Our next speaker, Guy McLendon, serves on the Libertarian Party's National
Platform Review Team for the 2006 Convention.
Guy is also the National Coalition Liaison
of Republican Liberty Caucus.
Please give a round of applause for Guy McLendon !!!
Thank you Dean. I also want to thank NORML volunteers for
fighting to repeal this unlawful War on Drugs. This
modern prohibition is not really a war on drugs ... No! ... It's really
a war on on human dignity ... a war that violates our Constitution.
Volunteers are giving copies that have my website address ...
please take one and pass them on. While we're waiting, I'd like to share a thought.
My older brother Tony first introduced me to NORML ... nearly 30 years ago. Tony
passed away ... but, he
would be proud of our work to end this injustice ... please be generous in
your donations to NORML
Let's get started ... Today we’ll discuss what it means to have
"rights", and the military draft. Then, we'll study the
Constitution and how it prohibits the federal war on drugs.
First, why are governments formed? ... From the Declaration of
Independence ... shown on page 35
… to secure rights, Governments are instituted …
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … whenever any
Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the
People to alter or to abolish it ...
Thomas Jefferson described such ideas as being “The Spirit of ‘76"
So, governments remain legitimate only while the politicians honor
limits imposed by Citizens
Talking about "rights" ... as in, the Bill of Rights …
what exactly is a “right”?
quoting Eleanor Roosevelt ...
"a right is not something that
somebody gives you; it is something that nobody can take away"
A right is different than a privilege.
Privileges can be taken away ...
Here's another definition ...
“A right is the sovereignty to
act without the permission of others. The concept of a right carries
with it an implicit, unstated footnote: you may exercise your rights
as long as you do not violate the same rights of another”
Now, here's a twisted meaning from the "Interest Theory of Rights":
“Person A has a right to
something if an aspect of A’s well being justifies the imposition of
duties on others – that is, duties required to secure A’s interest”
Why is that twisted? If a duty is imposed on you, can we agree your service
is not voluntary? It is imposed. In other words, that other person is being
subjected to involuntary servitude … That is "not voluntary service"
Turn to page 25, and see the 13th amendment …
“Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude shall exist within the United States”
Question: does the 13th prohibit politicians from imposing a military
draft, or conscription, upon Americans?
Absolutely. Conscription is a clear,
obvious violation of the 13th amendment.
The 13th gives NO exception to the government.
Besides, the draft will never be required to fight a legitimate
war for the defense of our nation ... because of human nature.
If a burglar breaks into your home, do you need a
deputy's badge before you defend your family?
No! The Defense of This Nation will NEVER require
that citizens be drafted.
Human nature motivates us to defend ourselves
On page 1 … see the words in the preamble ...
"Secure the Blessings of Liberty”
The founders wanted to form not just any government …
but one that left intact some feature called “Liberty”.
What was meant by the word “Liberty”? Anyone?
<Volunteer Ad Lib>
The dictionary says it's this:
Freedom from unjust or undue governmental control
In other words, Liberty is the absence of big government.
The Constitution has design features to achieve an objective … to stop
the cancerous growth of big government … by
giving only limited power to politicians.
That’s how the founders meant to “Secure the Blessings of
Liberty” for their posterity … for US.
Compare the government to a car. If you stab the tires,
or cut the spark plug wires … then, the car cannot perform its mission.
Similarly, damage vital features of the Constitution,
and you will see your government grow with no limits
Let’s look deeper at the features intended to
limit the power of politicians …
Article 1 talks about Congress …
On page 1, Section 1 says …
“All legislative powers
shall be vested in a Congress”
That means - the President is not authorized to issue
executive orders that have the force of law
That means - the Supreme Court is not authorized to
legislate from the bench
When they do so, they violate their oath of office …
they are then in breach of their verbal contract. They are breaking the
On page 6 … still in Article 1 -- Section 8 … we find
the famous “enumerate powers” section. That's a list of approved powers
If the Constitution is a blueprint for a car, then
Section 8 is the “engine”
Only Congress can make federal laws … and, their power
to make laws
is limited to the areas listed
I see NOTHING in Article 1 that authorizes the federal government
to pursue a war on drugs ... Nothing. Read it for yourself.
Think about interpretation ...
and the legal idea "Judicial Review":
In 1803, the Supreme Court ruled in a case “Marbury vs
Madison” and said the following:
“It is emphatically the province
and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”
That's good when used to strike down
Acts of Congress that violate the Constitution. However, this ruling is
being abused ... to redefine the meaning of words,
and thereby violate
Let’s talk about …
Methods of Interpretation
There's two main categories:
1. Fixed View – that is, following the original intent
2. Living Tree method
The “fixed view” will not work without an idea called entrenchment …
"Those whose powers are
constitutionally limited must not be legally entitled to change or
delete those limits at their pleasure."
Without entrenchment, no Constitution can be effective
Let's do Point / Counterpoint
Advocates for the Living Tree charge that different
founders meant different things by what was written and signed
To that, the fixed view counters - we must take the
words as written as evidence of the final consensus.
The Living Tree says - the court should not be limited by the
“dead hand of the past”
The Fixed View counters - the Court’s opinions do
not amend the Constitution itself until the requirements of Article 5 have
On page 15, Article 5 spells out a required procedure for
Before the year 1930, Americans and the
Supreme Court followed the fixed view. We obeyed the law,
or we changed it
Alas, the road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions!
In the year 1919, righteous people began to hijack the power of government …
using it as a tool to impose their own lifestyle preferences on others
To start prohibition of alcohol in 1919, righteous people had to pass
the 18th amendment
Today's war on drugs is similar to prohibition, but it proceeds with no
Prohibition was repealed in 1933 ... 14 years after it started.
Clearly, those righteous people and Congress got caught with their
hands in the Cookie Jar!
How embarrassing !!
Between losing face, and Franklin Roosevelt’s zeal to pass the New
Deal, federal politicians abandoned the Rule of Law
The “Living Tree” blossomed in the 1930s
Its advocates say the Constitution is not only the document you're
Instead, they literally claim that an unwritten, an “unwritten”,
Constitution can be used to add new enumerated powers …
Politicians abandoned entrenchment ... they abandoned the rule of law
Based on that, personal opinions written by Supreme
Court justices have the effect of passing an amendment … unlawfully
bypassing Article 5.
Why obey the law when your huntin’
buddy on the Supreme Court can write an opinion for you … adding just
another branch to the Living Tree?
What’s next? Amendment based on public opinion polls?
Well, guess what? You’ve got that already.
We Citizens must reverse this perversion if the Constitution is to
ever again be effective in the preservation of Liberty.
Here's my position on the war on drugs, briefly. The federal war
on drugs is clearly not authorized by Article 1, Section 8, and should be abolished
According to the 10th Amendment, Citizens of Texas could authorize a state
program against drugs. However, if Texas, in doing so, violates the
rights of US citizens, then the 14th amendment gives the federal government the authority to
prevent Texas from violating our rights
So, for instance, Nevada may legalize drugs while Utah pursues some
type of local war on drugs. What's good for citizens in Nevada may not
be ok for citizens in Utah. This balance of power is called
plan for a state sponsored drug policy is listed on my website.
Briefly, drug usage should be immediately decriminalized, so the rights and dignity of all citizens are respected.
Prior convictions for non-violent drug crimes should be reversed, and full
pardons granted with an apology.
My personal hope is that, like the legendary Phoenix,
Jefferson’s Spirit of ’76 will arise from the ashes.
Today we are the 1st generation of the 21st century. We
could restore Liberty in remembrance of those ancient patriots Patrick
Henry, Jefferson & George Washington.
Or, we could do it for ourselves, our children and for
the many generations to come.
Let THIS be the generation who chops down ... not a cherry
tree, not a Living Tree, but a vicious, vicious weed … an unlawful method of
Thank you very much, and may Liberty survive in these