The Commonwealth Party supports decriminalization of drug use and possession. There are good reasons for this that outweigh concerns of drug use in our society. Current drug laws attempt and fail in curbing drug use itself and practically negate none of the consequences. Despite the question of the morality of drugs, that is not in itself justification for the laws against drug use. Take alcohol for instance. Alcohol is a legal drug, yet it is no more moral to be drunk than to be stoned or influenced by other drugs. Why then are there laws against using other drugs? People who support drug prohibition will claim that users of other drugs commit various crimes to obtain those drugs or because of the influence of those drugs. Yet alcohol is a legal drug that causes more instances of violence and mayhem in our society than illegal drugs. Also, by applying drug prohibition today as alcohol prohibition was applied in the Twenties, violent crimes associated with drugs are usually due to the bloated profit incentive that prohibition creates for those drugs. This leads to gang turf disputes for market share and also crimes committed by addicts to support their artificially expensive habits. If drugs were decriminalized, the prices would drop and crimes due to addiction would lessen. Others will claim concerns about health for support of prohibition, but many more deaths are attributive to alcohol and tobacco--both legal drugs. Accessibility and demand for drugs has not really been hampered by the current prohibition laws. Interdiction cannot stop the flow of drugs and only catches a small percentage of drug inflow. Despite the penalties for drug possession, drugs are easily accessible to anyone and demand continues to be strong.
Not only are the laws ineffective at stopping drug use--they blindly, bluntly and unjustly punish innocent citizens whose only "crime" is possession of drugs. A number of these citizens are non-violent offenders and otherwise have no criminal backgrounds. These laws usually only net individual, smaller scale users and dealers while most of the big drug cartels continue their trade. On top of all that, our rights to privacy and search and seizure protocols are being compromised. This is a very dangerous threat to our status as a free nation and endangers us into becoming a police state. Instead of a medieval war on drugs, we need a war against crime which would be effectively won by taking monies used for interdiction efforts and current prohibition laws and instead using that money to fight real crimes. Also, by not putting non-violent drug offenders in jail, this would cut the need to build new prisons and provide a means for longer sentences against dangerous violent criminals like rapists and murderers. Better to have ten non-violent though perhaps nuisance addicts on the street than one rapist or murderer.
Though we call for the decriminalization of drugs, this is not to say that we have no regulatory drug policy. We will support secondary laws that will preserve the freedoms and order of our society similarly to how laws involving alcohol use have. There will be nuisance laws determined by locality analogous to drunk and disorderly laws for alcohol. There will be laws against using machinery or vehicles under the influence of drugs analogous to drunk-driving laws. There will be health and environment laws determined by locality such as ordinances against littering with dirty needles. We will advocate fines, ticketing or even confiscation of an individual's on-person and within-sight drug if they are obviously harming themselves with a drug. This includes overdosing and public disorderliness or unconsciousness that invites victimization or self-endangerment. There will be no relatively long prison terms for these abuse offenses but there will be community service, relatively short jail terms and drug treatment/education all in addition to the earlier mentioned penalties. Offenders will be made to compensate at least partially for the cost of ambulance services or any immediate treatment and education programs. Yet, individuals who responsibly and peaceably use any drug and do not become a nuisance or infringe on the rights of others or endanger anyone's property, limb or life (including their own) shall be free to use whatever drug they wish without fear of recrimination.
Commonwealths will also support laws that hold drug addicts/abusers and dealers responsible for negligent or criminal behaviors. This would include but not be limited to cases involving addicts with children who neglect their dependents and dealers who knowingly enable such users. Dealers who knowingly or indiscriminately supply to users who are chronic overdosers (ambulance calls, et al) can be charged with accessory to drug abuse. The chronic-overdose users will be forced to get their fixes under monitor of a medical establishment and that user will be forced to pay cost. A dealer may serve fine or sentence in order to transfer any appropriate and applicable blame onto the said dealer for knowingly acting as an accomplice in a chargeable case of drug abuse or liability involving the said user. Dealers and suppliers will be held to appropriate consumer, business and liability laws which are common to all civil commercial transactions.
The concerns over an increased amount of drug use due to decriminalization will be less costly to society than the current status quo of prohibition. Increased use may not be definite, but should it come about the secondary laws mentioned earlier will keep a free and orderly society. The benefits to society by decriminalizing drugs will far out way its negatives.
Our civilization will not fall solely due to drugs because of two reasons. First: Despite the current societal problems that exist with drug use and all the media coverage of it, our nation for the most part is still strong, functional, competent and usually economically stable. Over all these years despite the massive inflow of drugs, our society has remained viable and affluent. Second: The majority nature of the people to live productive and peaceful lives will in the end overcome any potential threat of the wasting away of our culture due to drugs. This is due in part to our nation's free-market responsibility incentive for the people to live relatively affluent lives.
Societies that really waste away to rampant drug use are usually those without hope where poverty and pestilence rule and the only escape is drugs where the consequences of drug abuse are little or parallel to the squalor of their lives. Our nation is not in this condition and so an armageddon solely by drug abuse is at best unlikely. In the end it is the hearts and minds of the people that determine a society's downfall to drugs -- not its absence of prohibitive laws. Our nation is an experiment of freedom and by its nature must suffer any potential consequential pitfalls due to any possible increase in drug use through decriminalization. Otherwise, our experiment of freedom will become extinct in the name of eliminating drugs.
Broken families, poverty, physical abuse and emotional trauma can be more to blame for drug abuse than the availability of drugs themselves. Instead of focusing solely on drugs and persecuting users with prison, the root of the problems for drug abuse should be dealt with. Accordingly, Commonwealths will trade the war on drugs for a war on crime and include a campaign against drug abuse while trumpeting the benefits of abstinence, temperance and advocating tolerance for responsible drug use.
And forget the propaganda that everyone who uses drugs must become a hopeless addict with a myriad of personal and health problems.