Friday, December 21, 2007

Ron Paul, anti-Reagan and pro-liberalization of drugs

Libertarian Party's Ron Paul Sends "Dear Frank" Letter

from the Libertarian Party News, March/April 1987


Following is the text of a letter sent to Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of

the Republican National Committee, by Ron Paul, former member of Congress

from Texas and now a member of the Libertarian Party.


As a lifelong Republican, it saddens me to have to write this letter.

My parents believed in the Republican Party and its free enterprise

philosophy, and that's the way I was brought up. At age 21, in 1956, I

my first vote for Ike and the entire Republican slate.

Because of frustration with the direction in which the country was

going, I became a political activist and ran for the U.S. Congress in

Even with Watergate, my loyalty, optimism, and hope for the future
were tied

to the Republican Party and its message of free enterprise, limited

government, and balanced budgets.

Eventually I was elected to the U.S. Congress four times as a

Republican. This permitted me a first-hand look at the interworkings
of the

U.S. Congress, seeing both the benefits and partisan frustrations that

its shaky proceedings. I found that although representative government

exists, special interest control of the legislative process clearly

a danger to our constitutional system of government.

In 1976 I was impressed with Ronald Reagan's program and was one of the

four members of Congress who endorsed his candidacy. In 1980, unlike other

Republican office holders in Texas, I again supported our President in his


Since 1981, however, I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the

Republican Party's efforts to reduce the size of the federal government.

Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us

deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the

of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate,

red ink greater than all previous administrations put together? Tip

although part of the problem, cannot alone be blamed.

Tax revenues are up 59 percent since 1980. Because of our economic

growth? No. During Carter's four years, we had growth of 37.2 percent;

Reagan's five years have given us 30.7 percent. The new revenues are
due to

four giant Republican tax increases since 1981.

All republicans rightly chastised Carter for his $38 billion deficit.

But they ignore or even defend deficits of $220 billion, as government

spending has grown 10.4 percent per year since Reagan took office,
while the

federal payroll has zoomed by a quarter of a million bureaucrats.

Despite the Supply-Sider-Keynesian claim that "deficits don't matter,"

the debt presents a grave threat to our country. Thanks to the
President and

Republican Party, we have lost the chance to reduce the deficit and the

spending in a non-crisis fashion. Even worse, big government has been

legitimized in a way the Democrats never could have accomplished. It was

tragic to listen to Ronald Reagan on the 1986 campaign trail bragging

his high spending on farm subsidies, welfare, warfare, etc., in his futile

effort to hold on to control of the Senate.

Instead of cutting some of the immeasurable waste in the Department of

Defense, it has gotten worse, with the inevitable result that we are less

secure today. Reagan's foreign aid expenditures exceed Eisenhower's,

Kennedy's, Johnson's, Nixon's, Ford's, and Carter's put together. Foreign

intervention has exploded since 1980. Only an end to military welfare for

foreign governments plus a curtailment of our unconstitutional commitments

abroad will enable us really to defend ourselves and solve our financial


Amidst the failure of the Gramm-Rudman gimmick, we hear the President

and the Republican Party call for a balanced-budget ammendment and a line-

item veto. This is only a smokescreen. President Reagan, as governor of

California, had a line-item veto and virtually never used it. As President

he has failed to exercise his constitutional responsibility to veto

Instead, he has encouraged it.

Monetary policy has been disastrous as well. The five Reagan appointees

to the Federal Reserve Board have advocated even faster monetary inflation

than Chairman Volcker, and this is the fourth straight year of

increases. The chickens have yet to come home to roost, but they will, and

America will suffer from a Reaganomics that is nothing but warmed-over


Candidate Reagan in 1980 correctly opposed draft registration. Yet when

he had the chance to abolish it, he reneged, as he did on his pledge to

abolish the Departments of Education and Energy, or to work against

Under the guise of attacking drug use and money laundering, the

Republican Administration has systematically attacked personal and

privacy. The effect has been to victimize innocent Americans who wish to

conduct their private lives without government snooping. (Should people

really be put on a suspected drug dealer list because they transfer
$3,000 at

one time?) Reagan's urine testing of Americans without probable cause is a

clear violation of our civil liberties, as are his proposals for extensive

"lie detector" tests.

Under Reagan, the IRS has grown bigger, richer, more powerful, and more

arrogant. In the words of the founders of our country, our government has

"sent hither swarms" of tax gatherers "to harass our people and eat
out their

substance." His officers jailed the innocent George Hansen, with the

President refusing to pardon a great American whose only crime was to

the Constitution. Reagan's new tax "reform" gives even more power to the

IRS. Far from making taxes fairer or simpler, it deceitfully raises more

revenue for the government to waste.

Knowing this administration's record, I wasn't surprised by its Libyan

disinformation campaign, Israeli-Iranian arms-for-hostages swap, or

funding of the Contras. All this has contributed to my disenchantment with

the Republican Party, and helped me make up my mind.

I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given

us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate

military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy,

foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack
on our

personal liberties and privacy.

After years of trying to work through the Republican Party both in and

out of government, I have reluctantly concluded that my efforts must be

carried on outside the Republican Party. Republicans know that the

Democratic agenda is dangerous to our political and economic health.
Yet, in

the past six years Republicans have expanded its worst aspects and called

them our own. The Republican Party has not reduced the size of government.

It has become big government's best friend.

If Ronald Reagan couldn't or wouldn't balance the budget, which

Republican leader on the horizon can we possibly expect to do so? There is

no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the
size of

government. That is the message of the Reagan years.

I conclude that one must look to other avenues if a successful effort is

ever to be achieved in reversing America's direction.

I therefore resign my membership in the Republican Party and enclose my

membership card.


The Case for Drug Legalization

by Ron Paul, MD

Today in Washington and on the campaign trail, Republicans and

Democrats, conservatives and liberals, are calling for drastic action on


The Reagan administration has made these substances a special issue, of

course. From Nancy Reagan and her "Just Say No" to Ed Meese and his anti-

"money-laundering," officials have engineered mammoth increases in

spending for anti-drug efforts, and for spying on American citizens.

The Assault on our Privacy


Our financial privacy has been attacked with restrictions on the use of

honestly earned cash, and bank surveillance that has sought to make every

teller a monetary cop.

In the name of fighting drugs, the central government has modernized its

vast computer network and linked it with data files in states and

enabling the IRS, FBI and other agencies to construct dossiers on every

innocent American.

In the Washington, D.C., of 1988, anyone exercising the basic human

right to privacy is branded a possible criminal. This kind of 1984-think,

more appropriate to Soviet Russia than the U.S.A., has grown
alarmingly since

Reagan came into office.

As human beings, we have the right to keep our personal and family

finances - and other intimate matters - secret from nosey relatives.
Yet the

politicians, who are dangerous as well as nosey, claim the right to
strip us

bare. This dreadful development is foreign to our Constitution and

everything America was established to defend. The politicians claim it has

nothing to do with taxing and controlling us.

In this, as in virtually everything else, the politicians are lying. In

fact, I believe that the drug hysteria was whipped up to strengthen big

government's hold over us, and to distract Americans from the crimes of

Washington, and the addiction to big government that is endemic there.

There is Another Way


Instead of spending tax money and assaulting civil liberties in the name

of fighting drugs - usually couched in childish military metaphors - we

should consider a policy based on the American tradition of Freedom. And I

know the people are ready.

I'm traveling full-time now, all over the country, and wherever I go, I

get the message loud and clear: Americans want a change in federal drug

policy. They may wonder about the proper course. But I am convinced that

here, as in all other areas of public policy, the just and efficacious

solution is liberty.

Drugs: Legal and Illegal


Alcohol is a very dangerous drug. It kills 100,000 AMericans every

year. Bit it is no business of government to outlaw liquor. In a free

society, adults have the right to do whatever they wish, so long as
they do

not agress or commit fraud against others.

Tobacco is an even more dangerous drug. It kills 350,000 Americans a

year in long, lingering, painful deaths. As a physician, I urge people not

to smoke. But I would not be justified in calling in the police. Adults

have the right to smoke, even if it harms them.

From the decades-long government propaganda barrage about illegal drugs,

we could be excused for thinking that illegal drugs must be even more

dangerous than alcohol and tobacco.

In fact, 3,600 people die each year from drug abuse. That's less than

4% of those doomed by alcohol, about 1% of those killed by tobacco. Yet we

are taxed - and are supposed to undergo extensive other restrictions
on our

liberty - to support a multi-billion dollar War on Drugs, which, like
all the

other wars since the Revolution, benefits only the government and its

special interests at the people's expense.

Not satisfied with the present level of violence, politicians are now

advocating strip-searching every American returning from a foreign

jailing people caught using marijuana in their own homes, turning the army

into a national police force, giving customs agents the power and
weapons to

shoot down suspected aircraft, and transforming America into a police
state -

all because not enough Americans will Just Say No.

Politicians want to mandate random urine drug tests for all employees -

public and private - in "sensitive" jobs. Leaving aside the problem of

defective laboratories and tests, the high number of "false
positives," and

the humiliation of having to urinate in front of a bureaucrat, what
about the

concepts of due process or innocent until proven guilty? One of the great

American legal traditions, coming to us from the common law, is probable

cause. Because of the experiences our ancestors had with the British

oppressors, it is not constitutional to search someone without
probable cause

of criminal activity. And this is a very intimate search indeed.

If this sort of search is justified, why not enter homes at random to

look for illegal substances (or unreported cash)? Not even the Soviets do

that, yet American politicians advocate something similar with our bodies.

The Reagans, emulating Stalin, have even praised the chilling example of a

child informing on his parents and urged others to follow his example.

The 1980's war on drugs has increased the U.S. prison population by 60%,

while street crime has zoomed. Seventy percent of the people arrested for

serious crimes are drug users. And all the evidence shows that they commit

these crimes to support a habit made extremely expensive by government

prohibition. Urban street crime, which terrorizes millions of
Americans, is

largely the creation of the U.S. drug laws. That alone is reason
enough for


Drug Prohibition in American History


All the drugs now illegal in the United States were freely available

before the passage of the Harrison Act in 1914. Until that year, patent

medicines usually contained laudanum - a form of opium, which is why - at

least temporarily - they were indeed "good for all ailments of man or

First the feds - with the help of organized medicine - restricted

narcotic drugs to prescription only. Thus, physicians were still able to

treat addicts. Then the feds made that illegal, drastically raising
the cost

of drugs, with the results we all know.

Yet about the same percentage of the population abused these substances

in 1888 as in 1988. In other words, some people will abuse drugs, just as

some people will abuse alcohol, no matter whether they are legal or

All the government can do by outlawing these items is vastly increase

cost, and vastly decrease our liberties. But his is no bad thing to the

government. Government officials - from Washington grandees to the county

sheriff - get rich off bribes and corruption, as during Prohibition,
and the

innocent pay through zooming crime and lessened freedom.

That does not mean, obviously, that illegal drug use is a good thing.

As a physician, a father, and a grandfather, I despise it. My wife, Carol,

and I have worked for years with a volunteer organization in our home town

that fights teen drug and alcohol use. But we do it through moral and

medical persuasion. Government force can't solve problems like this,
it can

only make them worse and spread the burden to many innocent Americans.

The federal government began the modern war on drugs as part of its

efforts to destroy the 1960's anti-war movement, since so many of its

used marijuana, often as an anti-Establishment statement. For the
feds, this

was a way to jail domestic enemies for non-political crimes.

At the urging of the Nixon administration, which spied on and tax-

audited so many Americans for opposing it, Congress greatly escalated the

drug war in 1969. (Given all the evidence that the CIA has been
involved in

drug running since the 1950's, as pointed out by Jonathan Kwitny of
the Wall

Street Journal and others, they might not have liked the competition

Today, the feds spend almost $4 billion a year through the Customs

the Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, and the IRS. State,

county, and local law enforcement adds billions more.

Despite all this firepower, today one in five Americans from the ages of

20-40 use illegal drugs regularly. Millions over 40 join them, and
last year

824,000 Americans were arrested for it, including Elvy Musikka of

Florida. This elderly widow was thrown into jail for possession of four

marijuana plants, even though her doctor has said that without marijuana,

glaucoma will destroy her eyesight. All over America, the prison

has increased 60% in the last five years, largely due to drug laws.

In spite of the immense sums of money spent on the crusade, drug use has

not decreased. Heroin use has stayed level, while cocaine consumption has

vastly increased, with about 5 million people regularly using it.

During the 1930's and 1940's, Harry Anslinger, the head of the Federal

Bureau of Narcotics, whipped up the first drug fervor. Today the demon is

"crack." To Anslinger, marijuana created "drug fiends," and as a result

government violated civil liberties on a wide scale and imposed Draconian

prison sentences for the possession of small amounts.

The result was not, of course, the elimination of marijuana use, just as

the earlier Prohibition failed to stop Americans from drinking alcohol.

That "noble experiment" attempted by constitutional amendment and

rigorous regulation to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages. The

movement called alcohol the main cause of violent crime and broken

and called for rooting it out.

The result of the war on drugs of the 1920's was disaster. Gangs of

bootleggers replaced ordinary businessmen as sellers of the now forbidden

substance. Notorious criminals such as Al Capone achieved their status

through their control of the illegal trade in drink, just as criminals

derive much of their revenue from the market for illegal narcotics. Of

course, drinking among the public did not disappear, though
adulterated and

poisoned alcohol led to many deaths.

However unsuccessful they were at stopping drinking, government agents

did succeed in suppressing civil liberties. We owe wiretapping to the

Prohibition Era, and warrantless searches of private homes were
common. Some

federal agents, not content with what they viewed as an overly slow

process, destroyed supposed contraband on their own authority. And as

happens today, government raids on bootleggers often resulted in shootouts

with the innocent caught in the crossfire. A government policy calling for

total victory, at whatever cost, over something many people wanted, meant

inevitable death and destruction.

Unseen Effects of Government Intervention


Today and then, one of the unexpected results of outlawing desired

substances is to increase their potency.

A uniform tax on gasoline of so many cents per gallon promotes the

production of higher octane gas, which sells for more and gives the

better performance. A uniform "tax" of the danger of going to jail imposed

on making and selling alcohol during Prohibition stimulated the
production of

such items as White Mule whiskey, with "twice the kick," as well as of

dangerous substitutes such as synthetic gin made of wood or denatured

alcohol. It also favored the production of whiskey itself over beer and

wine. During Prohibition, distilled spirits accounted for more than 80% of

the total underground sales. Before and after the criminalization of

drinking, the figure was 50%.

In the legal drug market, the trend is towards LOWER potency, as with

low-tar, filtered cigarettes, decaffeinated coffee, and "lite" beer
and wine.

But with illegal drugs, as with alcohol during Prohibition, the reverse

is true. Stronger cocaine, heroin, and marijuana have lead to more deaths,

as have the adulterated products which kill most of the people listed

from drug overdoses.

Designer Drugs


But what if the feds could seal the borders tight, and prevent the

domestic cultivation of all illegal plants? We would see a massive

in an already visible trend: "Designer Drugs."

These chemically engineered artificial substances are up to 6,000 times

as strong as morphine, and their toxic effects are bizarre and

They are far more dangerous than heroin or cocaine, yet the government
is in

effect stimulating their production by focusing on their competition.

Unlike natural narcotics, a few pounds of designer drugs could supply

the entire U.S. market for a year. And they can be manufactured by the

clandestine chemists who now extract morphine from opium and convert

to heroin.

What if We Tried Legalization?


When the American people got fed up with their rights being trampled,

they organized and supported candidates who pledged to erase the

Amendment from the Constitution. When they succeeded, most states

the distribution and sale of liquor, and the criminal gangs dominating the

trade went out of business. The repeal of a bad law accomplished what the

indiscriminate use of force and tax money could never do: the end of

criminal trade in liquor. It would be no different for drugs.

If the use and sale of drugs were not illegal, the power of crime

syndicates now controlling these substances would disappear. These

organizations derive their power and influence only from the fact that

business is illegal.

Though the benefits in the destruction of criminal organizations more

than justify an end to government intrusion in this area, a policy of

decriminalization would have many other good results. For one thing, the

users of drugs who now commit violent crimes to pay for heir "fix"
would have

much less incentive to do so. Prices of drugs, now subject to open

competition, would drop sharply. Since narcotics are "downers," addicts

would have no incentive to act any different from "Bowery" alcoholics.

Instead of raving criminals, they would become street people.

Even addicts would be better off. The major cause of death is not from

drugs' narcotic properties. It is from poisoned drugs and adulteration. It

is impossible for the user to know how much he is taking. Illegality

these problems - the drug user can hardly ask his pusher for lab tests.

A legal market would be an entirely different affair. Just as a

customer in a liquor store need not wonder if his whiskey contains
poison, or

what he percentage of pure alcohol is, the consumers of drugs would no

face a danger that is 100% Made in Washington.

Also, the use of contaminated needles by narcotics users has been a key

factor in the spread of AIDS. Through the availability of sterile
needles in

a free and open market, decriminalization would help control the spread of

this disease.

But if we legalized the trade in narcotics, wouldn't we have many more

drug addicts than today? Wouldn't a lower price increase demand?

Leaving aside the "forbidden fruit" phenomenon - the fact that many

people find something more desirable precisely because it is illegal - the

law of demand does not tell us how much consumption will increase with

lowered prices. In fact, the data show that consumption of drugs remains

fairly constant under widely varying conditions.

Just as the sharply higher "price" of the escalated war on drugs has not

lowered drug use during the 1980's, legalization would not increase
it. Just

as the availability of alcohol does not make everyone a drunkard, so the

absence of criminal sanctions would not convert everyone into a drug user.

Another important point: not all consumers of either alcohol or drugs

use them at problem levels. Most people who use liquor are not alcoholics,

and many users of drugs try them only occasionally. Most drug users
are not

"addicts" dependent on their daily use.

What About Children?


Would decriminalization place drugs in the hands of children? No, in

fact, outlawing them has done it. Because of the severe penalties

on adult drug suppliers in the 1970's, criminal syndicates now use

distributors. Youngsters, even if prosecuted, are tried in special courts

which cannot impose severe penalties. Thanks to the government,
pushers now

have every incentive to involve children in their business. Just as a free

society properly has laws against selling liquor to minors, we would
bar the

sale of drugs to them.

Law Officials Advocate Legalization (In Private)


A few years ago, a friend was a consultant to a gubernatorial campaign.

To aid the candidate in forming his anti-crime policies, my friend

a group of top DA's. All were glad to help, but they also unanimously

agreed, - off the record, of course - that nothing significant could
be done

about crime until "drugs are legalized."

They will never be legalized, said one famous prosecutor, because too

many government officials make too much money off the drug trade: from the

feds to the county sheriff: "BILLIONS of dollars." These men were also

furious because of spending priorities. Every dollar spent pursuing drug

dealers and users who didn't aggress against the innocent was a dollar

available going after criminals.



Bok Kwan Kim, a 49-year-old electrical assembly worker, lived peacefully

in a tiny apartment with his wife, three daughters, and 78-year-old

in-law in Newark, California.

Then late on the night of May 12th, nine narcotics police broke down his

front door, handcuffed him and beat him until he was unconscious,

his wife and shoved her to the floor as their daughters screamed, and

ransacked the apartment. Not one piece of furniture was left unbroken;

pillow or piece of upholstery was torn and emptied of its stuffing.
All their

dishes and porcelain were shattered. Only a picture of Jesus on the
wall was

left in one piece.

Why? The narcotics police had gotten a false tip from an informer that

Kim had a stock of amphetamines. Why the beating? The police said Kim had

"resisted" the destruction of his home and few possessions.

Kim is still in the hospital, and his daughters have nightmares every

night. The head of the narcotics squad apologized, but noted that "this is


Yes, but war on whom? We now have Republicans and Democrats passing

laws - over the Pentagon's wise opposition - to turn the military into

police, which arrest civilians. And if anyone's rights are violated? The

military narcotics police are to be immune from suit.

Under the government's so-called Zero Tolerance program, boats and cars

are being confiscated right and left. Recently a $3 million yacht was

commandeered by the Coast Guard because a few shreds of marijuana were

in a wastebasket. The Coast Guard had boarded the vessel despite there

to probable cause of crime. The owner was not on board, and his employees

were transporting the ship. Who did the marijuana belong to? It didn't

matter. A yacht - which an entrepreneur had worked all his life to own
- was

stolen by the U.S. Government, and will be sold at auction. What's next? A

house confiscated because someone finds pot in the garbage can? (Now that

the Supreme Court says police can search your garbage without a warrant.)

Mises on Drug Prohibition


Ludwig Von Mises, the outstanding economist and champion of liberty of

our time, as usual summed it all up in 'Human Action'

"Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous, habit-forming drugs. But

once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to

the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be

advanced against further encroachments. A good case can be made out in

of the prohibition of alcohol and nicotine. And why limit the government's

benevolent providence to the protection of the individual's body only? Is

not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more
dangerous than

bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad

plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues, and from hearing bad

The mischief done by bad ideologies, surely, is much more pernicious, both

for the individual and for the whole society, than that done by narcotic


"[N]o paternal government, whether ancient or modern, ever shrank from

regimenting its subjects' minds, beliefs, and opinions. If one abolishes

man's freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms

Ron Paul, MD, is the Libertarian Party's 1988 candidate for President
of the

United States.

Paid for by the Ron Paul for President Campaign

1120 NASA Road 1, Suite #104

Houston, Texas 77058


Transcriber's note: it is now 1990 and Ron Paul received roughly

400,000 votes in his campaign for president. As far as I know he was the

only candidate to openly support legalization and in my opinion it is
a shame

that the Women's League of Voters didn't let him debate with Bush and

Dukakis. I am sure both of the latter would have had a rough time handling

questions which actually pertained not only to the issues, but also to

objective reality. If you like what Congressman Paul has to say, or if you

are just curious, write for FREE information to:

Advocates for Self-Government

5533 E. Swift

Fresno, Ca 93727


Libertarian Party National Headquarters

1528 Pennsylvania Ave, S.E.

Washington, DC 20003


The Dak, 7-22-90

Holiday Inn, Cambodia BBS - 209/456-8584 - 24 Hours since 11/84

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best

state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

- Thomas Paine, 1776

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