June 7, 2009 – Do people ever learn from history?
By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond
For many years I’ve thought the “War on Drugs” (WOD) was a complete and utter waste of resources, lives and nothing but an exercise in futility. Principally, in a “free” society, what business is it of anyone else, especially government, what people put into their own bodies?
People say government should protect people, even from themselves. I strongly disagree, but even if that were a meritorious goal then why are alcohol and cigarettes legal? They are demonstrably far more injurious than any of the “illicit” drugs. In fact, I’ve come to believe that marijuana is a truly beneficial drug, yet it is one of the most demonized. Is that perhaps because it’s so efficacious and versatile?
People say that drug revenue finances “terrorists” and other such bogeymen. It does so only because the drug trade is forced underground. Were it a legitimate business it would be more difficult to conceal the flow of revenue.
People say that drugs cause gang violence. Again, that’s only because the trade is underground and the gangs are battling for control of the trade and turf. Do alcohol companies engage in gangland shootouts anymore? Alcohol traffickers did engage in gangland violence, such as the Saint Valentine's Day massacre, during the failed alcohol prohibition era, but thankfully after we regained our senses and legalized the alcohol trade the violence disappeared. Yet that lesson, which so closely parallels our contemporary WOD, seems to escape the recollection of anyone “in charge.”
People say that drugs cause harm. I agree to some extent, in that alcohol and cigarettes cause more harm than all illicit drugs combined. I’ve never read of a single case of anyone dying from marijuana use, yet hundreds of thousands die every year from alcohol and cigarettes. Most of the deaths related to the use of other illicit drugs, such as heroin, are the result of contaminants introduced by dealers who “cut” the drugs, or by variations in the concentration of the drugs, problems which could be virtually eliminated if such drugs were legally manufactured and complied with standardized regulations.
There is not one single socially beneficial argument in favor of continuing the WOD, but there are plenty of other reasons for continuing the WOD. As I’ve matured I’ve ceased being baffled by the apparent collective blindness of society to the absurdity of the WOD, and have come to recognize that the WOD very much serves the interests of a powerful few: the drug trafficking intelligence agencies who use the proceeds to finance their “black” operations; the drug producers raking in staggering profits, for whom the occasional “interdiction” is merely a cost of doing business; the “legal” drug manufacturers which seek to reduce competition from alternative products; the “prison-industrial” complex, which requires a steady stream of bodies to keep its slave labor machine operating; and all the people involved in “law enforcement,” which now relies on the WOD for probably half its funding. Even the Border Patrol now spends more effort on drug interdiction than illegal immigrant interdiction.
Considering the vested interests promoting the WOD, it’s no wonder that Mr. Obama, the perfected tool of the elite class described above, is seeking to escalate the WOD. No doubt, such escalation will increase the number of worker bodies available to the prison-industrial complex and protect the jobs of numerous “drug warriors.” It’s interesting to note that the Netherlands, which employs a much more relaxed approach to drug control than the U.S., is closing prisons and laying off prison personnel due to a lack of criminals. Could there be a connection between relaxed drug laws and a lack of “criminals”? I think so since about half of the prisoners in U.S. prisons are there for drug “offenses.” Finally, the futility of waging this costly and destructive WOD is underscored by this article about the sheer cleverness of drug traffickers, who have developed a sophisticated submarine to transport their drugs covertly through the oceans, and are working on developing a drug trafficking “drone” submarine.
Why are we so devoted to waging “wars” we cannot possibly win? I suppose besides the profit motive of the elites, the “masses” generally support the WOD because of its blooming infatuation with righteousness, authoritarianism and conformity, not to mention its Puritan and racist heritage. Clearly, the WOD will not be terminated because of its failure to reduce drug use or stem the flow of drugs. Quite the contrary, government is the only institution that rewards its own failures with more money! So what will cause the WOD to end? I don’t know. With any luck, the exigencies of economic collapse will bring an end to it. Already California is being forced to consider releasing a significant number of prisoners because of its budget problems. Hopefully, it will start with the petty drug users. I’ve always thought it insane to lock up petty drug users, transforming them from taxpayers into burdens on the remaining taxpayers. Perhaps the ludicrousness of doing that will start to become apparent to those in governments across the nation as they wrestle with budget deficits.
Although this video may appear to be only loosely related to the WOD, it is, in fact, a shining example of the corruption that logically ensues from the perversion of justice that the WOD embodies. Asset forfeiture began as part of the RICO statute to steal the assets of organized crime members. Asset forfeiture then spread to stealing vehicles from people hiring prostitutes and property of people found in possession of small quantities of drugs. Now asset forfeiture is used willy-nilly, no charges or any justification required. And, as depicted in the video, everyone involved in the forfeiture scam gets a cut, from the police right up to the judge, just like in the days of witch burnings.
I’ve often claimed the CIA is the biggest drug trafficker on the planet. Here’s an ex-CIA man, John Stockwell, talking about the CIA’s “war on humans,” but in this brief video he repeatedly and casually mentions CIA drug trafficking operations.
How timely this article is for my post here. The author of an anti-drug book and founder of an organization to prevent drug abuse was arrested in the Los Angeles area for ... selling drugs! Anyone agree with me that it’s time to throw in the towel?
Here’s an excellent article that underscores the reeking injustice inherent in the WOD as well as the usurpation of states’ rights by the federal government, which I happen to think was the primary objective in this case. Imagine being tried in court for a crime but prohibited from offering any meaningful evidence in your defense. And then because of mandatory sentencing laws, the judge is forced to send you to prison. That’s what happened in this case.
I’ve said for many years that the “legal” drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are more harmful than most “illegal” drugs. Well, the World Health Organization came to the same conclusion in a 1995 report that was buried under pressure from the U.S. An excerpt from the report, quoted in a newspaper article, reads,
The report notes, for instance, that health problems from "the use of legal substances, particularly alcohol and tobacco, are greater than health problems from cocaine use."
And here’s a link to another article which contains a link to the WHO report.