I just finished reading an article online titled “Escalate the War on Drugs? A Conservative Response” written by conservative author, Howard Rahtz.
In this article Rahtz offers several good points relating to a 10th Amendment argument for state rights to legalize marijuana, a counter argument to the America is Bound by International Treaties argument, and how the War on Drugs has failed to achieve the goals set out for it by prohibitionists.
He also goes on to tout the merits of “true conservatives” being intrinsically against such nanny state policies and begins his last paragraph with the following brief introduction and a quote from none other than former President Ronald Reagan.
“To summarize one conservative’s position – Ronald Reagan said it best when he stated[,] ‘Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.’”
Unless one already knows the former presidents views on marijuana, this sounds on the surface as though former President Reagan railed against such intrusive “nanny state” government policies as a conservative politician.
However, this is not the case. In fact, former President Reagan actually ramped up the War on Drugs during his two-term administration to new astoundingly anti-conservative, pro-nanny state heights. Which then emboldened his conservative Vice President turned one-term President George H. W. Bush to become even more ruthless in his tactics to fight the so-called scourge of marijuana and the criminal ne’er-do-wells who produce and consume marijuana during his administration.
This is not to say that those across the political aisle, liberals, are not guilty of participating in and the escalation of cannabis prohibition fought through the War on Drugs.
It is, however, to say that I find it disturbing, to say the least, that this writer would willfully ignore the Former Presidents adamant, public stance against marijuana in order to push his own political ideologies, while at the same time weakening what are generally good arguments against the arguments put forward by modern-day drug warrior prohibitionists—good arguments despite a few informal fallacies such as his use of the No True Scotsman when making mention of what a “true conservative” “detest[s].”
Former President Ronald Reagan in his own words:
cannabis history the drug war 1980 1998 (Regan edit)
President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on the Campaign Against Drug Abuse – 9/14/86