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Rush Limbaugh and the War on Drugs

by Mick Youther Saturday, Nov. 01, 2003 at 1:17 AM

Rush Limbaugh has become the latest friendly-fire casualty in the War on Drugs, but don't worry--he'll be fine. He's one of the special people.

Date Saturday, October 25 @ 20:55:26

Topic Commentary

Rush Limbaugh has become the latest friendly-fire casualty in the War on Drugs, but don't worry--he'll be fine. He's one of the special people.

By Mick Youther

October was a bad month for Rush Limbaugh. He lost his job at ESPN for being his usual charming self, and the news broke that he was being investigated for buying and using illegal drugs. On October 10th Rush confessed to his loyal listeners (the dittoheads) that he was a drug addict, but they don’t have to worry—Rush won’t go to jail. The War on Drugs is not meant for Rush Limbaugh.

• “Wealthy and well-connected junkies like Mr. Limbaugh get treatment and prayers; poor and obscure junkies get prison and scorn. Even a dittohead should be able to understand why that is wrong.”—Joe Conason, The New York Observer,10/20/03

• “[Rush Limbaugh], and the movement he so ably served, has done much to stigmatize drug use, addicts, and (publicly financed) drug rehabilitation programs.... He and his allies were also very successful in implementation of lengthy prison sentences for drug addicts and drug related offenses. The real tragedy of his drug habit will be the blatant double standard that will be applied to Mr. Limbaugh as compared to poorer and lesser-known drug suspects/addicts.”--J. Thomas, The EndTimes Network, 10/13/03

• “The drug warriors may want you to believe that only drug kingpins go to prison. But in 1998 alone, 682,885 Americans were arrested for possessing marijuana. More than half of the prison population of 2 million are non-violent offenders”--The Great Libertarian Offer, 9/9/00

• “The United States of America leads the world in the incarceration of its people, mostly for non-violent drug offenses. Statistics show that all racial groups in our country use and abuse drugs at basically the same rate, but most of those incarcerated are people of color.”--DEA Judge James Gray, Liberty Magazine, May, 2003

• “Estimated U.S. deaths in the year 2001 attributed to tobacco: 400,000; alcohol: 110,000; prescription drugs: 100,000; aspirin and related painkillers: 7600; marijuana: zero. Yet, the insanity and injustice of the war against drugs goes on.”-- Louis Silverstein, The Columbia Chronicle, 3/4/02

• “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself”--Jimmy Carter

• "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies."--C. S. Lewis, writer

• “And while the FBI said it lacked the resources to check out reports of suspicious foreigners taking ‘kamikaze flying lessons’ at flight schools, it had the resources to arrest "three-quarters of a million Americans for possessing a harmless plant,"--Bill Masters, Sheriff of Telluride, CO, Libertarian Party News

• “If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”--P.J. O'Rourke, writer

• “Government has failed completely to stop people from taking drugs. It can’t stop drugs from coming into the country. It can’t even stop drugs from getting into its own prisons.” -–Harry Browne, Why Government Doesn’t Work, 7/2/95

• "House Republicans Thursday unveiled a package of bills to combat drug abuse and vowed to make America virtually drug-free by 2002."--Reuters, May 1998

• “The crime rate peaked in 1933 when alcohol prohibition was repealed after a steady rise during prohibition. The crime rate then fell for 30 years until drug prohibition started in the 1960s.”--The Alan Colmes Show, WEBD NY, 8/26/99

• “I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police.”--Keith Richards, musician

• "We believe that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself."--Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, 6/6/98

• "Take it from a businessman: The War on Drugs is just money down the drain."--Gov. Gary E. Johnson (R-NM)

• “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”--William F. Buckley, Jr., noted conservative

Hopefully, when Rush Limbaugh gets out of rehab, he will have taken some time to reflect on his good fortune of not being in prison on drug charges like thousands and thousands of less fortunate Americans. Maybe he will realize that being conservative does not mean stupidly defending a failed War on Drugs that has done more harm than good. I believe when Rush returns to the airways, he should use some of that “talent on loan from God” to help bring this War on Drugs to a merciful end.

Mick Youther is an Instructor in the Department of Physiology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

This article comes from Intervention Magazine

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