Tea Party and the Drug War

In case you missed this article in the latest edition of The National Review here it is.

Tea Party and the Drug War

The Tea Party and the Drug War

If the tea-party believes in its principles, it must choose the libertarian path on drug prohibition.

Voter dissatisfaction with Republicans and Democrats is at historic levels, and the tea-party movement is hoping to play kingmaker in the November elections. The country’s current breed of discontent is ideal for the tea parties, because economic concerns are foremost, allowing the movement to sidestep the divisions between its libertarian and conservative wings.

As the elections near, however, voters will want to know where the party stands not just on the economy but on social issues. A perfect illustration is drug policy, where conservatives advocate continued prohibition but libertarians argue for legalization. Which way should the tea party lean when this issue arises?

If the party is true to its principles — fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets — it must side with the libertarians.

Fiscal responsibility means limiting government expenditures to programs that can be convincingly said to generate benefits in excess of their costs. This does not rule out programs with large expenditures, or ones whose benefits are difficult to quantify; national defense is guilty on both counts, yet few believe that substantial military expenditure is necessarily irresponsible.

Any significant expenditure, however, should come with a credible claim that it produces a benefit large enough to outweigh both the expenditure itself and any ancillary costs. From this perspective, drug prohibition is not remotely consistent with fiscal responsibility. This policy costs the public purse around $70 billion per year, according to my estimates, yet no evidence suggests that prohibition reduces drug use to a significant degree.

Read the rest

I did note that at a Tea Party gathering in Tuscaloosa a month or so ago one person had a nice sign that simply stated the issue in a nutshell…




  1. MSimon on

    It would be a good idea to get all the parties on our side – as much as possible. We are going to need all the help we can get.

  2. jeremy butler on

    f..k the tea party vote for the dems

  3. Anonymous on

    Who wants a poor president? How could we have confidence in someone to oversee the national economy if they fail at running their own?

  4. Anonymous on

    The TEA Party is pro-drug war… it is a highly fractioned movement which was invented by Conservative think-tanks under the guise of ‘grass-roots’ but overall it supports social-Conservatism, meaning it believes the reefer-madness conspiracy theories & support the drug war.

    Sharon Angle, TEA Party CANDIDATE for US SENATE in Nevada is AGAINST ALCOHOL… some are social Libertarians but Angle is not and the party at large believes people are ‘sinners’ to be held at bay.

  5. jeremy butler on

    right on you hit the nail on the head! the tea baggers are all about hate and killing the middle class.

  6. Anonymous on

    The tea party is so far to the right !CRAZY IS THE WORD THAT COMES TO MIND.I love smoking i really do but there is no way in hell i would ever back anyone who calls themselves a [TEA BAGGER]

  7. critical thinking media on

    I joined all the parties in Hawai’i,and taught hemp.The Greens seemed the most balanced and plausible.I’m a reformed libertarian myself,yet post on current trends.The FOX TV trend is changing fast,and John Stossel,Judge Nap getting prime time expose.The old guard are taken to school(hannity/oreilly etc),and Cannabis/Hemp is not forgotten in primary platform theatre with even Jesse on FOX.I want some Vanny activist to explain Why??? the Fraser Institute in town doesn’t support Marc Emery.These are the partial creators of this conservative government??I’m serious about the flummox of this disconnect in policy for Cannada.Otherwise,Green politics “must” protect us from the fraud of capitalism/greed.

  8. lakua on

    Thanks to the continuing failure of the Libertarian Party to capture any sizable percentage of the electorate, most libertarians don’t have a political home. For example, the LP’s response to the oil spill was complaining about the fact that oil companies have a limited liability when it comes to spills, and that if this limit was removed, then oil companies would be safer and this spill wouldn’t have happened. Whether or not this is true is debatable, but my immediate reaction this was: The oil companies should not be able to drill offshore… period! So if the LP is giving us any what-ifs, it should be that the environment is too precious to risk on offshore drilling. But the LP think that private organizations can best protect the environment. Yeah, like BP. The LP is an anthropocentric, knee-jerk anti-government, pro-privatization-at-any-cost organization. I used to support them, but now I am behind the Green Party, even though I don’t agree with their support of income taxes. Someone has got to stand up for the environment, or we will soon be history.

  9. ray christl THC ministry Singapore on

    social conservatives/republican party under Nixon/Reagan/BushONE,or ex neocon BushTWO.The Judge Napolitano is a Libertarian,and he is the top intellectual teabag leader.His new FOX TV not just net#1 Freedom Watch Show, I watch in Cambodia.He nails Pot prohibition,and I know Marc was pro Gov.Gary Johnson another tea(drug from india)bag(user)voice for Preez 2012.

  10. David762 on

    While Ron Paul may be a Republican and Libertarian, the majority of the Tea Party are Republican and not Libertarian. The crony corporatist Republicans control the purse strings and the message of the Tea Party.

    The sign-holder that you saw at the Tuscaloosa Tea Party represents only a tiny minority sentiment against the War on Drugs. Most Tea Party members are either fundamentalist xtian, socially arch-conservative, or both. Unlike the Libertarians who are mostly anti-war, most Tea Partyers toe the line regarding strong military and foreign military adventurism. When they talk about cutting back on big government, it is only the social safety net programs they want to axe: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public school funding, school lunch programs, public health programs, public libraries, fire departments, US Postal Service, etcetera. They favor big business and private profits over small business and public welfare.

    If you are really interested in a USA political party that favors ending both the War on Drugs and Prohibition 2.0, then you need to investigate the Green Party and their platform, not the Tea Party.

  11. YukonJack on

    I lived in Wasilla, Alaska for over 10 years (why does that town ring a bell) Sarah Palin was the mayor of that little town. She was elected Governor of the state by a landslide. (Hmm?) What does this have to do with weed? Very nearly all the people in Anchorage (half the state’s population btw) goes to “The ‘Silla” to get their weed. Alaska did go stone cold legal back in 1975 and kept it that way up to 1999. Now it’s barely illegal but, that’s not the point I’m attempting to make here. Sarah is a main attraction of the Tea party. (Think on that over a “J”). John McCain is a “Nam War Vet, (hmmm?) have you ever see the film Platoon? A lot of smoking of ‘erb went down back then. And did so up to 1984 when the military began ousting all their “potheads” (I was one of them).
    McCain is a “Bud” man (hmmm?). He is mature enough to know that the current ways of the government are not working, (the people who hate war the most are War Vets) even his own party attempts to reign him in quite a bit. Remember the “Maverick” thingy? Well it seems you all thought the dear dems (dims) would legalize weed for you (hmmm didn’t work out too well did it?) How’s all that “hopey changy” bull pucky working out?
    The libertarians scare too many soft republicans but a Tea Party will rally them now. If Obummer gets his 2nd term in office ( you think the 1st term is bad) wait till he has nothing to lose? BTW he has made it crystal clear that he does not think highly of people who enjoy their weed. And what is wrong with a little tea with your bud?

  12. Anonymous on

    The US political system is designed to keep the rich and influential in power and the common man virtually powerless. Name one poor or average income person who has ever become President. George Washington, born into a wealthy family. Abraham Lincoln, rich lawyer. Need I continue? There are no poor Presidents and there never will be. So this wealthy and connected person, the President, is given sweeping powers over everybody else, and nobody can do anything about it for at least 4 years, when they get the opportunity to choose a new rich guy to dictate pretty much everything in the country. What a sucker deal the US Constitution was.

  13. rasta live globe station on

    vatism platform that shaped Nixon/Reagan.Bill Buckley had a slight libertarian sheen that did create alliance with Norml/mpp beltway reform verbiage.the quintessential grandiloquent.As a young scholar I was impressed with his superior logos/logic.The violence at the US southern border is spreading,and prohibition is the CRIME.Mark my words, Republicans will support POT SMOKE before the DEMOCRATS in USA.Ron Paul and son are the beginning.

  14. ray christl THC Ministry ASIA on

    starts you on an intellectual quest similar to Marc Emery as an evolving philosopher.The main scholars in tea(INDIA DRUG)bag(USER)are Ron Paul and the new darling Judge Andrew Napolitano.He’s numero uno on FOX NET,yet only recently on cable FOX TV global.This is the metamorphosis changing the REPS. Obama is going to still be against cannabis and Gov.Gary Johnson will be running for Prez .Sorry WARbama i’m voting Cannabis everytime. You had your big chance.Alex Jones the extreme/radical voice nails cannabis/hemp prohibition on the head. You owe it to listen to his other arguments.