Seriously folks, this is not about marijuana -- and never has been.
MONTERREY, Mexico – Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border in what could be the latest outburst in an escalating war of terror among drug gangs.
That's another 49 people. The last batch were hung off a bridge or cut up into pieces.
Because we have a "drug war" in the United States. And the enormous amount of money has prompted a real war in other nations, whether it be Afghanistan (opium poppies) or Mexico (trafficking of various sorts.)
Some 50,000 Mexicans have lost their lives in the last few years over this war -- a war that is our responsibility. A war that we started, we promote, we fund and we even arm with things like "Project Gunwalker", not to mention money laundering -- including accusations and even admissions that some of our largest financial institutions have been involved in it.
It's time to cut the crap. We got this in the 1920s:
And what did we learn from it? Exactly nothing, other than that this sort of "war" is profitable for the law enforcement community and gets civilians killed without doing a damned thing to deter drug use.
As a direct and proximate cause of our stupidity in this regard you can't buy brake cleaner in WalMart without being asked if you're 18. We're so worried about people getting high on various things we want to prohibit that we've made it more-attractive for kids to inhale chemicals that will destroy their minds and bodies instead of smoking a joint, which clearly comes with risks -- but not of immediate death or serious bodily injury.
You think you can prevent people from getting high? Then how come we're worried about brake cleaner, nail polish remover and lighter fluid -- all things that I bought as a youth for their original intended purposes before I was 18, and never "huffed" any of them? Why is it that we have bars everywhere where the very purpose of the establishment is to intentionally consume an intoxicant?
As a matter of human rights did we not know back in the early part of the 1900s that we needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment to bar people from taking into their bodies anything on their own volition? It sure looks that way, doesn't it?
So what changed, other than hubris, jackbooted statism and our collective idiocy quotient?
So why are we still maintaining a "drug war" when all it's doing is getting people killed by the literal truckload, jailing people for consensual personal conduct in which the risk is entirely personal to the party(s) engaged in it, and the cost in both money and lives is hideous and indefensible?
Simple: Money feeding politicians.
Just as with the health care debacle in which we "need" Obamacare because the government granted special privileges to certain entities and thus made health care unaffordable without them, we have the same paradigm here.
We claim that part of the reason for the "drug war" is that if you get drug-addled society will have to take care of you. The question not asked but which must be asked is why we put together a system that created a problem we then demand government solve!
In other words, why is it that the solution isn't to remove both the "safety net" for those who want to use drugs and the laws against their use?
This does not impact public safety; if I go upon the road in my car and smash into someone while stoned, I can and should be prosecuted irrespective of what I'm stoned on! Whether that's booze, marijuana, heroin or cough syrup the fact remains that I was willfully and intentionally impaired and if that voluntarily-impaired state of mind was part or all of the reason for the accident I should be held fully criminally and civilly accountable for my acts.
But that same substance, used within my home or other place (e.g. a "dope bar") where one does not present a public risk should be entirely at my risk -- both at the moment of use and down the road if and when the consequences are served upon my body and/or mind.
That approach -- along with looking at drug addiction as a condition that can be treated if and when the addict wants to stop, is both cheaper and respects human rights. At the same time it eviscerates the money that currently flows into criminal gangs.
When Prohibition was repealed we stopped having Tommy Gun fights in the middle of our cities. That didn't happen because the gangsters decided to "be nice" -- it happened because the profit in running booze, which had previously funded their acquisition of guns and ammunition, was cut off.
All we have to do to solve this problem is learn from history.
Are there any politicians who will take an honest look at this issue in full and not pander to some subset of the population (e.g. those who want to smoke a joint) while refusing to address the actual problem?
We must address the actual issue, both shrinking government involvement in our lives along with the monetary cost of this indefensible policy and saving tens of thousands of lives in places like Mexico.
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