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Posts Tagged ‘drug warrior’

Regular drug-war watchers are probably aware of the recent raid of Berwyn Heights mayor Cheye Calvo for suspected drug possession. The police did not find any drugs and a few days later, cleared Calvo and his wife of any wrongdoing. (They also refused to apologize for the raid.) The details of this case have a sadly familiar ring to them; despite that, I feel obliged to at least mention them here.

On the night of July 30, a large posse of armed policemen entered the home of the mayor and shot dead his two labrador dogs. In a clinical and brutal style that would have made Dick Cheney proud, they put handcuffs on the mayor and his mother-in-law and forced them to lie face down and watch their beloved dog bleed to death.

While this was happening, one of the detectives decided to talk on her cell phone and make a veterinary appointment for her dog. She also called up a friend to say this was her first raid and that it was “exciting” because it was the mayor’s house.

Sometimes attitudes reveal a lot.

(Hat tip: Reason Hit and Run)

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Another hard hitting article about the insane war on drugs by Jacob Sullum at Reason Hit and Run.

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So Bob Barr, former Republican, presently the Libertarian candidate for president, was once at the forefront of the war on drugs. How did he change his mind?

Now, you may be asking how this happened and my answer is simple: “The libertarians won.”

For more than three decades, the Libertarian Party and small “l” libertarians have done their part to prove to America that liberty is the answer to most of the problems that we face today. Over the past several years, I was one of the many people influenced by this small party.

Whether through the free market or by simply allowing families to make their own decisions regarding the education of their children, libertarians have taught us that liberty does truly work.

In stark contrast, when government attempts to solve our societal problems, it tends to create even more of them, often increasing the size and depth of the original problem. A perfect example of this is the federal War on Drugs.

For years, I served as a federal prosecutor and member of the House of Representatives defending the federal pursuit of the drug prohibition.

Today, I can reflect on my efforts and see no progress in stopping the widespread use of drugs. I’ll even argue that America’s drug problem is larger today than it was when Richard Nixon first coined the phrase, “War on Drugs,” in 1972.

America’s drug problem is only compounded by the vast amounts of money directed at this ongoing battle. In 2005, more than $12 billion dollars was spent on federal drug enforcement efforts while another $30 billion was spent to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders.

The result of spending all of those taxpayer’s dollars? We now have a huge incarceration tab for non-violent drug offenders and, at most, a 30% interception rate of hard drugs. We are also now plagued with the meth labs that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms across the country.

While it is clear the War on Drugs has been a failure, it is not enough to simply acknowledge that reality. We need to look for solutions that deal with the drug problem without costly and intrusive government agencies, and instead allow for private industry and organizations to put forward solutions that address the real problems.

(Link via The Volokh Conspiracy)

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All evidence points to the fact that everyone would be better off if drugs were legalized. So what makes the war on drugs go on? In this excellent article, Radley Balko glimpses into the mind of a drug warrior.

We’re told that certain drugs have to be prohibited because they’re too dangerous. But we should also resist efforts to make them less dangerous because doing so might encourage drug use.

It’s a bizarre argument until you consider the real motivation behind it: In truth, it’s not so much about the harm some drugs do; it’s about an absolute moral opposition to the use of some drugs.

Even if they were completely harmless, some people simply don’t like the idea that we can ingest chemicals that make us feel good.

And of course, this moral opposition translates into coercive laws. It always does.

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