Senate confirmed Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas to head the Drug
Enforcement Administration. He said upon confirmation, "I
am excited to have the opportunity to serve Arkansas and the country
by beginning our great national crusade against illegal drugs."
makes no less than four affirmations here: 1) Certain drug use should
be criminal, 2) It is within the federal governmentís purview to
criminalize certain drug use, 3) The federal government ought to
criminalize certain drug use, 4) Federal criminalization of certain
drug use benefits the State of Arkansas and America.
problematically assume that certain drug use the non-aggressive
introduction of a chemical into oneís body should be criminal.
(Leave aside Ludwig von Misesís penetrating discussion in pp. 728-729
Action.) Hutchinsonís sentiments remain objectionable.
belongs to a party that claims to value constitutional norms, one
of which is the separation of powers between the federal and state
governments. This vital division of authority also known
as federalism manifests in the Tenth Amendment and amendment
process, among other areas.
federal governmentís mandate is thus finite, constrained. The Foundersí
design does not contemplate a boundless central agent nationalizing
quintessentially state and local concerns.
if one believes drug use should be criminal, that doesnít mean the
federal government is the proper body to establish this policy,
anymore than itís the proper body to establish a uniform penalty
for burglary. On the contrary, a national law on drug policy or
burglary displaces the separation of powers elemental to American
government with counter-constitutional homogenization.
activists had the decency to recognize their objective required
a constitutional amendment; pre-18th Amendment America
did not permit congressional prohibition of alcoholic beverages.
Anti-drug crusaders havenít felt obligated to fulfill nomocratic
has made federalist professions. For instance, he referred to "the
Constitution and the concepts of federalism that we [Republicans]
hold dear" last year in a
conversation with Ray Suarez.
stated, anyone who endorses the War on Drugs canít care that much
about constitutional government, the Bill of Rights the whole
American republic thing. This secular jihad has been the most violent,
prolonged offensive against federal republicanism in U.S. history.
(See Steven Dukeís "The Drug War and the Constitution,"
Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st
who wishes to criminalize drug use but respects American nomocracy
would pursue a constitutional amendment or seek to criminalize drugs
on a state by state basis. He would not leapfrog the rule of law
and deliberative channels by encouraging less than six hundred legislators
to determine whether a joint will be legal from Anchorage to Albany.
eminent Southerner once wrote, "The legitimate powers of government
extend to such acts only as are injurious to others." This
Southerner also noted that "it is not by the consolidation,
or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good
government is effected."
is to the continuing oppression of America that Asa Hutchinson,
a Southerner but not a Southern conservative, chooses tyranny instead
of Thomas Jeffersonís truths.
Kantor [send him mail]
Myles Kantor is editor of FreeEmigration.com
and co-hosts "On Liberty" on WWFE-AM 670 in Miami, Florida Sundays
from 9pm-10pm. Learn more
about "On Liberty" here.