It is now almost a hundred years since Congress passed the first federal laws which made use of drugs to be illegal. Drugs were used throughout American history and it was not uncommon for a mother to damp a rag with a bit of cocaine in order to have a restless child go to sleep. The original anti-drug laws arose because some in Congress were bigoted against the Chinese and thought the infamous “opium dens” were places that enticed nice young men and women to surrender their virtues. Of course, within a decade Congress and the nation had pushed through the famous Prohibition experiment which did more to INCREASE CRIME than any legislation in American history.
The United States now has 2.2 million people in jail– just about the most prisoners of any nation in the world. About 600,000 are in jail due to drug violations. Of course, it is rare for an upper or middle class person to wind up in jail due to a drug offense. Occasionally, a Hollywood star goes in for a few months, but how many wealthy people go to jail for drug offenses? It cost the nation about $30,000 per year to house prisoners. Do your own arithmetic about the cost of just housing those who violate the drug laws.
It is estimated the United States also spends about $50 billion a year to fight drugs. Our drug addiction has ruined nations like Mexico and fostered crime, corruption, and instability. Despite all the money spent, drug use INCREASES. President Obama responded to a question about legalizing drugs with a snotty remark about those on the Internet who want to legalize drugs. The question was the most asked and it deserved an intelligent response.
We understand, given the problems facing America today, it is not possible right at this moment to legalize drugs even though in so doing, we could wipe out drug lords, deny the Taliban huge amounts of money, and help our neighbors to the south deal with crime in their nations. It is time for the United States to BEGIN the process of developing an intelligent plan for dealing with drugs. It is time for President Obama to appoint a bipartisan committee to investigate the entire process of legalizing drugs. It should include people from all sectors of society and be allowed to outline a new program that makes sense. If the federal government assumed control for the sale of drugs–along with programs to assist those on drugs– we would have enough money to pay for national medical insurance for all!
Wake Up America! LEGALIZE DRUGS!