The following was published as a Capsule Commentary in the November 7, 2001 edition of the FFF Email Update.
The October 14 issue of the Washington Post reported that Washington area police and sheriffs’ departments garnered a bonanza of nearly $2.2 million last year from the war on drug’s asset-forfeiture laws. Eighty percent of the proceeds of confiscated assets went to local police and sheriff’s departments. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) kept the rest to cover the expenses of administering the program. Where can you find a better deal than that for government departments and agencies? Just think–by implementing ways to fund themselves, government servants no longer have to depend on the vagaries and uncertainties associated with budgets enacted by the elected representatives of the citizenry. Rather than creating self-funding bureaucratic fiefdoms, wouldn’t it be better to have monies received by the cops deposited into general revenue coffers, to be distributed by the people’s elected representatives in the manner they deem fit? Better yet, why not simply repeal one of the most immoral, destructive, and failed wars that the U.S. government has ever waged–the war on drugs, along with all its related infringements of liberty and privacy?