Sovereign Over Your Body and Mind

Q: What is your view about drug testing? It is not going to stop at the federal or private sector workplace. It will only get worse. It will be required to get a driver’s license. There will be checkpoints. Say someone gets pulled over with no evidence of impairment. They do a drug test and find traces of an unmetabolized illicit drug. For example: someone smokes a joint 2 weeks ago and tests positive, and gets sent to jail.

A: First of all, we are all sovereign over our own minds and bodies. What we put into our own bodies is our own business. It is not government’s job to prevent us from doing so — and even though it tries, government fails at doing so the more it tries. The principle of the welfare state is that government’s job is to take care of us and make us all behave a certain way — that is, the way people who run the government want us to behave. (Now if that wouldn’t turn all of us into drug abusers, I don’t know what would.) I’m not opposed to private business owners requiring their employees to take drug tests, and I’m not opposed to people being liable for physical damage or personal, physical harm they cause others when using drugs or alcohol. None of that is in opposition to a free society, and it actually protects the individual rights of innocent people.

Really, though, the government’s “war against drugs,” aside from being a spectacular failure on its own terms, is actually about power and control … not health. Believe me: People who run for office, make policy and laws are not interested in creating a society in which we are all sovereign over our own minds and bodies. To the typical people in office and government (both parties), that idea went out of vogue a long time ago. But true ideas have a tendency not to go away. As more sweeping majorities of Americans get FED UP with what our government has become, I think you’ll see the war on drugs turn into a larger counter-protest against unwarranted and unjust government control. At least, let’s hope so.