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Save Us From Our Protectors

November 2, George W. Bush signed the new anti-terrorist bill into law. It's bad, but I don't exactly hold it against Bush. He is just doing what any other man who could be elected George W. Bush president of the United States would do: sell out the ideals that I had always thought this country aimed for--even if it didn't ever come close to achieving. Clinton or Gore would have done no better. Of course, they would have done no worse.

I'm not completely against the bill. I am, after all, against murder. I believe in having laws against behavior that harms other people without their concent. But mostly this bill has nothing to do with murder--or terrorism, for that matter. It is a huge power grab by the government.

To those interested in drugs, the most onerous part of the bill has to do with (as always) police powers. Here is a quote from USATODAY:

The bill also gives police wide-ranging new anti-terrorism powers to secretly search people's homes and business records and to eavesdrop on telephone and computer conversations.

If you believe this won't be applied to drug users, you probably aren't reading this (I make no claims to anything but preaching to the choir--they're the only ones who show up). It will work (actually, it is already working) like the original drug laws.

Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is Congress given the right to make laws controlling drugs. It says clearly in the Constitution that if a right is not granted to the government, they do not have that right. So the government used its right to tax as a way to prohibit drugs. How? Well, it's complicated and it doesn't make any sense anyway. But for the first 60 years of the Drug War, anti-drug legislation was always written as tax law. But not today! People have been disallowed their Constitutional right to drugs for so long that the government doesn't even feel the need for a pretense of abiding by the Constitution.

And so it will be with the anti-terrorism bill. It will be used against drug dealers first. The argument will be that they are terrorist--destroying our children with the drugs they force on them! (That's sarcasm, folks.) But eventually it will be alright for the cops to perform a secret search of your house if they believe you took a Vicodin ES® after its expiration date. No one will remember a time when drug users had the same rights as everyone else, anyway.

There seems to be this natural process in politics where individual rights get eroded. I believe this is why many of the founders of this country felt that a revolution every now and then was necessary. I'd like to think that it isn't, because I don't favor violence for any reason. I just wish we could prosecute all of our elected and appointed officials for the obvious treasons that they commit daily. But instead, we focus on external forces which, bad as they are, do not have the power to hurt us nearly as much as those who are sworn to protect us.

by Dr. H © 2002


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