John Stossel

Then there's the so-called war on drugs -- a war on people, actually. Lots of politicians admit that they used drugs in their youth -- even presidents. Barack Obama wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father": "Pot had helped ... ; maybe a little blow (cocaine) when you could afford it."

And, yet in office, these same politicians preside over an injustice system that jails a million Americans for doing what they did. Don't they see the hypocrisy? Give me a break.

Libertarian entertainer Penn Jillette has it right: "If Obama had been caught with the marijuana that he says he used and 'maybe a little blow' ... if he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard ----ing time ... time in federal prison, time for his 'weed' and 'a little blow,' he would not be president ... would not have gone to his fancy-ass college, he would not have sold books ... made millions of dollars. ... He would have been in ----ing prison, and it's not a goddamn joke."

I want my government to arrest real criminals -- ones who violate our rights -- and to lock them up so we'll be protected. But our politicians go way beyond that. Governments at all levels have long been in the business of forbidding conduct that violates no one's rights and piling on complex laws to govern conduct that might harm someone. And they keep passing more.

They have created a byzantine maze of criminal law that is so incomprehensible that even legal specialists don't agree on what the rules specify. Then ambitious prosecutors ruin lives enforcing those laws. The prosecutors and lawmakers say this is for our own good.

No, it's not.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate