On March 31st VDARE.COM bravely published my article Murder and Mayhem on the Mexican Border Exposes the Futility of Drug Prohibition.
The response to this article was larger than any I have ever gotten in the years I have been writing for VDARE.COM. Only one email was against full legalization of drugs. Most were downright enthusiastic. The main message: legalization is a no-brainer!
In contrast, the typical Main Stream Media article about the Drug War usually just advocates catching and incarcerating dealers and confiscating drugs—which of course is exactly what hasn't worked.
Here is but one example, from an excellently written article by the Montana News Association, detailing how it is in a heartland city, Billings, Montana on December 8, 2008.[Gangs In Billings (Part 3) Major Gang Info, By Donald Cyphers and Janet Green]
The article carefully recites all the dismal facts of the failure to stem the tide, including listing the names of all the gangs, the efforts of officials trying to stop the problem, etc. [Vdare.com note: The gangs in Billings are not made up of local cowboys gone wrong, but reflect the various ethnicities and nationalities that make up gangs in major coastal cities—the only unusual one on the list is the Native American gang, owing to Montana demographics: (1).300 Block Crips (2). Bloods (3). East River Skins (Native Americans) (4). North Side Locos 14 (5). Northern Barrio Locos 14 (6). Surenos 13 (7). Nortenos (8). 18th Street Gang (9). Black Gangster Disciples (10).32 Mafia (11).Border Brothers (12).Nortenos 14]
Just one little problem: The article doesn't mention legalization. Typical, there are lots of drug violence stories, but how many consider the option that we should call it quits? Sadly, very few.
The question of whether or not to legalize drugs was settled from a rational standpoint long ago. Legalization would mean significant tax revenue, greater drug purity, no cash flow to violent crooks, and easier, cheaper addict access. The present prohibition is simply stupid, if not insane—even according to many of the people actually involved in drug enforcement. (See www.leap.org)
So why are drugs like cocaine, meth, even marijuana, still illegal?
Many reasons, but here I will mention two quite obvious ones— and one perhaps not quite so obvious, or at least not often discussed openly:
Point One: Fear on the part of elected many elected officials, from low level to high level, that they will alienate what they imagine will be a vast number of people.
Point Two: Fear among the many honest elected officials, particularly those known to be working at the front line of the Drug War, that if they advocate repeal they or their families will be targeted for death.
And then there is
Point Three: The unmentionable likelihood that corrupt American officials in key positions of power have gotten so indebted to the drug cartels that no-one dares to change course.
George W. Bush notoriously used to say that "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande". Does that apply to drug corruption too?
I suspect all three points were equally present in the early 1930s, when America decided alcohol Prohibition had failed.
Of course, now as then, people perhaps see alcohol excess as less dangerous than youngsters, shooting it up. In fact, alcohol is equally insidious and dangerous, but culturally and legally accepted. As often depicted by Hollywood, in 1933 many of our citizens saw speakeasies as adventurous and glamorous! But scenes of opium dens in China still evoke revulsion and fear. Parents have nightmares about their children getting hooked on drugs, while not knowing or ignoring the all-too-common phenomenon of binge drinking or nicotine addiction.
But the most disturbing point of all is Point Three. While we know that legalization is the only way to go, is it too late to stop the War on Drugs because of the corruption which has infected our entire body politic?
Think about it! Who wants to be the initiator in Congress? Would such a person be risking his or her career? Would it result in a personal threat to themselves or their family members?
Put yourself in a lower-level official position. Think about it. Would you do it? What was Eliot Ness' motivation? Are there any such brave and right thinking people around now? I wonder. As a public official, even if you are not corrupt, you don't know who around you is.
It's bloody frightening—and that's the way the illegal drug industry wants it.
So, despite the continuing failure of the so-called War on Drugs, the madness continues. Witness the violence on the Mexican border in places like Ciudad Juarez, where 4500 murders have occurred since January of 2008—500 this year alone!
But my President, Barack Obama, relentlessly continues to support the Bush Merida policy, which handed over $1.6 billion to Mexico in 2008 to provide helicopters, surveillance equipment, computer infrastructure, the expansion of intelligence databases, anti-corruption initiatives, human rights education and training, and an anti-money laundering program.
Over $1 trillion has been spent since the 1970s. And conditions are now worse.
Mr. President, stopping this "War" must be done by someone at the top! Remember the sign on Harry Truman's desk: "The Buck Stops Here". I bet Truman wouldn't have been hesitant if confronted by the same obvious facts
Meantime, more drugs, more murders, more chaos, more wasted money. Is our beloved USA, that once great nation, in this as in so many other ways at a Point of No Return?
On this latter point, let's not fail to mention that by 1937 (Prohibition was repealed in 1933) the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill Wilson and Bob Smith had already succeeded in getting 40 people sober, 2 years latter 100. As Wikipedia tells us:
"In 2006 AA counted 1,867,212 members and 106,202 AA groups worldwide. The Twelve Traditions informally guide how AA groups function, and the Twelve Concepts for World Service guide how AA is structured globally.
"A member who accepts a service position or an organizing role is a "trusted servant" with terms rotating and limited, typically lasting three months to two years and determined by group vote and/or the nature of the position. Each group is a self-governing entity with AA World Services acting only in an advisory capacity. AA is served entirely by alcoholics, except for seven "nonalcoholic friends of the fellowship" out of twenty-one members of the AA Board of Trustees.
"AA groups are self-supporting and not charities. There are no dues or membership fees. Groups rely on voluntary member donations to pay for expenses like room rental, refreshments, and literature. Typically, a basket is passed during the meeting. In the United States, for example, people often put a dollar or two in the basket. Any contribution is voluntary and not required of anyone. AA discourages individuals from making large donations by limiting contributions to US $3,000 per annum, and it returns contributions mailed from sources outside of AA."
Hey, sobriety not achieved with government money! Ah!
But for now, a billion here, a billion there to keep drugs illegal. Already over a trillion spent with bad results.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.