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Steve Kubby on Crime

Ending Violent Crime So You Can Live Safer

At a policy forum on crime control, Judge James Gray of the Orange County Superior Court made an important observation. He noted how fast California constructs new prisons and fills them up. Judge Gray told the audience that if the current pace of prison construction and incarceration continues, by the year 2020 every Californian will be either incarcerated or working for the prison system.

Sadly, he's right. No nation, not even China or the former Soviet Union, imprisons as great a percentage of their people as does the U.S. Have you ever wondered if we keep the wrong people in jail and let the really dangerous criminals out?

More than half the people locked away are there for nonviolent offenses. They didn't hurt anybody. They didn't rob anybody. They just made, to some, a bad decision. Yet with mandatory minimum sentencing and "three-strike" laws, they spend more time in prison on average than criminals who killed, assaulted, or raped somebody.

Gun control is not an answer. One does not attack the car when a drunk driver kills an innocent victim. The individual, not the object, is responsible for the crime. The individual has to face the wrath of society.

In times past, almost every boy carried a gun to school. Today, even as guns are regulated more than ever, we hear about terrible shootings. The evidence shows that in communities that banned handguns, the chance a criminal will break into your home while you and your family are home skyrocketed!

Gun control is just another shallow, quick fix invented by political hacks. Sadly, many well-intentioned folks have been swept along in the belief that banning weapons somehow reduces crime. If you want safer streets, then we have to go to the core of violence in America.

Steve Kubby is the only candidate for Governor in California this year with the courage to take a refreshing stand, guaranteeing safer streets for you and your family. It's easy for a politician to say "get tough" with expensive programs doomed to failure. But by ignoring the root causes of crime, you get victimized twice. First, you are victimized by the crime itself. Then you and I are victimized again when we are forced to pay for the misguided policies that were supposed to protect us in the first place. Instead, Steve Kubby has called for an outright end to the drug war so we can make room in our prisons for truly violent criminals.

History shows us why this is a sensible policy. Not too long ago alcohol was illegal. Laws were passed with good intentions. Yet during that time we know as Prohibition, organized crime moved in to supply demand for liquor. Streets became battlegrounds. Criminals bought off police and judges. Bad booze blinded and killed people. Civil rights were trampled to keep people from drinking.

When alcohol prohibition ended, the U.S. murder rate began a free-fall that lasted for years until the politicians started the prohibition against drugs. Most of the violence associated with drugs has nothing to do with somebody abusing a substance and then attacking innocent people. Instead, the violence springs from the underground economy that supplies any prohibited product.

Because drug traffickers cannot settle disputes and win market share through legal systems, they turn to violence. Most experts agree that if all drugs were made legal today, violent crime would be cut in half. Nobody wants to see the horrors of drug abuse, yet the current war mentality only aggravates the problem without solving it.

You and your loved ones could breathe easier with an end to this war. Your neighborhood will be safer. Consider a few of the benefits you'll get with an end to this unwinnable war:

  • There will be room in our prisons for the truly violent criminals;
  • Legal companies will take over the marketing of drugs, making themselves legally liable for impurities;
  • Those legal companies won't try to hook your children by going to schools to "push" their products -- after all, tobacco companies and liquor manufacturers use advertising, not personal representatives on school grounds. And no advertising is more powerful than good parents;
  • Drug products will become less potent and thus less dangerous, like in the days when Coca-Cola put just a little bit of cocaine in their original recipe instead of caffeine:
  • Billions of dollars in taxes will be saved because we won't have to lock up and maintain people just because their behavior displeased some yet nobody was hurt;
  • Violent crime will plummet as the profits of drug trafficking evaporate; and
  • People who want to escape from drug abuse can get help without fear of a prison term.

To prop up the war on drugs, our own government released a torrent of misinformation. For example, you may have heard that today's marijuana is ten, 50, or even 100 times stronger than the marijuana of the 1960s. That is not true. According to Dr. John Morgan of New York University's School of Medicine (and author of the Drugs of Abuse section of the Mercks Manual), there has been no change in the potency of marijuana.

Instead, politicians and government bureaucrats invented this rumor to protect their jobs and authority. They realized that more than 30 million Americans had tried marijuana without bad effects. They also knew that most people who had tried pot in their younger days no longer smoked it. So they invented the potency myth, thinking that those folks who no longer smoked would just go along and believe what they were told.

How can somebody make such a charge? Consider that the active ingredient in marijuana was unknown until the 1960s. Since then, all potency testing has been done exclusively at one facility at the University of Mississippi. Not until the early 1980s were enough samples collected from around the country to be statistically significant. Since 1980 or so, when the government started to analyze enough samples to get a fairly accurate picture, their own studies proved that potency is unchanged.

Yet a couple of officials with "credentials" said pot was stronger than when older adults first tried it. Then the people in the media repeated this lie without ever checking the facts. It's a shame, but politicians and the media are directly responsible for this war -- and thus more than half of all violent crime.

You may also have heard the "Gateway Theory." That's when they tell you smoking marijuana leads to use of hard drugs. There is nothing in the chemical makeup of marijuana that does this. Instead, the drug war itself causes the progression to harder drugs.

Marijuana is bulky, hard to conceal, and carries penalties as harsh as those for hard drugs. Because of that, pushers try to convert their customers to hard drugs. The hard drugs are more profitable and easier to transport. Just as bootleggers during Prohibition sold hard liquor instead of beer and wine, so the drug war makes it more profitable to sell hard drugs instead of pot.

Many good people believe the propaganda put out by the drug warriors. But this belief in public officials creates several problems. It discourages people from thinking for themselves. For those who know that the government lies about drugs, it becomes harder to respect other, legitimate laws and institutions. That, understandably, creates great disrespect for the law. And today's teens who experiment with drugs, just as their parents did in the '60s and '70s, learn that they cannot trust advice from adults.

Our government's "zero tolerance" of drugs is directly responsible for:

  • Increased use of hard drugs;
  • The invention of cheap and potent drugs like crack and cat;
  • The use of children as drug couriers to avoid adult criminal penalties;
  • Aggressive, personal sales of drugs on playgrounds;
  • Hesitation of drug abusers to seek help to end drug abuse;
  • Increased violent crime;
  • Success and growth of organized crime; and
  • Unsafe neighborhoods.

We have to end this war and find peaceful solutions to the problem of drug abuse. Today's war is more harmful than the drugs themselves. We also have to make people who choose to abuse drugs responsible for that choice. That means:

  • Taxpayers should never have to bail out drug abusers for their bad choices;
  • Drug abusers should never get a reduced sentence for crime committed under the influence; and
  • Employers should never be forced to keep a drug abuser on the payroll because it's a "disability."

Ending the drug war will also promote racial equality. Most of today's drug laws have their roots in racism. These laws gave the elites who controlled government another tool to keep other people in line. The Congressional Record exposes the explicit racism of the drug war's start. Alcohol and tobacco were the drugs of choice for the white America who controlled government. Other drugs were more prevalent with ethnic minorities.

This racism continues in all its ugliness with today's drug policy. A poor, black kid from the city gets a severe prison sentence for possessing crack cocaine. A rich, white kid from the suburbs escapes with a light sentence for the possessing the same amount of powder cocaine. The injustice is shameful and obvious.

Even though voters in California passed Proposition 215 to exempt sick and suffering people from the drug war, politicians still arrest sick people. Used constructively, marijuana provides important relief to people suffering a variety of ailments. People suffering with the AIDS wasting syndrome have discovered that smoking this medicinal herb can restore their appetites and live longer, healthier lives. People with glaucoma, those suffering from cancer chemotherapy, and many others find relief. Yet politicians keep marijuana listed among the most dangerous banned substances. It's foolishness and political vanity, pure and simple.

Steve Kubby knows first-hand that free people can discover good in what conventional wisdom cannot see. Twenty-three years ago, Steve's doctors told him he had adrenal cancer and could expect to live six months to maybe a year. Chemotherapy might help, but it would ravage his system and not give him much more time. Steve took a different route. Today he feels great. His doctors at the Mayo Clinic are amazed because nobody they've ever diagnosed with his type of cancer survived before.

After the successful passage of Prop. 215, Steve Kubby was invited to address the State of the World Forum in San Francisco. World leaders, including former heads of state and prime ministers, including Mikhail Gorbachev, attended. They received Steve's speech well and sought his advice on the medical use of marijuana. At the forum, Steve conferred with former San Jose Police Chief Joe McNamara. Together, they agreed the drug war causes more harm than the drugs and found common ground to return safety to neighborhood streets.

Common sense and personal responsibility are keys to safer streets. Instead of political arguments from the left and right, the principles of liberty expressed in our Constitution will give you a more secure home and safer streets. Only Steve Kubby, among all the candidates for governor, will place his faith in the people to improve life in their own neighborhoods. But without your vote, and the votes of others who share a belief in our rights as individuals, nothing will change. Californians will continue to suffer under the failed criminal policies of yesteryear. Instead, you and I have to say "enough is enough." It's time to change the old ways so that we can have a better world for ourselves and our children.

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