"Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good," says George Soros in The Wall Street Journal. Law enforcement agencies spend many billions of taxpayer dollars every year trying to enforce our "unenforceable" prohibition of pot. Police make nearly 750,000 arrests each year for small-time possession. A drug arrest record does more damage to a young person's future than an occasional joint. In fact, the only people who seem to benefit from the criminalization of marijuana are drug traffickers, who make billions every year off "the illicit trade." That is why California's Proposition 19, which would legalize recreational marijuana use, is a good first step toward a smarter U.S. drug policy. Here, an excerpt:
Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence, and corruption associated with drug markets, and the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest. Police could focus on serious crime instead...
Like many parents and grandparents, I am worried about young people getting into trouble with marijuana and other drugs. The best solution, however, is honest and effective drug education... I'd much rather invest in effective education than ineffective arrest and incarceration.
Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The best books we read in 2014
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to wrap a present with mathematical precision (and waste less paper)
Subscribe to the Week