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Shouldn't Property Rights Trump The War On Drugs?


420 Staff
A local daily newspaper reports that "many pot seizures of below 500 pounds go unprosecuted." The article goes on to say that pot seizures of less than 500 pounds account for 90 percent of the seizures, and about half of all the pot seized. The reason is that there are so dang many people caught importing herb that prosecuting the bulk of them would overwhelm the legal system.

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, there were 9,560 seizure incidents along the southern border in 2004, totaling 1,102,925 kilograms ( we called them "kilos" back in the late '60s, early '70s ) of marijuana. In English that translates to 2,426,435 pounds, or more simply, about 2.4 million pounds.

Consider for a moment that the government has pinched so many pot haulers that it can only prosecute 10 percent of them, and their lost loads only represent the "inventory shrinkage" of the product crossing the border with Mexico--a minor factor in cost of goods sold. This does not address the product crossing the northern border, or the border with Humboldt County.

Note to the Drug Warriors: Markets rule.

Let me take a moment to assure everyone that I am not a pothead. People who argue my position are usually dismissed as such. I do not claim any exceptional purity, but it is a fact that I have not partaken of any marijuana since Jimmy Carter was president.

Long before the Carter presidency, Lenny Bruce said, "Marijuana will be legalized ... yeah ... because all the guys I know in law school smoke it." Well, it didn't quite work out that way. It probably would be legalized if today's lawyers could not easily get all the pot they wanted, and therein lies the key. The only way to attack the problem is to attack the market. That means turning law enforcement away from the importers, and toward the end user.

This approach has been tried, found to be successful, then quickly abandoned. The problem is that the end users are a huge percentage of us .. 2.4 million pounds, and that's just the shrinkage. If the transportation workers are overwhelming the system, imagine how many users there must be--your neighbor, your co-worker, your kid's teacher, your stockbroker, your plumber, your lawyer of course, and Uncle Free and his hippie girlfriend Sunshine.

So, back we go to busting the "bad guys," the people the end users pay to sneak it to them. Meanwhile, the market will not be denied.

Many moons ago, I was impaneled on a federal jury. As with most federal cases, it was a drug case. The accused was found by a couple of narcs parked down by the San Pedro river with a few hundred pounds of pot, a Mossberg 12 gage shotgun and a .40-caliber Daewoo pistol. This was apparently a very bad situation, but, other than the poor choice of pistol, I could not see why. At some point, the judge asked if anyone had a question. I raised my hand, he acknowledged me, and I asked, "Under what authority does the federal government engage in drug prohibition?" He said something about Congress saying we do, so we do. His delivery was light hearted; he chuckled. The rest of the folks chuckled along with him. I returned a steely stare to let him know that I was quite serious. I should have followed up with, "When the federal government engaged in alcohol prohibition, a constitutional amendment was passed to give it the authority. When the amendment was repealed, the authority ended. Which amendment to the constitution gives the federal government the authority to engage in drug prohibition?" Alas, it was a missed opportunity.

So, the federal government employs insane enforcement policies for laws that it has no authority to enact. Yet there is a principle that trumps all.

When we stand back and look at it, we see that it really is an issue of private property rights. Unless you are a slave, you own your body. Even if you believe that God owns your body, you are still the steward in this world. If you own it, you decide what goes in it. You are the authority in that regard.

Source: Tucson Weekly (AZ)
Copyright: 2007 Tucson Weekly
Contact: mailbag@tucsonweekly.com
Website: Tucson Weekly : The Alternative to Bland Daily Journalism in the Sonoran Desert


New Member
420 , the authority to pass legislation isn't in any amendment , it's in section 8 , article one. The authority that congress uses but won't reveal to the public is in article 1 section 8 , clause 17. This is the exclusive legislation over the district of columbia and territories owned by the U.S. Yes , you are correct when you say that this is all about private property rights . Unfortuneatly , having entered into contracts with the Federal government by being a 14th amendment citizen , you ,and all others who have been coerced into the same , have in reality, signed away any and all real constitutional rights under the bill of rights only to have them replaced with statutory civil rights . All 14th amendment citizens are no more than wards of the district of columbia and are under exclusive legistrationary control of congress . Yes, you are wholely owned slaves . No you are NOT the owners of your own bodies. The explanation of this can be found at Part I: United States citizen, Yes or No?


New Member
Actually it happened at the beginning of the civil war when the federal government went Sine Die. That's when the true constitutional government ceased to exist. Later in 1871 , the Federal government formed a private corporation . They used the constitution through the 14th amendment as their by-laws , taking their authority not under the constitution , but by taking authority over it.


New Member
Yeah, at one time this was a servant government and we the people were the masters ..........now , we the people are the servants and government is the master. ........A sad state of affairs indeed !


New Member
"We're gonna have to do that again to get things right!!!" .......I agree ! The only one of the candidates running for office to even suggest such a move to return to a constitutional Republic is Ron Paul. So....here's your chance people , support Ron in any way you can , because he is the last hope for this nation to become truely a free country.


Well-Known Member
Daewoo .40.... CRAP! Only way to hurt someone with that piece of crap is to throw it at them. :laugh2:

Paladin is right though, they designed the laws surrounding prohibition of substances specifically to sidestep the Constitution. Why do you think they can keep adding drugs everytime they deam them dangerous? It is far easier to move a drug from one Schedule to another then it is to change a Constitutional Ammendment.


New Member
i dont know about the entire war on drugs. i mean honelsty i really dont want my kids to even be close to harsher stuff and i know that is my duty as a parent. but has a home owner in indiana right now taxes are rediculas. but i do think they should maybe lower the budget on the war on drugs and maybe dispurse it into other fights.
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