Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul says the United States is “making progress” in rejecting the failed war on drugs by loosening state drug laws.
Mr. Paul, a 2012 presidential candidate and libertarian icon, said on his weekly radio podcast that people will eventually wake up and realize that “prohibition doesn’t work.”
“Many states now are expressing themselves, passing laws in defiance of the federal government, … and they should have the right to legalize marijuana or whatever they want,” Mr. Paul said.
Mr. Paul said that he does not endorse the use of drugs, but that it is the job of parents — not the federal government — to prevent kids from using drugs.
Colorado voters passed an amendment in November legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults and this week state lawmakers there passed bills that set the taxes and regulations for marijuana sales. Voters in Washington also passed an amendment last fall legalizing marijuana.
Mr. Paul estimated that the federal government has spent upwards of $3 trillion waging the war on drugs and said that the nation has little to show for it.
He said the prisons are filled with drug users convicted of nonviolent crimes and that black Americans are disproportionately affected by strict drug laws.
“The prisons are filled with minorities for drug use,” Mr. Paul said, “but for some reason there are not too many people that want to talk about this.”