I'm a big proponent of truth. The truth is that the war on drugs isn't working. The truth is that it's only driving up the cost of the drugs and the profits to the druglords. The truth is that because of the illegality and cost of drugs, people who start out as simple drug addicts will soon be driven to start pushing the drugs on to others in order to pay for their own addiction. Others choose to prostitute themselves, to street mugging, to burglaries, and other crimes, pushing the cost of the drugs onto innocents and productive members of society, as well as the police force, paid for my tax payers, and insurance companies, paid for by normal citizens. The truth is that the war on drugs is costing all of us an enormous amounts of money and we get nothing in return for it. It's all a giant machine that extracts money from ordinary people and lands it in the cabinets of drug lords and elected officials. The truth is that there's so much money in drugs, there's no way they haven' bought off all the important judges, politicians, and members of the police force. The truth is that the war on drugs is not achieving its stated agenda of eliminating drugs, but that the livelihoods of millions of people depend on keeping it going, and that we, the people, are paying for it with our lives and our money. Turns out drug cartels in mexico kidnap civilian technicians to help them build their communications infrastructure and kill them when they're done!
It's time to realize the truth, and to make a radical shift in how we approach the drug problem. People are going to want drugs, and they're going to get them, no matter what we do. Even in an area as small and as tightly controlled as the Gaza strip, Hamas cannot stop people from obtaining and consuming drugs.
So let drug addicts have drugs. Let it be legal. It doesn't mean it has to be available at every supermarket. But it has to be readily available, through doctors, pharmacies, prescriptions, and anyone who wants some can get some. We'll control it, so there's a track record, we'll make you jump through some simple hoops just to make sure you actually do want it, but we'll make it so it's much easier and cheaper to get it legally than to get it illegally. Drugs are generally cheap to make. The reason drugs are expensive is because they're illegal and the war on drugs is driving the cost up.
I'm glad to see Richard Branson take up the mantle and put his weight behind it.
Let's make 2013 the year that we end the madness that is the war on drugs.