Monday, January 31, 2011

Surrenduring The War On Drugs

" do we repeal the War on Drugs? By 1933, Americans had had enough of alcohol Prohibition and demanded its repeal. But by that time police had a vested interest in maintaining the huge bureaucracies it had built to battle illegal alcohol and in the huge amounts of assets the government was seizing from ordinary people, including the cars of those who had alcohol on board. With the Depression in full swing, it had become a money and employment issue for government, and some people thought Prohibition would never be repealed because of that fact. But it did get repealed, although the freedoms lost during that era were never fully restored.
We are in the same position today, with a steep recession and huge bureaucracies dependent on all those billions they get to fight the War on Drugs. Government wants to keep drugs illegal, and they'll wage a campaign of lies and threats every time voters have a chance to change things. 

And what about all those terrible predictions about how legalized marijuana will unleash hordes of marijuana-addicted criminals among us who will be driving and going to work under its influence? Portugal has been the testing laboratory for this theory since 2001, when it decriminalized (next best thing to legalizing) all drugs, including even heroine and cocaine. In those intervening nine years, Portugal's drug usage rates have not increased, and Portugal has gone from one of the worst drug-abusing nations in the European Union to one of the least abusing, especially when compared to European countries that have increased their crackdown on drug use. According to the Portugal experiment, government crackdowns make drug usage worse, while a government backoff, which takes drug abuse out of the criminal arena and puts it into the medical arena, does not increase usage rates."

Forever follow the money trail. Prohibition turned governments into big-business enterprises and but of course they shifted their sights to other drugs once alcohol became legal again. 

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