Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Former Cops: "It's Time to Legalize Drugs"

From today's Washington Post, two former Baltimore police officers argue that "It's Time to Legalize Drugs":

Nationwide, a police officer dies on duty nearly every other day. Too often a flag-draped casket is followed by miles of flashing red and blue lights. Even more officers are shot and wounded, too many fighting the war on drugs. The prohibition on drugs leads to unregulated, and often violent, public drug dealing. Perhaps counterintuitively, better police training and bigger guns are not the answer.

Drug users generally aren't violent. Most simply want to be left alone to enjoy their high. It's the corner slinger who terrifies neighbors and invites rivals to attack. Public drug dealing creates an environment where disputes about money or respect are settled with guns.

We simply urge the federal government to retreat. Let cities and states (and, while we're at it, other countries) decide their own drug policies. Many would continue prohibition, but some would try something new. California and its medical marijuana dispensaries provide a good working example, warts and all, that legalized drug distribution does not cause the sky to fall.

Having fought the war on drugs, we know that ending the drug war is the right thing to do -- for all of us, especially taxpayers. While the financial benefits of drug legalization are not our main concern, they are substantial. In a July referendum, Oakland, Calif., voted to tax drug sales by a 4-to-1 margin. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that ending the drug war would save $44 billion annually, with taxes bringing in an additional $33 billion.

Without the drug war, America's most decimated neighborhoods would have a chance to recover. Working people could sit on stoops, misguided youths wouldn't look up to criminals as role models, our overflowing prisons could hold real criminals, and -- most important to us -- more police officers wouldn't have to die.

MP: Simply put, the "War on Drugs" isn't really a war against illegal drugs like marijuana, it's a war against typically non-violent Americans who happen to choose to use drugs that are arbitrarily declared to be illegal, and innocent police officers who are too often victims of this "war." As the two officers say, let's "Legalize It."

Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/17/2009 8:00 PM, Blogger Audacity17 said...

It should be decriminalized at the federal level, not legalized.

At 8/17/2009 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, Doctor Leary!

At 8/17/2009 10:29 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

Personally, I'm not for legalizing drugs. But, must admit that I'm having a tough time understanding why alcohol is legal while marijuana is not.

Oh yeah, forgot, better lobbyists!

At 8/18/2009 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is outstanding.

Cabo, why not? Are you implying that alcohol should be illegal too? You know what happened when they tried to make alcohol illegal....

The one thing about legalizing marijuana is that we already have a model for what might likely happen. You look at what happened after prohibition.

At 8/18/2009 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

California and its medical marijuana dispensaries provide a good working example, warts and all, that legalized drug distribution does not cause the sky to fall.

At least it doesn't fall on them. But if you happen to live near a national forest, watch out.

Mexican drug smugglers tied to California fire

LOS ANGELES, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Wildfire investigators in California are looking for marijuana growers tied to a Mexican drug cartel whom they suspect ignited a blaze that has charred more than 87,000 acres (35,200 hectares) of a national forest.



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