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.

  • Suasponta

    1111cb, I don’t won’t to smell your carcinogenic tobacco smoke however, no one owns the public air, yet.

    And more FDA approved, lab produced pharmaceuticals have caused more DNA and Psychosomatic damage than any homeopathic medicinal drug ever have, or will.

    And yes Theresa Romano, it’s a criminal justice gig for the Rehabilitation Consultation market. Sort of like going to a Doctor overweight and instead of them telling you that you need to eat less and exercise more they send you to a endocrinologist who starts a battery of thyroid test, a gastroenterologist who starts another battery of GI test, and a physiologist who then tells you that you need to eat less and exercise more! It’s a gig and its all about money…

  • Suasponta

    Theresa Romano, you might find this hard to believe but, most violent crime is committed by perpetrators who ARE NOT on drugs…

    This a fact. Most Serial Killers, not on drugs. Most rapist, not on drugs when they committed their crimes. And, what is really screwed up as far as our criminal justice system is concerned, and is a proven statistic, is that a rapist will usually get less time than a non- violent drug dealer!

    • Theresa Romano

      I don’t find that hard to believe. I think it is a crime to punish lenon-violent acts. But the public should be more informed about this re-hab scam. A lot of criminals and I mean career criminals like thieves: they will hed a reduced sentence if they tell the courts they want treatment. Then, a regular person who is being arrested for drug use will pay a stiff penalty and for what?
      It’s a mixed message.
      For example the woman who pimped out her 9 year old(no joke…true case) was caught with her 9 year old tied up in the trunk of her car and what was the penalty for her crime? Nothing. No penalty. She plead ”sorry I’m an addict and need help”
      Where is the logic and justice in that?
      Now talk about a mixed message…there are people in jail(as you point out) and paying penalties and maybe even have their careers affected because of drug use but meanwhile they NEVER committed any real crime other than using drugs.
      It makes no sense.
      I can pimp out my nine year old and cry ”I’m an addict” and pay no penalty.
      Or…I can be a good and decent person and have to pay a stiff penalty because I got caught growing a little hemp in my garden and am claiming that I’m NOT an addict and that it should be permissable.
      It’s a mixed message.
      It’s unfair.
      It’s excessive government involvement.

  • Theresa Romano

    Both are aweful. Wasting money and resources trying to punish drug use is just as ridiculous as co-ercing people into treatment programs. The lunacy of our system. We give a lighter sentence to some depraved criminal if they just admit they’re an addict and want help. I think that’s ridiculous. Often times we lighten the punishment for someone who has committed a horrible crime and we do this because the perpetrator whines they they are an addict and shouldn’t be held responsible for their acts and should get treatment instead. But then we do the opposit when we make someone pay all sorts of ridiculous fines and maybe do jail time because of drug use or posession when they never committed any other crime.
    Our government is denying us the right to be personally responsible for our actions.
    On the one hand they say one man who is an admitted ”addict” is a victim of society and drugs and therefore needs help and is not responsible for criminal behavior .
    Then we say that the decent and law abiding citizen is not responsible enough to figure out how many hits off a joint is too many.
    I agree with maybe regulating but criminalizing and re habilitating complements of American tax dollars is ridiculous. For example using a cell phone or texting while we drive could and should be regulated but how silly would it be if we outlawed cell phones altogether.
    Same with marijuana.
    Also a little marijuana from homegrown hemp is not going to cause the sort of damage that street stuff might cause. Who knows what that stuff is laced with.
    If I could grow my own weed then I know what I’m getting.

  • Suasponta

    And 1111cb please don’t scare people with your bullshit statement about Marijuana DNA damage. In all my years of studying cause and effect of long term marijuana use the best you could come up with would be short term memory loss and some loss of lung volume capacity, much lower then tobacco usage.

    That statement sounds like some Drug Free America organization scare tactic kind of BS , like men growing female size breast!

    However, I can tell you, and there is no scientific argument against the following, is that Alcohol usage by a pregnant woman will cause alcohol fetal syndrome and tobacco usage will cause asthma and premature birth of newborns and both these substances are still legal.

    And as far as DNA damage, the biggest threat would be the pharmaceuticals that the medical profession pushes on people. Remember Thalidomide?

    And as far as your HIPPA, it doesn’t stand against a federal subpoena or federal law. The AMA already bent to the demands of the federal government with the marijuana tax stamp act commission, because of federal strong arming of the AMA by the FBN back in the 30’s.

    And finally, remember that a person cannot be rehabilitated unless they want to be. Or, perhaps if you had your way 1111cb, if you scare it out of them.

  • 1111cb

    Marijuana does have health effects including permanent damage to the DNA in a woman’s ovaries, leading to birth defects in the next generation. That said- I am very anti drugs but have come around on the role of government in regulating it. People’s judgement is impaired and its use needs to be restricted for some jobs. The smell of even regular smoke affects patients, so medical personel cannot even smoke regular cigarettes on the job. Also, I do not want to breathe their exhaled smoke or smoke from burning embers. It makes me sick. Smoking of any kind causes asthma to worsen and places kids at risk of respiratory illness and meningitis. So I do agree with local zoning laws and the right for me to breathe fresh air.
    But after seeing the effect of legalization in California and reading up on Prohibition, we are fighting the wrong battle. We need all the other agencies to help people straighten out and get off drugs, but criminalizing it only drives up the crime rate from smugglers who are violent and disregard laws.

  • Anonymous

    if they stop the war on drugs we will be making money and saving money and saving lives there is no reason for this war on drugs this is a free country it shouldent matter what we ingest as long as we aren’t harming anyone else doing it.. if i wanted to go out and eat all the mushrooms in my yard i can but i cant smoke a joint???WHAT KINDA SHIT IS THAT

  • freedom?

    Woopa and Sua, great posts and I could’nt agree more.

    I’m 38 years old and know ALOT of marijuana smokers that have smoked for many years and not one of them has a violent history, they are very peaceful people that bother nobody and everyone like’s them (neighbors, etc) and above all they keep it to themselves. These people all wake every morning and go to work just the same as you and I. Difference is they like to enjoy a joint at the end of a hard day’s work and not a beer or glass of wine.

    My question to the nay-sayers is where is the crime? These peole arent out running wild in the streets raising hell. They are sitting in their home’s in front of their tv’s watching sports, movies, playing video games and such so who’s hurt in all this?NOBODY!

    For a few others that have commented. You would like to see people get more involved in other’s lives within the community just to see if they are abiding by the law? You people should get jobs for Obama’s administration, they would love to have you. Oh, and you want to bring church into it too? Tisk tisk, that’s not what this country was founded on. Politics and church have NO place in a person’s home if it is not wanted. Stop trying to push YOUR beliefs on others, it’s bad enough we have the government infringing on our rights and now you think it’s a good idea for neighbors and church to stick there noses where it is’nt welcome?

    When will people learn? If someone wants to smoke marijuana then they will, like it or not, legal or illegal and as long as they are not hurting anyone then I can care less what they do in the privacy of THEIR own home.

    Americans really need to go back and re-read the constitution and more importantly go back and re-read a few history books to remember just what this country was founded on as well as how our own fore fathers enjoyed cannabis as well as cultivated hemp. Theirs too many over-opinionated american’s that need to stop telling others what to do and focus on their own lives for once. After all, in hard times like this I’m sure all of have more important things to worry about than the neighbors who keep to themselves… right?

    Does anyone remember why we wanted our INDEPENDENCE in the first place?

    Mind your own business people and dont punish a population of cannabis smokers for a few bad apples. This really is a joke to me though. The hypocracy in all this is people clammor to keep cannabis illegal and waste all this time on it, meanwhile people die every weekend from alcohol related deaths. Yet cannabis is so bad for you.

    I also like the fact that these people say cannabis is bad because the government says so? The same government that admits it knows very little about cannabis due to the lack of research? Yet more medicinal states keep popping up… but the government thinks it’s bad for you.lol. Then theres the hypocrits that bash the government for lies, cheating, scandles, cover-ups, illegal trades and such BUT believe the governement when they say cannabis is bad for you. Are you kidding me people?

    All I can say is keep an open mind and maybe try to do your own research to draw up your own conclusions and not conclusions derived from a source that knows little about it.

    Dont worry, I checked and there is no law as of yet that says you cannot research cannabis on the internet so it’s safe… for now.

    GO RON PAUL. 🙂


    • Theresa Romano

      I agree 100 plus percent that marijuana is no more harmful than a glass of wine.
      This is not a substance which should be compared to meth or crack.
      I do think sometimes it’s laced with dangerous drugs which people might inhale unawares but; if we were allowed to grow our own the problem would be solved.
      I grow mint and thyme and sage. I know how many mint leaves to put in the tea and how to dry them out or store them and…if I have any questions I can just search the inter net for answers.
      Why can’t I just grow my own hemp?
      For goodness sakes it is just a plant…a weed actually.

  • Woopa

    A few hundred years ago people made very uncomfortable 6-week sea voyages just to obtain “freedom from religious persecution”. Now, back in that day, different sects of Christianity got along hardly better than Christians and Muslims. But the point is, a country that once harbored people who would, back in Europe, have died or killed over their differences, is now actually jailing people for nonviolent “offences” (‘offending’ someone is not a crime).

    I never liked when people talked about how ‘American’s are so fat and lazy; they don’t appriciate anything.’ But now I think I can see what those people mean. If American’s have gotten so used to freedom that they beligerently claim that since they have it now they definatly will keep it forever (no upkeep needed!) then they only bring hell apon themselves. Every person who thinks that any nonviolent action should be punished as a crime, by and with violence, is going to get a facefull of karma. I don’t know the day or the hour, but they’re going to get it.

    As for those who frequent this site and question whether drugs should be legalized given that they are linked with horrible actions such as child abuse, I will point out that there are MANY choices/actions that are linked to harming others but THAT ARE NOT CRIMES IN AND OF THEMSELVES AND CANNOT BE MORALLY PUNISHED AS CRIMES. The only CRIME to be punished IS THE ACTION OF HARMING ANOTHER. Now that simlifies things huh? The only action that is a crime is that action which is a crime; if you can’t see that then you must think that if a guy gets arrested for murder then his mother should go to jail too.

    • Theresa Romano

      Excellent point.
      We should not be punishing those things which we believe lead to crimes, only the crimes themselves.
      I agree.
      But did you know that committing a crime while being on drugs will DECREASE the penalty you pay. This is no joke. And it’s just as wrong as increasing the penalty.
      You might think that if drug charges are ADDED to the charges of a person who commited a violent act that the person will now be judged more harshly.
      Often times the opposit is true.
      This can be researched.
      I base my statements on personal encounters and experience but I believe the facts can be corroborated.
      For example if a man pimps out a women and is arrested when said woman is found tied up in his trunk he will get a harsh sentence.
      If a mother pimps out her nine year old and is arrested when said child is found tied up in her trunk she will not get any sentence …. …. no penalty…IF…AND I MEAN IF….. she can prove she was high on drugs and is an addict.
      This is the problem.
      Weather a user is treated worse or better…it’s wrong either way.
      What should matter is that a nine year old was being pimped out.
      Drug use of the offender shouldn’t matter either way…it shouldn’t make the crime less punishable or more punishable.
      A criminal act of violence should be treated the same no matter who commits the crime.
      This ”war on drugs” is very very very very expensive and ridiculous.

    • sk1951

      There was a time when there were no laws. Just the Natural laws of man. Now we regulate every action of man…and women. It is all about money and power. Striping a man of his dignity and constitutional rights with felony arrest holds that person in servitude. Drug use is simply a good way to create a felon.
      This is yet another of the many many reasons for prohibition. Government wants us all demoralized and the disease of the sick is past to the health through prohibition. No one is left unaffected and all are infected…just the way that government wants us all…under their control and in servitude to them.

      But how can you be sure that child molesters are not giving pot a bad name?

  • Suasponta

    Expanding here on my last post.

    Can you imagine your primary care physician ordering an additional test for illegal drug usage with routine blood work! The test would primarily be for marijuana since the other drugs are generally expelled from the system within 24 hours of intake. Or clipping a little bit of hair for drug screening purposes upon a routine medical exam without your knowledge!

    And they, the doctors, having to do this or lose their license to practice medicine!

    A week later federal agents knock on your door, or worse, serve you a warrant because your test came out positive for illegal usage!

    And you being given the choice to go to re-hab or go to prison!

    I’m sure some where some Drug Warrior Federal Goon Nazi is salivating at the prospect.

    • 1111cb

      a doctor obtained drug screen for treatment is not legal evidence. Also due to HIPPA, we do not share drug screens with the police. We have kids/adults come in and lie to us. What they took can KILL them if we unknowingly administer some usually harmless blood pressure medications or sedatives. As physicians, we are not concerned about the legality of what they took, we care about saving lives. So please do not scare people with false info about police showing up from a drug screen. If the police bring you in AND arrest you AND you are in their custody- like an arrest for DWI- then we do a different drug screen that is legal- but then you are aware since there is an officer at your bedside who won’t leave.

    • sk1951

      You don’t think drug testing will be a part of the new obamanation care? All the entitlement people are gonna love that!!!!

  • Mossy Heneberry

    The war on drugs is a contradiction which will eventually implode in on itself. When the police catch drug traffickers and their products, all it does is make the drug trafficker more aware. They will come up with new and better ways to get the drugs onto the streets. More bribing of officials is also on the cards. These will of course will require large amounts of money and therefore the price of drugs goes up again. Addicts will commit more crimes to fund their habit. Essentially, affecting us all.

  • Greg

    All these comments reinforce something I have known for a long time: that government is essentially evil – antithetical to Freedom. It’s time for a change.

  • Suasponta

    “I read the news today, oh boy.” I like to think that I’ve gained some of my wisdom from the lyrics of music . As a teenager growing up in the 70’s and 80’s music played a big part in my live as I strove to be successful percussionist for many years.
    Hard Rock, Rock, Pop, Folk and even a little Motown. I poured over and memorized lyrics from Iconic bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Black Sabbath, Led Zep, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Beatles. I Spent countless hours with Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimmy Hendrix, Warren Zevon. Too, too many to list here.
    And indeed “ The words of the prophets are written on the sub-way walls and tenement halls.” These days they are also written in web chat rooms and blogs.
    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” The latest drug fighting strategy from the ONDCP, for those of you here who have never heard of that it is The Office of National Drug Control Policy. This office, Office of Drug Czar, most often, over shadowed by the DEA, sets the yearly strategic drug fighting plan of the fiscal year. And keep in mind people it was designed and implemented by our current Vice-Prez. It ain’t going away….
    It appears to me that things haven’t really changed at all. Obama promised a new drug fighting strategy plan based on intervention. Well in ways he did deliver on this promise but in a way that, seems to me, is more twisted then the previous draconian administrations.
    “The plan — the first drug plan unveiled by the Obama White House — calls for reducing the rate of youth drug use by 15 percent over the next five years and for similar reductions in chronic drug use, drug abuse deaths and drugged driving.
    In an interview Monday, Gil Kerlikowske, the White House drug czar, said, “It changes the whole discussion about ending the war on drugs and recognizes that we have a responsibility to reduce our own drug use in this country.”
    Kerlikowske criticized past drug strategies for measuring success by counting the number of children and teens who have not tried marijuana. At the same time, he said, the number of deaths from illegal and prescription drug overdoses was rising.
    “Us facing that issue and dealing with it head on is important,” Kerlikowske said.
    The new drug plan encourages health care professionals to ask patients questions about drug use even during routine treatment so that early intervention is possible. It also helps more states set up electronic databases to identify doctors who are overprescribing addictive pain killers.
    “Putting treatment into the primary health care discussion is critical,” Kerlikowske said.”


    Maybe the Rublican regieme was less invasive.

    And now for the kicker…

    Some drug reform advocates like the direction Obama is heading, but question whether the administration’s focus on treatment and prevention programs is more rhetoric than reality at this point. They point to the national drug control budget proposal released earlier this year, for example, which continues to spend about twice as much money on enforcement as it does on programs to reduce demand.
    “The improved rhetoric is not matched by any fundamental shift in the budget or the broader thrust of the drug policy,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which favors drug policy reform.
    Nadelmann praised some of Obama’s changes, but said he is disappointed with the continued focus on arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating large numbers of people.
    Kerlikowske rejected that as “inside the Beltway discussion,” and said there are many programs that combine interdiction and prevention.

    “And the beat goes on, and the beat goes no. Drums keep pounding a rhythm in my head.”

    I don’t believe in God, but if you do, pray for Marc Emery!

  • Suasponta

    It’s been awhile since I posted here but felt like I must after hearing Nepolitano’s comment that was made last week while visiting with her Mexican equivalent about yet again throwing more money down the bottomless pit know as the Drug War.

    A reporter asked her if she was aware of the latest statistics regarding the 40 year drug war and what a miserable failure it has been for our country overall? And continued to rattle off these statistics to her.

    After he finished she paused for a minute, and said, “it’s about saving lives.”

    I about fell out of my seat! What freaking Hypocrites! Alcohol and Tobacco, FDA approved pharmaceuticals and fatty foods have caused more deaths then all the illicit drugs have since they have been keeping statistics.

    I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually felt proud to be an American, or felt like our Government was honorable.

    I’m personally planning on getting out of this hell hole even if I have to move to a land of ice and snow.

  • Jennifer

    Decriminalize marijuana. It should be treated and regulated like alcohol and and tobacco. A little pot never hurt anybody. Free the weed man, free the weed.

    • TAJ

      It shouldn’t be treateed like cigs or alcohol. SAY NO TO TAXES OF ALL KINDS ! !

    • longshotlouie

      Why should we be taxed for growing a plant?

  • Theresa Romano

    I say let whoever inject, inhale, imbibe whatever. Don’t arrest them but for the love of God and all things decent don’t ENABLE them by giving them free houses, medical, daycare, education, foodstamps BECAUSE they are addicts……
    It costs money to incarcerate and it costs money to rehabilitate…
    Just leave people alone to suffer the consequences of their actions and they’ll figure it out…or not.

  • Theresa Romano

    I’ll tell this story again.
    This guy who was familiar with jail and the ”system” is sitting with friends and says something like..”disability, I’ll show you how to get disability” then he looks around nervously and says ”it’s them they’re watching”….
    He sits back and smiles smugly as his friends burst out laughing….
    We are a joke to criminals and drug users..
    They play the system and get over on the working man and laugh about it.
    There is no war on drugs.
    Drug users know that.
    A couple of run ins with the law is worth the end result…which is a disability check and free houses, medical, food…..etc…..
    Depression, paranoia, and agoraphobia are common results of excessive drug use and often what the users claim they have….
    And so comes the disability status….
    Many cripples can’t get disability but an unwed depressed crack mom who pimps out her kids can claim disability BECAUSE she was on drugs when she pimped them out….

  • Theresa Romano

    The prohibition against drugs is a farce. An occasional drug raid may help our government pull off this facade but in actuality our government supports drug use in every way imaginable.
    Can I post addresses?
    If allowed I will post the address of the seven unit section 8 housing complex which opened in my old neighborhood.
    We had to leave the neighborhood because of it.
    Being addicted to drugs is a DISABILITY……?!?!?!?
    After a couple weeks or days or hours in jail for pimping out your 9 year old for drug money(no lie…I can give names if I’m pressed)…the government of the USA gives ”mom” a free house, food stamps, benefit card(that’s free medical coverage which is waaaaay better than what the working shmoe can afford…dentists…therapists…etc..) … free DAYCARE for the kids which she got to keep and oh…it’s daycare for when she goes to therapy (she doesn’t work)…. a car picks her up and drives her to therapy….free school….
    oh and….a check in the mail each month because addiction is a disability….
    I’m talking waterfront property…
    Multiple moms….this is not just one story….
    Am I allowed to post addresses???
    War on drugs?!?!?!?
    What war?

  • I have just this to add, that I have a personal view of the war on drugs. Ron Paul, many Libertarians, a lot of independents, and some of those from the two big parties are all noticing that local attacks work. When someone from the community decides to get involved with their druggie neighbor or family member, there is more of a success rate. Same for when you pile on others in the druggies social network, others in the family, the church/temple, counselors, and yes…even the local magistrate.
    But, not a thing performed by the national government has done a thing other than fuel a man made imagined crisis, though the crisis is real they have imagined up a war on a massive scale and made it real. Talk about manifest destiny. If you want to learn about the failure of national drug prohibition all you need to do is look at the stats, go downtown to the drug clinics…Hell, even go to the local music shows or the big music festivals. Millions upon millions still smoke marijuana spite its’ illegal status…many more than were drinking when the prohibition of alcohol failed I believe.
    We must stop the national mis-steps, and step up in our communities, families, and yes in our community of friends, acquaintances, and strangers.

  • Dale Patterson

    More then half of the nation agrees… so do it already!!

  • MADelynWoe

    Heike says “As for the migrant workers, well that is another story, they do provide a service here and are valuable to our economy, so lets expand the program, meet the need and send them home well paid and happy to return again next season.” We do need more fruits and NUTS…
    (for the RP campaign).
    Maybe the Dr. WOULD have a chance if his following would just stop the bullshit three ring circus sideshow of freaks. I guess they all saw the Dr. appellation and felt at home with him….

    You posted “I am a firm believer that if we continue to let this happen here, we may as well invade Mexico, divide it into states and bring them under the protection of the United States.” We have invaded Mexico…it is a favorite vacation spot for the elite and privileged or you can get a good packaged deal on a cruise or resort on-line. Then go home and watch who is gonna be Paris Hilton’s new BFF…maybe in Cabo she can find her new MBFF…