Skip to comments.War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure by Richard Branson
Posted on 12/06/2012 2:25:44 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
Editor's note: Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group, with global branded revenues of $21 billion, and a member of the Global Drug Commission. Sir Richard was knighted in 1999 for his services to entrepreneurship. Watch today for Branson's interview with CNN/US' Erin Burnett Out Front at 7pm ET and tomorrow (12/7) with CNN International's Connect the World program at 4pm ET
(CNN) -- In 1925, H. L. Mencken wrote an impassioned plea: "Prohibition has not only failed in its promises but actually created additional serious and disturbing social problems throughout society. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. ... The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished."
This week marks the 79th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition in December 1933, but Mencken's plea could easily apply to today's global policy on drugs.
We could learn a thing or two by looking at what Prohibition brought to the United States: an increase in consumption of hard liquor, organized crime taking over legal production and distribution and widespread anger with the federal government.
As part of this work, a new documentary, "Breaking the Taboo," narrated by Oscar award-winning actor Morgan Freeman and produced by my son Sam Branson's indie Sundog Pictures, followed the commission's attempts to break the political taboo over the war on drugs. The film exposes the biggest failure of global policy in the past 40 years and features revealing contributions from global leaders, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
It is time we broke the taboo and opened up the debate about the war on drugs. We need alternatives that focus on education, health, taxation and regulation.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Old hippies and liberals (libertarians).
As I often point out - there is no serious conservative anywhere who endorses legal drugs. This is a leftist issue.
Interestingly enough, it was the Left (then styling themselves as Progressives) that pushed to make many of these substances illegal in the first place, not to mention they were behind the 18th Amendment.
Myself, I’m on the fence regarding legalization of drugs. I regard it as a personal choice, and as such anyone who chooses to use them should be prepared to bear the consequences themselves. That said, given that most of present-day America abhors personal responsibility, legalization is not a good idea at this time.
But I’ll also submit that the main benefit of Prohibition was to bootleggers. Without it, chances are we might not have gotten the Kennedys, as this was where much of Joe Kennedy’s fortune was made.
I used to be a supporter of the War, but this conservative has come around on the issue, and I suspect there are others as well. Drugs are bad, but the monster we created to fight them has become worse than the original problem.
Papa Joe is a good example of the benefits of Prohibition. After the 21st Amendment was passed, Kennedy went legitimate.
If and when drugs are legalized, the drug cartels will also become legitimate taxpaying corporations.
Is this really what we want and need for America?
Nobody who argues for legalization should ever be taken seriously
If you want prohibition, Amend the Constitution, so that your war on drugs is constitutional, unless, as I suspect, you’re too f’ing lazy, as are most progressives, these days.
So you want to abolish police, courts and jails?
All of them?
Our admitted Choom Gang pres__ent is all in favor of retaining the prohibition. Because of the civil liberties that they get to violate in their never-ending quest to find someone who has ever touched any illegal substances.
Full disclosure: I do not now, nor have I ever, used any illegal substance, unless you count under-age beer drinking.
I used to be a supporter of the War, but this conservative has come around on the issue, and I suspect there are others as well.
I respect that. I don’t like it or agree with it, but I understand it. The problem is... you are in the minority here. Drug legalization is a socially liberal policy. And no political conservative inside or outside the Beltway supports legal dope.
Okay so what’s the answer? Legalize all drugs? Legal use where and when, what if the poor user can’t afford his/her drugs? Do we supply the users with free state approved/safe drugs at low or no cost so as to keep the crime rate down? After all we can’t have users become criminals because they can’t afford their drug of choice! How do you propose to keep from creating a new entitled class that we have to supply? I don’t have the answers but it sounds like you think you do, as they say, please enlighten me.
LOL. So you like all the attendant police state tyranny, shot dogs, no knock raids, militarization of local police, etc?
“As I often point out - there is no serious conservative anywhere who endorses legal drugs. This is a leftist issue.
Too clever by half. I don’t endorse GM autos, I do think it should be legal to sell and own them. Trying to frame the discussion so that supporting the legalization of drugs is somehow ENDORSING the use of drugs is just wrong. I also don’t endorse drinking, however I do think it should be legal. Maybe to subtle a point, however I think a very valid point. I guess too libertarian for a “true conservative” who thinks just like a “liberal”. We know best how someone else should live their life and we are ready to send them to jail if they don’t want to live it the way a “true conservative” deems permissible.
Nobody who argues for prohibition should be taken seriously. History and experience are not on your side.
People keep forgetting:
GayMuzzie is secret PARTNERS with the Sinaloa Cartel.
Why would he via legalization facilitate the entry into HIS market of enemy COMPETITORS..?
There might once have been SOME kind of drug war, but now that it is simply a way of keeping out competitors —Sinaloa (POTUS) drug loads get into the country UNIMPEDED.
They will not settle for even 4 or 5 cartels, so why would they legalize a vibrant market with LOW PRICES?
Does not compute.
AntiMarketIsts like MONOPOLIES so that prices remain high and they can meet periodically to collect their cut —THAT is the type of business that socialists UNDERSTAND, just like single-payer, or lotteries, etc.
You mean like these two?
Perhaps the Lefties should think about that.
I am opposed to government and society saying that crack cocaine is a good thing. and taxpayers will be funding it almost as soon as its legalized, you can bet on it.
I am deathly opposed to legalization of drugs. I have lived with druggies, and people are better off dead.
Just like homonut-cases, they don’t JUST want it legal, they want it accepted and praised and taught to kids.
It’s always about the kids
I'm an old geezer conservative, don't use drugs or pot and won't, but I've always been for the legalization of at least pot.
Maybe the old hippies and liberals will be so stoned they won't get out to vote if pot was legal?
As a conservative, I'm sick and tired of my hard earned money going down a rat hole to investigate, prosecute and jail potheads.
When I was in the USAF in the early '70s there were a large number of potheads, you could get high just walking through the stenching haze in the dorm hallways.
I NEVER saw ANY of those people causing a problem, in fact it mellowed out some who were problem people on alcohol.
A few rare people are supposed to flip out and become paranoid from what I've read. I've never known of one personally yet, so wonder if this is propaganda? The supposed "reefer madness". One argument against it is that pot is supposedly a "gateway drug". Once it's legal, it won't be so much as you'll be buying it at the state booze store rather from someone who may want to sell you something else.
You'll never meet that person.
This should very much be a republican issue. It's about smaller government and freedom.
They do not just want to legalize pot.
That is just for starters.
We declared a War on Poverty, and poverty is more prevalent than ever. We declared a War on Drugs and drug use is just as bad and maybe worse than before.
We also have a lot of dumb people in this country. Maybe the federal government should declare a War on Education?
This should very much be a republican issue. It’s about smaller government and freedom.
You may some day get your wish. I hope not, but as the Republicans move further left, they may indeed some day put leftist issues like support for drugs, abortion and gay marriages on the table.
If you think the GOP is irrelevant now, just wait till this happens!
For the record, I am presently conducting a taste test. I have pretty well determined that Jack Daniels Black label has a superior flavor to Wild Turkey
The Wild Turkey is very smooth but has a stronger alcohol flavor than the Black Jack.
Going on Memory, I think the previously tested George Dickel is superior to the wild Turkey as well although not as smooth
Once they get it legal they will start pushing for people to be allowed to smoke pot in public places and in college dorms where it will still be against the law.
Then they will want cocaine and other things made legal because the “War on Drugs” doesn’t go away with pot legalization. Does it?
Then Medicare will be paying for it and EBT cards will be buying it. Do you think tax dollars should do that?
Oh and of course libertarians really do want to abolish the age of consent.
Nobody REALLY cares about the Constitution. We want the Government to do what we want the Government to do. Period. There is no principle. And that, my friend, is how the country became the mess it is today.
Legal drugs would mean tremendous reduction in deaths, prisoner populations, less urban blight, more tax revenue, and less welfare. But as you say, these only concern leftists so never mind.
Libertopia dude, anything goes man!
I seriously doubt potheads go to jail often. Pot DEALERS are the people you are getting all weapy-eyed for
I wondered when someone would drag his name into the mix. One of the “godfathers of modern conservatism”?
FRiend. You could not be more wrong. Buckley was a Libertarian. I daresay if he were alive, he would support either Gary Johnson, Ron Paul or even Barack Obama over any RINO or conservative.
Thanks for bringing up Bill Buckley. He would make a good poster child for the pro-dope liberals.
The 800 lb gorilla in the room is that some recreational drugs already are legal. People pretend that legalizing pot would open some door that up till now has remained shut.
There’s been inadequate discipline in investigations at local levels for a long time. Not enough patience to bust the secondary and primary dealers. Not even enough discipline for long term stakeouts. Also, the usual, local, yocal “untouchables” (money fronters, all—pillars of the community). Meanwhile, local governments receive big federal funding for more trivial pursuits.
Should the government have the right to tell you what you may or may not consume?
I believe that is a conservative question, not a Libertarian or Leftist one.
I used to be a knee-jerk reactionary myself, legalize pot, heck no! As I’ve gotten older and in my 40’s, I think pot legalization is not a bad idea. Let people grow hemp, hemp has a lot more uses besides smoking it. If you’re dumb enough to smoke it, it’s your business unless your operating a vehicle, beating your wife/kids or end up on the dole because you can’t hold a job. I think if we tax it, we could pay off the deficit. IIRC, it wasn’t conservatives or classical liberals like the Founding Fathers behind a lot of prohibitions, that fell mainly on the progressives’ shoulders. Hard drugs, well, I’d still keep them illegal, pending further study, but I don’t think we need to bust wrong doors down and shooting pets is the way either. BTW, I’d never smoke it if it was legal, I don’t want to and know the consequences.
“And no political conservative inside or outside the Beltway supports legal dope.”
Except for the tons of legal dope sold by their pharmaceutical company donors.
And yet some still think we can eliminate it in a free republic.
We all know there's nothing wrong with profiting from human misery as long as the "right" kind of people are doing the profiting.
Legalizing pot does not end the war on drugs. It does end any of the things the libertines claim to want an end of. In fact I bet they also want to legalize ALL drugs, they just do not want to say it- they think pot is the low-hanging fruit- they know trying to legalize them all will be a complete failure. They keep it quiet just like they do not want to talk about the age of consent and legalizing incest, they know they won’t fly right now.
Legal drugs would mean tremendous reduction in deaths, prisoner populations, less urban blight, more tax revenue, and less welfare.
Oh really? And when Prohibition ended we also had a “tremendous reduction in deaths, prisoner populations, less urban blight, more tax revenue, and less welfare.”
Friend, we won’t be able to handle the welfare buden alone when millions of drugged out dopes are added to the welfare roles. Not to mention the increase in crime associated with drug usage.
Ending the federal drug war will not legalize drugs.
Tom Tancredo supported Amendment 64 here.
Which article and section of the constitution do you feel authorizes the federal government to enact drug laws? It appears to me to be a state issue, but I’ve been wrong before.
You raise a good point.
The reason why America isn’t winning the WOD is because we haven’t tried.
Secure our borders.
It’ll solve our illegal immigration problems. It’ll solve our illegal drug problems.
We aren’t winning the War on Poverty either. Why? Because welfare freelaoders are more than happy to keep voting in the leftist liberals.
When you get the federal government out of education and welfare, then we’ll talk
These millions currently on welfare generally are already drugged out dopes. Most inner city murders are committed to protect drug dealers territories and most burglary and robbery is to get the money for the drugs. You will have a huge reduction in crime with a minimal increase in consumption. Druggies are already using drugs. Availibilty is not a concern for these folks, but price is.
Two (many) wrongs don’t make a right.
And Tom Tancredo is a has-been. No longer credible on a state or national level.
exactly.... we haven’t even tried. Open borders is national suicide.