Bret, I couldn't agree more. Well said.
Here are some of the many effects of our current drug policy:
- Enriches drug lords across the world thus exacerbating violent crime
- Imprisons hundreds of thousands unaddicted, unmalicious users
- Unnecessarily "criminalizes" millions more
- Drives underground those who need treatment
- Foregoes tens of billions of dollars in potential marijuana-related employment opportunities and sales tax revenues
- Costs billions to support interdiction, policing, and incarceration
- Militarizes relationships with drug-producing countries
- Messes up the economies and politics of drug-producing countries
- Prevents innovation to make recreational drugs less harmful (and more recreational)
- Inhibits intelligent discussion and unbiased research about the effects of drugs
- Does not reduce addiction rates
- Propagates the patriarchical assumption that the government should legislate a domain of moral standards that are "for your own good"
This is good. We've got tax policy, trade policy, substantial portions of international policy, and drug policy worked out. Before long, we'll have a platform for transformation that will be radical, but compelling for its logic and underlying principle of human empowerment.