Another False War

The War on Drugs. What a joke. And what a ter- rible waste of our resources, both financial and human. What sense does it make to keep arresting over a million people (yes, over 1,000,000) every year for drug offenses. As long as the demand for drugs is there, and it seems hard to imagine that demand disappearing any time soon, there will be plenty of people willing to work on the supply side. Control the borders? They've already wasted billions and it doesn't seem to do anything. Folks want to get wasted? Be our guests. Do we really think marijuana is more harmful than booze? Geeze, alcohol is only the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that in just one year (2001) over 75,000 deaths in the US could be attributed to alcohol. But no one is talking about making booze illegal. Of course not, because we know people want to drink. And a lot more people want to drink than want to smoke a joint, snort some cocaine, or do whatever other "recreational" drugs are popular these days. (I have little idea.) So let's just get this madness over with and legalize the stuff. We tax booze heavily, so let's do the same with all these other drugs people want. Share the wealth. And there would be plenty left over for some serious education, prevention, and treatment programs. I have no illusions--legalizing drugs is going to hurt some people, but the overall effect for society would be a great improvement compared to the current situation. (I don't think they're going to want me back on the Cumberland County Drug and Alcohol Commission any time soon.)  Do we really want to keep being a world leader in incarceration rates? Apart from what that says about our values as a society, just think about the human and financial resources wasted in this madness. By our government's own statistics, in 2007 alone there were over 872,000 arrests for cannabis law violations.  Hey, watch out, our children are all a bunch of violent criminals. The War of Drugs is a very lucrative business, overall a scam of gigantuan proportions. Why aren't people scandalized? Check out the "Drug Sense" website. They present some interesting statistics.  (http://www.drugsense.org/)