Hat Tip: Nashville Files
What has happened to the party of Milton Friedman, and the party of William F. Buckley? The same big government Republican who gave us that awful Orwellian piece of legislation called the Real ID Act, has now decided to try and push through an even more bizarre piece of legislation that will make it a crime not to snitch on someone who is violating a drug law. Of course Congress is currently in the process of meddling into the drug testing policies of professional sports, who last time I checked were not owned by Uncle Sam. It is quite apparent that Congress is out of control.
Sensenbrenner wants to punish people who do not report a drug crime with a jail term of at least two years. Has he been to a prison lately? If so, he would have seen an overcrowded mess full of nonviolent drug offenders. So I guess he wants to make it even more overcrowded in the penitentiary? With more people in prisons, you can expect more taxes to pay for their detainment. So this is what we sent Republicans to Washington for?
If I see someone smoking crack or smoking a joint, I am not going to report it because I could care less what people do with their money. The idea of criminalizing the act of destroying oneself is idiocy in my opinion. Can someone please tell me why we are still spending federal, state, and local dollars on this so called war on drugs? Just like poverty has won the war on poverty, drugs appear to have won the war on drugs. It doesn't make any sense to incarcerate someone for getting high. Think about all of the people walking around who have used an illegal substance at some time in their life. Imagine how many convicted felons we would have in this country if everyone who had tried drugs like cocaine (including George Bush) had also been caught and arrested.
One of my conservative heroes is William F. Buckley. One of the best issues of National Review was an issue devoted to the cause of drug legalization. In that 1996 publication, Buckley cited the following statistics: 75 billion dollars worth of public money is spent on the "war on drugs", and this problem is responsible for 50 percent of the people in jail. He also pointed out how there seems to be no remedy to this plague. That was written in 1996. I don't have today's statistics, but I can promise you that nine more years of us waging the war on drugs have not improved the situation. In fact, I am quite confident that the problem is much worse.
Another one of my conservative heroes, and the man who provides the basis for my ideas on economic freedom, is Milton Friedman. In an open letter written to former Drug Czar William Bennett in 1989, Milton Friedman correctly stated, "The path you propose of more police, of more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish." Friedman wrote those words in 1989. Fast forward to 2005 and you will see that he was absolutely correct. All of that restriction on freedom and incarceration of people who make bad choices has not helped the problem, it has only made it worse. Once again, it sounds like big government has had the same success in the war on drugs as it has had in the war on poverty.
We Americans need to re-think our approach to the problem of drug abuse. Do we really want our sons and daughters locked up for making bad choices? Why can we not leave people alone and let them do what they want to? The last thing we need is legislation that forces people to report a crime which is already an infringement on personal liberty. I am really disappointed with the so-called conservatives that we worked so hard to send to Washington. Call me a wacko-libertarian, but our current Congress just doesn't seem that conservative to me.