DownsizeDC.org
August 16, 2010
DRUG PROHIBITION: Your children would be safer in Portugal
By John Markley

SPECIAL MEDIA NOTICE: Jim Babka will be guest hosting a national radio show on Wednesday. One of his guests will be Rand Paul. You will be able to listen online, and you might get to ask Rand a question. We'll keep you posted with more details.

Quote of the Day: "Even if you don't like drugs, you really, really don't like murder, rape, robbery, and so forth." - Ted Balaker

An important video by Reason.tv and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) succinctly addresses how the War on Drugs cripples police work and endangers children. DownsizeDC.org would like to express our gratitude to Reason's Ted Balaker and LEAP's Neill Franklin for laying out the facts.

We urge you to . . .

* Watch the video
* And then tell Congress to watch it too, using our End the Mexican Civil War campaign

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

The Mexican government reports that its War on Drugs has killed 28,000 people over the past four years. This ongoing tragedy is undermining Mexico's stability, which is bad news for the United States.

But that's not the only way drug prohibition is hurting us. I urge you to watch this interview with Neill Franklin, the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (under 9 minutes)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzOHQdKRANA

The video reveals that the Mexican drug cartels have expanded into 230 U.S. cities. Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of police 911 calls are related to this illegal drug trade. And yet, as our police go from one drug-related 911 call to the next, most violent crimes go unsolved, including . . .

* 60% of rapes
* 73% of robberies
* 88% of auto thefts
* And 37% of murders

Whereas, in 1963, before the War on Drugs, only 9% of murders went unsolved!

Repealing drug prohibition would put an end to narcotics units and place more cops on the street to "do the work that is supposed to be done."

But unsolved crime is not the only danger caused by the Drug War. Our children are particularly at risk . . .

* Criminals don't ask for ID's to verify the age of their customers
* This means that powerful drugs are more available to kids than cigarettes and alcohol
* Criminals don't care about quality control, so the black market substances that lure our kids are more dangerous than they would be if prohibition didn't exist
* And urban, African-American children are at special risk. They are heavily recruited to the drug trade because juvenile offenders get lesser sentences

Whereas in Portugal, which legalized personal drug possession ten years ago . . .

* There was a double-digit drop in drug use by school-age children
* As well as a double-digit drop in AIDS cases
* The stigma has been removed for people seeking treatment
* And there is MORE MONEY for treatment

Even so, President Obama still wants to increase funding for the War on Drugs!

But the facts are clear. Drug prohibition doesn't work. Repeal the federal drug laws. Our communities will be safer and our children will be better off.

END LETTER

You can send your letter through DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

We also urge you to spread this common-sense message to your friends and Digg it on our blog.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

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