Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 615, April 17, 2011

"The state is a dead man walking"

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Prohibition of Any Kind Sucks
by Neale Osborn

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Ok, my friends, let's start out with this link This is an article I wrote recently on NewsVine. Some of you may have read it when I put it out to you fellow individualists. Now, to prohibitions NOT based on age. Of course, the example that always comes up when people deal with this topic, Prohibition. It made criminals out of people as varied as my Great Grandma (bathtub gin maker) and Joe Sixpack who wants a beer after work. It ALSO triggered the rise to power of the Mafia, always a criminal organization, but relatively speaking, lower key. Of course, before they repealed prohibition, Mafioso like Al Capone were all household names, murders were so common that it took a massacre to make the news.

Drugs are the next in line. We needed to make those shifltess Mexicans (as they considered them to be) leave, so we made Marijuana effectively illegal through the Marijuana Tax Act. Then we have drug runners running bales of pot. We did the same with every other "Illegal" drug—cocaine was an ingredient in Coca Cola, Heroin was invented to wean people off morphine, and each time a drug was made "illegal" either existing criminal organizations moved to import them (with a rise in crime-related violence) or new criminal cartels arose to supply them. Often, both things happened at once, leading to even more violence than when it was just competing established criminal groups fighting for turf. Street gangs of murderous children have been the result of the drug prohibitions.

Believe it or not, even cigarettes are STILL illegally moved to states that tax them (a form of prohibition, at least to the poorer people) from those that either don't, or have significantly lower taxes. Here in New York, they run cigarettes from Pennsylvania and the Indian Reservations because NYs taxes are so high. Not too much violence in this, but it DOES make criminals out of citizens.

Gold was outlawed for private ownership in 1935, supposedly to help "fix" the Depression. All it really did was drive the costs of gold up. Now, gold DIDN'T spark violence or criminal cartels, but it sure did drive the cost of gold up. Guns also aren't illegal (or at least most aren't) but there ARE criminal groups trafficking in those illegal ones and also in guns prohibited in some areas but not in others.

Now to the other downside of the various forms of prohibition—PROHIBITION ENFORCERS!! And who pays for the Prohibition enforcers?? You and I. To the tune of some BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR! The taxpayers. And what are the other costs? An immediate restriction of individual rights. There are over 2 million people in jail in the US, at an average cost of something like $28k per person per year. The cost of the DEA, FBI, state and local versions of both, and all the bureaucracy necessary to manage them. The RICO Act that permits the Government theft of cars, private property including homes and businesses, and bank accounts that they BELIEVE have money in them from illegal activities. And, while terrorism fears have made the amounts smaller, the restrictions on transporting cash from hither to yon and the banks being required to report cash withdrawals of $10k or more are a direct result of attempts to restrict the ability of "Racketeers" to move their money.

Now, the only way to eliminate these ridiculous prohibitions is for the American people to FORCE them to, just as popular demand caused the repeal of the Volstead Act (prohibition). I will NEVER support taxation of any kind not expressly permitted in the Constitution—namely tariffs on imports ONLY, but IF we're gonna pay taxes to support this assinine "war on weeds and seeds", let the people USING them pay the bills through taxes, NOT making those who don't use them pay. After all, if it's so fucking important to keep your neighbor from enjoying a pleasant buzz from a joint, or the torpor of heroin, or the whatever you get from cocaine, or the meth tweaks, let the users pay the bills. I, for one, have NO WISH to protect people from their own (possibly) self destructive behavior. After all, suicide is as much your right as breathing is. And I feel the same for every other thing the government tries to either prohibit or regulate into oblivion. And if you haven't heard me say it before, YES I am an pretty much an anarchist, and NO I won't move to Somalia.


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