It was great to see John Stossel on Bill O’Reilly tonight. I’m not sure if John was completely unprepared or if he was intentionally deferring a bit to Bill in his first appearance on his new network… In any case, he was weak. And even admitted it.
In their discussion on legalizing drugs O’Reilly used as his primary argument the harm that drugs do and several times used as an argument that people buy pot legally in California medicinal clinics and sell it to school kids in order to buy their own hard drugs. And THAT is why we need to continue our war on drugs.
Let’s consider… With our current 40 to 50 year old war on drugs we have a worse drug problem than any country in Europe. Our war is doing absolutely nothing to stem to flow of drugs in to the U.S. nor to reduce the abuse of drugs. Our war though is leading to hundreds of innocent deaths every year such as the recent killing of Jonathan Ayers. By most estimates over 90% of corruption in our law enforcement community is related to vice prohibition laws (drugs, prostitution, gambling, and underage alcohol). Generals in Afghanistan and Iraq have estimated that over 60% of funding for the Taliban and al Qaeda has come from illicit drug sales, mostly to the U.S.
Perhaps more damning is that it’s easier for high school folk in the U.S. to obtain drugs than it is for them in countries such as The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland who are taking a much different approach. About twice as many of our high school students smoke pot as do those in Amsterdam!
I’m looking forward to seeing this debate again with a much better prepared Stossel.