Tax sale of narcotics and get rid of crooks

Your editorial on drug arrests is misguided and out of date. Arresting and adjudicating people for possessing small amounts of drugs is a waste of scarce government resources (i.e., taxes). And such enforcement does absolutely no good in reducing consumption. One only needs to look to the United States to see how such policies fail. Thousands of people are dying in Mexico because of these failed drug enforcement policies, while drug use in the U.S. has climbed and the number of people in U.S. prisons and jails incarcerated because of possessing small amounts of drugs has skyrocketed.

Costa Rica has it half right – focus on those dealing dangerous drugs. The other half would be to decriminalize certain drugs, such as marijuana. Regulate its use and tax its sales. That puts those who sell the drug illegally out of business. It frees the criminal justice system to focus on dangerous drug activity, as well as other, more pressing enforcement concerns. And it provides a new revenue source for important government functions.

Prohibition didn’t work in the U.S. in the 1930s, and laws making simple possession of drugs like marijuana don’t work either. And an analogy to wife beating? Please!

Ken Anderberg
Croatia, formerly of Jacó

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