Over the last several years, ending drug prohibition has steadily become an idea whose time has come. After spending decades and billions of tax dollars policing what individuals can and cannot put into their own bodies, the government has absolutely nothing to show for its “war on drugs,” aside from a swelling prison population.
The opiate crisis is among the most devastating consequences of the drug war.
The staunchest supporters of prohibition, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, may still be clinging stubbornly to their archaic views, but there are virtually no grounds on which the continuation of drug prohibition can be justified. In fact, just as with alcohol prohibition, outlawing the use of drugs has resulted in more drug use, not less. It has also made drug use more unsafe as the sale and distribution of drugs is driven underground to avoid government intervention. And when it comes to popular opinion on the issue, most of the country now understands that banning the use of illicit substances just doesn’t work.
And while the complete legalization of marijuana is now only a matter of when and not if, ending the prohibition of all other illicit substances is not likely to happen anytime soon: that is, unless you live in Oregon where a new bill to decriminalize “hard drugs” has just passed state house and will make its way to the state senate.by