Here’s the ‘official position’ of LP-Ga, from the platform page of their website:
“We believe the so-called “War on Drugs” is more accurately described as a war on freedom and the U.S. Constitution. It has provided a rationale by which the power of the state has been expanded to restrict greatly our 4th Amendment right to privacy, and poses an especially grave threat to individual liberty and to domestic order. Therefore, we call for the repeal of all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the manufacture, use, or sale of drugs. We wish to see an end to “anti-crime” measures that limit our rights to keep and bear arms and that restrict individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Furthermore, the ‘War on Drugs’ serves as a subsidy for illegal drug dealers by driving up their profit margin, and has the unintentional effect of increasing crime in our society.”
My own thoughts:
I was a goody two shoes in school, and still am for the most part. To this day, I can’t tell you what pot smells like and have never known where to get drugs of any form other than from a doc/pharmacy, and even then I’ve never known how to get illegitimate prescriptions. I know some of y’all, maybe all, are roughly old enough to be my parents, and you may have fallen under the 18 yo minimum drinking age, but I am 26 and it has been 21 all my life. I didn’t have a drop of alcohol until my 21st birthday. I’ve drank quite a bit since then, but never enough to be of any concern to anyone.
That said, my aunt that died a couple of weeks ago has battled drug addiction for most of my life. I have a cousin I believe to be in jail right now over methamphetamines, and possibly another cousin (the first cousin’ brother) in jail on similar charges. I also grew up in Bartow County, in what was always described to me as the meth capital of GA.
For a very long time – indeed, my views have only within the past 12 months or so changed on the issue – I believed very firmly that those who did drugs should go to jail, pretty much the same as the GOP. What changed me, I do not know, but I believe it came about as I began to realize the full scope of Freedom. A person who is using drugs recreationally is no danger to anyone but themselves, which falls within the Punch Principle and is therefore allowable. Now, if a person is high and causes a wreck, we should hold them fully accountable for doing so, and I even support making the laws for actual, provable physical harm FAR more stringent than they currently are. These more stringent laws would apply equally to the guy that was high and caused the wreck, to the guy that was drunk when he caused it, and to the guy that fell asleep behind the wheel and caused it. He violated the Punch Principle, and he needs to answer for that. Such is a legitimate excercise of government.
Therefore, government should not have a say in whether a person uses drugs, and if a person on drugs violates the Punch Principle, they should be held accountable for the violation of the Punch Principle, not for the use of drugs, which they were perfectly free to do.
Recently, we’ve begun to hear of all this unrest in Mexico caused by the drug cartels. And yes, it is US Drug Policy, including the Drug War, that has caused this. I completely concur with the official position that “the ‘War on Drugs’ serves as a subsidy for illegal drug dealers by driving up their profit margin, and has the unintentional effect of increasing crime in our society.” In a free market unincumbered by laws banning certain substances, prices would be low and profit margins relatively tight. The Cartels would become Corporations, and armed violence over the market would cease as corporations sought better market share through non-violent means, in similar ways that ‘legal’ drug companies currently operate.
Also note that I personally wouldn’t mind a tax on these drugs at a similar level as the current alcohol and tobacco taxes. I don’t have a problem with these taxes currently, as I believe the use of those products to be completely voluntary and therefore if you don’t want to pay the tax, don’t buy the product. I also object to the idea floated by some liberals and moderate conservatives to ‘legalize it and tax the hell out of it’. If you tax it similarly to the current alcohol/tobacco taxes, you achieve a solid balance of providing a solid stream of revenue to government while also allowing the open market to thrive. Yes, you have a level of black market activity, but it is minimal and inconsequential. (BTW: I also don’t believe in prosecution of this black market, even under these ‘legalize and tax’ theories.) HOWEVER, if you ‘tax the hell out of it’, you inevitably drive people back to the black market just as surredly as if you had outright banned the substances, leading once again to most of the problems we already have.
Note that I’ve talked for quite a while on the subject here and haven’t even touched on the jail overpopulation and related issues that would be solved by legalizing drugs.