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Comment: End the Drug War. Now. Please? (Score 1) 916

by adatepej (#22058886) Attached to: Ask the Presidential Candidates
Do you support ending the Drug War (aka the War on Some People Who Use and Sell Some Drugs), a body of law which is responsible for locking millions of Americans who are guilty of nothing more than placing a given substance into their body?

If not, how can you support such a body of law morally? Also, if you don't support ending the war, how can you support the immoral War on Drugs when all available data indicates that the War on Drugs is ineffective -- not just at stamping out drug use, but at reducing it at all?

In the Land of the Free, is it not tragic that a human being could be locked in a jail cell for decades for a crime that involved no one else, and no one else's property?

(If you're going to argue that drugs lead to car crashes or child neglect, I reply to you that those things are already illegal. People do those things without drugs, anyhow. And to top it off, all data indicates that alcohol, PER USER, causes FAR MORE of these social ills than drugs. PER USER. End of story. It's a moral *tragedy*, and a practical failure. Of course, we're not supposed to do immoral things for practical ends... I believe a wise man once said something to the effect that in the Land of the Free, we ought not sacrifice an ounce of liberty for any amount of security -- and in this case we've sacrificed an enormous piece of liberty for NO INCREASE in security -- indeed, everything indicates the world is less secure when we provide true criminals such a profitable enterprise rather than allowing decent businessmen to sell their wares to law abiding free adults.)

What say you, prospective President of the Land of the Free? Will you make that title apt, once again? Will you at least work towards that goal?

I call on one particular candidate to respond explicitly, a candidate who had my support until I found out that despite admitting he'd committed these so-called "crimes", he still supports putting others in jail for this, implicitly at least, by his support of opening new DEA offices, offices which have no other purpose. (Of course, our current and previous President also used drugs yet supported this *immense* edifice of immoral anti-liberty known as the War on Drugs implicitly; then again, they were still in denial about their use, seemingly... I can't decide which is worse, recognition and actively choosing hypocritical immorality, and denial and actively choosing immorality?)

I also call on the editors to edit this question and remove the non-question parts and those that call out a particular candidate (I guess that need is obvious) if it's chosen, and I pray it is, as it's the most important question for this country in terms of human lives at stake. [E.g., stealing ten years from 10 drug "abusers" with a jail sentence is equivalent to a long, long life lost. Wanna tally up that death toll? How about the reduction in quality of life to people who otherwise would've been able to recover from any problems with drug use and become productive, or who would have just plain lived a life while using -- just like Joe Six-Pack has been doing quite well since the end of Alcohol Prohibition -- and who lost their ability to function in society to the stigma of criminal convictions and the psychological damage of being jailed with actual criminals? ]

I'll stand down, now. If we have to mention something tech related, I'll draw your attention to the iDose and ask for comments. (Just kidding.)
Biotech

+ - Hysterectomies for the Profoundly Disabled?-> 1

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "According to the article on BBC News, "The mother of a severely disabled teenager has asked doctors to give her daughter a hysterectomy to stop her from starting menstruation." The girl is a 15 year-old British girl named Katie Thorpe, and has cerebral palsy. Her mother, Alison Thorpe says, "By stopping menstruation it's allowing Katie to enjoy life to the full without the problems menstruation...the mood swings, the tears, the stomach cramps, the pain, the discomfort, the embarrassment." The downsides? Well, according to her mother, "She's not going to get married and she's not going to have children...Katie is not going to become a normal adult." The doctors involved are making sure they're given a green light from the legal angle before they go forward with the procedure.

What do the opponents have to say about this? Andy Rickell of Scope, a charity for the disabled, said, "This case raises fundamental ethical issues about the way our society treats disabled people and the respect we have for disabled people's human and reproductive rights." Simone Aspis, of the UK's Disabled People's Council, said, "It is very clear to us that no operation should be undertaken if there is absolutely no clinical benefit to the person concerned." One opponent, Rickell, implied that the operation is being pursued by the family of the disabled child in order to make their lives easier rather than to ease the burden on Katie. The article reads, "He said that it was for society to adapt to the needs of disabled people, not the other way round." Clearly, this is an important and interesting bio-ethical fight.
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