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This Is Bureaucracy On Drugs

April 1, 2010
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I had to read this Economist article twice to make sure I hadn't missed something that actually made sense. Then I double-checked the calendar to make sure the date didn't read April 1.

Nope, it's apparently true - some 20 of our U.S. states tax illegal drugs, and print stamps, like the one shown here, that illicit drug dealers and users are supposed to affix to their contraband.

Doing so would of course likely bring a swarm of cops upon any druggie who for some unfathomable reason might attempt to comply with this law.

Yet our politicians have trouble finding ways to cut government spending while printing presses continue to churn out these stamps. A small expense compared to the size of our state budgets to be sure, but don't you just know there are thousands of similar boondoggles out there that add up to megabucks.

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Collecting $

Annette
April 9, 2010
Okay, so on the surface this law sounds way out there, but then again the article does make clear that none of the states actually think a drug dealer will buy the stamps. Rather it allows for them to collect fines from the drug dealers when they are caught. So, in examining the economics of the law, a state pays for a one-time printing of stamps (since they are rarely, if ever, used) and then collects over $10.3 million in fines because of the law and it sounds like a pretty good ROI to me.

Yes, but ...

Jim Olsztynski
April 13, 2010
Good reasoning to a point, Annette, but wouldn't it be more economical and simpler for courts to simply impose fines on convicted dealers without relying on stamps as an intermediate step? In any case, I appreciate you taking the time to think this through and respond.

serious social problem

Weezbo
June 1, 2010
this goes far deeper than it may first appear ,currently our world is falling perhaps cascading like an avalanche, to the very destructive conclusion of a planet covered in failed states and governments due to this drug problem which has brought about a serious increase in weaponry and military arms distribution to people engaged in the business of poisoning the families that comprise the general population of the world. There is, simply put, no Good solution to the problem , that will arrive in a timely fashion to "save the day". Education is too slow of a process and at present we have no clearly defined philosophy of education across the board for all countries . It is however agreed upon my many that something MUST be done, not later....Now! Every effort that is made in Reaction rather than as part of a preventive plan that is supported by enough families, communities , states, countries, continents, will simply never catch up to the efforts inclined to continue destroying our world. While it may be laughable that this measure is being employed at the moment ,( on first perusal) it at least is a sign that someone somewhere at least Recognizes that the problem exists. Had something been done at a much earlier time maybe people suffering from the consequences of decision by indecision would be in a much happier state of being. Thank you for bringing this article that you read to more members of the community . Awareness of a problem is at least somewhere to start. What this effort is analogous to is some one standing at the bottom of a dam with his finger in a leak of a 20 foot wide section standing and water flowing by on both sides where the wall has been destroyed . not a pretty picture. to me it is almost a suicidal attempt by the individual calling out the need to repair the dam. This is a huge problem that needs right thinking people to supply right efforting to begin to correct the flow. Antics with semantics and tunnel vision simply will not work to bring about a solution. our entire reading viewership would likely not number the amount of young peoples lives that were destroyed this year alone. thank you one more time for bringing it to our attention . to take liberty of a hazily recalled quote " Even a Mutton can Pay attention". luckily there are people here who can and do involve themselves in right actions.

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