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John Stossel on the War on Drugs

John Stossel has a column at Townhall: Rethinking the Drug War.

I was once among the majority who believe that drug use must be illegal. But then I noticed that when vice laws conflict with the law of supply and demand, the conflict is ugly, and the law of supply and demand generally wins.
The drug war costs taxpayers about $40 billion. “Up to three quarters of our budget can somehow be traced back to fighting this war on drugs,” said Jerry Oliver, then chief of police in Detroit, told me. Yet the drugs are as available as ever.
[…]
No, we’re “winning,” according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which might get less money if people thought it was losing. Prosecutors hold news conferences announcing the “biggest seizure ever.” But what they confiscate makes little difference. We can’t even keep drugs out of prisons — do we really think we can keep them out of all of America?

Not a bad column. He overemphasizes the connection between drug profits and terrorism, but he does point out a number of the common fallacies of drug prohibition.
If you want some real entertainment, read the same article over at FreeRepublic. Quite a lively debate. Lots of good comments, along with some idiocy by someone who thinks America should be run like Singapore.

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