Sunday, August 15, 2010

Even a Stopped Clock Is Right Twice a Day

Make no mistake, Carl Worden is generally a right-wing nut -- so if even this guy can see the stupidity of the War on Drugs, then anybody can. Therefore I'm shamelessly forwarding his comments. Enjoy!

Worden: The Truth About The War On Drugs

by Carl F. Worden

Ladies & Gentlemen:
Our government has used the War On Drugs, hereinafter referred to as the WOD, as an excuse to infringe upon, and, in some cases, entirely butcher, our Bill of Rights. They have sold these infringements to you and yours, based upon the perpetually wrong philosophy that the ends justify the means. In general, the American public, and perhaps some of you, bought that philosophy hook, line and sinker. I will now dispel the myths perpetrated upon the masses by our benevolent government regarding the WOD.

Put me to the test. Tomorrow, ask every person you meet this question:
If hard illegal drugs were legalized, would you use them? You will find that 98% of all the people asked that question will give an emphatically negative answer. The fact is, the other 2% who answer in the positive are probably already using them! What’s wrong with this picture? Our government says the WOD must continue to protect us from our assumed inability to resist that which can harm us. “My God”, they say, “you can’t do that!” “Why, we’d have an epidemic on our hands!” But wait, didn’t we just establish that these illegal drugs are available right now to anyone who wants to use them? Is there anyone reading this that believes the designation “illegal” inhibits anyone from using these substances, considering their wide availability and low risk of discovery? THINK! You’ve been fed a big fat, government sponsored lie!

Let me tell you something about the drug trade.
Robbing, stealing, murdering, raping; those are all crimes. But drug dealing is not really a crime, it is a business! Sure, the rule makers call it a crime, but it violates none of the Judeo-Christian rules.

Heck, you can buy cyanide -- but would you swallow it? Why isn’t cyanide an illegal substance? Here is my first revelation to you: You can discourage crimes through the criminal justice system, but you can only destroy a business by making that business unprofitable.

There are no self-starters in drug abuse. Contemplate that fact for a moment. Re-read what I just wrote. How many of you have awakened one morning and decided this is the day you will try illegal drugs? Not you! Why would you assume anyone else would? The fact is that illegal drugs are sold, often using free samples given at parties where alcohol dims judgment and where “word of mouth” advertising, the pressure of peers, gives credibility to initial experimentation. You see, it’s not only a business, it is a sales business. And why do these “friends” offer you these free samples? Obviously, it is to gain new, paying “clients”. In support of this seemingly insignificant sales delivery system, there is a vast array of growers, processors, cartels, smugglers, mid-level and street-level dealers who all take a “cut”, making the street cost of these drugs rather significant. The result is a multi-billion dollar industry whose very survival depends on these drugs remaining illegal.

Let’s consider this scenario.
The United States government passes legislation to go into competition with the drug cartels. They arrange for direct business with material suppliers in Colombia, Iran, Mexico -- you name it. Whatever drugs are being currently sold, the U.S. Government will supply them. However, these drugs will be sold only through licensed pharmacies, and with a regulated mark-up only 15% over actual cost. There will be no taxes applied. Further, no advertising of any kind regarding these drugs is allowed. Anyone wishing to purchase these very pure and inexpensive drugs would have to ask for them. At the time of purchase, the buyer would be supplied with a written warning regarding the use of the specific substance purchased. In addition, the buyer would be required to sign a waiver which affirms that if s/he becomes ill, indigent or disabled as a result of the use or abuse of the substance in question, they would be ineligible for any form of social medical treatment or welfare benefits. These forms and sales records would be forwarded by the pharmacy to the newly reorganized DEA, whose sole purpose would be reduced to that of regulation enforcement of the pharmacies and record keeping.

The illegal drug trade would simply implode overnight. There is no way the illegal smuggling operations could compete with pure drugs being sold over the counter at only 15% over cost. Further, there would be no street level dealers trying to sell their drugs to your children, for the simple fact that there would be no profit motive to do so.

Remember: the way to destroy a business is to destroy it’s profitability. Where the “word-of-mouth” advertising is absent, there are no drug sales to new, prospective users. Of course, sales to minors would be strictly prohibited, and anyone convicted of doing so would be subject to a prison term of 25 years to life.

Currently, almost 70% of our imprisoned population is there on drug-related convictions. By attrition, our prisons would be emptied to accommodate the truly violent criminals in our society. In addition to the vast savings to our socialized health care and welfare systems, the need for more prison construction would become unnecessary, and so would the many jobs of prosecutors, judges, police officers, bailiffs, court reporters -- well, you get the picture. There is a vast legal-industrial complex in this country that is also dependent upon sustaining the WOD for it’s very survival, a survival supplied only through your tax dollars.

Look, I’m not the smartest kid on the block; far from it. I am not so foolish, prideful or egotistical to think I’m the only person who ever thought of this. Your government wants to keep the status quo because they are getting something from it. The scenario I’ve just published would also drastically reduce violent and non-violent crime committed by those who need to sell your bloody $10,000.00 Rolex watch for $250.00 in order to finance their next fix. It would substantially reduce the cost of your car, homeowners, disability and medical insurance. It would leave the government without excuse to shred any more of your civil rights, and with steadfast encouragement, to reinstate those rights taken under the guise of the WOD. Most of the gun crimes are committed by those in the drug trade, including the street gangs who depend on illegal drug sales for their survival as well. And we all know that when gun crimes are committed, our government uses that as the excuse to pass more and more gun control legislation, legislation that only effects the law-abiding gun owners like us.

I won’t spend any more time on this. You get the picture now and I know you can think for yourself. There are literally thousands of direct and indirect benefits to be derived from the controlled legalization of currently illegal drugs, and, as I’ve already pointed out, I’m not the only person who ever thought this out. There was a time I was vehemently against even the mere suggestion of what I’ve just proposed, and only because I had a closed mind. Experience has taught me to question every former assumption, and you should too: There is nothing in this world that will cost you more than a closed mind.

Carl F. Worden


Mark Horning said...

Les, there is a reason us Libertarian folks usually call it "The war on SOME drugs".

Antongarou said...

I'm not so sure. Worden paints an ideal picture where the businesses involved in the new drug trade neither:
a) violate the new laws

b)are linked to the current drug cartels

yes, some of those drugs probably should be legalized(marijuana is a prime example), but others may very well be prohibited for good reasons. Cyanide has uses as rodent poison. Does cocaine or similar drugs have uses not harmful to humans?

In addition, he makes some really serious assumptions in his imagined "survey"- the most immediately problematic being that he would get true answers from anybody who isn't current obvious user of said drugs. I'm not implying his percentages are necessarily wrong, but as social scientists this lighted some big red bulbs in my brain.

Personally, I support having good, strong scientific studies checking each drug and then deciding on legalisation. Anything, say, at the level of alcohol or bellow that doesn't have recurring trips should be legalised under appropriate constraints.

PS. How does he propose to fund the new DEA if he doesn't tax the product?Tax it and use that to supervise and regulate.

Anonymous said...

OH, good for him! And because we're in a Crisis Era right now, I'm reminded of what happened to the last crime-causing, intrusive, morals-based Prohibitionist law during the last Crisis Era. Essentially we found we couldn't afford it, and there was a rising chorus of voices saying so.

I am now sure (as opposed to merely hoping) that the War on Drugs is about to go the way of Prohibition. But it won't be the current President who rams it through. Poor Obama - he's trying so hard to be Eisenhower, and it's only turning him into Herbert Hoover.

Watch this space in 2012. It won't be a blast from the past like McCain, either.

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, to me legalizing drugs means repealing laws that make their possession, manufacture and sale illegal. It does not mean the government should replace the drug dealers. It just means laissez faire.

To some extent, every drug and even every food is a poison. Knowing the lethal dosage is up to each individual. Let's keep the government out of it.

Anonymous said...

@Antongarou: Yes, cocaine and heroin do have legitimate medical uses. Heroin is an extremely powerful analgesic (pain-killer), and would be very useful to people with chronic pain. My mother had to watch her brother dying of bone cancer, with the pain meds that were available unable to ease his agony. What she told me she wished she could do to the people who prevented her from giving him heroin would have horrified Jack the Ripper.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Anton. My take on it is that if the US abolished the laws against marijuana first, that would give the hemp industry a jump-start, and when the other drugs were legalized they'd never be able to catch up. There have been some solid scientific investigations done on marijuana, most recently the WHO's Jamaica Study, which reveal that mary-jane is the single most harmless drug known to man; it has *no* lethal dosage, and you can't say that about salt or even water.

Given how safe, cheap and beneficial marijuana is (and how any common citizen can grow the stuff), I'd say that if it were legalized it would sweep the market.

Hi, Eric. Heroin is nothing but concentrated synthetic morphine. I can't understand why the doctors wouldn't just give your uncle large doses of morphine -- or is that Politically Incorrect these days?

I am really tired of medicine dictated by lawyers, politicians and insurance companies.

--Leslie <;)))><

Antongarou said...

Leslie, alcohol has been around for ages, and legal for most of the time. It hasn't cornered the market as of yet, as far as I can tell. Every drug probably gives you a somewhat different sensation, so it's unlikely that any one drug will corner the market in case of legalization, even if some are legalized before others.

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, I do think doctors have stopped giving people morphine to ease their dying... If you are in a hospital and want to die, you can get them to stop intravenous feeding, but they won't give you anything for the pain.

Antongarou said...

Huh?How does that get past the ethics committee?I'm pretty sure here in Israel they would get chucked out on their ear for doing it.

Ori Pomerantz said...

Anton, in Israel doctors probably aren't afraid there would be repercussions for giving a dying patient a lethal dose of morphine (that's how my father died).

In the US, this is a lot more likely to cause problems.