Friday, October 23, 2009

Bill, Gretchen, and Margaret oh my...

Interesting discussion between Bill, Margaret Hoover, and Gretchen Carlson about legalizing drugs on Bill O’Reilly last night. Interestingly Bill seems to be softening his typical hardline approach. Me thinks maybe he and John Stossel have been talking backstage…

Margaret Hoover said something like “If you legalize it then crime will move in. Crime controls vice the world over. Just look at what’s happened in Amsterdam and The Netherlands.”

If we had lower crime rates than Amsterdam and The Netherlands I might agree with that part of her argument, but… Per capita we in the U.S. have 2 times as many auto thefts, 12 times as many drug offenses, 5 times as many murders (we have 3.5 times as many if you eliminate those in the U.S. committed with a gun), 4 times as many assaults, 3 times as many rapes, and 1.5 times as many robberies. The only crime that they have more of is petty theft.

By most measures we have 2 to 3 times the per capita drug users as The Netherlands. As just one example, twice as many of our teens smoke pot as theirs. And who controls this much larger drug industry in the U.S.? Organized crime. In The Netherlands approximately 50% of the industry is through the semi-legal coffeeshops. We not only have a much larger industry but more of ours is controlled by criminal organizations as theirs.

OK, so much for Margaret Hoover.

Gretchen Carlson said “what do we tell our kids? Telling them that drugs are illegal is the best thing we have to hang our hats on. If it’s legal then what do we tell them?”

Here is an even bigger argument for ending our war on drugs. Telling our kids to not do drugs just because they are illegal is the absolute worst reason. The average teen in the U.S. is already so accustomed to breaking laws (mostly by drinking alcohol) that this is meaningless to them. “So what” they think.

What Gretchen needs to tell her kids is that doing drugs is stupid! There is nothing better to hang our hats on than that.


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