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.