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Federal Drug-War Weirdness

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acapulcoby Jacob G. Hornberger

The drug war just keeps getting weirder and weirder. First it was the feds selling assault rifles to the drug cartels. Now, it turns out that the feds have also been laundering large amounts of cash for the drug cartels.

It’s harder to get weirder than that. Before long, we’ll learn that the feds have been operating one of those big Mexican drug cartels and smuggling tons of dope into the United States.

One almost gets the sense that there is some desperation going on here. The feds undoubtedly know that an increasing number of people are gravitating toward libertarianism, whose philosophy dictates that drugs be legalized and the drug war ended. Maybe that’s what’s causing them to engage in all that weirdness. Maybe they’re hoping to come up with quick-fix formula that shows that the 40-year-old drug war is finally being won. In that way, they’ll be able to keep their jobs, their money, and their power over the lives and fortunes of the citizenry.

None of the feds’ shenanigans will work, however. The drug war is a lost cause. It’s time to admit it.

Forty years ago, the feds could say to people, “Just give us four decades, and we’ll win the war on drugs.” But now the results are in. Forty years of drug warfare has produced nothing but death, destruction, corruption, and loss of liberty, along with such federal weirdness as the selling of guns to drug cartels and the federal laundering of drug money.

The good news is that lots of people are embracing the libertarian idea of ending the drug war. It’s amazing the large number of commentaries calling for drug legalization that now appear in newspapers and on the Internet. And increasing numbers of people are supporting Ron Paul for president knowing that Paul openly calls for ending the drug war.

So, who are the most fervent supporters of the drug war? Not surprisingly, the two groups of people who are benefitting most from it: the drug cartels and the law-enforcement sector of the federal, state, and local governments.

Isn’t that ironic?

Both groups, of course, would immediately be put out of business with drug legalization. Thus, while federal, state, and local cops expend countless time and resources on bringing drug-law violators to justice, only to find them replaced by new gangs, there is a solution at hand that would put drug-law violators out of business immediately — drug legalization. Of course, it would also put out of business all the cops, judges, and clerks whose jobs depend on the drug war.

The failure of the drug war to accomplish its purported end — the eradication of drug usage — is reason enough to end the war. Add to that the massive violations of liberty and privacy during the past 40 years. Add to that the enormous cost, not just in money but also in destroyed lives. Add to that the growing drug-war weirdness in which the feds are engaged.

The most powerful argument, however, for drug legalization is the freedom one: In a free society, people have the inherent, fundamental, God-given right to engage in any peaceful conduct, including ingesting anything they want. A society where the state has the authority to punish people for ingesting the “wrong” things is not a free society. It’s not a coincidence that drug laws are a core feature of such totalitarian regimes as Egypt, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea.

It’s time for Americans to take the feds out of their misery. Why let them come up with more weird antics in their endless quest to roll the Sisyphus drug-war boulder up the hill? Why continue with the drug war when we all know the results are going to be the same or worse? Why not put the drug cartels out of business immediately, along with the drug-war bureaucracies within the government? Why not end the death, destruction, infringements on liberty and privacy, corruption, and waste of tax money? Why not bring an end to the federal selling of guns to drug cartels and the federal laundering of drug money for the cartels?

It’s time to end not just the federal drug-war weirdness. It’s time to end the drug war itself.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.


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