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7 ways to make your neighborhood safer

Posted By Harry Browne On 10/21/2000 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

America’s crime rate has risen almost continually for the past 35
years. Very little of the great plans to reverse the trend — whether
mandatory sentences or more cops on the beat — has helped to relieve
the worst crime wave in the nation’s history. And recent drops in crime
rates still leave us far less safe than we were 35 years ago.

Is the situation hopeless?

No. America could be much safer — quickly and dramatically safer.

Cutting crime

Here are seven ways to bring peace and security to your neighborhood:

  1. End the war on drugs — to release from prison the marijuana
    smokers and other non-violent drug offenders serving 15-year and 50-year
    sentences. They fill up the prisons — allowing the murderers, rapists,
    and other violent criminals to go free on early release or
    plea-bargains, free to terrorize your neighborhood.

  2. End the war on drugs — to free up law-enforcement resources to
    fight violent crime instead of chasing people who may harm themselves
    but are no threat to us.

  3. End the war on drugs — to end gang warfare. The drug war has
    taken the drug business away from pharmaceutical companies and turned it
    over to gangs operating in a huge black market — providing untold
    riches for anyone who will flout the law. This money finances criminal
    gangs who would be powerless without drug money. Legal drug, tobacco or
    alcohol companies don’t conduct gang warfare and drive-by shootings but
    criminal gangs will do anything to secure a rich monopoly territory.

  4. End the war on drugs — to reduce police corruption. With so
    much black-market money and confiscated drugs floating around, it’s too
    easy for weak policemen to become rich by breaking the law themselves.

  5. End the war on drugs — to make our schools safer. Brewers and
    distillers don’t recruit children to run drugs or hook other kids on
    liquor — nor do they give them guns to take to school. Neither would
    legal drug companies. Before the war on drugs, the worst schools in Los
    Angeles were safer than L.A.’s best schools are today.

  6. End the war on drugs — to end muggings and burglaries by
    addicts. If Prohibition were ended, illegal drugs selling today for
    $100 might cost as little as $2, because legal competition — with no
    need to circumvent the law — would drive drug prices down. So addicts
    would no longer need to steal to support their habits.

  7. End the war on drugs — to bring back respect for decent
    behavior. Because nothing can win the Drug War, it is constantly
    escalated — destroying more of your liberties with asset forfeiture
    laws, drug-testing, snooping in your bank account, monitoring your
    e-mail, racial profiling, and other invasions of the liberty of all
    Americans. This has caused too many people to disrespect the law itself
    – feeling that any kind of law-breaking, victimless or violent, is
    justified.

Benefits of re-legalizing drugs

If you want your city, your country, and your children to be safe, we
must end the insane war on drugs before it destroys us.

Understandably, many Americans fear that ending the drug war would
produce hundreds of thousands of addicts, crack babies, children trying
drugs, and other evils. But that’s what we have now.

Re-legalizing drugs would eliminate the criminal black market –
ending the violence, the incentive to hook children and the selling of
bad drugs that destroy people. And addicts could seek medical help
openly and inexpensively — instead of hiding their habits from the law.

Why this war?

Despite the tyrannical methods the government uses to fight the drug
war, drug use continues unabated. So why do politicians fight so
desperately to continue this insane war on drugs?

Could it be because the war allows them to continually expand their
power over our property, our bank accounts and our private lives?

And why won’t the national media and the “investigative” reporters
challenge the prevailing wisdom? Why didn’t Jim Lehrer make Al Gore or
George Bush explain their support for continuing this relentless and
futile war?

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have one person on the debate stage to
ask Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush the obvious question: “Would you be a better
person today if, for your youthful drug use, you had spent 10 years in
prison?”

Republicans and Democratic politicians see nothing hypocritical in
prosecuting others for actions they’ve taken themselves. They’ve
operated for so long on a double standard that it never occurs to them
that they comprise anything less than an elite aristocracy.

A better America

Libertarians know how much safer America will be without the
nightmare of Prohibition — just as America became safer the moment
alcohol Prohibition ended. Libertarians also recognize that the war on
drugs is an excuse for politicians to make big government bigger. And
Libertarians know that oppressive prison sentences for drug use and
peaceful dealing have not made America safer.

That’s why I have made this promise: If I am somehow elected
president, from the inauguration platform I will issue an unconditional
pardon to everyone in a federal prison on a non-violent drug
offense.

When you vote this year, realize that by voting for George Bush or Al
Gore, you are voting to endorse the insane war on drugs. Only by voting
Libertarian will you issue an unmistakable statement that you want
America to be a free country again.


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