What Is Ron Paul's Stance on Cannabis?

This question originally appeared on Quora: What is Ron Paul's stance on cannabis?
Answer by Ron Paul, Former Congressman from Texas

I think the Drug War is outrageous. I have been fighting for many years to end it - the sooner the better.


It was the best thing in the world to end the prohibition of alcohol, because there was nothing but downsides to prohibition and there's been nothing but downsides to the War on Drugs. It's one part of our system that is still very much involved with discrimination, because the enforcement of the drug laws has been very biased against minorities and there is a lot of injustice in that.


The drug war has never done anything good. It cost a lot of money, it was an excuse to violate the civil liberties of a lot of Americans, and it challenges the notion that people get to make their private choices. Even when there's risk involved, government is not meant to protect us from ourselves, government is meant to protect our liberties. When people have the right to make their own decisions, they should be responsible for all the actions they take. The drug war is a typical example of how the government is intending to make people better and once they do that they are getting into the business of removing personal liberty.


So, I am delighted that the states have taken it upon themselves to challenge the federal law. This is a perfect example of nullification and I am all for that. The national War on Drugs ought to be ended totally and completely. There should be some laws protecting children like they do in regulating alcohol on the state level but ultimately, everyone should have the right to take their own risk in the use of marijuana or whatever they want. The drug laws have been so ridiculous that the moves against marijuana led to the prohibition of raising hemp in this country, which makes no commercial sense whatsoever.


So, people need to have a better understanding, more tolerance and freedom - things would work out much better. We don't need an authoritarian government. One of the motivations of the constant spying on the American people has been the War on Drugs. Though I do think the movement is heading in the right direction and someday there will be more confidence placed in the American people to make their own choices.

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