Here’s Your War on Drugs at Work…

The Libertarian Party is not a fan of many of the drug war laws in the United States, believing that they create too many criminals out of otherwise consenting adults.  Not that we condone the use of drugs (or the abuse for that matter — any more than we’d condone the misuse or abuse of alcohol).  It’s the fact that prohibitions create black markets for otherwise worthless substances.  Rather than taking  away the incentive to push all sorts of things on your friends, family (children at school), the profits created by the War on Drugs give every person willing to take a shortcut to wealth the perfect incentive to get people hooked on the junk.

And then there is the ugliest side of the War on Drugs: further erosion of basic liberties, and the mainstreaming of authoritarian behavior in the culture to the points where many citizens watching the video above will think the actions of the police above are perfectly justified, or at worst, are a tolerable casualty  — tolerable collateral damage for a good cause.

Above is video from a February raid in Missouri.  The Balko site captions:

SWAT team breaks into home, fires seven rounds at family’s pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on. They found a “small amount” of marijuana, enough for a misdemeanor charge. The parents were then charged with child endangerment.

And advocates:

I’d urge you to watch it, and to send it to the drug warriors in your life. This is the blunt-end result of all the war imagery and militaristic rhetoric politicians have been spewing for the last 30 years—cops dressed like soldiers, barreling through the front door middle of the night, slaughtering the family pets, filling the house with bullets in the presence of children, then having the audacity to charge the parents with endangering their own kid. There are 100-150 of these raids every day in America, the vast, vast majority like this one, to serve a warrant for a consensual crime. But they did prevent Jonathan Whitworth from smoking the pot they found in his possession. So I guess this mission was a success.

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