"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Friday, September 10, 2010

North Carolina Police State

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association is asking the state to pass a law that would allow the police to access drug prescription records, without needing a warrant signed by a judge, in order to search for painkiller abusers.

According to Sheriff Samuel S. Page, president of the sheriff’s association, “We take that information, we could go and check against that database and see if that person, in fact, appears to be doctor shopping and obtaining prescriptions for the purpose of resell, which is illegal.”

However, the opposition, those who do not want the doctor-patient privilege to be compromised, believe that such a law could make any person who truly suffers from pain and needs the medication a possible criminal suspect.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states the following: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The law the Sheriff’s Association is wanting to get passed would negate the Fourth Amendment. There would be no probable cause, just the police going on fishing expeditions. But there is a bigger issue at stake: The right of all adults to the complete ownership and use of their bodies and minds.

The whole war on drugs is based on religious principles, that the use of certain drugs, including prescription drugs used in a non-doctor-prescribed way, is immoral. And, being immoral, they should be illegal. We’re talking about sins here. Sins are not the legitimate purview of our supposedly secular government.
I agree that anyone selling or giving minors mind-altering, possibly addictive drugs is committing a crime. That is, he or she is harming or endangering the mind and body of a person who in not old enough or experienced enough to make a consenting adult choice.

However, adults have the right to choose. If an adult wishes to use a drug, whether it is one of the presently illegal ones, or whether it is using a prescription drug as a recreational drug, that is their inalienable right. If it is not, then we have no inalienable rights, because then we would not actually own the property of our bodies and minds. The government would.

I also find this push by the police to be a bit hypocritical. It is well documented that the number one violence-causing drug in America is the true narcotic drug alcohol. And the police, as a group, has one of the highest rates, if not the highest rate of alcohol abuse.

What is a crime? Shouldn’t there be a definition as to what a crime is, besides “breaking the law?” I mean, once upon a time, in Colonial America, it was a crime to not go to church on Sunday; it was not a crime to own slaves; it was a crime to help slaves escape from slavery; it was a crime to be seen in public (a beach) in what all women now wear to the beach; it was a crime for a women to be pregnant and not be married. Those “crimes” were all based on the religious-moral beliefs of the time. But we got over it.

Here’s how I think a crime should be defined. A crime is committed by harming another person or their property, or by being an immediate and direct threat to another person or their property. It is not a crime to use drugs. My point about alcohol proves that.

Here is an example: A man can smoke three packs of cigarettes a day and drink whiskey until he pukes and passes out. He does all this in his own house and does not harm anyone else and does not threaten anyone else. He has not committed a crime. He will not be arrested. However, if that same man, goes outside and assaults his neighbor, or shoots his neighbor’s dog, or gets into a car and drives drunk, then he has committed a crime. But he will not be arrested for drinking. He will be arrested for harming someone else or, in the case of drunk driving, for being a danger to others or their property.

I am not, by any means, promoting drug use—alcohol, tobacco, heroin, prescription drugs, or whatever. That is a personal moral choice to be made by each adult. I think a chronic or habitual user of such drugs, when such use interferes with their jobs, their families, and their friends are emotionally damaged people and need help, or else they are just stupid and foolish.

I do believe in the concept of inalienable rights, which means that, as an adult, you own and own completely the property of your body and mind and can decide what to do with it just so long as your actions do not harm or endanger others. The government does not have the legitimate power to stop an adult from using drugs unless there is proof that the person is causing harm to others or is a direct and immediate threat to others.

(For a complete dissertation on this issue, go to: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com.)

No comments: