by Dan Todd
The following was published (almost verbatim) in the Sunday, September 10, 2000 edition of the Jackson Citizen Patriot under the Voice of the People. (Letters to the editor)
I agree with the recent Jackson Citizen Patriot editorial on the Biddle St. massacre. We must know "why".
We have drug dealers on our playgrounds and in our schools. Why? Because the War on Drugs makes our children valuable as future "customers" and "distributors" of currently illegal drugs.
We read stories about parents selling their children for drugs or abusively neglecting their children for drugs. We have thieves breaking into our homes. Why? Because the War on Drugs has hyper inflated the black market price of drugs to well over 20 times what they would be in a free market.
We hear about people dying from overdoses or poisonings associated with drug use. Why? Because the War on Drugs removes any hope consumers have of using product liability laws to hold dealers accountable for what they sell.
We have crack houses where little boys find unattended guns and shoot little girls in school. Why? Because the War on Drugs makes it impossible to sell drugs under a controlled situation where people can go to the police if they are robbed.
We have shootings of the kind that occurred last year on Francis Street. Why? Because our failed War on Drugs makes illegal drugs and "turf" more valuable than a human life. Because the black market generates enough money to put guns in the hands of street gangs and motivates them to use those guns against their competitors.
Back in the 1920's, America banned alcohol. While legal alcohol is damaging to society, we learned in the 1920's that illegal alcohol gave rise to children drinking along side adults; parents that used the family milk money to buy booze; people dying or being crippled by contaminated liquor; and street gangs that shot at each other indiscriminately. During Prohibition, we had all of these things and government agents were only able to seize less than 1% of all illegal booze. Our modern drug warriors have done no better.
Since the end of Prohibition, we have learned to live with legal alcohol. While we will never be rid of the damage that legal alcohol does to society, we learned the hard lesson that illegal alcohol is surely much worse. The same lessons apply to our currently illegal drugs.
The St. Valentine's Day massacre began America's movement to re-legalize alcohol. Let the Biddle St. massacre be our wake up call to end our legally, historically and morally indefensible War on Drugs.
This fall, if you are ready to end this failed War, your only choice on the ballot is to vote Libertarian. Harry Browne for President. Michael Corliss for Senate. Robert F. Broda, Jr. for the House of Representatives.