Monday, August 24, 2009

Mexico Finally Sees the Light

Mexico has decided to stop arresting people for small amounts of drugs.

It will be interesting to see the reaction of the Obama administration. The United States has, for years, applied pressure on other countries to keep this sort of thing from happening. In the countries where decriminalization has been tried, like Portugal, the results have been a success.

Every day it becomes more and more difficult to defend a war on our own citizens for using drugs. There are two arguments for this war. The first is that drugs are morally wrong; those who believe in this argument will continue to believe in it, closing their minds as they consume alcohol, nicotine and anything else the drug companies can sell them.

But the other argument is a pragmatic one. It is that if we legalize drugs, there will be an enormous increase in abuse, and society will collapse as a result. For years, people have argued coherently that this is not the case, but now, with the Portuguese experiment, we have empirical proof that this will not happen. And other countries are starting to follow suit.

The momentum is building for a change in US policy, from a policy of criminalizing behavior and just throwing people in prison, to one of offering help to those who need it. The prison industrial/complex and the pharmaceutical/alcohol lobbyists will fight this battle to end. But anyone who believes in freedom and a better society must fight them back.

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