Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The War on Drugs in Minnesota:

Eighty-five years ago Billy Sunday promised the American people that with the abolition of the recreational drug alcohol, we could achieve, “upward mobility, personality development, marital bliss, healthy children, economic prosperity, and life after death.” He delivered the second longest period of violence and crime in this country’s history. He gave us gangs, hate, corruption along with moral, economic, and intellectual bankruptcy. Now, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, (War on meth/Make it a session priority, Star Tribune 1/13/2005) have added oral hygiene and the elimination of dental caries to Sunday’s promises. They intend to perpetuate the longest period of violence, crime, and lawlessness this country has ever experienced. Today, Susan Gaertner says that prison isn’t enough (Education, treatment needed in war on meth, Star Tribune 2/15/05). To deliver these promises also requires brain washing and thought control disguised as a “massive public education campaign”.

Prohibition is a two edged sword. One side endangering and killing the innocent, like Theresa Edwards, in the crime and gangs generated by any illegal market. The other side delivering hate, cruelty, and death to the dysfunctional it is meant to help. The cost to society of drug users is less than the cost to society of the drug users plus the prohibition. If the war on drugs doesn’t allow us to cut the budgets of education, social assistance, and health insurance, what is the point? I would challenge the Star Tribune to name two good things to come out of Prohibition or any good to come out of the war on drugs. It is time we ask if the costs of the war on drugs in both dollars and lives are balanced by any social benefits.

In a society where you are sued for selling hamburgers to fat people, I have no idea how to legalize the sale of crack or meth. But the decriminalization of the manufacture, sale, and use of recreational drugs will save taxpayers $30 billion a year in direct criminal justice costs, eliminate 75% of this country’s crime, and allow effective and efficient intervention and treatment of the dysfunctional (as is done today with alcoholics). We know because in 1934 Prohibition was repealed and we have the statistics.

Rev. Sunday testified before Congress in 1933 that the repeal of Prohibition would mean the United States in the next five years would “… cease to exist as we know it.” It was the only thing the man ever said that was true. That, at least, puts him one up on his intellectual and ideological siblings; Pawlenty, Rosen, and Gaertner.