Besides the philosophical grounds on which we oppose nearly all drug related legislation, this law violates libertarian principles above and beyond the usual personal choice issues. The County Drug Free Fund is a fund established by the State of Indiana, which it can use to influence local government on local issues. In much in the same way that the federal government used the threat of losing highway funds to enforce its drinking age on the states, Indiana can now use the threat of revoking CDFCF money to influence county drug policy. The program requires that to receive funds each county must appoint a coordinating council, which must be approved by the Commission for a Drug Free Indiana. It requires that the county submit a comprehensive “drug free communities” plan to the commission. If the commission does not approve of the plan it can send it back, withhold funds or even appoint a new board. Not only does this bill appropriate taxpayer money, and create more needless bureaucracy, but it also gives the State of Indiana the ability to effectively blackmail localities into compliance on local issues. This is bad news for civil libertarians tired of the government telling them what they can and can’t put in their bodies; bad news for efficiency minded libertarians, disgusted with bureaucratic waste; bad news for fiscal conservatives, looking for lower taxes and less frivolous spending; bad news for federalists hoping to harness the ever growing leviathan of federal and state government and keep it out of local affairs; but it is especially bad news for the people of Indiana who are sick and tired of the government nanny.
Author: Luke Messer
Sponsor: Dennis K. Kruse