Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

On March 6 we "celebrate" the 100th anniversary of the crackdown on freedom and self-ownership. NORML Director Dale Gieringer claims it all started in California.

On March 6, 1907, Gov. James Gillett signed amendments to the Pharmacy and Poison Act making it a crime to sell opiates or cocaine in the state without a prescription. The act made California a national leader in the war on drugs seven years before Congress enacted national drug prohibition with the Harrison Act.

Many Americans don't know there was a time when people could freely buy any drug they wanted, including opium, cocaine, cannabis and other so-called narcotics. For most of the nation's history, there was no such thing as an illegal drug. That began to change after the turn of the 20th century, when an alliance of Progressive Era bureaucrats and moral crusaders began to push for prohibition of narcotics and alcohol.

An entire populace became brainwashed on the notion that the "drug war" was necessary because putting substances into one's own body or selling substances to willing buyers is somehow criminal. The arbitrary demonization of certain substances - while others remain largely untouched or merely regulated - has been lost on the deceived public. A person can toke on nicotine or go to any corner hole and indulge in alcoholic beverages until inebriation is reached, however, smoking pot on your own couch is out of the question. An entire industry makes billions selling the citizenry on its dangerous, high-powered, mind-controlling drugs (anti-depressants) while selling them as necessary comfort aids, yet what happens when a doctor in California tries to write a prescription for marijuana? The most telling point in the story is the most obvious - yet ignored - fact of all:

In the end, the drug laws became a giant crime-creation program.

Before 1907, the state's drug crime involved a few hundred opium den misdemeanors. Today, the state records 400,000 drug arrests per year, 250,000 of them felonies. Drug felons -- nonexistent in 1906 -- now account for 36,000 prisoners, 20 percent of the state's prison population. Drug gangs plague our cities, thousands of innocent people are victimized by prohibition-related theft and violence, and the rough stuff has escalated into outright war in Afghanistan, Colombia and Mexico.

Today's addiction rate is more than twice what existed during the free market a century ago -- only about one-half percent.

Thanks to M. Harris for the tip.

Emphasis is mine.

Those that would pursue an aggressive enforcement policy regarding illegal aliens would do well to read the above.


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