Michael Badnarik, a computer programmer from Texas, won the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination on Sunday.
Badnarik, 49, of Austin, defeated former Hollywood movie producer Aaron Russo on the convention’s third ballot, after former radio host Gary Nolan, who was eliminated on the second ballot, endorsed Badnarik.
Badnarik’s take on the drug war:
The government’s war on drugs violates the rights of Americans so egregiously that it is a bigger threat than the drugs themselves. Libertarians do not want our children taking drugs either, but we recognize that the several decades of drug interdiction haven’t slowed the flow of narcotics into this country. Children take drugs because criminals actively sell them. Criminals sell drugs because they are astronomically profitable. Drugs are highly profitable only because they are illegal. The Libertarian solution is to decriminalize drugs, which will make drugs extremely cheap, which will remove the profit motivation for selling drugs, which will result in fewer children taking drugs.
Drug laws have not reduced the amount of drugs on the street. Drugs are far more common now than they were before we started this stupid “War on Drugs.” Drug laws established an “asset forfeiture” policy which violates our right to be secure from “unreasonable search and seizure” and our right not to be “deprived of property without due process of law.” This policy has a tendency to corrupt our police agencies who use the assets as “unreported income.” You probably don’t remember the Prohibition, but all it did was raise the price of alcohol. The only thing the “War on Drugs” has done is to raise the price of heroin and marijuana – and to make them profitable enough to kill for. If we decriminalize drugs, then they will no longer be extremely profitable. This will remove the black market incentive, and make our city streets safer in the process.
I’ll be discussing Badnarik some more as we get into the election season.
More on the nomination (including some very interesting details and vote totals) at Random Act of Kindness (which, I feel the perverse need to point out, endorsed both Nolan and Russo).