A first, like most everyone, I supported the war. After all, the President said it was a worthy cause. We were told that it was important to our future that this war be won. Our kids, and our very lives and culture were at stake. So of course I went along. There were a few who didn't support it and they were shouted down. But, there was a seed of doubt in me. And after this many years, I just cannot do it anymore. No more excuses. We need to end this war, now, today, most ricky tic.
Of course I am talking about the so-called War On Drugs. Of all the "wars" we have been involved in, this one takes the cake. For starters, where is the threat to us as a nation? I don't envision the Colombian Drug Lords landing LCACS at Padre Island and establishing a beachhead.
Quite honestly the War On Drugs actually fosters drug use. Human nature gravitates towards the forbidden fruit. And since someone has to supply the fruit, it creates the latest get-rich-quick scheme.... dealing drugs.
Additionally, I finally had to ask..... who the hell is the government to tell me I can't snort coke if I want to? I mean, it's my body and so it should be my choice to pollute it or not. Let's face it, so long as T&A are legal (if heavily taxed and regulated) then drug laws are hypocritical. The logic simply doesn't support it.
It is time to radically alter the drug laws of our country. I support forbidding access to minors (under 18), and I support substance abuse being an aggravating factor in any crime. But, possession and usage of drugs should be a private matter, not a war.
Let's assume that drugs become legal. Here are some of the immediate benefits that the Democratic majority should be looking at.
The immediate savings of about six hundred dollars, per second.
How about the abolition of the DEA? I am not trying to put these brave law enforcement officials out of a job. Instead they all get transferred to reinforce the US Customs Service, the US Border Patrol, The FBI, The CIA, The TSA (imagine that outfit with dedicated professionals), or the US Marshals office for starters. The reinforcement is going to be limited because these guys are DNR's. DNR stands for Do Not Replace. Thus as they retire, move to other jobs, or die (God Forbid) there is no newbie in the pipeline. In less than twenty years we will have reduced the .gov by an entire agency and almost 11,000 taxpayer supported jobs.
By it's very nature illegal drugs are expensive. If legalized the price will drop. Then it can be subjected to the same insane sin taxing that we place on T&A. Or, for a more radical approach, let the .gov manufacture and sell drugs. The undercutting of prices and the legalization will cut off Pimp Daddy Drug-lord at the knees.
Some argue that folks will die if given free access to drugs. Likely so. But more likely, they will go after cheap drugs and not have to commit various felonies to support the habit.
Imagine if you will the rewards if we released all the non-violent drug offenders. Immediately we would create the space needed to keep the violent away from society instead of releasing them early to make way for newer felons.
The Department of Justice reported that at year-end 2003, federal prisons held a total of 158,426 inmates, of whom 86,972 (55%) were drug offenders. By comparison in 2000 federal prisons held 131,739 total inmates of whom 74,276 (56%) were drug offenders, and in 1995 federal prisons held a total of 88,658 inmates of whom 52,782 (60%) were drug offenders.
Again, this is a civil liberties issue. As a US Marine I was regularly tested for drug usage. Many employers routinely test for drugs as a condition of employment. Basically, if you want your job then don't do drugs. It (drug testing) is an effective tool when systematically applied. The bonus is that it is a private initiative. Imagine that, an action that helps society without the influence of Uncle. You have to love that. Take notes Members of Congress. While you are not known for advocating a smaller .gov, here is a chance to steal from the Republican playbook.
The monetary savings (remember 600.00 every second) can be used to balance the budget, pay down the national debt, add to anti-drug education or rehab, or (gasp) fund Social Security fully. The key element is to remember that each individual citizen has the right to live his or her life as they please free from interference. In other words so long as they don't harm anyone else, get the hell out of their lives.
Finally, I don't do drugs. I don't associate with anyone who does. I physically threaten people who I believe may be trying to entice my family with drugs. But, all of those are my choices. By legalizing drugs, the fed doesn't have to support drug use any more than they support open distribution of T&A.
How much do we spend on the WOD?
DEA Staffing and Budget
Drug Offenders In The Corrections System — Prisons, Jails and Probation
drugs drug+war drug+lords legalization prison jail probation drug+abuse DEA DOJ