by L. O. Quince...
THE WORST GATEWAY DRUG
The Gateway Theory that some drugs leads to others, marihuana leading
to heroin for example, has been repudiated by logic. If the theory
is true mother's milk leads to everything. However, there is validity
to the theory when applied to other aspects of life. Specifically
the philosophy that underpins the War on Drugs.
You undoubtedly are aware of the efforts to shut down the tobacco industry,
the reviling of SUVs and perhaps you've heard of the move to tax fatty
foods. Many in society decry these efforts as abusive unwarranted
intrusions into our everyday decision making as individuals. They
are correct. But why do we, as a nation, accept such intrusions?
It is because we have accepted, via the Drug War, the philosophy that government
is here to protect us from ourselves.
Little over 100 years ago virtually all drugs that today are so hated
were legal. You could get Coca-Cola laced cocaine, "Indian" cigarettes
were merely prerolled joints and if you really wanted to make yourself
feel better there was Laudanum, a mix of grain alcohol and opium.
You were free to medicate yourself in any way you chose. At the same
time groups, as exemplified by the Women's Christian Temperance Union led
by Cary Nation, sought to eliminate intoxicants from our midst. This
effort had been raging since the founding of our nation when some wanted
to outlaw the consumption of "hard" cider. Some were not "productive
members of society".
Although these groups could not get alcohol eliminated immediately they
incrementally sought to eliminate more recent intoxicants. With the
passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) and the Harrison Narcotics
Act (1914)[note: this act effectively made ALL drugs illegal, unless you
had a note from your doctor] the stage was set. These two acts of
Congress effectively stated that the citizenry were not to be trusted.
We were too stupid to live our lives as we saw fit. We had entered
These actions were met with little opposition. Some objected that
they were un-Constitutional, but their voices were soon silenced.
The idea that some folks need to have their lives overseen by their "betters"
had become law.
The question of Constitutionality must have made some inroads because
when it came to alcohol the Constitution was amended. (The debacle of Prohibition
is well documented and I won't recount it here.)
After its repeal the Prohibitionists were without a cause. Hundreds
of Federal law enforcement officers had no law to enforce. What to
do? How about making the only intoxicant not currently covered illegal?
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed. Note that hemp was not
made illegal but that a "tax" was imposed that was impossible to pay.
(Those that complain that the tax code should not be used for social engineering
take note.) This gave the Feds something to do and set a great precedent
Enforcing drug laws was a nice efficient business for the next forty
years or so and the statist quo hummed along. Then in the '70s efforts
were made to loosen some of the marihuana laws. This awoke Leviathan.
The Reagan administration, for all the good it did, sought to crackdown
on the new wave of cocaine use. Then Len Bias died. Bias, for
those who may not know, was a college basketball phenom. He had just
signed with the greatest franchise in pro sports, the Boston Celtics.
Trouble was Lenny liked the nose candy and OD'd one night in a college
dorm. His death shocked the nation and cocaine was now the biggest
threat to "our nation's youth".[Liberty note: we nor our children
are possessions of the State] Overnight it became Public Enemy
#1. ANYTHING that would stop this inanimate object was OK.
No warrant, no problem. You took someone charter fishing and they
had a joint? Your boat is now government property. Your family
is terrorized in the middle of the night by masked gunmen? Don't
move the wrong way because your death is just part of the job, even if
they're in the wrong house.
The nightly parade of no-knock drug raids by masked gunmen was met with
great enthusiasm. "If those folks won't live the way I want then
Kill 'em" seemed to be the philosophy du jour. The greatest change
was via the Gateway. Instead of viewing drug users as "sinners" that
must be saved they were now people who were "destroying society" and must
be eradicated. They were destroying society and were after "our children".
The idea that folks needed protection from themselves now picked up
the added notion that any action that hurt "society" was to be condemned
as well. It didn't matter if there were no "victims" by name, "society"
was good enough. If you did drugs you now were not a "productive
member of society" and as such "we" must pick up your slack. Liberals
had no problem with this and conservatives, those supposed defenders of
Liberty, never stopped to think that it could only be true if we lived
Look where the Gateway has led us today. Not only are the authorities
breaking down doors with increasing frequency the reasons are not only
drugs. Did you like the way the INS "saved" Elian Gonzalez?
Have you heard about the FDA using similar tactics to raid doctors offices?
Or the IRS searches that leave a shambles in their wake? What about
drunk driving checkpoints? Police attack dogs are brought into schools
to look for drugs. The feeding frenzy over tobacco is enormous.
Organizations not unlike the WCTU seek to ban milk products, tax fat and
make us all be vegetarians. Were Anhueser Busch not such a big contributor
to the Partnership for a Drug Free America beer would most certainly be
under attack. Just give them time.
The Gateway Theory fails when applied to individuals. Were it
works is when it's applied to collectives. The past century saw enormous
strides in the destruction of personal Liberty. All of it done in
the name of protecting you from yourself and protecting society from you.
It has allowed socialist thought to permeate our society from top to bottom.
Government control of your life at the behest of certain groups will not
stop until we reject the original idea, the Drug War, the Gateway to Hell.