‘War on Drugs’: Lost
Written by Steve Weinstein
Pat Robertson, probably the most famous, notable and all-around crazy right-wing televangelist in the United States, did something rather important, intelligent and brave: He said we should legalize pot. He joins the godfather of the right wing in this country, the late William F. Buckley, who said we should legalize drugs period. And let’s not forget one of the Final Four in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, Ron Paul, who continues to take flak from the party for advocating the same.
Now the Economist, the most prestigious organ of capitalism, has joined the chorus. In a news story, the U.K.-based magazine reports that the heads of Latin American governments are not rolling over anymore. The heads of the nations most beleaguered by this endless “war” are basically telling Uncle Sam: You guys are the consumers. If you people keep wanting the stuff, there are going to be drug lords supplying it.
Instead of outlawing it, they say, we could be regulating it and ending the violence that has made the entire nation of Mexico a virtual rogue state. Not to mention all of the tax revenue they could be collecting on this most valuable of exports.
Not long ago, noiZe’s senior editor, Michael Taylor, wrote a great article in the magazine on the human cost in this country. Did you know that there are more young black men in jail than college — a huge proportion of them there on drug charges?
The answer: Legalize it. All of it. Now.
And if you’re going to respond, “But that will create more addicts,” take a look at the excellent documentary by Ken Burns that was on PBS on Prohibition. Not only did the national ban on liquor not discourage people from drinking, it encouraged drinking. When Prohibition ended, so did alcohol abuse.
Do you think anyone living in any major city (or these days, most rural areas) who wanted to score crystal meth couldn’t do so within five minutes of texting or phone calls? But, as bad as the tina epidemic is, we’re not seeing everyone becoming an addict. The temptation is there. People will do what people do.
Except that, by legalizing it, the government can control it, can tax it, and those who do have a problem can seek help without fear of being arrested.
And the nations of Latin America can cease to become armed fortresses.
I’ve said for now near 40yrs, that so-called drug prohibition laws and interdicts are costly and extremely harmful. Humans have been playing around with drugs, psychotropics, and plants since when? Life, at least 5000yrs if not probably a lot longer. Get over it. Legalize them all NOW!
By Jimbo Mona on 03-29-2012