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Steve Forbes on Drugs

2000 Republican Primary Candidate for President


Drugs are designed to dull our moral integrity

Illegal drugs imprison drug takers within sometimes violent and murderous obsessions. Drugs are designed to alter our moral sensibilities, to dull our sense of duty and integrity. Addictive drugs are wrong because they enslave and eventually destroy the body. They take away free choice -- the hallmark of human dignity. When the world of adults winks and nods at drug use, we abandon children to emotional and moral chaos, thus threatening their very lives.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 148-9 , Nov 9, 1999

Legalization makes America safe for Colombian drug cartels

Relieving pain and legalization are separate and distinct issues. America must not be made safe for Colombian-style drug cartels. Americans overwhelmingly reject the notion that someone’s “freedom” to grow, sell, and use deadly drugs overrides society’s right to protect lives. Parents must repeatedly emphasize to their children how dangerous drugs can be. But society also has a right to protect itself from mind-altering, life-threatening drugs by the rule of law and its effective enforcement.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 149 , Nov 9, 1999

Avoid violating rights, but fight drugs more vigorously

Government must not use the fight against drug distribution and abuse as a license to deny individuals their Constitutional rights. That said, however, the vast majority of Americans want a vigorous, effective fight against drugs. Yet they are not getting it. In his first year, Bill Clinton reduced the staff at the Office of the “Drug Czar” by 83%. He has never delivered an Oval Office address on the drug issue. He is now proposing to reduce prison sentences for possession of crack cocaine.
Source: forbes2000.com , Jul 2, 1999

No medicinal marijuana - create synthetics instead

We must not be misled by state initiatives that claim only to legalize drugs for medicinal purposes. Relieving pain and legalization are separate and distinct issues. If an illegal drug contains a property that helps people in pain, that property can be extracted, or synthetically manufactured, and given to patients under proper medical supervision. The drug Marinol. is safe and available legally by prescription, without exposing users to more than 400 other toxic chemicals found in smokeable “pot.”
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Moral Compass” , May 21, 1999

Tolerating drugs implies abandoning children

Addictive drugs are wrong because they enslave and eventually destroy the body. They take away free choice - the hallmark of human dignity. When the world of adults winks and nods at drug use, we abandon children to emotional and moral chaos thus threatening their very lives. Parents must repeatedly emphasize to their children how dangerous drugs can be. But society also has a right to protect itself from mind-altering, life-threatening drugs by the rule of law and its effective enforcement.
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Moral Compass” , May 21, 1999

Societal self-help is like 1820s Temperance Movement

America’s first public health movement arose in the 1820’s when we had problems with high alcohol consumption. The temperance movement said, if you’re going to have a self-governing nation, it must be inhabited by self-governing individuals.

I think we’re going to have another period series of religious movements. All you have to do is look around you. You look at the popular culture, more and more emphasis on self-help, self-improvement. You see the promise keepers in stadiums.

Source: Speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government , Nov 27, 1995

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Steve Forbes.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Steve Forbes.
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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013