This post fits with the 20 Issues – 40 Weeks Series, but, since it was not on my list of 19 + 1 that I originally posted, I have decided to slip it in here.
The title was, of course, intended to get your attention. But, surprisingly, it is not the least bit deceptive. I could and would support a candidate who campaigned for a policy of drug legalization. Rather than explain why it makes sense, I will ask a few questions that I hope will create a bit of discussion.
1. Are elicit drugs and their non-medical use generating a large portion of the criminal activity in the USA?
2. Is there a large population in the United States who have chosen to disregard the laws and who use drugs in ways which are outside the law?
3. If our governments were to legalize drug use and tax it, would our expenses to control the elicit trade go down and our revenue to enforce the laws go up?
4. Are there parallels between our current drug laws (bans against possession and use) and “Prohibition”?
5. Did Prohibition work better or worse than our current laws at stopping the activity it banned?
If your answers to these questions are the same as mine, you may agree with me. It would seem that legalizing drug use, but controlling it through laws and taxation similar to the way we handle alcohol would:
1. Lower crime;
2. Increase government revenue to fight crime;
3. Decrease pressure on our borders;
4. Not dramatically change the amount of use of elicit drugs.
In short, is it possible that our current drug policies have limited supplies and driven up prices to the point where more people have incentives to produce and distribute drugs (outside the law) than would be the case if drugs were legal and taxed?
Would you vote for a candidate who supported a drug legalization plan?
What do you think?