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Plan to deal with illegal drug problem

A way to curb illegal drug dealing and use over time
  (+3, -15)(+3, -15)(+3, -15)
(+3, -15)
  [vote for,

1)Revise law to define user and dealers.

2)Provide amnesty to those in jail for drug use; yet keep the dealers locked up. This will save jail space and public money.

3)Offer (but do not make mandatory) rehabilitation programs instead of prosecuting drug users. This will give an option for drug users to come clean.

4)Give drug users who do not wish to rehabilitate an incentive to work for the government by offering seized drugs for free to the users who lead police to dealers. This will give drug users who do not wish to come clean a chance to work for a government cause instead of simply using up public money by being jailed.

5)Use the new supply of seized drugs to continue to incentivize informing on drug dealers. The continued giving away of seized drugs for free to informers cuts directly into the dealers profits due to loss of product and because product cannot be sold for less than the governments counteroffer of free.

6)Resell drugs through government distributors at a price which undercuts the cartels. This is easily possible because the drugs will have been gained by seizure from dealers. Profits from drug sale will be used to fund rehabilitation centers and outreach programs. This will give drug users who decide not to be informants an option to buy their drugs from the government for less than the dealers.

7)Revise law to define users and dealers as necessary to optimum levels for a continued overall decrease of drug using/dealing over time. The entire system can be easily changed to an optimal necessary level by the variable of the definition of a dealer. For example: how much they have in possession.

pppporkins, May 17 2010

Halfbakery: Lift Restrictions on Unprocessed Materials Lift Restrictions o...processed Materials
Another angle on disincentivising the bad-guys by diminishing their profits through economic/border controls policy. [zen_tom, May 17 2010]


       In other words the government becomes the dealer. Problem #1 ... how does government ensure (test) that the ceased drugs are clean and will not harm the users more than they normally would? Problem #2 will users get unlimited supply? or will there be a cap? If there is a cap, users will look for illegal sources to top-up. If there is no cap you'll get too many overdoses
... this is just a start. I'm sure a more comprehensive list will follow from other halfbakers.
ixnaum, May 17 2010

       Basically the government becomes the dealer and the users are given the incentive to work for free drugs. The weaker the illegal dealers become, the more control the government will have. Then, the public will have more control over the issue via the government.
pppporkins, May 17 2010

       6) is flat hypocrisy and should be omitted from this program, altogether. Government Dealing should be omitted in general, imho. The reason is that this idea plans to keep drugs illegal. The government can not sell illegal things, at least not in such an obvious way.   

       Perhaps the give away program could work, however. Let me know when that starts. I'll go get busted right away! This part of the idea says 'let's beef up the informant process with free drugs.' The problem there is that, once I bust my dealer and smoke the rest of whatever you gave me, I'm left with nothing left to do but sober up or go find more people to get drugs from, get busted... etc etc... This forced busting stuff is too mugh trouble. Also, any drug user is going to be pretty capable of seeing how bust their own dealers systematically might not be in their immediate best interests. So, there's my two problems. And throw another fishy on the barbie!
daseva, May 17 2010

       So how is this better than legalising all drugs and having the government sell them in quality controlled doses, for revenue?
wagster, May 17 2010

       Presumably, for consistency, this idea will also include alcohol, nicotine and caffeine?
pocmloc, May 17 2010

       There is a certain distorted beauty to this idea: using the economic might of the state to engineer a monopolistic market for drugs, with the state itself as the sole actor, rather than the now pretty old hat notion of using pure criminalisation and suppression of the trade as a means of bringing about the state monopoly.   

       As I see it, at present, the only barrier to such state entry into this highly competitive and unregulated market is the moral element, which is hazily defined and, has been proved countless times, provided a scheme works, can easily be waved away.
calum, May 17 2010

       There is also the legal issue. Oh, I forgot, you're a lawyer...
wagster, May 17 2010

       There is a huge profit motive in illicit drug sales. As you start to pick off suppliers, you will create an increased payoff to dealers who are lethally vicious to snitches. The new, harsher ways in which dealers threaten snitches will provide a disincentive to the gov's free-drugs-for-snitches program.   

       I give it a [+], not because the idea would work, but because it is a creative attempt to solve a difficult problem. I don't think it deserves as many fishes as it got.   

       Welcome to the halfbakery, [pppporkins]!
swimswim, May 17 2010

       Oops! Where have my manners gone?   

       Welcome [pppporkins]. Don't be dismayed by the fish. It usually takes a few goes to get the hang of this place!
wagster, May 17 2010

       Thanks for the welcome :) and the fish hehe   

       I didn't make clear that the plan decriminalizes the user while going after the dealer for operating without a license. Shouldv'e been part of 1)
pppporkins, May 17 2010

       Deal or no Deal? - The new fast moving quiz show where answering questions and opening boxes earns the right to deal drugs for the maximum amount of cash or face a possible jail term,   

       "The Dealer has offered you £55 a gram, for the coke."   

S-note, May 17 2010

       [+] for detected healthy cynicism, but most of your post concerns differentiating between users and dealers, which (in my country) is already done.
FlyingToaster, May 17 2010

       Welcome to the HB, but I just can't get by the idea that you are legalizing the government selling drugs, and people using drugs, but not other people selling drugs.   

       Also you are rewarding people with possibly MASSIVELY hazardous drugs for convincing others to perform an illegal act. Or are you going to limit the rewards to Marijuana? I can't see anyone allowing Cocaine, PCP or Meth to be sold to people as I think it is too easy to kill people with them.   

       Q: SO WHO'S YOUR DEALER? A: Umm, you are, the ATF sold me these drugs. Can I get more drugs for turning you in?   

       Sorry, this idea makes my brain hurt, so I have to fish bone (-).
MisterQED, May 17 2010

       The main problem I can see is that governments are as easily addicted to revenue sources as junkies are to drugs. Once the government is making money from it, the spindoctors will claim it is a necessary permanent institution. Eventually they will persuade us that the stuff is healthy.
Bad Jim, May 17 2010

       ... like cigarettes and alcohol ?
8th of 7, May 17 2010

       Um yeah. Maybe scratch that bit about persuading us it's healthy though.
Bad Jim, May 17 2010

       Stop complaining and finish your cigarettes and alcohol like a good boy, or whatever you are, or you wont get any seized drugs for dessert.
rcarty, May 18 2010

       Remember that in the US 100 years ago, cocaine was cheap, legal and freely available at the pharmacy without a prescription. It was also pure and offered without contaminants by upstanding pharmaceutical companies.   

       Same for morphine and heroin. Guess what drug outraged the citizens into making it illegal? Not coke, smack or the dragon. It was alcohol! Maybe the drugs aren't the problem, just the prohibition against them.
jsosborn, May 19 2010

       On the issue in general, I see a contradiction here - on one hand - you have free-market economics and a wish to reduce government involvement.   

       On the other hand, you have the (perfectly valid) concerns of the state in regards its citizens making unwise choices. One way to protect its citizenry, is for the state to prohibit unauthorised access to certain materials.   

       This prohibition, combined with the laws of supply and demand suddenly generates a massive profit opportunity where one previously didn't exist - supplying those who choose to circumvent the prohibition regime with a means of generating cash - and with it, power.   

       Having said that, the tobacco industry is probably the closest thing we have today to what a legalised drug industry would look like - and I don't much like those credentials either. On the other hand, the revenue generated on sales of tobacco products must be significant - it must be an interesting balancing act, setting taxation levels so as to achieve the best possible balance between the conflicting interests of: public health (high taxes dissuade people from buying the products, and so citizens stay healthier), discouraging smugglers (set the tax too high, and you are creating a smuggler's market) and revenue generation (setting a higher level of tax will raise more money per unit sale, but if overall sales go down, or if you create a smuggler's market, you may end up losing overall).
zen_tom, May 19 2010


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