What Did You Do During the Drug War, Daddy?

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Reader and blogger M. Simon reprints a column of drug war criticism that, in a just world, would achieve the same status as the "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus" col. A snippet:

I chased criminal plants. I tore up fields of hemp. A plant that looks like marijuana but has no psychoactive effect. I filled the jails with drug users, letting untold numbers of violent criminals get a free pass to make sure there was room for dealers and users of the wrong kinds of drugs. I let terrorists go free in order to concentrate on jailing people out for a little drug induced fun. Of course I ignored those using the most harmful drugs commonly available in society, alcohol and tobacco….

Whole thing here.

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  1. I filled the jails with drug users, letting untold numbers of violent criminals get a free pass to make sure there was room for dealers and users of the wrong kinds of drugs.

    Yeah, let’s counter the irrational rhetoric driving the drug war with our own hyperbolic, bombastic claims about the damage the drug war is doing.

  2. Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home or because it finances terrorists abroad?

    I’m going to start asking that question.

  3. So it’s a little overly dramatic. Meh.

  4. Everybody says hemp isn’t pyschoactive but my old buddy’s grandfather was a hemp farmer in Mexico. He made it quite clear to us that he better not catch us trying to smoke that stuff. What’s up with that?

  5. “Ignored alcohol and tobacco”

    I love it. Tell that to BEEG TOBACCO or anyone who wants to smoke anywhere in NYC, Hawaii, or Ca.

    Get Real.

  6. I tell my state trooper buddy that within ten years, we the people will win the war on drugs, and then we will hold war trials to try the drug warriors. I remind him that “just following orders” didn’t work at Nueremburg and won’t work here.

  7. Of course I ignored those using the most harmful drugs commonly available in society, alcohol and tobacco.

    That’s right: “Do it to Julia–tear her face off!” It worked for Winston. How ’bout “prohibition, whatever flavor, fails miserably.” Meh indeed.

  8. This is the real issue about the war on drugs:

    I contributed to the loss of Bill of Rights for all Americans by taking away those rights from the demonized drug users. I got the rules of evidence changed at the Federal level so that no evidence of a crime is necessary. Just some snitches word.

    IMO, the cure is the disease because everybody, law abiding or not, has been inflicted. I do not want to tolerate someone else’s severe addiction, but I cannot tolerate the degrading of the constitution and the bill of rights in order to attempt to help with someone else’s severe addiction. Soldiers are hailed as hero’s for laying down their lives to protect our freedoms, why are they taken away for a tiny minority of junkies? Of which, only a minority of them can get their lives turned around and saved. Jail, fines, probabtion, won’t save them, treatment is their only viable option.

  9. Amen to that. My fear is that eventually the WoSD will end, and all the cops, politicians, and judges will just smile, and say, “Hey, it was the law…it was our job…” and fade away. But it would almost be worth it just to let them all go, if it would only end this madness.

    ps. nitpick regarding the editorial: when the hell are people going to learn that you can’t put markup tags in the title? Don’t they even look at their own pages to make sure they’re rendering correctly?

  10. Fred Gillete
    Thank you for comment. The one thing I do know is that I am against US going into Latin American countries and spraying pesticides all over the place intending to kill the cocoa plant but in reality killing alot more. No wonder the average person in Colombia, Bolivia etc can’t stand the gringo. I am not so much against the DEA and Coast Guard patrolling US shores to capture drug smugglers. Look forward to more opinions on this

  11. S.A.M. is right on the money.

    These bastards are more than willing to sacrafice my life and my freedom just to keep a few got dam junkies from sticking needles in their arms, which they’re doing anyway.

    This could turn into a rant but I gotta work…

  12. Mushuganer,

    I hate those Gringots too. Dam bankers.

  13. What always mystifies me about the drug war is that everybody learns in school, even public school for God’s sake, that alcohol prohibition failed because it fueled organized crime without stopping anybody from drinking.

    Why, for God’s sake, don’t more people make the connection? I mean, there are a lot of problems with our education system, but alcohol prohibition is the one thing that even the public schools get right. I realize that schools do their damnedest to nullify the lessons of the 1920’s by hammering away at the evils of drugs. But those same schools hammer away at the evils of drinking prior to the age of 21 without suggesting that alcohol prohibition was a good idea.

    I just don’t get it. The information is right there in front of our faces. It’s one of the few things that public schools get right, and yet it’s ignored.

    I guess I’ll never understand it.

  14. Thoreau–
    If you shake your head with disgust about people who “don’t get the connection,” check out THIS true story:

    When I was teaching, every week every teacher got a free copy of “The Register,” the little weekly newspaper some guy in town published. I remember one particular issue–in the center was a two-page human interest story about this lovable old local couple who were small-time bootleggers back in the day, and laughingly told stories of the various ways they managed to outwit the cops.

    Meanwhile, the front page above-the-fold story was about how some evil, evil Crack Dealer had been arrested, and was facing a zillion years in prison. I wrote a letter to the editor asking if the Crack Dealer would be giving a reminiscent interview to the paper in 70 years, but they didn’t publish my letter.

  15. Jennifer-

    What would happen if a public high school economics teacher observed that the profit margins for drug dealers would be eroded by competition if drugs were legal? Or if a history teacher observed that much of the violence associated with the drug trade would evaporate under legalization just as the violence associated with the liquor trade evaporated after legalization?

    What if these maverick teachers covered themselves by saying “Of course, these aren’t the only facets of the drug problem, and anybody contemplating legalization must also consider the damage that drugs do to addicts”? Would that be enough to save themselves?

  16. “What always mystifies me about the drug war is that everybody learns in school, even public school for God’s sake, that alcohol prohibition failed because it fueled organized crime without stopping anybody from drinking.”

    Ahhhh… but drugs are sooooooo much more “evil” and addictive than alcohol. Besides, booze is engrained in Western civilization while only those commie, hippie, flower children who hate God and America want to use dope!

    Or at least that’s what I was told.

    Oddly enough, in high school, we had a libertarian as our health teacher (In fact, he’s the one who first exposed me to Reason magazine.) and he raised the question on whether legalization would be a better option given the failures of prohibition. Of course the metal heads, thrashers, and other potential drop-outs agreed that drugs should be legal. Meanwhile the preppies, honor roll students, and stuck-up prudes (i.e. me) recited the “just say no” litany no matter what evidence to the contrary the teacher gave us: Drugs are too dangerous. All use equal abuse. The government, doctors, teachers, and the boob tube all say so. They’re experts, why would they lie to us?

  17. “spraying pesticides all over the place intending to kill the cocoa plant”

    I think we can all agree that the US government killing cocoa plants in South America is wrong. I blame the Big Chocolate lobby. Follow the money.

  18. Thoreau,

    ‘Cause most folks are stupid. Including me!

    There are as many folks with IQs below 100 in this country as there above 100. Having read this blog for 2+ years it seems that most of the psoters are in the above 100 category.

    Somewhere out there in America there is a bizarro world (probably a bar) in which the exact opposites of Jennifer, Shannon, Jean Bart, Gary Gunnels, Jason Bourne, joe, and youself sit around discussing how the drug war makes complete sense and anyone else who thinks not must be a stupid fool.

  19. “Somewhere out there in America there is a bizarro world (probably a bar) in which the exact opposites of Jennifer, Shannon, Jean Bart, Gary Gunnels, Jason Bourne, joe, and youself sit around discussing how the drug war makes complete sense and anyone else who thinks not must be a stupid fool.”

    I hate the Bizarros… all except Turtleface.

  20. That Bizarro world you describe reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine met a bunch of guys eerily similar to Jerry, George, and Kramer.

  21. Kerry is a loser!

  22. Let’s discuss this politely. Also, I need to read more.

  23. I’m a sewage worker.

  24. Down with skool choice!

    Up with skool bureacrazy!

    As a techur for 57 years its’ time to bring back the thumbscroows

  25. I’m voting W this year, that’s for sure.

    Did I ever tell you that when I was a kid I wanted to be a physicist, but eventually I came to my senses and became a lawyer? I represent groups of concerned parents suing over sex and violence in the media. Right now we’re suing Fox on the grounds that 24 is corrupting children.

  26. The “Drug War” is just another never ending gov. program to enrich law enforcement agencies! Did you do your part in the “War on Poverty”?

  27. The baffling thing about the drug war is that I’ve never gotten a half-decent answer to either of these two questions (even from a law enforcement officer):
    What about marijuana makes it more dangerous than alcohol and/or tobacco and therefore gives us good reason to keep it illegal? (I’ll at least respect the prohibitionist if they support making ‘cohol and baccy illegal for internal consistency’s sake)
    Prohibition failed with alcohol, what makes you think it’ll work for drugs?

    Granted, essay questions like this usually cause a law enforcement officer’s head to explode. My goal is to seed my friends in the PD with my evil independent thoughts (all I need is colored chalk forged by Lucifer himself) and then undermine the system from the inside.

  28. I know many cops who were smokers and will be again when they retire.

    They’re just doing their job and getting more money then they could otherwise make with their educations and abilities.

  29. Most cops are just working stiffs doing the job they’re paid to do, not true believers. You’d be surprised how many of them “get” the problem with prohibition.

    Now the DEA, those bastids are the SS. Your local cops are just the Wermacht, yanked along for the ride.

  30. “Soldiers are hailed as hero’s for laying down their lives to protect our freedoms, why are they taken away for a tiny minority of junkies?”

    s.a.m.—You hit the nail right on the head.

    I think the whole “I have a disease” mentality plays right into the hands of the drug warriors. The implicit argument behind this contention is that people don’t have any control over addiction when these substances are so “cunning” and “baffling”…

    In essence, many within the Recovery Group Movement (RGM) want nothing more than to be liberated from the responsibilities of freedom.

  31. I hate to post my own stuff and thoreau and I have already discussed this issue but is anyone aware that NIDA is working to create a regimen of vaccines that will make the human brain immune to mind-altering substances>

    http://www.drugwar.com/cheadshrinking.shtm

  32. Cletus

    Perhaps they’ll put it the water supply like fluoride. They have to protect us all you know.

  33. Don’t give them any ideas, Isaac!

  34. Republicans do love their wars, don’t they?

    War is indeed peace.

    IDL

  35. “Now the DEA, those bastids are the SS. Your local cops are just the Wermacht, yanked along for the ride.”

    Not always true. The biggest SS-Dea dude I ever met was a local cop turned DEA. Most the other DEA guys I have talked to shrug and say “yeah I know” When I bring up MJ and how ridiculous the law is.

  36. Can we debate which is more loathsome–a True Believer who probably isn’t very bright and goes after marijuana smokers because he’s honestly convinced that doing so makes the world a less evil place, or someone who knows the truth but still ruins people’s lives in spite of it?

    It’s kind of like the difference between someone who kills you because he’s a schizophrenic who honestly thinks you’re an alien demon here to destroy all humanity, versus a sane person who murders you for monetary gain.

    Thoreau-
    If my experience is any indication, behavior of that nature would not get a teacher fired, but chances are good that her contract won’t be renewed for the next year.

  37. I get really sick of people saying that tobacco is somehow a more “dangerous” drug than marijuana. I support legalization, have used marijuana, and smoke. I think that while certainly smoking is very likely to reduce the quality of my life later on, the short-term effects of marijuana are vastly more dangerous. Marijuana can impair motor and judgement skills making driving dangerous. Worse, there is less stigma attached to “driving stoned” than driving drunk. The cognitive impairment of a few hits of marijuana is equivalent to about 2 beers (subjectively, anyway). This kind of cognitive impairment is not seen at all in tobacco smoking, and in terms of job and classroom productivity loss tobacco is much better than marijuana. It is not at all clear to me that marijuana is safer than cigarrettes when factors other than “premature death” are taken into account.

    Compared with alcohol, marijuana is enormously safer (death from poisoning, and substantially greater cognitive impairment in large doses), though I’ve found that the “haziness” from marijuana lasts substantially longer than a hangover.

  38. Can we debate which is more loathsome–a True Believer who probably isn’t very bright and goes after marijuana smokers because he’s honestly convinced that doing so makes the world a less evil place, or someone who knows the truth but still ruins people’s lives in spite of it?

    It’s kind of like the difference between someone who kills you because he’s a schizophrenic who honestly thinks you’re an alien demon here to destroy all humanity, versus a sane person who murders you for monetary gain.

    The same point I was going to make. A common arguement I hear when making the above point is that overall the cop does more good (say catching murderers) than bad (catching me). What they don’t seem to realize is that to a 23 year old kid who gets busted for drugs is that while it’s not an immediate death sentence, the prospect of prison rape (condomless no doubt) is basically a long-term death sentence these days.

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