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Monday, August 1, 2011
Bill Buckley: Why Drugs Should be Legal: How the War on Drugs has Failed!
How has the War on Drugs in America has failed, well where should I start because people could write books answering that question and there have been books written answering that question. The answer to that question is fairly simple to me, because we've treated Narcotic Addicts like criminals instead of patients. That they they are, Drug Addicts who have just broken Narcotic Laws, like possessing or using narcotics, heroin, cocaine etc and I'm not talking about Narcotic Dealers. Are treated like criminals and sent to jail and prison for only hurting themselves and not other people. When someone can go to a bar and get wasted on alcohol and get a ride home because they are drunk out of their mind. But wake up with a hangover the next day and go about their lives. Even though they've committed the same action as someone who smoked one joint but are actually worst off by getting drunk and losing brain cells, felt a little different but didn't lose their senses at all. But the Pot Smoker could end up in jail and perhaps doing 3-5 in prison just for smoking and possessing a joint or perhaps both crimes. And lets say the drunk makes a bad call and decides to drive home instead, they would be arrested for Drunk Driving obviously but not getting drunk. Part of my point here is that the whole War on Drugs is nonsense because of how hypocritical it is. Sending Drug Addicts to prison, first of all for just hurting themselves, sends the message that Uncle Sam knows best and has to protect the people from themselves. Instead of treating adults like adults and letting us live our own lives and making these decisions for ourselves. Drug Addicts end up in prison where they get no help for their addiction and if anything are more addictive from the time they spent in prison. And have access to other narcotics in prison and get out more addictive and end up back in the prison with the same addiction. You want to know why we have 2M people in prison in America, just look at the population. A lot of them are in there for Narcotics Related Crimes and a lot of them are in there for using and possessing.
So this is what I would do, first Decriminalize Marijuana and treat it like alcohol, with the same regulations and taxes. This alone would save our Federal, State and Local Budgets on Law Enforcement because they would stop having to throw people in jail for doing something to themselves and not to others. And would free up valuable resources to for Law Enforcement to go after actual dangerous criminals who hurt innocent people.
I wouldn't Decriminalize Heroin, Cocaine, Meth etc because of the damage it would bring to our Health Care System and economy. With all the damage it would bring and the Health Care Costs that would come from it. And people who don't use these narcotics would end up paying for the Health Care Costs of the people who do use these narcotics. And a lot of them wouldn't be able to cover their own Health Care Costs. But I wouldn't throw these Narcotics Addicts in prison either, they would be forced into Drug Rehab and be able to keep themselves out of prison, if they complete rehab successfully. And not have it on their Criminal but Medical Record. And they would pay for their rehab one way or the other not Tax Payers. This would save our Corrections System a lot of time, money and resources. That they could concentrate on inmates who need to be in prison.
Libertarian Economist Milton Freidman once gave a speech about what he called "Bad Laws" and Bad Laws are laws that are written to protect people from themselves and not protecting innocent people from the harm of others. The War on Drugs in America and in other countries are the perfect example of Bad Laws. Because these are laws designed to protect people from themselves and why they don't work.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Bill Buckley opposing the War on Drugs