|Posted by Pinellas Libertarian Activists on August 7, 2001 at 8:47 AM|
[SOUTH PINELLAS Edition]
St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, Fla.
Date: Aug 7, 2001
Start Page: 7.A
Drug laws only make things worse
Re: U.S. versus them, July 29.
The Libertarian Party's principle-based position on the war on drugs has not changed in more than 30 years. Like most Americans, Libertarians demand to be safe at home and on the streets. Libertarians would like all Americans to be healthy and free of drug dependence. But drug laws don't help; they only make things worse.
The professional politicians scramble to make names for themselves as tough anti-drug warriors, while the experts agree that the war on drugs has been lost, and could never be won. The tragic victims of that war are your personal liberty and its companion, responsibility. It's time to consider the re-legalization of drugs.
Some Americans will always use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs. Most are not addicts; they are social drinkers or occasional users. Legal drugs would be inexpensive, so even addicts could support their habits with honest work, rather than by crime.
Organized crime would be deprived of its profits. The police could return to protecting us from real criminals, and there would be room enough in existing prisons for them.
It's time to re-legalize drugs and let people take responsibility for themselves.
Criminal laws only drive the problem underground and put money in the pockets of the criminal class. With drugs legal, compassionate people could do more to educate and rehabilitate drug users who seek help. Individuals have the right to decide for themselves what to put in their bodies, so long as they take responsibility for their actions.
From the mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, to conservative writer and TV personality William F. Buckley Jr., leading Americans are now calling for repeal of America's repressive and ineffective drug laws. The Libertarian Party urges you to join in this effort to make our streets safer and our liberties more secure.
Daryl Henegar, (Libertarian) Pinellas Park