I agree it's all completely mad. People should be allowed to choose for themselves but those choices should include some consequences. For example if you become a drug abuser, you do not receive welfare, no food stamps no health coverage. Put the consequence right on the packaging. If you develop mouth or lung cancer from smoking, no health services to help you, will be available unless you pay for it. Kidney and liver damage from drinking, pay for it yourself. If people want those types of freedoms, go for it, but be ready to pay the price, don't expect me to pay for it!
Once that attitude is taken you would see a lot less drug abuse. Hunger is a great motivator.
Sorry,Dangle, but it won't work. The one common thread you see constantly from drug addicts and alcoholics is the inability to stop regardless of consequences or 'promises' made. Cutting off food stamps and welfare, and insurance? While it would suck to be in that position, I know in my heart that without question, that exact situation would cause large numbers of people to continue using and drinking. You cannot apply logic to an illogical disease. It doesn't work that way. Any addict or alcoholic will tell you that NOTHING is more important than getting that next hit or drink. That is why so many families are destroyed by it. Jobs lost, money wasted, etc. The obvious consequences almost never have the effect on the addict that you would expect them to, and in fact, usually have the reverse effect.
I completely understand Rednote's position and know he is completely correct in the culture we currently live in. If our thinking from an early age was changed in such a way that we experienced immediate reprimand for bad behaviors perhaps these deep addictions would not get a foothold to drag a lot of the addicts down in the first place.
Since my wife works at a high school I know a lot of youths get off too easily when caught with drugs. They usually get lectured by the five foot one female officer, and then given a short holiday in the form of a suspension. The students just laugh at it, usually the parents get angry at the school. In this scenario the school has no control, the parents have lost control and the police force simply do not have the resources to deal with it on a criminal level. At this stage I don't think it should be a criminal matter, kids make mistakes, but now is the time to smarten them up.
Before the school year begins parents sign that they agree drugs on school property is wrong. They agree to uphold and support lawful punishments given to their children without interference. The punishments are widely advertised, everyone is well informed of the punishments, obstacles such as language and social status are overcome. The consequences could be communicated at an earlier grade depending on the depth of the problem in a certain area.
First offense, the rest of the year, supervised recesses and lunches in a fenced in supervised area only. I know Teachers Unions and human rights sucks would fight that, but hey I'm trying to solve a huge problem here. This alone would cut the problem by at least half.
Second offense, picking cotton on plantations between classes. Just exaggerating, but you get my point.
If the School District says zero tolerance, then stick by your guns. Here in Ontario there is a zero tolerance rule but the kids just laugh at it because all they do is transfer them to another school. They even provide transportation at a certain distance. If the School Board says zero tolerance, then enforce it. The kids just laugh at this crap.
If some kids keep on making bad decisions into adulthood and we know they will. Time to change the rules. Make the use of drugs legal, except dealing, straight to jail for like 20 years first offense. If you get caught with drugs you get placed on a data list. No tickets or fines, no jail time. The data list goes out to all social assistance welfare offices and food stamp agencies. No monies or assistance will be given to those people on the data list for an appropriate amount of time.
If self financed do good organizations want to raise money to help these people let them scrape them off the sidewalks. Of course they will no doubt be religious organizations and the druggies will try to avoid that situation as the fear of the Lord is burnished into their foreheads.
Restrict the supply of possible drug addicts. If some crazy women wants to get pregnant over and over again by screwing any penis that points in her general direction, fine, go for it. Just don't expect me to set you up in your own place because your parents have rules you don't like. Sorry princess we have no bananas today, go make yourself a mud pie. Of course I would make allowance for rape victims.
All government sponsored social programs like needle exchanges and safe injection sights closed down. For the hard core cases who on their own decide to get clean, extremely strict, rehab centers. The staff would not be soft social workers, they would be hard core army sergeant type, well trained doctors. All the money and resources by this point that would be saved would more then cover the cost of this final program.
My ideas are not perfect, but anything is better than what I see today.