Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Legalize drugs now

Everyone else is exploiting 9/11, so why not the Drug Enforcement Administration? NPR reports on the DEA’s traveling anti-drug exhibition, which links drug abuse to international terrorism. You’ll recall that in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the government ran commercials that accused the average teenage pot smoker of supporting terrorism, because Afghanistan produces most of the world’s opium.

I’d like to make the counter argument that it is the government’s war on drugs that makes the drug trade so profitable, and thus a means for funding terrorism. Prohibition—now where have I heard that term before?—creates a lucrative and unregulated black market that the government will never able to stamp out. If drugs were legal, it is probably true that consumption would increase, at least initially. But drug-related crime likely would decrease, and all the money wasted on incarcerating drug offenders could go toward treatment and prevention. Not to mention the government could collect taxes on drugs like it does on alcohol and tobacco. (Also drugs, by the way. Just socially acceptable ones.)


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