quarta-feira, 22 de junho de 2011

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 3:22pm posted by Tom Knighton

Former President Jimmy Carter, who as president presided over the War on Drugs, is now apparently opposed to the War on Drugs. Courtesy of the New York Times where the former president wrote the following op-ed:
These recommendations are compatible with United States drug policy from three decades ago. In a message to Congress in 1977, I said the country should decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with a full program of treatment for addicts. I also cautioned against filling our prisons with young people who were no threat to society, and summarized by saying: “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”
These ideas were widely accepted at the time. But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries.
This approach entailed an enormous expenditure of resources and the dependence on police and military forces to reduce the foreign cultivation of marijuana, coca and opium poppy and the production of cocaine and heroin. One result has been a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries.
I understand support for the War on Drugs. Drugs are bad and they do all kinds of terrible things to the user…or at least they can. Users can become addicts and they can do all kinds of terrible things too. They can begin to engage in all kinds of criminal activities as a result of their addiction.
Of course, the same can be said of alcohol which is completely legal to consume for adults.
However, over the last few years, I’ve found that more and more conservatives are tending to look at the Drug War as a failure and are open towards legalizing – and taxing – at least some currently illicit substances. The left, generally, has been more open towards the idea of legalizing some drugs through the years. So what does this mean?
Well, it looks like some drugs may well be legalized in our lifetime and possibly without all the venomous debate we saw during the health care “discussions”. Then again, it might not. However, it’s clear that the debate is shifting towards where Carter had placed it thirty years ago.

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