Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 2009
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Copyright: 2009 The Des Moines Register.
Author: Craig Seymour


Why do U.S. citizens tolerate the cost and ineffectiveness of the war
on drugs? America has spent billions of dollars combating drug
movement into the country and has legislated mandatory sentencing
laws that require the continual construction of jails to house the
guilty. Law enforcement and social services spend an inordinate
amount of time on drug cases.

U.S. drug policy has helped create well-organized and armed drug
cartels and warlords that illegally produce, process, distribute and
penetrate U.S. borders. At the same time, drug use by Americans (the
highest per capita in the world) continually increases drug demand, 
which thwarts all the efforts to control supply.

It would appear the solution could be the same that the United States
has applied to alcohol and gambling: legalize and regulate. Those two
simple policies would then let our proven democratic institutions
control drugs, greatly reducing criminal factions, and provide a tax
base to support government legal and social services that are
required by the use of drugs.

When times are good, it is easy to build and fill jails and invest
billions fighting the drug supply. When times are tough, we should
look for new solutions.

Craig Seymour

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