Ok, back to argument - the fun part of blogging.
I say that the war on drugs has harmed our nation. It has done so by:
1.increasing drug profits for organized criminal organizations,
2.wasting billions of taxpayer dollars,
3. taking law enforcement away from better, more suitable tasks,
4. harming civil rights,
5. harming rather than helping drug abusers (and destroying the lives of recreational users who have been arrested when they could have remained productive members of society),
6. encouraging rather than discouraging kids from using drugs, and has
7. prevented the government from gaining millions, perhaps billions, in taxable revenue if legalisation were permitted and recreational drugs were taxed.
Certain habit-forming or dangerous drugs should remain illegal without a prescription or illegal, period (heroin, cocaine, crystal, etc) because the risks outweigh the rewards, and the cost to society is higher than the benefits to the individual - since in those cases there is no benefit for the individual either.
But many now-illegal drugs should be legalized (marijuana, XTC, mescaline (I think - I don't know much about mescaline)) because there would be little cost to society by allowing individuals to take such drugs.
And notice how the dynamic of our traditional freedom-based society has changed when it comes to drugs. Instead of the government proving that individuals shouldn't take drugs before the government is allowed to forbid it, individuals have to prove they should be allowed to take drugs before the government lets them. I think when it comes to my decisions about my body and what I do with it the government should stay out of it unless there is a real good argument for making me do something I don't want to do, or preventing me from doing something I wish to do. Such as stopping for traffic lights - I might not want to stop, I do lose freedom when laws make me stop when I don't want to, but the case for it is obvious - we are all better off for such laws (including the person who didn't want to stop). How is that true for smoking dope? If I want to light up, how are you harmed? Or society in general? One way is through the illegal drug trade - it is a violent and destructive business that is paid for by individual smokers across the nation. But that is a harm created by making it illegal, not from the use of the drug itself. It isn't an argument for keeping the drug illegal because legalizing it would take it away from the illegal drug trade.
Just as prohibition was Al Capone's worst nightmare, legalisation is the pusher's worst nightmare.
And if you haven't done it already, if you love your country, read this: http://buggieboy.blogspot.com/2004/10/if-you-love-your-country-read-this.html