Skip to comments.End the War on Drugs [Ron Paul]
Posted on 03/30/2009 6:49:14 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
We have recently heard many shocking stories of brutal killings and ruthless violence related to drug cartels warring with Mexican and US officials. It is approaching the fever pitch of a full blown crisis. Unfortunately, the administration is not likely to waste this opportunity to further expand government. Hopefully, we can take a deep breath and look at history for the optimal way to deal with this dangerous situation, which is not unprecedented.
Alcohol prohibition in the 1920s brought similar violence, gangs, lawlessness, corruption and brutality. The reason for the violence was not that making and selling alcohol was inherently dangerous. The violence came about because of the creation of a brutal black market which also drove profits through the roof. These profits enabled criminals like Al Capone to become incredibly wealthy, and militantly defensive of that wealth. Al Capone saw the repeal of Prohibition as a great threat, and indeed smuggling operations and gangland violence fell apart after repeal. Today, picking up a bottle of wine for dinner is a relatively benign transaction, and beer trucks travel openly and peacefully along their distribution routes.
Similarly today, the best way to fight violent drug cartels would be to pull the rug out from under their profits by bringing these transactions out into the sunlight. People who, unwisely, buy drugs would hardly opt for the back alley criminal dealer as a source, if a coffeehouse-style dispensary was an option. Moreover, a law-abiding dispensary is likely to check IDs and refuse sale to minors, as bars and ABC stores tend to do very diligently. Think of all the time and resources law enforcement could save if they could instead focus on violent crimes, instead of this impossible nanny-state mandate of saving people from themselves!
If these reasons dont convince the drug warriors, I would urge them to go back to the Constitution and consider where there is any authority to prohibit private personal choices like this. All of our freedoms the freedom of religion and assembly, the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unnecessary government searches and seizures stem from the precept that you own yourself and are responsible for your own choices. Prohibition laws negate self-ownership and are an absolute affront to the principles of freedom. I disagree vehemently with the recreational use of drugs, but at the same time, if people are only free to make good decisions, they are not truly free. In any case, states should decide for themselves how to handle these issues and the federal government should respect their choices.
My great concern is that instead of dealing deliberatively with the actual problems, Congress will be pressed again to act quickly without much thought or debate. I cant think of a single problem we havent made worse that way. The panic generated by the looming crisis in Mexico should not be redirected into curtailing more rights, especially our second amendment rights, as seems to be in the works. Certainly, more gun laws in response to this violence will only serve to disarm lawful citizens. This is something to watch out for and stand up against. We have escalated the drug war enough to see it only escalates the violence and profits associated with drugs. It is time to try freedom instead.
News flash for Ronbots: Ending the “drug war” isn’t going to end the violence.
I fought drugs and drugs won.
Ron Paul Ping!
Luv ya, Ron, but you are dead wrong here, if you think legalizing drugs will make all of our crime problems go away. I’d love to ask Ron where the meth should come from to be sold in the “coffee-house dispensaries”.
This one is simple. A hundred and fifty years ago in America there were no drug laws and there were no meaningful drug problems. Nobody should need to be Albert Einstein to figure it out.
He’s a wack job. Every day its something new.
Agreed that neoprohibitionism should be abandoned.
Great question. Obviously, Paul hasn't been around people who have ruined or are ruining their lives with that stuff.
No kidding. When was the last time the mob trafficked illegal booze and smokes?
Decriminalize but don’t legalize.
Legalization will lead to a whole rainbow of new laws and taxes that none of us need.
With Decriminalization we can use existing laws and impose rational penalties and fines. Kinda like alcohol.
None of us believe that ending the Drug War will end violence altogether. It will, however, minimize the violence that now exists & GREATLY enhance freedom.
Of course it won’t make our crime problems go away. None of us ever said that it would.
“With Decriminalization we can use existing laws and impose rational penalties and fines. Kinda like alcohol.”
no, not kinda like alcohol. pretty much nothing like alcohol. alcohol is legal for all adults over the age of 21. decriminilization means that it’s still illegal and still has to be smuggled into the country which does nothing to address the problems of violence in our cities, at our border, and around the world.
by making the purchase of these substances legal on the open market, we take away the monopoly that the cartels and drug gangs have.
Ok, I am listening.
Then I’d suggest to you that your arguement is a strawman. There WERE drugs in America—opiates for one were very prevalent, not to mention destructive. The reason you don’t hear about them to the degree you see/hear today is because people were too damn busy providing the basic necessities for themselves and not sitting on their collective arses waiting for that check every month.
Oh, only when the laws get too restrictive and the taxes too high.
Works for me!
Therein lies the rub - the interests currently benefiting from the cash flows associated with the "illegal"; i.e. untaxed, drugs trade will not allow any changes in the law.
The cartels own the politicians. Can any rational person acquainted with history doubt this?
Yet we have to endure a public debate which does not touch upon this brutal fact at all.
We deserve the government we have, however false, shameless and pandering it may be.
what concessions should be given? decriminalization doesn’t address any of the problems.
No more than with the regulation of alcohol.
With Decriminalization we can use existing laws and impose rational penalties and fines.
Decriminalization, rather than legalization, would keep in place the source of 2/3 of the cartels' revenue they get from marijuana.
Sounds like a lot of common sense.
I don’t understand why people on FR are afraid of giving this inherent freedom back to the people.
Do they really believe that no one around them is doing drugs?
Many everyday folks are and they just keep it hidden for fear of arrest. Your neighbor down the street, who you know and like, an average taxpaying American citizen, may being smoking a joint right now and you don’t even know it - it isn’t affecting you.
Is it OK for that person to be put in jail for something like that? I think not.
Freedom is freedom. The more of it the better.
I thought that’s what our country was founded on - and admired for.
Sorry if it’s an unpopular opinion around here - but I will never understand the (lack of) logic in the “drug war.”
Realistically, I think this picture is lowballing the money spent. I don't see any federal LEOs in the pic.
I don’t see the cost of their benefits, equipment, SUVs, office space or operating expenses included in the pic either.
That’s the problem with you clowns, offer you a concession and you refuse because it’s all or nuthin.
Looks like it’s gonna be nuthin. Enjoy.
Wow! If legalizing drugs will end the drug problem, I suggest that the government produce these drugs and give them out for free.
I wonder who will volunteer their son or daughter as a
passenger in a car driven by a pot head.
Do you think that the drug lords would just disband, quietly go get respectable jobs, and become law-abiding citizens, were drugs legalized? I suspect drugs are merely the target of opportunity, and there would just be a shift to a new lucrative, illegal, and violent line of business. I find the fight-crime-by-legalizing-whatever-criminals-do rationale a bit weak.
However, I do find merit in an honest discussion of jurisdiction (should the feds or the states decide whether to address the issue). Good luck getting the federal government to abide by anything in the Constitution these days. And, they have the interstate-trade catch-all that gives them total license.
Addiction to cocaine and opiates was substantially higher in 2000 than it was in 1900 when they were still legal, if the usdoj is to be believed:
You’re the one who prefers no freedom over a step toward freedom.
Kinda funny really. A decade ago the mantra was there there was no violence associated with marijuana. Guess the agenda has changed and the talking points reflect that.
We all know that George Soros is just looking out for your freedoms. LOL
I guess the same people who let their kids ride with someone who’s had a cocktail or beer.
and both are idiots
Yes, but then the public was much more ignorant as to the effects of chemicals on the body and addiction. People were taking those "medicines" generally in good faith to cure some malady, real or imagined. I doubt but a few of them began taking them with the intent to get high. I also doubt very many of them even actually knew what it was they were putting in their body, and most of them would probably have been ecstatic to have a safer alternative like ibuprofen. Aspirin was just coming on the scene, but again, the study of these substances and their effects was in its infancy.
I doubt you can find too many people nowadays who don't know that smoking crack or shooting heroin are bad for you.
I think it’s time to decriminalize pot. It would not be a panacea - but I’d like to see what kind of impact it has on Mexico.
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