• We’ve been losing the war on drugs since the day before day 1

    UC Irvine Advisory:

    “The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory this week that warns U.S. citizens about travel to Mexico, especially, the northern states of Durango, Coahuila, and Chihuahua. While many travel to Mexico without incident, recent violence associated with criminal drug cartels continues to occur in many areas of Mexico, particularly in the northern border region.

    If you are planning foreign travel during Spring Break, please regularly check for government travel advisories and be prepared to adjust your plans as recommended by the U.S. State Department.

    Whatever your plans may be for Spring Break, we wish you all a safe and enjoyable time while you are away from campus.

    Sincerely,

    Manuel N. Gómez

    Vice Chancellor Student Affairs”

    According to most major news organizations, nearly 20,000 people have died in just a little over three years in one of the largest yet internationally quietest “wars” on the globe.

    The most significant problem with this statistic is that most of the killing has been done by the “bad” guys. Thousands of federal forces and police, hundreds of innocent civilians, and dozens of reporters have been caught in the crossfire of the myriad drug cartels of Mexico, all of who continually vie for the space and resources to brutally push their own individual product up north into the United States.

    Special Agent Rafael Reyes, the chief of the Mexico and Central America Section of the Drug Enforcement Administration told the New York Times last year that “for the cartels, ‘marijuana is the king crop.’”

    This is no surprise to those of us who live in California and other border states, where incarcerations for pot trafficking, dealing, and even using are through the roof. While particular members of the drug mafia get ridiculously wealthy, stoned teenage inner-city dealers serve prison sentence after prison sentence at about $45,000-bucks apiece per year — billed to us, the taxpayers.

    In fact, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, “over 19 billion was spent on the war on drugs in 2003” alone, and “another $30 billion was spent by state and local governments.”

    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, taxpayers pay $1 billion per year for pot-related incarcerations, and another 8 billion per year for pot-related criminal justice costs. They also admitted that about 1 out of 8 U.S. drug prisoners are locked up for pot use, even though there are literally hundreds of drugs (including illegal prescriptions) law enforcement cracks down on. (http://www.alternet.org/rights/47815/).

    With such a hefty price tag, presumably the problem has gotten better over the years … right?

    Not in the slightest. As a matter of fact it’s gotten exponentially worse. In only 7 years time. And it’s expected to get even worse still. Much worse. In other words, this is just the beginning.

    But keep pumping that money in. I’m sure there will be a big payoff any day now.

    I just wouldn’t hold my breath over it.

    This November, Californians will be asked whether they wish to defy federal law and de-criminalize marijuana use. There will be a number of valid arguments made about marijuana’s relative safety compared to several currently legal drugs (e.g., 450,000 people die every year due to tobacco-related illnesses), as well as contentions expanding on the medicinal marijuana argument. Some will point out, rightfully I believe, that a majority have tried pot without harmful incident, and that the world hasn’t gone down the tubes as a result of this infrequent experimentation.

    by David Lacy

    But I believe the most compelling argument for the legalization of marijuana is that we are presently funding mass murder. And we are funding it in two places: by allowing drug money to go to Mexico for their illegal product, and by funding prisons to lock up those with marijuana-related offenses. And most of those we are locking up are 100 percent irrelevant to the larger drug war.

    Endorsing and funding such large-scale murder is entirely unconscionable.

    I support the California proposition to legalize, regulate, and tax the sell of marijuana.


      • Donald Sanders

      • February 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm
      • Reply

      David,
      I’m sorry but if we legalize drugs how will we keep the beds full in our penal system? One in every four white males, one in three Mexican American males and vertually all of our African American families have at least one member in the system, either incarcerated , on parol, or in the court system. Our penal system feeds a lot of mouths, inside and out, regardless of how it disrupts almost every American family. It is big business, very big. I’m not certain but I seem to recall that each bed represents $44,000. We simply have to keep them full or someone will be out of work. We have corectional officers, food suppliers, maint. workers, instructors, counselors, lawyers, police officers, parole oficers, judges, court clreks, court janitors, fenceing contractors, construction contractors, and the list is endless for they all depend on keeping those beds full for their livelyhood. Money, money, money, that’s what it’s all about. Legalize pot and you are facing financial suicide for a lot of people. Must not mess with the system David. It would be better to cut health care workers, or the military budget. They’re all pot smokers anyway aren’t they?
      Anyway, we have jamed twice as many beds into the penal system than the original plan called for. We are all profiting from the penal system just like everyone profited from slavery some years back. Doesn’t even matter if they are guilty or not, we can just threaten them with a lot of years and they will settle out of court for a lesser sentence. We call that the “fear factor”. Got an empty bed, lets go to the bario, or the housing projects where the picking is easy. We can surely get some poor sap there, guilty or not, the DA doesn’t care. If we can’t catch someone legally we can use our confidential informants to plant a few buds in their house or car and, walla, a full bed. There is absolutely nothing that a confidential informant cannot do to legally put anyone or anyone’s son ot daughter in a prison bed. They can go into your house, jam a bud in your coutch coushin, and leave as the police are breaking down your door.

      Yes, David, you must not mess with the system or there will be a bed and a number with your name on it.

      Donald K. Sanders did not write this if anyone should ask.

      Original comment: Friday, May 28, 2010 – 09:59 AM



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