The Painful Economics of the War on Drugs — interview with Marijuana Policy Project’s Matt Simon

The War on Drugs has been called a trillion dollar failure, and beyond its economic failings, more and more people are waking up to the horrors this modern-day Prohibition is creating in our society, and asking more about who actually benefits from these antiquated authoritarian controls.

In this special bonus episode of Neocash Radio—“The Painful Economics of the War on Drugs”—Darren and Randy interview Matt Simon, New England Political Director and Legislative Analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project.

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Painful Economics of the War on Drugs - Interview w/ Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project Marijuana Policy Project
Among the topics we discuss with Matt:

  • some of the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and why governments should not be spreading misinformation and restricting exploratory studies of cannabis plants and other “illegal” substances
  • the massive costs associated with enforcing drug laws and putting people in jail for mere possession—a victimless crime—that are forced upon taxpayers. (An estimated 700,993 marijuana-related arrests were made in the U.S. in 2014 — up from 693,058 in 2013 — of which 88.42% were for possession.)
  • the ugliness of Policing for Profit and civil asset forfeiture
  • marijuana’s promise as a potential aid in curbing addiction to heroin and other opiates
  • who ultimately benefits or suffers as a result of these draconian programs?
  • the racial disparity of drug arrests, with people of color more likely than whites to be arrested and/or fined for marijuana possession, despite similar usage rates
  • and how a conviction for simple possession of marijuana (a plant that grows in the ground, mind you) can haunt your record for years or decades, potentially affecting one’s ability to: find work, get loans, purchase a firearm for self-defense, or even receive a professional license (hairdresser, massage therapist, plumber, etc.)

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