Letter to the Editor

Your View: This war ruining U.S.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What if I told you something of value that if compared with the norm is unconventional and may be scorned by some lacking an understanding of economics, free enterprise, and freedom of personal choice --- there is a way to rapidly reduce violent crime by up to 40 percent research shows, while saving a large amount of tax dollars and allowing law enforcement to focus their efforts on catching violent criminals such as: rapists, murders, pedophiles, etc. This philosophy which I'm about to share with you could soon make the schools, streets, and everyday life safer for you and your children while preserving your God given un-alienable rights and personal freedoms. I understand that to some of my fellow Christians and some good people out there a little shock may be associated with this philosophy. Keep in mind while reading this that the starting point of Christianity is the right of personal choice: there is a fundamental choice to be good or to be evil, God does not force or make us follow him we have to make that choice. Why then under any circumstance should someone's forced moral decision be imposed upon us and why do we give up our freedoms so easily? Here is an article that I myself find as being a very realistic starting point to putting our beloved country on the right track:

"Americans assume that there is a trade-off between civil liberties and crime control. Drug-related crime is ravaging our cities, and so we will just have to surrender 'a few of the freedoms we enjoy in this country' to stop the murders. If that were the case, it might be more difficult to defend civil liberties. But, in fact, it is the war on drugs itself that causes drug-related crime, almost all of which is actually prohibition-related crime. The drug laws raise the price of drugs and cause addicts to have to commit crimes to pay for a habit that would be easily affordable if it were legal. And even more dramatic these days, rival drug dealers murder each other-and innocent bystanders-in order to protect and expand their markets. So, we are giving up our liberties in order to fight crime that is actually caused by the War on Drugs. A cynic might wonder whether restricting civil and economic liberties and expanding the power of the state is actually the point of the war on drugs. We will never stop drug use by stepping up the drug war. We are already arresting far more people and spending ten times as much as we did to enforce alcohol prohibition. The only way to reduce the crime, corruption, and murder associated with the drug trade is to legalize "capitalist acts between consenting adults"-to recognize that what adults put into their own bodies is no business of government. Until we do, prohibition-related crime is likely to increase, and our liberties will continue to recede."

(David Boaz - The Future of Freedom Foundation)

Honestly, are drugs bad for you? -- Of course they are. The same way too much MacDonald's, smoking, alcohol, sodas or any other self-destructive behavior that people engage in by their own choices and desires would be. This being done while fully understanding the risks both serious and unhealthy. Cigarettes for one are about equivalently addictive as cocaine. They also cause a much larger amount of deaths per year than the deaths caused by all illegal drugs combined. Drugs, whatever the stories and myths about them they have, are, and will always be everywhere in this country. The availability seems to be progressively more prevalent as time proceeds regardless the efforts against it. The best way I have heard it stated is like this: drug use is the tide that comes in; you can't stop it so we need to pull our heads out of sand and start worrying about rafts and bridges instead of the well-intended, yet misguided and destructive War on Drugs. Alcohol abuse and addiction skyrocketed during alcohol prohibition yet it gradually reduced itself to a drastically smaller problem after prohibition was removed and leveled off. The same thing will happen with drugs if they were to be un-prohibited, at the current time drug use and addiction in the United States is out of control and is getting worse than it has ever been --- the only realistic long term way to stop this is to remove the prohibition, end the War on Drugs, deal with reality and leave it as a moral and social issue instead of a legal one. It would bother my conscience to say that I am for the legalization of drugs, but I am for the complete removal of drug prohibition to preserve our freedoms and the long term safety and quality of life for my country, my family and myself.

C. M. McClellan