David Borden, Executive
Director, [email protected]
As Election Tuesday approaches,
Americans of all political stripes and persuasions, from all different
issue interest groups, are thinking and talking about November 7th and
what the day, and the four years that follow it, will bring for our families,
our communities, our nation.
Some will vote a party line
out of a life-long identification. Some will vote for a candidate
in whom they simply believe. Others will vote for what they believe
to be a lesser of two evils, and others will cast their ballot based on
some more complex political calculus. Some will vote single issue
and place their support behind the candidate whose record and positions
correspond most closely with their views on one issue of primary importance
Drug policy reform has yet
to reach the highest echelons of political power -- neither major party
candidate gives us the time of day -- but anti-drug war factions within
both parties are growing in numbers and passion. Third party movements
advocating drug law reform to greater or lesser degree are growing in strength.
Why does opposition to the
prohibitionist drug war span such a wide political spectrum?
Perhaps the answer is built
into the clarity of the issue itself. Most policy issues are made
up of shades of gray, with compelling cases to be made on all sides and
facets. Drug policy, however, is black and white, at least at the
level of the most basic questions at stake today: the "war on drugs"
must end, for many reasons. Only fear and misinformation stands in
the way of this conclusion, a conclusion based on overwhelming evidence,
logic and reason -- in the end a basic issue of right and wrong.
Thinkers from all political
persuasions, then, can find any number of different pathways leading to
the same destination:
That is why drug reformers can
take to the polls on Tuesday and vote for Gore or Bush or Nader or Browne,
maybe other candidates too, yet still know that we are all a movement,
that we know what is important and what is right on this issue, and can
work together. All of us from our different angles, from different
communities and bringing different allies, leading all Americans to a better
understanding of drug policy and a better way of dealing with substances
and substance abuse.
Liberals who are appalled by
racial disparities in law enforcement or the destruction the drug war wreaks
on the economically disadvantaged.
Conservatives who believe in
small, non-intrusive government, and who realize prohibition undermines
law and order to an extent that "law and order" type policies can never
Strict libertarians who believe
the government has no right to control the personal choices of individuals;
and civil libertarians who see that the pursuit of hidden drug crimes inevitably
dilutes the privacy and civil rights of all people.
Practical Americans of all political
philosophies, who see that what we are doing isn't working and that some
kind of change is needed.
A cause that transcends political
boundaries. Simply the right thing to do, for all the right reasons.
-- END --
Issue #158, 11/3/00
Initiative Endorsements: YES on 3, 5, 8, 9, 20, 36, B, G | Drug Policy in the 2000 Elections: The Dog That Didn't Bark and Races of Note | Reformers' Dilemma: Frick, Frack, or a Prophet from the Wilderness? | Cannabis, Free Speech Issues Converge in Florida, Massachusetts | Follow That Story: Justice Department to Investigate Tulia, Civil Rights Complaint Filed | Hawaii Inches Forward on Medical Marijuana, Rejects DEA Eradication Funds | Municipal Drug Testing On the Way Out in Washington State | Maryland/DC Reports Illustrate Failure and Harm of Drug Prohibition | The Reformer's Calendar | Editorial: Different Ideals, Same Conclusions
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