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May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013: Letters to the editor

Let people be free; legalize use of drugs

I think it is an unfortunate display of unbridled power fueled by mistaken notions about the consequences of drug usage, production and distribution that two raids were allowed to take place in Kokomo. Big Daddy’s and Little Daddy’s are desultory firms, of that there is little doubt, but allowing the police to raid their facilities because of a “war on drugs” is counterproductive and harmful.

The truth? It is less harmful for society as a whole to legalize every drug than to allow these public “servants” the power to raid homes, prosecute users and shift production practices and methods. As this war ratchets up, kids shift from higher-quality drugs to lower-quality drugs laced with harmful materials, or such drugs as synthetic weed rather than the relatively less harmful cannibus.

The drug war creates a cycle of failure that is used to justify rather than condemn increased expenditures on enforcement while drug use and abuse increases.

If that’s not enough, our justice system is inherently racist, prosecuting minorities at a higher rate and for lengthier sentences for identical crimes. The preferred drugs of minorities have higher penalties than those of their Caucasian counterparts. Gang violence ensues because of the prohibition of drugs because of the high profit margins that tend to increase the risk young people are willing to undergo to produce and distribute elicit substances.

The solution? William Lloyd Garrison once said, “An unjust law is no law at all.” If you’re a police officer reading this, the solution is clear; do not enforce this unjust law.

Rule of law is important, sure, but oppressive law with damaging unintended consequences must not be enforced. If you’re a legislator, repeal. Don’t just legalize marijuana, legalize everything.

The rationalist in all of us tends to absolutely hate the unknown, and drug legalization has an awful lot of “unknowns,” but it’s time to grow up as a society, read some economic studies, and let people be free.

George Edwards


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