No, not the 71 year old prohibition on marijuana, today is the anniversary of the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Somehow, Americans realized the madness of banning booze in and in a few short years managed to change the Constitution twice!
Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadlemann has an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal: Let's End Drug Prohibition.
Consider the consequences of drug prohibition today: 500,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolent drug-law violations; 1.8 million drug arrests last year; tens of billions of taxpayer dollars expended annually to fund a drug war that 76% of Americans say has failed; millions now marked for life as former drug felons; many thousands dying each year from drug overdoses that have more to do with prohibitionist policies than the drugs themselves, and tens of thousands more needlessly infected with AIDS and Hepatitis C because those same policies undermine and block responsible public-health policies.
Marijuana Policy Project's Bruce Mirken has a post with more coverage here.
The thing that kills me most about proponents of prohibition is that they seem to think it is somehow working.
News flash people, marijuana is the #1 cash crop in the country! Cocaine prices are down since even 1990! The people who want illegal drugs (... pause for effect ...) Have them! The people willing to risk the violent black markets are making money hand over corpse here and abroad, thanks to our fucked up puritanical inclinations.
Let's review: People who want illegal drugs already have them, and drug prohibition is a distorted class war that costs billions and does nothing to curb drug use.
Tobacco and alcohol kill thousands of legal users ever year, not to mention deaths from the legal use over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
No one has ever died from using marijuana. Ever. And humans have been hip to the herb for a long time.