Interview with Dr. Jo Jorgensen Pt. 2: Staying Within our Lane
Speaking to Libertarian presidential nominee Dr. Jo Jorgensen during a recent interview, the staff at Punching Bag asked her to comment on the current debate on policing in America and whether she favors a privately-funded police force or a public police force.
Naturally, she reminded us that as a Libertarian she favors a government that doesn’t get involved in state-level decisions. If elected president, she would never tell a city or jurisdiction how to run its police department.
“One of the advantages that the Libertarian Party has is that we understand that Government has been too big, too bossy, too nosy, and they usually hurt the people they intend to help. Something that we are very good about is staying within our lane with what we are tasked to do,” says Jorgensen.
Local police jurisdiction is not a responsibility of the president, she added. Local leaders and taxpayers need to be the ones making decisions about police policy.
Police policy, education, crime, and charities “should all be dealt with at the local level,” argues Jorgensen. “Instead, the federal government has just gotten way too large and too much into everybody’s business.”
A related issue here is the War on Drugs, which is perhaps the best example of how the federal government is getting too involved in people’s lives. If elected, Jorgensen seeks to legalize marijuana, abolish the ATF, and remove victimless crimes “from the book.”
We must stop treating drug possession like murder or assault because there is no victim, says Jorgensen, and we must end the “no-knock laws” that allow police to behave like common criminals.
“Police will sometimes do a raid in the middle of the night, and they don’t announce themselves – that’s why we call it a ‘no-knock law’ – and oftentimes they’ll enter with either some kind of paramilitary garb or just plain clothes, they’ll look like a criminal. So the person who’s sound asleep thinks that he or she is being invaded by criminals. And this has had deadly consequences.”
Ending the War on Drugs would dramatically decrease the number of interactions between police and the public, leading to fewer instances of police brutality and fewer accidental victims. As Jorgensen explains, the violence surrounding drugs is not a result of drug use, but of prohibition.
“When’s the last time you heard of people breaking into a home because they need to support their vodka habit? And when’s the last time you heard of two liquor stores having a gun fight because somebody got the best corner? All of those are problems with prohibition, not the drugs themselves,” argues Jorgensen.
“And if you look at the alcohol prohibition…which pretty much everyone agreed was the wrong thing to do, as soon as they lifted the prohibition, alcohol use went up slightly but social problems and alcoholism did not go up.”
To solve these problems, we must end the War on Drugs and replace it with “Drug Peace.”