Pubdate: Tue, 14 Jun 2011
Source: Daily Sound (Santa Barbara, CA)
Copyright: 2011 Daily Sound
Author: Randy Alcorn


Since President Nixon declared war on drugs 37 years ago there has
been a steady slaughter of innocent citizens due to mistaken drug
raids conducted by heavily armed gangs of police amped up on their own
adrenaline. The latest is the case of a 26 year-old ex-Marine, Jose
Guerena, who had served two tours of duty in Iraq. He was shot to
death in his Tucson home last month during a drug raid by a police
swat team.

The ex-marine had reacted to the home invasion as many would--to
protect his family he reached for his gun. The police shot him
multiple times as his wife and two-year-old son hid in a closet. He
was left to bleed to death, as police refused to call paramedics until
an hour after the shooting. His gun was found to be set on safety. He
had not fired a round. No illegal drugs were found in his house. As of
this writing, the Pima County police have yet to provide an
explanation for this "legal" homicide.

And, now thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, police can conduct
such home invasions without the need of a search warrant. Yes, now if
the drug-Gestapo smells or believes it smells marijuana emanating from
your home it can bust down your door--after politely knocking--and
ransack your house looking for banned drugs. Don't resist. Not only
might police pump you full of lead, but also many states have now made
it a crime for citizens to resist police home invasions, even when the
police have the wrong address.

In a twisted irony, the same Supreme Court that condones the erosion
of civil rights to conduct the war on drugs, now rules it
unconstitutionally cruel to overcrowd prisons, even though the
overcrowding is due to the war on drugs.

So much real crime, such as burglary, robbery, and murder, is a
product of the prohibition on drugs. Limited law enforcement resources
should be focused on protecting the public from real crime, rather
than generating it by criminalizing victimless personal choices like
drug use.

Recently, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, led by an array of
eminent world leaders, condemned the global war on drugs as a costly
failure, and called upon the U.S. and other nations to end it.

And, if all drugs were legal, what would happen? Would our nation
incur more harm and expense than it does now by foolishly pursuing the
failed policy of prohibition? Would millions of people rush out and
become addicts? Those who want to use banned drugs can get them easily
enough already. Many more who need or want analgesics get the legal
variety through their doctors. As a society we might be better off
having those who self-medicate with alcohol switch to THC. I've never
seen a belligerent stoner, but I have seen plenty of belligerent drunks.

Have more of us been hurt by people who sell drugs, or by people who
wrecked our economy by selling bogus mortgages? Why aren't swat teams
busting down the doors of Wall Street bankers and ransacking their
homes to find evidence of wrongdoing? And, if the law, no matter how
questionable, must be honored, why don't we honor our immigration laws
with the same enthusiastic dedication that we enforce our drug laws?

A federal district court has recently ruled that last year's health
care reform act passed by Congress and signed into law by president
Obama is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to purchase
health insurance, and as such is undue interference by government in
personal choice--a usurpation of personal freedom. That is a good
argument, and one that applies equally as well to personal choice
regarding drug use. Freedom of choice should be restricted only to the
extent such choice does real harm to others, and not because
government does not like the choice.

The war on drugs continues because of two reasons; power and money.
The drug warriors on both sides have a vested interest in keeping
drugs illegal. And, as with any war, it is the civilians who are
caught in the crossfire.

But, what is most depressing about the war on drugs, and now the war
on terror, is that we are turning our police into thugs and becoming
just another police state. America has always been the fortress of
freedom and now it too is effectively a police state. There is nowhere
left to go to escape authoritarian oppression.

Just because the drug Gestapo hasn't invaded your castle yet doesn't
mean there is no police state. The very fact that they can now legally
and with impunity invade your privacy, invade your home, kill anything
that moves, and confiscate your property, all without due process of
law, or a process that is so flimsy as to be virtually useless, in
effect makes this nation a police state. 
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