Generalizing from the findings on Prohibition, we can hypothesize that decriminalization would increase the use of the previously criminalized drug, but would decrease violence associated with attempts to control illicit markets and as resolutions to disputes between buyers and sellers. Moreover, because the perception of violence associated with the drug market can lead people who are not directly involved to be prepared for violent self-defense, there could be additional reductions in peripheral settings when disputes arise (see Blumstein & Cork, 1997; Sheley & Wright, 1996).What does it say about our nation that we don't care enough about people getting murdered every day to change our basic approach to one of the greatest underlying problems?
The continued failure to decriminalize drugs has led to huge numbers of deaths and incarcerations, and that's always apparent in the poor parts of the United States. 1,841,182 people were arrested for drug related offenses in 2007, nearly half of those for marijuana. The approach to controlling drugs in our nation laid out by George Bush Sr. has quite literally been an ongoing insanity, and a blemish on our national honor. The massive imprisonment rates for this crime of consent show how little human life really meant to the legislators who passed some of the most Draconian drug laws.
Our policies also greatly affect the lives of our neighbors in Mexico, and people throughout the drug production and trafficking areas of Latin America. We did not put guns in the hands of the men who killed 18 people at a Juarez drug rehabilitation center a week and a half ago. We have, however, created conditions that make drug trafficking so lucrative that murdering 18 people in one pop is worth it to some of the gangs. This makes absolutely no sense.
It would obviously be a tough sell to have heavy drugs decriminalized. It's every challenging politicians wet dream to have an incumbent opponent who can be labeled soft on crime. It's also easy to convince a majority of people that decriminalizing drugs would lead to widespread and escalating drug abuse, despite facts to the contrary from every nation that has done so in the past. Our policy gives our people no credit for their strength and will power in staying away from things that are bad for your mind and body. Maybe one day the political circus that runs our nation will stop deceiving the masses and begin governing effectively. Some still hope that marijuana, at least, will be legalized, even if it won't happen anytime soon.