Dear Abby, World War II and Drug Prohibition

Open Letter to Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas

Press Release Date: October 27, 1998

In March of this year, a letter to your constituents prioritized a less violent and drug-freeAmerica, referring to the consideration of a "World War II style victory plan to break the back of the drug culture."

How many military divisions will it take? Will you bring the troops home from overseas to do it? American defense forces defend Europe and Japan for about $90 billion per year. Is it your intention to bring U.S. troops home for that purpose?

Does your plan to "break the back of the drug culture," include alcohol? By a factor of millions-to-one, alcohol is involved in more accidents, spousal battery and interfamily murder than all the controlled substances together. For those who were not around in the 20’s, Alcohol Prohibition was a failure. Is that a part of your war?

How much property will be confiscated? 200 statutes now permit the theft of private property, most of which ensnares the modest homes, cars and hard-earned cash of ordinary, law-abiding citizens. The percentage of asset forfeiture where the property owner is never charged with a crime--yet the government can and usually does keep the property is about 80%. Is that part of your war?

What will it cost in dollars? According to drug legalization advocate, William F. Buckley, the price tag is already $200 billion. Have you heard that alcohol prohibition failed?

In your letter, you suggest "massive advertising campaigns, school programs and community anti-drug coalitions."  Who is paying for that and more importantly, do they work? Study after study reveal that the DARE program is an expensive federal boondoggle, an abject failure, and the results of those studies are spiked.

In a separate response to me, you concede that legalization would "take much of the crime out of it," but also reveal that by taking the lead on this issue, your seat becomes vulnerable to, as you put it, "the substantial majority of Americans who believe that illicit drugs are so damaging that they must remain illegal." Not very warrior-like Congressman. Is an expensive placebo to mollify your constituents a part of your war?

Dear Abby.jpg (1169 bytes)According to Dear Abby, "Just as bootleggers were forced out of business in 1933 when prohibition was repealed, making the sale of liquor legal (thus eliminating racketeering), the legalization of drugs would put drug dealers out of business. An added plus: There would be far less crowding in our prisons due to drug-related crimes. It’s something to consider."

---Abigail Van Buren, "Dear Abby," May 3 1994miltonfriedman.gif (11378 bytes)

And from an article in the New York Times written by Nobel Prize winning, Milton Friedman, "drug prohibition makes drugs exorbitantly   expensive and highly uncertain in quality. A user must associate with criminals to get the drugs, and many are driven to become criminals themselves to finance the habit. Needles, which are hard to get, are often shared, with the predictable effect of spreading disease."

If this isn’t stupid enough, can it be any more abusive?   The race of individuals whose property is seized in airports and on highways, because they fit the police profile of a drug courier: 75% to 90% Black or Hispanic--Forfeiting Our Property Rights, by Rep. Henry Hyde, 1995

And this from the Wall Street Journal, January 14, 1993: "A forfeiture case is something out of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ where the rule is punishment first, trial later."

I will no longer vote for, or advocate any political party or politician which utilizes the War on Drugs as a get votes strategy. Anyone who does this is simply an accomplice to totalitarianism.

Those of us who advocate the end to Drug Prohibition understand that drug abuse is a reality--a serious reality with which every American should be concerned. However, the current policy of prohibition and criminalization of drugs does not reduce drug abuse or the harm that drugs cause.

marx.jpg (6879 bytes)Also in your letter to constituents, you lament that "recreating a first class public education system will not be easy." Leaving aside for a moment that "Free education for all children in public schools" is the 10th plank of the Communist Manifesto; is it working?   Back in 1983, members of the Reagan-era National Commission on Excellence in Education wrote that "if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might have viewed it as an act of war."

It is by now familiar news that American high school seniors rank 19th out of 21countries in math and science scores.  Per-pupil spending on public education has more than doubled since 1983. Professor John Lott of the University of Pennsylvania has presented evidence that across countries, expenditures on public schooling are "positively correlated with levels of totalitarianism."

At the California Teachers Association’s Equity and Human Rights Conference, Lee Berg, of the National Education Association’s, Center for the Revitalization of Urban Education, warned the audience that..."When education is not public," he said, "we no longer have the ability to control what is taught and what is not taught." Exactly right Mr. Berg. Some of us want to end the State Monopoly on Education. 

Why on earth would you want to "recreate" a public education system? Does the Constitution empower the state to educate our children? It does not. 

The education establishment, Horace Mann, and Karl Marx would be proud. As a Republican, are you with the aforementioned and Gray Davis, or with those of us who believe that the education establishment had better get out of the way? A nascent revolution in education is nigh. Are you one of us?

Leland Thomas Faegre

Libertarian Candidate, 60th Assembly District


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