Supreme Court Justices equate 'war on drugs' to Prohibition

Justices Stevens, Souter, & Ginsburg: Drug Policy Reform Sympathizers?

[quote]As noted by Pete Guither in his excellent ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ coverage, this passage from Justice Stevens in his dissenting opinion is quite remarkable:

[b]…the current dominant opinion supporting the war on drugs in general, and our anti-marijuana laws in particular, is reminiscent of the opinion that supported the nationwide ban on alcohol consumption when I was a student. While alcoholic beverages are now regarded as ordinary articles of commerce, their use was then condemned with the same moral fervor that now supports the war on drugs.[/b] The ensuing change in public opinion occurred much more slowly than the relatively rapid shift in Americans’ views on the Vietnam War, and progressed on a state-by-state basis over a period of many years. But just as prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies, today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law-abiding users of marijuana,9 and of the majority of voters in each of the several States that tolerate medicinal uses of the product,10 lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs. Surely our national experience with alcohol should make us wary of dampening speech suggesting—however inarticulately—that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely.[/quote]

Thank you for an actual voice of reason from an American of consequence on this topic. Everyone keeps laughing this discussion off as if it’s an irrelevant side-issue; meanwhile people continue getting sent to jail and having their lives ruined for something that clearly should NOT be illegal.

Legalisation and taxes would, so the argument goes,

lower prices (in addition to adding to govt coffers);

and destroy criminal elements’ profits, thus breaking their power as to MJ.

As far as sentencing, there’s a lack of deterrence and rehabilitation programs. This stems from cutting funding since the Repubs believe sticking them in jail and forgetting them is easier than trying to help cure them.

What about schrooms?

I recall a famous SC case on using peyote as a protected right under Freedom of Religion.

I’m all for it. Nobody ever got killed for shrooms. Lots of ppl die because of alcohol.

Peyote is powerful stuff. But a nice silly-sibin salad didn’t hurt nobody and made TV a LOT of fun.

Those Cosbys!! What a riot!

Whenever anyone gets on their high horse and starts preaching about the iniquity of drugs and drug users, I always bring up prohibition.

But I’m not a Supreme Court justice. :frowning:

I happen to agree with Steven’s opinion on drugs, but unfortunately in this instance his comments are just an example of the rambling dicta that seems to plague Supreme Court opinions from judges on both sides of the issue.