A drug war poem

So you sit there all proper and respectable,
and ask me why I am a legalizer.

A question of intellectual curiosity borne out of a desire to learn?
No, it is a question of pre-determined judgement and disgust,
As if I have something to explain!

How dare you, sir!

You, who created the nightmarish hell that plagues us all —
called it a success, proclaimed it a work in progress,
lauded the never-ending struggle,
even as the flames lapped higher, engulfing us.

You were too weak or too venal to embrace a real solution.
Educate and regulate, is that really so hard?
Minimize the harm and reward responsibility.
Instead you embraced fear, and decreed
that all others should follow in your footsteps,
marching in circles around your sand-buried dome.

Education was not only not a solution in your world, but not even an option.
It was ruled dangerous, subversive, UnChristian, and UnAmerican,
and so one thing that could have accomplished something
was deemed completely out-of-bounds.

Propaganda and ignorance, that unholy duo,
were recruited to care for our youth,
and to tend to our duties as citizens.

But that wasn’t enough, was it?
Oh, no, not for you.

You aligned yourself with the scum of the earth and said:
“Lo, I give unto you the drug trade,
that you may profit mightily, and that I may as well,
and one day our forces will meet on battlegrounds around the world,
and many will die, but none of them will be us.”

And you spent billions of dollars of our money,
legislating, arresting, arraigning, prosecuting,
convicting, incarcerating, probating, and forced urinating
aimed at the marginal members of society,
turning them into criminals and feeding your industries,
while increasing and protecting the profits of your partners.

You destroyed our Constitution, our courts, our respect for law,
our families, our youth, our environment, our cities, our health, our wealth,
our self-respect.

And yes, people died in the battlegrounds. Tragically, horribly.

Ashley Villareal was shot in her father’s car.
Esequiel Hernandez was shot by a sniper.
Alberto Sepulveda was shot in the back.
John Adams was shot watching TV.
Annie Rae Dixon was shot in her bed.
Tarika Wilson was shot holding her baby.
Kathryn Johnston was shot defending her home.
Veronica Bowers and her baby were shot down over Peru.

These weren’t drug dealers or drug warriors.
They were simple, extraordinary people who died
because you wouldn’t, couldn’t, educate and regulate.

And the severed heads and the massacres in Mexico.
And the executions in China and Indonesia and the Middle East.
And all the people locked up in dungeons all over the world,
Their futures cut short — while you sip your martinis, and nod sagely,
as the people who gain financially from the tragedies of others,
tell you how they can help you win your reelection,
so you can continue the job of legislating, incarcerating and annihilating.

And so again I say:

How dare you, sir!
Have you no shame?”

I do not have to explain to the likes of you
why my agitation for legalization and education and regulation.
I have more sympathy for the child molesters
forced to live in boxes under bridges,
than I have for you.

But I will tell you anyway.

I am for legalization because I am a human being
with a moral responsibility
to do my part
to undo some small portion of the damage you have done
to… life.

I have no choice.
At least not while I maintain my humanity.
But that’s something you wouldn’t understand.

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11 Responses to A drug war poem

  1. Ned says:

    I would like to be in the room, of a small gathering that included our President, when this was read aloud.

  2. Hope says:

    Thank you. Well done.

  3. R.O.E. says:


  4. chestnut` says:

    Bravo, bravo

    Keep hitting that sore spot.

    It must feel wonderful getting this out of your system. It felt good just listening.


  5. kaptinemo says:

    “No more water; the fire THIS time!”

    And ‘fire’ that was. The same kind of fire that ended the last ‘social experiment’. The same kind of ‘fire’ needed to roust somnolent pols by being placed under them. The same kind of fire they caused to burn in my soul.

    I lost almost everything worth having courtesy of the drug laws of this country, and it took me 4 long, hard years to get some of it back. And I was one of the lucky ones; I wasn’t shot dead in my home as many of those on the Memorial page were. I wasn’t incarcerated and subjected to sodomy and given HIV as a result. But being forced to start over in middle age wasn’t any fun.

    What they thought they had done was broken me.

    What they actually did to me, and to countless others who’ve become reformers, was create their very own Frankenstein’s Monster. And it’s come back to haunt them, because to paraphrase a line from the Bible, ‘my name is Legion, for we are many’. Their intransigence has created the means for their own destruction.

    By doing what they’ve done, they’ve forced tens of thousands of us to grow and develop, to rediscover lost ideals and shamefully buried and forgotten history, to dare to question when they wanted only dumb, blind obedience to unreasoning insanity.

    I try very hard not to hate, because all that does is create more pain and suffering in the world…but I do remember. I remember the callousness, the soullessness with which my life and and that of others were destroyed, by those who’d bought into the system for a paycheck (I certainly didn’t ask them to, did you?) and the power those positions they acquired afforded tiny, inferiority-complected egos. Like a real life Milgram experiment, they proved just how far down a purported human being could slide.

    But the tide is finally turning, just as it did immediately before alcohol Prohibition ended. The momentum is increasing, as, just as before in the early 1930’s, a ‘perfect storm’ has arrived in the form of a confluence of seemingly unrelated events that are forcing the issue into the public consciousness.

    The economy, the wars, the Internet, the Media (that has awakened to the realization that there’s bloody, dripping raw ‘meat’ to chew on regarding the drug laws), principled pols in Congress and the Senate who’ve bided their time for just this moment are acting (Reps Dr. Ron Paul and Barney Frank and Senator Jim Webb come to mind immediately). All that and more are causing the issue to get the attention it long deserved but was denied. An attention that those who’ve benefited so handsomely from the DrugWar never wanted to have focused upon them.

    The days of drug prohibition are numbered, It only remains to be seen how it expires…with a bang or a whimper.

  6. Cliff says:

    We must hold this ground we have taken and not give a single inch to the prohibitionists. When the Army kicked me out for using a plant, they changed me into a man on a mission, to be an example for others, to not give in to the war on certain drugs purity tests, to patiently wait for my chance to show others that things don’t have to be the way they are now.

  7. R.O.E. says:

    America is about to change, but its not the change that those at the top have envisioned.

    We will not go quietly into the night.

  8. Wendy says:

    Yeah! You Guys…very cool.

  9. Wendy says:

    ..and Lady Hope…and drug war poem author. Very cool.

  10. Wendy says:

    Paul I do stand corrected about water being discovered on the moon. Hooray to NASA, huh.

    It all seems a little ‘mist’ ical to me and adds hope to heavenly imagination.

    I also was sent a cool pic today about an island in the south pacific erupting before these people’s very eyes as they were sailing on a yacht.

    Wow…we can see creation…I wonder if this newly established island was viewed from outer space.

    Now, back to the war on drugs….smile and be happy! (I think we caught the mouse!)

  11. Wendy says:

    “I smell a rat!”

    “…we can seek recreation!”

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