This is interesting because it is a long-term experiment on an alternative approach to the current War on Drugs. There are some unanticipated consequences of their approach:
- Addiction rates have dropped
- HIV infection rates are way down
- Drug related crime is down
- The voting public has come around from strongly opposed to strongly in favor of decriminalization
This article from a couple years ago is interesting, because it highlights what doctors in Portugal have experienced from all of this. It's a long read, but worthwhile to show what almost two decades of an alternative to our idiotic War On Drugs has done.
Quite frankly, it looks like not only are they spending a lot less than we are, jailing a lot fewer people than we are, suffering a lot fewer no-knock raids and property seizures than we are, but it seems that medical outcomes are better for drug users.
Sure, they haven't eliminated drugs or addiction - but after a trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of dead and millions in prison we have narcotics for sale on every street corner in the land. As I said before:
I could go on, but let me sum up: The war on drugs has made us less free, has fueled the growth of the Police/Surveillance State that targets us, has corrupted Law Enforcement and driven a wedge between them and the citizenry. It has done this while drugs have become both more prevalent and more deadly, and while legitimate patients are forced to turn to illegal drugs because their doctors can't prescribe them the pharmaceuticals that would ease their chronic pain.Maybe Portugal can show us a different approach to the problem. It sure can't be any worse than the nonsense we're trying right now.
And let's return to what started this rant. Consider the death toll: Ohio expects 10,000 overdose deaths this year, from a population of 11.6 M. Normalizing this to a US population of 320M gives us an expected overdose death total of almost 300,000 a year nationwide. That's more than the war dead we suffered in World War II. And that entirely ignores the fact that most murders in this country are over drug turf battles.
Think about that: all the treasure, all the lost freedom, and we are suffering a World War II each year, every year, with no end in sight.
The War on Drugs is futile, stupid, and evil. It should end immediately. This is a stupid game, we're losing, and we shouldn't play.