Whoh man, calm down please. I honestly wasn't trying to come off as condescending, so my apologies for that.
Let me try to be clear on this point at least... I am not pro drug, and I wouldn't dream of describing drugs as something "good". As previously mentioned I'm a rehabilitation counselor and the vast majority of my clients have duel diagnoses that involves substance abuse or dependence of one sort or another be it alcohol, narcotics or prescription drugs. I see first hand how some users with little to no money spend it on drugs instead of food or clothes for their children. I have clients with a long history of prostitution, theft, and in one case even homicide all centered around drug and alcohol use. My grandmother was an alcoholic and terrorized my father when she was drinking. My best friend in high school became addicted to pain killers after a car accident and still struggles to this day. And heck, I struggled like hell for years to quit smoking cigarettes before I finally managed to kick the habit for good. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the catastrophic potential that addiction in any of it's forms can have on the individual, families, and the community. We probably agree on a lot of points.
So knowing all of this why am I against the War on Drugs? Because of the manner in which it is being waged. History has shown us time and time again that prohibition does not work, and more often that not it's people that suffer the fallout from these sometimes well meaning agendas. In ancient China a ban on tobacco is though to have resulted in the dramatic rise in opium use. In Iran its illegal for Muslim citizens to use alcohol, but they have the third highest number of alcoholics in the Muslim dominated middle eastern countries. The United States own 1920's prohibition saw the birth of organized crime. And back to Harry Aslinger for a sec... very few people used marijuana in his day but because it grew naturally in 48 states he saw the opportunity for a colossal power grab. He demonized it, publicized it, and brought in a lot of money for the first federal anti-drug program. And what was the result over the following decade? An explosion in the use of marijuana that has yet to lose any steam.
So Marijuana (in most states), cocaine, heroine, meth, and all of the rest have been illegal in the US for a long time now but they remain an issue, and let's be real... they will always be an issue, just like alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs. So I'll raise this point again, why keep dumping money into larger prison systems and the justice system (privatized and monetized now, no less) when we could be spending that money on better drug education and rehabilitation? Why toss someone in a cell with other criminals and the faint hope they come out a more well adjusted person when we could implement rehabilitative treatments that keep mothers, fathers, sons or daughters with family and friends who might be able to support them. Drug courts are a good step in the right direction, and I was pleased to see the PRC poll showing that nearly 2/3 of Americans favor rehabilitation over incarceration, but we need more help and fewer punishments (IMO).
Oh, and yeah, you're quite right about statistics and their potential for abuse, but I'm confused about your statement. Were you saying that you think Alcohol kills fewer people than drugs?
Ok, a slight misunderstanding then. the homework comment just had that feel.
Anyways you bring up some very good points. Opposite you i dont have a professional touch with drugs, i have how ever had to sit and hold a friend down because he thought he could walk on a staircase outside the window, which of course wasn´t there since we were on the 12th floor of an apartment building. I have seen another friend get so "high" on something some joker thought was funny putting in his drink that not even 6 cops could hold him down. So i do know what drugs can do and thats not even half of what i have seen. I used to do a bit of work for a Nightclub as a bouncer and 90% of the people we had to throw out was because they were high on something.
So you might say that this proves that the war on drugs doesn't work but the key here is to see the difference between the idiots who no matter what will get those drugs and those who are unnoticed but never touch them because they are illegal. Because this is where the war on drugs work, we cannot and will never stop the sparrow from flying around someones head, but we sure as you will hear a amen in church, stop some of them from landing on the head. Also legalizing drugs any drug, even the more common marijuana is giving up, and why stop there, why not give up on fighting crime? or put people in prisons, clearly both doesn´t work since people continue to commit crime and go to jail.
But i do agree with legalizing it for medical use, if it really does help , we should use it. And no i didn´t say alcohol kills fewer people, i said that its a bit stupid to compare the two numbers when so many people use alcohol.