Drug warriors claim that marijuana is a "gateway drug." On the contrary, it is the policy of drug prohibition--not the drug per se--that creates a gateway into a criminal underworld of crime and contaminated products.
This is a critical moment for people who care about psychedelics to bring their voices to the table. The drug policy landscape has changed as quickly as any other issue in U.S. politics over the past few years.
President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, charged with improving police-community relations and reducing crime, has largely overlooked one of the elements most essential to accomplishing this goal: the need to reform drug policy.
With all of the good intentions in the world, outlawing cigarettes would be just as disastrous as the prohibition on other drugs. Let's imagine what our country would look like if cigarettes became illegal.
Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players, and the like, came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs. Yes, all drugs.
On Friday, Uruguay released its long-anticipated regulations accompanying the law that was signed into effect last December, which made it the first country in the world to legally regulate the production, sale and consumption of marijuana.
We are now in a moment where both opportunity and a path for law enforcement leaders exists to negotiate an honorable truce and develop an exit strategy to America's longest war through the adoption of harm reduction policies.
People's fear of angering prosecutors by going to trial is real. Defendants who choose to exercise their constitutional rights to go to trial routinely face sentences three times greater than the original plea deals.
Making alcohol illegal led to huge increases in organized crime, corruption, and violence. For many of the reasons that led to its repeal, the same arguments can be made for why we need to end the war on drugs.