DRUG WARS: THE ENEMY
A War on Drugs, you say? Pray, who might that be?
The unemployable untouchables, the city sludge, are junkies, because the narcotic makes their unbearable world go away;
The minimum-wage class are potheads, because the affordable euphoric makes their shabby lives bearably mellow;
The labor class are into booze and bennies, one because it numbs their pain without suppressing their aggressiveness, and the other because it keeps them on the job;
The yuppies, management, the power-seekers and ambitious -- and the serious criminals -- are on cocaine, because it keeps them tense and hungry, and it’s where the money is;
The Doc sells downers so Dad can get some sleep;
Mom takes uppers to lose weight;
Junior dreams of steroids so girls will think he’s cute;
Sis wants abortion pills ‘cause some other boy was cute;
A War on Drugs? In the words of the great political philosopher Pogo Possum, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
WAR ON DRUGS:
TAKEOVER BY COVERT GOVERNMENT?
The War On Drugs is no such thing. That is just the battle cry. Consider these drugs, which all have side effects so serious government will not permit sale without prescription: Seconal, Placidyl, Talwin, Demerol, Dilaudid, Methedrine, Qualuud, Codeine, Valium, and Tuinal, to name a few. All potentially lethal if abused, they are made in America in quantities far exceeding prescription need, sold to other countries, and re-imported here as black-market drugs. Also consider aspirin, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, which have records of hazard varying from upset stomach to death by lung, liver, and heart disease.
Now consider marijuana, cocaine, mescaline, and the opiates, which likewise have records of hazard varying from not-proved-harmless to fatal.
Which of all these are targets in the War On Drugs? Only those last few declared illegal by the folks who market all the rest! And why aren’t drugstores selling them also? Not because they are more dangerous, but because they can be obtained and used without the intervention of manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacist, physician, packager, advertiser, stockholder, legislator, government inspector, or the IRS, all of whom prefer to insist they must each get a piece of the action.
Who is promoting this war, and for what gain? Of course, everyone would like to save Americans from the terrible effects of drug abuse. But any proposed action could be attributed to that goal. It appears there is in Washington a powerful and well-orchestrated movement invoking it to justify systematic removal of legal provisions protecting the people against usurpation of civil power by government, and the undermining of any right to freedom of private life.
This is not a war on drugs, but on the ability of Americans to obtain any substance declared "controlled". This is a war on the ability to conduct inter-citizen trade without intimate surveillance and direct control of government. Consider the level of control necessary to insure no one could drink a cup of coffee without being arrested for it. Neither Hitler nor Stalin had that kind of power, yet that is precisely what the government of the nation which calls itself the world’s champion of freedom is proposing to grant to itself.
To whom can the American citizen cry when "routine random screening" finds a few molecules of marijuana in his urine and he is denied employment, driver’s license, social service benefits, insurance, credit, security clearance, passport...and his car and firearms are confiscated to finance the drug war, his VA mortgage is foreclosed...and he is taken to a high-security state drug-rehabilitation camp, where he is kept until free of chemical dependence and the social dissent it engenders? Oi! Haven't we seen this before?
Special respect for Jews came only after the Holocaust. That horror was permitted to grow because the good citizens did not believe power in their country could change so radically. As mistrust of Jews and resentment of their accomplishments was not new in Germany, naming them the internal enemy of the state was swallowed very easily. Now the same generation of Americans who watched totalitarianism rise in that country are cheering on the War On Drugs as though blind to the familiar mechanisms of power being built around us...and why so? Just because the civil enemy necessary to motivate the siezure of power happens to be not Jews, but drug users? Conservative elders admonish that he who will not learn from the past is doomed to repeat it. But of what use is history to those who will not learn even from their own experience?
We are a patriotic people, and patient with our government, but there is a point at which the freedom-loving, coffee-drinking American will not put up with self-righteous zealots or their uniformed Dobermans, and he will express such anger that somebody will call him a "terrorist". The right to use military force against him has already been granted. Each time that force is used, more Americans must choose to defend rights by resisting the government of the country they love, or get in line for the showers and pray for deliverance. Surely it must be obvious that no government which makes violent war against its own people for a popular practice or widespread illness can long remain a democracy. If a faction wishes to supplant democracy with military rule, there is no more direct method.
Conservative extremists appear to consider democracy a form of liberal government too far left for national security. Some have been decades involved in covert destruction of third-world regimes deemed too far left and replacement of them with military command structures. Are they not capable of creating "drug terrorists", declaring martial law to protect us from them, then replacing the President with a General in America also?
The drug problem is important, but not enough to justify sacrificing our fundamental civil freedoms -- provisions which protect the citizen from Federal tyranny. We teach our school children that those rights to private and self-determined life are what set us apart from and morally above other countries -- such that we should presume to police the rest of the world. To strip every citizen of privacy and freedom just to make it impossible for anyone to smoke a joint is like sinking the ship of state to deny the sailors a place to loaf.
Hopefully leaders will stand up for the preservation of American rights even if it means potheads and coke-snorters get away with it...and yes, some of those will suffer for it. The drug problem must be beaten, but turning the United States of America into a penal institution is not the solution.