The Damage From the War on Drugs
Radley Balko outlines the collateral damage from the War on Drugs in a new article at Culture 11.
Prohibition militarizes police, enriches our enemies, undermines our laws, and condemns our sick to suffering.
There's also the enormous economic cost of prosecution and imprisonment and, as Radley points out: [More...]
Prohibitions create black markets, and black markets spawn crime. Drug prohibition, then, spawns violent crime. There’s a reason we don’t often hear about a Michelob deal gone bad. Because alcohol is legal, there are no turf wars, no sour deals, no smuggling operations to defend.
One in 100 Americans today is behind bars. That number by far and away leads the world, and is at its highest point in American history. About 350,000 of the approximately 3 million Americans behind bars are there for nonviolent drug crimes (trafficking or possession). It would be impossible to approximate, but countless others are undoubtedly in for violent or property crimes that are by-products of drug prohibition. The drug war has turned entire neighborhoods into, well, war zones. If the temptation of the drug trade can be too much for some police officers, you can imagine the allure for a young urban kid wasting away in an awful public school with few other prospects.
A retired federal border agent who worked drug cases argued for legalization in the El Paso Times. He says it's the only way to stop the cartels. It was up for debate this week at the El Paso City Council meeting. The Mayor vetoed it but a vote is scheduled to overide the veto so the debate can take place. For More on cops who support legalization, check out Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
CNBC's Mad Money's senior writer also argues for either legalization or decriminalization.
Tony Newman at Alternet writes "Five Ways We Can Build a Movement to Stop This Idiotic War on Drugs."
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