It took me a while to come to see things in their true light with regard to the Drug War. For too long I believed what I was told by the popular media. We have come to accept that most Illegal Drug activity is financially motivated…. what we fail to grasp is… so is Law Enforcement activity. Dependency on a “Police State” for protection from ourselves is no worse then being addicted to drugs. The drugs, the drug addicts and even drug violence is not a threat to our liberty… the existence of a “Police State” is a threat to liberty.
What is the reason for continuing the the Prohibition on Drugs? It is certainly not for the benefit of society. The Prohibition on Drugs, like the Prohibition on Alcohol before it, has only succeed in creating a violent black market. Every arrest and prosecution only succeeds in driving up the price of drugs. The increase in profitability only entices more people into the black market. The people who seem to profit the most by this Drug War are those who are paid to fight it.
The majority people who enter in the drug trade have the same characteristics as any other business person. They are simply looking to sell something that is profitable. The violence that is associated with the drugs is a direct result of the illegalization of the drugs. A direct comparison would be prostitution. In places where prostitution is legal, there are no pimps, drugs or violence necessarily associated with prostitution. In places where prostitution is illegal, the true criminals seek out the trade and attach themselves to it. This is the natural effect of banning anything that is widely desired. If laws where passed to outlaw chocolate you would see a violent black-market for chocolate develop over night and the price equal that of drugs.
There is ample evidence in places where various drugs are legal, like Amsterdam, that the legalization of drugs would not cause a catastrophic meltdown of society. In fact the statistics show that dug use there is no higher then in places where it is illegal.
So why keep it illegal???
Reason #1 – No one likes to admit they are WRONG. It would mean admitting that all the money paid to fight the drug war and lives lost was for nothing.
Reason #2- The huge, HUGE, economy that has developed around fighting the Drug War, prosecuting and imprisoning people.
Simply put… without a Drug War all those narcotics cops, lawyers and judges would have to find a way to make an honest living. They have created their own jobs through this Drug War and now their main objective is to keep their jobs. A similar parallel can be seen in States that employee more cops for the purpose of raising revenues though with tickets and tolls on the roads. They then issue quotas to those cops so they can keep their jobs or advance. This is not for the benefit of society, this is for the benefit of government and those associated with government. Indeed the Drug War has aided the monstrous expansion of Government. It is for this reason that those who love big government, support the Drug War.
This Drug War has resulted in a huge segment of your society being labeled as Felons… instead of Merchants. It has created wasteful “Incarceration Factories” for imprisoning people. Both the people in the prisons and those guarding them are not allowed to be productive. The label “Felon” keeps them locked in the black market because in today’s age of instant background checks it is impossible to get a good paying job after a conviction. This serves to insure they return to the black market upon their release and provides repeat business for the “Law Enforcement Business”.
I estimate that we could reduce the Police State by as much as 75% by legalizing drugs. Those cops will have to find more productive work to do. Months of surveillance to arrest Drug Merchants is not productive work. The Drug War has been a key tool for enlarging government and giving it more power. Legalizing Drugs would reduce the size of government and limit its control over people. The Governments main goal currently is not to serve people, but rather to control them.
The question then arises of what will happen to society with all the additional drug addicts. First, evidence from Amsterdam shows it will not be much more then it is now. Second, there is no better way to scare people off drugs then to watch their friend die from an overdose. We have to get away from this mentality that the Government is somehow responsible for the actions of the individual. The cost of legalizing drugs (overdose related deaths) will be less then the cost that this drug war has been in both resources and lives. We have to be a little realistic. Nature never intended of every single human to die of old age. The Founding Fathers never intended that the government they created alter the laws of nature.
Maintaining anti-drug laws just to keep vast armies of cops employed makes about economic sense as… employing one crew to go around digging ditches and another one fill them in.
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