Liberal Democrat

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bill Buckley & Charlie Rangel debate War on Drugs 1991: How to Win a Losing War

One of the things I respect about Bill Buckley was that he was a Classical Conservative with real libertarian leanings, like all Classical Conservatives are. As a liberal myself we don't agree on much but when it comes to these Freedom of Choice issues, we have plenty in common. Bill Buckley was for the Decriminalization of all Narcotics in America not just Marijuana, there's an example of one of his libertarian leanings. In a sense Mr Buckley was to the left on Rep. Charlie Rangel, which is very hard to do and who's another man I have a lot of respect for.

Myself I go as far as Decriminalization of Marijuana and have it treated like alcohol at the Federal, State and Local Levels. 21 and over to posses, use purchase and sell marijuana, licensed to sell marijuana. Why in case you were wondering, because marijuana is essentially like alcohol, a drug that can do the same amount of harm or good to people then alcohol which is a legal drug in America. Also if people want to do something bad enough anywhere, they'll find a way to do it. Whether its legal or not, its that simple. One of the reasons why we have 2M people locked up in America is because of our failed War on Drugs, arresting hundreds of thousands of people each year for what they do to themselves rather then to what they do to others. Prohibition simply does not work in preventing people from doing things they want to do. If you want to prevent someone from doing something thats dangerous for them, you show them why what they are about to do is dangerous and why they shouldn't do it in the first place. Thats called rehabilitation not prohibition.

I'm not for legalizing all narcotics though and you might be wondering why that as well, perhaps you see some inconsistency there. You might believe that if someone should gave the ability to harm themselves with marijuana and alcohol, that they should have the same ability to harm themselves with cocaine, heroin and meth. But here's the thing, you think our Health Care System is too expensive now and our Emergency Rooms are overcrowded now. Then legalize heroin, cocaine and meth and you'll see our Health Care costs explode. The damage that alcohol and marijuana do to peoples body's is over a gradual amount of time. People can overdose on cocaine, heroin and I believe meth the first time that they use it. And either end up in the ER or can die right away, just look at the case of former Maryland basketball player Len Bias. Who died I believe the night or a few days after being drafted in the NBA by the Boston Celtics . Also I don't believe people who don't engage in unhealthy activities, whether its alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth just to use as examples. Should be forced to subsidize the Health Care costs of people who don't use these drugs, which will happen because a lot of these addicts won't be able to pay for their Health Care costs as a result of their drug abuse. Again the consequences of alcohol and marijuana use is gradual, people can live long healthy lives drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. As long as they use these drugs in moderation and don't become addicted to them. The consequences of heroin, cocaine and meth use is immediate and people have died right away from using those drugs.

The way to reform the War on Drugs if we were to still call it a war, is first Decriminalization of Marijuana but them instead of treating heroin, cocaine and meth addicts like criminals. Get those people in Drug Rehab instead and treat them like patients and have them pay for their Drug Rehab. Where they would stay until their doctors feel they are ready to leave and then continue to treat heroin, cocaine and meth dealers like criminals. Especially if they sell them to minors and throw them in prison. One way to win this war would be to collapse the Narcotics Market and a way to do that is to get Drug Addicts off of these drugs with Drug Rehab so they are no longer addicted to them. And then Drug Dealers would have less customers to sell their dope to.