In special report, Leslie Stahl has explored the use of what are called “Confidential Informants” in our glorious war on drugs. Police threaten those caught selling pot to scare them into becoming instruments, in the attempt to turn in others. In two cases, the relatively innocent slaves were murdered by the drug dealers. The practice, which includes incentive to entrapment, is quite extensive. Those captured are ordered to tell no one, so that they have no lawyer, and those messy questions about tyranny and the Bill of Rights can be avoided.
Marijuana as property in right and law is an amusing and difficult question. Since it is not a legal possession, it is wrong to defend it from thieves. While illegal, it is also wrong to sell, as opposed to give it away, because government does have a power and a duty to regulate commerce. There are some things, like sex and snake oil, in which it is not good to allow commerce. But these fine points of legal philosophy do sometimes escape your average American sophomore, especially those pursuing jobs and technology, rather than education. What appears to the sophomore is that marijuana is expensive and not harmful or wrong, and so what they do appears to them more of a joke than a crime.
But the law prohibiting marijuana is unconstitutional, making “crimes of things that are not crimes,” as Abraham Lincoln is thought to have said in the Illinois legislature regarding the prohibition of alcohol. “…A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded” (Jack Herer, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, p. 11). This sounds like Lincoln because the language implies the rare understanding of natural right. And this is regarding the toxic, addictive and socially destructive alcohol. Things are not crimes because they are illegal, but the legislature tries to articulate crimes in law and prevent them. That is, things are to be made illegal because they are crimes. Again basically, in America, crime is when one citizen violates the rights of another to life, liberty or property. It is the purpose of government to secure rights, not to legislate the popular vision of the good or the morality of those entrusted with police powers. The law against marijuana is unconstitutional, and we cannot retain our liberty as a nation while this error continues. It is time for a rational supreme court decision striking down the prohibition. Or will they call anything commerce that the executive tells them to call commerce?
Practices like this use of confidential informants have turned our nation into a network of citizens spying and entrapping their fellow citizens, under the compulsion of those who hold the arms and power, like any other modern tyranny. As I told an uncle recently, I am getting a bit tired of not knowing who the people around me are. When, for example, the Michigan State Police set women on the crowd at the Hash Bash, a constitutionally protected assembly, and then proceed with their tentacles of entrapments and compulsions.
To spy on others places those others in one’s power regarding the information obtained. For a parent, holding a natural office to rule over the child, this may not be always wrong. But to spy on free citizens and equals is to place them in one’s power. To place another in one’s power is, against a free nation, an act of war. Nations spy on one another because they are in what is called a “sate of nature” with regard to one another, and this condition, without law and impartial judge, is in part, or potentially, a state of war. When my government spies on me, they make me a subject rather than a citizen, and place me in their power, to be used as their instrument, should they only wish or conceive to do so. Our suggestion is that we do not want to do this, and the solution is oversight, accountability and meaningful recourse when these powers are abused. Congress has abdicated the oversight of the executive branch, which is why tyrannical characters have been promoted as police. We need to restore the honor of police and government in general, by doing our part as citizens, through our legislatures, to get ahold of our government. Again there are lawsuits in the most obvious cases, and we pay them while the general abuse goes unaddressed.