Land of the Free and Home of the Jails
Open Letter #1
Open Letter #2
Open Letter #3)
Honorable Rep Nancy:
In my most recent direct correspondence to you, I asked what you were doing to help end drug prohibition in Michigan, and I suggested that criminalization of "drugs" by the sundry states or the federal government violates the United States Constitution. Your incisive response:
"Drugs are clearly a danger to our children and to our society. I cannot support eliminating laws that protect Michigan citizens."
Wow! Point of pertinence: your assertion "drugs" are a danger has no relevance to the constitutionality, not to mention the morality, of throwing people in jail for doing them. It is dangerous to stick a butter knife in a toaster, but nobody goes to jail for doing silverware.
And who would support "eliminating laws that protect Michigan citizens?" Your vacuous second sentence assumes what remains at issue: the blatant evil of "drug" laws. "Drug" prohibition laws not only fail to protect American citizens, they are the single greatest threat to life, liberty, and property in America. (http://www.drugwarfacts.org/)
The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, 700 per 100,000. Of the federal inmate population, 60% are from "drug" law infractions. (The total nonviolent prisoner population in the United States is larger than the combined populations of Wyoming and Alaska.) Michigan has a prison population of roughly 25,000 of which ~50% are incarcerated for "drug"-related offenses.
Average Michigan criminal-justice system cost per inmate-year due to "drug" prohibition: $150,000; 12,500 inmates x $150,000/inmate/year = $1.875 billion/year; therefore, with modest assumptions, annual direct Michigan criminal-justice cost of "drug" prohibition per Michigan taxpayer =~$500.
Author Peter McWilliams, in Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, calculated the total wealth lost to society by "drug" prohibition in the United States at a conservative $500 billion/year! (Unfortunately, you won't be able to verify that statistic with him directly, because Peter McWilliams was murdered by agents of the federal government on June 14, 2000.)
What do you think, Nancy? Would your constituents like $2000 extra cash in their pockets every year? They only have to be willing to let a few adults spark doobies in the privacy of their homes-the overwhelming majority of drug arrests and convictions are for marijuana use (~750,000 arrests in 2002)- without unleashing gangs of jackbooted government psychopaths to no-knock down their doors, steal their possessions, and/or shoot them dead.
According to Human Rights Watch, blacks are 2/3 of those sent to state prisons for "drug" offenses, while they compose only 1/6 of the "drug" using population. Black youths are 55 times more likely than whites to be sent to adult prisons for "drug" offenses. A former "drug" prisoner told me the primary government objective of "drug" prohibition is to create an American Gulag for minorities. My, what a cynic!
But I can see the logic. By the standard of keeping the colored man down, even I must concede the "drug" war has been wildly successful. Stand up and take some bows, Nancy. Way to go! It couldn't have happened in Michigan without your legislative muscle up there in Lansing. Maybe the Kiwanis and Jaycees can rustle you up a special trophy.
[You'll note I've been putting quotes around the word drug, because illegality of specific drugs is arbitrary and capricious. For example, tobacco and alcohol are not Schedule 1 substances. If prohibiting "drugs" were a public health issue, tobacco and alcohol would top the Schedule 1 list. Approximately, 500,000 deaths per year are directly attributed to tobacco and alcohol, where the corresponding death toll for illicit "drugs" combined is less than 5,000 (zero for marijuana).]
Nancy, let's talk some law, fundamental law. You took an oath to defend the Constitution, so please respond to this question: Why did the prohibition of alcohol in the 20s require an amendment to the US Constitution (the 18th), whereas the prohibition of "drugs," especially marijuana, did not require an amendment? Answer: it did and does. As a minimum, prohibition violates the following clauses:
1st Amendment - "Drug" prohibition is a religion of state-worship masquerading as mass hysteria for biochemical purity-per above, public health reasons for "drug" prohibition are specious-and Amendment 1 prohibits establishment of a state religion.
4th Amendment - "Drug" prohibition is an unreasonable search and seizure that violates the rights of people "to be secure in their persons."
6th Amendment - "Drug" prohibition means criminalization of peaceful people who aren't popular; imprisonment of peaceful people of any popularity level is prima facie "cruel and unusual punishment," and not permitted by this amendment.
9th Amendment - "Drug" prohibition violates the principle that just because the Constitution doesn't mention a right doesn't mean the people don't have it. The right to one's own body is fundamental. We have the absolute right to put whatever we want in our bodies. Ergo, "drug" prohibition violates the Ninth Amendment.
A number of additional Constitutional infractions apply. But you get the point. As Libertarians begin to come to power and appoint judges who can actually friggin' READ, and we also see fully informed juries exercise their Constitutional power to disregard statist judges and prosecutors, "drug" prohibition will fade quickly in the rearview mirror of the American Chautauqua.
What you and your ruling class friends need to prepare for, Nancy, is the peace. A lot of unconstitutionally imprisoned and aggressed-upon citizens will be seeking reparations, and a class action suit is likely. This suit will hold each agent of the state personally liable to the extent of his participation in this Taliban-inspired holy horror of a drug war on the American people. You will probably have your salary and retirement garnished, but I'll do what I can so you don't do any time.
Remember, Nancy, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
Open Letter #1
Open Letter #2
Open Letter #3
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