By David P Beiter

Date:     Thu Sep 28, 1995  9:13 am  CST
From:     David J. Sussman
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TO:     * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762
Subject: History of Prohibition.  (Re: Legalize Marijuana -
Marijuana is 80% of what is called `illegal drug use.' (fwd)

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Date: 28 SEP 1995 08:37:42 GMT
From: William House 
Newgroups: alt.impeach.clinton, alt.politics.clinton,
    alt.politics.radical-left,, talk.politics.drugs,
    talk.politics.misc,, alt.conspiracy,
    alt.politics.reform, alt.activism,
Subject: History of Prohibition. (Re: Legalize Marijuana -
Marijuana is 80% of what is called `illegal drug use.'


Crime and the Drug War
by Kirby R. Cundiff
Appeared in: Claustrophobia, August 1994

In 1907, when Georgia and Oklahoma made the manufacture, sale, or
transportation of intoxicating liquors illegal state wide, the
homicide rate in the United States was 1 person per 100,000 per

Before the end of the decade, 13 states plus Alaska, Puerto Rico and
the District of Columbia had gone dry.[6]

By 1919--when the 18th amendment was passed, making alcohol use
illegal nationwide--the homicide rate had grown to 8 per 100,000.

The murder rate climbed steadily until it peaked at 10 per 100,000
around 1933, when our nation admitted its mistake, and repealed the
18th amendment.

By 1943 the homicide rate had drastically shrunk to 5 per 100,000 and
stayed near that level until 1964 when the United States made the same
mistake all over again.[2]

In December of 1964, having been ratified by 40 countries, the Single
Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 went into effect restricting
narcotic drug use to medical and scientific purposes. It also
internationally banned narcotic drug trade outside of government

History was about to repeat itself.  From 1964 to 1970 in the United
States, the number of state prisoners incarcerated for drug offenses
more than doubled from 3,079 to 6,596 (it was 90,000 in 1989) [9], and
the new concentration on enforcing victimless crimes caused the
homicide rate to skyrocket.

Between 1964 and 1970 the homicide rate doubled from 5 per 100,000 to
10 per 100,000, where it has remained, with minor fluctuations, until
today.[2]  Lyndon Johnson had declared war on drugs, to be followed by
Richard Nixon declaring War on Drugs in 1969, Ronald Reagan declaring
War on Drugs in 1982, and George Bush declaring War on Drugs in

At the turn of the century, both heroin and aspirin were legally
available and sold for approximately the same amount.  Today aspirin
can be purchased at the corner drug store for 20 cents per gram;
heroin costs $50 per gram.  [p. 33, 3]

The price of heroin rose drastically after it was made illegal due to
the dangers involved in its sale. Dealers are willing to kill each
other for profits obtained from such a lucrative market; junkies are
willing to rob and kill for money to support their habit--money, if
drugs were legal and cheap, that they could easily obtain by working
at McDonald's.

You and I, through high crime rates caused by the War on Drugs and
high tax rates used to support the War on Drugs, pay the price.

During prohibition "liquor store" owners murdered each other to
protect their turf just as drug dealers do today. Today, liquor store
owners are generally peaceful.

Eliminating the enormous profits involved in black-market businesses
eliminates the motive for violent crime, and therefore the violent

More law enforcement is commonly touted as the answer to America's
violent crime problem. Since 1970 the percentage of the American
population in prision has tripled with no noticeable effect on the
homicide rate.[2]

More than 1.3 million citizens are now in jail.[p. 24, 3]

The United States has a larger percentage of its population in prision
than any other nation [2], and still maintains the highest homicide
rate in the industralized world. [1]

We have even thrown away parts of our constitution in the name of
fighting crime. Asset forfeiture laws allow law enforcement officers
to seize the property of American citizens without even charging them
with a crime, even though the 5th amendment to the constitution
clearly states "No person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law..."

Of course if you want your property back you do have the right to post
a bond and try to prove yourself innocent, of a crime you have not
even been charged with, in a court of law.

No attorney will be provided for you if you cannot afford one.

Over $2.4 billion worth of assets have been seized since 1985,  $664
million in 1991 alone--and in 80% of the cases no charges were ever

Disparities between the poor and the rich are often considered causes
of our high crime rate, but the United States has not only one of the
world's highest crime rates, but also one of the world's largest
middle classes.

The religious right claims America's huge crime rate is caused by a
break-down of family values.  This would require family values
breaking down suddenly in 1907, returning in 1933, and suddenly
breaking down again in 1964.

Many liberals believe that America's large crime rate is due to our
lack of gun-control laws, but America's gun-control policy has changed
little throughout this century.  There is no way gun control can
explain the enormous fluctuations in America's homicide rate.  The
United States government's substance control policies are the only

The only way to lower America's violent crime rate, short of turning
the United States into a totalitarian state, is through ending the War
on Drugs.

The growing list of people who support decriminalization of drugs in
America include:  William F. Buckley, George Carlin, George Crockett,
Alan Dershowitz, Phil Donahue, Hugh Downs, Milton Friedman, Ira
Glasser, Michael Kinsley, David Letterman, John McLaughlin, Andy
Rooney, Carl Sagan, Kurt Schmoke, Tom Selleck, George Shultz, George
Silver, Tom Snyder, Robert Sweet, Thomas Szasz, Garry Trudeau, and
Donald Trump.[5]

The Biggest political party supporting drug legalization is the
Libertarian Party (1-800-682-1776).

I urge you to join us.

1.  "Crime, Law Enforcement, and Penology." Britannica Book of the
     Year 1993, Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 117.

2.  "The Crime Scene." Forbes, 14 September 1992, 308.

3.  "Drugs in America." Rolling Stone, 5 May 1994.

4   Hazlett, Thomas W., "Looking Backwards." Reason, May 1993, 70-82.

5.  "Honor Roll." Illinois Libertarian, April 1993, 10.

6.  Kobler, John., Ardent Spirits, New York:  G. P.  Putnam's
    Sons,1973, 196.

7.   Paff, John. "Fear." Libertarian Party News, December 1993, 17.

8.   "Pharmacology." Britannica Book of the Year 1966, Chicago:
      University of Chicago Press, 605-607.

9.   World Almanac and Book of Facts 1993. New York: Pharos Books,

Published: Claustrophobia, August 1994
May be reprinted without permission, if reprinted whole.
(c) 1994 Kirby R. Cundiff


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