President Obama's New Drug War Strategy and the Low-Down on 'America's Trillion Dollar Dope Game'

Houston-area journalist Clarence Walker reflects on the occasion of a trillion dollars spent on the failed US drug war.

No other has spent more money on the dope trade than our own U.S. Federal Government. Even the richest of drug barons and associated players, dead and alive, cannot or could not have competed with the avalanche of paperwork doled out by the government in its fight against this monster. Even the once ruthless - and now dead - Pablo Escobar and his Medellin Cartel, the Cali Cartel or the Mexican Drug Cartels cannot match the money they have earned from the drug trade with the amount the Federal Government has allocated for years in its battle to stem the flow of illegal drugs into America.
 
And what is the cost for our government in its fight against this narcotics epidemic, a war raged now for some four decades? By all means have a guess, but here is the figure according to The White House: One trillion dollars.

The war on drugs is the longest war the American government has ever fought, longer than World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War and  the Vietnam War. And even after 40 years, the battle to enforce the laws of the land that prohibits "getting high on dope", this poisonous, addictive trade continues to thrive with the ferocity of an earthquake across the planet. Quite obviously, there is no clear-cut victory in sight.

From the outset, if  the intent driving the war on drugs, beginning in 1970 under President Nixon's Administration, was to create a drug-free America, we can see that after the spending of a trillion dollars, culminating in millions of arrests, the creation of a burgeoning health care system with which to effectively treat addicts, and the billions spent on law enforcement's task of arresting drug dealers and the  prison system in housing the millions of nonviolent drug offenders alongside thousands who have brought violence and death, the "war on drugs" nevertheless remains a dismal failure.
 
This stated, 'drug warriors' on the front lines against the illegal drug trade, beginning with The White House and extending to Congress, the FBI, the DEA and down to the street cops of America, remain committed to fight this evil to the finish line.
 
A DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) spokesman issued the following statement: "Our fight against drug abuse and drug trafficking is an ongoing struggle that should be treated like any other social problem. Now is not the time to abandon our efforts."
 
Therefore, if America's war on drugs is a sure loser then what plans will be deemed effective enough to change courses for the better? Critics of  drug policies say that the only sensible solution in controlling drug abuse in America is to legalize drugs across the board.
 
However, the Obama Administration concedes they have a better plan to deal with drug abuse and drug trafficking, a plan they state is far more efficient than that seen with previous administrations.

 

President Obama has Devised a New Drug War Strategy for America.

 

Three months ago, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a historical new drug war strategy for 2010 to fight drug trafficking, and to increase efforts towards prevention and demand reduction.
 
Those agreeable with the proposed plan view Obama's strategy as a step in the right direction.
 
"For the first time ever, the nation has an administration that views the drug issue first and foremost through the lens of the public health mandate,"  says John Carnervale, an economist and drug policy expert who served under three previous White House administrations and four drug czars.
 
U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowke concedes the old drug war strategy hasn't worked. "In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,"  he told the Associated Press in May. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems has, if anything, magnified and intensified."
 
In announcing the Drug Control Strategy before Congress, President Obama gave the following speech to unveil his new plans for America:
 
"I am committed to restoring balance in our efforts to combat the drug problems that plague our communities. Drug use endangers the health and safety of every American, depleting financial and human resources, and it deadens the spirit of many of our communities. While I am proud of the new direction described herein, a well-crafted strategy is only as successful as its implementation. To succeed, we will need to rely on the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of every concerned American."

 

U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowski says the old drug war strategy hasn't worked.
 

 

Obama has requested a record of $15.5 billion for the 2011 drug war, with approximately two thirds of the $15.5 billion for law enforcement and another $5.6 billion for treatment and prevention.
 
The New Drug Control Strategy outlines the five-year goals to reduce drug use and its consequences:
 
(1) Reduce the rate of youth drug use by 15 percent
 
(2) Decrease drug use among young adults by 10 percent
 
(3) Reduce the number  of chronic drug users by 15 percent
 
(4) Reduce the incidence of drug-induced deaths by 15 percent
 
(5) Reduce the prevalence of drugged driving by 10 percent
 
In the aftermath of Obama's drug budget plan, the opposition took center stage, shooting barbs at what they brand as a similar blueprint to those mandated by previous adminstrations.
 
"Obama's newly released drug war budget is essentially the same as George Bush Jr., with roughly twice as much money going to the criminal justice system as to treatment and prevention, despite Obama's statements on the campaign trail that drug use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue",  said Bill Piper, Director of National Affairs for the non-profit Drug Policy Alliance.
 
"People say the drug budget hasn't shifted as much as it should have, and granted I don't disagree with that,"  Drug Czar Kerlikowske responded. "We would like to do more in that direction."
 
"Nothing happens overnight," he added. "We've never worked the drug problem holistically. We'll arrest the drug dealer, but we leave the addiction."
 
Former Drug Czar John P. Walters was unimpressed by Kerlikowske's disparaging comments. "To say that all the things done in the war on drugs hasn't made any difference is ridiculous," Walters said.  "It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided."
 
Critics say Obama's new plan to deal with drug abuse is needed but that the 'war on drugs' is still in effect because billions are still being wasted on overcrowding jails and prisons with low-level users and that the criminalization of illicit drugs has also fueled the HIV epidemic around the globe.
 
No billions, howevr, are wasted, according to DEA authorities as long as lives are saved from the destruction of drugs and while the arrests of thousands of drug kingpins and other large-scale dealers continues.
 
Anti-drug organizations have historically argued that the government's attempt to sway people from using drugs is a ridiculous course of action because people will always use drugs.

A drug war is not an overnight solution. Remember that it took the FBI  almost 50 years to finally break the Mafia organizations into a million pieces. Today's Mafia is a far cray from the highly disciplined, secretive and well-oiled criminal machine it had once been; now a broken, disrupted syndicate polutted with more 'rats' on the feds' side than those members still alive, trying to 'kick' hard enough one last time and score enough paper to retire without going to prison for the rest of their lives.
 
At  this year's Vienna Declaration, Evan Wood, a founder of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, told the foreign media,  "The current approach to drug policy is ineffective because it neglects proven, evidence-based intervention, while pouring a massive amount of public funds and human resources into expensive and futile enforcement efforts."
 
Overall, the ongoing violence seen in Mexico between rival drug cartels is a tragic reminder of the alarming threat of drug trafficking and the urgent need for every nation and foreign nations to keep pushing forward to protect its people from the violence, corruption and instability caused by illegal dope smuggling across national and international borders.
 
Mexican President Felipe Calderon offers a more rehabiliatitive approach. "If America wants to fix the drug problem, it needs to do something about Americans' unquenching thirst for illegal drugs."
 
Drug Legalization: Pros and Cons
 
Rising crime rates, the excessive cost of enforcing drug laws, and the exclusive availability of illegal drugs shipped daily into the United States have led to people from all walks of life in pressuring the government to legalize drugs.
 
Proposals to advocate drug legalization vary widely, with hard-line advocates opting for the elimination of all federal drug laws, while others call for more modest reforms. Some advocates focus on legalizing just marijuana, either specifically for medical purposes or more general use, and further schools campaigning for more 'flexible' and 'relaxed' narcotic laws.
 
Writer Ted Mclaughlin voiced his sentiments about what he calls 'America's failed drug policies'. "It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat history and that is obviously true with prohibition when it was tried in the 1920s with alcohol."
 
"Our second attempt at prohibition, the "war on drugs" has done exactly the same thing. It has not stopped or decreased drug use."
 
"Instead of spending another trillon dollars trying to stop drug use and failing, while the drug cartels get richer and more violent, wouldn't it make more sense to legalize drugs and then tax the hell out of them?"
 
Supporters of legalization contend that easing the nation's drug laws would carry numerous benefits, such as the destruction of the black market and the inherent criminality which surrounds it. If drugs were legal and available in the legitimate marketplace, they believe, that smugglers and their networks of dealers would be put out of business and drug gangs would no longer engage in violent battles for territories.
 
As the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) once put it: "Drug legalization would sever the connection between drugs and crime that today blights so many lives and communities."
 
Does this sound logical or is it a figmentation of someone's fantasy?  Here are the real voices declaring whether or not drugs should be legalized and they belong to those in the trenches of America's drug war, the former DEA agents and narcotics detectives, the patrol officers, political players from the past as well as those still active in the dope game, professional drug crusaders:
 
Case Argument Number # 1:

David Boaz, a high-ranking member of the Cato Institute, states, "As long as Americans want to use drugs, and are willing to defy the law and pay high prices to do so, major drug busts are futile, and, yes, drugs should be legalized."
 
Case Argument Number # 2:

U.S. Congresman Bob Barr said, "Despite numerous law enforcement efforts  and the dedicated service of thousands of professional men and women, the government has not halted drug use; the problem is worse today than in the 1970s when President Richard Nixon first coined the phrase the "War on Drugs."
 
"Whether we like it or not, tens of millions of people have used drugs and some will continue to use drugs. Yet in 2005, we spent more than $12 billion on federal drug enforcement efforts and another $30 billion was spent to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders."
 
Case Argument Number# 3:

Jeffrey A Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University, is on the same team as Congressman Barr. In a CNN commentary, he wrote that, "Drug prohibition has disastrous implications for National Security.
 
By eradicating coca plants in Colombia or poppy fields in Afghanistan, prohibition breeds resentment for against the United States and we enrich those who produce and supply drugs."
 
"Prohibition, Miron adds, supports terrorists who sell protection services to drug traffickers."
 
Case Argument Number # 4:

DEA Authorities: "Critics of drug legalization have made the argument that drugs are no more dangerous than alcohol. But drunk driving is one of the primary killers of American people. Do we want our bus drivers, nurses, doctors, school teachers and airline pilots to be legally allowed to ingest drugs one evening, and operate freely at work the next day? Do we want to add to the destruction by making drugged driving another primary killer?"
 
Case Argument Number# 5:

Charles B. Rangel,  U.S. Democratic Congressman, stated, "Rather than holding up the white flag and allowing drugs to take over our country, we must continue to focus on the drug demand as well as supply if we are to remain a free and productive society."
 
Case Argument Number # 6:

Joe Harris, a retired narcotic detective with Harris County Sheriff department  in Houston Texas offered his views on President Obama's new drug war approach in spending more money focused on prevention and to treat serious drug abuse as a major health issue:
 
"For a drug user to get help they must first want it. It is a good thing for the Obama administration to try another approach in dealing with drug abuse because enforcement is not doing it." 
 
Harris should know how the drug trade works and how it affects millions of users. As a highly regarded narcotics detective with 20 years of experience on the streets of Houston, Harris worked many high-profile drug trafficking cases both with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI under the HIDTA (High Intenity Drug Trafficking Area).
 
In one heroin bust in 1983, former detective Harris was shot and seriously wounded by a drug dealer in Houston's South Park area. A total of five people were shot in the firefight, which was captured by Channel 2 news reporters.
 
During the late 1980s, when the Federal Government cracked down nationwide against the epidemic of crack cocaine, Harris worked deep undercover with Houston's DEA office to bring down major drug criminals in the Houston area. This operation netted multiple charges against several people in what was to become the first crack cocaine case in the United States to be tried under the Federal Kingpin statue. In a  jury trial lasting three months, out of 20-25 defendants, many were convicted and sentenced to prison, including the ringleaders Martha Marie Preston and Johnnie Binder. Both Binder and Preston were given 40 years in prison.
 
Although Harris supports preventative alternatives, the retired detective is adamantly against legalizing drugs. "Drugs are bad for your health including marijuana because marijuana even causes birth defects in new born children. How in the hell can intelligent people be so stupid as to think that dangerous drugs should be legalized?" Harris concluded with these parting words. "If drugs were legalized, that would only increase addiction."
 
Case Argument Number# 7:

Actor Bruce Willis encapsulates his drug legalization thoughts in terms of government benefits. "Cocaine is killing this country and the countries 'coke' goes into. If the government was not making money on it they would have stopped it in one day."

Case Argument Number #8:

Jacksonville Florida Police Chief Tony Grootens who worked 21 years with the DEA, agrees with many of President Obama's new drug enforcement programs. Most importantly, Grooten forewarns of the pitfalls in battling a drug problem within communities.
 
"If you have a bunch of people in a community involved in narcotics, thats the kind of community you're going to have."
 
Grooten also agrees that strategies aimed at staunching drug abuse should continue: "I think we need more prevention here at home and more controls on our  borders to stop the flow of drugs. If you have a farmer in Bogota, Colombia gowing coffee and making a living or if he can grow cocaine and get rich,  what is he going to do?"
 
Case Argument Number # 9:

 

 

Former DEA Agent Lew Rice says that if drugs were legalized it would only increase addiction that those wanting to legalize drugs should allow their children or grandchildren to try drugs.

 

Lewis "Lew" Rice is a retired Special Agent  with DEA (DRUG Enforcement Administration). Throughout Rice's exemplary career, he worked the nitty-gritty streets of Harlem, taking down drug dealers in New York, Jamacia, Miami, Washington D.C., Philadephia and Detroit.
 
As a security business owner, Lewis recently wrote an interesting book about the drug trade titled: 'DEA Special Agent: My Life On The Front Line'(Dorrance Publishing Company). In the book, Rice recalls his firsthand experience of the devastation caused by drugs:

"Several of my friends had served in Vietnam and when they returned to the States, their daily focus was to purchase heroin. My running buddies were distracted, and I wanted revenge."
 
When Rice first joined the DEA he hopped on a train home to where he lived with his mother in the housing projects of Queens, New York. Upon arrival, he told her: "Mom, I'm a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration." 
 
She responded unenthusiastically,"You don't need to be involved in that work, it's too dangerous." 

But this young man wanted to be a anti-drug enforcer. He felt passionately that dealers belonged in the penitentiary and for 25 years he helped put many there.
 
As for drug legalization, Rice feels that the idea is totally misguided and illogical. "Those that seriously believe in legalization should try it with their own kids and grandkids to see how it works."
 
"The people I know have seen first-hand the danger of drug addiction, overdose, breaking up families and the devastation of entire communities."
 
Lewis provides his assessment of the 2010 National Drug Control Strategy under President Obama:
 
"It is a well thought out, sensible and reasonable plan. As a former 25 year veteran of the DEA and also a parent who has raised children who fortunately did not succumb to the drug life style, I applaud Obama's strategy."
 
Rice says that part of Obama's prevention education plans designed to educate teenagers about the dangers of drugs, including providing treatment on demand, is an important step in the right direction.
 
But Rice also says it is very important for the government to continue "aggressive law enforcement against drug dealers who know the danger of using drugs because they don't  use drugs themselves."
 
"Drug dealers know that drugs ruin people lives."
 
A graduate of St. John's University, Rice was sworn in as a Special Agent with the DEA on October 29th, 1974. Lewis became the first African-American to become the Special-Agent-in-Charge (SAC) of the DEA office in New York, one of the largest drug enforcement agencies in the world. He also served as the SAC for the Detroit and Philadephia offices.
 
Overall, Rice is not surprised that many people favor legalizing drugs. In his book, he writes, "In June 2000,  I wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Post in response to a column by Arriana Huffington, an advocate for legalizing drugs. "
 
Rice's decisve article explained how important it was that drug enforcement and prevention programs should work hand-in-hand to assist the government's ability to impede drug trafficking and save the lives of young people.
 
What stunned the veteran agent was that ninety-five percent of the respondents to his story ridiculed him, stating that the 'drug war' was  a failure.
 
In Rice's book, he fired back, "tell that to the spouses and children of the hundreds of narcotic agents and officers who were either killed or severely injured trying to stop drug dealers from poisoning the minds of our children."
 
Case Argument Number# 10:

Retired Houston-based DEA agent Charlie Mathis had a message for all those who say drugs should be made legal: "How would they feel if one of their family members were on hooked on a drug like PCP, a drug that makes people go crazy - they take off their clothes and become violent as hell."
 
 
Case Argument Number #11: 

Dionne McCloud, a Houston resident with extensive knowledge of drug users and the drug trade, says that even if our government legalized drugs it wouldn't prevent the dealers from making money but that legalization would serve to make the situation more complicated.
 
"If drugs were legalized, the government would have to change drug laws, then regulate the drugs sold to people."
 
And there's the risk factor. She added, "Legalizing drugs would increase addiction and even allow the government to be sued if someone's relative or love one died from an overdose."
 
"Does anyone really think the government wants to be responsible for legalizing dangerous drugs like PCP, heroin and cocaine that can cause immediate death?"
 
Case Argument Number#12:

As a Journalist, writer and documentary film maker, Tom Feiling lives in South London. Feiling has argued for drug legalization for several years through his writing and film productions. His documentary "Resistencia" is a powerful film based on the Hip-Hop culture in Columbia and won numerous awards at Film Festivals worldwide. This sensational film was aired in four countries.
 
Last year, Penguin Books published Feiling's first book, 'The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over The World.' In 2010, the book was republished as 'Cocaine Nation'. 

Feiling has worked for the BBC and produced another documentary called 33% Heroin and subsequently he wrote a compelling feature in The Sunday Times newspaper, 'The Truth About Cocaine in Britain'.
 
Feiling stated to this journalist. "I've heard it said that if drugs were legalized, those currently involved would find other criminal activities to make money from. This strikes me as a fatalistic way of looking at the problem. Drug dealers respond to the demand for drugs, which can only be supplied illegally."
 
In response to critical statements made by former DEA agents, Lew Rice and Charlie Mathis, say "for people in favor of legalizing drugs how would they feel to see any of their family members on PCP or other hard drugs."

Feiling responds, "Truth be told, I know almost nothing about the drug PCP. But if it were legal and regulated, public health authorities would have the ability and motivation to educate people like me about PCP. Therefore I'd be able to find out a lot more about it and its effects."
 
If drugs in America were legal, Feiler indicated that the drug producers of Colombia would be undercut by legal production of cocaine and driven into bankruptcy. Feiler explains. "Legal opium production for medical use is a mainstay of the economy in Tasmani, Australia. It is legal, regulated and taxed; organized crime groups in Australia have no interest or place in the business."
 
"The terrible violence afflicting countries like Mexico, Colombia and Afghanistan would be significantly reduced by legalizing drugs like cocaine and heroin."
 
The concept of drug legalization does have some credibility but so far only has a place in a few countries:
 
(1) Argentina
 
(2) Canada
 
(3) Sweden
 
(4) Czech Republic
 
(5) Netherlands
 
(6) Portugal
 
(7) Norway
 
In 2001, Portugual earned the distinction of becoming the first European country to abolish all criminal penalties associated with personal drug possession. Drug users in that country are targeted for therapy rather than prison sentences. DEA officials express opposition against the American government incorporating European liberal drug policies into U.S. law.
 
Why are the DEA opposed to the idea? 
 
DEA authorities told Congress that when Holland legalized marijuana, heroin addictions also tripled. But overall drug use in fact  decreased to comfortable levels in Portugual.
 
Case Argument Number 13:

Houston's KPFT Radio Host Dean Becker is one of the nation's fiercest advocates against drug prohibition laws. A former marijuana grower, he staunchly supports legalizing drugs. "People need to know the truth about these draconian drug laws."

In a Huffington Post article published last year, Becker asked this simple question: "Who are the real drug kingpins?" 

He ticks off a cast of characters. "They are bankers, pharmaceutical house CEOs, weapons manufacturers and a thousand other corporate interests whose gross profits depend on violence, hatred, distrust and deception. The prohibition of drugs is the ideal mechanism to continuously increase the rhetoric of fear and to incrementally diminish our rights and freedom."

A former U.S. Air Force Security Policeman, Becker retired from the oil and gas business in 2001 and following retirement commenced a new career as a radio host for the Pacifica Networks KPFT 90.1 Station.
 
In 2002, Becker founded the Drug Truth Network on KPFT and currently each week produces nine programs for more than 60 broadcast affiliates in the United States, Canada and Australia.
 
KPFT Drug Truth Network has gained so much popularity that recently the world-renowned James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy at Houston's prestigious Rice University has archived Becker's radio broadcast for download and stream the option to hear the program on its website.
 
For years, Dean advocated on his popular show that the American government's so-called 'war on drugs' has been an absolute failure. "Over thirty million people have been arrested,  we empower our terrorist enemies,  we enrich barbarous cartels, and we're giving a reason for the violent gangs to exist, and furthermore we ensure more access to drugs for our children."
 
In a July 11th interview with New Criminologist journalist Clarence Walker, Becker insists the drug war is the legacy of the DEA and other associated law enforcement. "No DEA agents, or narcotic enforcers, (former or current) will come on my show to defend the drug war policy."
 
Why? He explained what he considers to be their cowardice: "Law enforcement have their reputation to defend. They wouldn't want to say,  'We've locked up over thirty million people for nothing!'"
 
When this journalist asked Becker what he thought of the former drug agents quoted in this story, who said legalizing drugs would only increase addiction, the radio host paused, then replied,  "there's a slight chance people will try drugs. But Obama's treatment and prevention program ends right there because it amounts to window dressing the situation and not really doing the kind of job and what it takes to tackle the bigger issues regarding drug use and the profits made by our enemies who turn around and use the drug profits to arm themselves with military weapons to kill American people."
 
Becker does agree to an extent with Obama's new  approach toward helping those dependant on drugs. "Treatment should be made more available on demand rather than people being caught by the law and forced into treatment."
 
"This war on drugs will go on until the last man standing and the last man standing will say: 'Lock up the drug dealers, they are the bad guys.'  So the war on drugs will remain the first declared war that could last forever."
 
Here is a more in-depth report of the Obama Drug Control Plan:
 
Prevention:
 
(1) Steady collaboration between public health and public safety organizations to prevent drug use.
 
(2) To curtail drugged driving by encouraging States to establish and enforce laws that impose penalties for the presence of any illicit drugs while driving.
 
(3) Start a National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
 
 
Health Care Intervention:
 
 
(1) Increasing screening and early intervention for substance use in all health care settings.
 
(2) Curbing prescription drug abuse by expanding prescription drug monitoring programs.
 
(3) Supporting the development of new medications to treat addiction.
 
Breaking Incarceration Cycle:
 
(1) Promoting  and supporting alternatives to incarceration such as drug courts.
 
(2) Supporting post-incarceration re-entry efforts by assisiting in job and housing programs.
 
(3) Developing more effective models of addressing substance use disorders among youth in the juvenile justice system.
 
Disrupting Drug Trafficking:

(1) Implementing the Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy, the Adminstration's border plan, which require U.S. agencies to take specific actions to address the serious border drug threat.
 
(2) Interdicting the southbound flow of currency and  weapons.
 
Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director for Drug Policy Alliance, weighed in on Obama's drug plan for America. He writes in a Huffington Post article, "The Obama Administration has taken important steps to undo some of the damage of past administrations' drug policies. And there's no question that it points in a different direction and embraces specific policy options counter to those of the past thirty years. But the new plan makes it clear it is still addicted to the reality of the drug war."

Under U.S. Freedom of Information Act  Law, the Federal government released the following historical audit this year on the Trillon dollars spent on the drug war since 1970, and the cost is still rising as nationwide law enforcement,the DEA, FBI, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Military and  other drug enforcement groups continue to battle the  Mexico Drug Cartels and Afghanistan's heroin trade along with drug trafficking throughout cities in the United States.
 
(1) $20 billion for designated foreign countries to battle drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the U.S. spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking expanded to Mexico, thus bringing forth years of horrendous violence.
 
(2) $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No" message to America's youth and thousands of other prevention programs. Yet high school students report the same rate of illegal drug use during the 1980s and 1990s was practially the same usage in the 1970s. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also says drug drug overdose have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 drug deaths last year.
 
(3) $49 billion allocated to law enforcement agencies to stem the flow of illegal drugs transported across the border. Experts predict at least 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs in 2010, which averages more than 10 million more users than in 1970. Much of the consumable drugs this year alone will come from the narcotics territory of Mexico.

 


 

(4) $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drg offenders, 10 million of them for marijuana possession. Studies show that jail time usually increases drug abuse.
 
(5) $450 billion to incarcerate drug offenders in the federal prison system. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.
 
At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The U.S. Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse has overburdened resources, including a burgeoning health care system, lost productivity and destruction of the environment will eventually cost the U.S. over $200 billion a year.
 
With the government now having spent a trillion dollars to fight drug trafficking and drug abuse, what is the game plan to end this war altogether?

There isn't one. And there should be no plan to quit because questions must be asked, such as if the government legalize drugs because people still use drugs, then why not legalize murder, rape and robbery? This sounds extreme of course but it's the same principle; the law hasn't resoundingly stopped people from killing their fellow human beings, so is there a reason then to legalize murder?
 
Case Argument Number#14:

The Final Argument: Drug Crusader Carolyn Gagaro makes a compelling case against drug legalization: "I believe we need to focus more on educating children on the dangers of using drugs and keeping the drug dealers from bringing the drugs into our country. Just because some efforts were misplaced that does not mean we should throw in the towel and make illegal drugs legal. Should we re-focus our efforts, 'yes'. Eliminate our efforts, 'no'."
 
Adversaries who favor drug legalization have said that taking drugs is an individual choice and people have a right to ingest drugs as they see fit as long as there is no harm being caused to anyone else.
 
Gargaro responds, "I understand this argument but it has two major flaws: First, we don't have the right to do anything with our bodies. Can I walk down the street naked?"  Can I say what I want to say anywhere at anytime? (if you said "yes", try yelling "hijack" on a airplane)."
 
"If drugs become legal, be prepared to see me walking around topless. I'll be damned if people are allowed to shoot up with drugs and I have to wear a top on a blazing hot day in the summer!"
 
Regarding illegal drugs' harmful effects, the crusader replies, "Don't tell me that drugs only hurt the user, tell that to a crack baby. It is estimated that over 100,000 babies each year are born addicted to cocaine and I don't think these babies chose to take these drugs."
 
"How can we prohibit legal drugs like "Phen-Fen" due to its side effects but allow people to take cocaine?"
 
Most critics say if drugs were legalized it will mean less government and less taxes: Gargaro counters, "legalizing drugs will not magically change the government and if government has not changed prior to drug legalization, then legalized drugs will only lead to more government."
 
This dedicated person outlines the consequences of drug legalization and what it will bring forth for American people:
 
(1) New Laws For Minors:
 
"If cigarettes and alcohol cannot be sold to minors, can anyone realistically say that drugs will not be restricted from minors."
 
(2) Lawsuits:
 
"Everyone should be aware of the lawsuits against the tobacco industry; so guess how many lawsuits will be brought up for drugs?"
 
(3) Taxes:
 
"Do people really think legal drugs will not be taxed? In fact it is the tax from the drugs to pay for all the drug rehab programs."
 
(4) Will Legalized Drugs Reduce Crime?

"Crime will also not be reduced by drug legalization because studies show a correlation between drug use and crime - violent crimes such as homicides, assaults, robberies and domestic violence".

"Has  anyone considered the reason that people committed a crime was because they were on drugs, legal or not? And violent behavior caused by drugs won't stop because drugs are legal. Legal PCP isn't going to make a person less violent than illegal PCP."
 
"Crime will rise when drugs are legal," Garago added, because more people will be taking drugs. And think about this. "Drug-related crime rates are highest where crack is the cheapest."
 
(5) Have Previous Prohibition Laws Worked?
 
Gargaro says, "No." 

"Did alcohol use decrease when it was legalized? No. When abortion became legal, did abortions decrease? No. When an action becomes legal, the number of people carrying out that action increases. Drugs are no different."
 
Furthermore, she argues, "Unless the most harmful and addictive drugs, such as crack and heroin, are made legal, people will still be drawn to these black market drugs."
 
"How will children and teenagers learn to say 'no' to pushers when they they see their parents getting high with government consent. The drug war is long and difficult and sometimes seems hopeless but we shouldn't give up."
 
When an Associated Press reporter asked U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano why the government still spends billions of dollars on drug programs that haven't really worked, she lamented: "Look, this is something worth fighting for because drug addiction is about fighting for somebody's life, a young child's life, a teenager's life, making sure they have abilities to be successful and productive adults. If you think about it in those terms, that our government are fighting for lives and in Mexico, they are literally fighting for lives as well from the violence, then you realize the stakes are too high to let go."  
                                                            

End


Journalist Clarence Walker can be contacted at: [email protected]
 
Sources and Quotes used for this story: ( 1) Associated Press (2) CNN News  (3) DEA Records (4) Carolyn Gargaro (5) Huffington Post. (6) U.S. Government.gov. (7) British Filmaker and Journalist Tom Feiling (8) KPFT drug crusader Dean Becker.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Fuck you legalize marijuana

I don't give a shit about any other drug out there alcohol, cigs, caffiene, prescription or anything else, those all are man made drugs marijuana IS NOT man made, it is and always will be an HERB of the earth for man to combat your cancers that you have put in us by our fucked up government and the NWO. The people are awakening to your LIES more and more everyday and we will be heard and there will be justice for MARIJUANA users all over the world!!!

yeah!!!

you go, EDUCATE!!!  8-}

borden's picture

Well I want justice for

Well I want justice for everyone, including the users of the "man-made" drugs.

I agree

But Caffeine is natural

Just Say Now

Cannabis has been, is, still is, and will be.  The will of the people through 73 years of prohibition has been to break the law, right or wrong. The true indicator to re-legalization of cannabis.

Never before in the history of cannabis prohibition has the moment for re-legalization been as it is now. It is the "Just Say Now!" era.  All hail the internet which is destroying the draconian fallacy surrounding a plant that is far less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.  Two substances that are legal, regulated, and taxed. 

The world is watching Prop 19, California's Tax and Regulate Cannabis Proposition.  If that domino falls the years of the useless Drug War will become the past.  It's what we do with the future. 

 

In Prop 19 there is no "compassionate amnesty" for the marijuana offender sitting incarcerated for only a marijuana offense.  I'd be pissed in the first place for sitting in jail for maybe selling an ounce.  Then to have legalization come about and I am still sitting in stir.  No way Jose.  America must learn from Prop 19 and make allowances for the incarcerated marijuana offenders.  No victims in the War on Drugs should be left behind.

 

I reside in Colorado and the United State Marijuana Party of Colorado yesterday launched the CannabisHabitation Colorado movement.  We are asking all cannabis lovers to think about relocating to Colorado.  We want to turn Colorful Colorado into Cannabis Culture Colorado.  The population demographics are ripe for such an undertaking.  The are only 5,100,000 people living here.  Add an additional 10, 15, 20 thousand cannabis votes and we could become the first "true" cannabis state in the union.  A state where commercial (hemp), recreational, and medical marijuana are legal, accepted, and embraced by a cannapostive population.  It's not far fetched as it sounds.  In 2006 we voted to legalize adult use and lost at 43%.  However the demographics changed, are changing, and you could be part of the change.  Join us here in Colorado as we push for the re-legalization of commercial (hemp), medical, and recreational cannabis with the self determination to grow your own marijuana just like making homebrew or wine untaxed.  We can control on geographic area in America.  CannabisHabitation Colorado!  We will have legal pot here by the year 2012.  Come on along or go alone.

Peace, Pot, Politics,

Wayward Bill Chengelis

Chairman, US Marijuana Party of Colorado

common sense

bill dude, you make too much sense!

i'm in melbourne, australia, and cannot really uproot my life and move to colorado...

BUT JEEZ I WISH I COULD!

my heart is with you, brother, and with all those peaceful folk who recognise the truth about this herb... when used properly and respectfully, it can be a great blessing. in the words of ben harper (from "burn one down"):

"herb, the gift from the earth,

and what's of the earth is of the greatest worth;

so before you knock it, try it first---

you'll see it's a blessing and not a curse..."

 

peace to all who read this  8-}

I wish

I live in Utah but I have too many things to get up and move to CO. I'm in one of the worst states for any green party. I hope in the future I could find employment there possibly. Good luck with your endeavors. 

Elephants get drunk too.

Alcohol ferments naturally, it is inaccurate to claim that it is manmade. Google "drunk elephants" and spend some time poking around finding out how an obnoxious drunken elephant acts, and learn that their drink isn't produced by humans. Perhaps you meant distilled alcohol rather than fermented but that difference is really equivalent to the selection process cannabis growers use in order to increase the potency of natural cannabis.

No, the growers have not increased cannabis potentcy by 20 times in the last 20 years or whatever the bald faced lies coming out of ONDCP claim.

Cannabis

Cannabis causes birth defects? Who wants to bet that Mr Joe Harris has not seen a single shred of evidence to support his claim?

 

I don't give a shit about any drug apart from Cannabis. I do not support full legalization of drugs, I support legalizing weed. That's it. Leave the rest unchanged and ban alcohol and tobacco.

 

Unrealistic I know, but the two biggest killers on this planet are regulated and taxed by most Governments around the world.

 

How can we trust their opinion on ANYTHING?

yep

"the two biggest killers on this planet are regulated and taxed by most Governments around the world... how can we trust their opinion on ANYTHING?"

nicely put, sam p!  8-}

borden's picture

please reconsider your support for prohibition

Sam, I strongly urge you to reconsider your opposition to legalization of other drugs besides marijuana, and your support (gasp!) for banning alcohol and tobacco. Just because marijuana is safer than those other drugs doesn't mean that prohibition is good. Prohibition in fact makes dangerous drugs even more harmful and dangerous. It creates the vast illicit market whose violence is terrorizing Mexico and is very bad for parts of our cities here too. And it puts people in prison for engaging in consensual transactions, and is therefore wrong.

Adjustment for inflation

As if a trillion with a T dollars squandered on the demonstrable failure of the war on some drugs isn't enough, 40 years ago those dollars were worth a lot more than they are today. Adjusting for inflation by figuring out how many 2010 dollars were spent makes the expenditure more like $2.5 trillion. Even worse, the US has not been out of debt in those 40 years, not even close to it. That means that every penny squandered on the idiotic war on some drugs is still owed to the people who loaned the money to the government, and is still accruing interest every day so the foolish expenditures in the failed idiocy of prohibition from 40 years ago not only cost us money then, we're still paying interest on that debt. For our money we've gotten drugs that are higher potency, less expensive (even if expressed in nominal dollars!), and these drugs are more readily available to a whole lot larger percentage of the population. The drug war morons are doing a heckuva job. A heckuva job of telling bald faced lies and scamming the American public into believing that this epic failure is somehow fighting the good fight. Nothing could be further from the truth. 40 years ago we didn't have crack cocaine or crystal methamphetimine. Oh yes, let's borrow some more money that we don't have, and further prosecute the failed war on some drugs. There's still a few people in the wilds of Idaho and Montana that don't have on demand access to addictive drugs on which to get high, and I'm sure it's terribly inconvenient for them to have to make an appointment and drive into town to get their drug of choice. The goal of the war on some drugs is easy access to cheap, highly addictive drugs for all Americans, isn't it?

It is foolish to think that

It is foolish to think that re-legalizing cannabis and making alcohol illegal will do anything to stop the idiotic position that that the imbeciles who prosecute the war on some drugs, especially if we return to the days of alcohol prohibition. Sam P, I'd ask you to reconsider your foolish position and think this time. The only reason alcohol is legal today is because a supermajority of the country enjoys it, and they don't give a crap about anyone else who makes a different choice. Basically your position is a carbon copy of those who support legal alcohol, you just need to reword your submission to say "I don't give a shit about any drug apart from alcohol. I do not support full legalization of drugs, I support legalizing booze. That's it. Leave the rest unchanged and ban alcohol and tobacco."

We've already proven that alcohol prohibition is simply idiocy. Aside from that it is wrong to treat a cohort of people differently because they prefer a different intoxicant than you. This is exactly the thinking of the foolish people who support the war on some drugs. It's more accurate to say that you don't care about anybody's freedom and ownership of self other than yours. It's well proven that the idiotic prohibition of some substances which some people seek to villify because they make a different choice. I don't want Al Capone Jr to join in the violence, and people have a right to choose for themselves.

It is simply mind boggling

It is simply mind boggling that Americans continue to be conned by the fraud of the war on some drugs. It seems H. L. Mencken was correct. No one ever went broke from underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

The con men who are perpetrating this fraud on the American public must have some good laughs at the low intelligence of the public, while they sit around drinking booze and smoking cigars after dinner. "Do you believe that people fall for these simple minded arguments? Gosh it's so easy to scam the public and keep draining the resources of the country into our pockets" says the prohibitionist to the propagandist in private conversation.

The people prosecuting the war on some drugs are bald faced and unashamed liars that are scamming the public in order to line their pockets with resources drained from the public treasury.

 

Everybody does recall that in 1998 the UN decreed that drug use would be eliminated by 2008? Why the heck should we let the prohibitionists reset the clock after their stupendous failure in that goal? The most telling and sickening statistic in this entire fraud is that the rate of degenerate addiction has held steady for the last 150 years. It is the degenerate addict that almost exclusively causes the financial and social ills that the lying prohibitionist claim is a reason for ceding the market in mind altering drugs to the whimsy of criminal syndicates. Does anyone think that a person that tries a drug out of curiosity and then decides that it isn't for them is really a drug user? I had that thought process after I tried getting drunk the first time. This makes me an alcohol user? I swore it off and have no interest whatever in drinking. Does anyone believe that people that overindulge in alcohol are not degenerate addicts just like meth users? Well, you are incorrect. One of the more blatantly stupid behaviors of those who favor prohibition over freedom is in giving alcohol a free pass. This can be seen in them repeating over and over the moronic gateway theory. You know that con game, that all degenerate addicts 'started' with cannabis? Only if you examine reality you will find that the first illegal, mind altering drug that they encountered was almost invariably booze. Yes Virginia, alcohol is an illegal drug for those under the legal drinking age, and has been for quite a number of decades. Almost all degenerate addicts start their path to debauchery in their early teens at the latest. The laws may cause a degenerate addict to choose to be drunk on liquor or to sniff model airplane glue instead of taking heroin or cocaine but there isn't one degenerate addict in the country who is sober as the proverbial judge because of the foolish prohibition of some substances. The 'gateway theory' is truly laughable nonsense. Am I to understand that the prohibitionists believe that no one would have any interest in addictive mind altering drugs if cannabis were to disappear from the face of the planet?  It really is amazing that people fall for such stupidity. BTW in 1999 the IOM found that the true percentage of cannabis use previous to becoming a degenerate addict is more like 70%. Hospitals and doctors are still producing opiate addicts every day of the week.

It is time to stop eating the BS that the prohibitionists defecate on the American public in defense of the war on some drugs. Their claims to being 'on the side of the angels' is a total lie. If these people were truly interested in reducing rates of degenerate addiction they would admit that their efforts to date are a complete and collassal failure because one would have to be brain dead to believe otherwise. Continuing to do that which has been proven ineffective and claiming that it will work with a little more money and effort is just brain dead stupidity. If the idiots making the proposals in the story above are allowed to get away with their con game, they will claim success for every opiate addict that substitutes alcohol for heroin as if such substitution makes any kind of difference to the degenerate addict. This is blatantly ignorant WRT the factual reality of degenerate addiction. Go on down to the Narcotics Anonymous meeting and ask them their opinion of substituting alcohol for whatever drug of abuse it is replacing. Reality is that the only difference in a degenerate addict drinking booze and one that takes heroin is a variation in the external manifestation of their addiction such as robbing and stealing to get a fix. Those degenrate addicts who abuse alcohol don't need to steal. They can stand at the traffic intersection and hold up a sign saying 'will work for money or food god bless' and satisfy their addiction. One can get a 1/5 of cheap vodaka for about $5. Yes you can get a shot of heroin for about $10 but that isn't going to keep a degerate addict high all day long, and a 1/5 of booze will likely last at least a day and a half.

Time to Wake up America!

 

An important aspect of True Freedom is the right to do with yourself as you please, as long as you cause no harm to others. Our government would have you believe that you are not smart enough to make your own choices and that they need to make them for you by use of control and force.

Our thoughts of ending hemp and marijuana prohibition at all levels of government are based both on scientific facts and financial need. Ending Hemp and Marijuana Prohibition will open the door to Diverse New Industries, provide Jobs and produce Billions in Tax Revenue.

Hemp and Marijuana have been unjustly demonized to the point that even their considerable agricultural, industrial and medicinal uses have been overlooked for way to long. Hemp and Marijuana offer far to many benefits to our society and those benefits far outweigh any ill perceived notions of generations long passed. 

We have been doing it their way for the past 73 years and look where we are today! Note: You will never see a hemp or marijuana spill in the Gulf! They are an eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. The time has come for our government to wake up and stop the bashing! They are only fooling themselves - why - simple - only stupid people refuse to learn!

 

  

Overnight Solutions

"A drug war is not an overnight solution. Remember that it took the FBI  almost 50 years to finally break the Mafia organizations into a million pieces."

Fifty years?  Maybe if FBI Director J. Edger Hoover hadn’t taken kickbacks from the Mafia through his racetrack betting, things would have happened a little faster. 

Maybe if the Mafia hadn’t received the biggest financial boost of its existence through alcohol prohibition, it might have been less able to fend off prosecution. 

The drug war fosters the same kind of corruption.

Giordano  

The real issue

Why is it that no one is talking about the real issue...poverty?  First of all, what was with all of the PCP talk?  Has anyone seen Angeldust in like 30 years?

But I digress...I kept reading about all of these "poor crack babies, gang violence, and so on".  The drugs aren't these people's problem, their problems are the problem.  I am poor, hungry, jobless, poorly educated and generally unhappy with my life.  What can I do?  I can take what little money I can scrape together and go see the "pusher man" (I figured if people were going to reference the 70's, I would too).  I can use my body if I have to.  I was told once that women throughout time have always been able to use their body if they have nothing else.  This is how a crack whore is created.

Instead of spending the billions and trillions of dollars fighting the drugs, why don't you spend it on improving our education systems, helping irradicate poverty, hunger and homelessness?  Why aren't we spending the money creating opportunities for micro-lending for people to grow an idea into a business, so that someone other than a gang or a dealer is saying "you have potential, I'm here for you, I support you"?  This is where we need to look.

With the new plan they are still talking about spending 3 times as much on pursecution, I'm sorry, prosecution than education and prevention.  On one hand we are saying that we want to "protect" the populace from the "bad drugs", but if you get caught possessing or using, instead of "helping" you through it we're going to beat you, shoot your dog, scare your children and throw you in jail forever because you succumbed to it's intoxicating "drugginess"

Did your friend getting in trouble for skipping school, staying out past curfew, shoplifting some candy, prevent you or your other friends from doing the same thing?  No, of course not!  It caused you to be better at getting away with it.

Drugs are illegal, cannabis is illegal and yet CHILDREN are using them and smoking it everyday.  Alcohol is legal, cigarettes are legal and CHILDREN are drinking it and smoking it everyday.  There is no difference so keeping it illegal isn't protecting them from anything.  Well, CANNABIS is the only one of these that won't kill you.

So, I smoke a toast to the idea of helping your fellow world citizen in finding health, happiness, purpose and abundance.  It is when we are all shown respect and support that "drugs" will no longer fill our jails and take our lives

borden's picture

partly right, maybe partly not

Robyn,

I agree with part of what you say. Focusing on helping people with problems like poverty is a vastly more sensible agenda than fighting drugs, and an agenda where we might actually succeed in helping people.

Where I disagree is with the idea expressed in your last statement, "It is when we are all shown respect and support that 'drugs' will no longer fill our jails and take our lives." Do you think that they will stop looking for drug users to arrest and incarcerate, so long as there still are laws on the books? Of course not. Drugs will no longer fill our jails, simply when we stop arresting and jailing people for drugs.

Look at the drug use rates in poor communities, look at the drug use rates in the middle class, look at the drug use rates among the wealthy. It's not the case that poor people are taking drugs at greater rates than anyone else, and addiction hits the middle class and wealthy too.

What does differ between economic classes is how well, on average, someone who becomes addicted handles the situation. If you are rich or make a good income or have good health insurance, you'll have a better chance at being able to deal with your problem before it really get you in trouble, before it bankrupts you, before you hurt someone. If on the other hand you don't have very far to fall, there's a much greater chance that you'll end up on the street, taking risks or even committing crimes, just to get through the day.

The drug war also does much to sustain conditions of poverty. It's hard to focus on school, to start a business, to take any positive step to advance oneself, when one is operating amidst the war over money that prohibition creates. The conditions created by the illicit drug trade are very often dangerous and disorderly. It's also hard to get a job when you have a criminal record. But the drug trade won't discriminate against you on that basis. End prohibition, and communities that now suffer from poverty will have a far better chance of making progress than they do now. Until prohibition is ended, certainly until the drug war is slowed down, efforts to address poverty will continue to struggle against a much more powerful tide of pathology than would otherwise be the case. Ending poverty requires an end to the drug war, and I believe to drug prohibition too. So in that sense, "drug" might not be the issue, but drug policy certainly is.

Case Argument Number # 4

DEA Authorities: "Critics of drug legalization have made the argument that drugs are no more dangerous than alcohol. But drunk driving is one of the primary killers of American people. Do we want our bus drivers, nurses, doctors, school teachers and airline pilots to be legally allowed to ingest drugs one evening, and operate freely at work the next day? Do we want to add to the destruction by making drugged driving another primary killer?"

This is classic DEA illogic.  The gist is the effects of some drugs are roughly comparable to alcohol, therefore all drugs are as dangerous as alcohol. Wrong and willfully deceptive as usual.  Alcohol, like tobacco, ranks in the top among harmful drugs, and neither should be used in a weak analogy with illicit drugs like marijuana or psychedelics.  The drugged driving issue involving cannabis is neatly dispensed with here.

Bus drivers, nurses, doctors, school teachers and airline pilots are legally expected to follow workplace rules regarding alcohol consumption.  Prescription drug use is hardly an issue unless it definitely affects work performance, or is legally controlled, as is the case for pilots.  Pilots are required to abstain from alcohol 24 hours before flying, with some flight organizations setting the abstinence gap at 48 hours.

As any aficionado knows, the marijuana high only lasts from 40 to 90 minutes for most people, making cannabis use easy to control.  There are no aftereffects, like with an alcohol hangover, unless you’ve just smoked a boatload of Mexican ditchweed.  Any other residual effects might include the benefits from the herb’s astonishing array of medical uses

The DEA presents no reasonable or credible evidence that drug legalization will alter our culture and the current status quo, other than eliminating useless and career-threatening arrests for drug possession and helping put the cartels and the DEA itself out of business.

Giordano

Marijuana Is The Wonder Drug Of Our Time

War on Drugs is a failure, leads to political corruption, ruined lives for casual users, arbitrarily enforced laws, greater demand by deliberately keeping supplies restricted, gang turf warfare, penitentiaries awash in drugs, entire minority communities blighted and families destroyed all because the Al Capone style of prohibition, which didnt work for alcohol, was switched over to drugs mid 20th Century. 

Prisoners being held for the peaceful, non-violent possession, sale, transport or cultivation of cannabis hemp must be released immediately. Money and property seized must be returned. Criminal records must be wiped clean, amnesty granted and some sort of reparations paid for time served. These cannabis prisoners are the real victims of this monstrous crime against humanity called the “War on Drugs.”
The United States is supposed to be a free country, yet those who choose to smoke or eat this mostly harmless drug are penalized. An American can go out and drink themself to death, but they cannot freely use a drug which is less toxic and less prone to making one out of control than alcohol. I say this is not only unfair, but also un-American!
The police, prosecutors and prison guards should not be in charge of which herbal therapies people may use to treat their personal health problems.
Federal Judge Francis Young in 1988 called “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”  

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease - Lord Buddha

War on Drugs is a failure, leads to political corruption, ruined lives for casual users, arbitrarily enforced laws, greater demand by deliberately keeping supplies restricted, gang turf warfare, penitentiaries awash in drugs, entire minority communities blighted and families destroyed all because the Al Capone style of prohibition, which didn’t work for alcohol, was switched over to drugs mid 20th Century. 

 

A deal I'll take

I especially like the guy who suggests that people who support legalization should try it on their kids first.  Okay, where do I sign up?

Prohibition Sucks!

Pragmatic libertarians (minimal-statists) and "true" Conservatives agree that many, if not most, of society's problems are caused by government usurping choices that could better be made by individuals and that government is just about the worst way of doing almost anything. Where libertarianism normally parts company with "fake" conservatism is over moral issues. But a true conservative would have no problem with agreeing, that what people do with their own bodies, and especially in the privacy of their own home, should be supremely their business, and that anything else would entail ignoring the basic tenet of limited government.

Fake-Conservatism on the other hand has much in common with socialism; Both Leftists and Fake-Conservatives appear to harbor the belief that nature does not exist and that any human can be anything he wants to be, or can for the "greater good", be "re-educated" into being. Leftists therefore think little boys can be conditioned into preferring dolls over toy soldiers, and similarly Fake-conservatives believe that adults can be coerced into choosing alcohol over marijuana. A true conservative, just like a pragmatic libertarian, would immediately reject both ideas as nonsense.

The war on drugs is a tale of a once great and free nation which fell down a rat hole into a fantasy world riddled with peculiar and dystopian logic. Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model - the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus, the allure of this reliably and lucrative industry, with it's enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are we willing to foolishly risk our own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

Why on earth does anyone think it's acceptable to want to control certain behaviors, such as the bedroom habits or choice of poison of fully grown adults? Isn't it high time we evolved enough to get past this crap? Debating whether a particular drug is harmless or not is missing the whole point. are drugs dangerous? I simply don't care. If another adult wants to destroy their lives with drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, heroin or meth thats their business, not anybody else's. Their lives aren't ours to direct.  Surely we need to accept, that the only way to truly be free, is that you agree, in return, to allow other people to be free, even if it offends your personal sensibilities. What's more; if it's not directly hurting you and you forbid it, then you can be sure that it will create unforeseen circumstances, which WILL have an adverse affect on YOUR wellbeing! -- Actually, a large proportion of those arising circumstances may not come as such a surprise to those of us who are capable of paying due attention to historical precedent.

If you support prohibition then you've not only a socialist or fake-conservative, you've also helped trigger the worst crime wave in history.

If you support prohibition you've a helped create a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.

If you support prohibition you've helped to make these dangerous substances available in schools and prisons.

If you support prohibition you've helped raise gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootlegging.

If you support prohibition you've helped create the prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords.

If you support prohibition you've helped remove many important civil liberties from those citizens you falsely claim to represent.

If you support prohibition you've helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.

If you support prohibition you've helped to escalate Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.

If you support prohibition you've helped to divert scarce law-enforcement resources away from protecting your fellow citizens from the ever escalating violence against their person or property.

If you support prohibition you've helped overcrowd the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are hurting and terrorizing others.

If you support prohibition you've helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, controlling vast swaths of territory with significant social and military resources at their disposal.

HEAR HEAR!! CLEAR THINKING. GREAT WRITING!!

THIS RESPONSE WAS A MILLION TIMES BETTER THAN THE CRAP IT WAS BASED UPON!!

Seems like the responders can write better than the writers...

Thank You.

Didn't make this whole experience totally worthless..

:)

Good Job! 

John P. Walters Feels the Pain

“Former Drug Czar John P. Walters was unimpressed by Kerlikowske's disparaging comments. ‘To say that all the things done in the war on drugs hasn't made any difference is ridiculous,’  Walters said.  ‘It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided.’”

Exactly.  It truly is possible to be wrong and fail to make any positive difference in society, to waste one’s entire life in a fruitless endeavor, and to be completely misguided in one’s moral ideals to the point of creating a pathological quagmire.  Welcome to your new life, Johnny P.

Examples of similar careers include witch hunter, Confederate soldier, inquisitor, alcohol prohibitionist, and now drug prohibitionist.  Mr. Walters apparently doesn’t pay much attention to history or he would recognize the parallels.

Giordano

You forgot Hitler!  ; )

You forgot Hitler!  ; )

Follow the Money, Honey!

I found many of the arguments used by the anti-freedom activists to be, well, spurious at best.  Claiming that "alcohol use increased when alcohol was re-legalized" is patently absurd.  Alcohol use remained steady, but the number of people who were no longer afraid to admit using it undoubtedly went up.  Face it: anyone who wants drugs in America can get drugs.  Ergo, everyone who wants to use is using.

 

The issue which was glaringly absent from most of these arguments was the immense amounts of money involved, and whom it is being made by.  It's no coincidence that as more and more states turn the administration of their prisons over to private corporations like Wackenhut and Cornell Corrections, legislation for mandatory minimums and "3-strike" laws becomes more common.  DARE, while ostensibly a non-profit organization, pays its execs very generously, despite dozens of studies demonstrating that its curriculum does not work.  Since rehab is generally mandatory for persons convicted of drug-related offenses, the private healthcare industry loves prohibition, and so do the thousands of medical analysis labs that specialize in urine screens.  And let's not forget thousands of police departments around the country who fund themselves by auctioning off property seized in unconstitutional drug raids.  The cartels and gangs may be raking it in, but so are the drug warriors.  I don't know if CA has electoral transparency laws for elections, but if they do...I'd be VERY interested to see how much anti- Prop19 money was coming from the prison-industrial complex.

 

BTW, I completely support Ms. Gargaro's right to go topless in public, since that harms no one.  It's been a while since I heard such a blatant case of reasoning by false analogy.  Conversely, I would absolutely support preventive measures for those who endanger others by using drugs, and punishment for those who harm others through negligence.  It's not that hard to figure out.

1. Money 2. Driving

1.  Follow the money, honey: throughout the above, most writers speak of a 40-year period of drug war; last time I looked, the R. J. Reynolds website boasted/complained that "the $igarette buyer" furnishes taxing bodies throughout the US with $30-bil. a year in tax revenue; that in ballpark figures sort of adds up to the trillion dollar drug war total tab spoken of.

 

2.  Driving issues: as Giordano noted, the alleged cannabis high lasts 40-90 minutes; but maybe we should allow 4 hours before driving.  To understand this issue better,  being a passionate multitasker myself, and knowing my herb use increases the interest in multitasking, whereas driving requires singleminded concentration, I avoid driving right after tokes.  But, despite all that, your car is the most convenient place to have tokes undetected; that surely accounts for any undue amount of statistical evidence of use prior to "distracted driving" problems.  Another reason legalization will improve driving safety: it will make it possible for users to toke other times and places instead of the car.

What?? Worst article ever...

Filled with misinformation and random concepts...

One of the worst drug war stories I've ever read...

Rapidly shifting viewpoints that were mostly uninteresting, often irrelevant and many times untrue..

Show me these deformed Pothead babies and "Who the hell is addicted to PCP?" I ask you? 

To use these silly scare stories and try to craft and intelligent response to them is retarded,

even with real life stats which I find more horrifying, 37 million non-violent drug users arrest... Eeek!

Now that's scary!

Basically, I was puzzled and annoyed by the entire article and compelled to comment, which I never ever do...

Not sure if you were for or against the drug war?

All I can say was...

This article sucked!

Strange ideas

Just remember, everybody.  The more these idiotic things are said, the more we can be prepared to defeat them if we hear them again!

 

I have previously heard many of the reasons given in the article by the drug warriors. They can be countered with an intelligent response . We have the information they want to convey.  Now, lets get with it and research the truth. The next time we encounter any of these stupid ideas we can blast them into oblivion!

 

I remember hearing Bill O once going on about child abuse and drugs. But, in the next sentence he changes it to statistics about alcohol and child abuse.  If you have real statistics, Bill, use them. Don't quote alcohol statistics, then try to shift it to drugs.  He cant say one thing and then change it in mid-thought and believe he is going to have any credibility with intelligent listeners! Can he?.  Educated people can sees the scam!

 

Now we just have to expose all of the other drug warrior lies, like the "gateway theory" and such!

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Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School