FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2013
Naples, FL – The Libertarian Party
of Collier County is extremely saddened to hear about the October arrest of
Representative Trey Radel on a charge of possession of cocaine. We are happy to
hear that Rep. Radel has said that he will be seeking treatment to help him
through this trying time. We wish him the best and hope for a speedy
There is something that simply cannot be ignored or glossed
over with this issue. It is the complete and utter hypocrisy that our elected
officials continue to engage in over drug policy in our country. Even our three
most recent presidents have openly admitted to using drugs during their youth.
All the while, many young men and women in our country are sent to jail under
the policies that our elected officials continue to put in place and fund with
our tax dollars.
It was abhorrent to hear Representative Trey Radel come
out against the legalization of medical marijuana in the 2012 Republican primary
or for him to vote in favor of drug testing of food stamp recipients all the
while struggling with his own alcoholism and drug abuse. Why do we continue to
allow for a different set of standards for our elected officials compared to the
rest of the American people?
The War on Drugs is an abysmal big
government failure. It is a Republican and Democrat failure. Our country has
spent roughly one and a half trillion dollars on the drug war since 1970 while
our drug addiction rate has remained unchanged. In addition, 48% of those in
U.S. prisons are there for drug crimes (and an overwhelming number of those are
in prison for “crimes” of a non-violent nature). Even more alarming, drug policy
is nowhere to be found in our U.S. Constitution.
If you’re a limited
government constitutionalist, you know the power to wage the war on drugs is not
an enumerated power of the federal government. If you’re a liberal, you know the
war on drugs is a violation of our civil liberties. If you’re a pragmatist, you
know the war on drugs simply is not working. We must accept this reality rather
than continuing to throw money at a problem that cannot be fixed through
government force while having our elected officials engage in completely
hypocritical actions without consequence.
As individuals, we own our
lives and it is our decision to make regarding what substances we ingest so long
as we do not cause harm to another by violating their rights. This does not mean
that using drugs is a good thing or that it should be encouraged, in fact, in
most cases quite the opposite is true. However, the best way to reduce the usage
of drugs in our country is not through a bloated, inefficient, failed government
program. It’s through common sense, treatment and education through the
marketplace of ideas.
We are a free people and as a free people we must
learn to accept that others may do things we don’t agree with. As a free people,
we must also accept personal responsibility for our own actions.
Libertarians, we call for an immediate end to the War on Drugs and a pardoning
of all non-violent drug offenders in the United States.