Barb B

Personal Information

User Bio
Middle age, married, mother of two grown-ups... School teacher, conservative Christian, non-smoker, non-drinker. I want the "War on Drugs" to end now to safeguard our country. It is a failed policy that causes much more harm than it ever claimed to seek to cure.
Personal Statement
This is a letter I send to people with a "voice". I hope you find it useful... Dear _______: Your assistance is greatly needed in this matter of extreme urgency. A certain policy, created by the Republican Party is directly jeopardizing our national security. Indeed, due to fundamental flaws in the policy to combat uncontrolled substances, the federal government is inadvertently funding the terrorists! Therefore it is gravely important to heighten public awareness and demand that our government end this failed policy before it is too late. Indeed, the risk of having a nuclear weapon detonated in our homeland increases exponentially each day that this policy is allowed to continue; not to mention the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted to fund it. Accordingly, I would like to know what you and the National Action Network propose to do to help remedy this dire situation. In the case you may require additional information on this issue, and particularly with regard to this policy’s fundamental flaws; please allow me to provide you with a concise briefing. As will be substantiated here, the war on drugs is a policy that was initiated by republicans, and in addition to its dismal failure to achieve its goals it is without rival the single most significant development of the twentieth century to adversely affect every nation on earth. Although the primary focus of this briefing is to point out the fundamental flaws of this policy, and what remedies ought to be made; an epigrammatic history of how the war on drugs began is certainly warranted. To begin with, the policy was instigated during the 1968 presidential campaign of Richard M. Nixon. As I’m sure you are aware, the counterculture movement of the 1960s and early 70s was an era in which recreational drug use and sexual promiscuity came to epitomize those who protested the intolerances of the politically conservative (popular throughout the Cold War period). This was of course thanks in part to conservative republican sponsored propaganda. Hence the more noble messages of those actively engaged in attempting to force social reform were unduly and hastily rejected by the “moral majority” who were beguiled by conservative republicans to view the liberal activists as militants hell-bent on destroying the American dream. Yet the truth was proven by history that many of the demonstrators of this era suffered and sacrificed as they cried out for peace, tolerance, and civil rights. Indeed, setting aside the teaching of Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” the God-fearing conservative republicans (and some of the more affluent democrats) eagerly cast their judgments against the liberal leftwing reformers out of fear of losing their way of life. However, in their haste to condemn and defeat these allegedly dangerous leftwing radicals they repeated the grievous errors of the federal government’s failed Prohibition against alcohol. The Prohibition, as you will recall from history lessons was directly responsible for launching the organized crime syndicate of Al Capone and numerous related corrupt enterprises from 1920 to 1933. Having forgotten, or more likely, choosing to ignore this lesson of history, the war on drugs was from the onset, fashioned as a political tool of the conservative right to be wielded against the liberal left. Moreover, it has developed over the years, into a weapon of mass destruction and unparallel oppression causing untold suffering throughout the world. Consequently, the very “dream” that America’s moral majority hoped to safeguard has been and continues to be methodically eroded by its own prolonged war on drugs. Throughout the 1960s the “righteous” indignation of rightwing conservatives was continually fueled by newsreels of hippies dropping acid, and smoking dope. What’s more the ostensibly moral conservatives were further offended (at least publicly) by the sexual revolution, the pop music culture, their communal/socialist lifestyle, and the entire counterculture movement. Accordingly, Richard Nixon was quick to realize that the repression of the Cultural Revolution (and narcotics with it) was a hot political issue to be used to his personal advantage. He knew all too well that he could depend on the financial backing of the more affluent conservative rightwing voters in his quest for the presidency if he stood firmly against this social revolution. Consequently, Nixon seized on the prohibition of (uncontrolled) drugs as a large part of his election platform. The ensuing Controlled Substance Act of 1970 listed marijuana, along with LSD, cocaine, and several other drugs on a program of drastically increased prison sentences for both possession and trafficking. Moreover, this Act was tied to a crime bill, which was worded in response to the failing war in Vietnam and the social unrest within the United States. Indeed, as it related to illegal drugs (particularly marijuana use among the disenfranchised counterculture groups) it provided a means for the legal removal of these citizens from our society. Thus the scales of justice were harshly tipped to benefit the affluent rightwing conservatives (mostly affluent whites) while systematically squashing the civil rights of all who opposed their authority (disenfranchised whites, and minorities). Consequently, our nation has become the world’s foremost jailer of otherwise law abiding and completely ordinary citizens. Indeed, the United States of America has approximately 4.6% of the world’s total population, yet 22.5% of the world’s prisoners. Not even communist China, who is often severely criticized for its slave labor camps, imprisons human beings at a lesser rate. Hence America’s penal system makes a disgusting mockery of our cherished refrain “Land of the Free.” The government’s war on drugs does not represent a law “Of the People, By the People and for the People.” in fact it is without question unconstitutional! The U.S. Constitution is a brilliant document written is such a manner as to guarantee its citizens life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Hence it specifically addresses the restrictions of governmental power. Essentially, if something is not prohibited by the constitution, then there can be no federal law made against it. Indeed, the Constitution was written so that the government could never assume too much power over the personal lives of its citizens. Accordingly, all other laws are to be made on a state-to-state basis, and drug use is not addressed in the constitution. For that reason, the federal government has no Constitutional right to make and enforce laws against personal drug use! Moreover, as Abraham Lincoln declared December 18, 1840, to the Illinois House of Representatives, “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” (Emphasis mine) Now therefore, heeding the words of our beloved 16th president, our nation must return to its sense of reason. Despite its illegality, for nearly four decades our federal government has spent over a trillion tax dollars on the war on drugs. There have been approximately 37 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses, and prison populations have quadrupled; making prison construction one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. More than 2.2 million of our citizens are currently incarcerated! Also, every year an additional 1.9 million more citizens are arrested, thereby guaranteeing our judicial system remains overburdened and our prisons overcrowded. Moreover, each year that our government continues this illegal war on drugs it costs “we the taxpayers” another 69 billion dollars! Despite the millions of lives that have been devastated by it, and all the tax dollars so badly misused to prolong it, today illegal drugs are cheaper, more potent, and easier to obtain than they were before the war on drugs began. Meanwhile, our fellow citizens (mostly our youth) are being murdered in the streets while evil drug lords and terrorists grow wealthier and more powerful. This situation is the very definition of a failed policy and that is why it must be ended if there is to ever be any hope for peace and safety in our homeland. As previously stated, this failed policy is undermining our nation’s war against terrorism, and threatening our national security, indeed our very existence! In a catch-22 scenario, the war on drugs is actually funding Al Qaeda rebels and other terrorist’s attacks against us! According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) opium is the backbone of the Afghan economy, and accounts for 35 to 50 percent of that country’s gross national product. Moreover, Afghan opium accounts for more than 90 percent of the global production of illegal drugs. Furthermore, according to Ted Galen Carpenter, a foreign affairs and drug policy analyst with the libertarian leaning Cato Institute; as he reported to the Drug War Chronicle, “The only solution is one that no one in any position of influence in Washington or the NATO capitals will consider; drug legalization. That would take the black market profits out of the drug trade. It is the ultimate solution.” As illogical as the “War on Drugs” is, our government officials refuse to consider its end and defend it with unbridled passion; But why? Could it be that key politicians have been bought by illegal drug money to perpetuate the misery that enslaves so many of the world’s populations? These are questions that can not be easily answered. Yet setting them aside for the present let us consider what would happen if the war on drugs ended today. First and foremost the drug lords would be put out of business; just as criminals like Al Capone were put out of business when the Prohibition on alcohol ended. This would soon after result in the elimination of the lower level drug pushers in America’s neighborhoods. Thus you see, the decriminalization of illegal drugs would mean that that all drugs could be regulated by the government and sold like alcohol is today, or freely supplied in clinics. Thus in a short time those citizens who choose to purchase these substances (or have them administered in government programs) could be assured of their strength and purity. They would not face death on a street corner to purchase drugs, nor would innocent bystanders be caught in the crossfire. Moreover, free clinics could be established to educate and rehabilitate drug addicts. Consequently, drug related crimes would be greatly reduced. This would in turn reduce the number of police officers killed in the line of duty and lighten their workload in general. Indeed, it would provide our public servants with more resources to combat other types of crime, i.e. white collar crimes and kidnappings. By ending the war on drugs the tax dollars saved could be used to fund a free universal healthcare system for every American. Moreover, the hospitals and clinics needed to handle the avalanche of the aging that will only too soon clog our currently inadequate healthcare system could be established. This would put an end to the long waits and overcrowding in emergency rooms. What’s more, our under-funded educational system could be revitalized. There would suddenly be enough funds available to build more schools, and hire more teachers at increased salaries: A very important consideration in light of the fact that America will need to hire approximately 2.2 million teachers over the next decade. Furthermore, this need not benefit the public school systems alone, but colleges and other institutions of higher learning as well; in the form of federal grants and scholarships. With the end of the war on drugs those desperate citizens who currently view illegal drug trafficking as a dangerous but lucrative business would be forced to seek legitimate lines of work. Accordingly, more of America’s youth would remain in school and become literate, productive citizens. Moreover, the private sector healthcare industries that now financially support and lobby to continue the war on drugs could be restructured under the government to handle the millions of people who are now currently uninsured. This list of benefits goes on and on to include everything from housing to our crumbling infrastructure. Therefore, what will you do? Will you sit idly by or will you add your voice to those of your fellow citizens who are now laboring to end our nations’ war on drugs? There is much to be done, and many fine organizations that are working to change public opinion. Nevertheless, a stronger voice, such as yours, is desperately needed. I pray therefore that you will seize the day and be a true leader in this new movement to safeguard our homeland. Sincerely yours,

History

Member for
13 years 47 weeks

Stories by Barb B

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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