Friday, December 7, 2012

Cannabis Legalization, Good or Bad?

If weed has 100% legalized everywhere in the world the drug wars could continue. How many people are busted for weed each year? Something like 800,000? That number could easily be replaced with the ranks of other drug users.
The worst case scenario, as I see it, following cannabis legalization would be a shift in focus to other drugs with no change in enforcement dollars or priorities. In the absence of marijuana, there’s always coca and poppy crops to be eradicated, dealers and users to be hunted down and locked up.
I think this is unlikely, though possible. In part because the debate over weed has included the notion that there are costs to prohibition, costs which are due to prohibition and not drugs (a distinction that prohibitionists do their best to obfuscate). Prohibition has failed at eliminating people’s access to these drugs, a failure which is all the more remarkable given its long history of failure and official denial (that a drug free America is possible, or even desirable). Places like South America, which have born the brunt of the drug war, have had enough.
Legalizing heroin may be too radical a notion for the masses who have known nothing but propaganda for over a generation (and I understand this since I was a DARE grad and firmly anti-drug until being exposed to alternative views), but I think a possible chip in the established dogma would be to start with the plants. Poppies and coca have been used for a very long time, the right to cultivate and use these plants is an easier sell than heroin and cocaine.

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