The definition of “illegal”

Something that the State believes you should not be allowed to do, and threatens to throw you in jail if you do do it. “Legal” is the list of precisely one thing you can do without the permission of the State – breathe (because carbon dioxide is now a “pollutant”, the government can now demand a license for breathing too – if it can get away with it), and of the hundred other vetted activities you can indulge in subject to State regulation.

If this is what “law” is, as is the case in most countries in the world – civilized and uncivilized (the latter more than the former) – then throwing Charlie Lynch in jail for one year because he sold marijuana to cancer patients based on prescriptions from doctors is a mockery of law – he deserved the mandatory five, or even the theoretical one hundred.

A couple of months back, I read a paragraph on a Mises blog post [edit: should have mentioned it. Its from Frank Chodorov’s book – “The Rise and Fall of Society” (pdf)]. I bookmarked it because it was spine-chilling – it conjured up the image of a brain-dead animal that doesn’t listen to reason, cannot listen to reason, will not stop its killing spree; and of people petting it, appointing it their watchdog-

“But the colonists were themselves the product of an exploitative economy, had become inured to it in their respective homelands, had imported and incorporated it in their new organization. Many of them came to their new land bearing the yoke of bondage. All had come from institutional environments that had emerged from conquest; they knew nothing else, and when they set up institutions of their own they simply transplanted these environments. They brought the predatory State with them.”

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