Marijuana is a gateway drug
- Strongly Support means you believe: Drug use is immoral and drugs poison our youth and our society. We should fight the Drug War using all reasonable means - Just Say No!
- Support means you believe: The Drug War is winnable if we invest enough resources. We should do whatever we have to do: More police, more border patrols, more intervention abroad, more prison terms, more prisons.
- Oppose means you believe: We should have regulated decriminalization. Medical marijuana might be legalized, for example, as might clean hypodermic needles. Our drug policy should be reformed, with less criminal penalties and more drug abuse clinics.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe: The Drug War should be ended. It has failed, condemning a 'Lost Generation' of blacks and Hispanics to prison and criminal records. End it now like we ended alcohol Prohibition, and organized crime and drug-related crime will decrease like it did when Prohibition ended.
This question is looking for your views on the War on Drugs. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:
How do you decide between "Support" and "Strongly Support" when you agree with both the descriptions above? (Or between "Oppose" and "Strongly Oppose").
The strong positions are generally based on matters of PRINCIPLES where the regular support and oppose positions are based on PRACTICAL matters.
If you answer "No Opinion," this question is not counted in the VoteMatch answers for any candidate.
If you give a general answer of Support vs. Oppose, VoteMatch can more accurately match a candidate with your stand.
Don't worry so much about getting the strength of your answer exactly refined, or to think too hard about the exact wording of the question -- like candidates!
- Never legalize marijuana
- Punish Drug Users
- Support and win the War on Drugs
- Marijuana usage leads to cocaine & narcotics usage
- Permanently ban medicinal marijuana
- Use the Army and/or the Coast Guard to stop drugs at our borders
- Just Say No!
- Strongly Support means you believe that drug use in wrong on principle, and that drug users should therefore be punished.
- Support means you believe in the postive practical effects of reduced drug use.
- Oppose means you believe the practical benefits of reduced restrictions outweigh the costs of incarceration.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe that the principle of personal decision-making applies to recreational drug use.
War on Drugs
2012 Drug War updated topics:
President Bush Senior initiated the ‘War on Drugs’ in the late 1980s.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy, directed by Drug Czar
Gil Kerlikowske , sets federal policy.
- Industrial hemp is a raw material commonly used for making paper, textiles, and other commercial products. In the United States, use of industrial hemp is banned because the plant is related to marijuana. Advocates of drug legalization push the issue of industrial hemp (and wear T-shorts made of industrial hemp) because it is a marginal issue that might gain support from moderates.
- Medical marijuana is legal or partially legal in 18 states as of 2012: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Medical marijuana is also legal in numerous foreign countries. Medical marijuana alleviates symptoms associated with glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and numerous mental diseases.
- The U.S. "partnership with Colombia" refers to the U.S. policy called "Plan Colombia." Under Plan Colombia, the U.S. provides international aid to the government of Colombia in exchange for aerial spraying of cocaine crops and other anti-narcotic activities. Opponents describe "Plan Colombia" as a disguised means of supporting the right-wing government of Colombia, and destroying local farmers to get at the left-wing rebels known as FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
- In March 2012, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said the government’s war on drugs has failed and so marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol.
Robertson said, “Folks, we've gotta do something about this. We've just got to change the laws. We cannot allow this to continue. It is sapping our vitality. Think of this great land of freedom,” he said last week as host of “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Va.
- Operation Fast and Furious refers to a federal ATF program that put guns in the hands of illicit gun purchasers as a way to track Mexican drug cartels. As a result of the program, hundreds of guns showed up in Mexico and one was found at where a U.S. border agent, Brian Terry, was killed. Attorney General Eric Holder was subpoenaed by Congress to testify on Operation Fast and Furious; Pres. Obama claimed executive privilege; and Congress found Holder in contempt, the first time ever for an Attorney General.
The updated 2008 drug strategy includes:
- Stopping Drug Use Before It Starts;
- Intervening and Healing America’s Drug Users;
- Tackling Transnational Threats;
- Disrupting the Market for Illicit Drugs;
- Ending illegal sales of controlled substances on the Internet.
The 2008 policy updates the basic 1999 drug policy, which includes:
- Expanding drug prevention and drug treatment;
- Establishing ‘drug courts’ and fighting drug legalization;
- Focusing on cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine;
- Increasing border shielding.
Obama's Drug Czar has called for an end to the War on Drugs, but as of 2012, the only serious changes are rhetorical.
- Drug offenders who serve jail time or traditional probation have a recidivism rate of 45%. Of those who completed ‘drug courts’ monitored treatment programs, the rate was 4%.
- In April 2000, Hawaii's legislature passed a law permitting people to use marijuana as a medical treatment for AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, and to alleviate cancer chemotherapy side-effects. There are five other states in which voters have passed initiatives permitting restricted medical use of marijuana, but Hawaii is the first state to enact a law. Users will be able to grow their own marijuana, limited to six plants.
- 60% of federal prison inmates are drug offenders, as are 22% of state prisoners.
- 20% of all felony convictions are for drug trafficking; another 12% are for drug possession.
- About 270,000 people are incarcerated on drug charges, up from 48,000 at the start of the ‘Drug War.’
- Direct federal spending on the ‘Drug War’ is currently $17 billion per year.
Reducing the Demand
Methods of reducing drug demand include: random drug testing; increased incarceration of users; and drug education. Since 1986, the courts have upheld random drug testing for federal employees; high school students; job applicants; transportation employees; motorists; and others. The current stated federal goal is a ‘Drug-Free Workplace.’
Reducing the Supply
Methods of reducing drug supply include: increased border patrols; increased enforcement against drug traffickers at home; and pressuring Latin American countries to do the same abroad. Federal ‘counterdrug interdiction’ currently focuses on five ‘High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas’: Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Houston, and the Southwest border with Mexico.
Reducing the Effects
Methods of reducing drugs’ effects on society include: legalization; drug abuse treatment; and needle exchange programs. At congressional hearings on ‘The Pros and Cons of Drug Legalization, Decriminalization, and Harm Reduction’ in June 1999, the federal government reiterated its opposition to legalization, medical marijuana, and needle exchanges, and emphasized that the War on Drugs is an unending effort.
Drug War Buzzwords
- The biggest components of the drug debate is how to reduce drug usage: by prevention or by punishment.
- Hard-line liberals and libertarians generally favor legalization. Look for buzz-phrases like "the failed Drug War" or "allow medical marijuana."
- Moderate liberals and libertarians will generally favor prevention of drug abuse. Look for buzzwords like "more treatment" or "reduce demand."
- Describing drug use as a health problem (instead of a crime problem) is a buzzword for treatment. Seeking to reduce "prison overcrowding" by means such as "drug courts" (as opposed to building more prisons) is a call for drug tolerance or legalization.
- Conservatives and populists generally favor punishment for all aspects of the Drug War. Look for buzzwords like "death penalty for drug dealers" or "the scourge of drugs."
- Moderate conservatives and populists favor punishment while paying lip-service to other aspects of dealing with drugs. Look for buzzwords like "reduce drug supply" or "protect our borders."
- Centrists nowadays are Drug War advocates -- the New Democrats (led by Clinton and Gore) support maintaining funding for the War on Drugs.
- Equating alcoholism with drug abuse is a buzzword for marijuana legalization, as is pointing out the hypocrisy of respecting the right of self-harm with alcohol but not of self-harm with drugs.
Amendment XVIII and XXI to the US Constitution
18) ...the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors... is hereby prohibited. (1919)
21) The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.... (1933)