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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 15 2018, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the making-way-too-much-sense dept.

AlterNet reports

Embracing a harm reduction and public health perspective, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals has released a signed editorial calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of currently illegal drugs.

In an editorial [May 10] entitled Drugs Should Be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed, Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, notes that under drug prohibition, the global trade "fuels organized crime and human misery", and asks, "Why should it not instead fund public services?"

Citing an opinion piece[1] in the same issue of the BMJ from British members of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Jason Reed and Paul Whitehouse, Godlee notes that in the United Kingdom (as in the United States) "vast sums are spent prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities" while that money would be much better "spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection". Under legalization, "revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers", she writes.

Godlee notes that the global drug prohibition consensus is fraying around the edges, and points to the example of Portugal, which decriminalized the possession of all drugs in 2001. There, drug use remains in line with levels in other European countries, but the harms associated with drug use under prohibition have decreased dramatically, particularly in terms of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of injection drug-related infectious disease.

[1] Bad link in TFA; corrected in TFS.

Previous: Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 15 2018, @07:08PM (2 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @07:08PM (#680155)

    What is true, which GP correctly pointed out, is that national-level Democrats are much more in favor of marijuana legalization at the federal when they don't have the power to actually make it happen. It's one of many issues wheres the majority would be on their side if they did X, and whenever they don't have the power to make it happen they grandstand about doing X if elected, and once they do have the power to make it happen they ignore X entirely.

    But yeah, the Republicans are quite consistently against pot legalization, because conservative != libertarian when it comes to personal freedoms.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday May 15 2018, @07:42PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday May 15 2018, @07:42PM (#680167) Journal

    The Schumer announcement is the most credible yet from the Democratic Party (from a Senate Minority Leader), although he has yet to publish the proposed bill. Schumer is also cosponsoring [merryjane.com] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's hemp legalization bill, even though McConnell won't reciprocate on hemp's "illicit cousin".

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    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:09PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @08:09PM (#680172)

      It's the most credible yet, but that's not saying much. The Dems still don't have that much power in Congress, and Trump is the President and can easily veto anything they pass that doesn't have a sizeable amount of Republican support (which is unlikely, given the Republicans' history of obstructionism). So it still looks just a populist move to show "look! we tried!" when it inevitably fails.