Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glenn Greenwald on CBC Drug Legalization Debate

Hemp for Victory Mug mug
A toast to Common Sense in a
Hemp for Victory Mug by webcarve

Via CBC Radio: The Current

Ten years ago, Portugal had a serious drug problem. Throughout the 1990s, just about every indicator from the rate of drug use, to drug-related crime, to sexually transmitted diseases was pointing the wrong way. But instead of responding with more arrests or harsher penalties for drug traffickers, the Portuguese Government decided to decriminalize drugs including so-called hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. At the time, critics predicted an explosion in drug use and all of the social problems that go with it.

But according to Glenn Greenwald, decriminalization has worked in Portugal and it might work elsewhere too. He is a constitutional lawyer and the author of a new report for the American think-tank, The Cato Institute. The report is called "Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies."

I strongly support legalization of Hemp in the US and Canada, for all uses, granting the need for moderate and minimally intrusive regulation and such taxation as may be required to sustain the costs of such efforts. I can see no sustainable, legitimate justification for the continuation of the continental War on Drugs. Arguments against rational hemp policy are based on assumptions that range from the presumptious to the nonsensical and serve no public, humanitarian good.

That should be the single most compelling argument. But the economic and ecological benefits of hemp, as well as the potential of allowing cannibis back into the legitimate pharmacopa are easily as compelling. Against them stands decades upon decades of prejudice and pandering to narrow industiral interests.

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