OPINION: America Voted For More Drugs
This election cycle, more ballot measures to legalize drugs went out then has ever been seen before.
And more of those ballot measures won than ever before.
States that legalized recreational cannabis were New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota.
At the same time, voters in Mississippi and South Dakota legalized medical cannabis.
What was a surprise to some was that Oregon decriminalized hard drugs including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and, of all things, psychedelic mushrooms. I guess the state of Oregon won't be so productive anymore. They will be at home watching the walls melt.
But states did not just legalize drugs, they also relaxed drug-related offenses. Part of the reason for this was clogged courts and overcrowded jails. Also, the government does not have the money to arrest, prosecute, and jail every offender they can find.
On that note, things are about to get stranger in the nation's capital as DC voters approved decriminalizing ‘magic mushrooms’ and other psychedelics. Activists that pushed the measure in DC claim that "psychedelics can be deployed to treat depression, trauma, and addiction."
This once again leaves the question as to what the federal government will do. These drugs might be legal in these states, but they are still against federal law. Most likely the feds will just leave these states alone, as they have left Colorado alone, for example.
Speaking in pure raw numbers, illegalizing drugs has not caused an increase in drug usage. Those people who are currently doing these drugs will continue. Those who do not do drugs will continue not to. But more people will move to those states where their favorite drug is legal, concentrating drug users in one place.
Incarcerating drug users has not caused a drop in drug use across America - effective treatment plans have reduced the number. But as always, the drug user needs to want to get help before treatment can work.