I just got finished watching an episode of Penn and Teller's show "Bullshit!". This particular episode was on the "War on Drugs". I have to say, they made some convincing arguments. There are a hell of a lot of similarities between the war on drugs and prohibition. And, from what little I know about prohibition, it seems like it was a phenomonally stupid idea. The more I think about it, the more the libertarian inside me comes to the surface.
Their section on medicinal marijuana was very good. Did you know that the Federal Government actually provides 7 (count them, 7) people with pot cigarettes? They're the vestiges of a medicinal marijuana program they started way back when. They actually showed a shot of one of the guys lighting up a joint right in front of the capital building. I grinned.
Legalizing drugs seems like it would alieviate a lot of society's problems. You'd immediately kill the black market, and a great deal of the criminal underworld would suddenly be out of a job. I suppose there'd be a little re-adjustment process, and probably the economies of a few latin american nations would suffer a bit, but I think that's a far cry better than all the people currently dying in drug gang turf-wars. The border patrol probably wouldn't have to pack heat while patroling anymore, since no more heavily armed drug traffickers will have to cross illegally.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating putting crack vending machines in elementary schools. The money that now funds the DEA could instead be spent on educating people about the dangers of all the various drugs and rehab clinics.
Yeah, I know some people would OD and die, but doesn't that already happen with alcohol? And what about tobacco? At least if they're legal, we can regulate them.
Right now, I'm not exactly positive if I completely support legalizing drugs across the board, but I'm pretty positive I support legalizing marijuana. I've never smoked it, but from what I can tell, the side-effects are no worse than alcohol. Plus, I don't think there's a pot equivalent to alcohol poisoning.