It is unconscionable in this day that there are still masses of the American public who think that “legalization” is something you whisper about with a knowing grin that it’s merely a ploy for hippies to have the opportunity to smoke pot and watch a Cheech and Chong movie.
The discussions that we have regarding drug policy are literally matters of life and death and they need to be engaged by the public with that sense of urgency.
People need to read about the Drug War Victims and the rest of the violence that is part and parcel of prohibition.
Read Philip Smith’s piece at Stop the Drug War: Law Enforcement: Drug Cops Kill Two in Two Days in Drug Raids in Florida and Tennessee. Real tragedies.
Oh, the police investigations will say that the police acted properly in self-defense, and to an extent, they’ll be right. But the situation leading to death should never have been set up in the beginning. It was prohibition, and then the tactics of prohibition enforcement, that led to those people dying.
And now, after tens of thousands of Mexicans dying senselessly in our drug war down there, we have a “real” tragedy.
Suspected drug cartel hit men have gunned down three people who worked at the U.S. consulate in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.
A consulate employee and her husband, both U.S. citizens, were shot dead in their car and the husband of a Mexican employee at the consulate was also killed in a drive-by shooting. […]
President Barack Obama said he was ‘deeply saddened and outraged’ by the killings.
Outraged, I tell you!
As well he should be. But what will be the outcome of such outrage? Probably more violence.
In The New Drug War We’ve Already Met, Blake Hounshell asks
So what is Obama going to do about it? His administration has asked for $450 million from Congress to bolster Mexico’s security and counter-narcotics forces with new equipment, including helicopters and surveillance aircraft, as an extension of George W. Bush’s Merida Initiative. That’s on top of the $700 million Congress allocated for 2008 and 2009. Central America has gotten another couple hundred million. Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Venezuela outlined a number of other related initiatives during his recent congressional testimony.
If you ask me, it all seems like doubling down on a failed strategy â€” a typical example of trying to solve a social and political problem through military and technical means. […]
So are the Obamans smart enough to know better, but trapped by politics and afraid to try a bold new approach? Or do they really believe in the drug war?
You have to be completely oblivious to the world around you to think that the drug war is going to stop the violence. And the same is true about the drug war’s ability to stop the drugs. While Mexico is distracting us from Afghanistan and Colombia, it’s important to note that after decades of fighting, we’re still seeing Why the war on drugs in Colombia may never be won, and eradication efforts in Afghanistan seem almost laughably absurd given the fact that it has produced in recent years significantly more heroin than the entire world demand, so that estimates are that several years worth may be stockpiled.
But here’s the part that really gets me. Prohibitionists will often say that they are motivated by life. There’s was a statement made by Costa, the UN drug czar, last year that really stuck with me.
Some even say that the costs of prohibition far outweigh the benefits (although there is no body count of people who haven’t died thanks to drug control versus those who have been killed in the crossfire).
And there you have it. That’s the people we’re supposed to protect. Not the scared person in their home with men in black busting down the door. Not the embassy personnel, or the teenagers at their birthday party gunned down by cartels. Not any of the folks on the drug war victims page.
No, we’re supposed to protect the unknown people who would have died from drugs if we hadn’t been killing all these other people.
We must assume, despite all evidence, that without the drug war, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people would rush out and die from drugs, who otherwise wouldn’t have. This is absurd on its face. And all evidence that we have points to the fact that expectation of such an outcome is ridiculous.
In fact, there is as much evidence that we would be able to reduce the number who die from drugs if we actually put drugs under a system of real control, instead of the faux control of prohibition. Certainly, we could dramatically cut the number of drug overdoses in currently illicit drugs if dosage and purity were controlled. Better fact-based education and providing help without fear of arrest will save even more lives. An we’ll save some lives in the substitution of marijuana over alcohol.
Let’s save some lives, people.