COMMON SENSE Volume VIII: The Drug War
"We're Mad As Hell, And We're Not Going To Take It Anymore!"
By Rebecca Iocca & Tom Hurst, 2005
The drug war is taking our freedom. The Republicans and Democrats are waging a war on our freedoms by ostensibly waging a war on drugs.
Let's pretend the drug warriors are right. What would America be like if marijuana and other drugs were legal? Politicians tell us that with no drug laws we would have hundreds of thousands of addicts, crack babies, children trying drugs and other evils. But, that's what we have now! The drug war has proven to be an abysmal failure.
Like the 18th Amendment [alcohol prohibition], the drug policies of the Republicans and Democrats have totally failed to curtail the demand for drugs, but have succeeded in stripping away our liberties and promoting violent crime. They've made us all "suspects," encouraged illegal spying, and given the police and judges new and arbitrary powers which they abuse. America, because of the drug war, is becoming a police state.
Take the late Donald Scott, a California landowner who was killed by a 31-member SWAT team as they raided his home in search of drugs. Ultimately, records obtained by the Los Angeles Times proved that what the government really wanted was to confiscate Scott's ranch for the National Park Service, which for years had coveted the scenic property. Scott's death was made possible by unconstitutional "asset forfeiture" laws written explicitly to fight the drug war by taking people's assets without cause or compensation. The Republican and Democrat drug warriors frequently abuse these laws because they generate enormous amounts of revenue for our greedy government.
Our solution to the war on drugs is to re-legalize them. If all drugs were legal, the Republicans and Democrats could no longer use the drug war as an excuse to tear up the Bill of Rights, pry into your bank accounts, strip search you at the airport, tear your car apart, monitor your email, or seize your property without even charging you with a crime.
If all drugs were legal, addicts would no longer pay black-market prices to criminals, and they would no longer have to mug innocent people to support their habits. Instead, they would buy cheap, safe drugs produced by legitimate pharmaceutical companies. Most street violence would end - as it did when alcohol prohibition ended - because gangs would no longer be fighting over drug territories. Law enforcement resources would then be available to fight real criminals, and our prisons would be emptied of hundred of thousands of non-violent drug users who have never done harm to anyone else.
Why do we think America would be like this if all drugs were legal? Because that's the way it was before drugs were made illegal. Yes, today's drugs were legal before 1914, and enforcement of those drug laws was very lax until the 1960's. Cocaine was even found in the original Coca-Cola recipe. Americans had few problems with cocaine, opium, heroin or marijuana. Drugs were inexpensive and, because of that, crime was low. Most users handled their drug of choice and lived normal, productive lives. Yes, there were some people whose lives were destroyed by drugs and other character weaknesses, just like today, but far fewer people lost their lives to drugs when they were legal, and America's streets and schools were peaceful. Individuals have the right to decide for themselves what to put in their bodies. It's time to re-legalize drugs and let people take responsibility for themselves. Remember, evil flourishes when good people do nothing. Take action by supporting independent candidates who are pro-Liberty!
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