War on Drugs

Ron Paul opposes the War on Drugs.

On November 20, 2008 Ron Paul said in a New York Times / Freakonomics interview:

“[…] the federal war on drugs has proven costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime. But if you question policy, you are accused of being pro-drug. That is preposterous. As a physician, father, and grandfather, I abhor drugs. I just know that there is a better way — through local laws, communities, churches, and families — to combat the very serious problem of drug abuse than a massive federal-government bureaucracy.”

Note: This summary of Ron Paul’s position has been determined to be incomplete! Contact us to join RonPaul.com as a voluntary editor. Help us set the record straight and keep this page up-to-date.

  • Daisy

    Most addicts are hopeless and will be back and forth into rehab and jail. You get rid of one drug, they find another. It is amazing how innovative they really can be when it comes to finding new ways to get high. I mean I heard something about people getting high off incense of something called “bath salts”…
    Stopping the war on drugs would be a good way to thin out the herd! Think of all the Darwin awards we could give out! LOL

    • Tyler

      The whole point of opposing “The War on Drugs” is that the strategy of attacking the supply-side of the equation is ineffective. A certain percentage of people will take drugs regardless of whether or not they are illegal. After prohibition in the 30’s the use of alcohol spiked, but then went back to pre-prohibition levels. Tobacco, alcohol, and sugar are all addicting substances that can be purchased at as stations, do you support giving Darwin awards to people who die of lung and liver cancer, or of obesity? You are right that some people will be “hopeless” but everyone deserves a chance at getting back on their feet at least one time, before you disregard their humanity. As an aside, read a book about who actually benefits from the drug-trade (hint: its not just drug-dealers).


      • Tyler
        If you read some of my previous comments. You will find in them the option for treatment for those that choose life over death. Conversely I personally can tell you that if you or anyone had came to me when in the full throws of my addiction and asked me if there was anything that anyone could do to keep me from getting my meth. The answer would have been a flat out NO. Ask any drug rehab counselor that question. and they will give you the same answer.

        So if we take that as a given. Why would we continue to endure all the horrible byproducts that the War On Drugs has fostered upon us? What comes to my mind as the worst is the innocent lives lost due to being caught in the crossfire between the competing cartel’s and their underlings. The pain and suffering of their relatives is important. That means something.

        Take the profit away. Say bye bye to the damages created by those profits.

    • Tyler

      The whole point of opposing “The War on Drugs” is that the strategy of attacking the supply-side of the equation is ineffective. A certain percentage of people will take drugs regardless of whether or not they are illegal. After prohibition in the 30’s the use of alcohol spiked, but then went back to pre-prohibition levels. Tobacco, alcohol, and sugar are all addicting substances that can be purchased at gas stations, do you support giving Darwin awards to people who die of lung and liver cancer, or of obesity? You are right that some people will be “hopeless” but everyone deserves a chance at getting back on their feet at least one time, before you disregard their humanity. As an aside, read a book about who actually benefits from the drug-trade (hint: its not just drug-dealers).

    • Sean

      I am not for war of any kind, whether it’s a war on other countries, societies, or a war on another group’s ways of life..but furthermore, I am strongly against a war on our own American citizens. The American people seem to be putting personal privacy on the wayside in place of a sense of security, and most of that security is false and devalues our own personal freedoms. Legalizing marijuana and ending the war on drugs is not only about the freedom to put what we want in our bodies as we see fit, but rather it is about the freedom we have to peace and privacy, without the government sticking their nose into every aspect of our lives, in the name of keeping us ‘secure’. What this country seems to have forgotten is that we need to be able to trust each other, and to trust ourselves..and the government needs to relearn the value of trusting their own citizens and their decisions. If we don’t, then this country is going to be so wrapped up trying to keep everybody secure that we aren’t going to have any of the freedoms we’ve been fighting all this time for..instead, we’ll be wrapped in some kind of governmental shell, comparative to the Great wall of China, except the ultimate purpose won’t be to keep others out, but rather to cage us in.

      We need to stop the secret agendas, stop the wars on both others and our own kind, we need to keep our ability to choose for ourselves open, we need to be reminded that people are innocent until proven guilty, which the threats of terrorism have blinded us from, and we need to stop with all of these security policies, before they destroy our freedom.

      “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

  • Andrew Smith

    If Marijuana was legalized it would help bring in money because people will always be buying weed. Its a Sure market. People in General have such a warped perception that Marijuana is so bad but between Marijuana, Alcohol, and tobacco Marijuana does the least damage. To put it in the same drug classification as Meth and LSD and what not is crazy.

  • Mathew

    US Citizen,

    We agree that Marijuana is not worst the “drug.” However, it is classified as such and that is the issue for most us. The true reason that it is classified as a schedule one drug is not to protect the American people, it is to protect the pocket books of the petroleum and pharmaceutical industries, as well as the politician’s by way of kick backs and lobbist’s donations.

    To prevent the farming of a harmless plant which could be used in so many helpful ways is criminal and tratiorous. They are supossed to be our representatives not our tyrants.

    Just change the classification of marijuana… problem solved. Period. The is no need to reclassify the stronger drugs or legalize them. Just let the true medical doctors set the classifications and be done with it.

    Then they cab give the 20 billion a year they a wasting on trying to enforce an unjust law to me, and we can split it 50/50.

  • U.S Citizen

    I think everyone is focusing on one drug and forgetting about the others that destroy peoples lives. Marijuana may not be the worst drug in the bunch and could very possibly be used for multiple other profitable products. On the other hand marijuana is not the only drug out there, as most people know. Crack and Meth are driving the criminal population. I work in a field that allows me to see first hand what those two drugs alone do to people. I’d say that 90% of the crimes that I have to respond to can be related to drugs in one way or another. Burglars are stealing to get the money to get there next fix. People are being shot, stabbed, and killed because they owe money for some drugs they bought. Marijuana may not be the worst but most dealer don’t just sale weed. Whether or not you are aware of it organizations like the DEA and down to your local law enforcement are fighting a very real, and very serious war every single day. I read most of the comment on this page and find that the majority of them to be far removed from the actual issue at hand and are speaking from a very selfish point of view.

    • US Citizen
      Dr. Paul is somebody that thinks the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the law of the land. Our nations cemetery’s are filled with Patriots that thought so too. The sad fact is. A once proud and noble nation that was the envy of the world because of those two documents. Has been brought to it’s knees from within by the very people who swear to defend and protect the ideas and laws which America’s founding fathers placed there in. Nowhere in those documents does it say our govt. should micro manage the lives of its citizens. In fact those doc’s says exactly the opposite. I could go on and on about just how much of our Constitution has been turned into toilet paper by the US Govts. Quote, WAR BASED ECONOMY. WW1, Prohibition, WW2, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, War on Drugs, War on Terror, Iraq, All the ???stans, Libya, and on the horizon Syria, Iran, and N. Korea again.

      Congressman Paul hates drugs. But he understands and see’s the futility, waste and overall harm the war on drugs has fostered on America. This is my thoughts from here down. If America ended the war on drugs. Then used ten cents of every dollar saved to buy, and distributing for free any and all drugs our current addicts need. Then used another ten cents per dollar saved, on prevention and treatment. The results would be staggering. Those that are on self destruct courses have free will and if they choose can crash and burn. Those that finally decide on treatment can get it. Interdiction can begin in grade school playgrounds. Use the media to make drugs unpopular.

      Immediate results would be instant 70 percent drop in crime. The murder and mayhem taking place at our southern border would become history. The drug pushers would have to get day jobs. Well I’m sure you get the picture. If done right all the unemployment from lost jobs. Cops, Prison Guards, DA’s, probation officers, Coast Guard, Emergency room staff, and on and on. Could be somewhat mitigated by those willing to trade say a police uniform for a Cub Scout masters uniform etc. Retraining etc. The concept is really quite simple. The following sentence says it all. Just think on it for ten minutes.


      Would probably take less than five years to reduce drug addiction and all its damaging

      PART ! of 2. In order to solve a problem. You must first define it. Unfortunately the world and indeed the medical profession at large finds treating the symptoms more profitable and less hassle. The war on drugs is big business and sadly enough the very people that propagate it are those whose lively hoods depend on it. Take away all the stupid fear mongering statements like. “End the drug war and we will have more addicts” and such. You then can use rationale to solve the problem. Everyone that reads the next statement take a big breath and think for five minutes before replying. Spend the WHOLE five minutes. Think about ALL the aspects of it. “YOU CAN NOT SELL ME SOMETHING I CAN GET ACROSS THE STREET FOR FREE” Darn. Looks like drug dealers are going to need day jobs. Gee I wonder what happened to all the drive by killings says the morticians. My business is down for some reason. The locksmiths and home security company’s are lamenting too sinc e home invasions and theft seems to have dropped dramatically. Bummer all the street walkers have dis-appeared. Latest study shows STD’s are down 48 percent. Exp. HIV/ AIDS Poor old gun dealers can’t understand where all their business went. Seems like people just don’t care about personal protection as much as they use to they say. Looks like major layoffs are taking place at most emergency rooms in large metro area’s. People are scratching their heads. They just don’t get it. Police and fire depts. downsizing nationwide. This just in. The FDA and DEPT. Of JUSTICE in a joint study have concluded that welfare fraud is down by 73 percent, and food stamps are actually being spent on food for the children. Over heard a pawn shop owner and a collection agent talking the other day. The collection agent is job hunting. For some unknown reason. People are paying their bills. The pawn shop owner is worried about paying his store rent. And so on and so on. By now you must be getting the idea. Use the WHOLE five minutes. Commercial prisons, law enforcement, the judicial system, military, coast guard, rehab centers, first responders of all ilk. EVERYBODY is dependent on the war on drugs in one way or another. Imagine if you will. An addict walks into a welfare office. Grabs an application and a release of liability form and as he sits and fills them out he notices two doors. One has a smiley face the other a skull and crossbones. Behind door number one. Treatment. Behind door number two. His drug of choice. For FREE. Its his choice to live or die. And that is what god had in mind. BUT GOD WAS OVER RULED BY A HIGHER AUTHORITY. The Government.

    • Hoot

      If you legalize marijuana and decriminalize all drugs you’ll find hard drug use will drop dramatically. Amsterdam, for example, has about the same amount of marijuana usage as we do per capita yet their numbers on hard drugs is much lower. This is simply because they’ve seperated the marijuana culture and the hard drug culture. People there can go to a clean respectable establishment and purchase marijuana and not be offered crack or heroin. In a society where marijuana is just as illegal as heroin or crack one will find the drug dealers sell all of them. Some kid looking to buy a gram of pot is now exposed to being offered harder, more dangerous, more lucrative drugs. Next thing you know theres another hopeless junkie that can’t get proper treatment and really only wanted to smoke a joint. It would take time for the cultures to completely split but we have to start now.

  • PeoplePower

    War on drugs is same as war on terror bunch of lies cover-up truth is all about $$$

    Go Ron Paul 🙂

    • Bruce B

      so true. So sad. Just follow the money. Money=Power. Power always corrupts.

  • momof5

    Good for you Ron. It began as a political scam and should end as a political mend.
    The only thing it does is line the pockets of the enforcement. It does nothing to end the problem, obviously since the “problem” has grown and has never stopped.
    I know of a good program that is ministry based that has one of the highest records of success for helping people with addictions. Its called “teen challenge” but any age can join.
    I wish you success Ron. You have a major battle on your hands and “big pharma and friends” have big pockets to keep you from taking their power-monopoly-money. But once you put the FED in place they wont be able to use their various departments to cater to special interest groups to monopolize the food and drug and agriculture businesses to profit themselves so they can buy off their way while using the people as guinea pigs for their profit and our doom……….
    GMO food plus toxins and poisons = unhealthy people = buys our drugs and nothing else or else = your screwed but we profit all the way around and you cant do anything about it because were in charge………
    Well your a very smart man and know all this, and you know the benefits outweigh the risk. Your real and for the people.
    Im sure you got it down because you know how to get the tiger by the tail.
    GO RON! You got my vote!

  • christopher Stock

    Why is it that all the people that are fighting the war on drugs NEVER TRIED THEM!!!!

    • Bruce B

      Probably the same reason so many people scoff at prayer. They’ve either never tried it or haven’t tried it enough.

  • Michael Ingram

    The foundation which this country was founded on lies in rubble, the moment prisons became profitable all was lost.


      A Gulag Archipel thats what it is. Like in the former USSR.
      O so embarrassing for the former so mighty&proud USofA.

    • melissa

      I watched a documentary the other day about Cali and medical marijiuana and i was shocked. All i know is if he does win and he does legalize it, im buying land and a lot of it. And lets see how many jobs that will create.

  • Mathew

    Why is it that I hear, and read, often about a desire for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use, but I never see its legal “drug schedule” classification questioned? Why not simply change its classification to what we all know it should be and be done with it? For that matter by what constitutional right does an unelected government agency set our laws and classify drugs and medication?

    Do away with the DEA or regulate them, allow doctors to classify drugs, not the police. Let us farm hemp, in order that we may create new industries within the U.S. breaking the monopoly in petroleum based products, and thereby lessing our dependence on oil.

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  • keith

    I’m voting Ron Paul! I have a serious back injury and I’m looking to see NY a medical marijuana state to legalize one of the few things that help keep me active and keep an appetite that my meds take away from me. I think alot of Ron Pauls ideas are great including eliminating IRS and there taxes. Now all we need is to be able to have algae farms for biodiesel, put money back into farming here in the US and it keeps the money in our pocket to run diesel trucks and cars that get 45mph plus all day long, everyother country can have these vehicles but somehow it doesn’t pass emissions here in the US, yeah right, to much business in the oil industry. Pay all politicians 50k a year and give them no kick backs, if there was no way to make polititions extra money and there were no kick backs for bills they pass, then we’d save all the money that were in debt with now and there position would be held only by people that really cared because there would be no alternative motives like getting rich and special treatment and kick backs for being a politition.

  • alton smith

    Hemp is a 100% anually renewable crop. so uh why is it our politicians have decided on corn for ethanol and bio diesel? was it to make everything we use daily more expensive? do they even care about us? I always thought they liked us….hmmmm.

    • mark971

      Could it be because you will have to purchase frankenstien corn seeds every year. Thank god ethics is a manditory class in college. Hemp is a very useful plant which Henry Ford already produced a car body out of it and said it had 10 times more strength than steel. The other counties in the world think our government is crazy for putting a war on it in the first place. But we had a job crisis when the war was started, what a good way to push this law into effect start civil unrest and put the blame on us. You can produce 4 times more biofuel per acre from hemp to, not to mention rope, clothes, food products and heck maybe with a little engineering or thought maybe we could produce a bio-plastic with this stuff. We need our government to stop buying and building weapons as our source of income and gear this thought to how we are going to save our planet and everything on it rather than how they are going to make millions for their friends who paid for their election.

  • Guido

    Just a Dutch guy from Holland here –> Almost 35% of the Dutch teenagers smoke or has tried weed just out of curiosity. If you make something forbidden it is more exciting to do so. Weed is prohibited in France and Spain and compare those numbers with ours. The only reason why we are marked with the weed-smoking-marker on our forehead is because it is easy for dealers to deal in Legal Holland.

    • Bruce B

      But this war really helps Obamaos job creation numbers.

  • Bucky Westburger

    O.D. on meth…your dead,O.D. on Cocain…your dead,O.D.on percription drugs..your dead.O.D. on whisky or beer…your dead…O.D.on asprin…your dead.Get caught smoking a joint of your medical marijuana by a A.T.F. cop.Both you and your dog are dead. O.D on Marijuana your happy and running for the President of the U.S.A.

  • Here is sign on petition for end of marijuana prohibition- http://www.change.org/petitions/let-the-end-marijuana-prohibition-act-get-a-hearing

    Come here more people.

  • Joseph McLaughlin

    Investigation: US ATF Secretly Arming Mexican Drug Cartels

    Feds let Guns walk – Mexico Drug Cartels

  • Tiffany M.

    Thank you for your support of ending the war on drugs and decriminalizing Cannabis and Hemp! The so-called “War on Drugs” is a complete failure and a waste of money. Prohibition does not work. I support you on this policy 110%.

  • Lauren

    Legalize hemp and marijuana production in America. Numerous jobs would be created and it would result in a billion dollar a year domestic industry. Tax it as we tax tobacco and alcohol. How has this not been done?????

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  • keith

    we are spending too much and not taking in enough…
    how about legalize and regulate and tax marijuana similar to cigarettes and alcohol

    we spend less on the failed enforecement plans
    we take in more through increased tax revenues (money currently going to the cartels)

    novel as hell, huh?