Did you know that alcohol prohibition ended in the United States seventy-five years ago this month? Me neither; following on neatly from the Swiss legal heroin program story comes news of a US organisation called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, whose name should tell you exactly what they’re advocating: legalised regulation of all drugs. Here’s their pitch:
After nearly four decades of fueling the U.S. policy of a war on drugs with over a trillion tax dollars and 37 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses, our confined population has quadrupled making building prisons the fastest growing industry in the United States. More than 2.2 million of our citizens are currently incarcerated and every year we arrest an additional 1.9 million more guaranteeing those prisons will be bursting at their seams. Every year we choose to continue this war will cost U.S. taxpayers another 69 billion dollars. Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier to get than they were 35 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs.
They’ve got a lot of facts and figures there, that’s for sure… and they’ve also just released a report that claims ending the war on drugs will boost the US economy by at least $76 billion a year, in addition to putting criminal cartels out of business.
LEAP are far from the first to make similar claims, of course, but their point about the economic effects is well timed and calculated to appeal to the status quo. Whether it will have any effect of the entrenched ideas of policy makers remains to be seen… over here in the UK, our government is trying to reclassify cannabis on the same level as methamphetamine, so I’m not exactly hopeful for a spontaneous outbreak of common sense in the halls of power. [image by aforero]