1. The interview above with Milton Friedman was recorded shortly before he died in November 2006 at the age of 93, and here’s what he had to say about drug prohibition (starting around 0:52):
I have long been opposed to the prohibition of drugs…whether it’s marijuana or other drugs. The major basis for my opposition is not that prohibition has caused more harm than good, it’s been primarily a moral opposition. We have free speech and free assembly. But I think the same thing goes with respect to what I put in my body. I do not think the state has any more right to tell me what to put in my mouth than it has to tell me what can come out of my mouth. Those two are essentially the same thing, and they are both essential elements of freedom.
HT: Don Boudreaux (“Keep Your Laws Off of My Body“)
2. Here’s more from Don’s post:
In the LA Times, former California GOP legislator Chris Norby rightly criticizes the hypocrisy of conservatives who, with one breath, decry the nanny state and then, with their next breath, endorse the so-called “war on drugs” (Letters, Sept. 11). As Mr. Norby says, “Those who support individual freedom should oppose locking up adults for nonviolent behavior, as incarceration only makes it far worse for them, their families and the taxpayers who must pay to imprison those who have only hurt themselves. The war on drugs should not be a war on people.”
3. Radley Balko reports that a “Philadelphia Family Loses Home Over A Single Drug Charge“, thanks to Pennsylvania’s asset forfeiture laws that allow the state to seize private property based on a mere “preponderance of the evidence,” and provide property owners with even fewer legal protections than accused criminals:
Sam Leino was ultimately convicted on a single charge of possessing prescription drugs with intent to distribute. For that, his wife and their three children are homeless. Welcome to the wonderful world of asset forfeiture.
Because the owner of a piece of property — be it land, cash, a car, or a home — needn’t even be charged to lose the property under forfeiture laws, the Leinos had already lost their home by the time Sam Leino was convicted on that single charge. (Despite the conviction, the family maintains that he possessed the drugs for personal use after an automobile accident.) In fact, the government can actually freeze your assets before any proceedings begin, making it difficult to hire legal representation for either your criminal trial, or to go to court to reclaim your property. In this case, the Philadelphia DA’s office actually evicted Sandra Leino and her children from their home, rendering them homeless until a relative took them in.
The office of Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams eventually withdrew the claim on the Leino home, but only after the family had fallen behind on their mortgage payments and the bank foreclosed, meaning that the home was no longer theirs for the government to take from them.
HT: Warren Smith
4. 2013 Drug War Casualty No. 27: Undercover police in Sunnyvale, California, shot and killed an unarmed alleged methamphetamine dealer last Wednesday afternoon. Juan Ruelas, 34, becomes the 27th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
5. 2013 Drug War Casualty No. 28: Texas sheriff’s deputies executing a narcotics search warrant shot and killed a Hidden Harbor Hills man Monday night. Daniel Richard Vasquez, 33, becomes the 28th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year and the second in the past week.