Decriminalization frees cash for treatment

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

After years of reading daily articles about cops chasing around after
small and larger amounts of cocaine and marijuana at the bequest of the U.S., I never thought I would see the day when A.M. Costa Rica finally took a position on this nonsense.

The damage caused by criminalization of drugs is tiny compared to the actual harm of consumption, both to individuals and to society. So much money is spent on trying to enforce unworkable laws that little is left for education, prevention and treatment. The harder the police try, the more violent,  damaging and ingenious is the criminal response. And experience in other countries proves that legalization does not lead to increased consumption.

The formula is straight forward: decriminalize > profits removed > criminals and crime gone > police war gone > funds available for education and treatment > safer, healthier society.

It will still be an imperfect world that requires compromises, but one that
is way less damaging. This strategy is known as harm reduction. Will we live to see the day?

Gordon Martin
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