By Kent McManigal
I’ve seen some amusing illustrations going around the Internet showing 1920s-era prohibition enforcers, or their freelance supporters, smashing barrels of stolen “contraband” alcohol.
The photos compare and contrast the earlier alcohol prohibition with the current drug prohibition.
The caption reads “Imagine how silly you’ll look in 10 years.”
Silly, yes, but that’s not the worst of it. It’s much more serious than that.
In fact, just like the slave traders and those who enforced fugitive slave laws of the 19th century, the current prohibitionists will also eventually look downright evil to practically everyone. It may not be 10 years, but it will happen.
Brave drug warriors in the same category as vile human traffickers? How is that possible? Because the laws they enforce are no more legitimate than the laws that made escaping slavery illegal.
You can’t excuse a violation of individual rights no matter how many laws you pass or how long you get away with enforcing those laws.
In the name of health and safety, the earlier prohibitionists added poison to alcohol and killed thousands of people; around 50,000 died as a direct result of the government’s unpublicized poisoning program. Many more were blinded or paralyzed.
Actually, prohibitionists are still poisoning alcohol for the same perverted reason — that’s what “denatured” means.
Their crusade also created a culture of organized crime, and brought about police corruption that is still pervasive, and getting worse, in America today.
In the name of health and safety the current prohibitionists kill uncountable numbers, enslave many times more than that, and trample the rights and liberty of each and every one of us.
Their crusade has fostered gang violence and a culture of police brutality. There is almost no part of the Constitution that hasn’t been violated in the name of fighting the war on (politically incorrect) drugs.
This war is actually a war on Americans and their rightful liberty.
It’s disturbing how many believe it’s worth it.
When slavery was legal the excuse against abolition was often phrased as “But without slaves how will the cotton be picked?”
Today it is “Without drug laws, who will protect society from drug users?”
Well, if it is really necessary (the experience of Portugal shows that’s a lie), then you’ll just have to find a way that doesn’t use made-up rules that violate the human right of self determination.
Prohibition, just like slavery, is an idea whose time has passed.
Why is opposing prohibition so important to me? Because it is the main justification for the police state that endangers liberty today. On a daily basis, prohibition may even be worse than the war on terror.
Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: