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Take it from a former drug prosecutor, legalize pot now


Stashed in: Marijuana, Drugs!, Marijuana, Awesome, Asinine War On Herbs, VOTE!!!, cheech and chong dream on

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When the New York Times editorial board and a bunch of former prosecutors call for an end to "Prohibition 2.0", you know it's just a matter of time.

It's a solid argument:

For one thing, he said, it's a colossal waste of money: "$70 billion a year that the government spends on something that's unsolvable." For another, it's a waste of police manpower: "The primary mission of law enforcement has somehow evolved into dealing with drugs. Meanwhile, crimes of violence and crimes against property go unsolved."

All to what end? Overcrowded prisons? Street-corner trafficking? Neighborhood drug wars?

LEAP's contention, Anthony explained, is that legalization, regulation and taxation would bring control and order to an industry that's run muck -- just as it did 81 years ago, when Prohibition ended. ("Nobody is standing on the street corners of Oakland selling beer or whiskey," he said.)

The fundamental illogic in the war on drugs was spelled out years ago, Anthony said, by famed economist Milton Friedman: "He warned Nixon when he signed the controlled substances act that you cannot repeal the law of supply and demand. One thing about drugs is there's a steady demand."

If the demand is not met through legal outlets, then criminal dealers fill the void. When police shut down a trafficker, that merely creates a vacancy to be seized by another ambitious thug. With each arrest comes another replacement. This process never ends, like a dog chasing its tail, except that tail-chasing generally isn't violent.

There's no succession plan in the drug-trafficking business, Anthony said. "Instead, there are people shooting each other, not only in the streets of this country but throughout the world.

"We see this problem of 50,000 undocumented child immigrants at our borders. A lot of that is driven by the violence in Honduras and El Salvador. That violence is linked to drug cartels who are supplying the United States market."

Anthony estimates that marijuana accounts for 80 percent of U.S. drug-war activity. What horrible things would happen to a community if the drug were legalized for consumers over 21 and sold through regulated outlets? One test case is Colorado, which made pot legal in 2014.

In the first six months, the FBI reported overall crime in Denver decreased by 10 percent compared with last year. The Denver Business Journal reported that marijuana sales generated $25 million in state taxes in that time.

Plus, not everyone got stoned. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who originally opposed legalization, told Forbes magazine as much: "It seems like the people who were smoking before are mainly the people smoking now."

There are two differences, of course. Now, you don't need to find a dealer on the street. And you don't need worry about getting arrested.

it is definitely just a matter of time.  too long it took this long to undo what was a ridiculous law in the first place.  the timber, alcohol and tobacco industries have fooled the public long enough.

Timber? :)

haha!  the smiley face implies a no.  :)

no, really, the timber industry was against marijuana because hemp was a major threat to their trees.  so they outlawed the whole thing, under the umbrella of marijuana as a drug that makes you CRAZY!

william randolph hearst was also a major player.  big in the newspaper business, marrying into the timber business, he made sure he kept hemp away from his peeps and all their money.  and with the media as his own, he could print whatever brainwashing propaganda he wanted to!  greed greed greed was all it was.

All they did was delay the inevitable. Was it worth it? Likely not. 

likely not, indeed.  and it is nice to think that freedom is the inevitable.  i hope that is widely applicable.

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