There exists a huge amount of money spent on the War on Drugs. There are also enormous “regulatory costs” imposed on everyone, everyday, in support of prohibition. For example, I must spend hours driving store to store to find one that has my medication in stock, because the DEA restricts how much each pharmacy may sell.
Furthermore, the human costs of prohibition in lives ruined by law enforcement, have, in my opinion, long passed the benefits of prohibition, namely fewer addicts and lives saved because of lower availability.
I propose the following:
1) End the War on Drugs, legalizing everything. Not decriminalization, not “less than an ounce”, not “just the soft stuff”…the whole kit and kaboodle! This goes for “unapproved pharm” as well. If you still want an FDA to regulate manufacturing, fine, but “safe and effective” in a committee’s opinion should not determine what is legal.
2) Take all the money we spend, by the government, on prohibition, and instead spend it on treatment and mental health. Transform some of the prisons to drug treatment centers for addicts, and help people with other mental health issues that often lead to addiction (bipolar for example). We would have world-class mental health care in this country.
Since most of the homeless have mental health issues, we would probably put a significant dent in that issue as well.
I am not arguing for the government to run such facilities…vouchers could work too…but mental health should be like education…free to those who need it.
We could pay for it without increasing taxes! That is how much we pay for prohibition.
3) Take all the regulations supporting the drug war, and repeal them, making healthy people’s lives better and easier. This would be a huge “hidden tax” rebate, lowering the costs of many of the items in stores, and saving hours of people’s days.