Deciphering the War on Drugs

I was in a hotel room in Canada recently. Mercifully, I found an old movie to watch amongst the bizarre Canadian programming. The movie was from 1972 and was adapted from a Joseph Wambaugh novel, “The New Centurions” starring George C. Scott as an LAPD police officer who develops his own brand of justice, which is a mixed bag, but he defends the rights of the immigrants and protects them from an exploitive slum lord.  The character argues that they do jobs nobody else is willing to do and they are humans seeking a better life for their children (what is a more American value than that?).  It struck me that the film was almost as old as I am and yet we have the same arguments today as we did then, it’s a forty-year argument, other than most marriages, who has a forty-year argument?

I have wondered about how the drug war is connected to the immigration problems we face. It must be, the border towns are bloodbaths, more people killed there than in Iraq (I swear, check it out). If we had a stable regulated drug trade would we have immigration problems? Yes. If we had a tax and regulate system of decriminalized free choice intoxicant would we have more secure boarders? Yes.

President Obama just signed a $600 million bill for border security. I am a huge Obama fan and am hesitant to be critical, but, is this  time to pander to the right?  Not to mention, I thought the Obama administration ended the “war” on drugs? They said they did, they said they wanted to change the language of it, move more toward the treatment and prevention. Did I miss the $600 million for treatment bill? Must have skipped CNN that day or maybe I was in Canada?

Am I crazy or is this thinly veiled funding for the war on drugs? Call it what you want, but I think if there are more people killed in an effort than the war on terror, it’s a war too. There is clear and present danger along the border of the US and Mexico and it’s not all housekeepers sneaking across, its drug traffic.

Lets enter Joe’s fantasy world and decriminalize Marijuana, tax it ( how a $40 billion industry doesn’t pay taxes I will never know), regulate it, sell it at 7-11. The violence along the border is greatly reduced, money is made instead of spent and we help the immigration problem. Oh, and some people get really high, giggle at comedy central and eat twinkies and chips.  How is this a choice? People shot and killed or people high, stupid, and complacent? I really don’t get it and I am fairly irritated with the President for not taking a bolder step with this. I am sure he will be really worried when he hears about how upset I am. I say it frequently. Humans like to get high, they like intoxication, no amount of money will change that.

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