FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Will of the People Doesn’t Mean Jack Shit to the Drug Warriors

by DAVE HUMMELS

The Associated Press reports that eight former DEA administrators are urging the Obama administration to sue Washington and Colorado over their voter-approved moves toward  marijuana legalization.

One former chief, Peter Bensinger, fears that successful legalization efforts will lead to “a domino effect” in the US.  Where have we heard that phrase before?  Bensinger continues breathlessly, “My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing … If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”

So drug warriors are losing their minds over Colorado and Washington. Good!  We can only hope that Bensinger’s dire predictions come true and that more Americans are indeed waking up to the absurdity of marijuana prohibition.

The former DEA bureaucrats argue, accurately, that marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.  Even in cases involving medical marijuana, the federal government may abuse the commerce clause as a rationale to criminalize users, growers and sellers of marijuana (per Gonzales v. Raich).  The commerce clause has become the federal government’s drug war equivalent of  catch-all disorderly conduct statutes in the states.

Unfortunately, these goons have a solid case to present to US Attorney General Holder.  In New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932), US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”  But today’s political class views federalism as archaic.

Hopefully the administration will choose to ignore this thuggish recommendation.  But if they do decide to litigate, this will be another sign that the feds don’t give a damn about the  will of the people.  Liberty-loving Americans should respond to this federal intrusion with a massive wave of civil disobedience.

Let’s start by publicly shaming the DEA heads mentioned by the AP: “Bensinger, John Bartels, Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, Asa Hutchinson, John Lawn, Donnie Marshall and Francis Mullen.”  Get to know their names, libertarians.  They are your enemies!

Then, let’s publicize the efforts of these authoritarians to undermine the voters of Colorado and Washington.  Ask them why they continue to support a policy with openly racist origins which has resulted in mass incarceration.  Publicly reveal the motives  of the police agencies that enforce these laws .  When drug warriors drone on about “protecting the children,” confront them with the horrific reality of wrong door raids, slaughtered family pets and children terrorized with flash-bangs.  Wherever an apologist for prohibition gives a speech or attends a meeting, he or she should be met by throngs of boisterous picketers.

As we expose these petty tyrants, we should also seek opportunities to throw a wrench into the machinery of prohibition.  A mass movement of jury nullification in drug cases may be a promising tactic. Prosecutors can use voir dire to remove one or two questionable jurors, but what if nullification becomes widespread?  They can’t remove all of us.  In the future,  we should view jury duty as a chance to liberate non-violent people from the state’s clutches.

In Tao Te Ching, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu writes, “The more laws are posted, the more robbers and thieves there are.”  Time and time again, this observation has been proven correct. The violence of the drug war is perpetuated by government, yet officials insist they must keep fighting.  In their vile attempt to protect their old turf, former DEA bosses show their true colors.  They are gangsters with federal pensions.  They will do anything to ensure that they and their ilk continue to get their cut of drug war booty.  It is up to us to expose their racket and to finish the job sensible voters in Colorado and Washington started in November.

Dave Hummels, a research fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society,  is a Left-libertarian writer from Central Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois-Springfield. He has over a decade of experience in the field of healthcare security and is also a licensed emergency medical technician.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 24, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Reflections on DC: Promises and Pitfalls in the Anti-Trump Uprising
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Developer Welfare: Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
Melvin Goodman
Trump at the CIA: the Orwellian World of Alternative Facts
Sam Mitrani – Chad Pearson
A Short History of Liberal Myths and Anti-Labor Politics
Kristine Mattis
Democracy is Not a Team Sport
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Mexico, Neo-Nationalism and the Capitalist World-System
Ted Rall
The Women’s March Was a Dismal Failure and a Hopeful Sign
Norman Pollack
Woman’s March: Halt at the Water’s Edge
Pepe Escobar
Will Trump Hop on an American Silk Road?
Franklin Lamb
Trump’s “Syria “Minus Iran” Overture to Putin and Assad May Restore Washington-Damascus Relations
Kenneth R. Culton
Violence By Any Other Name
David Swanson
Why Impeach Donald Trump
Christopher Brauchli
Trump’s Contempt
January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Mark Schuller
So What am I Doing Here? Reflections on the Inauguration Day Protests
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail