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Tag Archives: opinion

    Watching our financial system treading the insolvency abyss, mortgaging the future with adjustable economic and political theories, one thing is clear – that we don’t have the cash to fully fund the American dream as we’ve known it. 

One reason – the one billion dollars per week ($52 billion/year – $19 billion Federal; $33 billion States) officially spent on the “War on Drugs”, not counting countless billions more in collateral damage.

The Prohibition/Industrial Complex has become a taxpayer’s nightmare – consuming precious government resources on federal, state and local levels; distorting priorities in law enforcement; funneling money into organized crime and underground economies; incarcerating communities and even criminalizing a versatile crop that could save the family farm.

Headline: Sept 11, 2008 – Marijuana Could Be a Gusher of Cash If We Treated It Like a Crop, Not a Crime – In the web based journal AlterNet, Steve Wishnia talks with policy analyst Jon Gettman about his 2006 study “Marijuana Production in the United States” and with Harvard economics professor Jeffrey A. Miron author of “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition” (2005).

Many economists, like Jeffrey Miron, believe all drugs should be legalized, with most recognizing the need for regulation of drugs such as narcotics, especially in commercial form. Almost universal is agreement on the need to separate Cannabis (marijuana) from the “hard drugs”, as is now the norm in Europe, and treat it in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco (two much more dangerous substances). Moreover, medicinal Cannabis is fast becoming established as adjunct to conventional pain medicines for the chronically ill, who then need less expensive, debilitating pharmaceuticals (usually government subsidized) and are often able to remain productive members of society.

Here is a video from the University of California that features Jeffrey A. Miron’s theories and observations on drug legalization:Economics Roundtable: Legalizing Drugs

Headline: Sept 25, 2008 –Rhode Island: Economist Speaks Against ‘Just Say No’– Jeffrey Miron brings his views on the modern prohibition and its’ political connections to Brown University, sponsored in part by Students for Sensible Drug Policy – a national organization present on over two hundred college campuses across America.

Due to economic and budgetary pressures, the drug war will be slowly defunded – this has already begun. ( see previous post ) Ending alcohol prohibition was easy. Reforming the “War on Drugs” will be a tougher nut to crack. But if we don’t creatively approach the task of reordering our priorities towards substance use and abuse, social chaos will deepen as law enforcement resources are needed elsewhere, underground economies will expand and we will be left with no clear way out.

Headline: Sept 20, 2008Pot Arrests At Record High In US Last Year, FBI Says – ONDCP claims success, NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) sees conflict of interest. Paul Armentano of NORML has posted an in depth analysis of the statistics on AlterNet.

Headline: Aug 13, 2008 – Kuwait: OPED: America’s Never-Ending Prohibition – Sometimes the clearest viewpoint is from the outside. So it seems with this editorial from our friends on the Persian Gulf, focusing on the marijuana aspect of the U. S. drug war.

In this series of three videos, another noted economist, Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman exposes the history, immorality and bad economics of the War on Drugs:Milton Friedman on America’s Drug Forum, Pt.1 of 3

Headline: July 10, 2008 – US: Communities Pay for High Prison Rate –  The highly respected Wall Street Journal is sounding the alarm on the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, resulting probations, strains on social programs and the dismal future for families and communities unlucky enough to bear the brunt of the never ending drug war.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas Jefferson

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