Welcoming a multitude of prospective members, Appalachian State University’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter kicked off the fall semester last Wednesday, August 27 with a pizza social and lecture on the fallacies of America’s War on Drugs.
Ruling out the customary few famished freshman that showed up just for the meal, it’s still safe to assume that our numbers and enthusiasm will greatly increase this year with the aide of our dedicated core from last year. After curing our appetites with a little help from Dominoes and mingling with potential members, we were treated to an outstanding lecture from Appalachian’s Dr. Matt Robinson, Professor of Government and Justice Studies, specializing in crime theory, the War on Drugs, the Injustices of the Criminal Justice System, and a variety of other fields.
Currently authoring his 18th book focusing on race and crime, Dr. Robinson is most notable for his 2007 book titled Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics, which analyzes falsified claims made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The book specifically looks at the National Drug Control Strategy between 2000 and 2005, concluding that the federal government purposefully distorted facts to justify the destructive continuation of the War on Drugs.
Dr. Robinson’s lecture focused on the disastrous nature of America’s War on Drugs and how it disproportionately affects minorities and impoverished. While listening to Robinson’s lecture it was easy to conclude that the War on Drugs does exactly the opposite of its intent, leaving America with higher incarceration rates, more violent street crime, and rampant drug abuse. After Nixon became the first president to declare an official “War on Drugs,” each subsequent administration has continued the ineffective policy, resulting in more and more calamitous consequences.
The War on Drugs reached its peak during the Reagan years, which resulted in record high incarceration rates, thanks to the administration’s enormous expansion of the program. While there seems no end to this policy, the good news is the Obama administration has taken steps toward a sensible drug policy. After appointing Seattle’s former Chief of Police as the administration’s Drug Czar, the Obama presidency for the first time has focused primarily on rehabilitating drug addicts as opposed to centering on drug arrests.
At the conclusion of the lecture, many members were left speechless, realizing the utter ineffectiveness of the War on Drugs. As a plan of action, our chapter is going to look into the possibility of legalizing marijuana within the town of Boone, following en suite with American cities like Portland, Oregon. We are also going to begin writing lawmakers and encouraging others to do so as well to end this madness.
While the future for Appalachian’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter looks bright, it’s going to be difficult to top this first meeting.Published in