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The time is definitely coming

The Oppenheimer Report in the Miami Herald: Has the time come to legalize drugs?

I haven’t really mentioned Vicente Fox’s recent call for legalization. Andres Oppenheimer discusses it.

While the three centrist former presidents’ proposal amounted to not prosecuting people for consuming marijuana, Fox’s proposal calls for legalization of all major drugs — the whole enchilada.

In an extended interview, Fox told me that he is making his proposal because drug-related violence in Mexico has reached intolerable levels, and because the experience of other countries such as the Netherlands has shown that allowing drug sales has not significantly driven up drug consumption.

“Prohibitionist policies have hardly worked anywhere,” Fox told me. “Prohibition of alcohol in the United States [in the 1920’s] never worked, and it only helped trigger violence and crime.”

Since possession of small amounts of marijuana has already been decriminalized in Mexico, what’s needed now are bolder steps, such as legalizing drug production and using the taxes it generates to fund anti-drug education programs, he said.

“What I’m proposing is that, instead of allowing this business to continue being run by criminals, by cartels, that it be run by law-abiding business people who are registered with the Finance Ministry, pay taxes and create jobs,” Fox said.

That’s about as clear as you can get.

And the antics of our drug warriors just keep looking more pathetic every day…

In a separate interview, White House drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske told me that drug legalization is a “non-starter” in the Obama administration.

Kerlikowske disputed the idea that alcohol prohibition drove up crime in the United States in the 1920s, arguing that there were no reliable crime statistics at the time.

[Thanks, Tom]

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19 comments to The time is definitely coming

  • Richard Steeb

    “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”

    Albert Einstein, “My First Impression of the U.S.A.”, 1921

    Kerli is no Einstein… WTF does he think the St. Valentine’s Day thing was all about? Pathetic indeed!

  • Paul

    “Kerlikowske disputed the idea that alcohol prohibition drove up crime in the United States in the 1920s, arguing that there were no reliable crime statistics at the time.”

    If you’re going to tell a whopper, at least make it remotely plausible. This is like denying the Holocaust. Al Capone virtually ran Chicago, everyone was buying illegal booze, and Prohibition was constantly in the news.

    The memory of Prohibition, the mob, the rum running, speak easies, and all that jazz is not just some national hallucination or Hollywood movie script. It was real, and it left permanent scars and memories in our culture.

  • Paul

    To continue that thought, I am glad our drug Czar says things like this. The older you are, the more absurd his revisionist history sounds. When someone says something that totally runs counter to established history, you tend to discount whatever else that person is saying.

    It is also seeming that the U.S. is becoming increasingly isolated in its war on drugs. Drugs remain against pretty much everywhere, but most of the more liberal countries are beginning to question it. They’re all ready to just drop it.

  • Servetus

    “…there were no reliable crime statistics at the time.”–Kerlikowske

    Therefore there was no crime?

    Sort of makes you yearn for the good-ol’-days of the Roman Empire, doesn’t it?

  • from Jeffrey Mirons:

    The evidence on Prohibition and crime focuses on the homicide rate, since this is the only type of crime for which data are reported consistently both before, during, and after Prohibition.10 Figure 3 presents the homicide rate in the United States (measured as homicides per 100,000 population) for the period 1900-1995. Starting from around 1906, the homicide rate rises steadily through 1933-1934, when it begins a general decline until approximately 1960, interrupted by a spike during World War II. Beginning in the early 1960’s the homicide rate rises steadily until the early 1970’s—to a level slightly above the previous peak in 1933-1934—and then fluctuates around a relatively high value for the remainder of the sample.

    Roughly speaking, therefore, there have been two periods with high homicide rates in U.S. history, the 1920-1934 period and the 1970-1990 period (Friedman 1991). Both before the first episode and between these two episodes, homicide rates were relatively low or clearly declining. Prima facie, this pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that alcohol prohibition increased violent crime: homicide rates are high in the 1920-1933 period, when constitutional prohibition of alcohol was in effect; the homicide rate drops quickly after 1933, when Prohibition was repealed; and the homicide rate remains low for a substantial period thereafter. Further, the homicide rate is low during the 1950s and early 1960s, when drug prohibition was in existence but not vigorously enforced, but high in the 1970-1990 period, when drug prohibition was enforced to a relatively stringent degree (Miron 1999).

    Alcohol Prohibition

    Bite me Gil… liar.

  • claygooding

    As the only thing they have is lies and fake science when they are asked about the similarities between alcohol and marijuana or the prohibition of them they must carry the lie on, Its like drinking out of a spittoon,you would like to quit but it’s coming in a string.
    The truths are starting to shine through though even though they are throwing dust in the air and beating their chests,it is to a smaller crowd every day.
    The neatest part about this is we don’t have to spend our money trying to convince America that they’re lying,they do it for us.

  • kaptinemo

    Now you know beyond any doubt Gil pimped himself for the job, selling his credibility for a salary.To make such an outrageously false statement like that in the face of what every schoolchild in America for 3 generations had been taught regarding that period in history…this just goes beyond words.

    Contempt. Utter CONTEMPT for such as he. The 8th Circle of Hell, where Evil Counselors and Deceivers dwell, awaits ol’ Gil.

  • Rhayader

    Kerlikowske is worthless. This is what he told the Dallas Morning News when asked if a legal marijuana market in the US would cut down on gang power — you know, by removing two thirds of their freaking funding:

    “all the things they are involved in, all these incredibly horrible crimes, of which narcotics is only a part, would still go on.” [emphasis mine].

    Funny, when the statements are made in a way that place all of the blame on “drugs” — instead of the criminal market for drugs — they are: Drug gangs. Drug killings. Drug kidnappings. Drug-caused violence. Narcoterrorists. Kerlikowske and his ilk can’t talk enough about drugs causing violence. But when the question is framed in a way that places the burden of proof on the obvious ramifications of prohibition, all of a sudden narcotics is “only a part” of the terrible crime problem.

    I mean, I know the guy is required by law to stick his head in the sand and lie, but the unmitigated audacity is still stunning.

  • kaptinemo

    Remember “Baghdad Bob”?

    Gil is the now, officially, the ‘Baghdad Bob” of the DrugWar. I’d almost feel sorry for him except he’s using my tax dollars in the form of his salary to make such a buffoon of himself…

  • divadab

    Does Mr. Kerlowski think that by insulting the people who pay his salary by lying to them that he is serving anything other than the destruction of AMerica?

    The federal government has been taken over by people who have contempt for America, and contempt for Americans.

    WHat a disgrace.

  • so let’s see, prohibition and rum-running led to NASCAR, so what sport will emerge from a legalized market in all other drugs?

    pot leads to frisbee!

  • darkcycle

    “…drinking from a spitoon…it comes in a string…” Ha, that’s great Clay, can I use that? Seriously though. When lies that transparent and easilly disproved are all they have left….oh yeah…this whole thing has been based from the begining on these absurd lies.
    Kerly should be better at this. He really does suck at being drug czar. If you’re gonna lie, why not lie with the flamboyance of John Walters.
    Kerly could claim that legalization would force the moon from it’s orbit and cause plagues of frogs and locusts. Hey Kerly!…bring on the frogs and locusts!

  • I still see cartoon Droopy, but now the episode is building in my mind… Droopy standing, holding a large book, flips several pages like he’s searching for something. He stops, peers closer, tears out page, puts hand holding page behind back and then looking up at audience says in his droll Droopy monotone… “it isn’t in my dictionary…”

    I’m not sure if having cartoons in my head is normal or it’s that new batch of ‘oib, but there it is. Kerlikowske = Droopy. How sad is that? At least Walters was an energetic puppet.

  • KebMo

    Somebody should send Gil a copy of Okrent’s “The Rise and Fall of Prohibition”

    or not, … he does have to sleep in his own bed of fabrications after all.

  • Rev. Run

    Now we just have to wait for the moral cowards and gutless imbeciles like Mark Kleiman to shuffle off quietly into their graves so that the human race can grasp the obvious truth in front of our face…

    “The march of progress continues apace, one funeral at a time.”

  • Windy

    What the hell?!? Are all the people setting policy in DC complete idiots? Especially Kerli!

    More to the point, what can we do about it?

    Since the game is rigged from the beginning — the ptb see to it only those they “approve” make it to the ballot under the major party banners, and even worse make absolutely certain only those sold out whores are the ones who get elected — we have a serious problem in getting the word out to the sleeping masses. The “average Americans” are mostly only concerned with providing a decent life for themselves and their families, they seldom to never actually research the candidates for themselves to see if they really mean what they say while campaigning (most candidates do not, best example Obama) and they are more likely to vote on name recognition than on principles.

    There is also the additional probability that the vote is rigged, too. What was that saying? “I care not for who votes, it is those who count the votes that matter.” Or something to that effect.

  • kaptinemo

    “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” – Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, aka Josef Stalin

  • claygooding

    I wonder if there will be a war crimes trial at the end of the war on drugs? I am pretty sure that the claim of “I was only doing my job” was covered in the Nuremburg trials.

  • […] bigger surprise, as Peter Guither says, is that the antics of Obama’s drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske  “just keep looking more pathetic every day.”  Kerlikowske […]