It is simple to see that the drug war in America is the primary issue leading to gang activity and thus creating difficult policing situations that put cops in an even worse position to succeed. The violence that stems from the mere fact that drugs are dealt on the black market and transported all over America is staggering in terms of the percentage of deaths. A huge percentage of the deaths caused by the drug war is directly tied to gang on gang violence but the police interaction with gang-related incidents are a major portion of the police community engagements that result in arrests and use of deadly force.
When we look closer at the drug laws and outcomes we see that over 1.4 million arrests were made in 2018 for possession only drug charges. Let me make sure you understand how large a number that is. In 2018 there were 1,654,282 drug law violation arrests in America, That means that in 2018 over 85% of all drug arrests are only about possession and non-violent offenders. The numbers are genuinely staggering in terms of the scale to such a degree that it’s hard to even believe.
Not all police engagements are equal by any means, and it’s clear that the violent action of the gang community makes it harder for cops to do their job as cleanly as they should. This is not an excuse, but it is part of the reality on the ground, and if we are going to start to fix this we need to limit the type of violent engagements that cops find themselves in. The core proposal is to simply legalize all drugs and stop creating criminals for using or possessing drugs. The tax revenue alone could be spent and directed towards sober houses and programs to help with drug abuse. I fully understand how many hardliners on the right will claim that all these drugs being legal will make the situation worse, the only with that theory is that it is not based in reality. Marajanuna use has not increased in Colorado since its legalization. But to no surprise, the crime surrounding it has nearly completely plummeted.
This is a tough call for many, but legalizing drugs would take away so many of incentives for bad actors to break the law and thus decreasing the likelihood that cops have more difficult engagements than necessary. You might be hesitant to make all drugs legal, but let’s face it, these drugs are on the street already, and our policing system and our justice system simply is not working. We need change and it can’t be a small change, it’s time to make a meaningful difference, legalize it… yeah, all of it and end the war on drugs for good.