There are no panaceas for the world's drug problems, but legalizing
drugs, un-clog the court system, and free prison space for real criminals. comes
as close as any single policy could. Removing legal penalties from the
production, sale and use of "controlled substances" would not create a "heaven
on Earth," but it would alleviate many of the nation's social and political
problems. Legalization would reduce drug-related crime, save the U.S. billions
In 1984, a kilogram of cocaine worth $4000 in Columbia sold at wholesale
for $30,000, and at retail in the U.S. for some $300,000. At the time, a Drug
Enforcement Administration spokesman noted that the wholesale price ...view middle of the document...
This decrease in inmates would bring the overflowing federal prison
system down to its rated capacity. The excessive efforts now used against drug
activity and drug related-crimes by police would then be put to use more
effectively for catching rapists, murderers, and the remaining criminals who
commit crimes against people and property.
It takes a month to bring a person accused of a crime to trial. It's
even slower for civil proceedings. There simply isn't enough judges to handle
the ever-increasing caseload. By legalizing drugs, thousands of cases would be
wiped off the courts permitting the rest to move faster. Prosecutors would have
more time to handle cases, and judges could make more considered decisions.
Better decisions would lead to fewer grounds for appeals, reducing the huge
amount of appeals courts.
The federal, state, and local governments spend about $100 billion a
year on law enforcement and criminal justice-programs. About $35 billion of
that is directly related to drug-law enforcement. Approximately $15 billion is
related to drug crimes committed to obtain drug money or other related drug
commerce. Therefore, around $50 billion spent on law enforcement could be saved
by legalizing drugs. "fighting drugs is nearly as big a business as pushing
them." As Gore Bidal so rightly put it. Legalizing drugs would endanger the
jobs of police officers, and politicians campaigning on war on drugs.
Legalization would threaten thousands of careers that the taxpayers would no
longer need to support.
About 70 percent of the...