The War On Drugs has been a staple of Republican campaigns since Richard Nixon helped use drugs as code words for blacks and hippies (Nixon Tapes Show Roots of Marijuana Prohibition: Misinformation, Culture Wars and Prejudice). There has always been the element of hypocrisy since drug use has always been present among some Republicans as well (they are human beings, after all).
Some prime examples of drug using Republicans are Rush Limbaugh (Rush Limbaugh’s legal battle in Palm Beach County) and of course our values President, George W Bush. Mr. Bush said: “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.” From: In Secretly Taped Conversations, Glimpses of the Future President
So why do Republicans think that drugs should be illegal? Because they are dangerous and harmful to people, correct? Here is a quote from the official site for the Office of National Drug Control Policy: “The goals of the program are to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.”
Well, the drug-related crime and violence issue is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some people will commit crimes when drugs loosen their inhibitions, just as many people rob stores while drunk out of their mind or drag black people behind cars while under the influence of white supremacy propaganda. We can educate our youth (if not prohibited by White House policies) to avoid situations leading to STDs, car accidents from driving while under an influence or falling into cults of hatred and fear. But this needs to be a more general education than just pointing to one area of danger to our youth.
But let’s look at the issue of crime related to the distribution of illegal drugs. Luckily in America we have another example of prohibiting a substance and its association with crime. When were gang wars fought over alcohol? When were drive-by shootings and police corruption the strongest from whiskey, beer and other alcoholic drinks? Why of course, it was during prohibition, when alcohol was strictly illegal. Since prohibition ended, have you heard of a gang shooting over distribution of alcohol? Have you hard of “alcohol wars” in inner city neighborhoods? No, I didn’t think so.
So the current violence over drug distribution is CAUSED by the artificial markets FROM the war on drugs. If drugs were legal, the amount of inner-city violence might drop dramatically. While some might believe the war on drugs is an effort to save the lives of young minorities, it is actually a reason for the deaths of young black people. And the war on drugs can be seen as a cause for the incredible strain on countries like Columbia and areas struggling to become countries again such as Afghanistan.
Republicans will point to the health affects of drugs as reasons for government intervention in the free market distribution of drugs. This seems reasonable, there are health effects to drugs that are currently illegal, very similar to the health effects of alcohol and cigarettes. Yet Republicans never seem ready to make cigarettes illegal. Strom Thurmand and many other Republicans from tobacco states seemed quite ready to sacrifice the health of America’s youth (and adults also) to the rights of tobacco companies to make money.
And when it comes to the environment, apparently the health of America’s youth suddenly has ZERO priority. No wonder it is hard for thinking people to get behind the Republicans, they seem unable to decide what the core values and priorities of their own party really are. Are they worried about the health of America? If so, why doesn’t it apply to pollution? If they don’t value the health of America, why are they fighting this war on drugs with its associated increases of government interference in personal choices and anti-free market regulations? It seems there is no coherent policy at work, just a collection of disjointed buzz words and Election Day vote triggers.
Perhaps when the Republicans actually can point to a “value” that they would apply in ALL situations (it doesn’t always have to be the highest priority for every situation, but a value that is so important that it should be considered in every situation) they will attract the respect of thinking Americans. Republicans supposedly value families and marriage, yet some want to pass a law reducing the numbers of marriages and families in America by forbidding gay marriage. Republicans want to save America’s youth through drug laws, yet they are willing to sacrifice the health of America’s youth through polluting the environment. They want to fight crime and promote free enterprise, yet they are willing to increase crime through artificial market manipulations of drugs.
It doesn’t make much sense to me…