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March 2013
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Finding allies

I’ve long been disappointed that there hasn’t been more public interest shown from gun rights activists in ending the war on drugs. The war on drugs has affected them in two significant ways: as a back door method of restricting gun ownership, and as means of fueling gun violence leading to public backlash on gun ownership.

So I was pleased to see this good OpEd in AmmoLand: Gun Violence and the ‘War On Drugs’

What’s often deliberately ignored is the violence resulting from, or accompanying, “the war on drugs.” The real problem occurs on the mean streets of our inner cities […]

It’s rare to find a rational discussion relating to the amount of violence caused by the drug war, and the illicit use of drugs. We may not like to admit it, but it’s one war we cannot win. We know that legalizing drugs may not be the best public policy, but what damage has “the war on drugs” done to global and local society?

We need to have an open, objective dialogue about this unwinnable war, and discuss public policy options and implications.

Here’s a start. Dr. Jeffrey Miron, an economist and Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University, explains that violence occurs when prohibitions against goods or services are enforced because there is an increased “inability of drug market participants to settle disputes using the official dispute resolution system.” This occurs globally, and is the cause of a great deal of global violence. However, this fact is frequently ignored and replaced by increasingly hysterical calls for international weapons controls. […]

We need to get the truth out about the roots of violent behavior. And part of that truth is that the global drug policy is a large part of the problem.

This is good to see.

In fact, if you look at almost any aspect of society – any argument for political activism – you can find a good argument for ending the war on drugs. Perhaps as we continue to help move the drug policy discussion out of the “whisper” phase and into the sunlight, we’ll find many allies out there willing to publicly help promote reform.

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22 comments to Finding allies

  • ezrydn

    This gal will tell you why this exists. She knows her stuff, for sure. http://goo.gl/mvzVx Many read it, few try to understand it.

    • Maria

      Good clip. I find a number of her personal/political stances very hard to swallow but I have to give her kudos for really trying to get people to understand both the constitution, it’s history, and the moral, legal, and practical role of government.

      She does know her stuff and is a pointed and clear public speaker who gets people engaged on the subject.

  • The GOP would do well to make gun rights and legalized (not decriminalized) marijuana the center of their platform in 2016.

    Right now the GOP is being lured into the gay trap. Who wants votes from gays that are one step away from having sex with little boys?

    The number of people who would decide their vote over gay rights is far lower than the number of people who support gay marriage.

    The GOP should focus on preserving and expanding gun rights and promoting their committment to limited government. They can prove their committment by legalizing (not decriminalizing)

    • Jose

      I am not familiar with the “gay trap” but they are in the evangelical trap. They have to balance their limited government lip service with their commitment to sado-moralism. The g o p cannot anger their evangelical base because they are the foot soldiers. Down south the evang’s are the ones that get out there for candidates, make noise, hit the streets, call people out publicly etc. They do it with emotional vehemence like androids and they are tools repub’s need. They are in Austin this week handing out bibles at the capitol building for that matter.

    • stlgonzo

      “Right now the GOP is being lured into the gay trap. Who wants votes from gays that are one step away from having sex with little boys?”

      This is joke right?

      • jean valjean

        according to that logic heterosexuals should be one step away from having sex with little girls

        • Maria

          Well, this is a text book case of how a rather ok (if misspelled) sentiment such as

          “The GOP should focus on preserving and expanding gun rights and promoting their committment to limited government. They can prove their committment by legalizing (not decriminalizing)”

          can get tarnished by being paired with what could be most generously termed as ‘an unfortunate statement’.

    • Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son

      How in the hell do I

      • stlgonzo

        Senator Blutarsky

      • Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son

        Why the heck did that happen? Oh well, another day another brain fart.

        .
        .

        How in the hell do I demand that my natural born rights be respected or protected if I’m just going to turn around and promote the idea that we don’t need to protect everyones’ natural born rights?

        P.S. Dean Wormer was talking to Flounder when he said that line.

    • You’re homophobic nonsense is exactly the same type of thinking that sustains prohibition. Prohibition is not about drugs, its about US vs THEM. As long as “them” are loser potheads, dirty junkies and crazed crackheads (or child-molesting queers) it is easy to dehumanize and demonize. When “them” is a co-worker, friend, family member or even yourself, perceptions change.

      I suggest you get to know some gay folks, you may then realize they rarely live up to the stereotypes. Maybe then you would start respecting others’ “alternative lifestyles” that deviate from social norms, whether that deviation is based on sexual orientation or pharmacological preference.

  • claygooding

    The GOP needs to do something differently for sure,,some Republican politicians are feeling the heat,even in TX.

    The next election may well see the loss of seats from Rep to Dem and that hasn’t happened in a long time.

    • Jeff Trigg

      via Reason.
      Addressing the crowd, Senator (Elizabeth) Warren (D-MA) said, “I advise everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He wants us armed and stoned.”

      A few in the GOP are of a more libertarian bent. Not nearly enough. Dems like Sen. Warren make it more difficult for those Reps to try something different.

      Both parties deserve to lose seats next election for their barbaric and idiotic drug war. If only.

      • Underknown

        That Senator Elizabeth Warren sounds like your typical command and control (totalitarian) leftist. Yuck! These people are just as bad as gun nuts who want to see you in prison for pot!

    • Windy

      I find it exceptionally strange that democrats and republicans have so much political power since only 23% of voters self-identify as democrats and 22% self-identify as republican while over 40% of voters self-identify as independent (if all of those voters, d, r, and i, were to really look at the ideals and principles of the libertarians most of those would probably self-identify as libertarian).

  • Bruce

    My Grandma passed away in 1965. She was the one who first told me;
    “It’s a Free Country! You can do Any-thinnng you want!”
    So I did. That makes me Age Seven when my Dad approached us Kids with the news of her death as we Blasted big Chunks of Ice at our feet with our .22s in the backyard.
    Oddly enough 1965 was the year in which Canada proclaimed;
    ALL FUN: KILLED! You Can’t Do This! You Can’t Do That! AVRO Arrow to the ScrapHeap! Nasal Sounds: Quit Smoking! Wear Your Seat Belt!
    Must suck to be of a Mindset that shrinks like MonoKote when Heat is applied at the mere Mention of Scary Concepts such as Liberty, Freedom, Manhood. The Result of 48 Years of this Treason from within is manifestly self evident. Cattle Prods,,, Cattle Cars.

  • Will/be/posted/1000/times

    I’ve re-edited this old screed and will be posting it everywhere, non-stop, for at least a week:

    Prohibition has diverted police resources away from other law enforcement activities with the result that violent crime and crime against property is driven far higher than it would have been otherwise. To the extent that communities divert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses the risk of punishment for engaging in violent crime is reduced.

    The National Firearms Act of 1934 was actually a direct response to the acute rise in prohibition (1919-33) engendered gun violence.

    PROHIBITION EQUATES TO MORE VIOLENT CRIME WHICH LEADS TO MORE CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL

    The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada reviewed 15 studies that evaluated the association between violence and drug law enforcement. “Our findings suggest that increasing drug law enforcement is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, the existing evidence base suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates may be an inevitable consequence of drug prohibition and that disrupting drug markets can paradoxically increase violence.”

    http://tinyurl.com/c4uyecn

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

    Prohibitionists and their gun-control criminal friends who live in a crack-house called Congress are having a ball. And it’s all on our tab.

    • .
      .

      You need to quit using the link to http://www.schizophrenia.com/szfacts.htm because apparently they don’t care that the huge increase in the rate of cannabis use has no matching increase in the rate of schizophrenia. Hell, apparently they don’t even know that merrywanna and cannabis are one and the same. From the page linked above:

      One of the most easily avoided factors linked to development of schizophrenia are brain-altering street drugs like marijuana and cannabis.

    • B. Snow

      The *so-called link* between “schizophrenia and brain-altering street drugs like marijuana”, MIGHT just have to do that they get their stats from the same place.

      ‘The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’… Yep, that’s right – They don’t see the problem of introducing a bias into the whole damn thing – “From the word ‘Go’!”

      “The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides national and state-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs (including non-medical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States. NSDUH is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the U.S. Public Health Service in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).”

      You can find TONS of completely worthless data at:
      https://nsduhweb.rti.org/