Another Dispatch from the War on Drugs

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From Tom Woods’ blog:

I mentioned this while hosting the Peter Schiff Show yesterday. John Horner, a 46-year-old fast food restaurant worker, lost an eye in an accident in 2000. He wound up not using all of his pain medication. Years later, he made friends with a man who appeared to be in pain himself. This man offered to buy Horner’s pills. The man was a police informant, of course.

The nonviolent Horner, whose several children must now be raised without a father, is now serving a 25-year prison sentence, thanks to Florida’s minimum-sentencing law.

There are a few things I want to say about this.

First is that I seem to come across terrible stories such as these way more often than anyone should (the ideal number of times would be zero). It seems that things such as this, which, unlike natural disasters or accidents, are 100% preventable. Yet I know not how many media outlets cover such events as these. Obviously, if people don’t know about it then they can’t really demand for it to stop.

Secondly, I would like to point out that real, tangible individuals are suffering from this. Real lives are being affected and their story deserves to be told. When the pain comes at the expense of people we don’t know and live far away, it’s easy to abstract away from the fact that this is happening to an actual person and his family. Remember that.

Third, if you support the drug war, seriously consider whether you have responsibility for this. You may say, “Well, I only want hard drugs to be illegal, not someone who simply sells unused pain meds. And I would never put anyone in jail for 25 years just for using drugs!”

What I want such a person to realize is that the State will gladly take whatever you give it and then some. Once you open the door for a faceless institution to be able to tell people what substances they can possess and put in their bodies under penalty of law, this is the outcome that will eventually come to pass. Once it’s realized that the current laws of the State will not keep people from possessing and using drugs, the proposed action is to double down: create stiffer penalties, have more surveillance, more searches and seizures, more drug dogs, more enforcement. Once it’s found that this won’t prevent the problem either, what’s next?

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