Drug prohibition may have been an outright failure, but is legalization the only alternative? Or is there something in the details both sides are missing? >>>>>>>>>
The Washington Post Op/Ed: Lane: The hype for legal drugs – February 20, 2014 – By Charles Lane
A new conventional wisdom is on the rise: Drug prohibition, or “the war on drugs,” is a costly flop. It not only failed to cut drug use and associated social ills significantly but has also imposed additional social costs — or “catastrophic harm,” as my colleague Radley Balko put it — far exceeding the benefits. Those costs include violent crime linked to the black-market drug trade as well as the mass arrest and incarceration of small-time users, a disproportionate number of whom are African American.
It follows that the only solution is legalization, at least of marijuana and maybe other substances. Apropos of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, for example, former congressman Barney Frank suggested legalizing heroin. Then we could abandon the fool’s errand of prohibition and concentrate on “harm reduction” strategies such as treatment.