Libertarian Beliefs About the Failed War on Drugs

From a representative of LPCO presenting Libertarian Party beliefs, explaining libertarian views on the subject. The application of libertarian philosophy expressed by the party or others may or may not universally represent libertarian beliefs on the topic for all adherents.

Westminster, CO: With new states (and Washington, D.C.) joining the fold in the 2016 election, medical marijuana use is now legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana use is now legal in eight states and D.C. With a March 2016 Associated Press poll showing that 61 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, it is clear that Americans are open to alternative approaches to marijuana use. However, the federal government still considers the plant illegal, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and other agencies define marijuana as a “Schedule 1” substance, meaning that they believe it has no accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse.

Addiction therapist Ron Gowins believes it is time for a change. He argues that the federal government has had a failed drug policy for more than 100 years. Gowins has been an addiction therapist in Colorado for 18 years, working primarily with injection drug users in a harmreduction setting. He has seen first-hand the damage that addiction and drug prohibition have caused to individuals, families and communities.

The government has tried to legislate morality by demonizing drug users and attempting to eradicate the use of mind-altering substances, despite the fact that such use dates back to the advent of humanity. The result is the infringement of personal rights and liberties, including gun rights, voting rights, and employment opportunities. Gowins says that the only possible solution is the outright elimination of drug prohibition and criminalization.

As an experienced addiction therapist, Gowins provides a unique perspective on why eliminating drug prohibition is the humane choice for individuals, families and communities.

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