Hillary: We can’t legalize drugs because …

posted at 9:30 am on February 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Why does the US pursue its “war on drugs” and a strict policy of prohibition? Is it a moral decision to limit the damage that powerful intoxicants do to the lives of American people? Concern over public safety? Worry that it will make ObamaCare even more expensive? Not exactly, according to an interview given by Hillary Clinton during a television interview in Mexico, as Reason TV noticed:

Recently, during an interview with Mexico’s Televisa, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the United States can’t legalize drugs “because there is just too much money in it.”

Apparently, Clinton doesn’t understand that there’s so much money to be made selling illegal drugs precisely because drugs are illegal.

Reason.tv uses Clinton’s love of pant suits and Chardonnay to explain the economics of prohibition to the former presidential candidate.

There may be good reasons to pursue a “war” on drugs, but being afraid of the money a legal drug market might generate isn’t one of them. As the clip suggests, the audience of the Mexican interview must have been mightily confused by her answer, because the big money is already being made by violent cartels that threaten to turn Mexico into a failed state. That comes from not just the fact that prohibition tends to create environments where the most ruthless and violent people control production and distribution, but also from the fact that prohibition hasn’t done much to quench American demand for the product.

Unlike Reason, I do believe that the prohibition on most drugs makes sense, especially opiates, meth, cocaine, and other “hard” drugs dangerous to both consume and produce. I find the case for marijuana prohibition much less compelling, as I’ve occasionally written, given its relative toxicity and intoxicating power to alcohol, which causes a handful of cases of death through overdose each year.  However, making the case for legalizing marijuana by arguing that it will unlock an economic powerhouse as some did in California may be a little silly, but not as much as attempting to make the case for prohibition through fear of an economic powerhouse being unleashed.  In the latter case, we’d at least take the economics away from the ruthless, violent predators who sit at the top of the current market.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

There were no drug laws before Progressivism. Progressives are inherently wrong about everything. Drug laws are wrong. The law enforcement agencies have to act like the Gestapo to enforce the law. When I go to the bank, everything over $9,999 has to be reported to the IRS. This came about using the drug war as an excuse. I don’t think the government should know how much money I make or what I do with it. Repeal the drug laws, take apart the IRS, and you’ve got a good start on getting back your right to privacy from an ever more invasive federal government.

adamsmith on February 11, 2011 at 8:24 PM

And she should know…I know the people that owned the laundry HRC and BillyJeff once used. Besides the inane demands by HRC on how Bill’s shirts should be laundered, there were some “interesting” items left in pockets by the dynamic duo…

Gohawgs on February 11, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Do you just forget what you write?

hawkdriver on February 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

I meant that I wasn’t asserting that there would be an effect on society, which is what you are asserting.

MadisonConservative on February 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM

LOL, Sure Madcon.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM

Badger State Dave on February 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM

You missed the point.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 1:04 AM

You missed the point.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 1:04 AM

Then I guess at this point, we are left with agreeing to disagree.

You feel government has this authority, and I do not.

You feel that if you “give in” and sign off on legalization, nobody should ever make the effort to tell people that poor decision-making with drugs can have adverse effects. I believe you can without government intervention, and do so without being two-faced about it as well.

So we agree to disagree. Oh, well. I’m sure there will be plenty of times we just have to do exactly that in the future. It happens. Nothing personal.

Badger State Dave on February 12, 2011 at 2:41 AM

Badger State Dave on February 12, 2011 at 2:41 AM

Of course nothing personal. Some other topic will net an agreement. Heck, there’s even a few things left that I agree with MadCon on.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 8:57 AM

BTW, that screen shot of Ma’am Secretary. Everyone, everyone should be that happy.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 10:19 AM

LOL, Sure Madcon.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM

…okay. If you’re just going to say “that’s not what you meant”…the debate is kinda pointless.

MadisonConservative on February 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

LOL, Sure Madcon.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM

…okay. If you’re just going to say “that’s not what you meant”…the debate is kinda pointless.

MadisonConservative on February 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Okay, your assertion is that legalizing drugs, makes the drugs better (less dangerous), gets rid of crime but you’re not asserting anything changing. You you’re asserting it will be better, which is a change, but you’re not asserting any change. Color me confused. At this point if you just try to blow smoke up my butt then the debate is pointless.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Okay, your assertion is that legalizing drugs, makes the drugs better (less dangerous), gets rid of crime but you’re not asserting anything changing.

Again:

I meant that I wasn’t asserting that there would be an effect on society, which is what you are asserting.

MadisonConservative on February 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Predicting that private enterprise would and corporate interests would take over the recreational drug industry is a historically validated prediction. Compare what was served in speakeasies to what was served in bars after repeal.

You you’re asserting it will be better, which is a change, but you’re not asserting any change. Color me confused. At this point if you just try to blow smoke up my butt then the debate is pointless.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 5:45 PM

On. Society.

Hawk, what the hell? Seriously.

MadisonConservative on February 12, 2011 at 7:37 PM

I am sure most of this has been pointed out in the comments already, however a common theme I see is the back and forth between those that want personal liberty, and those that are against personal liberty because we have a welfare state.

Arguing against personal liberty because the government has already taken your economic liberty is a very bad position to be in, 2 wrong never make a right.

A simple solution for those that say “we can end the war on drug when I dont have to pay welfare for those one it” is simple and should already be in place with or without the ending of the war on drug…. Drug Screening for those on welfare, you have to take a drug screen for almost every job today, why should welfare be any different?

Welfare is a NON ISSUE when it comes to the War On Drugs and people that make it an issue would have their efforts better used if they refocus their energy and align themselves with personal freedom by tring to reform or eliminate welfare program, not supporting the War on Drugs which has been the single biggest confiscator of personal freedom in the last 100 years.

The War on Drugs has done more harm to Personal Freedom than any other government policy, From new money reporting, very loose property seizure/forfeiture laws, to the DEA becoming an intelligence clearing house with the ability to operate domestically (they can legally spy on US Citizen, something the NSA/CIA can only dream of, or do illegally).

If you think the war on drugs, is just about keeping crack head from stealing your radio, your very very very very wrong. The War on Drugs effects EVERYONE, even if your not aware of it. Your Freedoms, even if you have never done a single drug in your life, is under assault by this war. This war has produced many many many innocent casualties, many paid with their lives.

Dont blind yourself to the assault on freedom purely because your agree with the ideal or moral ideal that the assault is predicated on. Look upon the War on Drugs with Reason, common sense, and logic, if you do no sane person can agree that the ends justify the means.

the_ancient on February 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM

the_ancient on February 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM

This thread’s equivalent of the walk-off grand slam and the game-ending hail mary touchdown rolled into one!

YOU NAILED IT!

Badger State Dave on February 12, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Hawk, what the hell? Seriously.

MadisonConservative on February 12, 2011 at 7:37 PM

This is obviously important to you. Is this where I act like your point is well taken and I’ve seen the light and genius of your debate?

WTF MadCon, so you didn’t say society. “What” were you saying was going to be better by making drugs better and getting criminals out of the mix? The animal kingdom? You were claiming we’d be better off and I said we’d be worse. I said society and you didn’t “actually”. Quit acting incredulous because someone made a valid contrast to one off your statements.

Dude. This started off like the old days in friendly tough debate. You’re freaking weirding me out now. I’m not one of your foils that you trash talk and name call to. You keep talking like somethings happened to me and I’m different on the threads now. Check yourself.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM

I really don’t know what happened to make you so fragile. I hope whatever it is gets worked out.

MadisonConservative on February 11, 2011 at 1:25 PM

I missed this too.

Really, fragile? Because I don’t descend into sophomoric name-calling and immature exchanges you do, I’m fragile?

I try to imagine how long a “dude” like you would have lasted with my crew. Fragile! You are epically ironic.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Drugs nearly destroyed my family. Keep them illegal, keep them relatively unavailable, lock up the dealers, heavily fine the users.

I can’t believe people use the stuff, knowing that good Mexicans are dying by the hundreds so the dealers here are well supplied.

unclesmrgol on February 12, 2011 at 10:59 PM

BTW, that screen shot of Ma’am Secretary. Everyone, everyone should be that happy.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 10:19 AM

She’s plastered! lol

Badger State Dave on February 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM

She’s plastered! lol

Badger State Dave on February 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM

She must be. She actually looked like a goofy drunk teenager in that photo.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 11:27 PM

She’s plastered! lol

Badger State Dave on February 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM

She must be. She actually looked like a goofy drunk teenager in that photo.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Last time I staggered out of a bar looking like I had THAT much fun, the woman I woke up with can only generously be described as a “Slump-buster.” lol

That whole “A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2” thing. lmao

Badger State Dave on February 13, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Dude. This started off like the old days in friendly tough debate. You’re freaking weirding me out now. I’m not one of your foils that you trash talk and name call to. You keep talking like somethings happened to me and I’m different on the threads now. Check yourself.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Something has happened. I used to be able to talk friendly trash and you’d talk friendly trash back. Now you usually just mock and deride in earnest. I’m still treating you with respect, but as you continually fail to reciprocate, I wonder why.

MadisonConservative on February 13, 2011 at 12:56 AM

I try to imagine how long a “dude” like you would have lasted with my crew. Fragile! You are epically ironic.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

I’m at a loss, hawk. I’m not the enemy. Let me know when you realize that.

MadisonConservative on February 13, 2011 at 12:57 AM

I’m at a loss, hawk. I’m not the enemy. Let me know when you realize that.

MadisonConservative on February 13, 2011 at 12:57 AM

The same invitation is extended to you.

hawkdriver on February 13, 2011 at 11:36 AM

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