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The "War on Drugs"

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

What a controversial and messy topic. Especially in today's political, social, and economic climate. Got myself into a bit of trouble on Twitter. Been using that a bit more lately - the anonymity and topics can be kind of fun. It also has a lot of gross content and interactions a bit - in my opinion. That is the internet of 2005+ (or so) though I suppose. It is easy for us to be a bit gross and mean to each other on here/there. True...


Easy to be wrong about things, especially on messy topics. I'm still learning and developing my opinion more on the issue, this post has helped me gain knowledge and develop a better view...hopefully is better anyway. Went off track for a bit.


Update: 6-25-2021 (Derek Chauvin got sentenced to 22.5 years in prison today):

Conversation with someone a few days ago about police and drugs...she thinks America is too weak on people and a lot of things. Watching shows and stuff and all these people getting sentences reduced and getting out and sometimes, committing horrible crimes and murder. In the middle east, in some countries, people get the death penalty for murder, rape, etc., and if they can prove it very positively. Here you get life in prison sentences. Basically the same thing almost but yeah, I don't believe in using the death penalty much at all. But anyway, she was saying that when a person being arrested resists or shows signs like they might be going for a weapon or something, that she thinks its fine if an officer shoots them and that would be good and best (I would think, you would try to shoot at the ground first and then the thigh if they still continue messing around, I think even implementing Geneva convention rules would be interesting but probably not so realistic as in a war environment, a soldier already has there gun at the ready and all...situations are different. I would think with all the smart phones everyone has nowadays and the police cameras that the police who can keep their jobs and do good, not get in trouble, that things should be fine and better than ever with regards to this topic but...yeah...). Don't mess around with the police. It's sad and not a good thing that someone dies, but a police officer has family too. Respect teachers and people in important roles, etc.,.I can definitely see that angle too but also think some our drug laws are kind of stupid and outdated; possession and users of drugs being punished so much, especially because of other laws around possession in that circumstance and mandatory minimums that combine together. Common sense being thrown out the window and trust and autonomy of people and our systems to do their jobs really...That is I believe we should have more trust in our judges, juries, etc. (also in our police, local government, etc.,) and give them power (more authority and autonomy) to deliver justice reasonably and fairly. That the citizens and the police (and judges) should be overwhelmingly in agreement on the law(s) and that creates a self reinforcing positive loop (with continual and fine refinements of the law(s)).


Drugs I think don't need to legalized or decriminalized at the federal level but do away with mandatory sentencing and minimums, and enforce from the top to redact those unfair sentences (which would set a lot of people free). I would say 5 years should be the max for simple possession of a small/personal amount of drugs (a lot of times just 1 year or 1.5 years along with rehab), no matter the circumstances like if a person had a gun in their vehicle or even on them while they were arrested but consider the circumstances in all matters and let judges, police, jury etc., do their job. It does matter about the specific drugs and if there is probable intent to sell I believe as well and the reputation of the person might need to be taken into account as well. Let judges and juries do their jobs. Let common sense prevail more.


Informative videos:



Addiction is so horrible some say. I say, true, STUFF IS PRETTY BAD, YES - I don't think drugs should be decriminalized but throwing people in prison seems like its not proving to be a good answer (nowadays?) Wouldn't having super strong laws be a deterrent from ever doing drugs in the first place? You would think but maybe not really. Like Jon Oliver was saying, even if we made jaywalking a big offense, yeah, it would reduce jaywalking but some people would still do it.


I think the war on drugs needs major reform, yes, and seems like politicians don't want to touch it. That's a problem.


Education about the law and laws, so important (some of your tax money on the "evil" war on drugs goes to this, of course). Also she was saying about how we/humans are still learning about drugs and their effects on the brain etc.. Very true.



Title 21: Controlled Substances Act. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/


Another link showing the really important information that's easier to read, just a bit down on the page (read it!): https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/R45074.html


Just on marijuana: https://norml.org/laws/federal-penalties-2/


"Possession

Possession of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000."


Seems like pretty good policies to me. Not that crazy or anything. Best left to experts on the subject(s) and developing sane laws specific to each drug. I think the seriousness of law on drugs in not taught well enough and also people have overblown inaccurate views of drug policy and law. Honestly, after looking at a lot of twitter comments on the subject...there are a lot of stories of people getting crazy amounts of time for simple possession but the laws aren't that crazy honestly at the federal level. A mandatory minimum of 10 years for repeat offenders TRAFFIKING a 100 grams or more of heroin is too harsh? REALLY? but some state laws can be super harsh on simple marijuana possession, true.


I think things are getting bad that it is making some (I use to think differently and think maybe decriminalizing would be best as well) of us tending to think kind of more "stupidly" and linearly on the issue and a lot of issues. Having emotions get in the way (or self-serving bias possibly as well) clouding judgement and thinking, making associations etc., that aren't there. If drugs were decriminalized it would end up being bad for society. That's what I think anyway. I wasn't thinking of the overall society and kids/teens, etc., before as a lot of people don't, but at the same time a lot of people I think have very good and legit opinions on the issue from just about any angle...because a lot of the laws and stories do seem kind of stupid or the systems are corrupt.


I wouldn't want to be wrong about this and be the cause of more death and destruction, that's for sure...and be supportive of that. Drugs do ruin lives and families but other things can too, including unfair crazy laws (and racism of course and a lot of other things). People can change and a person doing some drugs isn't the end of the world. Eh...it's a sad topic overall and negative...


..................


Anyway, seems pretty nice and safe out, more than it has in a long time in America, in my opinion anyway in most places. Statistics show that (link below). Not that I've seen or been to a bunch of places but I have seen quite a few documentaries and things, like that are about the crack epidemic. Rap/hip-hop coming up (the Nas documentary on Netflix recently, that was really good), and stories etc., movies (Menace to Society, great movie imo)...I like a lot of things (music) that aren't necessarily "good" or healthy but I see now, as more of an example of what not to do, or get involved in, etc. I actually saw on Fox News them talking about how crime has went up by a lot in a lot of cities that are "caving" into more lax policy and anti-police etc. type sentiment (has more to do with the pandemic and people falling on hard times than defund the police protestors)


https://www.bbc.com/news/57581270



Who would want to be a police officer in Chicago? Raise your hand. I wouldn't. I think those people should be making 6 figures for doing such work. Getting mad paid. That would suck/be really hard. Is crazy. I applied to be an officer at a little town nearby. Kind of doubt I'll get in and that's fair. I don't know if I would have what it takes. Trying to get a decent job...want to go good and respectable things...be proud of myself and happy. Feel like a lot of good motivation and just, trying to do your best and do good, would be built into the job like that, because there are so many rules and you have to be on it and very responsible, and wanting to do good to serve the community. Never know...lives could on the line. At the same time though, I don't really like some of the rules/laws nor the prison system and how people often end up going back to prison or getting worse mentalities psychology seemingly and learning more about criminality...


https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2021/06/25/biden-blames-legal-guns-not-defund-police-crime-surge/5335590001/


Opposing view: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/11/republicans-blame-democrats-defund-police-national-crime-increase-2020-fact-check/7641800002/


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/22/us-crime-rise-draws-fears-bloody-summer-calls-for-more-cops


https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/23/politics/what-matters-crime-wave/index.html


Damn.


https://news.wttw.com/2021/06/23/chicago-throwing-its-whole-government-summer-violence


Outreach in an ‘extraordinarily dark time’


The stakes are as high as human life, and those working to preserve it aren’t immune.

“It started with the pandemic, and then the George Floyd murder,” said Duncan, CRED’s co-founder. “Those next six or eight weeks after that were honestly probably the worst six or eight weeks of my life. We had a staff member killed, we had three of our young men killed, we had a 20-month-old baby of one our men (that) was killed, and it was just an extraordinarily dark time.”


Just before CNN’s interview with Duncan and Hicks, a 16-year-old who Duncan said was “just starting” to engage with their program was shot and killed.


It’s a reality that adds urgency for outreach workers such as Hicks.


“I done had situations where I know (mediators) have been called and didn’t come out and a few hours later this individual done got locked up or maybe even shot,” said Hicks.


Building from the ground up is the only way to make any meaningful change, said Duncan, who also pushed back on negative stereotypes he says some of his men and women face because of their histories or because of how they look as Black men.


“Many of our staff used to shoot people. You can perceive them some way, (but) they are literally life savers every single day. We can’t win this battle without them,” said Duncan.


“Men who look like that, men who live in these neighborhoods, are giving everything they have. And I don’t want to get emotional saying this — they’re giving everything they have to create peace and to save the next generation. They are the answer,” continued Duncan.


“We care for real, I mean I don’t — I don’t get accolades for this, I don’t make social media posts about things that I done done. It’s not about me,” said Hicks. “If you want to be in the streets, so be it. If you want to change, that’s what we’re here for.”



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"Drugs and American Culture" Google search :


How does culture affect drug use?

Sociocultural beliefs can shape the approach to and behavior regarding substance use and abuse. Culture plays a central role in forming the expectations of individuals about potential problems they may face with drug use. For many social groups, this may provide a protective factor.


Which of the following define a drug culture?

Drug cultures are examples of countercultures that are primarily defined by spiritual, medical and recreational drug use. They may be focused on a single drug, or endorse polydrug use.


What is the role of culture in substance use and abuse?

Culture is important in substance abuse treatment because clients' experiences of culture precede and influence their clinical experience. Treatment setting, coping styles, social supports, stigma attached to substance use disorders, even whether an individual seeks help—all are influenced by a client's culture.


What are the societal effects of drug abuse?

Drug abuse is often accompanied by a devastating social impact upon community life. The present article focuses on the adverse effect of drug abuse on industry, education and training and the family, as well as on its contribution to violence, crime, financial problems, housing problems, homelessness and vagrancy.


How are drugs a burden to health?

Studies show that drug use increases your risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. People with mental health issues also have a higher rate of drug use problems. Jul 15, 2019 What are the effects of taking drugs? | Australian Government ...


Does culture play a role in alcoholism?

The research finds that young people's views on alcohol and drunkenness were influenced more by culture than by factors such as age and sex.Sep 23, 2008 Culture Shapes Young People's Drinking Habits -- ScienceDaily


Is recovery a culture?

“The culture of recovery is an informal social network in which group norms (prescribed patterns of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and behaving) reinforce sobriety and long-term recovery from addiction.” Drug Cultures and the Culture of Recovery - Improving Cultural ...


Is substance use a culture?

The social norms surrounding the methods and social context of substance use form the definition of a new culture, which may be much more salient to its members than the other demographic-based cultures to which they belong by default. Special Issue on Culture and Substance Use - NCBI - NIH


Why drugs should be avoided?

Illegal drugs can damage the brain, heart, and other important organs. Cocaine, for instance, can cause a heart attack — even in a kid or teen. While using drugs, people are also less able to do well in school, sports, and other activities. It's often harder to think clearly and make good decisions. What You Need to Know About Drugs (for Kids) - Nemours KidsHealth



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