Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So I've been thinking about personal liberty

What does the drug war have to do with this topic? I've really been thinking about that lately. Our nation was founded by people that believed in personaly liberty for all. As a citizen, I thank them for that, and honor them by remembering their sacrifices, and demanding that liberty once again be a topic of discussion amongst the people.
President Richard Nixon really is the one that kicked the war on drugs off in a huge way. He did it by going after cannabis and LSD, very popular drugs in the hippie culture, and people he really wanted to control. To me, the hippies got it a bit wrong in one sense, liberty cannot be neccessarily won through non violence. Our Country was founded on rebellion and war. Sometimes violence has to happen. But I maintain the only time violence is acceptable, especially by a government entity, is in the defense of the liberty and well being of the people. Yet here we have a so called war on drugs, which is in reality a war against people. There is alot of violence, especially by the government of our nation, yet no defense of liberty or well being.
I just watched some amazing videos of the Liberty movement that's starting to gain momentum in New Hampshire. They are practicing civil disobedience there every day, trying to bring attention to the politicians that have become authoritarian and very facist in their behavior towards the rest of society. Those people inspire me, they are willing to go to jail, in the hopes that their sacrifices will bring liberty back to us.
One of the videos I watched, the police were arresting the one young black man in a crowd of over 100 white people that were smoking pot in the park at 420 in protest, and the disgust and actions it brought from the crowd. One lady kept asking the police if they would put their own children in a cage, and if they were comfortable knowing they were ruining this young man's life, not to mention terrorizing him by handcuffing him and putting him in a cage. One moment he's in a park on a beautiful day smoking a harmless, non addicting, non toxic, common plant with some new friends, and the next he's being put in a squad car (he was the only person in the crowd to be arrested for marijuana btw). Where is his personal liberty? Is it not as valuable as mine is? Did he harm anybody? Some people say that people that use illicit drugs are in fact responsible for all the drug violence perpetuated by the criminal gangs running the drug trade. I would instead put forth that the drug warriors are the ones to blame here, not the drug user. Prior to prohibition of drugs, you had prohibition of alcohol, and we know how that turned out. How are drugs any different?
You do not live in a truly free society when that society has the highest per capita prison population in the world, you have police departments that are better armed than the military, and a criminal justice system that depends on low level offenses to give all those people who work within it a reason to get out of bed in the bloody morning. If people are afraid of heavily armed and armored thugs kicking their door down and terrorizing everybody in that dwelling, and incarcerating people and breaking up families, then something has got to change. I went home not too long ago to visit my brother Eric, and my mom and dad. One thing that really stuck with me on that visit was to see a police officer of the small town in nothern Idaho. This guy was driving a brand new Dodge Charger, complete with the suped up Hemi, and the guy was decked out like he was going to war. He had his side arm, an automatic weapon inside the car, a tazer, a huge vest, I half expected this guy to be wearing a helmet and carrying a riot shield. What the hell does a cop in a small town in Idaho do with all of this tactical gear? They get their new toys, and they just have to use them. How many people have watched videos of police tazering suspects at the drop of a hat? I know I've seen my share. Now I do believe that there are times when things like tasers and automatic rifles are appropriate. But are all of those things truly neccessary for a patrol officer in a small town in the middle of Idaho? Honestly, they don't have a crime rate that shows a need for that type of thing. The only thing we get out of militarizing our police is a big boot on our own necks, taking our liberties away.
So the next time you're sitting on that couch drinking your sixer of Bud after a hard day at work, and you're thinking that you don't really care that some poor schmuck was busted for having marijuana to treat a very debilitating medical condition that could kill him and is now doing 5-10 years in prision, just ask yourself who they will turn to next when they have finished taking his liberty away? It could very well be you. Now how valuable is that other person's personal liberty to you?

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