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End the War on Drugs Now
American Thinker ^ | March 26, 2011 | Zbigniew Mazurak

Posted on 03/26/2011 12:31:16 AM PDT by neverdem

Despite federal and state expenditures of billions of dollars per year, severe punishments, and frequent unconstitutional raids on private homes, the War On Drugs is a failure.  Since this futile war began, the number of drug users in the US has grown rather than shrink, and the rate of drug usage has grown along with the profits of drug cartels.  America's Southern border has become very dangerous as a result of the War, and Mexico is a failing state because wealthy, well-armed drug cartels can afford to fight a regular war in that country and bribe (or assassinate) its officials.

By any objective measure, the War On Drugs is a disastrous failure. It's time to end this madness now.

The War began in 1970, when President Nixon declared it and the Congress passed various legislation outlawing drugs (even relatively harmless ones such as marijuana).  The Congress didn't even bother to change the Constitution (as it did when it banned alcohol beverages), and simply ignored the strict limits the Constitution imposed on it.

Since then, federal and state authorities have been arresting and prosecuting just about anyone they caught possessing, growing, using, or selling drugs.  It doesn't matter to them that to date, no one has died because of ingesting marijuana, while thousands of people die every die around the world as a result of overuse of alcohol and smoking tobacco.  Moreover, alcoholics and tobacco smokers harm not only themselves, but also everyone else in their orbit.

Even by the 1980s, there were signs that the punitive policies were failing. Nonetheless, Washington politicians didn't end the War - they doubled on it.

They ignored the lessons of the Prohibition Era, when alcohol prohibition drove distillers underground, but did not eliminate alcohol from the private market.  Even worse, the alcohol market was monopolized by gangs, including the Mafia, making Al Capone a very wealthy man.  These gangs were terrorizing adults on streets everyday, and drive-by shootings were common. The same dismal results occurred everywhere where prohibition of alcohol (or drugs) has been tried, including Russia under Gorbachyov.  Al Capone opposed the 21st Amendment (which ended the Prohibition), because it opened the door to the legalization of alcohol, thus creating numerous legal, law-abiding competitors for him.  Capone went to jail in 1932, before Prohibition ended, but its end radically decreased his Mafia's annual income.

What are the results of the War on Drugs?

A million innocent Americans are sitting in  prisons right now solely because they've been caught storing, buying or using drugs.  A million people who haven't harmed anyone else. Americans prisons are overcrowded as a result.

Taxpayers dollars and limited police resources are being squandered on arresting people who may have harmed themselves but haven't harmed anyone else, rather than be used chasing truly dangerous criminals.

America's Southern border is dangerous and de facto governed by drug cartels, which are also present in hundreds of American cities, even NYC, Chicago, Tacoma, and Anchorage.

Drug gangs have high annual incomes, and therefore can afford to buy lethal weapons, bribe officials, and build villas for their leaders.  This income is not taxed.

Meanwhile, Americans who want to buy drugs for recreational (or even medical) purposes are forced to buy them from these gangs rather than pharmacies.  These drug cartels also supply weapons to other criminal organizations, and could sell them to terrorists.

During the last two decades, a few states, such as California, have legalized medical marijuana and proposed to legalize recreational weed.  Government officials and cops, eager to protect their bloated bureaucracies and budgets as well as their police prerogatives, opposed these initiatives.  Sometimes these policies were approved by voters, sometimes not. But whenever they came up for a vote, government officials said they would disregard the result (i.e. the people's verdict) and enforce federal drug laws anyway.

Such was the case with the 2010 Proposition #19 in California.  Its citizens submitted a proposal to legalize marijuana (at least for medicinal purposes) in a referendum, Washington politicians arrogantly promised to disregard the results before such referendums occurred, and discredited establishment politicians, led by George Shultz (a man who shouldn't even dare to speak publicly) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, spoke out against such proposals.  They, like all other liberals, believe that the government should decide for private citizens what's best for them, like a nanny state; that adults are too stupid to decide for them. Proposition #19 failed.  Luckily, Arizona voters passed a similar measure, Proposition #203.

What if the War on Drugs is ended and drugs are legalized?

The US prison population would immediately shrink by a million people, thus stripping dictators around the world of the argument that the US incarceration rate is.  Prison expenditures would decrease significantly.  There would now be enough cells to lock up all truly dangerous criminals, rather than people who may be harming themselves but aren't doing harm to anyone else.

Annual federal expenditures would shrink by at least $44 billion and, if drugs are taxed, annual federal revenue would grow by $33 billion.  States' coffers could be similarly filled with revenue and state expenses would shrink.

Drug gangs would lose their source of income and would cease being able to buy weapons, bribe officials with big money, and assassinate people.  They would stop being able to terrorize people on the streets, travelers on America's borders, or the country of Mexico.

Police resources would be allocated to real priorities (i.e. fighting dangerous criminals), and courts' dockets would be significantly reduced.

Truly ill people who need medical marijuana (which can be medically beneficial) would be able to buy (or grow) it legally, with doctors' prescriptions, and youngsters who want to use it for recreational purposes could do so too; they wouldn't need to fear overzealous cops and punishment that would make these decent people into criminals.

Finally, the size, scope, budget and prerogatives of the federal government would be significantly decreased.  That is also the real reason why politicians and bureaucrats oppose drug legalization.  They don't want to see the federal government and its prerogatives reduced.  They are addicted to it, and addiction to governing is more dangerous than addiction to drugs.  They couldn't care less whether the American people live healthy lifestyles or not (and to be honest, it's none of their business).  They just want to micromanage Americans and their lifestyles.

It's time to end the War on Drugs.  It's not a conservative policy, its results are dismal, its costly, and it has made America's drug problem worse, not better.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Mexico; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: warondrugs; waronsomedrugs; wod; wosd
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To: Berlin_Freeper
People advancing the drug culture are obviously slaves to a life style of drug consumption. Probably comparable to alcoholics. There is definitely something wrong there.

Ad hominem Fallacy!

NOTE: I can't claim to be a political activist investing my time and treasure towards the re-legalization of marijuana, cocaine, etc., but I, too, am convinced that the "War on Some Drugs" is morally wrong, impractical, fiscally irresponsible, and counter-productive (just as Prohibition was in the 1920s and 30s), and also support that position with my legal right to vote.

I don't think that that can be equated with "advancing the drug culture," if that's what you're implying.

A line has been drawn.

What does that mean? Who drew a line, and why?

Why can't alcohol be enough?

Why can't Kool-Aid be enough? Why can't 45 mph / 35 horsepower be enough? Why can't 256 kilobyte RAM be enough? Who needs more than one brand of margarine? Why can't two t.v. channels be enough? Let the individual decide!

In his diary for August 7, 1765, George Washington writes, "Began to separate the Male from the Female hemp … rather too late."

FACT: Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were (rather unsuccessful) hemp (i.e., marijuana) growers and dealers.

This is about what kind of society you want your children to grow up in.

It's precisely because I don't want my children growing up in such a sick, repressive society governed by an all-powerful Nanny State that I favor re-legalization.


21 posted on 03/26/2011 3:17:27 AM PDT by alexander_busek
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To: PLMerite
   It would be like living in a free country if the taxpayers weren’t forced to pick up the tab for “education,”...

  I'm certainly not a fan of compulsory education in government schools.
22 posted on 03/26/2011 3:25:17 AM PDT by Maurice Tift (You can't stop the signal, Mal. You can never stop the signal.)
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To: Boogieman

I would ask what drugs would become legal under the No More War on Drugs Regime? and how?

cocaine? heroin? crack? meth? or just marijauna? and legal in what quanties? and would it be manufacture? sales? or simple pocession that would be legalized? Would imports be allowed?

23 posted on 03/26/2011 3:26:34 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: TigersEye

What of the pot smokers who can’t a MM card or can everyone get one?

24 posted on 03/26/2011 3:32:29 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

I don’t think it is difficult. You wouldn’t believe the ads running in newspapers and on cable TV. I’m told that if you choose to use edible pot to “medicate” yourself they allow you to grow twice as much for yourself. There was also a deal wherein if you grow your own you can sell it to the pot “pharmacies” but they said that has been curtailed.

25 posted on 03/26/2011 3:37:00 AM PDT by TigersEye (Who crashed the markets on 9/15/08 and why?)
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To: Berlin_Freeper
This is about what kind of society you want your children to grow up in.

You are correct. Its about freedom and liberty. Its a never-ending struggle against those who wish to impose more of a totalitarian Nanny State.

26 posted on 03/26/2011 4:09:00 AM PDT by corkoman
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To: count-your-change; Wildbill22

If we made drugs legal here I don’t care what Mexico and Canada do.

If they keep drugs illegal there - all the money would be made there.

Buy pot packs at the local quick stop and tax the heck out of it. Let John and Mary put a couple pot plants in their back yard.

BUT - a person wants to do drugs? They need to make sure they work for a company that does not do drug tests. Just like tobacco these days.

27 posted on 03/26/2011 4:13:33 AM PDT by PeteB570 (Islam is the sea in which the terrorist shark swims. It aids & comforts the shark on it's journey.)
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To: neverdem
The first Prohibition funded the Kennedy family dynasty. Think of what a disaster that's been for the entire world.

My other random thought is that the WOD makes me a bit nervous when I buy a used car, since I never know if the previous owner stashed some goodies that a cop's dog might find two years hence and use that reason to sieze my vehicle and destroy my life.

28 posted on 03/26/2011 4:27:21 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (Bringing children to America without immigration documents is child abuse. Let's end it.)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

A line has been drawn. Why can’t alcohol be enough?
This is about what kind of society you want your children to grow up in.

Those who are against the War or Drugs are **not** advocating the use of drugs.

Drugs are already freely available. There is already a free market ( although it is a black market) in drugs. Despite the trillions spent on the “Drug War” the street cost of drugs doesn’t budge.

Even I could easily and quickly find and purchase drugs, right here in our little, red state, and rural county, and I am a 64 year old grandmother who is fully active in a church that proscribes alcohol and illegal drugs.

The problem with prohibition of drugs is the same problem that we saw with prohibition of alcohol. We see the formation of corrupt gangs, mafias, and evil combinations that reach into the highest levels of our government and law enforcement.

29 posted on 03/26/2011 4:46:22 AM PDT by wintertime
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To: neverdem

I’m surprised that the American Thinker has jumped on this, but they’re basically right. The WOD is just providing a de facto economic subsidy for the drug cartels and gangbangers. Not to mention corrupting police who shift their priorities toward drug law enforcement to take advantage of the property seizures.

The WOD has proven to be an epic failure. This is like so many other issues in that the states need to plot their own course. I suspect that given the choice some states will decide to legalize as much as they can, while others will remain in prohibition mode, with others taking a middle tack.

30 posted on 03/26/2011 4:58:52 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Repudiate the national debt)
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To: neverdem

There are a lot of good arguments here, for and against. I guess I have to come down on the side of ending this farce called the WOD.

I could care less what one person or another medicates themselves with as long as they aren’t working for me at something critical.

What I do care about is the rule of law. Our government has enacted a law that is unenforceable. Our citizens, by an overwhelming number choose to ignore this law. If this law is viewed in such a derogatory manner by such a number of citizens, could not a citizen reasonably conclude that there are most likely many more laws which are equally absurd and should be ignored as well.

And what should a citizen conclude about the people tasked with enforcing this ineffectual and offensive, ignored law? What level of respect should be afforded to them, if any? How should a man’s neighbors feel about the cops who took away a family’s home because they found a half a dozen plants growing behind the chicken coop?

I like most all of the cops that I know here locally. Most of them were born and raised here. I have every confidence that should I ever be in trouble and need their help, they will be here. I don’t like the idea that young people in our community might not respect our LEO’s to the degree that they should because of some of the outdated laws they are asked to enforce.

I want our laws to be respected and obeyed, all of them. If there are some stupid laws, get rid of them.

31 posted on 03/26/2011 5:02:34 AM PDT by Rearden (Deo Vindice)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Why not legalize all drugs. The new health care plan makes a lot of OTC drugs prescription only so the drug comapnies make more money.

I would make the illegal drugs 1,000 times more potent so the druggies can fry their brains faster and die.

32 posted on 03/26/2011 5:04:32 AM PDT by oldasrocks (They should lock all of you up and only let out us properly medicated people.)
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To: neverdem

“There is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end....”
So wrote Aldous Huxley in “Brave New World.”
Legal or illegal, our nation’s addiction is taking us down the road to a “Brave New World” - a destination that can destroy us.
Unemployed, half-employed, poorly educated, absorbed by the latest sensation, we have millions who turn to drugs for relief from reality. That just won’t stand very long.

33 posted on 03/26/2011 5:04:57 AM PDT by Malesherbes (Sauve qui peut)
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To: neverdem
And let's not forget prostitution. That should be legal as well. Quality would go up, cost would go down. It seems to me that all the same arguments would apply. All forms of gambling should also be completely legal. All pornography laws should also be eliminated. Did I forget anything?
34 posted on 03/26/2011 5:08:22 AM PDT by NurdlyPeon (Sarah Palin: America's last, best hope for survival.)
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To: neverdem

“Land of the free, home of the brave”. Hey, I have no desire to use what are now illegal drugs, and I am subject to random drug tests at work, and that is fine with me (Pilot, and I am sure it is fine with you)

My problem with our present drug laws is the nanny state taking our freedoms to protect us from ourselves. Like putting us in a child’s play pen, or a velvet lined cage for our own good. Some might not mind being treated like a child, but I do.

Motorcycle helmets, seat belt laws, drugs that require a prescription, and stupid labels that tell me not to stick my hands into a operating lawn mower or not to use the wrong end of a chainsaw.

-Really, think about it. We are doing nature and our gene pool a severe disservice by denying nature the cleansing process of natural selection, and survival of the fittest. 500 years from now we are going to be too stupid to survive without big government.

(And anyone who wears a helmet while riding a bike looks to me like metrosexual wimp, sorry)

35 posted on 03/26/2011 5:12:17 AM PDT by Wildbill22
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To: Berlin_Freeper
"How much of a loser can a person be when alcohol is not enough for them?"

Guess I'm a loser, lol! Maybe it was all the drinking I did in college and my early 20s... (I did ALOT of drinking, working in a beach bar). I just don't like to drink...I don't like the way it makes me feel. I have no use for other drugs either, but for one. I graduated high school in the 70s... I remember pot and would chose it over alcohol every time, were it an option.

Just my humble opinion.

36 posted on 03/26/2011 5:15:36 AM PDT by sweet_diane (Adoption, the beautiful choice!)
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To: NurdlyPeon

I have not problem with that, even though I would never use a prostitute. Gambling is already legal, for the Indians and a couple select locations like Vegas. Why not? You are not going to stop it with laws. Personal choices that don’t directly effect another’s liberty should be free from regulation.

Now we are at the point of defining what that point is that directly effects another’s liberty, and that is another big discussion.

37 posted on 03/26/2011 5:19:28 AM PDT by Wildbill22
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To: ScottinVA

We learned a lesson with prohibition. Apply it to other intoxicants. The net effect of Prohibition was loss of respect for the law and consolidation of power by organized crime. Do away with drug laws, and the power of the organized crime will wither.

38 posted on 03/26/2011 5:22:33 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Sulzberger Family Motto: Trois generations d'imbeciles, assez)
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To: neverdem

It has long been my opinion that nothing will change re: the WOD until conservatives get behind the move for change. It needs to be openly talked about in politically conservative circles, IMHO.

39 posted on 03/26/2011 5:29:59 AM PDT by sweet_diane (Adoption, the beautiful choice!)
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To: neverdem

“Drug gangs would lose their source of income and would cease being able to buy weapons, bribe officials with big money, and assassinate people. They would stop being able to terrorize people on the streets, travelers on America’s borders, or the country of Mexico”

That’s right. If we legalize drugs, the criminal element in our society would suddenly become law abiding citizens. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell.

Laws do not create crime. Criminals create crime. We ended Prohibition, so the criminals turned to gambling. We legalized gambling in many places, so the criminals turned to drugs. If we legalize drugs, where will the criminals go? The asnwer has already appeared- sex slaves. Will we then legalize that?

40 posted on 03/26/2011 5:40:32 AM PDT by bobjam
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