Interviewed Saturday on the Patriot’s Lament radio show on KFAR radio in Fairbanks, Alaska, Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow Adam Dick zeroed in on the drug war as a major avenue for the expansion of government power at the expense of liberty. Yet, Dick also told hosts Joshua Bennett and Michael Anderson that the movement in recent decades of state and local governments to curtail the drug war shows a path to defeating the leviathan government that the drug war helped create.
In the interview focused largely on Dick’s new book, A Tipping Point for Liberty: Exposing and Defeating Leviathan Government, Dick explains that the war on drugs over the last few decades has created “a drug war exception to the Constitution.” To enable enforcement against nonviolent and victimless actions such as possessing or transferring drugs, Dick relates that police have employed invasive and liberty-suppressing tactics. Such tactics include the use of informants, surveillance, searches and seizures without proper warrants, no-knock raids, and even roadside body cavity searches.
Once a drug war exception to the Constitution has been created, the urge in the government is to apply that exception to other areas as well. Dick continues:
All these things happen because of the drug war. It has contributed to leviathan government. Then comes along some other reason why you need leviathan government, like the war on terror. And you have this drug war huge exception, and you just move it right over and do all the stuff for the purpose of the war on terror.
While the drug war has played a large role in the creation of leviathan government, there is hope that the developing backlash against the war on drugs will lead the way to the defeat of leviathan government. Dick explains that state and local governments “are going their own way, especially on marijuana,” and thus limiting the scope of the drug war. This movement, Dick predicts will result in a “patchwork quilt” of different state and local marijuana laws across America, with marijuana being subjected to a similar level of legal restriction as is alcohol now. Curtailing the war on marijuana, says Dick, provides a starting place for taking the next step of legalizing all drugs. “The drug war needs to end, and the sooner the better,” Dick declares.
Dick suggest in the interview that employing similar pushback concerning other leviathan government programs could yield more victories for liberty. Education, after reaching a sufficient depth and breadth, can help lead to significant changes relatively quickly as has been seen with the ongoing curtailing of marijuana prohibition. Dick also points in the interview to organized opposition starting to yield results in curtailing police militarization at the local level. When state and local governments, pushed by devoted advocates for change, say “no” to overbearing United States government actions, then the US government can be forced to back down. This has been demonstrated with marijuana laws. It may soon be demonstrated in many other areas as well.
Dick and the hosts also discuss in the interview several other matters focused on in A Tipping Point for Liberty, including militarism, asset seizures, gun control, and police misconduct.
Listen to Dick’s complete interview here.
A Tipping Point for Liberty is available at Amazon.com here.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.