In this article “The Economist” argues for a legalisation of drugs. Not because it’s a good thing, but because whatever else we have tried so far just didn’t work. There are mountains of evidence for the failure of the war on drugs. Yet all this evidence is ignored out of irrational stupidity. As with the financial crisis is showcases another iteration of Einstein’s statement that you can’t solve a problem with the same way of thinking that originally produced it. Via BoingBoing:
A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to ban trade in a narcotic drug. On February 26th 1909 they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission—just a few decades after Britain had fought a war with China to assert its right to peddle the stuff. Many other bans of mood-altering drugs have followed. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a “drug-free world” and to “eliminating or significantly reducing” the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008.
That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled.
Next week ministers from around the world gather in Vienna to set international drug policy for the next decade. Like first-world-war generals, many will claim that all that is needed is more of the same. In fact the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless. That is why The Economist continues to believe that the least bad policy is to legalise drugs.
Also read the older articles mentioned at the end of this one. Seems the Economist has had this position for nigh on twenty years now.