Ron Paul: Let’s repeal the War on Drugs – just like we repealed Prohibition

During a speech in support of the “Fair Sentencing ActRon Paul called for a repeal of the entire War on Drugs.

Date: 07/28/2010


Ron Paul: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation; it’s called “The Fair Sentencing Act”. I’d like to rename it, though. I’d like to call it “The Slightly Fairer Re-Sentencing Act” because it really makes an attempt to correct a very, very serious problem in equal justice in our systems. And that effort, I think, we should all applaud. But I would have much preferred the HR3245; I was an original co-sponsor of that along with Congressman Scott. But I think this is a typical example of trying to fix a problem that we invited upon ourselves. In economics, I adhere to the position that once you want to do good in the economy, and with all the best motivations we do things and we create new problems and then we have to go back. If you get two new problems for every intervention, then you’re constantly writing laws. For social policy I believe the same thing. It was trying to improve social policy with crack cocaine. There was no malevolence on this. It was designed to help people, especially the minorities that were using crack cocaine over powder cocaine and they thought this was terrible. And it turned out that it backfired. It actually hurt minorities, it didn’t help them. And here we’re trying to correct this disparity. And it just, to me, confirms the fact that government management, whether it’s the economy or social policy, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

When this country decided it was very dangerous to drink alcohol, and we had to stop it, back in those days in the teens of the last century, they decided in order for the government to do this, they had to amend the Constitution. Can you imagine about anybody being concerned today about what we do here and say, “We have to amend the Constitution”? Oh no, we amended it, it was a bomb, it made alcohol much more dangerous. All the drug dealers sold the alcohol and the alcohol was more concentrated and it was less pure and people died. People woke up and they repealed it. This is what is going to have that happen someday. We need to repeal the war on drugs.


  • jerry christen

    if you stop the war on drugs the crime rate in the united states will drop by over 50 per cent. we need more people like you and your son in there fighting to keep the U.S. safe and sane. keep the good fight.

  • serNevh

    Is this the “grass movement”?
    Jokes aside, I agree with Paul, people should be allowed to use drugs as they long as they behave non-violent and correct publicly as well know the consequences about the drug they are taking.

  • Why jail dealers when you can get rid of them altogether through legalization? We can even use the taxes from drugs to fund prevention. The more usage, the more prevention and treatment. What could make more sense than that?

  • BlackTerrorClan
  • I agree with you more than you think.

    it might decrease it, but it wont eliminate black market or crime people will always drive to cheaper prices, a product going through the formal channels as of now it wont compete, which is why drugs are everywhere and cheap they are practically a free market.

    I am for don’t jail the users let them buy whatever, but jail the dealers

  • I know it’s 2 issues, but drugs are a big cash machine pharms will start pimping them to everybody with their shady studies.

  • But part of the whole point is to eliminate the black market and all of the crime that comes with it. You can’t say, yeah you can have that, but you can’t get it from anyone. Legalize it, tax it, and control it. It works for alcohol (relatively) well. And just think, instead of spending billions, we could make money!

    Technically weed is legal, but having it without the official tax stamp is not… oh and applying for the tax stamp is illegal too…. silly politics.

  • But part of the whole point is to eliminate the black market and all of the crime that comes with it. You can’t say, yeah you can have that, but you can’t get it from anyone. Legalize it, tax it, and control it. It works for alcohol (relatively) well. And just think, instead of spending billions, we could make money!

    Technically weed is legal, but having it without the official tax stamp is not… oh and applying for the tax stamp is illegal too…. silly politics.

  • But legalization and the shadiness of Big Pharm are 2 separate issues.

  • I leave protecting the kids to the parents.
    I am for decriminalizing the user not the dealer.

    kids have always managed to get alcohol, for me at that age alcohol was easier to get, not sure what that proves.

  • yes just like like some prescription pills, not sure about you but I don’t want every kid on mood enhancers, Ritalin whatever, you know they’re are pimping that big time, pretty much now most kids magically has ADD,ADHS, or the big pharmaceuticals doing trials on state run foster kids.

    and I certainly don’t like every time I go to the doctor I’m asked if I’m depressed and that I surely need some depression pills.

    you know it’s not about pot, it’s every other drug out there goes.

  • Synthetic drugs? You mean like prescription pills?

    pretty sure they are legal! You are on the slippery slope. When you take away the freedom of individuals to take care of themselves and make their own decisions.

    And don’t give me the whole “protect the kids” spiel. When I was 19, I could get weed a lot easier than I could alcohol.

  • Nancy M. Rice

    Thank you Ron Paul, for being you. Yours is a clear, wise voice in America and I am praying that you and your son can do something to slow or stop these evil people that are making these laws up as they go along. I am behind you and yours 100%.

  • SparkyLevenspliffs

    Amen! End the war on drugs!

  • MrRiceowlex

    End the War on Drugs and the drug problem will stop overnight. Then regulate these drugs with Dr’s and hospitals and start helping people help themselves and put them back into society instead of a prison.

    • MrRiceowlex,

      There is no harm in marijuana, don’t regulate it, no-one has the right to regulate it because it’s not harmful. It was illegal for one reason only, to stop the sale of alcohol made from hemp for the newly invented cars. Petroleum was behind Prohibition. Make hemp legal now, today.

      You can’t force someone to smoke (for their own good) just like you can’t force someone to inject anything into their body. If a doctor of medicine want’s to sell you their own homemade medicine I guess that would be alright. But forget any retail tax on it. Wholesale maybe.. but I think that’s for group though to decide.

      I’m just an individual and don’t know how much a small government needs. I know government payroll is way out of hand and some of the elected millionaires are getting too much, especially when honest one term persons would do the job voluntarily and be chosen from a waiting line of capable people.

      Mail and building public infrastructure is all I can see as government responsibilities. A one term limit for the Congress and Senate. States would be wise do do the same with their elected people. Stern penalties for corruption because it’s treasonous.

      The Supreme Court should rule solely with the Constitution 100% of the time.
      A lifetime job was supposed to resist corruption but that didn’t work so well.
      They take the pledge of allegiance and better follow it or they are out.

      I seems to me that lobbying is money influencing decisions. Something wrong there. I think that’s where corporations get to run our lives.

      Would you like to reply or disagree to any of that?


      • Jchaplin

        Cannabis was first made illegal in Texas to as a reason to deport Mexican immigrants.

        • lo_sciacallo

          There are actually a number of reasons it was first made illegal, You are right, Mexican day labour was smoking it and the white establishment wanted some some way to oppress them further. Same with AfroAmericans; they didn’t want that smooth-talking black man with his wacky tobacky talking their white women into bed.
          Secondly, it was threatening the cotton industry because hemp is the strongest, cheapest and best quality textile known to man.
          Thirdly, it was also threatening the prescription drug companies’ business. They were well aware of the medicinal properties of mary jane and didn’t want people using anything other than their lab-cooked poisons that they can use to promote further illnesses and, thus push more lab-cooked poisons on us. So, they manufactured this BS about it being a dangerous drug. Check out the 1930’s era movie, “ReeferMadness”, it shows the propaganda campaign that was promoted to rid America of a lot of what it perceived as problems. Also, check out the movie, “Grass: The History of Cannabis” narrated by Woody Harrelson. This movie will give you the real story about marijuana, and the reasons for it becoming illegal. A friend with weed is a friend indeed.

        • Here are the reasons, dates and people that made marijuana and hemp illegal in 1920 and it still stands today. It took me nine hours to find this one page and it ended up too big to paste here so I put it on my own site, here’s the link.

          Don’t vote for a Congressman, Senator or Mayor that won’t decriminalize marijuana and hemp.

      • mickey

        I did go to the site and read the article. It was very interesting and should be viewed by more of the public.

        I don’t have much problem with MJ just the other drugs. but it is a problem when industry keeps the real reason why it is banned.

        Imagine, running a car on hemp. No big oil revenue for the politicians.

        We need to see what is in these bills being signed. obama signed the equalization thing just because blacks had more crack arrests than whites with cocaine possession.

        This country is in a mess and it is our fault. Politicians can only last so long as we vote them in. Corporation buying and lobbyists buying can only occur because we let it.

        We see what happens to Ron Paul for speaking the truth–hardly made a dent in the debates. I think all colors are beginning to see we are in the wrong direction for what is best for all of us.

        Thanks for posting the cite.

    • mickey

      Many are in the mental hospitals or are your neighbor because of the cross usage of drugs. MJ is about like getting drunk. Not really a good thing but the others are dangerous or they wouldn’t be in a mix of pharms by prescription.

      Try the link provided on why hemp is banned. It is very interesting.

  • Candy

    Congressman Paul, Thank you so much. Your efforts to protect our liberties are so much appreciated. Finally, people are paying attention. Persistence will prevail and Americans will continue to see the light and do their part to elect only those whose agenda is to assist in repairing this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into by voting for the wrong people who have almost destroyed our America. Thank God, we are beginning to understand the crisis before us. I pray that I see you as our President before I die.

  • MyGrassIsGreenest

    The war on drugs is a war on the people!

    • Keep the war on drugs just drop the war against marijuana and legalize hemp.

  • CommonSenseJoe

    It is a flaw comparison that he makes. Comparing bathtub gin to crack cocaine is just plain stupid. The problem is with the way the justice system works and the insane way we have given rights to prisoners.

    • Delta

      It’s a perfect comparison that Dr. Paul makes. Just look at the INSLAW and Iran /Contra corruption. There are too many double standards when the government itself is a people, drug and weapons cartel. Look at what happened to all American Hero Pat Tillman. Some creeps have diplomatic immunity and will probably never see the inside of a prison cell because of full exemption from penalty for even committing horrific acts against humanity and nature. So the flaw is not yours nor Dr. Paul. The flaw is double standard based monopoly at all costs for many violent megalomaniacle power purposes for profit. Basically a war based economy built on conflict of interest and racketeer based insider trading vehicles which deliver the price gouging. In many cases the roles of prisoner and captor are about to be reversed due to overwhelming evidence of corruption. and

    • CommonSJ you read into it what you wanted to, your flawed in my opinion.
      Dr. Paul is right, the day is today, if he says “Repeal the War on Drugs” that’s what we should do.

  • hobo59

    It is this kind of thinking as well as many other of his stated policies why RP probably won’t win reelection let alone be the next President. There are too many things he’s openly stated that he would change and people like the status quo. The very fact he’s against Israel rules him out as a viable candidate for the Presidency. Ya’ll can back him but you’ll be throwing your votes away. He’s truly a man before his time. But he’ll never get the number of votes needed with such variety of stances

    • lo_sciacallo

      Unfortunately, I believe you may be right about him losing the election over his stance on Israel. It seems these days that you can’t criticize anything about Israel without being accused of being anti-semitic in return. Why is it that as soon as anyone says Israel is in the wrong, the first sound out everyone’s mouth is “anti-semitic”? This is like criticizing the Municipal Gov’t of San Francisco over their decision to euthanize dogs in a shelter, and being called a homophobe for your trouble. It makes no sense whatsoever! What does any of it have to do with the Jewish faith, or the people of the Jewish faith? Just because we don’t like the way the Israeli gov’t is treating the Palestinian people, doesn’t mean we are against their religion. It means we don’t like the way they are treating the Palestinian people. Arrrghh! Is there any hope for this world? Ron Paul for Prez. Peace out, from Canada.

  • legal or not I don’t think it will have any significant effect if any, I never said I want to protect grown people.