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The Drug War Bailout

The last time our country faced a major economic crisis, we ended alcohol prohibition. Think about that.
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Yeah, sure

We can dream.

It can happen

Nevada and Oregon will vote on the legalization of marijuana in 2010. Probably, the main reason alcohol was legalized in the course of the great depression, was that people noticed which things really mattered. This economic downturn is supposed to be worse than the great depression (and probably last at least as long); so it can happen.

lightning change coming from circumstances

I didn't have those details, but I was also thinking people will learn about proper priorities (not you, D.E.A.). Hell, most people might appreciate a toke in the future Global Depression, I bet.
Up here in Canada, Harper the crazy right-wingnut "Prime Minister" was ahead in the polls with his "stay the course" economic mantra. Unfortunately, people are starting to point out that his "economic course" was identical to Bushes economic course,which was easy to defend until the pain started.

It could happen, but...

I don't know if they were in the habit of confiscating people's property so much during Prohibition.So that could be something that gets in the way of legalization this time if they don't have the money to fund their operations, and jobs are scarce.


I've thought about this. Forfeiture is profitable for local police departments, as well as individual dirty cops. But the drug war isn't profitable for the government. It's a war. A war with 500,000 POWs that must be adjudicated, then fed, clothed and secured. The whole thing is a factory of unfathomable waste.

You can snatch a few dirty dollars here and there...or you can tax it and make billions while saving billions more.

We have to be responsible in our post drug war strategy

We have to be as responsible in exiting the war on drugs as the Prohibitionist bigots were irresponsible in getting us into this public health quagmire. All to often, prohibitionists use the post-prohibition alcohol model as a reason for not legalizing marijuana and other drugs. We can't begin to fight our country's drug problems until we get the criminals out of the market, i.e. make it unprofitable for them. Nevertheless, you need war on drugs strategy

Malkavian's picture

I agree with the overall

I agree with the overall goal of creating a responsible post-drug war strategy. However, I don't think we should go too far in our efforts to bend over backwards to respond to some insane claim by prohibitionists.

Considering the pre-, during and post-Prohibition periods (on alcohol) one thing seems obvious: during prohibition usage increased and all the rather large decreases in consumption we've seen ever since has not been caused by criminalizing users or sellers but simply by information and regulation.

Part of the "drug problem" today is the prohibition set up to deal with it. We can try to do something about the problems that drugs cause, but it's more like trying to make the pain go away using aspirin instead of removing the knife in the back.

I'm not totally sure I understand your last sentence, but in my view the rhetorics of war have to go. Or "war" has to be redefined in a way that allows us to approach victory without the violence, guns, incarceration, and so on.

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