Marijuana Prohibition

I support the legalization of Marijuana, not because Marijuana is good or beneficial, but because marijuana does less harm to our lives, our property, and our humanity, than marijuana laws.

Marijuana criminalization results in huge black-market profits and the domination of the drug trade by criminal gangs. Gangs make money not by supplying drugs but by monopolizing the supply. When a new gang moves in they have an interest in stopping them. That interest manifests itself in violence. As gangs battle each other and the police over turf, widespread violence is inevitable.

Hundreds of thousands of social marijuana users have also had their lives needlessly destroyed by prohibition. A single arrest can destroy a career or family.

Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud. I believe Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves.

Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. Vices unlike crimes have no malice intent. No Victim, No Crime. The legitimate powers of the government only extend to acts that are injurious to others. It does me no injury if my neighbor chooses to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or use marijuana; it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

It is libertarian principle that you own your own body not the government; you should be free to use any medication you choose – whether smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using marijuana. The government should not bend your will by force, the choice is personal and you should be at liberty to choose.

This is not the first time the US government has tried to save Americans from themselves. In 1919, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.

Suddenly honest, responsible Americans, who just wanted a drink, were turned into criminals. Respectable bars became underground speakeasies, and legitimate liquor manufacturers were replaced by criminal bootleggers. Gang shoot-outs became common. There was massive bribery of police and judges. Criminals who made illegal booze paid little attention to quality, and some consumers went blind or died from tainted products.

Eventually politicians were forced to admit the futility of trying to legislate morality. Liquor was harmful – but liquor prohibition was even worse. In 1933, Prohibition was repealed.

If Marijuana is legalized, marijuana use would become just another vice, like smoking or drinking.

I think the government should take a different approach to drug use and treat it as a health problem. Over 70 million Americans now use illegal drugs occasionally – particularly marijuana. The vast majority are not addicts, but moderate social users. The small percentages who really are addicts deserve our compassion and help, not persecution and imprisonment.

I believe in our current economic state that we simply cannot afford to keep arresting more than three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs, our tax money can be spent more wisely. Half of what is spent on police, courts and prisons is non-violent drug related. I want free up law enforcement resources to be able to better focus on violent crimes and be tough on real criminals.

As your senator I will work hard to repeal all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. I don’t believe anyone in a free country should live in fear of persecution and imprisonment by the government for their choice of recreational activity. We need to stop treating a whole peaceful culture of Americans as criminals.

“Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason, in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that were not crimes before. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”Abraham Lincoln

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