Drug Prohibition: Law Enforcement Is The Problem

This article was written by Darren Wolfe and originally published at The International Libertarian on April 26th, 2009. It’s shared here as it’s likely many Copblockers will find the perspective thought-provoking.


Drug Prohibition: Law Enforcement Is The Problem
by Darren Wolfe

prohibition-doesnt-work-copblockEnding the War on Drugs would save countless lives from being lost or ruined. An enormous drain on our economy would cease. It would be great. Ending the War on Drugs would be a tremendous first step, but then what?

The government would still have all the police powers it used to have. Perhaps they could be convinced to cut them back a bit, but we know from painful experience how hard it is to get the government to give up a power it has acquired. No doubt it wouldn’t take them long to find other laws for their bloated police agencies to enforce on us. They have to justify those big budgets somehow.

A key point here is that the source of the problem is not the War on Drugs, that is merely the symptom. The problem is that the government has the means to enforce laws like the drug prohibition. Once it had the power it then passed the bad laws. (Of course, once they had these bad laws to enforce they then used the higher crime rates these bad laws created to justify more, and more powerful, police.) The only way to ensure that there won’t be a repetition of the War on Drugs fiasco is to abolish policing as we know it today. The ending of the prohibition of alcohol proves this point. They merely switched from punishing bootleggers and drinkers to punishing drug dealers and users.

We need to move to a system of private security. There is no need for local police. History has already proved that private security is better at protecting us than the government is. A shining example is Oro Valley, Arizona. In 1975 they hired Rural/Metro Fire Department, Inc. to essentially be their police department providing the services previously provided by the county sheriff. Crime rates where greatly reduced at a fraction of the cost of a government police force. (See Guns for Protection, and Other Private Sector Responses to the Government’s Failure to Control Crime, page 22 of the PDF page counter)

There is no need for national level law enforcement. Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Drug Enforcement Administration are merely instruments of oppression enforcing mostly unconstitutional laws. One is reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s words about the distant and overly powerful capitol, “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”

So not only is private security better able to protect people and property, they have a provider/client relationship with them. Under this scenario there is no incentive for private security to enforce something like the Drug Prohibition and the government wouldn’t have the means to do so.

Policing as we know it today got its start in the mid 19th century. It wasn’t truly about preventing crime as crime rates were quite low back then. It was all about expanding the government’s power. Fast forward to today and we find that the greatest threat to our lives, liberty, and property is the government. This is due to their tremendous police power. The only way for us to preserve (restore?) our rights is to take that power away from the government.

The inspiration for this article was the presentation given by the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) speaker Neill Franklin at the Montgomery County Libertarian Party (PA) Liberty Forum on 4/20/09. This is a great organization composed of courageous individuals trying to right one of the worse wrongs of our time. I thank them for their tireless efforts.

Carry on, I’m with you, my friends at LEAP. Just remember that ending the War on Drugs is merely the first step.


For more on this angle, check out the 8-min video, Want to End Police Brutality? Focus on the Institution



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  • Terrific article, Darren! The International Libertarian does an excellent job delicately summarizing the real problems with prohibition and law enforcement itself. Kudos! Me gusta!

  • Thanks, Derrick. & thanks Pete for publishing it here.

  • BluEyeDevil

    Two Los Angeles police officers are under investigation for allegedly using blackmail and intimidation to force women to have sex with them while on duty.

    Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols, veteran LAPD officers in the Hollywood division, are accused of targeting at least four women, in some cases taking them into an unmarked car to secluded areas. The accusations, if confirmed, will taint the image of a force that has shed much of its reputation for thuggery since the Rodney King riots of 1992.

    The LAPD chief, Charlie Beck, said on Thursday that he was saddened by the allegations and that investigations were continuing. “If they are true, it would be horrific,” he said.

    Detectives from the department’s internal affairs unit suspect the officers preyed on women whom they had arrested previously or who worked for them as informants, according to a search warrant reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. The pair lured victims into their car and used the threat of jail to coerce sex, the warrant alleges. Four women have made independent accusations.

    Detectives intended to confront the officers next week but rushed to do so this week, after one of the women filed a lawsuit. The detectives sequestered the officers and seized their computers and phones. Valenzuela and Nichols were expected to remain off duty pending the investigation’s outcome.

    The first accusation was made in January 2010, when a woman who worked as a police informant told a narcotics unit supervisor that the officers, wearing plain clothes, had lured her into a Volkswagen Jetta. One allegedly exposed himself and demanded she touch him.

    Another woman subsequently told a supervisor that the two officers ordered her into a Jetta while she walked her dog in Hollywood. They had arrested her in a previous encounter and she said she felt compelled to get in. Valenzuela allegedly got into the back seat with her, unzipped his trousers, forced her head into his lap and demanded oral sex, saying: “Why don’t you cut out that tough girl crap.”

    In July 2012, police were tipped off by a member of the Echo Park neighbourhood watch that patrol officers were allegedly picking up prostitutes and releasing them in exchange for oral sex, the warrant said.

    Investigators interviewed a third woman, who said Nichols had detained her in July 2011 and demanded oral sex, saying: “You don’t want to go to jail today, do you?” Fearing arrest, she complied. She said Nichols had done the same thing to her six years earlier.

    A fourth woman, a police informant, said she had sex with Valenzuela twice, once in her apartment, once in the back of an undercover police car. She said she feared going to jail if she refused. In fact she was sentenced to jail in April 2011, reportedly for cocaine possession, and lodged the lawsuit from jail.

    The story broke just a week after the LAPD celebrated a drop in overall crime for the 10th consecutive year, which was seen by many as vindication of the force’s rehabilitation since the 1990s.

  • joebanana

    “Rehabilitation” since the 90’s ??? Nothing changed, they still plant drugs and guns. Lie, falsify reports, conspire, perjure, and murder with impunity. In fact, a bad shoot gets covered, the cop gets a paid vacation, a medal, and commendations, all for a dime bag of some bunk stuff he confiscated a week before.

  • “The story broke just a week after the LAPD celebrated a drop in overall crime for the 10th consecutive year, which was seen by many as vindication of the force’s rehabilitation since the 1990s.”

    Unfortunately, people don’t get that the fact that a police state can reduce street crime doesn’t justify it. We can have even less crime with liberty.

    Police State: Growth Rate of Cops Exceeds Population Growth

  • slappy

    It’s the drug addicts who create the demand for drugs. They are the one’s who are at fault.

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