Thursday, June 2, 2011

The War on Drugs is lost. Did anyone think we were winning?

A new report put together by the Global Commission on Drugs shows that the war on drugs has been a failure. A report like this comes around every now and then and warrants little attention but this time is a bit different. The commission is made up of several former presidents from Brazil, Mexico, and Columbia. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, high ranking federal officials George P. Schultz and Paul Volcker contributed in the commission. Other notable was billionaire Richard Branding.

The report was based on the current drug policies. By evaluating them they find the amount of effort, money, and time invested into this war has had "devastating consequences" on today's society. This war alone has costs trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives. Mexico alone has had over 40,000 deaths from drug cartels battles for drug routes that produce the most money.

Recommendations in the report ask for governments to look into ending criminalization of drugs for those who do not harms others. Legalization of some drugs like marijuana and develop programs from harder narcotics. Implement programs that would help in limiting harm to user such as syringe access. Change the mentality of "Just say no" and "Zero tolerance" to one of education and informing on drugs.

All of this is great information and I would hope that someone will listen. Let's face facts. The prison system is overrun with people who are not violent offenders but got caught with drugs. The court system is tied down with more litigation on pending drug cases. Police and other law enforcement agencies are clearly out numbered to control the flow into our streets.  I have always been a support of taking the crime element out of the drug scene. Make it something you can control. The amount of revenue that can be generated from the drug trades would help this country out of the debt its in. I'm not saying its the end all, but it couldn't hurt.

I'm sure I'll hear from people who say that its wrong to legalize something that is so harmful. That the government should not profit from drugs. The moral implications are endless. Last time I checked alcohol was in the same type of light during prohibition. Now you can find a liquor store in almost every town. I would like to point out the cigarettes are one of the most harmful over the counter items out there and the government makes millions if not more in taxes from the sales. I'm not here to sway anyone one way or the other, just try to see it from all points and decide what is the best for everyone. Take personal beliefs out of the mix and you may see a different view. 

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