As a Gary Johnson supporter, I guess it's time to tell you all how I feel about drugs. This post represents my current beliefs. I'm going to start with some very specific policy proposals, and then maybe spend some time talking about them:
At the Federal Level:
1. The Federal government should lift the ban on all illicit drugs, and on the abuse of "medical" drugs, effective 1 year to the date from passage of this change.
2. During that year the DEA should be disbanded, and it's budget shifted toward some combination of deficit reduction, mental health treatment drug abuse treatment and education, and the next suggestion. Most of this should occur at the state level.
3. Also during this year, the sentences of non-violent Federal drug offenders should be reviewed, and parole, commutations and pardons issued as appropriate.
4. The 1 year waiting period will be used by the States to craft their own drug policies.
5. Streamline FDA approval process, and allow promising drugs late in the approval phase to be used by patients with informed consent. Limit drug company liability for approved drugs, or informed consent drugs unless there is willful failure to disclose detrimental effects or cheating in the approval process.
6. Provide clear study results with drugs indicating plain English risk statements with comparison to other common "risky" activities. (ORM approach for you military people).
At MY (SC) states level (you do what you want in your state):
1. Make marijuana and it's derivatives legal for anyone over the age of 18. Only regulations based on prevention of use by minors.
2. Decriminalize the possession and use of all other illicit drugs at amounts appropriate to indicate personal use vice trafficking.
3. Limit enforcement of drug trafficking laws and refocus effort and funding on treatment and counselling. Enforcement efforts should be focused on keeping drugs away from children, and on violence associated with trafficking. Essentially, if you are a trafficker who keeps it out of the hands of children, and doesn't engage in violence, you could expect to be left relatively alone by the police.
4. Based on the effects of marijuana legalization, consider legalization of other drugs, with phase in and testing periods (heroin and the like kinda scare me as to whether full legalization will work).
I'll get back to this post with discussion after I let it marinate on Facebook for a while...