Drug War vs. Freedom
By Dennis Domrzalski
NOVEMBER 29, 1999: If you're sitting on your couch in your living room drinking a beer, should you be arrested and imprisoned for it?
Should the 85 million Americans who have used illegal drugs over the past few decades be arrested and imprisoned?
If all 85 million of those people had been caught in the act of doing their illegal drugs, should they have been arrested and imprisoned?
We'd like to think that anyone with a shred of common sense and a love of freedom would answer "no" to those questions.
Because if the answer isn't "no," we'd better start giving people parole numbers at birth, and we'd better start covering the nation with prisons.
This nation's War on Drugs is insane. It is a travesty, and even worse than that, it's stupid.
What is the difference between sitting on the couch sipping a beer and sitting on the couch smoking a joint? The only difference is that the federal government decided long ago that booze should be legal and that marijuana should be illegal. That's the only reason -- some crazy governmental decision that has no basis in reality.
So again, we applaud Gov. Gary Johnson for calling for drug legalization. He is going to take a beating on the issue from his peers, but we hope he keeps up the call.
Consider just how stupid the drug war is:
When this nation was founded, hemp was grown everywhere people farmed. George Washington grew it. Hemp is used for its fiber. It can be used to make paper and cloth. Smoking hemp doesn't get you high; it just gives you a headache. It doesn't contain the spirit-lifting THC that is in mari-juana. But earlier in this century, some say at the behest of booze companies, the federal government decided to outlaw hemp, even though it isn't marijuana and can't get you high. In the 1930s, hemp farmers were hounded by government goons into not growing it. But then World War II started, and the idiots in the government realized that they needed hemp for a variety of military goods. So the federal government changed the law and encouraged farmers to grow hemp. But after the war the goons changed the law again to outlaw hemp and hounded hemp farmers out of business.
Recently, customs agents at the Canadian border seized a shipment of 30,000 pounds of sterilized hemp seed that was to be used as bird seed.
There's an even greater tragedy in this war than bird seed being illegal. Americans have forgotten about human rights. The most precious rights of all, the rights that humans struggled centuries to get, have been devalued: the right of free speech, the right to be secure in your home from warrantless searches and seizures, and the right to force the government to prove its criminal cases at trial with proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
We have given up these rights because we have failed to protest vigorously enough against the police state-type tactics that the government has used against its own citizens in this drug war. The assaults on our freedoms will continue, and millions of Americans will sheepishly give up the human rights that people bled and died for.
But before you agree to give up any more rights, stop and ask yourselves:
Should you be arrested and jailed for smoking a joint in your house?
Should 85 million Americans be in prison?
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