Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yale Law Prof: Legalize It

Decriminalizing the possession and use of marijuana would raise billions in taxes and eliminate much of the profits that fuel bloodshed and violence in Mexico.

The drug-fueled murders and mayhem in Mexico bring to mind the Prohibition-era killings in Chicago. Although the Mexican violence dwarfs the bloodshed of the old bootleggers, both share a common motivation: profits. These are turf wars, fought between rival gangs trying to increase their share of the market for illegal drugs. Seventy-five years ago, we sensibly quelled the bootleggers' violence by repealing the prohibition of alcohol. The only long-term solution to the cartel-related murders in Mexico is to legalize the other illegal drugs we overlooked when we repealed Prohibition in 1933.

We can try to deal with the Mexican murderers as we first dealt with Al Capone and his minions, or we can apply the lessons we learned from alcohol prohibition and finish dismantling the destructive prohibition experiment. We should begin by decriminalizing marijuana now.

~Steven Duke, law professor at Yale Law School, in today's WSJ


21 Comments:

At 4/25/2009 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an idiot!
With his logic, we should allow people of any age to buy alcohol and cigarettes because we could raise billions in taxes from the youth on these items.
Also get rid of the bans on advertising for these items so we can save the print and billboard media and collect taxes on their increased profits from ad sales.

 
At 4/25/2009 2:43 PM, Anonymous AMATI NONYMUS said...

"
Duke, law professor at Yale Law School, in today's WSJ


Posted @ 7:39
"

Prohibition is a power vacuum with the sweet smell of honey. Such a fragrance initiates a hive of activity from the desperately poor, the desperately powerless as they rush in to fill vacuum. Problem with pulling the rug out from under this racket? The money previously laundered from the first half of the game will be socked away for second half. Halftime will be used by the mob to regroup, retrain, and re-corrupt politicians in all countries. When the mob then regains control they will then re-levy the legislation, the legislated prohibition. Is the game over, or is this halftime?

Only number you need now crunch, "Why campus cops at Yale did not catch red-handed errant Law Professor when he was smuggling onto campus all those MP3 movies of Duke Basketball Games?"

Naaaaaaaa
!

 
At 4/25/2009 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, wine is commonly consumed with meals in much of Europe. maybe early training is better than the 'forbidden fruit' method of hide it till you can't no more.

It only took about 10 years to repeal alcohol prohibition, yet the drug war has continued for thirty - I officially declare the baby boom dumber than their parents.

 
At 4/25/2009 11:24 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Interesting to see "libertarians" making the argument that drugs should be legalized so that the government could tax them. Seems a bit disingenuous to me.

 
At 4/26/2009 6:58 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Amazing...

I can see why Steven B. Duke is at an ivy league madrassa...

From Duke's praise of Portugal: "A most impressive experiment has been underway in Portugal since 2001, when that country decriminalized the possession and personal use of all psychotropic drugs"...

Can't help but wonder if one of the end results of this alledgedly 'impressive experiment' is the following: Portugal's present economic conditions...

 
At 4/26/2009 8:27 AM, Blogger Paul said...

How's about we build the border wall and then see what happens?

 
At 4/26/2009 12:05 PM, Anonymous Potatochef said...

There is a big difference between illegal drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc..)and alchol.

Nobody wants to enforce the laws we have on the books.

No probation. No timeout for good behavior. No second chances.

Build the freakin wall and patrol the borders.

You just have to wonder what goes through people's minds when they think that legal sales of heroin and cocaine would lead to a more stable society.

Makes me think they got a headstart on using these drugs.

 
At 4/26/2009 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fine, legalize all drugs but do away with cars, trains, airplanes and all heavy machinery that can be used by the druggies to kill people....

Maybe we should conquer Cuba and send all the druggies over there....
And homosexuals, socialists, atheists, tree huggers....

I remember a Ray Bradbury story about that...

 
At 4/26/2009 7:26 PM, Blogger Graham said...

All of ya'll are basing your arguments on one critical assumption, and that is there are people out there who would use drugs if they weren't illegal. And come on, if your gonna use drugs, your obviously not worried about the health effects, which to me are much worse than any thing the cops do. Ever seen a meth head? Those guys aren't worried about the police, and I seriously doubt that there's alot of people out there that are saying to themselves, i'd really like to do heroin, but you know I don't want to break the law. please.

 
At 4/26/2009 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We the U.S. taxpayer should be seeking different solutions, after all we haven't won the forty year war on drugs yet and it now costs around $42 Billion to fund it.

 
At 4/26/2009 9:44 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"We the U.S. taxpayer should be seeking different solutions, after all we haven't won the forty year war on drugs yet and it now costs around $42 Billion to fund it"...

Well anon @ 8:16 PM, that's a salient point...

Funny thing is that the same argument could/should be applied to that other massive transfer of wealth, LBJ's Great Society nanny state programs...

 
At 4/26/2009 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny thing is that the same argument could/should be applied to that other massive transfer of wealth, LBJ's Great Society nanny state programs...

Ya you want to fund AIG, BOA, and Iraq.

 
At 4/27/2009 10:17 AM, Blogger Marko said...

Let the states decide.

I have to admit, however, that this is my response to almost all "what should be legal and illegal" questions. Its kinda in the constitution and all, yo.

 
At 4/27/2009 2:06 PM, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

That slacker Michael Phelps! If he hadn't been smokin' dope, he could have won something like... 24 gold medals!

 
At 4/27/2009 4:31 PM, Blogger David F. Mitchell said...

Pot is too easy to grow - anybody can do it in their backyard (unlike alcohol). I highly doubt the government would raise billions in taxes on a commodity you could produce for free at home (if it were ultimately legalized).

 
At 4/28/2009 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David F. Mitchell -
Not everyone has a green thumb and wants to wait 60-90 days to grow it. Lots of other things are "easy" to grow yet consumers choose to purchase them instead.

 
At 4/28/2009 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"With his logic, we should allow people of any age to buy alcohol and cigarettes because we could raise billions in taxes from the youth on these items."

The issue of giving an adult the right to make their own choices vs. the issue of deciding when a person is an adult are two separate things.

 
At 4/28/2009 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evidence shows that prohibition actually often increases interest in and the use of the prohibited substance.

One of the best ways to get everyone interested in a book, movie, TV commercial, etc is to censor it.

The psychology of prohibition is complex with many subtle attributes that make it a very ineffective tool to be wielded by the clumsy hand of our government.
It's like giving a flute to a gorilla.

 
At 4/28/2009 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a brilliant, but old idea, and there is no doubt at all that it would work and offers a great solution to the problem. It is perfectly rational. People opposed to it based on these comments are making emotional arguments instead of just objectively weighing the pros and cons.

Even if there were no tax revenues to be had, it would save the government from continuing its very expensive and deadly failed "war."

Using cocaine and heroin as comparisons with marijuana don't work either. Alcohol is as much or more dangerous than marijuana. The only reason that you would think otherwise is because you have labeled one a certain way because of its legal status.

 
At 4/28/2009 2:48 PM, Blogger Michael said...

If people want it they're going to get it. If it doesn't cause more harm than it's worth - create a legal market for it. Come on people - this is free market! This is the stuff you guys like eat up like candy. What's the sense in wanting "free-market capitalism" when you're willing to stifle one of the richest trades on earth?

Oh that's right - it's because pot puts a lot of lower class citizens in prison - that's why the conservatives love it. Nevermind free market. Lets lock up the poor people!

 
At 6/22/2009 2:10 AM, Blogger SINE NOMINE said...

Legalization wouldn't be an economic boom IMHO - but I bet it'd be a boon for civil liberties and safety.

 

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