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5 Great Ideas That America Should Steal from Other Countries

#2. Just Fucking Give Addicts Their Drugs

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Hey! Speaking of drugs, have we ever considered just completely caving on the whole "war on drugs" thing? Maybe dig up Nixon's corpse and have it sign an unconditional surrender? The drugs have proven that they're not going anywhere. Drug addicts are even more dedicated to their "cause" than the Viet Cong ever were. But if arresting these people just makes their problems worse, what can the state do to make things better?

According to Denmark, the answer is "give drugs away for free." Yes, residents of Copenhagen can visit a government clinic and chase that dragon to their heart's content. The users get free drugs and a bunch of nurses to make sure they don't die. It's the safest way to do heroin short of actually being Keith Richards.

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

"Do you have anything bigger? Like maybe a milk jug?"

You'd expect this to be much more expensive than the traditional American answer to drug addiction ("let them die in the streets"). But it's actually saved Denmark around 13,000 euros per person per year, because an addict with free drugs is an addict not stealing shit or stabbing anybody for pocket dollars.

Before Copenhagen opened their all-you-can-shoot buffet, sanitation workers picked up around 10,000 discarded needles in the streets every week. The "free drugs for addicts" program cut that number in half after less than a year. Burglaries, violence, and weapons possession all dropped. If you really need heroin and the only way to get it is waving a knife at some dude until he gives you his money, well, you might wave that knife around. But why take the risk if you know the government is always holding and willing to let you bum a couple hits?

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"The spiders should subsist in a few minutes. Just ride it out."

#1. Screw Traffic Laws

Kevin Forest/Photodisc/Getty Images

It's no coincidence that roller coasters are most popular in countries with reasonably safe roads and traffic police who actually police traffic. Speed traps suck. And so do the signs that tell me it's illegal to crack 100 mph whenever this song comes on. But all those pesky signs keep our roads from being a chaotic golf-cart orgy, like the streets of New Delhi:

Via Ideastream.org
It would probably be faster to just pick up the car and walk home with it.

And while that's a perfect picture of what happens when you don't have traffic signs (or enforced traffic laws, for that matter), so is this:

Via Theatlanticcities.com
That old woman is clearly speeding.

Behold the town of Poynton, in the United Kingdom. It has 14,000 people and zero traffic signs. They're in the process of removing lights, curbs, and painted lines from their roadways, too. This should be a terrible idea for a place 26,000 vehicles have to pass through every day, but the U.K. town of Ashford ditched their signs three years ago, and they haven't reported a single traffic fatality since.

I've been saying it for years: The Five Man Electrical Band were a bunch of prophets. Signs are quite literally breaking our minds. Towns in Germany and the Netherlands have been shedding their signs for years, and they always find the same result: safer roads. Too many signs lead to confused drivers more worried about not getting a ticket than avoiding the family of four about to blow through that crosswalk. Without signs, the only thing drivers have to focus on is not killing people, and (surprise!) this makes them safer.

Toby Burrows/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Or at the very least it gives them the focus to mow down just this guy without harming the others.

Man, it's almost like a ton of our safety laws do nothing but get people killed. Funny how that happens.

Robert Evans believes in mob justice. Specifically, mobs of people like you helping a small farm recover from thievery.

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