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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: 2) by RamiK on Tuesday May 15 2018, @10:16PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Tuesday May 15 2018, @10:16PM (#680209)

    Multiple factions surround President Trump and give him some competing viewpoints in many cases. He's also influenced by some people he talks to over the phone, or by news reports.

    Learned and wise as our cynicism may be, confusing lobbying and advising can only get you so far in a position of power. If a business man can't tell between a representation of a 3rd party interest or an honestly impartial advice, all they need to do is read through the reports and make their own decisions. However, a president doesn't have that privilege. In an age House and Congress representatives can't even read through the bills they're voting on, a president can't even find the time to read through the summaries and reports they're given and are forced to trust staffers to digest it all for them. So, when they end up favoring some lobbyist's phone call over the input of those they've hired over trust issues, that's what I call acting regardless of advice.

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