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"This isn't a war on drugs.  It's a war on personal freedom.  Keep that in mind at all times." 
--quoted from Tool's "Third Eye"

A measure on the ballot Nov. 5 (2002) would make Nevada the first state to allow adults to possess marijuana up to 3 ounces, enough for maybe 100 joints.

People over 21 would be allowed to smoke it in their homes but not in cars or public places. Pot would be sold in state-licensed smoke shops and taxed like cigarettes.

"This initiative will allow the police to spend more time going after murderers, rapists and other violent criminals," said Billy Rogers, leader of the group that is pushing the measure.

            The above is quoted from "Nevada Voters May Legalize Marijuana," (September 13, 2002 article) by Brendan Riley, Associated Press writer.  The quote from Billy Rogers, head of Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement, sums up the key reason why we need fewer victimless crime laws.  In a poll from a couple of weeks ago, something like 65% of law enforcement officers, both active and retired, said that they support the initiative.  It would free up their time to enforce the real crimes that are committed, make less paperwork and time spent on busting casual users, and free up a huge amount of jail space.

            Jails are overcrowded, and spending for bigger and better facilities for incarceration continues to rise.  Is it because there are more criminals?  Are more people knocking over 7-11s and getting caught?  Has the number of little old ladies getting mugged for their Social Insecurity checks skyrocketed?

            No.  The reason that crime appears to be on the rise (while violent crime is on the decline) is that laws are being passed that criminalize acts that were maybe not completely legal 20 years ago, but that weren't bad enough to justify harsh penalties for.  The penalties for the infractions have become more strict over the last 20 years, as well.  When I was in high school, parties were broken up and people were told to leave if they got too rowdy.  The people who were under 18 may have been cited, but it wasnt a heavy punishment.  Now, the law demands that anyone caught drinking under the age of 21 will be raked over the coals.  Classes, community service, jail time, fines, and a criminal record face the kids who are just being kids.  I could understand it if property damage was involved.  Or if more than just cutting loose with friends and peers was going on.  But if someone under 21 has even a trace of alcohol in their system for any reason, their lives will be changed forever.  Even if it's cough syrup, the fact that they had alcohol in their system before they turned 21 remains.  And they'll be punished for it severely.

            Think about what happens if a parent gives their sick teen an alcohol-based cold remedy, and that teen gets busted for possession.  Who is the party responsible for that possession?  The parent.  Not only are they contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but theyre also facing possible charges of child abuse.  That might sound like an extreme scenario, but thats the direction the legal system is headed.

            Its good, though, that the government has taken such an interest in the health and welfare of our children.  Parents, obviously, can't take care of their children properly.  Otherwise, there wouldn't be a need for the State to step in and discipline the youth.  The government is making sure that the kids are safe, even from themselves.

            Isn't that the rationale behind the drug and alcohol laws as they apply to adults, as well?  Isn't the lowered blood-alcohol content limit designed to keep people from harming themselves?  (I've had people within the injustice system tell me that it's for my own good, that they're worried about me.  Not that there was any remote threat of harm to any property or person.  That my behavior was unhealthy and I could do damage to myself.  That conclusion was drawn from a personality test.  So was the sentence that I was given.  It wasn't about the law; it was about my health.  I thought that laws were in place to protect citizens and their property from other citizens, not to punish otherwise legal behavior because of potential health problems.)  That is the rallying cry of pure Fabian Socialism, "Give up all of your rights, because you dont know whats best for you.  Give your life to the State, and well keep you free from harm."  Its about power, and keeping it away from the unwashed masses.

            Look at the "War on Drugs."  The federal government poured billions of dollars into fighting the drug problem by carrying out arrests and tightening the laws.  Drugs are still on the streets.  One:  arresting people and putting them in cages doesn't solve anything.  Especially when the people being incarcerated are the users (remember-- use is not abuse) and the nickel-and-dime sellers.  The real threat wasn't being addressed.  Which brings me to Two:  it wasn't the major drug cartels that were importing most of the drugs.  It was the United States government.  During the Regan and Bush the First administrations, US intelligence agencies were bringing in massive amounts of drugs through small-town airports and other shipping venues.  There was no need for them to be sneaky about it.  If asked, they were "transporting evidence."  I've heard reports from witnesses who claimed to see agents distributing duffle bags filled with drugs to street suppliers.  (The one that stands out in my mind is the Mena, Arkansas airport.  Only because Clinton was governor when that took place.)  Here's a site that I found that has a bunch of good documentation of what happened in that sleepy little Arkansas town:

            Wouldn't it have been more effective to spend money on education, rehabilitation and other deterrents?  Wouldn't it be cheaper (both financially and in lives lost) to legalize the lesser drugs?  It would be, but then what great social evil could the government use to keep the citizens fearful of incarceration?  What internal war could be waged for the same revenue that the drug war has?  Hollywood has too much clout.  They've tried that approach, and got laughed at.

            Another argument is, "If drugs were legal, everyone would be using them."  First off, not everyone that I know smokes.  Cigarettes are legal.  Second, decriminalization might raise the percentage of users at first, but the number wouldn't change that much in the long run.  Drugs aren't for everyone.  Third, the tax revenue could pay off the national debt.  Fourth, the quality of product could be regulated, which would reduce the number of overdose casualties.  Fifth, its damn near impossible to OD on marijuana, unless there's an allergic reaction.  I don't use illegal drugs.  I've tried pot and mushrooms.  I wasnt impressed enough to continue using them.  It was a matter of choice, not because they were illegal.  Chances are, I wouldn't use them if they were legal.  But, I'm against people going to jail because they choose to use them.

            At some point, we need to put aside our narrow-minded morals and look at how the laws are really affecting society and the non-violent criminals.  It seems to me that a victimless crime is not a crime at all, but a moral judgment.  It's the persecution of an individual because he or she has a different outlook on life than the majority.

            What's next?  Outlawing Islam because of a few extremists?  It makes the same amount of sense.


"As of right now," (Jeff Oakes, a North Las Vegas resident) said, "the most dangerous effect of marijuana possession and use is jail."

Set the dogma down, and back slowly away.  That stuff is dangerous if not handled properly...