Big Idea 2013: This Year, the War on Drugs Ends
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 13, 2012
If a business strategy were failing and instead of curbing a problem made it worse, would you keep it going or would you stop and consider an alternative course?
Strangely, the trillion dollar war on drugs has persisted for 40 years even though it is the most dismal global policy failure of our time. Why do I care and why should you?
Millions of otherwise productive lives are wasted and lost in jail for marijuana possession and other nonviolent drug violations. California could raise an estimated US $1.4B in annual revenue if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana – so imagine the revenue that is keeping the underworld in business.
I’m a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and we have been looking at this issue for the last two years. There are countries – such as Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Netherlands – that have adopted alternative strategies with promising results.
I’d like the business community to help figure out what can be done for countries to take a hard look at the failures of the drug war and adopt humane solutions that focus on education and health care rather than criminalization and incarceration. Let’s make 2013 the year weBreak The Taboo.