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Legalization and Buckley

I just wanted to clarify a couple things (as I understand them): What William F. Buckley wrote and spoke publicly about was how "The War on Drugs" was not working, how it was costing the U.S. Taxpayer billions of dollars a year in what is a growing government bureaucracy which was only driving up the street price of drugs and in turn fueling an untaxed underground economy. Of the three drugs you listed, the only one he advocated absolute legalization of as a benign, non-lethal drug was marijuana. He did however mention as in his address to the New York Bar Association the added lethality of impurities in street mixtures of cocaine and heroine; he went on to cite the number of deaths attributed to impurities in bootleg alcohol during prohibition. Anyone who has ever known anyone addicted to heroine or cocaine (or alcohol for that matter) would never call them harmless or safe. I think the central point to Buckley's point was to break the economic incentive for the criminal element in the drug trade. The same way revoking prohibition on alcohol, taxing and regulating the sale of alcohol brought an end to the organized crime and violence associated with Prohibition. The bigger questions we have to address are why people do drugs, how to control it, and what if effective and what isn't? We do need to look at the U.S. experience and lessons from prohibition on alcohol as alcohol is also a drug; a drug with a large lobby that has it's own form of addicts (alcoholics) and problems (drunk driving, domestic violence, etc.). But just locking people up and throwing away the key isn't a solution!! We can not AFFORD to take large numbers of American Tax Payers and make them into Tax Burdens on society. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on the War on Drugs including funding law enforcement and interdiction in the U.S. and giving foreign governments like Colombia and Mexico money to combat the drug producers in their countries. What Buckley advocated was removing the incentive for the criminals by removing the potential they'd have for profit.


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