End the War On Drugs
The War On Drugs is a war on American citizens. It costs over seventeen billion dollars every year. All of the illegal drugs combined do not kill as many people every year in America as either alcohol or nicotine. Drug addiction is a health problem. We need to stop criminalizing these health problems. Civil asset forfeiture is a procedure law enforcement can use to seize your bank account, home, car and other property without a warrant and without taking you to court. This ability has been abused many times by law enforcement in the name of the Drug War. Over two million people are in prison right now, and perhaps half of them are nonviolent drug offenders. Meanwhile, many violent murderers and rapists are released early because there is not enough room in the prisons. There are so many people in prison, mostly because of the Drugwar, that many prisons are no longer run by the government, but are run by private corporations. This was not the vision of this country\'s Founding Fathers. In the 1930s, gangsters used violence to control their black market territories. This was profitable to them because they were the only ones selling liquor. When alcohol prohibition ended, the gangsters could no longer compete with legitimate businesses, and the black market and the violence that came with it largely disappeared. Prohibition did not work in the 1930s and it is not working now. The violence associated with the drug war would drop dramatically if drugs were legal. Urban gangs could not compete with companies as large as, for example, Phillip Morris or Jack Daniels. Without their steady cash supply, the gang members would either have to find legitimate employment, or would continue their violent ways. Then we would be able to put the violent people in prison where they belong, and prison would again be a place for the violent and antisocial. The most serious issue regarding harm reduction and legalization of these drugs is raised by people who are concerned that addiction rates would skyrocket if these drugs were legalized, and that there would be a tremendous social cost. This is an important concern, but predictions the the repeal of alcohol prohibition would cause alcoholism to skyrocket turned out to be incorrect. In any case, people with drug addictions need medical and psychiatric help. Throwing them in jail damages them further, and when they get out of jail they are more of a danger to society, not less.