A Politician’s Response on the War on Drugs

Recently, through DownsizeDC.org, I sent an email to Congressman John Linder, urging him to support an end to the war on drugs and the legalization of marijuana in California. I believe that move will do much to make both Californians and Mexicans safer. Predictably, our masters in Washington are more concerned with maintaining power than actually allowing people to freely make choices for themselves. The response, which should come as no surprise to any libertarian:

Dear Mr. Wicks:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the recent drug-related violence in Mexico.  I appreciate hearing from you, and I share your concerns.

In 2007, former President George W. Bush announced the Merida Initiative proposal, a coordinated effort between the United States, Mexico, and the countries of Central America to combat the threats of drug trafficking.  President Obama recently stated that in 2009, under the Merida Initiative, $700 million would be invested to support Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial personnel in the war on drugs.  This money will be spent in part on training personnel, equipment for counternarcotics forces, and information sharing.  Additionally, to increase border security the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is tripling intelligence analysts and increasing the number of canine units operating along the Southwest border, as well as increasing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) staff in Mexico.

Our drug policy must be a comprehensive one, and we must continue to put pressure on producers throughout the Americas to ensure that they cannot sell their product in the United States or ship across our borders with impunity.  We also have an obligation to assist foreign governments with their efforts to stop the crime and violence associated with the drug trade, a trade primarily focused on meeting American demand for illicit drugs.  I believe that we must dedicate ourselves to winning the war on drugs and I will support legislation that attacks this serious threat to America’s health and national security on every front.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  If I can be of further assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to call on me.

John Linder
Member of Congress

Even people of fairly limited intelligence (i.e., congressmen) can see the clear line connecting the war on drugs to drug violence. It is well past time to stop assuming the drug warriors actually care at all about our lives. They care about their own power, and the power of the state on which they depend. If thousands must die and millions must be imprisoned, that’s just a cost of doing state business.