Recently Deputy Sheriffs from Ventura County arrested 17 members of a local drug trafficking organization and seized 192 pounds of methamphetamines, 5 pounds of heroin, 500 fentanyl pills, $208,000 in cash and a firearm. According to the Sheriff’s experts, the combined value of the drugs was more than $700,000. But is that a success? Will it make any difference in either the short run or the long run? Actually no, because in the short run some other drug supplier will see this as a career opportunity, and in the long all of these drugs will still be plentiful on the Black Market. In other words, why is our country still pursuing this failed policy of Drug Prohibition? As I documented in an article I published in the July 2020 edition of Verdict Magazine entitled “Life Inside Prisons,” all of these drugs are fully available even in our prisons, so how can we expect to keep them off the streets of our towns and cities? Furthermore, don’t just take my word for it, ask the next ten teenagers you find and they will confirm that – if they wanted to – it would be easier for them to buy marijuana than alcohol. Jim Beam Bourbon is not sold on high school campuses, but marijuana is sold there all of the time. Why? Because there’s no money in selling the strictly- regulated and controlled alcohol, but there’s lots to be made in selling illicit substances. So this simply re-emphasizes the fact that the term “controlled substances” is the biggest oxymoron in our world today. Why again? Because if we make something illegal we give up all of the controls to the bad guys like Mexican drug cartels, juvenile street gangs and other thugs. And the least concern to illicit sellers is age restrictions. In fact, they even use the illegality to recruit young people to sell these drugs so everyone can make more money. And who are the logical customers of young people selling illicit drugs? Obviously it is their young friends and contemporaries. In other words, we couldn’t do it worse if we tried.

As most of you know, as a former Navy JAG attorney, federal prosecutor and veteran trial court judge, I have been speaking out publicly against our nation’s policy of Drug Prohibition since 1992. And often when I speak I ask my audience three questions: Have we won the War on Drugs? Are we winning the War on Drugs? And, do you think we ever will win the War on Drugs? I have never had anyone answer “yes” to any of those questions – including many law enforcement officers in the audiences. So I now ask the same questions to you – expecting the same negative answers. Then why do we continue with this failed policy? The answer to that question is that our elected officials need political cover for them to talk sense in this area. And when we – you and I – give them that political cover our world will change. And it will change for the better, because Drug Prohibition is the biggest failed policy in the history of the United States of America, second only to slavery. Of course we will continue to punish those who provide any of these drugs illegally, but otherwise our world will be safer: more quality control with the drugs, less crime in their sales and use and more enforcement of age restrictions. So please help us provide that political cover. There is no time like the present!

Request to the community: “Due to COVID-19 we are asking rioters to work at home and destroy their own stuff!”

And, for those of you who are interested, I will be the host of a podcast at 7:00 p.m. each Tuesday in September discussing Libertarian issues. For more information, and to sign up to attend one or all of the presentations, please go to https://judgegray.webscientistsfunnels.com.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

As stated above, feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com. Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.