Posted By RichC on May 19, 2010
Yesterday’s repost concerning illegal immigration triggered a comment from a regular reader concerning his thoughts on drugs. His contention is that the narcotic trade significantly contributes to the more serious criminal activity on the US/Mexican border and throughout the country as it relates to the illegal alien population, and that if we would “legalize the drugs, then the cartels and the violence go away.” For argument sake I disagreed and responded in comment.
I’ve often argued the “legalize and tax” drugs position — for the sake of debate. I also believe making drugs openly and legally available isn’t good for our nation’s children, our society or for productivity. Even though I’m a “take responsibility” kind of guy … I know what hardcore addictive drugs can do to even productive and intelligent people … hey, I watch “House” … let alone ill-equipped and poorly parented young people.
If I believed the answer was to simply legalize marijuana alone … and that our problems would go away … I would be 100% in support (seeing ‘pot’ is less destructive than alcohol). Unfortunately I don’t believe the problem would be solved there … and that the business of illegal narcotics smuggling and violence would continue (I’m on the fence with the “gateway drug” argument).
Deep down its not the ‘drugs’ that are the problem … it is that those who seek money and power without a conscious will turn to whatever behavior is necessary to achieve their goals. They make risk/reward decisions and depending on their morals, will evaluate, then decide where to draw the line. It might be at prostitution, a farmer growing poppies or someone smuggling drugs and trafficking people; on the other hand it might be contracting for an assassins, being a crooked or oppressive politician and willing to accept or order genocide to remain in power. People eventually find their risk/reward tolerance and there are enough bad ones that we’ll still need to address it. In the case of drugs, I’d rather error on the side of infringing on someone ‘right’ to buy harmful narcotics than watching even more Americans strain public services while addicted or dying from their choice to buy drugs.