Drug War Quotes

Though not all of these quotes directly apply to America’s never-ending draconian drug war, they definitely apply. You’ll recognize most of the names on this list even if you went through the public school system. And Americans, if this country ever possessed the political equivalent of Jesus Christ, it was Thomas Jefferson, and if you plan on keeping any of your dwindling civil liberties, you’d better be praying for the rapture.

Drug War Comic

  1. “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.” – Albert Einstein
  2. “When society turns the sick into criminals then we’re all repeat offenders” – Recidivist3
  3. “Working together we can treat Washington’s 40 billion dollar a year addiction to the War on Drugs.” – Polly Wilmoth Waco, TX
  4. “No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” – P. J. O’Rourke
  5. “Frequent punishments are always a sign of weakness or laziness on the part of a government.” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
  6. “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” – Mark Twain
  7. “Prohibition only drives drunkenness behind doors and into dark places and does not cure it or even diminish it.” – Mark Twain
  8. “Whenever the offence inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigor of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.” – Edward Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776
  9. “The passing of an unjust law is the suicide of authority.” – Pastoral Letter of the American Roman Catholic Herarchy, Feb. 1920
  10. “While democracy must have its organizations and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty.” – Charles Evans Hughes: U.S. Supreme Court Member, May 1908.
  11. “Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance.” – Woodrow Wilson: Address, New York Press Club, May 9, 1912.
  12. “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
  13. “When a government uses military personnel, equipment, and tactics against its own citizens, is it time to call it a Civil War rather than a Drug War?” – Pete Guither
  14. “The only way to have a drug-free world is to have a people-free world. And even then, the animals will get stoned.” – Pete Guither
  15. “The DEA wouldn’t know science if they accidentally broke down its door and shot its dog.” – Pete Guither
  16. “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” – Ronald Reagan, The New York Times, April 13, 1980
  17. “Yes, if we harm ourselves it may emotionally harm others. That’s unfortunate, but not grounds for putting us in jail. If it were, every time we stopped dating person A in order to date person B, we would run the risk of going to jail for hurting person A. If person B were hurt by our being put in jail, person A could be put in jail for hurting person B. This would, of course, hurt person A’s mother, who would see to it that person B would go to jail. Eventually, we’d all be in jail. … Roughly half of the arrests and court cases in the United States each year involve consensual crimes – actions that are against the law, but directly harm no one’s person or property except, possibly, the “criminal’s.” More than 750,000 people are in jail right now because of something they did, something that did not physically harm the person or property of another. In addition, more than 3,000,000 people are on parole or probation for consensual crimes. Further, more than 4,000,000 people are arrested each year for doing something that hurts no one but, potentially, themselves.” – Peter McWilliams, Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do
  18. “Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana….We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society.” – U.S. Representative Dan Quayle, March 1977
  19. “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.” – President Jimmy Carter, Message to Congress, Aug. 2, 1977
  20. “Whenever the offense inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigor of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.” – Edward Gibbon, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” 1776
  21. “If you say, ‘Would there were no wine’ because of the drunkards, then you must say, going on by degrees, ‘Would there were no steel,’ because of the murderers, ‘Would there were no night,’ because of the thieves, ‘Would there were no light,’ because of the informers, and ‘Would there were no women,’ because of adultery.” – St. John Chrysostom, “Homilies,” circa 388
  22. “The only freedom which counts is the freedom to do what some other people think to be wrong. There is no point in demanding freedom to do that which all will applaud. All the so-called liberties or rights are things which have to be asserted against others who claim that if such things are to be allowed their own rights are infringed or their own liberties threatened. This is always true, even when we speak of the freedom to worship, of the right of free speech or association, or of public assembly. If we are to allow freedoms at all there will constantly be complaints that either the liberty itself or the way in which it is exercised is being abused, and, if it is a genuine freedom, these complaints will often be justified. There is no way of having a free society in which there is not abuse. Abuse is the very hallmark of liberty.” – Lord Hailsham, former Chief Justice, “The Dilemma of Democracy”
  23. “Republic . . . it means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose.” – John Wayne
  24. “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.” – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495
  25. “When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other in order that the people may require a leader.” – Plato
  26. “[There is] a duty in refusing to cooperate in any undertaking that violates the Constitutional rights of the individual. This holds in particular for all inquisitions that are concerned with the private life and the political affiliations of the citizens.” – Albert Einstein
  27. “All war is based on deception.” – “The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu, circa 500 BC
  28. “In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion.” – James Reston, The New York Times, 1965
  29. “The first casualty when war comes is the truth.” – California Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917
  30. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair, “The Jungle”
  31. “This vice brings in 100 million francs each year. I will certainly forbid it at once – as soon as you can name a virtue that brings in as much revenue.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
  32. “To make certain that crime does not pay, the government should take it over and try to run it.” – G. Norman Collie
  33. “When even one American – who has done nothing wrong – is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.” – Harry S. Truman
  34. “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan
  35. “It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.” – U.S. Supreme Court, in American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382,442
  36. “We cannot, by total reliance on law, escape the duty to judge right and wrong… There are good laws and there are occasionally bad laws, and it conforms to the highest traditions of a free society to offer resistance to bad laws, and to disobey them.” – Constitutional scholar Alexander Bickel
  37. “Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don’t they pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.” – Will Rogers
  38. “I am against Prohibition because it has set the cause of temperence back twenty years; because it has substituted an ineffective campaign of force for an effective campaign of education; because it has replaced comparatively uninjurious light wines and beers with the worst kind of hard liquor and bad liquor; because it has increased drinking not only among men but has extended drinking to women and even children.” – William Randolph Hearst, initially a supporter of Prohibition, explaining his change of mind in 1929. From “Drink: A Social History of America” by Andrew Barr (1999), p. 239.
  39. “Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.” – Seneca, A.D. 65
  40. “Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
  41. “Force loses its legitimacy when it is used instead of free and open discussion.” – Colombian diplomat Gustavo de Greiff
  42. “In defense of the Pygmies, perhaps I should note that a friend of mine who has spent time with them says that for such activities as the patient stalking and hunting of mammals and fish they prepare themselves through marijuana intoxication, which helps to make the long waits, boring to anyone further evolved than a Komodo dragon, at least moderately tolerable. Ganja is, he says, their only cultivated crop. It would be wryly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture, and thereby to civilization. (The marijuana-intoxicated Pygmy, poised patiently for an hour with his fishing spear aloft, is earnestly burlesqued by the beer-sodden riflemen, protectively camouflaged in red plaid, who, stumbling through the nearby woods, terrorize American suburbs each Thanksgiving.)” – Carl Sagan, “The Dragons of Eden, Speculations on the Origin of Human Intelligence,” footnote on p. 191, 1978 paperback edition, copyright 1977
  43. “The fight against drug trafficking is a wildfire that threatens to consume those fundamental rights of the individual deliberately enshrined in our Constitution.” – U.S. District Judge Juan Burciaga, Sept. 4, 1991
  44. “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  45. “I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – Thomas Jefferson
  46. “The marvel of history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” – William E. Borah
  47. “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.” – Thomas Jefferson
  48. “It would be a good time to replace the drug war with something more constructive. The cure offered by the drug war today has probably been more harmful and done more damage than the disease.” – George McGovern
  49. “The biggest killer on the planet is stress and I still think the best medicine is and always has been cannabis.” – Willie Nelson, High Times, January 1991

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8 Responses to “Drug War Quotes”

  1. anon October 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    “The passing of an unjust law is the suicide of authority.” – Pastoral Letter of the American Roman Catholic Herarchy, Feb. 1920

    Unless there are anti-depressants and sedatives in the water.


  1. albert - August 30, 2009

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  2. Nick Cobb - August 30, 2009

    Awesome Drug War Quotes http://su.pr/1BLCoq #MMOT

  3. Lucy Gee - August 31, 2009

    Drug War Quotes | 420 Tribune http://bit.ly/4olnfk

  4. cannabinol - August 31, 2009

    Carl Sagan quer me fritar! http://bit.ly/2KanYW
    sinto-me dichavado em chamas. traguemos nossas ideias, Srs.

  5. cannabinol - August 31, 2009

    Carl Sagan quer me fritar! http://bit.ly/2KanYW
    sinto-me dichavado em chamas. traguemos nossas ideias, Srs.

  6. cannabinol - August 31, 2009

    Carl Sagan quer me fritar! http://bit.ly/2KanYW
    sinto-me dichavado em chamas. traguemos nossas ideias, Srs.

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