Thursday, March 12, 2009

Penn And I Want To Legalize Drugs

Although we disagree on religion, I usually find myself agreeing with Penn Jillette most of the time.

Penn says he never tried drugs. Considering the wide range of things he freely admits to, I see no reason he would lie about that. Despite never using drugs, he supports the legalization of all drugs, not just marijuana and I agree with him.

Unlike Penn, I did try several different recreational drugs. I never found them very recreational though so most of my experiments were very short lived. I stuck with alcohol for a while because it was such a part of my culture, but by the time I was thirty it was pretty much out of my repertoire. Tobacco I still stick with because it's the mildest of all stimulants except chocolate.

Penn's main reason for ending the prohibition on drugs is an issue of freedom. While I agree with him there, my main reason for wanting to end drug prohibition is that it's so grossly ineffective and is the main motivation for organized crime, not only in this country, but worldwide. If we ended the war on drugs, organized crime would all but dissapear in one generation or less.

Penn Says on YouTube

Link: You Tube


ella144 said...

Would legalizing drugs end organized crime?

In the '20s organized crime controlled the flow of alcohol in this country. Once Prohibition ended, organized crime didn't end. They simply adapted, branched out, and reorganized. Loan sharking, prostitution, gambling, protection schemes, chop shops, and a host of other illegal activities support the company. After all these are business men, and they understand the value of a well-balanced portfolio as much as any investment banker.

(I'm not usually this argumentative or opinionated on Fridays. Must be the lack of coffee.)

A. Boyd C. said...

I probably miss-spoke by giving the impression that organized crime would just go away.

Of course they're going to branch out. They're going to do anything they can to survive, but nothing was as profitable as booze...until they got into drugs.

One of the main themes of the Godfather series was how the families survive when prohibition ends. That's how they end up going to Vegas and Cuba.

There will always be people who try to get rich illegally, so there will always be organized crime.

Ending the prohibition on drugs will do two things.

First it will limit the interaction between regular people and organized crime because they're no longer doing business with them. The only thing worse than knowing teenagers are buying drugs is knowing they're interacting with organized crime to get them.

Secondly, you'd be taking away the single greatest source of income from organized crime. It would be comparable to the impact of taking games and entertainment away from the computer industry.

The Computer industry would survive because they still had business and scientific applications, but they'd be much smaller and entire companies would go out of business over night.

I'm not a big fan of drugs or alcohol. If prohibition made the demand for them go away then I'd be all for it, but it doesn't. All it does is force the suppliers to come up with innovative (and illegal) ways to meet the supply side of the equation.

Once the base of a business is illegal, it becomes a lot easier to introduce other illegal business tactics, like murdering your competition or extortion or mixing more addictive drugs with less addictive ones to increase demand.