"We are making criminals rich, arresting mostly addicts and mules — and killing freedom in the process."
Robert Guest was starting to get
a good view of what was wrong with the "war on drugs" even before he
found himself on the front lines. While obtaining his BS degree in
Economics from the University of Texas at Arlington, Robert was
heavily influenced by an "Economics of Crime" course and the case it
made that prohibition must end as a failed policy. A couple of years
later in law school at Texas Tech he often found himself debating
prohibitionists. "I was outraged at the constant erosion of the 4th
Amendment to 'justify' drug searches," he recalls.
Still, wanting a job in criminal law by which he
could get trial experience, Robert worked as a prosecutor of
misdemeanors — including offenses related to drug possession. He admits
that he was perpetuating the "war on drugs," but initially he found
himself with a great deal of autonomy — and thus could use his
discretion on how to handle drug charges. It was during this time that
Texas had the highest incarceration rate in the country and boasted
that one in every 20 citizens were incarcerated or on some sort of
After two years as a
prosecutor, Robert changed tack, becoming a criminal defense lawyer.
However, so great was his desire to oppose the "War on Drugs" that he
went further, starting up his own website, www.iwasthestate.com. And
now he has joined LEAP in an effort to "give others the courage to
challenge this failed policy." As he notes, "the drug war causes
corruption, violence, death, disease, and mass incarcerations. It
diverts resources from reducing terrorism, murder, and sex offences;
it cedes a multibillion-dollar industry to organized crime; and it
contributes to a loss of civil liberties."