Wouldn't you think we had learned enough during prohibition? Like this person, I'm a bit of a prude regarding drug use and alcohol abuse, but also like this person I favour dismantling the so-called "war on drugs" as expeditiously as possible.
Even though I’m personally a prude on the issue of drugs, that doesn’t stop me from opposing the Drug War, both for moral and practical reasons. After all, how can any sensible and decent person want laws that produce these outrageous results?
The DEA trying to confiscate a commercial building because a tenant sold some marijuana.
The government seeking to steal a hotel because some guests sold some marijuana.
Cops raiding an organic nursery and seizing blackberry bushes.
The feds grabbing cash from innocent bystanders in legal cases.
The government arresting a grandmother for buying cold medicine.
Cops entrapping an autistic teen to boost their arrest numbers.
And don’t forget the misguided War on Drugs is also why we have costly, intrusive, and ineffectiveanti-money laundering laws, which result in other outrages, such as the government arbitrarily stealing money from small business owners.
Though not every enforcement action leads to grotesque abuse of human rights, sometimes the Drug War merely exposes the stupidity of government.
Economists have long been critical of the "War on Drugs", both on ethical grounds and on expediancy grounds. Over 40 years ago, Milton Friedman argued against the so-called war soon after it was announced. And he made his case very clearly in this 1998 piece that appeared in the NYTimes. His conclusion:
Can any policy, however high-minded, be moral if it leads to widespread corruption, imprisons so many, has so racist an effect, destroys our inner cities, wreaks havoc on misguided and vulnerable individuals and brings death and destruction to foreign countries?