The War on Drugs, by its very nomenclature, is illogical. Using the word ‘war‘ vests an undue amount of power into the agencies carrying out the ‘fight‘ for ‘justice,‘ and in the case of the War on Drugs, what is it a ‘war‘ against? Is the DEA/FBI/CIA trinity fighting back a tide of heroin and bongwater as it seeps from our sewers toward the unsuspecting public? No.
The War on Drugs is a war on drug users. A war on U.S. citizens; a civil war driven by an outdated and mistaken ideology. It is carried out with minimum regard for public welfare, safety and happiness and at maximum expense to our tax dollars and moral legacy.
Obama’s “Of course I inhaled” bravado has disappeared, but the drug policy of the incoming administration is still in its formational period. It is vital for members of this generation to demand what the public deserves: a peaceful, rational, sustainable drug policy which puts people first, Puritanical totalitarianism second.
If nothing is done, we will continue along a downward spiral of a police state drug policy. This means 870,000 arrests per year for possession of a harmless, non-addictive substance with immense therapeutic value (i.e. dank) while tobacco and alcohol, killers of 500,000 Americans per year and destroyers of families, lungs, livers and automobiles, are not only legal but taxed. Fast food and pharmaceuticals, both prescription and non-, somehow dodge classification as dangerous or addictive, when fact-denying lies are intentionally spread about cannabis having addictive potential, killing brain-cells or causing death from anything but falling off of a ladder painting a mural of Janis Joplin.
Backward drug policies cost us $17,110,415 every day to keep drug convicts incarcerated, creating a permanent prison population and turning nonviolent offenders into violent offenders. This is certainly not helped by racially biased mandatory minimum sentences for possession of crack cocaine, which carries 100 times the penalty of powdered nose candy – thanks to Biden’s sponsorship of the 1988 Anti-Drug Act. Our tax dollars are going toward despicable things. For one, allowing moralizing mouthpieces to engender fear and misunderstanding through insultingly lowbrow PSAs like the modern ‘Reefer Madness,‘ ‘Stoners in the Mist.‘ Another: They fund the seizure of property of drug users, interpreted loosely to include their homes, their cars and their finances. Too many stories exist of seizure turning a well-employed family man with some herb growing in the basement into a prisoner and slave who owns only the scorn of the U.S. government. Something must be done.
Before you say, ‘Write your congressmen,‘ remember that our government is the most dangerous drug cartel on the planet. Despite the CIA’s attempts to bury knowledge about the scandal, the Iran-Contra affair in 1986 laid bare the under-the-table drug trafficking of the U.S. government. Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries needed some extra cash, see, so the CIA allowed the import and sale of boatloads of blow (cocaine). Then our government discoed some guns from Iran to help topple Nicaragua’s democratic government. They failed and were exposed. Yet, nothing happened.
More than a snow-slinger, the U.S. government has also experimented intensely with psychotropic drugs – LSD, ecstasy, psilocybin and mescaline were all plied for mind control potential under the infamous MK-ULTRA CIA program, often giving heavy doses to volunteers, then isolating them in sensory deprivation. Uncle Sam knows how to make a bad trip.
We also allow our government to spread high-handed and contradictory drug policies across the globe. Over $1 billion is spent annually to spray Colombian coca crops with herbicides, leaving farmers penniless and starving. They turned to the cash crop in the first place only to buy bread with the cash Americans are willing to pay for the addictive effects of dance sugar. Yet, the same cavalier anti-drug attitude is absent in Afghanistan, where following our invasion the nation went from producing no opium poppies to 90 percent of the world’s supply. Now, are we the genie or the lamp?
Despite now being dealer-in-chief, the president has moved microscopically in the right direction. R. Gil Kerlikowiske, Seattle’s police chief, has been named as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This is ‘drug czar‘ to any of you seeking more power-commanding psychological wordplay. Kerlikowiske presided over a major drop in crime rates and a reduction in priority for cannabis offenses. He didn’t make the policy, but he didn’t rebuke it either. Would this make him a blank slate, then? Not at all – the selection of a former undercover drug agent rather than a public health official means that, yes, the War on Drugs will roll on.
Obama also urged that medicinal cannabis growers and users, in the states where it’s legal, ought not to have their property seized and freedom removed by vindictive federal enforcers. Further, he’s made appeals for increased syringe exchange programs to reduce HIV prevalence in intravenous drug users. Notice how neither of these two motions has to do with thinking about drugs differently -just state’s rights and disease control. Not a visionary policy we’re in for, unless B-H-O is channeling drug sympathies through indirect means. When soup kitchens start getting traffic as the recession hits harder, see if Obama introduces a program to pass out cosmic brownies. Then we’ll know.
The words ‘harm reduction‘ might get thrown around, but don’t be fooled. Do everything you can to raise awareness about this odious offense against human rights. Write a letter to President Obama, then physically mail it to him. I’m putting some acid on the stamp on mine.
CHEYA CARY has white liiiiiines, racing through his miiiiiiind.… Tell him the stories of your favorite cop run-ins at email@example.com.