Former L.A. Cop Calls for Legalizing Drugs, "There's Not One Metric Showing the Current Policy Works"
LA Times -- "The way former LA cop Stephen Downing sees it, the war on drugs hasn't reduced drug use and the violence that accompanies it; it's made matters worse. Law enforcement and the drug lords have been in an arms race for more than 40 years, perpetuating their own existence in a never-ending escalation that has bloated prison budgets and robbed us of funding for education and basic human services. The killing fields hold the bodies of cops, dealers and innocent victims. And still, after incalculable costs in blood and money, neither the supply nor the demand has abated.
Since then, California's prison population has exploded, gangs still control drug trade from inside and outside of prison, Mexican cartel violence has become all the more savage and law enforcement policy remains largely unchanged. Part of the reason, Downing suspects, is that law enforcers have gotten dependent on the asset seizures that are divvied up among various agencies and used to keep the whole thing humming along.
"There is not one metric that says this policy approach is working," said Downing, who believes decriminalization would lower drug prices and profits and defang criminal enterprises. He noted that the leaders of several Latin American countries have begun calling for an exploration of legalization."