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The game is Heads and Feds
What's the score?

By Phil DeGuere, The DrugPeace Campaign

In the game of Heads & Feds, which we've been playing for thirty years now, one side (the 'Heads') is made up of citizens who do something the government tells them they're not allowed to do, while the other side (the 'Feds') tries­­and fails­­to stop them. The game goes on and on, but nobody's really keeping score because it's not really a game and the object isn't really to win. Like a virus of the mind, Heads & Feds is a self-replicating illusion that's never going to end until enough of us stop playing.

The Feds are in it for the money. Even though there are a lot more Heads than Feds, the Feds can't lose because they get paid to play, plus they get to make the rules. For them, the object is to keep their jobs. They don't care about winning; they know better.

The Heads are in it to not get caught by the Feds. You don't have to consume a controlled substance to be on the team; even if you've never in your life been in the same room with a burning joint, the government says you can be locked up and your property taken away just for giving a ride in your car to a friend who happens to have an unsmoked joint in his pocket that you didn't even know about. See how easy it is to play? And you're not a loser if you've never been busted, jailed, had your property confiscated or your children taken away from you, had a terminal illness, failed a drug test or gotten hooked on crack or heroin.

Like the vast majority of citizens whose lives haven't been shattered by the War on Drugs, you can go on being a sensible, discreet, productive, intelligent member of society, while the Feds ratchet up the rhetoric, pass more laws and spend a truly phenomenal amount of money to create an infrastructure of social control that's one step away from obliterating any notion of a free society in the United States of America.

So what's the score? Both sides are losing. Here's some of what's been lost so far:

  • The right to the privacy of our bodies and what we put in them;
  • The right to educate our children as to the proper and improper use of mind-altering materials;
  • The right to defend ourselves in the courts of law against cruel and unusual punishment;
  • The right to be safe and secure in our homes and communities;
  • The right to own and enjoy property; the rights provided for in the 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.

When you start keeping score, it's obvious what the stakes in this game are. We're in a new era of prohibition that threatens to turn this country into a police state. We know better than to be doing this, but we're all prisoners of the drug war in one way or another, and the problem is, we can't reason together to do anything about it because we can't talk to each other intelligently, and we can't talk intelligently because we can't think clearly. Really, we're prisoners of words.

The old rhetoric of the drug war can't be used to think clearly, not when 'controlled' substances are really uncontrolled, 'War On Drugs' is really a war on people, 'drug policy' is really prohibition, 'drug-related violence' has nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with money­­the list goes on and on.

Our minds have been desensitized by this old rhetoric. We're going to need a new vocabulary, a new way of looking at things that lets us see reality and not the game of Heads & Feds. It's the only way we're going to bring about change.

This is not the America we want to be living in. This is not the enlightened society seen by baby boomers in their youthful dreams. We know better than this, and we're going to have to look up from our computer terminals and our investment portfolios, and come out of the shadows. We must stand up, be counted and reason together, outside the institutions of politics and media hopelessly corrupted by the profits of prohibition. We have to forge a new consensus for the new millenium.

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