“War on Drugs” hit by world leaders

Albert Einstein, offering perhaps the most succinct definition ever of “insanity,” said it was performing the very same task repeatedly, yet expecting a different result each time. The modern world’s most famous physicist could easily have been describing the government’s five-decade old “war on drugs.”

In the past half century, one administration after another has spent billions trying to rid the country of those who choose to ingest non-government sanctioned substances. Far from achieving any measure of ultimate success, the result of this so-called “war” has been a net increase in illicit drug users, a massive increase in police powers, a huge increase in America’s prison population, and a depressing decrease in civil liberties.

Now, a breath of fresh air has wafted into the debate over whether it makes sense for governments to continue to engage in this costly conflict. A report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a panel composed of prominent world leaders, including former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, has concluded that the “global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”

Unfortunately, and sadly, Washington’s response to this impressive report is likely to be to ignore it, and keep right on marching to the same tune. In so doing, the federal government ignores another key and irrefutable conclusion of the Commission’s report: that the ongoing war on drugs has caused the “growth of a ‘huge criminal black market,’ financed by the risk-escalated profits of supplying international demand for illicit drugs.”

In addition to recommending treatment rather than incarceration for non-violent drug addicts, the commission’s solution is decriminalization of drugs. Despite reservations that most politicians in the United States harbor about decriminalization, the policy has a track record of demonstrable success.

For example, when Portugal decriminalized drugs a decade ago, there were dire warnings that drug usage would increase dramatically and the country would become a destination for tourists seeking to get high. A 2009 white paper, authored by Glenn Greenwald for the Cato Institute, found such predictions have not materialized.

Through his extensive research, Greenwald also found that “drug-related pathologies — such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage — have decreased dramatically”; and in so doing, decriminalization actually opened the door to better treatment options. Portugal still fines people for possession, and applies no criminal penalties; although drug trafficking remains a crime.

The conclusions reached by the Global Commission are hardly new. In 1996, the National Review, founded by conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., declared the “War on Drugs is lost.” The magazine’s advocacy of drug legalization was based on pragmatic considerations. The Review also understood that the war was “diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states.” Political leaders predictably ignored what the National Review knew.

Outside the United States, political leaders understand it is our country, with its seeming insatiable appetite for illicit drugs, which must lead the way toward reform. According to the Los Angeles Times, for example, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who says he is open to dialogue despite having stepped up his country’s own bloody war against brutal drug cartels, understands it would be “absurd” to consider legalization in Mexico as long as narcotics remain illegal north of the border, “where the massive demand determines the prices and profitability of the drug trade.”

The rest of the world may be waiting for the United States to at least acknowledge this latest credible conclusion that the billions we spend trying to change human nature, will achieve no more success than in the past decades. Unfortunately, it probably waits in vain.

by Bob Barr — The Barr Code

150 comments Add your comment

Brandon C

June 13th, 2011
5:38 am

I completely agree with Bob on this one. The “War on Drugs” policy has failed the American people time and time again. It has contributed to the moral disinclination of harm reduction, and has favored the criminalization, marginalization, and stigmatization of otherwise victim-less acts of self injustice. Those who do no harm to others, most notably cannabis (i.e marijuana) users, should not be subject to exposure to the criminal world. To curb youth ease-of-access to marijuana we must regulate its production, consumption, distribution, and taxation. Otherwise, we’re leaving it up to the drug dealers to check for IDs (which they don’t), the public safety is at risk of the criminal black market, and responsible adults are prosecuted for choosing a substance that is safer than alcohol. To declare otherwise would be a simple fallacy of observation.

[...] “War on Drugs” hit by world leadersAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The modern world's most famous physicist could easily have been describing the government's five-decade old “war on drugs.” In the past half century, one administration after another has spent billions trying to rid the country of those who choose to …and more » [...]

DeborahinAthens

June 13th, 2011
7:01 am

Legalize all drugs, tax them, and use a portion of the money received to provide treatment instead of putting users in prison. It will be an amazing change for the better, not only for society, but fiscally, as well.

arnold

June 13th, 2011
7:14 am

The hard core right, especially the religious right, will continue to oppose any liberalization of drug laws. The politicians of the right don’t have the courage to lead.

Hammer and Cycle

June 13th, 2011
7:21 am

Some folks think that Einstein was NOT talkin’ ’bout insanity. He was referring to quantum physics’ claim that you can do the same experiment over and over and get different results. He was calling Neils Bohr “insane” as a quick cut. Einstein didn’t understand probability. Incredible, eh?

Quantum Physics 101: Light has to be observed to exist. Otherwise there’s only a probability of there being light.

Quantumly Insane

June 13th, 2011
7:35 am

I don’t need no drugs man. I only took 22 hits of acid, man….uh, two hits. and I never did no downers man.

The war on drugs is necessary simply because there are so many morons, imbeciles and stuntwits commenting on blogs, that why should we aggravate the troll problem by encouraging same to do drugs? We simply can’t have these hollow-skulled mullets-in-training driving on our roads or flying our planes (pilots’ ranks are filled with morons. Witness that cyber-caused over-flight a while ago.)

Morons. All.

They make you silly and rabid; drugs are for kids.

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
7:53 am

arnold: I think you’d be very surprised. The hard core religious right is a lot more concerned with abortion than drugs. In fact, I would hazard to say that few citizens are in favor of the continued war on drugs, and that it is entrenched interests that keep it going. SWAT teams that will lose their funding, and thus reason for existing, criminal lawyers who will lose half their clients, judges who won’t have enough cases to keep them employed, prison guards who won’t have enough prisoners left to justify the number of guards employed, DEA agents who won’t have anything to do, politicians who are scared of appearing soft on crime, these are some of the many reasons the war on drugs exists to this day.

It’s not the religious right and you are fooling yourself if you think that. The enemy here is the government itself, and more specifically, the people employed by the war on drugs, the people getting rich off of it.

Jefferson

June 13th, 2011
8:01 am

Saving money has never been popular with the GOP, they will cut their nose to spite their face. They have no credibility, what have they done for GA ?

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
8:16 am

Some simple facts:

* A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs, such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine.

* Due to Prohibition, the availability of mind-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered, that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.

* The massive majority of people who use drugs do so recreationally – getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning.

* A small minority of people will always experience drug use as problematic.

* Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement, even whole governments, and induced an incalculable amount of suffering and death.

* It’s not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste hundreds of billions of our money in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.

* Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the prohibited drugs have ever done.

* The United States jails a larger percentage of it’s own citizens than any other country in the world, including those run by the worst totalitarian regimes.

* In ‘the land formally known as free’, all citizens have been stripped of their 4th amendment rights and are now totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into their homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary.

* As with torture, prohibition is a grievous crime against humanity. If you support it, or even simply tolerate it by looking the other way while others commit it, you are an accessory to a very serious moral transgression against humanity.

* America re-legalized certain drug use in 1933. The drug was alcohol, and the 21st amendment re-legalized its production, distribution and sale. Both alcohol consumption and violent crime dropped immediately as a result, and, very soon after, the American economy climbed out of that same prohibition engendered abyss into which it had previously been pushed.

Carlosgvv

June 13th, 2011
8:31 am

The only problem I have with drugs is that more and more people would be driving impared and more deaths would result. It may be, though, that other drug related deaths would go down so maybe it’s a tradeoff. As for Einstein, if we vote every four years for President and think that this time it will make a difference, does that make all voters insane?

FreddyF

June 13th, 2011
8:55 am

The War on Drugs is probably one of the reasons the west is drowning in dept. The cost of policing drug users, putting them through the legal system and then keeping them in prison keeps a lot of people in secure employment. Unfortunately, those people are not producing anything that produces any revenue for the country as a whole. They are just taking money from tax payers of their own country. Most drug users are not addicted, don’t have any particular medical problem, work for a living and don’t really need “treatment”. Only the “problem” users make the news, after all. Keeping them in prison is keeping them not only costs a lot of money but prevents them from earning any money.

All this nonsense is called “economic growth”. Unfortunately the growth is cancerous and is a an auto-immune disease of the countries foolish enough to continue with the War on Drugs.

Tosh.No

June 13th, 2011
9:05 am

Carlosgvv, Yes. This country is filled with insane sheep, and it will not get any better any time soon…

Betty

June 13th, 2011
9:07 am

What bothers me most of all is how our government allows the medical field to pump psychotic drugs into young children. This subjects the child’s body to all manner of abnormality and abuse, including loss of appetite. Many act like they’re on meth. Why subject small children to this, and where will this treatment lead them later in life? Plus, look at all our military who commit suicide after continued use of government issued psychotic drugs. Legalizing this dangerous medication was a big mistake, and now some people want MORE! Rethink this, please, Bob!

brad

June 13th, 2011
9:15 am

Betty, please enlighten us as to what specific drugs you are referring to.

Mark

June 13th, 2011
9:17 am

Organized crime and pharmacuetical companies work hand in hand these days. Though the traditional drug cartels exist, a new more disturbing trend is the “wellness Centers” or “Pain Clinics” handing out scripts like candy to “Patients”. These Patients are “Sponsored” by drug dealers who help falsify or obtain bogus MRI’s, Split or buy the script drugs and sale them on the street. Roxies Zanex, Methadone…what you need? These “clinics” even have the nerve to take cash money and move people up in line the day of the visit…”Just a another 350.00 sir and we can have you in and out in a minute…” and the Pharmacuetical companies love the business…

why

June 13th, 2011
9:17 am

why, please tell me why won’t this get serious consideration in Washington or locally? The Christian right just can’t get over decades of anti-drug propaganda to muster up the courage and the brains to leagalize. YOU CANT LEGISLATE MORALITY. It just never works.

why

June 13th, 2011
9:20 am

Carlosgv – look at the studies where other countries legalized….none of your fears came true. let’s stop assuming we know what’s gonna happen when we legalize and pay attn. to the countries who actually did this and have an honest look at what the results were. That’s what’s so upsetting asbout this debate, most people have drawn conclusions based on nothing. Leagalize now, before another rapist or violent criminal gets parroled to make room for sme kind who sold an ounce of an illeagal plant for god’s sake.

Keith

June 13th, 2011
9:29 am

Many agencies depend on confiscation to meet their budgets and for empire building. Twiggs County sheriff’s office size doubled in four years, financed by confiscations. Money and jobs is why it continues.

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
9:30 am

Tell me how you like it when some cracked out wacko does his drugs (legally) and then enters your house and mutilates your family………I can hear it now, “but Your Honor, I was temporarily insane due to legal substances”. I understand that people who want drugs will get drugs, but giving up the fight against this activity totally seems to be a GUTLESS move.

Good Grief

June 13th, 2011
9:31 am

One of the main reasons marijuana isn’t legal already is the lobbying power of cigarette and alcohol companies. I was raised by very religious, right-leaning parents, and I’m very religious myself, but the Libertarian in me says “Legalize.” Studies show that it’s cheaper to legalize and offer treatment plans than to maintain the illegality of these substances. It also frees up room in the prisons for the people who actually deserve to be there and it takes some strain off the taxpayer. And if the government is smart, they’ll find a way to tax the crap out of it, same as with cigarettes.

Bob Barr = hypocrite

June 13th, 2011
9:33 am

From Wikipedia : “Clearly, the court today has ignored the constitutional right and responsibility of Congress to pass laws protecting citizens from dangerous and addictive narcotics, and the right of Congress to exert legislative control over the District of Columbia as the nation’s capital”.
— Bob Barr, March 28, 2002[46]

In less than 10 years, a TOTAL FLIP FLOP. The War on Drugs was as much a failure in 2002 as it is today. Why should anyone listen to what this bozo has to say?

Davey Boy Smith

June 13th, 2011
9:37 am

Really, it makes too much sense to legalize marijuana for it to ever get done. Let’s see, cut the profits of the Mexican drug cartels while providing much needed tax revenues for counties, states and feds. Check.

The government would also have the chance to regulate the strength and potency of the marijuana grown, so that there would not be a continual escalation of varieties as there is now.

Providing much needed jobs for rural communities around the United States? Check.

Destroying the issue of marijuana as a “gateway drug,” by allowing those who wish to partake in it the opportunity to buy if from a legit dealer instead of having to deal in a black market where dealers are always trying to “upsell” their customers. Check.

Enjoying the multitude of other uses that hemp can provide. Check.

The biggest question people should be asking is why marijuana was ever outlawed in the first place. I do believe that we need to continue to rid the country of drugs like ectasy and cocaine, which can cause significant physical and psychological damage to the users, but marijuana is simply not a bad drug.

Give me a break

June 13th, 2011
9:44 am

Is too bad Mr.Barr didn’t tried to do something about it when he was a congressman.

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
9:45 am

Davey Boy, you need to do a little more research on marijuana……..not nearly as harmless as you are saying…………maybe you’ve had too much yourself.

Ramzad

June 13th, 2011
9:50 am

In 1988 former when Mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke told a House Select Committee on Narcotic Abuse and Control that legalization of illicit drugs was an approach the United States should consider he had his head handed to him.

Fast forward almost twenty three years and narco-terrorists are turning Mexico into a failed state,
our narcotics control industry is sucking us dry, our addict population is going through the roof,
and a kilo of cocaine is pretty much bargain basement at Walmart. Go figure….

Lt Col Razorback

June 13th, 2011
10:12 am

If anyone can figure out how to keep drugs, legal or illegal, out of the reach of children, then go for it!!
Tax “dope” at 100% of its price and apply the revenue to lowering the $14 Trillion (with a “T”) deficit, lowering Federal income taxes for EVERYONE (even the s-called “rich), and or shoring up the badly depleted coffers of both Social Security and Medicare.

luangtom

June 13th, 2011
10:15 am

I sit and chuckle when I see those bible-thumping folks sit with their mint-juleps and condemn any and all reference to drugs and their legalization. The same was done during prohibition by, most likely, the ancestors of those condemning the legalization of drugs. It would certainly be a source of new revenue for governments.

The nay-sayers do not listen to reason. Even though this most recent report was completed by a panel of former government servants, it will be ignored because our elected officials feel they know what is best for us and our country. Just look at how well they have done with the deficit, the economy and foreign policy. This topic will continue to be discussed and bantered about and we will continue to see the “war” march on and billions of dollars be spent needlessly. Little changes in Washington, DC, no matter who is sitting in the seats of power.

On a different note…..compare how many drunk-driving deaths you hear about on the news versus how many marijuana-caused driving deaths you hear about. I see few in the AJC reports……..

LukasAtl

June 13th, 2011
10:17 am

Davey Boy,

Marijuana was banned for these reasons:

1. Hemp fiber can produce a better paper than wood (specifically pine), and was a competing product to a number of wood pulp paper makers (William Randoph Hearst to name one).
2. Hemp fibers can be used to create ropes, clothing, etc, competing against artificial fibers (nylon) and cotton.
3. In the 1920’s and 1930’s marijuana was being used by latinos and blacks. The western states pushed outlawing the substance as a means to force the latino populate to leave / emigrate.

Finally, and most importantly to a social conservative, in the 1960’s Marijuana was blamed for the social upheaval at the time …. the current DEA and war on drugs is a reaction to this social upheaval …

oldguy

June 13th, 2011
10:17 am

Bob you are right on for once we agree!!!

sl3_007

June 13th, 2011
10:18 am

This argument that the streets will be filled with more drivers under the influence with some type of legalization is weak. You don’t think they are not out there right now? How about the folks on prescription meds? No different than alcohol. You get a dui and lose your license. Let’s quit wasting billions on this insane war on drugs. The gov’t is intruding into our lives way too much and needs to be trimmed back.

Barack

June 13th, 2011
10:20 am

Nancy Reagan was the secret weapon to win the war against illegal drug use…”Just say no”. That should do it folks.

TRUTH

June 13th, 2011
10:22 am

Weed v. Alcohol… My vote is on the herb.

The war on drugs is necessary for the more addictive substances, heroin, cocaine, and their hybrids. It is STILL illegal to take non-prescribed meds (although this is more common than thought due to the costs of medicine). But I’m sure it will be viewed a slippery slope.

It still remains an individual matter. Moderation, moderization….

Common Sense

June 13th, 2011
10:22 am

@Dirty Harry
That is the most ignorant statement I have read on this blog so far. You are implying because drugs are illegal now that their illegality is preventing someone from getting high and “entering your house and mutilating your family.” That’s just stupid. Someone can enter your home today high on crack, and people do it everyday whether drugs are legal or not. And just like Ron Paul said at the first GOP debate, if cocaine were legalized tomorrow doesn’t mean everyone is going to go out and do it. I am a health educator and statistics prove people DO NOT do drugs based on legality the do them for a whole number of reasons. Quite simple if making drugs illegal prevented drug use then why do over 100 millions Americans abuse drugs including prescription medication?

Law Dawg

June 13th, 2011
10:23 am

Glad to see Mr. Barr has had such an epiphany in his life over the War of Drugs. As a former U.S. Attorney, who strongly prosecuted drug offenders, and a former leader on a congressional task force for a drug free America, I guess it’s refreshing to see his attitude change. I wonder, though, if this is just the efforts of a politician shifting with the changing winds of time (read: get in line with the Tea Party and it’s version of limited government). Hmmmm?

Law Dawg

June 13th, 2011
10:28 am

@Jimmy62 – Got to agree with you on the last part – Follow the money. The State of Georgia spends over $1 Billion (yes, Billion, with a “B”) on it’s annual budget to incarcerate people and probably 75% of them are drug crimes or crimes stemming from drug addictions that could be better spent with treatment/etc. Do you think the companies that profit off this are going to stand by and miss out on their slice of that pie? Not likely any time soon.

sl3_007

June 13th, 2011
10:28 am

With cotton prices getting so high we need a good competitor which is hemp. I have sneakers made of the stuff and wearing very well. Feels very similar to cotton.

Rational Citizen

June 13th, 2011
10:29 am

If politicians were to decriminalize drugs, the prison population would decline dramatically. But then those who stand to benefit from locking people up, from the construction companies that get paid with government money to build the prisons, to the private corporations who profit from serving the prisons, wouldn’t contribute to the politicians’ campaign. Rule #1 of politics in this nation: don’t bite the hand that feeds you. God bless America!

MB

June 13th, 2011
10:29 am

In response to Lt Col Razorback – Who do you think is more likely to ask Little Johnny for an ID before purchasing marijuana, a drug dealer or a convenience store clerk?

really?

June 13th, 2011
10:31 am

Dirty Harry….what harms does Marijuana cause? I know Lawyers and Doctors who have smoked it frequently for years. The only harmful effects come from smoking it. Its a myth that it kills brain cells, and there is no direct evidence that it even causes lung cancer as of yet. Marijuana, by itself, has never killed anyone…thats a fact. Ignorance is bliss. Legalize it….its a harmless drug. Much better than Alcohol for you, and way less dangerous to yourself and society.

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
10:34 am

Dirty Harry, being a prohibitionist, you owe us answers to the following questions:

#1. Why do you rejoice at the fact that we have all been stripped of our 4th amendment rights and are now totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?

#2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing drugs which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself use and approve of such as alcohol and tobacco?

#3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this garbage policy?

#4. Why are your waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

#5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once ‘free & proud’ nation now has the largest percentage of it’s citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?

#6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?

#7. Why do you rejoice at wasting precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?

#8. Why are you such a supporter of the ‘prison industrial complex’ to the extent of endangering our own children?

#9. Will you graciously applaud, when due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?

* It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year.
* 196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison.
* 123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail.
* 40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups.
* 5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison.

http://www.loompanics.com/Articles/RapeInPrison.html

#10. And will you also applaud when your own child, due to an unnecessary and counter productive felony conviction, can no longer find employment?

Private prisons are publicly traded and their stock value is tied to the number of inmates. Here’s what the UK Economist Magazine thinks of the situation: “Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little” http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, “Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public.”

“Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’, fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”  – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

There is no conflict between liberty and safety. We will have both or neither.
William Ramsey Clark (1927–)

Really tired of this

June 13th, 2011
10:40 am

The WAR on drugs in this country is an oxymoron! War on illegal drugs in America is like a WAR on our income and way of life! Our the past few decades we have focused our entire economy on the so called WAR on drugs! Our Judicary system, legal system, policed departmenst, federal police groups, FBI, CIA all depend on finances that derived from monies atributed to this so called WAR. We would have fewer, Judges, Lawyers, jailers, policemen, ect. The loss of these jobs would directly effect other areas such as educators, administrators, janitors, trash men and more!

shelbydawkins

June 13th, 2011
10:45 am

It funds the police state. As long as there is more profit in drugs being illegal (plenty of that on both sides) then drugs will remain illegal. When the balance shifts to the other direction (probably not in my lifetime) then drugs will be made legal. As far as the ill effects legalization may cause, I’d be ecstatic to trade for what might be (more impaired drivers, more deaths, which is just total BS anyway) than what passes for the status quo now.

My 2 Cents Worth

June 13th, 2011
10:50 am

O civilization and its discontents. A nomadic life is the best way to go.

Ramzad

June 13th, 2011
10:50 am

Any argument that some sort of decriminalization/legalization will increase drug abuse ought to be evaluated for psychosis, because the “War on Drugs,” so far, has been powerless to stop new narcotic experimenters.

In the short term decriminalization/legalization there would be the natural “rat in the corn field” syndrome, but it is ridiculous to believe that those who have no intention to use drugs would start using if drugs were legalized. Peter Tosh told us to “Legalize it” in 1976, and we continue to operate this fraud called the “War on Drugs.”

Mexican terror Cartels must be trembling at the thought of drugs legalized in the United States.

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
10:50 am

Wow, the anger against Bob Barr for daring to change his mind is astounding. Yes, if you go back 10 or even 20 years, you see Mr. Barr as basically a hardcore rightwing authoritarian. And in the years since, he seems to have discovered the value of true freedom. I’m going to celebrate this change rather than condemn him for not being incredibly stubborn. As far as the accusation that he’s doing to win votes, that’s ridiculous. Conservatives who start going libertarian like Mr. Barr tend to become less electable. But also more principled!

Hillbilly D

June 13th, 2011
10:53 am

If you legalize all drugs, the only place the users can get the money to buy it, is to steal. I’ve never known many drug addicts who could hold down a job. Nearly all burglaries and thefts in my area can be traced back to drugs.

Devil's Advocate

June 13th, 2011
10:54 am

So if drugs are legalized, what happens when the current cartels decide they don’t want to pay taxes because they enjoy what ever business owner would love to enjoy, their profits? How will regulating and taxing drugs stop people from obtaining their drug of choice from their current suppliers? In other words, the current “bad guys” will still be in control and unless they wish to be good tax paying people, nothing will change about the trafficking and distribution other than more competition from “legit” companies entering the newly legal drug trade. But how can a legit business compete with the black market? It’s the opposite of bootleg movies and music, the black market is already established as the dominant economy in the drug world.

I don’t want the “War on Drugs” to turn into the “War on Getting Drug Dealers to Pay Their Taxes” resulting in the same level of spending or even more as the IRS joins law enforcement in the war.

It seems that successful legalization means turning a complete blind eye and letting drugs be a free-for-all since we’re ok with humans being humans. Why not let it be a free-for-all? What could possibly go wrong?

TallaDawg

June 13th, 2011
10:55 am

Dirty Harry @ 9:30-

The real crime would still be illegal, and the justice and corrections systems would have more time and resources to deal properly with the real criminals. Besides, this occurs contiually in our society without any drugs, caused by “love” or “passion.”

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
10:56 am

Keep smoking your weed, Common Sense. Just because your a health educator doesn’t mean you’re a good one. If we legalize murder would people be more likely to do it less?…..sheeeesh!

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
10:56 am

Really?, that goes for you, too.