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.
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