George Will is hardly a liberal. That’s why his argument (click!) , which is also my argument, that drugs need to be legalized, is so compelling.
It is a distinctly conservative argument.
The war on drugs is enormously expensive. Balance the budget? Not as long as we’re willing to spend $100,000 to jail some mope who sold $200 worth of pot.
It’s enormously wasteful. We’re jailing millions of “criminals” for what are essentially victimless crimes.
It’s enormously ineffecient. If prison is supposed to punish drug users, why do we then continue to punish them after they get out of jail by refusing to hire them? Oh, right, they have a record.
So, denied any other option, they go right back to crime and after three years or so in prison, they’re better at it.
Will has been campaigning this for years. So have other conservatives — hasn’t gone anywhere and won’t. There’s too much money in the drug war. Too many cops depend on it, too many in the cartels depend on it, too many politicians maintain their careers campaigning against it.
The war on drugs will never go away. Neither will the drugs. As long as Americans continue to vote with their pocketbooks — $15 to $20 billion a year goes south for drugs that we spend an equally large pile of tax dollars trying to get Americans to not use — we will have this impossible situation.