Since President Nixon declared 'war on drugs' four decades ago, this failed policy has led to millions of arrests, a trillion dollars spent and countless lives lost, yet drugs today are more available than ever," said Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle and a speaker for legalization-advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Huffington Post, June 15, 2011
Health experts in Portugal said [last] Friday that the decision 10 years ago to decriminalize drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked. Yahoo News, July 1, 2011
This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies.
Portugal's holistic approach had also led to a "spectacular" reduction in the number of infections among intravenous users and a significant drop in drug-related crimes, he added.
A law that became active on July 1, 2001 did not legalize drug use, but forced users caught with banned substances to appear in front of special addiction panels rather than in a criminal court. Google news, July 1, 2011
Dramatic problems that foster substantial anxiety in Arizona (and throughout the US), including violence along our border with Mexico and the overall cost of government -- in law enforcement and public health -- will be completely revolutionized when we recognize that the War on Drugs is futile and change direction in our country.
The majority of Arizona voters have already voiced support, on multiple occasions, to do so but established power structures (law enforcement agencies, state legislatures (not only Arizona) and Congress) have not yet mustered the gumption to start looking outside of the box Richard Nixon put us in 40 years ago.
The cost of Arizona state government. The need for tax revenues. These things would be dramatically impacted -- immediately -- upon making this change.
It is well past time to (s*it or) get off the pot.