Pubdate: Fri, 26 Sep 2014
Source: Payson Roundup, The (AZ)
Copyright: 2014 The Payson Roundup
Author: Don Bratten

War On Drugs


I have a few thoughts regarding our war on drugs, and it starts with 
the saying, "If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat 
it." Well, we've got some history to learn from, so let's take a look:

Alcohol: Back in the 1930s, politicians thought it was good idea to 
prohibit the sale of alcohol to individual citizens. It didn't work. 
The mafia got rich from the sale and distribution of illegal alcohol. 
Many people lost their lives, mainly related to gang violence, and 
some went blind or died from drinking homemade alcohol of poor 
quality. Eventually society realized its mistake and legalized the 
sale of alcohol to adults. It's now controlled for quality and it's 
taxed, which helps pay for some of the expenses of governments.

Tobacco: Although we know that tobacco is a major cause of lung 
cancer and other health-related problems, we have taken the approach 
of education rather than making it illegal. The results are that 
smoking has been greatly reduced in this country. And it is now 
heavily taxed, which gives a monetary incentive to quit.

Drugs: It is presently illegal, in most cases, to sell or use 
non-prescription drugs in this country. This prohibition is not 
working and it will not work any better than it did for alcohol back 
in the 1930s, and for the same reasons. The drug cartels are getting 
rich while we're spending millions of dollars each year trying to 
interdict the trafficking and use of drugs.

The answer: Legalize drugs for adults, regulate them for quality and tax them.

If we were to quit trying to intercept shipments of drugs from other 
countries we could use the personnel involved in this effort, and 
some of the money saved, to secure our southern border. Another 
portion of the money saved could be used to educate the public on the 
dangers of using drugs, and there would still be millions left over 
to reduce our national debt. If drugs were legal their sales would 
move from the back alleys to the retail stores, just like alcohol and 
cigarettes. There would be no profits to be made by the drug cartels 
so their business would dry up and our jails would be less crowded. 
Thereby, law enforcement could spend more time pursuing "real" 
criminals. By all means, arrest those under the influence of alcohol 
or high on drugs if they are driving or otherwise endangering the 
public, but quit trying to win this unwinnable war on drugs! As 
mentioned, "If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it."

And one more thing; as an adult, I think I know better than some 
politician, or a bunch of politicians for that matter, as to what I 
should or should not put in my body.

Donald Bratten
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