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Cops’ Oaths Obligate Them to End the War on Drugs Now, Not Continue Prosecuting it

Imagine your friend engages you in a venture to feed the homeless. You must help me, he says. You promise to do so. On the first day of feeding the hungry, your friend steals their booze, cigarettes and drugs. It’s only right, he says, since there’s no sense in feeding people who are killing themselves. The street people protest. You don’t feel comfortable with your friend’s tactics. You beg your leave but he reminds you of your promise to help him. A promise is a promise! If you don’t like it, you can try to change my mind, he says. Otherwise, you’re obligated to help him oppress these poor people.

And that is precisely what Jack Cole, founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), argues in the above interview with Talley TV. He’s against arresting people for possessing plants that have served humanity well for 12,000 years, but he’s for cops keeping their promises to hurt whomever the state tells them to. “We raise our right hands and we swear that we’re going to uphold the law. We don’t swear we’re going to uphold the laws we agree with and not the others we don’t. So we never ask anybody to stop doing what they swore they would do. It’s an oath,” Cole argues.

It’s an oath. Oh, well that makes it alright. What gives an oath this special power to supersede one’s own conscience? History? The natural law? The New Oxford American Dictionary says an oath is “a solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one’s future action or behavior.” It’s just a promise. It’s not a contract. In order to be a contract, an oath would have to be an agreement between two people and include compensation for fulfilling the oath. But that’s not how oaths work. Oaths are promises made in the sight of the divine.

Here’s the oath taken by heroic ex-cop turned liberty activist Brad Jardis. Jardis was fired from LEAP by Cole for his public refusal to arrest medical marijuana patients.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of New Hampshire and that I will faithfully and impartially enforce the laws of the State of New Hampshire and the Ordinances of the City of _______ consistent with the authority of my position. #

That’s a promise to support the constitutions of the USA and New Hampshire first and foremost. I don’t see anything in those documents that authorizes violence against possessors, distributors, producers or users of a plant that has been of enormous value to us for 12,000 years. For that matter, there is nothing in there authorizing the suppression of any substance. To the contrary, those documents deny that kind of power to the state. What gives? Why is Cole, and the rest of the law enforcement establishment, so slavish to modern-day statutes and so forgetful of their legally superior state and national constitutions? The below video by Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre of Liberty on Tour gives us some clues.

Cops outsource their consciences to their bosses. They will do anything they are told. “No questions asked,” says the federal cop in Liberty on Tour’s video. They couldn’t give a damn about their oaths. Cole’s argument that cops must respect their oaths is right, but not in the way he intends. Cops must exercise their divinely-gifted capacity to reason. They must decide which modern-day statutes are compatible with the constitutions they have agreed to support. And they must exercise their moral capacity to disregard those that are not. Cops are laboring under a contradiction. They must decide which is legally superior, the constitutions or modern-day statutes. If a cop can’t exercise that much mental power, clearly he is unfit for the office.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

3 replies on “Cops’ Oaths Obligate Them to End the War on Drugs Now, Not Continue Prosecuting it”

Thanks for your post, George.

“Cops must exercise their divinely-gifted capacity to reason. They must decide which modern-day statutes are compatible with the constitutions they have agreed to support. And they must exercise their moral capacity to disregard those that are not. Cops are laboring under a contradiction. They must decide which is legally superior, the constitutions or modern-day statutes. If a cop can’t exercise that much mental power, clearly he is unfit for the office.”

Absolutely. It occurs to me that cops are not meant to be blind tools of state power, as they function in the present. Cops would serve a much more useful purpose if they exercised their mental capacity more often and functioned as a front-line arbitrator between upholding the liberty of the individual and enforcing the necessary prerogatives of state power. Of course, it is not in the interest of the state to have police on the beat who act in the interest of the people, since a free people is the most dangerous threat to any government.

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