Drug War

The Eighteenth Amendment and the War on Drugs

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For more than 40 years now the U.S. government has been waging its War on Drugs. After declaring drug abuse to be “America’s public enemy number one” and “a national emergency,” Richard Nixon employed military rhetoric as he launched his war on individual liberty, personal freedom, and private property, calling for a “full-scale attack” on drug abuse “on many ... [click for more]

Pot Crusaders or Freedom Crusaders?

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The states of New Hampshire and Illinois recently legalized marijuana for medical use. New Hampshire’s governor, Maggie Hassan, signed House Bill 573 into law on July 23. The bill allows patients to purchase up to two ounces of marijuana from four regional dispensaries. To qualify for the program, a person must have “both a debilitating disease such as ... [click for more]

Stop-and-Frisk: How Government Creates Problems, Then Makes Them Worse

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Two recent law-enforcement decisions illustrate yet again that when government sets out to solve a problem it created, things get much worse. This week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will keep nonviolent small-scale drug sellers who have no links to criminal organizations from getting caught in the mandatory-minimum-sentence trap. Under current law, judges must impose a ... [click for more]

The War on Americans

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That the consumption of certain drugs ought to be proscribed by law is probably taken for granted by most people. The presumption in favor of banning some drugs has become so strong, so embedded in the mainstream of popular discourse as to be practically beyond debate — notwithstanding either philosophical or empirical issues that stand in contradiction to the ... [click for more]

How Drug-Courier Profiles Begot Terrorist Watch Lists

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Friends of freedom have been chagrined over the past decade to learn that federal terrorist watch lists incorporate criteria — such as openly praising the Constitution or the Second Amendment — that put them in the crosshairs. More than a million names are now included on the catch-all terrorist watch list maintained by U.S. government agencies. The feds’ definition ... [click for more]

Decriminalization, Legalization, or Freedom?

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In between drug prohibition and drug freedom are two concepts that are often confused. Drug prohibition is the criminalization of the production, distribution, and possession of drugs as currently exists in the United States on the federal level and in most of the 50 states. Drug freedom is the complete absence of federal and state laws and regulations concerning drugs ... [click for more]

The Federal War on Hemp

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It is one of the earliest-known domesticated plants. It is resistant to saltwater. It doesn’t require pesticides or harsh fertilizers. For hundreds of years all the major European maritime powers needed it to maintain their fleets. Its fiber is suitable for making clothes, paper, building material, and insulation. It can be turned into biofuel and converted to biomass. Mechanical ... [click for more]

One War, Many Names

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Maybe one of my libertarian fantasies will come true. Maybe. I can only hope. About 20 years ago, while having lunch with some friends, a casual acquaintance joined us at our table. My friends were members of the Delaware Libertarian Party, and the acquaintance was a self-described “Republican gun nut.” The restaurant was on a college campus and filled with mostly ... [click for more]

The Federal War on Marijuana

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Barack Obama and Joe Biden were not the only winners in the November election. Even including the election of the members of both houses of the U.S. Congress, it is on the state level where the vast majority of elections take place. One thing that is unique about state elections is the inclusion of ballot questions — initiatives, referendums, legislative ... [click for more]

Time to Nullify the Drug Laws

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Thomas Jefferson said a revolution every 20 years would be a good thing. Regardless of what one thinks of that, perhaps a little constitutional crisis every now and then would have its benefits. One such crisis may be brewing now. On election day solid majorities of voters in Colorado and Washington voted to make marijuana a legal product not just ... [click for more]

The Continuing Forfeiture Scourge

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A federal crime wave is sweeping the nation, and prosecutors and G-men could not be happier about it. The Wall Street Journal reported that government “forfeiture programs confiscated homes, cars, boats, and cash in more than 15,000 cases . The total take topped $2.5 billion, more than doubling in five years, Justice Department statistics show.” Beginning in 1970, Congress ... [click for more]

Nullify the Drug War!

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Thomas Jefferson said a revolution every 20 years would be a good thing. Regardless of what one thinks of that, perhaps a little constitutional crisis every now and then would have its benefits. One such crisis may be brewing now. On election day, solid majorities of voters in Colorado and Washington voted to make marijuana a legal product, not just ... [click for more]
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