In 1875, legal theorist Lysander Spooner said, "Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another."
Vices are not crimes. By criminalizing drugs, prohibitionists create perverse incentives to commit crimes by creating a profit motive. Moreover, criminalizing vice monetizes crime; which is tantamount to soliciting crime. For instance, contract-killers and their contractors are murderers. Likewise, a drug-related murder is a prohibitionist-monetized murder. It's not illegal to be a prohibitionist, but to insist that the prohibitionist lawmaker is not a criminal is to declare the truth to be a lie.
If prohibitionists really wanted to put the gangs out of business, they'd take the business out of the gangs, but that's not their goal. The money power and their wealthy campaign contributors win economic and political power when they can divide the public by race, creed, color, national origin, drugs, abortion, sex, sexual orientation, or whether you own a gun or not. And while we're fighting it out, they're laughing all the way to the bank.
For example--Michelle Alexander wrote: H.R. Haldeman, one of [President Richard] Nixon's key advisers, recalls that Nixon himself deliberately pursued a Southern, racial strategy: "He [President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." Similarly, John Ehrlichman, special counsel to the president, explained the Nixon administration's campaign strategy of 1968 in this way: "We'll go after the racists." In Ehrlichman's view, "that subliminal appeal to the anti-black voter was always present in Nixon's statements and speeches." This is the essence of "Dog Whistle" politics.
The April 2016 Harper's Magazine, quoted John Ehrlichman, "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked..."The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
President Ronald Reagan used the same tactic. In 1982, the "Great Communicator," officially announced the War on Drugs. Indeed, Reagan's use of colorblind "dog whistle" rhetoric on crime, welfare queens, taxes, and state's rights intentionally exploited the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement for political and economic power. Today, Reagan's Racist War on Drugs has created the largest Mass Incarceration Surveillance Police State the world has ever known. This Orwellian police state arrests, incarcerates and discriminates against minorities with alarming disparities making Reagan the "Great Excommunicator."
Let's repeal Prohibition, the New Jim Crow. Prohibition has created a new racial caste system that is designed to deny jobs, housing, education, public benefits, licenses, disenfranchises the right to vote or serve on a jury, and makes people unable to provide for their children or families.
Let's end routine employment drug testing whose purpose is to identify, target and ostracize competent ordinary people for punishment. Basing employment on an oath of urination, that requires body cleansing to qualify, is destructive to trust, morality and is nothing more than forced perjury.
Drug prohibition is authoritarianism which fosters dehumanizing intolerance of minority groups exploiting every type of fear with the promise of security while destroying it completely. The War on Drugs has made it a laudable civic duty to extinguish civil liberties, one inalienable right after another. Prohibitionists who support the two-party tyranny are not bad or evil people; they’re just in a propaganda induced trance of blind wickedness.
Drug use is normal behavior. What’s abnormal is to find someone who doesn’t use drugs, legal or illegal. We're not going to be able to jail society into sobriety, but generations of propaganda brainwashing sees punishment as the only solution.
If you could regulate distribution through prohibition, then it would be unprofitable for gangsters to terrorize our streets. Why insist on gangster distribution? Let’s face it; besides the wealth power structure, the only ones who profit from prohibition are the gangsters, cops, courts, prisons, drug treatment industry and their psycho-babble buddies.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet reported that an estimated 60-80% level of interdiction would be required to make drug distribution unprofitable. (See Revealed: How Drugs War Failed) That level of interdiction may be possible in prison, but they’re selling drugs in prison too. And if you could make it unprofitable to sell, forget about civil liberties, there won’t be any. Your lawmakers know there isn’t enough tax dollars in Minnesota or the world to control distribution. Despite the proven safety record for regulated distribution of liquor, your lawmakers insist on the most destructive form of narcotics distribution, through the black market. If prohibition works so well, then why not insist on gangster distribution of liquor? They know they’re wrong!
Prohibition subsidizes criminals, bankrolls gangsters, endangers our children, destroys public safety, corrupts public officials, undermines foreign governments, promotes terrorism at home and abroad, undermines the Bill of Rights, overburdens the courts, overcrowds the prisons, and is racist in origin and in practice. Prohibition fosters discrimination in the public mind by associating ethnic minorities with criminal behavior. Prohibition undermines the school systems children attend, causes children to live in fear; and undermines society by instilling gang values and gang culture. As a matter of survival children are forced to become gang members. Is this the way to protect our children?
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse said people of all races use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. Yet, unconscious racial bias by law enforcement targets poor minority neighborhoods with Special Weapons Attack Teams (SWAT) for no-knock service of drug warrants; stop-and-frisk tactics; sweeps of minority school students; anonymous informant search warrants; wiretapping; unidentified paid informants; pretext stops and consent searches with drug sniffing dogs; helicopter surveillance of homes without a warrant; and forfeiture of cash, homes, and other property based on unproven allegations of illegal drug activity. If law enforcement targeted rich white neighborhoods who are politically well connected you can bet neighbors would put a stop to it, but, as always, law observance is for the powerless, not the powerful. Prohibitionists target poor and vulnerable people who have no means to fight back.
We need to regulate narcotics in a manner similar to liquor. Let's repeal the statewide prohibition, decriminalize narcotics and allow local option for communities to choose how they want to regulate controlled substances. The regulated distribution of liquor has proven itself to be a time-tested policy that has ended gang distribution and violent marketing. The biggest cause of gun violence is narcotics prohibition. In 1933, following the repeal of alcohol prohibition, murder and assault by firearms decreased drastically for ten years in a row and dropped below pre-prohibition era levels despite a significant increase in population.
Besides the enormous revenues generated for the state, the tax savings in law enforcement and prisons alone would be a great help to taxpayers and the public safety on the streets will be a relief to our communities. Parents could let their kids play outside without fear that they’ll be hit by a stray bullet or killed in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting.
The War on Drugs has been a colossal failure and it's past time we end this chapter in American history.