A monkey on all our backs

We all have a monkey on our back that has served to seriously degrade the entire world over the last 30 years. And that is the so called "War on Drugs". The very concept is ludicrous, and there's mountains of data to show that prohibition does not work, but in fact only serves to enrich criminal organizations, and, as a consequence, police forces.

I have been following politics very closely, as always, but it's too depressing to talk about (TEABAGGIN' INSANITY!), but there is one issue that is of vital importance, and that's Proposition 19 in California, which is a full marijuana legalization bill. If passed, it would be legal to grow your own marijuana, and/or buy it from licensed stores. In California, of course, for now.

You may smoke, you may not, but this is not really about smoking. It's about logic, and personal responsibility, and addressing the insanity that is our current criminal system.

30-40% of all people in jail right now are there because of drug crimes, and that's just the overall prison population. Incarceration rates for minorities are off the charts. Once convicted of a felony in the US, your productive life is basically over, as there are whole swathes of jobs, and rights, that are no longer open to you. In essence, your life can be destroyed because you sold a plant to a willing customer.

Is that worthwhile? Should America - The Land of The Free - have the highest stated percent of people in prison in the Western world, all in the name of a "War" that cannot possibly be won, and in fact is highly corrosive to the foundations of our society? Look at what's become of police forces in the last 30 years - they've become militarized. They can seize all of your assets if you are convicted of a drug crime, leading to the heavy incentive of proactively busting people for no reason other than you need revenue. Think of the foolish young people who's entire lives are ruined because of one indiscretion. On and on.

And it's not just the USA. Because of our 800lb gorilla status, what happens in the US greatly influences other countries. Mexico is being ripped apart right now because of OUR drug war. Columbia is completely militarized, with our assistance. All in the name of stopping willing people from consuming an easily grown plant. Here's a link to a site with pictures from the Drug War in Mexico - beware, though, as some of the photos are very graphic.

The clear solution to any drug problem is to treat it as a medical issue - like with alcohol. And of course to hold people responsible for their actions while under the influence, like with alcohol. 

But we're almost free. IF California votes to legalize, they will have broken the dam in the Drug War. Other states will surely follow, eventually forcing the Feds to address their policies. And while it's just for marijuana, which alone would have a huge impact in reducing the nihilistic destruction of the Drug War, it would no doubt also usher in a change in mindset which would allow for discussions to begin about legalizing other drugs.

If you value freedom, and personal responsibility, it should be incumbent upon you to support this initiative, regardless of your own use or non-use of marijuana. And once it passes, and the doomsayers are proven wrong (again), we can begin addressing real drug abuse issue the only way they can be addressed: As a medical issue handled between a patient and a doctor, not a prisoner and warden. Take it from this monkey if you don't believe me:
All better! Go CA!


skramly said...

C'mon California. Do it!

Redshirt said...

Amen. In fact, if the midterms turn out like all the pundits are predicting, this proposition might be the silver lining in some very dark clouds.