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War On Drugs A War on Freedom

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, May 16, 2005
Acclaimed US author Sam Smith branded the war on drugs "a crucial precursor of the end of the First American Republic' this week, and suggested that the true motive behind the campaign is repression.

"The war on drugs was the first major test by the country's elite to see if
Americans would willingly surrender their constitutional rights," Mr Smith declared in Progressive Review.

"It turned out that they would and so for the past twenty years invasions of civil liberties increased, America threw more and more of its young people into prison, while exploding drug war budgets did nothing to stem the growth of the drug industry. Further, the drug war was a useful testing ground for repressive measures instituted following September 11," he suggested.

His analysis closely matched that of fellow author and British counter-culture icon Howard Marks, who served seven years in a maximum security US prison after building a 20 year career as one of the world's biggest cannabis smugglers.

"The War on Drugs protects no one outside a small elite group, endangers everyone else and is a sinister means of social control," said Mr Marks, in a speech he made at the Orange Index debate in Glasgow two years ago.

"One of the traditional and obvious ways of controlling people in society, whether it's a military dictatorship or a democracy, is to frighten them so that they'll accord authority to their superiors who claim they will protect them," he pointed out.

"The War on Drugs creates fear of people from whom we have to protect ourselves. It also takes care of superfluous people who don't contribute to profit making and wealth (in the US, this tends to mean the poor and black): they're put in prison," he added.