Ack, I'm breaking my own pledge to drop out of this thread. Anyway...
Keep in mind, I subscribe to prohibitionist newsletters and check their blogs, etc., as well. I'm an information junkie and I like seeing things from every perspective. Okay, you weren't selling hard drugs. I find myself almost completely on your side now.
Until this week, I've equated opium with heroin, someone I know who's been reading this thread is laughing at me and wants me to try opium again now. I smoked it once years ago, but I was already drunk and it basically made me pass out within minutes. Apparently it's not as hard a drug as I had been led to believe and apparently more people than I would have guessed I know smoke it every so often and, despite the hardcore cravings some of them say they get for it if they do too much on a weekend, they've managed to avoid a habit, though this could also be largely due to it being really expensive and hard to get around here.
You were asking what stats I was referring to? There's lots, all of the same ilk and most from different branches of the same funding source. I'll just pick a bunch from a convenient spot.
These come from a source not often quoted around here, for obvious reasons: http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/demand/speakout/07so.htm
--"According to the 1999 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) study, more than half of arrestees for violent crimes test positive for drugs at the time of their arrest."--
--"According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, teenage drug users are five times far more likely to attack someone than those who don’t use drugs. About 20 percent of the 12-17 year olds reporting use of an illegal drug in the past year attacked someone with the intent to seriously hurt them, compared to 4.3 percent of the non-drug users."--
--"Numerous episodes of workplace violence have also been attributed to illegal drugs. A two-year independent postal commission study looked into 29 incidents resulting in 34 deaths of postal employees from 1986 to 1999. “Most perpetrators (20 of 34) either had a known history of substance abuse or were known to be under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs at the time of the homicide.”--
(interesting how they have alcohol slid in...)
Yes, these are likely based on cherry picked data, etc., and the blanket term "drugs" obfuscates the links between specific drugs and violence, so it's dishonest and even if totally true these stats certainly don't make a valid argument against legalization.
But I know that a lot of people do wierd, dangerous and destructive things when they are heavily intoxicated. I don't need a statistic to tell me that. Maybe wierd isn't a bad thing, but when trying to appeal to mainstream society, support from seriously wierd people can make life difficult, like when someone (a friend, no less...)on hallucinogens shows up at a rally I've organized and uses the open mic to say something REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT, and when the incoherent ramblings on no particular subject have people leaving and I try to get the mic back they won't give it and they keep telling us WE'RE ALL TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND...it sometimes makes me feel that I'm on the wrong side when I attack prohibition in general, but it doesn't stop me because I know prohibition is wrong in a fundamental moral way. I agree in the individual's autonomy, but I often see hard drugs robbing that very autonomy. Damn, back to socrates again. I'm still not sure of my position, but when I am I'll know I'm closer to being right than if I just take a side and stick with it despite the evidence to the contrary...you're convincing me, so it shows that you're definitely effective at what you do. Keep up the good work, I now totally understand why Emery backs you up.