America’s Second Biggest Waste, War on Drugs
America’s number one waste is War and Occupation.
America’s number two waste is War on Drugs.
Media loves scandal. Americans have a morbid fascination with the weaker side of human nature. America enacts laws, mandates and Constitutional Amendments to remind Americans what is right and what is wrong in civilized society. Bibles, Korans (Qurans) and Torahs lay out specific guidelines for righteous behavior. Even though many Holy Books contain passages that are vague and contradicting, they are used as torchlights, justifying “righteous” human behavior. Laws do not forgive human weakness, but many Holy Books do. If a perpetrator finally “sees the light” or shows convincing remorse they are forgiven. Laws, both civil and religious, are meant to make social interaction tolerable. Humans are social beings by nature. Restrictions, whether real or imagined, whether social or personal, sometimes go against primal human impulse. Most of these restrictions target the three components that scandals are made of. Money, Sex or Abuse of Power are the ingredients for Scandal! Both religions and media use these ingredients to rivet the attention of their audiences, obviously for Money.
Today, amid the exhausting trashfest of political campaigning, audiences are still blasted with examples of primal human nature, that cannot be extinguished, in spite of redundant civil and holy laws.
All this build up intends to illustrate my original point, addressing America’s Second wasted effort, the War on Drugs. This war represents a giant contradiction within the realm of Civil Laws. Enforcing a law against the most basic human endeavor to assuage mind-body conflict, is wasted effort. From the beginning of human time, people have used mental or physical altering substances for medicine or recreation. Right or wrong, if those substances don’t effect the welfare of their social unit, they only impact the user.
The acceptance of capitalism has intruded on many primal needs and replaced them with wants, courtesy of corporate or political marketing. Money is now the object of the game. Corporations cannot make money by appealing to needs that don’t include buying product. Underground capitalism fills primal needs for mind or body altering substances. The CEOs of underground capitalism provide products that are banned by laws intended to control primal needs, they are the Drug Lords. Prohibition failed because the wasted effort to control desired substances was too costly. American capitalism has not learned its lesson. Alcohol is the most popular mind-body altering substance in America, and much of the world. Alcohol manufacturers are now among the elite of American corporations. Their products provide acceptable solice for anything desired … relief from a hard day at work or play, social events, you name it and there is an excuse to drink alcohol. There are now studies that confirm alcohol products have medicinal properties.
Cannabis is a similar substance to alcohol, with multiple manufacturing uses besides recreation and medicine. America’s War on Drugs is BIG BUSINESS! Whole political, industrial and medical programs revolve around fighting import, sale and use of cannabis. The cost for this effort far exceeds the war on alcohol from 1920 to 1933. Twelve years of alcohol prohibition allowed America to rely on “law breaking” capitalists, we now call them Racketeers, Mafiosos or Bootleggers who profited from providing consumers what they desired. These ‘underground capitalists’ made the fortunes that would have helped the US Government and Americans, if alcohol had stayed legal. Prohibition forced the ‘underground economy’ to flourish for 13 years.
Wiki: Many social problems have been attributed to the Prohibition era. A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Racketeering happened when powerful gangs corrupted law enforcement agencies. Stronger liquor surged in popularity because its potency made it more profitable to smuggle. The cost of enforcing Prohibition was high, and the lack of tax revenues on alcohol (some $500 million annually nationwide) affected government coffers. When repeal of Prohibition occurred in 1933, organized crime lost nearly all of its black market alcohol profits in most states (states still had the right to enforce their own laws concerning alcohol consumption), because of competition with low-priced alcohol sales at legal liquor stores.
The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars.
Today’s American economy is in dire peril. Wasting billions of dollars on fighting Cannabis usage is just plain stupid when looking at the BIG picture. Drunk drivers cost Americans billions of dollars in life and property loss, but, this fact is treated with less importance than catching someone with a baggie of “weed”.
When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.
Some historians have commented that the alcohol industry accepted stronger regulation of alcohol in the decades after repeal, as a way to reduce the chance that Prohibition would return.
Many Americans, today, are complacent about Cannabis use. It is the acceptable alternative to alcohol. Some Americans even flaunt their ability to use cannabis in public without incident. Politicians, celebrities and ordinary Americans use it for recreation or medication. Law enforcement often make arrests improve their statistics … the “weekly roundup of users” can make them look good in the media. This is not to be confused with manufacturers of Methamphetamines and other exotic chemicals to addict and “waste” their consumers. This is not to be confused with Heroin, however, heroin also has medicinal properties that can be regulated for public funds if categorized as a pharmaceutical.
Cannabis as medication has been tested over and over by factions both for and against its use. American pharmaceutical industry only approves its use if THEY can profit from it, likewise for States. The Federal Government has a lot of money at stake from enforcement to industry. Politicians use War on Drugs as a tried and true campaign platform. Ever wonder who really profits from this expensive war? Drug Lords, themselves, have invested in this industry to legitimize their operations, just like Bootleggers had ties to the same law enforcement commited to arrest them.
Controversy will abound until the US Government re-evaluates it’s investment in their self propagating, wasteful efforts, aimed at the Marijuana Industry version of Underground Capitalism. It is time to re-think America’s strategy.