As many of you may have noticed, I am quite vocal about the need for legalization of drugs. It is not because I support drug use or abuse, but because we have failed to do anything other than victimize our own people while making criminals rich. Instead of finding resolve to America’s drug problems we have created a far more serious problem. Our “War On Drugs” has proven to be a very costly and negligent way of resolving our problem. There is an organization I discovered that speaks the same language I do. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is that organization and their web site address appears at the end of this article. Okay, on with what I have to say . . .
When I was but a youngster, my father told me that it was acceptable to attempt something three times. If I had not received the desired result by then, it was time to try something else. There is a lot of wisdom in those words. And, many men in this Country have said and believe the same as my father did. You would figure that if you cannot cannot succeed at a task by the third time, you would learn that you are going about it all wrong. An intelligent man would were he still interested in succeeding, would not continue doing things the same way. He would instead, change direction, look for a different way, or at least try a different approach. Most men would, but not our Government. Men and women that we see as educated, intelligent, and honorable people are who we elect to office. So, why are they so closed minded on the topic of drugs? For that matter, why is it difficult at all to have an open mind and listen to others and see that they may have a better idea?
Our war on drugs started in the 1970’s. Actually in 1971 Richard Nixon declared war on drugs for America. Since that time we have had 43 years of making the same effort, the same way, and with the same result . . . Failure! For over 43 years we have continued making the same failure when we know that we should have tried something else after the third try.
Also since that time, due to our drug laws and policies, we have taken people that had bright futures and reduced their futures to rubble. Do you have any idea how many students became criminals over drugs? What most people fail to remember is that during the 1960’s &1970’s there was a whole bunch of dope going on. Everybody was trying it. Every where you turned somebody was doing it, and there are very few that can claim that they had not tried drugs during those years. And if you do not think that drugs were in use by the affluent, you are nuts. Sure you can find the one in one hundred thousand that never tried drugs, but it will not be anyone you know from the young adults that grew up during those years. So many people from that time had to admit that they had tried drugs, that certain police applicant interviews took the position that the applicant was likely lying had they said that they had never tried drugs. Imagine that for a moment. So many people had at least tried drugs that saying you hadn’t during a police hiring interview, got your score reduced instead of of increased.
I will not be so long winded in this posting as to give you tons of detailed and specific information about drugs but if you are interested in learning a little truth, you could click the following link to download a pdf file that will enlighten you a bit: Drug War facts | Factbook
There are tons of documents available that provide insight into our failed war on drugs. And some of you folks that think you know about drugs, are utterly clueless on the topic.
Allow me to share a few facts with you:
Did you know….
Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000
Number of people arrested in 2012 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.55 million
Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2012: 749,825
- Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 658,231 (88 percent)
Number of Americans incarcerated in 2012 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,228,400 or 1 in every 108 adults, the highest incarceration rate in the world
Proportion of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison that are black or Hispanic, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites: 61 percent
Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 21 + District of Columbia
Estimated annual revenue that California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana: $1,400,000,000
Number of people killed in Mexico’s drug war since 2006: 70,000+
Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction: 200,000+
Number of people in the U.S. that died from a drug overdose in 2010: 38,329
Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently-illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent
One-third of all AIDS cases in the U.S. have been caused by syringe sharing: 354,000 people
U.S. federal government support for syringe access programs: $0.00, thanks to a federal ban reinstated by Congress in 2011 that prohibits any federal assistance for them
( Thanks to the folks at DrugPolicy.org for the preceding information )
The information that I have yet to see in anyone’s statistics is: How many people by the act of being found guilty of a non-violent drug offense, lost their right to vote. There are many losses to being found guilty of drug offenses. Or, how many kids would have turned out to be a true benefit to our society if their drug offense had not of ruined such a future.
Incarceration of drug offenders created a more severe threat to our society. Instead of drug offenders receiving an education in our schools, they received their education in our correctional systems. Corrections corrects nothing. Corrections teaches non-violent drug offenders how to be real criminals. Just to survive behind the walls these people have to divide racially, some joining gangs for protection. And, because their future goals likely will never be achieved most give up on doing anything of consequence with their lives.
Prisons by nature, are violent. Thus a non-violent man that gets incarcerated in one of our prisons, will either learn how to be violent, or not. “Not” meaning the man does not have to complete his sentence although he never receives parole. Sending a non-violent drug offender to prison provides absolutely no benefit to the offender, or our society. But for 43 years we continue doing so.
Is it possible that treatment is a better option than incarceration? Is it possible that just letting the person do the drug of their choice so long as they bring no harm to others is acceptable? Consider this; Drug Users are going to do drugs regardless the law. America is the land of the free. So why can’t a adult person have the choice of doing drugs or not? We allow the choice of alcohol, we allow the choice of tobacco, why not drugs. Myself, I am a realist. If Junky John wants to shoot up heroin, in the privacy of his living room, and kills himself, tough shit. Everybody is ready to jump up from their seat and attack me? Why? Do you think you or I can control Junky John’s drug habit? Never! If Junky John wants to do dope, he will. He knew the risks before doing the dope. If he dies, it is by his decision. We cannot control the drug user. But, we can control drugs in the United States.
Were our Government to legalize drugs tomorrow the following things would happen:
- Drugs would be manufactured by Pharmaceutical Companies and/or grown by Licensed Agriculture
- This would eliminate the home laboratory manufacturing and put these people out of business
- The thing most dangerous to drug users is the stuff mixed with the drugs when made. Drugs by Pharmaceutical manufacture would not carry these dangerous ingredients.
- Drug Users would be able to openly purchase the drugs of their choice from Retailers
- This would eliminate street corner Dealers and the violence associated with them.
- This would also provide jobs, taxable incomes, and taxable sales.
- The Drug Empires like the Cartels, would immediately lose close to 95% of their sales market
- While this would not prevent their other criminal activities, it would put an end to their America Market.
- The violence associated with these people would cease.
- Growing, Manufacturing, Packaging, Transportation, Distribution, Wholesalers, and Retailers would all require new employees to facilitate the sales of drugs.
- This would mean a whole bunch of new jobs.
- Would likely eliminate unemployment.
- Again, Taxation.
- Were Drug Issues taken to Medical Services rather than Judicial Process, a score of new medical services would be created to facilitate drug related issues.
- More new jobs.
- Positive impact on unemployment.
The preceding is just a few of the positive things that would happen were the US Government to legalize drugs. How about negatives? Do you really believe that everyone in America will become a doper were dope legalized? Not true, the following negative things likely will happen should drugs become legalized:
- The number of Drug Users may increase by a small margin initially, but return to similar figures to today a short time later.
- Drug Usage/Users are not impacted by legalization. If a person is going to do dope, their going to do dope.
- Drug related deaths due to actual drug use will decrease due to the lack of other chemicals in the drugs.
- People will have to accept that people dying from such use chose to do the drug.
There may be other negatives to legalization of drugs, but there will be far less negatives compared to our drug policy of today. The present War On Drugs has had 43 years of failure, is responsible for deaths of thousands of people (both in the Law Enforcement ranks and the communities they serve), and has benefitted nobody but the criminal empires it created. Yes, the criminal empires like the Cartels are the result of our War On Drugs. All those people dying on our southern borders are due to our War On Drugs. We have got to do something different. Two States legalizing marijuana is not enough to make a positive difference. As a matter of fact, the failure of the rest of the States to follow Colorado and Washington will likely have negative effect on our drug problems in America.
I must ask you to note the following: I DO NOT ADVOCATE, SUGGEST, OR RECOMMEND ANYONE DO DRUGS OF ANY SORT. My support for Drug Legalization is in belief that there has got to be a better way than the waste and harm caused by the War On Drugs and the fact that so long as criminals control drugs, America will never resolve it’s drug problems.
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