I cannot recall a single state in our union, which is not deep in debt. Because of this debt, states are forced to cut vital funding such as education, social services, law enforcement, nursing homes, and many other crucial state and federal programs.  As a country, we are so deep in debt to China, if they demanded to collect what is owed to them; the value of the dollar would crash, resulting in serious issues for America. I can think of two ways to catch up on this debt, while at the same time putting money back into vital funding throughout the government, such as the examples I just gave, as well as rebuilding our infrastructure. If we are able to fund these extra programs we would create millions upon millions of jobs, and cut taxes resulting in stimulating the economy. My solution, to this problem is the legalization of drugs, and opening state run casinos. The positive ripple affect these changes would have on our society would be far reaching.

I did a “My Solution” post last year, about how to fix our prison system. One of my suggestions was the legalization of drugs. The amount of money we spend a year on federal prisoners is over 60 billion dollars. In our federal prison system 53% are convicted on drug charges. Imagine if we were able to cut 53% of the prisoners in federal custody. This would save us 31.8 billion dollars a year. These numbers do not include the individuals incarcerated in state prisons, and the dollar amounts to house them. Many of these “criminals” are incarcerated for marijuana. One example, of a sentencing guideline involving pot, is no less than ten years in prison, and no longer than life, if you were caught with 1,000 marijuana plants. Nothing less than ten years for growing dope?! 

These dollar amounts are shocking, but what they do not show, is the unavoidable revolving doors, of our prison system. There is a high amount of repeat offenders, which come in and out of our prison systems. I am sure there are many theoretical reasons for this, but one such reason, is that felons have a hard time living on the outside, because their options for going straight, are limited due to the felonies they have on their records. They discover the harsh reality that if they want to make a living, their only option inevitably leads them back to a life of crime.

Another advantage, of legalizing drugs, is the systematic elimination of gangs, cartels, and organized crime. I am not saying we would completely stamp out these organizations, but if you take the drugs away, then just like that you have crippled their organizations. The legalization of narcotics would create jobs and bring much needed revenue to our government. The illegal drug trade in America is a trillion dollar a year business. Imagine being able to eliminate a trillion dollars a year of our debt; without raising taxes. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with using drugs, as long as you are a productive member of society. Who am I, or anyone else for that matter, to judge this person?

Some may say, if we were to legalize drugs, then addiction would skyrocket. I disagree with this. It is not as if it is hard to score drugs in our society. The concept of the war on drugs is suspect and laughable. In 1973 Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA,) and ever since our government has been fighting a war they will never win. If drugs were legalized, we could eliminate this repressive agency saving us around 30 billion dollars a year. This dollar amount is just the money saved from the elimination of the DEA, this does not include the money spent by local police, FBI, ATF, and CIA to aide in fighting this war. With more and more prisons becoming privatized by corporations the chance that drugs will ever be legalized is slim to none. There is just simply too much money involved in incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders.  

The person, who becomes addicted in an illegal system, is the same person who would be addicted if drugs were legalized. It all comes down to honest and realistic prevention education. If kids are told the real truth about marijuana, then they are more apt to believe what they are taught about other drugs such as meth. Kids are told all these horrible things about pot, and when they finally try it, and see they were lied to, they think they were lied to about other drugs. I hope in my lifetime, at least the legalization of marijuana will become a reality. If you were to compare the downfalls of drinking, to the downfall of smoking pot, you would see they don’t even compare. I have yet to hear about someone smoking themselves to death.

Another way to increase state revenues would be the legalization of casinos, and sports gambling. In the state of Minnesota, we have a few Native American run casinos, and these casinos, rake in an enormous amount of money a day, and an even more shocking amount of money a year. Mystic Lake Casino, for example does not open its books to the public, but it is estimated they pull in around a billion dollars a year in profits. There have been talks in the past, of opening up a state run casino, but once that reservation money lined the pockets of our officials, the idea was quickly scraped. Opening a casino, would create more jobs, assisting in stimulating our economy, and could be used to fund state run programs. There is already legalized gambling on the reservations, and I feel it is time we start cashing in and benefiting. I also mentioned sports betting. Organized crime and offshore online betting websites bring in billions upon billions of dollars a year. People are going to gamble, whether it is legal or not, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of these operations, and make them legal. This, like drugs, is taking money away from the criminals and offshore businesses, and putting that money back into our communities.

It is sad, that the powers that be do not see the long reaching benefits of these ideas. What is it we are so afraid of with the legalization of drugs? Why hold back, on cashing in on gambling, or prostitution for that matter? Crime would decrease, our prison population would decrease, and our deficit would decrease. The best part about this is we would be creating an endless amount of jobs, and we can do these things without having to raise taxes a single cent. All these positive things can happen, and improve this country, unfortunately in doing this; you are taking money away from the ruling class, and putting it into the hands of those who need it most. Just like anything else in this country, the ruling class would never allow such a thing.

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Comments
  1. I would just love to hear what any police officer would have to say about your “legalize drugs” strategy. This subject is totally outside any area of expertise that I could conceivably claim, so I will leave it at that.
    It is my understanding that Bill Clinton left the United States Federal Government without a deficit when he left office. In the eight years that George W. Bush was President, the country’s indebtedness skyrocketed.
    It doesn’t take a financial genius to figure out why. War is a very expensive habit, and Afghanistan and Iraq have been extremely long wars.
    By the end of 2011, the USA’s deficit is projected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion and a half dollars. Estimates of the cost of the 2 wars per month come in somewhere between 4 to 7 billion dollars.
    If even half of the money currently being channelled into pursuing those two conflicts were instead used to pay down America’s deficit, it would make a significent difference very quickly.
    I’m not an economist, and my math skills leave a lot to be desired, but dang, that is a heck of a lot of money to be spending on settling the problems of two other countries a half a world away, whether they have oil or not.
    Jodi

    • Jodi,

      I am as anti-war as it comes when discussing the wars we are in. I think it is sad that we are even involved in anyway with the middle east or any other country we may have troops. I agree we should spend the money to build our armed forces and train elite killers, but these killers and the tools they use for destruction should NOT be deployed over BS. So many young soliders and innocent civilians are dying for the profits of the rich

  2. I agree with the idea legalizing pot, but not all drugs. However, I completely disagree with state-run casinos. Most of the people who spend money in casinos are middle income or poor. They do it because it represents a slim chance of becoming rich — something that probably won’t happen to them otherwise.

    If states got involved in this type of gambling, it would end up being a regressive form of taxation.

    I agree with the previous comment that the best way to fix the federal budget is to quit waging war. It is our imperialistic tendencies that will drive us into bankruptcy soon enough.

    • Trey,

      When put like that I can say I agree with you on the casinos. I agree with both of you on war, but I still think legalizing drugs is a good idea. Drugs like crack, meth, and heroin are horrible drugs, but as I said either way legal or not people will use and abuse these drugs.

      • How do you know that more people won’t use crack, meth and heroin if they are more easily available?
        Jodi

      • Jodi,

        I do not know for sure that more people wont use hard drugs. I get my theory by looking at Amsterdam and how they deal with drugs. I also feel with proper drug awarness in our schools will teach our children the dangers of these drugs in an honest way. I just do not see somebody who wouldnt use illegal drugs, all of a sudden use them if they are legal.

      • Tim,
        I don’t find that to be a convincing argument. People kill other people and fathers rape their daughters. Since they will continue to do so whether legal or not, should we legalize both acts and somehow regulate them?

        That’s the kind of argument you’re making re hard drugs.

      • Trey,

        You have painted me in a box on this one.

      • Good one, Trey!
        Jodi

  3. renxkyoko says:

    My parents are both pharmacists and thus know the medical uses of marijuana. In fact, I voted for the legalization of marijuana here in California. But I draw the line on hard drugs such as meth. We’ve seen so many whose lives were destroyed due to drug addiction.

    • Renx,

      I agree with you 100% hard drugs are totally destructive to peoples lives. As I said I think those who are going to ues meth will use them if they are illegal or not. This was the point I was trying to make. I figure why not take these drugs off the streets and away from the criminals, and make them legal. I could be totally wrong on this one??

  4. Sorry accidentally hit publish, but now to your comparison of legalizing drugs and murder in the same sentence. WOW, really? If people don’t like getting high its because its the way it makes you feel, but to the people who do like the high, it don’t affect YOU or your family if I’m high. Which is easy to say just because its legal, (which it was for thousands of years before people like you and your moral high horse came around in the 20s or 30s) and there was no problems besides paraniod americans seeing people do them thinking they are wrong to do. But to say murder wouldn’t go up if it were legal? HA, I can think of 5 people right now that I would kill if it was legal. Murder is something people DON’T do BECAUSE its illegal. If it was legal, it would cause chaos, every breakup where someone cheated on some one, done! And guess what? That could be your daughter cheeting on someone, so it affects you now and her! Unlike me smokin a joint, or gettin high off some vicoden in my home, which don’t affect you. But hey I’m still a criminal cuz I did it though. These are laws telling people how to live, and abraham lincoln even said you cant ever control a persons appitite, which is true. These are laws we could be making money off of, opiates, cocaine and pot, are all drugs that grow from the earth that people have been doing forever, and your telling me I can’t do it? Well guess what, its not harming anyone, and people will continue to do them because they make you feel good, and because people can’t buy them from a store, they are gona buy them off the drug dealer on the corner TAX FREE! If they get caught, they will goto jail, on YOUR TAXES. Its a never ending cycle of loosing out on taxes, and until you close minded people do some real research on drugs and their history, you will never understand why it makes sence to legalize them. I pitty people like yourself. N do me a favor, realize this is internet talk, I’m not writing an english essay, I use slang and shorter words, so if your only response to me is to spell better or use grammar, then ill take it as I won this argument lol.

  5. I may like to add, some people like to say people can die off of drugs, yes, just like alcohol, if you do too much you will die. But imagine if there was a warning label on a bag of coke at the store, warning people that if they did x amount of this, they can experience x symptoms, and could lead to death. This alone would decrease the amount of deaths by any drug by kids and people who are going to do them regardless of what big government says. Think about it.

  6. please delete my first comment lol got deficit n national debt mixed up

  7. z says:

    The country is always talking about this big deficit that we face. My best solution to this is to leagalize marijuana. Guaranteed this issue will be resolved. Alcohol is alot more dangerous than weed. You never heard of anyone ever killing anyone under the influence of marijuana, but always hear about this problem with alcohol. What’s the problem

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