Late last year Norm Stamper from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) toured Australia talking about the failure of prohibition and how re-legalisation would lead to fewer deaths, less crime, billions of dollars saved and less corruption.
It is necessary to run these “consequentialist” arguments to convince people, but I would also like to add that re-legalising drugs is also an issue of freedom. To have any meaning, freedom must include the freedom to make “mistakes” according to other people, so long as your actions are voluntary. Drug prohibition is the nationalisation of our blood stream and not only is nationalisation a harmful policy, it is also morally wrong: each person should own their own blood stream.
But unfortunately we don’t live in an age where people respect freedom and individual self-ownership. And so we must battle forward with the arguments that do change minds… and that means pointing out failure of the war on drugs. Prohibition clearly fails a benefit-cost analysis, and the government should only have policies that create a net benefit. So even for those people indifferent (or hostile) to freedom, the re-legalisation should be convincing.
LEAP now also has a blog with regular updates on the progress of their campaign.