Why Conservatives Should Want to End the Drug War

6/23/14
 
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from The Huffington Post,
6/23/14:

The issue of drug policy reform is well-understood among commentators and activists on the left. The stark facts that drug use is roughly equal among all racial groups yet brown and black people bear the brunt of drug law arrests and incarceration is a glaring violation of civil rights and social justice, two buzzwords common among the progressive set.

But drug policy reform is also a very conservative issue, and an issue that conservatives should rally behind. There are three overwhelming and compelling reasons why this is so.

1: Economics.

First and foremost, to fight the war on drugs, U.S. government bureaucrats, in all of their infinite wisdom, have thrown literally a trillion (trillion, with a T) dollars of taxpayer money at the issue over the last 40 years, and have had no productive or demonstrable benefits as a result. Drugs are still easily available, cheap, and potent, levels of drug production worldwide have arguably not decreased, and nothing of value has been created. There have been no conventional measures of success achieved, yet drug war zealots at the DEA and some within the halls of Congress seem to think that if we only threw just a few more (millions? billions?) of your tax dollars at the problem that maybe we might actually achieve the dream of a “drug-free world.”

2. Liberty.

The notion that the state can deprive you of your freedom because of personal choices you make about your body has no place in a free society. It is a slippery slope, for if the state can knock down your door to take your drugs, what is to stop them from knocking down your door to take your guns, or to put you in a cage for expressing a contrarian opinion?

3. Community and family values.

You know what’s best for you, your family, and your community. When there is disharmony in your home, you need to do what is best to address the problem. What you don’t need is some outsider interfering and telling you what the problem is, how to fix it, and possibly sending someone from your home to jail for a long time, just because he or she is from “the government.” That does not fix the disharmony. In fact it sews even more discord, and breeds an unhealthy and destructive resentment for the authority which interfered. The criminalization of drug use has waged immeasurable harm to the fundamental fabric of families and communities, harm which has the result of increasing community distrust and engendering an environment more susceptible to crime, poverty, and despair.

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