By L. Neil Smith
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
A few days ago, a friend of mine described an Arizona courtroom scene in which a mother was pleading with a judge not to sentence her son harshly for a marijuana conviction. After all, she told him, the voters of this state have just indicated that they don't want people punished for this sort of thing any more. Well, the voters were wrong, the judge screamed back at her, they were deceived and ignorant! Whereupon he gave her son the harshest sentence possible.
Understand that, for the most part (and, with due respect, unlike a great many of my fellow Libertarians) I hate drugs. I've never seen a mind that's been expanded by them, only minds deceived into believing they've been expanded, exactly the way alcohol deceives you that you're brave, handsome, or witty. A child of the 60s, I tried a drug or two long decades ago, spent most of my sophomore year drunk, and smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years.
When the day comes that my daughter asks me what I think about drugs, I'll tell her what I just told you, adding that I'd encourage anyone else but her to use all the drugs they want because [A] in particular, my profession is a tough one; anything that eliminates potential competition is welcome, and [B] in general, the human gene pool is badly in need of cleaning out; drugs appear to be an ethical means of accomplishing that, since their use is completely voluntary.
On the other hand, the War on Drugs is the most destructive and dangerous policy to have been created by government authorities since the Nazi Holocaust which, every day, it resembles more and more. In the first place, it's rooted in a cruel and evil lie: the War on Drugs isn't -- and never was -- intended to discourage trafficking in or consumption of drugs. It advertises drugs, to children and others, informing them that they exist, persuading them that they're a big hairy deal and that it's fashionably anti-authoritarian to use them.
Give this analogy some thought: at a Renaissance fair, I once saw a guy push eight-inch spikes into his nose and pretend to pound them flush with a hammer. Nasal passages run deeper into the skull than most people know, although there's a risk of injuring your brain and killng yourself. How widespread do you suppose this practice is? How many zeroes must stand to the right of the decimal before you can express the percentage of individuals who do it now? How widespread would it become if it were advertised by being outlawed?
At the same time, the War on Drugs keeps street prices elevated (a fact its uniformed advocates are actually ignorant or stupid enough to brag about), which -- as anyone with the most rudimentary grasp of economics understands perfectly -- perpetuates the trade by encouraging market entry and offering a continuous incentive for expansion. (This is how drugs got into the schools in the first place, and why, every year, they get sold to younger and younger children.)
The War on Drugs amounts to a government service to the largest, strongest dealers, reducing competition from the smaller, weaker ones and, ultimately, stimulating only the most violent and ruthless among them to take up the trade.
From top to bottom, the War on Drugs has corrupted every institution, the police, the courts, the legislatures, the media, and the churches, offering such astronomical bribes that almost nobody can resist, while twisting and destroying the very purposes -- peace, justice, the rule of law, truth, and decency -- those institutions were created to serve. Look at the list again. Is America any more peaceful today than before the War on Drugs? Is there any more justice today than before the War on Drugs? Is the rule of law stronger or weaker? Are the media more or less truthful? Is society more or less decent?
This is so important -- and elementary -- a consideration that I'll ask it again: is America a better place to raise kids in before or after the War on Drugs? I'll give you a hint: historically, this country had no drug problem to speak of before the government invented the drug problem by passing drug laws. And anyone in government or business who demanded that you pee into a bottle for them to demonstrate that you were qualified for employment would have been considered a pervert of some kind, soliciting some bizarre act of prostitution.
Like municipal speeding and parking "offenses", the principal function and primary "accomplishment" of the War on Drugs has been to enormously expand the magnitude and power of government, geometrically enhancing its revenues -- and obscenely swelling the number of its employees -- either by justifying endless tax increases, or through outright theft under unconstitutional legislation like RICO. The War on Drugs has utterly obliterated the Bill of Rights by offering an endless supply of excuses to every sticky-fingered fascist butcher capable of wearing a badge, passing a civil service examination, or winning an election.
It would be inaccurate, and overly romantic, to characterize America today as a police state. It is a pee state, a urine nation, sickly obsessed with the chemical content of the individual's bodily fluids, not concerned at all with the intellectual content of his mind or with the moral content of his heart.
The War on Drugs has done more damage to America than the drugs themselves ever did. At best, it's a reason to go on playing an infantile game of cops and robbers with the ironic and disgusting twist that now the cops are the robbers; at worst, it's a murderous pattern of scapegoating with a new kind of Jew.
Want a comprehensive and accurate description of America's War on Drugs in just eight words? One of my favorite childhood jokes, when I was about my daughter's age, concerns the Little Moron who, when asked why he kept hitting himself on the head with a hammer, replied, "Because it feels so good when I stop!"
Let's help the Little Moron feel good.
Stop the War on Drugs now.
Read L. Neil Smith's Henry Martyn: a thousand years from now, in the depths of interstellar space, there will be sailing ships and pirates! And watch for Bretta Martyn, coming in 1997! Buy both at bookstores anywhere, or call Laissez Faire Books toll free: 1-800-326-0996. Also, check out "The Webley Page" at www.lneilsmith.org//
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