NEIL FRANKLIN RETIRED UNDERCOVER NARC
Former Cops Agree: Legalization Is the Path to Controlling Drugs
July 9, 2012
Is it time to scale back the failed and harmful war on drugs? No, it’s time to end it once and for all.
As a 34-year veteran law enforcement officer who has done undercover narcotics work, I fully understand the harm that drug abuse can cause. I’ve seen it on the streets of Baltimore far too many times to count. But making drugs illegal and harshly punishing those who use or sell them hasn’t solved the problem. We make more than 1.6 million drug arrests a year in the United States, but it hasn’t made drugs appreciably harder to get, especially for our kids. We’ve spent over $1 trillion waging the drug war since President Richard Nixon first declared it in 1971, yet 47 percent of Americans admit to using illegal drugs.
But the drug war isn’t just ineffective; it’s much worse than that. Banning drugs has created an enormous black market in which those who control the illegal trade never hesitate to use violence to protect their tax-free profits. Drug cartels in Mexico have killed nearly 60,000 people over the past six years. If drugs were legal and regulated, instead of completely prohibited, none of these criminal organizations would have any interest in the drug trade. Think about it: When is the last time you heard about gangsters shooting each other to control the alcohol market? Probably sometime prior to 1933, which is when we ended the failed experiment of alcohol prohibition.