Most people will agree that the war on drugs is a failure. Jack Cole, retired narcotics detective, stated, “The war on drugs has been the most devastating single destructive social policy since slavery” (“Ex-Officer: War on Drugs ‘Far Worse’ Than a Failure,” Feb. 7). Many of us feel that the only solution is to legalize and control the use of drugs. Others fear that this would only increase the use of drugs. Of course there is a third group that only wants to get rich from the sale and tax of drugs.
What happens if we legalize drugs:
First, we save the U.S. taxpayer $70 billion per year. This savings comes from the costs of police, courts and prisons all related to drug use.
Second, 1.7 million families per year will be saved from the disruption of a family member being arrested for a nonviolent drug offense.
Third, tens of thousands of lives will be saved in the United States and Mexico by eliminating the killings at the hands of illegal drug gangs.
Fourth, after deducting administrative costs, remaining tax money acquired from the sale of drugs would go directly for prevention (education) and treatment. This is the key point that most people are missing! In reality, the drug user pays for his or her treatment through the tax on drugs. Tax money is allocated to provide education to help young people understand and realize the risks and consequences from using drugs.
The real issue is Americans would rather use this tax money for other purposes. There is no better use of this tax revenue than to create an extremely comprehensive prevention plan and provide the best treatment centers for long-term recovery for the many who suffer from this disease.
For more information, go to the website for LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.