Following Colorado’s move this month to become the second US state to completely legalise cannabis, James L. Capra, the chief of operations at the US Drug Enforcement agency had this to say in response to a question posed by a senator on Wednesday:
I have to say this…going down the path to legalization in this country is reckless and irresponsible, I’m talking about the long term impact of legalization in the United States. It scares us.
Despite the local laws of 23 US states which allow cannabis to be prescribed for medical use, it still remains a schedule 1 drug (illegal with no medicinal value) at a federal level. President Obama seems to have given up on the cat & mouse game that was the DEA vs local states and no longer wishes to enforce the law in those states where cannabis use has been decriminalised.
That said it wants to make its position clear, and Capra went on to say this:
This is a bad experiment.It’s going to cost us in terms of social costs.
If the results of Portugal’s stance on drugs is anything to go by, this won’t be the case. Taking away the ‘naughty’ factor of drugs saw a 50% reduction in drug addiction across the country, with current estimates at a below average addiction rate when compared to the rest of Europe. As a result, drug related crime also fell dramatically. Now of course I’m not comparing cannabis to harder drugs (that’d be silly, to classify cannabis in the same region as heroin and speed. Wouldn’t it, US & UK governments?), but what I am saying is that if you allow complete freedom of choice, the correct choice is usually made, as decriminalisation in Portugal has shown us.
Now with a name like SilvaRizla, I’m sure you can all guess what my stance is on cannabis. This is just the DEA trying to save face and not admitting defeat. They know full well the war on drugs has failed and is in direct opposition to public opinion, with even more states now considering decriminalisation. With a crippled economy, and an illegal, yet comparatively safe cash cow, there isn’t much of a decision to make.
Are you listening, Mr Cameron?