The time to legalize drugs is now.
Recently San Marcos has been subjected to several acts of violent crime relating to drugs. Too many people—especially the young—have died and now is the time to utterly change how we treat drug use and abuse in this country.
There were at least three murders with a possible connection to drugs last year. Each one of the crimes involved a young person. This problem is never going away and will continue to thrive if we continue the current war on drugs.
San Marcos is not necessarily a hot spot for major crime, yet we had to witness three murders in our backyard. This is a direct result of the war on drugs. This war has caused the practice of selling and consuming drugs into a major black market enterprise. Pressure from the authorities makes the whole business of buying and selling drugs way riskier and therefore more profitable. This profitability makes the game more dangerous, as we have witnessed.
When you make something illegal, like drugs, you move the entire activity into the dark, leaving any type of regulations behind. This inherently makes activity more dangerous by providing no protection, regulation or oversight.
And then there is the way we punish drug offenders. Persecuting drug offenders does not stop the problem.
When we throw drug users in jail, it doesn’t stop them from being drug users. These people need rehabilitation, not more jail time. Furthermore, if we do not stop the abuse of drugs, the dealers will become more wealthy and powerful.
If we as a country are so concerned with stopping drug use, we must prevent people from wanting to use them and not just punish with jail time.
Then there is the separate problem of marijuana usage. Let it be stated marijuana is a drug as well as heroin and alcohol, but there is a clear distinction between the two classes. The most dangerous aspect of marijuana is the possibility of getting arrested. Ending the ridiculous criminalization of marijuana will only serve as a positive for the community. We must stop the war on drugs so no more people have to die in its wake.
The city of San Marcos should decriminalize small amounts of marijuana to lessen the restrictions and make the streets safer for everyone. We must change how drugs are treated in this country to stop murders like the ones we have witnessed in our town.
The war has obviously not worked, and we should have known better based on our experience with the 18th amendment. While there is no excuse for breaking the current laws, it makes no sense to continue the war on drugs.