Thursday, June 15, 2006

Will Legalizing Drugs Be Good For America?

Let's keep this simple. I'm only asking a question here. Let me begin with the broad statement that I don't smoke, drink or use drugs. I hate the drug culture and the people who use drugs for recreation or addiction.

I've arrested thousands of users and dealers over the course of time I was a policeman. I always felt that the Drug War was a lost cause and pondered better ways of dealing with this huge problem.

If all currently illegal drugs were made legal the profits from this activity would evaporate. The drug producing countries, Drug, Lords, and Drug Czars would all be put out of business in a single day.

Sure the drugs would be sold legally but the price would drop like a rock since they cost no more to produce than sugar or coffee. The seemingly endless criminal enrichment would finally end. That's the only punishment that would really work.

The huge amount of cash spent on drug enforcement could go directly to help those addicted kick the habit in a voluntary treatment setting. I have long believed that treatment works only for those who want to end their drug use.

The reduction of murders and property crimes brought about by legalization would be dramatic to say the least.

Laws against driving while impaired and such could still be enforced. All government entitlements could be denied to those addicts that don't seek treatment. Legalizing drugs would never or should never make drug use acceptable for society or employers.

I don't think any of us will start using this poison just because it is legal.

I want comments on this issue please.


jules said...

I think you've made a convincing argument for legalization.

Anonymous said...

But what about the thousands of people in the drug war industry and the alphabet soup agencies who would be put out of work?

Plus, you lose a great excuse for repressive laws.

That's why it will never be legalized.

Anonymous said...

Convincing argument? I don't thing so. Tell me it's a convincing argument when your teenage kid gets to go to rehab for the legalized crack he bought at the corner bogie. At least the rehab will be federally subsidised. The libs would be EXTATIC!


Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

The stupid kids who want to play with drugs are not deterred by cost or the fact that it’s against the law. The difference is just how may stick-ups, burglaries will result and how many times they have to sell their bodies to get the money.

Things you’re not supposed to have are too often far more attractive than the stuff just anyone can get.

Come on now and give me some clear and convincing evidence that the Drug War does more than make scum bags rich...

Anonymous said...

Great article from a libertarian perspective here...

Anonymous said...

Plus with legalisation you'd get better quality (i.e. not mixed with whatever was on the cutters hands at the time) drugs, and you know what is in them, rather than taking pot luck (no pun intended) and hoping that E you bought really is E

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

If we ever legalize narcotics I hope the government stays completely out of quality control or taxation since that just brings more corruption.

I don’t care if addicts get “good” stuff or not. The addicts can live by the buyer beware program just like they do today.

On the other hand I support free quality treatment only for those for those who seek it.

Anonymous said...

Money made in illegal drugs is enjoyed by those who aren't just the out-of-the-country czars, thugs and killers. There's domestic, (entities that are visually respectable) political, govt' profits being made by selling our DEA, ATF, and military's forces to help the drug wars in other countries as well as here at home. Corruption has already infiltrated the drug will continue, legal or not.

Anonymous said...

There is another way to fix this problem, the problem is that it would take politicians with backbone to do it, and our country would NEVER have the nerve to go through with it... but it would work.

First, legalize the use of all drugs. No one should be able to tell you what to put in your body, that is true, so be done with it.

After that... Execute all dealers. Don't pussy foot around with fines or jailtime, just execute them. And, if anyone can help the cops catch a dealer, then pay them for the service. And, as for dealers, define dealers as anyone who transfers the substance to anyone who lives outside of their household. Buddy comes over? Hope he has his own...

What will happen is there will be a LOT fewer people who will be willing to carry it or sell it because the penalty is simply too steep, and people will either end up making or growing their own. Hey, if they can do it on their own, then more power to them. I still think they are idiots, but it is their choice if they want to be a complete tool.

Then Darwinism will take over and kill those who are too stupid to make it right, and there isn't anything overly wrong with that either.

Anonymous said...

Property crimes?

You're serious? Please.

We're having people break into pharmacies and stores now just to steal drugs now. What the heck do you think would happen then?

If they can't buy them on the street, what the hell would happen then?

give me break

Anonymous said...

If the garbage was legal it would be sold for the proce of coffee or sugar! The profits would drop to that of any legal business.

John Mosby said...


Under legalization, what would you do with the millions of people that have criminal records from the 40+ years of heavy enforcement?

I think the only fair thing would be a blanket pardon for mere possession/trafficking offenses.


Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

A commutation for the people currently imprisoned for simple possession, manufacture and trafficking. Pardons should be on a case-by-case basis. People already convicted of other felonies should not be pardoned.

American businesses and government agencies should be able to avoid hiring people, who use, have abused drugs or alcohol in the present or past.

A blanket pardon may well amount to an ex Post Factos law in violation of the Constitution.

The Gambino Crime Family said...

Being a typical American, my sense of history is shaky but I don't remember any bootleggers getting pardoned after Prohibition.

On the other hand, so much of the American economy is based around the drug war. Think of how many people are employed building and manning prisons. And what happens to the economies of Columbia et al when their principal export disappears?

John Mosby said...

True, the 1920s bootlegers were not pardoned. But Prohibition lasted only 13 years. The War on Drugs has been going on for about 40 years. There are many more people with criminal records for drugs than there ever were for booze. We have a higher percentage of our population in prison/jail/probation/parole than we do in military uniform. And a big chunk of these cons were locked up for drug-related offenses.

Also, in this day and age, a criminal record has a much greater lifetime effect than it did in the Prohibition era. In the 1920s, you could walk out of prison, move to another state, and reinvent yourself - there was no NCIC, no photo ID, no SSNs. And most jobs were manual labor paying by the piece or hour: the boss assumed you were going to steal from the company, kept things locked up accordingly, and paid you for the work you actually did. Nowadays, a misde arrest in Peoria is accessible to cops and employers in Point Barrow. Most jobs involve trust - no one wants to hire a jailbird to work the till at McDonalds.

(Of course, if the law you broke was entering the country illegally, lots of people will hire you - but that's a topic for another post!)

The War on Drugs has helped create a permanent underclass of men who are unqualified for any decent jobs. Pardoning them would help the economy re-absorb them (and maybe reduce the market for immigrant workers).


The Gambino Crime Family said...

Good point. And I guess selling or buying a little booze on the side was a lot more socially acceptable back then than dealing pot or coke is now.

One strange worry I have is what happens to all the criminal gangs who've been engaged in narcotics up to now. After the end of Prohibition, we saw the mafia move into less profitable but more sophisticated and socially dangerous areas, like unions and gambling. Of course, a lot of this had to do with the FBI turned a blind eye but by the fifties, a lot of industry in this country was under the direct control of organized crime.

So what happens to this huge class of unemployed males? Does the economy reabsorb them or do they simply move on to other illegal activities?