|Steven Wynn "Steve" Kubby
|December 28, 1946
El Paso, Texas, United States
|November 20, 2022 (aged 75)
South Lake Tahoe, California, United States
|Degree in Psychology
|Libertarian Activist, Author, Cannabis Advocate
|California, United States
|view image gallery
Steve Kubby (December 28, 1946 - November 20, 2022) was a Libertarian activist from California who played a key role in the passage of California Proposition 215. He was a candidate for Governor of California in 1998 and has declared his candidacy for the Libertarian Party's 2008 presidential nomination.
Early Life and Activism
Kubby was born on December 28, 1946, in El Paso, Texas and was raised in Los Angeles, California. He grew up navigating a world affected by war and politics, eventually pursuing a degree in psychology and becoming a probation officer. Kubby co-founded Earth Camp One, a youth summer empowerment program focused on improving mental health for children.
Battle with Cancer and Cannabis Advocacy
In 1967, at the age of 21, Kubby was diagnosed with pheochromocytoma, a rare adrenal gland cancer. Research led him to believe that cannabis could alleviate his suffering, and he became a fervent advocate for the plant's medicinal properties. Despite facing constant discomfort and illness, Kubby immersed himself in learning how to cultivate cannabis and educating others about its benefits. He developed his medical plant cultivation skills, from basic setups to more sophisticated operations with multiple lights.
The Politics of Consciousness
In 1991, Kubby published his debut book, "Politics of Consciousness: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom," seamlessly bridging mentalities and politics. He advocated for freedom, political rights, and plant medicine, urging a revolution of thought and challenging the damaging effects of prohibition on society.
Grassroots Advocacy and Collaboration
Kubby collaborated with like-minded advocates such as Terence McKenna, Jack Herer, and Timothy Leary. His strong need for medical access to cannabis drove him to join the campaign for the War on Drugs, partnering with legendary figures like Dennis Peron, Chris Conrad, and Ed Rosenthal. His advocacy set a precedent for future cases, and he continued to deepen his involvement with legislative change, even running for governor of California for the Libertarian Party in 1998.
Intellectual Property Rights and Patents
With impending commercialization of cannabis, Kubby sought to protect his genetics and filed federal patents in 2010 for his cannabis strains under the name Celestial Temple Sativa and the company Kubby Cryogenics. He also patented an edible lozenge containing THC for medical patients with hypertension. Both patents were granted after years of battling, and Kubby later licensed and sold them to a publicly traded company while retaining rights to grow cannabis at home.
Life in Remission and Continued Advocacy
As of his age of 75, Kubby lives with his cancer in remission in the mountain town of Lake Tahoe. He continues to advocate for freedom of choice, innovation in the cannabis industry, and wellbeing. His tireless dedication to cannabis advocacy has left a lasting impact on the marijuana movement, and his words are referenced in history books worldwide.
Legacy and Importance
Kubby's journey with cannabis has broken new grounds politically and medically. His advocacy for medical marijuana paved the way for recreational cannabis legalization. Kubby's resilience and unwavering commitment to freedom and individual choice have inspired many, making him an influential figure in the world of cannabis. His impact on the industry and his fight for medical access to cannabis continue to be a reminder of the importance of advocating for personal liberties and wellbeing.
The following is taken from Steve's Website, www.kubby2008.com
- Repeal the Patriot Act
- Repeal the Military Commissions Act
- Enforce the Bill of Rights
- End government discrimination based on sexual orientation
At no time in our nation's history have our civil liberties not been at risk. Since September 11th, 2001, however, we've seen an unprecedented assault on Americans' basic rights and freedoms.
In some cases, this assault has been directly attributed to the 9/11 attacks. Draconian legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act have sailed through Congress on the strength of the mistaken perception that they will somehow "protect Americans from terrorism." The few restrictions on government power included in those laws have been blunted by President Bush's unusual -- and, if acted upon, illegal -- notion that he can modify congressional action with "signing statements" that amount to a sub rosa line item veto of the parts he doesn't like.
In other cases, corrupt politicians have simply inserted rights-violating legalese -- without even a nod to any real national security concern -- into other legislation. Such is the case with the "Internet Poker Ban" which US Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) snuck into a late 2006 "port security" bill.
As your president, I'll veto any legislation which violates the rights of my fellow Americans -- or of foreigners whose activities bring them under the power of the government of the United States. And I'll work to roll back the iron curtain of totalitarianism which has begun to descend over our nation.
- I'll instruct all departments of the executive branch that they are bound by, and expected to observe, the restrictions on government power enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
- I'll refer violations of those restrictions to the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice for prosecution under United States Code, Title 18, Sections 241 (Conspiracy to Violate Rights) and 242 (Violation of Rights Under Color of Law).
- Where an existing law conflicts with the Constitution or in any way violates your rights as enumerated in, or implied by, that Constitution, I'll refuse, and direct my subordinates to refuse, to enforce it. And if someone wants it enforced badly enough to seek a writ of mandamus from the courts, I'll direct the Solicitor General of the United States to vigorously defend you.
I believe in America -- and in the America I believe in, the people do not require the permission of the government to live as dignified human beings.
They aren't afraid to speak their minds or to publish their opinions. Their churches and their homes are sacrosanct. Their right to peaceable assembly isn't restricted to fenced-in "free speech zones" that might as well have signs reading "This USED To Be A Free Country."
Their right to defend themselves with firearms isn't preconditioned on possession of a bureaucrat's permit, nor is their right to privacy subject to nullification with warrantless searches and "no-knock" raids. Their property is theirs, not someone else's, even if that someone else has a friend on the city council and a plan to build a shopping mall.
Their right to relationships -- including marriage -- with other consenting adults isn't pre-conditioned on letting some bureaucrat peek up their skirts or inside their trousers. Their right to serve in the armed forces isn't affected by whom they date or to whom they are married. And if they're married in Massachusetts, they're married in Missouri ... just like the Constitution's "Full Faith and Credit" clause says.
Their rights don't go away when they're accused of a crime. They're entitled to know the charges against them and to confront their accusers and challenge the evidence in court in front of a jury of their peers, without having been subjected to torture or forced confession, and without the threat of cruel and unusual punishment hanging over their heads.
Most of all, beyond the rights I just mentioned -- every one of which is explicitly and unconditionally protected in the Bill of Rights -- they're entitled to those rights which are not enumerated, but are alluded to, therein. And those rights really come down to one basic right: To be left alone by their government, so long as their behavior is peaceable and honest.
That is the America I believe in... and the America that, with your support, I intend to restore to its full glory and honor as the great home of freedom on earth.
Energy & Environment
- Require government and military fleets to go non-petroleum.
- End taxpayer subsidies to the petroleum and agriculture industries.
The twin spectres of global warming and energy dependence haunt our nation. Both represent major threats to our economy, to our national security, and ultimately to our freedom. These two problems—and their solutions—are intertwined.
Let's get one thing out of the way on global warming: I'm neither a "Chicken Little" nor a "skeptic." No, the sky isn't going to fall tomorrow just because you cruise your old muscle car out of the garage and take a road trip. But yes, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is a real phenomenon, that human activity plays a major role in it, and that climate change represents a serious challenge to our way of life.
How do we meet this challenge? As one of my fellow Libertarians, Ernie Hancock of Arizona, likes to say, "the answer is freedom. Now, what was the question?"
Scientists say that the major factor in global climate change is our use of fossil fuels. That's just a fact. But there's another fact that, alongside the first, should tell us something:
Henry Ford designed his Model A, the first mass-produced automobile, to run on what we now call "biodiesel." Specifically, hemp seed oil, but any number of vegetable oils can be used to power engines. It was cheap and, although that wasn't as much of a concern then, it also produced a lot fewer polluting emissions than gasoline. Why did we end up with gasoline? Because government has heavily subsidized the oil industry for more than a century.
The reason renewable, domestically producible fuels aren't "economically feasible" compared to petroleum is that much of the cost of petroleum is hidden. We can start with at least hundreds of billions, possibly trillions, of dollars spent having the US military secure that industry's supplies. You don't pay it at the pump... but you do pay it.
In the meantime, you're also paying farmers to not produce. Because there's a glut of farm land and farm labor, your tax dollars are spent to prop up prices and subsidize farming. Instead of production goals, farmers work under production ceilings to keep competition from winnowing anyone out. But what if the bulk of American farmland could be put to productive use in an environment where more, rather than less, production was called for and where demand and supply were aligned by a free market? Some farmers would continue to produce food crops, but others would sow crops intended for fuel production.
Remove those two sets of subsidies—to the petroleum industry and to agriculture—and see how fast biodiesel and other farm-produced fuels become competitive with gasoline! Even with a 100-year head start on receiving the bulk of research and development funding, petroleum just can't compete if it has to do so on a level playing field.
As a result, we'll have stronger family farms as well as energy that's clean, renewable, and can be produced at home.
That last point brings us to the other part of the picture: National security.
Oil supplies are finite, and many of them lie at the end of long supply chains, in countries not reliably friendly to us. Even if we open up offshore drilling and hand over the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to Exxon as corporate welfare, we're going to remain substantially dependent on foreign oil unless we give up our dependence on oil altogether.
History tells us that dependence on distant energy sources can quickly become a very bad position to be in. See, for example, Germany and Japan in World War II. Our dependence on foreign oil exposes us to economic blackmail and makes us militarily vulnerable.
Overnight change isn't possible—but if elected president, I could do certain things to get us on track for energy independence.
I'd ask Congress to approve legislation requiring that all new government procurements of vehicles and weapons systems include a requirement that those items be operable on renewable, domestically producible fuels—and that existing fleets be retrofitted, as possible, to also run on such fuels.
This is not a new idea. Under the National Energy Policy Act of 1992, the federal government and state governments are required, in 2006 and after, to operate 75% of their fleets on "alternative fuels."
Those alternatives include, but are not limited to, biodiesel and other renewable/domestically producible fuels. It's time to get that to 100%—and to ditch fossil fuel "alternatives" and gasoline/ethanol blends as meeting those requirements.
I'd let Congress know that it's time for taxpayer subsidies to the petroleum and agriculture industries to end, and for restrictions on the cultivation of energy crops such as industrial hemp to be lifted. And I'd wield the veto pen versus budgets and legislation that weren't responsive to that goal.
As Commander in Chief of America's armed forces, I'd ask what military dispositions, deployments, and actions were required for America's defense rather than placing our men and women in uniform at the disposal of special interests to act as free versions of "rent-a-cops." Reduction of net greenhouse emissions is good for the environment, good for our economy, and absolutely necessary for our national security. And cutting the web of subsidies that has kept us dependent on foreign petroleum will be good for our freedom.
Foreign Policy & Iraq
- Immediate, unconditional withdrawal from Iraq
- Return to America's traditional non-interventionist foreign policy
The foreign policy issue foremost in most Americans' minds is, of course, the war on Iraq. I oppose it. I opposed it when it was proposed, I opposed it when it began, and I oppose it now. If the American people put me in the White House, I'll end it immediately with a unilateral and unconditional withdrawal of US forces from that country, as quickly as can be done consistent with the safety of the troops.
The war on Iraq, however, is only a symptom of a more deep-seated problem. Especially since World War Two, but even before that -- among other places in the Philippines circa the beginning of the 20th century -- America has dramatically broken with the foreign policy advocated by our founding fathers.
That policy, as President Thomas Jefferson summarized it, was "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Even when President James Monroe -- the last American executive whose political career stretched back to the Revolution -- promulgated his "Monroe Doctrine," asserting an American protective interest in the Western Hemisphere, he did so cautioning that "in the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken part, nor does it comport with our policy, so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced that we resent injuries, or make preparations for our defense."
We've learned -- or should have learned -- that "nation-building" and "international peacekeeping" don't work. At their best, they bind us to an expensive and dangerous policy of "guaranteeing the security" of other nations, as we've done with various European and Pacific Rim nations for half a century now at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives. At their worst, they fan the anti-American animosities that culminate in horrors like the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
US withdrawal from Iraq would probably result in a quicker -- and less bloody -- resolution than a continued US presence would. The US is trying to hold together three "natural" countries against their will.
When the US leaves, the Kurdish north will probably secede, the Shiite south will probably become (de facto or de jure) a part of a Greater Iran, and the central region will probably continue to thrash around for a while between a Sunni/Wahabe Islamist state or a Ba'athist state (possibly under Syrian tutelage).
Those were the default options before Iraq began being held together -- first under western colonialism and then under Ba'athist nationalism -- that's what will probably happen if the US leaves tomorrow, and that's what will probably happen if the US leaves ten years from now. The real question is how many Americans get to die before the US acquiesces in the inevitable, and how many Iraqis get to die in the higher plateau of terror that the occupation is maintaining by its presence before they're left to settle things for themselves.
The war on Iraq was a massive screwup. Continuing to screw up will not unscrew it.
As your president, I'll pursue a foreign policy of non-intervention.
I won't "redeploy" American troops from the hottest combat zones of the Middle East and Central Asia and position them to continue fighting other people's wars. I'll bring them home.
Around the world -- from Germany to South Korea to Colombia -- I'll notify our allies that they must henceforth take responsibility for their own defenses, and set timelines for orderly, but complete, withdrawal of US troops from the more than 100 countries where they are currently stationed.
As Commander in Chief of America's armed forces, I'll set those forces to their legitimate job of defending the United States, and take them off the job of pursuing nebulous "national interests" abroad. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines will once again proudly fulfill their duty of defending America instead of serving -- and suffering from -- a misguided vision of international hegemony.
In the course of this dramatic shift back to a sane foreign policy, we stand only to benefit. We'll have a more solid, more sound national defense at a much lower cost to the taxpayer. We'll have friendly relations with more people in more places, and hostile relations with fewer people in fewer places. The swamp of international hostility will be drained instead of stirred, so that fanatics like al Qaeda have no place to grow their cultures of hatred and violence. We'll be less exposed to attack, and better positioned to benefit from trade and commerce with a world no longer suspicious and frightened of us.
In this way, America will once again claim its legitimate place as a leader of the free world -- leading by example rather than by force.
- No new "gun control" legislation
- Repeal of all existing "gun control" legislation
- Forbid and prosecute violations of gun rights by government
The Constitution is not unclear: "The Right of the People, to Keep and Bear Arms, shall not be infringed." For those to whom it seems unclear: The "militia clause" is a dependent clause. It is a reason for, not a limitation on, the recognition of the right. The Second Amendment outlines no exceptions to, or limitations on, that right... and so, no such exceptions or limitations are or can be legal. Furthermore, as it is explicitly enumerated as a right "of the people," the prohibition on violating it logically extends to the state governments as well. It is, as the Tenth Amendment says, "reserved," and not to the states.
Now that we've had our little history lesson, let's talk about why the Framers were right to enshrine the right to keep and bear arms in our Constitution. "Gun control" -- or, as L. Neil Smith more accurately names it, "victim disarmament" -- is not an answer to crime. One does not attack the car when a drunk driver kills an innocent victim. The individual, not the object, is responsible for the crime. And it is the individual, not the object, who should face the wrath of society.
"Gun control" is just another shallow, quick fix invented by political hacks. Sadly, many well-intentioned folks have been swept along in the mistaken belief that banning weapons somehow reduces crime. On the contrary -- our experience has taught us that the more draconian a policy's "gun control" schemes are, the higher its rate of violent crime goes. If you want safer streets, then we have to go to the core of violence in America. Guns are tools, not causes.
Of course, the Framers didn't really have crime in mind when they wrote recognition of the right to keep and bear arms into the Constitution. What they had in mind was that their fellow citizens had just defeated the mightiest armed power on earth -- the British Empire -- largely using their own privately acquired weapons, and that there would doubtless be similar future situations in which the people's last, just resort to settle grievances with their government would be to once again take up arms. A government that doesn't trust its people with guns doesn't trust its people, period -- nor does it deserve to be trusted by its people. If elected president, I will do my utmost to restore trust on both sides.
- I'll oppose any new "gun control" legislation.
- I'll support repeal of all existing "gun control" legislation.
- I'll forbid any department or employee of the executive branch to enforce existing "gun control" laws and, as with other issues of constitutional import. * I'll order the Solicitor General of the United States to defend my administration in court against any attempt to force it to violate your rights.
- Finally, I'll direct the Civil Rights Enforcement division of the US Department of Justice to vigorously prosecute cases of violation of the right to keep and bear arms by any official at any level of government.
I have signed the 2008 Presidential Gun Rights Pledge as requested by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Council for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. As a candidate for the presidency of the United States, Steve Kubby, promised to both protect and defend the Second Amendment as a fundamental individual civil right. I hereby pledge that, if elected, I will neither seek, support or sign any legislation to renew or expand the ban on so-called "assault weapons" which are in reality sport-utility rifles, and that if such a bill arrives at my desk, I will veto the measure. Likewise, I will not support or sign any legislation designed to close a mythical "gun show loophole" -- thereby putting such gatherings out of business -- because studies have shown that armed criminals do not obtain firearms from gun shows. I further pledge to support efforts to expand concealed carry by American citizens, and to sign legislation that would require all states to honor the concealed carry licenses issued by other states or face loss of federal funding. Lastly, I promise that if elected, I will nominate strict constructionist judges to the federal bench, and to the Supreme Court of the United States should a seat on that court become vacant.
- Open immigration for all peaceful people
Immigration has been an unmitigated American success story.
Throughout our history, from the transcontinental railroad to the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, immigrants have proven themselves indispensable to the American economic miracle. They've enriched our culture in every area, from language to food to music to literature. This, in repayment for the fact that America has offered refuge to those in whose hearts the fire of liberty still burns when it has been temporarily snuffed out in their home countries; succor to those who seek work and life in the kind of economy that their home countries can't provide; and a NEW home for those who choose to stay.
There are those who claim that "changing circumstances" make this no longer true: That economic disparities between the United States and other countries would, under a liberalized immigration regime, saddle us with the world's poor and drag us down. In response to this, I can only point out that the reverse has always been true: By welcoming the poorest of the poor, we've always become richer, not poorer. I see no essential changes of situation which seem likely to change this outcome.
I support "open" immigration: Free movement over borders by peaceful people. It's not the government's job to figure out how many engineers or landscapers or programmers or farm workers the US economy "needs." The economy figures out those things for itself far more efficiently than some bureaucrat ever could.
Beyond the economic and cultural positives of open immigration, we must consider the national defense problems posed by "closed" immigration.
Capital -- including human capital -- moves to where it can be most profitably invested for all concerned, and it rolls right over government barriers to do so. In practice, this means that millions of immigrants arrive, and will continue to arrive, in the United States each year regardless of what our government does to stop them.
Right now, nonsensical US immigration policy forces many of those immigrants to sneak in rather than walk in "through the front door." Reasonable estimates put the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico alone in excess of one million annually. An entire industry of cross-border guides, called "coyotes," is built around getting those immigrants into the US to live and work. These "coyotes" don't care one way or another whether the person they're smuggling into the US is a janitor from Guadalajara or an al Qaeda fighter carrying the material to make a "dirty bomb" in Dallas. And our immigration policy gives the latter type of "immigrant" a huge crowd to hide himself in.
The first step in providing for our national defense at the border is to let those who bear us no ill will to come in "through the front door" -- to walk across the border publicly and conveniently instead of sneaking over it in the middle of the night and in the middle of the desert. Believe me, they'd rather be welcomed than hunted ... and welcoming them rather than hunting them will reduce the cover they provide for our enemies.
The second step in providing for our national defense at the border is to re-focus the government services which address that border away from hassling peaceful immigrants and toward detecting and eliminating real threats to the United States.
As your president, I'd have to have the cooperation of Congress to take that first step -- but I could take the second with or without their help. I could order the executive branch departments which address immigration to direct their attention to real national security threats instead of toward whether some Slovenian visitor's visa is stamped "tourist" or "student." I could order the Coast Guard to pay attention to its legitimate job of protecting our coasts from attack by sea instead of trying to keep Cuban refugees from getting their feet on dry land so that they can claim asylum.
At bottom, a border is nothing more than an imaginary line on the ground, drawn by politicians. What's important are not the lines themselves, but the people on either side of those lines. As your president, my job will be to secure the rights of the people within the set of lines that have been drawn, and to defend them from attack across those lines -- not to impede peaceful people from crossing them.
Taxes & Spending
- Veto any and all tax increases, new taxes, and unbalanced budgets -- period.
- Work to cut spending, splitting resulting surpluses between tax cuts and debt service.
- Work to eliminate the federal income tax.
- Until the income tax is eliminated, seek annual across-the-board tax cuts through increases to the personal exemption.
"Over-taxed" doesn't even begin to describe American society today. Between overt taxation at all levels of government and hidden taxation in various forms such as inflation, deficit spending and uncompensated regulatory takings, Americans spend more than half their income on taxes. We spend more of our time working for our government than a medieval serf of 500 years ago spent working for his lord!
The things we get in return for that money can be broken down into two categories: Things that the market, if left free to do so, could provide more cheaply and efficiently; and things we buy only under duress -- things that we wouldn't voluntarily buy even if they were for sale at our local department stores.
As President, I'll work to ease your tax burden. If I can get a tax eliminated, I will. If I can't get it eliminated, I'll strive to get it lowered.
- I'll veto any proposed increases in existing taxes. Period.
- I'll veto any proposed new taxes. Period.
- I'll veto any budget passed by Congress that is not in balance based on the previous year's revenues, not on rosy projections of future revenues. Period.
Yes, I know that Congress can override presidential vetoes, and they very well may do just that. But I promise you -- no tax increase, no new tax, no deficit budget will be imposed on you over my signature.
As the American economy grows -- and with the policies of smaller government I advocate, that growth is certain to get faster -- federal revenues will go up without tax increases. As they do, I'll go to Congress each year with a budget proposal that splits those increased revenues right down the middle: Half into across-the-board income tax cuts for the following year, half into reduction of the national debt (which, unless addressed now, is effectively a tax on our children and grandchildren, levied in advance by spendthrift politicians).
I'll also be working diligently to cut spending, aside from simple balanced budget concerns. Our government is too big. It does too many things that it shouldn't be doing. As you can see from my other position papers, I want to stop it from doing those things -- and give the money that's being taken from you to do them back to you.
My goal is to eliminate the federal income tax. Until I can convince Congress to do that, I favor cutting the income tax in a way that's simple, fair and, as I said, "across the board."
My tax cut proposals won't come in the form of loopholes or deductions for special interests or "the rich." They won't come in the form of hokey "better ways" of assessing and collecting taxes, such as the misnamed "Fair Tax." They'll come as real tax cuts in the form of increases to the "personal exemption." Every year, every American will be able to earn more income before the federal government tries to take any tax. Every year, more Americans, earning more money, will fall off the income tax rolls completely, and those who don't will be taxed less.
When it comes to eliminating the income tax, many people have told me that that's impossible -- that it would amount to an unthinkable, fundamental reorganization of American society. But America survived without an income tax until 1913. That's more than half of our nation's history! And it wasn't until World War II that the income tax became a major factor in government finance, or that the government began "automatically withholding" taxes from your weekly paycheck.
Historically speaking, the income tax as we know it has been a short-term experiment, and in my opinion it's been a failed experiment. I don't see why it should be "unthinkable" to take a step backward from that "fundamental reorganization of American society." Not only do I consider it eminently thinkable, I consider it common sense. And I'll do my best to make it happen.
The War on Drugs
- End it!
Drug policy reform is the issue for which I'm best known, and to which I've dedicated the better part of my life and most of my past efforts. In 1996, I helped Californians pass Proposition 215, the nation's first "medical marijuana" law. Medical marijuana and "compassionate use" legislation have since gained support and passage of across much of America, but there's a lot left to do.
Let me preface my position by pointing out one thing: This is no more about drugs than the Boston Tea Party was about tea. It's about freedom:
- Freedom to look after your own health without a bureaucrat snooping around in your medicine cabinet.
- Freedom to choose the substances that you're going to eat, drink, smoke or otherwise ingest without having to fear that midnight knock at the door and the shout of "police!"
- And, yes, freedom to "get high" without risking arrest and imprisonment.
You may not use drugs. As a matter of fact, I don't care whether or not you use drugs. It's still not about drugs, it's about freedom. Your freedom, whether you use drugs or not. If you don't think the drug war limits your freedom, it's time to think again.
- You may not use drugs, but you shouldn't have to urinate into a cup to prove to the government that you don't... and neither should your son or daughter.
- You may not use drugs, but hundreds have Americans have learned -- sometimes at the cost of their very lives -- that that doesn't matter when the police break down the wrong door because an informant lied or a typist got the address wrong on the warrant.
- You may not use drugs, but your government still spends tens of billions of dollars of your money every year unsuccessfully trying to prevent everyone else from using them.
More than 800,000 Americans were arrested last year for possession of marijuana. Our prisons are filled with individuals convicted of non-violent "drug-related offenses." America, land of the free, now imprisons more of its own people than any other nation on earth. In many American cities, "driving while black" might as well be a crime, because it's nearly certain to get you pulled over so that your car can be searched for drugs. Many of our neighborhoods are free-fire zones where gangs of crooks battle for dominance in a black market that would not exist if anyone could stop by their local drug store and pick up their drug of choice for use in the privacy of their home.
Everywhere you turn, the war on drugs pervades our social fabric. Everywhere, that is, except the one place you'd expect to find it: The Constitution. Go ahead, look. Try to find any authority in the Constitution for this kind of perpetual nationwide dragnet. You can't find it, because it's not there.
If you read the Constitution, you'll see that our politicians realized they had to amend it in order to prohibit alcohol. They did -- and they repealed that prohibition after a 15-year national nightmare that included a nationwide rise of organized crime, street violence and ... drinking! Before alcohol Prohibition, less than one in five Americans consumed alcohol. By the end of it, one in three Americans were boozing it up.
Our politicians forgot the lessons of alcohol Prohibition almost immediately as they moved to crack down on other drugs. They also forgot that they needed a constitutional amendment to make that crackdown legal.
We could argue all day long about the virtues and vices of drug use, and you might be surprised at some of the facts that your government doesn't want you to know ... but it really isn't about virtue or vice. It's about the destructive effects -- far more destructive than drug use itself -- that the drug war has on our society. It's about the wise limits that our forefathers put on the power of government and which are now being ignored. And it's about your freedom to live as you see fit, so long as you refrain from aggression against others.
As I travel around the country seeking your support for my candidacy, I'll be carrying in my shirt pocket the text of my first executive order (click here to read it), to be issued upon my inauguration, should I be elected. Unlike previous presidents, I'll be using executive orders to restrain, rather than empower, government.
My first executive order will be a "stand down" order for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the subdivisions of all other government agencies which are party to the "war on drugs." That executive order will freeze those agencies' and subdivisions' operating accounts, place their employees on leave or on other duties, and direct their department heads to produce and submit permanent "stand down" plans for Congress to refer to in its next budget session.
After issuing that order, I'll wait.
- I'll wait for someone to sue, seeking a writ of mandamus from the courts to force me to prosecute the "war on drugs." If that suit comes, I'll direct the Solicitor General of the United States to vigorously defend my administration against any order requiring it to enforce unconstitutional laws.
- I'll wait for Congress to appropriate new money for support of the "war on drugs." And I'll veto any budget which contains such an appropriation.
- I'll wait for Congress to pass, and send to the states, a constitutional amendment making the "war on drugs" legal. I don't think they'll do it -- if for no other reason than that to do so would be to publicly admit that decades of past drug prosecutions were illegal and unconstitutional, and that those convicted and punished under those laws are owed restitution for the unjust treatment to which they were subjected.
The war on drugs has been an exercise in failure and in national dishonor. It's time to end it.
|Libertarian Party California Gubernatorial Nominee
Gary David Copeland