Friday, June 23, 2017

War on Drugs

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Today, the United States has the largest prison population in the world. Americans make up only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And a huge number of American inmates are incarcerated for nothing other than drug offenses. Furthermore, a disproportionate number of those inmates are minorities, despite having similar rates of drug use.[..]

The War on Drugs has all but turned Mexico into a narco state. Drug cartels gain so much power from the profits the War on Drugs has enabled them that they have arguably become the most powerful institutions south of the Rio Grande.

Just as Prohibition gave rise to the Mafia, drug prohibition gave rise to the Latin American drug cartels. Al Capone and Pablo Escobar might as well have been the same person.

Or put more simply, the War of Drugs creates crime, it doesn’t solve it. [..]

As should be apparent, it is utopian nonsense to believe we can stop people from buying and using drugs that are so easily accessible. Instead, drug prohibition just creates a massive black market, which criminal gangs control and profit from.

Furthermore, the evidence strongly suggests that legalization works. The best example is Portugal. As a recent headline in Forbes  noted, “Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal.” And, a report by the Brookings Institute finds that marijuana legalization in Colorado has been “largely successful.”