The steps we are taking in America are slow, oh so slow, but within 5 years at least half the states will have followed the lead of Colorado, and eventually the whole country will have followed Portugal, where crime is way down, addiction is way down, coats are greatly reduced, and the country is making money … BECAUSE THEY LEGALIZED AND REGULATED ALL DRUGS 14 YEAR AGO!
Here are just a few salient facts:
1. Estimated annual revenue that California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana: $1,400,000,000
2. Number of people killed in Mexico’s drug war since 2006: 100,000+
3. Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction: 200,000+
4. Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion.
5. Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000 .
6. Number of people arrested in 2013 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.5 million .
7. Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2013: 693,482
Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 609,423 (88 percent).
Excerpts from the article:
At first, the government responded to it as the United States is all too familiar with: a conservative cultural backlash that vilified drug use and a harsh, punitive set of policies led by the criminal justice system. Throughout the 1980s, Portugal tried this approach, but to no avail: By 1999, nearly 1% of the population was addicted to heroin, and drug-related AIDS deaths in the country were the highest in the European Union, according to the New Yorker.
But by 2001, the country decided to decriminalize possession and use of drugs, and the results have been remarkable.
At the turn of the millennium, Portugal shifted drug control from the Justice Department to the Ministry of Health and instituted a robust public health model for treating hard drug addiction.
“The main lesson to learn decriminalizing drugs doesn’t necessarily lead to disaster, and it does free up resources for more effective responses to drug-related problems,”