The following piece was produced by the Huffington Post's OffTheBus.
There is something important to remember about conventional wisdom: it's almost never the same thing as real wisdom. Conventional wisdom in politics says you can't be against the War on Drugs and win election to federal office.
Ron Paul has done it repeatedly, and in very conservative south Texas districts. It's not because his opponents didn't make it an issue.
When activist Phillip Allen caught up with Paul Oct. 23 and asked how his opposition to Prohibition had effected him on the campaign trail, Paul told him "It really hasn't hurt."
He went on to describe his return to Congress in 1996. After serving in Congress from 1976 to 1984, Paul took twelve years off, and that was when he really began to express his opposition to the War on Drugs. Paul said that in 1996, his Republican primary opponent spent a pile of money attacking his drug policy stance, but to no avail. Then the Democrat focused on attacking Paul's anti-prohibitionism in the general election. But Paul stayed on message and prevailed, to the disbelief of drug warriors in his district.
"I think the people are way ahead of the government and the politicians," he concluded.
Paul explained that he has long been optimistic Drug Prohibition would end similarly to Alcohol Prohibition, with a general public awakening to the policy's unintended consequences. He said Alcohol Prohibition ended abruptly when the country realized it was counterproductive and "crazy."
"I think we're going to get to that point (with drugs), and I think we're approaching it right now," he said.
Any person who gives Paul five minutes to explain himself will understand the former obstetrician is deeply concerned about our society's very real drug problems. "As a physician I just think it's a horrible problem, drug addiction, but I think it's a medical problem," he told Allen. "We don't put alcoholics in prison."
Paul tops this "Anti-Prohibitionist Candidate Report Card" with an A plus. But are Republican primary voters ready to admit the War on Drugs has been a disaster?