Weed should be completely legal to use, says Virgin Tycoon Richard Branson. In fact, according to him, a number of drugs, not just weed, should be decriminalized. He claims the only thing stopping it from happening in his native country, England, is fear amongst politicians who think they would lose votes.
This type of quote has become typical for the billionaire who joined the Global Commission on Drugs over two years ago. Since then, Sir Richard has become an outspoken advocate for legalized drug use and, when considering the rationale he uses, it's hard to argue against him.
Whether he's speaking about drug policy in the U.K. or in the U.S., Branson provides undeniably interesting points. Policing drug use, he says, is one big waste of money and there is so much more to be gained by legalization. The facts, from both recent history and past, back him up as well.
This MSN report says that the U.S. could pay over $8 billion a year in law enforcement costs, according to a 2010 study conducted by a Harvard economics lecturer, while the 2005 CNN report stated that the government is missing out on $14 billion dollars by not legalizing and taxing pot.
With time, estimates on just how much the U.S. is spending (or wasting, depending on where you stand on the issue) on policing marijuana will always change. But there is one consistent effect of the "war on drugs" that Branson says he detests.
The perceived underlying racism may be enough for some to turn against proponents of anti-drug enforcement, as well as the idea that youthful persons are being senselessly jailed.
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