Posts tagged ‘Mises’

August 24, 2011

Wasted on Drugs

Thomas G. Brown |

The drug war was declared in the country in 1971 but the ethically challenge Richard Nixon when he was President. We actually started creating a criminal out of folks who used drugs in 1935 with the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act which was signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Th prohibition of Alcohol that lasted 14 years obviously taught us nothing about the cost in terms of human life, and the increase in the power and wealth of criminal organizations.  Not to mention the corruption of police and elected officials by the banning drugs or alcohol and sending them to the black market.

You can see the effects of the prohibition of alcohol on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. This show based on the real Enoch “Nucky” Thompson the corrupt Treasurer of Atlantic City in the 1920’s and 30’s. Thompson makes back room deals and millions of dollars of the manufacturing and distribution of what was illegally imported alcohol from Canada. Well if you look at today’s prohibition on the use of drugs you will see similar corruption going on in cities and towns through the United States. In addition our prohibition on drugs has turned Northern Mexico into a war.

Mises Scholar  puts it this way in a 1999 article he wrote titled The Statist Drug War.

Far better if we could end the federal drug war and turn the matter back to the states. They might prohibit drugs entirely, which they could do much more effectively than the federal government, the only competence of which is oppressing the innocent and expropriating the productive. Surely if we can prevent people from lighting up stogies in public places, we can prevent ingestion of more dangerous substances where they cause a public problem.

Or a state might make certain items available at specified times and conditions and quantities at legal market prices in state-owned or state-licensed stores, as is the case with alcohol. All states would certainly prohibit sale to the under-aged, though the exact limit might vary. The drug problem would be reduced to the dimensions of the alcohol problem, which is the most we can expect.

If we went back to the Constitution and the 10th Amendment which states the following.

  "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people."

What this means is that those posers not specifically outline by the Constitution as delegated to the  Federal Government is seceded back to the states or more specifically the citizens as they are the ultimate creators of this government. Below I outline the cost to the tax payer in terms of money spend on the drug war as well as the amount of folks arrested and incarcerated this year alone.

State and Federal Funds spent on the drug war equals $26 billion dollars. This number comes from Drug Sense. In addition to the monetary cost we had the human cost which is the amount of folks arrested, and sent to prison for the simple reason that they enjoy ingesting a substance that the government has banned. This year alone 1,077,913 folks have been arrested for violating drug laws in the United States. This number is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation website. Out of the million people 556,209 was for marijuana violations. In addition 7,000 plus individuals have been send to prison this year due to drug violations which increase the already over extended prison population in this country.

I hope people come to their senses on this issues and side with liberty and the Constitution on this issue and leave the rhetoric and fear mongering those who feel they need to control your life!