Whatever your feelings about the legalization of drugs, one fact is clear: The United States’ “War on Drugs” has been an abysmal failure.
According to this story reported by United Press International, since 1970 we’ve spent one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000.00) and lost hundreds of lives in a futile attempt to stem the flow of drugs deemed illegal to their ready, willing and eager customer base in the U.S.
If anything, the problem has grown worse over time. Here’s what U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske has to say:
“In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,” Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. “Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified.”
It’s hard to believe that we never learned the lesson of Prohibition which gave rise to widespread organized crime in the 1920s and 30s. People are going to have their drinks and their drugs. It’s as simple as that. And, right now, the Mexican drug lords make Al Capone look like a pussycat!
My answer: legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. It’s politically inconceivable to think that cocaine or heroin will ever be legalized but they aren’t the big money makers right now, high-grade pot is. As for pharmaceutical drugs – they’re already “regulated” but are probably more popular and available than ever as illegal/recreational substances.
Methamphetamine? Forget about it! That stuff is bad news any way you look at it, would never get legalized and is mostly manufactured domestically anyway.
No, legalizing pot will not answer all of our national drug problems. But it will cost the drug lords a lot of money and will help support a lot of states and municipalities.