“Fundamentally, the three UN prohibitionist treaties are
incompatible to human rights. We can have human rights or drug war,
but not both,” said Maria Lucia Karam, a retired judge from
Brazil and a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Richard Van Wickler, currently a jail superintendent in New
Hampshire, adds, “I suppose it’s not shocking that within the
context of a century-long bloody ‘war on drugs’ the idea of human
rights is a foreign concept. Our global drug prohibition regime puts
handcuffs on millions of people every year while even the harshest
of prohibitionist countries say that drug abuse is a health issue.
What other medical problems do we try to solve with imprisonment and
an abandonment of human rights?”
We don’t lock up people for drinking.
We only lock them up for endangering other people while drinking.
And we tax alcohol sales and generate revenue for the state.
Let’s do the same with drugs:
legalize, regulate, and tax.
That’s what we did with
alcohol in 1933,
and it’s time to do the same with other drugs.
The only way to stop drug lords from reaping billions from the drug trade is to end drug prohibition,
says a former leader of the drug war.
The same applies to private prison companies reaping millions.
For decades, police were convinced that total prohibition was the only
way to end America’s deadly drug wars. Now thousands of cops are not
only having second thoughts but actually taking to the streets in protest.
“I was pro-prohibition: that’s what my training was about!” says
Major Neill Franklin, Executive Director of
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP),
who previously served for 33 years with the Maryland
State Police and the Baltimore police forces on the front line of
America’s longest running war. “Even though I grew up in Baltimore
and saw what was going on, we were taught and trained to believe that if
we push hard enough, if we lock up the people involved, then this will
eventually dissipate, or at least be reduced to a manageable level.”
He gives a long, world-weary sigh. “Of course back then I had no
clue…You just can’t tell somebody not to use and they’re gonna
stop using! As long as there are people willing to buy, and as long as
people don’t have employment, then you’re going to have an illicit
drug trade. I saw that we made these arrests—we locked up dealers and
users alike—and it might get quiet for a few days, or even a couple
of weeks, but give it time and it all starts up again.”
The War on Drugs has failed.
Like alcohol prohibition before it, it breeds more violence.
Law enforcement against it just makes it worse:
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