It is my Libertarian view that the drug prohibition policies of Democrats and Republicans are ineffective, wasteful, hypocritical, and destructive. The policies are a leading – if not the leading – cause of crime in America, including violent crimes. As odd as this may seem, Americans overwhelmingly vote for policies that actually promote crime. For example …


The first notation I made was on October 31 when WTHR reported that two suspects were arrested for shooting an Anderson, Indiana police officer in the hand during an armed robbery of a drug store. The thieves stole tens of thousands of dollars in narcotics including hydrocodone and Oxycontin.

Suspect Jack Lankford, who looked to be in his forties, admitted to being a drug addict since he was 15 or 16. That the police wanted to know if the two suspects were tied to a string of drug store heists suggests that they recognize a causal relationship between addiction, prohibition and crime that leaders of both major parties have not been willing to admit.

On November 3, the Star reported that illegal drug exchanges between the elderly is both common and risky – because such illegal drug users are “out of the loop” of doctor protection. Three days later, the Star carried an article about how between 1997 and 2000, doctors prescribed medications to adults that potentially caused 3,750 serious injuries, birth defects and deaths in children under 2 years old. Statistically, this makes drug companies and doctors hundreds of times more dangerous to children than, say, marijuana dealers.

On November 4, Steve Johnson of WTHR presented a report about car theft. He interviewed inmate Shawn Jackson who admitted to stealing cars to support a drug habit. “Every time a thief takes a car in our state it drives up every drivers’ insurance,” Johnson said. Given this, wouldn’t we be smarter to give Jackson the freedom to get drugs cheaply so that he wouldn’t need to steal cars, or as many of them? That’s what we’ve done for decades at methadone treatment centers, with the goal of reducing theft.


On November 5, the Star reported that a woman pleaded guilty to selling her Oxycontin prescriptions. Like heroin and methadone, Oxycontin is an opiate. Some users crush the tablet and swallow, snort or inject the drug for rapid and intense heroin-like highs. Surely this abuse is not rare in the over 7 million OxyContin prescriptions legally filled in the U.S. each year.

On November 8, the Star carried an AP story about seven people charged in drug-weapons plots involving al-Qaida and a Colombian paramilitary group. Without drug prohibition, these groups would get only one-tenth the money for their opium and cocaine than they do today. Prohibition is the best funding mechanism ever devised for terrorists and drug cartels. Ending it, and allowing the free market to address the demand for drugs, is the only responsible alternative.

On November 13, the Star reported that a drug dealer received 25 years for his role in importing drugs to this state. (Contrast this with WTHR’s report on November 23 about a repeat child-molester named George Vance who recently served only nine months.) Despite the success of drug stings, the police cast doubt on whether they can cut the flow of drugs. “Unfortunately, drugs have such a grip that someone else will be (ready to sell them) because there is money to be made,” said the article’s quoted expert.

On November 15, the Star reported that the state police are keeping a list of people within the state who buy painkillers prescribed by doctors. Yet six days later, the paper announced that some of the most addictive prescription drugs on the market are not monitored at all in Indiana. This means that the state is no more protecting us from prescription drug abuse than from the illegal kind. And thanks to our misguided drug policies, only the black market offers medical privacy.

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Also on November 15, the Star’s web site carried an interview with Lt. Randall West, 31-year police veteran and head of the Dangerous Drugs Section of the Indianapolis Police Department. Lt. West said almost exactly what I did during my Libertarian campaign for Prosecutor: that “(a)s long as there’s a profit in dealing drugs, we’re pretty much fighting an uphill battle.”


On November 19, the Star reported that one Indianapolis pharmacy filled 120 prescriptions of narcotic OxyContin for Colts’ owner Jim Irsay. The article said that in one 24-day period last spring, Irsay got 400 tablets of the narcotic. This quantity is almost a year’s supply for thousands of other chronic pain-sufferers who needlessly struggle to get their needs met through our present system.

By Haadi