06.17.2011...Thanks, Reason Magazine...
The Failed Drug War Turns 40
"Forty years ago today, President Richard Nixon announced that 'public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.'
Declaring that 'the problem has assumed the dimensions of a national emergency,' he asked Congress for money to 'wage a new, all-out offensive,' a crusade he would later call a 'global war on the drug menace.'
The war on drugs ended in May 2009, when President Obama's newly appointed drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said he planned to stop calling it that. Or so Kerlikowske claims. 'We certainly ended the drug war now almost two years ago,' he told Seattle's PBS station last March, 'in the first interview that I did.'
If you watch the exchange on YouTube, you can see he said this with a straight face. In reality, of course, Richard Nixon did not start the war on drugs, and Barack Obama, who in 2004 called it 'an utter failure,' did not end it.
The war on drugs will continue as long as the government insists on getting between people and the intoxicants they want. And while it is heartening to hear a growing chorus of prominent critics decry the enormous collateral damage caused by this policy, few seem prepared to give peace a chance by renouncing the use of force to impose arbitrary pharmacological preferences."
- Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum
06.11.2009...... from a letter from Ken...
My daughter (the libertarian) was debating drug legalization on one of her web forums, and came up with the best line I have heard in a while.
When you are advocating passing a law against something, please tell me one time in the history of the human race where passing a law against something has ever had any affect on people's ability to acquire it.
She and I, and later my wife and son, were completely unable to come up with a single instance where prohibiting something affected the supply of it.
Prohibition certainly makes the price go up, it often makes the quality go down, and it certainly punishes those who acquire it after the fact, but to our collective knowledge, it has never reduced the supply.
Alcohol, tobacco, firearms, drugs, pornography, prostitution, elephant ivory, harp seal fur, you name it, there are laws against it, but the supply remains constant.
Can you guys think of a case where prohibition has worked?
[And it creates outside-the-law suppliers who make tons of money and harm tons of victims in the process.... +af]
United States Constitution, AMENDMENT XVIII Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21. Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
AMENDMENT XXI Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933. Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
And between those years, Organized Crime was born, providing illegally and very profitably what the Government, in its infinite wisdom, had made illegal.
Today, there's a "War on Drugs."
Criminal organizations and citizens who are now criminals because of this "War" are making tons of money on it.
Countries outside the US have turned over their very economic bases to providing drugs and the raw materials for drugs, because of these insane laws.
If the US Government were to buy the drugs at the sources and give them away to anyone who wanted them,
But no, we criminalize pot and incarcerate people who could otherwise be making a living selling it to the government.
Run the same kinds of discussion with regard to Poverty, Illiteracy, etc.