How Dangerous Are Illicit Drugs?
The CDC reports that 1.6% of the 2,215,000 decedents in 1993 had used marijuana in the last year of their life, 0.8% had used cocaine, 0.4% had used heroin, 0.2% had used hallucinogens, and 84.6% had used psychotherapeutic drugs. But it also reports that 4.7% of the US population over the age of 12 had used marijuana in the last month, 0.7% had used cocaine, 0.1% had used heroin, 0.4% had used hallucinogens, and 1.8% had used psychotherapeutic drugs. Thus, compared to the average person, the death rate for marijuana users is one third, for cocaine users is equal, for heroin users is four times higher, for hallucinogen users is one half, and for psychotherapeutic drug users is 47 times higher. It would be expected that the psychotherapeutic drugs which reduce pain and increase life expectancy would be used by a high percentage of these decedants, so this point will not be addressed in this analysis. The fact that marijuana users have a death rate which is one third of the average could be explained completely by the fact that people who are close to death tend not to use marijuana, rather than that marijuana users have a longer life expectancy. This could also explain why the death rate for hallucinogen users is one half the average. The ratio for cocaine users is too close to be able to suggest that cocaine use influences the death rate one way or the other. The only statistic that suggests that drug use shortens life expectancy is the one for heroin, where deaths of heroin users are 4 times higher than average. Where their ratio in the population suggest that only 0.1% of the 2,215,000 decedents or 2,215 of them should have been heroin users, there were actually 10,000. Is this because the use of heroin caused the deaths of 7,785 heroin users, or are there other factors involved? Heroin is a synthesized version of morphine, both of which are powerful pain killers. 550,000 Americans die of cancer every year, which is a very painful death. If only 1.5% of them use heroin as a pain killer, this would completely explain the higher death rate of those who use heroin, which would mean that not even heroin addiction is a factor in increased mortality rates.
Does the drug war reduce drug overdose deaths? Would there have been 20,000 heroin deaths rather than only 10,000 without it? Did the drug war save 10,000 lives from heroin overdoses? The experience of other countries which decriminalized all drugs shows just the opposite to be true: both drug abuse and drug overdose deaths decreased remarkably after their drug wars ended. But even if you still believe that this drug war does save 10,000 lives per year, how can we justify the expenditure of $155 billion per year, or $15.5 million per life saved? We can't, not when cancer research is only $200 per life lost to cancer. That amount of money applied to cancer research would probably cut the cancer death rate by 90% and save 495,000 lives per year, or 50 times as many lives as the most liberal claim about the success of the drug war.
Let's agree with "liberals" that the major drug pushers and biggest suppliers of drug money belong in either prison or "treatment". Now, who would that be? The federal government? Well, yes. It's estimated that half of welfare payments (something in the range of $200 billion per year) are used to buy drugs and alcohol. Most Americans are in 100% agreement that those operating such a system belong either in prison or "treatment programs" operated by the loony bins that pass as "psychiatrists" these days.
There are now 6 million teen aged boys on the most dangerous psychotropic drug known to man, and that's Ritalin. Prescribing this drug is KNOWN to have caused hundreds of thousands of children to graduate to "illegal" drugs. Almost every one of the boys who went on a shooting rampage at their schools was on this or a similar drug. The schools, "doctors", and "psychiatrists" who forced kids onto, and who forced their parents to agree to put their kids onto, Ritalin should be shot between the temples [not Buddhist temples].
The 90 deaths from drug overdoses are trivial compared to the big folks who run our real drug operations, and this even ignores the role the CIA probably played in bringing illegal drugs into the country in the first place. You can't spend $50 billion to solve such a trivial problem, only to make the original problem twice as bad, unless that's what you wanted to do in the first place.
The police kill 7 times as many people in drug raids than die from drug overdoses in the first place. The very best argument that "liberals" could make is that drug overdose deaths might be three times higher without this government sponsored drug war. But so what? Ending the drug war would still save $50 billion per year just for the federal part of this war, plus take 700,000 drug users out of prison (which would save the equivalent of 4,794 lives and $105 billion in incarceration costs, per year).
On top of that, it's absolutely correct that those countries who've decriminalized illegal drugs not only reduced the number of drug addicts--because of quality control and participataion of doctors in the process, their drug overdose deaths are now down to zero. So if this is the "liberal"'s real concern (which of course it's not), then the solution IS decriminalization, not a continuation of the same old failed drug war. http://fathersmanifesto.net/odds.htm
The real hidden costs of this drug war are so huge that they can't even be quantified, though. When you've got utterly stupid jewesses like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who've made it absolutely possible (and thus probable) for numerous police officers across the country to plant ONE marijuana seed in your house and confiscate all your property, with no penalty whatsoever for the police for making a mistake, all bets are off. Such a suspension of constitutional rights wouldn't be acceptable even if it caused a MILLION drug overdose deaths (which of course is a completely ridiculous scenario).
Why don't "liberals" just argue that we should ban electricity!!?? That would make more sense than creating a totalitarian state!!
And it would save FIVE TIMES as many lives as are lost to drug overdoses! It would cost far less than $155 billion per year. And it'd be far easier to enforce such a law than it is to wage a drug war against American citizens' privacy and private property.
Down side? What down side? The downside of banning electricity would be infinitesimal compared to the downside of giving the police such absolute police powers in some drug war. Who needs that toaster and that TV anyway? We've got 482 lives to save, EACH YEAR.
The "liberals"' assertion that we need the drug war in order to protect idiot drug abusers like Len Bias ignores the fact that we DO have a drug war, and Len Bias, in spite of loads of help from hundreds of people and sources, still managed to kill himself with an overdose. He's not an example of the success of the drug war--he's a great example of its FAILURE.
Who needs people like him in the first place? The more of them who die off, the quicker drug users will realize how futile that lifestyle is anyway. Having them die by the boatload would be a bigger disincentive to drug abuse than the excitement created by making drugs illegal and then challenging creative teens to find ways to beat the system. The drug war and Hollywood do such a great job of glamorizing the drug war that they actually increase the demand for illegal drugs.
That's why *all* the countries who pulled out of this drug war experienced a DECREASE in drug use and abuse. Holland decriminalized drugs, and today, the only people you see in Amsterdam Square selling drugs are Americans, and the only people you see buying drugs are Americans. Why? Because the Dutch drug addicts don't need to hang out on that stupid square buying drugs, and there are no Dutch drug pushers because there are no Dutch drug addicts to sell to.
This is a great example of how widespread are the "inintended consequences" of American policy--if it weren't for our own drug war, Americans could walk around Amsterdam without getting bombarded by American drug pushers. How many American teens would not have become drug addicts because of this?
The drug war: the gift that keeps on giving.