In December of 1840, Abraham Lincoln said this:
“Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control man’s appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded.”
Our government found that out very quickly when alcohol was prohibited from 1920 to 1933. Prohibition created the most pervasive, wealthy, and deeply embedded criminal group in our society’s history. Our politicians and representatives became corrupt and flush with booze money. Now we’re finding that lesson out again, except this time there are dozens of criminal groups proliferating (Triads, Russian Mafia, Yakuza, the various Mexican cartels and their affiliated stateside gangs) reaping the benefits of our prohibition, and the amount of money we give them all collectively dwarfs (by several orders of magnitude) what the Mafia made during the scant 13 years of alcohol prohibition. It took our society until the ’90s – only about 70 years – to take out much of the mob structure, but it still exists despite all our efforts. Prohibition is like Pandora’s Box – once it’s open all kinds of bad stuff comes out and you can’t shut the damn thing back up again. Now our very own government officials are corrupt and making money off the drug trade. Every single day, police officers and DEA agents steal cash (and sometimes drugs), as do customs officials, TSA officials, and Border Patrol. Who knows? Maybe even some elected officials.
How long will it take us this time around to undo the damage brought about by cannabis and other drug prohibition? The total, complete failure; this totally and absolutely absurd disaster of a “war against drugs”; the atrocities that are committed every day against our basic human rights and our very freedoms – the same freedoms GUARANTEED by the document that founded this country: the Constitution. The deep social harm caused by setting neighbor against neighbor, each one looking to report someone suspicious. Right here in America, of all places! I understand they did that kind of thing in only a few other places I can think of – Communist Russia, Communist China, Communist North Korea, and Nazi Germany. We have already become the world’s next modern socialist/fascist “utopia” (dystopia).
For what? Supposedly for the sake of our friends, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters, wives. Unfortunately, those are all the same people getting locked up for no reason. There don’t appear to be too many free people left here in America. There are people who think they are free, and say they are free, but have given up all their freedoms already and willingly for the cowardly cause of safety. All these “free” people here in the United States of America came from the loins of men and women willing to die to protect freedoms we’ve already lost and don’t even remember, who dedicated their lives to protecting those freedoms, and might very well be ready to rebel again (if they were around) had they seen the poor state of our current nation’s freedoms and the sheer size and scope of its government. They would have screamed at us with tears in their eyes:
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights – that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The beginning of the Declaration of Independence is not just about Americans’ freedom from British Rule – it delineates specific rights all men have, no matter where they were born or what government they live under – natural rights. All men are free, and naturally so. We promised it with that document. Here, in America, we will honor your God-given freedoms. Except we’ve been doing the exact opposite now for almost 100 years, while bullying the rest of the world to do what we have failed at.
Certainly practicing one’s right to one’s own conscience and consciousness, and the ability to change it when necessary, these are among the most central of the rights they speak of in the Declaration of Independence. Freedom of thought, belief, information, and association is protected first by the Bill of Rights for a reason.
Life. It means life without interference. It means freedom. Ask anyone in prison if they are living or are they just alive. For if we are free to think what we want then we are free to think how we want and if we are free in both how and what we think of we are free to use our cognitive faculties how we see fit, to reach any conclusion our minds can imagine. That’s when the next principle comes in.
Liberty. This naturally occurs when any one person (or collective group of persons) are prohibited from placing any law, stricture, penalty, or impose crimes or fines for engaging in any simple activity that does not infringe upon another’s inalienable rights.
The Pursuit of Happiness. This is specifically whatever you want it to be, so long as it trespasses not against the rights of another man. If a man loves going out and shooting .50 cal machine guns, then he should do that, so long as he is safe and does not injure another man. If he likes to blow stuff up, he should probably learn what he can and start blowing up old cars – so long as he is safe and can hurt no one else. If a person is disabled and smoking two joints a day because it helps him get around the house and live a little more of life, then God Bless. After all, hasn’t the ‘big guy’ of many religious texts been caught saying things like: “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Gen. 1:29-31)
If there are men and women out there wanting to have plural relationships or homosexual ones, then good for them. If everyone involved is there by choice, then there is no crime. If a man’s joy is to make new chemical mixtures and species in his garage, then he is a future mogul in the field of chemistry, whether he goes legit or not. Every situation I described above has one feature in common. It is all mostly illegal right now. Shooting M2s? Extremely difficult to get a license. Blowing up stuff in your backyard? It’s only a matter of time before the law comes and shuts you down or even worse, shuts you away. Mr. Disabled Veteran? If a man smokes 2-3 joints worth of weed a day he’ll probably get caught at some point. If a man can stand having two wives to nag him and two women can both put up with the same man’s crap for long enough to raise some kids then I’m all for a plural marriage, but it’s still illegal and CPS will break up that family by force. If two homosexuals can live seeing the same two men their whole life, or at least long enough to raise some kids, then let ’em get married. Turns out most gay parents end up raising straight kids, just like straight people do. Doing chemistry in one’s garage? You must be a drug dealer. But what if that kid is actually trying to make cancer drugs and then deal to people the cure for cancer, and your call to the cops just destroyed his only materials and all his notes for a cure? Almost all of the crimes I mentioned above, they are all mostly accepted by our society. But for some reason, nothing ever changes. Knowledge is banned, or even the gathering of knowledge in certain fields is banned. Look at what happened to stem cell research. And research about the health and/or psychological benefits of common drugs of abuse is stopped routinely by NIDA, too. Any purchases of certain precursor chemicals will give you a big red flag in a federal database – even if you ARE searching for the cure to cancer.
You will then be harassed by law enforcement and other invasive government agencies until they get what they want. Plural marriage is still illegal in every state, but I’d wager there’s at least one plural family unit in every state, and in some states there are thousands. Gays have been far more pervasive than polygamous families, and are also much more socially accepted than plural marriage or polygamous families. Marijuana is medically legal in 24 states and in DC, and even more are up for grabs. How are any new artificial materials or drugs going to be invented without curious people working on it in their garage? And how, do you surmise, are the people with an exclusive patent to produce these substances NOT going to be the multinational conglomerate pharmaceutical companies with $100b or more in assets that we see dominating the drug industry today? When will the people receive the benefits of progress, and not the corporations? Instead of Pfizer making billions, there’d be poor garage geeks (I mean scientists) hitting the big-time, shaking up the marketplace, exercising some COMPETITION in this sad, pitiful era of “too big to fail”.
And as for the retired military guys that like shooting and blowing stuff up, let ’em do it out on their country acres. That way they won’t do it anywhere populated and have an accidental “thinking redneck incident”. Or if they do happen to have an accident way out in the middle of nowhere, at least the only casualties would be them, and Darwin wins for us all. If we ever do get invaded by a foreign power, then thank God for those guys and screw what Darwin said before, these guys are probably gonna kick some ass!