WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court judge nominated by former President Ronald Reagan believes that all illegal drugs should be decriminalized and regulated by the government.
Richard Posner, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, writes in The New Republic that he believes alcohol and tobacco may do more harm than illegal drugs and treats the legalization of marijuana as inevitable:
The sale and possession of marijuana are en route to being decriminalized; and I am inclined to think that cocaine, heroin, methamphetamime, LSD, and the rest of the illegal drugs should be decriminalized as well -- though not deregulated. They should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration for safety, like other drugs, and they should be taxed heavily, like alcohol and cigarettes. Alcohol and cigarettes are “recreational” drugs, too -- and quite possibly more destructive of the users than the illegal drugs are, and, in the case of alcohol, also of acquaintances, family members, drivers, and pedestrians. The revenue from a sales tax on marijuana alone would pay for a substantial chunk of the cost of our prison system.
Posner has previously spoken out against the criminalization of marijuana.