So now the War On Drugs is an actual shooting war, with the shooting and dying being done in Mexico. The fact that recreational drugs are illegal makes them more expensive than gold, and men have been known to kill for gold. Well, men have been killing each other for decades over the huge profits to be had by dealing illegal drugs. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the War on Drugs, declared by President Nixon. America has yet to win even a minor skirmish in this war, never mind any major battles. One result of this War On Drugs in the imprisoning of more people per capita than any other nation. That’s right, here in The Land of The Free you’re more likely to be sentenced to prison than in any nation on earth, and the majority of our convicts are incarcerated for drug-related offenses.

The most powerful and destructive drug we Americans imbibe is alcohol, which can be bought legally anywhere in the nation. In 1919 America outlawed alcohol too, and the results were the rapid rise of organized crime cartels that murdered a lot of people in order to control the flow of illegal alcoholic beverages. After a dozen years of that bloodshed we wised up and made it legal again, but the mafia and other gangs were here to stay; wealthy, corrupt and murderous. The repeal of Prohibition did not create one single extra alcoholic. That’s not how addiction works. 

10% of our population consumes 90% of the alcoholic beverages. That same 10% also consumes 90% of the illegal drugs as well. Those people would be the addicts. The other 90% of humanity? They are the non-addicts, those who can have just a drink or two and leave it alone. For an addict, a couple of drinks is just a warm up on their way to a dozen or more. It’s the same for drug addicts, a great many of whom are also addicted to alcohol. The high crime rates found among drug addicts is directly related to the high price of drugs, many severe addicts unable to keep up with the huge expenditures involved in maintaining their crippling addictions. Legalizing drugs won’t cure these people of the disease of addiction, but it will bring the price down to manageable levels, on a par with a heavy alcohol addiction. Crime will decrease and prison populations shrink dramatically.

While the repeal of Prohibition did not cure any alcoholics, it’s ready availability at affordable prices did not create a single new alcoholic. No extra junkies will be created by legalizing drugs. Either you are an addict or you are not. It’s like outlawing sugar because some people get diabetes. What legalizing drugs will do is remove the huge profits from the violent drug cartels that have have perpetrated untold violence in America and has now erupted into a war in Mexico, where drug cartels have grown in wealth and power to the point where they openly engage the Mexican Army and police forces in battle. Unlike the mafia, these drug cartels have not branched out into gambling, extortion, prostitution, loan sharking and taking over unions. There’s just so much money in illegal drugs they don’t have to. Take away their only source of income and they’re finished.

If America legalizes drugs, every kind of drug, then we will control the manufacture and sale of them, just as we do with alcohol. Sanitary production facilities and government inspections are universal in American production of alcoholic beverages, and they are monitored far more carefully that the manufacturers of the food products we eat. No one is poisoned by bathtub gin anymore, yet thousands still die every year from consuming alcohol, far more than the deaths by all other illegal drugs combined. Why is that okay but marijuana, cocaine and heroin not okay? Who is getting bribed to maintain this crazy situation?

The drug dealers certainly don’t want it legalized. They are murderous criminals who wouldn’t want to have to actually work for a living and earn a normal profit like any other legitimate businessman. Politicians know from 40 years experience with this lost cause that the War On Drugs is a sad joke that is hurting this nation and many other nations. And yet they posture like they were the nation’s conscience when it comes to legalizing drugs. Then some of them go out for a 3 Martini lunch, have a few cigarettes and go back to work soused, as stoned as any junky on any drug, maybe more so. Legalizing drugs isn’t condoning their use, any more that the government condones smoking cigarettes or drinking bourbon, two products that earn the government many billions of dollars a year in taxes.

Many farming states could grow wealthy growing marijuana. Poppies and coca leaves to make heroin and cocaine could be bought as cheaply as bananas. Without the legality issue, drugs are cheap, just as whiskey is not all that expensive to produce. When a bottle of whiskey is sold, the state, local and federal governments take well over half the selling price in various  taxes. Making legal drugs will be even cheaper since they need not be aged and are very easily produced. Marijuana is a weed, after all, and poppies are wild flowers and coca leaves grow wild all over the Andes. Why not in the Rockies? The tax windfall for the government would be enough to provide universal health care, including treatment for addicts. 

America recognizes addiction as a disease, and yet jails the sick. We used to do the same thing with mentally ill people, locking them away in places called Idiot Pavilions and Psychotic Wards. These are diseases people do not approve of, you see, either being mentally imbalanced or addicted to an intoxicant, as if people have a choice in the matter of what disease strikes them. Well, we don’t lock up mentally ill people who are not hurting themselves or others anymore, but drug addicts are everybody’s nigger, a convenient bogeyman to hate and fear and lock away. Who the hell are we kidding? We’re making drug gangs wealthy, losing billions in potential tax revenue and persecuting 10% of the population. Some war. Time to end it.

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