How Long Before We Have An Honest Drug Discussion?
Posted 2012-05-13 16:53
by Karl Denninger
Seriously folks, this is not about marijuana -- and never has been.
MONTERREY, Mexico – Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border in what could be the latest outburst in an escalating war of terror among drug gangs. (story below)
That's another 49 people. The last batch were hung off a bridge or cut up into pieces.
Because we have a "drug war" in the United States. And the enormous amount of money has prompted a real war in other nations, whether it be Afghanistan (opium poppies) or Mexico (trafficking of various sorts.)
Some 50,000 Mexicans have lost their lives in the last few years over this war -- a war that is our responsibility. A war that we started, we promote, we fund and we even arm with things like "Project Gunwalker", not to mention money laundering -- including accusations and even admissions that some of our largest financial institutions have been involved in it.
It's time to cut the crap. We got this in the 1920s:
And what did we learn from it? Exactly nothing, other than that this sort of "war" is profitable for the law enforcement community and gets civilians killed without doing a damned thing to deter drug use.
As a direct and proximate cause of our stupidity in this regard you can't buy brake cleaner in WalMart without being asked if you're 18. We're so worried about people getting high on various things we want to prohibit that we've made it more-attractive for kids to inhale chemicals that will destroy their minds and bodies instead of smoking a joint, which clearly comes with risks -- but not of immediate death or serious bodily injury.
You think you can prevent people from getting high? Then how come we're worried about brake cleaner, nail polish remover and lighter fluid -- all things that I bought as a youth for their original intended purposes before I was 18, and never "huffed" any of them? Why is it that we have bars everywhere where the very purpose of the establishment is to intentionally consume an intoxicant?
As a matter of human rights did we not know back in the early part of the 1900s that we needed to pass a Constitutional Amendment to bar people from taking into their bodies anything on their own volition? It sure looks that way, doesn't it?
So what changed, other than hubris, jackbooted statism and our collective idiocy quotient?
So why are we still maintaining a "drug war" when all it's doing is getting people killed by the literal truckload, jailing people for consensual personal conduct in which the risk is entirely personal to the party(s) engaged in it, and the cost in both money and lives is hideous and indefensible?
Simple: Money feeding politicians.
Just as with the health care debacle in which we "need" Obamacare because the government granted special privileges to certain entities and thus made health care unaffordable without them, we have the same paradigm here.
We claim that part of the reason for the "drug war" is that if you get drug-addled society will have to take care of you. The question not asked but which must be asked is why we put together a system that created a problem we then demand government solve!
In other words, why is it that the solution isn't to remove both the "safety net" for those who want to use drugs and the laws against their use?
This does not impact public safety; if I go upon the road in my car and smash into someone while stoned, I can and should be prosecuted irrespective of what I'm stoned on! Whether that's booze, marijuana, heroin or cough syrup the fact remains that I was willfully and intentionally impaired and if that voluntarily-impaired state of mind was part or all of the reason for the accident I should be held fully criminally and civilly accountable for my acts.
But that same substance, used within my home or other place (e.g. a "dope bar") where one does not present a public risk should be entirely at my risk -- both at the moment of use and down the road if and when the consequences are served upon my body and/or mind.
That approach -- along with looking at drug addiction as a condition that can be treated if and when the addict wants to stop, is both cheaper and respects human rights. At the same time it eviscerates the money that currently flows into criminal gangs.
When Prohibition was repealed we stopped having Tommy Gun fights in the middle of our cities. That didn't happen because the gangsters decided to "be nice" -- it happened because the profit in running booze, which had previously funded their acquisition of guns and ammunition, was cut off.
All we have to do to solve this problem is learn from history.
Are there any politicians who will take an honest look at this issue in full and not pander to some subset of the population (e.g. those who want to smoke a joint) while refusing to address the actual problem?
We must address the actual issue, both shrinking government involvement in our lives along with the monetary cost of this indefensible policy and saving tens of thousands of lives in places like Mexico.
Dozens of bodies, some mutilated, dumped on Mexico highway
May 13, 2012
May 13: Federal agents take photographs of a sprayed 'Z,' the symbol of Zetas drug cartel, on a pillar at a crime scene in the municipality of Cadereyta. (Reuters)
MONTERREY, Mexico – Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border in what appears to be the latest blow in an escalating war of intimidation among drug gangs.
Mexico's organized crime groups often abandon multiple bodies in public places as warnings to their rivals, and authorities said at least a few of the recent victims had tattoos of the Santa Muerte cult popular among drug traffickers. But Nuevo Leon state Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said he did not rule out the possibility that the victims were U.S.-bound migrants.
The bodies of the 43 men and six women were found in the town of San Juan on the non-toll highway to the border city of Reynosa at about 4 a.m. (5 a.m. EDT), forcing police and troops to close off the highway. Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said at a news conference that a banner left at the site bore a message with the Zetas drug cartel taking responsibility for the massacre.
Domene said the fact the bodies were found with the heads, hands and feet cut off will make identification difficult. The bodies were being taken to Monterrey for DNA tests.
De la Garza said the victims could have been killed as long as two days ago at another location, then transported to San Juan, a town in Cadereyta municipality, about 105 miles west-southwest of McAllen, Texas, or 75 miles southwest of the Roma, Texas, border crossing.
Mexican drug cartels have been waging an increasingly bloody war to control smuggling routes, the local drug market and extortion rackets, including shakedowns of migrants seeking to reach the United States.
A drug gang allied with the Sinaloa cartel left 35 bodies at a freeway overpass in the city of Veracruz in September, and police found 32 other bodies, apparently killed by the same gang, a few days after that. The goal apparently was to take over territory that had been dominated by the Zetas. Twenty-six bodies were found in November in Guadalajara, another territory being disputed by the Zetas and the Sinaloa group.
So far this month, 23 bodies were found dumped or hanging in the city of Nuevo Laredo and 18 were found along a highway south of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city.
In April, police found the mutilated bodies of 14 men in a minivan abandoned in downtown Nuevo Laredo, along with a message from an undisclosed drug gang. Also in April, the tortured and bound bodies of seven men were dumped in the Pacific port city of Lazaro Cardenas along with messages signed by allies of the Sinaloa drug gang.
Officials last year found 193 bodies in mass graves in the Tamaulipas state town of San Fernando. They were believed to have been migrants killed by the Zetas drug cartel. Another 72 migrants, many of them from Central America, were found slain in San Fernando in 2010.