Want to Reform the Criminal Justice System? End the Drug War

Protesters say America’s criminal justice system is unfair.

It is.

Courts are so jammed that innocent people plead guilty to avoid waiting years for a trial. Lawyers help rich people get special treatment. A jail stay is just as likely to teach you crime as it is to help you get a new start. Overcrowded prisons cost a fortune and increase suffering for both prisoners and guards.

There’s one simple solution to most of these problems: End the war on drugs.

Our government has spent trillions of dollars trying to stop drug use.

It hasn’t worked. More people now use more drugs than before the “war” began.

What drug prohibition did do is exactly what alcohol prohibition did a hundred years ago: increase conflict between police and citizens.

“It pitted police against the communities that they serve,” says neuroscientist Carl Hart in my new video. Hart, former chair of Columbia University’s Psychology department, grew up in a tough Miami neighborhood where he watched crack cocaine wreck lives. When he started researching drugs, he assumed that research would confirm the damage drugs did.

But “one problem kept cropping up,” he says in his soon-to-be-released book, Drug Use For Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear, “the evidence did not support the hypothesis. No one else’s evidence did either.”

After 20 years of research, he concluded, “I was wrong.” Now, he says, our drug laws do more harm than drugs.

Because drug sales are illegal, profits from selling drugs are huge. Since sellers can’t rely on law enforcement to protect their property, they buy guns and form gangs.

Cigarettes harm people, too, but there are no violent cigarette gangs—no cigarette shootings—even though nicotine is more addictive than heroin, says our government. That’s because tobacco is legal. Likewise, there are no longer violent liquor gangs. They vanished when prohibition ended.

But what about the opioid epidemic? Lots of Americans die from overdoses!

Hart blames the drug war for that, too. Yes, opioids are legal, but their sale is tightly restricted.

“If drugs were over the counter, there would be fewer deaths?” I asked.

“Of course,” he responds. “People die from opioids because they get tainted opioids….That would go away if we didn’t have this war on drugs. Imagine if the only subject of any conversation about driving automobiles was fatal car crashes….So it is with the opioid epidemic.”

Drugs do harm many people, but in real life, replies Hart, “I know tons of people who do drugs; they are public officials, captains of industry, and they’re doing well. Drugs, including nicotine and heroin, make people feel better. That’s why they are used.”

President Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex. America’s drug war funds a prison-industrial complex. Hart says his years inside the well-funded research side of that complex showed him that any research not in support of the “tough-on-drugs” ideology is routinely dismissed to “keep outrage stoked” and funds coming in.

America locks up more than 2 million Americans. That’s a higher percentage of our citizens, disproportionately black citizens, than any other country in the world.

“In every country with a more permissive drug regime, all outcomes are better,” says Hart. Countries like Switzerland and Portugal, where drugs are decriminalized, “don’t have these problems that we have with drug overdoses.”

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drug use. Instead of punishing drug users, they offer medical help. Deaths from overdoses dropped sharply. In 2017, Portugal had only 4 deaths per million people. The United States had 217 per million.

“In a society, you will have people who misbehave, says Hart. “But that doesn’t mean you should punish all of us because someone can’t handle this activity.”

He’s right. It’s time to end the drug war.

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Government is a Mafia

Very often when I say something about having no need of being governed, some “Jeenyus” will come back with “Then you are free to leave my country“. Ignoring the rules about not leaving with your property and the fact that there is literally no free place left to go.

Nope. To government-supremacists, if you don’t like the gang that controls your neighborhood, don’t try to kick them out, just leave. Leave your property behind, leave your family, leave your friends, leave everything familiar. Because the gang has a better claim to your territory than you do– according to their supporters. And if you resist, their hit men will murder you.

This is exactly the same option you’d have if the mafia has taken over. I mean, if another mafia has taken over.

Government is a mafia.

If you don’t like the way they run the territory they claim– the archation they commit– you can leave. Giving up all your land and leaving behind most of your money as an exit fee. And to what gain? You’ve landed in the territory claimed by another mafia.

Maybe that’s sometimes still the best you can hope for, but it’s not the solution it’s claimed to be by supporters of the government mafia.

So when some brilliant government-supremacist says “Love it or leave it” they are admitting that government is a mafia. Thank them for making your point for you.

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Hospital Prices, Pakistani Pilots, Confederate Flags, & Aunt Jemima (31m) – Episode 314

Episode 314 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: the court forcing medical and insurance providers to reveal their privately negotiated prices; 40% of pilots being unlicensed in Pakistan; Walmart, et al, removing resemblances of the Confederate flag from their property; the causes of the American Civil War; the unfortunate disappearing of Aunt Jemima syrup; Indiana Supreme Court blocking police from forcing people to unlock their smartphones; Seattle businesses and residents suing the city over its handling of CHAZ; and more.

Listen to Episode 314 (31m, mp3, 64kbps)

Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

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Economics 101: Property Rights & Wizard’s Eighth Rule: Deserve Victory (19m) – Episode 313

Episode 313 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: continuation of the Economics 101 mini-series on property rights; continuation of the Wizard’s Rules mini-series, Wizard’s Eighth Rule: “Talga Vassternich. (Deserve Victory.)”; and more.

Listen to Episode 313 (19m, mp3, 64kbps)

Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

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Respecting Liberty Will Still Work

The world’s a bit crazy. Not as bad here as in other places, but we see the effects of those crazy paces even here.

Pandemics, riots, gangs of trespassers setting up their own governments … what’s next? A volcano spewing out zombies?

Whatever happens next, you can rest assured that respecting liberty will still work. It always does. It would even work against the volcano zombie invasion.

No matter how crazy the world gets, you don’t have to be crazy with it.

Aren’t you glad to know we had the cure for COVID-19 the whole time? Who knew all it would take to solve the pandemic were riots? Oh, sure, some has-beens are trying to keep the pandemic panic alive. Few people are still listening to them. Their 15 minutes of fame was over before they were ready. Maybe they’ll be happy if the virus comes back for round two this fall.

Speaking of riots, don’t confuse the riots with the peaceful protests. They aren’t the same thing and didn’t involve the same people. They only happened alongside the protests because parasites saw their chance to make trouble and latched onto an important issue. It seems to have ended when the protesters realized most of us were already on their side, but the rioters were driving away support.

Then the rioters became squatters taking over property they didn’t own. Much of the national mainstream media misidentified them as “anarchists.” Will they be calling horses “dolphins” next? It would be as inaccurate.

They aren’t the only ones who think of socialistic nihilists as “anarchists.” This is what they’ve been taught. Yet, anarchy only means you accept no human master. It doesn’t mean chaos, theft, destruction, or aggression. Those who seek to misinform you never define things correctly when a scary lie works better for their purposes.

How can you know the squatters aren’t anarchists? They set up a political government in the stolen territory — this is not “anarchist” by definition. Anarchists wouldn’t set up political institutions, nor do ethical anarchists steal property from others. I know this from personal experience.

What’s a person to do?

Liberty, which is freedom tempered with responsibility, could solve all these problems to the extent they can be solved. Exercise your freedom to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t violate the equal and identical rights of any other person. There’s no better way to live among others.

Try it and I think you’ll agree.

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Homeschooling Ban, Police “Reform”, Roof Koreans, & Autonomous Zones (25m) – Episode 307

Episode 307 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: Harvard professor Elizabeth Bartholet’s attack on homeschooling; the need to do more than simply reform the police; defending your property like the Roof Koreans in 1992; why your property should be your autonomous zone; and more. (Please excuse the audio anomalies that occur a few times throughout.)

Listen to Episode 307 (25m, mp3, 64kbps)

Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

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