Insanity and the War on Drugs or One Way to Stimulate the Economy

Obama’s political success has largely been a result of his opposition to the Iraq war from the start and the belief of voters that he will put an end to that war. He has been less consistent, but at times has also indicated objections to aspects of another failed war–the drug war. Hopefully once in office he takes a closer took at the issue.  Reuters looks at the insanity of the war on drugs, and a move from an unexpected source to end the war:

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. His definition fits America’s war on drugs, a multi-billion dollar, four-decade exercise in futility.

The war on drugs has helped turn the United States into the country with the world’s largest prison population. (Noteworthy statistic: The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners). Keen demand for illicit drugs in America, the world’s biggest market, helped spawn global criminal enterprises that use extreme violence in the pursuit of equally extreme profits.

Over the years, the war on drugs has spurred repeated calls from social scientists and economists (including three Nobel prize winners) to seriously rethink a strategy that ignores the laws of supply and demand.

Under the headline “The Failed War on Drugs,” Washington’s respected, middle-of-the-road Brookings Institution said in a November report that drug use had not declined significantly over the years and that “falling retail drug prices reflect the failure of efforts to reduce the supply of drugs.”

Cocaine production in South America stands at historic highs, the report noted.

Like other think tanks, Brookings stopped short of recommending a radical departure from past policies with a proven track record of failure such as spending billions on crop eradication in Latin America and Asia while allotting paltry sums in comparison to rehabilitating addicts.

Enter Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an organization started in 2002 by police officers, judges, narcotics agents, prison wardens and others with first-hand experience of implementing policies that echo the prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition, now widely regarded a dismal and costly failure of social engineering, came to an end 75 years ago this week.

As LEAP sees it, the best way to fight drug crime and violence is to legalize drugs and regulate them the same way alcohol and tobacco is now regulated. “We repealed prohibition once and we can do it again,” one of the group’s co-founders, Terry Nelson, told a Washington news conference on December 2. “We cannot arrest our way out of this problem.”

For the last few months policies have been analyzed largely on how they will affect the economy. If we don’t end the drug war for any other reason, perhaps we should look at how it would stimulate the economy:

The budgetary impact of legalizing drugs would be enormous, according to a study prepared to coincide with the 75th anniversary of prohibition’s end by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron. He estimates that legalizing drugs would inject $76.8 billion a year into the U.S. economy — $44.1 billion through savings on law enforcement and at least $32.7 billion in tax revenues from regulated sales.

More information on LEAP can be found at their website.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Antinomian says:

    Debaters debate the two wars as if the civil War on Drugs (WOD) against Woodstock Nation did not yet run amok. WOD accountability is negative bang for the buck. Oversight is wads of money in cans of worms. The benchmark price of Mexican schwag is up. That’s how we know we are doing a good job of keeping skunk off the street. The exit-plan is cultural genocide.
    Continuing the vendetta against all present at the peaceful public assembly of Woodstock Nation in August 1969, and their families, and their associates, cannot be good for the parent society. Foreign enemies are at the gate, circle the generation-gap wagons. The negative numbers that will have to be used to bottom-line our legacy to the next generation can be less ginormous. Woodstock Nation is a multi-ethnic subculture with proud contributions to the history and culture of America and of the world.
    If we could have learned from history, we wouldn’t have been condemned to repeat it. We could have studied why we had laws against Quakers, why the court of Oyer and Terminer in Salem accepted the testimony of teenage girls, channeling invisible spirits and devils, to send 19 innocent people to the gallows for witchcraft. In 1693, the court stopped accepting spectral evidence, gaols emptied, life renewed. Ann Putnam confided to the public 14 years later,
    “I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father’s family in the year about ’92; that I, then being in my childhood, should be made an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken from them, whom I now have just grounds and good reason to believe that they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, where I justly fear I may have brought upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though what was said and done by me against any person I can truly and uprightly say I did not do it out of anger, malice, or ill-will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them, but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan”
    In modern times, the WOD reignites fires of hell. Do now what the 21st Amendment did for alcohol prohibition. It is on the people to lobby their delegates for change.
    An authority over interstate commerce provides the required pretext of constitutionality. Any excuse is surely better than none. So, how is that interstate commerce going, which needs the CSA so much? The CSA mantra is eradicate, do not tax, the country’s number-one cash crop. When supply is dry, robust demand bids prices up. Gifted with margin to frustrate interdiction, peddlers’ bags do not carry coals to Newcastle. The founders’ purpose to authorize federal meddling in interstate commerce was not to undermine national security and impoverish the treasury.
    Woodstock Nation deserves most-favored status as trading partner. The WOD witch doctor’s Rx is for every bust to numerate a bigger tax-load over a smaller denominator of payers. Spend more on prisons than on schools. My second witch’s opinion is herbal remedy. Homegrown is free so family budgets have more discretionary income to stimulate the economy. Empty prisons could become homeless shelters with a bus stop. Homeland Security could use eradication choppers. Broken families must regenerate and be revalued as Americans who did nothing wrong. The USA incarcerates a higher percent of its people than any other country on the face of the earth. Over half of all inmates were convicted under the CSA. If we are all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home?
    In 1633, “John Oldham, from Dorchester, and three men with him, travelled through the wilderness to Connecticut, to view the land, and trade with the Indians. He found that the Indian hemp grew spontaneously in the meadows, in great abundance. He purchased a quantity of it. Upon trial, it appeared much to exceed the hemp which grew in England.” [A Complete History of Connecticut, by Benjamin Trumbull, 1818, Vol 1. Page 34] In October 1633, William Holmes of Plymouth colony sailed a pre-framed house up the Connecticut River to Windsor, to traffic in the hemp and beaver trade. They got away with it too.
    It was Richard Nixon who foisted the CSA on posterity. Expert witnesses for the scheduled substances have never ever been allowed to present exculpatory evidence. Amendments are not up to the task of assuring due-process under a law which was based on spectral evidence and codified whoppers from the get-go. Commissioned reports are shoveled to the bit-bucket.  Promising scientific research by Myron Stolaroff, Alexander Shulgin PhD, and Rick Doblin PhD is shut down. Redundantly, there is no accepted use, nor will there ever be, when all use is not accepted. Potential scientific breakthroughs hibernate in nether limbo. Marijuana has no medical use, period. Open and shut cases clog the kangaroo courts. Lives are flushed down expensive tubes.
    Many jurors, in the huge pools needed to find eleven freemen with the right stuff, suffer compunction. Compassion for the accused can interfere with the impartial finding of guilt or innocence under lawful statute. The penal code may be cast in stone, but the people can put it on their to-do lists to lobby their delegates for change. Softies are excused from violating their consciences. Having given six-dollars of service, jurors take the deal to be free to go.
    How many politicians have studied the book, LSD, My Problem Child, by the Nobel Prize Committee member Albert Hofmann (1906-2008)? Google knows about the full text online. Kids won’t stop being afraid of the dark anytime soon. The dark is the subconscious. Politicians link use of the scheduled substances to forfeiture of liberty, employment and estate. Dose and purity are suspect. You might never regain sanity after an invisible dose. Anyone who has taken LSD is guilty of familiarity with politicians’ best-of-breed boogeyman. Father, forgive prohibitionists who make it their family’s meal ticket to know not what they do. Positive set and supportive setting reliably produces positive experiences.
    Best practice to get reliable advice is to ask it of experts with personal experience. The hoosegow is full of them. The Fourth Amendment right of the people to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure in their persons and the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination have been reinterpreted to allow urine collection without warrant, probable cause, or even individualized suspicion. It’s in the terms of employment.
    Those of us not yet ratted-out on anonymous tip-lines can’t afford rumors to reach authorities. Trust no one over thirty became don’t dare let your children know about your rituals. All these years, I witnessed what went down. Woodstock Nation cadres have been kiboshed. I made neither peep nor squawk as compassionate jingoism became the rage. I took up the sport of competitive sleeping. Synchronicity took forever to penetrate my thick skull that it is on me to wake up and ante up my two cents.
    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act restores choice of sacrament of communion, but only for the Native American Church to eat peyote. At present, freedom of religion in America means freedom to attend weekly social clubs called church, characterized by sects and inert placebo sacraments of communion. All American people should be extended the same freedom of religion as the RFRA extends to the NAC to select scheduled sacraments to mediate communion twixt the soul and the source in the prayer rituals even of single-member sects.
    You can’t speak your piece freely if you can’t think it up. To create, one must be in a receptive mood. How could slacker me aspire to be the one to stick a fork in the War on Drugs? What was I smoking?  The Constitution, as amended, does not enumerate any power to impede outside-the-box thinking or arbitrate states of consciousness. How and when did government acquire this power? Politicians who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction. Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech, says the First Amendment. The CSA derails speech, such as that which you are now reading, onto mental roads not taken.
    Relatively speaking, substance toxicities are in no way as detrimental to the user as incarceration is, with recidivism for a safety net. To the CSA, your head is a container filled with felony amounts of naughty DMT. Under the law, the weight of admixed fillers (your brain) counts the same as if it was all pure DMT. Guess who manufactured that, without a license. Strike one. There shall be no cruel and unusual punishment, says the Eighth Amendment. Loss of liberty, without even an allegation of causing any injury, is cruel and unusual.
    Those who don’t agree that getting high is the secret to life remain free to abstain. If you do get high, it is no skin off anyone’s back but your own. Live and let live. My son the gamer insists he has the right to waste his youth in a virtual world he prefers to the real one. He doesn’t recall asking to be born.
    Let offenders cop a plea by rolling over on higher-ups. God and Mother Nature conspire to provide rain, sunlight, and composted earth for illegal seeds, by the ton. Are the masterminds to get off scot-free, while little guy copycats are selectively prosecuted? God confesses, in Genesis 11-12, it was He who created the seed-bearing plants, on the second day. Behold, He pronounces them very good, with no tinge of remorse about creating weed, mushrooms, morning glories, coca, poppies or cacti. Neither has He apologized for the intelligent design of booby traps in the corporal wiring and plumbing of the people. A maverick molecule could find the little red lane at any time, placing subliminal associations, projections, and realizations into play. Book’Em, Dano.
    Common Law must hold that the people are the legal owners of their own bodies. That would include corporal components such as the various receptor sites. The people have the same right to move about the spiritual rooms of their minds as they do in the material rooms of their homes. The people have a right to get drunk in their homes, be it folly or otherwise. Masochism is not well-punished by sadism. The drunk is already sentenced to life without parole in his own company. King Charles and Bishop Laud tried to coerce conformity on puritans. It doesn’t work.
    The Declaration of Independence gets right to the point. The pursuit of happiness is a self-evident, God-given, inalienable, right of man. The WOD is a war on the pursuit of happiness. The books have ample law on them, sans CSA. The usual caveats, against injury to others, or their estates, remain in effect. People should be held responsible for damage caused by their screw-ups. No harm, no foul; and no excuse, either.
    Lame ducks can do their bipartisan bit to ease transition before cleaning out their desks. Repeal the CSA of 1970 to empower the mandate. The annual cost of the WOD at federal, state and local levels totals what, only 50 or 100B USD? If anybody is counting, please share. There is no lower-hanging, riper, or higher-yielding budgetary fruit than to kick the addiction to the third war, cold turkey.

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