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Issue Position: Drug Laws

Issue Position

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Date:
Location: Unknown

Oklahoma Law should recognize that adults have an inalienable right to decide for themselves what they will use as medicine, and the role of the State in this matter should be isolated to setting standards of quality and purity and prosecuting fraud. For this reason, Robert Murphy is calling for the immediate pardon and release of any and all prisoners doing time for the cultivation, sale, or possession of any drug.

The War On Drugs is a war on a large number of our fellow Oklahomans. It can probably best be defined as a class war -- a war of the political class against the working class, with the middle and upper classes clucking their tongues and supporting the State in its efforts to "clean up" the coarse, crude, unruly and tattooed lower classes. For the State, the war is also a business, providing a steady stream of revenue and increasingly intrusive investigative power.

The complicity of the upper classes in the suppression of "working class vices" is well illustrated by an incident from the early 1930's, when alcohol possession was banned throughout the United States. The city fathers of Philadelphia once hired the retired Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler, a man known for integrity and toughness, as a sort of Alcohol Czar to take over their corrupt police department and clean up the city. They cheered when he shut down all the Speakeasies and Gin Joints in the lower class neighborhoods, but when his undercover men made arrests and seized the Champagne and Scotch from a few society weddings, they bid him a hasty good-bye. It seems that they could tolerate a certain amount of corruption as long as their own refined and cultivated vices weren't interrupted. It is the same with drug prohibition today.

Arguments about the dangers of drugs are beside the point. Of course drugs can be dangerous if used immoderately or unwisely, but endangering one's self is not a sufficient reason for prohibiting any voluntary, peaceful activity.


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