Walter Cronkite on the United States’ “War on Drugs” | “The Drug Dilemma: War or Peace?”

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. | November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. | November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009


Filed under American Culture, Drug Policy, The Press

2 responses to “Walter Cronkite on the United States’ “War on Drugs” | “The Drug Dilemma: War or Peace?”

  1. Bill Harris

    Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation did not yet run amok. Madam Secretary Clinton need not travel to China to find subcultures stripped of human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of flower-children, political radicals, and ethnic minorities under the banner of the war on drugs. If we are all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance credibility.

    The witch-hunt doctor’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. Each case consumes public resources for investigation, prosecution, adjudication, incarceration and probation. My shaman’s second opinion is, grow your own herbal remedy victory garden. Abstaining from the black market implements demand reduction for cartel product, and increases economic stimulation.

    Only a clause about interstate commerce provides the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) with a pretext of constitutionality. The effect of the CSA on interstate commerce is to fatten outlaws and endanger homeland security while the treasury bleeds. Eradicate, do not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land, perhaps the most useful plant in nature. America rejected prohibition, but its back. SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon promised the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due-process under an anti-science law without any due-process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research. Marijuana has no medical use, period.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. A specific church membership should not be prerequisite for Americans to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, burdens the free exercise of religious liberty.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Puritans came here to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law must hold that the people are the legal owners of their own bodies. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal law should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should not deny self-exploration to seekers. Americans’ right to the pursuit of happiness is supposed to be inalienable by government.

    Simple majorities in each house could put repeal of the CSA on the president’s desk. The books have ample law on them without the CSA. The usual caveats remain in effect. You are liable for damages when you screw-up. Strong medicine requires prescription. Employees can be fired for poor job performance. No harm, no foul; and no excuse, either. Replace the war on drugs with a frugal, constitutional, science-based drugs policy.

  2. Wayne Phillips

    “…We cannot go into tomorrow with the same formulas that are failing today. We must not blindly add to the body count and the terrible cost of the War on Drugs, only to learn from another Robert McNamara 30 years from now that what we’ve been doing is, “wrong, terribly wrong.”” — closing excerpt from The Drug Dilemma, War or Peace? An episode of The Cronkite Report, first aired on the Discovery Channel, Tuesday, June 20, 1995.

    It is truly a shame that Walter Cronkite passed on without seeing the American administration & the DEA grasp the rationale he so articulately spelled out.

    May God Bless & Keep
    Mr. Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr.
    November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009

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