Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
March 2006



Idiots who fail to understand the concept of America

Now I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but… As someone who has studied drug policy for years and the Bill of Rights most of my life, I continue to be astounded by people who fail to understand the concept and importance of rights in a free country that is run by the people.
I see the same stupidity over and over again.

People who have never read (or understood) the quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
People who fail to realize that giving up liberty doesn’t even work in terms of providing safety.
People who think that rights are for criminals, when in fact they are for citizens, and to give them up is to give up government by the people.
People who one day will find themselves accused of something they didn’t do and wonder what went wrong.

Check out Bruce P. Murchison – a political science teacher who needs to go back to school and re-take the constitution test.

By reclassifying all drug dealers and gang members as domestic terrorists, the Patriot Act could be utilized to rid our great state of these thugs. Currently, many of these criminals are being freed due to loopholes in the law. The Patriot Act would make it easier to round up and neutralize this destructive group.
Of course, the American Civil Liberties Union and its allies would decry this as an infringement on the terrorists’ “rights.”
While the ACLU has done some good in keeping the government at bay in some instances, it needs to rethink its position on this issue. Remember, giving aid and comfort to the enemy is a crime, also. It’s called treason.

I think the ACLU would also object to us dropping a nuclear bomb on Arizona. The difference is that the bomb would actually eliminate drug distribution in the state, whereas your approach wouldn’t. You wouldn’t object, would you, Bruce? I mean, you wouldn’t be wanting to give aid and comfort to the enemy by objecting to us dropping the bomb, would you? It’s called treason.
I can’t believe that a teacher has his head so far up his ass that he actually sees:

Violating the Constitution of the United States and taking away the rights of individuals is a good idea.
The ACLU standing up for the Constitution of the United States is treasonous.

Now when it comes to the ACLU, I haven’t always agreed with all of their decisions and emphases, but overall the notion of an organization that has, as its primary mission, protecting the Bill of Rights is incredibly useful and important. When I hear people bash the ACLU, I am reminded of the speech given by President Shepherd in The American President

For the record, yes, I am a card carrying member of the ACLU, but the more important question is “Why aren’t you, Bob?” Now this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question, why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the constitution? Now if you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago.
America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.

Stirring and patriotic words.
Which brings me to another idiot. Jay Stephenson has made a crusade out of bashing the ACLU with his Stop the ACLU blog.
Due to an erroneous news report, he mistakenly believed that the outstanding DVD Busted (it really is outstanding — get a copy and show it to everyone you know), made by our good friends at Flex Your Rights was instead made by the ACLU. So he lit into it with his post ACLU Teaching Children How to Be Good Criminals.
He seemed to have the odd notion that it was OK for people to know their rights (imagine my relief!), but we shouldn’t really tell people their rights without some kind of obligatory “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” or “Drugs are bad, mmkay” message attached.

So remember people, the best way to avoid getting busted by the authorities is to do the responsible thingánot break the law. And the best way to avoid responsibility is to call the ACLU. With all the terrorists they are defending they are sure to find some kind of loop hole for a measly bag of grass.

His big complaint was that the video served to help people who were breaking the law (smoking pot, for example) evade getting caught.
Well, Jay, has anyone ever told you to be careful not to speed on a particular stretch of road because the police have a speed trap there? Isn’t that evading your responsibility to follow the law? After all, you don’t ever actually break the law by going over the speed limit…. Do you? (And before you say that’s silly and you can’t compare the two, consider that many more people have been killed by speeding than by smoking pot.)
So yes. Just like we warn friends that the cops like to catch speeders at a particular place, we inform our friends of their rights when it comes to drugs. After all, if we care enough about our friends to want them not to get a $100 speeding ticket, wouldn’t we want them not to end up in prison for pot possession? How are these different?
Until we can get rid of these unjust laws, we can at least help some people avoid their destructive effects. 110 million Americans over age 12 (46% of the population) are drug criminals (have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives). Some will get caught and end up ass raped in jail. Others won’t get caught and will become Senator or President.
So when it comes to considering showing a film like “Busted,” I suppose you do have a choice of deciding which future your audience deserves (and just maybe Jay and Bruce shouldn’t watch it).

John Stossel on the War on Drugs

John Stossel has a column at Townhall: Rethinking the Drug War.

I was once among the majority who believe that drug use must be illegal. But then I noticed that when vice laws conflict with the law of supply and demand, the conflict is ugly, and the law of supply and demand generally wins. […]