The Oppenheimer Report in the Miami Herald: Has the time come to legalize drugs?
I haven’t really mentioned Vicente Fox’s recent call for legalization. Andres Oppenheimer discusses it.
While the three centrist former presidents’ proposal amounted to not prosecuting people for consuming marijuana, Fox’s proposal calls for legalization of all major drugs — the whole enchilada.
In an extended interview, Fox told me that he is making his proposal because drug-related violence in Mexico has reached intolerable levels, and because the experience of other countries such as the Netherlands has shown that allowing drug sales has not significantly driven up drug consumption.
“Prohibitionist policies have hardly worked anywhere,” Fox told me. “Prohibition of alcohol in the United States [in the 1920’s] never worked, and it only helped trigger violence and crime.”
Since possession of small amounts of marijuana has already been decriminalized in Mexico, what’s needed now are bolder steps, such as legalizing drug production and using the taxes it generates to fund anti-drug education programs, he said.
“What I’m proposing is that, instead of allowing this business to continue being run by criminals, by cartels, that it be run by law-abiding business people who are registered with the Finance Ministry, pay taxes and create jobs,” Fox said.
That’s about as clear as you can get.
And the antics of our drug warriors just keep looking more pathetic every day…
In a separate interview, White House drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske told me that drug legalization is a “non-starter” in the Obama administration.
Kerlikowske disputed the idea that alcohol prohibition drove up crime in the United States in the 1920s, arguing that there were no reliable crime statistics at the time.