Friday September 11, 2015
Consider the impact on the civil liberties of the American people of four of the non-stop wars that the U.S. government has been waging for a very long time: the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, the war on immigrants, and the war on wealth. These four wars have converted what was once a free country into a police state, making the United States the most over-incarcerated nation in the world.
The war on drugs has subjected people to an untold number of searches of persons, homes, businesses, and especially automobiles. This war has served as a convenient excuse to make vast inroads on the protections against unreasonable searches provided by the Fourth Amendment. It would be impossible to calculate the number of people who have been stopped, patted down, and searched, especially without a judicially issued search warrant, in the name of the war on drugs during the past several decades.
The drug war has also brought us asset-forfeiture, a money-making operation for law enforcement that has encouraged the police and the DEA to make warrantless stops of people traveling on the highways, in the hopes of finding a large amount of cash to seize. Additionally, it has encouraged law-enforcement personnel to initiate searches of homes, businesses, and cars in the hopes that some drugs will be found, thereby enabling them to seize the property of the owner.