Still hugely political these days. If you are on Facebook with me, you are sick to death of my links to all kinda political goings on. I thought it was a phase but, like the autism rabbit hole, I’m still down with it. One of my all-time favorite rabbit holes is the war on drugs. Hal and I co-wrote a letter to the Key West Citizen in 1994:
Thursday, January 20, 1994
I am writing to question the logic of your editorial of Dec. 30 urging the continued prohibition of drugs. You implied that you believe the “war on drugs” has been successful. Further, in light of this wild success, the way to deal with alcohol and tobacco abuse would be to prohibit their use and start a “war on smokers and booze.”
We tried alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and ’30s. It caused more crime, violence, corruption, and death than the American people were willing to put up with. Our tolerance for crime, violence, corruption and death has increased since then, otherwise we would have abandoned our prohibition of drugs long ago.
There is no evidence to show there are more alcoholics without prohibition than there would be with it. Prohibionists see a tiny minority of people with a disease and insist that we all take the cure. The price of the cure has become too high.
Your claim that legalized drugs may increase one’s chances of becoming an addict is also unsupported by any evidence. On the contrary, legalized drugs would prevent many more, equally tragic events from continuing to happen, events such as:
- Accidental injury or death of innocent bystanders in disputed drug deals.
- The death of drug users poisoned by poor quality street drugs.
- Loss of life or property to a desperate addict who must steal because he can’t afford the price of forbidden drugs with an ordinary job.
- Random searches and seizure of property belonging to innocent citizens.
- Corruption of our law enforcement establishment by drug money.
- The waste of billions of tax dollars on the capture, trial and imprisonment of harmless and otherwise law-abiding drug users.
- The slaughter of a generation of young men in gang wars over illegal drug markets.
The war on drugs is a war against the American people. Right or wrong, prohibition does more harm than good. It is tearing our country apart socially and financially, as it did in the 1920s and ’30s.
There is a widespread agreement that ending alcohol prohibition was a good idea. The time has come to end drug prohibition as well. Not because we support drug use, but because we can no longer afford the crime, violence, corruption and death that prohibition has spawned.”
Good letter, eh? Surprisingly, it did not end the war on drugs. NORML is still chipping away at it, thank goodness. I even send them money – I support all my causes with $10 a year. I figure a pittance is better than nothing. Which is about what I have left… Anyway.
NORML recently held a contest for a TV ad. The winner did an incredible job. Witness:
Love it. See the other three prize-winning ads here.
We are in the states, drooling over unbroken pavement. We are so easy to impress. More soon, love & peace.
I agree with this position of yours 100%. While there are things that need to be controlled by responsible governance; ie; guns, high explosives, highly concentrated toxic substances and exotic flora and fauna to name a few, recreational drugs is not one of them.
My idea of responsible governance would be pretty much hands off my civil rights. Give me roads and defense, then leave me the heck alone.
Key word: Responsible Governance… Two words that don’t make sense together.
I’m with you too Sally.
Have a great time in the states!
We are having a great time – so fun seeing everyone!
First — You are right…. ! !
Now — Use the word “de-criminalize” NOT “legalize”.
Drop Pot to a class “C” misdemeaner and all addictive drugs to a class “B”… This is for possesion of smaller amounts of these drugs. Class “C” is about $15.00 in most states.. This will tend to empty out nearly 50% of the drug related prisoners. Right now all the talk is about economic recovery. At 30,000 per year per prisoner this would go a long way.. NORMAL has the numbers.
Decriminalizing is fine, I’m all for it. But I support legalization. Consenting adults have the right to use any recreational drug they want. To fine them anything is ridiculous and a waste of taxpayer money. If we stopped spending money to fight a losing drug war and started taxing the stuff, our country could get out of debt. It’s a stupid war.
No government has the right to regulate what I wish to ingest, inject, smoke, snort, or rub on my skin. The basic law of the US is the Constitution, and I have searched carefully for any mention of giving the feds the power to control any drugs, prescription or otherwise.
“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain nights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Sounds pretty radical, right?
I enjoyed your post immensely. My idea of responsible governance would be pretty much hands off my civil rights. If we stopped spending money to fight a losing drug war and started taxing the stuff, our country could get out of debt. It’s a stupid war.