It’s time to repeal the drug laws. ALL the drug laws. I know, I know, you’re all saying, but then ANYBODY can get drugs. But that’s the problem. Anybody can get them now. But the social cost is exorbitantly high. Look at what we’ve created: viciously violent drug cartels around the world, violent gang wars, adulterated drugs that are killing users every day, massive incarcerations of non-violent offenders for ridiculous amounts of time resulting in disastrously unequal treatment, and, to top it all off, a police-state mentality and pervasive police brutality driven by the so-called war on drugs. We have not made our society any safer, we haven’t helped those addicted to drugs, and we’ve spent billions of dollars on a pointless battle that could have otherwise gone to helping addicts and building a stronger society, including providing better education for everyone. In fact, as far as I can see, the only people who really benefit from the war on drugs are the dealers and cartels, the police, the big pharmas, and, of course, as always, the gun makers. Because if there’s one thing the war on drugs has created, it’s massive demand for more weapons.
So here’s an idea. Let’s end the “war on drugs” (which is actually just a war on American citizens) and start again. Repeal the drug laws, spend the money on education and treatment, and then institute a tax on drugs. Let’s do some serious research on how drugs can be used to treat some of our real problems, like the chronic pains of an aging population, research how natural medicines can be used in the treatment of disease (instead of just calling them “drugs” and banning them outright), and take the opportunity to create a more compassionate and equitable society. Because we know one thing for sure: what we’re doing now isn’t working, but is only making America and the world a lot worse. Maybe it’s time to try something different.