Does Ron Paul want to Legalize Drugs?

If you believe the corporate owned mainstream media, you would think Ron Paul favors drugs for all and would legalize drugs if he had the chance. Newt Gingrich recently asserted that Ron Paul’s “volunteer base is people who want to legalize drugs.”

That perspective is a total distortion of Dr. Paul’s position.

On November 20, 2008 Ron Paul said in a New York Times / Freakonomics interview:

“[…] the federal war on drugs has proven costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime. But if you question policy, you are accused of being pro-drug. That is preposterous. As a physician, father, and grandfather, I abhor drugs. I just know that there is a better way — through local laws, communities, churches, and families — to combat the very serious problem of drug abuse than a massive federal-government bureaucracy.”

As a Libertarian and a staunch critic of the federal government’s so called “war on drugs”, Ron Paul has made it clear that as president he would open up dialogue on the issue of drug legalization as a means of effectively undermining the black market, overturning racial injustice, reducing ballooning prison populations and opening up possibilities where medical use of currently illegal drugs are concerned.

Paul has said the question of drug legalization is a states issue. The Federal government has not constitutional authority when it comes to drugs. It should be up to the states to decide for themselves.

I think it’s pretty obvious that the Federal governments “war on drugs” has been a complete failure.

Prohibition of alcohol didn’t work either. It created a criminal underclass that corrupted the American judicial system and ran some of our largest cities. Drugs are doing the same thing.

“On the issue of drugs, we have spent nearly five hundred billion dollars on the War on Drugs, since the 1970s. Total failure. Some day, we have to admit it. Today, we have the federal government going into states that have legal medical marijuana, arresting people–undermining state laws–arresting people who use marijuana when they’re dying with cancer and AIDS, and it’s done with, as a compassionate conservative. And it doesn’t work. What it does, it removes the ability to states to do their things, and also introduces the idea that it’s the federal government that will get to decide whether we get to take vitamins, and alternative medical care, or whatever. Most of our history, believe it or not, had no drug laws. Prohibition has been an absolute failure for alcohol. Drug addiction is a medical problem. It’s not a problem of the law. (Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007)

End the drug war. The deteriorating economic conditions and the mess with immigration invite the violence of the drug lords and corrupt officials on both sides. It’s time to break up the coalition of the religious drug warriors and the drug dealers who fight any effort to decriminalize drugs. It’s time to treat all drugs the way we treat alcohol and cigarettes, substances that kill millions more than hard drugs do. The drug war allows drug lords to make a lot more money than legalized drugs ever would. (Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.156 , Apr 19, 2011)

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