Jon Solves the Problems of the World!

I have been giving thought to a variety of problems in the world. My solutions are a bit "off the wall" but I figure what else is the internet good for if not airing off the wall ideas. So here we go.


The Drug Problem

It seems to me that there are two problems related to drugs. First is the harm done by the drugs themselves, and the second is the harm done by the war on drugs.  I believe that a significant reduction in the degree of punishment meted out on drug crimes would be appropriate. I do not propose  using drugs be legal. USING DRUGS WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION WOULD STILL BE ILLEGAL.  I would make a first offense punishable by a modest fine. Subsequent offenses would be punishable by larger fines or perhaps weekends in jail. Cases would be handled by a drug court which would be similar to an AA meeting with teeth. Recalcitrant drug users who endanger themselves or others could be committed to mandatory inpatient drug treatment facilities or even to jail if necessary. In all cases the focus would be on recovery rather than punishment.

Selling or possessing drugs would be legal and regulated much as alcohol and prescription drugs are now. This would solve the problems associated with the underground market. Purity and dosage would be assured reducing deaths due to overdose. Drug dealers would not be shooting each other over turf wars.  Taxes imposed on  drugs and alcohol would be earmarked to fund substantial drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation services. Drug and alcohol treatment would be available on demand.

All criminals would be tested for drugs upon conviction. Those testing positive would be placed under the jurisdiction of a drug court upon completion of their regular sentence.

Driving is a privilege which does not mix with drug or alcohol use. I would test all drivers involved in accidents and revoke driving privileges of offenders. Driving privileges could only be restored through the drug court's supervision. Missing a drug court meeting would result in immediate loss of driving privileges.

I realize that there is a certain hypocrisy in making it legal to sell and possess that which is illegal to use. But consider guns which can kill people, or cars which can go 120 mph. this would not be the first hypocrisy in American jurisprudence.

We don't need to  have hundreds of thousands of people in prison because of drug problems. The cure is more harmful than the disease. Which is not to say that the disease should remain untreated. I think making drug use less criminal, while legalizing drug possession and sale, and introducing the extensive use of drug and alcohol courts would go a long way toward making our society a better place to live.


The Gun Problem

Twelve year old children shooting their classmates. Husbands and wives shooting each other. Shootings on the drug corners of urban neighborhoods. All are symptoms of  too many guns. Guns are just to easy to get hold of. I am willing to accept the argument that the 2nd amendment guarantees Americans the right to own a gun (spurious though it may be). However that is not to say that guns can't be taxed. I would propose that a $1,000 excise tax be placed on all guns at point of origin. This tax would raise the value of all guns by $1,000. The price of a saturday night special would now be $1,150 instead of $150. This alone would go a long way to reduce the number of guns on the street. And to  reduce the supply of guns even further I would make the tax partially refundable. Any gun which shoots can be turned in to the authorities for a refund of $250 cash. No questions asked.( I'm not quite sure how to deal with guns which are implicated in murders)  If ia gun is not locked down so thoroughly that it can't be stolen and turned in for cash. then it could probably be just as easily stolen for more nefarious purposes. All guns turned in to the police would be destroyed or permanently incapacitated if they were collectibles.

You say that this would attract guns smuggled in to this country to collect the refund. Well that would be OK with me. We have been the arms merchant to the world for too long. The world could us less guns too.

You say the real criminals would still have guns. Of course. They will have guns no matter what the policy. The idea here is to keep them out of the hands of  kids and people in the throes of anger. making harder and more expensive to get a gun would give someone a chance think twice about what they were doing.

I believe that raising the price of all guns and providing a means to eliminate guns which are left unsecured would substantially reduce the availability of guns to angry twelve year olds, or angry spouses, or anyone else who might use a gun just because it was there.

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