Video: Shep Smith – The drug war is lost

posted at 6:05 pm on February 17, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

So… how’s that war on drugs going for you? According to Shepard Smith at Fox News, not so well. In fact, he’s fairly sure that the war is lost.

Thanks to the drug scandal at Texas Christian University, we got to see all the different sides of our nation’s debate on drugs (besides, of course, the never-invited actual drug users, but whatever…) today on Studio B. Unsurprisingly, when you have a bunch of opposing sides on an issue like this, things got heated…

And, in the middle, was Shepard Smith who just seemed saddened by the whole thing. When Zelin argued that this was no way to “win the war,” Smith sighed.

“Win the war? This is a stupid war. This is a stupid war, isn’t it?” he asked. “We’ve lost this war. This war is lost.”

This is a constant bone of contention between libertarian leaning conservatives and more traditional fighters. (We’ll get to the video below in a moment.) But the case in Texas does highlight one of the profound differences of opinion and the seemingly intractable conundrums of modern society. And it shows up in a variety of conversations which are worthy of discussion.

Drug trade adds to the burden of national security efforts at the borders, since it affects everyone in that sense. Current drug laws create a market vacuum which someone will always seek to fill. It also fuels the need for guns and other weapons of mayhem as this battle is waged. But left unattended, the detrimental societal impact of illegal drugs is hard to deny. Have we lost this war? Was it even worth fighting? Or is there a moral imperative here which makes the cost – any cost – worth it for keeping society safe?

Check out the video and decide for yourself.


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Mike OMalley on February 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I’m not a libertarian. I’m a conservative Christian. And I don’t want to force my will on anyone.

As for “choosing my words carefully”, does “whatchew smoking, bro?”ring any bells? You can’t go from treating people like stoner morons to reasonable conversation with them.

I will always err on the side of freedom, just like the founding fathers did. As for the Supreme Court during FDR’s ‘reign’, Roosevelt basically held them at gunpoint to get what he wanted. Not really anything American about that at all (and anyone who thinks it is doesn’t even understand the concept of freedom. If you like what they did, you’d do well to remember the old canard that ends with”then they came for me, but there was no one left to stand up for me”.

But I doubt you will. ‘Open minded’ doesn’t describe you, does it?

Squiggy on February 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on February 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Should have been “…operateing-with-no-overarching-principle…

Bizarro No. 1 on February 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

I’m not a libertarian. I’m a conservative Christian. And I don’t want to force my will on anyone.

As for “choosing my words carefully”, does “whatchew smoking, bro?”ring any bells? You can’t go from treating people like stoner morons to reasonable conversation with them.

I will always err on the side of freedom, just like the founding fathers did. As for the Supreme Court during FDR’s ‘reign’, Roosevelt basically held them at gunpoint to get what he wanted. Not really anything American about that at all (and anyone who thinks it is doesn’t even understand the concept of freedom. If you like what they did, you’d do well to remember the old canard that ends with”then they came for me, but there was no one left to stand up for me”.

But I doubt you will. ‘Open minded’ doesn’t describe you, does it?

Squiggy on February 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

It’s a minor correction, but not wanting to force your will upon anyone, and always wanting to err on the side of freedom does make you a small “l” libertarian – don’t go along with the controlling social conservatives who are acting in opposition to big “C” Conservativism when they declare “libertarianism” to be a dirty word.

Bizarro No. 1 on February 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

But, but Shep – what about New Orleans? Your shining moment in the sun – you ought to be so proud. Any reporting or commentating you’ve done afterward has been blocked out by the tears and cries of anguish you displayed oh those many years ago. HACK.

Fuquay Steve on February 18, 2012 at 9:33 PM

The “war” is definitely lost…but the Eternal Employment of Feds and the undermining of the Constitution via shredding of the Bill of Rights continues…there are large, well-funded and well-paid constituencies for this “war”…turbocharged by the Patriot Act.

So, the “war” is lost, and for once the troops fighting “it” Win.

“Go Galt”, this thing is a disaster flying off the cliff in flames towards a huge dam that’s destruction will flood a valley with 30M residents. Or maybe 300M residents.

I’m not waiting to check the decimal points there…I’m making sure I ain’t one of them.

Who is John Galt on February 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I think I am leaning strongly now to the belief that drugs should be legalized.

JellyToast on February 18, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I’m not sure “legalized” is the right word. Decriminalized?

Whatever the term, however it’s done, keep the damn government out of the drug business. The government will become the biggest drug pusher in history … subsidizing and taxing. They’ll try their damnest to squeeze every cent they can out of any drug ever made or used.

They’ll have so many regulations and standards drugs will be more expensive than they are now, creating a black market for cheap drugs.

darwin on February 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM

O/T the “jumping page” issue is the “+1″ widget next to the fb and twit widget.

Who is John Galt on February 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM

“But left unattended, the detrimental societal impact of illegal drugs is hard to deny.”

Well, regulate it. If the “detrimental societal impact of illegal drugs [on society]” is the justification for the current drug war, let’s expand the war to include alcohol because of it’s even worse effects and . . . oh wait . . .

RomanticIdeal on February 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Well, regulate it. If the “detrimental societal impact of illegal drugs [on society]” is the justification for the current drug war, let’s expand the war to include alcohol because of it’s even worse effects and . . . oh wait . . .

RomanticIdeal on February 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Alcohol has worse effects than heroin, meth, pcp and cocaine? That’s news to me. Again, if alcohol is so awful, why do you insist on making a case that we should compound the problem by adding other lethal substances into the mix? That makes zero sense.

Once again, who regulates it, not to mention HOW? Before you legalize any of these drugs you have to answer a lot of questions. Silly innuendo implying that illegal drugs are “not as bad as alcohol” doesn’t quite cut it.

JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Alcohol has worse effects than heroin, meth, pcp and cocaine? That’s news to me. Again, if alcohol is so awful, why do you insist on making a case that we should compound the problem by adding other lethal substances into the mix? That makes zero sense.

Once again, who regulates it, not to mention HOW? Before you legalize any of these drugs you have to answer a lot of questions. Silly innuendo implying that illegal drugs are “not as bad as alcohol” doesn’t quite cut it.

JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Your argument, ‘Alcohol’s bad enough, so we shouldn’t allow any other intoxicants to be legal!!!’, is a silly, subjective, emotional one that control freaks are wont to make, not a serious, objective, rational one based upon the idea that one person’s arbitrary line in the sand is not morally greater than another’s.

Do you believe that man-made laws grant us our rights? Where would you say that people who agree with you that alcohol usage is OK but THC usage is not get their “right” to coerce people who don’t agree with you to pass through your gauntlet first before you “freely” allow them to decide for themselves which substances they can and cannot put into their own bodies while in the privacy of their own homes? From our Creator? From the Constitution? From the same place slave owners got theirs? From the same place the Salt Police in NYC get theirs? Or some other place that I didn’t mention?

Bizarro No. 1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:24 AM

The war on drugs was started by fascists, and supported by fascists.

End of discussion.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 19, 2012 at 4:11 AM

A lot of drug addicts do it legally via prescription meds. I know a guy who is DUI everytime he drives. He thinks he is OK to drive but he isn’t. There’s more than a few of those on the roads.

tbear44 on February 19, 2012 at 5:17 AM

Again, if alcohol is so awful, why do you insist on making a case that we should compound the problem by adding other lethal substances into the mix?

JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I didn’t. Canabis isn’t lethal. And I have no family that was killed by meth-heads – only alcoholics.

Get off your idiotic high horse. It makes you sound obnoxious.

Squiggy on February 19, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Squiggy on February 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

.
Thank you for your civil response, Mr. Squiggy.
.
You can understand I find being characterized as a “Collectivist”, as a “Progressive” and as unprincipled to offensive. As you appear to be a man blessed with intelligence I am confident upon reflection you agree that some sort of push-back on my part in each instance was to be expected even if my feigned street slang was in the end disagreeable.
.

I will always err on the side of freedom, just like the founding fathers did. As for the Supreme Court during FDR’s ‘reign’, Roosevelt basically held them at gunpoint to get what he wanted.
Squiggy on February 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

.

Yes and you may recall:

That is a reasonable start, to look to the Constitution first. I expect we would agree that the New Deal Supreme Court, as packed by FDR, dangerously over expanded the application of the Commerce Clause. However as the FDA was formed in 1906 it seems reasonable to presume that a pre-New Deal Supreme Court would be able to bring a necessary degree of competence to is decisions regarding the Commerce Clause.

I applaud your Federalism, but need I remind you the none of the Founders was a modern libertarian. The British, Scottish and American Enlightenment libertarians (Classical Liberals) were economic and political libertarians and would not likely view modern social/moral libertarians/anarchists favorably.

Mike OMalley on February 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM

.

You were thinking about Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), the New Deal U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity? Yes? If so we agree. This dangerous SCOTUS precedent in the view of many is without support by original intent.

However as the FDA was formed in 1906 it seems reasonable to presume that a pre-New Deal Supreme Court would be able to bring a necessary degree of competence to is decisions regarding the Commerce Clause. Do you agree? Yes? No? If no, feel free to explain for me your reasons for your position.

Mike OMalley on February 19, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Squiggy on February 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

.
Thank you for your civil response, Mr. Squiggy.
.
You can understand I find being characterized as a “Collectivist”, as a “Progressive” and as unprincipled to be offensive. As you appear to be a man blessed with intelligence I am confident upon reflection you agree that some sort of push-back on my part in each instance could be expected even if my feigned street slang was in the end disagreeable.
.

I will always err on the side of freedom, just like the founding fathers did. As for the Supreme Court during FDR’s ‘reign’, Roosevelt basically held them at gunpoint to get what he wanted.
Squiggy on February 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

.

Yes and you may recall:

That is a reasonable start, to look to the Constitution first. I expect we would agree that the New Deal Supreme Court, as packed by FDR, dangerously over expanded the application of the Commerce Clause. However as the FDA was formed in 1906 it seems reasonable to presume that a pre-New Deal Supreme Court would be able to bring a necessary degree of competence to is decisions regarding the Commerce Clause.

I applaud your Federalism, but need I remind you the none of the Founders was a modern libertarian. The British, Scottish and American Enlightenment libertarians (Classical Liberals) were economic and political libertarians and would not likely view modern social/moral libertarians/anarchists favorably.

Mike OMalley on February 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM

.

You were thinking about Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), the New Deal U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity? Yes? If so we agree. This dangerous SCOTUS precedent in the view of many is without support by original intent.

However as the FDA was formed in 1906 it seems reasonable to presume that a pre-New Deal Supreme Court would be able to bring a necessary degree of competence to is decisions regarding the Commerce Clause. Do you agree? Yes? No? If no, feel free to explain for me your reasons for your position.

Mike OMalley on February 19, 2012 at 8:03 AM

The “War on Drugs” is a joke. Instead of treating users as criminals we should treat them as people who need help. As far as the dealers are concerned, they only exist because of the black market the “War” creates in the first place. Did we not learn anything from prohibition? At the very least, pot should be legalized and they should focus their efforts on drugs that actually harm society.

mazer9 on February 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

On the one side you have the drug dealers, the drug lords, the mafia and all the crime, pushers, murders and kidnappings and the corruption and on the other side you have a growing militarized police state ready and willing to trash everyone of our liberties in the name of the war on drugs and in the middle of it all are the American people.

Do you realize how much corruption, greed and ever expanding new big government police powers, spending and programs are all based on the need to keep this drug war going?

Legalizing drugs is not going to stop people from using them. All the laws we have for alcohol can be applied to other legal drugs. We don’t need nor should we have government run crack houses or government run distribution centers. We don’t have that for alcohol. Private companies make beer and wine. Private companies can grow and make other legal drugs and laws can be passed to ensure their purity and/or list of ingredients just like we do with beer and wine.
Employers would still be able to fire somebody if they showed up high for work.. just like if they showed up drunk on the job. Communities can still have laws that regulated “public influence” for lack of a better word, just like we do for public intoxication.

Churches and others can still openly preach against the use of drugs. None of that has to change. But legalizing drugs would in one day rid America of so much crime, suffering, corruption and the need for an ever expanding governmental encroachment on our freedoms.

But because of that… not because of the reduction on crime, but because of the effect it will have on big government and the need for a police state… drug legalization will never happen in America.

JellyToast on February 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM

It is a myth that decriminalizing drugs will end “criminal activity”. I am ashamed of so many of my conservative brethren who have fallen for such a silly lie. The cartels will still terrorize and murder to protect their $BILLIONS. Users here will still commit crimes to pay for their habits. They only difference is that with decriminalization, there is an implicit sanction. We will have a much more difficult time discouraging young people and non-users from trying these drugs. As a result, there will be millions more users here for the cartels to fight over.
Wake up people!
If we have in fact “lost” the war on drugs, as Shep and many of you suggest, then haven’t we also lost the “war” on murder, assault, burglary, theft, fraud, pedophilia, drunk driving, and so on? Should we “decriminalize” these activities and then pretend that crime has been reduced?

edgehead on February 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

legalizing drugs would in one day rid America of so much crime, suffering, corruption and the need for an ever expanding governmental encroachment on our freedoms.

JellyToast on February 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Let’s legalize ALL crime and we can honestly say we’ve won! We can gleefully shut down our prisons, disband all of our police forces,and dramatically reduce our judiciary!
Think of the money we will save!
I can’t believe no one thought of this before. Legalilze crime… end criminal activity.
It’s so simple!

edgehead on February 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Again, if alcohol is so awful, why do you insist on making a case that we should compound the problem by adding other lethal substances into the mix?

JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I didn’t. Canabis isn’t lethal. And I have no family that was killed by meth-heads – only alcoholics.

Get off your idiotic high horse. It makes you sound obnoxious.

Squiggy on February 19, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Sounds to me like YOU are the one using your own personal experiences to stay on YOUR high horse. You are the one who made the erroneous ASSumption that I am morally opposed to drug use. I worked as an RN for ten years, and I have no doubt that my own, personal experience with drug abusers trumps yours.

I can not justify legalizing meth, cocaine, pcp, or heroin under any circumstances, and it isn’t because I see myself as “morally superior” to anyone. The use of those drugs destroys people and their families and has a huge, negative impact on society. I don’t believe my opposition to legalizing those drugs makes me a fascist. It makes me a realist. You can feel free to callme fascist, but the label doesn’t fit.

JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I personally know plenty of people who smoke Marijuana regularly. They all live quite normal happy lives and from what I can tell suffer know ill effects from the habit. They are also some of the most creative, pleasent and hard working people I know. On the other hand I also have known plenty of alcoholics who’s lives are destroyed and I believe they are beyond help at this point. I know of no one who’s ever beaten there wives gotten into a fight or were otherwise violent after smoking. I know of no one whose marrage has ended due to marijuana use. I know of no one who ever failed to make it to work due to a marijuana hangover. These are my observations after 50 years on this earth and the only conclusion I can draw from it is that marijuana is a harmless substance and that there is no reason for any laws prohibiting its use, cultivation or sale.

steel guy on February 19, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The thread that wouldn’t die. What da all hopped up on goofballs?

Bmore on February 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

What da all hopped up on goofballs?=What da are ya all hopped up on goofballs?

Bmore on February 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Churches and others can still openly preach against the use of drugs. None of that has to change. But legalizing drugs would in one day rid America of so much crime, suffering, corruption and the need for an ever expanding governmental encroachment on our freedoms.

JellyToast on February 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM

.
Nonsense.
.

It was and is breakdown of the traditional American family that drives most crime in the USA.
.

Suffering will increase substantially because dehabilitating drug use will increase as lower cost dehabilitating drugs will be mass marketed to the American public and to our young.
.

Significant corruption existed before the drug war and comparatively levels of police corruption are lower now than in the pre-drug war past.
.

The Progressive welfare state will only increase to address the social ills cause by substantial increases in popular use of dehabilitating drugs. Freedom will not increase instead your life will be professionally managed by those Progressive apparatchiks Christopher Lasch called “The New Class
.

Mike OMalley on February 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The war on drugs was started by fascists, and supported by fascists.

End of discussion.

Aquateen Hungerforce on February 19, 2012 at 4:11 AM

BINGO!

svs22422 on February 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

It is a myth that decriminalizing drugs will end “criminal activity”. I am ashamed of so many of my conservative brethren who have fallen for such a silly lie. The cartels will still terrorize and murder to protect their $BILLIONS. Users here will still commit crimes to pay for their habits. They only difference is that with decriminalization, there is an implicit sanction. We will have a much more difficult time discouraging young people and non-users from trying these drugs. As a result, there will be millions more users here for the cartels to fight over.
Wake up people!
If we have in fact “lost” the war on drugs, as Shep and many of you suggest, then haven’t we also lost the “war” on murder, assault, burglary, theft, fraud, pedophilia, drunk driving, and so on? Should we “decriminalize” these activities and then pretend that crime has been reduced?

edgehead on February 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

LOL!!

svs22422 on February 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I can not justify legalizing meth, cocaine, pcp, or heroin under any circumstances, and it isn’t because I see myself as “morally superior” to anyone. The use of those drugs destroys people and their families and has a huge, negative impact on society.
JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM

i know what will keep people from doing drugs,keep them illegal,it’s been working so well for so long.

svs22422 on February 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Shep Smith can join other defeatists like Harry Reid and just give up. Quitters. DD

Darvin Dowdy on February 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

i know what will keep people from doing drugs,keep them illegal,it’s been working so well for so long.

svs22422 on February 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM

.
One must wonder, from what depth of bad faith comes a puerile argument such as this!

Mike OMalley on February 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM

If we have in fact “lost” the war on drugs, as Shep and many of you suggest, then haven’t we also lost the “war” on murder, assault, burglary, theft, fraud, pedophilia, drunk driving, and so on? Should we “decriminalize” these activities and then pretend that crime has been reduced?

edgehead on February 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Sigh, you’re talking about mala en se vs mala prohibita. By your thinking as others have mentioned already, we should ban alcohol again because many deaths and crimes occur because of booze. Ban driving, pools, guns, knives etc. as those things all can cause deaths.

Yes, we can work to minimize the bad but to what extent? Where is the line? Look at gun laws and all that insanity. Anti self defense folks sit there and talk about a “wild west” happening if we have concealed carry… hasn’t happened yet has it?

When we have people being arrested and then released while their cash is “arrested”, suspected of being drug profits with no proof, we have a problem. Civil forfeiture laws are out of control. We have police organizations fighting over jurisdiction to get the drug cash while innocents get caught up in the dragnet and lose their money. All for daring to use cash. Which society is worse? One that has druggies OD’ing but society tries to get most help or a society that still has druggies (perhaps fewer but fewer out in the open) and is protected but slowly loses its liberties in the name of security.

I have to get a prescription now for sudafed in Oregon. I’m automatically viewed as a potential criminal just to get cold medicine that 10 years ago I could buy over the counter. Newsflash, meth still gets into the state and ultimately, a new drug that fits the black market better will take its place.

oryguncon on February 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I doubt that Smith actually laments the “loss in the war on drugs” he has boldly proclaimed, since his left wing ramblings often sound induced by some illegal substance abuse.I have been a viewer of Fox News since its inception,although over the years I have used the remote more frequently to silence the idiocy that spews from the likes of Smith,Rivera,and Beckel.But the obvious lurch to the left has been mandated from on high and is now noticeable in many more offerings on the network,so I now receive my news soley from online sources.As one who always self-identifies as “very conservative” on the host of online polls offered up this election season,I am finally responding to the fact that for years we as a group have been blatantly used,abused and taken for granted,whether it has been by the GOP I have toiled and paid dearly to support,Fox News whose ratings have been gained at the behest of my viewership,or the host of pseudo-conservative elite punditry who have demonstrated their preference for power over principle.So-I have cut my ties to the GOP,no longer watch Fox News, and have decided to hit the establishment pundits where it really hurts,in their book sales,blogs,and their appearances in/on a variety of media.It sure makes this used,abused and taken for granted conservative feel a whole lot better.

redware on February 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM

I’m a far-right Conservative Republican. I’ve voted the Republican ticket in every federal election since 1980 when I could first vote. I don’t use drugs and I despise the entire 4-20 filthy hippie stoner drug “culture”.

But Prohibition diodn’t work in the 20′s against alcohol. Instead it allowed Organized Crime (Al Capone, Joseph P Kennedy, et al) to fully sink its hooks into American society.

And now after FIFTY years of attempted Drug Prohibition and hundreds of billions, perhaps over a trillion dollars, have been spent on the War On Drugs, and for what? Fully half the people in jail now – county, state, federal – are incarcerated because of either possession of illegal drugs or committing crimes to get money to buy illegal drugs.

We see on the local news almost daily where some druggie robs a liquor store to get money to buy drugs. But ask yourselves this simple question – have you EVER heard of someone robbing a corner drugstore to get money to buy booze at a liquor store?

If at leat pot was made legal, with the same restrictions as alcohol in regards to 21 years of age or older, DUI, etc, then I reckon we’d see a lot of empty jails and former fringe losers now becoming productive, taxpaying members of society.

But my bet is that the hundreds of billions spent by local, county, state & federal law enforcement is like a money drug to law enforcement budgets.

CatchAll on February 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

The “War on Drugs” is a joke. Instead of treating users as criminals we should treat them as people who need help.

I would think that you mean abusive “users” rather than simply “users”.

As far as the dealers are concerned, they only exist because of the black market the “War” creates in the first place. Did we not learn anything from prohibition? At the very least, pot should be legalized and they should focus their efforts on drugs that actually harm society.

mazer9 on February 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

“drugs that actually harm society” – like alcohol. The War on Drugs is definitely a joke when ‘public health safety’ is used as its justification, as long as alcohol is legal. If every street drug was made legal, they still wouldn’t do as much damage to this society as the War on Drugs+alcohol already do. For every true horror story about cocaine, weed, PCP, LCD, or other illegal drug, alcohol could be substituted, and when that’s done, there are far more true horror stories to be heard than what we hear now from the Neo-Prohibitionists.

When I respectfully asked Janny Mae above about the role rights play in the criminalization of drugs, I was making the point that having the gov’t be the final arbiter of what people can and cannot put into their own bodies is antithetical to the definition of freedom. Since I honestly believe that THC is a safer substance than alcohol, societally and otherwise, why should I have to live under someone else’s opinion that it’s not? The fact is, I shouldn’t, at least not from a moral rights standard – it truly is tyrannical to force people to abide by another groups’ personal, non-objective taste.

Bizarro No. 1 on February 19, 2012 at 9:42 PM

The drug war is lost, and it’s frankly astounding that we went that way after Prohibition got us a constitutional amendment, and then another one removing it because it was so bad.

It would figure that in 6,000 years of recorded history, humans are pretty notorious about wanting to alter their mental state, and if one method is cut off then they’ll do a workaround (the big worry in the 80s was that if the “war on drugs” ever amounted to anything, enough synthetic dope to keep millions of people stoned would fit in a shoebox). In any case, we’d be a lot better off just managing the people that can’t handle their drugs vs. spending the billions on a war that cannot be won.

John_G on February 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

It seems to me that the conservative position is that it is ridiculous to keep dumping hundreds of billions of dollars into a problem only to make it worse. Am I talking about the war on drugs, or the war on poverty? Which one? Why are we taking the opposite approach to two problems?

Russ in OR on February 20, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Shep Smith is good at giving up, it is what he does best. Don’t worry, just get wasted, everything will be OK…

insidiator on February 20, 2012 at 7:47 AM

If we have in fact “lost” the war on drugs, as Shep and many of you suggest, then haven’t we also lost the “war” on murder, assault, burglary, theft, fraud, pedophilia, drunk driving, and so on? Should we “decriminalize” these activities and then pretend that crime has been reduced?

edgehead on February 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

This is the most inane argument of all. The reason these crimes are crimes is not so people won’t do them, it is to provide justice to the victims of these crimes. That is why we have a “Justice” system. Who cries out for justice if I smoke a joint in my home? The crimes you list all have victims who have been wronged. In the far past, the victim, or their family, would take their vengeance against the perpetrator. Because of the problems that obviously causes, we established a justice system to punish crimes and obtain a measure of justice for the victim. The crimes you list have always been around and always will. The reason we have laws against them is not so no one will commit them, but to provide punishments to those who do. Further, it is universally agreed, in all cultures, that killing someone or robbing them, etc are crimes. Depending on the poll, between 30% to 50% of the country think drugs like marijuana should be legal. This undermines our justice system and puts large segments of our society at odds with the police. This makes it harder for the police to investigate real crimes like the ones you have listed.

The Buzz on February 20, 2012 at 8:15 AM

If we have in fact “lost” the war on drugs, as Shep and many of you suggest, then haven’t we also lost the “war” on murder, assault, burglary, theft, fraud, pedophilia, drunk driving, and so on? Should we “decriminalize” these activities and then pretend that crime has been reduced?

edgehead on February 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

No because with all the crimes you just mentioned there are actual victims who a suspect is claimed to have consciously and deliberately harm another individual.

With the drug war we are talking about sadist life ruining, just as the girl in the video, they and you hide behind government and absolve any discussion of who gets harmed in the drug war, the people that are stigmatized and black listed from certain rights because of laws that arose from progessive puritans of the earlier part of the previous century. From the same folks that brought you prohibition of alcohol.

And with your cartel money argument not in the blockquote, with your logic we should make everything illegal because maybe the criminals will find more legitimate ventures and not terrorize us.
I do see now that after prohibition of alcohol was reversed we have been terrorized by the mafia ever since.

LevStrauss on February 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM

With the drug war we are talking about sadist life ruining, just as the girl in the video, they and you hide behind government and absolve any discussion of who gets harmed in the drug war, the people that are stigmatized and black listed from certain rights because of laws that arose from progessive puritans of the earlier part of the previous century. From the same folks that brought you prohibition of alcohol.

LevStrauss on February 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM

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Nonsense.
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Our current drug war arose out working class and middle class reaction to the race riots of the 1960s, the ensuing urban underclass fueled crime-waves and a collapse of traditional social mores all promoted or enabled by the counter-cultural Progressive-left in the 1960s and 1970s. This reaction emerged among those who later became Reagan Democrats. It was a powerful anti-Progressive social force.
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Ground zero was almost certainly the Northern ethnic working class reaction to the Progressive-liberal Lindsey Administration in New York City and its regional kin during the 1960s.
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Mr. Strauss, your narrative is disconnected from reality.

Mike OMalley on February 20, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Alcohol has worse effects than heroin, meth, pcp and cocaine? That’s news to me. Again, if alcohol is so awful, why do you insist on making a case that we should compound the problem by adding other lethal substances into the mix? That makes zero sense.

JannyMae on February 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all those other substances are already in the mix. Has the problem been compounded by their presence or their attempted banishment? Also, since I’ve actually taken a couple of those items and am currently a tax paying (ALOT) conservative citizen, how lethal are they compared to the drain cleaner in your kitchen? Something misused badly doesn’t make it necessarily bad.

How about you just leave me to my own devices and stop telling me what I can and can’t do. Just a thought. If someone else can’t handle their drugs, that’s their problem not mine.

runawayyyy on February 20, 2012 at 10:23 AM

The problem with libertarianism is that it works on the micro level. In other words, it works fine when there’s a single individual making his own decision, two individuals or a very small groups such as a small town.

Libertarianism doesn’t work on the macro level. It doesn’t work when lots and lots of individuals are involved such as big cities, states or nations.

Libertarians and liberals lack the necessary boundaries, rules, structure and morals to keep large societies safe, organized and functioning.

Many of society’s rules are there for a reason. They might be arbitrary but they have a purpose. Some rules aren’t arbitrary but founded on natural laws and also serve a purpose.

The drug war is worth fighting. We just need to radically change our war plan.

Conservative Samizdat on February 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

The problem with libertarianism is that it works on the micro level…

Conservative Samizdat on February 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

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Even that may be an illusion courtesy of that Nietzschean cult figure, Ayn Rand.
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If libertarianism does indeed work on the micro level it works because it is embedded in an affluent non-authoritarian civil society with high levels of human capital including rule of law, a sense of personhood and respect for human dignity. All of these have been bequeathed to American society by almost four thousand years of Judeao/Christian endeavor.
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Libertarianism leaves the individual naked and alone before the arbitrary power of the state and of the market. I doubt many beyond a hermit or a sociopath can survive alone against the power of the modern state and of the modern market if either of those two turn against him.
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The individual needs buffering and mediating institutions of civil society to withstand the power of the modern state and of the modern market. Examples of such buffering and mediating institutions are: the traditional family, churches, unions, fraternal organizations and monastic societies; institutions that Libertarians regularly degrade and dismiss.

Mike OMalley on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM

The individual needs buffering and mediating institutions of civil society to withstand the power of the modern state and of the modern market. Examples of such buffering and mediating institutions are: the traditional family, churches, unions, fraternal organizations and monastic societies; institutions that Libertarians regularly degrade and dismiss.

Mike OMalley on February 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I agree with 99.9% of your post. It was a very thoughtful post.

However, given what we’ve seen with public and private sector unions, I’m not sure that they’re good institution that buffers and mediates individuals from the power of the modern state and market.

In fact, these organizations often turn against the individual in order to benefit and enrich the leaders at the expense of the workers. At the same time, they’re a detriment to society, private businesses and government with corruption, power and cronyism.

Perhaps unions used to be a good thing before liberalism and marxism corrupted it. However, based on my limited historical knowledge, unions were never a good thing.

Conservative Samizdat on February 21, 2012 at 2:09 AM

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