

    In contrast, to deter retail sales is to send precisely the right price signals; and to cut off retail sales altogether is to de-fund the whole industry. But these strategies require resources to be concentrated on sales, not possession.

    So, if you are on the jury in a drug trial, and if you are told that the defendant must prove that he/she knew nothing about the drugs, it is your civic duty to put the onus of proof back where it belongs (on the prosecution), raise it to the proper standard (beyond reasonable doubt), and reach a verdict accordingly. This is not strictly jury nullification, in which the jury acts as a final legislative house of review for a single case, or as a substitute for executive discretion or clemency. Rather, it is an example of the jury acting in a properly judicial role as the interpreter of (constitutional) law, and finding that the reversal of the onus of proof is beyond the legislative power. But even if it were a true example of jury nullification, I would still advocate it on the ground that justice demands it. And to anyone who disagrees, I say: May it please G-d that drugs are found in your possession, and that you are judged by your own rules (Proverbs 26:27; Matthew 7:2; Galatians 6:7).

  76. Gavin R Putland

    (It’s gone to the moderation queue.)

  77. Arky

    As long as such people who fail don’t hurt strangers with robbery or murder, then they should be free to fail themselves. Throwing resources into militarising the state doesn’t solve the problem.

    You foolish cockhead.
    Drug dealers are not failures. You have conflated users with dealers. Probably deliberately.
    Legalisation? Explain how that would even work in a country where you can’t run a lemonade stand without a council permit.
    Arseholes.

  78. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Fat girl wearing mid riff top or shorts – death penalty.

    Obese girl wearing skin tight yoga pants – death penalty.
    Reducing the checkout chick at the supermarket to tears because you don’t have enough money in your bank account to pay for your purchases – death by drawing, hanging and quartering.

  79. Tim Neilson

    Why don’t we punish them for actual crimes, such as robbery and murder?
    We do and we should, but by then it’s too late for the victim.
    Rich, I’m sympathetic if you’re talking about marijuana or other sedative style drugs.
    But there are some drugs the whole purpose of which is to put people into a state where they’re ambulant and fully physically capable but have zero control over themselves. Once they’ve taken the stuff it’s virtually pure chance as to whether they end up king hitting a total stranger.
    Grog is different because it is possible to have a few drinks without losing the capacity to restrain yourself from violence (and we do have laws against public drunkenness). Marijuana is different because usually it chills the user out rather than sending them psycho. With grog, at least, we accept that some people will get out of control rather than penalise the vast majority who don’t. Maybe we should do the same thing with marijuana, though there are other issues there. But that simply doesn’t apply to drugs like ice or crystal meth, where legalising it means legalising temporary but total abdication of being a human being in favour of being a wild animal.

  80. Diogenes

    Looking at the experience of prohibition in the USA …
    Prior to prohibition the normal choice of booze was beer (say 5% alcohol).

    Enter prohibition, the penalty for producing/smuggling beer is the same as for say whiskey (say 40% alcohol) , as a “rational actor” you drink less whiskey for the same “buzz” & therefore reduce your risks of being caught brewing/smuggling whiskey instead of beer. Therefore supply of (lower alcohol) beer dries up and all you can buy is whiskey

    After prohibition things normalise after a few years & sales of “hard” liquor fall.

    We are seeing somewhat the same pattern here, today, with beer almost as expensive as hard liquor (by govt fiat) , more hard liquor is being consumed – you need to drink a hell of a lot more beer, over a much longer period of time to get as drunk as you would drinking JDs or Bundy – therefore people getting a lot drunker a lot faster than they were – mix with less expensive “illegal” drugs & you have a real recipe for disaster,

    Assuming the same “rational actor”, the historical and current Portuguese, patterns hold; those drugs that give you the “buzz” and still allow you to function (tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine & yes even heroin) and which have a short effect are available from the local “bottlo” or chemist at a reasonable price, “ice”, ecstasy etc etc that are causing the most harm will disappear.

  81. Dr Faustus

    Australians must be willing to acknowledge the seriousness of the current crisis and be accepting of tough unconventional measures coupled with determined and unwavering leadership. The scale of policy change required is immense.

    The scale of leadership change required would be much more immense.

    No more moist interviews with Leigh Sales for ‘Jack Ketch’ Turnbull…

  82. Fred Lenin

    Legalise hard dtugs but keep persecuting tobacco smokers ,make hard drugs freely available .increase the price of tobacco every three months,to eliminate this eeeevil habit . Make “recreational drugs cheap and freely available and subject to a small tax to eliminate drug dealers aim for a Tobacco free country .We all know that smokers are violent criminals who strain the health system . That sounds like a programme to change society . Another answer is to covert everyone to islam that will solve the islamophobia problem and racism . The possibilities are endless .

  83. Dr Faustus

    Having just heard a track from A Version of Now (prop. P. Garrett) I am prepared to consider a one-off application of the death penalty. It sounds like an Oils impersonator taking the piss.

  84. As a Libertarian I must respectfully disagree with the state murdering its citizens.
    Decriminalise all drug use and the side effects only privately insurable.
    Cut taxes with the savings.

  85. hzhousewife

    Indonesia is about to put the next dirty dozen up in front of the firing squad. Includes Indian and Pakistani persons, and 4 Indonesians of whom one is a woman. No outcry here yet – because, NO AUSSIES !

  86. incoherent rambler

    Diogenes.

    Legalize ice, add excise, GST and various other taxes. Let ice compete on a level playing field.

  87. Harald

    Here it really depends on what your goals are, when changing policy.

    My goals are to make sure less of the [email protected] is used. I other words: make sure it is more expensive and less available.

    Not that the stuff becomes less expensive and more available, as I have come to believe is the desired outcome of many in the libertarian movement.

    According to this article in the Washington Post, in the US in some major cities the price of heroine is now less than a pack of cigarettes. Morevoer, cigarettes aren’t very available anymore either: specific stores, opening hours, restrictions on who can buy. Probably marihuana is more easily available than cigarettes.

    It strongly suggests that, if your intention is to make drugs more expensive and less available, the way to go is:
    1. not make it illegal, but instead:
    2. make drug legal, then tax the living daylights out of it, slap further excises on it, subject it to a horror licensing system administered by a federal regulator and regulate it to death.

    Given my stated goals – make it expensive and unavailable – it will be no surprise I recommend option 2.

    Make it “legal”.

  88. Fred Lenin

    Diogenes,I remember reading a book about Henry 2 of England taking an army of 10,000 men to France to regain land his family had lost .The army consisted of horsed knights ,foot soldiers ,archers ,and Brewers ! It seems each man consumed one gallon of beer day ,a bit over four litres ,it was harder to get Beer in France so his logistics people took their own brewers .10,000 gallons of beer a day .
    Also the old Royal navy issued a half pint of watered rum a day plus beer with meals . Its no wonder the seamen could climb those tall masts and were foolishlybrave in battle ,they were all pissed out of their brains . No drug problems then ,not a mention of it .

  89. Fred Lenin

    Harald good post treat it like tobacco ,see how the luvvies respond to that .

  90. ABW

    Count the flawed premises in this piece! For a start, he puts all “drugs” into a single category of evil. All drugs are very very bad – they must be because they’re called “drugs”! And he seems to think that drug taker equals drug addict – evident in his idea that all first -time offenders be sent to rehabilitation. Drugs make everyone who try them totally addicted from then on!

  91. goatjam

    Here, I have rewritten your entire article for you:

    Australia must accept that the war on drugs is a complete and utter, society destroying disaster and should abandon it completely.

    Your’re welcome.

  92. Arky

    Reality and libertarians. Seldom seen together in the same room.
    If you legalise and tax the shit out of a drug to make it more expensive you will continue to have a black market.
    Christ. Do any of you even have a brain?

  93. goatjam

    And making drugs illegal actually increases their desirability and profitability.

    The Trailer Park boys did a movie about government considering legalising pot. Ricky the pot grower was outraged and went to the capital to express his outrage at the government for “destroying his business”

  94. RobK

    Never mind the death penalty….
    A side issue to illicit drug use is the random testing, especially for fly-in-fly-out workers. I make no comment on it’s application other than to digest if it’s fair game then everyone paid by tax derived money should be subjected to the same, the higher the pay grade, the closer the scrutiny.

  95. Arky

    Libertarians.
    If there drug policy was ever implemented we would have a legal drug market, an illegal drug market plus all new illegal activities.
    Crims don’t stop being crims because you have decided that their current particular earner can be safely legalised. They find new ways to live on the margin making extraordinary profits from human misery. It’s what they do.

  96. Harald

    Like with cigarettes, that black market should be kept relatively small. To that end it is important to slowly ramp up the taxes, excises, licence restrictions and regulations. Not all at once, of course.

    The price level of the legal product at the start should be about the same as it is now. Run the illegal ones out of business first. Then ramp up.

    Boil that frog slowly.

    I am not opposed to the death penalty by the way; by all means, bring it back. But this is not the right area of crime to use an example of the need for capital punishment.

  97. feelthebern

    Conducting job interviews and employee counselling in a crowded coffee shop – death by spit-roasting (the one over an open fire – not the other one)

    There’s another kind ?

    & Fisky, you are the king of trolls.

  98. Empire

    I got the feeling Adams was a despotic dickhead. Now I know for sure.

    There is a whole lot of weapons grade stupid on display here. No wonder the LNP is totally dysfunctional.

  99. Stimpson J. Cat

    Yes yes.
    Fourteen year old Stimpy’s must be executed to maintain standards.
    They are scum.

  100. Gavin R Putland

    While waiting for the moderator, I have posted elsewhere:

    The reverse onus of proof for drug possession is contrary to the rule of law and therefore unconstitutional in all jurisdictions

    (hastily edited down from earlier documents).

  101. Arky

    What? You were a fourteen year old drug dealer Stimpson?

  102. Diogenes

    The army consisted of horsed knights ,foot soldiers ,archers ,and Brewers ! It seems each man consumed one gallon of beer day

    Only because the water was undrinkable – it is also said that the “small beer”, which is what we are talking about had a very low alcohol content – I remember reading less than 2% – can’t find a reference today, even children drank it !

    The rum ration was the equivalent of 2 “nips” well watered to make up the volume.

  103. Tator

    Here in SA, we have a rather liberal policy on illicit drug possession. People with small amounts for personal use are “Drug Diverted” to rehab providers, many several times. They only go into the criminal system if they fail to attend their rehab appointments. The corollary is that dealers, manufacturers and growers of commercial quantities are hit with a sledgehammer with all dealing, manufacturing and growing over a certain limit deemed to be major indictable offences and heard in the District courts and not the Magistrates court. Cannabis possession and growing of a small number of plants is still dealt with by an expiation notice.
    There was many a time in the 90’s when compliance with the attitude test meant your drugs were just tipped down the drain or thrown in the river with no further consequences.
    Then again this reminds me of when I was working in Port Adelaide on night shift one Saturday night when I came across one of my football team mates who was pissed and wandering around the streets. We stopped to offer him a lift, but he started acting suss and refused and when we left he started looking frantically around the footpath for something. Found out at training the dopey bugger saw the police vehicle, tossed his stash as he thought he was going to get done. Had a good laugh for a few years over that one with him.
    As for legalisation, I personally have no issues with cannabis being legalised, with permits granted for home growing, commercialised cultivation for medicinal usage. I am not sure on heroin and cocaine, but there is no way I would legalise methyl amphetamine. There are already legal amphetamines available via pharmacies but the sheer traumatic effect meth has on people, let alone the medical and law enforcement communities makes it too dangerous a drug.
    If the illicit drugs were legalised, I would balance that by making any criminal offence committed whilst under the influence of any intoxicants an aggravated offence with substantial loading on the penalty. This is to prevent the culture we currently have in the legal system that blames the drug use for the offending rather than the actual offender who personally chose to take the drug. Specific offences such as cause death by dangerous driving has this aggravation factor already for people who are intoxicated by liquour or drug. Why not extend that to all offences??

  104. Tel

    We do and we should, but by then it’s too late for the victim.

    It’s always too late for the victim, government cannot and will not protect you. This has nothing to do with drugs: it applies just as much to religion, or disputes over money, or opportunistic rape by someone with lack of self control. The policeman always turns up after the fact and does the job of cleaning up, filling in a report.

    There is one answer, and only one answer: arm the victim, give them a fighting chance.

    When the cops kill a citizen there’s a quick internal investigation, a bunch of mates chat about it, and then they shake hands and close the file.

    When a citizen kills another citizen there’s a full trial, open to the public, evidence put forward, judge, jury, witnesses, and you know that whole justice system. Which method do you think better encourages level headed use of force and personal responsibility? Which is more open to abuse?

  105. Crossie

    The world is convulsed over Islamic terrorism but John Adams is concerned with drug dealers. On the other hand, they often tend to be the same people.

  106. Tel

    As for legalisation, I personally have no issues with cannabis being legalised, with permits granted for home growing, commercialised cultivation for medicinal usage. I am not sure on heroin and cocaine, but there is no way I would legalise methyl amphetamine.

    I would suggest a gradual transition, keep it illegal to buy and sell drugs, but allow people to grow small quantities for own use. Do the cannabis first, then coca leaves, then opium poppy. Make sure the amount grown on any particular property is within some sensible area, and then if they grow too much there’s some sliding scale of fines (similar to a traffic violation).

    I think that would suitably hammer the market price, and we could reconsider where to go from there.

  107. Rabz

    Being tied to a chair, eyelids forced open, and exposed to repeats of Q&A, Insiders, and the Collected Speeches of Julia Gillard, interspersed with election advertisements for the ‘Turnbull Coalition Team’*, until expiration.

    Bluddee hell – now that’s what I would call “cruel and unusual punishment”. Mind you, I can also think of few people who need to be subjected to it.

    *All played at deafening volume

  108. Tim Neilson

    Harald
    #2102347, posted on July 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm
    The illegal market will ramp up as the price differential between legal and illegal increases. Same as what’s happening with tobacco as we post here. And tobacco can’t be produced near instantly in a garage, and also is a fairly bulky product for its price compared with ice, crystal meth etc. so the illegal market for tobacco is a much harder gig than illicit ice/crystal meth etc.

  109. alexnoaholdmate

    In his last post, John Adams (what a misnomer!) implies that conservatives are backwards knuckledraggers who wish to take us all back to the 19th Century. According to John, that’s what conservatism is – a philosophy for morons who want to see the ‘progress’ of the last two centuries reversed.

    In his next post, John calls for the re-instatement of capital punishment.

    Well, I’m confused.

  110. Tim Neilson

    Tel
    #2102402, posted on July 27, 2016 at 1:14 pm
    Tel, how difficult is this to understand? Having concealed carry won’t help you when some ice/meth nutter runs up behind you and king hits you without you having even a nanosecond to see them. (I’m not arguing against concealed carry, but it just isn’t a panacea.) Having a justice system doesn’t dissuade ice/meth nutters from running up to total strangers and king hitting them. (I’m not arguing against the justice system but it isn’t a panacea.) Once they’ve taken the stuff they have no awareness of consequences. The only thing that can prevent ice/crystal meth nutters from killing or permanently disabling people is if they get arrested and locked up before they do it.
    As a society we give drinkers the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t intend to drink so much that they lose all capacity to restrain themselves from being a danger to others – unless they show signs of doing so, in which case they can get locked up for public drunkenness. But that just doesn’t apply to some drugs – the total loss of self-restraint capacity is a design feature, i.e. anyone who takes the stuff intends that lack of capacity to happen. Why do we require owners of dangerous animals to keep them restrained if we’re then going to legalise people turning themselves temporarily into unrestrained dangerous animals?

  111. Stimpson J. Cat

    What? You were a fourteen year old drug dealer Stimpson?

    Don’t be stupid.
    Only adults deal and take drugs.

  112. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Only because the water was undrinkable – it is also said that the “small beer”, which is what we are talking about had a very low alcohol content – I remember reading less than 2% – can’t find a reference today, even children drank it !

    O/T I know, but a documentary on the lifestyle of Henry VIII cites the Kings daily intake as ten pints of ale, at 3% alcohol, for exactly that reason – the water was undrinkable.

  113. Empire

    As a society we give drinkers the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t intend to drink so much that they lose all capacity to restrain themselves from being a danger to others – unless they show signs of doing so, in which case they can get locked up for public drunkenness. But that just doesn’t apply to some drugs – the total loss of self-restraint capacity is a design feature, i.e. anyone who takes the stuff intends that lack of capacity to happen. Why do we require owners of dangerous animals to keep them restrained if we’re then going to legalise people turning themselves temporarily into unrestrained dangerous animals?

    What you think you know about drugs is wrong.

    Twenty years back there were approximately 100,000 recreational heroin users in Australia. A small minority were classical junkies – the high on the street steal your VCR types. I don’t know what the stats are now, but I doubt it’s changed much.

    Meth doesn’t turn everyone who uses it into a psycho, ergo not everyone who takes it desires incapacitation. I know recreational meth users who use infrequently and never go troppo. Yes it is highly addictive for some, just like opiates. For some.

    The war on drugs has been a failure and it always will be. Some people like getting high and frequently do so without infringing the rights of others. The issue isn’t drugs, it’s irresponsible drug users who use the diminished responsibility due to intoxication defence that is the issue.

    Get high and fuck up? Apply the same consequences as if one were lucid. Stop treating drug abuse as a health issue and leave the responsible users the hell alone.

    I wonder if Adams advised Baird to eradicate dog racing in NSW? It’s the same logic. A few bad apples – burn the barrel.

  114. rich

    You have conflated users with dealers. Probably deliberately.

    Both are engaging in free trade without initiation of violence. What’s the problem? I could buy a jetski and plough it into a group of kids on the beach. Does that mean the jetski seller gets done because I’m an idiot with a jetski?

    Legalisation? Explain how that would even work in a country where you can’t run a lemonade stand without a council permit.

    I have. I’ve worked below minimum wage to get ahead too for cash, years ago.

    We do and we should, but by then it’s too late for the victim…
    they’re ambulant and fully physically capable but have zero control over themselves.

    Then we should forbid people from driving cars, or using guns, or buying medication. At some point you have to treat people as adults who are responsible for their own actions.

    As for enforcement, what of legislation keeping up with new substances, use variations of the same substances (e.g. a mellow version of ice). Who decides and how do we keep up, or do we ban everything (including new jackfruit popsicles) until a bureacrat verifies its safety? At what point does caveat emptor apply?

    Biggest one which is being parodied- who decides what is detrimental? I’m sure our lefty friends would like to jail “racists” and “cagw deniers” because of the clear and present danger that they present to society.

    We let people do stuff as long as they don’t initiate violence against others. That is the price of freedom.
    The key is that a person may have zero control but they are still fully responsible for their actions and should be punished for full responsibility if and when they initiate violence.

    The grey area is the raising of children, who are innocent collateral- when do we take neglected children from their parents? That’s the question mark.

    My moral compass is much more simple: if you initiate violence on someone else, you deserve sanction. Otherwise if you are a stranger and choose to die alone, that is none of my business.

    That’s what classical liberalism is: let people make their own decision, own their own lives and consequeuences. If they infringe on others, then perhaps death penalty, in proportion to the crime.

    Grog is different because

    Grog isn’t different, all of your suggestions are easily substituted into the justification for prohibition. People like Diogensis get it

    we’re legalising it means legalising temporary but total abdication of being a human being in favour of being a wild animal.

    – I’m sure that’s what the Pakistani’s believe when they are sentencing someone to death for breaking Zinna or defacing the Koran. It’s easy to dehumanise defilers and heretics

    Also the entire opposing argument is predicate on the illusion that the state can fix the problem. It can’t: in fact it benefits the state that the problem gets worse.

    increase the price of tobacco every three months,t…. I other words: make sure it is more expensive and less available.

    You just incentivised being an “illegal” drug dealer. In the end there is no such thing as a “black market”, there is only “the market.”

    Go back to basics and understand what a market is and start again.

  115. Fisky

    Yeah, the anti-war on drugs schtick doesn’t work for ice/crystal meth. We need to lock these people up in padded rooms. No criminal records of course, but just keep them well contained for their and our safety.

  116. rich

    Once they’ve taken the stuff they have no awareness of consequences. The only thing that can prevent ice/crystal meth nutters from killing or permanently disabling people is if they get arrested and locked up before they do it.

    By that logic we should lock up every muslim before they become a terrorist, or every driver before they have an accident, or every vineyard owner before one of their customers becomes drunk.

    that just doesn’t apply to some drugs

    Perhaps lefties feel that about “racists”, or muslims feel that about “sluts” and “alcohol”??

    I don’t see a compelling argument here for “pre-restriction” of freedom, because the definition of what could be pre-restricted is malleable and subject to the whims of our political masters

    do we require owners of dangerous animals to keep them restrained

    We shouldn’t… we should make the dog owner sueable not juts for money, but perhaps even for limbs

    And, as you acknowledged when you said “I’m not arguing against the justice system but it isn’t a panacea” you understand as well that bans are flawed because they incentivise illegality, so they should be few, big and very general.

  117. Diogenes

    rambler,
    I have seen younger kids high on ice here at work and it is not a pretty sight and I would never advocate legalising Ice or ekkies or the other synthetic drugs as they have much worse effects. If they must be legalised then they need to be manufactured & subject to quality control – this may reduce the psychotic effects.

    In our efforts to “minimise” harm we have actually made the problem worse. Kids that would sneak a drink, or pass around a durrie are turning to what they can more easily get ie Ice and that fake LSD that is currently doing the rounds. Its even being sold on school buses FFS (not by the driver I might add, they are aware & have reported to police – so far no action).

    As I have posted about the Portuguese & prohibition experience, allowing people to get high using a “legal”, affordable alternative that does not the cause psychotics episode like Ice, and which has a relatively short term effect, and the problem will right itself .

    If necessary put markers in the legally sold stuff so it can be detected by random drug stops and set a legal maximum amount of the marker in your system (+ alcohol) that will allow you to drive. If that happens to be 0 for some drugs so be it, BUT it needs to be set at the same impairment level as the current 0.05.

  118. Fisky

    By that logic we should…

    One of these things is not like the other…

  119. Bruce

    The ‘war on drugs’ is a sham. If they were fair dinkum they would clean out the drug importers and runners in Vietnamese controlled areas of Sydney, the bikie gangs en masse and their major drug distribution and marketing networks and the Muslim Lebanese thugs in Sydney who control much of the drug industry in this country.

    Everyone in Australia knows that if these areas were cleaned out once and for all with some very tough, ongoing policing – supported by committed prosecutors and judges – then the drug problem would diminish dramatically.

  120. john constantine

    Prescription?

    To get a scrip for stuff you have to load up on to smooth out a chaotic life, you might need to agree to have a contraceptive implant set in your arm.

  121. Fisky

    I have seen younger kids high on ice here at work and it is not a pretty sight and I would never advocate legalising Ice or ekkies or the other synthetic drugs as they have much worse effects.

    We probably lost the battle a long time ago, but there are definitely some drugs that we can safely legalise/decriminalise, and some drugs that we need to totally go after.

    Prohibition was a disaster because nearly everyone drinks, and the consequences and distortions of trying to outlaw such a big market were huge. To a lesser extent, the same would apply to cigarettes.

    This doesn’t apply with ice/meth because the market for them is much smaller, it’s only a small % of society getting hooked. However this small % lose complete control over their faculties and they have the potential to harm a much larger % of people.

    Just like Muslim terrorists (a small % of Muslims) do.

  122. Harald

    Tim Neilson,
    One would think that if considering commodities, but I do not think that is the experience with tobacco. Yes, there is some black tobacco market and it increases somewhat when the screws are tightened on the legal outlets, but on the whole it is a small part of the total market. And that while the price of a pack of ciggies is through the roof; far, far above the cost of production. So there is plenty of room, in terms of price, for a flourishing illegal supply. But that does not happen – not on a massive scale.

    When there is a legal option as well as an illegal one, people do prefer the legal one, I guess. That’s because it isn’t the same product that is interchangable. It isn’t a commodity in that sense. Perhaps that is to do with quality controls and not trusting the illegal stuff, or that the illegal suppliers are outright shady, can’t advertise, often do not have regular location or opening hours, require cash payment in awkward locations, etc.. All those things probably matter.

    And all those factors would probably weigh on the minds on potential hard drugs buyers at least as hard as they would for someone looking for cigarettes. Especially with the junk that can be readily made: the market is full of idiots making vile stuff in their toilet bowls. That itself is a risk, which could be vastly reduced by legalising it.

    Another advantage is that organised crime does not make a fortune off the very laws that make drugs illegal. That to me is the worst part of the current arrangement: the laws clear the market of legal suppliers, so the crims have it to themselves, at artificially high prices to boot.

    Legalising it while keeping the price roughly the same (for starters) is a perfectly acceptable way to go. It gets the crims out of the market and allows legal outlets to take over the market. It allows for transparent quality labelling to protect the customers.

    And of course you can do what I would like to see done: once you have that control, slowly kill it off. It worked with cigarettes. No reason that I can see to believe it won’t work with this.

  123. Empire

    Yeah, the anti-war on drugs schtick doesn’t work for ice/crystal meth. We need to lock these people up in padded rooms. No criminal records of course, but just keep them well contained for their and our safety.

    Sure it does. Most people who use meth aren’t psychos. Just as most drinkers don’t get para every night.

    Abusers who commit crimes against person and property should be treated like the criminals they are. End the diminished responsibility defence and leave the majority of users who cause no harm the hell alone.

    The notion that anyone who uses meth will become an addicted psycho is a popular urban myth.

  124. Ez

    Removing the obscene excise taxes on alcohol would reduce demand for illicit drugs as well.

    There are a lot of kids out on the gear because it’s cheaper than drinking.

  125. Tim Neilson

    Then we should forbid people from driving cars, or using guns, or buying medication.
    No, because doing that doesn’t inherently involve rendering yourself incapable of self-control.
    Who decides and how do we keep up, Our democratically elected Parliaments (regrettable though it is that more competent personnel aren’t voted in).
    At what point does caveat emptor apply? James Macready-Bryan wasn’t given an opportunity to decline to “buy” a king hit to the back of the head. I’ve got no problem with Darwin Award contenders “buying” whatever dangers they like for themselves (subject to who pays for their medical treatment) but not deliberately inflicting those dangers on others.
    I’m sure our lefty friends would like to jail “racists” and “cagw deniers” because of the clear and present danger that they present to society. If they could prove empirically that “racism” or “cagw denial” was both voluntary (and belief in something isn’t necessarily totally a matter of volition) and was likely to lead to the believer king hitting total strangers out of total lack of self control, they might have a point.
    We let people do stuff as long as they don’t initiate violence against others. That is the price of freedom.
    The key is that a person may have zero control but they are still fully responsible for their actions and should be punished for full responsibility if and when they initiate violence.

    Then why can’t people drive at 150 k’s in a school zone? Why can’t people drive a car at .10? As long as they don’t actively intend to kill someone isn’t that their “freedom”? We don’t wait till a kid gets killed before stopping that. And we shouldn’t wait til an ice/meth head kills someone before saying that a totally out of control nutter is dangerous to others.
    Grog isn’t different, all of your suggestions are easily substituted into the justification for prohibition.Not by mentally competent thinkers they aren’t.
    It’s easy to dehumanise defilers and heretics But the point is it’s easy to dehumanise yourself, literally, not metaphorically, by taking ice or meth.
    By that logic we should lock up every muslim before they become a terrorist, or every driver before they have an accident, or every vineyard owner before one of their customers becomes drunk. Drivers don’t normally deliberately put themselves into a condition where they’ve got no control over whether or not they have an accident. Vineyard owners don’t know as a matter of fact that their customers will necessarily lose all self-restraint as a result of using their product (and would no doubt hope that none of them do).
    Perhaps lefties feel that about “racists”, or muslims feel that about “sluts” and “alcohol”?? Probably, but their views are demonstrably false, whereas the chemical effects of ice or meth are demonstrably as I’ve described them.
    We shouldn’t… we should make the dog owner sueable not juts for money, but perhaps even for limbs Oh great, I’m sure every parent will be quite content to see pit bulls running around the vicinity of the primary school safe in the knowledge that if their kid gets killed the owner will be decapacitated.
    bans are flawed because they incentivise illegality, so they should be few, big and very general. In the case of ice and meth, yes. Finally we agree on something.

  126. Jannie

    If you want to kill drug smugglers, start with the people who empower them and make the trade so obscenely profitable. The Nanny Police State.

    Whoever wrote this article deserves to have his sons shot for being racist sexist and potentially unreliable.

    Fuck you.

  127. rich

    but on the whole it is a small part of the total market. And that while the price of a pack of ciggies is through the roof; far, far above the cost of production. So there is plenty of room, in terms of price, for a flourishing illegal supply. But that does not happen – not on a massive scale… once you have that control, slowly kill it off. It worked with cigarettes. No reason that I can see to believe it won’t work with this.

    It’s arguable that the lessening of use is not a factor of supply but social pressure and societal norms. If it was desirable then the market would be much larger. I’d be good to revisit the data, but I’d contend that it’s not a function of lack of supply (tightening thumbscrews) but of social direction.

    Control is an illusion statists believe they have. They only truly have control when they truly have the monopoly of violence and are willing to use it e.g. North Korea.

    The ‘war on drugs’ is a sham.

    Right diagnosis, wrong prescription.

    It’s a shame because no amount of statism or enforcement can win this war, because the state wins if the “war” is prolonged and “needs more resources to win.” Instead it’s used as a vehicle to grow the state.

  128. Jannie

    Ez

    “”There are a lot of kids out on the gear because it’s cheaper than drinking.”

    The truth is the opposite and is far worse.

    There are a lot of kids drinking because marijuana is obscenely expensive and dangerous to obtain.

  129. rich

    doing that doesn’t inherently involve rendering yourself incapable of self-control.

    What level of “self control” is acceptable? Having a heart attack while driving a car results in death penalty? OD on prescription drugs and killing someone during a psychotic episode?
    Or how about the Malaysian or Saudi standard, where religious police can raid your house for extramarital affairs or drinking alcohol?
    If the democratically elected parliament votes that every woman should wear a Burqa to keep men from “losing control”, is that a morally acceptable decision, or an infringement on freedom?

    “James Macready-Bryan wasn’t given an opportunity to decline to “buy” a king hit to the back of the head.”

    So prosecute people for king hitting people to the back of the head. Drugs actually have no effect on that outcome- unless you are arguing we should differentiate on whether someone has drugs in their system or not? Your argument is invalid.

    If they could prove empirically that “racism” or “cagw denial” was both voluntary (and belief in something isn’t necessarily totally a matter of volition)

    The Khmer Rouge demonstrated that anyone who wore glasses was an intellectual and a threat to the regime. I don’t believe any group in our society should have the machinery to proscribe and persecute people. The Red Guard are dangerous.

    Then why can’t people drive at 150 k’s in a school zone? Why can’t people drive a car at .10?

    They should be able to but, if and when they hurt someone, they should be liable up to and including the death penalty. Trust people to be responsible adults and, if they hurt others sanction them then and then. That’s what common law is about: rather than rules from on high for the benefit of elite rulers and self-proscribed moral betters… law from below, by people, for people, discovered piece by piece.
    That’s why we do not stagnate like France. Top down versus bottom up. Cattle versus freedom.

    Not by mentally competent thinkers they aren’t.

    The “no true scotsman” fallacy isn’t an argument. History supports me in the Democrats implementing prohibition in 1920 and even now, attempting disarmament.

    deliberately put themselves into a condition where they’ve got no control over whether or not they have an accident.

    Tell that to Palestinians currently leading the “people’s intafada” in Israel deliberately driving cars into groups of people, or that driver in Nice who killed 17. Culpability for me is not dulled by intoxication: we should throw the book at actual crimes, not pre-crime.

    Probably, but their views are demonstrably false,

    Irony is lost on yourself, good sir.

  130. Tel

    Tim, my understanding is quite clear… your imagination is running away with you.

    Right now we have plenty of people in Australia taking ice (supposedly a “Pandemic” if you believe the reports) and yet I can find not one single report of one of these addicts sneaking around king hitting people from behind. Please, worry about the real problems first before the hypothetical problems.

    Besides that, if legalization happens with other drugs like cannabis and opium there will be fewer ice addicts all told because those drugs will displace the trade and remove the profit incentive.

  131. rich

    Vineyard owners don’t know as a matter of fact that their customers will necessarily lose all self-restraint

    So a dealer who deaels in Ganja… the customer does not have a bad trip and does no harm to anyone else. An alcoholic loses his inhibition and hits his wife with a shovel- now how are these two different, in that does the illegality of the drug demonstrate the culpability of the vendor?

    very parent will be quite content to see pit bulls running around the vicinity of the primary school

    So we should ban poodles, pet rocks and sexist advertising because such parents want to bubble wrap their children from the worries of the world. At what point is the state responsible and what point is the parent responsible for the safety of their children? At what point is the state substitute for a parent?

    If the state fails to prevent tragedy, but gets more resources to prevent further tragedies, isn’t that a perverse incentive where more bad results means more resources? That’s why “wars” like the “war on drugs” and “war on poverty” never end.

    Morgan Freeman had it right when discussing racism: be smart, go back to first principles and see commonality. Drugs, poverty and Islamism are similar cases: “Declaring war” simply attracts profiteers, just as it has in the US when BLM “declared war on Racism”. It fails, horribly horribly fails, to understand the Streisand effect and the glamour of evil.

  132. Arky

    Right now we have plenty of people in Australia taking ice (supposedly a “Pandemic” if you believe the reports) and yet I can find not one single report of one of these addicts sneaking around king hitting people from behind. Please, worry about the real problems first before the hypothetical problems.

    ..

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/tide-of-evil-drug-ice-linked-to-killings-of-14-people-in-14-months-across-victoria/story-fni0fee2-1226866852480

  133. Mr Adams was previously suggesting that conservatives drag themselves out of the 19th century…or something like that. One got the impression it was about staying tight with Baird/Turnbull green banksterism while allowing ourselves just a little bit of what we fancy in the way of true conservatism. (I’m not explaining it well…but neither did he.)

    Now, to show us he ain’t no pinko, we are being challenged to seek 18th century solutions to drug dealing. (Of course it’s in the won’t-ever-happen category of solutions, a bit like a Turnbull impulse announcement. Or like when greens coyly support nuclear energy in the full knowledge that it will be obstructed at every inch by other greens.)

    How little this author understands conservatives.

  134. Tim Neilson

    Having a heart attack while driving a car results in death penalty?
    Sigh. Drivers don’t normally intentionally have heart attacks while driving. Or maybe I just hadn’t noticed.
    Or how about the Malaysian or Saudi standard, where religious police can raid your house for extramarital affairs or drinking alcohol? Strangely enough I’m not advocating those. Perhaps a clue might have been when I explained that grog was different.
    If the democratically elected parliament votes that every woman should wear a Burqa to keep men from “losing control”, is that a morally acceptable decision, or an infringement on freedom? An infringement on freedom, because it’s the woman who chooses to wear the burkha who would be at risk if men did “lose control” whereas it’s not the person who chooses to take ice or meth who’s at risk of king hitting themselves.
    So prosecute people for king hitting people to the back of the head. Yes, but why do we wait till tragedy happens to act. Should people be at liberty to go into a bank in a stocking mask and with a sawn off shotgun because “freedom” and not be at risk of arrest till they actually hold up a teller?
    The Khmer Rouge demonstrated that anyone who wore glasses was an intellectual and a threat to the regime. No they didn’t. They just asserted it.
    They should be able to but, if and when they hurt someone, they should be liable up to and including the death penalty. Seriously? No right whatsoever of police to pull someone over for doing 150 k’s in a school zone? Well, I guess that’s consistent with your views on ice or meth.
    History supports me in the Democrats implementing prohibition in 1920 and even now, attempting disarmament. Now you’ve really jumped the shark. I said straight out that I wasn’t advocating prohibition of grog, and that my arguments couldn’t be used rationally to argue for that, and you’re claiming that 1920’s prohibition of grog somehow invalidates my argument?
    Tell that to Palestinians currently leading the “people’s intafada” in Israel deliberately driving cars into groups of people, or that driver in Nice who killed 17. If we’d known they were going to do that they would have been stopped. The point is that the mere fact that someone drives a vehicle isn’t in any way an indicator that they’re intending to drive dangerously for any reason. Someone who takes ice or meth is making it plain that they’re utterly indifferent to how they endanger others through abdicating any capacity for self-restraint.

  135. wreckage

    Legalize and regulate. Then kill the bootleggers that remain.

  136. Tim Neilson

    rich
    #2102582, posted on July 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm
    Rich, I’ve said already that I accept that marijuana is different because users don’t expect to be fully physically capable and active while utterly lacking the capacity for self-control. Similarly, with grog, the vast majority of users get the effect they want without that loss of self control. But that’s just not the case with ice and meth.
    You reveal the fundamental flaw in your position when you demonstrate your inability to distinguish between pit bulls and “poodles, pet rocks and sexist advertising”.

  137. Rich

    I’ve said already that I accept that marijuana is different because users don’t expect to be fully physically

    I don’t trust you to decide on what a hard drug is, nor a bureaucrat to decide what a speed limit is, a Muslim to decide what modesty is or a Khmer Rouge to decide who a kulak is. I don’t even accept that a majority democratic vote can decides who is taxed more or what is moral.

    What I do trust is a jury of peers deciding under common law what case law and precedence is. That is because the last is not decided by self appointed moral betters who do not understand markets,nor the Streisand effect nor the glamour of evil deciding laws that suit them on high. You draw the line at Ganja, Democrats in 1920 draw the line at alxohol. I trust neither agenda, except a jury of peers whose ad hoc nature dulls agendas so that justice is actually served. That’s the last I will say on this matter.

  138. Mayan

    People like drugs. So do many mammals: dolphins, dogs, water buffalo etc. have all been known to get high.

    It is fun to see people try to justify prohibition, or cling to some belief in ‘regulation, and some even seem to want price controls. One rather suspects that, were they pressed, they would somehow manage to claim to be proponents of freedom … except for people they don’t like. And it is that part which has driven much drug prohibition. It’s more the people who take them, or who take certain drugs, than the drugs themselves. Heaven forbid many of those who claim to be fans of freedom should extend that desire to their neighbours.

  139. Dozer

    On any possible objective measure, Australia’s current approach to the war on drugs is an example of gross public policy failure.

    Shocking, just shocking. Australia is the world leader at ‘banning’ things, so much so that banning is part of our culture and any admission that ‘banning’ doesn’t work is simply shocking.

    Australia has banned everything from a farmer pushing a tree over to buying a drink after hours; from racing a greyhound to purchasing a gun for no reason – we all know that criminals all register their guns, not; from offending someone to having a smoke in a public place, and worst of all most recently they banned telling the truth. Guess what, none of this 99.9% banning of things has or will ever work, but nonetheless, it’s our regressive culture and the progressives are proud of it.

    However, there is one banned thing that has worked, they banned the death penalty, yet nobody has died due to the death penalty. This is a first of course and I don’t think that banning the ban will go down well. Personally I think that all bans should be banned from the get go and the stupid regressive politicians should simply start over again and this time put a little more thought into what they ban.

  140. Steve

    Rodrigo Duterte: New President’s ‘war on drugs’ reaping lethal results on Manila’s streets
    Addicts race to rehab – Two weeks after his inauguration, 200 drug dealers and users have been killed in shoot-outs in the withering crackdown where police have a licence to “shoot first, ask later”.
    About 60,000 addicts have handed themselves in for treatment at clinics around the country in recent weeks, fear now overriding hardcore addiction.

    Amazing, a “war on drugs” that’s actually working….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-18/president-dutertes-war-on-drugs-reaping-lethal-results/7636324

  141. Tim Neilson

    It is fun to see people try to justify prohibition, or cling to some belief in ‘regulation,
    Maybe so. It isn’t fun to see the son of someone you know in a wheelchair with permanent brain damage after having been king hit from behind.
    You draw the line at Ganja, Democrats in 1920 draw the line at alxohol.
    Perhaps it’s a good thing that this is the last you’ll say on the matter because you’re clearly not capable of understanding what I wrote.

  142. Mayan

    Amazing, a “war on drugs” that’s actually working….

    Apparently working.

    And let’s not forget that this throws away any notion of the rule of law. It’s alleged drug dealers and users now. Who will be it be next? Nothing good will come of what is happening in the Philippines.

  143. Tim Neilson;

    (Who decides and how do we keep up),
    Our democratically elected Parliaments (regrettable though it is that more competent personnel aren’t voted in).

    We’re in this bloody mess, Tim, because our feeble minded politicians have put us there.
    Politicians are a major part of the problem.

  144. test pattern

    ‘Nothing good will come of what is happening in the Philippines.’

    You misread Duterte. He wants to sideline potential opponents of his Constitutional reforms, primarily Federalism. He preemptively threatens them. They include police, military and pollie families who run or protect the rackets. A few dead little guys are colateral in his broader game. Same goes for his threats towards journos. Everyone there knows that journos are no less corrupt than the rest of society, that some supplement their income spying for political elements, sometimes armed elements. Some are activists dressed as journos, ideological actors. Duterte is saying ‘I know who you are, what you’ve been doing and who you work for.’ He’s an old man with a short time to push through his reforms.

  145. Mayan

    He’s an old man with a short time to push through his reforms.

    I would suggest that he is just another thug, in a nation full of thugs, idolised by (wannabe) thugs.

  146. Steve

    Lets see what happens in the Philippines. I will be watching with great interest. But any system that voluntarily sees 60,000 addicts come forward for treatment within weeks cannot be ignored. Lets face it, rehabilitation is the general idea, isn’t it?

  147. Harald

    Rich,

    It’s arguable that the lessening of use is not a factor of supply but social pressure and societal norms. If it was desirable then the market would be much larger. I’d be good to revisit the data, but I’d contend that it’s not a function of lack of supply (tightening thumbscrews) but of social direction.

    Just to clarify:
    It was not the extent of the use that I was addressing in that comment – not mainly. Rather, it was the ratio of illegally versus legally sold product and whether they were interchangeable.

    My point was that the legally sold product is not the same as the illegally sold product. Those two aren’t interchangeable. The fact that it’s illegal means the product is sold under completely different circumstances, for starters, so the transaction is of a different nature. Moreover, over time the legal product can be subjected to quality labeling, indicating the strength of the product in terms of concentration of active substance (similar to alcohol) or purity, etc..

    The argument that I was making in that comment is that the illegal suppliers cannot simply take over the (entire) market left over if the legal suppliers are further pushed back because of stricter regulation. The illegal supplier can’t do so because they don’t sell the same product. So legalising and subsequently slowly increasing regulation and taxation on the legal outlets, hand in hand with policing the illegal suppliers can definitely work to severely suppress it. It works with tobacco.

    You are correct to say there was also a reduction in total demand because pressure on smokers to not smoke. But that would lead to a shrinking aggregate demand – important too, but even with a shrunken total demand my point regarding the % of legal, versus the % illegal would still make sense.

  148. Mayan

    Lets face it, rehabilitation is the general idea, isn’t it?

    Firstly, not everyone wants to be, nor needs to be ‘rehabilitated’. Most people who use drugs manage just fine. Think about all of those who enjoy a couple of glasses of wine in the evening. Do they need rehab? Much of the talk about rehab is mere snobbery, not based on evidence.

    Secondly, those with severe drug problems tend to have other problems that drove them to drugs. They’re not irrational people. There is no magic wand called rehab. Worse, treating them like lepers until they somehow – magically – get their lives on track is pure sadism.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, I would have thought that living in a free society, where the rule of law is respected, and the intrusions into our lives by the state are minimised is the goal. You might want some sort of drug-free nirvana (it won’t happen, BTW, for the same reason socialism won’t work – wrong species), then you really need to justify to all of us bystanders why our legal protections and rights are being trampled upon, why we are now living in a surveillance states, and why the rule of law, even in Australia, is bad theatre rather than a fundamental principle upon which our society is based.

  149. candy

    There is no magic wand called rehab.

    Mayan, rehab is what saves people. There’s no other way. Once addicted, detox is the only way out.
    The reasons for dysfunction and drug and alcohol addiction are many but once addicted it’s rehab/detox, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anon etc. or just die.

  150. Empire

    It works with tobacco.

    Really? So the chop chop market thriving since plain packaging and punitive sin taxes is a big lie then? Or it was real but policing eradicated illegal supply?

  151. Harald

    So the chop chop market thriving since plain packaging and punitive sin taxes is a big lie then?

    I’d say not a lie perhaps, but highly exaggerated. I have not seen or heard any of that.

    I have seen the number of smokers among my colleagues drop like a brick, tho. That I have seen.

  152. Dave

    @Diogenes
    ekkies or the other synthetic drugs as they have much worse effects.

    Synthetic doesn’t automatically = bad. MDMA, the desired component when one purchases ecstasy, is one the least harmful of all the illicit drugs, especially in terms of social costs. For an MDMA user to hurt someone else is almost unheard of and would be inconsistent with its pharmacological effects. In addition, the fatalities are always tied back to prohibition (eg. lack of education, hyponatraemia, overdose due to unknown strength, etc). What your see at work are anecdotes, that doesn’t make it the norm.

  153. Mayan

    Candy: advertising works. The proof? You’ve bought the argument of a major industry, which is pushed notably by religious organisations selling their sin/redemption theory of life.

    It’s a model that doesn’t explain a large number of people.

  154. John Adams

    As someone who became a convert to the Ron Paul revolution, drugs is one of those areas where I have a fundamental disagreement with the otherwise solid ideological framework.

    There are several factors which count against libertarians on this issue including:

    libertarians are taking an anti-scientific position which is not sustainable in the public square of rational debate (the harm of drugs on cognitive ability and other human body operations is huge + the social influence on other people is undeniable – drug users cannot claim that their actions do not have an influence on other people – short answer it does),

    the Singapore model is the most compelling evidence based policy approach.

    Also, libertarianism assumes rational decision making by individuals who wish to maximise utility – the use of illicit drugs diminishes an individual’s capacity for rational decision making which collapses the underlining basis of the libertarian framework.

    Moreover, the key difference between libertarians & conservatives in my view is that when the cumulative impact of individual choices becomes a net negative on societal culture, then conservatives, for the betterment of society, will seek to limit the destructive activity which individuals are undertaking.

    The other factor to consider is that the libertarian position is also against human nature. When adults become parents (which many on this thread are not), they naturally shift their views and emphasis not on themselves, but on their children which means that they consider the environment in which their children will live in and what future their children will have.

    Considering the destructive properties of illicit drugs, it is human nature for people to support policies that will provide their children with the best opportunity to flourish. Hence, this is why the LDP will never become mainstream in Australia, too many parents consider the radical elements of the LDP’s platform as harmful to their children’s future and to society as a whole, including their position on illicit drugs.

  155. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    What’s your view on alcohol John Adams?

    Personally I’d like to drown you in a vat of it for rank idiocy.

  156. Tel

    Moreover, the key difference between libertarians & conservatives in my view is that when the cumulative impact of individual choices becomes a net negative on societal culture, then conservatives, for the betterment of society, will seek to limit the destructive activity which individuals are undertaking.

    Sounds remarkably similar to what the Progressives argue on issues like “White Privilege” and why it’s for the greater good that free speech needs to be limited strictly to those who are deemed worthy. Could have a cumulative impact on social culture, just can’t take that risk.

    You know when it comes to ideas, the social influence on other people is undeniable – free speakers cannot claim that their actions do not have an influence on others.

  157. wreckage

    I’m a parent, and if my kid is stupid enough to try drugs, I don’t want them shot by a cop or thrown into prison. Every tough on drugs parent assumes their kid will remain untouched by heavy-handed or brutal enforcement.

    I find it tragic that murder to enforce a drug regime is considered palatable and moderate, but legalizing drug use to prevent deaths and end the use of lethal force by enforcement is radical and depraved.

    If you’d really prefer your kids to be shot in the face or executed rather than use an illicit drug, you are either deceiving yourself (preferable) or you are monstrous.

    Well I guess I’ll just retreat to my squalid little amoral corner where myself and the other shameful reprobates will be indulging our unhealthy predilection for NOT FUCKING KILLING PEOPLE.

  158. John Adams

    Wreckage, while you shout at my on this blog forum, the international drug cartels in Asia and South America sit back laughing at your weakness while they profit from the misery they inflict on Australian society.

    Wake up to the real world mate.

  159. Arky

    Moreover, the key difference between libertarians & conservatives in my view is that when the cumulative impact of individual choices becomes a net negative on societal culture, then conservatives, for the betterment of society, will seek to limit the destructive activity which individuals are undertaking.

    ..
    I, and I suspect, the majority of conservative types couldn’t give a damn what people stick in their bodies in the privacy of their own homes.
    This is where they are wrong. I just don’t care what harm you do to yourself.
    It is when it spills out into the public domain that it gets the attention, as it should, of lawmakers.
    When you can’t take your sick kid to a hospital without navigating drunks and junkies.
    When you have to take a damn close look around the playground for syringes before your kid can play.
    When you need to dodge the intoxicated buffoons in broad daylight in the city.
    Stop pretending, libertarians, that it is all about uptight conservatives trying to stop you having fun because we are wowsers or something.

  160. wreckage

    Even if drugs are not legalized, decriminalization of personal use has worked very well, without requiring a mountain of corpses. Full legalization of marijuana in the USA has gutted the drug cartels, zero deaths needed.

    I am still gobsmacked that murder is less extreme a view than decriminalization. Hey, we licensed the machinery of justice to start killing people, but at least you can’t buy drugs quite as easily as before! Think about the balance: yes, we’re snuffing human lives out like candles, but on the upside my kids are a few percentage points less likely to experiment with drugs! Maybe, depending on where you look for the statistics.

  161. Arky

    I’m a parent, and if my kid is stupid enough to try drugs, I don’t want them shot by a cop or thrown into prison. Every tough on drugs parent assumes their kid will remain untouched by heavy-handed or brutal enforcement.

    ..
    Conflating users with dealers.
    Stop doing that.
    No one is advocating hanging users, or locking them away. If that is your standard we have decriminalisation now. We don’t lock up anyone for user sized quantities of even the worst drugs.
    So by that standard you already have what you say you want. How’s it going?

  162. Tel

    John Adams, you do understand I hope that your wonderful prohibition is the best possible profit making system for drug cartels?

  163. wreckage

    Wreckage, while you shout at my on this blog forum, the international drug cartels in Asia and South America sit back laughing at your weakness while they profit from the misery they inflict on Australian society.

    Legalization has gutted the black market trade every time it has been done. Every time. Just legalizing pot severely injured the South American cartels in a way the USA has never managed before.

    Pile the corpses as high as you want, the market reality is you make their margins fatter and their market more secure.

    Now, I think in terms of the harm drugs do to the user and those around them you might have a point. But if you’re talking about the evil bastards in the cartels, we KNOW, with total certainty, how to destroy their power, their wealth and their trade. We know exactly what will work. We take their market off them, and they are ruined.

  164. wreckage

    In my observation Arky, users and dealers are almost always the same people. Most users deal. Which is to say, most of the people I know who have used, also dealt at the time. All of them straightened themselves out, which they would not be able to do if they were dead.

  165. Empire

    libertarians are taking an anti-scientific position which is not sustainable in the public square of rational debate (the harm of drugs on cognitive ability and other human body operations is huge + the social influence on other people is undeniable – drug users cannot claim that their actions do not have an influence on other people – short answer it does),

    The harm of drugs, illicit or otherwise, varies by quantity, type, frequency, individual physiology and the age at which they are consumed. Yet you attempt to pull a swifty by conflating all drug use by all people with a sub section of users.

    Considering the destructive properties of illicit drugs, it is human nature for people to support policies that will provide their children with the best opportunity to flourish. Hence, this is why the LDP will never become mainstream in Australia, too many parents consider the radical elements of the LDP’s platform as harmful to their children’s future and to society as a whole, including their position on illicit drugs.

    I’m a parent. My position didn’t change when I became one. The best opportunity for my kid to flourish is to ensure that busy body statists like you don’t influence public policy.

    Moral supremacy and ignorance is a dangerous combination.

  166. wreckage

    The world, and especially so the really sordid parts of it, does not devolve neatly to “victim” and “monster”.

  167. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Wreckage, while you shout at my on this blog forum, the international drug cartels in Asia and South America sit back laughing at your weakness while they profit from the misery they inflict on Australian society.

    Prohibition tends to do that.

    Perhaps Sinc could tutor you in some basic economics.

  168. Diogenes

    John adams,
    The portuguese take the totally opposite tack, and guess what, it seems to get results as well, unless you are privy to information that is not generally available.

    As i have said the push to bubble wrap our kids has been counterproductive. I would rather see kid take a few puffs on a smoke, and just have bad breath and smell of smoke than strung out on ice or the fake lsd which somehow seems easier to obtain.

    The allusions to the war on tobacco are now at the point where placing extra restrictions and increasing prices have passed the ‘sweet spot’ of discouraging use, and are now actually encouraging illegal behaviour. As a generally law abiding citizen i felt absolutely no guilt smuggling in 30 cigars(forpersonal use) that cost $25 each here and purchased in vanuatu for $1 each, if they had been seize d – oh well bad luck , ironically in Australian plian packaging. On my next cruise , if possible, i will repeat the exercise with larger numbers and feel no guilt at all.

  169. Empire

    I’d say not a lie perhaps, but highly exaggerated. I have not seen or heard any of that.

    Yeah well, if you haven’t seen or heard, it must be bullshit then.

  170. Arky

    Don’t misconstrue the Portuguese situation with what libertarians on this site advocate.
    ..

    The Portuguese experiment has been in action since Law 30/2000 went into effect nearly 12 years ago, and Goulão’s staff is currently calculating how much money the country’s judicial system has saved, in its courts and prisons, now that it no longer has to process individuals the police catch with a few grams of drugs.

    “The police still search people for drugs,” Goulão points out. Hashish, cocaine, ecstasy — Portuguese police still seize and destroy all these substances.

    Before doing so, though, they first weigh the drugs and consult the official table with the list of 10-day limits. Anyone possessing drugs in excess of these amounts is treated as a dealer and charged in court. Anyone with less than the limit is told to report to a body known as a “warning commission on drug addiction” within the next 72 hours.

    .

  171. Rich

    j3ws, racists and climate change deniers cannot claim that their actions do not have an influence on other people – short answer it does

    Fixed

    Singapore model is the most compelling evidence based policy approach.

    That place where staid, stifling bureaucratic efficiency trumps freedom? Sad for them that you cannot engineer creativity nor cultivate it in a metal box. The Singaporeans are model bureaucrats and do that right, but they don’t have actual freedom. Freedom means responsibility and the freedom to fail.

    laughing at your weakness while they profit from the misery they inflict on Australian society.

    Laughing because the very measures you are advocating push up their profit margins and make drugs scarce and desirable. Free market 101.

    AND it pushes for an expansion of a militarized surveillance state. The state has every interest in keeping this problem going to maintain a funding stream- if they fail, they win. Double own goal.

    too many parents consider the radical elements of the LDP’s platform as harmful to their children’s future

    Too many parents have been brainwashed into believing the state cares about winning the “war on drugs” or “war on poverty” or even solves problems, without thinking carefully about how bureaucrats respond to incentives

    When you can’t take your sick kid to a hospital without navigating drunks and junkies.
    When you have to take a damn close look around the playground for syringes before your kid can play.
    When you need to dodge the intoxicated buffoons in broad daylight in the city.

    First one you don’t like sick people. Second one get them for an actual misdemeanor, like littering in a public place- if I wasn’t a druggie but put chemicals into a playground same sanctions apply. Third case why are we subsidizing such behavior with the welfare state? Garden weeds itself if you have to stay cogent to pay for your habit. If not they can get done on theft, an actual crime

  172. Arky

    First one you don’t like sick people

    ..
    They aren’t sick.
    They are junkies and drunks.

  173. Rich

    It amuses me immensely that conservatives still believe that the state playing daddy cares about solving these problems. Reread Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy and Robert Conquest’s Laws again, then explain again to me how this isn’t a protection racket.

  174. Fisky

    It is when it spills out into the public domain that it gets the attention, as it should, of lawmakers.

    Exactly so, Arky. We should draw a red-line around the public domain and militantly enforce it, keeping trouble makers out of the way. If they want to destroy themselves in the privacy of their home, fine, but not anywhere they can influence others.

  175. Fisky

    For exactly the same reason, I am a strong supporter of banning the burka.

  176. Harald

    Diogenes,
    Off topic, but thanks much for the tip on downloading from youtube – works like a charm.
    *hat tip*

  177. JC

    I propose the death penalty for all former coalition advisers.

  178. Mayan

    People who advocate the death penalty should be killed.

  179. Yohan

    You know what the stupidest thing about this is?

    Liberal party conservatives would seriously give voice to the idea of death penalty for drug users, but when it comes to restricting Muslim immigration they will virtue signal on how we cannot discriminate based on religion.

    There’s your Cuckservative priorities.

  180. rich

    You are correct to say there was also a reduction in total demand because pressure on smokers to not smoke. But that would lead to a shrinking aggregate demand – important too, but even with a shrunken total demand my point regarding the % of legal, versus the % illegal would still make sense.

    How can you prove % illegal when that isn’t counted? It’s not as if black market profiteers submit their books for auditing.

    the illegal suppliers cannot simply take over the (entire) market left over if the legal suppliers are further pushed back because of stricter regulation.

    Your hypothesis is falsified twice ad absurdum:
    what happens during 1920s prohibition in the United States? Illegal suppliers did not simply take over the entire market?
    How about the market for Heroin, was it ever legal? If it never was, how can a market exist if it was not run by illegal suppliers?

    As I said, happy to revisit the spotty data (and perhaps chop chop has been over stated, even if it is impossible to measure it and hence impossible to derive accurate aggregate demand %),

    Your whole “regulate it to death” schtick understates substitution effects. On an unrelated note, I noticed that for suicide and murder, disarming citizens results in the same rates of mortality, in that murderers and those committing suicide simply find other means than firearms to commit their deeds, and there isn’t a correlation between firearm volumes and murder.
    Similarly, if you deny someone a vice, they will likely seek a different one to replace it. To say that “chop chop isn’t it” and understate the substitution effect is a bit of hand waving. Which of us is truly correct, however, we will never know because of the missing chop chop stats.

  181. Arky

    How about the market for Heroin, was it ever legal? If it never was, how can a market exist if it was not run by illegal suppliers?

    ..
    Yes it was legal.
    Read about the Opium wars.

  182. Tim Neilson

    How can you prove % illegal when that isn’t counted? It’s not as if black market profiteers submit their books for auditing.
    There are regular surveys done. Large ones. People go round and pick up all the empty cigarette packets and tobacco pouches in a large area. It is done regularly. They then analyse the proportions of illegal ones versus legal ones. The ABS figures for legal tobacco can then be used to benchmark the legals. Getting an estimate of total illegal use (which I’m told is statistically fairly reliable because of the very large sample size) is simple arithmetic. After the big excise increase, some months after plain packaging came in, illegal use soared. Anyone who lives near Victoria Street Richmond could have told them that anecdotally – a month or so after that excise increase there were suddenly lots of old style Marlboro and Dunhill packets lying around along with other non- plain packaging ones I didn’t recognise.

  183. Harald

    How can you prove % illegal when that isn’t counted?

    It is estimated, though.

    Your hypothesis is falsified twice ad absurdum:
    what happens during 1920s prohibition in the United States? Illegal suppliers did not simply take over the entire market?

    No it is not falsified. At that point the supply is “taken over” but the product & market change as well – that last bit is my point: the illegal product is an imperfect substitute. When a legal product is made illegal, assuming effective policing, the circumstances change under which it is sold so the market changes. And given time also the product (the object) itself will change. The illegal product will typically not be subject to standardised quality controls and labelling. (I have bought plenty of tsipouri moonshine from cabbies I trust here in Melbourne. They just re-use other bottles or use unmarked ones.)

    How about the market for Heroin, was it ever legal? If it never was, how can a market exist if it was not run by illegal suppliers?

    Probably there was a market for heroin or a predecessor of it, before it became illegal. But that is not the core of your question, I think. The market is, to the best of my understanding, simply a term to describe that there is demand for a product and supply of that product, and what then happens next: the exchange that takes place. Nowhere in the concept of a market is a restriction to legal or illegal. For markets to function, legal or illegal does not matter. But…

    what I am pointing out is that illegal product is not the same as legal product. These are two different markets (possibly with two different market prices). Even if the product is the same object, the circumstances under which it is sold are different if the policing is effective. And over time, the illegal and legal versions of the product will diverge as I already explained. The illegal product can substitute the legal product, yes, but only to a certain extent.

    Libertarians often make it sound like that substitution is as certain as it is perfect; a narrravite to make it sound like these laws/regulations are pointless, but that is of course a gross oversimplification aimed at certain political outcomes.

    Similarly, if you deny someone a vice, they will likely seek a different one to replace it.

    It is not that black and white. When regulation, for example, would restrict opening hours of tobacco stores and the closing time is changed from 11pm to 10pm – a small incremental change – people will respond in a variety of ways.

    A person showing up just after 10pm, might indeed walk the streets and ask around until they find someone selling the stuff illegally. Your wording suggests that everyone will take that option. I know that is not the case: that is a rather small group. Others will respond differently: go through the drawers at home to find the emergency roll-em yourself pouch with dried out leftovers. Some will go to bed grumpy. But on the whole people will smoke a little less as a consequence.

    Regulation can “work” in that sense that it can annoy people out of bad habits. Libertarians simply judge the use of government intervention as immoral regardless whether it does measurable good. Instead they go off into outer space, asking esoteric and disconnected questions such as: “Good? According to whom?”, leaving everyone back on this planet, especially those dealing with damage of drugs, rather underwhelmed.

  184. rich

    There are regular surveys done. Large ones. People go round and pick up all the empty cigarette packets and tobacco pouches in a large area. It is done regularly. They then analyse the proportions of illegal ones versus legal ones. The ABS figures for legal tobacco can then be used to benchmark the legals. Getting an estimate of total illegal use (which I’m told is statistically fairly reliable because of the very large sample size) is simple arithmetic. After the big excise increase, some months after plain packaging came in, illegal use soared. Anyone who lives near Victoria Street Richmond could have told them that anecdotally – a month or so after that excise increase there were suddenly lots of old style Marlboro and Dunhill packets lying around along with other non- plain packaging ones I didn’t recognise.

    Despite our disagreements and the imprecision of extrapolation, I learned something today. Counting discarded pouches, who’d have thought?

  185. wreckage

    The illegal product can substitute the legal product, yes, but only to a certain extent.

    That’s actually part of the problem. People die from using contaminated product. But also, people will prefer a legal product, so it’s not necessary to legalize every possible drug, only the ones that have a safe dose, at the safe dose. The result then is that usage doesn’t tend to climb much (Portugal, no increase), people substitute the legal product in (USA, huge loss of “hard drug” revenue when pot was legalized), and the known dosage and “white market” forces (including regulation) see far fewer people damaged or killed by the product.

    The LDP position is extreme, IMO, but it is not more extreme than advocating the death penalty, and it is proven to work.

    There is no need to legalize syringes full of amphetamines, or lines of cocaine, when you can legalize a lower-dose, fixed-quantity stimulant. There is likely no need to legalize heroin if you legalize pot (both analgesic).

  186. Steve

    “Most people who use drugs manage just fine”

    This line is the real reason there is no real war on drugs. Because too many selfish individuals want to keep taking drugs, and hang the consequences. Unfortunately you cannot keep taking Meth like dope. As someone directly involved with voluntary [not compulsory] rehab, meeting various addicts week in, week out, I can assure you legalising Meth will not taking the affects of Meth away. Australia hasn’t even seen the start of the drug problem yet.

    This is going to get horrific, whether you legalise it or not. Unless the libertarians snap out of their fantasy about Meth, we are in huge trouble as a nation.

    John Adams needs to be congratulated for calling a spade a spade.

  187. moncon

    Anyone in Australia who wants a hit can get one, most likely within half an hour. Prohibitionists need to accept that reality. Millions won’t rush out and get high the minute illicit drugs are legalised; those who want to use illicit drugs do so already. “But what about deterrence? What about the slippery slope? What about the effects on society? What about the children?” See above – anyone can get meth/coke/smack/whatever now, already, easily, anywhere, for less than a packet of smokes. Prohibition hasn’t worked, doesn’t work, and won’t work. That is the reality. Accept it.

    “The Singapore model is the most compelling evidence based policy approach” – perhaps compelling to you John Adams, if you need to have people killed for doing something you don’t like.

    A socialist is someone who wants to use force to bend society to his will.

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