[T]he drug prohibition laws have led to wholesale destruction of civil liberties. The War on Drugs has now become a War on the Constitution, and the American people have become, in the eyes of their government, a society of suspects.
by:
David B. Kopel
American author, attorney, political science researcher. contributing editor to several publications
Source:
Crime and Punishment Symposium: A System in Collapse: Peril or Protection? The Risks and Benefits of Handgun Prohibition, 12 ST. LOUIS U. PUB. L. REV. 285, 319 (1993).
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Reader comments about this quote:
The "War on Drugs" is a bipartisan atrocity. Our politicians know it is wrong but haven't the guts to stop it.
 -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    The War on Drugs has now become a War on the Constitution....nuff said?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    It is just another way to control THE PEOPLE and allow government to get into the personal affairs of everyone.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    The drug war has never even been vain claimed a category under constitutionally authorized life, liberty, or property, thus in toto, unlawful ab initio. Compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity have also led to wholesale destruction of civil liberties. All such illicit government activities make each of the American society suspects in the eyes of the criminal government,
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Johann Hollar, Saint Paul, MN      
    Our recent successive governments have been trying to ram down our throats the dangers of marijuana. What dangers? If you could see the carnage on British streets at the weekends through alcohol bingeing and the catastrophic number of UK deaths from smoking tobacco you would quickly realise that the only danger is to the Inland Revenue because marijuana isn't taxed! The greatest danger I ever faced from someone "stoned" was that they said hello but couldn't quite manage a smile at the same time.
     -- Roy, Portsmouth, UK     
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    (-: Roy, I like it:-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Ron, Salem      
     -- Howard, Bangkok      
    The War on Drugs is about money, pure and simple. It's purpose is to further fascism by creating a police state in which individual rights are trumped by the need to enforce contraband laws. It is one of the only crimes that allows police to seize all money and property prior to charge and/or conviction. It is a 'crime' with no victims except the 'criminal' himself. It is an expansion of the Commerce Clause allowing the federal jurisidiction to usurp state jurisdictions. It promotes corruption at levels of government even to the point that the CIA engages in drug trafficing to raise 'black' money. It is an excuse to invade other countries and force US military presence in foreign lands. It created a HUGE black market worth billions and billions of dollars. It is about power -- and keeping it from YOU! It is time to end drug prohibition once and for all -- the costs and damage of the drug war FAR exceed the supposed dangers. Enough is enough!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Even Fox News Channel is one sided when it talks about marijuana issues, no fair and balanced there. I guess our generation is not as smart as the one that repealed alcohol prohibition. The failed war on drugs is an excellent example of the cure being worse than the illness.
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    Asset forfeiture is another horrible product of the War on Drugs. Cops can take private property without charging anyone with a crime.
    Check out "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition".
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    A person of great (however amusingly useless) insight once opined something along these lines: "Instead of judging public policy by its politically stated INTENTIONS, a responsible legislature would do well to consider the RESULTS of its policies and previously enacted laws first."

    Deep consideration lent prior to the next fiscal year's funding, I'd add.

    Unfortunately, that kind of basic sense is anything but a priority in Washington or any other U.S. capitol - the reason being the inevitable unveiling of the majority of politicians as the ignorant (or paid-off) collection of well-coifed misfits (or worse) they truly are. Responsibility for bad policy becomes too easily fixed, worse, the authors become instantly ACCOUNTABLE.

    The practice also remains in place because once a program is funded, debate is already finished and the 'roots' of it are set in near-perpetuity - even when the policy is as horribly bad as "just say no-zero tolerance," "U.S. Pre-emptive Warfare Doctrine" or fission-based nuclear power generation ... every bit of it hideously expensive on multiple levels.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    Succinct and Absolute reality and truth.
     -- Mary - MI     
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     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or      
    Drug prohibition laws have led to wholesale destruction of civil liberties; by way of example, confiscation of personal property (cash, cars, etc.) for no other reason that it is in your possession.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The IRS is now using asset forfeiture rules upon people who have no drug history at all -- just handling cash makes you a suspect. Fascism sucks!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Mary - MI      
    The Federal War on Drugs is fully and shamefully completely an utter violation of the U.S. Constitution.
    When the U.S. Constitution is SILENT on federal authority then the ONLY Authority is fully and completely with the various States and their people.
    Each and every State should Nullify the Unlawful/UN-Constitutional federal "War on Drugs."
     -- u.s.     
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