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The GOP Candidates Punt On the Failed War On Drugs

Posted Saturday, July 21, 2012, at 1:08 PM

(Photo)
(NOTE: an abridged version of this blog will appear in print as a "paid letter" in a future edition of the Southeast Missourian. I have posted it here for public discussion purposes)

I have been following the recent scuttlebutt between the incumbent and her GOP rival Bob Parker's supposed support for an end to the failed war on drugs with a heavy dose of loathing and amusement.

The Libertarian Party has consistently denounced the failed war on drugs on constitutional, moral, and economic grounds for 41 years. Here are a few facts...

*500,000+ people currently incarcerated on drug related charges
*70% of the prison population is minorities
*Illegal drug use rates in the US have remained flat since the 1980's
*50,000 people in Mexico killed by drug cartel violence since 2006
*Legalizing drugs would inject $76.8 billion/year into the U.S. economy

As a Libertarian and member of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, I have been involved in numerous drug war repeal efforts for many years. I recognize a fellow sympathizer on this matter. No disrespect to Bob Parker, but he does NOT support the legalization or decriminalization of any illegal drugs at any level. This suggestion by Jo Ann Emerson is laughable. If Bob Parker shared my opposition to the failed war on drugs, I would suspend my own campaign and endorse him.

Public opinion towards the failed war on drugs is changing. A majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The number of Americans supporting a full end to the failed war on drugs is 40% and growing. Even GOP conservative darling governor Chris Christie recently called the war on drugs "well intentioned", but a "failure" in a speech at the Brookings Institute, and has signed a law to mandate drug treatment rather than jail time for nonviolent drug offenders. Both of the GOP candidates' for US Representative (MO-8) opinion on the failed war on drugs are out of touch, archaic, and unreflective of a free society.

I welcome any adult discussion regarding the failed war on drugs. The editors of the Southeast Missourian chose not to contact me on an issue on which I am educated, am passionate about, and is a cornerstone of my campaign. Instead they saw fit to diminish the libertarian movement and the significance of an issue that has had a negative effect on our society, and debase it to a juvenile diatribe worthy of supermarket checkout lane tabloids.

I repeat: BOB PARKER DOES NOT SUPPORT AN END TO THE FAILED WAR ON DRUGS!

Obviously the incumbent regards this important issue as cheap political fodder to scare and dupe voters into electing her to a ninth term.

Links of interest:

http://www.semissourian.com/story/187273...

http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Liberta...

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/3...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/roth...

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Drug_Usa...

http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/jus...

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives...


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Rick: To support the War-on-Drugs, one has to knowingly support the corruption that it created.

In the political arena, there are plenty of dirty hands. Most Americans still promote evil, it is their religion.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 2:48 PM

Rick, Emerson is getting desperate. One of her cronies suckered Parker into answering a "gotcha" question and now like a parrot she is running around squawking "drugs and terrorism, drugs and terrorism". Her core voter are the elderly and it is sad to watch her use them every two years. For the retired who no longer work I acknowledge that you deserve all the benefits you paid into, however please think of the next generation. They do not have the same employment opportunities thanx to Emerson and Emerson. Over 150 factories gone under the watch of team Emerson and where did they go? China. Wbo voted for the trade agreements that sent them there? JoAnn. Who is left to keep your benefit funds solvent? Who poses a greater national security risk; Rick Vandeven and Bob Parker or JoAnn and the red Chinese?

-- Posted by mobushwhacker on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 4:37 PM

The U.S. comprises 5 percent of the world's population yet uses 60 percent of the world's drugs. The prohibition on these drugs has been waged for 70 years and has cost $1.5 trillion.

Prohibition has cruelly ruined the lives of millions of peaceful and productive citizens while bankrolling the most evil people on the planet. Prohibition has stagnated the normal economy while allowing criminal enterprises to control an untaxed thriving underground economy worth over 300,000 million dollars. By it's emphasis on the eradication of marijuana/hemp we have also been denied the most workable and logical solutions to a number of growing problems, be they medicinal, industrial, chemical or commercial.

According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save an annual $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/DrugPr...

Thanks to Prohibition we now have a far higher percentage of our own citizens locked in cages than any other nation on the whole planet. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally their families often go on government assistance, and it's again the average tax payer who has to pick up the bill. Their kids may be taken into care or raised by foster parents, again with tax payer money. Now add to all this the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition, like police officers, judges and public defenders and you'll start to get a fair idea of why "Black Thursday", October 24, 1929 happened during the period of another of our great experiments - Alcohol Prohibition.

* The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

* 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009.

* 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009, that's approx. 1% of US adults.

* Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole.

* In 2009, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parole, or incarcerated) - about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.

Chart Of The Day: Federal Drug Prisoners

http://tinyurl.com/csfvb9n

Prohibition has finally run its course; our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted, and what was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency.

During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education, etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

Prohibition causes massive crime and suffering, causes government/police corruption, causes America to have the highest prison population of any country in the history of the planet, causes Americans to lose all their rights and all their true core-values, causes the waste of trillions in taxpayer dollars, causes wars, violence and death (at home and abroad), perpetuates racism, causes America to be hated by other countries, and funds both criminals and terrorists.

The prisons are bursting, the police are corrupt, most of us are not even safe in our own homes anymore and the whole country/planet is on the verge of a total social and financial collapse.

-- Posted by malcolmkyle on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 7:13 AM

Hey Rick, maybe you have the magic answer book. Tell me, how does power transfer from the federal level to the states without passing a law? Parker says he is for the drug laws being left to the states. The reporter simply asked if that mean Bob would vote to decriminalize at the federal level. Bob said no, but followed up by saying he "didn't have a plan..." So, do you? You're running for federal office.

-- Posted by workerdignity on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 9:03 AM

Kinda funny that Emerson preaches the anti-drug stance to all her elderly voters. I guess it gives them something to talk about in line at the pharmacy.

-- Posted by the_eye on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 9:17 AM

snopes,

I am executing my "plan". There is no political solution. When the people of this country are ready to be free, we will be free. Freedom cannot be delegated from the top down through archaic, horizontally based power structures that create conflicts. You are correct, I am officially a candidate for federal office. That "title" affords me occasional opportunities to present people with libertarian ideas, such as the idea that each individual owns their life, and the products of their life's energy.

-- Posted by Simon Jester on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 10:01 AM

So my question is who would be better suited to repeal the federal drug laws: Rick Vandeven ot Bob Parker?

Considering Bob has no clue how government works, Id say Rick. However, if Bob were to develop a plan to accomplish his goal of repealing drug laws he would then be the best candidate for the job; as he is far less lazy than Mr. Vandeven.

-- Posted by SterlingCooper on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 12:45 PM

The failures of the centralized state's War on Poverty, War of Drugs, its wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, its central bank, and health and education, would be enough for me to end this neoconservative experiment now.

Republicans taught the Democrats and neoconservatives taught liberals how to expand government with the approval of the people.

Perhaps that is why Hillary Clinton and Obama have changed their stripes and jumped on the neoconservative bandwagon of war and central planning.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 2:45 PM

SterlingCooper,

The initiation of force or trespass against another is not an individual right.

Speaking of lazy, I think that as a society Americans like to look for some outside influence as justification for their actions instead of taking responsibility themselves. It is easier to claim that drugs "made" the theif steal, or being abused as a child "made" the dad beat the snot out of his son.

Insulting someone that you disagree with is not my idea of an adult conversation. I don't know why you are angry with me; your kind have been getting your way since humans starting organizing states.

-- Posted by Simon Jester on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 3:03 PM

Jo Ann Emerson is good for farmers, but she would help them a great deal more if they were allowed to raise cannabis. Cannabis is one of the strongest natural fibers around, and some can even be smoked.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 3:44 PM

I understand that one acre of hemp will produce the same amount of paper as four acres of trees, and can be planted and harvested annually. Not to mention the vast amount of other products that can be produced with hemp. If the government would allow us to work, there would be more jobs than we could fill. Then all those "evil illegal" aliens would be welcomed with open arms.

The only thing that the central government produces is conflict. Get out of my way and let me live my life.

-- Posted by Simon Jester on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 4:04 PM


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Rick Vandeven - Libertarian For US Representative (MO-8)
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I was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., in 1972, and grew up in the Chaffee area where I still reside with my lovely wife and three beautiful and talented daughters. I have been employed in the paper industry for the past 14 years and am a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church. In my spare time I support my local parochial school, listen to and perform music, and read. This is my second run for U.S. Congress as the Libertarian Party candidate. In 2010 I was endorsed by the Boston Tea Party and received an "A" rating from the Gun Owners of America. Since my last campaign I supported the opposition to the smoking ban in Cape Girardeau, gathered signatures for the Show-Me Cannabis initiative, was elected to the Missouri State Libertarian Party Executive Committee, and recently won the Champion of Freedom Award. I hope that my candidacy helps to advance the cause of individual liberty. I welcome your questions and comments. Thank you for reading!