Decriminalize both prostitution and all drug use in America

For a country born out of resisting authoritarian over-reach, the US has since the Revolution become curiously enamored with, well, authority. The police and military, as instruments of authority, are near venerated by a sizeable number of Americans, and the power that they wield is alarming.

Take the infamous “War on Drugs” for example. Literally billions of dollars have been poured into a near militarized campaign against drug use since the 1980s – and all without changing a thing. Drug use continues regardless. Just as how the death penalty is no deterrent to those who are determined to kill, likewise those that wish to use drugs will do so irrespective of them being illegal or not.

The police, judiciary and penal system are pouring seemingly endless resources into the futile “War on Drugs.” Cliché as this will sound, it is still very, very true – those resources could be much better used elsewhere, tackling much more serious crime. Further, the “War on Drugs” has served to criminalize millions of Americans with convictions and jail-time for narcotics offences.

It is of course no coincidence that many of those convicted of drug-related crimes are poor, young, male and black – another unsavory aspect of policing in today’s America.

Should you happen to be white, you are less likely to be targeted by the police for drug offences and should you happen to be wealthy, well, it’s amazing what a slick lawyer can do for you when charged as such. Not only is that an inherent bias in the American criminal system, the reality is only a privileged few have that option. Seems like justice comes with a fee, right?