Quote of the Day: “I'm not pro-drug here. I'm against drugs... Should you go to jail for just doing drugs? I say you shouldn't.” - Gary Johnson
I sent this letter to congress, urging them to end the War on Drugs.
I added these personal comments, from which you may borrow or copy . . .
"The War on Drugs is a failure," declares a United Nations commission. (http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Report)
This commission included three former Presidents of Latin American countries, a former Secretary General of the United Nations, and former U.S. Secretary of State, George Schultz, amongst others.
I don't support all of the Commission's recommendations. But I agree with the overall judgment. Their stance reflects a growing consensus here at home, among the American people, who know that Drug Prohibition has failed.
Sure, some people trumpet drug war "successes." After the crackdowns, dealers invent more dangerous drugs. Then you regulate how much cold medicine I can buy. In the meantime . . .
The U.S. is going bankrupt. Here's a budget cutting idea: Stop imprisoning non-violent drug offenders. We have the highest prison rate in the world, and four out of five inmates are locked up for drug related offenses.
And you've coerced governments in several Latin American countries so that they would wage our War on Drugs. Mexico's Civil War has led to 35,000 deaths in the last five years. (http://bit.ly/mtBFZ9)
Why is the carnage so great? Black market profits are at stake. Those profits have bought-off criminal justice officials, or they've paid for the arms and soldiers who've executed those who couldn't be bribed.
These are injuries we can see. But there's also damage that is unseen.
Even before our War on Drugs began, there were legalization advocates. They maintained that drugs should be legal and regulated. They predicted black markets that would create tainted, dangerous drugs. They warned of an increase of "bad trips," as well as other dangers.
Indeed, some of those who made these arguments were real characters! They were ridiculed and ignored as "counterculture." But . . .
Can it be disputed that drugs are now in the hands of gangsters, instead of scientists and health professionals? And . . .
Do we really know the full extent of possible health or psychological benefits of legally marginalized drugs?
What progress has been lost?
The War on Drugs has failed us. But it's amazing it ever happened, because it violates core American values, regardless of ideology:
* No true liberal can support it: The brutal, militarist police tactics (such as no-knock raids) and harsh sentencing make the War on Drugs the U.S. equivalent of the Inquisition. Future historians will look back on the War on Drugs with shame and horror.
* No honest progressive can support it: Far more brown people are jailed for drug-related offenses, even though narcotic usage levels in their communities are similar to those in white communities. One observer has dubbed it, the "New Jim Crow."
* No consistent conservative can support it: Should The State engage in the holy project of reforming human nature? The Drug War is but a costly "social engineering" project that violates the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, while destroying Due Process and the Rule of Law.
If drugs were legalized tomorrow, I know I won't start using them. Would you start taking them?
It is time that you and I stand up for personal responsibility.
* Do I want taxpayers to pay for the healthcare of drug addicts? NO! They've chosen their path, and consequences are an organic part of true recovery.
* Do I think employers have the right to drug-test job applicants? YES! They should be free to hire people according to their own standards.
* But do I think drug users should be imprisoned? ...that I should feed, clothe, and house them in a place where they risk being raped? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Repeal the federal drug laws. Stop coercing Mexico and other Latin American nations to fight our drug war. End federal aid to domestic states that have oppressive drug laws.
Financially and morally, we simply can't afford to continue the failed War on Drugs.
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