Today seems like a good day to pass along some comments on the federal War on Drugs from C4L Chairman Ron Paul.
Below is an excerpt from the chapter titled "Prohibition", in his 2011 book, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom. Pick up your copy today!
At the federal level, the cost to pursue the drug war in the past forty years runs into hundreds of billions of dollars. The social cost, including the loss of civil liberties, is incalculable. Crime relating to the drug laws far surpasses the crime related to the fifteen years of alcohol prohibition. I expect that some day the country will wake up and suddenly decide, as we did in 1933, that prohibition to improve personal behavior is a lost cause, and the second repeal of prohibition will occur. This is more likely now than ever before because of the growing perception that the federal government is inept and that individual states must reassert themselves in order to provide more sensible government to their citizens. The Tenth Amendment is in the process of being reborn.
But even with signs that more Americans are becoming aware of the senselessness of the war on drugs, we have local and national politicians demanding even more control, and over much more benign substances such as fatty foods, raw milk, and salt. The idea that in a free society each individual decides for himself what is good or bad and what is risky is completely foreign to the patronizing moralizers who are now in control. But because most of them are users of alcohol, they never bring up the subject of alcohol prohibition anymore. I was rather shocked, after working with a progressive on lightening penalties for marijuana use, that I was met with great resistance to my suggestion that we permit raw milk to be sold without government restrictions. He was convinced that the people would need government protection from this "danger."
That's why the basic principle of freedom of choice with responsibility for one's actions solves a lot of dilemmas when it comes to the proper role of government in our lives.
For further reading, Dr. Paul recommends Mark Thornton's Economics of Prohibition, available here in .pdf format.
Tags: civil liberties, War on Drugs, Liberty Defined, prohibition