August 25th, 2005

Future Worth Fighting For3

Eroding Freedoms

I've been slow to react to the story of the rave bust in Utah, because first reports are often wrong. But they're being confirmed. For those who haven't heard, a legal music concert on private property was busted by 90 cops, with lots of reports of excessive force. Since "raves" are known for attracting drug users, the organizer had security guards confiscating drugs from attendees. So the cops busted the guards for possession.

That illustrates why I think the "War on Drugs" is the biggest threat to our freedom. None of the complaints I've heard about the PATRIOT Act come up to the level of what happens routinely in prosecuting drug offenses. At least when counter-terrorism ops get the wrong guy they're trying to stop a real danger. The drug cops are prosecuting doctors for writing legal prescriptions and store clerks for selling legal products. Once the police start going after people for doing things in private that no one else is harmed by, there is no stopping point. Any association with a "bad" chemical becomes a crime.

Not only are the drug warriors hurting innocents on purpose, they're creating access for terrorists. Drug smuggling raises money for terrorists and having lots of well established smugglers makes it easy to sneak bombs or worse into this country. Bringing all narcotics into the above-ground economy would make it much tougher for infiltrators (they'd still have the illegal immigrant channels, but that's another rant).

Pushing back on the drug "war" is the best way I can think of to protect our freedom. It's the best way to get my vote. If anyone wants it.