Drug war lunacy–Connecting the Dots

Next month the Supreme Court will be given the chance to redress one minor the lunacy of the last thirty years of the so-called “war on drugs”. It will get to decide whether in the name of "zero tolerance" a thirteen year old girl can be strip searched in the quest to find some OTC ibuprofen. Oh, and she was an honor student falsely accused by a former "friend". Given the current make-up of the Supreme Court—yes Clarence Thomas still gets a vote—we can probably expect nothing sensible.

On the other hand nothing sensible, and much worse, is going on south of the border. My former colleague Paul Saffo points out that Mexico is on the verge of collapse. He notes a major signal—the cops are wearing masks while a major drug dealer stands proud.

There’s been a minor civil war going in Mexico for years, but now it may have gone beyond the point of no return. The cause? Prohibition and the huge amount of money available to criminal gangs satisfying America’s need for prohibited drugs. This is all insanely compounded by the ease with which Americans are able to legally sell those criminals arsenals which make African war-lords envious. The obvious answer—to legalize, tax and regulate drugs, is just unspeakable in Washington DC. So we continue the insanity of pumping more and more money into the problem, and expecting a different result.

In one possible sign of some common sense, the sentencing of a man convicted of running a state-approved medical marijuana dispensary—one opened in plain sight with the full approval of state and local officials and valid under state law—was delayed. The new attorney-general Eric Holder has started baby steps towards reducing the insane behavior of the Ashcroft & Gonzalez led justice department by at least suspending raids on medical marijuana dispensaries.

But we are light years away from taking the sensible course of action in all these cases. The spirit of Prohibition connects a school girl being strip-searched, a Mexican drug lord ordering hits on cops, and a man being imprisoned for trying to help sick people. We can only hope that the more these connections are being made, the more people will question 90 years of prohibition lunacy.

9 replies »

  1. Actuary,
    I believe I said give the taxpayor the same discount. My bad for referencing part of the consitution that already exist. We should just cut out that equal protection garbage anyways.

  2. Nate,
    I did ask if you were serious, you could have just said no.
    But instead you proved to be the same illogical blowhard who writes that the government should mandate hospitals give all insurers the same discount immediately after telling the government to stay out of the health care business.
    Trying to stop supply hasn’t worked … end of story.

  3. The one thing I have never understood about loosening our prohibition stance. What happens to all the angry drug dealers who lose money once all of these drugs are legal and sold in shops similar to a coffee shop in Oakland, CA? I imagine there will be some ticked off drug king pins.

  4. Actuary,
    wow I really need to dumb down the sarcasm apparently. And I have never made an ill-informed post, just ones that disagree with the prevalent ideology. If you can find one factual inaccuracy I’ll gladly admit to being ill-informed.
    Just in case you still don’t grasp it allow me to spell it out very very very clear for you. The Constitution provides a small number of duties to our national government with the rest being reserved for the states. One of those duties is to protect our national borders. This is the specific role of our military, to protect us from hostilities from other nations; this is clearly separate from police powers to protect us from internal threats. If you where informed you would know a military presence on our border with Mexico has been forbidden and handled strictly as a police matter, even though foreign nationals with very big guns are invading us.
    I was being sarcastic in stating that we don’t have a military to protect our border. We in fact do have one they just aren’t allowed to do it. Do you follow along now?

  5. Nate,
    Are you serious?
    You are known for making ill-informed posts on health care, but it appears you have even less knowledge in this area.

  6. sensible start would be protecting our border so large amount of drugs don’t move in and larger amounts of cash and weapons move out.
    If only we had a large body of well armed people who’s job it was to protect our borders….
    ….and where ALLOWED to do so.

  7. I am not sure if there is evidence of strong correlation between the policy and behavior. The girl strip searched was sad but I am not sure that even with the current law, the strip search was mandated.
    Having said that neither there is cuasality established that legalization will do any good. A campaign of education, with some legalization and sensible enforcement is needed. In the end, it is THE SENSIBLE part that is the key.

  8. The drug “problem” is the fact that we allow individuals with no training in clinical pharmacology or basic medical science “dictating” drug-control policy. That is about as stupid as allowing the American Botanical Society to dictate gun-control policy.