Ok, since the thread has evolved from 'great article in SWAT', into the merits of the WOSD, here we go:
Mr. Mack59 speaks much truth on page 1:
1. The first, and most important point to realize, is that those of us who advocate decriminalization of pot and other drugs, WANT THE EXACT SAME THING THAT THE PRO-WOD FOLKS WANT! We want to REDUCE DRUG USE and ADDICTION in our society, not increase. Yes, for your information, I HAVE seen time and time again the devastating effects of alcohol and other drugs on people. Drug addition is a scourge on society, and must be reduced - particularly meth/crank/ice addition (there is no 'use' of that stuff; only addiction). Make no mistake about it, many like me despise drug use & addiction, and most certainly do NOT use ourselves. I don't even drink anymore, to speak of; there's a bottle of whiskey on my fridge that has been there for almost a year, and I haven't touched it. So get this through your heads, please: people who think that those who favor ending the WOD are people who use themselves, or wouldn't mind increase drug use overall are flat wrong, wrong, wrong!
2. The second, and equally important point to realize is that the war on drugs IS NOT WORKING, DOES NOT WORK, AND CANNOT AND WILL NOT EVER WORK, to accomplish its stated goals; i.e. reducing drug use/addiction in our society. I wish it did work. I really, really do. But it doesn't. There are more drugs coming in now to our country than ever before, even with the massive amounts of law enforcement money spent on attempting to stop it. Like the man says, if you're a boxer, and get thumped over and over again using the same tactics, it's time to try something different, which maybe WILL work.
3. Third, IN ADDITION TO not working, the WOSD has the added component of several severe negative consequences on society. First, there is the enormous cost in tax money to run the many, many, many thousand of LEOS, state, federal, and local, and specifically, the drug law enforcement parts of their budgets. Whether in domestic law enforcement, customs/border agencies, and interdiction money. Next, there is the enormous cost in lost civil liberties which are a direct result of the war on drugs and now the "war on terror" (which is a complete farce). It is unbelievable how the supreme court has allowed politics to erode the civil rights of the accused, allowing such things as traffic check points, no-knock raids, all kinds of intrusive searches, incredibly invasive and unfair seizure laws against people who weren't even dealing drugs, etc. Without the WOD (which isn't working, remember), we would have a far higher degree of civil rights left. Next, the war on drugs greatly INCREASES violent crime associated with drug-dealing activity. It is indisputable that this violent crime would disappear virtually overnight, as the legal companies would take over and put these gangs out of business. Next, the WOD provides very high incentives for LEOAs and individual LEOS to commit fraud, crimes, and other wrongdoing, due to the seizure laws, such as planting drugs on suspects in order to get their property, etc. And unfortunately, although in the minority, a certain pecentage of LEOs are in fact, corruptible, to their shame and the credibility of the majority of fine upstanding LEOs. It also causes an unholy union or alliance between the LEOAs, particularly the alphabet soup federal LEOAS, and the drug dealers. Clearly, LEOAs have a massive conflict of interest here. They obviously don't want to end drugs being smuggled into our country, or they'd be out of a job. They have to catch just enough bad guys and their drugs to show that we the taxpayers are seemingly getting something for our money, but allow just enough bad guys to slip through to keep the drugs in the country, to justify their existence and getting yet larger and larger budgets. This would all disappear if drugs were legalized.
Quite clearly, I think, we are on the wrong path. Prohibition of drugs cannot work any more than did prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s.
The solution is to slowly begin legalizing them over time, beginning with pot. Ultimately pot would be sold in liquor stores ("pot stores"?), and the harder more addictive drugs will require a doc's prescription, or at least the permission of a gov- run or gov-approved drug rehab center. They won't be an over-the-counter proposition. We must vote for a radical change in political leadership in Washington on this issue, so that the federal LEO alphabet soup budgets can be greatly reduced (gradually over time, so that we don't put large chunks of them out of work all at once). Cutting budgets is painful and fight-intensive, so it will be difficult, necessating the radical change in leadership views on the issue. Finally, let's TREAT the dadgummed addicts into getting their asses of of the drugs, and back into being contributing members of society. This goes for current addicts and for the slight increase of addicts ultimately (initially) created by legalization. But if we took the entire drug-policy-enforcement budgets of federal, state, and local LEOAs, and cut it by 3/4ths, that would save us the taxpayers billions upon billions upon billions of dollars. Now, take this money, and give HALF of it back to the taxpayers in the form of a tax cut, and take the other half and spend it on government-sponsored drug addict treatment facilities, then you would have the following results over time:
1. LESS actual addicts and thus costs to society of drug abuse
2. Far MORE civil liberties
3. Far LESS violent crime (related to drug dealing)
4. Far MORE money in our pockets (from reducing taxes)
The KEY to making it work is providing treatment facilities for drug users to get off of drugs and back to contributing to society. It has been PROVEN that every dollar spent on drug treatment facilities is on the order of several times more efficient at reducing drug addition rates than that same dollar spent on local law enforcement activities, near 10 times as effective at same as that dollar spent on border/customs drug enforcement, and something like 20 times as effective in reducing drug rates as an interdiction dollar (ya know, raiding columbian drug lords with our paramilitary groups).
So keep in mind that almost all LEOs, and those who run prisons have a strong vested interest financially in keeping the WOD going (that war that doesn't and won't ever work). So take what ANY LEO says with a grain of salt. They don't *necessarily* have the same goal as you or I have, which is REDUCING DRUG USE AND ADDICTION RATES most importantly, and secondly, taking back some of our civil liberties. Some do (most in fact - most the LEOs are good guys); some clearly do not.
Cap'n Charlie, that is quite a harrowing tale - thank you for sharing, and you deserve a huge florida attaboy for having the determination to kick the habit. Kudos to you.