Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stopping the War on Drugs!

Richard Branson of Virgin fame reports on the decriminalization of personal possession  narcotics in Portugal and the positive effects it has had over the last 10 years in a country once dramatically plagued by drug use and addiction.

What can we learn from this?  First, as we've seen in the 20's here in the States, prohibition has never really been all that effective and tends to recreate a market that hurts more than it helps.

Should you stop smoking?  Yes.  Should tobacco and tobacco products be illegal?  Absolutely positively no effing way!

Well, I guess if you wanted to increase teen smoking, give gang bangers another reason to start shooting at each other and resurrect the mafia, then yes, let's make tobacco illegal!

Otherwise, let's see if the example Portugal has experimented with successfully can teach us Americans how to handle this drug problem here in the States.

Looks like the concept here is if you decriminalize "personal possession" what will happen?

QUOTE:  Jail time was replaced with an offer of therapy. (The argument was that the fear of prison drive addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment)

I like this idea.  I'd love to see a progressive State with a drug problem take a stab at this.

QUOTE:  Under Portugal’s new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker, and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

Somehow this just make sense to me...  what say you?  The stats and results from this experiment are staggering.  Check out the article for yourself and let me know where you stand.