Hanging out with libertarians appears to be good for Bob Barr. Writing at The Huffington Post, he has admitted to his past errors:
I’ll admit it, just five years ago I was “Public Enemy Number 1″ in the eyes of the Libertarian Party. In my 2002 congressional race for Georgia’s Seventh District, the Libertarian Party ran scathing attack ads against my stand on Medical Marijuana…
For years, I served as a federal prosecutor and member of the House of Representatives defending the federal pursuit of the drug prohibition.
Today, I can reflect on my efforts and see no progress in stopping the widespread use of drugs. I’ll even argue that America’s drug problem is larger today than it was when Richard Nixon first coined the phrase, “War on Drugs,” in 1972.
America’s drug problem is only compounded by the vast amounts of money directed at this ongoing battle. In 2005, more than $12 billion dollars was spent on federal drug enforcement efforts while another $30 billion was spent to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders.
The result of spending all of those taxpayer’s dollars? We now have a huge incarceration tab for non-violent drug offenders and, at most, a 30% interception rate of hard drugs. We are also now plagued with the meth labs that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms across the country.
Barr appears both more realistic and more concerned with liberty than he has in the past. For the most part this is good, but perhaps we might have to reassess how many votes a person with such beliefs will really take away from John McCain.