Okay, well there haven't been enough heated political debates here recently, so let's start another one... j/k, mods! Seriously, if I could get intelligent replies to this thread, rather than hyperactive fulminations, that would be much preferred.
My question is, how do you feel about the decriminalization of recreational drugs? Whatever you feel about the morality of using drugs, and taking as fact that the abuse of drugs is harmful, we're currently spending billions of dollars a year in a losing war on drugs, and in the process creating a whole criminal substructure that thrives on selling smuggled goods.
So here are my suggestions.
1. Allow the sale of recreational drugs to adults, exclusively at licensed and regulated establishments (along the lines of liquor stores).
2. Require that all drugs be carefully labeled with the exact amounts of all active ingredients, as well as a comprehensive list of all inactive ingredients, just as is required of pharamaceuticals.
3. Tax drugs heavily, and use the revenue for education and treatment programs.
4. Classify nicotine as a drug, and place it under all the above regulations.
By doing this, we eliminate the main source of revenue of the criminal gangs that have blighted lower-income areas, stop wasting billions of dollars a year, clear up the biggest cause of the overload of our court system and prisons, and get an extra source of revenue that can actually be used to help drug addicts, instead of treating them like criminals.