Sunday, July 6, 2008

War on Drugs

It is good to see this article on the most viewed list of the latimes. It is pretty clear that opposition to the war on drugs remains high, perhaps we will soon manage to actually do something about it. There are few more clear cut examples of how we could have the government do less, charge us less taxes, and make our lives better in the process.

"After we came to our senses and repealed alcohol prohibition, homicides dropped by 60% and continued to decline until World War II. Today's murder rates would likely again plummet if we ended drug prohibition.

So what is the answer? Start by removing criminal penalties for marijuana, just as we did for alcohol. If we were to do this, according to state budget figures, California alone would save more than $1 billion annually, which we now spend in a futile effort to eradicate marijuana use and to jail nonviolent users. Is it any wonder that marijuana has become the largest cash crop in California?

We could generate billions of dollars by taxing the stuff, just as we do with tobacco and alcohol.

We should also reclassify most Schedule I drugs (drugs that the federal government alleges have no medicinal value, including marijuana and heroin) as Schedule II drugs (which require a prescription), with the government regulating their production, overseeing their potency, controlling their distribution and allowing licensed professionals (physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.) to prescribe them. This course of action would acknowledge that medical issues, such as drug addiction, are best left under the supervision of medical doctors instead of police officers."

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