American Savage: Controlled Subversive Act


Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) really hates drugs. Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, hates drugs so much that he isn’t going to let things like “borders” or “international laws” stop him from enforcing American drug policy around the globe.
Smith’s new bill is a picture-perfect example of his determination to save American children from the horrors of drugs. The bill, which the committee passed last week, would make the planning or discussing of illegal behavior in the United States a crime, even if the behavior takes place in a foreign nation. The bill is aimed at the Controlled Substances Act, and aims to make violating the American drug regulation law overseas a punishable crime in American courts.
In other words, planning a trip to Amsterdam in which marijuana will be smoked and distributed would become a federal crime in violation of the C.S.A. Any individuals aware of the behavior or contributing to the trip’s planning could be charged with conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act and arrested.
Doctors that advise foreign governments on needle-exchange programs could be prosecuted as well, as U.S. law heavily restricts the practice.
You see, our fearless hero Smith knows this is the best course of action. What better way to enforce our heavily criticized drug policy than by applying it to behavior that happens in another country?
Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, gave an example of how this law can apply in a recent article on Huffingtonpost: “Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution. The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you’re there wouldn’t be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S a federal crime.”
Like most small-government Republicans, Smith is a firm believer in personal freedom and smaller federal government — unless the issue is one of “morality.”
Of course, supporters of this bill will call it another victory in the war on drugs, a fine example of our justice department insisting on enforcing the laws of our nation on the citizens.
But these same supporters have no trouble sewing teabags into their shirts and rallying in Washington to accuse Democrats of trying to expand the government’s power. As Smith has shown us, enforcing American policy on drugs in the many nations our citizens travel to is far more important than enforcing trade practices, workers regulations, tax laws or financial restrictions in these same nations.
Let Nike subvert American job standards and force Chinese babies to sew sneakers with their teeth, but don’t let those damned teenagers take drugs thousands of miles from our jurisdiction!
In response, I have used my various high-ranking contacts in several foreign governments to propose similar legislation. Among the ideas already being faxed to the appropriate agencies around the world are:
—Saudi Arabia will begin enforcing dress codes to all citizens regardless of their country of residence. Any Saudi woman who plans on violating basic Islamic law while visiting the U.S. will be stoned to death upon returning to Saudi Arabia.
—Thailand will use its newly formed online-censorship bureau to track and hack any individual across the world criticizing the Thai royal family via Internet.
—China has announced that any Chinese citizen that has more than one child while living in the U.S. will immediately have to give one of these children over to the state upon returning home.
High-school seniors everywhere will have to hide the real reason they want to backpack through Europe for a summer, and the DEA will continue in its role as the keystone cops of the federal government.
Fear not, children of the world, disenfranchised masses — Smith is here, and he is a serious buzz kill.

American Savage is a weekly column written by Journal opinion editor Collin Reischman

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