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- fuckyeahdrugpolicy posted this
Versus War on Drugs Debate: Is it time to end the war on drugs?
On March 13, 2012, Intelligence Squared hosted the first installment of Versus, the Google+ Debate Series: “It’s time to end the war on drugs.”
Participating in this debate were current and former presidents of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia; Sir Richard Branson; Russell Brand; representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Julian Assange; and more.
Regardless of whether this debate provides an accurate representation of the anti-legalization side, it’s interesting that even those in this debate who condemn drug use and reject legalization all agreed that treatment and rehabilitation are better alternatives to criminalizing drug users.
Another thing that struck me as a breakthrough is the increasing recognition and acceptance that drug users make up a significant portion of functioning, law-abiding citizens who (contrary to mainstream rhetoric) do not succumb to a life of addiction and crime. Participants pointed out that those occasional drug users should be left alone, as they tend to pose no harm to others. The individuals who need help are the addicts, and our resources would be better spent on treating these people for their disease (after all, alcoholism is considered a disease) rather than going after nonviolent, recreational drug users.
Despite this being a two hour long event, me and my sad excuse for an attention span were able to watch this debate from start to finish. I highly recommend it.