"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
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
Subscribe to the Week