On this anniversary of the Repeal of the Prohibition against alcohol, many people can't help wondering when it will be time to repeal our nation's current Prohibition and allow our adult citizens the right to choose for themselves what they would like to ingest, with no government coming between them and their bodies. Back in the Reagan Era, our nation was caught up in a frenzy. I was just a kid when Nancy Reagan appeared on Diff'rent Strokes to reveal her brilliant anti-drug strategy, "Just say no."
Soon all my favorite TV friends were getting with the program, even Punky Brewster! Police started coming to our school to tell us about this plague that was taking over America, and how we had to do our part to stop it.
It's been a long time since those clothes were in style, and the ideas in these videos are equally outdated. Drug abuse is a huge problem for our nation, but it's a public health problem, not a criminal one, just like alcoholism was back in the days when a wave of fanaticism took over the United States and caused us to ban all alcohol, even though some of our Founding Fathers were brewers!
Every day we pour a vast treasure of taxpayer money into the effort to identify, prosecute, and jail countless people whose only crime was selling their fellow Americans products they wanted to buy. Without a victim, there can be no crime. Our Founders never envisioned a nation with police actively investigating citizens, with no complaint from any accuser, for the imaginary crime of harming "the State".
Meanwhile, in Central and South America, and even within our own cities, violent gangs have sprung up to supply the market that will always exist for the mind-altering substances, which many adults enjoy responsibly. The lives saved by repealing drug prohibition and ending gang violence would far outweigh any self-induced drug-related deaths that might result from legal drug use. When poppies, hemp, and coca are grown legally by free entrepreneurs, rather than produced by violent thugs as a stepping stone to brutal power, adults could enjoy recreational use of whatever they feel would help them pursue happiness, without supporting real violent criminals.
Marijuana, or cannabis, in particular could flip from being a huge national problem that sucks our state treasuries dry with the expense of investigating and incarcerating people, to being a cash crop that could pull people out of poverty. It is so easy to grow, even in confined spaces, that many living in our inner cities, supported by benefits programs, could easily become professional horticulturalists running their own businesses and paying into the treasury instead!
These dire economic times are our best reverse our current drug Prohibition and start providing jobs, new business opportunities, and a huge savings to the taxpayer. We simply can't afford the cult of "Just say no" any longer. Too much has been spent, and too many lives have been ruined pursuing the imaginary goal of keeping all Americans sober (except on alcohol of course). But don't take my word for it, visit the site of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, where police officers and prominent individuals from all over the world explain in greater detail why we need to end prohibition now!