Drug War

Muddle at the Supreme Court over Medical Marijuana

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When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against medical-marijuana users, many critics of the decision thought the six-justice majority failed to show compassion for severely ill people. But the Supreme Court doesn’t sit to dispense compassion. It’s supposed to ensure that Congress respects the Constitution and, by extension, individual ... [click for more]

Medical Marijuana Is Not a Libertarian Cause

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“Medicine by regulation is better than medicine by referendum.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said that during arguments in the much-watched medical-marijuana case, Ashcroft v. Raich. Breyer, in other words, prefers that any change in the government’s prohibition of marijuana use be accomplished by an appeal to federal drug-enforcement authorities rather than by a public vote in the ... [click for more]

Ashcroft v. Raich: Whither Federalism?

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Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution provides that “Congress shall have the power to prohibit citizens from consuming or ingesting any substance that it deems hazardous to the health, safety, or morals of the people.” On the basis of that grant of authority, Congress has carefully investigated the effects of numerous substances and has chosen to ban ... [click for more]

The War on Pain Sufferers

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A good deal of air is exhaled over the state of medical care in America. Open state worshipers want a complete government takeover, while a more subtle band of state worshipers, those who call themselves advocates of limited government, propose instead to use “market incentives” to accomplish their aims. What ... [click for more]

Gun Control and the War on Drugs

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Many opponents of gun control support the war on drugs, and many critics and reformers of America's drug laws tend to believe in gun control. Conservatives tend to fall into the first category and liberals into the second. In reality, these two issues are more similar than many people might think. In both cases -- laws that restrict which guns people ... [click for more]

A Letter to My Friend Who Supports the Drug War

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My friend, we’ve been discussing this war on drugs for quite a while, and whether or not it is doing anything to reduce drug use. We both agree that most drugs, particularly “hard” drugs, have a harmful and debilitating effect on most persons who use them. And yet, is the metaphorical war on drugs doing what it is supposed ... [click for more]

The Longest-Running War

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Joel Miller, Bad Trip: How the War on Drugs Is Destroying America; (Nashville, Tenn.: WND Books, 2004). Jeffrey A. Miron, Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition; (Oakland, Ca.: The Independent Institute, 2004). War has become a centerpiece of American politics. The ... [click for more]

States Should End the Drug War

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“Medicine by regulation is better than medicine by referendum.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said that during last week’s arguments over the much-watched medical-marijuana case. Breyer, in other words, prefers that any change in the government’s prohibition of marijuana use be accomplished by an appeal to the ... [click for more]

Book Review: Drug War Heresies

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Drug War Heresies by Robert J. MacCoun and Peter Reuter (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001); 479 pages; $28.00. In the ongoing debate over drug policy, professors Robert MacCoun and Peter Reuter are betwixt and between. On the one hand, government officials have assailed their empirical data documenting prohibition’s negligible impact on both drug use and perceived harm because it undermines ... [click for more]

The Drug War and Terrorism

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On the first anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, President Bush assured the public that in fighting a cause “even larger than our country” the American government would “continue to pursue the terrorists in cities, and camps, and caves across the earth” to rid the world of the threat of terror. Unfortunately, in continuing to hold ... [click for more]

The Government’s War on Children

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Goose Creek, S.C., recently was the scene of a horrific event spotlighting two government institutions: schools and the war on drug users. On a quiet day early in November a squadron of policemen stormed into Stratford High School, automatic pistols and shotguns drawn. They ordered the students to the floor ... [click for more]

The Inalienable Right to Self-Medication

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What’s lost in discussion of Rush Limbaugh’s alleged illegal use of painkillers is the inalienable right to medicate oneself, which is contained in the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. True, governments don’t recognize this right. Limbaugh himself has not recognized it. But as some conservatives say about the right to ... [click for more]
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