In today’s Washington Post, Peter Moskos and Neill Franklin lay out a law enforcement based argument for legalization of drugs. Both authors are former Baltimore City police officers. Mr. Moskos is also currently a professor of criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
‘Puter tends to agree with Messrs. Moskos and Franklin. Marijuana should be legalized (and taxed) immediately. Marijuana could be treated similarly to alcohol, with government licensed facilities selling the drug to people over 21. Criminal offenses such as public intoxication and DUI could be updated to include marijuana.
Harder drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, etc., would require tighter controls. Perhaps a “use on premises” situation would be appropriate, wherein licensed retailers could distribute the drugs (along with clean needles) to be used on premises. Counselors and medical personnel could also be on premises.
For too long the United States has fought a losing battle against drugs and the associated violence. American drug policy has also had a detrimental effect on our foreign policy (see, e.g., Afghanistan poppy growers). Legalizing the possession, sale and consumption of currently illegal drugs would remove the criminal element and likely reduce violence. Tangentially, legalization would also raise government revenue (taxes) and decrease costs (lowered prison and enforcement costs). Further, legalization recognizes citizen’s abilities to make choices for themselves, without government interference.
Politically, the issue is a difficult one. Many conservatives would not countenance repeal of prohibition on illegal drugs. It is an area where conservatives fail to recognize in themselves what they criticize in liberals: a willingness to use law to force social policy choices on those with whom they disagree.
‘Puter awaits his fellow Gormogons’ explanation of the myriad ways in which ‘Puter is wrong.