POLITICS: The “cost” of the absurd drug war

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-barr/federal-drug-war-rethough_b_125458.html

Federal Drug War Rethought
Bob Barr
Posted September 10, 2008 | 04:12 PM (EST)

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It is obvious that, like Prohibition’s effort to eradicate alcohol usage, drug prohibition has not succeeded. Despite enormous law enforcement efforts — including the dedicated service of many thousands of professional men and women — the government has not halted drug use. Indeed, the problem is worse today than in 1972, when Richard Nixon first coined the phrase “War on Drugs.”

Whether we like it or not, tens of millions of Americans have used and will continue to use drugs. Yet in 2005 we spent more than $12 billion on federal drug enforcement efforts. Another $30 billion went to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders.

These people must live forever with the scarlet letter P for prison. Only luck saved even presidents and candidates for president from bearing the same mark, which would have disqualified them from not only high political office, but also many more commonplace jobs.

The federal drug laws affect even those who have never smoked (or inhaled!) a marijuana cigarette. One of the lessons I learned while serving in Congress is how power tends to concentrate in Washington, and how that concentration of power begets more power and threatens individual liberty. The ever-expanding drug war is a perfect illustration of this principle.

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It saddens me to think of the cost of the gooferment’s quote war on drugs end quote.

I know some Manhattan College students who’s lives were ruined by it. Even back in the Sixties, I knew it was wrong. A killer. My best friend in high school, who flunked out of Manhattan Engineering, dropped out due to the Vietnam Era Draft, and fell into the druggie crowd. Because I my security clearance and the new “war on drugs”, I could not afford to be anywhere around the stuff. So, he and I parted ways. I never saw him again. He was killed on the Beltway in a traffic accident. A casualty of the gooferment’s war. Either the VietNam war or the War on Drugs.

When America get it’s head screwed on straight, we’ll as a nation realize that Prohibition doesn’t work! Period. What peopel put in their own body is their own business. MYOB. And, there ain’t a single thing you or I can do about the decisions that others make. Anything we think will prevent it, like laws, jails, and fines, merely inflict a terrible cost on the unfortunate user who happens to get caught and us. Us, as a society, where we lose our Fourth Amendment rights, where we can’t buy antihistamine wothut a hassle, and where we suffer the collateral damage in gang violence. Just like Al Cappone in the Twenties.

Want to end gang violence? Just have the gooferment walk away from regulation. Ever see a Coke versus Pepsi shoot out? How about Bud and Miller duking it out on the street? Sending vast amounts of money to drug gangs in Mexico, drug kingpins in Columbia, or the terrorists in Afghanistan! We can end that in a heartbeat.

Legalize, deregulate, and wipe out the age restrictions. End all restrictions. And, for good measure allow WalMart to run it.

Will children get drugs? Yes! Do you think that the current system prevents it? Dreamer!

It’s the Libertarian assertion that a free market in drugs will have much less collateral damage than the current insane ‘system’.

42B$ will pay for a lot of things. Drug treatment, education, and giant tax reduction.

Now, what will all the unemployed drug dealers do?

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