Bob Barr: ‘I Was Wrong About War on Drugs’

Bob Barr: ‘I Was Wrong About War on Drugs’
Thursday, June 12, 2008 5:21 PM

By: Rick Pedraza
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, admits he was wrong
in his support for the “War on Drugs” and that it’s now time to call the war
off because it’s doing far more harm than good.

“I see no progress in stopping the widespread use of drugs,” Barr concedes. “
I'll even argue that America's drug problem is larger today than it was when
Richard Nixon first coined the phrase, ‘War on Drugs,’ in 1972.”

Barr, a former federal prosecutor and congressman from Georgia, was once one
of the federal drug war’s most vocal proponents. In the past, he advocated
complete federal prohibition of medical marijuana and, in 1998, successfully
blocked implementation of Initiative 59 – the legalization of marijuana for
medical treatment.

Barr later reversed his position on medical marijuana and now supports ending
marijuana prohibition.

“America's drug problem is only compounded by the vast amounts of money
directed at this ongoing battle,” Barr says, noting that in 2005, more than $12
billion dollars was spent on federal drug enforcement efforts while another $30
billion was spent to imprison non-violent drug offenders.

Barr points to the huge incarceration tab in America, along with just a 30%
interception rate of hard drugs, as reasons why the ‘War on Drugs’ has not

“While it is clear the ‘War on Drugs’ has been a failure, it is not enough
to simply acknowledge that reality,” Barr admits.

While short on specifics, Barr touts a program similar to the one adopted by
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in the wake of last year’s tragic case in
his home state of Georgia involving Chris Benoit. He believes vigorous drug
testing might be an answer and recommends that it be used throughout private

“We need to look for solutions that deal with the drug problem without costly
and intrusive government agencies and, instead, allow for private industry
and organizations to put forward solutions that address the real problems.”

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