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Hate Drugs? You Should Want to End the Drug War
People who live in neighborhoods with drug dealing out in the open and with violence associated with the drug trade are some of the most vocal supporters of the drug war. Of course people want and need to feel safe in their neighborhoods. But most “drug-related” violence stems not from drug use, but from drug prohibition. That was true in Chicago under alcohol kingpin Al Capone, and it is true now. The killings and violence in many U.S. cities are not from marijuana or other drug use, but because prohibition makes the plants worth more than gold, and people are willing to kill each other over the profits to be made.
Drug War = More Danger for Our Children
Many people may know the drug war is a failure but are afraid to change course because they worry about their children and want to keep them safe. Ironically, the drug war is a complete failure when it comes to keeping young people from using drugs. Despite decades of DARE programs with the simplistic “Just Say No” message, 50 percent of teenagers will try marijuana before they graduate. Young people often claim it is easier for them to get marijuana than alcohol because drug dealers don’t check IDs. Young people also feel the brunt of marijuana enforcement and make up many (and in some places most) of the arrests for marijuana offenses. Arresting young people will often cause more damage than drug use itself. Teenagers need honest drug education to help them make responsible decisions. Safety should be the number one priority. We have dramatically reduced teen smoking without tobacco prohibition and without a single arrest.
Drug Abuse is Bad. The Drug War is Worse