Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Drug War

The other day I was listening to National Public Radio talk about the horrible situation along the northern Mexico border with the U.S.  The story was about the horrendous violence associated with the battles between law enforcement and powerful drug cartels, and all the thousands of lives that have been lost, both innocent and not.  

The interviewer posed questions to members of the law enforcement community as well as some of the civilians who have been affected by this drug war.  When it came to possible solutions, everyone was scratching their head.  They said perhaps more police; maybe the army can get involved; more "help" from the U.S. (like we haven't "helped" enough).

There was no mention of what I see as the obvious solution: legalize absolutely all drugs.
Where are the cartels getting their income from?  The highly profitable trafficking of drugs and other contra-band into the U.S.  Why is there so much money in this?  Its is very simple economics.  There is an incredibly high demand for drugs here in America, as well as everywhere else in the world.  The drugs that are illegal are incredibly expensive due to this very high demand for them and the laws that make them illegal to posses.  It is obvious that there is a market for drugs, and to make it a criminal offense to purchase them makes them dangerous for more than just the user.  There are a couple reasons this is so.

First, it is puerile to think that drug use can be stopped with legislation.  Billions of dollars and countless lives have been spent on this idiotic experiment that is the "war on drugs".  Humans have always and will always ingest substances to alter their state of consciousness.  This is a fact.

Secondly, when something is made illegal that there is a high demand for, the price inevitably rises, as well as the danger to the consumer.  Think alcohol during Prohibition, prostitution, gambling, and drugs.  When the price of something that someone "needs" to function goes up, they become desperate and will do anything to get their fix.  A good example of this is cancer patients homes being broken into by ordinary people gripped by addiction needing some Oxycontin (a heroin substitute).  Peoples homes are being robbed, cars broken into, purses and wallets stolen, to fund the high cost addiction.

There are many dubious reasons that drugs remain illegal, so who benefits from these laws?  During Prohibition one of the strongest supporters of the prohibition was Al Capone, the famous gangster.  He made truckloads of money smuggling booze to America and meeting the demand of thirsty consumers.  Look at the prisons in the U.S.  How many citizens are in prison for non-violent drug crimes?  Does it cost taxpayers a lot of hard earned money to keep them there?  How about the countless "drug squads" in every municipality around this country.

Let me stress right now that I am not advocating drug use.  I think that drug addiction is horrific and should be treated as medical issue and not a legal one.  Drugs are bad to do.  There should be real drug education starting in kindergarten.

Imagine that all drugs are legal.  A shot of heroin cost's $2.00 at Rite Aid, behind the counter next to the pipe tobacco and small bottles of booze.  It is a lot easier to scrounge up 2 dollars than it is 100 dollars, right?  Sure, I suspect that you would see an increase in drug use at first.  But look at it this way: there would be a massive decrease in crime.  Massive!  Now the only people being effected by drug use are the users and their families.  Not everyone in society.  I'll stress again, drugs are not good.  

I also believe that a person should be able to do whatever they want to their own body, no matter what possible harm that their actions could result in to themselves.  From using drugs to riding a motorcycle with out a helmet, both of which, I personally think are stupid to do.  I'll talk about the helmet thing later on.

There is big money at stake on both sides of this War on Drugs and it is us left to pay for it in our blood and toil through taxation.  END THIS WAR!!!

1 comment:

  1. Mexico's former president Vicente Fox suggested legalization of drugs recently as well