Law Enforcement Against Prohibition held a press conference yesterday to tie the 75th Anniversary of the repeal of prohibition (Friday) to today’s equally damaging prohibition, and to show how legalizing drugs could boost the economy.
They’re also rolling out the website: WeCanDoItAgain.com. Check it out and get involved.
It’s early to tell if they get a lot of press from it, but they already got one outstanding OpEd from Reuters’ Bernd Debusmann: Einstein, insanity and the war on drugs
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. His definition fits America‰s war on drugs, a multi-billion dollar, four-decade exercise in futility.
The war on drugs has helped turn the United States into the country with the world‰s largest prison population. (Noteworthy statistic: The U.S. has 5 percent of the world‰s population and around 25 percent of the world‰s prisoners). Keen demand for illicit drugs in America, the world‰s biggest market, helped spawn global criminal enterprises that use extreme violence in the pursuit of equally extreme profits.
Over the years, the war on drugs has spurred repeated calls from social scientists and economists (including three Nobel prize winners) to seriously rethink a strategy that ignores the laws of supply and demand.
And the connection between Capone and today’s prohibition is an obvious one:
‹In the 20s and 30s, we had Al Capone and his gangsters getting rich and shooting up our streets,Š said Nelson, who spent a 32-year government career fighting drugs in the U.S. and Latin America. ‹Today we have criminal gangs, cartels, Taliban and al-Qaeda profiting from the prohibition of drug sales and wreaking havoc all over the world. The correlation is obvious.Š
The before-and-after sequence is so obvious that the U.S. Congress passed a resolution in September noting that the 1933 repeal of alcohol prohibition had replaced a ‹dramatic increaseŠ in organized crime with ‹a transparent and accountable system of distribution and salesŠ that generated billions of dollars in tax revenues and boosted the sick economy.
That‰s where advocates of drug legalization want to go now, and some of them hope that the similarities between today‰s deep economic crisis and the Great Depression will result in a more receptive audience for their pro-legalization arguments among lawmakers and government leaders.
It’s a great article — go join in the comments.