New GOP Frontrunner Ben Carson Warns He Would ‘Intensify’ War On Drugs

By Victoria Kim 10/27/15

Another GOP hopeful shows how woefully out of touch he is with reality.

Ben Carson
Don't let his bedside manner fool you. Shutterstock

It’s not enough that presidential candidate Ben Carson is a fan of the War on Drugs; if given the chance, he would “intensify” it.

The revelation surfaced during a rapid-fire yes or no Q&A with Glenn Beck. When Beck asked, “Do you continue the War on Drugs?” Carson answered, “Absolutely.” “You do?” Not missing a beat, Carson said, “I intensify it.”

After a brief pause, Beck nudged the issue a bit further instead of moving on to the next question: “Let me ask you a question. I mean, it doesn’t seem to be working now.”

“Yeah, well, go down to the border in Arizona like I was a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s an open highway. And the federal government isn’t doing anything to stop it,” Carson replied.

The fact is, between federal, state and local governments, the United States spends over $51 million annually on the War on Drugs, according to the Drug Policy Alliance. That’s not exactly chump change.

The U.S. prison population has quadrupled since Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign, and we have the highest incarceration rate in the world (about 743 per 100,000) to show for it.

If anything, the government is doing too much. That’s what Neill Franklin, a Baltimore law enforcement veteran told The Fix in a recent interview: “When we finally end our failed War on Drugs and drug prohibition, and instead move into a place of legalization, regulation and control, we immediately put 90% of all violent drug gangs and the cartels out of business.”

Franklin, the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition—a coalition of cops, prosecutors, judges and everyday citizens who oppose the War on Drugs—said the resources used to perpetuate the drug war could be put to better use.

“This change by itself would enable us to focus our police officers like a laser on murder, rape, robbery, burglary, domestic violence, crimes against our children and identity theft, just to name a few,” Franklin said.

When asked if he would legalize marijuana, Carson said, “I disagree with it.” But the tides are against him. So far, voters in 23 states have approved medical marijuana.

It's also legal for recreational use in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. With 2016 just around the corner, more states are preparing to follow suit.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr