The Long Road to Dismantling Prohibition


they look for cash cows

Marijuana decriminalization and legalization may start to be feeling like a fait accompli, a matter of when not if (you can check out the status of legalization efforts in all 50 states here).

Yet the "business" (mostly government) built around the war on drugs involves a lot of people (again, mostly government employees or those involved with government in some way) profiting from the status quo. Even as public opinion continues to move rapidly toward the mainstreaming of marijuana use, desperate drug warriors try to claim their often all-too-real war on drugs is actually a "public health" issue. Drug courts have popped up around the country to permit an end run around decriminalization. When the human cost of the drug war finally starts to make prohibition unpalatable, drug courts and the treatment of the consensual activity of drug use as a "public health" issue sanitizes it while keeping those who use drugs and get caught in the net of the drug warriors as profit centers.

Fearmongering about drugs helps fuel this kind of set-up. Even in Colorado, where voters approved marijuana legalization in 2012, the governor, Democrat John Hickenlooper, continues to insist it may not have been a good idea. He still wouldn't have supported it, he says, even as tax revenue exceeds projections. Counties, meanwhile, are fighting over the tax revenue even when they prohibit marijuana within their own jurisdictions. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) insist "every parent" opposes marijuana legalization and get choked up telling the Senate thaat legalization "scares" them.

And anti-drug propaganda is peddled nationwide on a daily basis, especially under the guise of protecting children. Here are a couple of items just from today. In Washington, New Jersey:

Former Mount Olive Police Officer Joseph Abrusci is not good at being "retired."

As a certified expert in the area of drug impairment, Abrusci continues to offer his knowledge to parents and organizations that combat substance abuse with education and experience.

"I'm still having fun and enjoying it to help my community and its kids to stay on the right track, or get back on it," Abrusci said, "and I love every minute of it."

Abrusci offers eight hour classes under a program called "Drug Identification Training for Education Professionals." Dollars to donuts that's a paid gig.

Meanwhile in Montana:

Alliance for Youth is looking for students and parents to join separate advisory boards to help promote and sustain an anti-drug media campaign targeting teens.

The Above the Influence campaign will look at how parents and teenagers can reach out to students and encourage positive behavior and change attitudes about drugs and alcohol use and abuse.

For more than 20 years, Alliance for Youth has provided resources to families, children and teens to advance healthy youth development. They champion prevention and reduction of underage drinking and illegal drug use and dependency, which often leads to other problems including crime, violence, early sexual activity and dropping out of school.

The Alliance for Youth also adminsters the local court's drug court program. The drug war is a jobs program all the way down. Those can be the hardest to dismantle, tied to the power of government and to political pressure as they are.

NEXT: Justice Kennedy Let the Voters Ban Affirmative Action. Will He Let Them Ban Gay Marriage, Too?

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  1. “…Dollars to donuts that’s a paid gig.”

    “donuts”? Was that some kind of subtle dig at the cop?

  2. Heh. I get a paid ad for Charlie Crist 2014 below the click-bait. Now there’s a man who has been on every side of this issue, professionally. (I imagine he’s pro-legalization since his current boss has been leading the charge to get MMJ on the ballot.)

  3. “Winners Don’t Use Drugs!”

    You mean like Michael Phelps?

    1. More like Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis, and everyone else who’s won the Tour de France.

    2. What about Richard Branson? That guy is a loser who failed to live up to his potential.

    3. The Onion begs to differ…..drugs,971/

  4. All you have to do is pass a constitutional amendment overturning the amendment that prohibited it in the first place.

    1. Repeal the FYTW amendment?

  5. Yesterday I saw a “drug-free NJ” poster screaming that ZOMG heroine deaths of 18-24 year olds is up 24% in JUST ONE YEAR!1!1!!

    It’s almost like they count on the average American to be ignorant of statistics or something.

    1. Well, it’s a fair assumption. Plus, they lie, so there’s that.

  6. Jobs created or saved, FTW!

  7. I’m still amazed that behavior that does not violate the rights of others is considered to be criminal. What the heck does the term inalienable rights mean? It means that if an adult’s behavior is honest, peaceful, and doesn’t violate or threaten to violate the rights of others, then it’s that person inalienable right. A crime violates the rights of others. A sin violates a person’s personal moral or religious beliefs. The so-called war on drugs is, at base, a religious issue and a violation of the First Amendment’s “establishment” clause.

    There are four major groups that benefit from illegal drugs: 1) the prison-industrial complex, 2) violent street gangs, 3) violent drug cartels, and 4) to a lesser extent, global terrorists. Re-legalize drugs (re-legalize inalienable rights) and most of the people in those four groups go out of business. They will fight tooth and nail to keep drugs illegal.

    Thomas Edison, David Star Jordan (1st President of Stanford University), and Connie Mack (manager of Philadelphia Athletics) said that smoking cigarettes (tobacco) would 1) lead to permanent brain damage, 2) or that those who did smoke had no future, and 3) that smokers would never succeed in life. first addendum, “Miscellaneous Quotes and Information.

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