Finding allies

I’ve long been disappointed that there hasn’t been more public interest shown from gun rights activists in ending the war on drugs. The war on drugs has affected them in two significant ways: as a back door method of restricting gun ownership, and as means of fueling gun violence leading to public backlash on gun ownership.

So I was pleased to see this good OpEd in AmmoLand: Gun Violence and the ‘War On Drugs’

What’s often deliberately ignored is the violence resulting from, or accompanying, “the war on drugs.” The real problem occurs on the mean streets of our inner cities [...]

It’s rare to find a rational discussion relating to the amount of violence caused by the drug war, and the illicit use of drugs. We may not like to admit it, but it’s one war we cannot win. We know that legalizing drugs may not be the best public policy, but what damage has “the war on drugs” done to global and local society?

We need to have an open, objective dialogue about this unwinnable war, and discuss public policy options and implications.

Here’s a start. Dr. Jeffrey Miron, an economist and Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University, explains that violence occurs when prohibitions against goods or services are enforced because there is an increased “inability of drug market participants to settle disputes using the official dispute resolution system.” This occurs globally, and is the cause of a great deal of global violence. However, this fact is frequently ignored and replaced by increasingly hysterical calls for international weapons controls. [...]

We need to get the truth out about the roots of violent behavior. And part of that truth is that the global drug policy is a large part of the problem.

This is good to see.

In fact, if you look at almost any aspect of society – any argument for political activism – you can find a good argument for ending the war on drugs. Perhaps as we continue to help move the drug policy discussion out of the “whisper” phase and into the sunlight, we’ll find many allies out there willing to publicly help promote reform.

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