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Ron Paul: Drug War In U.S. Has Racist Origins

• www.huffingtonpost.com
Ron Paul’s presidential campaign has spent the last two weeks dealing with the political consequences of the reemergence of racist newsletters that went out under his name in the 1980s and ‘90s. During that same time period, however, Paul also laid out an historical analysis of the racist roots of the drug war that accurately and honestly reflects its origins.

In 1988 Paul made a presidential campaign stop at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws while running on the Libertarian Party ticket. "What was so bad about the period from 1776 to 1914?" Paul wondered, referring to a time in American history when drugs were legal on the federal, and, in many towns, local level. "In the 20th Century, the doctors, like all business people, decided that there ought to be a monopoly. ‘If you wanted a little bit of codeine in your cough medicine, it would be much better if you come to me so I can charge you $25 for a prescription.'”

Paul, in a speech aired at the time on C-SPAN went on. “Before the 20th Century there was none of that and it was the medical profession as well as many other trade groups that agitated for the laws. And you know there’s a pretty good case made that this same concept was built in with racism as well. We do know that opium was used by the Chinese and the Chinese were not welcomed in this country,” Paul said. “We do know that the blacks at times use heroin, opium and the laws have been used against them. There have been times that it has been recognized that the Latin Americans use marijuana and the laws have been written against them. But lo and behold the drug that inebriates most of the members of Congress has not been touched because they're up there drinking alcohol.” (In the same speech, Paul delves into drug trafficking and the CIA, which I’ll cover in a follow-up article.)


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