Tag Archives: Drug prohibition

Rethinking Drug Legalization, by Jeffrey James Higgins

A former drug enforcer comes out in favor of drug legalization. From Jeffrey James Higgins at internationalman.com:

The war on drugs is not going well. Despite decades of counter-drug efforts, at a cost of more than one trillion dollars, illegal drugs are still readily available on the black market. Worse, drug proceeds have become the lifeblood of terrorist groups, transnational criminal organizations, and street gangs. A 2014 Pew poll showed 67% of Americans prefer drug treatment to prosecution, yet prisons remain overcrowded with drug offenders and citizen’s civil liberties are routinely sacrificed for little gain.

Now is the time to rethink drug legalization.

I spent most of my 25-years in law enforcement investigating drug traffickers. As a deputy sheriff, I investigated street-level drug dealers, then as a DEA supervisory special agent, I traveled the world hunting the upper echelon of transnational drug trafficking organizations. I convicted Haji Bagcho, the world’s most prolific heroin trafficker, and Khan Mohammed, the first person arrested for narco-terrorism. My experience made me sympathetic to the emotional impulses behind prohibition, but it also gave me valuable insight into the ineffectiveness of drug laws. It is ideologically consistent to believe in both the evils of drug abuse and in the immorality and impracticality of paternalistic laws—like drug prohibition.

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