NEWPORT CITY – Imagine a country that allows use of all drugs. Such a law may make some squirm, but that’s exactly what will happen if members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) have their way.
Peter Christ, vice-director of the Syracuse, NY, organization, recently spoke at the Newport Rotary Club. The former police captain from Tonawanda, NY, does not believe society will ever win the War on Drugs.
“Prohibition is a failed policy in the history of our species,” said Christ. “Every society that has ever tried a form of prohibition has failed at it.”
Christ claims the first form of prohibition started with the words, “Do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Christ said it was the first example of zero tolerance. The Creator gave Adam and Eve the right to choose whether they ate from the tree or not. That freewill, said Christ, still exists today. Crime is created when two consensual adults can’t do something they want to do. Violence is created if there is a monetary aspect to it.
“Alcohol didn’t create Al Capone,” said Christ. “Prohibition of alcohol created Al Capone.”
Christ said people fighting over the drug marketplace is the cause of Chicago's high murder rate this year. He also said non-violent drug offenders fill close to 50 percent of the prison cells in the United States.
“People are simply in there for selling something to somebody that somebody wanted to buy,” said Christ. “If we can’t keep drugs out of prisons, where the people in there have lost all their rights, how are we going to keep them out of a free society?”
The War on Drugs policy prevents police from performing other duties, such as protecting people. Police who enforce drug laws are protecting people from themselves and their poor choices, Christ said.
“That is not law enforcement's function,” said Christ. “That’s a function of family, church, education and the healthcare system, not the criminal justice system.”
Christ compared the war on drugs to the slavery era when women were not allowed to vote. Some day people will look back and questioned why there was ever a prohibition policy, he said. Christ also stressed that drugs are terrible and harmful and urged the group not to use them.
Christ, 66, who has been pushing for the legalization of drugs for 20 years, does not believe he will ever see the United States legalizing all drugs.
“I think it will take longer than that to educate the public, but it starts here,” said Christ. He encouraged the Rotarians to become members of LEAP. He said there is no cost to join but he accepts donations. Each person who joins receives a tie-tack badge. “If you want to donate, donate. But, we cannot keep this up. We can’t do this continuously. You’re leaving this to your children and your children’s children.”
As a police officer, he saw parents turn their children in for rape and burglary, but never drugs. He said parents have to teach their children properly and realize they are going to make errors. Children do not need to become criminals at 18 and be denied a college education or a chance of a job opportunity because of drug use.
Christ said doctors have to check with the police department before giving pain medication.
Repealing prohibition will bring troops who are fighting drug wars home, said Christ. He also believes the government will have high taxes on drugs. The buyer would know what he or she is getting, but he is not sure where drugs would be purchased.
“I know people who lost their families over sex, because the father went out and found a new girlfriend and destroyed the family, so we should obviously prohibit sex,” said Christ. “There is no drug that I can give you that I can guarantee you that will make you do something. The outcome of taking that drug is determined by the personality of the individual who took it. It isn’t the drug that causes the behavior.”