Bob Barr: War On Drugs Has Failed

Bob Barr: War On Drugs Has Failed


He admits he was wrong and that it’s now time to call this “war” off because it’s doing far more harm than good.

From Huff Post:

For years, I served as a federal prosecutor and member of the House of Representatives defending the federal pursuit of the drug prohibition.

Today, I can reflect on my efforts and see no progress in stopping the widespread use of drugs. I’ll even argue that America’s drug problem is larger today than it was when Richard Nixon first coined the phrase, “War on Drugs,” in 1972.

America’s drug problem is only compounded by the vast amounts of money directed at this ongoing battle. In 2005, more than $12 billion dollars was spent on federal drug enforcement efforts while another $30 billion was spent to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders.

The result of spending all of those taxpayer’s dollars? We now have a huge incarceration tab for non-violent drug offenders and, at most, a 30% interception rate of hard drugs. We are also now plagued with the meth labs that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms across the country.

While it is clear the War on Drugs has been a failure, it is not enough to simply acknowledge that reality. We need to look for solutions that deal with the drug problem without costly and intrusive government agencies, and instead allow for private industry and organizations to put forward solutions that address the real problems.

Still, is this too little too late? Because what can he really do now? What’s more, Barr’s Libertarian run for President isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. And sure, it’s early, but how is he going to get this message out?

Here’s my opinion…if Barr made this THE central issue of his campaign he may be able to have a larger voice…but 3rd party candidates who are starting out late need ONE big issue. Perot had the deficit, and as a former federal prosecutor, Barr can make a very Libertarian case to end this “war”, but he needs to be absolutely dogged about it.

Will he do it? I have my doubts.

  • Grant Gould

    Can we perhaps replace it with a War on Barr’s Horrible Little Mustache? It just looks goofier with every photo I see. As someone who has often voted Libertarian, I am used to voting for bad facial hair. But a presidential candidate should do better!

  • Joshua

    [I]f Barr made [ending drug prohibition] THE central issue of his campaign he may be able to have a larger voice…but 3rd party candidates who are starting out late need ONE big issue.

    In 2008, sad to say, ending drug prohibition just doesn’t qualify as a big issue. Unless, of course, Barr can somehow make the case that ending the drug war will also drive gas prices down, or stop Iran’s nuclear program.

  • John Campbell

    This is the worst thing Bob Barr could do. The LP needs to overcome it’s reputation as a bunch of hippie stoner wackos. Making the War on Drugs the central issue just perpetuates this stereotype.

    This is not where McCain (Bush) is vulnerable. It’s on civil liberties, warrantless wire taps, interventionist foreign policy, big government spending, and illegal immigration.

  • Michael Seebeck

    Wrong issue, even if he had Kubby as his running mate.

    John Campbell has it right. Bigger fish to fry than the WoD.