Reason's annual Webathon runs through Tuesday, December 8.
We're asking Reason.com readers to provide $250,000 in tax-deductible donations so that we can keep bringing you the very best libertarian news, analysis and commentary. Please join over 600 readers who have supported us so far.
One of Reason's goals is to influence our peers in the media by bringing stories and analyses to their attention and by introducing them not simply to our point of view on this or that issue but the value, clarity, and explanatory power of a generally libertarian world view. In past webathons, we've highlighted the ways in which Reason inspired John Stossel ("It was a revelation") and Drew Carey ("I never thought I was a libertarian until I picked up Reason magazine").
By this time next year, recreational pot will be legal in more states than Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia. Thus begins the beginning of the end of the war on pot, which in turn means the beginning of the end of the war on drugs. Whenever it happens, the end of the drug war will have come too late, as it's ultimately not about using or valorizing this or that intoxicant or this or that lifestyle. In all of its iterations, the drug war is an ugly mix of xenophobia, racism, power-mongering, and fear of giving people control over their own minds. It has polluted all aspects of American life and politics, from education to foreign policy to law enforcement.
Even if you don't plan on ever smoking pot, ending its prohibition will be a great libertarian victory. The drug war's underlying causes and its massive negative effects on so many aspects of individual liberty and limited government are why we talk so much about drug policy reform (spoiler alert: the Reason staff, at least in my experience, probably uses drugs less than most groups of similarly situated adults).
And when pot becomes legal, you can in part thank Glenn Beck, whose conversion from a drug warrior to drug peacenik was helped along by the writings of Reason's own Jacob Sullum. Over the past couple of years, Beck has in his own words has become "a libertarian in transit" who is "moving deeper into the libertarian realm." You needn't sign on to all his views (or even any of his views) to admire greatly how Beck has created his own meda platform and community, all predicated on personal responsiblity, civil discourse, and voluntary exchange.
"I would open it up to all drugs [potentially being legalized]," Beck said. "Let the people decide. The closer to the people, the better. And you will be surprised at how responsible people are."…
Beck made no secret of the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic and smoked marijuana almost "every day of [his] life" from the age of 15 to the age of 30, and he doesn't recommend anyone follow in his footsteps in that regard.
"I believe I would have been a better broadcaster today had I not done that," Beck said. "I'm not a fan of drugs. I don't do drugs. I don't recommend anyone does drugs. But I think we are going down this rabbit hole of a war on drugs that isn't working. It's empowering the cartels across the border, and it's causing a lot of problems here inside of our border, much like we had during the prohibition period of the progressive era."
When the drug war has lost Glenn Beck…well, it's time to bring the troops home, isn't it? Given Beck's immense platform and influence among generally conservative, right-of-center folks, there's no question that he may well help sell marijuana legalization in states as far-flung as Massachusetts and California.
And it's not just on the drug war that Beck has come around to our point of view. When we caught up with him at Washington's anti-Iran Deal rally in September, he acknowledged that we'd been right all along about the Iraq invasion. Take a look:
So this is part of what you're supporting when you donate to Reason. We're working hard to build the biggest and best source of news and commentary for libertarians even as we represent the libertarian point of view in print, online, and on TV and radio. We're digging into stories that hold politicians, power brokers, and big media outfits accountable.
And we're working to change the minds of influencers in the culture so that we might all be a little smarter and whole lot freer.
The webathon ends on Tuesday, December 8 and we've still got a long way to go before reaching our goal of $250,000. Your support is tax deductible and most gifts come with generous gifts. So if you like what we're doing, please consider making a donation.