Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, September 27, 2019

We Never Will Learn

Don Winslow on the War on Drugs:
It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, one trillion dollars and forty-five million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.
How many Americans have died in this stupid war on drugs? How many Mexicans, Guatemalans, El Saladorans, Columbians and the rest? Since Nixon declared this war (as a way to have his vengeance on hippies and Blacks), millions have died, untold numbers of pyschopaths have gotten rich, we've become the most incarcerated nation in the world, the Fourth Amendment in particular has been eviscerated and for what?

The drug cartels make money. The private prison industry makes money. The cops get theirs.

The rest of us get hosed. We pay taxes to support this failed war. We suffer the crime it breeds.

I'll say this for the New World (1871-1889) and Hard Times (1890-1908) Generations: They were a hell of a lot smarter than the Greatest, Baby Boomers and X Generations. They figured out in pretty short order that their own War on Ethanol, aka Prohibition, was a failure. They figured out that it was making American consumers complicit in criminal activity and it was fueling criminal organizations, official corruption, and crime in the street. They broke the code that without Prohibition, there would have been no St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

We of the generations that have been in charge for the last fifty years, we're just not that smart.

We can break the backs of the cartels and the gangs in a year or so by one simple step: Legalize (and tax) everything. Oh, we can still keep it forbidden to drive trucks or fly planes or do other things while under the influence of drugs. But for those who want to dabble with drugs or waste their lives using them, they're adults and it's their choice to make.

In the meantime, we can tax the stuff. We can ensure some standard of purity, that heroin, for instance, is not cut with baby formula or fentanyl.

We can realize that it is far cheaper to educate than to incarcerate. We can rip down a lot of the prisons. And we can retrain the DEA to do HVAC work, plumbing or welding.


Diz Liz said...

Agree with this opinion. Apparently too much money going into "private/legitimate" hands. I think Prohibition only made money for the mob? Might be the reason for the different response these days?

CenterPuke88 said...

Maybe big pharma understands they will lose huge numbers of patients if they we legalized. A huge number of people would self-medicate with weed and heroin. With assured quality/strength, the allure of pills diminishes.

dinthebeast said...

I agree, and the example of Portugal could help guide policy. I have grave doubts that we have what it takes to adjust our thinking in order to capitalize on the opportunities it would present us with, but this shit just isn't working... unless you're one of those getting rich off of it.

I was born and raised in Humboldt county, and I have close friends and family members who have done prison time for weed.

I've known quite a few who made themselves harmlessly stupid smoking it, but I also have a couple of friends in shallow graves along the Eel river over the fact that it was illegal and thus dangerous and expensive.

The crack epidemic made the part of Oakland where I lived a free-fire zone, and fueled the gangs who had gunfights on our street every few days, but that's been thirty years ago, and the over reaction to it was ineffective at the time and just plain damaging now.

So the way I see it, now that weed is legal here and in other states, we have to prove the concept and give the politicians something to counter the fear of being labeled soft on crime.

At least the Sacklers are gonna have to pay a little, but remember that a lot of those who died of OD's wouldn't have died if they weren't trying so hard to hide from the cops.

-Doug in Oakland

w3ski said...

Drugs are basically a moral issue."You cannot legislate morality". It's been tried and failed throughout history.

Stewart Dean said...

" retrain the DEA to do HVAC work, pumbing or welding. " Nahh Making donuts on the night shift is more their speed. Mechanical contracting takes real smarts and a sense of integrity (shoddy work breaks and puts you out of business).

Ed said...

Taxation creates black markets. Just leave people the hell alone.

Comrade Misfit said...

Ed, that is true only if the tax level is too high. For example: NYC has a cigarette black market, their tax is $5.85/pack. MO does not, their tax is 17 cents.

For a New Yorker on a cross-country trip, buy two cartons of smokes at a store off I-70 in MO and they'll save $117.

Leo Knight said...

I'm not sure I'd trust them making donuts, either.