Saturday, February 21, 2009

War on Drugs

artwork courtesy of IPW artist Linda Eddy

I don't often find reason to agree with Ron Paul, but on Bill Maher's HBO show on Friday, I found a big reason:

... Speaking live from Clute, Texas, the libertarian-leaning Republican did what few other members of Congress will and openly called for the United States' War on Drugs to be abolished ...

"I don't like pot," said the congressman. "But I hate the drug war, so I would repeal all of prohibition. But, I wouldn't even bother taxing it. People have the right in a free country to make important decisions on their own lives. If they want to make mistakes, they can. They just can't come crawling to the government to get bailed out or taken care of if they get sick.

"I believe in freedom of choice in all that we do, as long as the individual never hurts anybody else. So that means I would get rid of all the federal laws. I would dispose with the drug war. We're spending tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars on this, then we march into places like California, override state law, arrest sick people and put them in prison."

"It makes no sense whatsoever," he insisted ...

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced." -- Albert Einstein


Laura said...

I believe there's a balance necessary between total deregulation and regulation that we need to find. Should heroin be legal? The issue gets fuzzy with the harder drugs that do more damage and are highly addictive and difficult to treat.

I do agree that the war on drugs does NOT work. What we need are social programs that treat addicts rather than incarcerate them. And there are a few drugs that shouldn't be criminal at all.

dbackdad said...

All valid points. I'm for legalization, but not necessarily deregulation. Alcohol and cigarettes are legal but are regulated. We'd just need to find the appropriate level of regulation.

The criminalization of addicts is why our prisons are bursting. And to an extent, we are creating even worse criminals by doing this.

Jewish Atheist said...

Very true. Modern prohibition is sheer insanity.