Drug Policy

A Conservative Who's Been Arrested

|

Imprisoned tycoon Conrad Black, like imprisoned tycoon Martha Stewart before him, has begun to see the light on drug policy. In an article excerpted by the London Times on Sunday, the former newspaper magnate, who is serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for fraud in a federal prison in Florida, describes the war on drugs as "a trillion taxpayers' dollars squandered and 1m small fry imprisoned at a cost of $50 billion a year…as supply of and demand for illegal drugs have increased, prices have fallen and product quality has improved." He calls the plea bargain system "the barefaced exchange of incriminating testimony for immunity or a reduced sentence," involving "intimidation and suborned or extorted perjury, an outright rape of any plausible definition of justice."

[via the Western Standard] 

NEXT: In a Free Greenland

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.

  1. Nothing to see here, people. Move along.

  2. Where’s the chicken fucker?

  3. How did you not excerpt this gem too?

    The recent financial upheavals have exposed the folly of the US Congress and Federal Reserve and will aggravate a cyclical recession and take some time to shake out.

  4. He calls the plea bargain system “the barefaced exchange of incriminating testimony for immunity or a reduced sentence,” involving “intimidation and suborned or extorted perjury, an outright rape of any plausible definition of justice.”

    Well look who just woke up. You figure that out by yourself Same Spade? Let me give you another clue. We don’t care.

    Best to keep on the Billions and Trillions we’re smoking. How much would we save every year if we ended the WOD? And how much would we collect in taxes if we taxed pot and coke like booze?

    Surrendering the WOD is the biggest no-brainer any government has ever faced since Smoot-Hawley. Could be the silver lining in the global financial meltdown.

  5. So is that what it takes to get “conservatives” to see the light? Maybe we need to arrest and imprison them all.

  6. Was Black pro-WOD before?

  7. So is that what it takes to get “conservatives” to see the light?

    A Hell of a lot easier than getting progressive liberals to see the light. They want to ban foods too!

  8. Conrad Black, as far as I can recall or Google, until recently never stuck his neck out on the War on Drugs one way or another. Neither did his publications; c.f., Black’s Telegraph (2004).

    But the Torygraph did read like Buckley’s National Review on other issues.

  9. ktc2, you mean we get to jail all the self-righteous RINO / so-cons, and replace them all with mountain-state libertarians and National Review stalwarts? Sweet!

  10. “A Hell of a lot easier than getting progressive liberals to see the light. ”

    Just give them a job and then sell them a house.

  11. Lately I’ve seen more and more staunch conservatives jump onto the anti-WOD bandwagon, at roughly the same pace that liberals jump on the bannination bandwagon (cigarettes and food, namely).

  12. Shows how useful that procon.org site is… Black’s Telegraph DID favour legalisation, or at least “experimenting” with it – Cannabis and the Law.

    I thought I remembered reading about it. (I must’ve been high at the time.) Good thing I kept googling.

  13. That editorial (“leader”) which you quoted makes Black seem like a major WOD skeptic (assuming his papers speak for him):

    “David Blunkett yesterday made his first modest gesture towards individual freedom since becoming Home Secretary, when he moved to reclassify cannabis as a Class C drug.

    “This is like water in the desert. It is disappointing, though, that the Government’s incremental moves towards liberalising the drugs climate are so timid.

    “. . . decriminalising cannabis use in practice but not in law would leave the supply of the drug in the hands of the criminal gangs that currently enjoy such a lucrative monopoly.

    “When The Daily Telegraph in March last year called on the Government to experiment with the legalisation of cannabis as a means of challenging the rhetorical fatuities of the ‘War on Drugs’, we knew we were moving against the controlling instincts of New Labour. We had to accept, too, that some conservatives would oppose our position, believing – quite wrongly, as it happens – that we somehow thought rolling a joint was a good idea. Recategorising cannabis has the enormous advantage of separating it in the public mind – and especially in the minds of those between 18 and 25 – from obviously dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine. . . .

    “Underpinning our Free Country campaign has been the presumption that individuals should be allowed to do what they want unless Parliament can show an overwhelming need to impose laws to control us. Mr Blunkett . . . should show he has confidence in his assessment that cannabis is not an unacceptably dangerous substance, and have the courage to take the next logical step forward by legalising the drug for an experimental period.”

  14. I have a question for you all:

    My city’s sheriff claims that the *number* of people doing drugs has increased but that the *percentage* of the population doing drugs has decreased since the W.O.D.

    Is there any truth to these claims?

    If not, what sources could I use to refute his claim?


  15. If not, what sources could I use to refute his claim?

    Use me as a source! Utilitarian arguments for a “drug policy” are irrelevant to the infringement of property rights, liberty and autonomy that result from prohibition.

  16. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh had actually gone through the system and been punished for his drug problem like everyone else. A few years in prison may have got him to see the light, too.

  17. I wonder if conservatives would be more against the WOD if libs were more in favor of it.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.