First of all, the unemployment rate would plummet. Above and beyond filling the millions of jobs that would come open as those using or selling drugs were locked up, additional jobs constructing thousands of additional prisons and working as guards in those prisons would be available for those of us who would not be locked up.
Of course, we would have to pay a much higher percentage of our income in taxes to pay for the construction of all those new prisons and the costs of incarcerating tens of millions of additional “criminals.”
All things considered, the effects of strict enforcement seem less than appealing. Coupled with the money flowing to those who fight the War on Drugs and the rampant corruption of our legal and judicial system that has occurred as a result of the War on Drugs, it becomes very clear why this “War” rages on and on with no end in sight - why we have not won the War on Drugs, and why, with our present approach, we never will.
If we want to end the War on Drugs, the momentum to do so will have to come from somewhere other than our corrupt and dysfunctional political and judicial system. It will have to come from drug users themselves. Civil disobedience is the key to ending the War on Drugs.
Mohandas K. Gandhi was able to lead India to independence using civil disobedience as his primary weapon. Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders led a successful, if incomplete, revolution with regard to civil rights using civil disobedience.
How would we apply the concept of civil disobedience to the War on Drugs? Users should stop hiding their habit from the authorities, including parents or other family members. Large groups of pot smokers and other casual drug users should show up on the steps of court houses and government buildings and fire up their doobies, joints, blunts and roaches, pop their pills, etc.
Would it be worth it to spend a little time in jail, if it led to the repeal of the laws that prohibit smoking marijuana or consuming prescription pills without a prescription? Those of you who consume illegal drugs will have to decide that for yourselves. But consider this: if civil disobedience proved effective, you could eventually indulge in your habit at a greatly reduced price and without the fear and paranoia that presently affects most users.