. . . even online friends and fellow bloggers; but sometimes it happens.
Borepatch argues that the War On Drugs is a colossal failure; therefore, drugs should be legalized and regarded as a source of tax revenue.
It's way past time to declare victory and brings the troops home. Legalize it all, tax it (use some of the revenue to fund treatment centers) and be done with it. This sure isn't working. It's a stupid game and we shouldn't play.
There's more at the link.
Aesop responds in two articles with his usual acerbic, biting style, pointing out the many negatives associated with legalizing drugs. In the first, he points out:
As it is now, people here since marijuana legalization are keeping their kids home from the beach, overrun as it is with homeless junkies, because of discarded needles in the sand.
When you have to explain to some mom why her three-year old will probably get Hepatitis A, B, & C, and why she should have all her kids vaccinated as if they were cops or paramedics working Skid Row, give a holler. I want to hear your take on that conversation. I've already delivered it or listened to it delivered twice, this year.
So, should we also "legalize and tax" discarding drug needles on the beach? Wouldn't prosecuting such things be another "War On Drugs"?? Or should we simply cede all public space to society's dregs and wastrels? How's that cunning plan working out in San Franshitsco and Los Angeles? Or anywhere else?
Again, more at the link. In a subsequent article, he continues:
If We Legalize And Tax Drugs, It Will Totally Work Because...
...drug dealers and narco-cartels will line up twenty deep to pay their taxes on their newly legalized products, they being such law-abiding and tax-paying folks since forever.
...cartels will not smuggle drugs in illicitly, unlike they already do with legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco products, which was your most recent argument for why we should stop trying to stop drugs from getting here.
...drug cartels and dealers will not undercut the price of legal, taxed drugs by selling their product for less, exactly unlike they've been doing with pot in Califrutopia since 0.2 seconds after weed became legal here, because they're not capitalists, and will do nothing to maintain and expand their market share, and profits, even by continuing to break the law.
...the cartels will not get fifty times wealthier, once getting their product safely into the U.S. will become virtually consequence free once it hits our shores, and thus be emboldened to try to take over this country de facto if not actually de jure, as they already have in any number of nations south of the Rio Grande.
...drug dealers will never, ever allow minor children to get their hands on drugs, just like that never happens with alcohol and tobacco now.
...they will never expressly market their products to younger users, knowing that the actuarial tables means that as their old clientele dies off from using their products, that's the only way to continue raking in fabulous sums of money, unlike producers of legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco do right now, and since forever.
...junkies desperate for a fix will not rob, burgle, and thieve any longer, despite not being able to afford a fix, because they are such law-abiding citizens, and so well-provided with long-term planning and financial responsibility skills.
More at the link.
I find myself caught on the horns of a dilemma. I think Borepatch is quite right - self-evidently so - that the War On Drugs is a failure. It's never been a success, in over fifty years of being waged! On the other hand, Aesop is also correct. My experience as a pastor, particularly in inner-city areas, and as a prison chaplain, teaches me that all the negative consequences of legalization that he predicts will, indeed, happen, and sooner rather than later. Therefore, no matter how flawed it may be, I don't think there's any alternative to declaring drugs illegal and waging a legislative and judicial "war" on them, and their vendors and users.
The fact remains, as conventional wisdom would have it, that "insanity consists in doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results". From that perspective, the War On Drugs is insanity. It's failed to achieve its objectives in almost every single year one cares to examine. Therefore, why are we continuing it in its present form? There has to be a way to "work smarter, not harder" - although this may not be it.
If we crack down - I mean really crack down - on drug dealers and users, we can, indeed, win the War On Drugs . . . but that would mean real punishment, probably including execution after a certain number of offenses, or after causing a certain degree of damage (e.g. killing or injuring others while under the influence of illegal narcotics). I don't think our society has the stomach for that. Absent such a crackdown, what can be done to achieve better results? Borepatch is right that continuing to do the same old thing is untenable; but Aesop is also right, that failure to fight against drug abuse will lead to worse consequences in any way one cares to consider the matter. So . . . what do we do?
Any ideas, readers?