Stoners Could Help Defeat ISIS…Seriously

by John Haltiwanger
REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Stoners campaigning for marijuana legalization are actually promoting a cause that could help defeat ISIS, according to Franco Roberti, Italy's top prosecutor.

Roberti, who spearheads Italy's anti-terrorism and anti-mafia efforts, argues decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis could hurt the terrorist organization given there's evidence Italian mobsters and ISIS are smuggling hashish together via North Africa.

During a recent interview with Reuters, Roberti said,

Decriminalization or even legalization would definitely be a weapon against traffickers, among whom there could be terrorists who make money off of it... International terrorism finances itself with criminal activities that are typical of the mafia, like drug trafficking, smuggling commercial goods, smuggling oil, smuggling archaeological relics and art, kidnapping for ransom and extortion.

Simply put, decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis could put a major dent into ISIS' profits and, ultimately, help defeat it. A report cited by Reuters shows the narcotics trade accounts for around 7 precent of the terrorist organization's funding.

Roberti's arguments make a great deal of sense, particularly when you look at the ways the legalization of pot in certain US states hurt Mexican drug cartels.

There are many across the world who believe drugs should be decriminalized and possibly even legalized, given keeping them illegal allows both criminal and terrorist organizations to reap major profits. There are widespread calls for governments to end the global War on Drugs, which has been very costly and very damaging to society in a myriad of ways.

Decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana would be a good start since it's not linked to major health problems and even President Obama admitted it's less dangerous than alcohol.

Correspondingly, over 1,000 world leaders and public figures recently signed a public letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, compelling him to call for an end to the War on Drugs. Senator Bernie Sanders, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and even quarterback Tom Brady were among the signatories.

The letter said,

The drug control regime that emerged during the last century has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights. Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values... Humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century's. A new global response to drugs is needed, grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

If legalizing pot could be part of the effort to both defeat ISIS and end the war on drugs, what are we waiting for? It's a fair question.

Citations: Decriminalizing cannabis would hurt Islamic State, mafia- Italy prosecutor (Reuters), The latest idea for defeating the Islamic State: Legalize pot (The Washington Post)