Monday, August 26, 2013

Week of 08/26/2013

Too Addicted To Quit The Drug War
– by David Matthews 2

There seems to be a perverse fixation in politics to make “drug addicts” suffer.

“Addicts” are treated as the scapegoat for all that supposedly ails society.

Bad credit?  Must be a drug addict.  Right, credit reporting agencies?

Unemployed?  Must be a drug addict. Right, Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio?

On Food Stamps or Welfare or disability?  They may be drug addicts!  Gotta check to make sure!  Force them to pee in a cup!  And keep forcing them to pee in a cup just to make sure!  Can’t have any drug addicts taking one red taxpayer penny, no siree!

Funny, though, how the cons and neo-cons can get their perverted sadistic fetish on when it comes to the people that need help and accuse them of automatically being addicts without ever being given an opportunity to be proven otherwise, but they’ll forgive an admitted pill-popper like Rush Limbaugh, or a former cocaine addict like Glenn Beck.

And yet, for all of the rhetoric about making addicts suffer, there will always be the one group of addicts that will never be recognized.  In fact, these addicts will be not only tolerated, but they will continue to be coddled and encouraged to be more and more addicted at the continued crippling expense of the community itself.

I’m talking about those addicts whose drug of choice is the so-called “War on Drugs” itself.

Yes, so-called “drug warriors” are addicts as well.  They’re dangerously addicted to power.  It’s really the only addiction where the damage only affects the people around the addict and not the addict himself or herself.

When students are suspended from school because they bring in their own proscription nasal spray so they can breathe during allergy season, then that school’s administration has a serious addiction problem.

When a little old lady is outright murdered in her home in the middle of the night because the city’s “elite enforcement division” was looking to meet a quota, then that city has a serious addiction problem.

When a city’s “elite enforcement division” cannot tell the difference between marijuana and organic tomato plants, then that city has a serious addiction problem.

When the police chief of a small New Hampshire city actually requests a military tank with a straight face, then that city has a serious addiction problem.

And this is the one addiction that nobody wants to acknowledge exists.  There are people that are addicted to the Internet, addicted to online gaming, addicted to Beanie Babies, addicted to soft drinks and pizza, addicted to sex, addicted to romance, addicted to inflatable pool toys, addicted to Star Trek, addicted to weddings… but nobody, especially those in government, want to admit that they can become addicted to power through the “Drug War”.  Or, for that matter, from “terrorism” or “school shootings” or from any other justification they can whip up to get what they want.

This addiction gives law enforcement and politicians carte blanche to literally create their own army through no cost of their own.  Want military-style flack jackets and automatic weapons?  Just say “War on Drugs” or “9/11” and you’ll have all the military toys you want.  Want a tricked-out military-grade Hummer as it was originally designed for?  Feel the need for a high-speed cigar boat?  Well if you can’t get the taxpayers to cough one up, you can always seize it from someone you suspect is dealing drugs.  What good is having asset forfeiture powers if the good stuff is going to be sitting in storage?

Bear in mind that this comes as cities are at the financial breaking point and as local communities are pressed to slice budgets to the bare minimum because there is no more tax revenue to collect from the already-stressed taxpayers.  And here comes your local police chief with his officers in tow demanding that the taxpayers to fork over still more money for a tank and maybe some drones!  These are dangerous times, after all.  Bad guys have bigger weapons and they’re putting little kids in danger.  Are you going to be the one to say “no” to all of that?

Then there’s the other problem when it comes to those addicted to the “Drug War”: you can’t get them to pull back, even when public support demands it.

There has been a steady effort in the various states to decriminalize marijuana, either for medicinal purposes or for recreational possession in small amounts.  Almost half the nation has already enacted such changes.  The reasons why vary.  Some cite health benefits, others say the cost of enforcement and incarceration is too much, and still more debunk the original arguments that were raised in the 1930’s.

But no matter the reason, their efforts have so far been for naught.  No matter how many states decriminalize marijuana, no matter how many regulatory controls and oversight are created by state legislators, supporters are continually running into the biggest gang of addicts of them all: the United States Government.

Despite the change in public attitudes, you would have a much better chance of seeing evangelical conservatives embrace same-sex marriages before you would ever see the federal government willingly back down from their stance on marijuana.  To back away from marijuana now is completely against the nature of these addicts.

Let’s get brutally hone here… there is no way that our federal government will ever reconsider their stance on marijuana on their own.  They have to be forced, compelled, to comply, and even then they would do so grudgingly. 

Remember Prohibition?  The Volstead Act and the Constitutional Amendment that outlawed alcohol?  The people behind that firmly believed that there would be no way possible for the Eighteenth Amendment to be repealed.  They controlled the federal and state legislators, so they knew that they would be able to sabotage any attempt to get a repeal past them.  Like today’s “Drug War” addicts, these Prohibition Addicts were addicted to the power and control they had over the masses when it came to alcohol, and they were hell-bent on forcing America dry.

What the temperance activists and the political bosses failed to take into account is a second way to repeal a bad Constitutional Amendment.  The Prohibition Addicts were by-passed, and they were forced to back down on alcohol, but not without some regulatory battles that still are being waged today.

Today’s Drug War addicts are no different.  Even if every state decides to legalize marijuana, the federal government will still declare it to be illegal and still wage armed battles to stop it, unless they are forced otherwise by courts or by the same Constitutional Convention that enacted the Twenty-First Amendment and repealed Prohibition.

Sure President Obama pledged at one point to stop prosecuting people in those states where it is decriminalized or re-regulated, but that pledge was made meaningless when the arrests continued.  His promises mean absolutely nothing as long as Drug Enforcement Agents continue their raids.

Local law enforcement doesn’t want to back down; they want to escalate things even more.  Now they’re looking for “synthetic pot” and “bath salts” and anything that can supposedly put one in an altered state.  If it doesn’t come from Big Pharma, then they want it, and in states like Georgia they have been given cart blanche to do anything they can to supposedly “protect us” from it.  They are forever locked into one path, and that path is more government, more control, more arrests, more incarcerations.  All to keep us “safe”.

Sadly, there is no way to treat these kinds of addicts.  There are no rehab clinics or twelve-step programs to help these kinds of addicts out.  Doctor Drew Pinsky probably won’t be able to help.  Worse yet, they surround themselves with plenty of enablers, convincing them that they don’t have a problem… it’s everyone else.

No, the only way to deal with these kinds of addicts is with intervention.  To remove them from power through the ballot box so they can hopefully recognize they have a problem.  Unfortunately, if we’re not willing to do that ourselves, then it’s really not going to be done.  We can’t expect these addicts to clean themselves up.  After all, they’re busy trying to keep us and our tax monies safe from all those other addicts.


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