Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Continued Failure of the War on Drugs

We all know the war on drugs has failed. There is no counter argument to this statement - it is simply a fact. Even the far right opposition can’t argue with me on that one. No matter where your moral compass points, or where you stand on the field of “family values”, any logical look upon this ill-fated venture brings about the same hypothesis. It has destroyed the lives of millions of the men, women and children in this great nation, forced its morality on many more, and infringed upon our basic rights as citizens of this Earth to do with our bodies what we will.

Any halfway intelligent person can read the facts like a Sunday paper. Even the police officers who enforce the laws know the truth. Organizations such as LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) regularly speaks out upon the subject. Recently a member of their ranks, Howard Wooldridge, a former Texas law enforcement officer, rode 3,300 miles on his horse across North America to protest the government’s stance and bring awareness to this subject.

"When I was a detective, I was realizing that about 75 percent of felony crime I handled was generated by the prohibition of drugs. People breaking into my houses, people robbing my 711's, stealing cars because they needed money for drugs. I know if people could buy their drugs cheaply, they wouldn't commit so many crimes." Wooldridge was quoted as saying.

He is right. A study done by Gary Jenkins, a professor at Vanderbilt University, entitled “Prohibition, Alcohol and Murder: Untangling Countervailing Mechanisms" states on page 31, “Generalizing from the findings on Prohibition, we can hypothesize that decriminalization would increase the use of the previously criminalized drug, but would decrease violence associated with attempts to control illicit markets and as resolutions to disputes between buyers and sellers. Moreover, because the perception of violence associated with the drug market can lead people who are not directly involved to be prepared for violent self-defense, there could be additional reductions in peripheral settings when disputes arise”

Basically, what these guys are saying is that by making drugs illegal, you are actually creating more crime. Imagine if cigarettes were illegal, and the lengths some would go to in order to get a nicotine fix. I know people that would cut off their own mother's head. Under our current nicotine laws, these people can go to the store and get their nicotine fix, and mom gets to keep her head.

Think about it, a heroin or crack addict will rob you and kill you to get a fix, and they do this because they never know where that next fix is coming from or how they are going to get the high amounts of money required. When you take away that problem by making the drugs they seek readily available and cheap, that takes away their motivation to rob and kill you. That, my friends, is a good thing.

Sure, we would have crackheads running the streets without shame, but we already have that now. I, for one, would feel better if I knew the money they spent on the crack they smoked earlier went to bettering education instead of buying their drug dealers latest piece of bling.

In these days of war and natural disasters, with the government screaming to anyone that will listen that they need more money, the answer to nearly all of our country’s financial woes is right in front of us. The problem is that if the government does legalize and take control of the drug system in this country, they would have to admit that they made a very, very big mistake.

That will never happen. To some, ego is more important than making this society a better place for all to live.


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