Sunday, December 07, 2008

End Prohibition
Friday marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the prohibition of alcohol. And with it the violence created by the gangs that sold the drug alcohol. A group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is calling for legalization of illegal drugs.
Wouldn't legalizing drugs create new users? Not necessarily. LEAP wants drugs to be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes. Regulations are why it's harder to buy alcohol or cigarettes in many schoolyards than drugs. By regulating the purity and strength of drugs, they become less deadly.

Isn't drug addiction a scourge that tears families apart? Yes, it is, and so are arrests and incarceration and criminal records for kids caught smoking pot behind the bleachers. There are 2.1 million people in federal, state and local prisons, 1.7 million of them for non-violent drug offenses.

Removing the stigma of drug use lets addicts come out into the open for treatment. We have treatments for alcoholism, but we don't ban alcohol.

In addition to ending much of the violence it will create new jobs and tax revenue for the municipalities that decide to legalize.

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that legalizing drugs would save federal, state and local governments $44 billion in enforcement costs. Governments could collect another $33 billion in revenues were they to tax drugs as heavily as alcohol and tobacco.

It is the only real way to deal with a policy that has not worked for the last 80 plus years.

Link via Avedon.

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