The ‘war on drugs’ is far more dangerous than drugs themselves. Period.
I had a great conversation with a police chief from a pretty big town in New Jersey the other day about the state's drug problem. He thinks we're enabling people and coddling them and this might be the reason for the spike in opiate use and overdoses.
He is making some progress and is one of the many caring law enforcement people who really care and are sincerely trying to save lives. When I told him I think ALL drugs should be decriminalized, he almost fell over.
I could tell instantly he thought he might be talking to some sort of nut case. I do not use drugs, nor do I condone their use or abuse. But when you look at the facts and the data and not react on emotion and fear, prohibition and criminalization are far more deadly in the so called "war of drugs" than the drugs themselves.
Take a look at Portugal for example. They decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Drug overdose deaths have fallen sharply. They have the second lowest rate out of the 30 countries in the European Union. Adult drug use has fallen and so has the rate of cases of HIV among drug users. Even the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University, Jeffrey Miron, makes a brilliant case for legalizing all drugs.
The devastation here and in foreign producing countries from prohibition is staggering. Mass murder, political corruption, neighborhood violence, huge costs in law enforcement and public safety are just a few. When you contrast those with the damage some drugs do to SOME drug users, it's not even close.
Just as prohibition didn't work with alcohol in the 1920s, it's making things far worse today with the war of drugs.
Prohibition grew the mafia and other criminal organizations, but that pales in comparison to the drug gangs and cartels of today. Part of the problem is leadership.
Take our governor for instance. Please. The other day he took the opportunity to slam proponents of legalizing marijuana, warning that the Democrats are eager to do it once they get a Democratic governor in this November.
They probably will, but not for reasons of civil liberties or safety. They want the TAX MONEY to feed the beast of big state government that they worship.
What we need are political leaders with the courage to tell it like it truly is, and not prey upon people's fears and old stereotypes and methods. Drugs, in general are a federal issue, and the current administration shows no signs of new thinking or a new approach. But here in New Jersey, as I've said before, with a likely soon-to-come Democrat governor, weed will be legalized fairly soon.
Again, I do not use or promote the use of recreational drugs, but when you rationally examine the facts and our current circumstances, most clear thinking individuals should come to the same conclusion.
The war on drugs is a dangerous, pointless exercise that is far more dangerous than the drugs themselves. Period.
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