Coalition Against Prohibition

From Expatia. “Anti-govt-intervention group to be launched”

I know that some of you will disagree with me here but I believe that something that is a social problem, (in a lot of cases this simply means that some of us don’t like it) can with the intervention of the dead hand of the state become a social disaster.

Some interesting figures on the various state responses to gun crime come up in the San Francisco Coalition Against Prohibition campaign against Proposition H (handgun control) as follows.

Washington, D.C. has a handgun ban, and is arguably the murder capitol of the USA. Murder is higher now than before the ban. England banned firearms, and crime increased (up to 28% for street robberies; rape and murder have both increased). The article is as follows: –

A new organization calling itself the International Coalition Against Prohibition will be officially launched in The Netherlands at the weekend.

The ICAP is opposed to any and all forms of government interference in the lives of ordinary citizens. Representatives from 11 countries – the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, France and The Netherlands – will gather in The Netherlands to ratify the articles of association of their coalition.

ICAP believes governments are meddling too much in their citizens’ lives, for instance by introducing smoking bans. 

The International Coalition Against Prohibition says it’s time for a powerful international countermovement, which will defend citizens’ rights to determine their own lives.

From Sad Ireland.

We are hoping to have a number of European organizations present from the hospitality, entertainment and other industries and maybe one or two transatlantic link ups by TV and phone. We intend to send a very clear message to our politicians that we are becoming fed up with the smoking bans and the damage they are causing to many people’s lives and livelihoods.

Coupled with coming alcohol prohibition and the damage that that will also cause this should be a very animated summit. Lastly, add to that the formulation of an international coalition and we should put in place an organization which is going to become very strong and powerful indeed!

Another site I came across in researching this was “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition”, who campaign strongly against the war on drugs, as can be seen in the following clip, which at 13 minutes is long but if you have the time will offer some interesting insights.

The following comes from a recent post by them.

Prohibition gives the criminal all the control: he sets the standard, establishes the rules and reaps the rewards. A wealthy drug lord who makes a show of public generosity gains more respect from the common man than the police officer trying to shut the operation down, no matter how despicable the criminal may be.

Capone and Escobar (a drug baron) gained unimaginable wealth and power because of prohibition, not in spite of it. Without a ban on alcohol or drugs, they would never have had the opportunity to take control.

Ending prohibition and beginning a system of regulation and taxation takes away the criminal’s power. He no longer makes the rules. As the regulation and taxation of alcohol ended bootlegging, so will the end of drug prohibition end the illegal drug trade.

Today, drugs are illegal, they are out of control, and they are everywhere. If they were managed in the way that alcohol is now managed, they would be under control. Instead of criminals getting richer, violence escalating, and drug-related deaths on the rise, we would live under a system of established pricing, peaceful purchase, and a regulated labeling system that would clearly list important information such as purity and dosage.

Would there still be cases of overdose and addiction? Yes. But those are problems now, and a system of regulation would only decrease those instances. Prohibition is a false sense of control for the government. As Capone was in control during the prohibition of alcohol and Escobar was in control of the illegal drug trade in his time, so are the dealers in control under prohibition today.

14 thoughts on “Coalition Against Prohibition

  1. Pingback: Coalition Against Prohibition | Smoking

  2. A recent study (can’t find which journal) has come out that finds the tougher gun laws after 1996 Port Arthur had almost no impact on homicides. See link.

    It’d be hard for me to tell how sound their methodology is as I’m not an economist. But I do know that there are very few, if any, studies that unambigously show that relaxed gun laws leads to increased homicides (or other types of crime).

    So, assuming inconclusive evidence on both sides of the gun debate, individual freedom should be preferred.

  3. Sukrit, something strange has happened since I posted. The video has changed to another on the same group. Earlier it just showed an opaque image but when clicked the actual Youtube site bounced up with it. My site was doing the same with all my postings but has gone back to normal.

    I’ll see what I can do.

  4. There is little or no evidence to show that strict gun laws lead to crime control. On the other hand there is a solid statistical correlation between strict gun laws and higher crime, and between relaxed gun laws and lower crime.

    I acknowledge a correlation is not the same as an explanation. Nonetheless, I am convinced there is a cause and effect relationship. Most people are not criminals, therefore by having guns they can use them to reduce the activities of criminals. Without guns, they find it more difficult.

    I sure hope this ICAP initiative makes a difference. The ‘regulate first and regulate some more’ mentality is depressing.

  5. What could be the catch-cry of this coalition? “The only thing we intend to prohibit is prohibition itself!”, maybe? People might like the self-contradicting message, and remember it.

  6. It’s important to remember that the perils of Prohibition can be duplicated by over-taxation. Right now cigarettes are being taxed at a rate far in excess of 100% of base product price and the results are being felt everywhere in terms of black marketeering, smuggling, and violence. If gasoline were taxed at the same rate as tobacco we’d be seeing gas prices of ten to twenty dollars per gallon instead of five.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  7. Very good point Michael. If you outlaw a product (or anything for that matter) you force it underground. The perils of this were seen in the alcohol prohibition in the US where criminals ruled the alcohol trade and poor quality product made with wood alcohol turned people blind.

    What can we expect from repeal of prohibition from drugs? Safer drugs and slitting the throat of a large criminal element in Australia. We would also remove one of the worst outcomes of prohibition which makes it easier for an underage kid to buy pot than it is to buy booze.

    What about ending prohibition of guns for protection in Australia? It’s a little harder to say because we don’t have a culture of guns here. If we take into account the very obvious fact that more guns in law abiding citizens hands is a good thing and less guns in criminal hands is a bad thing then ending prohibition is the best option for this country.

  8. Here are some suggestions- we point to Switzerland’s low rate of massacres (I think it is zero) and their high rate of gun-ownership (because of conscription into the armed forces), and point out that culture, not guns, causes massacres. Therefore, sell guns only to people who first are well-trained in their use, or are part of some recognised militia group, or something along these lines.
    Another suggestion- all laws have sunset clauses, meaning they come up for periodic review. Only good laws would be recycled, meaning bad laws, or dead-letter laws, just cluttering up the law-books, would be expunged. This would also keep pollies engaged fulltime, giving them little chance to impose new laws on us. A win all round!

  9. Michael is quite right.

    A story was done on how the tax makes farmers dirt poor and encourages murder, by one of Australia’s flagship Current Affairs programmes:

    ADAM SHAND: “The stakes in this game are high. To the grower, a 100kg bail of tobacco is worth a maximum of $850. With government excise added, the value skyrockets to $29,000. A farmer like Tony Bonacci, on 10 hectares, puts $10 million into government coffers each year. In 2004, he made a loss on his crop. He says he doesn’t do chop chop, but he has certainly thought about it.”

  10. But also, US right wing commentator Michelle Malkin shows up the war on drugs and sin taxes to be a deadly, terrorist supporting farce:

    “The indictment of one of the ring members says he traveled to Lebanon three years ago and delivered a $3,500 payment to a Hezbollah military commander.

    If not for taxaholic bureaucrats, this suspected terrorist operation wouldn’t have gotten off the ground. States addicted to nicotine-stained revenue are all too happy to participate in the sanctimonious charade of condemning the vice while pocketing a chunk of the profits. But those who advocate punitive tobacco taxes to reduce smoking and “protect kids” continue to ignore the connection between sin taxes and illegal sales. Every state along the East Coast that has slapped astronomical and regressive taxes on tobacco has been invaded by increasingly savvy and organized smugglers. “

  11. There’s a fascinating, real-life catch-22 being discussed in, about British Justice. A man is being charged with dealing in drugs worth millions of pounds. He cannot defend himself, because his wealth has been frozen (so he can’t hire any lawyer), and he can’t use Legal aid, because of his (frozen) wealth!
    HOWEVER, the government has shot itself in the foot, because the rates for Barristers are so low, it can’t hire anyone to sort through the legal details, so it may have to scrap the case!
    Wasn’t it the comedian Will Rogers who said, “I’m not a comedian- I just watch the government, and report the facts!”?

  12. I think all of this proves that where a demand exists a supply system will arise to meet it. The ‘black market’ is after all only the free market in an oppressive environment. It does to some extent justify our faith in the free market, proving that it will endure under the utmost difficulty.

    Certainly the sellers are not your everyday shopkeeper or mostly not. It would be a bit difficult to cast these people as heroes of free enterprise, although taking the fact that most of the laws against their activities are unjust and unnecessary perhaps they do have a claim. Those who resist oppression have to be tougher than the general community, and as the law of subservient society will not enforce contracts or protect their rights they tend to have standards outside the mores of that society.

    These people only exist because of the law, not in spite of it. Who is worse after all, the silly kid who smokes a joint, or the private prison owners referred to in the above video who hire lobbyists to push for three strike laws.

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