Damien on… America: What Her War On Drugs Has Done To Her (In-)Justice System
America’s War On Drugs…
…is a pointless waste of time and money. No-one who is intelligent AND honest would deny this. The reasons why are obvious, but for the record…
(1) Her (so far) forty-year-plus prohibition of recreational drugs has been no more successful than her fourteen-year prohibition of alcohol.
(2) As before, it has merely empowered major crime.
(3) Every time a low-level dealer or mule gets busted, a job opportunity is created which – thanks to the rewards available – will quickly be filled.
(4) Every time a major shipment is intercepted, the authorities trumpet their success. But the suppliers merely increase output to cover the “shrinkage”. And even if the bust IS significant enough to cause a temporary shortage of supply – the price is simply increased. The barons will still be able to fill the tanks of their Ferraris.
(5) Recreational drug use is a victimless crime. Its impact on society is far less damaging than the criminality that currently surrounds it.
(6) The VAST amount of money spent trying – and failing – to prevent it (cops, Customs, DEA, etc.) is MANY times what the cost would be, if the authorities simply paid to clean up the mess that legalisation would create.
(7) And that mess would be far less, if the drugs were manufactured by properly-set-up companies – instead of the back-street outfits which currently fill that role.
(8) And potential customers could be given neutral, non-judgemental “patient information” leaflets, which could explain the various substances’ pros and cons, instead of that information coming from unqualified friends – and dealers.
(9) America prides herself on FREEDOM – which means a citizen ought to be able to decide themselves, what they do with their mind and body.
(10) Which brings us to its effect on…
America’s (In-)Justice System…
When the Brave New World was first set up, its pioneers understandably wanted to create a society where cops kicking in doors with impunity would not happen. Many had just ESCAPED societies like that.
And so they came up with a system that would be FAIR to those accused of crimes.
This even extended to courts being forced to EXCLUDE evidence that was not gathered “correctly”.
However, it was not long before shyster lawyers began to EXPLOIT these “loopholes” to keep their clients out of jail. (“Since the police failed to identify themselves properly, give the murderer his gun BACK!”)
But those who could not AFFORD shysters began filling America’s jails. Nothing unusual in that. But when she instigated her current recreational drugs policy, those numbers swelled to EPIC proportions.
America now has MORE of her population incarcerated than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. A QUARTER of the prisoners in the WORLD are behind AMERICAN BARS – which has lead to MASSIVE overpopulation of America’s prisons.
And it is this which has forced her to rethink her whole (in-)justice system.
The result? Well, today, with America’s jails no longer capable of handling their inmate numbers, most sentences get reduced – and with her courts unable to handle the “flow of traffic”, most cases get “plea-bargained” out.
This results in early releases for serious criminals – and shorter sentences for real crimes. All of which benefits American society not one jot.
So what can she do about this farcical situation? Well, the solution is surprisingly SIMPLE. She could do with recreational drugs what she did with BOOZE, back in 1933. Legalize and regulate them. Then set free all prisoners who were inside solely on drug offences, where they had committed no crimes affecting others.
In this World obsessed by money, there has been talk of TAXING recreational drugs. But this is an IRRELEVENT DIVERSION.
The BENEFITS TO SOCIETY and the MONEY SAVED by execution of this straightforward repeal would be MASSIVE – and immediate.
Cops would be able to devote their time to solving REAL crimes – the ones that DO affect society.
The DEA could go and find CONSTRUCTIVE work.
Customs could concentrate on their original duties.
America’s jail population would shrink DRASTICALLY.
And her courts could finally spend the time needed to do THEIR job properly – dispense JUSTICE.
I am taking the (for me) unprecedented step of “promoting” a comment – and its reply – to the piece itself.
“C” wrote the following…
I would be all for not arresting and jailing drug users but making all drugs legal, that is the dumbest idea I have heard in a long time. Legal meth and heroin would put even more people in danger if becoming addicts. The war on drugs has been unsuccessful because cops can arrest the low hanging fruit (the users or addicts) and not have to focus on the upper part of the distribution hierarchy out of fear of what the cartels would do to them if given the chance. DEA agents have to be willing to put themselves in danger in order to get the real criminals. People who make and distribute meth should be locked up, if you have ever had a friend or loved one who had a meth habit this would be obvious. Pot should not be illegal at any level but you are wrong about many other drugs. Being illegal does not stop people from using them but it is a deterrent to some and making them legal is throwing some of those people into a life of struggle against addiction. C.
And I replied with the following…
Thank you for your comment. I don’t think we are in disagreement here. My piece was mostly about the damage the War On Drugs has done to America’s LEGAL SYSTEM. I only danced over the business of recreational drugs being illegal. I will now clarify that view.
I believe that USERS should not be any part of the legal system – however, manufacturers and suppliers SHOULD.
In my World, recreational drugs would have their blanket ban REMOVED. The reasons these bans were originally invoked are various – but they have ended up becoming a case of the government trying to stop people getting HIGH. And all that has achieved is the afore-mentioned pointless War.
What SHOULD be done is to remove users from the equation altogether and concentrate on those who manufacture and supply. But here is the difference – drugs would be treated as SUBSTANCES.
And each substance would be considered on its own MERIT. Thus drugs like cannabis and ecstacy would be considered relatively harmless and treated accordingly – while hallucinogenics like LSD would be considered more carefully – and substances like meth would be classed as POISONS and CONTINUE to be banned.
The net result of this would be that most people would be content to experiment with the less harmful drugs – which would be PROPERLY manufactured, with accompanying “patient information” – while the NASTY ones would find themselves classified along with arsenic and nitric acid.
I am not saying these measures would be easy to enforce – but they would simplify matters no end and leave the legal system – and its enforcement agencies – free to deal with the more serious aspects of the issue.
Like, number one – the cartels would find themselves downgraded from manufacturers of recreational drugs – to peddlers of POISONS. While manufacturers of “soft” drugs would become corporations who would be listed on the Stock Market – along with brewers and distillers of alcoholic drinks.
And, number two – highly addictive drugs like coke and heroin would be placed in an arena where control and regulation could reduce SOME of their more harmful effects.
It is a COMPLEX problem, for which people – as usual – require simple answers. But the simple answer of BANNING ALL recreational drugs is NOT working. It has not worked for over forty years – therefore I cannot see it working in the next forty.