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February 2004
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A phony war defeats free speech

Robyn E Blumner of the St. Petersburg Times writes an outstanding column about how drug warriors are so afraid of the truth, that they continually resort to censorship.

The beauty of Jefferson’s marketplace of ideas is that it opens our society to all voices and all arguments, presuming the most persuasive will rise to the top.

But those who promote the War on Drugs find this a dangerous concept. Drug reform makes too much sense and in recent years has been too compelling to voters….

To combat this outbreak of common sense, the drug warriors have fought back with antidemocratic and repressive methods….

And now Congress has just approved a law blatantly censoring pro-drug reform messages. …

So once again those who favor a less militant approach to the nation’s drug war – and only want the freedom to make their case to the public – have been forced to trot back to federal court to secure their First Amendment rights….

This is not about upholding the law, but fighting a movement. The drug warriors are fiercely antagonistic toward the shift in public opinion on medical marijuana and other drug reforms; and their authoritarian impulse is to shut down the free marketplace of ideas.

Apparently, the competition is getting to be a bit too stiff.

The whole thing is worth a read.

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