Legalizing Crime

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

In all societies, crime is a growth industry. Millions of professionals - judges, police officers, criminologists, psychologists, journalists, publishers, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, probation officers, wardens, sociologists, non-governmental-organizations, weapons manufacturers, laboratory technicians, graphologists, and private detectives - derive their livelihood, parasitically, from crime. They often perpetuate models of punishment and retribution that lead to recidivism rather than to torepparttar reintegration of criminals in society and their rehabilitation.

Organized in vocal interest groups and lobbies, they harp onrepparttar 119296 insecurities and phobias ofrepparttar 119297 alienated urbanites. They consume ever growing budgets and rejoice with every new behaviour criminalized by exasperated lawmakers. Inrepparttar 119298 majority of countries,repparttar 119299 justice system is a dismal failure and law enforcement agencies are part ofrepparttar 119300 problem, not its solution.

The sad truth is that many types of crime are considered by people to be normative and common behaviours and, thus, go unreported. Victim surveys and self-report studies conducted by criminologists reveal that most crimes go unreported. The protracted fad of criminalization has rendered criminal many perfectly acceptable and recurring behaviours and acts. Homosexuality, abortion, gambling, prostitution, pornography, and suicide have all been criminal offences at one time or another.

Butrepparttar 119301 quintessential example of over-criminalization is drug abuse.

There is scant medical evidence that soft drugs such as cannabis or MDMA ("Ecstasy") - and even cocaine - have an irreversible effect on brain chemistry or functioning. Last month an almighty row erupted in Britain when Jon Cole, an addiction researcher at Liverpool University, claimed, to quote "The Economist" quotingrepparttar 119302 "Psychologist", that:

"Experimental evidence suggesting a link between Ecstasy use and problems such as nerve damage and brain impairment is flawed ... using this ill-substantiated cause-and-effect to tellrepparttar 119303 'chemical generation' that they are brain damaged when they are not creates public health problems of its own."

Moreover, it is commonly accepted that alcohol abuse and nicotine abuse can be at least as harmful asrepparttar 119304 abuse of marijuana, for instance. Yet, though somewhat curbed, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are legal. In contrast, users of cocaine - only a century ago recommended by doctors as tranquilizer - face life in jail in many countries, death in others. Almost everywhere pot smokers are confronted with prison terms.

The "war on drugs" - one ofrepparttar 119305 most expensive and protracted in history - has failed abysmally. Drugs are more abundant and cheaper than ever. The social costs have been staggering:repparttar 119306 emergence of violent crime where none existed before,repparttar 119307 destabilization of drug-producing countries,repparttar 119308 collusion of drug traffickers with terrorists, andrepparttar 119309 death of millions - law enforcement agents, criminals, and users.

Few doubt that legalizing most drugs would have a beneficial effect. Crime empires would crumble overnight, users would be assured ofrepparttar 119310 quality ofrepparttar 119311 products they consume, andrepparttar 119312 addicted few would not be incarcerated or stigmatized - but rather treated and rehabilitated.

That soft, largely harmless, drugs continue to be illicit isrepparttar 119313 outcome of compounded political and economic pressures by lobby and interest groups of manufacturers of legal drugs, law enforcement agencies,repparttar 119314 judicial system, andrepparttar 119315 aforementioned long list of those who benefit fromrepparttar 119316 status quo.

Only a popular movement can lead torepparttar 119317 decriminalization ofrepparttar 119318 more innocuous drugs. But such a crusade should be part of a larger campaign to reverserepparttar 119319 overall tide of criminalization. Many "crimes" should revert to their erstwhile status as civil torts. Others should be wiped offrepparttar 119320 statute books altogether. Hundreds of thousands should be pardoned and allowed to reintegrate in society, unencumbered by a past of transgressions against an inane and inflationary penal code.

This, admittedly, will reducerepparttar 119321 leveragerepparttar 119322 state has today against its citizens and its ability to intrude on their lives, preferences, privacy, and leisure. Bureaucrats and politicians may find this abhorrent. Freedom loving people should rejoice.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Visit Sam's Web site at

Divorce online service. Why should we lose money and time applying for divorce?

Written by James Wood

Continued from page 1

The high cost of lawyers has not forced people to refuse divorce. The deep reasons for divorce lie inrepparttar emotional - sensual sphere. The most painful and unpleasant situation is dialogue with a third party hired to engage in and bear your personal problems in general divorce discussion.

A company like that supplies online documents for divorce disagrees withrepparttar 119295 opinion of opponents that cheap divorce can minimizerepparttar 119296 importance of divorce. It is true thatrepparttar 119297 divorce will cost them only $249 but this will not pushrepparttar 119298 majority of people to end less-considered marriages faster and more often. Similarly,repparttar 119299 high cost of lawyers has not forced people to refuse divorce. The deep reasons for divorce lie inrepparttar 119300 emotional - sensual sphere. The most painful and unpleasant situation is dialogue with a third party hired to engage in and bear your personal problems in general discussion.

James Wood is a free-lance writer on family issues; his main goal is to help people during their complicated period of life in regards to divorce and separation.


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