New Cato Institute Book Looks at Alternatives

New Cato Institute Book Looks at Alternatives
Posted by FoM on November 29, 2000 at 12:03:30 PT
Book Review
Source: U.S.Newswire
In Washington, the drug policy debate extends little beyond deciding how much more money should be pumped into the war on drugs. Outside the capital, however, Americans are concluding that the drug war has been given a chance to work and has failed, as evidenced by the success of a number of drug reform ballot initiatives and by the popularity of governors, such as New Mexico's Gary Johnson and Minnesota's Jesse Ventura, who support some legalization. 
A new Cato Institute book, "After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century," edited by criminal justice scholar Timothy Lynch, makes the case that the drug war has done more harm to our society than have the substances it aims to eradicate and that we should now broaden the public policy debate to include alternative approaches. The chapters of the book are a veritable top-10 list of why the drug war has failed: 1. It wastes resources. "For all the money that we're putting into the war on drugs," writes New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson, "it is an absolute failure." 2. It's unconstitutional. Constitutional scholar Roger Pilon shows that the Constitution had to be amended to authorize alcohol prohibition but no such authorization has been given for the war on drugs. The federal government is waging a drug war "without constitutional authority." 3. It violates our rights. Yale law professor Steven Duke argues that the drug war strips Americans of their Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure protections and Sixth Amendment right to counsel. 4. It militarizes the police. Local cops now use military-style tactics and weapons to prosecute the drug war, which has led to unnecessary shootings and killings, according to David B. Kopel of the Independence Institute. 5. It's a failed strategy. Former DEA agent Michael Levine says, "Enforcing criminal laws against dealers has about as much chance of making any impact on the drug problem as a Honda Civic has of breaking the sound barrier." 6. It can't be policed. Most crime victims will report the crime and eagerly help police catch the perpetrator, but former New York police officer Joseph D. McNamara writes that "drug dealing and drug use are consensual transactions between people who treasure their privacy." 7. It's paternalistic. "We cannot protect free adults from their own poor choices," writes former Los Angeles police officer and professor of criminology David Klinger, "and we should not use the force of law to try." 8. Its draconian penalties are unjust. Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, explains how simple possession of drugs can land a person in jail for 5 to 10 years, even in cases in which the sentencing judge would have chosen otherwise. 9. It inflicts collateral damage. Eroding civil liberties, exploding prison populations and continuing violence are just some effects of the drug war, writes Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute. 10. It has unintended consequences. George Mason University law professor Daniel Polsby says the drug war distorts the justice system and has created perverse incentives that attract juveniles to crime. In the final chapter, former California attorney general Daniel Lungren offers a contrasting view, arguing that the drug war is working and that a change in the current policy will result in greater long-term costs. "As a nation, we have been responsible for the murder of literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and abroad by fighting a war that should never have been started and can be won, if at all, only by converting the United States into a police state." -- Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, from the foreword to the book The Cato Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research foundation dedicated to broadening policy debate consistent with the traditional American principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Complete Title: New Cato Institute Book Looks at Alternative Approaches to Drug PolicySource: U.S.NewswirePublished: Wednesday, November 29, 2000 Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire Website: Article & Web Site:CATO Institute Prohibition - Audio & Video Transcripts
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #7 posted by dddd on November 30, 2000 at 17:32:16 PT
Top ten
 Now this is something good and positive. Our hopes are steadily inching their way towards reality......dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 30, 2000 at 12:39:17 PT
War On Drugs
You know something Dan, the war on drugs is making more and more sense to me the longer I do the news. None of it made sense not all that long ago. The truth is finally being shown and it's great!Peace, FoM!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Dan B on November 30, 2000 at 12:33:52 PT:
I Just Bought This Online...
...and I'm really looking forward to reading it when it gets here. Then I'll send it out to my family, along with Peter McWilliams's classic "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," and we'll see if these books can change some rather conservative minds.Maybe they'll listen if it comes from the well-respected Cato Institute. I know my family is more Libertarian than they realize. Maybe we'll harvest a few more voters.Dan B
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Walter Gourlay on November 30, 2000 at 02:59:47 PT:
Drug War
The drug war also violates the constitutional right of Americans to the pursuit of happiness and liberty.  
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Phyro on November 29, 2000 at 18:06:48 PT
Abought time !
 Thanks to thease people things just might Change for the better.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on November 29, 2000 at 16:40:15 PT
And finally,
most of all, War on Drugs are killing the children.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by schmeff on November 29, 2000 at 12:35:39 PT
Eat your heart out, David Letterman
Here is a "Top 10" list that every policy-maker and critical thinker should read.Not the stuff of humor...but I did LOL when I read the bit about the Honda Civic breaking the sound barrier.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: