AP IMPACT: US drug war has met none of its goals
This article is a nice long exposé on the current state of the Drug War. It opens, "after 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives…" So sad.
It doesn't matter
Jesus said, "be merciful,"
because they only
apply that to themselves;
they judge you based
on another saying
of Jesus, "be perfect,"
and if you're not what
they consider perfect, then
they adjudicate themselves
to beat the hell out of you,
drive you bankrupt,
or kill you,
all with impunity.
— Thinking CAP
However, some people might argue drug prohibition has achieved some of it's goals,
- it's put a ton of black people in prison,
- (un)civil forfeiture laws gobbled up people's private property and deposited it all in the hands of the state,
- it's ensured the Thug Addicts and the Holier-Than-Thou-Congregation can have the pleasure-centers of their brains stimulated through violence, killing, and self-righteous snobbery,
- it's allowed sick minds to completely ignore our Founding Documents and spy on everyone at will,
- it's shoved aside the notion of treating your neighbors like you'd like yourself treated, and replaced it with a government-enforced, raging, hatchet-carrying Carry Nation nanny-extreme.
- it's exploded the size of government, (beyond unsustainable levels, with "high paying" jobs which do not add value to society, they create and battle "bad guys" to satiate their Thug Addictions and Holier-Than-Thou attitudes; they destroy many things of value in the process and only compound the guarantee of even more violence and death the future, which they use to justify hiring booms and cracking down harder: the vicious cycle),
- it's ensuring the U.S. government borrows insane amounts of money from foreign nations which can't be paid off, and will probably default on.
- and more.
Ok enough editorializing for now, let's take a look at some quotes:
This week President Obama promised to "reduce drug use and the great damage it causes" with a new national policy that he said treats drug use more as a public health issue and focuses on prevention and treatment.
Nevertheless, his administration has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels both in dollars and in percentage terms; this year, they account for $10 billion of his $15.5 billion drug-control budget.
Kerlikowske, who coordinates all federal anti-drug policies, says it will take time for the spending to match the rhetoric.
"Nothing happens overnight," he said. "We've never worked the drug problem holistically. We'll arrest the drug dealer, but we leave the addiction."
Ok, well we know this talk of changing policies and addressing people with addiction issues is baloney. As many others have already pointed out and is noted in the AP article, this most recent drug budget still focuses most of the money on failed methods. Just take a look at the newspaper scans of clippings I cut nearly 20 years ago. Complete with numbers on the then budgets, and editorials saying nearly all the same advice we hear now. But that advice was ignored then, and every year since then.
"To say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven't made any difference is ridiculous," Walters said. "It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people involved in law enforcment, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided."
You can see where John Walters' heart lies. He cares more about what people say, it's all about the image, the spin, the perception.
[Nixon's] first drug-fighting budget was $100 million. Now it's $15.1 billion, 31 times Nixon's amount even when adjusted for inflation.
Thrown away. Spent on warfare. Spent trashing the planet. Spent on advertising that didn't work. Spent on human resources, proselytizing them in the Evil Religion of Hate. Worshipping a "Damn God to HELL for these Plants and Substances" list.
Since the article has some great numbers, here is a chunk:
Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:
- $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico — and the violence along with it.
- $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"-style messages to America's youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.
- $49 billion for law enforcement along America's borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.
- $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.
- $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.
At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.
Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.
"Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."
Unfortunately there are no names we can attach to these False Prophets of Prohibition:
In 1970, proponents said beefed-up law enforcement could effectively seal the southern U.S. border and stop drugs from coming in. Since then, the U.S. used patrols, checkpoints, sniffer dogs, cameras, motion detectors, heat sensors, drone aircraft — and even put up more than 1,000 miles of steel beam, concrete walls and heavy mesh stretching from California to Texas.
None of that has stopped the drugs. The Office of National Drug Control Policy says about 330 tons of cocaine, 20 tons of heroin and 110 tons of methamphetamine are sold in the United States every year — almost all of it brought in across the borders.
Just a few years later, a young Barack Obama was one of those young users, a teenager smoking pot and trying "a little blow when you could afford it," as he wrote in "Dreams From My Father." When asked during his campaign if he had inhaled the pot, he replied: "That was the point."
I am glad the author, Martha Mendoza, points this out. Barack, my man, I got my eyes on you! ;-) Got an essay with "your name" on it. :-) I've not read your book, so maybe you've answered this, but I don't seem to recall you needing to go to addiction treatment. I do not seem to recall hearing you talk about your cocaine or marijuana "abuse." Like many others have stated, do you think you'd be where you are now if you were arrested with those drugs on you? But that last part doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that you somehow were not a drug addict although you did illegal drugs! Shouldn't this indicate that not all drug users are addicts? Kind of like how not all alcohol consumers are alcoholics?
So why persist with costly programs that don't work?
This is an Evil Religion of Hate. Thug Addicts are in charge. The Holier-Than-Thou-Congregation pressures them and weak politicians cave in because they care more about the praise of humans than the praise of God. The High Priests of Assigning Permanent Shame will miss their huge salaries, overly-generous pensions, and the best seats wherever they are. All of them will miss the kiss-butt "respect" they demand from others due to fear or blackmail files.
Let's give it another go from a honcho:
So why persist with costly programs that don't work?
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, sitting down with the AP at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, paused for a moment at the question.
"Look," she says, starting slowly. "This is something that is worth fighting for because drug addiction is about fighting for somebody's life, a young child's life, a teenager's life, their ability to be a successful and productive adult.
"If you think about it in those terms, that they are fighting for lives — and in Mexico they are literally fighting for lives as well from the violence standpoint — you realize the stakes are too high to let go."
In other words, it doesn't matter how many people you kill directly or indirectly in order to lavish praise on one's self for "fighting the good fight."
It doesn't matter that this Evil Religion of Hate (Drug War, Drug Prohibition) IN FACT DOES NOT KEEP DRUGS OUT OF THE HANDS OF TEENS, because it's the thought that counts!
It doesn't matter that vilifying drugs and producing consistently inaccurate and deplorable drug propaganda doesn't work because it serves to inform teens of how to piss off authority, and specifically which drugs they should be trying for maximum effect.
It doesn't matter that there are an untold number of people who use drugs responsibly and are not addicts (ahem Barack!), but those who's consciences have been seared as with a hot iron are not keen on giving up the lies they hold so dear. "We're in too deep." "The stakes are too high."
It doesn't matter that people can and do get over addictions they have, it's more fun for the crowd mentioned above to hunt them down, bust our budgets, look down their noses, and pat themselves on the back for "just doing their jobs.
It doesn't matter that Jesus said, "be merciful," because they only apply that to themselves; they judge you based on another saying of Jesus, "be perfect," and if you're not what they consider perfect, then they adjudicate themselves to beat the hell out of you, drive you bankrupt, incarcerate you, or kill you, all with impunity.
Look, we need to retire using "look" at the beginning of sentences, it sounds so pompous. I was so eager and in favor of trying to help y'all save face. But now I don't care. The sooner you cut our losses the better! Because I've warned folks the Drug War Tree & Fruit is going to be cut down, along with all those who feed it, nurture it, eat from it, and otherwise worship it and it's GOING IN THE FIRE! (See that link and download the flyer for more information.)
Heavenly Father, please please please fix our broken country and world. Please lead us to repentance. Please have mercy on those who are addicts and want help; please help them steer clear of the mean people who want to bring more grief to their lives, and guide them to people who care and who can help them.
Please have mercy on mean people and, again, lead us all to repentance; delivering us from evil. Please open our eyes and ears. Please shine your light on our minds and souls. Please help us humble ourselves and acknowledge that not all use is abuse. Please help us show mercy on drug addicts instead of treating them as subhuman. As for those who are brazenly unrepentant and out-and-out malicious, please fling them far from us.
Please bless our leaders with dreams and visions which tell them in no uncertain terms what awaits them on Judgement Day as long as they care more about the praise of humans more than praise from you.
Please bless all the people who have been brainwashed and proselytized in this Evil Religion of Hate, and give them critical thinking abilities to help them discern correctly and not confuse multiple disparate issues as though they were one issue.
Please bless those who have the knowledge of how to write or repeal legislation. Please bless them with the knowledge of how to flesh out drug laws that actually work, which actually bring control in to the hands of responsible people, which reduce harm instead of creating harm.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.