Dianne Feinstein: 'Just Say No' Is the Solution to Prohibition-Related Violence

Writing in The Hill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) declares that "we must pull back the curtains on the false debate between legalizing drugs and current drug policy," because "the real answer lies in our ability to aggressively reduce the U.S. demand for illegal drugs." Why is that the real answer? Because "illegal drug use" is "fueling violence in drug-producing and transit countries in Latin America and the Caribbean." In Mexico, for instance, "more than 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence over the past five years." According to Feinstein (who should know, since she chairs the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control), "Latin-American leaders are rightly outraged that their citizens continue to suffer because of America’s drug habits."

Actually, Latin American leaders increasingly are complaining about the U.S, government's disastrous crusade to suppress America's drug habits, which is the real source of so-called drug-related violence. Black markets are violent, and prohibitionists like Feinstein are determined to keep them black. "Legalization will not solve this problem," Feinstein insists, because "more drug addiction is not the answer." Neither are non sequiturs. If prohibition-related violence is the problem, repealing prohibition will solve it, although legalization may have other effects that worry Feinstein.

To be honest, though, the senator does not seem all that concerned about the real-world impact of public policies. Here are her top two recommendations to "aggressively reduce the U.S. demand for illegal drugs":

First, we should once again make anti-drug campaigns a priority. In the early 1980s, former first lady Nancy Reagan coined the now-famous slogan "Just say no" as part of her national anti-drug campaign. 

Although her strategy was criticized, she was able to use the White House as a national platform to address these issues. 

Next, Congress should refund the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s youth media campaign — the only national media campaign dedicated to reducing youth drug use. Funding for this program was eliminated last year in spite of the fact that 85 percent of teens are aware of the advertising campaign. 

This campaign should be provided with the funding it deserves and expanded to make the connection between U.S. drug use and violence in Mexico. 

Yeah, why hasn't the government ever sponsored propaganda accusing drug users of complicity in violence? Although there is no evidence that either of these policies accomplished their stated goals, Nancy Reagan's mindless mantra is "famous," and so are the federal government's moronic, demonstrably ineffective anti-drug ads. As a dedicated drug warrior, Feinstein has to believe in the power of good intentions.

Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske also sees "Just Say No" as a model, and his office agrees with Feinstein that Congress should spend more of our money to hector us about our drug habits.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • DWC||

    Christ almighty, just shoot me now.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I vote for shooting the good Senator first.

    YEAH, ELIMINASHUNIST RHETORICK! SUCK IT!

  • plu1959||

    I thought she died.

  • fish||

    Unfortunately no. Even more unfortunate is that she is the "smarter" member of California senatorial contingent.

  • ||

    If by "smarter", you mean "more corrupt", yes, I would agree with that.

  • fish||

    No. She is, in my estimation, legitimately smarter than Boxer (the senator, not the dog breed). The degree of corruption is a much closer competition.

  • ||

    (the senator, not the dog breed).

    Still, tough call.

    Admittedly, Feinstein comes off as the more intellectually formidable of the two, which is not saying much.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is that The Mark of the Whore on her cheek?

  • juris imprudent||

    I thought she died.

    Just from the neck up.

  • 88 Slide||

    Team Blue

    Worst. Team. Ever.

  • Proprietist||

    Uhhh....

    You know this is also the position of 98% of Team Red politicians, too - right?

    I'd even be willing to bet there are more pro-legalization Democrats than Republicans.

  • ||

    Not in the Senate where this cunt resides I would bet.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Yeah I think the Senate count is 2-98 in favor of drug legalization, and neither of the two are technically Democrats.

  • Brandon||

    Sanders isn't a dem?

  • Voros McCracken||

    No, not technically.

  • ||

    Shultz baiter!

  • ||

    And as far as all drugs are concerned, not just mj, as far as I know there is only one in both houses and he's team red.

  • Paul.||

    Told you that modern Democrats have abandoned any premise of 'liberalism' they had in the 80s. I miss those liberals. I want those liberals back.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Liberals are only liberal when Team Red is in the White House. The rest of the time they are Progressives, or just partisan hacks.

  • Paul.||

    I disagree. Liberals were making some of their biggest calls for censorship during Bush II. I'd say they're solidly not liberal. They did have a passing interest in privacy-related civil rights during Bush II... but only a passing interest in it.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Any passing interest they might have had in civil rights was only to score points off of Team Red.

    If they have a long term plan, it's to get as many sticks and carrots into the American people as they can.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Their passing interest waned as soon as their team entered the White House. As evidenced by their renewal, without changes,of the Patriot Act.

    The same act that just 2 years earlier, they assured us was illegal to actually use

  • ||

    "Liberals" aren't even liberal then. They're just making noise.

  • Pip||

    "Liberals" aren't even liberal then. They're just making noise evil.

    FIFY

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yo, Pip.

  • H. Protagonist||

    And this fossil will win reelection in November by a landslide.

  • jester||

    Diane Feinstein is a true-blue regulator. Consider her work against every Reason-reading's favorite early-bird porn star Marilyn Chambers (in spite of her classic roll in Kentucky Fried Movie.)

  • Killazontherun||

    RIP

  • Paul.||

    Oh, Riots in Seattle (just in case anyone hasn't seen my previous OT posts):

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/.....5/may-day/

  • Paul.||

    Star Wars kid throws rocks at the US Court of Appeals bldg:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....116221.jpg

  • General Butt Naked||

    That'a fucked up that the anarchists are getting mongoloids to do their bidding now.

    Jesus.

  • Paul.||

    They lied to him by telling him it was a shotput competition for the Special Olympics.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Cops feel bad, don't pepper spray The Marxist Mongoloid.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Wait is that a guy in a homemade superhero costume not spraying The 'Tarded Trotskyite?

    "Heros don't do drugs"

    "Drugman does"

  • ||

    That is, in fact, a super hero. He hangs around with Seattle's first and foremost super hero, Phoenix Jones.

    What is weird is I live in Belltown and never see him.

  • Paul.||

    That is, in fact, a super hero. He hangs around with Seattle's first and foremost super hero, Phoenix Jones.

    I'm pretty sure Rex Velvet is behind the riots.

  • Paul.||

    Jesus... I thought we were having a little joke... that kid is actually special!

  • Paul.||

    Another guy in a mohawk. How eighties.

    Wouldn't that be like going to a protest in the 60s dressed in a flapper outfit or a tweed topcoat?

  • Paul.||

    Is there something about the so-called occupy movement which attracts the aggressively unattractive?

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....33/24.html

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's hard out there for a sewer mutant.

  • ||

    Obligatory C.H.U.D. reference, here.

  • ||

    Mandy: Oh, so this is the famous Fry. What is he, like, the biggest loser on the surface so he has to hang out in the sewer?

    Fry: [whispering] They're onto me!

  • fish||

    Those who never date and have limited social skills seem to have an inordinate amount of time on their hands.

  • Pip||

    Flappers were from the 20's. I forget what the 4o's frock was. Evening gown?

  • Paul.||

    Flappers were from the 20's. I forget what the 4o's frock was. Evening gown?

    I know. I was trying to pick something 40 years prior for effect. We are pushing 30+ years prior from the 80s.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Combat fatigues.

  • Paul.||

    Combat fatigues.

    These?

    Too soon?

  • Rich||

    the mayor says he will sign an emergency order authorizing police to confiscate items that can be used as weapons.

    This should be interesting.

  • LarryA||

    He better have some big dumpsters.

  • General Butt Naked||

    When we had the G20 in pittsburgh the kids were using dumpsters as weapons.

    So there's that.

  • Paul.||

    Phoenix Jones, the "Kick Ass" of Seattle is on the scene:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....33/14.html

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dude, he's got his own wiki page. Dude's actually been in some shit.

    Possibly a libertarian superhero:

    When asked if he would have someone arrested for smoking marijuana, Jones said he considered it a low priority, and that he has no problem with people using drugs, but wants drug dealers to sell somewhere else.

  • Paul.||

    I prefer his nemesis: http://vimeo.com/41340081

  • Pip||

    "but wants drug dealers to sell somewhere else"

    The mall would be nice.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The mall corner store would be nice.

  • WarrenT||

    I love the Real Life Superhero movement. I'd much rather have a bunch of these guys roaming around than any number of cops.

  • Paul.||

    Bet you $5 this kid voted for the smoking ban in Seattle:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....33/22.html

  • Lord at War||

    Paul-

    I've got $10 that he's never been inside a voting booth in his life.

  • Paul.||

    I've got $10 that he's never been inside a voting booth in his life.

    I'll raise you $20 that if he does/has, he votes "yes" more than he votes "no".

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Based on the hats, I'm guessing that the smiling guy in the background must be Miguel of Fat Chicks In Party Hats.

    He probably loves it there because for once he is the most erudite guy in the entire crowd.

  • jester||

    Nancy Reagan came up with 'Just Say No'? I thought she just changed the White House china (not to be confused with China policy, it was the Cold War for fuck's sake).

    Diane Feinstein championing Nancy Reagan is pathetic enough. Can America survive this disingenuous paean is another question.

  • fish||

    Diane Feinstein championing Nancy Reagan is pathetic enough. Can America survive this disingenuous paean is another question.

    It's not that she champions "Just Say No" now, it's that Team Blue mocked it incessantly when Team Red came up with it

  • juris imprudent||

    Mocked it incessantly and righteously. Now they mock themselves.

  • WarrenT||

    The Hag Witch of the West has thus spoketh! Return to your hovels, peasants, the matter has been decidedeth!

  • LarryA||

    in spite of the fact that 85 percent of teens are aware of the advertising campaign.

    Kids ROTFLTAO doesn't count as "effective."

  • General Butt Naked||

    Quote: Next Congress should refund the Office of National Drug Control Policys youth media campaign the only national media campaign dedicated to reducing youth drug use. Funding for this program was eliminated last year in spite of the fact that 85 percent of teens are aware of the advertising campaign End Quote

    So, she's not saying it works, only that kids are aware of it. If kids are aware of it and still doing drugs then wouldn't it be considered a failure?

    If you look carefully whenever someone advocates some government program you'll notice usually they're advocating because of the program failure not its success. The entire drug war is a good example.

    In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

  • Brian from Texas||

    Even Richard Nixon for all his faults very correctly admitted that throwing money at problems solves nothing.

  • shamalam||

    Yet he put "war" in the war on drugs.

  • Peter L||

    He wasn't throwing money at the problem, he was throwing policemen at the problem.

    Airing inane TV spots which encourage kids to do drugs is like trying to put out a fire by throwing dollar bills on it.

  • Brian from Texas||

    On stage at a Dead Kennedys show in 1985, Jello Biafra called Feinstein the "Dragon Lady with no Fucking Heart".

  • John C. Randolph||

    TIL that there is something on which Biafra and I are in agreement.

    -jcr

  • Pip||

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cunt)

  • ||

    Pip, you have been fined 1 credit for violation of The Ken Shultz Verbal Morality Code.

  • SugarFree||

    Pip also has no idea how to use the sea shells.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Shush! Don't try to stop this before Ken has a chance to moralize on the fact that overuse of the word cunt has singlehandedly kept libertarians from winning the Presidency.

    Maybe the rest of you are tired of it, but I personally can't get enough of Ken setting off a cuntstorm every time he chastises us on the word that shall not be mentioned.

  • ||

    I'm not tired of it. I've noticed an uptick in the use of cunt after this weekend. Not just from people in the thread, there has been a trickle down effect. Thanks Ken!

  • Gerholdt||

    Just say no to prohibition. Never has worked, never will work, never can work. We just can't afford it any more.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Just say "no" to politicians

  • scareduck||

    California's Worst Senator has something to say about the War On Drugs? And we care about this, why?

  • Peter L||

    Because she is one of the people who control how the US spends trillions of dollars. And write laws which restrict our freedom.

    "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

  • mad libertarian guy||

    First, we should once again make anti-drug campaigns a priority. In the early 1980s, former first lady Nancy Reagan coined the now-famous slogan "Just say no" as part of her national anti-drug campaign.

    Although her strategy was criticized, she was able to use the White House as a national platform to address these issues.

    And despite all of the effort and stolen money put in to those anti-drug campaigns, drug use wasn't curbed one iota.

    Next, Congress should refund the Office of National Drug Control Policy's youth media campaign - the only national media campaign dedicated to reducing youth drug use. Funding for this program was eliminated last year in spite of the fact that 85 percent of teens are aware of the advertising campaign.

    And a good chunk of that 85% of teens do nothing but laugh, just like Harold and Kumar.

  • Voros McCracken||

    And then Kumar quit his job to go work for the Prohibitionist in Chief.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    No shit. I wonder if he sees the irony in what he was trying to do in Harold and Kumar juxtaposed against Obama's insistence on ramping up the war on drugs.

  • Brandon||

    He doesn't. He proudly drives a Prius and thinks Obama is going to get us off our dependence on foreign oil.

  • Brandon||

    He doesn't. He proudly drives a Prius and thinks Obama is going to get us off our dependence on foreign oil.

  • Brandon||

    Thank you, Squirrels.

  • Espantapajaros||

    Wow, what a dipshit. It reads like a brochure.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Stupid cow is stupid, film at 11.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Next, Congress should refund the Office of National Drug Control Policy's youth media campaign -- the only national media campaign dedicated to reducing youth drug use. Funding for this program was eliminated last year in spite of the fact that 85 percent of teens are aware of the advertising campaign.

    Yeah, awareness means fuck all. I was "aware" of all that nonsense as a teen.

  • TingoZing||

    lol, OK wow that makes a lot of sense.

    www.Privacy-Guys.tk

  • Raston Bot||

    fuck that bitch.

  • Ralph Wylie||

    That's an excellent idea Dianne! I just got my sample ballot and I'll be sayin' "NO" to you, sweetie!
    Cannabis is Medicine, Obama is Dope.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement