New York Times: End the Federal War on Marijuana
In a major and historic breakthrough for libertarians and other advocates of marijuana re-
legalization, the New York Times editorial board has called for
ending the federal war on marijuana.
Here are excerpts from the July 27 editorial, entitled "Repeal Prohibition, Again":
"It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end [alcohol] Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.
"The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. â€¦
"There are no perfect answers to people's legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level â€” health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues â€” the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs â€” at the state level. â€¦
"The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.
"There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the 'Reefer Madness' images of murder, rape and suicide. â€¦
"Creating systems for regulating manufacture, sale and marketing will be complex. But those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime. â€¦
"We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition."
The Times followed with a six-part series on marijuana legalization, which can be found under the text of their editorial
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, commented
on the groundbreaking editorial:
"This is of historic consequence â€” far bigger than most people assume. Some people in the country may perceive the Times editorial page as a liberal organ, but they should know that on this issue they've been cautious to a fault, even conservative. So for them to write what they did, at this juncture, demonstrated intellectual and moral clarity as well as courage."
It should also be noted that what the New York Times is calling for is what the Libertarian Party and Ron Paul in his presidential campaigns called for â€” many years earlier.
Buckley for Senate
One of the most famous family names in American political history is once again on the ballot and in the national news.
John Buckley â€” cousin of the renowned late conservative icon William F. Buckley and former U.S. Senator James L. Buckley â€” is running an active campaign as Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.
And he's already drawing significant national attention. The Washington Post recently described
his campaign as one of seven U.S. senate races in which a Libertarian Party candidate could win enough votes to affect the outcome of the election, thus forcing the campaigns of both older party candidates to seriously consider supporting libertarian positions if they want to win.
Said the Washington Post: "John Buckley knows something about winning political races. He's a former state legislator in Virginia, and a former employee at the American Conservative Union, the Cato Institute and the Law and Economics Center at George Mason University." He's also a past National Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom and has worked for the Institute for Humane Studies and the National Tax Limitation Committee.
At his campaign website
he sums this up: "All through my life, I've worked to promote freedom and prosperity." His lifetime of political experience, he says, soured him on the Republican Party as a vehicle for liberty and led him to the Libertarian Party.
more about his background and beliefs at his Facebook page:
"I turned 60 in 2013 and, with what I see happening under the presidency of Barack Obama (and even the astonishing growth of government under President George Bush), I want to do my part to try to turn America around. We need less government, not more!
"I have also realized that principles of limited government should be applied across the board, not just as to taxes, spending, and economic regulation, but to personal, 'lifestyle' decisions as well. Thus, I favor drastically lowering the level of federal government taxes and spending, embracing Second Amendment gun ownership rights, and respecting private property;
"I also support the legalization of marijuana (common sense tells us it's time to end the ruinously expensive, counterproductive, and failed 'War on Drugs'), same-sex marriage, and ending Big Brother's snooping and spying on American citizens.
"Most Americans don't like being told what to do and don't relish telling others what to do, either. The American way is 'live and let live.' We may not like the decisions our friends and neighbors make, but we express our moral suasion voluntarily (through churches and family and other peaceful expressions of community standards), not through laws and dictates.
"We certainly don't like politicians, and especially not Congress or whoever is president, telling us what to do. Whether it's fluorescent light bulbs, 'Big Gulp' sodas, how we run our businesses, how we choose to meet the moral obligation to help our neighbors in need, the curriculum of our children's schools, our right to keep and bear arms, what we smoke or drink, who we can love or the terms of our health-care.
"I am in favor of liberty â€” that's what 'Libertarian' means, favoring liberty. It's the American way of life, but I'm afraid the principles of liberty have been largely abandoned under mainstream Republicans and Democrats. Let's reclaim the greatness of the American system of limited government. I'll hope you'll join me in this campaign."
VIDEO: Remy's "What are the Chances? (An IRS Love Song)"
A new video by the great liberty-minded comic Remy is always a cause for celebration.
Here's his latest: "What are the Chances? (An IRS Love Song)
Remy, decked out handsomely in country music duds, croons a country-flavored ode to the IRS scandal concerning alleged unjust and biased targeting of conservative and free market organizations â€” and the suspiciously convenient IRS hard-drive crashes and loss of electronic correspondence relevant to the case. Remy's expressions and voice in the last 30 seconds or so are particularly hilarious.
It's about two minutes long. Written and performed by Remy, via ReasonTV.
Watch, laughâ€¦ then share with friends.
Butâ€¦ Who Will Build the Roads?
Yeah, we've all heard that one ad nauseam. Now a British grandfather has pretty much
From "Rolling in money: Man makes toll road to get around roadworks
", Yahoo! Finance UK and Ireland:
"A grandfather sick of roadworks [road construction] near his home defied his council and built his own toll road [in just ten days] allowing people to circumvent the disrupted section.
"Opened on Friday, it's the first private toll road built since cars became a familiar sight on British roads 100 years ago. Motorists pay Â£2 to travel each way and bypass the 14 miles diversion.
"Mike Watts, 62, hired a crew of workmen and ploughed Â£150,000 of his own cash into building a 365m long bypass road in a field next to the closed A431. He reckons it will cost another Â£150,000 in upkeep costs and to pay for two 24 hour a day toll booth operators.
"Speaking from the road in Kelston, Somerset, Mike said: 'Too many people are displaced by the road closure, their daily lives have been so disrupted by this.'"
Who will build the roads? Enterprising entrepreneurs like these â€”
if the government will simply get out of the way.
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