Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jun 2007
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2007 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Chris Buors


The idea that Democratic Rep. Sheldon Wasserman's bill to ban the 
manufacture and sale of salvia divinorum is "all about protecting our 
children" would astonish Aristotle, not to mention Thomas Jefferson.

Those individuals believed it to be the duty of parents to protect 
children from dangerous substances. Laws provide against injury from 
others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against 
their wills," wrote Jefferson. Who protects the children from all the 
dangerous substances under the kitchen sink and in the garden shed?

Temptation is what Rep. Wasserman is pretending to protect children from.

Milton Friedman long ago made the case that parents were the proper 
authority to protect their children from vices. Parents are the only 
authorities who can instill the character needed to resist pleasure 
drugs along with all the other vices until the child is old enough to 
engage in adult pleasures.

All the beatings, jailings and killing of yesteryear failed to 
instill a single moral fiber in a single human since time began. 
People use drugs because they want to use them, not because 
businessmen sell them or any other flaky reason the authorities lie about.

It would seem to me that Americans have seen nothing but failure in 
the decades old drug war. Bill Clinton stated the drug war would be 
won within 10 years when he appeared before the United Nations 
Convention on Drugs in 1998. Looks like we only have seven more 
months before America and the world become "drug free."

Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave. After all, 
Jefferson made the strongest case against drug prohibition ever made 
in his Notes on Virginia:

"Were the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our 
bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France 
the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potato as an 
article of food. Government is just as infallible,[sic] too, when it 
fixes systems in physics.

Galileo was sent to the Inquisition for affirming that the earth was 
a sphere.... It is error alone which needs the support of government. 
Truth can stand by itself," he wrote.

Perhaps it's time to restore the American notion of Natural Rights 
and apply it to drug policy. The state has no business telling a free 
man what substance he can and can not put in his body.

Americans have become but medical serfs thanks to the likes of Rep. Wasserman.

- -- Chris Buors, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom