CNN’s Jack Cafferty writes in his column today:
One senior Harvard economist estimates we spend $44 billion a year fighting the war on drugs. He says if they were legal, governments would realize about $33 billion a year in tax revenue. Net swing of $77 billion. Could we use that money today for something else? You bet your ass we could. Plus the cartels would be out of business. Instantly. Goodbye crime and violence.
Really Jack? The cartels would be out of business? Goodbye crime and violence?
I hate the illogical “War on Drugs” as much as the next literate, reasonably well-informed person – and don’t get me wrong, hyperbole is one heck of a literary device – but, no.
No, the cartels would not be out of business (according to UN estimates – p. 127 here – North America consumes less than half of the global illicit drug market). No, it is not immediately obvious that crime and violence would decrease (see points 5 and 7 here).
The War on Drugs in its present form is ludicrous. However, overstating the dissenter’s position does nothing to illuminate this insanity.