Dispenser of Negativity
- May 30, 2007
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Prohibition is fiscally irresponsible. Its key goal is reduced drug use, yet repeated studies find minimal impact on drug use. My just-released Cato Institute study shows that prohibition entails government expenditure of more than $41 billion a year. At the same time, the government misses out on about $47 billion in tax revenues that could be collected from legalized drugs. The budgetary windfall from legalization would hardly solve the country's fiscal woes. Nevertheless, losing $88 billion in a program that fails to attain its stated goal should be anathema to conservatives.
Drug prohibition is hard to reconcile with constitutionally limited government. The Constitution gives the federal government a few expressly enumerated powers, with all others reserved to the states (or to the people) under the 10th Amendment. None of the enumerated powers authorizes Congress to outlaw specific products, only to regulate interstate commerce. Thus, laws regulating interstate trade in drugs might pass constitutional muster, but outright bans cannot. Indeed, when the United States wanted to outlaw alcohol, it passed the 18th Amendment. The country has never adopted such constitutional authorization for drug prohibition.
Probably waste of breath but still a good read.
Conservatives should support legalizing drugs - latimes.com