The United States has already green lighted the legal drug trade with alcohol and tobacco, which despite the countless health and social scourges still have managed to become commercially acceptable vices in households all across America. Meanwhile, illegal drug users are cast out, often sentenced to lengthy prison terms deem needed by the federal government, who remains too stubborn to see the benefit to decriminalizing all drugs and establishing a regulatory system for the nation’s economic gain.
In a nutshell, this is the sentiment of federal appeals judge Richard Posner, who in a recent article in The New Republic, writes that with over half of the American prison population doing time for dealing drugs, it only makes sense to decriminalize these offenses so that we can control the prison population and contribute to better conditions for those inmates inside.
Posner supports his case by arguing that the current recreational drug market in the United States is already more of a detriment to civil society than illegal drugs could ever hope to become, alluding to a belief that marijuana is well on its way to joining these ranks.
“The sale and possession of marijuana are en route to being decriminalized; and I am inclined to think that cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, and the rest of the illegal drugs should be decriminalized as well -- though not deregulated. They should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration for safety, like other drugs, and they should be taxed heavily, like alcohol and cigarettes. Alcohol and cigarettes are “recreational” drugs, too—and quite possibly more destructive of the users than the illegal drugs are, and, in the case of alcohol, also of acquaintances, family members, drivers, and pedestrians. The revenue from a sales tax on marijuana alone would pay for a substantial chunk of the cost of our prison system,” writes Posner.
In 2012, Posner, who serves on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh District, announced his disdain for federal prohibition laws, with a specific interest in decriminalizing marijuana, which remains consistent with his latest testament to putting an end to the War on Drugs. "Personally, I don't think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have. I think it's really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana," Posner said during a lecture at Elmhurst College in Illinois. "I can't see any difference between that and cigarettes."
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.