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Building an Open Future [This Network is not currently active and cannot accept new posts] | | Topics
Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!Views: 172
May 29, 2009 8:07 pm re: re: re: re: re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!

Ken Hilving
What objective is being met by having a class of illegal drugs? Keep in mind that slogan, which is properly "First, do no harm."

According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 253,300 inmates for drug offenses in 2005. That means states spent approximately $17,110,415 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,245,301,475 per year.

Based on 2005 figures, and assuming California has the average cost, the annual prison cost for drug abusers is $4.1B annually. Add to this the cost of law enforcement and state court costs.

If prosecuting and incarcerating users of illegal drugs was effective, the number of drug users would fall dramatically following the initial enactment of such laws. It has not.

Having illegal drugs also creates a class of citizens who operate outside the law which in turn leads to violence in that society (see murders, assaults, and other violent crimes) since they cannot use either law enforcement or courts to resolve disputes.

Having illegal drugs creates an artificially high profit margin in drug commerce. This leads to property crimes by the users (how many alcohol or tobacco related property crimes are there?), and a profitable industry that has no respect for any level of legality. No controls of any sort on purity of products, age restrictions, or business practices.

Collateral damage includes unsafe neighborhoods, bystander injuries, loss of legitimate businesses, international tensions, increased racial bigotry, opportunities for corrupt officials, and reduced tax base.

In the case of drugs, it is the rules that have allowed the chaos to flourish.

How much more of this can Californians afford?

The same applies to the rest of the country.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving (new win)

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