Sunday, January 29, 2006

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

I have always been in favor of complete legalization of all drugs - of getting law enforcement out of the public health business and back to work making the streets safe.

Here is a bunch of cops and ex-cops who agree. See their promotional video here, available in various different formats.

I think I know why we don't legalize drugs in this country. There are two primary reasons. First, prohibition is an industry that serves the commercial and other interests of a lot of people.

The second reason is denial.

Primary (but certainly not sole) among those whose interests are served by prohibition are drug warriors and drug producers. These two supposed opponents are filthy parasites engaged in mutualist symbiotic depredation of society. Without the other each will be greatly harmed, but together they flourish.

In the United States we waste billions of dollars every year, 60 billion or more, arresting a million or two people, incarcerating over 20 percent of the world's prisoners (out of our 5% of global population), among American black males at a rate over five times higher than apartheid-era South Africa, all to accomplish what? NOTHING! The proportion of the American population that is addicted to drugs today is about the same as it was almost a century ago despite the trillion or more dollars sent down the drain, despite the millions behind bars, despite erosion of our civil liberties.

Bloody hell. What a waste.

So when will this change?

I'm sorry to say that my prediction is that it won't change. For one thing, the interests served by the War on Some Drugs benefit powerful people. For another, true believers are in denial. Though Catton was addressing something else when he wrote that denial "seems to be a way of coping with an insufferable contradiction between past convictions and present circumstances, a defense against intolerable anomalous information", the effect is the same in the War on Some Drugs. As a result, we'll just keep on doing what we're doing, reason be damned.

Oh, well... More power to LEAP.

Here's an interview of the founder of LEAP. Here's a piece about one of LEAP's directors.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


jj mollo said...

100% right. Easy money is always a curse. The money does more damage than the drugs could ever do. Why don't we spend the same government effort creating jobs in useful areas. We could pay for a lot of ball fields, and police athletic leagues, and public transportation with the anti-drug funds. Let's turn the prisons into racquetball clubs.

If we insist on wasting our tax money on hopeless causes, at least we could try to slow down illegal immigration a little.

Steve said...

Thanks for the comment JJ.

I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon to see this from Mark Kleiman. Doesn't go far enough, but coming from Kleiman it's something.