What Would Drug Legalization Look Like?

(Credit: frankreynoso.com)
The Independent
Drug prohibition has been an awful flop, at least if you judge it by the standard of reducing the social harms caused by drug use and not by that of nourishing a massive prison-industrial complex. In the 50 years since the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty outlawed cocaine, heroin and marijuana worldwide, the illegal-drug trade has become a multibillion-dollar global business, dominating the economy of Afghanistan and spawning spates of grisly murders in Mexico.

In the United States, since President Richard Nixon declared “war on drugs” 40 years ago, the price of cocaine and heroin has actually dropped. Despite the imprisonment of millions of drug offenders (mostly black and Latino), the escalated drug war failed to prevent the crack epidemic of the 1980s, the spread of methamphetamine, or the persistence of street-dealing drug gangs in poor neighborhoods. (It did drive up the price of marijuana, which rarely went for more than $20 an ounce in 1971.)

Yet if prohibition were ended, how could drug use and distribution be managed to ensure that the harm caused by intoxication did not exceed what’s caused by prohibition?

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One Response

  1. One should only have to look at Denmark or more recently Portugal to understand the benefit to societies legalization of drugs. Who the fuck is my Government to tell me what I can and can not do to my body?

    Why do we allow Governments to control us? Who is in charge here? Illegalization of drugs is having the same effects as prohibition. You cant stop it so the only thing you can do is control it. People who are going to use, are going to use period! Short of going middle eastern and making drugs a capital punishment you will never be able to stop those interested in making fast money You will bankrupt a country jailing all the individuals you have too incarcerate. Shouldnt our Governments be more interested in protecting us? If you controlled it wouldnt the product be safer and more reliable? How many heroin users die getting a bad batch? How many people with meth or crack addictions die in street violence? Man if youre into crack I think the act of just going to buy the product on a street level could be very life threatening. I dont use drugs. I am a certified alcoholic. I would rather see my Government stop giving the likes of the Hells Angels a license to print money. In my City they run all the illegal stuff. They own the clubs the own the import and the prostitution. I say put these forty year old permanent teenagers to work and end the gang violence that is an epidemic in the larger USA cities. You want a safer streets legalize it all and control it. Look at the money Governments have thrown at the drug problem and have they solved anything? Its time to build a new road.

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