The drug war has failed! And I am about to drop some facts.
In 1971 President "I Am Not A Crook" Nixon declared war on drugs. He proclaimed "America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive." #45YearsLater
It is fiscally and morally irresponsible to continue a "war" that has proved to be ineffective. The reason that so many politicians from both parties still seek to perpetuate the drug war is tied to lobbying. When law enforcement can practice things like Civil Asset forfeiture without a warrant or even substantial evidence, then they will benefit from such laws. Many of my really close friends are in Law Enforcement, and most of them share my view. Private prisons also benefit from this failed drug war. Since the launch of mandatory minimum sentencing in the 1980's our prison population has more than quadrupled. The United States of America has the highest prison rate in the world. (1) Mississippi locks up more per capita than China or Russia. (2.)
Who else does this war benefit?
Have you heard of the Sackler family? They own a little legal prescription drug called Oxycontin. Forbes Magazine says they are worth $15 billion (4.) Here is an interesting fact, in 2015 76,000 Americans died from prescription drug overdoses. (5) Did you know that in states with legal medical marijuana painkiller deaths have dropped by 25%? (6) Fewer prescriptions for pain pills in states with legalization is bad news for big pharma and they are fighting against it hard. (7) Go look into the campaign finance reports of your congressmen and representatives, national and state level and see how many get checks from big pharma. In Mississippi it is almost everyone I have researched. I am talking big money here...look into it.
How do we win an unwinnable war?
The most successful thing that has been done to hurt the rich drug lords of Mexico and south America in the last few years has been the movement to legalize marijuana in some states. While I do believe that this still falls under the 10th Amendment, meaning it is the people's decision, the question must be asked...how it is that marijuana is treated with such disdain yet there have been ZERO cases of overdose while the W.H.O. reports that Tobacco kills almost 6 Million people and alcohol kills 2.5 Million annually. (3)
Here is a fun read as to why a plant that grows from the earth is illegal. http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/
According to Nerd Wallet, Mississippi could see $21,676,227 in increase tax revenue by legalizing. (8) But this does not take into account agricultural benefit. Hemp anyone? Forbes recently published an article about how industrial hemp was once the dominant crop in America. We can make paper textiles, cordage, biofuels, construction materials, plastic composites (and about 25,000 other products!)(9) Wonder who doesn't what that to happen? (Timber companies, oil companies, chemical companies-again all giving $ to our elected officials!)
Oh, I almost forgot that the US government holds patent 6,630,507 granted in 2003 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and covering the potential use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids to protect the brain from damage or degeneration caused by certain diseases, such as cirrhosis. As my dad always said, Follow the money. (10)
I realize many people are afraid to talk about this. But as a rational human, who has seen first hand the harm and hypocrisy of this so called "war", I feel the need to speak out!
View my speech at the Young Americans For Liberty District 106 debate about the drug war question here.
As an economist I oppose barriers to the free market. As a libertarian I believe the government has no right to tell us what we can and cannot put into our bodies. As a small businessman from a family of farmers I want to see industrial hemp as an option for our state economy. As a compassionate human who has watched several friends die from cancer (or the chemo and other treatments) I want our citizens to have access to all medicines, not just those big pharma decides make the most profit. As a decent human being I want everyone to know just how much influence lobbying and big corporate money have on even our local and state elected leaders. I am Daniel Wise, and I am for Freedom.
Sources: (Do your homework!)