Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Alex Jones interviews the economist Jeffrey Miron on the problems of illegal drugs

Last night, Alex Jones did an in-depth interview with economist Jeffrey Miron, who presents very good, rational arguments for the legalisation of all drugs. I consider those arguments to be logical and compassionate, in terms of reducing crime and de-criminalising the drug user. Some people will always misuse drugs, prescription, alcohol, or those which are now illegal.

I could present my own reasons for legalising all drugs, but I would not be able to express those reasons better than Transform, which was set up in the mid-nineties in Bristol, UK, by Danny Kushlick. So, I will present Transform's published statements.

"Dismantling prohibition and regulating the market will have a number of direct and immediate impacts:
  • Restoration of human rights and dignity to the marginalised and disadvantaged.
    Only a few decades ago problematic drug users were treated in the UK for what they were - people desperately in need of help. Prohibition turns the majority of those without substantial private means into criminal outcasts, throwing yet more obstacles in the way of effective treatment, reducing access to employment, housing, personal finance, and achieving a generally productive and healthy life.
  • A substantial decrease in the largest cause of acquisitive crime, gun crime and street prostitution.
    As with alcohol prohibition in the US, drug prohibition has gifted the market to organised criminals. The deregulated market leads to extortionate street prices that in turn result in very high levels of acquisitive crime and street prostitution amongst low income dependent users, and violent 'turf wars' over control of the lucrative trade. The Home Office estimates that over half of all property crime is related to fundraising to buy illegal drugs, and police have identified illegal drug markets as the key engine behind the UK's burgeoning gun culture.
  • Huge reductions in the non-violent prison population.
    Over half of the UK prison population is made up of dependent heroin and crack users convicted of property crimes to support their habits. Prison has proven to be a hugely expensive and singularly ineffective and inappropriate environment in which to address drug misuse issues.
  • A "peace dividend" from ending the drug war.
    In a study commissioned by the Home Office, York University estimated the social and economic costs of heroin and cocaine use in 2000 to be between £10.1 and £17.4 billion - the bulk of which are costs to the victims of drug-related crime. Billions currently wasted each year on counter productive enforcement could be freed up to fund drug treatment and education, non drug related policing activities, and other social programmes."
Read more on the Transform web site. (Link above)

Alex Jones with Jeffrey Miron. (The first person being interviewed in Part 1 is Mike Rivero, who is talking about the mainstream media.)



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