An article in yesterday’s Forth Worth Star-Telegram highlights the ineffectiveness of the government’s failed “drug war” polices.
“Mexico’s nimble drug cartels are leapfrogging tightened border security and establishing sophisticated marijuana-growing operations in North Texas and Oklahoma, law enforcement officials say. This month alone, sheriff’s departments in Texas’ Ellis and Navarro counties found three irrigated, fertilized and manicured pot-growing operations near Ennis and Corsicana.
More than 16,000 plants have been uprooted from the sites, said Duane Steen, an assistant commander of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Narcotic Service in Austin.
Last year, a 12,000-plant operation found in Ellis County was the first sign that Mexican drug cartels have branched out from smuggling marijuana to cultivating it in Texas, Steen said.”
As drug gang violence in Mexico and along its border with the US increases, now would be a great time to reassess our nation’s drug polices.
Legalization of drugs would put an end to drug related violence spreading across Mexico and the US. Drug violence occurs due to the very fact that it is illegal.
Alcohol is a perfect example of how prohibition can create an atmosphere of underground markets and violence. Once alcohol was legal and regulated, criminal distribution became nearly nonexistent. Gang violence due to alcohol competition dropped to zero.
Decriminalization of drugs would also lighten the burden of our prison systems. According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 253,300 inmates for drug offenses in 2005. That means states spent approximately $17,110,415 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,245,301,475 per year. Nearly 20% of prisoners are imprisoned due to nonviolent drug related offenses.
RELATED: I suggest reading former Baltimore cops Peter Moskos and Stanford Franklin’s August 17th article in the Washington Post, It’s Time to Legalize Drugs.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram