"The war on drugs is a failure," Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Cesar Gaviria and Ernesto Zedillo — the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico — wrote in the Wall Street Journal last month. "Prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization ... simply haven't worked," they wrote. (See: "The Drug War Body Count: A Commentary," by Debra J. Saunders. Rasmussen Reports. March 15, 2009.)

Marijuana today is the alcohol of the Prohibition Era. The analogy is apt. Crime, interdiction, prosecution, incarceration, these all place a huge cost on society concerning a narcotic that need not be associated with violence or victims. Just as gangs controlled liquor during Prohibition, gangs control marijuana now in large measure. The underground economy linked to marijuana is fueling weapons sales in the U.S. and transport to Mexico. Wouldn't it be wiser to lift the prohibition on marijuana just as it was lifted on alcohol? Wouldn't we see much the same results? There would still be problems, but wouldn't they be more manageable? Would they be less violent and less disruptive and less costly to society?

The U.S. incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other industrialized nation in the world. A large portion of those in the U.S. who are behind bars are there on marijuana possession charges only. Allowing them to go free would immediately reduce the strain on the prison system across the nation and reduce the taxes going to handle the overcapacity problems. The corporations that make a profit by incarcerating petty offenders wouldn't like it, but why should we allow their lobbyists to shell out campaign funds to politicians to override the public will on the matter.

The same regulation concerning the use of alcohol could easily be applied to marijuana. Don't use it and then drive or work, especially dangerous equipment.

The linked article also goes into the tax ramifications of legalizing/decriminalizing marijuana use.

I don't use marijuana. I don't advocate its use. I realize there are those who say it has medicinal benefits, but I know there are better ways to handle disease. I also know though that the bankers love these anti-drug laws because of all the money that flows on account of it — money the bankers control on both sides of the fake war, fabricated war. It's all evil. The lesser of evil is to mundanely legalize the stuff. The righteous path is to overcome it all.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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