[LMB] OT: legalization

Judy R. Johnson jrj at fidalgo.net
Wed Jan 26 19:23:39 GMT 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk
[mailto:lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk] On Behalf Of Ed Burkhead
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 9:18 AM


I have my own ideas to counter drugs nationally, but I doubt they'll ever be
adopted.  Here are some thoughts on that:

1.  Destroy the pusher network and entire drug-crime industry by legalizing
the drugs and selling them in pharmacies at the cost of production, perhaps

2.  Let employers test for drugs and fire or refuse to hire anyone who is
using.  Denying social safety net benefits to drug users is worth discussing
but I'd be quite happy to provide drug rehabilitation treatments with no

3.  Make it an enormous prison term at unpleasant hard labor for those who
sell or provide drugs to anyone under age.  (We can discuss parents
providing appropriate amounts of alcohol to their own children.  We've let
our 15 year old try wine - with the expected rejection of the taste.)


NEW from JRJ> Think the role-playing with your daughter is an excellent
idea, and agree absolutely with your suggestions #1 and 3, and believe the
first half of #2 is already possible (I've had to take drug tests before
being hired).

However, denying social safety-net benefits to anybody is counterproductive,
IMHO.  No money is why many people turn to crime who would not do so
otherwise; they're not all that ill-intentioned, they're just desperate.
That category does not include all criminals, just some. 

Then there are people who are criminals because of non-clinical mental
illness.  Many would respond to treatment, a combination of medication,
counseling, and practical financial help, closely supervised.  None of them
ASKED to be made this way, and they'd be better if they could.  The trouble
is that no country's social services are anywhere near sophisticated enough
to do this effectively, and are constantly hampered by draconian
civil-liberties legal restraints.  Beta*, find a time machine and come back
and help us.  Please.  Meanwhile, behavioral scientists soldier on.

The rest, who would be criminals regardless, mostly because they're too
lazy/incompetent/malignant to be able to keep a job, need the unpleasant
hard-labor treatment; and someone in a recent post indicated this has been
working in Scandanavia (somewhat to my surprise).  If it seems to work, then
let's do it some more.  

Triage is, as usual, the most difficult part.

* I tend to believe that Cordelia's treatment (mis) in Shards might have
been prevented actually, by Betan testing as we now believe would be
possible, but when it was written decades ago, undreamed of.
Entwife Judy
Who doubts if the status quo is ever well enough to be let alone

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