Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guest Post: If Drugs Were Legal...

GUEST POST: Skip Johnson, Short Takes By Skip

If drugs were legal...

By now we all recognize that the so-called "War on Drugs" has failed. It's over. Now it's time to move on and replace it with something else. But what?

I vote that we legalize all drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana (especially marijuana) for adults, regulate them the way we do other addictive drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, and tax them heavily.

What would happen if we did?

Drug crimes at all levels would drop overnight, because where there is no profit motive there is no crime. Drug dealers who infest our nation's schools would evaporate, making it much harder for teenagers to obtain drugs. Drugs-related turf wars and other street crimes in our neighborhoods would end. International terrorism, which illegal drugs help finance, would suffer a crushing blow.

Law enforcement agents could spend their time chasing real criminals -- yes, real criminals, people who endanger society, not people we're just mad at.

Clogged court dockets would clear. The problem of overcrowded prisons everywhere would vanish as countless nonviolent inmates -- the ones we're just mad at -- go free. And taxpayers would save a bare minimum of $15,000 per prisoner per year.

Drug addicts would be treated as alcohol addicts are -- as sick people who need our help, not criminals who need to be imprisoned.

Legalizing drugs also would create jobs, guarantee users a clean and safe supply, reduce illness, restore some of our lost civil rights -- much more, but I promised to keep this blog under 300 words.

Just one more thing. Legalizing drugs would not cause drug use to rise. The sad fact is that anyone who wants to use drugs is using drugs. To a drug user, the law is almost irrelevant.


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