In light of the presidential election and all of the attention it’s been getting, one can’t help but wonder what their own platform would be if they ever ran for president. After a very brief period of thought, I decided that mine would be this: do whatever the hell you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
You want a gun? Don’t shoot anybody. You want an abortion? Don’t force somebody else to have one. You want to marry someone of the same gender? Don’t sacrifice a Christian during the ceremony. You want to work for $5 per hour? Work for $5 per hour. You want to shoot up heroin? Be my guest.
Now, it’s that last one that really gets people. I thoroughly believe that all drugs should be decriminalized. Everything from pot to crack, and here is why:
Overcrowding in prisons
The United States of America accounts for five percent of the world’s total population. When looking at the population of incarcerated individuals though, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, America makes up a whopping 25 percent, giving us the highest prison population in the world.
As of Sept. 30, 2014, roughly 50 percent of sentenced inmates in federal prison were serving time for drug offenses. There are currently more than two million people in American prisons or jails, and the U.S. incarcerates more people for drug offenses than any other country.
Money, money, money
All of this sounds expensive, right? In 2010, it was calculated that the U.S. could save an annual $41.3 billion combining the federal and state costs, by decriminalizing drugs. That isn’t counting the estimated $46.7 billion that could be collected in tax revenue, either.
The black market
In the same way that the prohibition spurred the creation of the mafia, the war on drugs has done the same for Latin American drug cartels. Legalizing drugs would eliminate the need for a black market and reduce drug related violence drastically.
The lack of a moral issue
If people want something, they will get it. This applies to drugs, guns, underage drinkers, etc. Weapons exist, nobody blames a spoon for making people fat; it’s a matter of free will. Whether drugs are legal or not will not impact how many people use them. In fact, it will assure that quality product is available to users, rather than substances that are diluted or laced with whatever the seller feels fit. I assert that if people know exactly what they’re putting in their bodies, the number of overdoses will decrease in turn.
There is substantial evidence backing up across-the-board legalization, and while I admit that there are valid concerns on either side of the argument, I do agree that if this were to happen there would need to be strict regulations such as age restrictions. The point of all of this though, is simply to say this: the war on drugs was lost a long time ago.