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A Fresh Drug War non-Rant

Today's LewRockwell.com features a Drug War essay by Berkley-based writer and musician, Anthony Gregory. I rarely read these things, at least not in their entirety, because they all seem to make the same points in roughly the same way. I liked Mr. Gregory's essay, particularly the following paragraph:
What kind of message does it send children, anyway, to continue the horrific drug war – to continue putting young people in prison where they are torn from the productive economy for years; where they are caged with violent criminals at a per-prisoner cost of tens of thousands a year to taxpayers; where many are abused and raped and become hardened criminals, made much more dangerous to others and society than when they were first convicted – all because they were caught doing something peaceful that tens of millions of Americans, including at least one U.S. president, have done? What kind of message does it send to children to say that it is wrong to physically attack others who haven’t hurt you and don’t threaten you, but that it is okay for the government to do the same to drug users? What kind of conflicted message do children get in a world where millions of drug users live productive, relatively normal lives and manage to avoid punishment, and yet the ones who get caught are punished more severely than burglars and rapists? How can a child learn about property rights and the founding principles of America and yet be taught that his home or vehicle can be searched one day, as long as some police officer thinks he might have drugs? And what kind of message does it send to say that a failing policy that has wrecked the lives of millions of good people must be continued, despite being a moral monstrosity and practical disaster, all to send “the right message” to children?


Link: http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory121.html

I liked that so much that I fired off an email to Mr. Gregory.

Dear Mr. Gregory,

I read your essay, and I wanted to tell you that I greatly appreciated
it. Lew Rockwell's daily digest of libertarian essays features
relatively few Drug War articles, mainly, I think, because anybody who
has learned the very basic distinctions embodied in libertarian
thought has already rejected prohibition as a violation of human
rights and an affront to the integrity of the free market. I rarely
read more than a paragraph or two of the Drug War essays that do
appear on the site, because they all make basically the same points.

I would like to congratulate you for bringing some much-needed
freshness to the topic. I particularly liked your response to the
party line that ending the Drug War would "send the wrong message to
children." I intend to memorize the gist of that paragraph and have it
at the ready the next time someone trots out that tired pony.

In addition to expressing my thanks, I am also writing to ask for your
permission to read that portion of your essay on an episode of my podcast. Even
better, if you had any interest in recording a short commentary using
the "message to the children" paragraph as the meat of thing, I would
love to include it in the next podcast focused on the Drug War and
cognitive liberty. Given that you work as a musician, I imagine that
you have the tools at hand to record a short commentary and attach it
to an email. Thus far, my podcast remains very lo-fi, so you needed
expend any energy to imbuing with any great level of technical
pollish.

Once again, thanks for a fresh and engaging essay.

Stay well.

-Kevin M. O'Connor

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