Since I posted on whiskey yesterday, equal time obliges me to post on marijuana today.
The Future of Freedom Foundation is making a series of videos on the follies of the drug war. Jacob Hornberger interviewed me a few weeks ago and we had a good time swatting the feds. Here’s a direct link to the video. FFF has also done drug war interviews with Ron Paul, David D’Amato, and Laurence Vance. More are on the way.
First time I have used a camcom (thanks, FFF!). Do these things have a color setting? Maybe I will get the railroad engineer cap starched at the dry cleaners before the next interview. I suspect the light in my office was not ideal for this gig. The poster in the background was from an October 2013 Capitol Hill rally in support of Edward Snowden.
I have been sniping at the war on drugs since June 19, 1983, when the Los Angeles Herald Examiner published my oped entitled, “Making pot a crime, is, well, un-American.” That article pointed out that “we have a limited amount to spend on law enforcement. We can concentrate on murder, rape and drunk driving, and leave people to smoke and grow whatever they see fit in the privacy of their homes. Or we can continue a vain effort to repress marijuana and have our streets increasingly unsafe.” Perhaps best of all, “decriminalizing marijuana would… put hundreds of lawyers out of work.” (That was a helluva underestimate.)
In an August 1985 San Diego Union-Tribune piece, I argued that “The Reagan administration’s war on drugs is primarily clobbering innocent bystanders. Drug laws are responsible for far more deaths than the drugs themselves… The only things our laws achieve is to make drugs more dangerous, crime more prevalent, and government more obnoxious.”
After visiting Amsterdam in September 1986, I wrote in the Detroit News: “The Dutch experience clearly shows that people can buy and sell marijuana without fire and brimstone pouring down from the heavens. The lesson for America? Lock up thieves and murderers and let drug users risk their health as they please. We have limited space in our jails: the more victimless crimes we punish, the fewer violent criminals we can imprison.”
In a 1987 Detroit News piece on “Why Punish Drug Users?,” I pointed out: “It is illegal to bang your neighbor’s head against the wall, but perfectly legal to bang your own head against the wall.”
I often wrote about drug war follies and crimes for Playboy; those articles are available here.
I also hammered the drug war extensively in Lost Rights, Shakedown, Freedom in Chains, Feeling Your Pain, Terrorism and Tyranny, and the Bush Betrayal. Most of those books are now available on Kindle.