Baby Steps In The War On Drugs
While we wait patiently for all the talk of freedom and personal liberty to come to fruition in this country, authoritarianism remains the standard for a range of topics, from FISA to the War On Drugs.
That second topic has become a running theme here at JonahKeri.com, made all the more gobsmacking by other countries’ moves to decriminalize recreational drug use. Portugal is the best example of a country that was beset by drug-related social problems that greatly benefited from subsequent legalization. Upon legalizing, drug-related crimes plummeted and the government suddenly found much needed time and financial resources available to be deployed elsewhere.
Watching the bodies stack up as an all-out drug bloodbath erupted in Mexico, that country decriminalized personal use in August, figuring the best way to fight the drug lords was not to fight them at all. While it remains to be seen how this policy will play out in Mexico, anecdotally, it seems, the tales of brutal drug-related slayings south of the border seem to have slowed (granted, there could be any number of reasons for this, from media focusing their attention elsewhere to seasonal fluctuation to random chance…which is why it’s too early to tell).
Today Salon’s Glenn Greenwald (a favorite of the blog for his ability to make the case for Libertarian causes without coming off like a nut job) applauds the White House’s decision to respect state medical marijuana laws and not prosecute related cases on a federal level. In this case the applause owes more to respecting states’ rights, personal liberty, and respecting the scientific data which show the benefits of medical marijuana than any grand gesture in ending the pointless, even counterproductive War On Drugs that reached a fever pitch under Nancy Reagan and never abated under the Bush dynasty, or Clinton. Still, it’s a nice first step in that direction too.
As Greenwald notes, it’s more than a little ironic that under George Bush Jr., champion of freedom and personal liberty, the government routinely spat in the face of states’ rights and prosecuted medical marijuana users who were approved where they live, while the administration of Barack Obama, the raging Socialist, is taking a hands-off approach.
The War on Drugs is the pernicious precursor to the War on Terror in so many ways, beginning with the relentless erosion of civil liberties; endless expansions of federal powers of detention, surveillance and militarized involvement in other countries; and a general pretext for remaining in an endless “war” posture. Anything that moves even a little bit towards abandoning the orthodoxies which sustain it should be applauded. And whatever else is true, being free of gun-wielding DEA agents is a real benefit for people with serious illnesses and those who provide them with medical treatments prescribed by their physicians.
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