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June 2nd, 2011
11:32 AM ET

New Drug Report

Click here to check out the new drug report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

Do you think the war on drugs is working?  Leave your comments below.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. EvilIndependent

    NO! It's NOT working, it never did, and remains, to this day, nothing more than an excuse for politicians to pocket some tax money for local pork projects. YOU CANNOT LEGISLATE MORALITY, and the sooner our government learns this, the sooner we can quit wasting money on stupid, zero-ROI efforts. The legalization of alcohol (i.e. the repeal of prohibition) put a bullet in the heart of the black markets and the Al Capones of the period, legalizing marijuana now would do the same, and would also potentially give a kick-in-the-pants to our illegal-immigration issues. If people want to screw up their lives to get high, fine, TAX them for the privilege, use the money to fund social security, and make them pay exorbitant fines and lose their licenses when operating vehicles et al while under the influence!

    It's not rocket science, people.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  2. Geek

    It is rocket science.... Marijuana can be used to create fuel

    June 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  3. Tyler

    Legalize it, don't Criticize it. The war on Drugs is an utter failure!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  4. Rick

    Depends. It is definitely working for those making money out of that "war" with our own money as their blank check. Prohibition is a FAILURE. People SHOULD decide what is good or bad for them... NOT SOME IDIOTS with suits at capitol hill.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Scott Wayne

    Today, I wrote a letter to my son:

    Dear Son,
    A good idea is discussed here… an idea that the US industrial prison and law enforcement complexes fight tooth and nail… to the point they refuse to acknowledge rational thought, logic and factual scientific conclusions, and hold tight to the beliefs of the past, as well as laws that have put more non-violent people in prison in the United States than in any other nation on Earth…

    The “status quo” keeps the current politicians in power, and the industries that provide campaign contributions to keep those same politicians in office ensure that the politicians they support continue the status quo to support the laws (the “drug war”) that ensure their profits – from bullet proof vests, to night vision goggles, to helicopters, to new prison construction, and on and on and on…

    This does NOT mean that all drugs are good in all cases, or that all drugs are bad in all cases. It means that THE TRUTH is the most important thing, not propaganda that scares people into fearing things that are not true in order to prop up industries that make Billions of $$$'s fighting for prohibition, when education and rational solutions are a much better path.

    It means that parents and our educational system should be able to tell THE TRUTH… that ingesting mind-altering or unhealthy substances are NOT a good idea when your body and mind are still forming… and that you should care enough about yourself to take the time to learn about how things can affect your body, mind, and general well-being long-term BEFORE you even consider ingesting them. And you should CARE ENOUGH and RESPECT YOURSELF enough to say NO to those things that may be harmful to you until you’re older and your body has finished growing and developing. You owe that to YOURSELF, no matter what someone else may try to peer-pressure you into…

    But also… learn to discern truth from propaganda, my son, and always fight for the truth…

    I love you,

    June 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  6. deif

    Absolutely not!! just as prohibition did not work. Stop wasting our tax dollars and encouraging corruption

    June 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  7. eric

    both alcohol and tobacco are addicting and kill you. they're legal and we bring in trillions of tax dollars from their sale and use. marijuana is neither addicting or kills you, but it's illegal and costs us trillions of our tax dollars enforcing a broken system.

    hmmmm... what's the smart choice here?

    June 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Don Rennie

    Like ANY and ALL programs operated by the Feds... a HUGE failure! Hard to believe any reasonable person can find success in this program or WAR.

    Don Rennie

    June 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  9. MsBelle

    I heard the last half of the judge's comments. I have to agree that our war on drugs has gotten far worse in the last 5 years or so. The killings in Mexico are horrifying. Where is our taxpayers money going? Surely not into fighting the war on drugs. That's my opinion. Thank you.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  10. Anna

    I concur that these policies have not worked and so many families have been affected by legal issues surrounding minor drug infractions. The laws must change with society.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  11. Beth Redstone

    The drug policy is a complete failure. The policies have created a huge prison population and has made rich those who run the private prisons.

    Schools, lack of medical care for the poor, a run down infrastructure are all suffering while the government just ignores what is going on to keep these worthless policies in place.

    Obama said he would not raid medical marijuana dispensaries , but Holder is going after them anyway. Talk about a waste of money.

    We need education and jobs and housing and good food and people would not need to kill and become criminals over drugs. I believe this country's drug policies are responsible for the drug wars in Mexico.

    The arms dealers, however, are very happy to keep the status quo.
    Bravo to that California judge.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  12. mark moore

    Forty Years of Lies, It started with lies and the US Is Still Lying to serve their jobs and Agencies. It has never been about the people.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  13. debi Campbell

    Ali, the DRUG WAR is NOT working!!! I spent 16.5 years in a federal prison camp for my limited involvement in a first-time, non-violent drug offense. It tore our family apart and it is the children of the drug war prisoners that ultimately suffer the most. I cost taxpayers thousands upon thousands of dollars by being incarcerated with such a draconian sentence. I can attest that it is all about the money, when it should been addressed as a medical issue of addiction. The federal prisons are FULL of low-level addicts who need treatment. If someone doesn't want to stay sober/clean, NO amount of time is going to change things. I was released in January 2010 and am working hard to share this information with all the powers that be.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  14. Shap

    The war on drugs unfortunately is our biggest domestic policy failure. Just like the prohibition of alcohol, the war on drugs has not stopped or even reduced drug use since its inception and has only helped those in organized crime get rich and in the process kill far too many. Legalizing, regulating, and controlling these substances would put criminal organizations out of business. After alcohol prohibition ended, nobody died in the streets over which mob group could sell alcohol in which territory/community. The Al Capones of their day were severely weakened when we ended alcohol prohibition and Mexican drug cartels would likely face a similar fate if we ended the war on drugs.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  15. stan m

    If you convict drug dealers how do they end up back on the streets... best that could happen would be California sliding into the ocean, that would be Politically Correct.

    To many air heads in D.C... to many air heads that are judges... to many air heads that are so Politically Correct they don't know the real world they live in...

    Why is CNN so politically correct? I hope CNN isn't an air head...

    Stan m


    June 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  16. RealityDichotomist

    I work in an important and influential profession where I'm from. We have highly successful people, some of whom make a quite a bit of money. The worst kept work secret is that many of us use marijuana recreationally and even regularly. It has not diminished the ability to provide a high quality product, or created a criminal environment in people's personal lives. Some folks enjoy a hot bath and a glass of wine to relax after a hard day of work, others enjoy a naturally growing plant. It's time to join the 21st century and get rid of these draconian laws.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  17. John

    The notion that there can be a prohibition on substances that have been around some thousand years before the idiots that decided it wasn't good for us is staggeringly pitiful. It has been a failure since the beginning, and many otherwise law-abiding citizens have been prosecuted or lost their jobs from drug testing.
    Otherwise, we need to make alcohol illegal again, it's only fair...what makes sense to you, Washington?

    June 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  18. Liberwill

    It was a surprise to have a republican on your show supporting the end of Drug Prohibition. He is absolutely right, black markets only exist in any form as a result of prohibition. A person is arrested every 30 seconds for a marijuana related offense in this country. The only reason politicians won't end prohibition is because they know it will expose America's real problem: prescription drugs. America's most deadly drug dealers are not in our streets, they are in our hospitals.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  19. Jameson

    It's unfortunate that people aren't able to use common sense with these drug laws. The fact of the matter is that when you make these substances illegal, it encourages people who are already criminals to supply these substances to innocent citizens. These innocent citizens are then associated with these criminals, and users who would only stick with harmless substances like marijuana are influenced to try harder drugs by these criminals. It's a fact that street gangs are the most common suppliers of these drugs, and undoing these laws would destroy the whole purpose of street violence. Prohibition didn't work, and neither has this.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  20. Mike

    the war an drugs is not working, never has, never will, too much money involved. The cartels are happy drugs are illegal, they're making all the money. We should legalize. This way our gov't could be making money instead of wasting it. Makes too much sense, probably won't happen.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  21. Bob in Texas

    Yes, for the drug dealers. The more anti drug enforcement we throw at the problem, the more we drive up the price, and profitability, of illicit drug sales. As law enforcement gets more heavy handed, mild mannered drug dealers drop out and are replaced by increasingly violent dealers. It's a vicious cycle, and I do mean vicious. Gang wars are an inevitable result, and law-abiding citizens get caught in the middle, and stuck with the bill.

    Check the history of prohibition of alcohol. It followed the exact same pattern. Prohibition just drives up costs and increases profits for the criminals.

    I'm not saying we should just give up, but we need to recognize that legal prohibition isn't working, it's just making matters worse. A far better approach would be to use honest propaganda to try and reduce the desire for drugs or at least responsible use coupled with social stigma for those who won't control themselves. No need for incarceration and police involvement here.

    We have to face the fact that our approach has turned a noxious weed into a high-value cash crop, untaxed and unregulated. What a shame.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  22. Gregory Allen Gordon Jr

    That's up for discussion. To what end, is this the war on drugs working? With Hezbollah setting on our Mexican border rubbing elbows with the Cartel, I want to point out, the money being made by drugs is keeping them just far enough away to keep them from terrorism, but close enough to monitor. I have heard lots of people in the past claiming "the government doesn't want to end the war on drugs, the Judicial system would lose lots of money if they did." I just feel there is a bit more to it then that. We have technology that finds ancient temples and tunnels underground in Mexico, we know where the hot spots are! It seems we are stalling for some reason. On another note, if marijuana was legalized, it would cut out about a good 75% of their revenue. If the Cartel, Hezbollah, and other drug trades weren't focused on their drug traffic, what would be their next action? I think it's a monkey trap effect. A cage containing a banana with a hole large enough for a monkey's hand to fit in, but not large enough for a monkey's fist (clutching a banana) to come out. A process that's used to "catch" monkeys that lack the intellect to let go of the banana and run away.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  23. Barry Davis, RN

    Making marijuana illegal and alcohol legal is one of the dumber things that our politicians have done for us over the years. I was an ER/critical care RN for 30 yrs. and never once saw anyone who had been smoking pot kill anyone or get in car crash that was their fault. I saw hundreds of drunks come in dead or had just killed someone because of drinking. People, you are not seeing what is right in front of your face! Barry Davis (Nashville)

    June 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  24. jim

    ali,good morning the drug war is a complete failure,remember,mr.nixon enacted the war,and we inpeached him!!!cannabis never killed anyone,compare that too legal tobbaco,alcohol,which kills thousands a day worldwide,the from the cop on up to the judge,they all profit off the prohibition of a plant,thats been here for god knows how long,shame on them to judge,,,hope to see my comment,cnn marijuana probition has and always will center around the all mighty dollar,,,california on 5/31/11 passed first steps to legalize industrial hemp,,lets see if mr moonbeam will have the balls to sign to law sb 676,not like the last corrupt govenator didnt do!!!
    peace ali,,

    June 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  25. Jane Stepp

    People wouldn't be out killing each other for the money. Neighborhoods would be a lot safer without the people standing on the corners waiting for a drug sale that could go down wrong. It would stop the big drug lords who are really raking in Millions and Billions. Our prisons are overcrowded with people being charged with drug crimes who are non-violent offenders. Prohibition didn't work with Alcohol, it only made for a very violent time in our History. Legalizing drugs could get us out of debt in this Country!! People should wake up and get their heads out of the sand!! If someone is going to do drugs they will regardless of weather it's legal or not. The only REAL SOLUTION IS TO LEGALIZE THE ILLEGAL DRUGS!!!! Wake Up people!!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  26. Mollie Belcher

    I am just ecstatic that someone agrees with me that drugs that are legalized and controlled will end the "wars" and the street corner sales and some of the deaths ( like my son's) from illegal drugs. I don't know why we didn't learn from the days of alcohol prohibition that people will find ways to satisfy their cravings that are dangerous and expensive if they can't buy those satisfactions safely and economically.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  27. momsforit

    First off, what no one mentions is the fact that Nixon assembled a committee to look into the issue of legalizng marijuana back in 1970, he appointed Dr. Shaffer back in 1969 to investigate its effects. After concluding the study, Dr. Shaffer returned to Nixon and said that marijuana is not a danger to the public. However, Nixon having his own agenda decided to ignore the results of his own appointed commission, and went out to delcare the war on drugs.
    So far, it it is the biggest failure in U.S. history, having gone on for 60+ years, and having no progress to show for. On the contrary, each and every year more and more arrests are made, and more and more drugs are apprehended. All the while, the only ones profiting are the cartels.
    The major source of funding for terrorism, Mexican cartels, and the mafia comes from drugs, from keeping it illegal that it is.
    Make it legal, now all of the sudden the price drops to a point where it no longer becomes profitable to transport drugs. Take away the funding so they can longer buy guns that are bigger than the police men's.
    Let's educate and guide our children well, so that they have no inclining towards getting ?*&^%$^& up all the time. The problem is not in the drugs, for the kids these days are inhaling even coolants from air conditioners, to glues, and paints. The real problem we need to deal with is why are kids so desperate to get #@$%! up all the time to begin with.
    We need to convey to them the importance of treating your body with respect, but we do a terrible job by teaching them to eat fast food, drink alchol and smoke cigarretes.
    Portugal has decriminalized all drugs since 2001, after years of having an epidemic, and you know what, it's worked! Use has significantly dropped amognst adults and teenagers. Even here in the U.S. we see that in those states that have adopted medical marijuana have seen a decrease in teenage use! To all those who think it will be to easily available, wake up! It couldnt be any easier for our children to get it already. We're better off if this industry gets regulated just alcohol did after the prohibition. Allow medical users to get something certified organic, instead of synthetically fed and pesticide filled plants which is truly toxic to smoke!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  28. Nick Dobson

    It's amazing western governments have learnt nothing from prohibition. Legalizing and regulating drugs will remove the major revenue source for organized crime and provide much needed income for governments – not to mention the reduced costs to society of not having to police, prosecute, and incarcerate individuals who violate current law. Give our prodigal sons and daughters a chance to redeem themselves by becoming productive in society. I could go on and on...
    So many reasons to legalize: so few reasons to continue this short sighted and regressive program of criminalization.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  29. Darren E.

    Why didn't we learn from the gigantic mistake that was alcohol prohibition in the 1920's?! If we legalized all drugs, street gangs, and organized crime would be out of business immediately. Also, we could probably pay off the deficit within months. As a teen I dabbled in most drugs, and the drug that made me most ill – throwing up for days, and bed ridden – was alcohol. All drugs should be treated the way alcohol is.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  30. Samus

    While this is an extremely complex issue and I do see both sides, the war on drugs is extremely ineffective. I agree strongly with most of this report. We need to rethink the policy for dealing with drug abusers and small dealers; It is inhumane to lock some one up in jail who has done no harm to anyone but themselves. End the drug war!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  31. jim

    if we could only tell that to guy geffery over at gw pharmaticals,g b,mollie would you consider doing a story,,408-915-1887,on the coverup by big drug companies in great britian?call me

    June 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  32. Tony Poyner

    War on drugs is as succesfull as prohibition was. It has only benefitted drug dealers and smugglers, Of course at least Marijuana should be legalized, and non-violent users released from jail. (This would solve Californias current jail problem.)

    I am not, and have never been an illegal drug user. But I suggest we should put our effort into countering US weapon smuggling into Mexico, and Mexican human smugglers into US. And legalize, tax and control soft drugs. And EDUCATE our kids!!

    June 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  33. Nick Palen

    I don't know why this hubub is even ongoing: don't you people remember that retired General McCaffrey, Clinton's drug czar, declared in 1999, that "the war on drugs is over and we won!" Check your CNN film files! Clinton and his CIA man George Tenant made up the other b.s. line "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction". For us realists, this is Prohibition Deja Vu all over again. Either close the border with Mexico and see how fast they clean up their crime country as they lose $500 billion a year in tourist dollars and we have to mow our own lawns and get rid of "anchor babies" and illegals, and we go back to English only.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  34. Ann Marie Devers

    The war on drugs is an abysmal failure, especially with regards to marijuana. The laws pertaining to it are archaic. The goverment should look at decriminalizing , taxing and regulate sales.
    Law Enforcement could then focus serious crimes, money would be saved by reducing or eliminating proscecution, court dockets would open up and it would reduce the incentive of Mexican drug catels to by
    deminishing profits.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  35. Angelina Hubert

    Despite 40 years of effort and the billions of dollars the U.S. has poured into trying to control drugs and imprisoning those who use and sell them, the WAR ON DRUGS HAS FAILED MISERABLY. If anything, the problem has gotten worse. The only people who profit as a result of U.S. policies are the Drug Dealers and Drug Lords. The consequences to the U.S. are overflowing prisons, ill-spent dollars, and hundreds of lives lost, mostly in Mexico.
    Legalized, regulated, and heavily taxed drug availability (as with alcohol and cigarettes) would not only help pay our deficit, it would add much needed cash to our Treasury! More importantly: thousands of lives would be spared, violence and intimidation would lessen (hopefully disappear), and users would more likely get the help they desperately need.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  36. Matt

    The only thing the war on drugs has accomplished is lining the pockets of illegal drug cartels and drug dealers.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  37. Dylan Wieder

    War on drugs is the definition of failure and should instantly be modernized asap!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  38. The Duke

    So let me get this straight.

    I can smoke a joint but I can't smoke a ciggarette?


    June 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  39. kevin

    the war on drugs is a complete failure. Not only does it imprison people who don't belong there, but it costs in insane amount of money. Think about what the government could do with all that money. I am reminded of the saying 'do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,

    June 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  40. Jacques

    The war on drugs is an ABSOLUTE failure! Legalize & regulate it, the current polices are making the cartels richer than ever. Btw whatever happened to the "Obama" admin relying on Scientific approach, what a joke!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |

    enough is enough we should legalize and regulate marijuana and give the profits to the schools these kids will be running our country someday so the uoside smoking a joint will finally keep kids in school.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  42. J. L. Lee

    I'm 68 and have been watching this ridiculous assault on the people of America. If you legalize it, then you will have half of so called law enforcement passing out ketchup in the local fast food.

    Time to Empty the prisons of those held for victimless crimes.
    If you take the profit out the violence will go away.


    June 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  43. Gary

    As far as the war on drugs goes. We have failed. That's obvious! The solution. Like every other problem in the world, no easy fix.

    I wish politicians would just call like it is. Republican or Democrat! To argue the have a solution in order to win an election is really getting to be laughable. No one party man or the other, can solve any major issue.

    The dynamics behind the problems etc, like the economy; are very complicated and involved.

    I think we are all out of touch with reality if we think or believe any different.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  44. mark koenig

    Utter failure, but since we have turned this war into a for profit operation with the privatization of prisons and the plethora of government organizations whose only reason for existing is this failed effort there are plenty of rich and influential people who have no desire to see a change happen. Not to mention the decades of propaganda that has been beaten into individuals, many of these people believing to their core that drugs are the greatest evil known to man and there is no rational conversation you can have with them to change that opinion. Their government doesn't lie to them in the world they live in. It would be un-American to question your government as far as this segment of society is concerned. Are you a patriot or not...

    June 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  45. Tony Martinez

    We know the war on drugs is a failure. The solution lies in the wisdom reflected by the Dutch on how they handle this issue. "Human beings like to have sex, get intoxicated, and gamble. We recognize this without passing a moral judgment on the people. If the government does not permit and manage these behaviors to lower risk and obtain maximum social benefit from the regulation of these behaviors, organized crime will without these." We need to devote our resources to finding treatments for addiction.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  46. James Ward

    I believe the situation regarding drugs in the United States is totally out of control. We need to re-rank our most problematic drugs. Marijuana and prescription drugs need much greater control, but the people who abuse these drugs DO NOT need to be in our jails. As a former alcoholic, I attest to the none attention getting that the N0.1 killer alcohol that is so abused, it's not even a problem unless the abuser drive a car into another and then the get a DUI or vehicular homicide.

    If this situation is allowed to continue, out inner city areas are continue to be drug havens and out and out lawless sections where no one is safe and the effect of police is so little that it's a waste of money for them to patrol in these hell holes of drugs/human abuse. No one from Washington has even the slightest idea what to do because whet-ever is the answer it's going to cost money and we as a country are damn near broke.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  47. Samuel Castleberry

    I am not sure why the Govt has not yet regulated Marijuana since it has been proven to be non addictive and provides great benefit to many people as well as a great potential for our Govt to start paying off our national debt...We need to make money for the country, empty our prisons of non-criminals and focus on putting sexual predators and real criminals behind bars...Hopefully, the "Hippie Hater" generation will soon be gone so we can work on saving our country... Alchohol is legal and marijuanna is not? Funny!!!!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  48. The Duke of Magenta

    LOL... I can see them legalizing this and letting the cigarette
    companies take it over!

    Wouldn't that be kick in the pants to the Anti-ciggarette people!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  49. Roger

    the drug war will never be over because our culture in life always need drugs to solve problems in our life and culture to get better then before

    June 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  50. Michael B.

    Finally it has been recognized that our so call War on Drugs is a failure, I am a casualty of this failed policy. I am a recovering addict. As a result of my addiction I was convicted and sentenced to jail. Time and time again until I decided to stop getting high. End result I have a felony and it's been very difficult finding employment, I have been labeled for life as a FELON, I’m not a burglar, rapist nor murderer. The system is truly broken.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  51. C Gajowski

    The "War on Drugs" is a self-perpetuating economic feast – one that allows pols to sound tough, despite lack of thought, results or common sense. When this much money is thrown at an ill defined target, with no transparency or reporting on the recipient or – usually – on the results, there will always be hands out to take it, and to justir fy their existence. Plus Prohibition, of anything desired, and especially anything addictive,does not work to remove the demand. It just creates a black market, elevates the price of the product, which lures new dealers into the marker, which in turn escalates the demand for more money to enforce the prohibition. Controlled administration of whatever substance to addicts who cannot get clean – ala methadone – is at least cheaper, more humane and would drive down costs:
    of illegal drugs,
    of imprisoning so many for possession and use,
    of the crimes of those who steal to support a habit,
    of caring for the children of the imprisoned....
    The decision is always about values and how they are applied – some would rather see millions punished for an "immoral" way of life; others of us would rather see those people offered some legal options, and use the savings to improve the quality of life in the US. Better schools or medical care, anyone? New water lines, roads of parks? Or increased billions channeled to anti-drug campaignsn including to suspect foreign militaries? The more we spend, the bigger the market gets.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  52. David

    I don't know if the war on drugs is good or bad. I do know that alcohol led me to pot which led me to speed which led me to............
    I am clean and sober for 26 years but the odds are against it. I know there is hope for alcoholics and addicts for those that truly want it. I can say from experience that half of those dead drunk drivers are probably high on top of the alcohol. I certainly don't want to be working in my job with a person with a buzz...could be catastrophic. I don't need to get slammed here by those that can't wait to smoke marijuana legally...just sharing my experience and doubts. Not everyone will cross that line to addiction...mine started with legal alcohol.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  53. Donald Lee Matson

    Do away with Pot Prohibition and use the money saved to better control guns and Hard Drugs.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  54. The Duke of Magenta

    Here's a scenario:

    PUFF PUFF...Let me finish this joint and get into my car!!!

    Wait, I'm high, I can't rememeber where my car is...

    LOL.... hahahahah...

    June 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  55. McNewsLover

    It's a failure. And it's wrong anyway. Thats why it's a failure, and never stood a chance. This is a FREE COUNTRY, with FREE PEOPLE in it.

    I will never accept that the government can tell me what I can do as an individual in my own house or with my own body. The government can go to hell! That is the attitude of everyone I know.

    Lastly, drugs like Marijuana, were mainly made illegal so they would not interfere with other legit businesses. Like the liquor business, which is pushed heavily. And the fiber business. In particular, the cotton industry. Hemp is a major competitor to cotton. Cotton only grows in a few areas, and that land is heavily controlled and owned by extremely wealthy and powerful families. Hemp grows everywhere, and cant be controlled. When these laws were made in the 1930's, cotton was huge!!! The war on drugs has been a sham from day one, and millions of peoples lives have been ruined by the authorities in this war on drugs.

    The opiate business is a whole other story, thats been controlled by the wealthiest people in the world for centuries. The corruption behind that is beyond belief. You dont have to look hard to find it either. Theres a lot more money in a black market item, then a legal one. Thats why most drugs are kept illegal. And it keeps the moralists happy, on top of that. Thats why this failed policy has hung on for 50 years or whatever.

    Legalize and control these substances, thats how you mitigate the drug use issue. And minimize usage and damage. Illegal dealers dont care who they sell to. A licenced shop, has everything to lose by selling to a kid. Thats why kids find it much easier to buy a joint, or any other drug, than get a case of beer. It also takes away the forbidden fruit aura that hangs over drugs. Drug use typically goes down in places where its been legalized. And associated crime literally disappears. Those stats speak for themselves.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  56. James E. Gierach

    The trouble with the drug war is that it doesn't work. In fact, drug prohibition is the single most effective means to increase drug availability, use, addiction, and danger - the magic of Al Capone's reign with booze more than a memory ago. The "bad guys" favor drug prohibition; so, the "good guys" should oppose it.

    Equally daunting, not only doesn't the drug war work, the drug war is the heart of most American crises, including the problems with crime, gangs, guns, violence, shootings, prisons, AIDS, overdose tragedies, healthcare, corruption of the kids and police, trade imbalance, the funding of terrorism, the contractions of constitutional and civil rights, increasing taxes and deficits, financial consequences of the aggregate cost of these drug-war-driven crises.

    End the drug war . Legalize, regulate and control. Put the states in control and eliminate the federal prohibition mistake. Close the drug czar's office...

    The reason it is so difficulty to take the obviously needed "end the drug war" step is because so many persons and businesses are riding the "drug-war gravy train"... from law-enforcement, prison contractors, judges, prosecutors, PD's, parole and probation officers, the drug-testing and treatments concessions, the municipalities sharing in forfeited drug loot after forfeiture, the media that receives millions of dollars in anti-drug advertising revenues...

    June 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  57. frank

    Yes Ali do you how much money the gov can make if the leaglelize pot;look when people get off work they need to un wine either have a beer or any other drink.think about it if you smoke pot you can't get a job but yare if you go to the doctor get a scrip its ok.mexacains need a job let them grow it it might help slow down the border problems look doctors are making big money the person that are selling and the phy pill makers and people don't have jobs if the going to test you for pot it should go by a level amount they do it with acolhal why not pot? This is why you have a pill problem. thanks God bless

    June 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  58. Tony

    No, it is not, never has been, and never will work!!! It just causes corruption and set-ups by law enforcement, and innocent people that would never commit a real crime towards another person or property to go to jail or prison. Plus it put's drugs very easily into kid's hand's to sell them to other kid's, it does not protect children at all, it does the exact opposite. If drugs were legal you would have to show ID to get them and it would make it a lot harder for kid's, but now all they have to do is walk down the street or make a phone call to a "friend" to get them!!! Plus we all know the government are the biggest drug dealers on the planet, but of course if you have a prescription it's okay right? They will just go after your Doctor. Point being is there is no need for narcotic unit's or D.E.A it is a waste of taxpayer's money supporting these agencies that are acting like they own people's bodies. It should be up to the full grown adult who is supposed to own their own body and whether they want to use these substances when they choose or when they feel they need it, not when someone chooses for them (DOCTOR). A full grown adult should have the right to self- medicate as they see fit, it is their choice what they put in their own body not the government or the doctor. WE OWN OUR OWN BODIES, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO USE THEM WHETHER THEY ARE LEGAL OR NOT!!!! SO CUT THE CRAP AND SEE THIS SO CALLED "WAR" FOR WHAT IT IS.... A LOAD OF BS!!! All it is doing is ruining lives and costing America TONS of money for a lost cause!!! For every ounce of drugs law enforcement take off the street there is 10 more backing it up, you think they don't have reserves? For every dealer they take off the street there is another one to take their place immediately, law enforcement just created another job opportunity for someone else to make 2,000% profit, what a joke. Then you wonder why NOBODY respects or trusts law enforcement nowadays....

    June 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  59. Haralson,johnn scott

    As a state certified alcohol/drug counselor for 18 years, I can say without a doubt the " war on drugs" has been as big a waste as the war in Viet Nam was & will end the same way. The DEA was created by the most corrupt administration the USA has ever had,the Nixon adm. To jail the war protesters. I have watched otherwise law abiding,hard working ,honest people's lives & families torn apart by the hysteria & lack of any logic to the drug war. At the heart of the problem is the DEA drug "schedule" . It is not a true pharmacological classification of drugs. It is not even called " classification" but " schedule". Heron & pot are both considered equally " dangerous " & in group 1.
    This confusion has created the " pill problem" that is epidemic now. Oka.
    Had 600+ deaths last year from prescription drugs,because people have been led to believe " if it is legal it must be safer" .
    When drugs are " legalized " I would like to see only 2types. Organic
    ( God given ) & synthesized ( man made ) let all the controls be on the man made,not any of the plants that
    God has said : " here, you might need this " .

    June 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  60. Man Vs Yard

    We used to just get the munchies, now we help cancer patients survive chemo treatment.

    Ok, I know you are waiting for a YES. The drug war has been beneficial. Since:
    #1 Cannabis is a medicine and
    #2 Cannabis is much more powerful today than when "Nixon's drug war began" because growers moved indoors to avoid the Paraquat poison, that the DEA was spraying on the outdoor crops.
    So: Surely the high grade medical marijuana that is available today is of much higher medical benefit than the Mexican dirt weed we smoked back in the day.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  61. Mike G.

    I have been working in and around the justice system for 40 years. In that time I went from a supporter of the War on Drugs to an opponent because I could not find credible evidence that any of the policy goals had been or were likely to be attained.

    Those who persist in defending the War on Drugs in the absence of long term credible evidence are either: (1) locked into the ideological (moralistic) belief that prohibition sends the "right message" to deter drug use; (2) that legalization with regulation will endanger kids by opening the flood gates of drug use or only thing that can be done to reduce drug use; (3) worry about appearing soft on crime; or, (4) deeply dependent on the resources and power associated with their involvement in the War on Drugs.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  62. Dr. Greg

    Since Buckley and before I knew intuitively that the "War on Drugs" was a dead end although "their" hearts i believe were in the right place. How many more lives will be ruined by drug convictions for possession, young men and women selling and stealing to support habits of 100's of dollars a day. How many burglaries, breakins, muggings, turf wars, gangs, killings does this "Drug War" support for profit and addiction. Take the the "glamour" and profit out of drugs. Use all those "billions" to set up treatment/rehabilitation/information/distribution centers and yes collect some tax along the way. Medical costs of transmissions, overdoes and ER visits should dramatically reduce. Clean needle programs available. The positive effects of legalization and control of use/distribution far outweigh any negatives,admittedly a few. I could go on and on. Waiting for the candidate with the guts to do it.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  63. Dave O.

    Here is why I am for the legalization of drugs. In my lengthy career I have worked as a military policeman, correctional officer and substance abuse counselor specializing in prison based treatment. I was a part of a team that developed one of the first and largest drug court programs in the country. Currently I work for a law enforcement agency in the realm of cybersecurity.

    In calling for the legalization of drugs I am not a proponent of drug use. Substance abuse will continue to be a health and social issue for some. My problem with the Drug War has to do with the run-away costs, ineffectiveness, and corrupting influence of using law enforcement resources to wage a war against the citizenry. We claim to be a freedom loving people. But we cheapen that claim by having the largest prison population in the free world.

    We need to challenge ourselves to look at closely at the Global Commission's report. Look with an open mind. And then ask yourself; When's the last time two beer distributors engaged in a shoot-out? That would have been during prohibition. In regulated markets turf wars are fought in court. It's under-ground markets that invite anarchy and violence. Don't let the Drug Czar and DEA scare you with tales of anarchy if drugs are legalized. It's the drug war causing the anarchy.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  64. Brian

    David – I'm not going to slam you, and I don't smoke marijuana nor want to. I must ask you though: how did the law prevent you from becoming an addict 26 years ago? Marijuana was illegal then, so how did prohibition keep it out of your hands? And how is an addicton to alcohol or weed different from one involving gambling, food or sex? I'll tell you one go to jail and society brands you a criminal for possession of drugs. An individual's personal habits that we find objectionable should not be criminal! We used to jail people for bad debts and execute for adultery, but now we think that's bad policy.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  65. Jimbo Slice

    Leave marijuana alone. The hardcore drugs still need to be fought; i.e. cocaine, meth, opiates, illegal prescriptions, etc. Anyone disputing this need only visit a local rehab clinic. The war on marijuana is needless. Aside from the medical applications, as well as the commercial & industrial uses, many see it as the alternative to alcohol. If you can live your life without doing anything, great. More power to you. Having said that, some people just don't like alcohol so they use marijuana. They have no need to graduate to harder drugs. Legalizing marijuana? Go for it.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  66. Reg

    This is a completely sensible and comprehensive approach–I think they basically cover all the issues NORML, LEAP, and ASA have been preaching for years–so when will the discussion begin??? Our leaders must address this–finally! (But, we all know better than to be optimistic).

    June 3, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  67. John B.

    I suppose you could say it's working, if you are also of the perspective that alcohol prohibition worked. We however have empirical evidence that alcoholism was more rampant during the prohibition than any other time in American history.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  68. The Duke of Magenta

    Woo Hoo!!!!

    I'm ready to quit my job and open up a POT STORE right now!!!

    We can have piped in Alman Brothers music on the streets too!

    Then, we can trade Pot futures too!!!

    June 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  69. Angela

    I believe this whole drug war is a complete failure!!! It always has been... long before Nixon was around, and still today... All the way back when they used these drugs as an excuse to solve (or create) other social problems, unrelated to these drugs in the first place.

    Truth of the matter is Mother nature has a way of providing a remedy for all of our ailments. The government goes ahead and bans these remedies before even understanding their true potential (simply to suit their current agenda).
    They create this propaganda convincing the public of their evils before even considering their benefits. They then punish anyone daring enough to see through this propaganda and test them out themselves (they have stirred the pot so much they can't possibly back down... until decades later)

    It's true not all substances benefit all people, but to ban them form everyone seems a little naive!
    There are many drugs out there being used every day legally, in hospitals, or prescribed by doctors, that are KILLING PEOPLE!!!!

    How many people has Ritalin, morphine, sleep aids, aspirin, etc killed??
    How many people has marijuana, cocaine, or heroin killed??
    Finally, how many people do all of these drugs help?

    If the government can't answer these questions maybe they should reconsider where they are spending their money. We should honestly sit down and weigh out all the pros and cons of all drugs on all markets (black market included)
    Rather than punishing anyone for using these substances, maybe research them properly and share the REAL results to create REAL solutions to REAL problems!!
    Rather than ignoring the benefits and highlighting only the potential risks of the few drugs they simply choose to look at.

    I think everyone knows that pharmaceutical companies profit immensely, charging people more than they can afford for these drugs (prescriptions only!!!) derived from the same substances that are illegal to everyone else!!
    * (and have you ever noticed we are not allowed to print the benefits of herbal remedies on their label?? why is that??)
    Why are these companies able to harvest and distribute and the general population cannot?? It would save everyone a TON of money that could be spent in more needed areas (debt repayment anyone??) They would still make a killing (no pun intended) but the general public would have more options to treat their REAL ailments in the manor they choose rather being told what they are allowed to treat themselves with, and at what cost??

    I'm not saying everyone should go out and start farming poppies, or marijuana fields as far as you can see.. but we should at least have the freedom to treat our ailments the way we see fit, but only after being properly educated about the TRUTH of these drugs!!!!

    June 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  70. Todd Lowery

    A war on drugs is like a war on gingivitis, or smog for that matter. The declaration itself does more to create an economic niche at least, if not an entire industry for the declarer than to begin a meaningful onslaught in an ennobled effort to actually defeat the seemingly unbeatable amorphous enemy itself. Sure, we can make lasting advancements and continuously combat the problem of drugs the same way we have been since the sixties with mixed results, a lot of money spent on rehabilitations, recoveries, arrests and interventions creating a lot of broken families, bloodshed and heartache. We might even rest in calling it tough. . .love. When we say drugs are the problem what do we really mean. Is it the fact that so many become addicted, so many are tempted to get-rich-quick illegally selling them illicitly on a black market or that the proceeds actually go to people in countries in ways that undermine our way of life. Step back and take a detailed look at the over-simplified so-called 'War on Drugs'. Where does the cycle begin. Where does the liability end. In the twenties, prohibition gave us tommy-guns, speak-easies and Al Capone. I venture to say that without Canadian Whiskey and Puerto Rican Rum the illegal stills might have had themselves a monopoly. The point being that there is a similar scene unfolding in a grander fashion with drugs. What has happened is that, like in the twenties with alcohol, the simple illegality has created a black market. The costs are driven sky high. Take marijuana for example, it doesn't cost a hundred dollars to grow a half ounce. It doesn't take a hundred dollars to grow ten pounds of it, you don't even pay that much to grow corn, and it takes much more cultivation and fuel to bring it to market. The real costs in the inflated prices of illegal drugs go mostly to profits. Sure some dealer somewhere might argue the overhead angle, security, or personnel or marketing, but by and large, its going in his or her pockets or off-shore accounts. All the while, the consumers, the addicted, are becoming penniless. It's bad enough that their brains are being destroyed, they're losing their jobs, their spouses, their children, their dignity and their future, but now they have nothing to pay for anything else with as well and no way to earn more until and unless they get some real help. This is the worst part. This is what make people commit crimes for the drugs. The fact that they can't afford them, and are uncontrollably addicted to them. It all starts with a black market. If the drugs weren't illegal then the prices wouldn't be so high. People are people. As long as there's a demand and a product, someone is going to find a way to market it. It's about time we took real 'control' of our 'out-of-control' control laws and reassessed the end result. We aren't fooling anybody by saying that making drugs illegal keeps people from using them. All that "Prohibiting" drugs by making drugs illegal has done is to make an underground, unregulated black market that drives the prices up, making ruthless, cruel criminals wealthy and unsuspecting experimenting youth lifelong potential victims and addicts. If the costs weren't so high, the people that use the drugs would afford enough to satisfy themselves, become bored with them and move on, but as it stands, they only can afford to stay addicted never getting enough to satisfy them, but enough to keep them coming back until their money is gone and then become desperate, some even lacking the will to resist committing crimes to support their habits. Knowing this, and not doing anything about it to break the cycle, puts the liability of the whole vicious cycle back on the sober minded non-addicted, law abiding folks who make and enforce the law to make the necessary modifications to the current laws to achieve greater control and take the wind out of the sails of the illegal gains being made. All in an effort to help the real victims of drugs-the stolen from, the arrested, the addicted and the broken homes.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  71. mgaffney

    FINALLY! Not at all surprised here! The WonD started with H.J. Anslinger and passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act beginning our first experiment in prohibition. From that point forward, 'drugs' especially after repeal of prohibition became the most potent tool in political and social control endeavors ever imagined. Now it is an institutionalized feature of social order and changing it requires the same sort of public will as did changing discrimination laws or ending the war in Vietnam. (c.f., Gaffney, 2010, "When Vigilance Fails and Fear Prevails: The Dismantling of America's Democracy." Dissertation Abstracts). Can you imagine how many folks would be put out of work if we moved from a criminal model to a medical model of addressing problematic substance use?

    June 3, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  72. Mike Rosenkrans

    The Government knows the "War On Drugs" is a failure and they dont care because they benefit from all the contributions that big business and other organazations gives them to continue the fight. If drugs were legal, especially marijuana, then the pharmaceutical companies would have to drastically lower the price on their drugs to a reasonable cost. Look at the billions of dollars the alcohol companies make every year. I dont see that money going towards lowering the deficit. If marijuana was legal, taxed, and regulated, that money could be used to lower the deficit and help save social security. The real criminals are in D.C., not the people that are arrested for pety misdemeanor possession charges. This country needs to throw everyone of them bums out of office in D.C. and put some average hard working people with common sense in office then this country would be a lot better off. Plus, who are they to tell me what I can and cannot put into my body, its my life so let me live it the way I see fit.

    Mike R.


    June 4, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  73. pam

    No it does not work! Decent people are made into criminals, families are torn apart, people are injured or killed and so many other negative events transpire in the War on Drugs. It is not a war on DRUGS but it is a war on the people who chose to involve themselves in the Drug World. Drugs will NEVER go away because people will always choose to use them. If the laws on Drugs were changed Globally all persons would benefit in all countries and nations. It is time for the legalization of drugs to support the financial structures in the world and not drain them of the funds that could be spent against violent crimes against innocent people. I hope that in my lifetime I see the reversal of widespread ignorance towards drugs and those that choose to live their lives as they see fit.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  74. Rob Close

    A total failure. The black market is thriving, drugs use is still prevalent around the country, with a Meth Epidemic spreading like wildfire.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm |

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