My Work

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pass the Peace Pipe

The 2016 election is getting more than interesting with some strange front runners, some previously thought of front runners becoming has beens, and what appears to be open discussion on what many people consider to be, a big problem. That is, drugs and the so-called war on drugs. That war on drugs has been just as effective as Elliot Ness was on his war on booze.

Being a died-in-the-wool libertarian at heart, I’ve questioned why there has been a war on drugs in the first place. Narcotics are not like alcohol in one respect. If one drinks gin, vodka, whiskey, or beer and wine, one does not automatically become an alcoholic. On the other hand, many of what have become illegal “drugs” aren’t habit forming either. Getting ‘high’ shouldn’t be any more illegal from a plant that one smokes or eats, than from one that is consumed as a beverage.

The only product from this war on drugs has been the creation of major criminal enterprises making more money than anyone can imagine. Those profiting from the distribution of illegal drugs have become warlords with immense power and prestige, far surpassing the criminal element that thrived distributing illegal alcohol.

Putting age minimums on alcohol consumption only creates a ‘thrill’ situation for those that haven’t reached that age plateau. That, of course can be seen in drunken orgies at any college campus or high school after game party. I went to high school on Guam during the early 1950s and, except for the military bases, the civilian thirst parlors did not have age limitations on purchasing a drink with alcoholic content.

When I was fourteen, if I wanted a beer and had the money, I could buy one and drink it. The local pubs had serious rules of conduct, though. If one misbehaved to the point of being told to leave, that pub owner could make the ejection permanent, and often did. On an Island only thirty-eight miles long, if one was stupid and foolish, one ran out of places to imbibe. That was more efficient than any law that said one couldn’t drink until one reached a certain age.

The war on drubs has also created an entire class of hypocrisy within the law enforcement field. Defense attorneys face prosecutors over some dumb-ass caught with a couple of joints and, after court, snort some cocaine with their martinis while grilling a steak. The cop on the beat snags a guy with a clay pipe and some residue and goes home to smoke a joint or two after supper.

If a person feels responsible for himself, that person should be able to enjoy a martini without fear of arrest, snort a coke hit, or inject some black tar. It’s his body, he would be responsible for the results. If he becomes a raving alcoholic, his responsibility. If he becomes a drug addled fool, his responsibility. Assault, theft, DUI, and other crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest measure of the law, which should be reflected as a deterrent to other users.

I know I don’t get along with a drunken idiot or blithering druggie, but unless they get in my face aggressively or threaten me in some other way, I just pass it off. It’s their body, and it will be their hang over, or hospital bill.

It’s the creation of major criminal elements that have been the true result of the war on drugs. Massive areas of good agricultural land have been set aside for growing the plants that turn into drugs. Entire police agencies have become drug runners, governments getting their kick-backs from cartels, thrive with under the table money. Think how much real food could be grown on the land in South America dedicated to cocaine, or the land in Afghanistan dedicated to poppies.

With the money available because the drug is illegal, any farmer in a third world economy would be foolish to grow corn when he could grow a poppy or coca plant. Most of the drugs that are illegal today were not illegal prior to World War Two, and the fear mongers, terrified that the war effort might be affected by drugs, started this whole mess.

The repeal of the ban on alcohol did not create a nation of alcoholics, and did force the gangster element to move to different means of income. I think the time has passed to let adults be adults and force the drug cartels to find another way of making trillions of dollars.

Until next time, read good books and stay regular.

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