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Legalize drugs? Some in GOP are thinking it over


DP Veteran
May 22, 2012
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St. Petersburg
Political Leaning

If the War on Drugs has failed, is legalization the next logical step? It's an old question. But you may be surprised to learn who's asking it, these days.

The Houston Young Republicans held a forum, Tuesday night, to consider the ins and outs of drug legalization.

"This event was the result of several members coming forward and saying, ‘You know what? This is something we need to finally examine and address as a party,'" said John Griffing, a vice president with the Houston Young Republicans.

The group heard from Richard Lee, a former Houstonian and medical marijuana user who has campaigned for the legalization of cannabis.

Lee says if pot were regulated and taxed – like alcohol – that would reduce the collateral damage of the drug war.

"We ended Prohibition not because we said alcohol is great for everybody to use," said Lee. "We said that it's creating all this crime, it's creating Al Capone. (Prohibition) is creating more problems than it's solving."

Read more: Legalize drugs? Some in GOP are thinking it over - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston
Studies conducted in Portugal show that rates for marijuana and heroin use decreased significantly after that country decriminalized all forms of drug use in 2001. That is partly because Portugal shifted resources from law enforcement to health treatment for addicts. So, instead of jailing drug users or forcing them underground, this country began to boost treatment options for them, showing drug users the type of "solidarity," that the Pope preached about on Wednesday.

Pope Francis also had a couple words to say about the drug gangs who are behind much of the violence in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.

"What prevails frequently in our society is selfishness," the Pope said in Rio. "How many merchants of death are there who seek power and money at all costs!"

The Pope could be right about something here. If human beings were more saintly there would probably be less drug cartels fighting each other over smuggling routes.

But humans are, well, human. And the drug prohibition schemes that the Pope seems to support raise the prices for marijuana and cocaine by astronomical quantities, giving certain individuals an incentive to shoot each other and fight it out with police as they try to cash in on the lucrative trade for this forbidden fruit.

Pope Francis Blasts Plans to Legalize Drugs. Is He Making Sense? - ABC News
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