In a stunning and unprecedented move, several prominent political leaders in the US announced today that the "War on Drugs" was a mistake, and will be introducing legislation to end it.
A bipartisan group of congressional leaders joined President Bush this morning in the Rose Garden to announce an immediate end to the War on Drugs. "Hell, I blew enough [cocaine] in college to support an entire village in Columbia," said Bush. "Half of Capitol Hill smokes Marijuana," stated Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. "It's the largest cash crop in the U.S., but the people making money off of it are the cartels, tongs, and other criminal enterprises. By legalizing and taxing cannabis, we can take some of that money out of their pockets, and put it into the public coffers."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales also noted that under the old system, it was easier for minors to obtain illegal drugs than it was for them to obtain cigarettes or alcohol. "Your average street dealer isn't exactly checking IDs," stated the embattled AG, "and CVS and Walgreen's aren't exactly engaging in shooting wars over who gets to sell on a particular street corner." Even Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine Gen. Peter Pace found positives in the new policy. "This will give us a much broader recruiting base," he stated. "The change in policy we are announcing here today means that millions of additional young Americans will be eligible for military service. Hopefully, this will be of great assistance in meeting our recruiting goals."
Some lobbyists and representatives of the defense industry, petroleum and petrochemical industries, and the lumber industry- who asked not to be identified by name- expressed disappointment in the wake of the announcement. "How are we going to sell IR (infrared) cameras to local law enforcement agencies if they're not going to be busting 'grow houses'?" lamented one defense lobbyist. "If we start making stuff like paper, rope, textiles, and biodiesel from hemp, what will happen to the demand for oil and lumber?" asked a petroleum lobbyist.
Perhaps most outraged were representatives of the DEA and other law enforcement agencies. "What are we gonna do?" snapped Karen Tandy, DEA Administrator. "Do they actually expect us to go after people who commit real crimes? I mean, you know- crimes with victims? We're not trained for that."
The policy change is anticipated to produce an increase in Federal tax revenue in the neighborhood of $10 billion annually, while decreasing expenditures by roughly twice that amount, according to Federal budget estimates.