Personally, I do not have any strong feelings when it comes to the debate about legalizing drugs, or not. I have not seen any conclusive documentation that have convinced me that one solution is better than the other for dealing with the actual problem – abuse and addiction. But it’s perfectly clear that we spend a helluva lot of money fighting the illegal drug business without the desired results. So, perhaps Mr. Branson is on to something when he now calls for all countries to take a hard look at the failures of the drug war and adopt humane solutions that focus on education and health care rather than criminalization and incarceration.
“If the drug war were a business, it would be bankrupt.”
The famous millionair, Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group) makes his statement at the social network site, LinkedIn, under the banner “50 Big Ideas for 2013”. Well, I belive Richard Branson have come up with bigger ideas than this in the past, but it is certainly a brave statement to make for someone who is connected to so many different groups and people.
“If a business strategy were failing and instead of curbing a problem made it worse, would you keep it going or would you stop and consider an alternative course?” Mr. Branson writes. Adding; “Strangely, the trillion-dollar war on drugs has persisted for 40 years even though it is the most dismal global policy failure of our time. Why do I care and why should you?”
He points out that Millions of otherwise productive lives are wasted and lost in jail for marijuana possession and other nonviolent drug violations. And that the US state of California could raise an estimated US $1.4B in annual revenue if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana.
“…so imagine the revenue that is keeping the underworld in business.”
“I’m a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and we have been looking at this issue for the last two years. There are countries – such as Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Netherlands – that have adopted alternative strategies with promising results.”
“I’d like the business community to help figure out what can be done for countries to take a hard look at the failures of the drug war and adopt humane solutions that focus on education and health care rather than criminalization and incarceration. Let’s make 2013 the year we Break The Taboo,” Richard Branson concludes.
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