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Drug Legalization: Pros And Cons As To Its Viability As A Means To End The Drug War

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DRUG LEGALIZATION PROS CONS
Drug Legalization, its pros and cons as a means to end the Drug War. | Getty Images

To legalize or not to legalize?

Drug legalization, a hot button topic if there ever was one, is increasingly being presented as the only remaining viable solution to a "failed" war on drugs.

In April -- at the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia -- the legalization question played a key and controversial role as 33 heads of state gathered to discuss issues affecting the region.

Several Latin American leaders proposed legalization or regulated drug markets as strategies to end the drug cartel-related violence spreading across their homelands. The United States, however, remained firmly opposed to legalization -- citing risks of increased corruption and the potential loss of civic order.

More recently, the NAACP announced its support for a Colorado ballot initiative that will put the question of marijuana legalization to state voters this November. The organization's endorsement stands as a rebuttal to the disproportionate impact of drug war laws and enforcement on the state's black and Latino populations.

The drug war has cost billions of dollars, decimated tens of thousands of lives, and incarcerated hundreds of thousands of people across the Western Hemisphere. Legalization remains a matter of unsettled debate. And yet, the issue is not one being seriously discussed at the 2012 Republican or Democratic party conventions.

It should be.

EXPERTS THE WORLD OVER HAVE VARYING OPINIONS ON LEGALIZATION AS THE SOLUTION TO THE DRUG WAR:

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The Drug Legalization Debate: Arguments And Proposals
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HuffPost Live will be taking a comprehensive look at America’s failed war on drugs August 28th and September 4th from 12-4 pm ET and 6-10 pm ET. Click here to check it out -- and join the conversation.

This post is part of the HuffPost Shadow Conventions 2012, a series spotlighting three issues that are not being discussed at the national GOP and Democratic conventions: The Drug War, Poverty in America, and Money in Politics.

Around the Web

Numbers Tell of Failure in the War on Drugs - NYTimes.com

A former L.A. cop calls for legalizing drugs - Los Angeles Times

NAACP Backs Marijuana Legalization In CO, Citing Drug War's Toll On

Drug war, including legalization, hot topic at Summit of the Americas ...

Mexico's drug war is Vietnam 60 years later