Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 2004
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Chilliwack Progress
Author: Chuck Beyer


Re: "Perhaps the legalization of all drugs would do more good," Mail Bag,
April 16.

Josh Johnston argues in favour of a regulatory system of drug control. Most
western countries are now moving in that direction. Why is the U.S. such a
hold out?

In the preceding British Empire, expansion was purchased with taxation of
the opium trade. A close analysis shows that the American empire finances
growth by "skimming off the top" of the world illegal drug markets.

In a regulatory model - each country would regulate and derive taxation
benefits in its jurisdiction. In the prohibition model half of the cash
proceeds of all countries goes via banks, to the U.S.

It is estimated that about $600 billion is generated every year by the
global drug trade. Half of that makes its way into American banks. Once in
the banks, through the magic of fractional reserve banking, they can then
lend 10 times that amount or about $3 trillion. The US government is a very
willing borrower and that kind of money can finance a deficit.

So the fact is that a transition to a regulatory framework is economical and
sensible for just about every country except the U.S.

For the U.S., the end of prohibition may mean a collapse of its economic
system as the reservoir of illegal drug funds from other countries dries up.
Simple taxation within the US could not match the present flow of incoming
funds (and they would not go to banks and other prohibition profiteers).

So don't hold your breath waiting for U.S. approval for the end of drug war.
It will be last to change and has too much too loose.

Chuck Beyer
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh