Judge James Paine Quote

“Alcohol didn’t cause the high crime rates of the ‘20s and ‘30s, Prohibition did. And drugs do not cause today’s alarming crime rates, but drug prohibition does.... Trying to wage war on 23 million Americans who are obviously very committed to certain recreational activities is not going to be any more successful than Prohibition was.”

~ Judge James Paine

address to the Florida Bar Association in Miami, November, 1991

Ratings and Comments

Dr. Tom LaMar, Keeseville, NY

I agree with Ron Paul on this one. License and tax all substances of personal abuse with proper warning labels, with SOME counseling if "available", but any problems such personal abuse causes should be born in all cost by those who partake lest they become expensive penal and reparative charges of the state. Their fate and problems are their own until they abrogate the rights of others; it is THEN that the legal system should take over for any crimes against our general population, and leave them to their fates...which they would know well in advance. this holds true for alcohol, tobacco and firearms as well. this is also part of my form of chosen libertarianism is one of minarchism to keep the "huns" out, and little more as possible and practicable

K Taylor, Texas

Until we as citizens can truly allow people the consequences of their choices it can't work.

cal, lewisville, tx

Before the FDA was formed folks in America received all the dope they wanted legally at their local pharmacy and times were peaceful then.

J Carlton, Calgary

Hey Taylor, you don't "allow" people the consequences of their choices...you make it a condition of living, otherwise known as Justice. (We used to have that in this country.) And what makes you think you have the right to dictate anyone's choices? Are you Hillary (D-bag) Clinton? The quote is exactly, morally correct.

gtheo, portage,michigan

The Drug War is an industry that is costing Americans billions of dollars with no end in sight. Drug prisons abound and thousands of Mexican citizens are killing each other for a cut of the pie. Ron Paul is right on a solution for this created problem.

jim k, Austin, Tx

This so called war on drugs is the worst thing going on in this country since 1970. We have Nixon to thank for this atrocity

Mike, Norwalk

Dr. Tom, said well.

Anonymous, Rochester, MN

Insert the word "murder" for the word alcohol. Then insert the word "laws against murder" for the word "prohibition". Now insert the word "guns" for the word "drugs". This quote and perhaps even the principle behind it makes no sense to me. This guy is blaming laws for crime. People can be committed to pedophilia too...are the laws against it to blame??

J Carlton, Calgary

Rochester, your analogy is completely flawed. Someone smoking marijuana in their own home is a victimless crime. Murder and rape are not.

Mary - MI
  • Reply
Mary - MI    7/13/11

The so-called 'War On Drugs' has brought on the American people the same consequences that Prohibition created...black markets, innocent deaths, huge expense to those who paid taxes. Prohibition endowed upon us the Mafia's ability to run rampant with Tommy Guns indiscriminately blasting away on the U.S. streets. The 'War On Drugs' has bestowed on the American people the drug cartels, i.e., Mexican Drug Cartels which have reaped havoc on many border states. The 'War On Drugs' needs to be overturned and rescinded as was wisely decided when Prohibition was finally and wisely thrown out!! Dr. Tom LaMar I wholly concur with all you stated.

  • Reply
Anonymous    7/13/11

When is this prohibition ever going to end?

Waffler, Smith

Anon is correct. If laws are the reason for crime. Then all we have to do is eliminate the laws. Ipso facto. There is another word for this and it is called anarchy. Now maybe laws should be adjusted now and then and that is why we have standing legislatures. Some of this stuff is far removed from my and my life style, so I wish not to pontificate but one must look at the reasons for the existing law.

Byron, Fort Collins

Were drugs legalized, they could be highly taxed and help pay off the deficit. They would be quality-controlled, and home marijuana growers would add wealth to the economy. All the money spent jailing drug users could be spent in educating the public about long-term side-effects and the medical realities of the more harmful substances. I see no downside to legalization. The only thing worse than a "user" is some "superior, omniscient" a-hole who knows better and feels we "canNOT truly allow people the consequences of their choices". Dumba$$, users are gonna use drugs anyway!!!

Byron, Fort Collins

And, don't think for a moment that Congress doesn't have ready access to all the "blow" they can inhale at our expense! Remember Roger Clinton's remark, "My brother has a nose like a vacuum cleaner". The war on drugs is only an excuse for "The Man" to invade our homes and private lives.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, speaking to a few professors and attorneys in the field, the reason for existing law follows the old adage - follow the money. Henry Ford was running his first vehicles on marijuana oil (the petroleum industry couldn't stand for that). The alcohol industry has invested heavily into getting rid of the perceived competition. The cotton industry participated greatly in getting rid of a perceived superior product. The pharmaceutical industry couldn't have something that was so cheap and did so much (no profit there). Purchased politicians, ETC.! ! !

bruski, naples FL

A long list of "unintended consequences" caused by laws passed with good intentions but producing terrible results.

Hopefully, we will awaken sometime soon.


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