De-criminalize Drugs, Don't "Legalize" Them

Will Grigg

Uruguay’s national legislature has enacted a measure legalizing marijuana. Citizens of that country will be able to cultivate a half-dozen plants for personal use, or buy marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use from a government-licensed producer through a pharmacy, and will be limited to forty grams a month. It remains illegal to re-sell marijuana to tourists or other non-citizens.

Rather than decriminalizing marijuana and treating it like any other consumable good, the leftist government of Uruguay has created an official cartel that will regulate the market and generate a huge windfall in tax revenue.

Despite the fact that marijuana use will remain a state-regimented activity in Uruguay, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has condemned the new system as a violation of that country’s purported international obligations under the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The UN has issued similar condemnations of ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state that nullified federal anti-marijuana laws.

All drug use is unwise, but not everything that is unwise is a crime. There is reason to believe that drug prohibition may soon join alcohol prohibition in well-deserved oblivion – but the prohibition regime should not be replaced by a Uruguay-style government cartel. Decriminalization, not “legalization,” is the correct approach.

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Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Russell Jones

Posted: Dec 24 2013, 11:49 AM

70120 Decriminalization leaves the growing, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing in the hands of the black market, in other words, the cartels. Legalizing, as we have done with tobacco and alcohol, leave all the above in the hands of a regulated market. Our policy with alcohol and tobacco are not perfect, but we do not have drive by shoots between Coors and Bud-Lite, nor does Marlboro hire 12 yr olds to run tobacco from street corner to street corner. Legalize and regulate, and then absent harm to another, leave recreational drug users alone.

Posted: Dec 29 2013, 7:05 PM

124185 If it was decriminalised then there is no profit in handling a garden product except through garden centres. Big bro Govt wants tax money called duty on alcohol tobacco etc so they will always want some control. whether profit by legal mafia (companies) or illegal (gangs) there is some one at the rear with a hand in someone else pocket. Truly decriminalise and there is about 70 percent drop in prison population and cops can spend their time giving out jaywalk tickets. Courts will not be overcrowded and if someone is stupid then they can fry their brain at little or no expense, Hospital and rehab will have a increase for a while but that will level out same as when lsd first got around. leave duty of care provisdion that anyone harming onyone else through use of any substance or product is liable and get on with living

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