PART 1 History of the Drug War
In an emotionally charged issue such as Black Lives Matters and the Police its easy to fall into the trap of treating everything as a black and white issue.
On the one hand you have a community of African Americans that for a variety of reasons is distrustful of the police. On the other hand you have a situation where the vast majority of cops are good people just trying to make it home for dinner and more than likely dread going to a call everytime it occurs in one of these communities.
We’re running out of hands here, but the one hand that is not so obvious are the people who are playing these groups off against each other but we will talk about that later.
A major root cause for this tension is the War on Drugs. Drugs are used as the excuse to search vehicles, have rode blocks, and arrest people… as was the case for Mr Scott.
“Scott was in possession of marijuana when officers approached him, something that hadn’t been previously revealed. That discovery, plus the weapon police say he had, made him an imminent threat, Putney said.”
The African American community tends to be less well off than their Caucasian counterparts. The means African Americans tend to live closer to one another i.e. cities. In densely packed cities its harder to hide drug use which leads to more arrests and since less than 62% of Americans have more than $1000 in cash at their disposal it also means they aren’t able to afford lawyers.
It also means any subsequent fine is going to proportionately affect them more. I don’t know all the details of the Charlotte protest victim’s background but having Marijuana on him could lead to an arrest. An arrest could mean: loss of a job, loss of your kids, loss of your livelihood or it could mean the loss of your freedom.
The drug war also means cartels and gangs now have a profit center. Where there are illicit profits, there will be violence. When a drug deal goes awry, you can’t call the police, so it invites taking action into your own hands. This usually results in violence, which further deteriorates communities and creates a vicious cycle. This increased violence puts policemen’s lives further in danger. The group that should be getting the blame are the politicians for creating the powder keg in the first place.
I wonder how many of the black on black deaths in Chicago had a cause going back to drugs?
If the goal is to have fewer people on drugs then apparently the war on drugs is a failure of epic proportions. Today the drugs are: stronger, cheaper and more available than ever.
How many trillions do we need to piss away before we come to grips with this? How many more prisons do we need to create to house prisoners for more money per pop than a college degree?
Which brings me to another side point. Getting caught with Marijuana can mean a lot of different things depending on where you live. Some places it is legal, other places it is a slap on the wrist, but in some location’s it is a felony…as is the case in AZ where I’m typing this! It should be clear that the most dangerous impact of Marijuana is the police catching you with it. Being caught with Marijuana could get you kicked out of school or prevent you from getting in, which will make getting a job that much more difficult. It can mean losing your job which has a major multiplier effect for your family. It can mean going to prison which then makes finding a job next to impossible and gives many non violent offenders a Doctorate in crime after being locked away with hardened criminals.
In almost all of these scenarios, the punishment for getting caught with weed is to take away or drastically impede your right to work or educate yourself. Unless of course, you can work in the modern slave trade known as the private prison industry.
I bet some of you are hearing that for the first time. I’m not going to make this a big expose on the private prison industry but it is interesting that most of the American prisons are privately run and you can buy stock on them ! This means private companies have an incentive to keep drugs illegal so they can pay black people $4 a day to be their slaves .
The Private Prison contractors even have clauses in their contracts where they are guaranteed a certain occupancy. This creates a feedback loop where law enforcement needs to keep a certain amount of people locked up, so private companies can hit their quota. These same companies and their trade groups then lobby to keep drugs illegal!
In AZ we have a company that makes a product more dangerous than Heroin as the lead opponent of our “legalization” bill.
“You have a company using profits from the sale of what has been called ‘the most potent and dangerous opioid on the market’ to prevent adults from using a far less harmful substance,” AZCentral
Ok… but drugs are illegal, so if these people are breaking the law, then who cares? Society should care. Wives and Husbands of police officers should care. Anyone with young children should care.
For the police: is getting drugs off the street worth not coming home to your kids, because you were the wrong police officer at the wrong place at the wrong time. It would be one thing if their measures actually did deter drug usage, but the facts do not support that.
But lets take a look at why Marijuana is illegal in the first place. Jack Herer wrote a fantastic book on the subject called “The Emporer Wears No Clothes” Mr Herer starts by talking about how Industrial Hemp was recognized as the most useful crop known to mankind. Popular science magazine even referred to it as the next Billion dollar crop in the 1930’s!
Everything from oil to fabric to rope could be derived from Hemp. In essence, Hemp could be a major disrupter for many industries, not the least of which was cotton.
Did you know the first model T not only ran off hemp but was made of it too?
Even though hemp could grow at Four times the speed of cotton and you could grow Four times as much per acre, there was no equivalent Hemp Gin. That was until the Hemp Decorater or Hemp Gin came out in 1938. No sooner was the Hemp gin announced, then the push for criminalization began.
Yea that sounds pretty crazy though?
At one Point the Government even made a film called “Hemp for Victory” and encouraged farmers to grow and cultivate it for WW2.
Another little known factoid is many of our founding fathers were Hemp farmers including George Washinton.
Like usual, if you want to get to the root of something you have to Follow the money.
The story doesn’t stop there. The DuPont family had just invested a huge percentage of their resources in cotton, pulp and plastic related industries. As it turned out, the well connected DuPont’s had a powerful ally in mega financier Andrew Mellon.
Mellon was DuPont’s banker, Henry J Anslingers boss and Henry’s Wife’s Uncle. Henry J Anslinger would go on the create the Bureau of Narcotics under the orders of then Secretary of the Treasurer Andrew Mellon.
Anslinger created the Bureau of Narcotics as a way protect his families cotton interest.
Through yellow journalism, the likes the world would not see again until Trump ran for president, the public was convinced of the Devil Weed! As a matter of fact the father of yellow journalism William Randolph Hearst was instrumental in crafting the prohibitionists narrative.
Through sworn testimony, the public was propagandized and led to believe Marijuana was the most Violence causing drug known to man. Some other quotes attributed to Anslinger are the following:
As you can see, while protecting profits may have been the motive, the DuPonts had to find a way to sell this to the public. Racism was the lynchpin the yellow journalists used to get the public to radically alter their perception of this plant.
One of the biggest unintended consequences many well intended people leave out, is the fact that once you make something illegal, you make it more sexy. When young adults try Marijuana, they immediately realize this is not the most violence-causing drug known to man. Anyone can tell you this is a lie, the likes of which the world has never seen before. Then curious young adults might develop the mindset… well if I was lied to about Marijuana maybe Heroin or Cocaine isn’t really that bad after all? If Marijuana is a gateway drug, it’s a gateway drug because of the over the top lies kids are told growing up.
The lies about Marijuana act as a gateway drug to adolescents who realize the fears of Marijuana were overblown. One of the most egregious examples can be seen below from the film “Reefer Madness”
That is not to say everyone should be running around on drugs, but to confront the history of how we got here in the first place. Many would argue the most dangerous gateway drug is alcohol. It’s interesting that some of the biggest lobbyist for prohibitions are: Police Unions, Private Prison Unions and the Cigarette and Alcohol lobby.
If your aim is to get people to use less drugs, I cannot stress enough, that the current path is a complete and utter failure. One country that took a radically different approach was Portugal.
Portugal focused on treatment and addiction and decriminalized all drugs. Skeptics cried bloody murder and think of the Children! The results were staggering as seen from:
Everything from 18-24 yr old Cannabis use
To Drug induced deaths
To HIV Infections
Have all trended in a positive direction. Furthermore Transform found the following:
“Removing Criminal Penalties for personal drug possession did not cause an increase in levels of drug use”
I haven’t seen the study yet, but I would predict a positive relationship between Drugs being illegal and police dying.
By now I hope we have established several things:
- The war on drugs is a complete failure
- The war on drugs is the root cause of institutionalized racism in America
- The war on drugs dispropotionately affects minorities more than whites.
- The war on drugs was founded based on pushing racist lies
- Drugs are usually the excuse or motive cops use to engage with African Americans in the first place.
- The epidemic black on black crime usually stems from drug related issues
- There are a lot of powerful forces working to keep drugs illegal for their own profit.
- The biggest beneficiaries of the war on drugs are the drug cartels and gangs.
- If the goal is to have less people on drugs we need to take an approach like Portugal took.
- African Americans and the youth in general view cops in bad regard because many young adults smoke marijuana and know their lives can be ruined if the cops bust them with it
- The families of police would have a much better chance of their Mom and Dad coming home everynight if Marijuana was illegal.
- Mr Keith would more than likely still be alive if Marijuana were legal.
Thank you for reading and please stay tuned for the other parts of this series.
In part 2 we will discuss the groups and figures funding Black Lives Matter and why they are pushing divide and conquer strategies to achieve their end game. We will also get into what the end game is as well as key facts and figures as it relates to African American incarceration rates and deaths as it relates to the War on Drugs.
In Part 3 we will discuss unintended consequences of the War on Drugs and why the current war on drugs is leading to police dying, children being kidnapped and valuable resources being pissed away as well as the opportunity cost of thos lost dollars. Life is all about Trade off’s and would anyone really want to spend more money housing prisoners then education our youth… especially when the policy is a proven failure.
In Part 4 we will offer a concise solution that will lead to less: African Americans dying, Police dying, people using drugs, violent crime and more resources to issues that matter. We will also point out hypocrisies on both sides and point out why both sides need to address their bad apples and discuss LEAP. The Saying is a few rotten apples can spoil the whole bunch. Lastly we will make the conservative case for drug legalization and touch base on prop 205.