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My drug war liberty talk

Some of you asked if my talk on Thursday at University of Illinois, hosted by Young Americans for Liberty, would be available as video online. Sorry, but that didn’t happen.

It was a good session with a nice turnout and some great participation in the Q and A part.

While I can’t give you a video or audio, I can share my powerpoint as a pdf file. I bet many of you can imagine what my talk was like from seeing this outline.

Drug War’s Assault on Liberty.

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17 comments to My drug war liberty talk

  • skootercat

    Awesome presentation Pete. Awesome. I drop in here about every day, familiar with every frame, and was blown away. How long did it take you to present this discussion? It’s worthy of wider distribution.

  • primus

    Looks great. You hit all the most important points. One picayune complaint; when you listed the many negatives and positives of drug prohibition, you used the term ‘abuse’ whereas the term ‘use’ would be more appropriate. The term ‘abuse’ is over-used–when I was a lad, masturbation was termed ‘self abuse’ though I never felt abused when I did it. In the same way, the drugs never complained to me that I was abusing them. Semantics are important. If we can change the words used, we can change the mindset.

    • Francis

      While I agree that the term ‘abuse’ is frequently, well, abused, I think in this case Pete’s use of ‘abuse’ was proper use, not abuse. 🙂 Pete describes the sole (potential) benefit of prohibition as follows:

      It’s possible that some limited number of individuals will be dissuaded from becoming drug abusers due to fear of prison.

      To the extent that prohibition dissuades some people from becoming non-problematic users of certain drugs, that represents, not a benefit of prohibition, but an additional cost. People who would have otherwise been able to safely and responsibly enjoy an activity are prevented from doing so by the state’s violent threats. Of course, this assumes that you don’t have some weird puritanical objection to people enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, that’s NOT a safe assumption when it comes to the supporters of prohibition.

      • primus

        OK then, perhaps an additional item on the ‘harms’ list could be that many people, who would not become ‘problem’ users, are robbed of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of cannabis by prohibition? IOW showing that all use is NOT abuse, and that prohibition is actually robbing people of a benefit.

  • Sukoi

    Powerful stuff Pete and I’ll bet that it moved every member of the audience even if they were in complete agreement with you. I also agree with primus in that the use of the terms use and abuse are not synonymous as you well know, so there’s no point in discussing it further. Awesome presentation Pete!

  • allan

    as always Pete, a thousand thanks for all your work…

    OT… thousands rally for legalization in Israel:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/pot-legalization-activists-demonstrate-in-jerusalem/

  • allan

    and because it’s Saturday and… well…

    An example of how our teachers can affect our lives… my college film and photo instructor (Harold “Casey” Case), who also became a very good friend, gave me a book. A simple non-fiction, Planet Steward: Journal of a Wildlife Sanctuary, by Stephen Levine,

    http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Steward-Journal-Wildlife-Sanctuary/dp/0913300322

    led me to some beyond wonderful living situations and when I’m done here in Eugene I may once again just find an isolated and lonely corner of the west in need of a caretaker and grow old in the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. That’s one of the plans anyhow…

    But that book took me to Opal Creek and Oregon’s high desert (I helped keep it that way;) and provided me with deeply soul enriching experiences.

    So dog bless the teachers! Even the smallest of kindnesses can bestow great rewards…

  • thelbert

    check out joseph, ore. it gets cold but it has good soil judging by my uncle wren’s garden.

    • allan

      yeah, I know Joseph, OR. I spent a year working for The Nature Conservancy in the Warner Basin (4500′ elev). My driveway was 10 miles long and we were the only ones on the whole road. So quiet I could hear my neighbor’s cows and he was 5 miles across the lake…

      • thelbert

        uncle Wren and aunt Wealthy were retired from a life of sheepherding when i visited them in joseph about 1978. they were old but they still grew their own vegetables in big garden.

  • Excellent Pete. I knew the “sneak and peek” warrants were being abused but never saw any statistics on it before. Its a real eye opener.

  • thelbert

    here is another article on the jerusalem protests: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.586271

  • claygooding

    Happy 4/20,,lite em if you got em bum em if you don’t…if you think it is going to be rough getting through 24 hours of 4/20 wait 6 years and go for an entire month.

  • Servetus

    Drug war fever is raging throughout Tennessee as it moves to criminalize pregnant women who use illegal drugs. By consuming anything but Big Pharma’s second-rate legal products, mommy can go to jail for up to 15-years. The governor may sign the bill despite the fact that:

    In 2011, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that “drug enforcement policies that deter women from seeking prenatal care are contrary to the welfare of the mother and foetus. Incarceration and the threat of incarceration have proved to be ineffective in reducing the incidence of alcohol or drug abuse”.

    The signed bill could lead to a mother aborting her fetus, rather than face prosecution for her drug use. Yet, the bill is being driven forward by anti-abortion groups. It’s also being attacked by other types of activists. The new Tennessee law-to-be provides a truly iconic example of people engaged in protecting fetuses, babies and children from prohibitionists.