American Morning

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March 24th, 2009
10:30 AM ET

Kiran: Tuesday Roundup

Happy Tuesday morning!

Legalize drugs?

The idea is gaining some unlikely support in the wake of the growing violence in Mexico. Since late 2006, Mexico’s drug violence has killed more than 9,000 people as cartels and gangs battle each other for territory and fight against government crackdown. The violence has spilled over the U.S. border where kidnappings and killings are on the rise. Read more.

There's a school of thought that it will take more than increased law enforcement to combat the drug problem. Some are now calling for legalizing ALL drugs, not just marijuana, in order to win this war. One of those voices, leading Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, made the case for legalization on American Morning. Here's my interview with him today.

Here is Jeffrey Miron’s commentary I was talking about and another one with a counterpoint.

As always we'd like to get your thoughts. Comment here or follow us at twitter.com/amfix and twitter.com/kiranchetrycnn.

See you tomorrow!

Kiran


Filed under: Drugs • Mexico • Roundup
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Jeff Cruze

    Eventually the United States government will come to realize that the
    Legalization of Marijuana is a good thing, but right now they are too prideful to admit that there is nothing they can do to prevent people from smoking it. Amsterdam had a very bad problem with Heroin,
    Cocaine and Marijuana before they relaxed the laws for Marijuana.
    After they allowed Marijuana to be smoked and sold, the Heroin and
    Cocaine problem has virtually left. Here in the United States alcohol kills more people here than Marijuana ever thought of, I mean isn't
    Alcohol a drug? Our Government should spend the millions of dollars on something more useful, but like I said , their pride will not let them
    admit that they are wrong.

    April 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Phyllis Rheem

    Marijuana is not the same as Meth, Cocaine, etc. Legalization of marijuana would impact the drug trade. People who have never "smoked grass" really don't know what they are talking about. Growing up in the 60's and having exposure –I really believe that alcohol is just as detrimental as pot. Yet it is a big business. When prohibition was revoked, american gangsters revenue was impacted. People are going to smoke pot–if it is legalized young people would not be put in harms way of associating with illegal situations which might align them with nefarious characters. Legalize, with regulations. Age is a great equalizer-talk to a baby boomers today who use to "toke up" back in the day, and if they tried it now–they would eat too much, fall asleep. And after 60 I can do that very well on my own.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  3. Mitchel

    Ok, let's think for a minute what possibilities lie ahead with legalization of all drugs.
    Your airline pilot is tripping on acid, or heroin, or whatever...your doctor that is performing surgery on you, is as high as a kite...so is your busdriver...dentist... the person driving the 3 ton SUV in front of, or behind you...and in fact anyone you might depend on for a service, or meet in your daily life. Of course, most people will not use drugs at all, or if they do, then they will not use them when other peoples' lives depend on them. But I could see many news stories about plane crashes, botched surgeries, dental procedures, food orders, home violence, and public violence as a result of legalizing all drugs. It is simply too dangerous socially, economically, and even to our love of humanity. Because the reality is that legalizing drugs, means that some percentage of people will die much sooner, and destroy their lives – and those of others – in the process. This means us as a society, saying to drug users, "Sure go on and kill yourself". I understand the arguments for legalizing, but they are naive. It would break the fabric of our society, even to the family level. It would be bad for us as humans, Americans, and surely from a spiritual perspective.

    March 25, 2009 at 2:10 am |
  4. JP

    Although it has strong ethical and moral implications, legalizing drugs is the best choice among many difficult ones. Legalization would destroy the cartels worldwide, would create a large amount of tax inflow to the county and a strong anti-drug marketing budget, and that's just in the US. besides, it would promote development all over the world, as a farmer would realize he'd be better off by planting oranges or strawberries or apples than coca leaves. that goes for marijuana, heroine, etc, which are extremely cheap to grow, but since they're illegal, the street price is too high – probably a pack of marijuana cigarettes would not be higer than a pack of tobacco cigarettes under a legalization model. besides, people who don't do drugs won't just start just because they're cheaper. Just like anti-alcohol and anti-smoking campaigns seem to be working among children and teens and the general population (25-30 years ago 3 in 5 men smoked – today is 1 in 5), strong anti-drug campaining and education (paid by drug revenues) will cause the same effect.

    March 24, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  5. gerorgeames

    when will "we the people" start learning from our mistakes?
    if repealing prohibition had not worked, we would have changed the repeal and made liquor illegal again!
    we can try legalizing drugs and then if it does not work at least what ever we do at that point will be based on experience not an assumption that it wouldn't work!
    if we made it retroactive we would reduce our prison population by 50%, which would save money and make room for "real" criminals. real criminals like people who get 8-20 dui's before anything is done to punish a person that puts other citizens in danger by their actions.
    very strong laws will be needed for anyone driving while on any thing that impares your driving abilities.
    the war on drugs has not worked, as told by those in charge of it. listen to the experts advice to legalize drugs and we'll find out two things,one, will it work, and two, are they really experts!

    March 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  6. David

    We have spent billions of dollars and lost countless lives fighting the "war" on drugs. Legalizing drugs would have a swift and devastating impact on the illegal drug trade. Prices would plunge, the "edge" of doing drugs would disappear it would inject billions back into the US Government. I'm not even talking about taxing drugs, I'm just talking about the billions that would be saved on trimming the DEA's enormous budget, not having to house so many non-voilent criminals in prison and not having to waste police and military resources on a losing battle. No matter how many guns we put on the border, Americans are still going to demand drugs and find a way to bring them in. The current "war" strategy which has not worked for over 30 years. Let's take this issue on with a different stratgy...let's legalize drugs and let the economics of the situation bring it down.

    March 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  7. cowboy

    It seems that there would have to be a better way,than to legalize all drugs. If perhaps most of our millatary wasn't envolved in the two wars, why not use them to patroll the boarders? if we can win wars abroad with the millatary why couldn't we win the war on drugs here? thanks for listening. have a wonderfull day!!

    March 24, 2009 at 10:44 am |