Rep. Ron Paul has teamed up with an unlikely partner to introduce a new bill that would legalize the sale and regulation of marijuana. It would also give jurisdiction of reguation back to the states to do as they see fit.
As we’ve talked about before on our show the drug war has done nothing but waste time and billions of dollars that should be used in more constructive, enriching ways instead of chasing down and prosecuting pot smokers. The drug war is a complete failure and has not made our country one bit safer. The drug gangs have been empowered by prohibition and the illegal drug trade has become a multi-billion dollar business. Meanwhile, states are missing out on taxes that could be collected from the legal sale of regulated pot.
Has any drug addict ever been helped by going to prison? In addition to the cost of pursuing and prosecuting drug users it costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars to house, guard and feed them while in prison. In 2006 $68,747,203,000 was spent on corrections, or $22,650 per inmate. Keep in mind that these are people who are not working, paying taxes or paying rent. They are not doing anything but learning from their new friends how to get better at committing crime. The war on drugs results in the yearly imprisonment of a quarter million people for marijuana. Currently, the United States has the second highest rate of imprisonment in the world. Clearly this is not working. If marijuana is legalized in even a portion of the states the drug cartels will collapse immediately. Who will buy marijuana from a shady dealer on a corner when they can buy it from a store? Which would you choose? A ziplock baggie or a sealed package with an ingredient label and receipt?
In addition, the big banks launder billions for the drug cartels and are never touched. Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo, was caught laundering money for Mexican cocaine cartels. But even though they laundered upwards of $400 billion (and profited on the lending of that money) they only had to pay a fine of $160 million. In addition, once the firm was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008, they were rewarded during the financial collapse with a bailout of $25 billion more from the feds.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that hemp was lumped into prohibition as well. Not because it’s a drug (it is a cannabis plant, you can’t smoke it), but because it is a completely renewable resource that can be used to make durable fabrics and paper. It is also a great nutritional food source. At the time, Du Pont chemicals was about to popularize its wonderful invention polyester, a synthetic petroleum derived fabric. Of course they didn’t want any competition. In true US government form, it is legal to import if that makes any sense. Legalizing hemp growing in this country would introduce a great renewable alternative to cotton and wood pulp paper and would open up a whole new farming industry.
This whole system of corruption must end if the republic is to survive. Some would try to frame the debate around whether or not it should be legal to get high, but it’s really about who’s profiting from the prohibition.
For more, please see Mike Adams’ great article on this topic at Natural News.