By Timothy Lynch
Greater than 10 years in the past, federal officers boldly claimed that they might create a drug-fee the United States by way of 1995.
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Extra info for After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century
Ct. 2054 (2000). 26 For a discussion of why majoritarianism will not serve as a justificatory theory, see Roger Pilon, “Individual Rights, Democracy, and Constitutional Order: On the Foundations of Legitimacy,” Cato Journal 11 (1992/93): 383–84. 35 AFTER PROHIBITION been violated. And here, the drug warriors are unable to show any such thing and hence any ground for resort to the police power of the state. Thus, far from being used to secure rights, the police power invoked by state drug warriors is being used to violate rights.
Eleven years after the Founders wrote that document, they wrote another, the Constitution of the United States of America, through which we reconstituted ourselves as a nation. The Constitution continues today as the basic law of the land, the ultimate source of whatever legitimacy government and its powers may have. If a power cannot be traced to the Constitution, or is exercised contrary to protections afforded by it, the power is illegitimate. In essence, legitimacy is just that simple. Despite the intent of the Founders to institute legitimate government—to derive government’s “just powers from the consent of the governed” and to limit the scope of that consent by the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness— governments in America today, especially the federal government, exercise vast powers not remotely grounded in or permitted by the Constitution.
The answer begins, as most do, in the realm of ideas, which in time shape political events. With the rise of Progressivism toward the end of the 19th century, we started to change our conception of government fundamentally. No longer did we think of it as a “necessary evil,” instituted for the limited purpose of securing our rights, as the Founders had thought of government. Instead, government came gradually to be seen as an engine of good, an institution to solve all manner of social and economic problems— through social engineering informed by “progressive” thought.
After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century by Timothy Lynch