There’s nothing compassionate about eroding the rule of law, especially under the guise of ‘fiscal responsibility’ and obsessing over dollars and cents. ‘Costly’ incarcerations. ‘Costly’ enforcement measures. Common talking points for the pro-legalization Libertarians/Liberals.
When cost factors are used to justify decriminalization efforts, consideration is seldom given to the human cost (i.e. victims). Any fool should realize that legalizing bad behavior doesn’t make the behavior itself go away. Why would it, when it’s been legitimized by being afforded the same legal protections as good behavior?
There’s more than one way to tax an individual’s behavior. You can tax murder by confiscating the murderer’s time, i.e. their freedom. Common sense tells us that, when you want less of something? Tax it, punish it. Want more of something? Subsidize it, reward it.
With legalization comes legitimacy. How many people, at this present time, refrain from pot smoking because they fear fines and imprisonment if caught? Most who’ve given the activity any thought, I would presume.
“But think of the added revenue if we could tax recreational drug abuse!”
By removing the legal consequences and the social stigma of pot use, you may be able to tax the legalized product, but when you factor in the additional human costs of legalization–stoners, like drunks, are more prone to injure themselves or others, either deliberately or by coincidence…not to mention, the stoner’s lack of ambition to join (or remain in) the workforce, to get off the couch, whatever– you lose what you might have gained.
Additional healthcare costs. An increase in the welfare state population, a decline in economic growth and productivity…
How is increasing the number of intoxicated people on the street in any way preferable to the status quo…or, Heaven forbid, taking steps to decrease that number of intoxicated people on the streets? Who honestly sees no negative outcome from encouraging, via legalization, otherwise productive citizens to become stoners?
“More fucked-up people on the streets? Good. Fewer fucked-up people on the streets? Bad.”
In what screwball bizarro world does that make sense?