Legalizing drugs would bring billions in U.S. tax revenue

I’d like to commend Richard Jazwinski on his article in Friday’s on pointing out that non U.S. drug consumption is now greater than that in the US. It was most informative, and a little research on the net shows he is quite right. It is interesting to note that the U.S. 21st Amendment opened the doors to the underworld, and in my opinion the prohibition against drugs has certainly allowed the drug cartels to flourish. The repeal of the 21st Amendment certainly made common sense, so why don’t we legalize drugs as well? This is something I have strongly supported for years, but it will never happen – well never is a dangerous word, but it won’t happen in my lifetime. Why?

Because legalizing drugs will put too many people out of work. What would happen to all those who work for the Drug Enforcement Administration? What would happen to all the extra border patrol employees put on just to curb drug smuggling? What would happen to all the prison personnel hired to keep track of the over 500,000 in jails for non-violent drug use?

“A 2008 study by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron has estimated that legalizing drugs would inject $76.8 billion a year into the U.S. economy — $44.1 billion from law enforcement savings, and at least $32.7 billion in tax revenue ($6.7 billion from marijuana, $22.5 billion from cocaine and heroin, remainder from other drugs). Recent surveys help to confirm the consensus among economists to reform drug policy in the direction of decriminalization and legalization.” (Wikipedia)

This doesn’t sound like such a bad idea given the current economic climate in the U.S, but again it won’t happen because of the number of people it will put out of work. Those costs haven’t been studied, or at least to my knowledge they haven’t.

Finally, and of course this is an opinion, I’m sure that the drug cartels have found ways to launder their money so that they can funnel contributions to those who have the power to make legislation, and they would of course funnel it to the most outspoken politicians who are against making changes. It’s so sad, but such is the power of money.

Warren Kinsman
San José

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