If there is anything the left and right, progressives and conservatives, and everyone in between can agree on, it’s ending the counter-productive, destructive “war on drugs” that has generated crime and violence, a “we’re number one in Gulags” prison complex and pushed people into harder, far more dangerous drugs (see chart of “legal” opioid deaths below).
Dear President Trump: if you’re truly serious about lowering healthcare costs and stemming the rising tide of opioid addictions and death, then fully legalize marijuana via executive order now.
The usual justifications for continuing the criminalization of marijuana have moved from threadbare to completely disconnected from reality. We’re told that marijuana is surrounded by violence–well duh–the violence is the direct consequence of Prohibition.
President Trump has a golden opportunity to strike a major blow for civil rights with a single executive order: end the failed “War on Drugs” and shut down America’s drug-war gulag. None of the previous three presidents expended any political capital on curbing the immensely destructive “War on Drugs” or freeing the (in many states, preponderantly African-American and Hispanic-American) prisoners in America’s drug-war gulag.
“Fake-liberal” Bill Clinton did nothing, “fake-conservative” George W. Bush did nothing, and “fake-liberal” Barack Obama did nothing to end the “War on Drugs” or curb the gulag it created. Their parties and supporters were delighted to appear “tough on crime” while destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of African-American, Hispanic-American and other Americans with long sentences in the gulag for selling nickel bags of “illegal” drugs, while America’s parasitic Big Pharma industry reaped billions of dollars in profits selling “legal” opiates while handing our self-serving politicos millions in campaign contributions.
The imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of young Americans–preponderantly Americans of color in state after state– in America’s drug-war gulag is the greatest violation of civil rights since the 1960s— yet fake-liberals and fake-conservatives alike have done nothing but turn their self-serving gaze away from this needless, costly, stupid waste of lives and treasure.
Step one: fully legalize marijuana on the federal level.
It’s difficult to pick the most destructive of America’s many senseless, futile and tragically needless wars, but the “War on Drugs” is near the top of the list.Prohibition of mind-altering substances has not just failed–it has failed spectacularly, and generated extremely destructive and counterproductive consequences.
What was the result of the Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s? Prohibition instantly criminalized 40+% of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.
What was the result of the “War on Drugs”? This modern-day Prohibition instantly criminalized large swaths of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.
If you want to increase drug use, criminalize innocent citizens and spawn gargantuan criminal organizations, then by all means declare “war” via Prohibition. The results of Prohibition/War on Drugs are so visibly perverse and so destructive that the entire enterprise is sickeningly Orwellian.
Baltimore, Maryland is in many ways the perfect microcosm for these United States of America. If you still don’t get that, you’ll be in for a rude awakening in the years ahead.
A gradual erosion of the Constitution and the civl rights of the citizenry, the abuse of power by people in authority, perverse financial incentives that lead to horrible outcomes, zero accountability, and a ubiquitous surveillance state apparatus; Baltimore has it all. Yet all of these troubling traits have also come to characterize early 21st century America.
As tends to be the case, the populations that have been victimized the longest and most systemically — in Baltimore and across the U.S. — are the poor, weak and disenfranchised. Like a cancer, corruption, theft, and blatant abuse of the citizenry by the powerful will spread and spread until it consumes everything unless the tumor is removed. It has now spread so deeply and so dangerously throughout American life, the general public will soon have no choice but to confront it and do something about it, or face a total extinction of opportunity and suffer the same desperate fate as the people out in the streets of Baltimore.
Read the rest here.
Last month, I highlighted the “truth is stranger than fiction” story about how Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents were caught having sex parties with prostitutes hired by drug cartels. I ended that post with:
While these agents will almost undoubtedly receive no real punishment, perhaps some good will come from this: End the idiotic war on drugs.
Well we now have access to an internal DEA report on the incident, and find out that, unsurprisingly, the agents involved received barely a slap on the wrist. Moreover, it appears some of the women hired for these parties may have been teenagers.
Read the rest here.
Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg
The FBI has just released its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data for 2012, which complies arrest data for the whole of the USA. While the numbers have not changed much from the year before, the absolute numbers are stunning and I doubt most Americans are aware of how elevated and skewed they actually are.
The most stunning figure is that law enforcement made an estimated 12.2 million arrests in 2012.That’s an arrest almost every two seconds of every single day. That’s straight up horrifying. Of these arrests, only 521,196 were for violent crimes…
Read the rest here.