Monday, July 6, 2009

Prohibition = EPIC FAIL

Prohibition is an awful flop.
We like it.
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.
We like it.
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It don't prohibit worth a dime.
It's filled our land with vice and crime,
Nevertheless, we're for it.

~ Newspaperman Franklin P. Adams, 1931,
in the New York World

The following is an e-mail I sent to Canadian Senators regarding Prohibition and Bill C-15.

Dear Senators,

I know you are off on Summer Break, but I just came across this and it is honestly the most well written article regarding Prohibition that I have ever read and I wanted to share it with you.

While the following is an open letter written for US politicians, I believe it echoes the position of many Canadians as well.

If Bill C-15 passes we will surely travel down the same doomed road our neighbours to the south have. I love Canada, I am proud to be Canadian, but I am appalled at the measures that Canadian politicians have placed upon the Canadian People under the guise of "being tough on crime" and "protecting us from ourselves".

Canada is a beautiful, strong country. I believe we should be World Leaders and adopt Common Sense Drug Policy - wherein we recognize that drugs are indeed a part of Humanity, they have been for thousands of years, and Canadians would be safer living in a land that controls and regulates the sale of drugs to adults. Leaving drugs to be sold by gangs and cartels will endanger Canadians further when prohibition related crime and violence escalates - and it will escalate - one need only look to the bloodshed happening every day in Mexico and Columbia.

As a Mom I implore you to help make Canada safer for my kids. I just can't bare the thought of my boys growing up in our fair land under a regime of political tyranny, afraid of the government and fearful of police, and even more afraid of being caught in the crossfire of a gangland turf war, becoming victims of prohibition created violence.

Canadians deserve better of our government, and as a Senator you have the power to represent all Canadians and our desire to peacefully live in one of the greatest countries in the world. As long as we live under the laws of Prohibition, we can never claim to live free. Please stand up for us. Stand for justice. Stand up for Canada, stand up for Freedom.



Submitted by BuzzFlash on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 8:14am.

* Guest Contribution

By Carmen Yarrusso

Dear honorable representatives of the American people:

The so-called "drug war" is a blatantly dishonest, extremely expensive, highly destructive, grossly unjust, abject failure of our government.

Despite 30 years and more than a trillion (a million times a million!!!) dollars of taxpayer money spent trying to stop -- not robbery, not rape, not murder, not even shoplifting -- but trying to stop adults from using certain arbitrarily banned drugs, despite draconian punishments, despite currently jailing 500,000 non-violent American citizens, despite tens of thousands of prohibition related murders, these drugs are cheaper, purer, and more readily available than ever.

Why do you allow this insanity to continue?

How many more taxpayer billions must we waste, how many more thousands of productive Americans must we lock up, how many more thousands of human beings must die in drug war violence before you honorable representatives of the American people put an end to this foolish, futile carnage?

When will you find the courage to openly admit that drug prohibition (just like alcohol prohibition) is guaranteed to be counterproductive, guaranteed to be extremely violent, guaranteed to be perpetually futile, and guaranteed to leave a wide swath of human suffering and death in its wake?

When will you find the courage to tell the truth about drug prohibition?

Prohibition Truth Number One

The "drug war" is not a war against drugs -- quite the contrary -- it's a war for drugs. It strongly encourages both production and distribution of prohibited drugs by guaranteeing extremely high profits for everyone involved. Does it make any sense to believe a government policy that guarantees massive profits for any activity could possibly result in less of that activity?

Let's be very clear: the "drug" war is a war against living, breathing human beings, not drugs. Drugs are merely the dishonest excuse for an extremely profitable, ruthless enterprise, the victims of which are real people.

The violence in Mexico, where more than 6,000 have been murdered in just one year, where bodies are often mutilated and beheaded, is NOT the result of America's demand for prohibited drugs (as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has implied). Not at all. That demand, such as our demand for alcohol and nicotine, could easily be satisfied without any violence.

The thousands of murders in Mexico (and thousands more in this country) each year are the direct result of drug prohibition itself. When alcohol was prohibited, the murder rate in America skyrocketed, when Prohibition ended, the murder rate rapidly declined. When's the last time you heard of a murder during an alcohol deal gone bad?

How can you honorable representatives of the American people justify arresting and jailing hundreds of thousands, the killing of thousands more each year, and the squandering of billions in taxpayer money (most of it) on a guaranteed-futile attempt to stop adults from using marijuana?

When will you find the courage to tell the truth about drug prohibition?

Prohibition Truth Number Two

This patently wasteful and highly destructive war against human beings continues unabated because the various special interests that profit greatly from prohibition have sufficient control over you, the honorable representatives of the American people.

These special interests are well aware they would lose billions in profits if you were to find the courage to end prohibition, again.

If prohibition were to end again, the illegal drug industry (cartels, dealers) would lose billions. Industries spawned by prohibition (drug testing, incarceration) would also lose big money. But the most significant special interest group that would lose billions if prohibition ended again, the special interest group with by far the most political power, is our own government.

Prohibition has become an extremely lucrative, institutionalized part of our government. At least 50 government agencies profit greatly from this war against real human beings. Millions more taxpayer dollars are spent on patently deceitful propaganda to keep fooling Americans about prohibition and to keep taxpayer billions flowing to these agencies.

These government agencies are quite literally addicted to drug money. They're hooked on the taxpayer billions they waste each year as they pretend to fight an enemy created and sustained by prohibition itself.

When will you find the courage to tell the truth about drug prohibition?

Arguments against prohibition

Any one of the following arguments should be sufficient to convince reasonable people that prohibition is an egregiously immoral policy.

Argument 1) Prohibition is blatant government fraud -- guaranteed to fail

Prohibition pretends to fight drugs. In fact, it guarantees massive profits to anyone in the world who can produce and deliver prohibited drugs to our streets. It pretends to regulate drugs. In fact it completely abandons regulation. It pretends jailing drug dealers is "fighting drugs." In fact this just creates lucrative job openings for more efficient, more ruthless, eager replacements.

It pretends intercepting large quantities of illegal drugs is "winning the war." In fact only a small percentage of drugs are intercepted and those seized are easily and cheaply replaced. Prohibition pretends to be protecting us from "dangerous drugs" (such as marijuana) while legal nicotine and alcohol kill 500,000 Americans each year.

Prohibition is a massive government fraud. It creates, sustains, and handsomely rewards the illegal drug industry while pretending to fight that very same industry. Like the classic mafia "protection racket," our government creates a perpetual problem and then charges us big money to "protect" us from it.

Argument 2) Prohibition violates our most basic human right

Prohibition denies us the right of sovereignty over our own bodies and gives this power to our government. Does any other human right make sense if we don't have sovereignty over our own bodies? There's a word for people who don't have sovereignty over their own bodies: slaves.

Prohibition declares our master (the government) has ultimate control over what we individuals can and cannot put into our own bodies. Should we disobey our master, and trust our own minds, we can be punished -- often very severely.

If we find using marijuana as medicine eases our suffering, we must get down on our knees and beg our owners at the state level to get permission to put this medicine into our government-owned bodies. But even if we get permission, our slave master, the federal government, can still put us in chains.

Prohibition is overt government tyranny.

Argument 3) There's no moral justification to criminalize any drug use

The most insidious and evil aspect of the "drug war" is it manufactures its own enemies by simply criminalizing our most basic human right -- the right of sovereignty over our own bodies.

Prohibition could not exist without our government inventing a bogus crime.

The use of drugs (even dangerous drugs such as alcohol and nicotine) simply doesn't meet any reasonable moral definition of "crime." Real crime requires action that harms another. Real crime requires both a victim and a perpetrator.

Even if the act of ingesting certain drugs were somehow a crime, we can't commit a crime against ourselves. Just as it's not criminal to stab ourselves, or to rob ourselves, we can't be criminals for merely putting something into our own bodies. Only a corrupt, depraved government could invent a crime we commit against ourselves.

Living, breathing human beings are being taken from their loved ones and locked up for a "crime" created out of thin air by our government.

Prohibition is overt government tyranny.

Argument 4) Users of illegal drugs are not debased human beings

Human beings in all cultures throughout history have regularly altered their minds with a wide variety of drugs. Drug use is hardly an isolated anomaly -- it may even be part of human nature. Billions around the world derive positive benefits from mind-altering drugs (especially from alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and marijuana).

Many respected, productive people, including many of you honorable members of Congress, are (or were) regular users of illegal drugs. Many of you are regular "users" of alcohol or nicotine. Demonizing and criminalizing some drugs, while approving others, without rational criteria, is patently arbitrary and deceitful.

Just as the vast majority of alcohol users consider their drug of choice a positive part of their lives, the vast majority of illegal drug users consider their drug of choice a positive part of their lives. No matter what their drug of choice, we should show compassion and help those with problems. They need treatment, not prison. We don't put alcoholics in jail.

Why are "drug dealers" condemned for "pushing poison" or "ruining lives," but alcohol and nicotine dealers aren't?

Propaganda generated by our government (and other special interests that profit greatly from prohibition) necessarily demonizes those who use prohibited drugs. It's fine to have a few beers at the ball game, or smoke cigarettes to get a mental boost, but if you relax with a joint, you're a low-life "drug user" or "druggie." It's then a small propaganda step from "druggie" to "criminal."

Yet more prohibition insanity

The "drug war" also causes considerable collateral damage. Promising research on medical uses for marijuana and LSD has been forbidden or forfeited to other countries. An entire industry, hemp production, was eliminated.

Medical marijuana research

To protect their drug money, special interests within our government have dishonestly thwarted legitimate medical marijuana research for decades.

Marijuana has been used as medicine in many cultures throughout history. It's been shown to be effective treating a variety of ailments. Recent studies have identified cannabinoid receptors in many parts of the human body, including areas outside the brain that control vital bodily functions. This suggests there may be multiple medical uses for marijuana yet undiscovered.

But pretending to stop adults from using marijuana is much more profitable to our government than medical marijuana research.


Prohibition also bans hemp, once a mainstay of the American agricultural economy. Hemp, "nature's perfect plant," could bring a bonanza to American farmers, greatly reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels, and thus help mitigate global warming and climate change.

This environmentally friendly plant grows without herbicides, nourishes the soil, matures quickly, and provides high yields. Hemp is the number one biomass producer in the world -- 10 tons per acre in four months! It could be an excellent fuel-producing crop.

Hemp can be made into paper, paneling, injection-molded plastics, clothing, and thousands of other useful products. The highly nutritious seeds can be used to make flour, cooking oil, and even cattle feed.

But pretending to stop adults from using marijuana is much more profitable to our government than easing global warming.


Supporting a government policy guaranteed to both fail and cause vast human suffering is egregiously immoral.

Prohibition is a deep, self-inflicted wound on humanity. Arbitrarily punishing users of certain politically incorrect drugs is just plain cruel. Severely punishing those who produce and deliver illegal drugs is like dangling meat in front of starving dogs and then beating them unmercifully when they disobey your command and lunge for the meat.

Prohibition guarantees lucrative jobs for desperate people all along the chain of production and distribution. Most are motivated by survival not greed. Rampant corruption of foreign governments (e.g., Mexico, Colombia, Afghanistan) is driven by massive drug profits -- human life and human rights are secondary.

Yes, if prohibition ended again, many businesses would fail. Many government agencies would lose billions. Tens of thousands of decent Americans would lose their government jobs. But that's no reason to continue this insane war against our fellow human beings for even one more day.

Even if one accepted all the positive claims of prohibitionists, the benefits don't come close to outweighing the massive costs in cash and human suffering. For what? Most of the drug war billions are spent trying to stop adults from using marijuana.

The best interests of the American people would be better served by treating drug users who need help instead of spending billions arresting and jailing them. Treatment could be totally financed by taxing and regulating these drugs.

We, the undersigned, demand that you uphold your moral duty to represent the best interests of the American people. We hereby demand you honorable ladies and gentlemen use the power we have entrusted in you to peacefully end the blatantly dishonest, extremely expensive, highly destructive, futile-by-design, government tyranny know as the "drug war."

Humanity has suffered long enough.

Thank You, Carmen, for writing this wonderful, powerful, letter. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart! ~MaryJane

Canadian Senator Larry Campbell

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