Leave Us Alone!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Words of Wisdom from Dennis Kucinich

My congressman on the drug war:
I have studied the issue for decades and recognize that our "War on Drugs" has failed. In fact, because our War on Drugs drives up the price, it encourages violence. Prohibition simply doesn't work. It only creates thousands and thousands of Al Capones. Prison should be for people who hurt other people, not themselves. We don't jail people for merely drinking. We jail people when they drink and drive or hurt another human.

[...]

The shredding of our rights to privacy and property promoted by the Drug War is inconsistent with a free society. Criminalization of private or self-destructive behavior is not acceptable in a free nation.

(entire statement here, link via StopTheDrugWar.org, via To the People)

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an alcohol and drug counselor I can tell you that your congressman is right. We are locking up too many non-violent people who are not truly criminals, but addicts. They need treatment.

However, his statement suggests that the addict is only hurting themselves and not other people. After working closely with family members of addicts I can tell you that is just not true.

He is wrong on another count. When factoring in inflation, illicit drugs are now cheaper than they have ever been. For instance, the cost of heroin is a fraction of what it was in the 1970's. Much like companies refine their processes to make goods cheaper, the drug cartels have done the same. You can't get somebody hooked if they don't have enough money or can't steal enough to afford it.

Finally, in his statement your congressman makes one of the most damaging claims that hurts our efforts as counselors.

"Drug addiction is a medical and moral problem"

It is a medical problem, but mot a moral one.

Addicts are sick people who need to get well (medical), not bad people who need to get good (moral).

Still, I agree with his basic premise, that the War on Drugs has been a failure. However, I disagree with his assertion that "I have studied the issue for decades." Because evidently he has not studied the last few years, which is what you have to do if your in this field. Your congressman needs to get his facts straight.

2:30 AM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger King said...

The war on drugs is failing because criminals are allowed to ABUSE the right law abiding citizens have.

Drug addiction is not a sickness it is a weakness. Making excuses for people with problems only allows them to not accept responsibility.

If they had NO HELP, they would learn real quick. laws of nature dictate the weak will perish. Problem solved!

Many of the treatment programs are nothing more than enabling the people to continue doing drugs.

They convince the people they have a problem that causes them to do drugs, so they need "Help".

This another reason we need a border fence and need to stop illegal immigrants.

King

2:43 PM, January 30, 2007  
Blogger libhom said...

Kucinich is absolutely correct on the Drug War.

Personally, I think the main purposes of the war on drugs are to encarcerate black males and to socialize everyone in our society to accept more government spying.

7:21 PM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger Citizen P. said...

This isn't in regards to Kucinich, but new to blogger, I can't see a way to contact you directly. I am contacting you about your link you have listed to Center for Consumer Freedom. Here are 7 good reasons why you should remove that link:

http://citizen-in-media.blogspot.com/2007/02/7-dirty-secrets-about-ccf-la-7-things.html

The Center for Consumer Freedom is not a grassroots consumer advocacy organization, but a front supported by the tobacco industry (Phillip Morris), hotel, restaurant, and beer industries. They have a lot of consumers, but they are not advocating for consumers' interests. They are advocating their own corporate interests. They have a history of half-truths, distortions, and blatant misinformation. Please do not support this organization by linking to them. Thank you.

4:09 AM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger Jason Sonenshein said...

Thank you all for stopping by and commenting.

Anonymous, thanks for your expertise and for clearing up those facts. I guess it's understandable that Rep. Kucinich doesn't have the specialized knowledge about this issue that you, as an expert in the field, have. While he might have gotten some facts wrong, the important part is that he's one of very few mainstream politicians with the common sense to see the drug war for the folly that it is, and the courage to say so.

King, I think enforcement of laws against drugs, illegal immigration, and other victimless crimes will fail because it requires government to resort to means of enforcement that just aren't compatible with a free society.

Libhom, I agree with you. I also really like your blog and will make sure to link to it the next time I update my blogroll.

Citizen P., my Blogger profile has a link to my e-mail address, or you can continue to comment here. I appreciate all comments, whether they're on-topic or not. I'll take a look at that link you provide.

7:16 PM, February 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

King said:

"Drug addiction is not a sickness it is a weakness. Making excuses for people with problems only allows them to not accept responsibility."

This statement is only true if your willing to ignore 50 years of peer reviewed research. Also, addicts in treatment are encouraged to accept responsibility for their actions.

King, you should educate yourself regarding addiction and addiction treatment before making such baseless and damaging comments.

6:34 AM, February 03, 2007  
Blogger aahpat said...

Jason:

Too bad that Nancy Pelosi has already promised to obstruct Kucinich from any meaningful drug policy reform for the political expedient of keeping drug policy reform out of the 2008 presidential election.

Pelosi: 'embargo', for politics, Kucinich drug war oversight

7:20 AM, February 03, 2007  
Anonymous R.J. said...

You all applaud Kucinich for his stand on the drug war, but he is waging another futile (and unconstitutional!) war: that one against guns.

4:28 AM, February 07, 2007  
Blogger Jason Sonenshein said...

Pat, thanks for the tip. That's disappointing, but at least the Democrats will do less damage than Hastert, Sensenbrenner and the gang would have done.

R.J., you're right. i wish Rep. Kucinich would apply the same logic to guns that he does to drugs.

9:39 PM, February 07, 2007  
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