In response to a member of LEAP calling for an end to prohibition to make the streets of Chicago safer, the Chicago Sun Times ran this follow up letter to the editor on Monday, “Legalizing drugs not that easy.”Â What I found interesting about the letter is that it is not directly opposed to legalizing drugs, the writer simply has some questions about how the drugs would be regulated in a legal setting.Â Â Here is the letter:
James E. Gierach’s proposal to end the war on drugs poses many questions. Decriminalization and legalization of drugs would be a lot more complicated than it seems. Questions such as who would manufacture the drugs, which drugs would be legalized and who would distribute them. Would Walgreens and CVS dispense said drugs? Would they be open to legal liability in cases of overdose? Would U.S. companies partner with Colombian and Mexican drug lords for supply and demand purposes?
And finally, what would the current drug dealers, particularly ones without any marketable skills, do for income? Would the government, in a time of tight budgetary restraints, be willing to treat and train them to be accepted back into society? There are a combination of causes for Chicago’s street violence connected with corruption, dysfunction, disinvestment and sheer rebellion at authority to name a few. But if the answer is for people to call for an end to the drug war, then that means there has to be a call for a start to reinvesting and retraining the participants in the drug trade so that they won’t look for other illegal means to survive.
So, Steven is not necessarily against legalizing drugs, he just wants the government to “reinvest and retrain” drug dealers and drug consumers.Â Â I think that we should do a better job of reinvesting and retraining those who have been unjustly imprisoned for drug offenses and that would prevent those released from jail and/or prison from returning to a life of crime.Â However, while there are problems with education in Chicago, the fact that these Americans are incarcerated for putting a substance into their own body or selling or producing a substance for others to willfully consume is the problem.Â Any felon can attest to the lack of jobs out there for those branded by the criminal justice system and the drug war is to blame for many felonies in Chicago and across the country. Nevertheless, Steven’s questions can be answered and in no way should be reason to oppose a logical solution like legalizing drugs.
The only people that find legalizing drugs difficult are politicians, which is sort of strange because they are in the regulatory business by making, and in very few circumstances, repealing laws.Â One would imagine they could conjure up a set of rules for the production, distribution and consumption of these substances just like they do with everything else.Â I suppose those with a vested financial interest in maintaining prohibition might find it difficult to legalize drugs but America needs a new replacement economy because the prison industrial complex is simply costing too much life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness among the supposedly free.Â When the factory jobs went overseas, the prison building boom took off, now it is time to reinvest and retrain America to find some other economy that does not feed off caging illegal drug producers, traders, and consumers.
In case folks were wondering about the violence in Chicago there were “at least” 27 people shot over Memorial Day Weekend and that was not in celebration of Obama coming back to the city for the holiday weekend.Â Chicago and Iraq have an ongoing race of where more people are shot and killed each summer and year, but legalizing drugs and pulling the financial rug out from the gangs is still too absurd for consideration.Â In Illinois we cannot even allow people to consume cannabis with a recommendation from their doctor, as evident by our medical cannabis legislation once again stalling and being put on the back burner for consideration after the November election.Â And for those interested in exploring different regulatory models for different drugs, I suggest turning to Transform’s Blueprint for Regulation