[Editor: for opposing view, click here: https://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/editorial-opinion/for...]

The Conservative Case for Legalization

While drug policy reform has often been categorized as an issue largely backed by the political left, drug legalization and regulation is a matter of public importance that spans across political lines. In fact, many of the arguments for legalization and regulation are a natural fit for the conservative platform.

Narco-terrorism is fueled by drug prohibition.

The most common criminal activity for terrorist organizations is to be involved in is the illegal drug trade.[i] Drug cartels use the highly profitable illicit drug market to fund terrorist activity. Regulating drugs would take money and power away from these dangerous organizations.

Cost to taxpayers.

In 2013, the Obama administration requested $25.6 billion in federal spending to be allocated to continued drug war policies – including $15 billion on law enforcement, interdiction and international efforts. The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that when you combine state and local spending on everything from drug-related arrests to prison, spending totals at least $51 billion per year[ii]. Over four decades of the drug war, American taxpayers have spent more than a trillion dollars on prohibition.

We need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts.

The war on drugs has heavily influenced the way the criminal justice system functions. Forfeiture laws have been enacted to allow police departments to keep a significant portion of the drug-related assets acquired via seizure, and drug arrests are incentivized to the point where police departments view meeting drug arrest quotas as a budgetary necessity. This reliance on – and drive toward – nonviolent drug arrests perpetuates a criminal justice system in which solving violent crimes and developing crime-prevention strategies are not prioritized appropriately.  400,000 rape kits in the U.S. haven’t been tested (as far back as 1970), and when victims are able to follow up with their case and obtain DNA evidence years later, the statute of limitation often prevents them from pressing charges.

Drug prohibition risks law enforcement lives

Police officers are put in danger during drug raids, undercover operations and during routine street patrols every day. Officers are injured, accidentally killed, and even brutally murdered while enforcing the failed policy of prohibition. Prohibition created the violent gangs and cartels that commit these acts against officers and innocent civilians who happen to be nearby.

Wasteful spending

According to a 2010 study produced by the Cato Institute, legalizing and regulating all currently illicit drugs could save the government approximately $41.3 billion in law enforcement costs and generate an estimated $46.7 billion in tax revenue. Marijuana alone would account for $8.7 billion of the savings and another $8.7 billion in tax revenue.[iii]

[gun owners notice this]

The drug war increases the size and power of government.

Prohibition fuels a never-ending expansion of the DEA and other drug enforcement entities. As enforcement efforts expand, citizens see their rights decrease with tactics such as civil asset forfeiture, crackdowns on gun ownership, and raids (often targeting and injuring innocent civilians).

Lost wages and economic growth.

Incarceration costs the taxpayers significantly, but the economy further suffers because there are fewer employers, employees, and consumers to promote economic growth. Businesses suffer when such a high percentage of the population has no money to spend or a job to get money in the first place. Jobs and educational opportunities are also further limited for those with drug convictions, so employment opportunities after incarceration are limited, too.

Impact on families.

Families are torn apart due to incarceration. Children are also taken from loving homes because of small amounts of drugs or medical marijuana found in the home. Children who have a parent in prison often suffer from feelings of detachment, trauma, a lack of positive role models, and behavioral issues.

More information can be had a www.leap.cc (LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)

[i] Makarenko, Tamara, “The Crime Terror Continuum: Tracing the Interplay between Transnational Organised Crime and Terrorism”,Global Crime, vol. 6, no.1, 2004, p. 134
[ii] http://www.drugpolicy.org/wasted-tax-dollars
[iii] Miron, Jeffrey and Waldock, Katherine, “The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition,” 2010, p. 1

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I've now read both arguments and all the comments. I'm particularly interested in the ones by SamFox and Jack Wilborn. Why? Because one of the problems of being high and the residual effects of that is that they forget how to behave.  They say stuff that uninfluenced people would not say. They insult.  This is the most ludicrous conversation I've ever read. There is no  good argument for voting FOR 205.  It's a far left initiative with far left motives and far left consequences. I'm shocked anyone on this site doesn't know that.  The phony links to phony facts are unimpressive to rational thinking people.  If this passes, it will prove that the lunatics are running the asylum.

What phony links?  You of all I would at least go check them out.  Many of the 'kids rate of use is higher', find the origin of that.  It's the Colorado reports and studies.  You can find many places on line that dispute many of the 'facts' you claim are true.  Mr. Montgomery sites the Colorado.org site and it's reports as proof.  Read them. Channel 3 and 12 have stated how he is lying. 

All I'm asking people to do is to read the information.  See who it's from and what 'horse is in the race'. Law Enforcement does have one as much of their funding is from seizers.

You have to vote as you see fit and I'm not asking otherwise.

I had trouble locating the graph, as it's from the Washington Post.  However the data or information is available at NHTSA.gov, I believe.

Just google "NHTSA study feb 2016" and I think you'll find it.  Here is a screen copy of part of the text.  You should read the whole study as it's interesting.

Mr. Wilborn - My information is NOT misleading. Yes, Prop 205, if passed, can be modified, but the Legislature is only allowed to make it stronger, not take anything away from it. The people and the State will be stuck with it. If we don't heed the warnings from Colorado, our economy and our youth will suffer the consequences. Please read http://www.newsweek.com/unexpected-side-effects-legalizing-weed-339931.


I've read that initiative and would like to get a postable copy but both of you are incorrect based on the language. Because this is a citizens initiative, the legislature CANNOT make any changes to make it stronger. They can only make changes to make is less strong.... to make it easier to get, use, etc.  Connie, you and I and most people who understand how these citizens initiatives work know that it can not be undone except by another initiative where someone will again have to pay $1 million to get signatures.  But since George Soros paid for the signatures on this just as he has on others in other states, it's unlikely he would pay to take it off the books. But to Connie's point, CO which was written and passed by their legislature, has already made 82 changes and it was already a better, tighter bill than we are facing.  That can't happen in Arizona.  This is the most dangerous disastrous initiative ever run in AZ, not because it's marijuana but because of the way it is written, It's just bad policy even if it was mandating a bouquet of flowers be sent to every household each week.  Take the words marijuana/canabis out and it's still a terrible initiative on its face.

U R correct, Legislature cannot change, except to 'improve'.  Also in reading, the first amounts of money go to government administration and 'enforcement' and IF there is money left over it goes to the schools.





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