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(Written in response to something I read advocating the creation of drug treatment programs in prison, and using the justification of cost effectivness. You know, "spend the cash now, and get the payback later".)

Try some other math (and this is coming from a person who served 8 years in federal prison, so the subject is not as foreign to me as your writing shows that it still is to you). Legal drugs are so cheap that no one has to commit any crime to be able to afford them. Legalize everything and don't spend the money on rehab or prison, and see how much the savings are then.

 William Burroughs, The Naked Lunch, addicts who have cheap high quality and plentiful drugs can often just do their thing and still be "productive members of society". Besides, you don't go around rousting up street winos and trying to force them to move to a better place in their lives, do you?

Don't get me wrong. I completely respect where you're coming from, even if you don't have a clue what you're talking about. Wrap your mind around this thought though; it will take no more effort to achieve full drug legalization than it will take to achieve decent prison reform, and society will benefit far more from keeping millions of us out of prison in the first place than it will from building a whole shitload of nicer prisons for us to do our time in. For the most part voters just plain don't want to be bothered with the whole subject of prison conditions, just like they don't want to have to think about why we're still doing the same old drug war thing that hasn't made a lick of sense since day one. If insanity is doing the same failed thing over and over, most of us feel better being a bit crazy in this area as long as it means really never having to confront our ongoing mistake.

Please, take on the legalization challenge, because the task isn't any harder and the ultimate payoff is magnitudes greater than trying to figure out a way to make everyone decide that they no longer have any desire for mind altering substances.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 07:04:44 PM PST

  •  This should be repeated every day. (0+ / 0-)
    Legal drugs are so cheap that no one has to commit any crime to be able to afford them. Legalize everything and don't spend the money on rehab or prison, and see how much the savings are then.
    A day's worth of heroin for an addict would cost less than one dollar if it was legal.  

    Renewable energy brings national global security.     

    by Calamity Jean on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:43:53 AM PST

  •  I read recently that (0+ / 0-)

    the US has the largest prison population of any 1st world nation and some where around 25% of those in prison are there for some non violent drug offense, I am a bit hazy on the actual numbers but it was a lot of folks in prison for smoking some weed over the weekend and getting caught. I am minimizing the offenses a bit except if you are from Oklahoma.

    The point is we spend around 30k a year on each person we put in prison.  This number varies from state to state and also from prison to prison.  So just for kicks, if we have 2 million folks in prison, 500k of those are non violent drug offenders at 30k per year.  Lets see thats about... carry the 0's... oh, 15 billion dollars a year.  Not to mention the other billions we spend on enforcement to catch and incarcerate all these folks.  My guess is we prolly spend another 45 or so billion on those 2 items so hell we could save 600 billion dollars over the next 10 years just by not persecuting citizens for private use of recreational drugs.

    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" James Madison 4th US President

    by padeius on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:52:54 AM PST

    •  Your math is good except that, having been there, (0+ / 0-)

      it's clear that taking the corrupting influnce of The War on Drugs out of society would slowly and steadily decrease overall prison populations by at leat three fourths. (And then there are the thouands of lives saved around the planet, etc.)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:21:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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