Thursday, June 2, 2011

Failure of the War on Drugs

This morning I read on MSNBC that the War on Drugs is a failure.  Am I the only person that saw this coming years ago?  The project was a failure from inception.  There was and still is no way to keep track of where the drugs are coming from and how often they are making their way into the country.  Where is the money being spent?  How is it being spent?  Billions of dollars spent on putting pot smokers in jail?  We spend on average 50K a year to keep one person in prison.  Most people don't make that kind of money working a full time job.  So, for every 10,000 people we lock up each year the government spends 500 MILLION dollars.  Yep, half a trillion bucks just on pot smokers.  We could make double that in a year if you legalize and tax it.  We don't even have a clear picture of what the government is spending on this so called "War on Drugs" this is just the breakdown on the prison population of minor drug offenders.  If you remove all the minor offenders from prison at half a trillion a year, debt problem solved.  But no, Nosy Nellie next door thinks more people would become drug addicts if it becomes legal, and she's afraid for the children.  Got some news for ya, prescription drugs are more popular among kids and teens than anything and guess what, THEY ARE LEGAL.  Pot smokers are not violent people, at least none of the smokers I have ever known.  They don't need to steal for their high because pot is cheap, and contrary to popular belief, it is not habit forming it's just relaxing.  It does not make you hallucinate, it will not make you violent or irrational and it kept my dad alive and eating during his chemotherapy.  This is why so many states are trying to make it legal, they see the benefit for the sick as well as the revenue they can generate.  Sometimes the people in Washington seem so foolish and blind.  I'm not saying that we should make ALL drugs legal, some of them are seriously dangerous.  Crack, Meth and cocaine come to mind, but we do have pharmaceutical alternatives for them that we can make OTC by license.  YES, LICENSE.  I'm not an idiot, you have to get a license just like you would to drive.  That's a revenue booster right there, then you tax the product, sell it in shops and make this country some money.  At the same time, you have now created a boat load of jobs.  Unemployment problem solved.  You need growers, pharmacists, shop owners, clerks and an office system equivalent to the DMV to issue the licenses.  That's a good lot of jobs right there.  Not to mention the construction crews to build these places.  We waste so much yet do so little now.  Remember when we used to make things in this country?  Pot smokers are VERY creative, bring back textiles and manufacturing and you'll see a boon for this country that you could never imagine.   Peace.

2 comments:

  1. yea. fuckin tell'em

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  2. The Global Commission on Drug Policy called for a new approach to reducing drug abuse to replace the current strategy of strictly criminalizing drugs and incarcerating drug users while battling criminal cartels that control the drug trade.

    "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," said the report issued by the commission on Thursday.

    The study urges "experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs," adding: "This recommendation applies especially to cannabis, but we also encourage other experiments in decriminalization and legal regulation."

    There are 250 million users of illicit drugs worldwide, with less than a 10th of them classified as dependent, and millions are involved in cultivation, production and distribution, according to U.N. estimates quoted in the report.

    The study adds that decriminalization initiatives do not result in significant increases in drug use.

    "Now is the time to break the taboo on discussion of all drug policy options, including alternatives to drug prohibition," former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said.

    The 19-member panel includes current Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and former heads of state, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, British businessman Richard Branson and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz.

    The commission said fundamental reforms were urgently needed in national and global drug control policies.

    Additional recommendations:

    -- Replace the criminalization and punishment of people who are drug users but do not hurt other people with the offer of health and treatment services to those who need them.

    -- Countries that continue to invest mostly in a law enforcement approach should focus on violent organized crime and drug traffickers.

    -- Promote alternative sentences for small-scale and first-time drug dealers as the majority of these people are not gangsters or organized criminals.

    Other members of the panel include former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former U.S. Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker.

    The report says "vast expenditure" had been spent on criminalization and repressive measures.

    "Repressive efforts directed at consumers impede public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS, overdose fatalities and other harmful consequences of drug use," it adds.

    The commission's report adds that money spent by governments on futile efforts to reduce the supply of drugs and on jailing people on drug-related offenses could be better spent on different ways to reduce drug demand and the harm caused by drug abuse.

    The full report is available here

    (Reporting by Will Dunham, additional reporting by Olesya Dmitracova in London; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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