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The War on Drugs Is Lost (Reprint of an article of the February 12, 1996 issue of National Review)
National Review Online ^ | July 28, 2014 | NRO Staff

Posted on 07/28/2014 12:07:40 PM PDT by right-wing agnostic

EDITOR’S NOTE: This past Sunday, the editorial board of the New York Times endorsed the federal legalization of marijuana. In the February 12, 1996, issue of National Review, this publication’s editors endorsed the same concept in an introduction to a symposium on the question. The editorial and WFB’s contribution to the symposium follow:

National Review has attempted during its tenure as, so to speak, keeper of the conservative tablets to analyze public problems and to recommend intelligent thought. The magazine has acknowledged a variety of positions by right-minded thinkers and analysts who sometimes reach conflicting conclusions about public policy. As recently as on the question of troops to Bosnia, there was dissent within the family from our corporate conclusion that we’d be best off staying home.

For many years we have published analyses of the drug problem. An important and frequently cited essay by Professor Michael Gazzaniga (February 5, 1990) brought a scientist’s discipline into the picture, shedding light on matters vital to an understanding of the drug question. He wrote, for instance, about different rates of addiction, and about ambient pressures that bear on addiction. Elsewhere, Professor James Q. Wilson, now of UCLA, has written eloquently in defense of the drug war. Milton Friedman from the beginning said it would not work, and would do damage.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: libertarianagenda; warondrugs; wod
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My principal objection to the War on Drugs, announced by President Nixon on June 17, 1971, is that it is unconstitutional. The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT does not have the authority to impose the War on Drugs without a constitutional amendment--as happened with the 18th Amendment (ratified-1919, took effect-1920; in effect until its repeal by the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933) As Prohibition (of Alcohol) proved, if you try to make something illegal, it will embolden and strengthen bootleggers (and in the case of the War on Drugs, drug cartels.) The 18th Amendment at least gave the states and the federal government concurrent powers to enforce Prohibition; instead of principally expanding federal power. Since I read the book "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" by Daniel Okrent a few year ago, I have become much more of a libertarian concerning drugs and alcohol. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 45, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." I think states should be free to legalize marijuana, set their on drink ages, etc. without federal interference or harassment. FYI, I voted for legalization of marijuana when the issue was on the ballot in 2012./rwa
1 posted on 07/28/2014 12:07:40 PM PDT by right-wing agnostic
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To: right-wing agnostic

We fought it like we have every war since WW2 so we were bound to lose.


2 posted on 07/28/2014 12:09:35 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: right-wing agnostic

Pro-druggers are the biggest liars and liberals there are.


3 posted on 07/28/2014 12:13:09 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: right-wing agnostic

Yes you are a liberal.


4 posted on 07/28/2014 12:14:30 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: Resolute Conservative
We fought it like we have every war since WW2 so we were bound to lose.

How ought we have fought it?

5 posted on 07/28/2014 12:17:41 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: right-wing agnostic

The War on Some Drugs was just a prelude to the War on Terror, both of which are intended to eventually negate the bill of rights and the very idea of private property. All the government has to do is whisper “drugs” or “terror” and they can do anything they want to you.


6 posted on 07/28/2014 12:23:30 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The man who damns money obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it earned it." --Ayn Rand)
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To: right-wing agnostic
Interesting!

"the pharmaceutical cost of cocaine and heroin is approximately 2 per cent of the street price of those drugs. Since a cocaine addict can spend as much as $1,000 per week to sustain his habit, he would need to come up with that $1,000. The approximate fencing cost of stolen goods is 80 per cent, so that to come up with $1,000 can require stealing $5,000 worth of jewels, cars, whatever. We can see that at free-market rates, $20 per week would provide the addict with the cocaine which, in this wartime drug situation, requires of him $1,000."

7 posted on 07/28/2014 12:24:49 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: ConservingFreedom

“How ought we have fought it?”

How about by not taking a page from LBJ’s book and declaring a phony “war” on a domestic policy issue? The only thing that serves to do is manipulate people’s emotions.


8 posted on 07/28/2014 12:26:34 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: ConservingFreedom

True, but the analysis is a little simplistic. For example, nobody would ever sell a product like cocaine at “pharmaceutical cost” even if it were legal. It’s price would be set by the same market forces that set prices for other goods. So, it would probably fall somewhere between the $20 and $1000 figure.


9 posted on 07/28/2014 12:28:47 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: right-wing agnostic

The National Review was leftist from way, way, way back.

If Bill Buckley was alive today, he’d be happy as hell (and stoned to the bone) in Colorado.


10 posted on 07/28/2014 12:31:06 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: ConservingFreedom

“Interesting!”

Facts, mere facts!

Facts have nothing to do with Drug Policy.

There’s a war on; haven’t you heard, citizen?


11 posted on 07/28/2014 12:31:56 PM PDT by headsonpikes (Mass murder and cannibalism are the twin sacraments of socialism - "Who-whom?"-Lenin)
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To: Boogieman
nobody would ever sell a product like cocaine at “pharmaceutical cost”

True, but not many markets will support a 5000% markup either.

12 posted on 07/28/2014 12:32:00 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
The National Review was leftist from way, way, way back.

How far back? Ronald Reagan lauds National Review in 1981.

13 posted on 07/28/2014 12:36:41 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: right-wing agnostic

Drug Warriors have really been taking it in the shorts lately.


14 posted on 07/28/2014 12:39:14 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: ConservingFreedom

Are you still trolling the drug threads with your pro-dope agenda?

You got the zot once before and I promise you - you retread troll ‘swipe - I will LMAO when you get zotted again.


15 posted on 07/28/2014 12:42:21 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: ConservingFreedom

For starters agent orange the poppy fields in Afghanistan and the coca fields in the south or cut of all aid and trade. Stop arresting misdemeanor possession mutts and stick to the mass distributors. Shoot we can listen to American citizens at will why not there phones and emails...


16 posted on 07/28/2014 12:43:54 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: right-wing agnostic

So, we’re supposed to give up on the war on drugs since we’ve lost.
We’ve also lost the war on illegal immigrants.
We’ve lost the wars on murder, rape, theft, assault, speeding cars. I supposed we should just legalize everything because we can’t stop evil.


17 posted on 07/28/2014 12:44:41 PM PDT by aimhigh (1 John 3:23)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Their not there.


18 posted on 07/28/2014 12:45:48 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: right-wing agnostic

Can we stop the war on poverty and green house gases and what not now?


19 posted on 07/28/2014 12:46:57 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: aimhigh

Indeed. This pot legalization is quite Orwellian in that I knew EBT cards would pay for it and that discrimination suits are going to pop out in favor of drug using lawyers and corrupt cops... just like with the so called war on gays is a an exageration to promote a war on family.


20 posted on 07/28/2014 12:49:06 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: aimhigh
We’ve lost the wars on murder, rape, theft, assault, speeding cars. I supposed we should just legalize everything because we can’t stop evil.

Those are state crimes, unless they take place on federal territory.

Do you want fedgov to overrule the states and get involved with such crimes?

21 posted on 07/28/2014 12:49:17 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: aimhigh
We’ve lost the wars on murder

Two in three murders are solved - the number of drug crimes that are even detected can't be more than two in three thousand.

I supposed we should just legalize everything because we can’t stop evil.

We should legalize acts that violate nobody's rights.

22 posted on 07/28/2014 12:50:21 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Do you know how irrational and paranoid you sound?

That the War on Terror was “which are intended to eventually negate the bill of rights and the very idea of private property”

Do you believe the USG knocked down the WTC?


23 posted on 07/28/2014 12:51:04 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: right-wing agnostic
The War On (Some) Drugs was lost a long time ago.

But those who make money perpetuating it & those who fail to see the harm it's caused to the Fourth Amendment, states' rights & the tax money we have flushed down the toilet delight in keeping it going.

24 posted on 07/28/2014 12:51:48 PM PDT by gdani (Every day, your Govt surveils you more than the day before)
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To: ifinnegan

I believe that the US feral government is no longer restricted by the rule of law, and that the “wars” on drugs and terror were instrumental in getting us here.


25 posted on 07/28/2014 12:54:38 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The man who damns money obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it earned it." --Ayn Rand)
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5% Carry 100% of Free Republic Expense


Click The Pic To Donate

Support FR Or Lose It

26 posted on 07/28/2014 12:57:53 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: right-wing agnostic

More like America has lost. Becoming a nation of dopeheads, degenerates and government-dependent wastrels. Add open-borders and a depraved, faggotized culture.

America has devolved into an abject sewer. Its pathetic embrace of dope is but one indicator of its decline and impending death.


27 posted on 07/28/2014 12:57:54 PM PDT by greene66
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To: Boogieman

Heroin can be had for as little as $5.


28 posted on 07/28/2014 12:58:57 PM PDT by outpostinmass2
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To: Resolute Conservative

There’s another thread today, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3186061/posts, by a Town Hall GOPe type.

If one follows his links we find his entry in the “foolish war on drugs” that uses a propaganda video froM something called the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3186061/posts

I think International Centre is all we need to know, but this is the type of tripe that so-called conservatives and libertarians are falling for when it’s filled with lies and obfuscations.

For example. Portugal Is presented as a great example of the benefit of legalizing drugs.

But their stats are all BS stats that mean nothing. Eg Portugal now has one of the lowest rates of dope smoking in Europe.

But they don’t say if it went up or down after egaliAtion, which is the question.

It’s full of BS lying like that. It pretends to be the scientific answer.

It’s like Global Warming — it’s Science. Can’t argue with Science.


29 posted on 07/28/2014 1:01:13 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: outpostinmass2

A week’s supply?


30 posted on 07/28/2014 1:02:11 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: ConservingFreedom

Interesting if one is a simpleton.


31 posted on 07/28/2014 1:02:30 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ifinnegan

The war for national sovereignty and borders is lost. The war against murder, rape and communism are lost.

All is lost.


32 posted on 07/28/2014 1:03:06 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: right-wing agnostic

Another reason I gave up on National Review

they are NOT in any way conservative


33 posted on 07/28/2014 1:03:43 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ifinnegan

Never let a good crisis go to waste. The Patriot Act had been kicking around the backrooms of Congress for a while but never got out of committee because they figured the American people would riot at the massive destruction of freedom in it. Then 9-11 happened. And America cheered the passing of the Patriot Act.

The simple fact is our freedoms have been systematically and deliberately eroded. And the wars on drugs and terror are the frequent excuses. Which doesn’t mean anything was an inside job, just means that certain people see opportunities where normal people see tragedy and horror.


34 posted on 07/28/2014 1:03:54 PM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: lavaroise
I'm not exactly sure what the right policy would have been here.

Under the current state of the "War on Drugs," a disproportionate number of convicts in our state and federal prisons are there due to drug-related offenses. And in these prisons, in which these people can be confined, surveiled, and searched 24/7, they still manage to get access to drugs.

Given that there are drugs in our prisons, I would say that the prospects of actually limiting access to drugs in the rest of the country are pretty slim. And, not being a user of illegal drugs, I'm not willing to live in a country that in any way resembles a prison simply for the purpose of trying to limit the prevalence of drugs.

35 posted on 07/28/2014 1:04:57 PM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: ifinnegan
Only simpletons find a 5000% markup worthy of note?
36 posted on 07/28/2014 1:05:28 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: Boogieman; ConservingFreedom

“nobody would ever sell a product like cocaine at “pharmaceutical cost” even if it were legal”

Do not confuse these boys with rationality or reason.

They’d like to stay in their drugged out stupor, with blissful thoughts of utopia if drugs were just legalized.


37 posted on 07/28/2014 1:05:50 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ConservingFreedom

Keep reading.


38 posted on 07/28/2014 1:06:56 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ifinnegan; Boogieman
“nobody would ever sell a product like cocaine at “pharmaceutical cost” even if it were legal”

True - but no legal market offers anything like a 5000% markup.

39 posted on 07/28/2014 1:13:11 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: outpostinmass2

“Heroin can be had for as little as $5.”
Sure it can. - thirty years ago.


40 posted on 07/28/2014 1:14:00 PM PDT by rhoda_penmark
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To: Oberon
And, not being a user of illegal drugs, I'm not willing to live in a country that in any way resembles a prison simply for the purpose of trying to limit the prevalence of drugs.

There you seem to part company with some alleged "conservatives."

41 posted on 07/28/2014 1:14:24 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: Resolute Conservative
“We fought it like we have every war since WW2 so we were bound to lose.”

What are your ideas for successfully fighting this war? IMO, the only way to have any impact on the drug market by force is to have a militarized 24/7 surveillance police state and I consider that to be losing. Look at the battle on every front:

Dealers/Users- There are nations where drug dealing is punishable by public death penalty and possession is punished by years in prison. Yet people continue to use and deal. There will never be a shortage of poor people willing to risk their life to get rich. There will never be a shortage of mentally ill people willing to do anything to escape. Someone caught in addiction takes no account of laws.There is also no witness or victim in most drug deals so very few are caught.

Smuggling and Border Control- Drugs are so small and powerful that you will never stop smuggling without stopping all legal border traffic. A package that fits in your palm is worth more than most yearly salaries. You can buy any drugs you want in prison, where everyone is searched and under surveillance. A drug mule can transport $100k worth of drugs in their stomach, then it gets cut and sold for $500k on the street. The more you fight it, the more advanced methods of smuggling become profitable. Through chemistry, drugs can be concealed as nearly anything.

Manufacturers and growers- As long as privacy and freedom exist, you will NEVER stop drugs that can be grown in anyone’s closet or cooked in a backyard lab. You might be able to eradicate drugs that require vast farm fields in unique climates by physically controlling the fields. However, it would require many simultaneous shooting wars, occupation of vast amounts of land and overthrow of various governments all across the world. If you go after one country at a time, the others simply get more business.

Politics and Corruption- The biggest problem is the incredible amount of easy profit to be made and the corruption that stems from it. Look at how much money and power bootleggers gained during alcohol prohibition. The office of POTUS was even occupied by a big bootlegger's son. Before that, most of them were poor immigrants. More than 70 years later, prohibition money still maintains influence in our government.

The situation today is far worse than in the 1930s:
-Drugs are hundreds of times more profitable, smaller, lighter and easier to smuggle than booze.
-Modern communications, machinery and finance allow exponentially more smuggling than in the 1930s. The cartels are running subs and planes constantly now.
-Drug prohibition has gone on for 40+ years while alcohol prohibition was only 13.

After 40+ years, entire nations are owned by warring cartels and certain parts of our government have obviously been bought by drug money.

IMO, the resources spent on simply maintaining the scope of the WOD far exceeds the cost of damage caused by legalizing all drugs. Not to mention the incalculable costs of living in an increasingly corrupt militarized police state.

42 posted on 07/28/2014 1:21:24 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: rhoda_penmark
Sure it can. - thirty years ago.

I don't know about the exact price, but I do know heroin is cheaper and more prevalent in the U.S. than it ever has been.

Despite billions of dollars spent.

43 posted on 07/28/2014 1:21:54 PM PDT by gdani (Every day, your Govt surveils you more than the day before)
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To: right-wing agnostic

February 20, 1996. I turned 20 that day. I wish I could tell that feller a few things about the way life REALLY is.


44 posted on 07/28/2014 1:23:42 PM PDT by gop4lyf (Claire Wolfe called. She said the Awkward Phase is over.)
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To: Boogieman

One hit is $5. Purer heroin is around $20. Depending on the addict, I have heard of addicts living on $20-$40 of heroin a day. The heroin zombies break into cars and steal change just to score a hit. One zombie bought a couple of cases soda with an EBT card and broke the can return machine with full cans. Heroin is cheap and illegal.


45 posted on 07/28/2014 1:24:35 PM PDT by outpostinmass2
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To: rhoda_penmark

Wrong

http://www.toledoblade.com/Police-Fire/2014/03/11/Heroin-problem-comes-down-to-price-mobility.html

“It’s easier to score a $5 hit of heroin than a $100 pill”


46 posted on 07/28/2014 1:27:01 PM PDT by outpostinmass2
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To: varyouga

Careful you could be mistaken for a libertarian.


47 posted on 07/28/2014 1:28:40 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Boogieman
The only thing that serves to do is manipulate people’s emotions.

That been pretty well SOP from the beginning. The Shafer Commission tried to cut through all the bullshit and get down to just the facts. Raymond Shafer did what they asked him to do, and then they threw him under the bus for it.

I don't see much to be proud of in the way it's been handled by either side.

48 posted on 07/28/2014 1:30:08 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: rhoda_penmark
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/02/06/prosecutor-heroin-to-blame-for-most-ocean-county-overdoses/

“Now you can get a hit of heroin somewhere between $3 to $5,” Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said.”

49 posted on 07/28/2014 1:32:30 PM PDT by outpostinmass2
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To: Resolute Conservative

“We fought it like we have every war since WW2 so we were bound to lose.”

BINGO!


50 posted on 07/28/2014 1:35:19 PM PDT by vladimir998
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