By Doug Newman
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Posted at Daily Paul and Facebook.
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Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has always been very forthright about his opinions. Who remembers this Nike commercial from 1993?
To be sure, many athletes set wonderful examples with their lives. (Many set rotten ones too.) However, they cannot raise your kids.
There are certain areas of life in which, if you have no experience, you should not offer advice. Among these is raising children. And as I have never raised kids, I am not going to give any advice. From everything I have observed, though, it is harder now than ever.
As friend from days of yore once put it: “Raising kids is like chewing on a brick.” (It certainly appears that she is doing an exemplary job raising hers.)
However, if you demand that the government protect your kids by waging a war on drugs, you are transferring responsibility to where it should not be. Just because they have tasers, AR-15s, razor wire and prison cells doesn’t mean they should raise your kids.
They can’t raise your kids. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The only tool government at any level has is force. Do as they say or they will fine, jail or kill you. They never have been, and never will be, able to instill morals and values.
From 1920 to 1933, they tried to eradicate alcohol use. (At least they had enough respect for the Constitution to formally amend it for this purpose.)
On January 16, 1920, evangelist Billy Sunday hailed the advent of Prohibition by preaching a sermon to a crowd of 10,000 people in which he said the following: “The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be only a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now, women will smile, and children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent.”
None of these prophesies ever came true. Alcohol prohibition failed monumentally. The Eighteenth Amendment was the only one ever to be repealed.
And we learned nothing from it. Drug prohibition, based on equally utopian assumptions, has been just as overwhelming a failure.
Ironically, the people who scream the loudest for drug prohibition absolutely insist that they support liberty and uphold the primacy of the family. They talk like Patrick Henry and yet, if elected, would govern like Joe Arpaio.
They claim to believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant word, and yet totally ignore Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4. They will preach hellfire and brimstone against the government school system and yet demand that Uncle Sam keep kids off drugs. They say they hate the nanny state, and yet rabidly support its most tyrannical aspect. They say that government cannot solve problems, and yet persist in their belief that it can solve the drug problem. They pose as six-pack ab constitutionalists, yet recklessly disregard the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. They say they believe in freedom, and yet they are the biggest cheerleaders for the program that has turned the “land of the free” into the nation with the world’s highest incarceration rate.
Recently, three girls at an elementary school in Pueblo, Colorado, were cited for marijuana possession. Yes, it is sad that children this young are involved with weed. However, prohibition did not stop this. (Marijuana is still illegal in Colorado for those under 21.)
What is even sadder is that the government is involved. Not only are children doing something they should not do, but any sort of government intervention here will only make matters worse. These kids as well as, quite possibly, their parents will have their lives interrupted in some very negative fashion for a non-crime.
Any sort of punishment would entail some sort of blemish on their record which would follow them for years, if not permanently. It would greatly interfere with future educational and employment opportunities. Imprisoning the parents could separate them from their children for several years. How would that be consistent with “family values”?
People who say they deplore the state acting in loco parentis support policies which would potentially destroy these families and leave these kids as wards of the state.
I saw a Facebook post the other day about an 11-year-old who was “in” for marijuana.
Eleven years old and “in” where? Some state correctional facility? Prohibition did not stop Danny. And if he is in the maw of the state, that can only make his life worse. A non-crime will follow him for years, likewise interfering with his educational and career prospects.
Meanwhile, “health professionals” who prescribe infinitely more perilous ADHD and antidepressant medications to kids as if they were water do so with impunity.
The good news is that Patricia Spottedcrow of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, was released from prison 10 years early. The bad news is that she was sentenced to 12 years in the cooler for selling $33 of marijuana to an undercover policeman. Was anything good accomplished by such cruel and unusual punishment?
But just how do you stop kids from smoking herb?
You don’t. Utopia ain’t gonna happen. A state-imposed drug-free America is a completely false hope. So cast off your smelly little drug war orthodoxies.
But I don’t want my kids smoking weed. Well, neither do I! And I don’t want to see your kids or anyone’s kids punished by the government for non-violent acts of any kind! Nothing good can come of it.
Noelle Bush was the daughter of a drug warrior governor, niece of a drug warrior president and granddaughter of drug warrior former president. Yet the drug war could not even prevent her from using illicit drugs.
When she was arrested in 2002 for crack possession, her father, then-Governor Jeb Bush, called it a “private issue“. (In a classic case of Chappaquiddick justice, Noelle served 10 days for an offense that would have had you or me busting rocks for years.)
And that is all drug use should ever be. And until we disabuse ourselves of this totally false hope that the iron fist of the state can somehow keep kids off of drugs, we will see no change for the better.
Related article: Lockdown Lunacy: Schooling for Life in a Police State.