Drug Prohibition is Financing Terrorist Activities at an Annual Half Billion Dollars
“Drug Decriminalization in Portugal, Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies” is the title of Glenn Greenwald’s comprehensive CATO Institute evaluation of Portugal’s six years (2001-2007) of enormous success with total decriminalization of all drugs. Combined with offering treatment, this policy has actually become even more admired in Portugal. Their drug policy is that drug use is just an administrative infringement with no criminal penalties, but dealing drugs is still a crime. Portugal now has among the lowest drug use rates in Europe and the usual drug consequences such as AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and overdose deaths have all declined significantly. Furthermore, none of the predicted devastation, such as increased drug use or Portugal becoming a drug tourist retreat has occurred.
There is a growing cadre of highly educated professionals that have now written books on the failed drug war and the need for legalization, which is regulation, control and taxation. These include retired Superior Court Judge James P Gray who wrote “Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed: a Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs,” Harvard Professor Jeffrey Miron, PhD, who wrote Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition,” and myself, a retired physician and former medical school professor.
These books all strongly support legalization, in addition to hundreds of other book s on this topic.
The respected conservative British weekly, the Economist had a front page story in its March 5, 2009 issue titled, “Failed states and failed policies, How to stop the drug wars.” There were four separate articles documenting how the “the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless.” Their overwhelming conclusion is that legalization is the answer to drug use.
“The War on Drugs Is a Failure” is the title of an opinion piece in the February 23, 2009 issue of the Wall Street Journal written by three ex-Latin American Presidents: Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the President of Brazil form 1995-2003, Cesar Gaviria, the President of Colombia from 1990-1994 and Ernesto Zedillo, the President of Mexico from 1994 -2000. The article states, “Violence and the organized crime associated with the narcotics trade remain critical problems in our countries,” and they add that “Today, we are further than ever from the goal of eradicating drugs.”
They then state that “The revision of the U.S.-inspired drug policies is urgent “ and “The alarming power of the drug cartels is leading to a criminalization of politics and a politicization of crime,” and “is undermining the foundations of democracy in several Latin American countries.” They conclude that “to be effective, the new paradigm must focus on health and education—not repression.” In other words, legalization!
In her 2009 book, Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda, author Gretchen Peters solidly documents how after eight years in Afghanistan these groups are now earning a half billion dollars annually to support their terrorist activities. They control not just the poppy fields, but also the heroin processing labs, drug transportation that is protected by Stinger missiles and finally even the money laundering. There can no longer be any doubt that our drug war is funding the same terrorists that we have waged war with very lucratively.
The only thing that can stop this drug war fiasco is drug legalization.