Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

   What did we learn from Prohibition? That if we outlaw a substance that itself is not intrinsically bad but that some people choose to consume, we create an illicit market. From this market, organized crime grows. In the 1920s that crime grew to great proportions. People still drank. What they drank could contain impurities that could harm them, to the point of death. Did H.L. Mencken write, drinking was a national sport during that time? We wasted money on law enforcement. We lost money because we did not collect taxes on all those drinks and the income from people who worked in speakeasies. At the end of the day, people still drank and alcohol posed health problems.

   Today so-called illicit drugs are illegal. There is an illicit market for those drugs. Gang warfare on a scale much larger than Capone and others rages in the U.S. and south, through Mexico, Central America, and into South America. Impurities are in some of the drugs--impurities that harm people, sometimes to the point of death. We have wasted billions in an ill-thought "war on drugs." We have lost potential revenues. At the end of the day, people still use drugs. For some the use of drugs is a health problem.

   So? Let's legalize all drugs. They would be sold in bland, government stores. There would be no ads promoting their use. The prices would be much lower than on the illicit market; so much lower that taxes could be imposed and the illicit market eliminated. After all, when was the last time you heard of a bootlegger? (I know, parts of the South still have moonshiners, but that is more tradition than anything.) Part of the taxes could be used for health programs to treat people with health problems. The rest could be used to pay for schools, to pay off the national debt, etc.

   The war on drugs is over. Let's face that and move on. Legalize all drugs and we solve a lot of problems.        

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Comment by Mark Small on December 1, 2011 at 1:59pm

Nicolas,

  First, I did not know there were word limits on posts. I am relatively new to this medium, so if such things present themselves, let me know (as you have done) and I will see if I can remove or alter whatever they are.

   Second, you make very good points. I want to respond more fully when I have time to adequately do so.

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