Monday, February 5, 2007
Moron War on Drugs....
After spending the entire day at one of the finer opium dens in Greenwich Village, I have come to several conclusions:
1. Kitty cats are funny and fuzzy and like to poop in boxes.
2. Kitty cats are funny and stuff.
3. It's pretty hard to spell "ophthalmologist."
4. I like kitty cats.
5. The war on drugs is stupid and always has been.
I guess I'll elaborate on number five as the first four assertions seem to be indisputable. Let's start with a few paragraphs full of fun facts:
Between federal, state, and local governments, the United States spends over $50 billion dollars a year to fight the so-called war on drugs. After spending all of this money ($100 million a week!), less than 5% of the drugs meant for the eventual consumers is seized. But technically we stop none of it overall since the confiscated drugs are quickly replaced by more drugs. Supply of course equals demand. Which begs the question: How can you call keep calling something a "war" if you keep losing, year after year after year? Perhaps George Bush or Dick Cheney could field this one.
Next, most studies indicate that legalization will result in slightly more drug use (at worst). Of course alcohol consumption did not diminish during prohibition and the Netherlands (with plenty of legal drugs) doesn't have nearly the drug problems we have. Conservatives holler that we would instantly become a nation of staggering drug addicts should we legalize, but there's no evidence whatsoever of that. Jokes about opium dens aside, I (like most non-drug-users) would have no trouble procuring narcotics tomorrow, should I choose to pursue them. In fact, the vast, vast majority of people who want to use drugs are doing so already and couldn't care less that it's illegal.
Also, alcohol and tobacco (perfectly legal) kill 500 times as many Americans each year as illegal drugs but no one is demanding illegalization on these particular drugs. Um, why not? Granted, heroine and crystal meth are much more destructive on a person-to-person basis than alcohol and tobacco, but in the aggregate (the more important consideration) the legal drugs exact a far greater toll on society because more people choose to use them (see last paragraph). And let's not forget that, with legalization, the vicious drug gangs will be priced out of the market by the giant pharmaceutical firms. And the resulting tax windfdall will be immense. Imagine the additional money our government could squander!
So what the hell is my point? Well, the war on drugs is a stupid waste of money. Given that it is completely ineffective (and has been for decades) what's the point in "staying the course?" Even if you hate the idea of adults using drugs, why support a policy with your tax dollars that accomplishes nothing? And never has. And conservatives, if drugs become legal we would instantly have $50 billion a year to spend on your ineffective abstinence programs, creepy intelligent-design manuals, and our war in Iraq against the terrorists who miraculously arrived shortly after we did. Hell, maybe we could start another war with a country that never threatened us. Frankly, I'm not terribly fond of Finland.
Of course selling drugs to kids should remain a felony, but I am perfectly comfortable with adults legally selling drugs to other consenting adults. Even in a church. Or in a tree. Or on a bench. Or near a bee. I do not care now, Sam I Am! Our government needs to stop telling adults what they can put in their own bodies, not to mention the bodies of other, consenting adults. Hey, a big shout out to my gay pals on the east side! Yo,' Fresh Felix, Prince Turtleneck, Slick Dick Rick, Shelly Timberlands, Felicia Flannel, and Maneater Monica! I be straight but not narrow (please see last BLOG post!).
The essential difference between the cigarette & alcohol manufacturers and drug dealers is that the drug dealers have not spent decades implying their product is part of a healthy lifestyle. And the legal products destroy far more lives. Hell, McDonald's has shattered far more families than Colombian drug lords ever will, given that obesity and heart disease are the biggest killers in America. And yet we grow furious when portly folks who grow sick on fast food sue. Why? Because they were consenting adults who made their king-sized beds and then slept in them (usually alone). Again, "CONSENTING ADULTS" here!
But the mouth-breathing American public clings to the simplistic notion that, well, "drugs are bad" and would refuse to elect a politician who dares recommend legalization. So the spineless politicians will never voice such an honest opinion unless of course more than 50% of their constituency eventually agrees. Such tiresome robots. I love the old saying: "Politics is show business for ugly people."
In conclusion, the war on drugs has no more of an overall effect than abandoning this war would! And imagine what we could do with the billions saved! For starters, how about spending a few million educating our kids on the dangers of drug use (in their rebuilt schools, with well-paid teachers!)? Or how about providing free rehab and counseling to those unfortunate souls who, in their grim pursuit of psychic or physical relief, become addicted? Like drug addict Rush Limbaugh, who, when referring to other addicts, said for years "lock em' up and throw away the key!" But when he himself became an addict (OxyContin) he learned nothing about humility and understanding. Bad for the ratings, I guess.
Enough. I'm getting the munchies.
-Paul "Cheech" Rosa