First and foremost, it's all about the money! Laws cost money and stripping freedoms is a profitable business.
If the US Government was suddenly unable to sell fear and false security to the people, there would be a SIGNIFICANT taxpayer revenue impact: Especially when you consider that President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget proposal totals $29.2 billion for the Department of Justice (DOJ), the federal agency that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) falls under.
For just FY 2011, approximately $4 billion, or 14 percent, of the department’s total budget is dedicated to support federal drug law enforcement and prosecution efforts. Again, that's just for 1 YEAR! We guess that's pretty cheap, considering that the DEA alone employs over 9000 agents across the US and 18 other countries. (Just a reminder, your great, great grand kids are Already paying for all of this!) Also consider:
- $527.5 million increase to maintain prisons, detention and parole services and judicial and courthouse security;
- $300.6 million increase to strengthen national security and counter the threat of terrorism;
- and much more...
By the way, this is just the Federal side of the FY 2011 budget! You can also amplify similar costs across all 50 US States for similar drug-related law enforcement endeavors
So yeah, selling fear and false security is big business for big brother.
Enter Herbal Incense Products... The general argument being used to support herbal incense banning / prohibition revolves around the fact that people are using herbal incense products in an unintended fashion to produce a so-called "legal high". The emotional appeal for herbal incense banning efforts is that teenagers are gaining access to herbal incense products and misusing them.
At some unfortunate point in American culture, it has become socially acceptable (and almost expected) to alleviate personal responsibilities for our own actions by blaming Tools or someone else. This is especially true when it comes to parents looking to compensate for losing their influence on their teenager's decision making.
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it". ~ George Bernard Shaw, 1905
If you look at US history since the 1960's, this is nothing new. In fact, it's the same story all over again. Banning efforts have been attempted many times in the past with other TOOLS that are misused to bring on unintended results like Alcohol, Cigarettes, Firearms, Whipped Cream, Spray Paint, Super Glue, etc.
SO, as an educated American Citizen, you have to honestly ask yourself...
- Has government intervention and legislation limited access to these tools?
- Can we afford to turn more law-abiding citizens into criminals?
- Do we need to shut down free market opportunities that not only create jobs, but also which generate taxable revenues?
- Have these banning laws produced enough intended results to justify their cost and existence?
- Can laws really change people's will and behavior?
Or is it true that you really can't legislate good will? Since all of these are still present in the American free market and these tools are still misused, it makes sense to learn from history and stop wasting taxpayer resources.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Ben Franklin 1775
As with any ill-conceived legislation that calls for our government to work outside the scope of it's intention, not only are these legal initiatives ineffective (War on drugs, War on Terror, etc.), but it cost tax payers MILLIONS of dollars and more importantly, Americans' Personal Freedoms - all to produce no intended results.
"In our desire to have government become our benefactor and sustainer, we have allowed it to become our taskmaster and overlord. As a result, we have become little more than well-fed, well-entertained slaves to the state. Freedom, as envisioned by our forefathers, is gone." ~ Chuck Baldwin
Aside from the failed "War on Drugs" policies, US citizens have allowed their government to make many other laws to prohibit individual freedom of choice, even though no harm is being done to another person. Examples include seat belt laws, helmet laws, truancy laws, and the like. But, recent political initiatives have shown that US Citizens are becoming more and more fed up with government intrusion into their personal lives (TSA Airport full body scans, freedom rallies, etc.)
So why do Politicians and Law Enforcement continue to use Media scare tactics and fear mongering to incite ineffective herbal incense bans across the country?? Let's look at their perspective on banning and prohibition.
- Politician Outlook: "Hey, look what I did to protect your safety. See how much I care for the people? So what, if I've sponsored so many progressive, emotionally-based laws that I have driven the state budget into the ground? I made you feel good, right? Heck, I may have even created even more kick back opportunities from private industries whose products are now needed to enforce this ban (next generation detection equipment, enhanced drug test kits, full body scanning equipment, etc), but that's OK, the American people are too apathetic to care and will still vote for me. Yeah, ban Herbal Incense too."
- Law Enforcement Outlook: "Thank goodness the media is selling fear. After all, how much work would my agency have to do if people simply watched after themselves and were responsible for their own actions? I wouldn't be able to justify my budget and that would result in less Officers. But with fear and ambiguous laws and no way to measure their effectiveness, Not only can our agency continue it's record growth, but each progressive law makes us less and less accountable for infringements on constitutional rights. Heck, with banning on texting while driving and the like, It's easy to justify pulling over anyone I want and searching their vehicle without a warrant. I know that America was founded on free market rights and individual freedoms, but I have a wife and kids to feed. Yeah, ban Herbal Incense too."
- Media Outlook: "Look, with the competition of Internet, our viewership / readership numbers are plummeting like a ship from heaven. Ever since Americans developed this insatiable appetite for emotionally-based drama, reporting "Good News" just doesn't sell commercials and advertising anymore. So, let's give them what they want. First, we'll only report bad news like murders, fatal accidents, building fires, rapes, shootings and such, Second, let's select the facts, as to manipulate the truth in stories to generate sensationalism. And then we sell ads and get paid. Yeah, ban Herbal Incense too."
(Important Note: Liberty Herbal Incense is VERY thankful for all Politicians, Law Enforcement Officials and Media outlets like WMUR NH that rise above this stigma. For those that are exceptions to the above, we greatly appreciate the work that you do!)
The bottom line is that the "Blaming others" approach leads to public economic disaster, and with tax payer liabilities growing everyday, this approach is no longer sustainable. Americans are waking up to the fact that their government was never intended to shield its citizens from their own decisions and responsibilities.
In fact, local merchants are filing Law suits against states and municipalities for limiting merchant and consumer free market rights, and no one wants their tax money spent on funding yet another witch hunt.
The market is educated and change is HAPPENING... Join the Herb-olution today!
See Also: The "Behind the Scenes" WMUR News Interview with Liberty Herbal Incense President | Top 5 Reasons NOT to Ban Herbal Incense Products | A Word about the New "Incense Hysteria", Bad Incense Press and Government Regulation
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