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Comments by L. O. Quince...L. O. Ladies!!

THE WORST GATEWAY DRUG OF ALL

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 the Gateway.

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 as well.

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 under socialism. 

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.


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