Ron Paul
2004 Ron Paul Chapter 10

Ron Paul H. Res. 412 Honoring Men And Women Of The Drug Enforcement Administration — Part 1

3 March 2004

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H. Res. 412 Honoring Men And Women Of The Drug Enforcement Administration — Part 1
3 March 2004

2004 Ron Paul 10:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

2004 Ron Paul 10:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the resolution but obviously not because we should not honor the men who were asked to do their duty and lost their lives. It is for another reason.

2004 Ron Paul 10:3
I would like to call attention to my colleagues and to the Congress the lack of success on the war on drugs. The war has been going on for 30 years. The success is not there, and I think we are deceiving ourselves if we think that everything is going well and that we have achieved something, because there is really no evidence for that. Not only that, there have been many unintended consequences that we fail to look at, and I want to take this time to make that the point and try to get some of us to think that there may be another way to fight the war on drugs.

2004 Ron Paul 10:4
I do not know of anybody who likes drugs and advocates the use of drugs. I as a physician am strongly opposed to the use of drugs. It is just that the techniques make a big difference. We are talking about bad habits, and yet we are resorting to the use of force, literally an army of agents and hundreds of billions of dollars over a 30-year period, in an effort to bring about changes in people’s habits. Someday we are going to have to decide how successful we have been. Was it a good investment? Have we really accomplished anything?

2004 Ron Paul 10:5
Another reason why I am taking this time to express an opposition is that the process has been flawed. After World War I, there was a movement in this country that believed that too many Americans had bad habits of drinking too much alcohol, and of course, if we really want to deal with a bad drug, alcohol is it. Many, many more die from alcoholism and drunken driving and all kinds of related illnesses, but the country knew it and they recognized how one dealt with those problems.

2004 Ron Paul 10:6
The one thing that this country recognized was that the Congress had no authority to march around the country and tell people not to drink beer, and what did they do? They resorted to amending the Constitution, a proper procedure, and of course, it turned out to be a failed experiment. After 12 years, they woke up and the American people changed it.

2004 Ron Paul 10:7
We have gone 30 years and we have not even reconsidered a new approach to the use of drugs and the problems that we face.

2004 Ron Paul 10:8
Another thing that is rather astounding to me, is that not only have we lost the respect for the Constitution to say that the Federal Government can be involved in teaching habits, but we literally did this not even through congressional legislation.

2004 Ron Paul 10:9
The DEA was created by an executive order. Imagine the size of this program created merely by a President signing an executive order. Of course, the ultimate responsibility falls on the Congress because we acquiesce and we vote for all the funding. The DEA has received over $24 billion in the past 30 years, but the real cost of law enforcement is well over $240 billion when we add up all the costs.

2004 Ron Paul 10:10
And then if we look at the prison system, we have created a monstrosity. Eighty-four percent, according to one study, 84 percent of all Federal prisoners are nonviolent drug prisoners. They go in and they come out violent. We are still talking about a medical problem. We treat alcoholism as a medical problem, but anybody who smokes a marijuana cigarette or sells something, we want to put them in prison. I think it is time to stop and reevaluate this.

2004 Ron Paul 10:11
One other point is that as a physician I have come to the firm conclusion that the war on drugs has been very detrimental to the practice of medicine and the care of patients. The drug culture has literally handicapped physicians in caring for the ill and the pain that people suffer with terminal illnesses. I have seen doctors in tears coming to me and saying that all his wife had asked me for was to die not in pain; and even he, as a physician, could not get enough pain medication because they did not want to make her an addict. So we do have a lot of unintended consequences.

2004 Ron Paul 10:12
We have civil liberty consequences as well. We set the stage for gangsters and terrorists raising money by making weeds and wild plants and flowers illegal. If someone could say and show me all of a sudden that the American people use a lot less drugs and kids are never tempted, it would be a better case; but we do not have the evidence. We have no evidence to show that 30 years of this drug war has done very much good. Matter of fact, all studies of the DARE program show that the DARE program has not encouraged kids to use less illegal drugs. So there is quite a few reasons why we ought not to just glibly say to the DEA it’s been a wonderful 30 years and encourage more of it.

2004 Ron Paul 10:13
The second part of the resolution talks about the sacrifice of these men. To me, it is a tragedy. Why should we ever have a policy where men have to sacrifice themselves? I do not believe it is necessary. We gave up on the prohibition of alcohol. I believe the drug war ought to be fought, but in a much different manner.

2004 Ron Paul 10:14
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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