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War on Drugs Causes the Viloation of Individual Rights Essays

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Everyone knows the parable of the emperor with no clothes. The significance of a child being the one to point out the emperor's nudity, as opposed to a sermonizing preacher or self-righteous intellectual, is simple to understand. Neither morality nor logic was responsible for stripping the emperor's veil of falsehood. All it took was the truth.

One can't help but think of this when considering Gary Johnson, the Republican governor of New Mexico, who, despite pressure from power brokers at the top of his own party, has proclaimed that the emperor that is this country's war on drugs is not only naked to the world, but that its body is festering with the sores of moral decay and corruption. In the governor's own words, "The drug problem is getting worse. It's not getting better ... It needs to get talked about, and one of the things that's going to get talked about is decriminalization."

He continues: "What I'm trying to do here is launch discussion ... I think it is the number one problem facing this country today... We really need to put all options on the table" (Albuquerque Journal, June 24, 1999).

Not wishing to make a statement without providing viable ideas to support it, Johnson said that changing laws regarding the possession of marijuana would be a logical "first step" since pot is "probably the least dangerous of the identified narcotic drugs that we have" (Albuquerque Journal, July 1, 1999 and Hobbs News-Sun, July 2, 1999).

Johnson is not simply grandstanding, as the facts of the situation point out clearly. Despite massive expenditures, the simple fact is that the war on drugs is a total failure. There is more, not less, drug-related violent crime in the United States today than 30 years ago. Far from pro...


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...guaranteed by the Constitution. Undeniably, it is a violation of the basic principles of human dignity used to formulate the Constitution. Irrefutably, it provides an almost irresistible temptation for police abuse.

And this is one of the mildest forms of enforcement in the hands of the drug warriors. In light of such bleak evidence, it is clear that the drug war has created no winners, but an abundance of losers. The biggest losers are the American citizens, who have seen their cherished rights discarded and continue to suffer decaying schools, nonexistent or inadequate health care, and crumbling infrastructure in poor and rural areas. And still, billions of dollars are poured into a campaign that is nothing more than a ponderous artifact with no place in a free society. The drug war failed a long time ago, and it's time to let it die. That is the naked truth.


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