Marijuana Legalization: The War On Drugs Doesn't Just Destroy Non-Violent Users, It Destroys the Police


Since the beginning of the 20th century, the U.S. government has been waging a war on this imaginary foe named "drugs." Not only could it be considered unconstitutional with respect to the Tenth Amendment — nowhere is it written that Washington can arbitrarily control substances unless it passes an amendment like the Eighteenth, which instituted Prohibition — but it also makes law enforcement, which is supposed to protect people against crimes, trick them into buying drugs even in high school.

As shocking as it may sound, this Machiavellian scheme (taking all means necessary to accuse someone) is no surprise at all. If you want more horror stories on the subject, you can go to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's website, where you will see, among other things, cops blackmailing people into giving them money and jewelry in exchange for “graciously” not arresting them for drug possession, real or imaginary.

In fact, cops misbehaving in the name of the War on Drugs may even be encouraged in some instances, when the police's budget is cut. The smell of money is so strong that a study by Justice Quarterly suggests that cops wait long enough to seize a larger amount of money for their own benefit.

All this nonsense comes with a hefty price tag. According to economist Jeffrey Miron, ending the War on Drugs could save over $41 billion in prohibition enforcement, which includes police operations and the use of courthouses. And that's not counting the cost on people. When someone is merely suspected of drug possession, his assets can be seized and never returned even if he is found innocent. Also, mandatory prison sentences can give drug users, even first-time offenders, more jail time than murderers. This can greatly explain why the U.S. has among the highest prison population sin the world, even surpassing China, and even by excluding people waiting for their trial.

The War on Drugs has also had the unintended consequence of creating stronger drugs. Since people are sentenced based on the amount of drugs on them, dealers found a way to make their merchandise stronger. This can explain the increased popularity of spirits, the 40-fold increase in the strength of pot, and even the invention of crack, because cocaine was too expensive.

This madness has got to stop. No matter how hard the repression will be, as long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. Let the government return to its original purpose: guaranteeing to each and everyone the free use of his or her faculties, maintaining order, and securing national independence. What happens between consenting adults is their business only, unless someone's life or property is in danger.