Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”     Milton Friedman

December 21, 2006

We Told You So

by Adam Selene

We, the people opposed to the War on Drugs, told you that your civil liberties would be lost and nothing would be gained. We warned you that each assault on drugs would just make things worse, not better. You didn’t believe us. In fact, you said we were a bunch of druggies that just wanted to be able to smoke dope. And you went right ahead with your drug war, convinced of your righteousness.

When your drug war turned Marijuana into California’s largest cash crop and our National Parks into playgrounds, you said we needed to fight harder. When your war led the drug blackmarket to create crack, a cheaper and much more addictive form of cocaine, you used it to justify more cops, more swat teams, more invasions of our civil liberties.

And now we have reached the point of inanity. In Georgia, in the fight against drugs, we have made it illegal to sell someone bhutane, cold medicine and matches to the same person at the same time. Silly, you say? Well, it is one of the consequences of your War on Drugs.

In most states you must show ID to purchase pseudo-ephedrine because it is used to make meth. By Federal law you can only purchase a specific, very small, amount of pseudo-ephedrine per week. This leads to extreme silliness. And we told you it wouldn’t help, as Radley Balko discusses in his Fox column this week.

Critics like me complained that the laws wouldn’t solve the meth problem, they would only invite new suppliers into thse communities – all while inconveniencing consumers. These measures might dry up homemade labs – and admittedly, they did – but they would create a market for purer, more potent meth from Mexico, along with the attendant crime that comes with an international, black market drug trade.

Yeah, I remember saying such things and being told I was silly, it was all part of our grand War on Drugs. We had to do it for the children, you said. Well, there was an interesting outcome.

Sure enough, we now see in early-adopting states like Oklahoma that meth is as prevalent and available as ever. In fact, it’s more potent, which means it’s creating more addicts. And as predicted, police are tracing the new stuff back to Mexico. So instead of some loser mixing up a personal supply of meth in his basement, the state’s now flush with a more toxic for of the drug, pushed by international smugglers.

Oh good, we contributed to the trade deficit, another of your bogeymen. More importantly, we know that terrorist groups are using drug sales for financing. So, we took money from basement meth labs and handed it to international cartels and, in turn, to terrorist organizations. Beautiful.

In the words of the A Team’s Hannibal, “I love it when a plan comes together”.

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6 Comments

  1. It seems to me that this is the result of a ‘voluntary contract’ between voters and their representatives.

    Comment by John Newman — December 21, 2006 @ 8:21 pm
  2. Sure thing John.

    Alright, now that I’m not grumpy, let’s add to this. First, I did not enter into any such voluntary contract. So, the analogy doesn’t work on that level, although it was a nice bit of snark on your part. Second, this is part of political discourse, speaking out against that which you find wrong.

    Comment by Adam Selene — December 21, 2006 @ 10:53 pm
  3. If you voted, you have a voluntary contract with the representative/electorate that you agree to allow him to represent you in the legislature as he/she sees fit. Additionally, if you pay taxes, that is a voluntary contract between you and the ‘state’ that you agree to fund their projects.

    Comment by John Newman — December 22, 2006 @ 6:27 am
  4. I fail to see how paying taxes is a voluntary contract. My choice is to pay taxes or face the use of force by agents of the government. That is no more voluntary than a gunman coming into a bank.

    I will agree that voting for a representative in Congress is a voluntary contract. I don’t vote for people that want to continue the Drug War. Do you?

    Comment by Adam Selene — December 22, 2006 @ 7:54 am
  5. Adam said:
    I fail to see how paying taxes is a voluntary contract. My choice is to pay taxes or face the use of force by agents of the government.

    Do you mean like employees of Scotts that had been employed previous to a new arbitrary and unilateral smoking policy that forces them to quit smoking using the power of the paycheck to threaten their livelihood if they don’t ‘voluntarily’ comply to stop using a legal product? I agree, that is like pulling a gun on someone.

    Comment by John Newman — December 22, 2006 @ 8:35 am
  6. John Newman said:
    “Do you mean like employees of Scotts that had been employed previous to a new arbitrary and unilateral smoking policy that forces them to quit smoking using the power of the paycheck to threaten their livelihood if they don’t ‘voluntarily’ comply to stop using a legal product? I agree, that is like pulling a gun on someone.”

    I’m confused, is Scotts the sole purchaser of labor? Will (ex-)employees be denied employment elsewhere because of their failure to comply with Scotts’s policy?

    Because try to live in a first-world country as an expatriate without paying American taxes. Extradition stinks.

    Comment by CommiePuddin — December 22, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

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