idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
It's illegal. If someone is willing to try pot regardless, they're just as likely to try other things that are illegal.
So everyone who speeds on the highway is just as likely to try pot, to rob a store, to commit murder?
Every person who pirates a song is going to try meth?
You're vastly oversimplifying.
So are you. I'd suspect that someone willing to try pot is more likely to try some other drug just like someone who pirates music is more likely to pirate software or movies and someone who speeds is more likely to pass in the wrong lane or fail to come to complete stops at signals.
Yeah. I also be that you'll find almost all heavy drug users fall within the subset of drinkers (or even heavy drinkers). We don't ban alcohol because we worry that it makes someone "more likely" to use heroin.
All you've done is present a correlation. Yeah, I bet the vast majority of people hooked on heroin are open to smoking pot, have smoked it, do smoke it, etc. Doesn't mean smoking pot leads to it.
Is someone who smokes pot statistically more likely to do hard drugs? Sure. But that's not necessarily interesting in any particular way. It's as unsurprising as the fact that meat eaters are statistically more likely to eat dog than vegetarians are.
In my opinion, you're pointing at a symptom, not the cause. I don't think smoking pot leads to doing heroin. I do believe that something that could lead someone to smoke pot could lead them to do heroin. But I don't think making pot illegal would help there. Particularly because I seriously doubt fear of "the law" is going to be sufficient to ever stop someone on that path. Chances are (imo), someone who is on it already feels so alienated from society that the concept of law itself isn't something they're going to invest themselves in.
What I think making pot illegal does is force them to get used to hiding from society on the path to a worse addiction, making it even less likely that they'll seek help when they actually need it. The only thing I see the war on drugs doing is alienating people who desperately need help more and more, by ensuring they're as terrified as possible to seek treatment.
This is obviously a lot of conjecture, but I do believe it.
Not that anyone would get in trouble for it, but technically accessing a **** site while under 18 is defrauding someone to commit a criminal act, because distributing to minors is illegal. But that was my point--it's against the law, but no one cares.
As for the poor issue, statistically white middle class+ people are vastly more likely to use and sell all drugs than the poor and minorities are. But statistically, nearly all the people in jail on drug charges are black and poor. According to a professor I had in college, who wrote some papers on the subject, it comes entirely down to two factors.
1. Space. Most minorities and poor live in small homes, possibly with extended family, and have no where they can go in the house to take drugs in secret. On average, a black kid isn't going to be able to light up a joint at home without his mom finding out. This leads to FAR more drug usage outside the home, in public areas, which drastically increases the chance of detection.
2. Increased police density. My town has a fair number of people (still fairly small--high school classes of 350 or so), but there's a lot of land. Kids here all smoked in the woods (and a lot of adults do too, to be fair). So besides the occasional cop who'd go in to check for kids, it was relatively safe to smoke. You light up in a city alley, and you have no clue how close you are to the nearest cop. Edited, Nov 1st 2012 4:05pm by idiggory