Ted Carpenter discusses the harmful effects of drug prohibition in America, both at home and abroad. First of all, he points out, prohibition simply doesn’t work. We learned this during alcohol prohibition, when consumption remained high but prices and violence skyrocketed, and we continue to see it now, with ubiquitous street drugs, gang violence and millions of people in prison for nonviolent crimes. The public health problem of drug use is very real, Carpenter readily concedes, but that doesn’t in any way imply that the answer is to use the police force and the penal system to try to solve it. In fact, countries like Portugal provide case studies in the ways that decriminalization can lead to lower levels of drug use and far lower levels of the secondary problems caused not by drug use per se, but by the fact that drugs are made to be black market commodities: turf wars, violent crime, dangerously adulterated supplies and police abuse. The failed war on drugs, he says, has had even further-ranging consequences, including being responsible, in large part, for America’s immigration crisis.
Discussed on the show:
- NATO: Dangerous Dinosaur
- “Bloodbath in Mexico: Another gift of US drug and drone wars” (Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft)
Ted Galen Carpenter is a senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. Carpenter has written 10 books including America’s Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan and most recently NATO: Dangerous Dinosaur. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative Magazine and the National Interest.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Photo IQ; Green Mill Supercritical; Zippix Toothpicks; and Listen and Think Audio.