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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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November 2007
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Why are you afraid of freedom?

That’s a question I have for prohibitionists.
What got me going on this is the ending of the national anthem…

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave…

If we’re the home of the brave and the land of the free, then why are we so afraid of freedom?
It sure seems like it. Why else would we go out of our way to eliminate it?
Or is it that we’re afraid of pot smokers? Maybe the thought of some guy sitting on his couch smoking a joint is just so incredibly terrifying that people chop up the fourth amendment, force people to pee in cups, and lock up huge portions of the population — all because they’re afraid that this pot smoker might… inhale.
No, we must be afraid of freedom. Sad, really. We’re supposed to be this beacon of freedom…

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

And yet, when it comes to the drug war, we fear freedom. So we authorize drug dog searches of cars, routine pat-downs of pedestrians, no-knock violent searches of homes; we restrict what people may say, what paraphernalia they may own, what crops they may grow, and what they may put into their own bodies.
Aren’t we supposed to export freedom to the world? Make the rest of the world see us and want freedom, too? How’s that going to work when it’s so obvious that we fear freedom?
We have 5% of the world’s population, yet 25% of the worlds prison population. We make drug war exceptions to the Bill of Rights without any evidence that the exceptions are needed or provide any value.
I imagine a father in some foreign land explaining to his son. “You see, Americans claim that freedom is good, but it obviously doesn’t work. They lock everyone up and they still have to keep repealing portions of it. You’re better off without such a useless thing.”
So these days when the national anthem asks the question:

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

… while others respond with the traditional “Play Ball,” I, instead, answer sadly: “No.”
Why are prohibitionists afraid of freedom?

Why am i afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid of love, I who love love? Why must I pretend to scorn in order to pity? Why must I hide myself in self-contempt in order to understand? Why must I be so ashamed of my strength, so proud of my weakness? Why must I live in a cage like a criminal, defying and hating, I who love peace and friendship? Why was I born without a skin, oh God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or to be touched?

– from the play “Great God Brown” by Eugene O’Neill

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